Chapter 1616: Provocation

After a brief pause, the young man continued in an excited manner, "The cultivator who was wounded by the immortal zoysia says that his Golden Origin Restrictive Light can prevent the immortal zoysia from adopting its shadow form for two months. On top of that, due to the fact that the immortal zoysia has his restrictive light within its body, he can refine a formation plate that can track the immortal zoysia's location as long as one is within 50 kilometers of it. This immortal zoysia possesses some powerful movement and concealment techniques, as well as some other special abilities, but its combat prowess is actually quite lackluster. On top of that, it's also been wounded, so there's no way that it would dare to venture deep into the Golden Devil Mountain Ranges, which means that it must be hiding in the outskirts. As such, this one-month period would be ideal for capturing it. We originally had no intention of entering the mountain ranges during the influx of devilish Qi, but we certainly couldn't give up on such a brilliant opportunity. As for the people outside of the 13 Heavenly Cloud Races, even if they've received news of this, it's too late for them to get here." 

Han Li's trio was enlightened by this explanation.

Yue Zong contemplated the situation momentarily before a cautious look appeared on his face, and he said, "Humanoid spirit medicines are indeed extremely rare, but there are no records suggesting that they possess any special properties when it comes to pill refinement, so they may not be any more potent than other high-grade spirit medicines. The only thing special about it is that spirit medicines of this nature are extremely rare. In that case, surely it wouldn't be enough to draw so many people here in just a few days, especially during this period of devilish Qi influx. After all, the mountain ranges are far more perilous during this period of time than otherwise, and even when traversing through the outskirts, there's a good chance that we may encounter powerful devilish beasts."

"That's the other thing that I was just about to explain, Brother Yue; on the day that the immortal zoysia appeared, a holy race being appeared in our town and offered a reward of three Myriad Wonder Pills, three Myriad Year Green Lotus Flowers, and a massive sum of spirit stones as a reward in exchange for this immortal zoysia, and he doesn't care if it's been captured dead or alive. This senior is currently living in the town, and he's announced that he'll only leave after the one-month period during which the Golden Devil Mountain Ranges are open. By the way, that senior was also the person who purchased the few drops of blood shed by the immortal zoysia," a beauty in a palatial dress explained."A holy race being?" Han Li repeated with a hint of surprise on his face.

The woman glanced at Han Li and found him to be completely mundane and nondescript, so she replied in a slightly cold manner, "Indeed. This senior's surname is Gu, and he possesses an unfathomable cultivation base. He doesn't appear to be from our Cloud City." "Looks like everyone is actually here for the reward being offered by this Senior Gu," Xian Xian chuckled upon hearing this.

"All cultivators who come to this town are desperately in need of spirit stones. Otherwise, no one would want to risk entering the Golden Devil Mountain Ranges. With such a high reward being offered, we wouldn't have to keep living in this town or risk our lives to kill devilish beasts," the woman harrumphed in response, seemingly rather displeased by Xian Xian's words.

Xian Xian merely smiled and offered no response to this. 

"Ni'er, don't be so rude. These two are both friends of Junior Yue's." The old man with the Yan surname seemed to be a direct senior of the woman in the palatial dress, and he scolded her in a stern manner.

The woman still didn't appear to be very pleased, but she still gave an affirmative response before falling silent.

Yue Zong seemed to be confused about something else, and he looked around with furrowed brows before asking, "Seeing as this happened a few days ago, why are there still so many people here? Could it be that Senior Liao is no longer responsible for this place?"

"Indeed, Brother Yue. Senior Liao departed over 10 years ago, and he was replaced by an extremely strict man. He's even brought back the old passage examination, and those who aren't able to pass the examination won't be given Lightningbane Umbrellas. On top of that, he's nowhere near as flexible as Senior Liao and refuses to give out Lightningbane Umbrellas in advance. You've actually come at just the right time as this is the first day that the examination is being held. That's why there are so many people gathered here," the clean-shaven young man complained.

"That's enough, these are not matters for you to comment on. The newly appointed Enforcer Min has only reintroduced the examinations in order to bar entry to beings who are too weak, thereby preventing them from entering the mountain ranges, only to be killed by the devilish beasts in there," the elderly man said in an indifferent manner.

"But this examination is just an outdated relic of the distant past. It was only put in place because back then, too many fellow Daoists perished in the Golden Devil Mountain Ranges. Now, hardly anyone is willing to venture into the mountain ranges, so such an examination is completely superfluous," the young man argued as he pursed his lips.

"It doesn't matter what we say. The fact of the matter is that no one can enter the mountain ranges without Lightningbane Umbrellas, and the one responsible for this place is no longer Senior Liao. As such, the rules will naturally be changed," the elderly man with the Yan surname said in a meaningful voice.

Seeing as even the one with the highest cultivation base among them had spoken, the others naturally couldn't raise any further objections.

