Chapter 128: Great South Small Meeting
"Which clan is Brother from?" After the youth finished looking at the dense fog with excitement, he seemed to have remembered something, so he turned his head to ask.
When Han Li had chatted with the youth just a moment ago, he realized that in the world of cultivators, aside from cultivation sects and clans, the number of rogue cultivators was not small.
The majority of these so-called rogue cultivators were either the last generation of a fallen cultivation clan or people like Han Li, mortals who accidentally stumbled upon some cultivation art and voluntarily entered the world of cultivators. Furthermore, the rogue cultivators from declining sects were separated from their inheritance; their cultivation was, for the most part, not at a high stage, generally lingering at Qi Condensation. As a result, cultivation clans have rarely treated rogue cultivators with high regard and had somewhat held them in contempt, just like how rich families from the secular world looked down upon poor and destitute families.
"I do not come from a clan, but rather I've cultivated by myself!" After Han Li thought for a moment, he decided to speak the truth. After all, pretending to be a member from another clan was far too easy to expose.
"Your esteemed self is a rogue cultivator!?" Although this was quite unexpected to the youth, his face didn't wear the slightest look of discrimination but instead had a look of pleasant surprised.
He excitedly circled around Han Li, looking at Han Li as if he were a rare object.
"Didn't Little Brother just say a moment ago that cultivation clans looked down upon rogue cultivators? How are you still so happy?" Han Li asked, somewhat amazed by this.
"They do, but don't confuse our Wan clan with other cultivator clans. Our Wan clan has always treated rogue cultivators well!" The youth pridefully replied. He seemed quite proud of his clan's practices.
"Our Wan clan's ancestors were originally rogue cultivators. However they were fortunate enough to enter a cultivation school, becoming official disciples of the Giant Sword Sect. At this point, our Wan clan was established, and because of our origins, the rules of our Wan clan have always made it forbidden to discriminate against rogue cultivators." The youth said with a smile.
"Actually, it isn't limited to our Wan clan. A few other clans' ancestors were also rogue cultivators, therefore they also bear no ill will toward rogue cultivators. However, these clans take up far too small a portion of the entirety of cultivation clans. That is why there is the saying that cultivator clans discriminate against rogue cultivators." The youth added while shaking his head.
"So it's like that! It seems I am quite lucky. My first meeting was with a little brother from this sort of clan, the Wan clan." After Han Li heard the other side's response to his identity as a rogue cultivator, he had somewhat loosened his guard around the youth.
"However Brother, throughout the entire journey, you've asked about so many commonly known matters in the world of cultivators. Could it be that brother is a new cultivator that had just left the mountain?" The youth turned his eyes, saying this with sudden realization. It was unknown why he became intelligent all of a sudden.
When Han Li heard this, his face slightly smiled, and he used his hand to pat the youth's shoulders. He said somewhat apologetically, "I hadn't meant to deliberately fool Little Brother, but I had just entered the world of cultivation. I had a few misgivings!"
"It doesn't matter, I don't mind! However, this Big Brother should tell me his name! In the future, you should directly call me Xiaoshan, I won't mind." Wan Xiaoshan was clearly a familiar kind of person, saying this without a care in the world.
"Hehe! I am Han Li. I truly just entered the world of cultivation. I hope Brother Xiaoshan will take care of me!" Han Li's impression of Wan Xiaoshan was quite favorable, causing the tone of his words to become much more amiable.
"No problem. If there is something Big Brother Han doesn't understand, do not hesitate to ask. Hehe! Who would have thought that I, Wan Xiaoshan, would be instructing others?" Wan Xiaoshan proudly said.
"If I have any questions, I will certainly ask Xiaoshan. However, shouldn't we enter the valley?" Han Li slightly smiled, pointing to the sky.
"Aiya! I almost forgot about our true affair." After Wan Xiaoshan looked to the sky where Han Li's finger was pointed, he immediately shouted, flustered.
The youth busily searched himself for quite a while before finally taking out a paper talisman from his bosom.
After he made several gestures with his hands and softly spoke several phrases, he threw the paper talisman into the sky. It transformed into a streak of fire that burst into the dense fog, not longer capable of being seen.
