Han Li had originally planned to disguise himself before selling off some of his spirit medicines and spirit herbs in exchange for spirit stones.
However, after what had just happened, he had become the center of everyone's attention, so he naturally wouldn't be able to act according to his initial plan.
As such, following a brief moment of contemplation, he departed from the side hall, seemingly in a calm manner. He then arrived at a plot of empty land reserved for beast-drawn carriages to park at, then cast a solemn gaze across the street.
When he had first arrived, he hadn't noticed this so-called Rich Aroma Pavilion, but now that he was actively searching for it, he discovered that there really was such a place.
The pavilion wasn't very large, but it was situated almost directly across from the auction house. The building was three levels tall, and there was a sign hanging above the door with flowing and elegant text inscribed upon it.
After a brief moment of observation, Han Li discovered that in contrast with all of the other nearby buildings, which were all quite lively and bustling, there was no one entering or exiting the pavilion at all.
This was the place that Duan Tianren had asked him to go to.
Han Li was feeling rather hesitant about how to proceed. The auction wasn't going to commence for some time, and before ascertaining Duan Tianren's true intentions, he wouldn't be able to focus on the auction anyway.
As such, he suddenly rustled a sleeve, and his hand reached out from within as he appraised it in an expressionless manner.
The hand was inky-black in color, and it was none other than the hand in which the Divine Essencefused Mountain had been infused.
Han Li's brows furrowed slightly.
Duan Tianren had done his best to disguise this, but through the use of his spirit eye ability, Han Li was still able to see that his gaze had almost been focused entirely on this sleeve of his.
However, he didn't know whether it was just his hand that had caught Duan Tianren's interest or his entire arm instead.
If it were the former, then he was most likely interested in the Divine Essencefused Mountain, but if it were the latter...
Han Li's heart sank slightly as a realization dawned on him.
At the thought of his arm, Han Li abruptly raised his other hand and stroked a certain section of his arm through his sleeve.
Even though he couldn't sense anything amiss in that arm, it was undeniably true that the longsword that the Profound Heavenly Fruit had transformed into was sealed within his arm.
Could it be that Duan Tianren had managed to detect the existence of that sword?
Han Li was growing more and more uneasy as he followed this train of thought.
He was still oblivious to the fact that the many races, including the human race and the Flying Spirit Race had been indirectly affected by this profound heavenly treasure, and nor was he aware that some smaller races had even been entirely slain to facilitate a blood sacrifice due to this. However, he had witnessed the power of the sword in person, and he knew that if he could use the sword at will someday without crippled by it, he'd essentially be invincible in the Spirit Realm.
As such, even though he had only used the sword once, it had already become one his biggest secrets, second only to that mysterious small vial and it was even more important to him than his mature Gold Devouring Beetles.
However, it wasn't very likely that this Stone Cocoon Race elder had actually managed to detect the presence of the profound heavenly treasure within his body. Otherwise, Qian Jizi would've been able to detect it as well.
Even though the profound heavenly treasure was sealed within his arm, even he couldn't detect its presence unless attempted to wield it.
Of course, it wasn't impossible that Duan Tianren possessed some kind of special secret technique that allowed him to detect the profound heavenly treasure.
In any case, he was no march for a being at the pinnacle of the Body Integration Stage as he currently was, and even without the wisp of spiritual power that Duan Tianren had injected into his body, it would be next to impossible for him to escape from the heavily guarded Cloud City anyway. Hence, he essentially had no choice but to do as he was told regardless of whether it would spell fortune or disaster for him.
Thus, after hesitating for a long while, Han Li finally gritted his teeth and made his way toward the Rich Aroma Pavilion.
Thankfully, even if Duan Tianren really were interested in his profound heavenly treasure, there was no immediate threat to his life.
Han Li made his way into the Rich Aroma Pavilion in a slightly resigned manner to find that there was a handsome young Crystal being standing inside by the entrance.
This was a Core Formation Stage Crystal being, and he immediately greeted Han Li with a smile as he said, "Senior Li, right? Elder Duan has already been waiting in the fourth VIP booth for a long time. Please come with me, Senior."
Han Li glanced around at the first level of the pavilion, and a hint of surprise appeared in his eyes, but he merely nodded, and said, "Lead the way."
The entire hall around him was completely empty without any ornaments or furniture at all, and the walls were constructed from some kind of unknown material that was flashing with faint blue light.
Thus, the Crystal being led Han Li up a staircase, and a short while later, Han Li found himself on the third floor of the pavilion, standing in front of a booth that was enshrouded under faint golden light.
The Crystal being stopped there and made a hand seal before raising a hand toward the door of the booth.
A burst of silver light immediately shot forth from within his sleeve, following which he stepped away to the side in a respectful manner.
Moments later, a voice sounded from within the booth.
"Seeing as you're already here, then come in."
Han Li was rather bewildered to hear this voice as it belonged to a woman.
Right at this moment, golden flashed up ahead, the and door to the booth slowly opened of its own accord.
