In the dead of night, Han Li quietly slipped out of his room without anyone noticing and then flew by himself in the direction of the Imperial City on his flying magic tool.
While standing on the Divine Wind Boat, Han Li looked down at a colossal pitch-black object from above, the huge entrance to the Imperial City. He faintly smiled and flew over it.
In Han Li’s eyes, the Seven Sects’ mandate forbidding any disciples from trespassing into the Imperial City simply didn’t matter to him. He would only comply with rules that he found to be beneficial to himself; otherwise, he would be absurdly obeying empty rules that only served to stifle his actions!
He had never been someone who strictly obeyed the rules.
As Han Li coldly smiled, he had already flown more than three hundred meters above the Imperial Palace and was clearly violating the prohibition.
Taking advantage of the pitch-black night, Han Li silently surveyed his surroundings; his gaze sweeping across even the most desolate and unremarkable areas.
His eyes suddenly brightened, and he flew toward an imperial garden filled with azure bamboo.
Arriving above the bamboo forest, Han Li cautiously swept his gaze in every direction. Then he concealed his body’s Spiritual Qi and slowly descended.
Han Li clearly understood that although the Black Fiend School controlled the Imperial Palace, they weren’t able to keep an eye on every place. Furthermore, although they had many sentries, with his nameless Qi vanishing chant, he didn’t have the slightest fear of any Black Fiend School members discovering him.
Besides, from what he learned from the young prince, he was very familiar with the usual arrangements of the Black Fiend School’s sentries. Even if they revised the sentry placements, so long as he doesn’t mindlessly rush into a heavily guarded area, Han Li was completely unworried!
This place was clearly a forgotten corner of the Imperial Palace. Not only was the Bamboo Forest filled with dried branches and rotten leaves, it also faintly released the smell of decay; the branches and leaves were left uncut, causing the forest to appear lush and thriving.
Seeing this fifth-acre sized bamboo forest, Han Li revealed a satisfied expression.
He cast incantation gestures and released a soundproofing barrier, shrouding the entire bamboo forest. Then with a solemn expression, he took out a set of formation plates and flags. This was the improved “Five Elements Reversal Formation” that Qi Yunxiao had given him.
“Even if the Black Fiend School Master is difficult to deal with, with this Five Phases Reversal Formation, we can just take up an invincible position!” Han Li looked at the set of magic tools in his hand and muttered this to himself.
He then strode into the pitch-black forest with a resolute spirit.
Four hours later, Han Li slowly walked out with an exhausted appearance. Because time was short, he was only able to lay out a small portion of the formation, but it still should be enough. Han Li took a look in every direction, and upon seeing that there was no one there, he released the soundproofing barrier and then flew off on his Divine Wind Boat.
Han Li had been quiet and hadn’t alarmed anyone from the Black Fiend School during the time he infiltrated the Imperial Palace and set up the great formation.
Although the four great Blood Servants were exceptionally vigilant due to the instructions of the Black Fiend School Master, the situation was as Han Li had predicted. They had only placed dense sentries outside of the cold palace, but the other locations were now even more lax than before. This was one of the reasons Han Li was able to leave and enter so easily.
When he flew back to the Qin Residence, the sky was still dark. Han Li chose to spend the remaining time before daybreak to mediate.
When morning came, he walked out of the room and gathered together with the others in the large hall as if nothing had happened. He chatted and joked with the others as normal. Upon discussion of the upcoming great battle, he didn’t mention the “Five Elements Reversal Formation” in the slightest.
In Han Li’s mind, the fewer that knew of this prepared life preservation measure, the better.
If he didn’t end up needing to use this formation in order to achieve a decisive victory, he would be even more happy. This “Five Phases Reversal Formation” would remain as his own trump card.
Liu Ming and his fellow Yellow Maple Valley sect members naturally didn’t know what Han Li was thinking. But when the topic of this night's upcoming great battle was mentioned, everyone revealed eager and excited appearances.
Apart from Liu Jing and two or three others, the rest of them had no experience fighting other Foundation Establishment cultivators. This was the main reason why Han Li didn’t feel very confident about this operation.
Han Li had continuously believed that cultivators that haven’t experienced their baptism of blood were certain to have a disastrous end, even when facing experienced opponents with lower cultivation. To make a mistake and lose one’s life wasn’t a rare occurrence. Thus, when he saw these people happily chat and laugh, his eyes occasionally revealed a strange expression.
After all, cultivators that were able to reach Foundation Establishment were certain to have faced some hardship to reach where they were today. However after tonight’s battle, these people were likely to be buried there, which was an extremely pitiful thought.
“Junior Martial Brother Han, could you accompany me for a moment?” Chen Qianqiao, who had originally been bantering with Zhong Weiniang, then looked at Han Li’s face and suddenly asked him to accompany her.
