The offer had thrown Han Li’s plans into chaos. He didn’t know anything about this sect, or if it would be as fitting for him as the Pure Revelations Academy. Additionally, if he refused such a good offer and entered the academy regardless, he feared he would attract the suspicion of Senior Teacher Lu. As such, Han Li couldn’t help but roll his eyes at Nun Hualian’s offer and repeatedly cursed in his heart.
“Senior Hualian, I will be honest to you. I don’t know much about the Royal Serenity Monastery. But since it is a female monastery, it shouldn’t be very accommodating in terms of cultivation methods and techniques for male cultivators.” As Han Li’s thoughts quickly stirred, he found something wrong with the situation and was barely able to raise an objection.
Nun Hualian smiled and calmly said, “So it turned out Junior Han was worried over this matter, but there will be no problem. Our Royal Serenity Monastery is only a branch of the Three Royals Monastery. There is also our brother branch, the Royal Yang Monastery, which is our male counterpart. There will be no lack of male cultivation techniques for you. I’ve also noticed that your body is lacking noble spirit Qi. You would have to cultivate this new Qi after entering Pure Revelations Academy, so our cultivation techniques should be much easier for you to cultivate. Of course, if you manage to cultivate Confucian sects to completion, you will be able to employ abilities far beyond Daoist techniques, but this is too early to speak of for Fellow Daoist Han. Could it be that you believe the Royal Serenity Monastery to be beneath you?”
Senior Teacher Lu calmly added on, “Fellow Daoist Hualian’s words are reasonable. Our Confucian techniques are slower than even Buddhist techniques at the beginning. Young Friend Han, it seems more suitable for you to enter the Royal Serenity Monastery. Since Fellow Daoist Hualian has agreed to look after you, you have a chance of achieving Foundation Establishment if you accept her offer.”
When Han Li heard this, he was completely speechless. It seems he had no choice but to deviate from his original plan. Fortunately, the Royal Serenity Monastery also shares the spirit veins of Jadefield Mountain. So long as he was careful, nothing strange should happen.
With that thought, Han Li could only accept his bad luck. With feigned excitement, he said, “Since both Senior had made this recommendation to me, this opportunity must be good. I will agree to it!”
After hearing this, Nun Hualian nodded and Senior Teacher Lu silently smiled. As for Teacher Yan, he couldn’t raise any opposition to his agreement despite his wishes for Han Li to enter the Confucian sect.
With this matter settled, the four chatted in the room for a moment more, speaking not of the fantastical tales that occurred in the cultivation world but rather the changes of the Great Jin political court, much to Han Li’s bewilderment.
It wasn’t too surprising with regards to the Confucian sects as their interests are tied to the mortal world. But he found it rather strange for a monastery nun to talk about politics with even moderate interest. Could it be that the Royal Serenity Monastery was also a cultivation sect that was involved with the mortal world? Han Li couldn’t help but ponder about this.
As the conversation in the room was continued with vigor, footsteps sounded out from the outside and a young voice said, “Reporting to Martial Ancestor. As per your orders, I have brought the Purple Essence Copper from the storehouse.”
“Oh, bring it in,” Senior Teacher Lu said without another thought.
“Purple Essence Copper!” Han Li’s heart stirred. This ore was an outstanding material for refining top grade magic tools and treasures. It might not be particularly valuable to Han Li, but it was undoubtedly a rare item to those in front of him.
As Han Li thought this, the room doors were pushed open to reveal a fair child that was twelve years old. He walked in with a large red tray covered with a bulging silver cloth. Then, he respectfully placed the tray on the table in front of Nun Hualian and Senior Teacher Lu.
Senior Teacher Lu glanced at the boy and calmly ordered, “You may leave. There is no need for you to wait here.” The child acknowledged the command and deeply bowed before heading out of the room.
Afterwards, Senior Teacher Lu promptly handed the tray over to Nun Hualian. Then with a smile, he said, “Fellow Daoist Hualian, this is the Purple Essence Copper we are lending to you. Your monastery has looked everywhere for this material. It appears you truly plan on refining a precious treasure. Could it be a top-grade magic tool or a magic treasure?”
Nun Hualian hesitated for a moment and then apologetically said, “This isn’t very clear to me. I am only following the orders of Fourth Senior Nun. If Senior wishes to know more about this, it would be better for him to ask her. They should tell you the truth.”
When Senior Teacher Lu heard the mention of Fourth Senior Nun, his expression changed for a moment and then he responded with a chuckle, “There is no need to do that. It was only a passing question.”
