Ling Lanyin hesitated, with confusion beaming out of her beautiful eyes. She had obviously thought of the dark cloud looming over her family and sect and was not as unwavering as before.
Ling Shoujing coughed and said, “My child, although Master Spiritual Vulture is extreme and cruel, he has never committed any crimes in the central plateaus. As a barbarian born and raised in a far-flung area, it is perfectly understandable that he is uncivilized and practices all kinds of terrible arts.
“We are in the middle of an unprecedented change right now, and the court needs every useful hand. The Cultivators of the Great Qian Dynasty have more ferocious enemies to deal with, too. As long as he is willing to serve the court, I believe that the Cultivators will not pursue what he did in the past!
“If we can edify him with the rules and courtesies of the central plateaus and make him abandon evilness for righteousness, we will be making even greater contribution!”
Her heart in a mess, Ling Lanyin smiled bitterly. Her lips shivered for a long time, but she only sighed in depression in the end. “This—this—this is very different from what I imagined before I left the mountain!”
“It is indeed different!” Ling Shoujing felt that he was somewhat shameless, too, considering that he was ignoring all the crimes that the guy had committed in the past.
However, in the middle of the turbulence, even a Core Formation Stage Cultivator could only drift along with the current. One moment of carelessness, and his entire family would be annihilated. What choice did he have except to struggle no matter what?
“My child, you will understand it better later.” The Appeasing Ambassador of the Fifth Prefecture of the Southland of Sorcerers whined. “Everybody says that Cultivation is more difficult than leaping into the sky, but they don’t know that struggling and surviving in the world of mortals is a hundred times more difficult than Cultivation!”
While the father and the daughter were sighing and concocting their plans, the servants outside reported that his two subordinates who went to visit Master Spiritual Vulture had returned.
“Yuan Wu, what did Master Spiritual Vulture say? Did he grant an audience?”
Because of the emergency, Ling Shoujing had no time to keep us his demeanor as the Appeasing Ambassador and degraded himself by saying ‘grant an audience’.
The guy named ‘Yuan Wu’ was a tough-looking young man who was close to the Building Foundation Stage. But right now, he was like a frosted eggplant and replied lethargically, “Your lordship, I was pushed out by a bunch of barbarian Cultivators before I had chance to meet Master Spiritual Vulture. According to them, Master Spiritual Vulture had gone to talk to Han Yuantai, and he would only have time to meet us after he decided what to do with Han Yuantai!”
“What!” Ling Shoujing and Ling Lanyin both seemed to have been hit by lightning. They looked at each other, only to discover that they were both pale and sweating.
Master Spiritual Vulture indeed did not kill the Ghost Qin captives. Moreover, he was meeting the Ghost Qin people before he met the envoy from the Great Qian Dynasty.
In a moment, Master Spiritual Vulture became even more mysterious and unpredictable to them.
At the center of the Fire Rude Clan’s town, there was a great house in the popular style of the central plateaus.
The place used to be the residence of the leader of the Fire Rude Clan. The wall was high, the yard was vast, and the floor was paved with green bricks. There was also a pond in the backyard, filled with lotuses and fish and surrounded by willows and bamboos.
To maintain such an elegant and peaceful house in the Southland of Sorcerers was quite costly. It was also a sign of the Fire Rule Clan’s immense wealth.
At this moment, the fine cottage naturally became the temporary residence for Master Spiritual Vulture, the new ‘top expert of the southland’.
However, the guy kneeling on the ground below the willows near the pond in the backyard was not Master Spiritual Vulture but Han Yuantai, the Lord of Behemothic Eagle, whose air did not befit the delicate environment at all.
Bloody stains covered his body. Quite a few claw traces left by Master Spiritual Vulture were still lingering on his forehead. Dense scars caused by the venomous needles had marred his face. He was bruised and swollen and could not have looked more miserable.
The weird shackle on him was not taken off, either, but sank even deeper, making him unable to summon his spiritual energy at all. He was almost a cripple, and even breathing was a painful task for him.
The man from the north, however, was quite calm. He was even studying the shackle on his body with great interest instead of appreciating the lotus flowers inside the pond next to him.
What a finely-made piece of magical equipment. It is even more delicate than the shackles used in the prisons in the capital city. All my acupoints and critical veins have been locked, and I cannot break free from it however hard I try!
I’m afraid that even the strongest expert will have to beg for mercy after they are caged by such magical equipment!
There are also the unpredictable venomous needles and the sharp blade made of mica that was ten times thinner and barely perceivable!
All the weapons are the most vicious magical equipment!
Master Spiritual Vulture is not much stronger than me in terms of spiritual energy reserve, but he waited deep inside the fiery pit for the best opportunity to launch thunderous attacks with all his marvelous weapons.
His patience and determination are even a hundred times scarier than his needles, blades, and shackle!
The purpose of my mission to the south is to recruit the greatest heroes in the world. If such a distinguished man works for Cloud Qin, he will certainly be a great help for our cause!
While Han Yuantai was pondering, he suddenly felt that the lotus flowers in the pond were shivering, and his heart was aching too as if it had been stung by needles.
