During the last two years, Han Li had left seclusion several times to replenish his puppet crafting materials. Because he had been such a big spender during these trips, many store owners had become quite familiar with his face. After acquiring the information he wanted from the shopkeepers with a few inquiries, Han Li went to a bookstore called the White Gate Pavilion.
As expected, the store contained collections information on all of the demon beasts currently known in the Scattered Star Seas. Han Li’s spirits were roused and he acquired a copy of this information for over a thousand spirit stones. As for the information on the Demon Beast Islands in the Outer Star Seas, Han Li found it in an unremarkable small store.
Since his objectives had been achieved, Han Li intended to return to his cave dwelling, but on the way back, he came across a shop that specialized in selling storage pouches and spirit beast pouches.
Currently, he carried far too many items on his person. With his two hundred puppet beasts occupying four of his storage pouches, he found it inconvenient to use them. Furthermore, since he planned to go out to sea to hunt demon beasts, he would need more space to collect their valuable body parts in addition to their demon cores. It would be far too wasteful to just throw them away, so it was only natural that he’d want to prepare a few storage pouches with a larger capacity.
An hour later, Han Li left the shop feeling slight heartache after having spent over a thousand spirit stones on two high capacity storage pouches. Since they had nearly ten times the capacity of his previous storage pouches, they should prove to be sufficient.
Afterwards, Han Li passed by the “Lavish Cheer Auction House”, the top ranked auction in Heavenly Star City, and couldn’t help but take a look inside.
The details of the items up for auction left Han Li feeling truly covetous. Not only were there grade six demon cores, but they also had high grade materials for magic treasure refinement, not to mention many rare goods that he had never heard of before.
Unfortunately, while the items in this auction were good, cultivators such as Han Li, with only a few thousand spirit stones on hand, couldn’t afford to buy anything. This was because after any rare items entered an auction hall, their price would likely increase by over half the original value.
Spirit herbs that were over a thousand years old were rare and could be auctioned off at a high price, but Han Li didn’t’ wish to attract any problems. After all, he may feel as if he was lacking spirit stones, but it wasn’t to the stage where he was a desperate level of poverty. As such, it would be better to avoid any unnecessary trouble.
After glancing at the overly expensive auctioned goods, Han Li returned to his cave residence.
A month later, Han Li had finished getting all of his affairs in order. During that time, he had particularly studied the properties and weaknesses of the Outer Star Sea demon beasts and came up with appropriate plans of action upon encountering any of them.
But one day, Han Li suddenly bursted out laughing and was dancing with joy as he held a jade slip in hand. Then with a faceful of excitement, he quickly ran out of his cave residence and flew out toward the city market.
In the blink of an eye, half a year had passed. Han Li and Crooked Soul appeared in the Heavenly Star City’s fiftieth layer district, standing in front of a large hall made entirely of marble. A huge ten-meter-long signboard hung up above with the golden words, “Starry Sky Palace”. There wasn’t anybody else present outside the hall.
Han Li calmly walked inside with Crooked Soul in tow. After passing through a small, short corridor, his view opened to a spacious hall that was over seventy meters wide and tall.
Within the hall, there were four male and one female cultivator chatting with a white-clothed cultivator of the Star Palace. Several transportation formations of equivalent size were lined up behind them. A small stone tabled lay in front of each of the transportation formations with the name of the transportation formation’s destination.
Han Li didn’t pay further attention to the transportation formation, and instead swept his spiritual sense past the other cultivators. What he found left him shocked. Half of those present were Core Formation cultivators, and the other half were late Foundation Establishment cultivators.
After Han Li and Crooked soul entered, the six glanced at them with slight surprise.
The white-clothed Core Formation cultivator recovered quickly despite appearing somewhat puzzled by the appearance of Crooked Soul and Han Li. The other five revealed joy upon seeing the two arrive.
“These two Fellow Daoists also wish to go to the Demon Beast Islands? How about joining us in using the same teleportation and splitting the cost?” The charming woman that appeared thirty-years-old suddenly spoke with a sweet smile.
