"Mother is currently discussing some things with Leader Zhang. Please come in, Senior Martial Brother Qin!" The blue-robed young man extended a salute to the brocade-robed man before nodding to acknowledge Han Li.
Han Li had a rather good impression of this young master from the Heavenly East Enterprise, so he also nodded politely in response before setting the little girl on her shoulder back down onto the ground.
As soon as her two feet landed on the ground, the little girl clung tightly onto Han Li's robes again as if she were made of glue.
Even though Han Li had already anticipated that this would happen, he still heaved a resigned sigh upon seeing this. As such, he had no choice but to take this little girl into the wooden cabin with him.
The cabin was a makeshift one, so it wasn't very large in area, only around 70 to 80 feet in size. However, it had been kept very clean and orderly, and there was even a set of intricately crafted sandalwood furniture sitting within the cabin.
The beautiful Mistress Fang was sitting in the main seat within the cabin while conversing with Zhang Kui about something. There were also six other people standing off to the side with their hands clasped behind their backs in a respectful manner.
There was a pair of grey-robed men, who were none other than the guards that had been taught a lesson by Han Li a while ago, as well as Liu'er and the three other young female servants.
"You're finally back, Immortal Qin. I was planning to send Leader Zhang out to look for you... Eh? You also brought Deputy Leader Han back with you? Looks like I won't have worry about sending out a separate search party for him now. Also... isn't that City Lord Zhao's granddaughter?" A surprised expression appeared on Mistress Fang's face as she caught sight of Han Li and the little girl that was clinging to his robes.
Everyone else was also quite surprised to see the duo, and the four young female servants were naturally quite elated to see that Han Li was safe and well.
"City Lord Zhao? Are you referring to the city lord of An Yuan City?" the brocade-robed man asked.
"Which other city lord could I be referring to?" Mistress Fang asked with a rather peculiar expression.
"With the body refinement techniques that City Lord Zhao has cultivated, he's no less powerful than a late-Foundation Establishment cultivator. Even though the city has been destroyed, he should've managed to survive that ordeal. I'm sure he would be overjoyed to see his beloved granddaughter. Is City Lord Zhao or any members of his family here?" the brocade-robed man asked with a contemplative expression.
"I think a butler and a few servants of the Zhao Manor are living nearby. I'll send someone to look for them right away." Mistress Fang smiled in response before assigning the task to one of the grey-robed guards standing in the cabin. She didn't seem too interested at all in asking about why this little girl was with Han Li.
After everyone had taken a seat, Mistress Fang's brows furrowed as she mused, "I really am quite surprised that you were able to remain completely unscathed in the face of the Beast Torrent, Deputy Leader Han. However, I can't help but feel that something is amiss. Why would four different hordes of beasts attack a small city like An Yuan City at the same time?"
"That's really hard to say; perhaps it really was just a coincidence. In any case, that's not something for us to worry about. The seniors from Heavenly Origin City will be investigating this incident," the brocade-robed man replied with a shake of his head.
Mistress Fang nodded, and said, "You're right, Immortal Qin. If An Yuan City had 100 more Foundation Establishment cultivators as reinforcements, we would've been able to withstand this Beast Torrent."
"It would've been impossible to recruit the assistance of so many cultivators. Even though there are countless cultivators in our three regions, virtually none of them would be willing to assist a city full of mortals. They would be taking a big risk and stand to gain nothing from it, so there really is no incentive for them to step in. In fact, aside from the several large cities directly controlled by cultivators, no other city has the right to set up any cultivator markets. This the reason why Beast Torrents are never a problem for those large cities. Millions of low-grade cultivators are present in those cities at any given time during the day, so no beasts would dare to attack them," the brocade-robed man replied in an indifferent manner.
Millions?! Han Li knew that there was a staggering number of cultivators in the Spirit Realm, but he was still stunned to hear that just a single city could be inhabited by so many cultivators.
"Indeed, the Heavenly Origin Region is extremely vast, and mortal cities only account for a tiny area within the region, so it's only natural that immortals wouldn't pay any heed to them." Mistress Fang heaved a forlorn sigh.
In response to the slightly accusatory tone in Mistress Fang's words, the brocade-robed cultivator could only give a wry smile.
Everyone was aware of the conflict between mortals and cultivators, and the subject wasn't something a mere Foundation Establishment cultivator like him could comment on.
Right at this moment, someone delivered a report from outside the wooden cabin.
"Mistress Fang, City Lord Zhao's butler is here. Would you like me to take him inside?"
"Of course, please invite him into the cabin," Mistress Fang immediately replied.
