Chapter 161: Market City
After several restless nights of troubled sleep, Han Li carefully mulled over his thoughts of self-preservation and the thought of forever losing the opportunity for his Immortal path and his willingness to face unknown danger to reach Foundation Establishment. He gradually became inclined to the latter. After all, he had not resigned to have such an ordinary life!
However, his cautious nature caused him to rush a trip to Yue Lu Hall. After he confirmed the bitter reality of the Trial by Blood and Fire and the lack of heavenly spiritual medicines outside of the area with the greedy old man, he thoroughly abandoned his wishful thinking.
Since he clearly understood that he had no path of retreat, Han Li was fiercely determined to give his all in the Forbidden Trial by Blood and Fire. He would either find the spiritual medicines within that would allow him to reach Foundation Establishment or fall to his death in the struggle within the forbidden area.
With the determination to either live or die, Han Li began his preparations to travel to the forbidden area in half a year. Within this short time, he had to further his strength in order to improve his chances to survive.
It was impossible for him to reach the eleventh layer of the Eternal Spring Arts without the assistance of medicine pills. If he wanted to increase his strength, he could only learn a few new magic techniques and purchase a few powerful talismans and magic tools.
New magic techniques were not much of a problem. In all likelihood, if he were to mention it to Senior Martial Brother Wu, he wouldn’t refuse to teach him. However, with his aptitude, he would only be able to either learn two elementary low-grade magic techniques or a mid-grade magic technique in half a year. As for elementary high-grade magic techniques, it would be better not to think of them. Thus the quickest way to increase his strength would be by using talismans and magic tools.
Regarding magic tools, Han Li currently had a few. As for magic tools that could be used in combat, apart from the ring and the small black flag that Martial Uncle Ye gave him, he also had the long saber capable of turning into a rope and the gourd that could release automatically-attacking spheres that he got from the two yellow-clothed men who tried to kill and rob him.
As for when he entered the sect, he received a Fierce Sun Sword and Cold Moon Saber. They were simply the lowest level of magic tools, capable of attacking with a bit of flames and cold Qi. They were fundamentally unimpressive.
As for talismans, Han Li was originally extremely lacking in them. Fortunately, from the goods that the shady Martial Uncle Ye didn’t embezzle from him, he had quite a few talismans. He was truly given over ten elementary mid-grade talismans and two rarely-seen high-grade talismans, greatly increasing his confidence.
Furthermore, Han Li still had the small sword talisman that he still didn’t know what do with. In fear, the yellow-clothed man he beheaded called this a talisman treasure. It should have a grand origin. It would simply be seen as stolen property, so he didn’t dare to let others know of this talisman. He kept the two words “Treasure Talisman” in his head a secret and intended to find an opportunity to ask others about it.
Naturally, when facing the extremely terrible “Forbidden Trial by Blood and Fire”, having only these objects was certainly not enough. As a result, Han Li planned to leave the sect mountains and make a trip to a nearby sect’s market city to buy a few top quality magic tools and talismans.
However, he didn’t have the backing of many spirit stones. This purchasing trip was certain to not go as one would wish.
Although Han Li had quite a few spirit stones he could use, in his future trip to the forbidden area, these spirit stones were important support in a prolonged fight, causing him to be quite reluctant about parting with them.
A few thoughts later, Han Li decided to cultivate a few precious thousand-year medicinal herbs in the little time he had to exchange for spirit stones or to simply barter.
Actually, creating a few Face Setting Pills would probably be better, perhaps slightly increasing the value of the thousand-year medicinal herbs. However, Face Setting Pills truly required too many medicinal ingredients. There was not enough time to actually collect all the materials. As a result, he could only directly use drug ingredients to exchange.
But in order to not arouse suspicion from the sect, Han Li inwardly decided that he would only sell the cultivated medicine ingredients to cultivators outside the sect. Were he to directly use medicinal ingredients to do business in the sect, he was certain to arouse the attention of others.
As a result, with a plan in mind, Han Li began to work.
He first visited Wu Feng and picked the most practical elementary magic technique, “Qi Restraining Technique”. It was an auxiliary-type elementary mid-grade magic spell that could resist the Heaven’s Eye Technique. As long as this technique was used beforehand, one would not appear to the naked eye and one’s Qi would be completely restrained. Its purpose was to conceal one’s self.
