Those two middle-aged Tian Peng beings consisted of a man and a woman, and they appeared to be a couple. They were currently discussing something with the shop owner, and one was an early-Spatial Tempering cultivator while the other was at the mid-Spatial Tempering Stage.
As for that shopkeeper, he was a fearsome late-Spatial Tempering cultivator.
Why would a man with his cultivation base be running a shop here?
Han Li was rather astonished to see this.
At this moment, the couple turned their attention to Han Li. He was clearly an unfamiliar face and only at the mid-Deity Transformation Stage, so they were also quite surprised to see him.
Meanwhile, the thin shopkeeper merely glanced at Han Li before withdrawing his gaze as he said in a lazy voice, "Don't even think about my Purple Immortal Wood if you haven't found a Spirit Magnet! As for high-grade spirit stones, do you think I lack those?"
The thin shopkeeper was certainly making no attempt to keep his wealth a secret.
"Brother Yu, asking for a Spirit Magnet in exchange for Purple Immortal Wood is far too unreasonable. Spirit Magnets can only be found deep within the earth abyss. Even the elders of our race wouldn't dare to enter those depths for no good reason, let alone a pair of Spatial Tempering cultivators like my Dao Companion and me," the middle-aged woman argued.
"That's not my problem. Do you think I just so happened to stumble across my Purple Immortal Wood? Don't mention this matter to me again unless you secure a Spirit Magnet," the thin shopkeeper retorted in a cold manner as he rolled his eyes.
The couple's expression darkened significantly uopn hearing this. However, no matter what they said next, the shopkeeper refused to make any concessions whatsoever. Int the end, the couple could only depart in a resigned manner.
Throughout this entire process, none of them said so much a single word to Han Li.
After the couple had left his shop, the shopkeeper sat down in his chair with an impatient expression, and asked, "What do you want, kid?"
"I heard that you sell Azure Shifting Fruits here, Senior. Is that true?" Han Li asked in a calm manner.
The middle-aged man faltered upon hearing this before carefully appraising Han Li, then letting loose a cold harrumph as he said, "The Azure Shifting Fruit is one of the most precious items in my shop; there's no way a mere Flying Spirit General like you can afford it. Don't waste my time."
"How would you know if I can afford this item or not if you don't state your price, Senior?" A faint smile appeared on Han Li's face, and he refused to leave.
"Hmph, looks like you prefer a more violent eviction!" The middle-aged flew into a thunderous rage as he abruptly flapped the silver wings on his back toward Han Li.
Following a dull thump, a burst of immense power swept toward Han Li, making even the surrounding air tremor and buzz.
Han Li's eyelids twitched, but he made no attempt to evade. Instead, he merely raised his hand and brought it down as if it were a sword.
A streak of golden light flashed past, slicing apart that burst of enormous power with ease. The vast burst of force brushed past Han Li on either side of his body before landing on the structure behind him with a resounding boom. "Hmm? No wonder you've got some confidence; looks like you're not just all talk." The thin shopkeeper seemed to be rather surprised.
"Do I have the right to hear your price now, Senior?" Han Li asked again with a calm expression on his face.
"Alright, I guess you do, but you're still far too arrogant if you think you can satisfy the condition for my Azure Shifting Fruit," the shopkeeper replied in an indifferent manner.
"You'll have to tell me the condition first before I can determine whether I'll be able to satisfy it," Han Li prompted with a hint of a smile on his face.
"Seeing as you're so confident and I don't have any other customers at present anyway, it couldn't hurt to tell you my conditions. I trust that I won't have to tell you about just how rare and precious Azure Shifting Fruits are. If you want this fruit, I'll give you three choices. You can have the fruit if you can satisfy any of those three conditions," the shopkeeper said as his expression eased slightly.
"Three choices? Looks like the conditions will indeed be very stringent. Otherwise, you wouldn't be providing me with so many options," Han Li said with a wry smile.
"Hehe, I'm glad you're aware of that. If you can supply a legendary Infernal Lotus Flower or Dark Blood Crystal, then I can give the Azure Shifting Fruit to you right away," the middle-aged man chuckled coldly.
"Those two items are only rumored to exist, and it's yet to confirmed whether they can actually be found in this world or not. There's no way that I could be in possession of those." Han Li immediately shook his head in response.
"Hehe, only rumored to exist, eh?" A deriding sneer appeared on the middle-aged man's face upon hearing this. "Seeing as you think this first condition is impossible to satisfy, then this second one is definitely achievable. If you have 500 or 600 top-grade spirit stones in your possession, I can reluctantly sell my Azure Shifting Fruit to you."
"500 to 600 top-grade spirit stones? Surely you jest, Senior. Even the elders of the Tian Peng Race most likely won't be able to bring out so many spirit stones of that caliber. I can't satisfy that condition, either." Han Li's expression was beginning to darken slightly.
If the shopkeeper asked him for only 100 top-grade spirit stones, then he could sell the spirit medicines in his possession and perhaps scrape together that many. However, 500 to 600 was far too many, and he didn't even consider it to be a feasible option.
