A Record of a Mortal’s Journey to Immortality

Chapter 164: The Secret of the Treasure Talisman

“Elder Ding, may I trouble you to look at this item? Even though Junior feels like it could be a thousand year-old spiritual medicine, I am not completely sure. I hope Elder Ding can identify the age of this herb.” Shopkeeper Tian requested in a humble tone and handed over the wooden box.

“Thousand year-old spiritual herb?” Elder Ding found it hard to believe it when he heard it, but he still took the brocade box.

“Elder, please take a close look! Is it really a thousand year-old Yellow Essence Mushroom?” Shopkeeper Tian suppressed the excitement in his heart and asked rapidly.

The Elder didn’t respond. He narrowed his eyes, focusing on looking at the shape, color, even the pattern. He even put the box under his nose and sniffed it slightly several times.

Han Li had hand-raised this medical herb with an accelerated process, so he knew very well whether or not this spiritual medicine was a thousand years old. Knowing this, he sat on the side with a leisurely expression and acted as if he didn’t see what the Elder was doing. What he was considering was only how he should bargain with the Ten Thousand Treasures Store.

Shopkeeper Tian was the exact opposite of Han Li, and he watched the Elder’s each and every single move without blinking. The unfearing manner he carried himself with when he first met Han Li was already completely gone. At this moment, his face was filled with a complicated expression, a mixture of expectations and worry, due to the possible outcomes..

Finally, Elder Ding placed the box gently on the table, closed his eyes and went into deep thought  as he pinched his beard. He then opened his eyes, and said calmly with a very positive tone,

“Congratulations, Shopkeeper. This is indeed a Yellow Essence Mushroom that is over a thousand years old. It has also just been unearthed not long ago, and the efficacy of this medicine has not detracted at all, so it is a top-quality thousand year-old herb. This Elder can guarantee this!”

Hearing this, Shopkeeper Tian’s face showed a joyous expression. He then respectfully escorted the Elder down the stairs. Overjoyed, he picked up the box holding the spiritual herb and looked at it several more times.

“Shopkeeper Tian, shouldn’t you and I start talking about the deal?!” Seeing that the other party seemed to have forgotten that the owner of the spiritual herb was still sitting on the side, Han Li couldn’t help but remind the Shopkeeper of his presence.

“Oh… Ah!… I am so silly. Brother Li, please forgive me!” Slightly surprised, Shopkeeper Tian then remembered that this spiritual herb didn’t yet belong to the Ten Thousand Treasures Store. He slightly blushed, his face turning red.

“Hehe, that’s fine! But how do you plan on trading? Seeing how Shopkeeper Tian was fond of this item, I’m sure you won’t disappoint me!” Han Li chuckled and remarked as he slightly mocked the other party.

At this moment, Shopkeeper Tian’s expression returned to normal. He then put the item that was in his hands back on the table and said, “Since Brother Li can take out a thousand year-old spiritual herb, you must not be an ordinary cultivator. Hence, I will be straightforward to Brother without any of my usual business schemes. I will give you a fair price!”

With that said, after a moment of thought, he continued with a sincere tone, “Brother Li can trade this spiritual herb for any of the two items from the brocade box that I have previously showed you, or you can trade it for only the item in the last brocade box. If none of the items satisfy you, then this store can also pay you with enough spiritual stones to buy the spiritual herb. Brother Li, what are your thoughts?”

Han Li felt the sincerity in the other party’s words. After pondering it over and over again in his heart, he felt that the price was reasonable, and since it was not beyond his bottom line, he was on the verge of accepting the deal. But before that, he still wanted to see the item in the last brocade box.

But it turned out that Han Li didn’t even have to ask. Shopkeeper Tian had already opened the last brocade box and pushed it in front of Han Li, as he said with a smile, “The item inside this box is this store’s most precious treasure. However, whether you like it not will depend on if Brother has good taste!”

Hearing this, Han Li’s curiosity increased. He looked inside the box, and immediately he was stunned. Inside the brocade box, there was a single, lone talisman inscribed with the image of a golden brick. The image shimmered with a golden light and looked realistic.

After taking a good look at the item, Han Li’s thoughts couldn’t stop spinning. He immediately thought of his talisman, the one with a small gray sword drawn on it. Could it be the same thing?

“Treasure talisman?” Han Li took a deep breath and asked in an uncertain tone.

The shopkeeper showed an expression of astonishment. He exclaimed in surprise,

“I did not expect that Brother Li would actually recognize this item! Usually, very few cultivators know about this treasure. Brother is truly knowledgeable, I am impressed!”

