Chapter 2070: Golden Whale Bead
Despite her surprise, the purple-haired woman remained silent and merely continued to appraise Han Li's actions.
After that, Han Li took a rough glance at the remaining few wooden shelves and didn't delay any longer as he strode over to a certain wooden shelf in the final row. He then took a disk-like devilish treasure from the shelf before making his way out of the hall.
The purple-haired woman smiled upon seeing this, and said, "Taking that Yin Sifting Disk was a wise decision, Brother Han. With that thing up your sleeve, you won't have to worry about losing your way in the Illusion Howl Desert. Looks like you know more about the Illusion Howl Desert than I gave you credit for. Having said that, I'm rather surprised that you chose that piece of Foreign Devilish Metal."
"I'm refining a rather special devilish treasure at the moment that just so happens to require a piece of Foreign Devilish Metal of this size, so I naturally wasn't going to pass it up here," Han Li replied in a calm manner.
The purple-haired woman was unconvinced by this explanation, but she naturally wasn't going to pry any further. "In that case, I'm glad you found something that you were searching for. Let's leave the treasure vault now; the restrictions here have only been temporarily withdrawn, and they'll automatically reactivate soon."
Han Li nodded in response before making his way over to the purple-haired woman.
The woman waved a hand toward the hall, and the jade pendant that had vanished earlier reappeared before flying back toward her as a ball of white light.
The woman heaved a faint sigh of relief upon seeing this. Even though this was the lowliest of the Bai Family treasure vaults, it had still taken tens of thousands of years to accumulate all of these treasures, so she naturally didn't want anything to go wrong here.
"There's something I want to ask you, Fellow Daoist," Han Li suddenly said after he and the purple-haired woman emerged from the pavilion.
A hint of surprise flashed through the purple-haired woman's eyes upon hearing this, but she immediately disguised it, and smiled as she replied, "Go ahead, Brother Han; I consider us to be on friendly terms, so you can ask anything you like."
"I'd like to know where that piece of Foreign Devilish Metal in the treasure vault was mined and how it ended up in your Bai Family," Han Li said in a calm voice.
"Hehe, if you had asked about any other materials, I would perhaps need to enquire someone else, but you're certainly asking the right person if you want to know about that piece of Foreign Devilish Metal," the purple-haired woman chuckled.
Han Li was quite pleased to hear this, but his expression remained unchanged as he said, "Oh? Please enlighten me, Fellow Daoist."
The purple-haired woman took a brief glance at Han Li and was rather disappointed to see his lack of reaction, but she still replied, "Our Bai Family only recently acquired this piece of Foreign Devilish Metal, and as for its origins, you already know the answer to that."
"What do you mean?" Han Li was quite perplexed to hear this.
"Didn't you ask about the Bloodtooth Rice earlier? This piece of Foreign Devilish Metal was obtained through the same avenue. At the time, the piece of Bloodtooth Rice was the main item that we wanted, and this piece of Foreign Devilish Metal was only a secondary item in the exchange," the purple-haired woman explained.
"I see. In that case, there's a good chance that this piece of Foreign Devilish Metal could originate from the same area where the Bloodtooth Rice was grown," Han Li said with a contemplative stroke of his own chin.
"I can't guarantee that; all I can tell you is that the people that we obtained the Bloodtooth Rice from were most likely from the Blue Waterfall Lake," the woman replied.
"Thank you, Fellow Daoist; you've done me a great favor," Han Li said as he cupped his fist in a salute.
"Don't mention it; I still haven't had a chance to thank you for saving me back at the mine," the woman said with a nonchalant smile.
After that, the two of them made their way back to the original hall, and Han Li chatted with the purple-haired woman and burly man for a while longer before taking his leave.
On this occasion, the two of them accompanied Han Li all the way to the entrance of the fortress before returning to the hall together.
"Which three treasures did that man choose, Sister?" the burly man asked as soon as he took a seat.
"A Golden Whale Bead, a piece of Foreign Devilish Metal, and a Yin Sifting Disk," the purple-haired woman replied.
"Hmm? That's rather strange; those definitely aren't the most precious treasures in the vault," the burly man remarked as his brows furrowed slightly.
