“It’s right here. Fellow Daoists, let’s go in.” The Child Fire Dragon smiled at the two and walked towards the Crystal Dragon Pavilion with a swagger.
Once they approached the pavilion’s large gate, Han Li casually took a look inside and revealed surprise. The interior appeared to be that of an ordinary restaurant. Not only was it full of guests that were eating and drinking, there were also several waiters that were scurrying between tables with dishes in hand. The scents of fine wine and food were accompanied with the clanging of cups.
After they pushed open the gates, they saw a foot long wooden plate hung at the side. ‘This building is taken, outsiders are prohibited’ were written on it in pitch-black words.
“That old ghost Heavencrystal is still playing around with silly illusion techniques. Really!” After muttering those words, the Child Fire Dragon paid no more attention to it and walked in with a stride.
When Han Li heard this, his heart stirred and he swept his spiritual sense past the floor. He soon revealed a strange expression, but he continued inside. Once they passed the gate, the guests, waiters, scents and sounds, all disappeared like the pop of a bubble.
Han Li casually swept his gaze at the scene and saw that all that remained was a grey mist surrounding the building. There was merely an old-fashioned table at the center of the room with a copper lamp that was lit with a grey-robed Daoist with an amiable face sitting behind the lamp. He appeared to be sixty years of age and was glancing at the three with a smile.
“I didn’t expect that Brother Lan would arrive, let alone bring guests. This old Daoist’s eyes are rather poor. It seems as if I’ve never seen this azure-robed Fellow daoist before. Could he have recently entered Nascent Soul?” The grey-robed Daoist smiled and cordially beckoned to them. His intimate manners unconsciously aroused in a good impression amongst them.
The Child Fire Dragon returned the smile, but he spoke with an unexpectedly harsh tone, “Brother Heavencrystal, I’ve brought two uninvited guests. Surely you won’t refuse them?”
“Why would I do that? This place welcomes all Fellow Daoists. Besides, I am acquainted with Fellow Daoist lu. It is only...” The old Daoist’s gaze hovered towards Han Li.
Han Li took a step forward and saluted him, “I am the Drifting Cloud Sect’s Han Li, a newly ascended Nascent Soul cultivator. I hope Daoist Heavencrystal can provide me some guidance in the future.”
Daoist Heavencrystal pleasantly smiled and said, “So it turned out to be a sect member of Fellow Daoist Lu. From his young age, he certain to have boundless prospects.”
“Enough, old friend.The others should be arriving soon. We’ll be going upstairs.” From his direct words, it seemed the Child Fire Dragon had a rather deep friendship with him.
Daoist Heavencrystal sighed, “Brother Lan is still so impatient. Almost everyone has already arrived. I’m sure a few of the more impatient ones have already started trading as well. Here are two black spirit masks for those Fellow Daoists. Brother Lan, do you need one?” He then flipped his hands and summoned two black wood masks into his hands with a flash of white light. Talisman characters appeared on their surface.
The Child Fire Dragon’s cheeks bulged as if he were annoyed. He snorted and said, “Of course you should know that with my stature, regardless of any illusions I use, I cannot conceal myself.”
“Of course. Please come up. This old man will join you in a bit.” Daoist Heavencrystal casually smiled and tossed the masks to Han Li and Lu Luo. At that same time, a white streak of light show towards the mist behind him. The mist disappeared and revealed stairs of glittering light that led to the second floor.
Without any further courtesies, the Child Fire Dragon wordlessly walked around the table and climbed to the second floor. Lu Luo and Han Li saluted the old Daoist before following him up the stairs.
Once Han Li discovered that his mask was exactly the same as Lu Luo’s, he wore it without any reservations and climbed up the stairs.
The mask was cold to the touch and soft. To Han Li’s surprise, it was so comfortable, it felt as if it wasn't even there.
He turned his head to look at Lu Luo and saw that he also wore the mask, turning his face into an icy wooden carving. Han Li faintly smiled at the sight.