Not only was Han Li amazed by these words, but even Chen Qiaoqian’s fellow apprentices were silently gaping in surprise.
With a gaze of disbelief, they glanced at Han Li and their young Junior Martial Sister who had always been cold toward male cultivators.
Seeing Han Li’s blank, foolish appearance, Zhong Weiniang rolled her eyes; it was unknown what she was thinking before she suddenly went to whisper a few words in Chen Qiaoqian’s ear.
Suddenly, this “Junior Martial Sister Chen” blushed, and after giving Zhong Weiniang a fierce look, she walked out of the great hall in a relaxed manner. She appeared to be quietly waiting for Han Li to follow her.
“Young Junior Martial Brother, what are you spacing out for? Such a beautiful woman as Junior Martial Sister Chen is waiting for you outside; what are you hesitating for?” Liu Jing smiled as he walked over and lightly patted Han Li’s shoulder, saying this jokingly.
Han Li rubbed his nose with all his strength and wanted to bitterly laugh, but for some unknown reason, he couldn’t even smile. After dryly laughing a few times, Han Li walked out under the envious gazes of the male cultivators.
If he further hesitated, wouldn’t that appear as if he were truly lacking in confidence? He felt as if he had nothing to be afraid of.
After he walked out of the hall, Chen Qiaoqian was still lost in thought as she looked in the direction of the garden with heart-moving attractiveness. As she heard Han Li’s footsteps, without turning her head, she coldly said, “Accompany me to the garden. I wish to consult with Junior Martial Brother about a few matters.”
With that said, Chen Qiaoqian didn’t wait for Han Li’s reply. She walked on as if she were certain Han Li would agree.
Looking at her attractive appearance from behind, Han Li unconsciously wrinkled his brow. After some thought, he silently smiled and walked after her.
To have a walk with such a delicate beauty was a truly delightful affair.
Han Li was walking several steps behind Chen Qiaoqian, admiring her graceful and ample body. He already felt that this walk was well worth it. Besides, when he thought of his encounter with this great beauty during that year, he felt something unexplainable from his heart.
“When I and Eldest Brother saw you that year, we truly believed that your esteemed self’s success during the Trial of Blood and Fire was only due to luck. I truly did not think during that year, Junior Martial Brother Han was actually an expert, disguised as a pig to eat a tiger! Not only did you deceive us two siblings, but I fear you also kept all the other experts present there in the dark.” As Han Li was letting his imagination run wild, Chen Qiaoqian indifferently said this with her back facing him.
Han Li had somewhat anticipated these words earlier and didn’t express any surprise. Instead, he scratched the back of his head and slightly smiled, saying, “Senior Martial Sister Chen is quite funny. Disguised as a pig to eat a tiger? At the time, this little brother was truly fortunate and had only passed through with luck!”
When Han Li said this, his face didn’t have the slightest hint of strangeness as if he had spoken the truth.
“Junior Martial Brother Han, you still wish to deceive me even now?” Han Li’s words seemed to anger Chen Qiaoqian. After her voice grew cold, she suddenly turned around and her bright eyes turned ice cold.
Seeing this, Han Li revealed amazement as if he had no idea as to why she was angry.
When “Junior Martial Sister Chen” saw Han Li act this way, she grew even more angry.
“Fine. I won’t further question you about the matters of the Trial of Blood and Fire. But there is one matter that you must sincerely answer!” Although her tone grew even colder, her face wore a peculiar expression.
“What is it? Senior Martial Sister Chen, do no hesitate to ask me. This one will certainly give a sincere answer.” Han Li faintly realized something causing his heart to become restless. However, on the surface he still appeared extremely honest.
“Seven to eight years ago, did you encounter anything on the east side of the Taiyue Mountain Range?” When Chen Qiaoqian asked this, her cheeks became slightly red as if she became somewhat shy as she nervously waited for Han Li’s reply.
“Seven to eight years ago...” Han Li lowered his head in contemplation as if he were recalling something.
In truth, Han Li’s heart was pounding.
‘How after so many years, has this person still not given up her thoughts of finding me? Furthermore, her expression is bashful. Could it be she has fallen in love with her savior?' Han Li thought, feeling greatly puzzled.
This wasn’t because Han Li was unromantic; rather, it was because he didn’t have any intentions of having a pair cultivation partner.
Although Han Li had a somewhat ordinary interest toward Chen Qiaoqian, whenever the question of affection was raised, Han Li would automatically eliminate such thoughts without knowing why. Perhaps this was because of the affectionate scene that year between her and “Senior Martial Brother Lu” caused him to be unable to accept this woman until even now.