"I also found it to be quite strange. I can understand the Golden Whale Bead and Yin Sifting Disk, but that piece of Foreign Devilish Metal really shouldn't be of much interest to beings of our caliber," the purple-haired woman mused.
"Did he say anything about it?"
"He gave me a generic excuse and glossed over the matter completely, but he asked me about where we obtained the piece of Foreign Devilish Metal from," the purple-haired woman replied.
"In that case, he must be interested in obtaining quite a quite a large amount of Foreign Devilish Metal, but if I recall correctly, there are several shops in Illusion Night City where Foreign Devilish Metal is sold, yet he hasn't purchased this metal from any of those shops." The burly man was still quite perplexed.
"Could it be that there's something special about that particular piece of Foreign Devilish Metal?" The purple-haired woman had unintentionally struck the nail on the head.
"What could be special about it? We both examined that piece of Foreign Devilish Metal before it was placed in the treasure vault; the only thing remarkable about it is its size!" the burly man immediately replied with a shake of his head.
"So be it, regardless of what underlying reasons there are, it doesn't have anything to do with our Bai Family anyway. You need to recover from the battles in the mine, so go into seclusion for a while; I'll take care of everything in the meantime to prevent the other families from trying anything," the purple-haired woman said with a smile.
"That's true. Regardless of what that man is plotting, it doesn't matter to us as long as he bears no ill will toward our Bai Family. I'll go into seclusion tomorrow and leave everything to you then," the burly man also said with a smile.
By the time Han Li returned to the pavilion he was staying in, it was already close to nighttime.
Zhu Guo'er was elated to see Han Li again. Without Han Li's protection, she would most likely be enslaved by someone else soon. Even though Han Li had searched her soul once, he hadn't abused her in any way thereafter, so she naturally didn't want to switch to a different master who could potentially treat her far worse than Han Li did.
Han Li quickly dismissed her, then activated all of the restrictions he had set up before taking a seat on a futon.
After that, he flipped a hand over to produce a jade box, then swept a sleeve toward it, releasing a burst of azure light that stripped away the talismans plastered to the box.
The lid of the box was opened, revealing a shimmering golden thumb-sized bead. The surface of the bead was very smooth, and it was giving off a faint rank odor.
Han Li flicked a finger toward the bead, and a speck of azure light sprang forth before vanishing into the bead in a flash.
Moments later, the sound of crashing ocean waves rang out from the bead, following which it released a burst of gentle golden light, which transformed into a miniature golden whale projection that began to dance around the bead.
The projection was only around a foot in size, but it was extremely life-like.
Han Li's expression remained unchanged upon seeing this, but he suddenly extended a pristine white hand out of his sleeve, then reached into the golden light to grab onto the bead.
Magic power was injected incessantly into the bead, and in the next instant, the golden whale projection suddenly swelled drastically to over 100 feet in length, filling up virtually the entire top floor of the pavilion.
At the same time, a golden horn that was around a foot in length had appeared on the whale projection's head, and golden scales of different sizes had emerged all over its body, giving it a very menacing appearance.
A pleased look appeared on Han Li's face as he released the bead and ceased his magic power output.
The whale projection instantly disintegrated into specks of golden light, and the golden bead also returned to normal.
Han Li placed the bead back into the jade box, then reapplied the talismans before stowing it away into his storage bracelet.
He had naturally chosen this Golden Whale Bead for a reason, but it was yet to be seen whether he would truly be able to make use of it.
However, the greatest reward he had reaped was not this precious spirit bead. Instead, it was that head-sized piece of Foreign Devilish Metal.
As soon as the thought of that piece of devilish metal crossed his mind, a rare hint of excitement flashed through his eyes, and he took a deep breath before releasing the piece of metal out of his storage bracelet.
The piece of devilish metal hovered before him, and he slashed a finger toward it.
A streak of azure light swept forth in a flash, slicing the piece of metal in half and revealing an egg-sized object.
He made a grabbing motion to draw the object into his grasp, and it was revealed to be a grey crystalline ball.
The excitement in Han Li's eyes became even more pronounced at this sight of this crystalline ball, and he slowly reached out toward it in a careful manner.
During this process, the sleeve around his arm was torn away, and a series of golden shimmering scales appeared over his skin, making his arm significantly thicker than before.