"Hmph, the Azure Shifting Fruit belongs to me; if I think it's worth that price, then I'll naturally state such a condition," the shopkeeper said in an unfazed manner.
Han Li had no response to this.
"If you can't accept the first two conditions, then the final one will most likely be even more impossible for you. Do you still want to hear it?" the middle-aged man asked in a cold voice.
"Please do tell, Senior!" Han Li replied with a dark expression.
Upon hearing Han Li's response, a peculiar look appeared on the shopkeeper's face. Only after a long while did he continue, "The final condition is not one that can just be satisfied by anyone. Before I disclose it to you, I must ask you something first. Are you proficient in wielding the power of lightning?"
"Lightning?" Han Li's pupils contracted in surprise.
"Indeed. If you don't possess lightning abilities or only have an insufficient grasp of lightning, then there's no need for me to reveal the third choice to you."
Han Li was a little perplexed, but after a brief moment of contemplation, he still replied truthfully, "If it's the power of lightning, then I can indeed say that I'm rather proficient in it."
"Is that so? Your words carry no weight. Show me your skills and I'll be the one to decide whether you have the right to hear the third choice." The middle-aged man showed no intention of being swayed by Han Li's words.
"Sure," Han Li answered before gently flapping his wings.
A loud thunderclap immediately erupted as countless arcs of silver lightning abruptly surfaced over his wings. The lightning then intertwined before compressing to form a dozen or so silver balls of lightning around Han Li in the blink of an eye.
Each ball of lightning was comparable to the size of a human fist, and they were crackling and flashing erratically. The fearsome power imbued within these balls of lightning made the middle-aged man's pupils contract, and a hint of elation appeared on his face.
"You certainly weren't exaggerating! Your lightning prowess is indeed quite remarkable. You have the right to hear the final option. It's actually quite simple; you don't even need to offer anything in exchange for the Azure Shifting Fruit. All you have to do is help me tame a lightning-attribute spirit beast."
"Taming a spirit beast?" Han Li's eyes lit up with surprise and a hint of excitement.
"What? You think it's going to be easy? Truth be told, this spirit beast is rather special. I've already captured it alive, but I've been unable to tame it. I've enlisted the help of many people to try and tame it, but all of them have failed. In fact, there were quite a few of them with insufficient lightning powers, and were harmed by backlash from this spirit beast. However, with your proficiency in the power of lightning, it won't be impossible. I have to give you a disclaimer first, though; I don't accept any responsibility if you're injured or killed," the middle-aged man said in a meaningful voice.
"A lightning-attribute spirit beast? Would you be able to tell me what spirit beast that is, Senior?" Han Li asked with furrowed brows?
"I'm afraid I can't tell you that for now. If you do decide to help me, I can take you to see this beast, and you'll know what it is then." A cunning light flashed through the middle-aged man's eyes.
Han Li stroked his chin upon hearing this, and he was rather unsettled by this man's ambiguous reply, but he still quickly weighed up the situation.
This man was a late-Spatial Tempering cultivator, yet even he couldn't tame this spirit beast, so it had to be quite special in some way. However, he had been quite transparent about the situation aside from his reluctance to reveal just what this spirit beast was, so his offer did appear to be quite sincere.
Han Li only spoke again after a lengthy period of contemplation. "When you say 'tame', what exactly do you need me to do, Senior?"
"Your job will be to subdue it for me so it accepts my master recognition ceremony," the middle-aged man replied without any hesitation.
"If that's all I have to do, then I'd be willing to assist you, Senior," Han Li also replied quite quickly. "Good! I have to prepare some things in advance for the master recognition ceremony. Come back here to find me in four days," the shopkeeper said as a smile appeared on his face.
"I'll be sure do so. Farewell for now, Senior," Han Li said as he cupped his fist in a salute, then promptly departed from the shop.
The middle-aged stroked his goatee as he looked on in the direction that Han Li had departed toward, and a hint of excitement appeared in his eyes.
After exiting the shop, Han Li didn't immediately leave the exchange center. Instead, he returned to the stone pillar for information exchange, hoping to find some other items that would catch his fancy...
Han Li only left the exchange center with an elated expression on his face right on the cusp of closing time.
He had truly reaped bountiful rewards here. Aside from that advertisement for the Azure Sifting Fruit, there were also advertisements on the stone pillar selling many precious materials that were extremely rare among the human race. Some of them were tool refinement materials while others consisted of spirit medicines and spirit fruits.
There was one particular spirit medicine among them that was one of the main ingredients alongside the Golden Marrow Crystal Insect for refining the Provenance True Devil Projection.
That was naturally a source of elation for Han Li. If he could find the other two spirit medicines required, he'd have all of the ingredients he needed to manifest the true body.
With that in mind, Han Li flew into the distance as a streak of azure light.
The next day was going to the third day since he made his agreement with the grand elder of the Tian Peng Race. However, Han Li wore a faint smile as he flew through the air, seemingly having already forgotten about this agreement.