Chapter 12: Breaking the Bottle
Han Li tightly grasped the bottle with his hands, and with anger in his eyes, used his entire strength to smash the bottle against the table.
“If I can’t use my own body’s strength, then I shall use other means to break it open,” decided Han Li after thinking of numerous ways to open the vexing bottle.
Han Li had long since figured out that using brute strength and violence was not a solution.
This type of method, although simplistic and crude, was usually the most effective.
But the moment he thought of that beautiful bottle with its mysterious and intricate designs being smashed into smithereens, Han Li could feel a dull ache in his heart pulling him back, causing him to be extremely unwilling to let go of such a beautiful treasure. If there were any other methods to open the mysterious bottle, Han Li would choose those instead of using brute force.
If he asked the other senior disciples for help, they might be able to open it, but Han Li had unknowingly started to treat the mysterious bottle as a treasured item and was extremely reluctant to let others know of its existence.
The current Han Li was almost driven to insanity by his curiosity regarding the mysterious bottle. Although he knew that it might just be an empty bottle, he was still willing to bet that the bottle was protecting something precious!
The more he was unable to open the bottle, the more his curiosity grew.
If he couldn’t solve the mystery inside the bottle, then he would never be able to sleep well at night.
After he decided on his course of action, Han Li stealthily sneaked in a tool shed, selected a small iron hammer from the multitude of tools lying about there, and brought the hammer back to his residence.
(TL: I know this might be confusing. Wielding a hammer requires body strength, and Han Li previously said he wasn’t going to rely on his body’s strength. However, wielding a tool is viewed differently from using one’s own strength because it adds a certain mechanical advantage that can accomplish what the body is unable to do)
Back in his house, Han Li pried half a brick from a corner in his room and placed the bottle on top of the brick.
Han Li raised the hammer with his right hand, and swiftly smashed down onto the bottle’s body!
Afraid of using too much strength and accidentally smashing whatever was inside, Han Li used only a fraction of his strength in order to test the bottle’s hardness.
Only after inspecting the bottle and finding that it was undamaged did Han Li relax. He started increasing the amount of strength he used in each strike.
Peng! 50% strength.
Peng! 70% strength.
Peng! 100% strength.
Peng! 120% strength.
Han Li exerted more and more of his strength into each hammer blow. As the motions of his arms got more and more frantic, the speed of the blows grew faster and faster. Even after he had cracked the brick underneath, the bottle laid there innocently without a single scratch on its surface.
Han Li was dumbstruck, unable to comprehend the hardness of the bottle. Using his hands to feel its surface, there were no traces of damage. That glossy green surface remained unblemished without any signs of Han Li’s furious attempts.
This was completely beyond Han Li’s expectations!
Han Li was absolutely certain now that this bottle was made from an unusual material. There was a 90% possibility that this item was lost by someone of a high status. The owner may have already sent people to comb the mountainside in search for this mysterious object. If Han Li wanted to keep it, he had to be sure to hide it in an extremely secretive location and not let others know of its existence.
In his heart, Han Li followed the philosophy of “finders, keepers, losers, weepers.” As long as one did not obtain the item by stealing or robbing, to Han Li, the item obtained was his by right. If it was some ordinary item, Han Li might have been willing to return it back to the owner, but this mysterious bottle? Not a chance! Looking at the bottle, he surmised that this item had most likely been misplaced by either some rich kid from a big family or someone with a high status. Sadly, Han Li did not have any good impression of people from both of these categories.
Since childhood, Han Li was from an extremely poor family. Despite working very hard and living like dogs, they were often unable to afford to have a full meal. In the Seven Mysteries Sect, there were two types of people. The first type were those who threw their money about, wasting it on decadent luxury. They treated money as if it were water, spending it freely and without concern. Every time Han Li saw this, an uncomfortable feeling of rage would rise in his heart. The second type of people were those who looked down on the disciples who were born in rural villages. They would often abuse the less fortunate with scathing words and malicious actions. If there so happened to be any conflict between them and the villagers, however small the conflict was, the second type of person would usually form into groups and beat up the poorer kids. Han Li himself had his fair share of abuse. He had been beaten up by the rich kids until his face was swollen and he was unable to get up from bed. Han Li had to rest for a few weeks in order to fully recover.
As for those within the sect that possessed both money and status, Han Li also did not have good impressions of them. A good example was Protector Wang. Despite accepting his Third Uncle’s bribes, Protector Wang did nothing to aid Han Li when he was taking the test. Instead, Protector Wang had been biased towards Wu Yan. Despite the fact that Han Li did not have the chance to see many of the grand figures residing in the sect, their image had long been tarnished by the actions of Protector Wang.
Whenever these two types of people lost their belongings, Han Li had no intentions of returning the items. He would even prank them by hiding the items in obscure locations.
After thinking of this, Han Li decided to remove the pouch which always hung upon his neck. His mother had personally sewn the pouch out of water-resistant leather. Inside the pouch was a good luck charm made from the tooth of a wild boar. His mother hoped this would protect him from danger and illnesses.
Han Li open his pouch and hid the mysterious bottle alongside his good luck charm. He then swiftly sealed the pouch and placed it around his neck.
After doing so, he surveyed his surroundings; luckily, there was no one who had seen him or the mysterious bottle.
After taking so many precautions, Han Li felt more secure and threw away all of his concerns that the owner would discover the object and take it from him.
Han Li stealthily replaced the hammer in the tool shed and casually walked back to God Hand Valley. As he limped back to his residence, night had fallen.