When Han Li heard about the conditions to acquire the Thunderspirit Crystal, he rubbed his chin and asked, “An exchange? I actually have a few materials on hand that could be traded for it.”
When the white-robed middle-aged man heard Han Li, he handed over a jade slip that was previously prepared. “The materials and medicine pills that the crystal’s owner wants in exchange are in here. Although it might be more common than some of the materials that Senior wishes to collect, it’s still difficult to find in this world. Otherwise, the Thunderspirit Crystal would’ve already been exchanged as it’s an ideal material for creating lightning-attribute magic treasures.”
Han Li took the jade slip and immersed his spiritual sense into it without another thought.
The middle-aged man carefully examined Han Li’s expression, hoping to see through some of his thoughts, but his expression hadn’t betrayed the slightest change or emotion. Rather, his calm demeanor disappointed the shopkeeper and even caused him to feel apprehensive.
‘Just where did this Senior Han come from? Not only is his appearance young, but the materials he’s looking for are incredibly rare. Although there are many Nascent Soul cultivators with young appearances, most of them are female, and this man doesn’t particularly appear to care about his clothes and appearance. Could he be a newly ascended Nascent Soul cultivator?’
Although the middle-aged shopkeeper could sense that Han Li was a Nascent Soul cultivator, he wasn’t able to determine his precise cultivation. He could only determine that his presence was stronger than that of other early Nascent Soul cultivators he met before.
As a result, he was attending to Han Li personally with great care. With the powers backing the Hidden Fortune Pavilion, he didn’t need to treat ordinary Nascent Soul cultivators with excessive effort.
A moment later, Han Li withdrew his spiritual sense from the jade slip and handed it back over. He then said, “I do have a few items that this Fellow Daoist needs. However, I’ll need to see the Thunderspirit Crystal before making the exchange. If the quality of the crystal is too lacking, I will not trade for it.”
With some thought, the shopkeeper smiled and said, “Of course, so how about this? Since this is a high-value trade, I will send a sound transmission talisman to Senior Fu, the owner of the Thunderspirit Crystal, and you will be able to conduct the trade in person. He is currently residing nearby this market.”
After pondering a bit as well, Han Li said, “Alright, I also wish to meet this Fellow Daoist Fu. The more of these crystals I can acquire, the better. I also want to see whether he has more on hand.”
He thought that since this Old Man Fu was able to acquire such a rare material, it was possible that he had other of these materials on hand.
“In that case, I will go and send the message. Please wait for a moment, Senior Han. Senior Fu will arrive soon.” The shopkeeper gave a salute and promptly left.
Then, Han Li finally decided to turn his attention to the tea on the table. He took a sip and found that its taste was quite unordinary.
Soon, the shopkeeper returned. Han Li then turned his attention to him and asked, “Does your store produce Hidden Fortune Rooms in abundance? I’ve heard that your pavilion creates high-grade Hidden Fortune Rooms, allowing one to carry miniaturized cave residences on one’s palm, and that these rooms are attached with a few formidable restrictions. Is this true? “
The shopkeeper chuckled and explained, “Hidden Fortune Rooms are indeed our specialty, but what Senior had described are the highest grade Hidden Fortune Rooms known as Hidden Fortune Mansions. Since these mansions are refined from uncommon materials, few of them are ever produced. We have some in storage that aren’t being sold, and all those we put on sale are all gone.”
Surprised by what he heard, Han Li asked, “Why aren’t they being sold? Didn’t your pavilion refine them for that purpose?”
The middle-aged man explained with a trace of embarrassment, “I won’t conceal this from Senior. The remaining Hidden Fortune Mansions are of unrivalled quality. Be it their size or attached restrictions, they far exceed the ones that we had put for sale. As such, it was decided that they would be retained for the purpose of being traded for rare materials.”
With great interest, Han Li curled his lip and said, “That is quite surprising. If these Hidden Fortune Mansions are as marvelous as you say, I might want to purchase one. Could you take them out and let me have a look?”