"Big Brother Han Li, wait a moment. My announcement talisman will soon enter the valley. The people in the valley will release the spell and guide us there." After the youth saw Han Li somewhat entranced in the direction that the flame had disappeared, he quickly explained,
"Oh!" Han Li nodded his head, expressing his understanding.
"Big Brother Han Li, on this visit to Great South Valley, surely you have brought quite a few goods to exchange? Can you tell me? Don't feel embarrassed, this Little Brother will say what he brought first!"
"I brought a dozen elementary low-grade blank paper talismans, two elementary low-grade Invisibility Talismans, two elementary low-grade Fleeing Earth Talismans, one elementary mide-grade Rapid Thunder Talisman, a dozen elementary low-grade Ice Bullet Talismans, an ingot of source iron, a bottle of elementary grade cinnabar, a bundle of whiskers from the Three-Tailed Cat demon beast, medicinal herbs...." Wan Xiaoshan didn't take notice of the dumbstruck Han Li as he murmured and counted his fingers,listing out his stockpile of items.
"Done! Now it's Big Brother Han's turn to say! Big Brother, why is your complexion so white? You..." The youngster blinked. He looked at Han Li, not understanding why Han Li was speechless.
"Don't tell me that to enter Great South Valley, I must prepare items beforehand?" Han Li complexion was unsightly.
"There is no such rule!" Wan Xiaoshan bluntly replied.
Having heard this, Han Li complexion immediately improved.
"However, those that come to Great South Valley at this time are certain to participate in Great South Small Meeting. Who wouldn't bring any items? This only happens once every five years; the occasion is for us younger generation of the Lan Province to set up a trading event! Especially for the great Immortal Ascension Assembly that our Lan Province will hold a month from now. Those who pass by to participate in Great South's Small Meeting are numerous. Could it be that Big Brother did not come to take part in the famous Great South Valley's Small Meeting?" The youth said, shocked. He looked at Han Li with a gaze lacking confidence.
Han Li bitterly smiled.
"Brother Xiaoshan, I truly didn't know that this place would have a Great South Small Meeting. I merely found out by accident that this place harbored other cultivators. I came to make friends, nothing more. How could I have specially prepared some items beforehand?" Han Li helplessly said as he spread out his hands.
"So it was like that! That is far too unfortunate. Big Brother Han Li has no choice but to squander this golden opportunity. You should know that there are no opportunities to those who lack goods and materials." Wan Xiaoshan said with a face full of pity, repeatedly sighing at Han Li.
"However, I can't say that I have nothing on me that I can't trade. At the very least, do I not have these two talismans?" Han Li thought, mocking himself.
At this moment, the dense fog in front of the two suddenly split as if a person had cut it with a knife, creating a small path that could fit two people shoulder to shoulder. With a glance, one could not see the other end of the small path, which seemed to be quite a distance away.
"Alright, let's go!" The youth looked toward Han Li with a wry yet happy face before joyfully rushing in first and disappearing onto the road.
Han Li carefully observed the small path with indifference for a moment, before walking in with striding steps. He walked with stable steps, calm and unhurried.
This path seemed to be quite long, but after walking for a short period of time, he arrived at the end.
Once Han Li walked off the path, something was suddenly revealed before him, a rarely seen fully lush, green valley. The valley was closed off from three sides by mountains. Its only entrance was the mountain side sealed off by dense fog where Han Li had originally entered.
This entire region was quite large, no less than sixteen acres. At the center, there was a large fenced off area with a jade palace pavilion where somewhat bizarrely dressed people left and entered.
(TL: actual measurement was 100 mu or 16.5 acres.)
In front of the pavilion, there was an expansive azure brick plaza occupied by many people resembling small traders. The entire plaza was set up with small vendors' stalls. From time to time, he would see one or two people pressed against the front of a booth. They would look at a few things or perhaps softly ask a few questions, but Han Li rarely saw anyone who reached a deal.
Having seen this, Han Li couldn't help but take in a deep breath.This was the world of cultivators! All the people here were cultivators. Being able to see so many cultivators all at once had left Han Li in somewhat of a trance.
Han Li softly shook his head, clearing his mind a bit. He constantly reminded himself that he wanted to enter a previously unimaginable world. The people here were most likely able to eliminate him with ease. He must be more cautious and subdued.
With this thought, Han Li turned his head to look at the path that by now had already completely disappeared and raised his leg to walk toward the bright stage.