Chapter 367: Settling Down with a Guarantor
Wang Changqing bitterly smiled in response.
"Immortal Master jests! Although there are a few Immortals with storage pouches, they are incomparably precious. How could they lend them to us mortals and ferry our common items? Furthermore, every transaction between the large islands consist of great quantities. An Immortal's storage pouch may be wondrous without comparison, but it can only hold so much. Even more so, Immortals wouldn't do something so beneath their dignity as freighting goods!" Wang Changqing gave Han Li a careful explanation.
Han Li nodded his head without speaking and sunk into contemplation with narrowed eyes.
After a long while, Han Li indifferently said, "Master Gu wishes for me to act on his behalf, but I am powerless to do so. Because my cultivation isn't high, me agreeing would only shame him. I request that Mister Wang report to Master Gu that he should find someone better qualified. As for the service of bringing me to Stalwart Star Island on his boat, I am able to offer a few spirit stones in remuneration."
Han Li spoke slowly and clearly, but his voice was cold and detached.
When the old man heard Han Li's rejection, his face paled slightly.
He then pitifully pleaded, "Great Immortal, please assist my clan's master! In order to pursue this business, Master Gu already paid a great price to the ship's staff. Master Gu has also paid a great sum of spirit stones for the right to participate in the challenge. If he does not acquire the qualifications to trade between the great islands, the Gu Clan will surely go bankrupt. Us laborers will also lose our jobs and will have to find different opportunities."
"My cultivation is truly inferior. Also, I do not wish to provoke any quarrels upon arriving at Stalwart Star Island!" Han Li expressionlessly shook his head in blunt refusal.
Seeing that Han Li's refusal was certain and that his tone was strict, Wang Changqing didn't dare to continue his pleading. He could only resolve his spirit and chat about the local customs with Han Li, telling him urgently needed knowledge.
An hour later, Han Li noticed that the old man's mind was wandering. He sent him away to rest, telling him to come back when his mind was clearer.
Wang Changqing had felt tired for quite some time. Seeing that Han Li had shown him consideration, he didn't decline and followed his suggestion.
After the old man left and respectfully closed the door, Han Li couldn't help but sigh. Although he had some wealth on hand and even held some spiritual medicines that benefited mortals, he didn't have the slightest intention of giving any to the old man. He couldn't possibly reveal his wealth in this unfamiliar land! Otherwise, he might provoke unnecessary trouble; even fatal disaster wasn't an unlikely possibility.
With that in mind, Han Li sat down cross-legged on the bed. He then swallowed a "Yellow Dragon Pill" and began refining his Qi.
He must restore his cultivation as soon as possible. After all, strength truly speaks loudest, regardless of what land one resided in.
After meditating for only a short moment, he heard faint footsteps from outside his room.
Although Han Li didn't open the door, he had released his spiritual sense outside earlier and could see everything that occurred. The old man called Wang Changqing had returned with Master Gu closely following behind him with an appearance of great worry.
Han Li wrinkled his brow. It seemed trouble had come for him. It was obvious that this Master Gu hadn't given up yet and came to bother him.
Were this the Heavenly South Region, Han Li could stop them in their tracks with an ice-cold shout, and they wouldn't dare to enter. But he was a new arrival in an unfamiliar land. He mustn't appear too unreasonable.
Without waiting for the two to knock on the door, he said with a mild tone, "Please come in! The door isn't locked."
Master Gu and Wang Changqing were shocked. But then they immediately realized that this Great Immortal had invited them in. They hastily tidied up their clothes before respectfully entering the room.
At this moment, Han Li had already gotten off the bed and was now standing with his hands behind his back.
"Great Immortal, Master Gu wishes to personally discuss this matter with you. Could Great Immortal please give Master Gu an opportunity?" Wang Changqing had previous contact with Han Li and knew that this Immortal wasn't someone to be deceived. Thus, he directly stated his business for coming.
Han Li first glanced at the old man. Then he smiled and said indifferently, "Of course he can. But you should first advise Master Gu to not set his hopes too high!"
Wang Changqing revealed slight embarrassment, but he gave an honest explanation to the middle-aged man regardless.
The middle-aged man's face blanked upon hearing this. But immediately after, the middle-aged man said something that first startled Wang Changqing before causing him to reveal a queer expression.
Han Li watched detachedly from the side and remained expressionless.
