Hao Xuan glanced over his shoulder towards the kneeling barbarians, "I can do it, I can save them...I have to. Otherwise, what was the point of everything?"
The main body of the nanites which was located near the base of Hao Xuan's head began to pulse with a dim white light while listening to him. A second later the light changed to dark yellow.
[Irrational Thoughts | Failure to be objective | Unexplainable parasocial relations.h.i.+ps]
[3/5 Symptoms Detected]
-Minimum Criteria Met
[Initializing Remote Directive: Echo]
[Connecting to Off-Site Backup: Alpha Legion]
[Error: Unable to Connect]
[Error: Unable to Connect]
[Initializing Zulu Sequence: Last Hour]
The lights flashed red for an instant before turning off completely. None of these notifications were shown to Hao Xuan so he had no idea that one of Baracus's hidden directives had been activated somehow.
He stood up and with a wave of his hand an average-looking longsword appeared in his grasp.
"My sword dao is still superior to his and even that divine artifact cannot suppress it. If I can't talk him down I have to take him elsewhere."
He jumped over the water stream for what felt like the thousandth time and made his way towards Dai Zhi who welcomed him in the exact same manner.
But this time he saw the sword in Hao Xuan's hand and was about to comment on it when he stopped him.
"Enough, there is no need to waste time. I am not in a good mood so I will keep things short and to the point. I think we both want that, correct?"
Dai Zhi's smile slowly dissipated upon meeting Hao Xuan's gaze and he nodded.
"Correct. I was the one who called you here but go head and speak your mind, I shan't stop you."
"Hmm. I know you want the physique. I know it was brought to the mortal realms for you by that man. I also am aware that I cannot cultivate it any further. It does not matter who told me or how, but that I know and have known for a while."
Hao Xuan just dumped everything out without holding back and to his surprise, being upfront and honest was indeed the best policy as it became clear.
Dai Zhi took a moment to digest everything but gave another nod swiftly after.
"Right you are, what matters is how it ends. Will you hand yourself over to me?"
"No," Hao Xuan answered with incontestable certainty.
"Then you will fight?"
"If I have to."
Dai Zhi's gaze lowered to Hao Xuan's right arm which was about to fall off from the looks of it.
"In that condition? You think you can defeat me?"
Hao Xuan followed his gaze down and upon seeing his decrepit arm a light bulb lit up on his head.
'How could I have missed something so obvious?'
He smiled, "That's exactly why I can't hand myself over. I had an accident earlier while trying to breakthrough to the Profound Realm and was struck by the Lightning Tribulation. I'm afraid the physique has been damaged quite severely."
Dai Zhi couldn't keep himself from screaming, "WHAT?!"
"It's true as you can see, that's why I am here right now to make a deal with you."
But seeing as how calm Hao Xuan was he also held back and chose to listen, at least for the moment.
"I know you need me to hand myself over willingly otherwise you could have just forcefully taken me. And with that divine artifact of yours, I surely would not have been able to resist. The only problem is I will die during the process, which unexpectedly is a problem for me."
Dai Zhi's eyes narrowed in contemplation, "And what do you want me to do about that? I can only promise to make it as painless as possible-"
"No, no offense but I don't trust you enough to take your word for it. For all I know my soul would be ripped to shreds bit by bit and that is going to be very painful. But there is an alternative."
Hao Xuan even recalled the longsword to show his sincerity.
"I only want one thing from you, time."
"Yes. I need time to breakthrough to the Profound Realm."
"BUHAHAHAHAHA!" Dai Zhi burst out in a fit of laughter.
"Let YOU breakthrough? Why? Why would I ever do that?!"
He waved his hand lightly and bright red trees began popping up from the ground. But Hao Xuan remained undeterred.
"For two reasons. One, I can heal and recover the physique so there aren't any issues when you take over. And second, 'Soul Transference Magic'. After reaching the Profound Realm I can simply move my soul to a new body and you can have this one."