After the time it took to finish a meal, Han Li appeared in front of the jade residence with an unmoved expression.
Elder Wang frowned for a moment, but when Han Li arrived in front of him, he smiled and asked, “Is the treasure to Fellow Daoist Han’s satisfaction?"
“The residence isn’t large, but it has rooms for pill refinement, beast nurturing, and everything else I can think of. However, there is something that I’m unsure of. I’ll need Brother Wang to explain it to me.”
“If you have any questions relating to the Hidden Fortune Mansion, I will answer to the best of my ability,” Elder Wang cheerfully replied.
Han Li met his gaze and asked, “I’ll be blunt then. I understand that the greatest advantage of the Hidden Fortune Mansion is that it can be enlarged and shrunk at will, allowing it to be easy to carry, but will it behave like a storage pouch and shrink the items that are already inside of it? And will spirit beasts properly shrink inside without a problem?”
“The mansion is able to compress all furnishings that it was refined with, but living things like spirit beasts will not do. Even if they possessed profound transformation abilities, they would be destroyed from the spatial pressure of the mansion’s reduction. Even if they are able to endure the immense pressure, they will be sealed from the outside world and disconnected from the world’s spiritual Qi, surely leading them to death.”
Elder Wang gave a full and honest explanation. After all, this was something that would be easily discovered with a bit of testing.
After a moment of thought, Han Li added, “In that case, I would also have to store away the medicinal plants in the garden each time I put away the mansion. Is this correct?”
Elder Wang frowned in thought and spoke with a blank expression, “That’s right, Fellow Daoist. This is an unsolvable problem for these Hidden Fortune Mansions. Despite that, you are able to summon or send the mansion at your beck and call as a result of its attached restrictions. It isn’t comparable to ordinary treasures in terms of value.”
Han Li smiled, “That’s also one of the reasons I am interested in acquiring one, but I fear I might not have enough the means to acquire it.”
“You mean to say that you plan on trading for this item?” Elder Wang’s eyes lit up with pleasant surprise.
With an easy expression, Han Li said, “I have some rare materials on hand that I have no use for. Once you give me the clear details on the mansion’s price, we can discuss what to specifically trade for.”
“Of course. All of what we desire is in this jade slip. Please take a look.” With a wide smile, his sleeve trembled as he sent a streak of white light towards Han Li.
Han Li caught it and then began to read it with his spiritual sense.
Two hours later, Han Li left the gates of the Hidden Fortune Pavilion with Elder Wang sending him off with a smile. Before departing, Han Li gave a salute back and uttered a few words of farewell.
Elder Wang stared at Han Li’s departing figure and then returned inside the pavilion with a satisfied expression.
Han Li was also smiling as he stroked the bulging storage pouch at his waist.
After he traded for the Hidden Fortune Mansion using a large number of rare materials, he took out a few demon cores and spirit herbs, and sold them for an astonishing amount of spirit stones.
When he thought to sell even more materials, he saw the astonished look on Elder Wang’s face, and grew vigilant despite having found the scene humorous.
As humans would often kill themselves over greed, Han Li believed that if he revealed any more wealth, it would surely attract trouble despite his status as a mid-Nascent Soul cultivator.
Although the Hidden Fortune Pavilion had a grand reputation and should be reasonably trustworthy, he had to be especially careful since he was under the identity of an overseas cultivator; it was quite possible he had tempted Elder Wang into conspiring against him. With this in mind, Han Li had released a thread of spiritual sense into his surroundings after he left, ensuring that no one was following him.
After shortly attending to this matter, he found an empty alleyway, and his body blurred as it underwent a sudden transformation with azure light shining from his clothes.
When he emerged, he looked like a blue-robed middle-aged Confucian scholar with long facial hair and a bright face. Apart from late-Nascent Soul cultivators, nobody would be able to see through his true appearance.
With this done, Han Li was able to continue browsing shops without worry, but to his disappointment, none of them had the materials he needed.
It wasn’t that the larger stores didn’t have anything of value, rather that the materials the shopkeepers had recommended to Han Li weren’t required for refining Monarch Soul Divergence’s grand puppet or the Triflame Fan. And with no lack of ordinary ancient treasures either, he decided not to purchase any.