Naturally, this magic technique was of no use against experts at Foundation Establishment or above. It was, however, completely effective against the high-layer cultivators of Qi Condensation. This technique was far more practical compared to the “Body Concealment Technique”.
However, the reason why Han Li didn’t pick any attack or defense-type magic techniques was completely due to his own true combat experience.
Because of the time when he fought other cultivators in close combat, he discovered that in a fight between cultivators, there were far too few opportunities to completely execute the incantations of mid-grade magic techniques. There were far more opportunities to use magic tools and the low-grade magic techniques with the shortest execution time. Talisman methods were the next quickest in defending and attacking. That was why in a battle, it was more practical to use talismans rather than mid-grade magic techniques or higher. Naturally, if one had a companion that fought for time to cast a magic technique, that was a different argument.
When Han Li obtained the cultivation incantation of this technique, he detailedly asked Wu Feng the specifics of cultivating this technique and then began to practice it with his heart and soul. However, as a mid-grade magic technique, this Restraining Qi Technique was completely different compared to the auxiliary magic techniques he previously learned, such as the “Imperial Flight Technique” and the “Body Concealment Technique”. Its cultivation was extremely difficult. It seemed that completely mastering it within half a year was truly no small challenge.
Like that, Han Li bitterly cultivated the “Qi Restraining Technique” during the day, and gathered green liquid and concentrated on cultivating several often-used spiritual grasses during the night. In addition, in order to prevent Martial Senior Ma from discovering these medicinal herbs, he specially staggered the cultivation of the medicines between the periods he arrived to pick up the medicine ingredients. He also planted the medicine in the most remote corners of the garden. After all, the scent of herbs a thousand years old or more stood out quite a bit.
However, it was fortunate that this Senior Martial Senior had always come to collect right on schedule. He was neither early or late, and would hurriedly arrive and hurriedly leave. He seemed to be completely busy, though Han Li didn’t know what he was busy with.
Han Li had no interest in what the old man was doing. He would say it was for the best that Martial Senior Ma was continuously busy. With no chance of interference by snooping, Han Li was allowed to cultivate medicine at a larger scale.
By the time Han Li initially grasped the “Qi Restraining Technique”, four months had already passed.
He also eventually cultivated two thousand-year old spiritual medicines. It was believed that medicinal ingredients of a hundred or more years were difficult to find in the current cultivation world. They were certain to produce a small and pleasant surprise in the market city.
Han Li received a command medallion allowing him to exit the sect mountains from his acquaintance, the Hundred Opportunities Hall’s Honored Disciple Yu.
Actually, the disciples of Yellow Maple Valley had the chance to leave once a year. However, as cultivators wouldn’t want to squander this period of time by going out, the disciples who took the opportunity were very few in number.
After Han Li flew out of the sect mountains’ large restrictive formation, he flew to the northeast, straight toward the market city.
With this said, Yellow Maple Valley’s market city had quite the reputation. It was more prosperous than any other sect’s market cities.
Because the Tai Yue Mountain Range that spanned over the Jian Province was close to the northern State of Yuan Wu and there was a non-hostile relationship between the cultivation world of the State of Yuan Wu and the cultivation world of the State of Yue, cultivators from the State of Yuan Wu would come to Yellow Maple Valley’s market city to do business and bring many unusual goods not present in the State of Yue. It could not be said that it was not an unexpected and nice surprise, attracting quite a few rogue cultivators and cultivation clans to the city.
This market city was established in the northeast of the Tai Yue Mountain Range. That was why Han Li arrived there after flying for more than half a day.
When he grew near, Han Li didn’t immediately rush over. Instead, he changed his gray cloth jacket and all the garments on his body that would identify him as a Yellow Maple Valley disciple. After he was done, he appeared as if he were a common cultivator. Then he walked over to the market city.
According to the code of conduct of the cultivation world, cultivators were not allowed to fly within five li of the market city, which was why Han Li encountered many hurried travelers traveling on foot throughout his journey. Among these travelers, there were many who dressed very peculiarly, causing Han Li to suspect that they were cultivators from the State of Yuan Wu. It seemed that this market city was quite popular.
While Han Li was blindly pondering, he had already arrived at the entrance to the market city.