Han Li felt somewhat apprehensive at the thought of Mu Peiling and Nangong Wan meeting each other. However, he merely uttered a few words of thanks to Lu Luo.
"What does Junior Martial Brother Han plan on doing now? According to the arrangements, you no longer need to participate in any upcoming battles due to your previous service. However a few days ago, the Righteous and Devilish Dao, the Nine Nations Union, and our Heavenly Dao alliance held a meeting with regards to war countermeasures, and Junior Martial brother Han was mentioned. Since you were able to slay the black-robed spell warrior in an instant, your techniques will certainly be capable of restraining the other black-robed spell warriors. As such, they hoped Junior Martial brother would be able to participate in the battle soon to come."
Lu Luo then revealed a hesitant expression before continuing, "The representative of the Heavenly Dao Alliance also believes that Junior Martial Brother will be a great military asset, and that it would be inexcusable if he doesn't fight. That is..."
Somewhat to Lu Luo's surprise, Han Li didn't reveal any anger. Instead, he coldly smiled and said, "I find it acceptable to continue fighting. If the Heavenly South was to be truly occupied by the Moulan, nothing good would happen for our Drifting Cloud Sect. However, how will the previous agreement be dealt with? Surely it won't just be waved away with mere words!"
Lu Luo bitterly smiled and said, "Of course not. With the addition of Junior Martial Brother's merits of slaying the black-robed cultivator and ferreting out the Moulan spy, the alliance promises that it will adhere to any conditions Junior Martial Brother will raise, given that he continues to fight in the war. So long as your conditions are fulfillable, they will attempt to satisfy you as much as they can as compensation."
Han Li's expression stirred for a moment, but he remained calm while he said, "They are willing to compensate me? That is easy to say, but I'll need to have a discussion about these specific conditions with the person in charge."
Lu Luo smiled and said, "That is also good. I was just about to bring Junior Martial Brother to go see the acting leaders of the Heavenly Dao Alliance. So long as your conditions aren't excessive, they should be willing to agree."
Han Li smiled and slowly said, "Be at ease, Senior Martial Brother Lu. I will not attempt to overreach myself and make it difficult for you."
Seeing that Han Li understood to act within reason, Lu Luo felt relieved and said, "Junior Martial Brother must be joking. There is no need to give consideration for my sake. This is a rare display of generosity from those old folks so you shouldn't hold back."
When Han Li heard this, he wore a mysterious smile and said nothing further. Afterwards, Lu Luo promptly led Han Li out of the Drifting Cloud Sect's encampment and directly headed to the Heavenly Dao Alliance's official hall.
"Our Heavenly Dao Alliance's acting leaders are a coalition of ten or so elders from various large sects. They are replaced in ten year intervals. Of course, this doesn't apply to the three founding sects of the Heavenly Dao Alliance — the Ancient Sword Sect, the Phoenix Cry Sect, and the Sailing Boundaries Study. In truth, these three sects have the most sway within the alliance.
"And amongst them, the Phoenix Cry Sect is a cut above the Ancient Sword Sect and the Sailing Boundaries Study in terms of power. Surely you should know of Fellow Daoists Feng Bing and Long Han of the Phoenix Cry Sect? They are the Dao companions that are capable of contending with a late Nascent Soul cultivator. It is because of these two that we are capable of rivalling the other three factions. However, only Fellow Daoist Long Han has revealed himself as Elder Feng Bing immediately entered into seclusion upon arriving at Skyfirst City. It appears she was at a crucial period of cultivating some secret technique. So long as Junior Martial Brother Han has a proper discussion with the acting leaders of the alliance that are currently in the city, they should be agreeable. I also have to mention that Elder Long Han is currently amongst the three acting leaders in the city." As Lu Luo walked by Han Li's side, he gave him an explanation of the inner workings of the Heavenly Dao Alliance.
Some of this information was new to Han Li. As such, he simply nodded as he listened.
The Heavenly Dao Alliance's official hall was located in the center of the west part of the city. After a calm walk, Han Li and Lu Luo soon arrived at an imposing stone hall surrounded by many towers.
Clearly recognizing Lu Luo, the Foundation Establishment cultivators guarding the hall respectfully saluted him. One of them stepped forward said, "Greetings Senior Lu. Which elders have you come to see? And who might this Senior be?" Their expressions grew hesitant when they saw Han Li's unfamiliar face.
Lu Luo's expression remained tranquil as he calmly said, "This is my fellow Sect Elder Han, and I've come to see Elder Long and the others."
"Ah, so it was Senior Han. Please wait a moment. The elders are currently discussing something in the hall. I will report to them immediately." The cultivator was shocked and glanced at Han Li with astonishment, his expression growing more respectful. It was clear he knew of Han Li's reputation.
The cultivator soon took out a sound transmission talisman and whispered something into it before tossing it into the air.