He raised his head, only to discover that the black-haired, green-robed, young-looking Master Spiritual Vulture was standing right before him!
The birthmark on the unparalleled brutal man’s face had been restricted to a green spot at the center of his eyebrow again, making his face more ‘agreeable’ than before.
However, for Han Yuantai, who had experienced his cruelness in person, the agreeable face was even more terrifying than an angry one.
Holding back his horror, Han Yuantai suddenly laughed aloud and said, “You are finally here, Master!”
Li Yao showed no expression.
But he added 0.5 points for Ghost Qin in his heart.
He had intentionally ignored Ghost Qin and Great Qian for two hours and observed the reactions of the two sides.
The Ghost Qin Knights and Han Baling’s right hand had behaved quite calmly. Even if they were merely pretending, they looked rather tough and showed barely any vulnerability on the surface.
On the Great Qian Dynasty’s side, however, everybody was sighing in panic. Even the father and the daughter of the Ling family failed to respond to the crisis satisfactorily.
In the meantime, when Han Yuantai saw him, the guy was still able to laugh confidently despite the unease in his heart, which alone would be evident enough that the guy deserved to be a notable man in the north.
Li Yao looked at the shackle on Han Yuantai’s body.
The shackle had been made with the ancient refining techniques in the Hundred Smelting Clan based on the mechanism of the Venomous Scorpion Bone Biting Shackle. It was tailor-made for the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators of this Sector.
The fact that Han Yuantai was talking and laughing elegantly despite the shackle made Li Yao think more highly of him.
Li Yao rolled his eyes and said creepily, “You seem delighted to see me, Fellow Cultivator Han. Why? Are you not scared that I’m here to kill you?”
“You must be joking, Master Spiritual Vulture. If you wanted me dead, you would’ve killed me in the morning instead of waiting until now!”
Han Yuantai put on a brilliant smile despite the blood on his face and said confidently, “Master Spiritual Vulture, you were already a great expert in the Southland of Sorcerers a hundred years ago. However, the ignorant people often considered you a bloodthirsty and temperamental guy and are terrified of you. They couldn’t have been more wrong!”
“Oh?” Li Yao eyed Han Yuantai up and down and chuckled, “Are they not? I did kill a lot of people in the past!”
“Of course they are wrong!” Han Yuantai said solemnly. “Those that you killed in the past were all associated with your enemy. If they were not eliminated, they would have caused more trouble later. It was all about removing any potential threats and definitely not slaughtering the innocent!
“After you killed those people, Master, you immediately stopped and announced your threat to the Cultivators in the Southland of Sorcerers, stating your boundary and your retaliation methods. As a result, you lived in peace for decades without being disturbed by anyone.
“During those decades, as long as nobody harmed your interests, you never killed anyone again!
“It is obvious that you are a wise, prudent man who knows when to attack and when to retreat. You are certainly not the impetuous, bloodthirsty barbarian that others think you to be!
“What happened this morning is yet more evidence. Although you savaged and killed Master Black Moon in the cruelest way, it was only because of your grudge in the past. As for the visitors from Cloud Qin, although you seemed to be beating us heavily at that time, you didn’t actually kill any of us!
“It is obvious that everything is within your control, and you want much more than to seek vengeance!”
“Hehe!” Li Yao sniffed angrily. Green brilliance suddenly shot out of his dark eyes and swirled around Han Yuantai’s neck like a sharp blade.
He was like an old monster who intended to kill the guy that had seen through his secret.
Han Yuantai felt that somebody was stinging his back, and he almost grunted when Li Yao glanced at him.
However, he knew that he could not give in to such an old monster—he had to raise the opponent’s curiosity one way or another.
Making up his mind, he laughed dryly. “I almost forgot. I must congratulate you on behalf of my brother Han Baling, the regent of Cloud Qin! You must’ve experienced a lot of fortuitous incidents during your decades of seclusion. After such a long period of training, you have finally soared into the sky as one of the top experts in the world!
“With your amazing Cultivation, a minor Master Black Moon is truly nothing worth mentioning. You are more than capable of competing with the great heroes of the world in the sky of the royal palace in the capital city in the central plateaus right now, Master!”
Li Yao did not even bother to lift his eyes. He sneered, “Of course. Master Black Moon was just in the beginning level of the Nascent Soul Stage and meant nothing to me. What I want to do most right now is go to the central plateaus and see what the emperor’s throne looks like in the royal palace, or go to the Dark Cloud Prairies and see what a hot woman Ha Baling’s wife is. Haha. Hahahaha!”
With a hint of fury flashing inside his eyes, Han Yuantai stood straight despite the shackles and replied toughly, “Master, you may be one of the top twenty experts in the world with your incredible abilities. However, even the strongest expert has his limits. Fighting a nation, a people, or the unstoppable fate on your own is just a suicidal endeavor!”
“You are truly not scared of death!” Li Yao narrowed his eyes and blew Han Yuantai away into the mud heavily.
Han Yuantai struggled to his feet from the mud and burst into laughter. “I shall die without regret for the great cause of Cloud Qin!”