He quickly harvested the Demon Echo Grass and placed it into the jade box, dirt and all.
Click. Han Li smoothly closed the lid of the jade box with a trace of joy.
It was beyond his expectations, how simple it had been to acquire the Demon Echo Grass. However, he couldn’t stay there any longer. Han Li immediately turned around and was about to set off when he heard a calm voice from behind him.
“You stayed nearby for so long just to get those plants? Human cultivators are truly baffling!” These words were spoken by a strange male voice.
Han Li’s expression greatly changed and his face became extremely unsightly. He soon forced himself to calm down and turned around in a blur.
He caught sight of an azure-robed figure that was looking at him with obvious curiosity.
Upon clearly seeing the figure’s appearance, Han Li grimaced.
The demon cultivator had a silver scarf around the top of his head, azure robes on his body, and rough shoes on his feet. Apart from his sharp, pointy nose and narrow, green eyes, all other aspects were indistinguishable from a human.
Han Li frantically examined the man several times.
With this demon beast’s nearly perfect human form, could it be a legendary grade nine or ten demon beast?
Han Li’s body grew rigid and his hands had already fastened on his Five Element Bands and his spirit beast pouch. However, he didn’t dare to attack.
“Your esteemed self watched me for quite some time.” Han Li could hear that his voice had become unpleasantly hoarse.
When the demon cultivator heard this, his expression stirred. He then smiled, revealing his pure white teeth and narrowing his eyes, saying, “That’s right, I knew you were there from the day you arrived. I merely thought you were a human cultivator passing by and hadn’t paid you any attention. But who would’ve thought that before the day passed, you would sit on the coral reef nearby. I, Feng, have grown quite curious indeed.”
Not knowing whether or not it was a trick of the mind, Han Li felt that the man’s teeth were somewhat sharp and faintly glinted with a chilling light. Han Li’s heart dropped even further as he thought, ‘His surname is Feng? Then he must be the fully grown Windbreaker Beast1.’
Han Li forced a smile and asked, “Since that was the case, why didn’t you attack me?”
The Windbreaker Beast weirdly smiled and said, “I actually wished to come see you sooner, but I’ve only recently reached the second stage of my metamorphosis. While stabilizing it, it was difficult for me to go outside. As it just so happened, I actually finished stabilizing my form just now and was going to leave, but I hadn’t expected that Fellow Daoist would run into my lair of your own accord. That was quite surprising.”
“Second stage metamorphosis? Could it be that you have entered grade nine?” Han Li’s face grew pale and his hands had unknowingly become lined with cold sweat.
The fully matured Windbreaker demon cultivator blinked and casually replied, “Grade nine? That’s just how you humans differentiate us demons. Regardless, I reached the second grade of the metamorphosis stage, which would be the equivalent of what you call grade nine demon beasts.”
Han Li grew silent when he heard the demon’s calm recognition. After a short moment, the corner of his mouth twitched into a bitter smile.
Were it a grade eight demon beast, he figured he would still have a chance at escape. But in the face of a grade nine demon cultivator, he had no hopes of breaking free. It seemed his death would be the result of something entirely unavoidable.
With that thought, Han Li said nothing further and suddenly opened his mouth, spitting out over ten streaks of azure light that circled around him. He then raised his hand, intending on opening his spirit beast pouches.
But in that instant, the demon cultivator moved.
He blurred before Han Li’s eyes and snatched the spirit beast bag out of his hand.
Although the many flying swords protecting Han Li had moved to block the demon cultivator, he was far too quick. He had returned to his original spot before the swords could strike him.
After a moment of overwhelming astonishment, Han Li’s face turned ashen. How could he have forgotten that the Windbreaker Beast was originally known for its amazing speed? Their speed as a grade nine demon beast was nearly identical to teleportation at such a short distance. There was no chance of even injuring him.
In that instant, a chaotic torrent of thoughts began to surge through his mind. Han Li’s ashen complexion underwent yet another change as he slapped his storage pouch and took out a ball of radiant golden threads.
Han Li quickly grabbed onto the ball and swallowed it. Afterwards, he wordlessly gazed at the azure-robed demon cultivator.
He had already decided that when he faced death’s door, he would ignite the Celestial Ice Pearl with his Divine Devilbane Lightning. This way, even if mutual destruction wasn’t accomplished, the opponent would still suffer a heavy injury.
The demon cultivator revealed astonishment upon seeing Han Li’s baffling actions, but he soon nonchalantly smiled, “Hehe! There is no need for Fellow Daoist to be so anxious. I hold no malicious intentions towards you.” He casually tossed the spirit beast pouch up and down in his hand as he spoke.
Han Li frowned and coldly said, “What do you mean? Aren’t you demon beasts currently exterminating human cultivators?”
He didn’t wish to be played around with before he died.
The corner of the demon cultivator’s mouth twitched and he shook his head, saying, “The demon beasts that have been killing you off are only the nearby sea races. I have nothing to do with them. I’m merely staying here for the time being because I enjoy the geyser pool here.”
Han Li was stunned.
He suddenly recalled that Windbreaker Beasts were demon beasts that lay somewhere between demon birds and sea beasts. As such, they couldn’t truly be considered demon beasts of the sea. Furthermore, from his tone, it seemed as though he wasn’t even originally from around here.
‘Could it be he truly doesn’t wish to kill me?’ Han Li’s expression wavered for a moment. After a short moment, he retrieved his flying swords into his body with a wave of his hand and his expression relaxed.
Since his flying swords weren’t able to deal with the demon cultivator either way, he may as well play along. If worst comes to worst, he would just detonate the Celestial Ice Pearl.
The demon cultivator wore a satisfied expression after seeing Han Li put away his magic treasures.
“I do enjoy talking with sensible humans. I’ll return this to you first.” He didn’t view the spirit beast pouch as a threat and threw it back to Han Li.
Han Li caught it and felt somewhat more at ease.
The demon cultivator stared at Han Li and said, “Does Fellow Daoist have any interest in paying a visit to my true cave residence? This would be the first time I’ve ever invited a human cultivator.”
Although the demon cultivator’s tone was polite, how could Han Li possibly refuse? He had no option but to nod with a forced smile.
The demon cultivator appeared happy when Han Li agreed. He wordlessly raised his hand and a blue ball of light appeared within it. The light then grew several times larger and enveloped Han Li.
Shock appeared on Han Li’s face, but he didn’t resist. With a flash of blue light, the demon cultivator began dragging him within the bubble of light that enveloped him. Then, both of them dropped into the pool with a splash.
Because of the faint blue light that was emitted from the bubble around him, Han Li was able to clearly see the world underneath the water. Perhaps it was due to the strange water in the pool, but there were no other animals apart from some strange palm-sized white fish. There was also no sea vegetation.
The demon cultivator saw that Han Li was completely captivated by the underwater scene and just smiled.
After the time it took to finish a meal, the bubble came to a stop and trembled for a moment before shooting off to the side.
In the blink of an eye, Han Li spotted a huge black stone gate in front of him. The gate flickered with white light as if it was covered by a restriction.
The demon cultivator pointed at the stone door and politely said, “We’ve arrived. Welcome to my humble home. I hope Fellow Daoist doesn’t find it too funny.”
Han Li forced a smile, but remained silent.
As soon as the bubble touched the stone gate, the stone gate opened to reveal a layer of white light. After they passed through it, they entered a completely dry passageway. The bubble surrounding Han Li then disappeared.
The stone walls were embedded with all sorts of small pearls that reflected light, filling the passageway with dazzling light reminiscent of daylight. These weren’t ordinary pearls. They were pearls that are only found at the ocean’s deepest depths within spirit oysters and the like that were over a thousand years old. They had the strange effect of repelling both water and fire.
“Please come in, Fellow Daoist!” The demon cultivator couldn’t help but feel proud upon seeing Han Li’s astonishment.
Han Li gazed down the passageway with complete unwillingness in his heart. But with a grade nine demon beast staring at him, he could only force himself to head in first.
The azure robed demon cultivator leisurely followed after him.
The passageway couldn’t be considered large, and Han Li soon found himself in a gorgeous hall decorated with all kinds of coral.
At the center of the hall, there was a sparkling white jade table with several chairs made from the same beautiful jade. The corners of the hall each had a small elegant pot with a finger-thick joss stick burning within. It filled the hall with a faint fragrance.
1. The surname ‘Feng 风’ that the demon cultivator uses the same ‘Wind 风’ in ‘Windbreaker Beast’