Chapter 926: The Tool Refinement Hall

Han Li and Nun Hualian were standing in a secret room filled with an assortment of materials. There was a red-faced early-Foundation Establishment cultivator appraising Han Li with a tight frown.

“This is Elder Wei, one of the two great tool refinement masters of our Three Royals Monastery. You will be assisting Elder Wei for the time being and will hone your tool refinement technique in passing. Rest assured, we won’t truly have you become a tool refinement master since we’re lacking in resources to do so. It is only because we will soon refine an important treasure that we require a bit more assistance. So long as you perform well in these three or so years, I will reward you will medicine pills and personally provide you cultivation guidance. Naturally, I will not go back on my promise!”

Han Li didn’t say anything further and only nodded in response.

Elder Wei then said in an annoyed voice, “Fellow Daoist Hualian, does this martial nephew truly understand tool refinement? Isn’t his age and cultivation too low? Didn’t you say you went to Pure Revelations Academy to find a suitable assistant?”

Nun Hualian replied with a smile, “The refinement of this treasure is vastly important so it would be better to not let other sects involve themselves. Martial Nephew Han’s cultivation and experience may be shallow, but with Elder Wei’s directions, there should be no problem for him to perform material refinement.”

With no better alternative, Elder Wei unhappily said, “Even refining materials will require talent or else it will result in destruction of the materials. But since Fellow Daoist Hualian has mentioned it, let’s have this youngster stay here for the time being.”

“Don’t worry, my judgment isn’t that poor. His magic power is remarkably pure despite his low cultivation. At the very worse, his control of magic power and tool refinement techniques shouldn’t be too poor.”

Elder Wei examined Han Li once more and a trace of astonishment appeared on his face. “Yi! So it was like that! He does have a bit of potential. It seems Fellow Daoist Hualian hadn’t brought any random person to me.”

“Since I’ve already brought the person you need, the refinement process should take less time. Compared to the other two monasteries, our own monastery is lagging behind in progress. We mustn’t delay this great affair by any means or we’ll be to blame. I will be taking my leave.” 

Elder Wei saw her off and promised, “Be at ease, with the youngster, matters will definitely not be delayed.”

When Nun Hualian heard this, she departed with satisfaction, leaving Han Li and Elder Wei behind in the hidden room.

With no trace of kindness in his voice, Elder Wei then sternly said, “You should’ve listened to what we were saying. Regardless if you are interested in tool refinement or if you have any talent, I will diligently instruct you on the Dao of tool refinement for a month and then I will assign you to your tasks. So long as you complete my assignments at the end of every month, you may use the rest of your time as you wish. But if you don’t finish your assignments, I will send you away and find someone more appropriate to take your place in the tool refinement hall.” 

“Yes! This disciple will strive his hardest!” Han Li replied with a calm expression.

Han Li’s attitude was to Elder Wei’s satisfaction. With a relaxed expression, he led Han Li out of the secret room and said, “Of course, being a disciple of our tool refinement hall isn’t without its benefits. Not only does the hall have a few magic tools and earthfire reservoirs that can be used for free, but we also give our disciples more spirit stones at the end of the month than the other halls. Follow me and I’ll introduce you to your fellow disciples. In the future, there will be a few materials that you will need to refine together with them.”

After Han Li was introduced to three other Qi Condensation cultivators, he was arranged a residence in passing.

 Then, Han Li’s cultivation in the Royal Serenity Monastery had begun.

The so-called Tool Refinement Hall was located at the middle portion below the monastery’s peak and was a courtyard completely separated from the main monastery. There weren’t many buildings; apart from the earthfire hall and several buildings for tool refinement, there wasn’t much else to speak of. The hall’s disciples are even required to live in nearby caves.

Apart from the four lower-grade tool refinement disciples that included Han Li, there were two middle-aged cultivators at the eighth and ninth layer of Qi Condensation that acted as Elder Wei’s assistants.

Given that there were only seven people in the entire Tool Refinement Hall, the small space that it occupied was more than enough.

Day to day, many male and female disciples of Royal Serenity Monastery would arrive to either rent a magic tool or directly request the hall to refine various magic tools.

And since it was a female monastery, a vast majority of the disciples were female, but not all of them were nuns. There were quite a few young woman that had gorgeous appearances that suggested they came from wealthy backgrounds.

Under Han Li’s calm observation, he discovered that the other three Tool Refinement Hall disciples were completely captivated by the female cultivators that would pass through despite being worked to the bone every day. But since their cultivation had been struck at a standstill, they knew that they would only be able to curry favor by refining magic tools.

The few male disciples that would stop by were much like the tool refinement disciples. They were disciples that lived outside the monastery and were responsible for researching spell formations, refining medicine pills, and other such tasks. As for the female disciples, they were wholeheartedly focused on cultivation.

