Chapter 173: The Gathering
Han Li responded with “I don’t know” to all of the questions, insisting that his cultivation today was all because of his hard work. As for how he was able to cultivate and improve at this alarming rate, Han Li used a mysterious story that he had previously prepared about how he mistakenly ate a magical fruit when he was a child. He told this to Martial Uncle Wang, then blamed everything onto the magical fruit. He prepared this excuse specifically to handle this kind of situation.
Han Li knew that a believable lie should consist of seventy percent truth and thirty percent falsehood, so the magical fruit that he describe wasn’t solely from his imagination. It was a fruit that had been rumored for thousands of years: the Immortal Clan’s “Dragon Scale Fruit”. It was said that people who ate it could be reborn and could soar in the sky. As for whether or not it truly existed, there was no way for Han Li to find out, but regardless, no one had ever actually eaten it.
As soon as this Martial Uncle Wang, who had read many books, heard Han Li’s description of the magical fruit, his eyes brightened up. He actually found an ancient book from somewhere called the “Record of Wondrous Objects”, and found an article regarding the “Dragon Scale Fruit” for Han Li to identify.
As things had gotten to this point, Han Li would naturally admit it with ease. Amazed, Martial Uncle Wang made a “tsk-tsk” sound.
Han Li also told him that once he picked the fruit, the plant’s original roots immediately withered away and died. That way, there would absolutely be no more of this fruit even if they went back to the original location. This was to make sure the other party would not try asking around in an attempt to find more of the fruit for himself, thereby completely putting an end to the story.
As for whether or not this person would be greedy, believed it to be true, or tried to go elsewhere to find another such fruit, it was none of his business. Let him busy himself with it!
Han Li knew very clearly that even though Martial Uncle Wang acted as if he completely believed him, and even though Han Li had answered all of his questions, there was no way of knowing how much he actually believed him.
The other party was probably in half belief and half doubt, in between trusting and not trusting. So with this Martial Uncle Wang, Han Li should avoid and hide from him if possible in the future, as well as pay more attention in case the other party got suspicious.
But Han Li believed that as long as he could successfully enter Foundation Establishment, then his identity would be quite different. Even if Martial Uncle Wang still had doubts in his heart, he wouldn’t provoke him that easily. After all, the cultivation world spoke with strength!
Finally, Han Li brushed off the questions about his own cultivation. As for Martial Uncle Wang, it was unclear whether or not he was apologetic about all the questionings from before, but he didn’t make things difficult for Han Li at the registration. He helped him through all the paperwork very easily, and warned him about some precautions he should prepare prior to entering the forbidden area.
Han Li gave a mouthful of thanks, then said goodbye and left.
After he returned, he greeted the little old man and temporarily stopped his work at the medicinal herb garden so that he could prepare for the Trial by Blood and Fire without any distractions.
Hearing this, the little old man was silent for a while. He used a strange expression that said “You’re already dead” and kept on staring at Han Li. This made Han Li’s heart uneasy for a long time.
But what surprised him was that before this Senior Martial Uncle Ma left, he gave Han Li two bottles of medicine without any hesitation. He said coldly, “One bottle for internal use, and the other for external use.” He then flew away on his flying magic tool with an indifferent expression.
This gesture slightly warmed Han Li’s heart.
After the past two years of spending time together, he understood that although the little old man’s temperament was eccentric, he was a person with a cold appearance and a warm heart. He was just somewhat absorbed in the art of medicine creation. He was being treated with warmth now, which meant that Senior Martial Uncle Ma already saw him as his nephew, making Han Li feel moved.
Three days before entering the forbidden area, Martial Uncle Wang finally sent Han Li a letter, urging him to gather at the meeting hall to get ready to go.
When Han Li arrived, the disciples who registered for the Trial by Fire and Blood were all gathered there, silently judging each other.
There were more than ten thousand disciples from the whole Yellow Maple Valley that were of Qi Condensation. Han Li naturally wouldn’t know all of them, but there was still one woman that Han Li couldn’t be more familiar with. Not only did Han Li know this woman, he had seen and even touched her whole body: the “Junior Martial Sister Chen” who got drugged and almost raped by “Martial Brother Lu”.
Speaking of which, after “Martial Brother Lu” had been killed by Han Li, it caused a small commotion in the Yellow Maple Valley. Even though this person hadn’t even reached Foundation Establishment, he was after all an owner of mutated spiritual roots, making him a low-level disciple that the sect’s upper echelon paid close attention to.
As for “Junior Martial Sister Chen”, after she came back, for an unknown reason, she didn’t discuss what had happened on that night to anyone and refused to speak of the matter.
