As Han Li was examining the young man’s appearance, the young man chuckled and walked into the medicine garden. He enthusiastically said, “So Junior Martial Brother is a disciple of Dayspring Mountain. Your face is quite unfamiliar. Could you be a new disciple? In that case, I could genuinely be considered your Senior Martial Brother.”
“My surname is Han. I entered the sect earlier this year. Senior Martial Brother must be a brilliant disciple of Hidden Sword Mountain!” Han Li withdrew his gaze and smiled.
“So it’s Junior Martial Brother Han. I am Hidden Sword Mountain’s Kui Huan. I take care of a nearby spirit beast field along with several other Senior Martial brothers. Junior Martial Brother should pay a visit if he finds an opportunity. Although my cultivation isn’t very high, I’ve been at the sect for eight years and know many of the matters in the Drifting Cloud Sect along with the various disciples of the six mountains. If there is anything you feel unsure of, please don’t hesitate to ask me.” The man had spoken elegantly the entire way through.
Han Li faintly smiled. The eloquent man reminded him of Little Abacus from all those years ago at the Seven Mysteries Sect. He was also eloquent, smooth at establishing relations, and proclaimed himself to be greatly knowledgeable. They were clearly the same kind of person.
While Han Li did find this humorous, he didn’t mean any ill will towards him. He crossed his arms and blinked, asking, “Many thanks for your kindness. However, may I ask if Brother Kui has any urgent matters for coming here?”
Kui Huan revealed slight embarrassment and hesitated for a moment. He then rubbed the back of his head and said, “It can’t be said to be an important matter. I merely came to ask Senior Martial Sister Yuan for some help. I just didn’t think that the caretaker of the garden for six years would suddenly leave. This has left me in a bit of a difficult situation.”
“You want help?” Han Li frowned and revealed a trace of doubt.
“It isn’t anything much. Surely Junior Martial Brother knows that since us external affair disciples have inferior aptitudes, we aren’t particularly valued. The sect’s’ magic tools and medicine pills naturally won’t fall into our hands. A year’s worth of hard earned spirit stones isn’t even enough to buy a few cultivation progression medicine pills. As such, I along with many other martial brothers go to the nearby Greentrack Marsh and capture a few small rare animals to sell at the market. These Snowcloud Foxes aren’t demon beasts, but their petite physique, adorable appearance, and human-like intelligence makes them in high demand with female disciples of the sect. That is why my martial brothers and I struggle to capture a lot of them.
“Not long ago, we discovered a strange Snowcloud Fox that had a faint trace of spiritual Qi on it as if it had transformed into a low grade demon beast. This was naturally a cause for joy. If we could capture it alive, it would net over a hundred spirit stones, a rarely seen sum. Unfortunately, we were far too impatient and didn’t think things through, allowing the fox to escape. Now, the demon beast has already fled deep into the marsh and is difficult to spot. Although we’ve searched through a majority of the marsh and have occasionally spotted it, it wouldn’t allow us to come any closer. It would simply flee deeper inside.” With that said, Kui Huan revealed a trace of regret.
When he saw that Han Li wore a pensive expression, he paused for a moment before continuing, “We later left a few people to watch over it for a time and discovered that this strange Snowcloud Fox is fond of eating Huangjing , especially Huangjing that is over ten years old. We reckon that if we wished to lure the beast, we would need Huangjing that is at least fifty years old before it would fall into our trap. Junior Martial Brother should know that any medicinal herb that is several tens of years old isn’t something that can be bought with a few spirit stones. It would require more than a couple dozen!
“While we did have a few savings, we already pooled them together earlier to buy cultivation medicine. We don’t have any spirit stones leftover. Helpless, I could only think of Senior Martial Sister Yuan’s medicine garden. It seems there should be two or three stalks of Huangjing that are at that age. That’s why I paid a visit, but I didn’t expect that she would be swapped with Junior Martial Brother Han. D-do you think you could spare a stalk of Huangjing for us to use?” When Kui Huan asked his question, his voice grew softer and he somewhat stammered.
It seemed he also knew that his request was somewhat excessive.
After that was said, Han Li’s face remained unfathomable. After a short moment of silence, he said, “I do have two stalks of Huangjing that are over fifty years old which are according to your specifications.
“While it stands to reason that since this is the first time Senior Martial Brother Kui has come to seek help, I shouldn’t refuse you as your Junior Martial Brother. However, Senior Martial Brother Kui should realize I do not have the authority to give out the spirit herbs in this garden. If it were lacking something or if it were to disappear, I wouldn’t have anything to say when Martial Aunt asks for them. I fear I would be punished. That is why I cannot help you.”