Han Li inwardly disapproved these circumstances, but he wasn’t about to meddle in these affairs.

Furthermore, the other three disciples were in charge of looking after the other disciples. As for Han Li, he was focused on learning how to refine and purify materials. Everyday, Elder Wei would spend two hours imparting a few tool refinement basics and would even personally give Han Li a demonstration.

With Han Li’s original knowledge and cultivation, he didn’t believe he had anything to learn from a Foundation Establishment tool refinement master. But in a few days, he was given quite the shock.

Although Elder Wei’s cultivation wasn’t high, he had high attainments on the Dao of tool refinement. From purifying materials and tool refinement techniques, he seemed to have studied the secret tool refinement techniques of many sects. There were even tool refinement skills and knowledge that Han Li hadn’t heard of before.

In a short ten days, he greatly benefited from this unexpected surprise. It seemed there was a reason why the Great Jin was lauded as the holy land of cultivation.

The tool refinement master of an unremarkable Daoist monastery was able to grasp so many tool refinement methods ranging from those preserved since ancient times and new techniques researched from successive generations of tool refinement grandmasters. The simple tool refinement techniques of the Heavenly South and Scattered Star Seas couldn’t be compared. It was a truly eye-opening experience.

To tell the truth, Han Li’s current tool refinement technique was rather ordinary. The techniques he had acquired from Qi Yunxiao [1] were shallow in face of Han Li’s current cultivation and knowledge. After his time in the Scattered Star Seas and the Drifting Cloud Sect, he saw many jade slips regarding tool refinement techniques, but there were very few that were actually useful. Now that he encountered such a rare opportunity, he wasn’t about to easily relinquish it. 

Outside of his time cultivating the Brightjade Arts, he was earnestly taking Elder Wei’s teachings to heart, showing a great effort that was to the old man’s satisfaction. Han Li even asked a few questions that were somewhat difficult for the old man to answer, causing him to unintentionally give a more detailed explanation.

As a result, the old man’s attitude towards Han Li vastly changed over the month. His cold demeanor was replaced with a friendly expression, much to the shock of the other three disciples who were well aware of the old man’s nature.

Envious, they treated Han Li coldly, but given how Elder Wei favored him, the three couldn’t rashly stir up any trouble for him. 

This behavior was welcomed by Han Li. He had always been a solitary person and it would allow him for peaceful cultivation with no one to disturb him.

A month later, in addition to the various methods of purifying materials, Elder Wei even taught him a few unique tricks for tool refinement and more, all of which Han Li kept in mind.

Inspired by the knowledge he gained, he planned on immediately setting off to look for tool refinement techniques throughout the Great Jin as soon as he restored his magic power, later allowing for improvements to the Sevenflame Fan and Monarch Soul Divergence’s puppet body and strengthening their power by an entire layer. 

At the end of the first month, Han Li was immediately given a set of assignments for material refinement as he was earlier informed, but he wasn’t given tasks that were too difficult for his disguised cultivation. As a result, he was able to finish them with ease and spend the rest of his time cultivating the Brightjade Arts.

Four months passed uneventfully and Han Li found that entering the Royal Serenity Monastery was the correct choice.

At the moment, Elder Wei seemed to be extremely busy. Apart from the tool refinement tasks that he gave to the four disciples at the end of every month, he was sealed inside the secluded room in the earthfire hall.

Nun Hualian did visit a few times during this period, but she would always hide away in the secret room to have a secret discussion with Elder Wei.

The two were quite careful and would always release an alarm restriction for the duration. But since Han Li was set on diligently cultivating the Brightjade Arts, he ignored his curiosity over the matter and chose not to risk detection over an attempt to eavesdrop on them.

One day, Han Li was sitting cross-legged in meditation with the upper half of his body twisted in a strange position with his two hands formed in an incantation gesture as they lied against the mat on the ground. His body was covered in a layer of faint golden light that faintly vibrated.

Under close inspection, one would find that Han Li’s skin was densely covered in threads of visible veins and arteries. There were even egg-sized bumps that roamed across his body as if they were alive.

Each time his body trembled, his face twitched and he revealed an expression of agony. Beads of sweat would occasionally flow down from his forehead as if he were putting his body under immense strength, thoroughly drenching his clothes.

But not long after, the golden light from Han Li’s body gradually faded away.

He let out a long breath and released the incantation gestures before returning to a regular meditative position. At that moment, the oddities on his body quickly disappeared and it returned to normal in the blink of an eye.

[1] Qi Yunxiao was a Qi Condensation cultivator that was introduced in chapter 277. Han Li later acquired his tool refinement experiences and avenged his death.