Chapter 2271: Xue Ran and Hei Lin
The elderly man faltered slightly upon hearing this. "What do you mean by that, Fellow Daoist Han?"
"If you mean no disrespect to us, then why have you welcomed us with a mere clone?" Han Li asked.
"Clone?" It was Mo Jianli's turn to be surprised now.
He hurriedly swept his spiritual sense toward the elderly man, but all he could sense was that the elderly man's aura was unfathomable to him, and his expression immediately darkened.
The elderly man was rather taken aback, and after staring at Han Li for a short while, he chuckled, "You have an exceptional eye, Fellow Daoist Han; I must say, I'm truly impressed. However, the fact that I mean no disrespect to the two of you still remains true. I'm sure that you've heard prior to your arrival that I'm currently in seclusion, and that is the truth. My true body is indeed currently in seclusion and unable to meet you two, which was why I had to send this clone. Truth be told, I was planning to meet with Fellow Daoist Xue Ran and Fellow Daoist Hei Lin using this clone as well," the white-robed elderly man admitted.
Mo Jianli's expression changed slightly upon hearing this, and he was just about to say something when an unfamiliar male voice rang out from outside the pavilion.
"You were planning to greet us with a mere clone? Where is your sincerity, Brother Spirit? Could it be that you're in a seclusion of life and death? Otherwise, are we not worthy of an audience with your true body"
As soon as the voice trailed off, two dark-skinned figures foreign beings with a layer of scales covering half of their bodies strode into the hall.
The two of them were quite similar in appearance, and one of them had a layer of baleful crimson light enveloping his entire body, while the had countless balls of black Qi revolving around him, forming countless tiny vortexes that were drawing in the nearby world's origin Qi incessantly.
"Forgive me for not coming out to greet you sooner, fellow daoists. I'm currently not in a seclusion of life and death, but this seclusion is very important nonetheless, and it will all be for naught if I come out too early," the white-robed elderly man explained with a smile.
"Hmph, I should teach you a..."
One of the foreign beings immediately flared up with rage, but his companion cut him off, and said, "It's alright, Brother Hei; we're not here to make friends anyway, so what does it matter if this isn't Brother Spirit's true body as long as he can give us what we want? Let's not waste any time with pointless arguments. By the way, who are these two fellow daoists, Brother Spirit? You never mentioned that you invited others for this deal."
Xue Ran cast a cold gaze toward Han Li and Mo Jianli as he spoke, and even with his Grand Ascension Stage powers, Mo Jianli felt a chill run down his spine in response to the Xue Ran's gaze.
It was clear that Xue Ran had cultivated some type of spiritual sense secret technique that posed a threat even to Grand Ascension Stage beings. Otherwise, just his gaze alone wouldn't have such an intimidatory effect.
As for Han Li, he remained completely unmoved by Xue Ran's gaze, and the two foreign beings exchanged a surprised glance upon seeing this, following which the disdain on their faces receded slightly.
"Allow me to explain, Fellow Daoist Xue Ran. Tracing back to the beginning, you two weren't even the first people I approached for this deal. Instead, it was Fellow Daoist Shi Xin. Even though Fellow Daoist Shi Xin has perished, Fellow Daoist Han and Fellow Daoist Mo have brought his token to me, so I naturally couldn't refuse them. Thankfully, I have enough Sanqing Lightning Talismans for all of you, but you'll have to give me what I want in exchange," the elderly man said in an unhurried manner.
"The two of us are determined to obtain those Sanqing Lightning Talismans, Brother Spirit. We immediately rushed over upon hearing that you were offering these talismans in a deal, and we cleared out the entire treasure vault on our island, so tell us what you want. As long as it's something that we have, we'll definitely hand it over," Xue Ran said in a serious manner.
"The same applies for Fellow Daoist Han and myself; we're also willing to do everything in our power to secure those Sanqing Lightning Talismans," Mo Jianli chimed in as well.
