"How are you so sure that I have leftover Golden Lightning Bamboo, Senior?" Han Li asked with a peculiar look on his face.
"I can't be absolutely sure, of course, but seeing as you were able to refine 72 flying swords with the materials, there's a good chance that you'll have some spare Golden Lightning Bamboo, which is why I mentioned it," the elderly man replied.
"I'm afraid I'll have to let you down, Senior; I don't have any spare Golden Lightning Bamboo. I came across the Golden Lightning Bamboo I used to refine my swords by chance, and there was only just enough of it to refine these 72 flying swords," Han Li sighed.
"You don't have any left?" The elderly man furrowed his brows, seemingly slightly taken aback by this.
"That's right. I really do want the new sword art, as well as to refine my flying swords again, but I'm afraid I simply don't have the resources to facilitate this exchange," Han Li replied with a wry smile.
He was telling the truth here. Even though he had that mysterious small vial and a spiritual root of the Golden Lightning Bamboo, the Divine Devilbane Lightning contained within the 72 flying swords had always been sufficient for him, and there were countless other things that he had to use that small vial for. As such, he didn't nurture any additional Golden Lightning Bamboo.
He was quite tempted by the exchange that the elderly man was proposing, but he could only decline.
The elderly man stared at Han Li for a long while before determining that he didn't seem to be lying, and only then did he continue, "If you don't have any Golden Lightning Bamboo left, then I won't be able to give you the sword art. Actually, when you were harvesting the Golden Lightning Bamboo, you must've obtained a lot of its leaves as well, right?"
A thought suddenly occurred to the man, and he enquired about the leaves of the Golden Lightning Bamboo instead.
Han Li faltered slightly upon hearing this before replying, "I did indeed procure a lot of these leaves. Those leaves were quite peculiar, seemingly not wooden nor metallic in nature. I never managed to find a use for them, but they didn't seem like ordinary items, so I kept all the leaves in a safe place."
"Great! If you don't have Golden Lightning Bamboo, then I can give you the sword art and the refinement method for your flying swords in exchange for those leaves. However, I won't be helping you refine your swords, what do you think?" the elderly man asked as a hint of elation appeared in his eyes.
"That would be fantastic!" Han Li replied without any hesitation.
He knew that these leaves had to be quite useful for something or the elderly man wouldn't be asking him for them, but it was naturally a great exchange for him to be able to offer something that he didn't know the purpose of for something that was extremely useful to him.
Thus, Han Li immediately swept a hand over his storage bracelet, and azure light flashed as two faint green wooden boxes appeared in his hands.
He then tossed both of wooden boxes toward the elderly man, and a faint light flashed through the man's eyes as the two boxes drew to a halt, hovering in mid-air before him.
The lids of the boxes were then lifted amid flashes of white light, and stacks of shimmering golden bamboo leaves were revealed.
"There's no mistaking it; these are indeed Golden Lightning Bamboo leaves." The elderly man was able to instantly ascertain the authenticity of these leaves, and a pleased expression appeared on his face.
He swept a sleeve through the air, and boxes disappeared after the lids were placed back onto them.
He then flicked a finger to send a streak of white light hurtling directly toward Han Li.
Han Li caught the streak of white light in his grasp to find that it was a white jade slip.
"I've put the new sword art and the refinement method of the flying swords into that jade slip; you can have a look at it to make sure that I'm not swindling you," the elderly man said with a smile.
"I wouldn't dare to think that!" Han Li stowed the jade slip away without so much as a second glance at it.
The elderly man nodded upon seeing this.
"Senior Jiang, would you be able to enlighten me and tell me what those leaves can be used for?" Han Li couldn't help but ask.
"Hehe, you must still have some of these bamboo leaves left in your possession, right, Fellow Daoist Han? Rest assured, these leaves will be enough for me, so I won't make you hand over the rest. The purpose of these leaves is something that's known to very few people in the human race, but its common knowledge in the Chang Yuan Race, so there's no harm in telling you. These leaves can be used for two purposes; the first is to refine them into a type of divine lightning known as Golden Devil Vanquishing Lightning. In terms of potency against devilish beings, this type of lightning is superior even to Divine Devilbane Lightning. It's a powerful weapon for Grand Ascension cultivators like me against Extrarealm Heavenly Devils. They can also be fed to some spirit insects, and there's a very good chance that a mutation could occur. Of course, a considerable amount of these leaves must be fed to the spirit insects for that to happen," the elderly man revealed.
"Extrarealm Heavenly Devils? What are those?" Han Li was perplexed.