After Han Li listened to what he said, he laughed bitterly and shook his head. With a sigh, he replied,

“You look too highly upon this man surnamed Li. I merely heard about the treasure talisman; I don’t know much about it. Since Shopkeeper Tian was able to take this item out, you must know a bit about this treasure talisman. I hope you will teach me about it!”

Han Li’s remarks were all spoken from the bottom of his heart. He wanted to take the opportunity gain a thorough understanding of the treasure talisman and avoid being confused about it further down the road.

Shopkeeper Tian was surprised as he looked at Han Li. He felt like this wasn’t something that needed to be kept as a secret,  it’s just that not a lot of people knew about it. Even so, it wasn’t worth the effort to offend the big customer in front of him, so he agreed very easily and explained everything he knew about the “treasure talisman”.

The “treasure talisman” was an item with great background, a special item that could only be made by cultivators above Core Formation.

The high-level cultivators who refined magic treasures would insert some of the magic treasure’s power into special talisman paper so that other cultivators could temporarily use the power of the magic treasure from this special talisman. It had the characteristics of both a talisman and a magic treasure. Cultivators who were aware of their existence jokingly called them “fake magic treasures”, but even so, they still deeply coveted them.

This type of “fake magic treasure” was very special. Even though it must be made by cultivators above Core Formation, any cultivator could use it, regardless of skill level. Even Monk Golden Light, the cultivator whom Han Li had killed, could use it well despite having cultivated only three or four layers.

However, cultivators below Foundation Establishment couldn’t use condensation techniques, so they could only use ten to twenty percent of the treasure talisman’s power. Compared to top magic tools, this didn’t seem to be much higher.

After Foundation Establishment, however, cultivators would be able to use Mind Condensation Arts and make full use of the treasure talisman’s might. Even though its power didn’t resemble the earth-shattering, sea-roaring, mountain-shattering might of a true magic treasure, it was enough to disdain any other magic tool. Hence, cultivators after Foundation Establishment all wished to have a “treasure talisman”. This would give them an advantage in battles and let them disregard other cultivators.

Even though a “treasure talisman’s” powers were astonishing, it would keep on consuming the magic treasure’s power that was held within. If the powers were exhausted, then the treasure talisman would be completely useless. Therefore, the question of the treasure talisman’s usage was something that could not be taken lightly.

Furthermore, the creation of the “treasure talisman” was not a simple matter.

Because magic treasures were objects that could inherently be refined only by Core Formation cultivators, they were incredibly rare. They also needed to be refined day and night within a cultivator’s true essence to to increase its power and could not lightly be shown to others. As a result, the same could be said as to which magic treasure the ‘‘treasure talisman” was created from.

Creating a “treasure talisman” was equivalent to harming the magic treasure since it siphoned off a portion of its power, and the owner of the magic treasure must refine the magic treasure for a long time to recover its might. Such actions were typically self-harming. Therefore, under normal circumstances, no cultivator who was above Core Formation would do such foolish actions.

But as the old saying went, the affairs of the world were in constant flux. The seemingly foolish action of refining a “treasure talisman” would be done continuously by most of the high-level cultivators when their times were almost up. It was for the sake of the younger generations and juniors, a small fortune in power and assistance.

As for the magic treasures left behind by predecessors, after a long amount of time of being refined and inherited by successors, the magic treasure would no longer be completely compatible with the new owner’s mind. In addition, half of the magic treasure’s original power would be lost, so it required the user to also achieve Core Formation or else the magic treasure would only be wasted and rendered unusable. Therefore, compared to keeping the magic treasures, refining “treasure talismans” for the younger generation was more suitable.

But there were a lot of limitations to refining a “treasure talisman”.

Firstly, each “treasure talisman” could seal the power of a magic treasure, but only one tenth of of the magic treasure’s power, and it could only reduce, not increase. Hence, even if multiple “treasure talismans” sealed the same magic treasure, their strengths were uneven and could vary.

Secondly, not only would refining treasure talismans reduce the power of the magic treasure, it would make the owner lose a lot of strength, so continuous refinement of “treasure talismans” was an impossible scenario. Every time a treasure talisman was refined, the magic treasure owner would have to recover for three to five years to regain his strength. And this was in the case that one would not waste true essence and would no longer intend to refine magic treasures ever again, or else the time would be even longer.

Hence, in the cultivating world, there often appeared scenario like these.

When high-level cultivators approach the end of their life, they would prepare to die while sitting proudly and without regrets. They would leave their most valuable items, usually a piece of magic treasure that had its power decreased greatly and several “treasure talisman” that sealed the same power. This must be said to be a helpless matter!

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