Han Li gave a respectful nod to Cao Mengrong's Senior Martial Sister, but when he heard of the man's unordinary status, his expression stirred and he said, "The South Pillar General! So you were one of the eight illustrious generals of the Great Jin. I've been too rude."
Although he understood very little of the Great Jin's court, he was well aware of its famous officials.
The eight great generals controlled a majority of the military strength in the empire. Each of them commanded armies numbering in the millions, protecting the cities at the frontier with hardened elites.
However, the reason why Han Li knew about these generals wasn't because of any concern for the mortal world, but that three of the great generals were relatives of the royal family. As for the rest, they were given assistance from the various superpowers of the cultivation world to acquire their positions. Even the Great Jin Imperial Family couldn't easily go against them them. And since the South Pillar General wasn't related to the royal family, it was certain he had a relationship to one of these factions.
The general smiled and cupped his hand towards Han Li. "I have heard from Mengrong that Sir Han is a cultivator. As I am but a mere mortal, how could I dare to act superior in front of you?"
Of course, Han Li knew he was only being polite.
With his identity, he wouldn't find it difficult to attract the service of Core Formation cultivators but not Nascent Soul cultivators. Han Li previously revealed to Cao Mengrong that he was only at Qi Condensation stage, but this person was quite unordinary to treat a minor cultivator like Han Li with such courtesy. And it was also quite brave of him to make his way to the capital without a high-grade cultivator protecting him.
With that in mind, Han Li modestly replied, "I don't dare to be presumptuous. General Wang is being far too polite. Even vagrant cultivators like me have long heard of your military prowess."
Young Miss Wang pursed her lips in a smile and said, "Fellow Daoist Han, I've heard you've given Junior Martial Sister Cao cultivation guidance for a time. As a result, she managed to raise two layers in a few short years. When my master found this out, she repeatedly praised Junior Martial Sister Cao's luck and suggested that Brother Han had likely concealed his true cultivation as ordinary cultivators absolutely wouldn't be able to produce such inconceivable results. Now that Fellow Daoist Han's body is lacking spiritual Qi, it clearly shows that you've mastered a Qi restraining technique. It appears that my master had guessed correctly."
Absorbed in the joy of seeing Han Li again, Cao Mengrong then woke up and examined him to find that his body completely lacked any spiritual Qi fluctuations. With an astonished expression, she yelped, "So it was like that? Brother Han, your cultivation must be..."
He smiled and calmly replied, "At the time, I had encountered mishap and received heavy injuries, greatly harming my cultivation as well. I've managed to now restore it to some degree, but I hadn't intended on hiding this from Fellow Daoist Cao." It was clear he had no intention of revealing his true cultivation.
Young Miss Wang blinked and she carefully examined Han Li. As a result, she wasn't able to sense anything from Han Li's body. Despite her amazement, she sweetly smiled and said, "In that case, it would be more appropriate to call Fellow Daoist Han a Senior. I hope Senior won't take offense at how Junior Martial Sister Cao treated you like an equal in the past."
"Me, a Senior?" Han Li shook his head. "I am only a vagrant cultivator in the Great Jin and I don't care for titles. As I am indebted to Fellow Daoist Cao, it is fine for her to treat me as an equal."
When Cao Mengrong heard this, her expression wavered and then she blushed as she silently accepted Han LI's words.
The general heard their exchange and then calmly proposed, "So it turned out that Sir Han was actually an expert with profound magic power. Although I am only a mortal, I do enjoy associating with cultivators. Since it seems you wish to also head to the capital, would you like to head there together?"
Han Li pondered for a moment before saying, "Travel together? I accept. Sorry for bothering you." He was just thinking about finding someone familiar with the Jin Capital and have them tell him about the trade meet. Now that this illustrious figure has appeared before him, he should know quite a few details despite being a mortal.
Afterwards, Han Li and the two women had a quick conversation and he found out that Cao Mengrong's father had successfully promoted from a mere county officer to a military official in the capital. Although his position wasn't higher in name, being transferred their from the outskirts of the empire was a significant rise in status.
But when her father moved to the capital, she was cultivating in sealed seclusion and hadn't traveled together with him. When her Senior Martial Sister Wang and her uncle traveled past her residence, Cao Mengrong happened to emerge from seclusion and soon after, she was travelling with them to the capital.
As for Han Li, he only mentioned a few passing words about how he spent the past, mentioning that he was recuperating from his injuries and had only recently emerged from seclusion. Of course, he hadn't gone into detail.
