As Han Li was basking in joy, he became somewhat curious. If he were to continue to mature the Gold Lightning Bamboo, what transformation would occur?
With that in mind, Han Li continued to drop the green liquid on the bamboo for several more months but neither its power nor its appearance had changed. Even its height had stayed entirely the same without growing even a single iota. However, during this time, a young bamboo sprout began to grow at its side.
Soon after dripping more of the green liquid on it, the young sprout grew more and more. After several months, a new complete stalk of Heaven Lightning Bamboo had grown, appearing to be exactly the same as the original.
Han Li was overly joyous as the development.
To tell the truth, the original stalk of Heaven Lightning Bamboo was barely enough to refine even a set of twelve Bamboo Cloudswarm Swords. But now that he knew that the green liquid could produce young bamboo shoots, his dire shortage of raw materials was now completely settled.
However, this only caused Han Li’s ambitions to grow even larger.
Without having to worry anymore about a lack of the core material, Han Li would no longer be limited to a set of twelve flying swords. He was now inspired to refine the greatest number of Bamboo Cloudswarm Swords, a full set of seventy two.
Although an early Core Formation cultivator lacked the magic power needed to refine and control such a large amount of flying swords, Han Li wasn’t in a rush. He could just slowly refine them one set at a time in accordance with his cultivation.
In any case, so long as the flying swords belonged to the same set, he could store them into his body as a single magic treasure. He would also have no problem using each of the swords separately.
With that thought in mind, Han Li’s heart blazed with fervent desire and he started to consider whether or not he was capable of this.
The greatest problem when refining a set of magic treasures was the differences in each treasure’s core material and the difficulty of success during refinement. But with limitless amounts of Heaven Lightning Bamboo, these issues posed no problem.
What followed next with regards to his refinement were the preparations of the supplementary materials.
He had long prepared the supplementary materials. Fortunately, refining a set of seventy-two swords would consume the same amount of materials as refining a set of twelve, so he didn’t have to go look for more. Now he only had to worry about his significant lack of ability for refining magic treasures.
He didn’t even have any experience in the field of tool refinement. This wouldn’t raise any problems if he were refining a common magic treasure; he would still be able to easily succeed. However, the process of refining even a single one of the Bamboo Cloudswarm Swords was much more complex than refining a common magic treasure.
In addition, each individual flying sword was an incomplete product that was required to undergo treatment with a specific spell formation because they formed a set. As such, a familiarity with spell formations was also required, or else it would be impossible to refine this magic treasure to completion.
As Han Li was a man of extremely firm will, even when facing such a difficult decision, he would only accept the best or nothing at all. This was also demonstrated by Han Li’s strong determination with acquiring the Heaven Lightning Bamboo.
For the entirety of the following day, Han Li spent his time pondering over his cultivation plans for the next twenty years.
Several days later in Heavenly Star City’s market, an unremarkable, small store suddenly had a new owner. He appeared to be a common youth of about thirty years old and had a lofty, broad-faced man with him.
This youth changed the store name from “Li’s Assorted Goods” to the “Small Green Bamboo Pavilion”. The store only sold talismans and medicine ingredients at first, but half a month later it started selling crude, low grade magic tools.
But what left the nearby store owners at a loss for words was that the youth didn’t often walk out of his store. He’d spend his entire day looking through a coverless, thin ancient book while occasionally dancing with joy as if he were completely enjoying himself. However, he would sometimes enter the store’s back residence and stay there for long periods of time.
As for the customers and running the business, they were all handled by the large, straightforward man.
The nearby store owners were all mortal natives to Heavenly Star City and found it difficult to make a living there. There was one store owner, a graying old man surnamed He 1, that had been born with inferior spiritual roots and had reached the fourth layer of Qi Condensation. But even with such low cultivation, old man He had received a great amount of respect from the mortals and was always addressed as Immortal Master He.
They knew that this youth was a mortal due to his lack of magic power, because a few people had asked Master He previously.
They gained some courage from this news and would drop by the store, chatting with the youth surnamed Han about his daily life and such.
