Chapter 1228: The Powerful Buddhist Cultivator

"Indeed, I am Can Ku, and I'm the lord of the Hidden Fortune Pavilion. I was actually informed of the reason for your arrival earlier through a voice transmission talisman from Shopkeeper Zhang. This is not a suitable place to talk; how about we have a chat in the palace?" the old man suggested in a respectful manner as he extended a hand toward the palace gates.

He was wearing a different ring on each and every one of his 10 fingers, some of which were emanating piercing light, while others were completely dull and lackluster. It was a rather peculiar spectacle to behold.

Han Li glanced at the rings on the old man's hand with a nod before turning to the monk beside Can Ku, and he asked, "I have no objections. May I ask your name?" 

This monk was wearing a set of yellow monk robes, and his features were quite youthful, making him appear as if he were a 16 or 17-year-old young man. However, the fearsome spiritual pressure radiating from his body suggested that he was a mid-Nascent Soul cultivator.

"I am Yan Zhu." The youthful monk smiled as he brought his palms together in a Buddhist salute.

"Yan Zhu?" Han Li murmured to himself, but he was drawing a complete blank.

However, that wasn't something to be alarmed about. After all, the high-grade cultivators of the four major Buddhist sects were all quite secretive to begin with, and Han Li wasn't from the Great Jin, so it was no surprise that he hadn't heard of this monk. 

However, a hint of befuddlement flashed through the eyes of the old man upon seeing the lack of reaction from Han Li. Even though he had disguised it quite well, Han Li was far too cautious to let that detail escape his notice. His expression remained unchanged, but he was quickly thinking about his situation.

Could it be that this monk was supposed to be an extremely renowned cultivator? Otherwise, why would this lord of the Hidden Fortune Pavilion have displayed such a reaction?

In contrast, the youthful monk merely smiled and didn't say anything.

At this moment, the two Core Formation cultivators had also finally reached the palace gates, and they hurriedly extended bows toward the old man.

Can Ku issued a few instructions to the armor-clad Core Formation cultivator before sending him away, leaving only the yellow-robed man remaining behind.

He then led everyone into the Hidden Fortune Pavilion, where everyone took a seat in what clearly wasn't the main hall of the building. Of course, the yellow-robed man and all of the other Core Formation cultivators could only stand.

"I heard that Fellow Daoist Han has paid our palace a visit in order to purchase the secret technique for refining a spatial pocket, is that correct?" Can Ku cut straight to the point.

"That's right, that is indeed the purpose of my visit." Han Li replied in a straightforward manner.

"Seeing as you're asking for this secret technique, you must've discovered a spatial rift and wish to refine it into a spatial pocket, but you don't want anyone else to know of its location, right?" Can Ku asked with a nonchalant smile.

This pavilion lord was only at the mid-Nascent Soul Stage, but this was his territory. As such, even though he was treating Han Li in a respectful manner, he showed no intention of allowing Han Li to dominate proceedings.

"You've hit the nail right on the head," Han Li replied indifferently as his eyes narrowed slightly.

"Hehe, ever since our pavilion first created spatial pockets, there have been other fellow Daoists like you who have tried to obtain the refinement method from us. Those fellow Daoists were all in a similar situation as you're currently in, Brother Han; they all discovered spatial rifts and wished to refine those spatial rifts into their person spatial pockets, but didn't want anyone else to be aware of the spatial pocket's location. Furthermore, there has been no lack of great cultivators among those who have come to me seeking the refinement method," Can Ku chuckled.

"Oh? Did you agree to their request, Fellow Daoist?" Han Li was truly curious after hearing that.

"No! Every single one of those fellow Daoists promised me that they wouldn't divulge the refinement method to anyone else, but if we were to give them the secret technique, it wouldn't be something that's unique to our Hidden Fortune Pavilion anymore," Can Ku replied in a frank manner.

Han Li was silent for a moment before speculating in a meaningful voice, "I trust that you must have some alternative solution that you can offer, right? Otherwise, it would be quite unwise to turn down great cultivators like this, even for an organization as powerful as the Hidden Fortune Pavilion."

"You are indeed correct, Brother Han. Our Hidden Fortune Pavilion would naturally prefer to avoid offending powerful cultivators if possible. As such, even though we can't hand over the refinement method, we have a substitute that can also satisfy those fellow Daoists' requests," Can Ku replied with a carefree expression.

"A substitute?" Han Li was truly a little flabbergasted this time.

"Our pavilion has actually devised a set of formation tools a long time ago, and those tools can create a formation that can transform an area into a makeshift spatial pocket. I can't guarantee you that the result would be exactly identical to a true spatial pocket, but it's at least extremely similar," Can Ku announced confidently.

However, Han Li's brows furrowed upon hearing this, and he shook his head as he asked, "Is that so? Seeing as it's relying on the power of a restriction, a spatial pocket of this nature will surely have many flaws, right?"

"There will naturally be some flaws, but those flaws won't be an issue for someone like you, Brother Han," Can Ku replied nonchalantly.

"You really have piqued my interest now, Brother Can. Would you be able to elaborate on that further?" Han Li's expression had finally changed a little.

