Chapter 411: Cultivating Bamboo
"This is Heaven Lightning Bamboo?" Han Li's expression continuously fluctuated.
The box contained a two inch long stalk of dried up bamboo the width of a finger and clearly withered roots. No matter how he looked, it appeared completely similar to ordinary bamboo.
With doubts held in his mind, Han Li couldn't help but expressionlessly take a look at Fairy Violet Spirit.
The young woman saw Han Li's suspicion and lightly chuckled. She pressed the dried bamboo in between her fingers and took a sparkling, glowing knife in her other hand. Pa! Fairy Violet Spirit quickly chopped down onto the bamboo with all her strength. In the instant the dagger's blade made contact, the bamboo released a thin arc of electricity and immediately repelled the dagger.
Having seen this, Han Li's doubts were cleared and he carefully returned the bamboo to the box and carefully put it away.
Soon after, Fairy Violet Spirit gave Han Li an authority medallion belonging to the Exquisite Sound Sect. After the two briefly chatted, Han Li took his leave.
Not long after Han Li left, Lady Fan and Zhuo Ruting returned to the inn. After hearing what Fairy Violet Spirit had agreed on, the two looked at each other for a long while.
"Junior Martial Sister, we've already discussed this quite a bit. We should be able to find another Core Formation cultivator, given the grand reputation of the Heaven Lightning Bamboo. Why must we accommodate this person?" Lady Fan couldn't help but complain.
Although Zhuo Ruting remained silent, her eyebrows furrowed with puzzlement.
"Senior Martial Sister didn't see how unsightly his face became when I asked him to become our Sect's elder. His gaze revealed a stalwart resolution that he wouldn't agree to anything without the Heavenly Lightning Bamboo. Senior Martial Sister had also mentioned that this person isn't affected by our bewitchment techniques. As for using the Heavenly Lightning Bamboo to invite other cultivators, Senior Martial Sister places far too great a value on that paltry item. Although the Heaven Lightning Bamboo is known as one of the three great divine woods, there are far too few uses of this item. Nobody would use this material for anything aside from refining top grade magic treasures. And with an understanding of magic treasure refinement techniques, they would realize our miniscule amount of Heaven Lightning Bamboo would be completely useless. You should also know that there are many ranks of Heavenly Lightning Bamboo. Ours is only white lightning bamboo at the age of several thousand years of age. Even if it were refined into a magic tool, it wouldn't be amazingly powerful. It would be better to use this item than to leave it for later. Moreover, since he had agreed to become a sect elder, we merely have to treat him with respect and give him yearly offerings so that when the time comes that our sect encounters a great enemy, he wouldn't have the nerve to refuse!" Fairy Violet Spirit leisurely said this with an indifferent expression.
The young woman then continued with a faint, bitter smile, "Furthermore, even if there are others that are interested in the Heaven Lightning Bamboo, who would be willing to become our sect elder and dare to admit their status given our current circumstances? That would only bring about its own set of problems! Originally, my mother used her own status as a Core Formation cultivator as method of checks and balances over Elder Zhao and Elder Meng so that they sincerely acted on behalf of the sect. After all, it is extremely easy to suffer betrayal when solely relying on bewitchment techniques and feminine charms to win over high grade cultivators!"
Lady Fan and Zhuo Ruting then became silent.
Having recently experienced a large quantity of betrayals, the two no longer held much confidence in their bewitchment techniques and felt that their Junior Martial Sister's words held some reason.
"For now, the sect matters will be collaboratively handled by us three. For the time being, we won't have a sect master until one of our sect members becomes a Core Formation cultivator. There is no rush." The young woman decisively said.
This time, the two envoys had no disagreements.
"Can we expect Senior Han to meddle in our sect's affairs by use of his deep cultivation? Should we take any precautions?" Zhuo Ruting asked with a cold voice.
"There won't be a need. Although I haven't dealt with him much, his words suggest that he is one who diligently cultivates. He doesn't care much about affairs outside of cultivation. Otherwise, he would've stirred when I offered to give him a female disciple as a concubine. It was most likely because he is like this that he has entered Core Formation!" Fairy Violet Spirit shook her head and revealed slight admiration.
"Sigh. I wonder if we have any chance of Core Formation?" Lady Fan spoke as if she didn't hold much hope for Core Formation.
