Han Li only had to take a brief glance at the four cultivators to ascertain their condition, and he calmly remarked, "It looks like the four of you still haven't quite recovered from the ordeal you suffered in the primordial world."
"Your discerning eye is truly unmatched, Senior! We suffered injuries that were quite severe back then, and our cultivation bases are quite mediocre, so we're only close to halfway recovered," the scholarly man replied in a truthful manner.
Following a brief moment of contemplation, Han Li flipped a hand over to produce four faint green jade vials, and said, "In that case, I have a few vials of pills here that the four of you can take. Refine the power of the pills and meditate for half a month or so, and you should be fully recovered."
"Thank you for your kindness, Senior!" The four cultivators hurriedly bowed again to express their gratitude.
They strode forward before taking a jade vial each, then removing the lids, and a strong medicinal fragrance immediately permeated throughout the entire hall. Even just a single whiff of this fragrance made them feel completely reinvigorated.
The four cultivators were even more ecstatic, and they knew that the spirit pills in the vials were quite extraordinary and were perhaps even more efficacious that Han Li had proclaimed.
The scholarly man knew that Han Li couldn't have come here just for a simple visit, so he stowed the spirit medicine away before asking, "Why have you graced us with a visit today, Senior? Is there something we can do for you?"
"I do indeed have something for you to do. It's quite a simple task, but it'll take a rather long time and requires you to stay in Deep Heaven City for a while. Will that be an issue? Of course, I won't ask you to do this for me free of charge," Han Li replied in a calm manner.
The task that Han Li had in mind for them didn't seem to be a dangerous one, and the scholarly man was quite relieved. He said, "Rest assured, Senior, the four of us have no plans to leave Deep Heaven City for the next century, so you can feel free to assign any task to us. If it's within our capabilities, we'll be sure to accept the task."
"In that case, I'll go right ahead, then. I'm not sure if you recall a female cultivator by the name of Nangong Wan that I mentioned to you before. Help me check if this woman is in Deep Heaven City. She's an ascended cultivator, so she may have changed her name. I'll be leaving you a jade slip that contains her portrait so you can identify her if you see her. If you can't find her in Deep Heaven City, then please keep an eye out for her for the next 100 years or so. If you can find her, I'll be sure to reward you handsomely," Han Li said with a faint smile.
"That's no problem at all. We have some friends here in Deep Heaven City; if this Nangong Wan appears in the city, we'll be sure to find her for you," the scholarly man replied in a respectful manner.
"Good. Aside from that, I also have another task that I need to entrust to you. I'm preparing to refine a batch of pills, but I require a lot of ingredients, most of which are rather uncommon and can't be gathered in a short time even in Deep Heaven City. I'm planning to take a long trip in the near future, so I can only ask the four of you to source those ingredients in my stead. Here are some spirit stones; they should be enough to cover the costs of the ingredients. On top of that, here are a few treasures that I obtained by chance; you can have them as well," Han Li said as he swept a sleeve over the table beside him.
Spiritual light of different colors flashed, and four jade boxes of different sizes appeared alongside a black leather pouch.
The four cultivators couldn't help but exchange a surprised glance, and after conversing briefly through voice transmission, they also accepted this task in a respectful manner.
After that, the scholarly man pardoned himself for the intrusion before approaching Han Li and picking up the leather pouch. He then swept his spiritual sense into it, upon which his expression changed drastically.
The other three cultivators faltered slightly upon seeing this before turning to Han Li with bewilderment in their eyes, but Han Li's expression remained unchanged as if he hadn't seen their reactions.
The scholarly man hurriedly smoothed out his own expression, and said, "Forgive me, Senior, I was stunned by the number of top-grade spirit stones in the pouch. It seems that the ingredients you're looking to purchase must indeed be quite rare. However, seeing as you're willing to entrust this duty to us, we'll be sure to do our best to complete this task."
The scholarly man then carefully stowed the leather pouch away, then hesitated momentarily before picking up one of the jade boxes on the table.
He removed the lid, and a burst of white light swept forth, revealing a white jade fan that was covered in runes and shimmering with spiritual light.
The scholarly man picked the fan up before waving it through the air, and a series of fan projections immediately emerged before him while a burst of astonishing spiritual pressure swept forth.
"This Mountain River Fan possesses both wind and earth attribute powers. It can strike your enemy with devastating invisible force even from over 1,000 feet away," Han Li said with a smile.
The scholarly man immediately extended another ecstatic bow of gratitude.
The other three cultivators also picked up a jade box each before opening them in an excited manner. As a result, they discovered that the boxes contained a pair of silver bracelets, a colorful handkerchief, and a profound ice flying dagger.
These four treasures were all useless to Han Li, but to these four Deity Transformation cultivators, these were treasures that they could only dream of, and all of them eagerly expressed their gratitude.
Of course, after taking Han Li's treasures, they had officially agreed to carry out Han Li's requests.
