As Han Li felt the intense scorching heat slowly fading away from his body, he opened his eyes and his face revealed a pensive expression.
The Brightjade Arts was beyond overbearing. Despite having gone through the process of condensing a Nascent Soul and purifying his body, he was barely able to tolerate the agony of tempering his body, much to his bewilderment.
"Senior! Is there truly no problem with cultivating the Brightjade Arts?" Han Li asked Monarch Soul Divergence with a worried tone. "I'm cultivating only the second layer and it is incredibly painful. I can't believe those bald Buddhists all waited until they were at late-Nascent Soul stage before they started cultivating this technique. Their lifespans would've reached their end if they cultivated this technique to completion. And how could Core Formation cultivators endure such anguish? The pain doesn't solely affect the body, but it can clearly be felt by their spiritual sense."
Monarch Soul Divergence lazily replied, "Is there anything strange? Since the Buddhists had converted a demon clan technique into one of their own, they naturally researched methods to reduce pain as well. After all, Buddhist techniques were originally meant for those that adept in pain tolerance and perseverance. And with the additional willpower of a cultivator, it is possible to practice the Brightjade Arts. As for why this technique is so overbearing, it may only be that way for humans. This technique was originally meant for demons and Elder Devils, and given how strong their bodies are, the pain shouldn't be much to them."
Han Li frowned and bitterly smiled, "That explains it. It is a pity I don't have the time to cultivate other Buddhist techniques and I'll have to forcefully cultivate through the pain. It is still tolerable at this point."
Soon after, he raised his hand and pulled back his sleeve before examining his arm with blue light shining from his narrowed eyes. After the time it took to finish a cup of tea, he poked his arm and pulled his sleeve back down.
He then muttered to himself, "Although I've suffered quite a bit, the Brightjade Art's tempered body is quite unique. This technique is far stronger than other body forging techniques that I know of. In a short amount of time, my body has undergone an astonishing change."
Soon after, Han Li sat down quietly and emerged from the secluded room.
A few days ago when he was purifying his assigned materials, he combined the tool refinement techniques that Elder Wei had explained to him and came to comprehend a new tool refinement skill. As a result, he was able to finish the last step of the crafting process for the crystallized demon core, resulting in the completion of the flying needle. And during the past few days at noon, he also made use of the earthfire reservoir to further temper the flying needle and increase its might.
Just as he was approaching the earthfire reservoir for another round of tempering, he suddenly heard the sounds of the march in the direction of the main gate. Han Li couldn't help but look in the direction of the sound.
He saw a group of nine young cultivators with the other three Tool Refinement Hall disciples showing them in. The one in charge of the group was a young woman in emerald palace robes. She had a beautiful appearance and an unordinary temperament, but her eyes were filled with curiosity.
Contrary to their age, these young cultivators possessed high cultivation for their age, at the eighth and ninth layers of Qi Condensation. The woman in palace robes possessed the highest cultivation of them, at the tenth layer of Qi Condensation.
After Han Li swept his gaze past them, he recognized that their identities were sure to be high as each of them wore bulging storage pouches at their waist. There were even three of them with spirit beast pouches at their waist. As for the three Tool Refinement Hall disciples that were guiding them, they all wore a smile on their faces and appeared to be carefully fawning over the group as if in fear that they would offend them.
Han Li blinked and promptly turned around, pretending not to see them as he made his way to the earthfire hall. But as it so happened, the tallest of the three Tool Refinement Hall disciples happened to see him and loudly shouted out, "Junior Martial Brother Han, come over here and help us. County Lord Luxiu wants a magic tool refined. There are a few materials that must be specially refined. This is a task that was personally brought by the Fourth Monastery Lord herself. We cannot delay."
"County Lord? Fourth Monastery Lord?" Han Li was greatly surprised to hear this and could only stop his tracks before turning around.
Having stayed in the monastery for a while, Han Li had a general understanding of the high-grade cultivators of Royal Serenity Monastery. The monastery had four lords at Core Formation cultivation and it was reportedly said that the sole Nascent Soul cultivator of the monastery resided in the monastery's Clear Heaven Courtyard.
