Chapter 555: Exposed

Han Li glanced at the two women’s expressions and stroked his chin in thought before wordlessly nodding his head.

One of the women reached out to the stone wall with her hand and summoned a stone gate in a flourish of azure light.

“This is as far as I can lead Senior. I will be taking my leave.”

The old man took the opportunity to hastily withdraw.

Han Li didn’t pay him any mind and walked inside. After passing through a short passageway, Han Li arrived within a large hall.

Wearing light green robes and a slight hint of make-up, Lady Fan respectfully awaited Han Li at the center of the hall with a beaming smile.

The woman deferentially bowed to Han Li and said, “I hope Senior hasn’t taken offence that I didn’t personally welcome you.”

She then pulled out a chair and offered him a seat. He glanced at the chair with a raised eyebrow and sat down without the slightest restraint. Afterwards, his gaze fell onto the woman’s beautiful face and he serenely said, “It seems Lady Fan isn’t worried that I came with the intention to harm your sect.”

Lady Fan walked to the side with light steps and took a seat at Han Li’s side. She covered a smile with her hand and said, “Senior jests. With Senior’s cultivation, how could he trouble himself over a Foundation Establishment Junior?”

At that moment, Lady Fan was only a meter away and her fragrant scent assailed his nose. Han Li faintly frowned, but otherwise his expression remained normal. However, when the woman took a seat, she unconsciously revealed a trace of astonishment. Afterwards, she examined Han Li with a strange expression.

With a cold glint passing through his eyes, Han Li thought to inquire about her actions, but at that moment, a dainty young woman walked over and placed a cup of fragrant tea in front of them before standing behind Lady Fan.

Lady Fan appeared indifferent to this, but a scowl had momentarily appeared on her face. 

When Han Li glanced at the two women, his mind began to stir.

Lady Fan took a sip of the tea in front of her and pursed her lips. She then calmly asked, “Does Senior require something from our sect? We will do our utmost to assist if possible.”

“Since Lady Fan mentions it, I won’t drag this on. Did your sect already complete the transportation formation to return to the Inner Star Seas? I wish to use it.” Han Li casually spoke of the matter as if he had mentioned a trifling thing.

“Transportation formation?” Lady Fan paused for a moment, and her beautiful eyes blinked before revealing a mysterious smile. “I’m afraid I must disappoint you. The transportation formation has yet to be completed. However, it is possible that it will be completed soon. If you’d wait a while longer...”

Han Li didn’t wait for her to finish and callously interrupted her, “How much longer?”

Senior Fan hesitated for a moment before placing the cup back down onto the table. She explained, “It’s hard to say. Senior should already know that we lacked the Phantasm Stone for the spell formation. Elder Yun and the other Seniors went to retrieve more of the stone, but they alarmed the demon beasts in the region. A huge battle erupted and they were only able to acquire a meager amount of materials at the cost of many Seniors. Helpless, Elder Yun could only make a plan for future action. In fact...”

The female cultivator standing behind Lady Fan let out a small cough.

A sullen expression momentarily appeared on Lady Fan’s face, but she soon stopped speaking as if a problem had arisen.

A trace of surprise appeared on Han Li’s face, but after coldly gazing at the female cultivator behind Lady Fan, the woman fearfully lowered her head.

After a moment of thought, he stood up and said, “Since the transportation formation can’t be used in the near future, then there is nothing to be said. I will be taking my leave.”

When Lady Fan saw this, a complicated expression flickered within her eyes. She hesitated for a moment before saying, “Although we cannot help you with regards to the transportation formation, our sect has always held Core Formation Seniors in high esteem! How about Senior retires here for the night and sets off tomorrow?”

“Spend the night here?” Han Li thought to refuse her, but after looking into her eyes, he changed his mind, “That’s fine. I’ll set off the morning after then.”

Lady Fan smiled with an odd expression, “Hehe! Our sect will be sure to properly entertain you. Servant, bring Senior Li to our best room.”