At that moment, the three had already arrived on the second floor. It was well lit with over a hundred fist-sized moonstones embedded in the ceiling and walls.
But what surprised Han Li most of all was that the second floor was several times more spacious than the first floor. It appeared far narrower than the first floor from the outside.
Of course, the second floor wasn’t empty. There were tables lined up against the walls with chairs accompanying each of them. There were various clothed cultivators sitting in many of them. From their bodies and hair, it appeared there were men and women of all ages.
When Han Li and company arrived, countless cold glints swept past them.
Many of them clearly recognized the unconcealed Child Fire Dragon; the expressions of their eyes varied anywhere from goodwill, hatred, and indifferences. There were a few gazes that even carried unconcealable killing intent, suggesting they formed animosity in the past.
The Child Fire Dragon was unconcerned with these gazes and led Han Li and Luo Lu to an empty table. At that moment, Han Li glanced at the others.
Because of the masks’ concealment, those with formidable spiritual sense such as Han Li were unable to clearly see their faces. However, there was no doubt that each of them were Nascent Soul cultivators from their spiritual Qi fluctuations. There were even two among them that were at mid Nascent Soul stage, but they were sitting alone and none dared to rashly sit next to them.
What appeared to be a small pavilion held at least twenty Nascent Soul cultivators, something that was rarely heard of.
Before this, Han Li hadn’t seen so many Nascent Soul eccentrics in one place. It seemed one’s cultivation had to be at a similar level to encounter so many cultivators.
Han Li’s gaze flickered and it suddenly focused at a particular corner of the floor. As Daoist Heavencrystal had mentioned, there were already a few impatient cultivators that had gathered around a table.
Their lips were moving from voice transmissions and they occasionally exchanged jade boxes and small bottles in some small scale trades.
However, most of the other cultivators were sitting with their eyes closed in meditation. They were waiting for everyone to gather before they started trading. It seemed what was being traded prematurely wasn't anything particularly valuable.
Also, in what seemed to be an attempt to avoid being recognized, many of the cultivators were completely silent, and only spoke to one another through voice transmissions.
The second floor of the pavilion had completely maintained its silence in a bizarre and stifling manner.
The Child Fire Dragon hadn’t bothered to wear a mask, attracting many gazes as a result. Nevertheless, there were none who took the initiative to reveal themselves to him.
Sitting right across from Han Li and company was an extremely fat man, who also wore no mask. His waist was four times thicker than the average person and even caused his chair to slightly deform. Regardless, this person didn’t seem to mind in the last. When he saw Han Li glance at him, he shot a beaming smile in his direction. However, the many layers of fat on his face made it difficult to accept his kind intentions.
Sitting at the plump man’s side was a very shapely female cultivator. Although she wore a mask, her eyes with vivid and captivating. Still, everyone present was certain of the cunning of those around them, and none paid any particular attention to the woman’s charm.
When Han Li saw this, he heard Lu Luo’s voice transmission, “Junior martial brother Han, be careful. That fatty may seem harmless, but together with the woman at his side, they are the Devil Dao Harmonious Bond Sect’s Flesh Rouge Devils. With their secret pair cultivation techniques, they are able to contend against even mid Nascent Soul cultivators. Avoid provoking them, they are incredibly difficult to deal with!”
When Han Li heard this, he felt his heart tremble and he immediately added their names onto a long list of those he should be wary of. After he finished observing the characteristics of all others in the room, he closed his eyes and silently meditated.
Over the period of a long while, several masked Nascent Soul cultivators continuously entered the room.
Daoist Heavencrystal was the last to enter, drawing the eyes of all the cultivators present. He directly walked to the center of the floor and casually waved his arm, summoning a table and chair towards him with white light. He then smiled and said, “Everyone should’ve already arrived. If nobody has anything else to say, let us start the trade meet.”