As the two women entered the store closely followed by the three male cultivators who were unwilling to part with them, Han Li and Crooked Soul appeared from behind a building.
Seeing the two women enter the store, Han Li revealed a thoughtful expression.
After looking on for a moment, he brought Crooked Soul to another street.
At first glance, the shops here and the mortal shops outside appeared no different. The shops here were laid in rows on each side of the street in even squares and carried signboard and flags at their storefront with names such as “Wu’s Assorted Goods”, “Chen Ji’s Magic Tools”, “Five Elements Magic Tools Store”, and “Huo Yang’s Raw Materials”.
Han Li didn’t enter these shops, instead choosing to walk down the street towards the center of the Sky Capital Market.
According to Han Li’s experiences, the powerful stores should be positioned in the best area, and that’s below the Dreamcloud Pavilion. As Han Li grew closer, he looked at the fantastical pavilion in the sky and couldn’t help but hurry his steps.
At this moment, the market streets had quite a number of cultivators going about their way, entering stores on occasion.
After walking about a kilometer, Han Li knew he had found the right place. His eyes lit with realization upon seeing a huge plaza that spanned about half an acre.
Stripes of fine, white jade filled the floor of the plaza, making for a sight of refined beauty. The center of the plaza was completely empty aside from the Dreamcloud Pavilion floating above it. It floated above with its doors shut, lacking any intention of inviting visitors.
Six small, uniquely-styled palace pavilions towered around the plaza, each a similar distance away from the center. They faintly seemed to stand in opposition of each other. No other store dared to place themselves among these six stores at the plaza.
After taking another glance at the pavilion, Han Li brought his gaze towards the six palace pavilions on the ground.
“The Mountain Sea Pavilion, White Water Pavilion, Jade Band Pavilion...” Han Li muttered the names of these six stores to himself as he sized up the nearby cultivators that were entering and leaving them. He wanted to enter the store with clientele of the highest status.
But after a moment, Han Li frowned and couldn’t help but inwardly curse. The customers of these stores were all of nearly the same status. After taking a round trip examining the six palace pavilions, he felt both reluctance and excitement.
Feeling gloomy, Han Li attentively sized up the six stores once more, and this time, he discovered something odd. The symbols embroidered on the banners outside each of the stores seemed to hold some sort of unique, deeper meaning.
The Mountain Sea Pavilion’s banner was embroidered with a blue mythical animal, the White Water Pavilion had a small, golden sword, the Jade Band Pavilion had a green mushroom...
Upon seeing this, Han Li felt that he had been mistaken.
After a moment of thought, he walked over to the store nearest him, the White Water Pavilion, in order to confirm his thoughts. Crooked Soul naturally followed after him without a sound.
Upon entering the palace hall of the White Water Pavilion, he found the interior to be somewhat large, about a hundred meters wide. There were rows of white jade engraved shelves that displayed nearly a hundred sparkling magic tools of all colors. But with a quick look, Han Li found that these magic tools were all only high grade magic tools at best. They were simply beneath him.
In front of the shelves stood five sharply dressed attendants in azure clothes, all currently taking care of about eight cultivators who were selecting a few magic tools.
But once Han Li and Crooked Soul entered, a sharp-eyed attendant noticed that Crooked Soul was a Foundation Establishment cultivator. Although he couldn’t tell the exact depth of Crooked Soul’s cultivation, he still hurriedly rushed forward with bright eyes.
After giving Crooked Soul a formal salute, he smartly asked, “Senior, what magic tools do you wish to buy. Since common magic tools are certain to be beneath you, how about Senior accompany me to the side room? The shopkeeper has acquired a few new top grade magic tools. Shall we go take a look?”
Han Li couldn’t help but silently smile upon hearing such exquisitely crafted words, “Lead the way, Junior. I’ll take a look for now.
Having heard Crooked Soul’s arrogant tone, the attendant grew even happier. He invited them to a side room off the main hall with a smile before politely taking his leave to fetch the shopkeeper.
Just as he left, a dainty maid came in and poured the two of them a cup of some oddly fragrant tea before silently withdrawing.
With a trace of politeness, Han Li lifted the tea cup and took a taste. But not long after, an eccentric middle-aged man with a long-whiskered mustache and beard had arrived.
He walked in with a beaming smile. But after he discovered the depth of Crooked Soul’s cultivation, he involuntarily revealed shock and hurriedly saluted Crooked Soul, saying, “I truly didn’t expect that Fellow Daoist had reached False Core Stage. My Congratulations! I am the shopkeeper Cao Lu. I offer my best wishes for Fellow Daoist in entering Core Formation!”