"Great Immortal, our Master Gu says that so long as you lend your assistance, the Gu Clan will bestow a large sum of spirit stones to you, regardless of whether this matter results in victory or defeat. If you truly manage to win the rights for the Gu Clan to perform trade between the great islands, Master Gu is willing to even become your guarantor, allowing a foreign cultivator such as yourself to become an official resident of Stalwart Star Island. Most of all, the Gu Clan is willing to respectfully offer three-tenths of the three year trading profits to you, even if you do not wish to take up an official position at Stalwart Star Island.
Once Wang Changqing said this, his gaze became dim as if he found Master Gu's offer to be incredulous.
Han Li was somewhat surprised and stroked his chin. Baffled, he asked, "What? In order to live at Stalwart Star Island, one needs a guarantor? I never heard you say this!"
Although Han Li's words were mild, Wang Changqing broke out in a cold sweat and hastily explained, "Immortal Master misunderstands! Foreign Immortals at Stalwart Star Island can be divided into two types. One type is there for a temporary stay. They are unable to hold office and generally live there for a few years, leaving or staying depending on their own preference. The other type have guarantors from the great nearby clans and are able to stay as long as they wish. Not only do they have to pay less spirit stones to stay on the island and have the ability to follow the formalities to obtain a permanent residence, but they also have the qualifications to hold office and have the right to participate in the decennial Great Spirit Land Contest. Depending on one's performance in the contest, they are given land with a corresponding density of Spiritual Qi. This old man neglected to mention this to you because finding a guarantor for a foreign cultivator on an island as large as Stalwart Star Island is an exceedingly complicated matter." Fearing that Han Li would misunderstand, Wang Changqing explained this all in a single breath.
Han Li's expression became gloomy afterwards. Han Li doubtfully asked, "What happens to those cultivators who aren't able to find a residence on Stalwart Star Island? Are they unable to acquire a place to cultivate?"
The old man replied, "Of course not. Those Immortals from subsidiary islands are able to participate in the competitions. However, they can only participate in the main island's contest in order to obtain places of cultivation. As for why Stalwart Star Island is the main island, that is because the island has the best spirit veins and densest Spiritual Qi in the local sea. The other islands possess greatly inferior spirit veins in comparison."
With all this information, Han Li's expression incessantly switched between clear and gloomy.
These rules were an obvious tactic for the cultivators of the main island to ensure they held higher cultivation. All cultivators wanted a cultivation area that held great Spiritual Qi! Regardless of whether they were nurturing spiritual herbs or cultivating, it was always better to have a place with denser Spiritual Qi!
Han Li tightly tensed his brow and paced back and forth with a lowered head. He then raised his head and turned to look at the middle-aged man surnamed Gu who held an expectant expression.
Seeing that Master Gu held such a hopeful expression, Han Li sighed and slowly said, "Please inform me about the cultivation levels of the other cultivators that will be fighting. If I can handle them, I will make an exception and fight on your behalf!" Han Li revealed a helpless appearance.
Wang Changqing became overjoyed and hastily gave the middle-aged man a translation, causing him to become rapt with joy.
Afterwards, Han Li inwardly mused, 'If those cultivators aren't Foundation Establishment, by relying on my puppets and incisive magic tools, I should be able to win without a problem, even with my current meager cultivation. As such, I should still be able to cultivate the Three Essence Revolutions Technique. Naturally, I'll also want to cultivate that External Reincarnation technique and Great Development Technique. They should prove to be effective lifesaving measures.'
Four days later, a large cheer echoed throughout the huge ship. They had finally reached Stalwart Star Island.
Han Li followed the lead of Master Gu and Wang Changqing as they excitedly handled the formalities on the island for Han Li. After all, an unfamiliar cultivator to the island must be reported at the docks in order to avoid being mistaken for a malicious intruder.
As Han Li followed after the two, he silently sized up the entire port. He was left with the impression that it was truly grand! Regardless of the quantity or size of the ships, it was fundamentally incomparable to any of the small ports from the Heavenly South Region.
Unexpectedly, there were seven other remarkably huge ships similar to Master Gu's ship already moored at the port. Smaller ships naturally numbered many times more.
Although Han Li didn't count carefully, he estimated that about three hundred ships were docked at the harbor. As for the crowd of people bustling about the harbor and ships, it was far more than that.
This was the first time that Han Li saw what he thought to be an 'ocean of people'.