Not long after, Han Li arrived at the end of the street and faced an imposing stone building. ‘It seems we’ll have to wait for the auction to convene.’
It was a simply decorated palace by the name of Treasureshine Hall. The scope of the building was colossal as it consisted of three floors with each story stretching over sixty meters high. The huge building could fit over a thousand cultivators, was probably the reason why the auction was being held there.
There were several Foundation Establishment cultivators standing guard at the entrance, preventing ordinary cultivators from entering as the auction was being prepared.
In addition to Han Li, there were other cultivators that were loitering nearby the building, knowing that it was the location of the grand auction.
Han Li took a deep glance at the Treasureshine Hall and was about to leave when a group of four cultivators suddenly emerged from it.
When Han Li saw them, his expression dramatically changed and he turned around with feigned indifference, intending on leaving immediately.
But just as he took a few steps, he could hear a sweet voice speaking from behind him, “Please wait, Fellow Daoist.” His heart sank and his cheek twitched before he decided to remain in place.
After turning around, Han Li’s expression remained calm as he said, “Do you have any business with me?”
Twenty meters away, there was a white-clothed woman with a face covered in a veil. She was currently examining him along with her three companions.
He swept his spiritual sense past them to discover that they were all Nascent Soul-stage cultivators. Most notably, the middle-aged black-robed man standing behind her had mid-Nascent Soul cultivation like himself, causing Han Li to feel somewhat sullen.
Seeing that she captured his attention for the time being, the white clothed woman’s eyes beamed and she said with a sweet tone, “No, I simply wish to befriend you since I saw your cultivation was unordinary. Does Fellow Daoist mind?”
From her tall stature and captivating movements, Han Li could tell she was no doubt a remarkably beautiful woman. However, he wasn’t particularly flattered by her invitation; rather, he wanted to immediately leave knowing the woman was the Endless Sky Saintess.
“Befriend me, are you serious? I would be honored to befriend a person of your cultivation and quality, but I have an urgent matter to attend to and cannot stay for long.” Despite the apprehension he felt, Han Li retained a calm appearance and saluted them before turning around.
In a blur, Endless Sky Saintess blocked Han Li’s path and spoke with a frown, “There is no need for Fellow Daoist to be in such a rush. I still have a few questions to ask you. Could you give me a moment?”
Han Li’s expression turned solemn and he spoke with a harsh tone, “Oh, you want to question me?”
The black-robed cultivator lost his patience and asked, “Lady Lin, do you have a dispute with this Fellow Daoist?” The black-robed cultivator lost his patience and a layer of faint black Qi began to cover his face. It was clear at a glance that he was a cultivator deeply skilled in devilish arts.
The Saintess brushed back the hair from her face and coldly stared at Han Li. “No, this is the first time that I’ve seen him, though he reminds me of the person that I’ve been seeking in the Great Jin for these past years for some unknown reason. As such, I wish to make sure that I am not mistaken.”
The black-robed cultivator’s handsome face suddenly contorted as he gazed at Han Li with a hostile gaze. “What? You mean to say this is the person who used my sect’s Ghost Sifting Banner?”
The Saintess narrowed her eyes and said with an unwavering tone, “I’m not sure, his appearance and stature are different, but he gives me a similar impression. And the person I am looking for carries a bamboo tube on his back.”
“A bamboo tube!” When the black-robed devil cultivator saw this, his gaze dropped to the wrapped bundle on Han Li’s back.
Just as he attempted to look into it, he suddenly felt a powerful spiritual sense repel him. In his shock, he hastily withdrew it with an icy expression.
“Fellow Daoist, I am the Yin Sifting Sect’s Ge Tianhao. Could your ‘esteemed self’ reveal what you are carrying on your back? So long as it isn’t what we think, we won’t continue to bother you.” He spoke slowly and caution began to appear on his face.
As for the other two similarly-dressed cultivators in their party, they exchanged a glance and then blurred, appearing at Han Li’s side to coerce him.
Han Li remained silent as he stood in place with his hands held behind his back.
Although nothing had actually happened yet, the air surged with suffocating hostility.