A young woman promptly entered the room. Without speaking any unnecessary words, Han Li followed her outside.

However, when he was about the leave the hall, he thought to verify something and shot a deep glance behind him before calmly leaving.

After Han Li left the hall, the young woman that stood behind Lady Fan said, “Sect Master! Why do you intend on having him stay? Isn’t that rash? This Senior Li rejected our enticements the last time around.” Her voice was pleasant, but it contained an indescribable allure that was far superior to what her pretty appearance would grant her. Although her tone would still be considered respectful, it contained much doubt.

“Yun Qin! You’re growing quite bold! I was merely attempting to forge good relations with a cultivator who possesses astonishing strength. Since when did you take charge of the Exquisite Sound Sect?”

Lady Fan grew sullen.

“I don’t dare. This disciples was merely following the orders of Elder Yun before he departed. I hope Sect Master won’t perform any actions that will make it difficult for me.” The young woman spoke with a humble tone, but displayed no intention of backing down.

“Humph! I will naturally inform Tian Yunxiao of this when he returns. As I still have duties to perform as Sect Master, I hope you’ll forgive me for not keeping you company!” Lady Fan’s expression grew icy and with a wave of her sleeve, she departed without looking back.

Only the young woman remained in the hall, wearing a complicated expression. 

...

Inside a comfortable room, Han Li was lying down on a wooden bed, pondering as he stared at the ceiling.

He didn’t have any worries about spending the night at the market city. He had already swept his immense spiritual sense across the city and found that of those in the city the highest cultivation were at late Foundation Establishment. There were no Core Formation cultivators here, let alone any Nascent Soul eccentrics. Apart from any startling surprises, there was nothing to worry about.

However, he was now pondering whether or not he should spend the many years to fly back to the Inner Star Seas. 

Suddenly, he heard a few knocks on his door.

“Come in.” Han Li said as he remained motionless on the bed. It seemed like he knew who was there and had been expecting them.

A sweet laugh came from the other side of the door and the door was pushed open to reveal Lady Fan. She walked into the room with lithe footsteps, fully displaying her thick black hair and extraordinary beauty.

Carrying her fragrant scent, she sat on the side of Han Li’s bed without the slightest discomfort and smiled at him, saying, “Senior still hasn’t slept despite the late hour. It seems he already knew that I was coming.”

With his eyes still shut, he calmly said, “Sect Master Fan was obvious enough during our meeting. So, what matter did you need to discuss with me in secret? I’ll let you know ahead of time that if it has nothing to do with the transportation formation, I am not interested.”

“Of course. With so many Nascent Soul eccentrics currently pursuing him in the Outer Star Seas, it is only natural for Elder Han to wish to return.”

Han Li’s body stiffened and he opened his eyes. He attentively stared at the woman before him and coldly asked, “What? Who is this Elder Han?”

Lady Fan stared back at Han Li with a calm expression and leisurely said, “I am naturally speaking of my sect’s own Elder Han.” She didn’t appear flustered in the slightest.

After a moment of silence, Han Li sat up and recovered his calm before slowly asking, “How did you recognize me? With your cultivation, you shouldn’t be able to see through my true appearance.”

With her slender white hand, she pulled back her hair and replied with a crafty expression, “I didn’t see through you. I smelled it.”

“You... smelled it?”

Han Li paused for a moment before wearing a confused expression.

Lady Fan pursed her lips and smiled, explaining, “Ever since I was small, I have been somewhat different from most. I was able to clearly tell people apart by smell. Additionally, whenever I remembered a smell, I would never forget it. Just as it so happened, I grew quite interested in Elder Han and I memorized his scent. But the last time the hidden city opened, Han Li was far too close to Wen Siyue and there were many people in the room. As a result, I was unable to clearly catch your scent. But having come so close to you today in the hall, I was able to identify you without problem.”

At that moment, Lady Fan gazed at Han Li with moist eyes and smiled at him with pursed lips.

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