Han Li extended a respectful greeting, in response to which Qian Jizi merely waved a hand with a smile. "No need for formalities, Fellow Daoist Han." He then swept his spiritual sense toward Han Li, upon which his expression suddenly changed slightly. "Hmm? You've already reached the ninth tier, Fellow Daoist Han?"
Han Li heaved an internal sigh, but his expression remained unchanged as he replied, "I encountered some minor opportunities that allowed me to make these breakthroughs."
Even though his cultivation base had progressed to the pinnacle of the Spatial Tempering Stage, he had used a secret technique to conceal it, so Liu Shui'er and the others naturally failed to detect this.
As for Fairy Yue, she had progressed to the Body Integration Stage, but her progression was quite recent, so her spiritual sense was still inferior to Han Li's, and she naturally also failed to detect anything as a result.
As for the young man with the Weng surname, he was able to immediately identify Han Li's progression, but as a Grand Ascension Stage being, he naturally didn't pay much heed to this and didn't even bother to mention it.
As a late-Body Integration Stage being, Qian Jizi was also able to identify Han Li's progression.
The surprise on Qian Jizi's face quickly disappeared, and a calm smile returned. "Surely progressing two ranks in succession can't be referred to as a minor opportunity, hehe. In any case, I came here especially to see you, Fellow Daoist Han. Please come with me; there are two other people who would also like to see you."
"Two other people?" Han Li was naturally slightly taken aback to hear this.
"Indeed, but don't worry, these two are both acquaintances of yours, Fellow Daoist Han," Qian Jizi assured in a meaningful voice.
A series of thoughts rapidly raced through Han Li's mind upon hearing this, but his expression remained unchanged as he replied, "I'm naturally happy to comply with your wishes, Senior."
"Alright, then come with me." Qian Jizhi nodded in a pleased manner before turning and walking into the pavilion.
Han Li hesitated momentarily before also following along. He wasn't afraid that Qian Jizi would turn on him. After all, he was the elder of a race, and there were so many witnesses around, so he certainly wouldn't do something that would ruin his own reputation here in the Starcloud Pavilion.
With Qian Jizhi leading the way, the silver-robed guards on either side of the gate naturally granted them free passage.
Inside the pavilion was a large hall that was completely empty aside from a few small teleportation formations.
Qian Jizi led Han Li directly into one of the formations, and light flashed before Han Li found himself in another hall.
This hall was only just over 200 feet in size, and the teleportation formation underfoot lay at the direct center of the hall.
There were some tables and chairs positioned around the hall, and there were huge head-sized crystals embedded into the ceiling, releasing white light that illuminated the entire hall so that it was as bright as day.
Han Li cast his gaze around the hall, upon which his attention was immediately drawn to the four people in it.
There were two men and two women, two of whom were seated while the other two were standing. All of them were indeed acquaintances of his; they were Cai Liuying and Liu Shui'er, as well as Duan Tianren and Shi Kun.
Han Li was rather perplexed about why they would want to see him, but his expression remained unchanged as he extended a respectful salute. "Han Li pays his respects to Senior Cai and Senior Duan."
"Hehe, no need for formalities, Fellow Daoist Han. It was all thanks to you that Fellow Daoist Cai and I were able to secure the items we were looking for," Duan Tian replied as he appraised Han Li, upon which a hint of surprise flashed through his eyes.
It was quite clear that he had also identified the startling progress Han Li had made.
Cai Liuying hadn't said anything yet, but a peculiar look also flashed through her eyes.
"I was only doing what was expected of me; I'm not worthy of your gratitude, seniors," Han Li replied with a modest smile.
However, he was feeling a little befuddled by this situation. Qian Jizi was standing right beside him, but he wasn't surprised at all by what Duan Tianren was saying. It seemed that he already knew of their agreement.
"There's no need to be so modest, Fellow Daoist Han. I heard from my disciple that you're far more powerful than even we had anticipated, and if it weren't for your efforts, we wouldn't have been able to secure the treasures from the Vast Glacial Realm anywhere near as smoothly as we did. Now that you've made such significant progress in your cultivation base, your powers are most likely no less inferior to those of a holy race being, so you can refer to us as equals," Cai Liuying said with a smile.
Han Li faltered slightly upon hearing this before glancing at Qian Jizi and Duan Tianren, both of whom wore calm expressions and raised no objections to Cai Liuying's words.
A series of thoughts quickly raced through his mind, and he smiled as he asked, "I must've been called here for a reason right? Could it be that there are some difficulties surrounding the super teleportation formation, seniors?"
"We promised to let you use the formation, so we naturally won't go back on our word. Besides, Senior Weng has also spoken to us about this matter, and none of us would dare to go against his wishes," Qian Jizhi replied as he stroked his beard.
