Chapter 294: Flame Handling Arts
"Humph! Your esteemed self infiltrated this room with great stealth, yet you still dare to mystify yourself! See if this humble Daoist doesn't..." The old Daoist had long been accustomed to flattery from his recent days in the Prince's residence and instinctively reacted, yelling with a stern voice.
However, after he used the Heaven's Eye Technique to look at Han Li, his originally furious face immediately became frozen and turned white soon after.
"Your... your esteemed self is a Foundation Establishment Senior?"
The old man stuttered, unwilling to believe it.
"Didn't you already determine that with your magic technique?" Han Li indifferently said this with a controlled smile on his face.
"Senior do not blame me! This Junior had never seen a Senior who had cultivated to Foundation Establishment before. The highest I have seen were Qi Condensation cultivators of the eleventh or twelfth layer. I was truly incapable of judging Senior's cultivation! I only knew that Senior's cultivation is unfathomably deep!" When the old Daoist heard him, he hastily extinguished his fireball as if he had woken from a dream. He stepped forward with a salute and repeatedly explained with a careful, apologetic smile on his face.
Han Li was surprised that the old Daoist hadn't exposed fear like the old man Xiao had. Instead, he faintly revealed a sense of excitement.
But after some thought, Han Li clearly understood the other party's thoughts.
This white-haired old Daoist was part the prime of his life but still lingering at the sixth layer. He was most likely a rogue cultivator with extremely poor aptitude. As such, he was unable to meet cultivators with profound magic power. Even if he weren't a rogue cultivator, he only interacted with Daoist brothers with cultivation bases similar to his own.
Now that he saw such a high-level cultivator, he naturally regarded it as such a fortuitous encounter that was hard to come by. He mostly likely planned to fish up some benefits.
Having thought this, Han Li couldn't help but smile. If the other party was able to satisfy him, he wouldn't mind giving him a few benefits.
Han Li immediately turned his gaze to the old Daoist and leisurely said, "Your guess is correct. I really am a Foundation Establishment cultivator!"
When the old white-haired Daoist heard Han Li's words, his expression became even more respectful. Naturally, the happiness in his eyes grew a bit stronger as well.
"I don't know why Senior suddenly appeared here. Does Senior wish to command this Junior to take care of a certain matter?" the old Daoist respectfully asked.
This person was on the right track. He knew that if he wanted to receive a few benefits from Han Li, he naturally had to do something in return.
When Han Li heard this, he expressed satisfaction, and with a faint smile, he said, "First let's talk about your origins. Today I saw your show at the Prince's residence. Your fire-controlling technique was quite good!" Han Li gave a minor praise, but little did the Daoist know that it was actually sincere!
When the old Daoist heard Han Li's words, an astonished expression flashed across his face.
He hadn't thought that this Senior had seen his performance. He hastily replied with a humble tone, "It's unfortunate that Senior had seen my poor performance! Junior only manipulated the flame technique. I would have taken something else out to show, but my other techniques are a mess! As for this Junior's origins, it isn't anything notable. When Junior was young, he unexpectedly obtained the 《Fierce Yang Arts》 from a cultivator on death's door. It was at this moment that he entered the world of cultivation. However, it was unfortunate that Junior's aptitude was too poor, and without any guidance, he could only barely cultivate to the sixth layer."
"Your fire controlling technique was a cultivation technique from that book?" Han Li's interest was stirred, and he asked this soon after.
"It isn't. This fire controlling technique was a something Junior had cultivated until he reached a bottleneck. Without any method to progress, he could only grudgingly polish and refine some small tricks. But after several tens of years of improvements and modifications, it has become Junior's greatest accomplishment."
"It was something you researched on your own?" Han Li was inwardly startled. He further examined the old whit- haired man several more times, revealing a bit of amazement.
"That's right, Senior! Junior took this meager magic of his and turned it into a book, the 《Flame Handling Arts》. If it isn't beneath Senior, Junior can take it out and give a pointer or two!" The old Daoist saw that Han Li seemed interested in his fire control technique and was struck with inspiration. He hastily took out a thin book from his storage pouch and respectfully handed it to Han Li.
When Han Li saw this, he was slightly startled!
Truthfully speaking, although Han Li felt that this flame transformation technique was quite strange, he didn't feel a great desire to obtain this technique.
He didn't think that this small fire controlling technique would be of great use to his current self!
However, the old Daoist took the initiative to show it to him and caused him to feel surprised. Han Li easily received it and took a moment to browse through its contents.
At the start, Han Li perused the book with an indifferent attitude.