Nun Hualian smiled and lifted the cloth off of the tray, revealing a pile of golden stones glowing with purple light.
She grinned after she saw the tray-full of Purple Essence Copper and uttered a word of thanks before taking it into her storage pouch in a sweep of light.
With her objective fulfilled, Nun Hualian uttered a few more words with Senior Teacher Lu before taking her leave.
He didn’t urge her to stay and promptly called for the child to lead Nun Hualian out of the academy. Han Li bid his farewell as well and followed after the woman.
After Han Li and Nun Hualian left, silence filled the hall.
Teacher Yan and Senior Teacher Lu didn’t speak for some time and simply looked at each other in silence. Teacher Yan in particular had a troubled expression.
Senior Teacher Lu eventually broke the silence and spoke with a sullen emotionless tone, “How are your preparations? In order to deal with that monster Niu Tiande, I will have to rely on my Essencejoin Devouring Arts. Now that we are at the final strand, do you have any second thoughts on keeping your life?
Teacher Yan’s expression turned sullen and he snorted, saying, “So long as I am able to take revenge for the extermination of my clan, what is the cost of a single life in comparison? My sole worry is that after you finish cultivating your ability, you would be unwilling to provoke the old devil out of fear for his fierce flames.” Reminded of his family, he clasped his hands with force, deeply sinking his fingernails into his palm.
Senior Teacher Lu wasn't angered by his words and calmly replied, “Hehe! Why does Brother Yan have such doubts towards me? Didn’t I already say once you assist me in cultivating this ability, I will inherit your body’s noble spirit Qi which will contain traces of your resentment? If I don’t eliminate this Niu Tiande, there will come a day I will no longer be able to use this Qi. In order to make sure that I can still make use of it, I must eliminate him. Besides, does Brother Yan feel that there is anyone else that will assist you in killing this wretch? And someone that has no fear of retaliation from the Black Yang Sect?”
Teacher Yan pondered for a moment, then saying, “You’re right. Although I’ve strived to make friends with a few cultivators over the years, none of them have abilities or cultivation as vast as Brother Lu’s, and only you are willing to assist me in getting revenge for the extermination of my family. It isn’t that the others aren’t capable, but that they’re unwilling to provoke one of the ten Great Devil Dao Sects on the behalf of a mortal like me.”
“Naturally,” Senior Teacher Lu sighed, “That Niu Tiande is an external affairs enforcer of the Black Yang Sect. How could a small sect dare to provoke them? Confucian sects like ours were always at odds with the devil Dao, so there is no fear of worsened relations. In a show of my sincerity, I have agreed to every one of your requests in the last five years. This clearly illustrates my kind intentions.”
Teacher Yan’s expression turned icy and he coldly stared at Senior Teacher Lu in silence.
Seeing that Teacher Yan wouldn’t yield, Senior Teacher Lu wryly smiled and helplessly said, “Fine, in order to set Brother Yan’s heart at ease, I am willing to face the portrait of our noble sage and swear a heartlock oath. In the future, if I do not fulfill my oath, my noble spirit Qi won’t progress in the slightest.”
Teacher Yan let out a long sigh and his brow twitched. Then, with a stiff expression, he said, “Good, that will do. Then don’t hesitate to use this body to assist in your cultivation. It isn’t that I can’t trust Brother Lu, but as the sole surviving member of the Yan Clan, I cannot help but be more cautious.”
Senior Teacher Lu waved his hand and calmly said, “I naturally understand why Brother Yan is being difficult. The cultivation arrangements will take place in one month. Please finish making your funeral arrangements before returning to the academy.”
Teacher Yan nodded and the room sank into silence once more.
Then, he suddenly broke the silence and asked, “That’s right, why did that Royal Serenity Monastery nun had to take away Han Li? Could it be that the academy didn’t wish for another tool refinement disciple?”
Senior Teacher Lu casually smiled and said, “I was merely using the situation for my own benefit. The treasure that the Royal Serenity Monastery is refining should be quite important. They are lacking even subordinates to refine materials. Although our academy can lend low-grade tool refinement disciples to Royal Serenity Monastery, we will find it difficult as we don’t know what they will be subject to. With the appearance of Young Friend Han, we were able to fulfill their request without troubling the sect.”
When Scholar Yan heard this, he calmly let the matter drop. If he felt truly ill over the matter, he would’ve pressed his friend further.
Meanwhile, Nun Hualian was bringing Han Li along on a scarf magic tool. They were flying toward a shorter point of Illusory Cloud Peak.