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After that, Han Li clasped his hands behind his back and waited in silence.
After the span of just a few breaths, specks of light flashed in the distant sky.
Spatial fluctuations erupted several hundred feet away, and a ball of pink light and a cloud of black Qi had appeared in unison.
A giant floral tree projection emerged amid the pink light, and Bao Hua and Hei'e were revealed.
Meanwhile, the ball of black Qi transformed into the black-robed young man that was Sacred Ancestor Yuan Yan.
As soon as they appeared, they began to carefully appraise Han Li.
Shortly thereafter, a peculiar look flashed through Bao Hua's eyes, and she smiled as she said, "You were quickly closing in on the three-day deadline, so I was concerned that something had happened to you, but it seems that my concerns were unwarranted; I can see that you've benefited immensely from the Spirit Cleansing Pond."
"I think you're far more concerned about the spirit medicine in my possession than you are about me," Han Li replied with a calm smile.
"Is there a difference? If you had been trapped in the Spirit Cleansing Pond, then the spirit medicine would be completely out of my grasp," Bao Hua replied in a nonchalant manner.
"Cut the chit-chat! You've emerged from the Spirit Cleansing Pond, so it's time to hand over the spirit medicine. Otherwise, I'll have to take it from you by force!" the black-robed young man threatened with a menacing look in his eyes.
"Rest assured, I don't intend to revoke my promise." Han Li smiled as he flipped a hand over to produce a pair of jade boxes, which he tossed toward the pair of devilish patriarchs without any hesitation.
Both Bao Hua and Yuan Yan immediately reached out to draw their respective jade box into their grasp, and the latter immediately removed the lid from his jade box with unbridled excitement on his face.
His expression of excitement was then instantly replaced by one of ecstasy as he caught sight of the spirit medicine in the box.
"Haha, I've been trying to grow a Devil Refining Herb for tens of thousands of years to no avail; who would've thought that I would obtain one under these circumstances? Hold on, what have you left on this spirit medicine?"
All of a sudden, Yuan Yan's elated laughter came to an abrupt halt as a furious look appeared on his face.
Bao Hua had also just inspected her spirit medicine with her spiritual sense, and the smile on her face had also vanished as she asked in a bone-chilling voice, "What is the meaning of this, Fellow Daoist Han? Do you think your little tricks will be able to escape our notice?"
Both of the devilish patriarchs immediately began to appraise Han Li with animosity in their eyes.
Han Li remained completely unfazed by this, and he said in an unhurried manner, "Before we discuss anything else, let me ask you this: are the spirit medicines in the boxes authentic?"
"Hmph, the spirit medicines are indeed authentic, but don't tell me you haven't tampered with them!" Yuan Yan said in a cold voice.
"I believe you owe us an explanation, Fellow Daoist Han. Otherwise, we won't let you leave this island," Bao Hua also chimed in with a dark expression.
"The spirit medicines are authentic and I've handed them over to you, so I've fulfilled my initial promise," Han Li continued in a calm manner.
"So what? Do you think you'll be able to talk your way out of this by playing these word games?" Sacred Ancestor Yuan Yan stepped forward with a furious expression, and a burst of astonishing baleful Qi erupted from his body, causing the entire sky to tremor violently.
The two devilish lords were on the verge of escalating this into a physical altercation.
"I have no intention of playing any word games. I haven't left any complex restrictions on the two spirit medicines; I've only left two temporary wisps of spiritual sense with them. It won't be long before these wisps of spiritual sense dissipate on their own, and they won't harm the spirit medicines in any way," Han Li replied in a calm manner.
Bao Hua inspected her spirit medicine once again to find that Han Li was telling the truth, and her expression eased slightly as she asked, "What do you intend to accomplish by doing this?"
"I can't afford to gamble with my own life and simply believe that you'll let me leave after I hand over the spirit medicines to you. Hence, I had to resort to this plan. If I can leave this place safely, the spirit medicines will naturally remain completely unharmed. However, if you show any signs of breaking your end of the promise, the wisps of spiritual sense will immediately self-detonate; only the heavens can decide whether the spirit medicines will remain unscathed then," Han Li replied.
"You dare to threaten me?" Yuan Yan's fury was fueled even further upon hearing this.