Although the four monastery lords had reached Core formation stage at a rather late age, it is said that their techniques were rather peculiar. And the abilities of the Fourth Monastery Lord were the most famous of the four and she was known throughout the entire region. Senior Teacher Lu of Pure Revelations Academy even had revealed shock at the mere mention of her name.
But as each of these monastery lords were of high status, Han Li hadn't had the opportunity to see even one of them.
Han Li walked over and gave the group of cultivators an appraising look before calmly saying, "Since it is the Fourth Monastery Lord's orders, we must provide our assistance."
When the group saw that Han Li's cultivation appeared to be only at the fourth layer of Qi Condensation, they looked at him with disdain. A blue-robed man from the group then bluntly said, "Are you able to refine the materials? Isn't your cultivation too lacking? The county lord requires a very rare material to be refinement, Bloodvein Silver. If the material is ruined, will you take responsibility?"
County Lord Luxiu pursed her lips in a smile, but her eyes flickered with a bit of doubt.
Han Li was unflustered by his remark and replied with a smile, "Bloodvein Silver is a truly rare material. I'm not confident in successfully refining it either, so it would be better for you to find someone more qualified."
When the group heard this, they were at a loss of what to say.
Eventually, a handsome man from the group recovered his wits and disdainfully snorted, "They said there was a formidable tool refinement master here. Why won't he come out and refine the materials for the county lord?"
"Martial Senior Wei is occupied with refining an important treasure and has already spent several days in sealed seclusion. I'm afraid that he will not be coming out." One of the three Tool Refinement Hall disciples answered.
"It will only take a moment to refine the materials," County Lord Luxiu said in a soft voice, "Won't you Senior Martial Brothers assist me in asking Grandmaster Wei to come out? Even inside my estate, I've long heard of his grand name. I wish to see him with my own eyes." Her noble beauty seemed to melt the hearts of the several Tool Refinement Hall disciples.
Han Li unconsciously frowned when he heard this. The woman appeared to be polite but a trace of cunning could clearly be seen from her eyes. He coldly laughed in his mind when he saw this but he remained silent.
The three men had lost their calm when they heard the woman's soft voice and were enticed into agreeing.
Han Li inwardly sighed when he heard this. If he remembered correctly, Elder Wei clearly stated to them that unless the matter was important, he and his two assistants were not to be disturbed in their secluded room. And given that the matter was material refinement, whoever would go to mention this to Elder Wei was sure to suffer.
As expected, the disciple that went into the earthfire hall ran out with a pale complexion a short moment later.
When he returned, he forced a smile and said, "County Lord, Martial Senior Wei truly cannot attend to you. It would be better for Junior Martial Brother Han to give it a try."
"Since the Royal Serenity Monastery's tool refinement hall is so famous, why can't you three refine the materials for the County Lord?" This time, a different young woman from the group asked this with a smile. Her looks were above average and she had a small beauty mark at the side of her mouth.
The three disciples exchanged an embarrassed glance and the tallest one then helplessly explained, "I won't conceal this from Young Miss Mingzhu. If it were ordinary materials, we would be able to refine them. But for materials as special as Bloodvein Silver, only Junior Martial Brother Han was taught the refinement process by Martial Senior Wei. Our main knowledge is only to refine common magic tools."
County Lord Luxiu's bright eyes blinked and she gave Han Li an understanding smile. "That will be a bit troublesome. We were brought here by Lady Yuzhu and can't stay for long. If I miss this opportunity, who knows when I'll be able to next find a tool refinement master capable of refining Bloodvein Silver. It seems I will have to trouble this Senior Martial Brother for assistance."
"Alright, so long as the County Lord is willing to take the risk, I will try my best." Han Li calmly said.
She answered with a slight smile."That is no matter. Please strive your hardest to refine it. If it fails, it won't be too bad. It'll just be a missed opportunity. I'll find some again later."
Han Li nodded upon hearing this, but after glancing at the group of people in front him, he frowned and said, "When I refine materials, I can't have a large number of people observing me or I will be distracted."
The county lord casually replied, "That's fine. When the time comes, only I will be with you. The others will wait outside or perhaps they'll have these three Senior Martial Brothers give them a tour of the area."
Although her followers appeared unwilling, they raised no words of objections.
Han Li then wasted no further words and led the way towards the earthfire hall. The girl then signaled her group to remain in place with her eyes.
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