"Then..." Han Li could roughly deduce what he had been summoned here for, but he gave nothing away.
"Please don't misunderstand, Fellow Daoist. We heard from our disciples that you emptied the entire medicine garden within that restriction, and I'm sure many of the spirit medicines in there are extremely rare or even extinct in the Spirit Realm, and most of them would likely be very useful to holy-grade beings like us. You are indeed very powerful, but you haven't progressed to the holy race yet, so those spirit medicines won't be overly useful to you at the moment. As such, the three of us would like to propose a mutually beneficial exchange," Cai Liuying said with a smile.
"An exchange? What do you propose, seniors?" Han Li remained quite calm upon hearing this, and his calm demeanor came as a slight surprise to Qian Jizi and the others.
The three of them exchanged a glance before Duan Tianren cut straight to the chase. "All three of us have reputations to uphold, so we definitely won't force you into any unfair trades. The three of us each have some spirit pills that will assist in breaking through the holy-grade bottleneck, as well as some treasures and materials that will be of use to you, and we would like to use them to exchange for your spirit medicines. Those medicines must indeed be extremely precious, but I'm sure making a breakthrough to the holy grade is more important to you, Fellow Daoist Han."
"Pills that can assist in breaking the holy-grade bottleneck?" Han Li's expression changed slightly upon hearing this.
"Indeed. We all prepared large quantities of such pills back when we made our breakthroughs, and even though most of them were consumed during that process, the three of us combined naturally still have quite a few of these pills left. With these pills, your chances of making a successful breakthrough will be increased by at least 20% to 30%," Duan Tianren said in a proud manner.
"Of course, the amount of pills and treasures we're willing to offer will depend on the types and quantity of spirit medicines you obtained from the medicine garden," Cai Liuying added.
Liu Shui'er and Shi Kun were naturally already aware of the reason why Duan Tianren and the others had summoned Han Li here, and both of them were appraising him with envy in their eyes.
They had also received immense benefits from Duan Tianren and Cai Liuying following their return from the Vast Glacial Realm, but those benefits still couldn't compare with what was currently being offered to Han Li.
A hesitant look appeared on Han Li's face as he pondered this proposal.
Qian Jizi and the others also fell silent to allow Han Li to process the situation.
After a long while, Han Li finally exhaled as he made a decision. "I did indeed secure a large quantity of spirit medicines in the restriction, but most of them are completely unrecognizable to me. It would naturally be fantastic for me if I could exchange them for the aforementioned pills, but I'm not sure if the spirit medicines will be of interest to you."
"Rest assured, Fellow Daoist Han, the three of us have some experience, and I'm sure we'll be able to identify most of the spirit medicines. Even if we can't identify some of them, we'll be sure to do our best to give you a fair price," Qian Jizi hurriedly reassured. He was ecstatic that Han Li was willing to proceed with the exchange, as were Duan Tianren and Cai Liuying, who also made similar promises.
"In that case, I'll bring out the spirit medicines for inspection."
Han Li nodded before flicking his wrist, and a loud buzzing sound rang out from his storage bracelet as a burst of azure light erupted forth.
The azure light flashed through the air, upon which hundreds of jade boxes of different styles appeared, and all of them were shimmering with faint spiritual light.
Duan Tianren's eyes lit up as he made a grabbing motion toward the nearest jade box to him, and the lid of the box flew off on its own to reveal a crimson coral-like spirit plan that was around a foot in length and emitting a faint glow.
"What a massive Flame Coral Herb!" Duan Tianren exclaimed with a stunned look on his face.
Han Li's pupils contracted ever so slightly upon hearing this, but his expression remained unchanged. This was one of the spirit medicines that he had been unable to identify, and if he recalled correctly, he had collected about six of them in total. Out of all of them, he had only brought out one. Cai Liuying and Qian Jizi exchanged an excited glance upon seeing this before also beginning to carefully inspect the contents of the jade boxes.
As expected of holy-grade beings who had lived for over 10,000 years; most of the spirit medicines that Han Li couldn’t identify had been recognized by them, and judging from their elated reactions, these were clearly all extremely precious spirit medicines.
There were over 100 jade boxes that had been summoned, but the inspection of their contents was soon complete.
After Qian Jizi appraised the spirit flower in the final box, he put the flower back into the box in a slightly reluctant manner, then turned to Han Li with a smile. "These are indeed all spirit medicines that are very difficult to find in the Spirit Realm, but judging from the size of that medicine garden, I'm sure there would've been more spirit medicines in there. How much more do you have, Fellow Daoist Han? You can bring them all out for our inspection."