After the time it took to finish a meal, Han Li arrived on top of a small mountain.
He looked at the huge city in the distance and saw carriages and pedestrians busily making their way through the gate.
As Han Li continued to watch with a gloomy expression, Monarch Soul Divergence’s voice sounded from in his mind, “Leave it be, you’ve already gained something now that you know the Elder Devil is in the Great Jin. You will eventually have a chance to reclaim your flying swords, but now is not the time. You still haven’t fully recovered your cultivation and the Triflame Fan still hasn’t been refined. The Elder Devil may have been inflicted with grave wounds in the past, but it should’ve been able to also make a full recovery by absorbing the souls and cores of others. If you were to face it now, your odds of victory aren’t very high.”
“Senior is right. If I were to chase it now, I only have a one in ten chance of defeating the Elder Devil; it is truly too powerful. Previously, I was a bit too hasty since I wanted to retrieve my swords so that I would regain the ability to use the Aureate Sword Formation. It seems I’ll have to wait until you complete your grand puppet and after I refine the Triflame Fan. However, the devil appeared to have urgent business at hand since he was flying at such a great speed that he hadn’t discovered me. As for the two Bamboo Cloudswarm Swords in his possession, he wasn’t able to subject them to his control and is reluctant to let them go despite this. Since the primary material of their creation is myriad year Golden Lightning Bamboo and they were tempered with both Refined Crystal and Auric Essence, the two swords are incredibly valuable magic treasures. If he wished to destroy the swords, he would need to waste a great amount of strength and slowly destroy it with devil flame. There is no way the devil would do something wasteful and fruitless.” Finished speaking, Han Li faintly smiled.
“That’s also correct. But with that said, if you were to wholeheartedly hone your flying swords for another four hundred years, the power of your sword formation would reach a fearsome stage. It may reach a level of power no lesser than a Divine Spirit Treasure.” Monarch Soul Divergence sighed and spoke with a tone of admiration. During his peak, he never had the opportunity to create a magic treasure using such precious materials.
Han Li wryly chuckled and said, “Perhaps, but I have no intention of spending nearly half of my lifespan to honing my magic treasures.”
“Hehe, your shrewdness is comparable to mine. If I were half as careful as you were in the past, I might’ve been able to enter Deity Transformation stage. As for the reason the Elder Devil appeared in the Jin Capital, it most likely has to do with the trade meet. Youngster Han, you must be careful to avoid having the devil recognize you.”
“Many thanks for your concern, Senior. I will be careful. I originally planned on drawing on the support of the South Pillar General’s estate to understand the particulars of the trade meet, but it seems I’ll have to investigate for myself. If I remember correctly, there is a restaurant in the Jin Capital that belonged to the Feng Clan. I’ll first take a look there and save myself the risk of being noticed by someone perceptive at an inn.” After Han Li muttered those words, he stepped off the mountain and directly made his way to the huge city in the distance.
Although the Jin Capital was said to be unrivaled in majesty and was incomparable in scope by mortals and low-grade cultivators, in Han Li’s eyes, it was actually a few grades inferior compared to the Scattered Star Seas’ Heavenly Star City, the greatest city he had seen in his lifetime.
However, the Jin Capital did have a few aspects that were unique. Apart from the outermost wall of the city, there were fifteen-meter-tall six-layered walls constructed every half kilometer interval away from the city. It was a miraculous feat for this to be constructed through the sole might of mortals.
In addition to the many walls of the capital, the city was divided into thirteen large districts. The north-most section was the imperial city, taking up about twenty kilometers of land. The other districts were just as large but they were densely filled with buildings and roads. To walk past two districts from the city gates, he had to spend nearly half a day.
Han Li felt quite gloomy as he was unaccustomed to travelling for long periods of time at such a slow speed.
Eventually, Han Li found himself standing in front of a two-story restaurant. He calmly looked at it for a moment with both hands behind his back before walking in.
The restaurant was doing quite well for itself, as seen from its mostly filled seats. Han Li casually swept his gaze past the first floor before making his way to the counter. A thin middle-aged man who appeared to be the shopkeeper was standing behind it.
When Han Li arrived in front of him, he didn’t bother to say anything. He simply swept his sleeve and placed a jade pendant on the counter. It was inscribed with the words “Feng of Ning”.