"Regardless of what you came here to do, surely you won't be willing to miss out on this opportunity, right, Brother Yue? How about we go and capture that immortal zoysia together? With the legendary devilish beast hunter on our side, we should have a greater chance of capturing the immortal zoysia than everyone else. After we capture the immortal zoysia, we can split the reward between us based on individual contributions. What do you say, Brother Yue?" the woman urged with a smile.

Yue Zong's expression changed slightly upon hearing this, but he didn't immediately give a reply.

Xian Xian could see that Yue Zong was tempted by the offer, so she calmly reminded, "Brother Yue, we don't have much time on our hands, so we can't afford to take any detours. As for the potential reward, that's something you'll only be getting if you actually capture the immortal zoysia, whereas I've already given you half the reward that I promised to you. I'm sure you've heard the saying that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."

Yue Zong hesitated momentarily before finally making a decision. "Rest assured, Fellow Daoist Xian, I've already taken half the reward offered to me, so I'm certainly not going to change my mind. Senior Yan, I have another matter that I must attend to, so I won't be able to accompany you."

"That's alright. In all honesty, we're just trying our luck here. The outskirts of the Golden Devil Mountain Ranges are overly large, but it wouldn't be an easy task to find the immortal zoysia within the devilish Qi, so it's difficult to say who'll find it or if anyone would find it at all. Perhaps it's one of those things where those who aren't actually searching for it will stumble upon it instead. Ni'er, give Junior Yue a portrait of the immortal zoysia and a tracking formation plate," the elderly man instructed in a nonchalant manner.

The woman immediately did as she was told, pulling out a white stone tablet and a blue formation plate from within her storage bracelet. After a brief hesitation, Yue Zong still accepted the two items in the end. "Thank you, Senior Yan." 

"Hehe, don't mention it. Your father and I were good friends, after all, so it's only right that I help out his beloved son," the elderly man chuckled.

Meanwhile, a hint of a smile appeared on Han Li's face, and his lips twitched slightly as he transmitted his voice to the Xian Xian. "What's this devilish Qi influx? And what's this about encountering powerful devilish beasts even in the outskirts of the mountain ranges?"

Xian Xian's expression changed minutely upon hearing this, following which she also transmitted her voice back to Han Li in reply. "Please forgive me, Senior! This devilish Qi influx will indeed slightly impact our journey, but it won't pose any substantial problems unless we venture deep into the mountain ranges. I was going to explain this after we entered the mountain ranges. How about this? After we kill the holy-grade devilish beast, I'll offer some of the materials derived from the beast to you aside from its true blood and devilish core. I hope you won't blame me for my oversight, Senior!"

As soon as Han Li raised the question, Xian Xian immediately made a concession in order to appease him.

Han Li was silent for a while before transmitting his voice to Xian Xian again, and on this occasion, his voice had turned as cold as ice.

"Out of the all of things I hate, people laying traps for me stands at the top of the list. I'll let it go this one time, but if I discover something else that you've kept from me, then our collaboration is over. I do indeed want to repair the Heavenly Devilish Armor, but I won't allow myself to be played for a fool."

Despite the frosty tone of Han Li's voice, Xian Xian heaved a sigh of relief as she knew that she had weathered that storm. At this moment, Yue Zong and the elderly man with the Yan surname began to chat about the past, and they seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves. However, right at this moment, an unexpected turn of events suddenly unfolded.

As aforementioned, there were three beings at the pinnacle of the Spatial Tempering Stage present, one of whom was the elderly man with the Yan surname. As for the other two, not only were they outsiders, they were among the few beings who displayed no reaction after hearing Yue Zong's name. 

However, after hearing the conversation that had just taken place earlier, they finally realized why Yue Zong was so renowned around these parts, and their eyes lit up in unison.

After a brief conversation via voice transmission, one of them abruptly rose to his feet before making his way toward Han Li's group. This was a square-headed middle-aged man with disheveled green hair, and he said in an unfriendly voice, "So you're the renowned devilish beast hunter; you must be very familiar with the Golden Devil Mountain Ranges, then."

Yue Zong's heart sank slightly, but he still replied in a voice that was neither humble nor arrogant, "That's in my past now; I haven't been in the Golden Devil Mountain Ranges for over 100 years, so I can hardly claim to be familiar with it now. Do you need something from me, Senior?"

"Nice try, but that's not going to fool me. Fellow Daoist Miao and I are going into the Golden Devil Mountain Ranges tomorrow to search for the immortal zoysia, and you have to come with us," the green-haired being said in a domineering manner.

Yue Zong and everyone around him couldn't help but falter upon hearing this. The elderly man with the Yan surname was able to remain calm, but his expression had darkened significantly as he asked, "What are you trying to do to, Fellow Daoist?"

"Nothing much, I just want to enlist the help of my little friend here. Do you have a problem?" Perhaps the green-haired being had a powerful back; in any case, he was being just as bullish and rude to the elderly man who possessed the same cultivation base as him.

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