"Brother, why are you waiting here by yourself? Are you waiting for a friend?" A bright and clear voice suddenly came from behind Han Li, giving him a start.
Han Li slowly turned around and saw six to seven people standing not far from him. The one who spoke was a 27 or 28 year-old cultivator dressed in Daoist robes. This person had a blemishless white face and regular features. He held a ;horsetail whisk in his arm and was looking at Han Li with a smile.
"Does this Daoist priest have business with myself?" Han Li did not understand the other party's questions ;and instead asked him a question in return.
"Hehe! Don't misunderstand, we aren't looking at Brother with evil intentions. It's just that we saw Brother stand by himself with an appearance of curiosity towards everything. That's why we guessed your esteemed self was a rogue cultivator that attended the meeting alone and thought we'd come and make friends. We're all rogue cultivators much like your esteemed self." The Daoist priest explained with a face of benevolence.
"You are all rogue cultivators?" Han Li was slightly shocked.
"That's right. If your esteemed self is a rogue cultivator, then it would be best to stay together with us. That way, everyone will be able to look after each other during this meeting." These words came from the delicate and pretty face of a young woman with a scar. Beside her was a large, fully bearded man carrying a broadsword on his back. The two seemed to be married.
"Yes, previously lone rogue cultivators that participated in the trade meet were regularly humiliated by those from large clans because they were too weak!" The Daoist priest solemnly said. ;;
Hearing these two's words, Han Li had somewhat understood the other party's intentions.
This group of rogue cultivators were afraid of being bullied by those from cultivator clans during the meet. As a result, they voluntarily gathered together and created a small gang in an attempt to acquire the ability to defend themselves. ;That was why they looked everywhere for lone rogue cultivators.
Since the other party's intent was clear, Han Li naturally could not refuse these kinds of good intentions. After all, he truly needed a small group to shield him from the rain; he did not care that this could only be considered a temporary thing.
However, he still needed to carefully ask the other party several questions before being able to join them with ease.
"Since you several people have looked out for me, I won't conceal anything. I truly am a rogue cultivator. However, if you wish for me to join your group, could you first introduce yourselves and say what I must do as a member of your group?" Han Li calmly admitted his identity as a rogue cultivator, but as soon as the people in front of him revealed happy expressions, he put forth his request.
"It seems that Brother still has some misgivings! Haha! This is no matter. When the others had barely joined, they spoke almost the same exact words as your esteemed self!" After the Daoist priest and the others heard Han Li's words, not only did they not show an expression of displeasure but instead, they looked at each other and laughed heartily. Afterwards, the Daoist priest said these words:
"I will give you an introduction of these several friends!" The Daoist priest pointed to the several rogue cultivators and said to Han Li with a smile.
"These two are blood brothers from the Dark Blue Wolf Mountains, Hei Mu and Hei Jin." The Daoist priest pointed to the youthful pair and calmly introduced them.
(TL: ?? Hei Mu - Black Tree, ?? Hei Jin- Black Gold.)
These two cupped their hands towards Han Li, and Han Li calmly returned the courtesy.
"This is Flying Lotus Cave's Vagabond Hong Lian and Pu Lu Mountain's Master Ku Sang." This time, he pointed to the ordinary young lady and the small, bitter faced Buddhist monk.
(TL: ?? Hong Lian means Red Lotus.)
"As for them..."
"We are a married couple from Skywater Village, Hu Pinggu and Xiong Dali." The Daoist priest had pointed to the young woman and that large bearded man who had not yet spoken. With a chuckle, the young woman quickly took over the conversation. ;
The Daoist priest wasn't angry from being interrupted and calmly laughed instead.
"This humble Daoist is the Daoist Priest of Crouching Ox Mountain's Young Ox Crown, Gua Shan. My Daoist name is 'Qing Wen'. Hehe, this humble Daoist is this small group's founder and current leader for the time being. However this humble Daoist cannot command anyone and only speaks first during external affairs!" The Daoist priest humbly introduced himself last and also gave the general characteristics of this small gang.