The two cultivators didn't ask for any further details. After all, Han Li was originally found sealed in ice and his injuries at the time were clearly heavy. They didn't appear to be something that could be healed in a few years time.
At that moment, a waiter from the tea shop brought over a pot of fine tea, and the three cultivators chattered for a moment before drinking it.
With the tea finished, General Wang finally began to talk to Han Li and mentioned a few hidden ancient records that were stored in a few of his estates. He currently didn't appear to be a hardened veteran at all but more like a studious scholar. His calm and cultured demeanor along with his friendly words gave Han Li a very favorable impression of him.
He also managed to impress General Wang in turn. Although he couldn't say that he was interested in ancient histories, he discovered many secrets as he searched through many ancient records for pill formulas and secret techniques, and he was able to closely capture the general's interest when he mentioned them.
After a few short words, they were absorbed in their conversation with another, completely tuning out the other two. When Young Miss Wang saw this, she wryly smiled at Cao Mengrong, but she was feeling somewhat gloomy.
She was well aware of her uncle's interest in the secrets of the far past, as he was often immersed in collecting ancient records and antiques during his spare time. Now that the knowledgeable Senior Han had come along, it was only natural for her uncle to be absorbed in conversation with him.
Cao Mengrong didn't have any complaints about this. She simply quietly sat at the side and listened to them talk. When her gaze occasionally swept past Han Li's face, she would quickly turn her eyes away as if trying to hide her actions.
Young Miss Wang saw this with bright eyes and found her actions to be quite funny.
When she spoke with her Junior Martial Sister Cao on the way, she faintly realized that her junior martial sister had a feeling of affection for the person in front of her. Whenever she mentioned this person, she would faintly blush as if he was often on her mind.
This gave young Miss Wang the impression that "Fellow Daoist Han" was a handsome and confident youth as her junior martial sister wouldn't treat her martial brothers with any particular emotion. But now that she saw Han Li in person, she couldn't help but shake her head.
This vagrant cultivator was neither the handsome or confident youth that she had imagined; the only redeeming factor of his appearance was his taller than average height. Additionally, he was most likely a Foundation Establishment cultivator and should have a far greater lifespan than her junior martial sister, who had little hope of cultivating past Qi Condensation stage. They truly weren't a good match.
As Young Miss Wang secretly thought this, she began to consider whether or not she should do anything to sabotage this potential relationship.
From her point of view, Han Li's cultivation was only slightly high. As the niece of the South Pillar General, it wouldn't be too difficult for her to have Han Li change his mind. If he truly refused, she could simply make a request to the two Core Formation cultivators in her estate's hire and have him obediently go away.
"So it was like that. In the past, heaven and earth and Ying and Yang were undergoing vast changes and created unstable spatial tears, allowing demons and devils to entering our world from others. This is the first time I've heard of such a theory. The two Core Formation cultivators under my estate have never mentioned this to me. Brother Han is truly knowledgeable and has expanded my perspective. However, there is still something I don't understand. Ancient legends spoke of an Immortal mountain by the name Kunwu, where a celestial Immortal resided. It is said..."
General Wang still spoke with excitement. After Han Li answered a question, General Wang was about to ask another when a dragon's cry sounded out from Han Li's body. Although it wasn't very loud, everyone in the room could clearly hear it and they turned to look at him in surprise.
Han Li's expression vastly changed and his body flickered with blue light before disappearing out of sight.
The two women quickly looked around in surprise and discovered that Han Li had appeared outside, much to their shock. He was looking towards the sky with a grave expression.
"Has something happened Fellow Daoist Han? Could it be you have a magic treasure in your body? Are you a Core Formation cultivator?" Young Miss Wang asked with an astonished expression. As for Cao Mengrong, she was firmly grabbing into a scarf and her complexion paled as she silently looked at him
Han Li quickly regained his calm and then turned to the other three. "It's nothing, I merely sensed an old friend of mine fly past us. Unfortunately, he flew by too quickly and I can no longer chase him. I'm afraid I've made a fool of myself in front of you. And yes, the sound was indeed caused by a flying sword I keep in my body. As my circumstances have changed, I can no longer travel together with you since I have urgent business to attend to. I will be taking my leave." He saluted them and spoke with a regretful tone.
Then without another word, he stomped down on his foot and launched himself into the air as a streak of azure light.
When the other tea shop patrons nearby saw what had happened, they quickly knelt down on the ground in the panic and began to loudly shout.
"An Immortal! A great Immortal had flown past us!"
"They had flown near us..."
For a time, an uproar spread throughout the tea shops nearby.
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