Han Li’s words were quite calm, but the yellow-robed man couldn’t help but reveal disappointment.
“Junior Martial Brother, please be at ease. I am only going to borrow this spirit herb for several days. When the time comes, I will be certain to return it to you with thanks. We will also be extremely careful as we transport the spiritual herb so that there will be no mistakes. Of course, us Senior Martial Brothers won’t have you lend the spirit herb for nothing. After this succeeds, we’ll be certain to give you a few spirit stones. We won’t have you suffer a loss.”
“I am sorry! This matter is quite important. I cannot allow you to use this medicinal herb. However, if you are lacking in spirit stones, I do have some saved up. I can lend a few to Senior Martial Brother so you can buy a herb instead.” After giving a staunch refusal, Han Li proposed an alternative with a smile.
The yellow-robed man’s unsightly expression quickly brightened, “Is Junior Martial Brother serious? If you can lend us spirit stones, it is natural that I won’t need the spiritual herbs of your garden. However, a medicinal herb of that age will cost at least thirty spirit stones. Does Junior Martial Brother truly have that much?” His delighted expression soon revealed a trace of doubt. After all, this was by no means a small amount to a Qi Condensation cultivator.
Han Li slowly said, “These spirit stones were saved up before I joined the sect and I’ve yet to use them. I’ll lend them to Senior Martial Brother for now! If these spirit stones could be turned into more, I wouldn’t want to miss such a rare opportunity.”
“Hehe, so it turned out that Junior Martial Brother Han is an expert in conducting business. Please don’t worry about it, Junior Martial Brother. With the Huangjing, that Snowcloud Fox is practically ours.” Kui Huan couldn’t help but grin upon finding Han Li had spoken truthfully.
Han Li smiled and grabbed his storage pouch. He then handed over thirty various colored spirit stones to the young man without any reservations.
Kui Huan received the spirit stones with delight and pledged that they would succeed without problem. With only a bit of idle conversation afterwards, he took his leave with his mind occupied.
As Han Li glanced at the departing young man, his smile faded away and he shook his head. He naturally didn’t place the pledge to bring back the spirit stones in any regard. He merely didn’t wish to offend anyone after having just arrived at the Drifting Cloud Sect.
Han Li planned on staying at the Drifting Cloud Sect for quite a while. Being acquainted with a well-connected individual such as Kui Huan could prove to be very useful.
With that thought, Han Li reactivated the medicine garden’s restrictions and returned back to the the small stone mountain to continue his cultivation.
Three days later, Han Li was silently standing in front of an embarrassed Kui Huan.
He wasn’t there to return the spirit stones, but rather to request Han Li’s help to capture the Snowcloud Fox.
Han Li pursed his lips and doubtfully asked, “You don’t have enough people to capture a low grade demon beast?”
Kui Huan chuckled and said, “Junior Martial Brother doesn’t know how sly this Snowcloud Fox is, nor does he know how fast it is. Even common flying magic tools are unable to chase it down. We were originally going to have an inner sect Senior Martial Brother lend us a set of Obscure Track Formation tools to deal with the fox, but this Senior Martial Brother was unexpectedly assigned to a task yesterday and is no longer present in the sect. As such, we are lacking a member to use the formation. It would cost us quite a few more spirit stones in order to replace him as there aren’t any others that would be willing. That’s why I came to request Junior Martial Brother to assist us. Naturally, we will give Junior Martial Brother a larger share of the spirit stones when we succeed.”
When Han Li heard this, he stroked his chin and pondered for a moment. Had Kui Huan come to request his assistance any other time, he would’ve bluntly refused; there would’ve been no way he would wasted his time over such a trivial affair. But a few days before as he was cultivating the fourth layer of the Great Development Technique in seclusion, he felt his nerves grow restless and had no luck regaining his tranquil temperament ever since.
It seemed this was a sign that he had reached a bottleneck for the Great Development Technique. As such, this may prove to be a good opportunity as bottlenecks are broken through by chance encounters. Perhaps going out would do something for it.
Having thought that, Han Li nodded and said, “Since Senior Martial Brother Kui has spoken as such, I will assist you. I am quite curious where this Greentrack Marsh is.” Han Li then lazily smiled.
 In English, this herb is known as Polygonatum sibiricum or as Solomon's Seal.