"I wouldn't dare to do that; I'm only looking out for my own best interests. Once I emerge from the sea of lightning, the wisps of spiritual sense will immediately dissipate. Rest assured, I wouldn't detonate them to harm the spirit medicines to spite you as doing so would only earn me two powerful sworn enemies without reaping me any benefits," Han Li replied calmly.
"Hmph, you think a mere wisp of your spiritual sense can destroy these spirit medicines? These are extraordinarily rare spirit medicines that even flying swords would struggle to damage," Bao Hu harrumphed coldly.
"That may be the case, but I'm betting that neither of you would dare to take this risk. Besides, do you think the wisps of spiritual sense I've left with these spirit medicines are just normal spiritual sense?" Han Li countered with a meaningful smile.
Bao Hua and Yuan Yan's expression changed slightly upon hearing this.
To Han Li's surprise, the furious Yuan Yan suddenly reverted back to a calm expression, and said in a cold voice, "Well done, it's been close to 100,000 years since I've had my hands and feet bound like this! Piss off, but if you dare to harm this Devil Refining Herb even in the slightest, I'll show you what it feels like to wish you've never been born!"
Han Li was quite amazed by Yuan Yan's acting skills, but his expression remained unchanged as he turned toward Bao Hua for her verdict.
"I also agree to this. Just like you said, I wouldn't dare to risk having this spirit medicine damaged, but if this wisp of spiritual sense still hasn't dissipated after you've left the sea of lightning, then don't blame me for coming after you," Bao Hua said in an expressionless manner.
"Alright, then I'll be taking my leave now," Han Li said as he cupped his fist in a farewell salute, then immediately flew away as a streak of azure light.
After just a few flashes, he had vanished into the distance, leaving the trio of devilish beings behind.
"Mistress Bao Hua, should I follow him?" Hei'e asked in a careful manner.
"There's no need for that. That man's spiritual sense is almost comparable to that of myself and Fellow Daoist Yuan Yan, so there's no way you'll be able to fool him with your concealment techniques," Bao Hua replied with a shake of her head.
"When did you become such a coward?" the black-robed young man said as he rolled his eyes in a disdainful manner.
"Why don't you go ahead and follow him then? You'll have my undying admiration," Bao Hua replied in a cold voice.
"Hmph, my most trusted subordinate isn't by my side. Otherwise, there's no way I'd let him leave so easily," the black-robed young man spat through gritted teeth.
"You're talking about that Ying Cha, right? So you're saying you'd dare to take the risk if she were here?" Bao Hua asked as a derisive look flashed through her eyes.
"You're right, I wouldn't dare to take the risk anyway with the Devil Refining Herb at stake," the black-robed young man conceded with a wry smile.
"The same goes for me as well. He's determined that there's no way we'd dare to gamble with these spirit medicines, which is why he's so confident in his plan," Bao Hua replied.
The black-robed young man nodded in response before a skeptical look appeared on his face. "I have no issues with allowing him to get away, but there aren't any issues with the spiritual sense he's left on these spirit medicines, right?"
"Have you discovered something amiss?" Bao Hua asked.
"No. If I had, I wouldn't have let him leave," Yuan Yan replied after a brief hesitation.
"I haven't discovered anything, either. Seeing as neither of us have detected anything, I'm sure there's nothing special about these wisps of spiritual sense; let's just wait until he leaves the sea of lightning," Bao Hua sighed.
However, Yuan Yan still seemed to be unwilling to give up, and he suddenly asked, "With your powers, how confident are you in your ability to remove the wisp of spiritual sense?"
"I still haven't fully recovered my magic power, but if it's only a normal wisp of spiritual sense, then there's a roughly 60% chance that I'll be able to eradicate it before it self-detonates," Bao Hua replied.
"It's over 80% for me, but I still wouldn't dare to take the risk," Yuan Yan sighed in a resigned manner.
Bao Hua smiled in response, yet just as she was about to say something else, an elderly voice rang out in both of their ears in unison.
"Hmph, seeing as neither of you dare to take the risk, then let me do the honors in your place; I'll be taking all of his other spirit medicines!"
"That voice belongs to Nie Pan!" Bao Hua and Yuan exclaimed in unison upon hearing this.
1. While this probably wasn't the technique used here, the chapter still reminded me of it.
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