“You are too full of yourself. That little brat is brilliant and is definitely someone who will spare no expense to achieve his aims. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch and carelessly overlook things, lest you suffer your downfall at the hands of this little brat.” Suddenly, the voice of a youthful man rang inside Doctor’s Mo’s mind.
Doctor Mo’s expression changed in an instant, as though it was covered by frost. He icily replied:
“Yu Zhitong, you better not intrude in my business. Do you think you are qualified to tell me what to do? If I can succeed, I naturally won’t forget about my promises towards you. Instead, the question is whether you are scheming behind my back. Are you withholding some crucial parts of the cultivation art you imparted to me and hoping that some accident will befall me?” Doctor Mo’s voice was filled with suspicion as he replied.
The youthful man’s voice seemed somewhat terrified of Doctor Mo, and he hurriedly assured:
“How could there be any mistakes? Didn’t you already test it on some animals? Other than the one that passed away due to its unfamiliarity with the cultivation art, didn’t the rest survive? The failed experiments shouldn’t hinder your plans, right?”
“Hmph! That better be the case. It’s a pity that I can’t cultivate. If that weren’t the case, my chances of succeeding would be increased by a large degree.” As Doctor Mo heard the explanation from that mysterious voice, the last shred of caution in his heart melted away.
After finishing his sentence, that mysterious voice maintained its silence as though it was taught a lesson, leaving Doctor Mo to mumble crazily to himself. This caused the entire room to be filled with an eerie atmosphere.
At this moment, Han Li was holed up in an unassuming cave. This cave was even more secretive and remote than the meeting place he found with Li Feiyu.
The layout of the area revealed that the only path to this cave was obscured by two mountain peaks that formed the shape of a line. The mountain ravines were swamped with shrubs and plants on both sides of the path, making the path impossible to traverse. The only way to arrive at the cave was through a hidden rope that dangled from the top of one of the mountain peaks. Other than that rope, there were no other entryways.
(TL: the original Chinese says that the mountains formed the shape “?”)
Thorny trees surrounded the area and occupied the majority of the area, only leaving a small piece of land where Han Li could cultivate. At the top of the mountain cave, there were some unknown vines weaved together into a natural canopy, so Han Li had no concerns that he would be accidentally discovered by random prying eyes.
Han Li removed the items that he held on his body, placing them below an enormous mountain rock, and returned back to the center of this area. He closed his eyes, falling deep in thought. Suddenly, his eyes snapped open, revealing traces of determination in his eyes as he lightly said, “Let’s start practicing from the Soft Bones Art.” And just like that, Han Li embarked on his path to cultivation.
What he didn’t realized was that not far from him was a yellow-coloured bird perched onto a tree branch, constantly monitoring his movements. Because Han Li had no intentions of escaping, the yellow bird did not immediately rush to inform its owner.
And within the mountain cave, a single glance could tell that there was no one else inside the cave. The only ones who were there were Han Li and that little yellow bird, which was preening its feathers as if it had forgotten its original mission.
Suddenly, a grey-coloured bird flew inside the canopy. It rested on top of a yellow pile of wood before taking off again.
In that instant when the yellow-colored bird saw a bird of the same species appear before it, its expression turned somewhat human-like as it became filled with disdain.
The little bird that just arrived stood on one leg as it contemplated its surroundings. When it discovered the yellow bird, it flexed its wings, wanting to fly over.
Abruptly, something unexpected occurred. A yellow palm appeared out of nowhere, catching hold of the grey coloured bird in a single attempt.
This sudden change caused it to be terrified. It struggled in vain with its life on the line. No amounts of efforts could allow it to regain its freedom.
At this moment, the little bird understood that what it had mistaken for a pile of yellow wood was actually a yellow-robed youth. This yellow-robed youth had a dark complexion and extremely ordinary looks. Other than his clear eyes, he had no other attractive features.
The youth smile slightly, looking at the struggling bird in his hands. When it finally grew tired, he opened his palms as he stated gently:
“You can go. Don’t be so foolish next time. Look carefully before you attempt to rest.”
Once the bird regained its freedom, it no longer bothered with the yellow clothed youth. It frantically flapped its wings and flew out of the cave opening.
As his gaze followed the path of the flying bird, the youth stood there mutely. Only after a moment passed did he begin to mutter under his breath:
“Seems like my breath control and concealing techniques are already somewhat proficient. Next, I must practice my assassination techniques.”
After speaking, Han Li walked towards a small wooden house which he had built, and on the way there, he involuntarily glanced at the yellow-colored bird.
This bird’s strange actions had caught his attention about half a month ago. This bird would always perch nearby, observing his actions, as if the bird had gained intelligence.
When he first saw it, he was amazed and captivated by the intelligence of the yellow bird.
He tried to capture it but was unsuccessful no matter what methods he used. This bird seemed to have no inclination to be fooled. It even stared at Han Li as if he were an idiot, causing Han Li to smile bitterly.
Afterwards, in a fit of anger, he tried to use direct force, but before he even got near, the yellow bird would soar to the skies, out of his reach. Whenever Han Li left, it would return back to its original spot. Han Li had no other ideas and thus could only stare at it from his original position.
On the surface of his mind, Han Li no longer concerned himself with the bird. In his heart, however, he had already deduced that the bird was here for a reason. Perhaps the bird was sent here by Doctor Mo to spy on his movements.
Even so, Han Li had no cause for concern. As long as the one doing the monitoring was not Doctor Mo himself, how many details could the little bird reveal? And in addition, he was amazed by the intelligence that this little bird possessed and was thus unwilling to use poison to deal with it.
At this moment, Doctor Mo was in a stone chamber, using the bones of wild beasts to form a strange array formation. As he arranged the formation, he was discussing matters with the mysterious voice from earlier, not knowing that Han Li had already discovered the method he was using to spy on Han Li.