His solemn, respectful expression left Han Li stunned!
His thoughts quickly churned for a moment before realizing that he was referring to Crooked Soul’s near peak Foundation Establishment cultivation. Going along with the situation, Han Li willed Crooked Soul to say, “Fellow Daoist jests! How is Core Formation so easily reached? Actually, I’ve come to make preparations for this very matter. However, when I initially came to the Sky Capital Market, I truly didn’t know where to find the ingredients I required: Spirit Snow Water and Liquid Heavenfire. I hope Fellow Daoist Cao could give me some advice!” Crooked Soul spoke with a very courteous tone, as the strange-looking middle-aged man was a mid Foundation Establishment cultivator.
Shopkeeper Cao instantly replied, “Hehe, that isn’t a problem! Our Six United Palaces have mutual respect, and sense of propriety. I’ll get in touch with Jade Band Pavilion’s Fellow Daoist Ouyang, and immediately send them over should they have them.” Without the slightest hesitation, he took out a sound transmission talisman and softly said a few words into it before it turned into a streak of red light and flew out the room.
Following this, Shopkeeper Cao cordially chatted with Crooked Soul, casually asking about Crooked Soul’s origins and affiliations.
But Han Li couldn’t possibly divulge such secrets to a stranger he just met. He merely had Crooked Soul vaguely state that he was a cultivator that had newly arrived at the island. Because he had unexpectedly ran into his Martial Nephew Han Li, he decided to stay on Stalwart Star Island for the time being.
Shopkeeper Cao’s smile grew even wider. His friendliness reached a level Han Li found difficult to tolerate.
Just as doubts were stirring in Han Li’s mind, a large azure-clothed man with a curled beard walked into the room. His face was a dark red and he had a lofty, burly body. He appeared extremely bold and powerful!
“Fellow Daoist Cao, why do you suddenly want Spirit Snow Water and Liquid Heavenfire? Could it be someone wishes to form their core?” A large man suddenly walked into the room with a forthright smile. After looking at Han Li for a moment, he turned his attention to Crooked Soul.
Han Li inwardly frowned. This person asked a question while clearly already knowing the answer. He was not straightforward and bold as his appearance had suggested; he was definitely a deep schemer. Han Li’s heart trembled and became more vigilant of this person.
Naturally, Han Li and Crooked Soul had calm expressions, and they even wore slight smiles.
“Hehe, Fellow Daoist Ouyang, let me give you an introduction. This is Fellow Daoist Crooked Soul. He just arrived at this island. This is his Martial Nephew Han Li, a resident of our island. Fellow Daoist Crooked Soul has reached False Core Stage and wishes to strive to form his core.” Cao Lu pointed at Crooked Soul and Han Li, speaking with a beaming smile.
“Hehe, congratulations Fellow Daoist! If Fellow Daoist succeeds in forming his core, our Stalwart Star Sea will have another pillar of strength!” The curly-bearded man surnamed Ouyang spoke cordially with a wide grin.
He suddenly appeared to have thought of something and patted the back of his head. He embarrassingly said, “Ah, my damn memory, I’ve forgotten about Crooked Soul’s impatient need of Spirit Snow water and Liquid Heavenfire. But please be at ease, I brought over enough for two people to form their cores.” The large man with a curly mustache, Fellow Daoist Ouyang, took out two jade boxes shining with yellow light and placed them on the table in front of Han Li.
“These two boxes holding spiritual objects were carved out of earth attribute jade acquired from the deep sea. It can also be considered a strange treasure. But when compared with the price of what it contains, it is naturally incomparable!” Although curly-bearded man’s words seemed as if he didn’t care, he seemed to hold some pride in them.
“Then I truly must thank you!” Crooked Soul calmly said his thanks before carefully opening the boxes.
One of the boxes contained a clear, transparent liquid. Upon opening the box, a wondrous, cold Yin Qi directly blew past Crooked Soul. In contrast, the other box contained a fiery, scarlet liquid that released a scorching air.
After inspecting these items for a long while, Crooked Soul shut the lids of the boxes with a satisfied appearance. He raised his head and serenely asked, “How many spirit stones does Fellow Daoist want in order to part with these items?”
Although Spirit Snow Water and Liquid Heavenfire weren’t as rare as thousand year spirit herbs, they were spiritual objects that were difficult to find, but as they were items that were needed to enter Core Formation, Han Li was determined to acquire them.Previous Chapter Next Chapter