"Elder? When has the Ye Clan acquired another elder? Is he a vagrant cultivator or someone from a small sect? Won't there be a problem?" The Daoist nun quickly asked several questions in her alarm.
"Don't worry, Aunt. This person isn't a cultivator from the Great Jin but a vagrant cultivator from the Soaring Sky Plains. Their abilities are quite impressive, and we've already investigated this person's background and have found nothing wrong. They had offended the Soaring Sky Temple and had to flee. Our Clan had yet to reveal this matter to them."
"Oh, that's quite good. Although I disapprove of your follow-up plans, the elders have already set the plan into motion. Those two Divine Spirit Treasures must be acquired. We can only worry about what will happen afterwards and play it by ear, but you'll have to be careful from now on. Those superpowers have spies everywhere and our large movements are bound to attract their attention. We mustn't leak any information." The Daoist nun warned.
The beautiful woman bitterly smiled and helplessly said, "We fear we've already aroused the suspicion of a few perceptive individuals. Over the past few days, the superpowers have dispatched many additional cultivators to bolster their ranks at the capital city."
The Daoist nun's expression sank and she asked, "Were there any Nascent Soul cultivators among them?"
"No, but the cultivators they sent were all at Core formation stage. There are the same number of Nascent Soul cultivators watching over the capital city."
"That will be fine," the old Daoist nun slowly said, "It seems they are only somewhat suspicious and they haven't truly sensed anything. Ever since the Three Royals Monastery released information that it wished to refine an important treasure, it attracted much attention that would've otherwise put pressure on your side."
After some thought, the other woman said, "Your orders were the correct choice. But it stands to mention that although the treasure being refined by the Three Royals Monastery is only bait if it is successfully refined, it will be a great increase of our power. If it is possible, we should strive our hardest to create it."
"I am well aware," the Daoist nun said, "The Mountain Crushing Seal is a treasure capable of splitting the earth. Even an imitation of it will be an outstanding weapon. If we manage to successfully refine it, it will be the equivalent of having another late-Nascent Soul cultivator in our ranks. We must do our utmost to make sure that succeeds. On the other hand, I heard that your second uncle said that he wanted to recruit a few powerful vagrant cultivators. How is that going?"
"He has set himself on recruiting vagrant cultivators for quite a while. Two of the four great vagrant cultivators have already entered the service of the royal family. As for the other two, they were too difficult to find, so they will be impossible to recruit. However, Luminous West Mountain's ghost monarch and the Myriad Demon Valley's Deputy Valley Lord Xiong are also willing to stand with us to escape the superpower's control. They should lend us a hand when the time comes. There are also small sects that have displayed goodwill to us as well..."
Afterwards, the old Daoist nun and the beautiful woman continued their detailed discussions as time slowly passed by.
Inside the earthfire hall, County Lord Luxiu was staring wide-eyed at an egg-sized piece of silver that was wrapped in interweaving silver and crimson light. She wore an expression of delight.
The woman fiddled with the material in her hand and spoke to Han Li with a smile, "Senior Martial Brother Han, I didn't expect you'd be able to truly refine the Bloodvein Silver and at such high purity. Elder Wei must be quite accomplished to have a disciple as skilled as yourself. I ran across to the tool refinement rooms of many market cities, but none of their tool refinement masters were confident in their ability to refine this material properly."
Han Li replied with a faint smile, "Martial Senior Wei's tool refinement techniques aren't comparable to those of common tool refinement masters. Furthermore, I am not Martial Senior Wei's disciple, but a temporary helper for the tool refinement hall. When the time comes, I will want to wholeheartedly focus on cultivation. My current tool refinement techniques are something that I only simply learned in passing."
When the young woman heard Han Li, a sad expression appeared on her face. "Is that so? What a waste. You have so much talent for tool refinement since you were able to purify Bloodvein Silver."
"Since I've finished refining the County Lord's Bloodvein Silver, I now have other important matters to attend to and cannot continue to keep your company."
Just as Han Li began to tidy up the tool refinement magic tools in the room, he suddenly heard Luxiu say, "Please wait!" She put away the Bloodvein Silver and beamingly smiled, "Could it be that I am so ugly that my appearance is forcing you to leave? And who said I only had that to refine? I still have other materials that must be dealt with. I didn't know how skilled Senior Martial Brother was, and I didn't dare to take them out. I now am completely confident in your skills."
