Chapter 275: Fragrant Tea
This teahouse wasn’t large. It was only a single story building with three rooms. Before having even entered, Han Li could already smell the fragrant scent of tea!
Han Li was somewhat surprised. Although Han Li didn’t not understand much about the intricacies of tea, he felt a slight trace of Spiritual Qi from the tea fragrance.
His heart stirred, and he did not hesitate to enter any further.
The three rooms were arranged side to side with one large room and two small. At this moment, it was filled with groups of three to four tea guests. The tea shop didn’t have any empty seats, so seven to eight differently dressed patrons peacefully waited at the side.
Even though the tea shop had many guests inside, there wasn’t a single person making a ruckus.
The majority of them softly closed their eyes and sipped the fragrant tea before them. There were only a few people who were whispering.
On the wall of the largest room at the center, a several-meter-long yellow paper banner hung from the top of the wall. On it was written, “Every guest is limited to one pot per day” in large and bold calligraphy; it was quite eye-catching.
When Han Li saw this, he found it funny. This was the first time he heard of those making a living from selling food or drink limiting the quantities that others could buy.
However, he only laughed away and didn’t take the trouble to think of it further. Instead, he swept his gaze across the room and immediately spotted a person appearing to be the shopkeeper pacing back and forth in a corner.
This should be the tea shop’s shopkeep. He appeared to be over forty years old and had short facial hair, giving him an exceptionally shrewd appearance.
At this moment he was standing at the front counter, using an abacus with a lowered head. From time to time, he turned his head to look at his ledger.
Han Li walked several steps over and stood in front of the desk, remaining calm and silent. This caused the shopkeep to look up with a bit of surprise.
Once he clearly saw Han Li, his expression immediately changed. He hastily put his abacus and ledger to the side and left the front counter.
With slight reverence, he respectfully asked, “Is there any matter this Junior may help Senior with? This one will spare no effort!”
This shopkeep was unexpectedly a cultivator in addition to a shopkeep, but his cultivation was pathetically low. He was only at the fourth layer of Qi Condensation.
Now that he was facing a senior with unfathomably deep cultivation, his heart was naturally restless.
Han Li didn’t say anything further, He lightly wiped against the desk counter with his sleeve pocket, leaving behind a sparkling azure jade pendant on the counter.
When the shopkeep saw this jade pendant, he stared blankly at it. But soon after, he said with an expression of pleasant surprise, “So it turned out to be Senior Han. This Junior is lacking in manners! Young Master Qi has already told me that Senior would arrive in the near future. This Junior has been waiting for you for quite a long time!”
When Han Li heard this, he put away his jade pendant and peacefully said, “I wish to now see your clan’s young master. Please show me the way!”
“I will follow your orders, Senior!”
He first called over two of the store’s waiters, and after telling them a few words, he brought Han Li to the back door and left the town, heading west.“Gold Horse Town” had a large expanse of yellow green hills on its west side. They were countless and varied of all sizes. The shopkeep brought Han Li through the hills with much familiarity and made several turns. They then arrived at a sunken depression that spanned over fifteen acres.
At the center of the depression were seven to eight white stone rooms. To the east and west of the rooms, there were several batches of thinly spread azure bamboo.
After the shopkeep brought Han Li to this location, he bowed to Han Li and said, “Senior, the young master is within the rooms. However, the rooms are surrounded by a few formation spells. Normally I would report to the young master before bringing an outsider in, but since the young master has already told me about Senior Han, if Senior closely follows behind me, you can enter. Otherwise, you will activate the formation spells
Han Li thoughtfully look around the depression and the disorderly azure bamboo, indifferently saying, “I understand. Don’t hesitate to lead the way.”
When shopkeep’s heard Han Li, he let out a deep breath and carefully brought Han Li to the rooms.
His path forward was quite peculiar. In one moment he would walk forward three steps, then walk back two steps, then walk five steps, then turn around and step six steps that way. It was quite chaotic, it was as if there was no pattern that could be discerned.
As such, the two slowly approached the rooms at the center of the depression.
“Young Master, Senior Han has arrived. Please come out and see for yourself!” When they were about thirty meters away from the room, the shopkeep let out a breath and loudly yelled toward the largest room.
“Senior Han has come? That is great! However, please wait a moment! I will be right out.” Qi Yunxiao’s pleasantly surprised voice came from within the room, but soon after, a smothered “Bang” could be heard, followed by Qi Yunxiao’s bitter cursing.