The elderly man was clearly in a very good mood, and he was a lot more talkative as he explained, "How do I say this? It's kind of like the lightning tribulations that befall us cultivators, except lightning tribulations take place at regular intervals, whereas Extrarealm Heavenly Devils are things that all Grand Ascension cultivators could be susceptible to at any moment. They're completely invisible and formless, kind of like inner demons, but countless times more dangerous. Under normal circumstances, Grand Ascension cultivators are most susceptible to such devils when our magic power is in a severely depleted state or when our state of mind is unstable. If we're unable to resist their attack, then our souls could be corrupted, thereby reducing us to one of them. I want these Golden Lightning Bamboo leaves so I can refine some Golden Devil Vanquishing Lightning, which will help me ward off such heavenly devils after my tribulation transcendence."
A contemplative look appeared on Han Li's face upon hearing this. He was quite intrigued by the notion that these leaves could be fed to spirit insects to effect mutations.
"By the way, are you planning to permanently settle in this place, Fellow Daoist Han?" On this occasion, the elderly man spoke in a normal manner rather than transmitting his voice to Han Li.
"There's too much Yin Qi here, which will hamper my cultivation in the long run, and I have some matters to take care of in the outside world as well, so I won't be able to stay here for too long," Han Li replied truthfully after a brief hesitation.
Yuan Yao's face paled slightly upon hearing this, but she quickly composed herself thereafter, so no one noticed her shift in demeanor aside from Yan Li.
A slightly peculiar look appeared on Yan Li's face upon seeing this, but she also quickly reverted back to a calm facade.
"Oh? Does that mean you've found a way to leave this space?" A hint of a smile appeared on the elderly man's face.
"Not yet, Senior." Han Li rubbed his nose in a slightly awkward manner.
"Haha, then you don't have to keep looking; I have a reliable way out of this place. Otherwise, how could I possibly reside in this holy land of the Mayfly Race without a way out? I can send you on your way in a few days," the elderly man chuckled.
"Thank you, Senior!" Han Li was overjoyed to hear this.
Just as an elated look appeared on Han Li's face, the elderly man transmitted his voice to him again. "Don't thank me just yet. I don't do anything free of charge, and this is no exception. I want to make another deal with you."
"Another deal?" Han Li faltered upon hearing this.
"Are you interested in the Divine Infernal River Elixir?" the elderly man asked.
"You possess this divine elixir, Senior?" Han Li was truly astonished this time.
"I've lived for so long in this infernal river; it'd be an absolute joke if I hadn't secured some Divine Infernal River Elixir by this point," the elderly man chuckled coldly.
"Does the Mayfly Race know of this? Aren't there two Infernal Lightning Beasts guarding the divine elixir?" Han Li asked in bewilderment.
"Do you really think two Infernal Lightning Beasts can stop me? I have countless ways to secure the divine elixir without being detected by them. On top of that, I only extract a small amount of elixir every time. Even if those Infernal Lightning Beasts come to realize what I'm doing, what are they going to do? Come and challenge me in battle to recover the elixir?" the elderly man scoffed in a proud manner.
"Of course I'm interested in the divine elixir, but I really don't have anything that I can exchange for it," Han Li replied after a long silence.
"I never said I wanted something from you now," the elderly man said in a meaningful voice.
"Then..." Han Li's expression changed slightly.
"It's quite simple; I can't leave this space as I'm trying to delay the arrival of my next heavenly tribulation, but I require some extremely important things. As long as you can gather those things for me, then bring them to me within the next 1,000 years, I'll exchange a vial of Divine Infernal River Elixir for them; what do you think, Fellow Daoist Han?" the elderly man asked.
"I'll have to hear what you'd like me to collect first, Senior." Rather than immediately accepting this arrangement, Han Li took a more conservative and cautious approach.
The fact that Han Li was exercising such caution seemed to be an encouraging sign for the elderly man, and a pleased look appeared on his face as he swept his sleeve through the air to send another jade slip flying toward Han Li.
Han Li caught the jade slip before immediately inspecting its contents, and it didn't take long before a peculiar look appeared on his face.
After a while, Han Li withdrew his spiritual sense from the jade slip before raising his head with a forced smile on his face.
"There aren't many items listed in this jade slip, but I've never even heard of most of them. Even the ones that I do know of are extremely rare, and I could easily go 1,000 years without encountering a single one of them. Surely you're asking too much of me, Senior."
"Do you think Divine Infernal River Elixir is some kind of normal spirit elixir, Fellow Daoist Han? It's something that even Body Integration cultivators are willing to risk their lives for! Besides, I didn't say you had to find everything on that list; as long as you can gather two-thirds of them, then return to this place, I'll exchange the divine elixir for those things," the elderly man replied in a calm manner.
"Two thirds? In that case, it's not entirely impossible," Han Li murmured after a brief pause for contemplation.
"Then do we have a deal, Fellow Daoist Han? If so, I can send you out of this infernal river as my deposit."
"I guess I have no choice but to agree." Han Li rubbed his nose with a wry smile on his face.
The elderly man smiled, and said, "I'll send you away from here in two days!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter