As Han Li wished to be far away from Dong Xuan’er, Senior Martial Brother Feng and Yan Yu naturally looked forward to this!
Thus, not only did Yan Yu not attempt to stop him, but he even very warmly gave him a jade slip containing a map of Yan Ling Castle so that Han Li could save some time and directly head to his destination instead of running all over the place like a dizzy fly.
As for Dong Xuan’er, although she felt very surprised that Han Li had suddenly let go and stopped restricting her, she was naturally very happy that she had regained her independence and, like a fish in water, could be among many male cultivators. Of course, she still used an astonished expression to glance at Han Li a few times; no matter how much she thought about it, she could not decipher the intentions behind his movements.
“Intentions? Hmph, it’s just that I don’t want to carry around a burden with me. Also, moving as an individual is much more unrestrained!” Han Li thought extremely leisurely while walking on the azure stone roads of Yan Ling Castle, his hands clasped behind his back. From time to time, he would gaze at the shops to his left and right.
These were all selling talisman, tool, and pill refinement materials, and there were also a few that sold low-grade magic tools; however, the store owners were mostly mortals with no magic power.
This was not that strange; the land of the entire Yan Ling Castle was extremely large, and the population was around a few hundred thousand. However, those who had spiritual roots and could cultivate magic techniques were only a small portion; the vast majority were all mortals.
Of these mortals, who originally should have been living in the secular world, some did not have spiritual roots but were of the bloodline of the Yan Clan, while others were relatives of Yan Clan disciples. After all, marriages only between fellow members of the Yan Clan was something that was highly inappropriate, so they appropriately assimilated some new blood, allowing the Yan clan to continue to be preserved and strengthened.
Of course, to maintain secrecy, these mortals who had entered the Yan Ling Castle could never leave the city; they could only grow old and die of sickness here. Although they no longer had to worry about basic necessities, it was still an extremely sorrowful matter.
The new people who had been transferred in were not so bad; at least they had seen the teeming world outside. However, those who had been born in the castle but did not have spiritual roots did not have even a single opportunity to see the outside world.
Even so, of the mortals who initially entered the castle, not a single one was coerced! They all were at the end of their ropes or had received the great aid of the Yan Clan, and were willing for it to be this way. Adding on the fact that Yan Ling Castle was heavily guarded and was shrouded by formations and mortals who tried to secretly leave the castle were immediately killed upon discovery, no one had heard yet of any mortal successfully escaping from this area.
Of course, Han Li did not guess this information; rather, it was a small piece of information included on the jade slip with the map. Thus, Han Li had a rough impression of this Yan Ling Castle in his mind.
Now, he was headed to a teahouse in the city. This was because, based on Han Li’s understanding, the majority of cultivators liked good tea very much, and a teahouse was an essential location for all cultivators to visit. Han Li felt that he could perhaps meet up with some other cultivators there and join up with a small group; this was an opportunity to exchange that was very difficult to come by. After all, to completely ignore the outside world was also not desirable!
At the end of this stone street, near a three-way intersection, one should be able to see the teahouse sign. Han Li, thinking in this way, couldn’t help but quicken his steps.
However, the sound of an intense argument between a male and a female suddenly could be heard from some shop to the side. Next, following a male’s angry howls, a dressed-up young woman angrily walked out from the room, directly rushing towards the stone road and just so happened to run into a flabbergasted Han Li.
This young woman was extremely beautiful, so Han Li, who possessed the same weakness as every other male, couldn’t help but absent-mindedly glance at her. In the end, when Han Li saw clearly the young woman’s appearance, he instantly stopped in place, shocked.
The young woman, seeing Han Li’s gazing at her without restraint, felt incredibly aggravated in her heart!
However, she had also lived in the castle for a long time; although she had no magic power, she could tell Han Li’s identity as a cultivator based on his attire. Although because she was angry and humiliated she did not pay attention to Han Li’s appearance, only feeling that he seemed somewhat familiar, she still strongly resisted her anger, gently lowering her head yet saying stiffly:
“Esteemed cultivator, could you let this young woman pass? I am already married! This esteemed individual, gazing at a common young woman in this way, are you not worried that you are lacking in proper manners?”
After saying this sentence, the young woman was not actually worried; after all, inside Yan Ling Castle, discipline was tight, and there were restrictions preventing cultivators from disturbing the lives of mortals. The punishment for disobeying this was extremely severe! Naturally, mortals also had to preserve their absolute respect for cultivators; if they neglected this, the cultivators could deal with them as they wished.
In addition, because they were in a public place, she was even more unafraid that the other person would have any kind of improper conduct.
But the young woman had lowered her head for a long time, yet she did not see the cultivator in front of her move at all. Since he did seem to intend to allow her to pass yet did not openly reprimand her either, this caused her to feel somewhat shocked; she couldn’t help but raise her graceful body and glanced over.
