Chapter 410: Elder
Fairy Violet Spirit saw Han Li's disbelief but didn't address it. Instead she turned to Crooked Soul and sweetly smiled, saying, "So Crooked Soul is Senior Han's external incarnation?
Han Li's body grew still upon hearing this and he stared at the woman with a cold gaze for a long while before coldly asking, "How does Lady Violet Spirit know this?"
"Hehe! Senior doesn't need to be so shocked. Our sect also has a method of clone refinement. However, its costs are far too great and its rate of success is terrible. As such, it is rare for any of our sect members to use it. However, Senior's clone is quite peculiar. Normally, a clone would have far inferior cultivation. However, Senior Han's clone is also at early Core Formation. How strange!" Fairy Violet Spirit lightly smiled with bright, wandering eyes.
"Since Fairy Violet Spirit has seen through it, I won't conceal this. However, why aren't the other two fellow daoists here?" Han Li admitted this with a relaxed expression, but asked another question after looking through the room. Han Li knew that it was only a matter of time before Crooked Soul was discovered to be his clone and wasn't particularly astonished.
"Senior, please sit! My two Senior Martial Sisters went to the market city to purchase a few items and also a long-term residence in Heavenly Star City along the way." The young woman gracefully invited Han Li to take seat and gave an explanation with a gentle tone.
After taking a seat, Han Li frowned and doubtfully asked, "What? You three Fellow Daoists don't intend to return the Exquisite Sound Sect?"
"Return to the Exquisite Sound Sect? We don't dare! Since Zenith Yin Island became our enemy and our two great sect elders have betrayed us, we would fall into those devil's hand were we to return. Other small and mid-level powers would also jump at the opportunity to absorb us. As such, we've decided to relocate the Exquisite Sound Sect to Heavenly Star City for the time being with our sects savings." Fairy Violet Spirit sighed and bitterly smiled.
"I see." Han Li nodded. As Han Li didn't have much of a relationship with them, he didn't make any excessive displays of enthusiasm.
Fairy Violet Spirit didn't seem to care about Han Li's response and poured a cup of tea for him instead. She then aloofly said, "When we escaped the interception of that refined corpse, we also saw Senior subdue his own, and thus knew that Senior had managed to escape. I later heard from Senior Martial Sister Fan that Senior had assisted us for the Heavenly Lightning Bamboo. As such, I had her send a sound transmission talisman to invite Senior Han for a chat."
Han Li decided to directly address the heart of the matter and not speak in circles, "The Sound Transmission Talisman mentioned that the Heaven Lightning Bamboo was in Fellow Daoist Violet Spirit's possession. Is this true? This item wasn't seized by Zenith Yin Island?"
Han Li's direct inquiry left Fairy Violet Spirit widening her eyes with a trace of amusement. She answered with a smooth and beautiful voice, "Since Senior is so quick to the point, I won't push the matter off for later. Originally, our Exquisite Sound sect acquired not one stalk of Heaven Lightning Bamboo from that small sect, but two. One was stolen while the other has remained with us. If Senior wants it, this Junior is willing to give it to him."
Han Li rejoiced but his expression didn't reveal his excitement. Instead, he took a deep glance at her and asked with a deep voice, "Give? Why does Lady Violet Spirit speak such useless words? Since you've used the item to lure me here, there should naturally be some conditions involved. Tell me them, and I'll give them some consideration."
Fairy Violet Spirit was somewhat stunned, and her smile gradually disappeared. After muttering to herself for a moment, she earnestly said, "To tell the truth, the Heaven Lightning Bamboo is currently a useless item to the Exquisite Sound Sect. Due to the kindness of taking action for us in the last battle, it is only right that we give it to you. However, our sect is currently undergoing a great change, and our strength is unable to support a sect as large as the Exquisite Sound Sect. As such, in addition to this bamboo, we will give three hundred spirit stones to Senior every year if he were to take the position of guest elder at our sect. We hope you won't refuse!"
"A guest elder?" Han Li's expression slightly changed. He hadn't expected that they would make such a request.
"In addition to what was previously mentioned, if Senior's cultivation requires any pair cultivation furnace cauldrons, our sect will gladly provide an outstanding female disciple to act as Senior's concubine." Fairy Violet Spirit calmly added.