But as he looked through it, although his expression was as peaceful as ever, he gradually became shocked in his heart!
The minor knack of flame shape transformation mentioned at the start of the book held no great meaning to the current Han Li. It was merely flashy but hollow inside. But towards the end, the old Daoist mentioned a few vague concepts regarding flexibly applying magic techniques and some feasible practice methods. This caused Han Li to feel a sudden flash of insight and benefit in no small amount!
After a short moment, Han Li gently closed the book.
Now was not the time to research cultivation techniques. When he had free time, he would properly analyze the contents of this book!
He was confident that this meeting increased his understanding and usage of magic techniques by a whole level.
"This book, I will take it! I know that although you said would give me a pointer of two, I truly want this book to be gifted to me. As a Senior, I naturally won't leave you empty-handed. I have a few books on Daoist magic, magic tools of every rank, and even a few medicine pills of great use to a Qi Condensation cultivator. You can choose one from the three options in exchange for this book. I'll give you the time it takes to make a cup of tea to come to a decision."
After Han Li took a deep look at the old Daoist, he said a few words that unceasingly excited the old man.
"Many thanks, Senior! Many thanks for Senior's favor!" The old white-haired Daoist's complexion flushed red. He even trembled a bit from excitement.
Han Li faintly smiled and didn't say anything else. Instead, he closed his eyes, leaned against the chair, and rested.
The old Daoist started to anxiously pace in circles around the room, finding it extremely difficult to choose one over another.
"How is it? Have you made up your mind?"
After a moment passed, Han Li felt it was about time. He serenely asked this after having opened his eyes.
"Senior, I've decided. Junior only wants medicinal pills that will allow Qi Condensation cultivators to make a breakthrough." After Han Li's inquiry, the old Daoist eventually came to a decision and said this with certainty.
When Han Li heard this, he didn't reveal the slightest of surprise. He reckoned that the other party would choose medicinal pills. After all, magic tools and Daoist books could be acquired after he made cultivation breakthroughs.
Thus, after giving a light nod, Han Li brushed his gown sleeve against the table and left behind two small jade bottles.
"These two bottles contain Yellow Dragon Pills. They are substantially effective on cultivators at the tenth layer and lower. Take them!" Han Li calmly said.
"Tenth layer of Qi Condensation... Many thanks for Senior's great favor! Many thanks..." The old Daoist looked at those two bottles of medicinal pills with a fiery gaze. After repeatedly expressing his thanks, he excitedly took the two bottles into his hands.
He then impatiently opened the lid of the bottle. and after sniffing it two times, he had a completely satisfied appearance.
"I actually came to find you for another matter. After performing a task, I will naturally give you even more compensation!" After Han Li saw the other party carefully put away the medicine bottles, he calmly talked about the main reasons he came there.
With the heavy reward attached, Han Li was confident the other party would be tempted.
As a result, the old Daoist immediately beamed with joy after hearing this and said, "Senior, please do not hesitate to tell me of this matter. Junior will carry it out by any means!"
When Han Li heard this, he faintly smiled and responded, "It's nothing major. For the next few months, I want you to pay attention to the whereabouts of your disciple, the young prince, and Chief Steward Wang. If anything abnormal happens, all you have to do is tell me!"
Although Han Li deemphasized the matter, when the old Daoist heard this, he was stunned.
He truly didn't think that this Senior would want him to monitor two mortals. Furthermore, one of them would be the beloved disciple he had just accepted.
Having remained perplexed despite much thought, the old Daoist took a careful at Han Li and asked with a probing tone, "Could Senior please illuminate this Junior? Could it be there is something amiss with these two?"
The old Daoist asked this very carefully, fearing he would offend this expert.
Han Li's face didn't show the slightest dissatisfaction. He didn't immediately reply to the cultivator's question. After a moment of deliberation, he said in a soft voice, "In truth, I am a cultivator from Yellow Maple Valley of the seven sects. The Devil Dao is currently invading our State of Yue; even a rogue cultivator like you should be aware of this! I suspect that these two have a relationship with the Devil Dao. Thus, I need to have someone help me pay attention to their whereabouts, just in case!"
Although Han Li believed Chief Steward Wang and the young prince weren't associated with the Devil Dao, it was better to be careful. He was unclear with about certain details of their background and felt in his heart that there was something greatly concerning about them. Thus, he sought this old Daoist in advance to monitor the pair's actions.
However, he didn't directly mention any of his actual concerns to the old Daoist and simply mentioned the Devil Dao as a convenient excuse.
After all, the feeling of danger that Han Li perceived from the two was purely instinctive, so he obviously couldn't say this out loud.