In the end, an impulsive face with an enigmatic smile appeared before her eyes. This face’s familiarity immediately brought the young woman to a night in a rear courtyard ten years ago; the scene of an incomparably stingy Senior Martial Brother and a clever, sly little girl arguing with each other was vivid in her mind!
“Senior Martial Brother?”
“Junior Martial Sister!”
The young woman finally recognized this face that had not changed at all. Han Li, after hearing the other person call him Senior Martial Brother, became absolutely sure that this “beautiful enough to eat” young woman was truly the clever, sly little girl he had met many years ago—Mo Caihuan, Doctor Mo’s youngest daughter, the one whom he had personally called Junior Apprentice Sister!
“Are you really Senior Martial Brother Han Li?” Mo Caihuan was first extremely stunned. She asked with mixed feelings, but she still appeared to not dare to believe it.
“Is the Winding Fragrance Pill I gave you still effective?” Han Li suddenly asked in a hushed tone.
“Senior...... Senior Martial Brother, it really is you!” Seeing that Han Li had named the gift he had given her back then, Mo Caihuan no longer had any doubt. Her eyes suddenly turned red, and she began to sob, as if she had been greatly wronged.
Han Li was dumbfounded at the moment! After all, they were still on the stone road, so there were still passerbys and a few cultivators walking through; if this beautiful young woman were seen crying in front of him, wouldn’t all kinds of assumptions made about him?!
Thinking of this, Han Li scratched his head, then summoned his courage and said to Mo Caihuan:
“Junior Martial Sister, how about we find a different place to talk! This does not seem to be the right place to have a conversation.”
“En!...... I’ll listen to Senior Martial Brother,” Mo Caihuan said obediently, temporarily stopping her crying.
Her behavior just now greatly shocked Han Li! After all, the Mo Caihuan in his memories was like a little demoness; for her to suddenly be so gentle and obedient was truly something that he was not used to. But what place was relatively peaceful? Han Li thought to himself and glanced at the street somewhat melancholically.
“Come to my house! My mother is also there,” Mo Caihuan suddenly opened her mouth and said after she had calmed down a little.
“Fourth Martial Mother is also at Yan Ling Castle?”
Han Li was shocked!
It seemed like something big had really happened at the Mo Estate. Otherwise, with Lady Yan being the head of the Mo Estate, they would not lightly leave that place.
“Yes, Senior Martial Brother! My mother is afflicted by a very severe illness! You must save her!” Tears flashed in Mo Caihuan’s eyes as she bitterly begged him.
“Okay, if there’s anything, we can talk about it once we reach your mother’s place. As long as it isn’t an incurable disease, Senior Martial Brother can still cure it!” Seeing Mo Caihuan’s pitiful appearance, Han Li naturally thought of the carefree life that she led at the Mo Estate. Thus, his heart couldn’t help but soften, and he comforted her with his words.
“En! I trust Senior Martial Brother’s words. That year, Second Elder Sister said that Senior Martial Brother’s medical technique was already above hers. Now that you’re here, my mother can be saved!”
Hearing Han Li’s promise, Mo Caihuan stopped weeping and began to laugh. When he saw her tender and beautiful appearance, Han Li was unable to stop himself from becoming absent-minded; luckily, he immediately sobered up before he made a fool of himself.
“Let’s go, my house is not far from here. As soon as we pass through one more street, we’ll be there. When my mother meets Senior Martial Brother, she will definitely be very happy!” Mo Caihuan very naturally pulled onto Han Li’s sleeve, leading him forwards as they walked. She seemed to be elated, as if she had found a pillar to lean on.
A young woman taking the initiative to pull along a male, walking on the street in public, naturally attracted the sidelong glances of many bystanders. Luckily, Han Li’s attire as a cultivator meant that nobody dared to say anything unpleasant in front of the two of them; as for what they would discuss when they were far away, it would be difficult to say!
“Junior Martial Sister, how did you and your mother end up here? Did something happen at the Mo Estate?” Han Li and Mo Caihuan had been walking shoulder-to-shoulder. Just when Mo Caihuan was not paying attention, he gently retrieved his sleeve and asked, not revealing his thoughts.
“This matter will take a long time to explain! The Mo Estate was destroyed seven years ago, and the Fearsome Flood Dragon Association was also expelled!” Upon hearing this, Mo Caihuan faintly trembled, and her expression darkened as she responded.
“Then what about the other two Mo Junior Martial Sisters and their mothers?” Although Han Li had long since guessed the situation pretty well, he still sighed and asked about the situation of her other family members.
“Second and Fifth Mother both died, and I’m not sure about the rest. Because my mother and I had to kill our way out and at the time everything was too messy, everyone could only escape on their own!” Mo Caihuan’s voice began to shake. Clearly, she was suffering internally.
Note: Han Li meets Mo Caihuan and Lady Yan in Chapter 109