After a long time, the sound of moving bowls and chopsticks gradually ceased. Jiang Li turned around and saw that the entire table of dishes and wine had been completely consumed.
At the eight directions of the Eight Immortals Table, eight tiny shadows had unknowingly sat down.
They raised their heads and tilted their heads, either lying down or sitting down. They actually ate and drank their fill before the table and slept soundly.
"Everyone, are you satisfied with your food?"
It was as if Jiang Li could not smell the stench. He walked forward and gently patted the table.
However, the eight figures sitting on the chairs were all drunk and did not hear him at all.
It was not until Jiang Li slapped the table a few more times that the eight of them woke up in a daze.
When the eight of them woke up and saw Jiang Li beside them, they let out a strange cry and immediately tried to escape.
However, Jiang Li had already sealed the doors and windows with talisman papers.
He pulled a chair over and sat down, watching the eight shadows scurry around the guest room.
After a short while, when the eight guests saw that they were truly unable to escape, they trembled as they crawled out from the shadows and stood before Jiang Li like eight tiny figures.
"Friends, I've set up a banquet to invite you to eat food and drink wine. It's not good for you to leave without saying goodbye after eating."
Jiang Li looked down at the eight guests standing in a row on the floor in front of him.
The eight guests were shifty-eyed and their fur was shiny. They were less than three feet long! They were four long-bearded weasels and four black-furred rats!
After Jiang Li returned to the sect, he had exchanged for another Yin attribute spell technique, and it was the famous Spirit Summoning Technique!
If an Immortal Buddha executed this technique, he could easily summon the Heavenly Star Spirits or eight hundred Enlightened Monks!
If a certain Monkey King were to execute this technique, he would be able to summon the Deity of Thunder, or even the Deity of Mountains and Rivers!
However, later on, this world seemed to have experienced a calamity of heaven and earth. Dao techniques were crippled, and there were no Immortals or Buddhas to be found.
The orthodox Maoshan Immortal Sect with a background that covered the Three Realms had also been reduced to dust and lost many people.
The great Dao technique—Spirit Summoning—was simplified countless times. In the end, it could only communicate with some lonely ghosts and demons, or be used to invite ghosts to possess the user.
It was almost completely in an unorthodox position now.
Now, the cultivation world was flourishing again. All kinds of buried Daoist texts and secret scriptures were dug out by people again, and only then did Jiang Li learn it in the Scripture Storage Pavilion.
Of course, Jiang Li did not have much expectations for this technique.
From its introduction, one could tell that the key to cultivating this spell technique was not whether one was skilled or not. This Spirit Summoning Technique relied heavily on the user's reputation.
Therefore, Jiang Li used the temptation of a table of sumptuous food and drinks to invite a few weasels and rats that could barely be considered to be 'spirits'.
(In certain texts, those who had yet to gain human form were called spirits, and those who could already become human-like were called demons. There were also some who say that awakened animals were called demons while plants were called spirits.)
Despite how they stood there and cupped their hands in a respectful manner, as if their cultivation was not shallow, the truth was, as long as an experienced hunter brought along three to five hounds, he could make them cry.
"Squeak squeak, many… thank you for your hospitality, master host! We, Old Huang and Old Hei, and our descendants are grateful!"
After the eight spirits chattered for a while, a rat spirit wearing a red robe walked forward and actually spoke in human language to Jiang Li.
"Oh? You can actually speak?"
Jiang Li was surprised. This rat spirit had only barely developed intelligence. The demonic power and spiritual qi in its body were practically negligible. It could actually speak like this?
"Squeak squeak, it's my fortune. I secretly ate a few drops of lamp oil in a dilapidated temple outside the city. I don't know why, but my throat has turned soft, so I can spit out human words."
As the rat spirit spoke, its voice was a little indistinct, but the words it spoke were indeed true. It was not using some sinister technique.
"Hmm, this is quite interesting. Brother Rat, you are very fortunate."
"Then, friends, since you are not leaving, why don't you answer a few questions?"
Jiang Li prepared a banquet and used the Spirit Summoning Technique to invite them over. It was not because he was bored, but because he had something to ask them for help.
"Master host, please ask. We've eaten wine and meat. We'll tell you everything we know."
Little spirits of their level were only capable of fleeing. Now that they were trapped in the room and were at someone's mercy, how could they dare to not obey?
"Two nights ago, a flying ship crashed outside the city. A total of 12 heretics fled into the city. You're the locals here. Have you seen those suspicious people?"
The eight spirits gathered together and chattered again. Then, the red-coated rat raised its head again and cupped its hands towards Jiang Li.
"Master host, we've never seen such heretics."
"We saw the ship that crashed outside the city, but we didn't dare to go forward."
Jiang Li was slightly disappointed, but this was something that he had expected.
If the whereabouts of the defected cultivators led by a Core Formation elder could be discovered by this group of tiny demons, they would have been captured long ago. Jiang Li did not expect them to help find them at all.