“Sigh, another failure!”
When the stone door opened, Qi Yunxiao walked out with an appearance of disappointment. He carried the scent of a blazing fire on his body.
However, after he saw Han Li, his face suddenly became bright and excitedly approached, saying, “It really is Senior! This is truly great! Please follow me, let Junior show your hospitality as a host. This place has some top quality tea. Let’s have a few cups.”
Qi Yunxiao cordially invited Han Li into a room. His movements had become much more experienced since Han Li had last seen him several years ago.
“Then I must thank you!” Han Li knew that he still had to request his help and was very polite.
After that, he entered the room and sat near a long table that was three meters long.
“Senior, that...” Once Qi Yunxiao commanded the shopkeep to make a pot of tea, he turned his hand and seemed to hesitate, wanting to ask Han Li something.
With a silent smile, Han Li took out the book 《Yunxiao Experience》and placed it on the table. The book’s flickering silver light had remained, showing that the seal was still intact.
When Qi Yunxiao saw this book, his spirit shook. But when he thought to reach out and take it, he suddenly thought of something and promptly said, “Senior, please wait a moment.” He hastily walked out.
Han Li faintly smiled, as if he had guessed his intentions.
Not long after, Qi Yunxiao animatedly returned to the room with a small wooden box about a foot long.
“Senior, this is a set of formation establishment magic tools for the improved Five Elements Reversal Formation. Although its strength isn’t as high as the spell formation’s original might like I predicted, the improved formation is still more powerful than the formation I gave you originally by three times!” Qi Yunxiao said somewhat apologetically. It seemed he was still a bit worried since he hadn’t improved the formation establishment magic tool’s power to what was previously agreed.
“Three times?” Han Li’s expression changed, his heart feeling extremely amazed.
A tenth of the Five Element Reversal Formation was already enough to completely satisfy Han Li, who felt there was no need for further improvement. Even a Core Formation cultivator such as Lei Wanhe had felt this formation was quite a pain to deal with. If he truly improved the formation to the point where it was three times more powerful, it could resist even Core Formation cultivators.
With this thought, Han Li couldn’t help but want to look inside the wooden box. Meanwhile, Qi Yunxiao picked up the silver book and carefully looked at it.
When Han Li opened the box, he saw a set of formation flags and plates with oppressive Spiritual Qi.
Han Li took them out for a careful look. This set of magic tools had much more formation flags and formation plates than the previous set. Furthermore, the decorative design and written seals were obviously more complicated. It appeared that what he said wasn’t false. Its strength was far greater than its previous iteration.
Han Li put away the formation flags with satisfaction and then took a look at Qi Yunxiao.
At this moment, Qi Yunxiao had lightly stroked 《Yunxiao Experience》with a smile. It seemed he made a similar inspection and confirmed the seal had remained.
“I am very satisfied with these improved set of formation establishment magic tools. I have truly troubled you, fellow Daoist,” Han Li said with a slight smile.
“Senior’s words are over-exaggerating. This one is truly grateful that Senior returned this book with its seal intact. This Junior should be thanking you greatly!” When Qi Yunxiao heard Han Li’s words, he shook his head as if he were beating a drum with it and cordially replied.
Han Li smiled, and after saying a few more modest remarks, he chatted a bit with Qi Yunxiao.
The shopkeep came a moment later and served two cups of lovely emerald green tea.
The tea’s fragrance was clearly far richer than the tea from the “Clear Spring Teahouse”. Obviously, higher grade tea leaves released slightly heavier amounts of Spiritual Qi.
Under Qi Yunxiao’s eager invitation, Han Li took two sips. He immediately felt his mouth refreshed and his mind cleared. He couldn’t help but praised it, saying, “Good tea! I didn’t know tea leaves could be blended with Spiritual Qi. It’s too wonderful for words! I assume these must’ve personally be made by fellow Daoist. I am truly in admiration.” Han Li’s words were actually said with sincerity. To be able to blend Spiritual Qi with common tea leaves, this was something Han Li had never heard of. Furthermore, the tea’s fragrance was incomparable, far better than the top teas of the mortal world.
When Qi Yunxiao heard Han Li’s words, he wore an embarrassed expression and hastily explained, “Senior misunderstands. This tea was not refined by this Junior. My close friend gave it to me as a present. These tea leaves were the result of nearly ten years of my close friend’s research in the mortal world.”