With roused spirits, the shopkeeper hastily said, “Take them out? Senior must be joking. I am only a mere steward of this store, and I do not have the authority to use the treasure. It may only be taken out with Elder Wang’s permission. Furthermore, we only keep one of them here at our main branch, and it is our pavilion’s pride. The other mansions are located at our other branches. However, this Hidden Fortune Mansion was personally created by our tool refinement grandmaster Hua Yunzi and should be ranked amongst the very best of its kind. Solely based on the restrictions attached to it, it is equivalent to a high-grade ancient treasure. If Senior is truly interested, I can immediately lead you to a hidden room and Senior Han can continue the discussion with Elder Wang there. The materials needed to exchange for the room are also something that only he will know.”
From Han Li’s bold tone, it appeared that he was truly interested. If this deal went through, then the shopkeeper’s position in the Hidden Fortune Pavilion would sharply rise.
“So it’s like that, but I’ll have—” Just as Han Li spoke, his expression made a sudden changed.
The shopkeeper was shocked and hadn’t realized what was going on. An old man’s voice bellowed from below, “Youngster Zhao, is there truly someone that wishes to make a trade? I was in a crucial moment of my cultivation and cut it short to rush over here.”
Although his voice was aged, it was very clear and contained strength. Heavy thumping footsteps followed after he spoke.
The shopkeeper hastily stood up and respectfully replied, “It is true, of course. I wouldn’t dare to deceive you.”
A blur appeared at the third floor to reveal a towering and bulky silhouette.
Han Li narrowed his eyes and looked at who had just arrived. He was a large black-robed old man with dark red skin. The astonishing spiritual Qi fluctuations from his body revealed him to be a cultivator at the peak of mid-Nascent Soul stage. Han Li unconsciously frowned in surprise.
When the red-faced old man heard the shopkeeper, he turned to look at Han Li with a trace of astonishment, noticing both cultivation and young appearance. He then walked forward with wide steps and heartily laughed. “So this must be the Fellow Daoist Han that you mentioned. Since he possessed something I wanted, he can’t be an ordinary cultivator.”
Han Li stood up and saluted him with a smile, “Not at all. Fellow Daoist Fu’s cultivation has me in admiration of him.”
“What is there to admire? I’ve only managed this far with age.” The two cultivators then took a seat across from each other and Old Man Fu eagerly said, “I’ll get to the point. Could you tell me the items that you have for me?”
Han Li smiled and calmly said, “A Scarlet Essence Mushroom. It is over a thousand years of maturity.”
This wasn’t the same three-thousand-year mushroom he traded for in the Heavenly South. He had used one of its spores to nurture a new mushroom to a thousand years of maturity.
“A Scarlet Essence Mushroom?” Old Man Fu’s expression lit up. “If it is truly a thousand years old, then I will exchange it for my Thunderspirit Crystal. Can Fellow Daoist let me take a look?”
“Of course. I’ll take it out right now, but can you let me look at the crystal as well?”
“Ah, I’ve been too eager. Of course you can.” Old Man Fu turned to the shopkeeper and commanded, “Shopkeeper Zhao, take out the crystal for Fellow Daoist Han.”
“Yes, Senior.” The shopkeeper acknowledged the order and left the hall.
The red-faced old man examined Han Li and curiously asked, “Fellow Daoist Han, your appearance is quite unfamiliar, but your cultivation has already reached mid-Nascent Soul stage. Where have you come from? Have you always remained in bitter cultivation and rarely made contact with other cultivators? Why else would I have no impression of you despite your impressive spiritual power?”
Han Li smiled in response to the old man’s curiosity and replied with a prepared answer, “It is no surprise you wouldn’t know of me. I’ve cultivated on a small island overseas. I rarely set foot on the Great Jin mainland.”
Old Man Fu paused in surprise and understandingly said, “So you were an overseas cultivator. I truly respect you. I’ve long heard of overseas cultivators possessing many wondrous abilities, and that they cultivate a school of techniques different from cultivators of the mainland. I hope to exchange cultivation experiences with you. However, it appears Fellow Daoist has traveled a very long distance to the Jin Capital for the auction that will soon take place.”
As there were countless lands beyond the seas, it was no surprise that there were Nascent Soul cultivators who weren’t well known. The old man had mostly accepted it as truth.
After they chatted for a moment more, footsteps came from outside the hall and a bright voice said, “Why haven’t I been informed of Brother Fu’s arrival at our Hidden Fortune Pavilion? And we have our guest Fellow Daoist Han as well! I should’ve been there to personally welcome you.”
With that, a pale silver-robed cultivator entered the hall.