"Yes!" The door was opened from the outside and three people strode in.
One of them was the grey-robed guard while the other two consisted of a slender young woman and an elderly man with a head of snowy white hair.
As soon as these two entered the room, the expression on Dai'er's little face changed drastically.
"It really is the young mistress! This is great! Are you alright, Young Mistress Dai'er?" The young woman immediately rushed over to Dai'er and crouched down beside her as tears welled up in her eyes.
The little girl also let go of Han Li's robes for the first time as she threw her little arms around the young woman and burst into sobs.
"Thank you for recovering our young mistress, Mistress Fang. Master would have my head on a plate if the young mistress had gone missing." The elderly man was also very elated, and he hurriedly extended a grateful bow to Mistress Fang.
"I was not the one who rescued her, it was Deputy Leader Han who saved Young Mistress Zhao's life," Mistress Fang conceded truthfully.
"You have my eternal gratitude, Young Master Han. I'll be sure to report this matter to my master so he can issue you a handsome reward for your efforts."
"There's no need to thank me; I only bumped into your young mistress by chance. You can take her away now." Han Li waved a hand in response.
The elderly man extended some further words of gratitude before taking his leave along with Dai'er and that young woman, who appeared to be a servant.
Dai'er wasn't clinging onto Han Li's robes anymore, but she was still looking at Han Li with a forlorn expression in her large eyes as she led out of the room by the young female servant.
The little girl was like an adorable little puppy, and Han Li was suddenly struck by a childish impulse as he put on a theatrical grimace for her.
The little girl immediately burst into laughter at the sight of Han Li's comical expression, and she finally departed from the cabin with a sweet smile on her face.
The brocade-robed man had been keeping an eye on Han Li this entire time, and he suddenly said, "Looks like you've grown quite fond of that little girl, Brother Han. Even if City Lord Zhao managed to escape with his life from that Beast Torrent, the entire city was destroyed and most of its population was slain by those beasts. Regardless of what excuses he has to offer, he's still going to be held accountable for this incident. It looks like the Zhao Family is in a rather precarious situation."
"What does that have to do with me? I'll let the Zhao Family worry about themselves." Han Li cast an indifferent glance toward the brocade-robed man in response.
"Hehe, looks like I was overthinking the issue. Mistress Fang, seeing as Brother Han is back now, shouldn’t we be discussing that matter with him?" the brocade-robed man chuckled before suddenly turning to Mistress Fang.
Mistress Fang faltered initially upon hearing this before quickly returning to her senses. She adopted a rather respectful expression, and said, "Of course. We'll be requiring Young Master Han's assistance in this matter, so of course it's necessary to discuss things beforehand. I'll have to trouble you to lend Immortal Qin a hand on this occasion, Young Master Han."
"I'm happy to hear what you have to say. As long as the task is within the realm of my abilities, I can certainly consider lending my assistance to Immortal Qin," Han Li replied as he stroked his chin.
Mistress Fang took a brief moment to organize her thoughts before continuing, "Here's the gist of the matter; my subordinates and I unintentionally discovered something that can increase a cultivator's chances of reaching the Core Formation Stage..."
Han Li listened expressionlessly, and no one could tell what he was thinking.
Meanwhile, in a forest that was several thousand kilometers away, a ball of purple light was rapidly flying through the air. Behind him were two flying beasts, one large and one small. The larger one was astonishingly massive, while the smaller one was shimmering with blue light. They were none other than the two leaders of the beast hordes that had appeared at An Yuan City a few days ago.
Up ahead, a humanoid figure was flashing through the air amid the ball of purple light, and it appeared that it was a man flying atop a treasure.
All of a sudden, the purple light up ahead tremored, and the light faded to reveal a purple-robed man. The rectangular object beneath his feet was rapidly plummeting downward, and it appeared that he had lost control over his flight instrument.
The two flying beasts behind him were naturally ecstatic to see this, and they caught up to him following just a few flashes. One of them flapped its wings ad countless streaks of yellow light shot forth, converging toward the purple-robed man like a torrential storm of light. Meanwhile, the smaller of the two beasts opened its mouth, and a loud thunderclap immediately rang out as a piercing arc of blue light erupted from within.
An urgent look appeared on the purple-robed man upon seeing this, and he let loose an almighty cry as he abruptly stomped both feet down onto his dysfunctional flying instrument. Thus, the speed of his descent was increased by severalfold as plummeted from the sky like a shooting star, thereby allowing him to just barely evade the oncoming attacks before disappearing without a trace into the forest down below.Previous Chapter Next Chapter