"Hehe, there's no rush. I made this spirit tea myself; please have some before we continued our discussion," the elderly man said.
The two foreign Grand Ascension Stage beings' brows furrowed slightly upon hearing this, but after exchanging a few words through voice transmission, Xue Ran nodded, and said, "Alright, I've heard that the spirit tea from your Spirit Race is quite exceptional; it certainly couldn't hurt to have a taste."
Thus, the two foreign Grand Ascension Stage beings also took a seat on two nearby chairs.
The small white monkeys seemed to be very intelligent, and they scampered over to pour cups of spirit tea for the two dark-skinned beings even without requiring instructions from the Spirit Monarch, and only then did they depart from the hall.
After Xue Ran and Hei Lin had also had some tea, the white-robed elderly man finally cut to the chase.
"I know that all four of you are here for the Sanqing Lightning Talismans, but before we begin our discussion, I must ask if there are any rare treasures or materials that you're interested in aside from those talismans. You can take a look at a list I've compiled before deciding what you want. Otherwise, once the terms of the eal are finalized, they can't be changed."
"There's no need for that; we came all this way here specifically for those talismans. No matter how precious other treasures are, they won't be of any use to us if we can't transcend our next heavenly tribulations," Xue Ran immediately replied with a shake of his head.
Hei Lin merely remained silent with a cold smile on his face, not even bothering to answer the question.
Mo Jianli replied, "My answer is the same. What about you, Fellow Daoist Han?"
"I'm actually quite interested to see what else you can offer, Brother Spirit," Han Li said with a smile.
"In that case, please take a look at my list, Brother Han." The elderly man didn't waste any time and immediately swept a sleeve through the air to release a ball of azure light.
Han Li caught the ball of azure light to find that it was a green jade slip, and he immediately pressed it to his forehead before injecting his spiritual sense into it.
Everyone else immediately turned their attention toward him, and after a short while, Han Li removed the jade slip from his forehead with a faint sigh before tossing it back to the Spirit Monarch.
"None of those items were appealing to you, Fellow Daoist Han?" the white-robed elderly man asked as he stowed the jade slip away.
"Every item on the list is extremely precious, and some of them are very difficult to find even in other realms. However, none of them are anywhere near as appealing to me as the Sanqing Lightning Talismans," Han Li replied.
The elderly man wasn't very surprised to hear this. "That's quite a pity; I also hold those talismans in very high regard and would be very happy if you could accept a substitute, but it seems that won't be possible."
"Alright, all four of us have made our decisions, so tell us what your proposed deal involves. You must also be searching for something quite valuable in exchange, right?" Hei Lin prompted in an impatient manner.
"Hehe, I'm sure all four of you are aware of just how valuable Sanqing Lightning Talismans are; the item that I want in exchange is naturally not going to be far off in value. However, I'm sure none of you are in possession of this item. Otherwise, I would've already revealed what it was," the elderly man replied.
"Hmph, your letter didn't stipulate any items for exchange. Instead, you implied that you wanted us to do something extremely dangerous in exchange for those talismans. Having said that, don't underestimate us Grand Ascension Stage beings of the sea; the sea is far more abundant with precious resources than beings from small races like you can imagine. We've discovered seven or eight ancient seabed cave abodes, and some of the treasures in there are no less valuable than Sanqing Lightning Talismans. Perhaps you'd be willing to change your mind if we were to bring out some of those items," Xue Ran said.
"I've also encountered some miraculous opportunities during my cultivation and obtained treasures of equal value to the Sanqing Lightning Talisman. Otherwise, I wouldn't have made this trip," Mo Jianli chimed in with a confident expression.
Han Li merely remained silent with a faint smile on his face.
"I'm sure that all of you possess treasures no lesser in value than my Sanqing Lightning Talismans, but just like how these talismans are integral for the transcendence of your heavenly tribulations, the item I'm looking for also concerns my survival. As such, I won't exchange my Sanqing Lightning Talismans for anything else," the elderly man said in a decisive manner.