When the shopkeeper saw the pendant, his expression changed and he took a quick look at Han Li before calmly taking the it into his hand and carefully examining it.
Soon, he put the pendant away and whispered, “Follow me!”
The shopkeeper turned around, paying no notice of any other customers, and walked through the side door. Han Li followed after him.
The shopkeeper led him into a secluded building and then he offered the pendant back to Han Li with both his hands, respectfully saying, “So it was the Young Master who has arrived. This servant Feng Quan pays his respects.” It appeared he had mistaken him for the deceased Feng Yue.
“Help me find a residence where no one will trouble me,” Han Li coldly commanded, “It can’t be the restaurant. It’ll be best to find a place that has no one else nearby, and you should also keep this matter to yourself. Don’t tell anyone else.”
“Yes. I will find an appropriate residence for the Young Master. Please rest here, I’ll be back in half a day.” The shopkeeper spoke without hesitation.
Han Li nodded. “Good, go quickly.”
Shopkeeper Feng left the room and carefully shut the door, then hurrying on his way. Now alone, Han Li casually pulled a chair to the side and sat down before sinking into meditation.
Time slowly passed by, and Han Li’s face stirred as he opened his eyes. Footsteps could be heard from outside the door.
Then, Shopkeeper Feng excitedly walked in.
“Young Master, I’ve found a suitable place! The master of the residence is an old friend of mine and his family is out travelling. The building is entirely empty and he will not return for two years. I’ve made arrangements and you may immediately move in.”
“Yes, that sounds good. Lead the way.”
“I am honored, Young Master. Please follow me.” Shopkeeper Feng walked out from the room with Han Li closely following after him.
They left the restaurant from the rear entrance where a two-wheel cart was waiting for them. A hunchbacked old man was sitting at the front.
Han Li narrowed his eyes when he saw the white-haired coachman and said, “You are quite accommodating to have prepared a cart. But didn’t I say to keep this matter quiet? What’s going on with this person?”
“Young Master, this is Old Man Wu,” Shopkeeper Feng respectfully replied, “He is quite sensible, but he can hardly hear anything, so there is no fear of him spreading rumors. And since the residence I mentioned is far away, it would be better to take a horse.”
“So it was like that. That’s fine.” Han Li frowned and pondered for a moment before climbing on the cart.
Shopkeeper Feng also climbed on and the old coachman shook the horse’s reigns without the need for any orders. They then slowly set off.
Han Li sat down cross-legged and closed his eyes. As for Shopkeeper Feng, he sat in the corner of the cart and kept silent with a lowered head.
They passed through many different roads and changed direction to head to another district. Two hours later, the cart stopped at a remote courtyard. There were no other residences, causing the region to appear quite desolate.
Han Li and Shopkeeper Feng then descended from the cart. With a smile, the shopkeeper led the way and pushed open the gate. “This is it, Young Master. I will go in first and tidy up one of the rooms for you.”
But at that moment, Han Li suddenly said, “You plan on heading in first to escape the restriction and then have the three inside capture me?”
Shopkeeper Feng was greatly alarmed and without another thought, he pushed open the gate and was about to run inside, but a strange red thread suddenly made an appearance behind his head. Then, his body was set aflame and instantly turned to ash.
When the hunchbacked old man on the cart saw this, he shouted, “Attack!”
With a wave of his hand, the old man launched a green flying saber towards Han Li. At that same moment, a yellow mist suddenly filled the empty courtyard, and a black pitchfork and two scarlet halberds shot towards Han Li.
Han Li sneered at the sight and waved his sleeve, releasing an azure mist. The saber flew into the mist only to be captured and drawn into his sleeve.
As for the other three magic tools flying towards them, he casually waved his arm at them and another mist of light appeared from his hand, capturing them all at lightning speed. In a single moment, all of their weapons were completely restricted.
Loud frightened shouts came out from the yellow mist and the old man’s complexion turned pale.
They all realized what Han Li’s vast display of strength had signified.
Without another thought, the old man released a faint red talisman from his hand and bit down on his tongue to release blood essence onto the it, dissolving into a cloud of sanguine around the old man before flying over thirty meters away in the blink of an eye.
The cultivators in the mist weren’t slow to react either. Three streaks of varying colored light flew out and scattered in different directions.