He asked a few more questions, and the rat spirit answered them one by one. Jiang Li opened the map and drew out a few details in a few places.
"There's another river under Cloud Stream City?"
Under the guidance of the mice, Jiang Li drew a crooked line that penetrated the entire city.
This rat was good at swimming, so it knew the underground river well.
"Yes, master. This Cloud Stream City is named because of this."
Jiang Li studied the curve of the dark river. It flowed from the eastern part of the city into the underground. After it penetrated the city, it directly converged with the river outside the city, turning from hidden to open. In fact, there was not a long section underground.
As long as the sect elders were not stupid, they would definitely guard the entrance to the river. It was unlikely that Elder Duan Shuang, Yu Banxia, and the rest could escape through it.
This news did not seem to have much meaning.
Jiang Li kept the map and looked at the eight spirits again.
"Friends, thank you for your information."
"This time, the food and drink were prepared in a hurry, so it might not suit your palate. If you'd like to give me face, you can come back tomorrow."
"At that time, Old Huang's favorite chicken banquet and Old Hei's favorite pig oil tofu will definitely be prepared perfectly."
After asking, Jiang Li invited them again with a smile on his face. In order to show his sincerity, he even tore a talisman paper and left a way out for them.
However, when they heard the words "chicken banquet" and "pig oil tofu", how could the eight spirits walk away?
Even though their stomachs were as bloated as rubber balls, they still could not help but drool from the corners of their mouths.
"Squeak squeak, master, is that true?" The red-coated rat asked excitedly.
"Of course it's true. I'm a person who likes to make friends. Every time I go to a place, I have to hold a banquet for three days and invite the guests to eat their fill."
"I'm not afraid of guests eating too much, I'm only afraid of guests eating too little. If you don't believe me, you can come here tomorrow to take a look. I'll definitely prepare food and drinks for you."
"Not only that, you can also bring your family and friends along. I won't reject anyone. The more people who come, the happier I am!"
Jiang Li and the other immortals came here with the sect backing them up. They naturally had special privileges in the city, so he was naturally generous.
"Squeak, squeak, master is so generous! Squeak, squeak! We will definitely announce master's banquet and bring our elders and children to attend it."
The eight tiny demons were visibly excited as they chattered and wanted to leave.
"Wait, wait. I still have something to say." Jiang Li hurriedly stopped them.
"Squeak, squeak, master, please let us know if you need anything."
The few demons could not reject him. There was still a big meal waiting tomorrow, so how could they not curry favor now?
"It's like this. I've recently encountered some difficulties and urgently need some souls or ghosts to use. I'm afraid this matter will spoil the mood of the guests."
Jiang Li was afraid that they would not dare to come tomorrow. He spoke very politely and comforted them like he was coaxing a child.
He wanted the lowest and weakest type of ghost or soul.
They could not fly, could not run, and could not even walk. They could not speak or have any intelligence. They could only float in the place where they died in a daze. A gust of wind could blow them away like garbage.
Even a few small demons with little intelligence could easily capture them.
"Squeak, squeak, what are you saying, master? Although we are demons, we are also demons that follow etiquette. When guests come to eat, how can we come empty-handed? Tomorrow, we will each capture a few souls. Master, don't worry."
This rat's speech was getting better and better. Jiang Li did not believe that it understood etiquette. However, the old weasel beside it was probably quite cultured.
It should have been teaching it from the side, and this rat was learning on the spot.
"No, no, no. You can't do that. It was my whim in the first place. How could I dare to take your things for free?"
Jiang Li put on a troubled expression. After thinking for a moment, he suddenly spoke with joy.
"I've got it! I don't want these spirits for free. At tomorrow's banquet, I'll definitely set down a million gold and silver items. When the guests bring the souls, they'll be given gold and silver!"
When Jiang Li said this, the demons were overjoyed.
Rat spirits and other spirits were different from other mountain spirits. The small demons of these two races lived near humans almost their entire lives and interacted directly or indirectly with them.
They were the most tainted with the secular aura. They had learned all kinds of crooked methods in the mortal market and were just like mortals who could not stop coveting gold, silver, and money.
Their strength was completely not worth mentioning, and ordinary cultivators would not think much of them.
However, Jiang Li did not mind. After all, their cost was low, so money in the mortal world could be used.
"The master is generous! The master is generous!"
"May I ask, master, is there a limit to the demand for souls?"
The moment the red-coated rat called out twice, the old weasel beside it whispered in its ears again.
As expected of Old Huang, it immediately thought of something. If there was really a restriction, they would definitely not call for other small demons and would instead enjoy it themselves.
"Haha, you guys call me master, how would I dare let the guests dampen my spirits? Relax, I won't reject anyone!"
"Moreover, if there are a lot of guests, I will give generous gifts to you, my eight friends!"
"Thank you, master!" Only then did they finally feel at ease. After bowing to Jiang Li again, they lined up and walked out of the open door.