A short moment after it shot inside as a streak of red light, three melodious rings sounded out from the hall. When the guards heard this, they immediately bowed and said, "Please enter, Seniors. The elders know that you've arrived."
Lu Luo nodded and boldly walked into the hall as Han Li calmly followed after him.
After passing through several corridors, Lu Luo brought Han Li into a side chamber where six Nascent Soul cultivators were currently seated. When the two walked in, all six of them glanced over. However, most of their gazes were focused on Han Li, each wearing an interested expression.
Each of their cultivations was unordinary, but when Han Li looked at them, his attention was caught by the middle-aged man that was sitting at the center of the room. His clothes were grey, his appearance odd, and his stature wide. His cultivation was also at the peak of mid Nascent stage, a considerable distance above ordinary mid Nascent Soul cultivators; he was just a step away from entering the late Nascent Soul stage.
Han Li's heart trembled, immediately realizing that this person was the Phoenix Cry Sect's Long Han. With such profound cultivation, it was no wonder he was able to contend against late Nascent Soul cultivators with his wife. He had originally believed the rumors were over-exaggerated, not the other way around.
As the others remained silent, the middle-aged man beamed and stood up. With a salute, he said, "Brother Lu, this must be your sect's Elder Han. In the past few days, we've heard much of his thunderous repute."
After giving the middle-aged man an appraising look, Han Li returned the salute and said with a smile, "You must be Long Han. I too have long heard of your famous name."
Sitting at Long Han's side, an old man with a pale complexion half-jokingly said, "If we're speaking of reputation, recently Fellow Daoist Han is much more famous. You've earned our Heavenly Dao Alliance much repute."
"This Fellow Daoist is quite humorous. May I know your name?" Han Li had already taken note of the old man as he was the only other mid Nascent Soul cultivator in the room apart from Long Han. He didn't dare to slight him.
Before the old man could reply, Lu Luo rushed to introduce him, "Junior Martial Brother Han, this is Brother Kuang of the Sailing Boundaries Study. His Heavenly Earth Arts have repeatedly shaken the continent for several hundreds of years."
Astonished, Han Li said, "So it turned out to be Brother Kuang. I've also held you in much esteem for a long time."
Han Li's words weren't lies. This old man was truly renowned, and in the Heavenly Dao Union he was ranked below only to Long Han and his Dao companion. Of course, the Drifting Cloud Sect Elder Cheng had repeatedly mentioned them in the past, but Han Li didn't think he would actually meet them.
Afterwards, Lu Luo introduced the other cultivators to Han Li. They weren't particularly noteworthy apart from the Ancient Sword Sect Elder, an ugly man surnamed Tian, who Han Li particularly took notice of. With the introductions over, they all took a seat.
Long Han smiled and calmly said, "Since Fellow Daoist Han has come to visit the official hall, he should know of our wishes for him to continue fighting in the war. In truth, we did break our previous promise. But with war approaching, your abilities will prove to be of great help for the cultivators of the Heavenly South. We have no other choice. But as compensation, we will provide you with materials, medicine pills and such for your trouble. Fellow Daoist Han, if you are still unwilling, we can further discuss this. So long as it is possible for our alliance, we will not refuse you."
Long Han deserved his title as the cultivator who ruled the Heavenly Dao Alliance. Before Han Li could even mention why he had come, he had already taken the initiative to apologize to Han Li. He would be put in a bad position if he were to reveal any objections.
However, Han Li wasn't angry to begin with. Having escaped from the hands of the Moulan Divine Sage, he had proved he should have strength to spare while still preserving his life if a battle took a turn for the worse. Since Han Li had no worries over his survival, he didn't have much to be unhappy about. Rather, he felt that this was a rare opportunity!
As a result, Han Li pondered for a moment before bluntly speaking, "Since Brother Long said this, I will not object to continuing to fight. After all, I do understand this war is for the survival of the Heavenly South. However, there are some things that I will require from the Heavenly Dao Alliance. Therefore, I will bluntly take advantage of this opportunity."
When Han Li said this, he appeared calm. He knew that these old eccentrics were extremely sharp, and felt that it would be easier to handle such matters directly.
As expected, his honest words left a positive impression on most of the cultivators in the room. The cultivator surnamed Kuang was particularly happy, and he honestly replied, "Fellow Daoist Han's quick and direct words are very much to my liking. Please tell us of your conditions. I am quite curious about them!"
Long Han's expression wavered several times before he silently smiled. As for the others, they all glanced at Han Li, wondering what it was that he wanted.
With an indifferent expression, Han Li calmly said, "It is quite simple. I hope to draw support from the alliance to help me find a certain type of tool refinement material. I won't hide this from you; this item is extremely important to me. If you are able to gather together these items for me before the grand battle, I will have far more confidence in dealing with those black-robed cultivators."
"Tool refinement material?" Those in the room glanced at each other, none revealing surprise. They all knew of materials that were certainly precious and difficult to find. Why wouldn't Han Li want to use this opportunity to seek them out?
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