When Zhuo Ruting heard this, her face also revealed slight sadness. It seemed these beautiful women also greatly desired to enter Core Formation.
At this time, Han Li had already returned to his cave residence. He didn't hastily act and instead chose to first scour through many ancient records.
After much difficulty, he found the cultivation method for Heaven Lightning bamboo from a jade slip and planted the bamboo in his medicine garden in accordance to the exact method described.
As he gazed at the newly planted petite stalk of Heaven Lightning Bamboo, Han Li became extremely excited.
Of course, he understood that Heaven Lightning Bamboo had different grades of quality. However, he didn't take it to heart. This was because the quality and spiritual nature of Heaven Lightning Bamboo depended on its age.
Heaven Lightning Bamboo only released common white lightning when it was aged at two thousand years or less. When it became older than five thousand years old, its lightning would become blue and it would become far stronger.
When it reached ten thousand years old, its lightning would become a dim gold. At that stage, the lightning has the wondrous effect of restraining evil devilish techniques and was known by cultivators as "Devilsbane Lightning".
This rumored stage, "Gold Lightning Bamboo", was the oldest Heaven Lightning Bamboo that had been seen in the cultivation world. It had only been seen once in the Scattered Star Seas. Nobody knew where it came from, and it existed in such a small chunk. As a result, this item had caused much blood to be shed in the Scattered Star Seas over several tens of years. While many great powers were covetously contesting for the item both openly and covertly, it had passed through the hands of countless cultivators.
But in the end, no one had managed to refine it into a magic treasure. This was because the bamboo had made a sudden disappearance as mysterious and unfathomable as its strange appearance. This greatly angered many great powers at the time, and they continuously searched for it for a long before gradually abandoning the chase.
The magnitude of the previous dispute clearly displayed just how precious ten thousand year old Golden Lightning Bamboo was.
Han Li hadn't yet nurtured a spiritual object up to ten thousand years of age. Normally, medicine pills only required ingredients that were two thousand years old at most. As such, this caused him to greatly anticipate nurturing the Heaven Lightning Bamboo to Gold Lightning Bamboo and made him feel slightly restless as well.
In the following days, Han Li used the green liquid to mature the bamboo and started to take frequent strolls around Heavenly Star City's market. In addition to the spiritual wood that was required as its main ingredient, the Bamboo Cloudswarm Swords required a few rare supplementary materials before being ultimately refined in his Core Flame.
In addition, since these swords were a set of magic treasures, it required a far greater amount of similar materials. Although Han Li had already gathered a few of them, he didn't have enough to form a whole and had to continue his search.
The Scattered Star Seas were far more plentiful in materials than the Heavenly South Region. After bankrupting himself as a result of two years of liberal, unrestrained spending, he had managed to barely scrape together the items he required. For this reason, he couldn't help but put himself at risk of attracting attention by selling off his remaining rare demon cores.
As of now, Han Li could only look at his near empty storage pouch and let out a long sigh as he faced the sky.
Refining magic treasures, especially a particularly good magic treasure, wasn't something an ordinary rogue cultivator could afford.
One day, Han Li walked into his medicine garden with unconcealable anticipation.
A few days before, he had dripped what should've been the green drop to age his Heaven Lightning Bamboo to its ten thousandth year. Han Li couldn't help but become excited upon thinking of the great power of the rumored Gold Lightning Bamboo.
When the bamboo was first planted, it had only been two inches long. But now, it had undergone a massive change. It was now about a foot long with a body of glistening emerald green and was covered in a layer of faint rainbow light.
After a moment of attentive examination, he summoned a short sword magic tool into his hand and shot it towards the bamboo as a streak of white light.
An arc of faint golden lightning was released. With a pop, the short sword was struck away by the arc of golden lightning, turning it into a spiral of azure smoke before disappearing without a trace.
When Han Li saw this, he immediately smiled and greatly rejoiced!
He now wanted to find out what sort of amusing face Fairy Violet Spirit would make should she discover that the White Lightning Bamboo had turned into Gold Lightning Bamboo. It was only a pity that he would never have the opportunity to see it.
This was probably the most profitable exchange he had ever had since arriving in the cultivation world!
Profitable? Yes. Exchange? No.