These conditions didn't cause any change in Han Li's expression. With the assistance of spiritual medicines, he had no use for the assistance of the small amount of spiritual power that pair cultivation could provide.
However, the Heaven Lightning Bamboo was a different story. It was very likely that he wouldn't be able to find a store that had it.
After some consideration, Han Li replied, "Those conditions will not do! I have long been accustomed to being a lone agent. I do not wish to be restricted to a sect. Fellow Daoist should offer me some other conditions. If not, I am willing to purchase the item at thirty percent above its market value."
"Senior jests. What market value is there for a top grade material such as the three great divine woods. Without a purpose, it is worthless. But to a cultivator with a wood attribute cultivation technique, it is likely to be a priceless treasure." Han Li's refusal didn't surprise Fairy Violet Spirit, but she still rejected Han Li's proposal to offer spirit stones for it with a slight smile.
Han Li frowned. It seemed this woman knew he truly desired this item and she wasn't willing to let it go.
He felt extremely uncomfortable from having her hold such a crucial item hostage. However, he would never subject himself to the will of the Exquisite Sound Sect over a stalk of Heaven Lightning Bamboo.
Just as Han Li thought about abandoning the Heaven Lightning Bamboo and refine his magic treasure using other materials, the young woman proposed a compromise.
"Since Senior is unwilling to be constricted, then how about he become the sect's in-name elder? You can enjoy the treatment of an elder and there is no need to accept the orders of the sect master. At the very least, our sect will be able to use your reputation as a Core Formation cultivator to protect ourselves. Would Senior be willing if this were the case?"
"An in-name elder?" Fairy Violet Spirit's blatant honestly left Han Li stunned.
"If the Exquisite Sound Sect encounters a great enemy, I won't have to act?" He puzzlingly asked the question with an expression of disbelief.
"If our sect encounters any problems or any matters requiring Senior's assistance, it will naturally be up to Senior's discretion to act. Either way, we will be grateful to you!" She answered without hesitation as if she had previously considered this.
After lowering his head in thought for a moment, he raised his head and slowly said, "Fellow Daoist Violet Spirit! If I'm not mistaken, you only wish to use me as a banner to raise the Exquisite Sound Sect's influence in order to protect yourselves against powers that mean to harm you during your moment of weakness. After you spread this news, it will remain effective so long as it isn't proven untrue."
"Senior Han speaks true! When the time comes, we will mention Senior's position as a Core Formation cultivator. It will somewhat counteract the destructive effects of Elder Meng and Zhao's betrayal." The young woman faintly smiled and spoke of her future plans.
"If those are your conditions, then I will accept! However, I will not take the initiative to introduce myself to other cultivators as an elder of your sect. Don't count on me to put on a superficial show for your sect. It will be up to you in order to convince others that I have become an elder of your sect."
After some thought, Han Li eventually agreed as he greatly desired the Heaven Lightning Bamboo and felt that it wouldn't bring him any trouble.
"Alright, so long as Senior doesn't deny this when the time comes, I and my Senior Martial Sisters will treat you well!" The young woman spoke with an expression overflowing with happiness.
As the two had reached an agreement, Fairy Violet Spirit didn't intend to further delay its conclusion. She took out a strange box and put it on the table. The box was quite odd as it was made from neither wood, metal, nor jade type materials. The box's body was translucent, and it was surrounded in a faint layer of azure mist.
Seeing that Han Li wore a baffled expression, Fairy Violet Spirit gave an explanation in a soft voice, "This box was refined by an item known as jade paste. Although 'jade' is in its name, it isn't actually made of jadestone or anything of the five elements. Only an item such as this is capable of preserving the Heaven Lightning Bamboo without fear of its Spiritual Qi leaking."
Han Li nodded his head. Since he hadn't heard of "Jade Paste" before, this item must clearly be a rare material and should be extremely precious.
Fairy Violet Spirit then extended a delicate, perfect finger and with a flash of light, a soybean-sized ball of green light appeared on it.
Afterwards, she lightly touched the box without the slightest hesitation. After the green light contacted the azure mist, it let out a soft crack, causing the mist of light to suddenly disappear and the box to slowly open.
With roused spirits, Han Li attentively turned his gaze towards the box.