Afterwards, she took out a foot-long jade box and handed it over to Han Li.
He then felt his head ache. He weighed the jade box in his hand but didn't open it. Then with a bitter expression, he said, "There are still more materials? The County Lord overestimates me. At my current cultivation, I've already exhausted my strength refining just the Bloodvein Silver. I will not be able to refine any further materials."
"So it was like that... Your magic power is too shallow. However, this item doesn't need to be purified. I only want you to help me in dealing with the material and reduce the decay of its spiritual nature. I must tell you that you can't speak of it after I show it to you. It is something that I acquired with great difficulty and I reckon there are few such of its kind in the world."
"What item can be so rare?" In Han Li's astonishment, he glanced at the jade box in his hand and curiously opened it.
As soon as he opened the lid, a blinding red light suddenly shined out from it, blinding him.
In his alarm, blue light shined from his eyes as he unconsciously activated the Brightsight Spirit Eyes.
Both Han Li and the young woman shouted out at the same time in astonishment.
The box had a translucent plume feather that was a half-foot long. It sparked with red light as if it was made from flames.
"The plume of a Vast Yang Bird? But this is quite different," Han Li muttered to himself as he stared at the box's contents.
"What is a Vast Yang Bird? This is the plume of a Black Phoenix. When my grandfather brought me across the sea to visit a powerful senior, I took advantage of the moment his spirit bird was asleep to secretly pick its feather. Hehe, that stupid bird was dead asleep and didn't notice in the slightest. That's right, what's with your eyes? They had glowed with blue light. It's very interesting. Is it a magic technique?" She then stared at Han Li's eyes, hoping that she would recognize something.
But Han Li felt that something was off and had already canceled the Brightsight Spirit Eyes, preventing her from making anything out. At that moment, he was staring at the plume feather and was having a discussion with Monarch Soul Divergence using his spiritual sense.
"The plume of a Black Phoenix? Isn't it a fire-attribute spirit bird that was equivalent to the Vast Yang Bird? Could it serve as a replacement?" Han Li solemnly asked.
"The Black Phoenix is only a divergence of the Flame Phoenix. The bird may have a bloodline that descended from antiquity and possesses amazing abilities, but it is unfortunate that the two materials are not interchangeable. With some modifications, we can add in this plume and raise the power of the simplified Sevenflame Fan by an entire level. However, the spiritual nature of this feather has been greatly decayed. It is no longer a suitable material," Monarch Soul Divergence said with disappointment. Then, with a baffled tone, he added, "But I find this quite impressive. When I toured the Great Jin in the past, I've never heard of any eccentrics raising this bird."
"So it was like that..." When Han Li heard this, he felt greatly disappointed.
At that moment, Luxiu was looking at him with an impatient expression. She was greatly curious about the blue light that Han Li released from his eyes.
When he saw her expression, he rubbed his nose and wryly smiled in his heart.
With a calm expression, he then slowly replied, "The reason why my eyes shined with light is because I used spirit water to cleanse them. This method only grants my eyes slight spiritual sight. It is only a minor art for low-grade cultivators like me."
Luxiu's spirits were roused and eagerly asked, "What spirit water did you use to cleanse your eyes? Do you have more? Can you give me some?"
"The spirit water is only effective if it is used immediately after refinement. I've already used all that water I had. I fear I must disappoint you." He said with a regretful expression.
The young woman blinked and pouted, displaying her doubt as she said, "Senior Martial Brother Han, are you telling the truth? Don't think that you can lie to me because I'm young."
Han Li dryly laughed and then slowly said, "All of my words are true. I don't dare to deceive you, County Lord. However, I do have something else that might interest you."
The young woman was stunned when she heard Han Li's words and suddenly thought of something. With a crafty smile, she asked, "What will you trade for it? Don't tell me that you have eyes on my Black Phoenix Plume!"
Han Li closed the lid on the box and wryly smiled. "County Lord Luxiu must be joking. How could a mere Qi Condensation cultivator dare to covet such a treasure? I merely wish for you to confirm something."
The woman smiled and waved her arm in a bold display. "Confirm something? That's easy! There is no need to trade. If you help me deal with the Black Phoenix Plume, I will answer your questions the best I can."
After some thought, Han Li nodded and said, "Alright. Let's do as you say."