After all, this location was rather desolate, and business was slow. They could only drop by each other’s stores and chat to chase away the boredom.
With the arrival of this unfamiliar face, there was naturally much more for everyone to talk about.
However, the youth mostly listened and seemed to be somewhat slow of speech and unskilled at chatting with others.
Furthermore, the youth never revealed his origin. Whenever he was asked this, he would only answer with a silent smile, causing others to quickly drop the matter.
After several such trips, the others gradually lost interest and no longer visited the Small Green Bamboo Pavilion.
This jhad actually caused the youth to let out a breath of relief.
Of course, the youth and the large man were, respectively, Han Li and Crooked Soul in a disguise. Although Had Li used the most widely known jianghu disguise techniques, it was still more than enough for mortals and low grade cultivators.
Han Li had not opened this shop to acquire a meager sum of spirit stones, but to temper his heart by immersing himself into the mortal world. He had alsospecifically chose this location in preparation for his study of the Dao of tool refinement and formation spells.
Han Li hadn’t been particularly experienced in these two disciplines and had been too busy during his time as a Foundation Establishment cultivator to consider studying them. But now that he had reached Core Formation, his next goal was to acquire experience and knowledge in these two fields in order to be able to refine his magic treasure. As it would take quite some time to cultivate the Heaven Lightning Bamboo, he wanted to use this downtime to study “Yunxiao’s Experiences” and the ancient formation spell records that Xin Ruyin had given him. 2
To tell the truth, Han Li had always been very interested in tool refinement and formation spells.
He planned to simultaneously study both fields for twenty years. He didn’t hold any extravagant hope of becoming a genius in either field, but so long as he could acquire a modicum of skill, he would be satisfied. At the very least, he should be able to refine the simplest formation flags and discs.
However, delving into this field wasn’t a matter of only studying. It required hands on practice. This resulted in Han Li accumulating a large pile of inferior magic tools with no method of disposal.
It would be a waste to just throw them away, but there was no use in keeping them as they were nearly useless. In addition, in order to refine when he was suddenly inspired, he had to frequently acquire all sorts of odd materials. However, it was a hassle to make trips to the city market every day.
As it so happened, the fourth layer of the Great Development Technique required the temperament of a mortal heart. Otherwise, he would suffer backlash from his inner demons while cultivating the fourth layer of the Great Development technique.
After some consideration, Han Li decided to purchase this store and tackle all the problems in one go!
The location wasn’t too noisy and he wouldn’t be disturbed during his studies of tool refinement and formation spells. As it was also in close proximity to mortals, he could personally see how they lived. In addition, he could purchase the materials he needed to refine magic tools and formation spells in a timely manner. Likewise, he could sell off the small items he created, even if it was just a small amount of them!
After seeing a few low level cultivators purchase some of his personally refined magic tools, Han Li’s mood was greatly lifted.
Of course, he would still take trips back to his cave residence every few days to mature his Heaven Lightning Bamboo and to take care of his Gold Devouring Beetles and two Bloodjade Spiders.
But not long after, Han Li witnessed an astonishing scene in his medicine garden. When the child stalk of bamboo growing out his original stalk reached the age of six thousand years, it fell off of the main branch for no reason. Its few leaves also cleanly fell off and upon touching the floor, they immediately turned into leaves of pure, gaudy gold.
Although he didn’t know what purpose the leaves served, Han Li was unwilling to throw them away and just gathered them into his storage pouch. As for the emerald-green stalk, he carefully placed it back into the jade paste box and put it away.
After collecting six pieces, he would have enough to refine the Bamboo Cloudswarm Swords.
As such, Han Li restrained his magic power and began his worldly life after he inserted himself among the mortals of the secular world in an obscure corner of the market city.
Apart from becoming engrossed in reading thin paper book copies of jade slips, he silently observed the surrounding mortal’s complex expressions and various emotions, and began to gradually appreciate them and recall a few memories.
1. https://youtu.be/tcKPXPxdgqA 2. In chapter 351, before Han Li left the Heavenly South Region, he was given these items by Xin Ruyin on the condition that he later avenge Qi Yunxiao’s death.