"There's not a whole lot of explaining to be done. Essentially, the former pavilion lord asked a few formation spell masters to create a spatial pocket formation based on the concept of a true spatial pocket. These formations were then virtually perfectly replicated in the form of formation tools that can be distributed. As long as the area isn't too large, the formation tools will suffice for creating a spatial pocket. As for flaws, there are only two; seeing as formation tools are being used, the spirit stone expenditure will naturally be quite high. It would take over 10,000 spirit stones to maintain a spatial pocket of this nature per year. Of course, if the spatial pocket itself contains a spirit vein, then those costs can be slightly lowered. Aside from that, the makeshift spatial pocket set up using these spatial tools will only be able to maintain itself for a maximum of 2,000 to 3,000 years. After that, the formation tools will lose their efficacy, and the entire spatial pocket would collapse. I'm sure that with your current wealth, the first condition can be easily met. As for the second flaw, as long as you're not planning to pass down this spatial pocket for many generations, the time limit should more than suffice for your needs. Even if we were to reach the Deity Transformation Stage, our lifespans would only be extended to just over 2,000 years anyway," Can Ku elaborated with a slightly smug expression on his face.

Han Li began to stroke his chin with a contemplative look upon hearing this.

"How about it? Are you interested in our pavilion's formation tools? If so, we'll be sure to sell you a set at a discounted price." A confident smile appeared on Can Ku's face, as if he were sure that Han Li would accept this arrangement.

However, in the next instant, Can Ku's smile abruptly stiffened.

After contemplating for a long while, Han Li shook his head, and said, "I still want the refinement method for the spatial pocket."

Not only did the yellow-robed Core Formation cultivator's expression change upon hearing this, even the monk named Yan Zhu had turned to appraise Han Li with a hint of surprise in his eyes.

Can Ku's smile faded as he asked, "Seeing as you're so insistent, you must have your own considerations, but you should at least provide me with a plausible reason for your insistence, right, Fellow Daoist Han?" As he spoke, he was unconsciously tapping the jade armrest on his chair with his hand in a very rhythmic manner.

Han Li could see what Can Ku was doing, but he ignored it as he calmly replied, "It's quite simple; the spatial rift that I discovered is already displaying signs of instability. I don't believe that a mere set of formation tools can prevent spatial collapse should it arise. As such, I'm determined to obtain the refinement method," Han Li said in an implacable voice.

Can Ku's brows furrowed upon hearing this. It was quite clear that Han Li's reply was completely unexpected to him, and a hesitant look appeared on his face for the first time.

"You can have the refinement method for the spatial pocket if you want it, but you'll have to spar with me first." Right at this moment, an elderly voice sounded from somewhere. Immediately thereafter, silver light flashed and a streak of light shot forth into the palace. The silver light then faded to reveal a monk in silver obes.

Can Ku and Yan Zhu immediately rose to their feet and hurriedly extended respectful salutes toward the monk. Can Ku's expression lit up with elation as he greeted, "Master Yuan Zhi, you came!"

"Yan Zhu pays his respects to Senior Martial Brother Yuan Zhi!"

The two of them were treating the monk in an extremely respectful manner.

In contrast, Han Li remained seated in his chair as he appraised this monk with a somewhat intrigued expression.

This monk didn't appear to be as youthful as Yan Zhu, but he only looked to be around 30 years of age, and had a set of graceful and refined facial features. It was quite difficult to link this man to that elderly voice that had rung out earlier.

Unlike with Yan Zhu, Yuan Zhi was a name that Han Li had actually heard of. This monk seemed to be one of the three late-Nascent Soul Stage elders of the Lightning Sound Sect, which was one of the four major Buddhist sects.

In contrast with other Buddhist great cultivators, this man was extremely renowned throughout the Great Jin and at the same time, he was also one of the exceedingly rare Buddhist vajra protectors. That was the extent of Han Li's knowledge of this man.

Only after inspecting the silver-robed monk for a while did Han Li cup his fist in a salute. However, he remained seated his chair, and a hint of a smile appeared on his face as he said, "Master Yuan Zhi of the Lightning Sound Sect; I didn't think you'd be the guest elder of the Hidden Fortune Pavilion. Forgive me for my rudeness." 

A slightly cold light flashed through the silver-robed monk's eyes at the sight of Han Li's lackadaisical display, and he asked coldly, "Which sect are you from, Fellow Daoist Han? I don't recall ever hearing about you."

"It's no surprise that you don't recognize me, Master Yuan Zhi; this is also the first time I've seen you!" Han Li chuckled lazily.

At this moment, Yan Zhu suddenly chuckled and said something quite unexpected. "Senior Martial Brother Yuan Zhi, this may be your first time seeing Benefactor Han, but it's definitely not the first time you've heard of him."

Han Li's expression changed slightly as he turned toward Yan Zhu.

Can Ku also faltered upon hearing this before a contemplative look appeared on his face.

"Oh? What do you mean by that Junior Martial Brother Yan Zhu?" The silver-robed monk was also a little taken aback.

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