After a brief hesitation, Han Li strode into the booth, and the door swung shut again amid another flash of golden light.
"I pay my respects to my two Seniors!" Han Li cupped his fist in a calm salute after cast his gaze around the booth.
This was an antiquated room that was over 100 feet in size, and there were two beings sitting beside a table in there.
One of them was Duan Tianren, while the other was a Crystal Race beauty who appeared to be in her thirties, and she was at the early-Body Integration Stage.
The female voice that Han Li had heard earlier undoubtedly belonged to this woman.
"No need for excessive formalities, Fellow Daoist Li; please take a seat," the woman said with a smile.
Meanwhile, Duan Tianren was pouring wine directly into his mouth from a pink wine flagon, and he showed no sign of stopping even as he glanced at Han Li out of the corner of his eye.
Even for Han Li, who very rarely consumed alcoholic beverages, the rich fragrant aroma emanating from the wine was quite tempting to him.
Thus, after extending another respectful salute, Han Li took a seat on one of the other chairs in the booth.
At this moment, the woman turned to appraise Han Li, and he could sense that her gaze paused momentarily when it traveled to his sleeve.
It appeared that Duan Tianren had to have told her something.
Han Li's brows furrowed slightly, and he felt as if he had landed himself in a lot of hot water. All of the Crystal beings were extremely intelligent, and high-grade Crystal beings that could cultivate to the Body Integration Stage were all supremely prodigious beings.
As such, it wouldn't be easy to try and swindle these two.
Duan Tianren finally finished the contents of the entire wine flagon before wiping his mouth with his sleeve as he said, "Alright, he's here, and I've told you everything I need to tell you. The rest is up to you now, Fairy Cai. I'm just a thick-skulled idiot, so using my brain certainly isn't my forte, but I have to get the biggest share out of the things that we obtain in the end."
"There's no rush, Brother Duan. I've only heard a verbal account from you, so I have to verify the specific details for myself," the woman said with a smile.
"You can do whatever you want. In any case, I've verified it in person, and I'm sure it's real. By the way, your Nine Fragrance Spirit Wine is becoming more and more delectable by the day; get me another flagon, will you?" Duan Tianren waved the empty wine flagon in his hand in a demanding manner.
"Do you really think my Rich Aroma Pavilion is a pub, Brother Duan? It takes 100 years just to brew around 10 jugs of this Nine Aroma Spirit Wine, and you've already drunk three flagons. Next time you come here, I can only bring out some ordinary spirit wine for you." The woman rolled her eyes at Duan Tianren, but she still complied in the end. A green wine jug appeared in her hands amid a flash of spiritual light, and she refilled the pink wine flagon in Duan Tianren's hand.
"Haha, that's because you're the only one in Cloud City who knows how to brew this wine. I've asked to purchase the brewing method from you on several occasions, but you refuse to sell it to me. It really is quite strange how you're able to brew the finest spirit wine in the entire Cloud City when you don't even drink wine yourself," Duan Tianren said with an amused smile after downing another large mouthful of wine.
"I never proclaimed that my wine is the best in Cloud City; this is merely an honorary title given to me by other fellow Daoists. On top of that, I'm not refusing to give you the brewing method because I'm stingy. Instead, it's because the brewing method is closely related to the cultivation arts that I'm using, so you wouldn't be able to brew this Nine Aroma Spirit Wine even if I were to give you the method," the woman chuckled.
Duan Tianren merely smiled in response before continuing to chug down wine without offering a reply.
Meanwhile, the woman flipped a hand over to produce a fist-sized golden cup, which she filled with wine from her jug before offering it to Han Li.
The cup was enveloped by a ball of green light and slowly hovered toward him.
"The fact that you've come here today shows that you must have some affinity with my Rich Aroma Pavilion; why don't you have some Nine Aroma Spirit Wine as well?" the woman said with a smile as Han Li reflexively caught the cup of wine.
"Thank you, Senior," Han Li replied in a grateful manner, but he didn't immediately down the contents of the cup. Instead, he looked down at the golden cup in his hand to find that this so-called Nine Aroma Spirit Wine was translucent and viscous, and slightly pink in color. With the golden cup acting as a backdrop, it was as if he were holding a mesmerizing miniature lake filled with agate rocks.
There was also a unique aroma wafting from the wine in the cup, and as he took a faint whiff, the aroma changed several times in an instant, presenting quite an extraordinary phenomenon.
"Not only is my spirit wine extremely aromatic, consumption of it can clear the eyes and cleanse the body. Each and every mouthful of wine can save you over a month of arduous cultivation," the woman introduced.
"I am extremely fortunate to be able to taste such extraordinary wine." At this point, Han Li had also ascertained that the wine in the cup hadn't been tampered with, so he raised the cup to his lips to take a sip.
He felt as if a block of glacial ice had entered his mouth, immediately following which the block of ice melted and turned into a warm liquid that extremely smooth and aromatic.
The captivating aroma then slid down his throat and into his stomach, even without the need for Han Li to actively swallow.