As for whether these four were going to simply take the spirit stones and run away without completing those tasks, Han Li wasn't worried about that at all. He had already conducted some research into these four, and they were relatively renowned in this city.
On top of that, none of them were vagrant cultivators; they each belonged to a certain family or sect, all of which would be quite easy to track down. As such, as long as these four weren't completely short-sighted idiots, they wouldn't do something so stupid. Otherwise, they'd be plunging those close to them into a world of trouble.
In order to further stamp his authority on these four cultivators, Han Li casually told them about how he had progressed to the Body Integration Stage recently, and demonstrated his ability to easily control the world's origin Qi, an ability that only Body Integration cultivators possessed.
The four cultivators were naturally completely stunned, and there was certainly no way that they'd try to plot against Han Li now.
After departing from the pavilion, Han Li flew away as a streak of azure light toward the massive stone towers that he had once lived in as a Deep Heaven Guard.
Not long after that, Han Li appeared near one of the stone towers, and he looked on at the guards entering and exiting the tower with a nostalgic look on his face.
This stone tower was none other than the one he had lived in as a Dark Azure Guard, and even though centuries had passed, everything was still the same as it had been back then.
Han Li took a deep breath, and the reminiscent look in his eyes faded as he flew toward the stone tower.
At the entrance of the stone tower were a dozen or so Black Iron Guards and two Dark Azure Guards. The approaching Han Li clearly wasn't a Deep Heaven Guard, and all of them turned toward him with suspicious looks in their eyes.
Han Li continued to approach these guards in a calm manner, but at the same time, he released his Body Integration Stage aura without making any attempt to conceal it.
Even though he had only released a wisp of his aura, the massive disparity in cultivation base still caused the two Dark Azure Guards to sway unsteadily on their feet. The Black Iron Guards fared even worse as all of them stumbled back several steps before steadying themselves.
"Body Integration!" a Dark Azure Guard exclaimed.
"Is that you, Fellow Daoist Han?" An astonished look appeared on the other Dark Azure Guard's face as he appraised Han Li.
This man clearly recognized Han Li.
Han Li was rather taken aback by this, and he focused his gaze on the elderly man to find that he was rather familiar.
After a brief pause for contemplation, he managed to identify the man. "You're Fellow Daoist Yue, right?"
"Fellow Dao... No, Senior Han, you..." The elderly man looked as if he had seen a ghost, and even he himself felt as if he were in a dream.
The other Dark Azure Guard was also quite stunned, but he hurriedly extended a respectful bow, and asked, "You don't seem to be an elder of Deep Heaven City, Senior. May I ask your name? And is there something we can do for you? Do you recognize this senior, Brother Yue?"
However, the elderly man was clearly still too astonished to muster up a response.
"Is Fairy Xu of the Dark Azure Guard in the tower right now?" Han Li asked.
The Dark Azure Guard was quite perplexed by the elderly man's flabbergasted reaction, but he still replied in a respectful manner, "Fellow Daoist Xu has just left the city to go on patrol duty, so it'll most likely be a few days before she returns."
Han Li's brows furrowed before his expression immediately returned to normal, and he said, "In that case, I won't go in, then. Please pass on a message to Fairy Xu for me when she comes back; tell her that I'll be waiting for her in the Immortal Gathering Pavilion. As for my identity, Fellow Daoist Yue knows all about it, so I won't waste any time with self-introductions."
He then cupped his fist in a salute toward the elderly man before flying away as a streak of azure light.
All of the guards bowed in a respectful manner as he departed.
"Who is that Senior Han, Brother Yue? Why are you so astonished?" After the azure streak of light vanished into the distance, the Dark Azure Guard turned around, only to discover that the elderly man was still completely rooted to the spot, and he was slightly displeased.
The elderly man finally managed to regain some semblance of composure, and replied, "He's here to look for Fairy Xu, so there's no mistaking it; it really is him. Forgive me for my lack of composure, Brother Ding, but 300 years ago, this Senior Han was still a Dark Azure Guard like us. Back when I last saw him, he was still only at the mid-Deity Transformation Stage."
"He was a Dark Azure Guard 300 years ago? Surely you jest, Brother Yue!" the Dark Azure Guard exclaimed in an incredulous manner.
"You only joined Deep Heaven City around 200 years ago, so it's no surprise that you don't recognize him. Back in the day, Senior Han and I were both Dark Azure Guards, and even though we weren't exactly close friends, I was saved by him once. This Senior Han was extremely renowned among us Dark Azure Guards 300 years ago as he had slain Spatial Tempering Stage foreign beings as a Deity Transformation cultivator. After that, he seemed to have been given some kind of mysterious mission and disappeared after entering the primordial world. I'm truly astonished that he's managed to progress all the way to the Body Integration Stage from the Deity Transformation Stage," the elderly man sighed with undisguised astonishment and envy in his voice.