Aside from the thin shopkeeper and the armor-clad man who had just spoken, there was also a young man with a set of delicate facial features present, and he also wore an expression of displeasure on his face.
Han Li surreptitiously swept his spiritual sense toward them to find that these two were both early-Spatial Tempering cultivators.
"Hmph, I never said that I was only going to bring one person with me to help me tame the spirit beast. If anyone wants to leave, feel free to do so. However, don't even think about my Iceheart Crystal, Purple Light Iron, and Azure Shifting Fruit, then," the shopkeeper rolled his eyes with a cold harrumph.
The young man and the armor-clad man glanced at once another upon hearing this while Han Li stood on the spot with slightly furrowed brows.
"Alright, so be it. However, if one of us manages to help you tame the spirit beast first, then wouldn't that mean the other two will have to walk away emptyhanded?" the young man asked.
"Hehe, don't worry about that; I never intended for the three of you to act independently. Instead, all of you are going to need to unleash your lightning powers at once. Otherwise, according to my prior experience, the lightning powers that any single one you possess won't be anywhere near enough. If you three can help me successfully tame the spirit beast, then I'll give all of you the items I promised," the shopkeeper chuckled coldly.
The young man and the armor-clad man's expressions eased upon hearing this, and neither of them raised any further objections.
The shopkeeper nodded with a pleased expression before turning to Han Li, and a look of surprise appeared on his face.
"Brother Han, it's only been several days since we last met, and you've already progressed from a mid-Spirit General to a late-Spirit General. That's truly incredible. I must offer you my congratulations. With your recent progression, your lightning powers will have become even more powerful, right?"
"Thank you for your kind words, Senior. I was merely lucky to have reached this point. As for my lightning powers, they have indeed been enhanced somewhat," Han Li replied half-truthfully with a faint smile on his face.
The armor-clad man and the young man also turned to Han Li with surprise in their eyes upon hearing this conversation.
"Good. Seeing as none of you have any objections, then come with me. I've hidden the spirit beast away in an obscure location," the shopkeeper said.
"I have no objections there, but before this, shouldn't you show us the items that you promised us?" the young man asked.
The armor-clad man faltered upon hearing this before chiming in in agreement. Han Li didn't say anything, but the expression on his face clearly indicated that he also supported this notion.
The shopkeeper seemed to have anticipated this request, and he said, "No problem. I've already prepared the items in advance, so I'd be happy to show them to you now." The ease with which the shopkeeper accepted this request came as a stark contrast to usual stinginess, and the young man was clearly taken aback, having already prepared a response for a refusal from the shopkeeper.
Three wooden boxes of different sizes were hurled through the air, and it appeared that the shopkeeper really was planning to show them the items he'd promised them.
The young man and the armor-clad man were both ecstatic. They swept their sleeves through the air, sending forth swaths of light that caught the oncoming wooden boxes.
Han Li's heart jolted as he also caught the box flying toward him before removing its lid.
A mesmerizing medicinal aroma wafted toward him, and a green fist-sized fruit sat within the box. There were even a couple of strange red leaves under the fruit, and Han Li's eyes narrowed slightly as he extended a finger toward the fruit.
The other two people also reached for the items in their respective boxes so they could conduct a more thorough examination.
However, right at this moment, the shopkeeper suddenly warned, "I wouldn't do that if I were you. All of the items in the boxes have restrictions set up on them. If any mishaps occur, you won't be able to pay for those things even if you give me everything you own."
All three of them immediately faltered upon hearing this.
The armor-clad man was a little enraged as he grumbled, "What are you trying to do, Brother Yu? How are we supposed to be able to ascertain the authenticity of these items without touching them?"
"With your cultivation bases, you'll have a 70% to 80% chance of verifying these items using your eyes and spiritual sense alone. If you want to completely assess the authenticity of these items, then you'll have to wait until after the event. If the three of you are unable to help me tame the spirit beast, then there won't be any need for you to verify the items. Besides, with my reputation, are you really concerned that I would try to deceive you?" the middle-aged man replied in a nonchalant manner.
The young man stared at the item in the box for a long while before finally making a decision and tossing the box back to the shopkeepers. "Alright, we'll trust you on this one. I'm sure Brother Yu wouldn't risk ruining his own reputation over something like this."
The armor-clad man carefully examined the object in his box with a hesitant look, but still reluctantly handed over the box in the end.
After stowing away the two wooden boxes, a pleased look appeared on the shopkeeper's face before he turned toward Han Li.
At this moment, Han Li was staring at the azure fruit in the box with blue light shimmering deep within his eyes and a contemplative look on his face.
The shopkeeper faltered slightly upon seeing this before asking, "What is it? Are you of the opinion that something is amiss with the Azure Shifting Fruit, Brother Han?"
"Not at all." Han Li shook his head before replacing the lid on the wooden box and tossing it to the shopkeeper as well.
The middle-aged man caught the wooden box before taking another meaningful glance at Han Li, then leading the way out the door.
Han Li's trio naturally followed him out of the shop.