As a result, the “Martial Brother Lu” who had disappeared for a long time was treated as a missing person. After contacting different disciples and searching within the sect without getting any results, this matter was slowly dropped.
These types of people disappeared from the valley all the time. It’s not like similar situations had never occurred before. “Martial Brother Lu” wasn’t the first, and he definitely wouldn’t be the last.
After the initial reaction period had passed, no one in Yellow Maple Valley ever mentioned “Martial Brother Lu” again, as if he never even existed. This situation put Han Li at ease, but he also felt a cold chill.
It was expected that most cultivators were people who restrained their desires. If one day Han Li himself disappeared, the reactions within the sect would presumably be not as overwhelmed by the reactions they were having now! Most likely in the blink of an eye, he would be completely forgotten, and no one would waste their time or energy trying to inquire about his whereabouts.
Ever since he entered the sect, he had absolutely made the right decision by maintaining a low profile and a cautious attitude.
After all, the road of cultivation was very long, so there was a high possibility for accidents to happen. If Han Li attracted more attention to himself or did stupid things to show off, then a low level cultivator who didn’t even have a background and support like him would be squashed to death by a stronger existence at any moment on the long road of cultivation. The possibility of stepping on the road of cultivation in another life would be so low it was almost nonexistent.
Han Li originally didn’t believe in reincarnation that much, but ever since he had come in contact with the cultivation world, he had become less doubtful.
The attitude of “Junior Martial Sister Chen” was obviously different from before. Han Li was not sure if it was because she was affected by her lover’s betrayal, but she didn’t have any makeup on. She seemed cold but elegant, and her whole body was emitting an atmosphere that demanded strangers to stay away. During this time a few young guys tried to talk to her because they were attracted by her beauty, but they were all shot down in defeat.
It wasn’t because the men were cheap. This woman’s cold and arrogant expression not only did not reduce her beauty, but it also added a bit more mysterious charm to it. It made all the surrounding male disciples try to sneak a peek at her. This kind of charm was even more attractive than the image of a timid, lovable little woman that she had when she was with that “Martial Brother Lu” before.
But after Han Li saw this, he was annoyed.
There was no question that another woman who despised men was born into this world. After experiencing the betrayal of her lover, it probably won’t be easy for this woman to open her heart to another man. She probably even decided to grow old and die alone.
This “Junior Martial Sister Chen” didn’t recognized Han Li. Han Li deliberately walked in front of her a few times, but he only received a cold expression in response. She obviously saw him as one of the people who was trying to show off to her.
Han Li was relieved. The psychedelic power of the Joyful Meeting Pill really was strong. This woman didn’t remember him at all. Because of this, the last thing for him to worry about was completely eliminated.
But when he thought about how passionate and desirable her naked body looked that night, and then saw how cold and frozen “Junior Martial Sister Chen” looked now, Han Li’s heart was filled with desire and regrets.
Speaking of which, the reason she would participate in the Trial by Blood and Fire was likely thanks to him. After losing the Foundation Establishment Pill, if this woman wanted to achieve Foundation Establishment, she would have to gamble for it just like him. After all, this trip to the forbidden area was the only fast path to getting a Foundation Establishment Pill.
The disciples who were participating in the trip to the forbidden area in the Yellow Maple Valley were truly the sect’s elite, all of them strong and muscular. Just counting the disciples who reached the peak of thirteenth layer, there were as much as five or six of them.
Most of the other disciples were at the twelfth layer. “Junior Martial Sister Chen” was at the middle of the twelfth layer.
The rest of the disciples were in the eleventh layer, and there were only three of them. Besides Han Li, there was an old man whose hair was all white and a young fellow who looked sixteen or seventeen. Seeing them made Han Li feel an uneasy chill in his heart. The three of them were probably only there to make up for the numbers and to be cannon fodder.
Following past customs, the low-level disciples who could enter the forbidden area in the Seven Great Sect could not exceed twenty-five people. The number could only be less, but not more. For the past few times, they couldn’t get enough people at all. Usually they only got about ten people to participate in the Trial by Blood and Fire.
But this time, not only did the maximum number get reached, many elite disciples appeared here. This proved that this trip to the forbidden area for gathering medicinal herbs would definitely exceed the normal standards of the past, and the number of people who could survive would certainly be less than a quarter.
Seeing this expected scenario, Han Li, aside from cursing in his mind, was feeling completely helpless! It was no question that these elite disciples must have each been given extra incentives by the higher powers within the sect, otherwise they wouldn’t have appeared here.