(TL: In this chapter, the Daoist priest was originally named Song Wen ??, but the author changes this to Qing Wen?? in all later chapters.)
This Daoist priest also had quite a bit of bearing. This person didn't seem bad at all!
In addition, the others' magic power didn't seem weak for the most part. Most of them had the magic power equivalent to the seventh or eighth layer of Eternal Spring Arts! This Daoist Priest Qing Wen was even more formidable. Although he hadn't reached the level of the blue-clothed man, he was much stronger than Han Li.
After Han Li pondered for a moment, he felt that joining these people had many advantages with no disadvantages. He then said, "Since everyone is a rogue cultivator and group affairs are handled well, I, Han Li, would like to join you for the time being.
"Very good, Brother Han has joined. The strength of our group has increased yet again!" After Daoist priest Qing Wen heard Han Li's words, he immediately replied in a cheerful tone.
The others had also revealed a happy expression. After all, Han Li's magic powered seemed to be not weak and would be of no small assistance to them.
"Is our entire group here?" Han Li asked, currently looking left and right.
"There are still two more. One is currently sound asleep in a room. The other is strolling around." Hu Pinggu curled her lip. It seemed she;did not look at these two people particularly favorably.
"It isn't as bad as Lady Hu says. One simply wanted to sleep for a bit, and the other wanted to have some fun!" The small Buddhist monk defended on behalf of the two people.
"You..." Hu Pinggu felt some discontent upon hearing Buddhist Monk Ku Sang words, and wanted to say a few other things.
"Enough! Everyone mustn't argue. After all everyone had originally come to an agreement. Except for when we battle an external power, when we all must unite and follow orders. We all have freedom during all other times and can do as we wish!" Daoist Priest Qing Wen hastily stepped forward to mediate.
Although this Lady Hu did not appear outwardly happy, she did not pester and argue afterwards. After all, Daoist Priest Qing Wen's strength was quite powerful, so she could not help but give him face.
"Wait until evening, then Brother Han will be able to meet with the two. I will give you an introduction at that time. Those two truly stand out from the masses!" The Daoist priest had a helpless appearance. It seemed the two were quite troublesome.
When Han Li saw this, although his interest was greatly piqued, he found it embarrassing to question this matter closely.
Next, Daoist Priest Qing Wen asked Han Li if he planned to move together with them or stroll by himself.
Han Li naturally chose the latter, not surprising Daoist Priest Qing Wen. Because those who had just entered Great South Valley were naturally quite curious, they would for the most part favor moving alone. However, it would take about the same time for him to finish looking if they were to move together.
The Daoist priest was also quite conscientious. After telling Han Li a few taboo subjects and a few common conventions, making sure he understood the Great South Small Meeting completely, he gave Han Li a talisman.
He pointed to a pavilion's small bannered floor and told Han Li that the pavilion was where they were staying. The talisman he gave Han Li was a key to open the small floor's restrictive;spell, allowing Han Li to rest there when he were tired.
Afterwards these several people said their goodbyes to Han Li and disappeared from the dim light of night, leaving him not knowing whether they were continuing to look for other rogue cultivators.
Han Li continued to looked at the rear figures of these several people until they were already too far away to be seen. He then lowered his head to look at the talisman in his hand. There was a silver glisten on the yellow talisman. It was a talisman charm he was unable to make sense of. It seemed truly quite clever.
After Han Li muttered to himself for a moment, he softly smiled.
He folded the paper talisman and put it into his bosom. Then, after a deep look in the direction that Daoist Priest Qing Wen disappeared, he turned around and walked toward the plaza without the slightest hesitation.
After he entered the plaza, Han Li became like the other cultivators; he slowly walked on one side while turning his head to look at the goods of each and every vendor's stall.
According to what Daoist Priest Qing Wen had mentioned a moment ago, these cultivator transactions generally used two methods.
The first method would be to exchange items for items. A few cultivators would trade a few goods they didn't need but were still hesitant to part with for goods that they urgently needed. As a result, those who set up a vendor stall would not have any successful transactions for several days. This was quite a common occurrence.