The shopkeeper flew extremely quickly, but Han Li's trio were all powerful cultivators in their own right, and they were able to keep up with ease, flying out of the exchange center before heading directly toward a certain direction in the holy city.
After flying for two hours, they arrived in an extremely secluded corner of the holy city.
There were noticeably far fewer buildings here, and very few people in the area. It was quite a sparsely populated place, and the shopkeeper led them on a descent after arriving at a completely mundane looking short building.
This nondescript building was only just over 300 feet tall, and it was split up into two levels.
As soon as the shopkeeper's feet landed on the ground, the doors of the building were immediately flung open, and two men who appeared to be in their twenties emerged from within. They hurriedly extended respectful bows toward the shopkeeper, and greeted in unison, "Welcome back, Patriarch!"
"The two of you, stand guard out here. No one is allowed to enter this place without my permission," the shopkeeper ordered.
"Yes!" the two men answered without any hesitation before positioning themselves on either side of the building's entrance. Han Li glanced at the two of them and paid them no further heed after discovering that they were merely Core Formation cultivators.
Meanwhile, the shopkeeper had already entered the building, and the young man and armor-clad man followed suit after a brief hesitation while Han Li brought up the rear.
The room wasn't a very spacious one, and all of the decor appeared to be quite plain and mundane. There were three square wooden tables and a dozen or so wooden chairs, and those pieces of furniture took up most of the area in the room.
There were also several antiquated artworks that were yellow with age hanging on the walls of the room. All of these pieces of artwork depicted demons beasts and scenery, and they weren't very noteworthy, either.
"Brother Yu, is that spirit beast really here?" the armor-clad man couldn't help but ask. This room was quite small, and it really didn't appear as if it could house any powerful spirit beasts, so it was no wonder that the man was having some doubts.
"Would I lie to you three? Come with me," the shopkeeper instructed in a brisk tone as he glared at the armor-clad man. He then made his way over to one of the scenery paintings hanging from one of the walls, and he rustled his sleeve to produce a scroll.
The scroll was unfurled to reveal the exact same scene depicted in the artwork on the wall.
Han Li and the armor-clad man both faltered upon seeing this, unable to comprehend what the shopkeeper was doing. However, the young man's expression changed drastically as he caught sight of the two pieces of artwork, and he exclaimed, "That's the Xumi Paradise Scroll! You're in possession of the Pentaluster Race's most prized treasure?"
"The Xumi Scroll? No way! Aren't there only a total of seven of those in the Pentaluster Race? How did you manage to obtain one, Brother Yu?" The armor-clad man was very startled to hear this.
Han Li had no idea what this treasure was, but his heart stirred upon hearing the word "Xumi" as he cast his gaze toward the artwork hanging on the wall.
The slightly yellow artwork depicted a small green mountain, and there was a small cluster of buildings on that mountain, but everything was rather blurry and indistinct.
"Hehe, you sure have a strong discerning eye. This is indeed a Xumi Paradise Scroll. However, it's not one of the seven scrolls that the Pentaluster Race view as their most prized treasure; this is an imperfect Xumi Scroll," the shopkeeper chuckled.
"So it's a replica?" Both the young man and the armor-clad man faltered upon hearing this.
A smug expression appeared on the shopkeeper's face as he replied, "Indeed. There aren't many people even in the Pentaluster Race who are aware of its existence. Back then, the Pentaluster Race used the spirit bones of a Five-Colored Phoenix to refine a total of 10 Xumi Paradise Scrolls, not seven. Unfortunately, three of them were flawed, and their effectiveness was severely hampered as a result. As such, those three scrolls were hidden very early on, and their existence wasn't revealed to the rest of the world. Due to various reasons, those three scrolls somehow ended up outside of the Pentaluster Race and switched hands between several other races. As for how I came about this one, that's not something the three of you need to know."
"Even though it's a flawed scroll, obtaining such a treasure is a vast fortune, Brother Yu," the armor-clad man said with an envious expression.
The young man stared at the scroll, and a hint of greed flashed through his eyes.
Han Li's expression remained unchanged, but he was also filled with a sense of yearning.
Xumi treasures were one of the treasures that he wanted to obtain the most after arriving in this Spirit Realm. Unlike the false Xumi space refined using spatial rifts in the human world, this was an independent existence, and was a true spatial treasure that could be carried.
"Alright, let's go. The spirit beast is in the Xumi Paradise." The smile on the shopkeeper's face suddenly faded as he abruptly rustled his sleeve.
An incredible scene then ensued.
Brilliant five-colored light abruptly erupted from the scroll before transforming into a vast expanse of light that disappeared into the artwork on the wall.
The shopkeeper began to chant something while abruptly pointing a finger at the artwork on the wall.
The same five-colored spiritual light also flashed from the scroll before a swath of light emanated from it.
The five-colored light swept up everyone in the room at the shopkeeper's behest. Following a brief hesitation, Han Li relinquished his resistance in the end and allowed the light to enshroud his entire body, but he surreptitiously injected more power into the protective layer of spiritual light around him.
Following another flash of five-colored light, the room was completely devoid of any people.Previous Chapter Next Chapter