Han Li stared blankly for a moment and didn’t immediate respond. Instead, he looked at the white-clothed cultivator in charge of the formation and asked with slight confusion, “Senior, will that be acceptable?”
“Of course, use of the transportation formation is charged based on the number of activations not by the quantity of people. Regardless of whether it is a single person or seven people, the cost will still be seven hundred spirit stones. However, only a maximum of seven people can be teleported in a single instance.” The white-clothed cultivator spoke indifferently.
Han Li respectfully thanked him for his explanation, and then turned his head towards the woman, asking her with a smile, “Have you decided which Demon Beast Island you intend to go to? My Martial Uncle and I wish to head to Deep Jade Island!”
“Deep Jade Island?” The woman was startled for a moment. After glancing at the several people behind her she immediately replied with a chuckle, “What a coincidence! We also planned on heading towards Deep Jade Island!”
Han Li’s expression didn’t change but he inwardly sneered. ‘A coincidence?’ These people obviously didn’t care which Demon Beast Island they went to. But since Han Li could save on spirit stones, he nodded his head in agreement.
After each of the group members handed over a hundred spirit stones to the white-clothed cultivator, they all stood in the transportation formation for “Deep Jade Island”. The white-clothed cultivator then handed each of them a transportation talisman to place on their body. It seemed that this talisman had an effect similar to the Greater Displacement Medallion, preventing any mishaps from occurring due to long distance teleportation.
Although the talisman could provide protection for long distance teleportation, it was only effective up to a certain distance and could only be used once. The Greater Displacement Medallion was far superior by comparison. But even so, the talisman was still considered a rare item that could only be created by the talisman masters of the Star Palace. They weren’t for sale on the outside.
Han Li felt somewhat nervous as the spirit stones around the transportation formation flashed with blinding white light.
After the light faded away, Han Li and the others found themselves within a simple stone room, indicating that the teleportation had succeeded without a problem! In addition to the seven new arrivals, an expressionless Star Palace cultivator also stood in the room.
The Star Palace cultivator was only a mid Foundation Establishment cultivator and was sitting in a corner of the room in meditation. After indifferently glancing at Han Li and the others when the teleportation finished, he closed his eyes once more without any intention of further paying them attention.
Han Li felt a slightly unordinary Spiritual Qi fluctuation in the room. It seemed to originate from the formation spell’s restrictions that enshrouded the room.
The stone room had a large, half-open door. Through its opening, faint chatter could be heard from the outside, and the occasional silhouette could be seen passing by.
While Han Li looked around the room in curiosity, the others walked out of the formation while minding their own business. But suddenly, an aged Core Formation cultivator with a face as red as ripe jujubes suddenly turned around and asked, “Are you Fellow Daoist interested in joining hands with us? We’ll split the spirit stones evenly after selling off the demon cores.”
“There is no need. My Martial Nephew and I have different plans. Please take care of yourselves!” Crooked Soul’s ugly face remained expressionless while declining the proposal.
The old man revealed slight disappointment at the refusal and sighed, saying, “That is truly a pity! If Fellow Daoist were to join me, we’d have no problem hunting grade six demon beasts.”
“Since it appears that this is the first time you two have visited a Demon Beast Island, I’ll give you two a word of advice. Not only must you be wary of high grade demon beasts here, but you should also be careful of ambushes from evil cultivators. If that happened, it would be better to be traveling in a group. If you have a change of heart, we will happily welcome you.”
Han Li remained silent for a moment before bringing Crooked Soul out of the room with a chuckle.
‘What’s this?’ Han Li looked around in astonishment.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that this place had small streets everywhere, because there were businesses of all kinds scattered about, selling talismans, magic tools, assorted goods, or even purchasing depots. Each of the stores also had a shopkeeper lazily sitting inside.
These stores were also quite crudely constructed. They weren’t built with stone but with wooden logs instead. As they were truly simple as can be Han Li doubted whether the stores would still be standing after a strong gust of wind.
Moreover, these so-called streets spread outwards with the transportation formation’s stone room as the center. They were carelessly arranged and scattered in every direction, leaving orderly observers feeling unwell upon sight.