Volume 4 – Perpetual Conflict, Chapter 78: Proof of Allegiance
This cultivation room was the most expensive one in the dojo, but now Qianye had demolished an entire wall with a single strike of this fist. The big commotion had long since alarmed the greater half of the dojo. They still had no idea what had happened, but it could only mean trouble regardless of whether it was a customer suffering a cultivation accident or a malfunctioning facility in the chamber.
The group of dojo disciples rushed in and were immediately petrified. For a while, they actually thought they were hallucinating when they saw the back garden scenery.
It wasn’t easy to explain this situation, so Qianye brought out a thirty-square-centimeter piece of black crystal, stuffed directly it into the hands of a dojo disciple and left hurriedly after saying, “Take this as compensation.”
An entire piece of uncut energy black crystal was more than enough to cover the repair of this cultivation chamber. The disciples hadn’t yet recovered from the shock and thus no one remembered to block him as he left.
It was just that the disciple holding onto the black crystal felt puzzled—from where had this customer, who wasn’t even carrying a backpack, pulled out this big box? He then glanced at the multi-colored back garden and felt somewhat confused.
Long after Qianye left, a female disciple exclaimed in surprise as she fished out, from the rubble, a thick steel plate with a big hole in the center and fragments of rubber all over it.
She observed it for a good while and stammered as she spoke, “This… is this the steel dummy? How did it become like this?”
The disciples all examined it and finally confirmed that this steel plate was once the steel dummy used to train combat arts. However, it was so flat and it didn’t even seem like it was struck by a human but instead run over repeatedly by a convoy of heavy trucks.
The disciples felt that their eyes were somewhat unreliable today as they glanced at the steel plate and then at the missing wall of the cultivation chamber.
Qianye didn’t think he would cause such a ruckus with a casual punch. It was fortunate that he had gotten away quickly, otherwise, it would be quite difficult to explain things. After this, Qianye was no longer in the mood to continue his stroll and thus headed back to the hotel.
That night, Wang Youyuan was standing respectfully before a certain middle-aged man.
The man possessed a handsome countenance, slender eyes, and an amiable-looking demeanor. However, Wang Youyuan didn’t even dare breathe loudly before him.
The middle-aged man mumbled something to himself as he tapped lightly on the table and said only after a while, “You also know how seriously our Zhao clan takes its rules.”
Wang Youyuan hurriedly bowed and said, “Sir Zhao, the strict laws naturally must be observed within the clan, but it isn’t completely impossible to do things flexibly once outside.”
The middle-aged man only snorted with an indifferent expression.
Wang Youyuan bowed even lower and his voice grew even softer. “Sire, you see, this is mithril we’re talking about! This humble one understands that other things won’t even enter your esteemed eyes. And isn’t it quite likely that… the position of city lord… will be yours from now on?”
The middle-aged man shot Wang Youyuan a glance, and his expression somewhat softened.
Seeing this, Wang Youyuan swiftly proceeded to strike while the iron was hot. “Sir, the clan’s military affairs are at an important phase. Handing in a resource like mithril now will not only grant you an equivalent value in gold coins, but also a meritorious record! Moreover, that brat casually brought out a piece of mithril worth 30,000 gold coins, so he might have other goods on him.
The middle-aged man hesitated for a moment and suddenly said, “What are his origins?”
“Someone from out of town. This is his first time coming to Darkshore. Moreover, he doesn’t have a guarantor.”
Wang Youyuan’s mention of a guarantor back then wasn’t just a random question. For such a transaction worth tens of thousands of gold coins, both parties would normally invite a guarantor, unless they were long-term business partners who knew each other well. An exchange of goods like this was equal to two separate transactions, so it was important to prevent problematic goods or receiving stolen property.
A store with the Zhao clan’s signboard naturally wasn’t afraid to take in stolen goods, but these things couldn’t be done in the open. There was a big difference between a regular business and underground transactions. Having stayed on Evernight Continent year round, Qianye had no experience at all in such matters.
Wang Youyuan immediately knew after a brief chat that Qianye wasn’t a legal peddler. He could let it slide if it was a cash transaction, but as it happened, the other party had brought out a piece of high-purity solid mithril. Such an item being in the hands of a hunter meant that its origins were definitely sketchy. Thus, in Wang Youyuan’s eyes, it was equal to an ownerless fortune.
The middle-aged man, Zhao Youpin, seemed to hesitate briefly before nodding unhurriedly. “Then do it, but don’t leave any loose ends. I’ll arrange for someone to keep watch.”
For a moment, it seemed as if flowers had bloomed on Wang Youyuan’s countenance as he said repeatedly, “Rest assured, I’ll handle this business appropriately! It so happens that Triblade Ma is in Darkshore. He’s a fierce man who’s halted before the champion rank for many years now. I’m confident I can convince him to take action, at which point, success will be assured.”
Zhao Youpin frowned. “Triblade Ma? I heard this fellow has raised a group of bandits outside the city and isn’t someone easy to get along with. It might be troublesome if we drag him into this business.”
Wang Youyuan replied with a smile, “On the contrary, I know a fair bit about Triblade Ma. He’s the type who thinks of nothing else but profit and has a fair reputation in handling matters. Everything is on the table as long as enough money is paid. Moreover, his clan nephew works at our store. What problem can there be with two such connections?”
Seeing that Zhao Youpin was hesitant, Wang Youyuan added, “Even if he has other intentions, you’ll have become the city lord after this deal is completed. At that time, we can let him be if he knows his place. Otherwise, he can’t blame us for being cruel.”
Zhao Youpin eventually nodded. “Very well, let’s do it that way then. I’ll arrange for a platoon of guards to cooperate with you just in case.”
“Sir, please wait for the good news!” Wang Youyuan’s steps seemed much lighter as he left the study.
A woman’s sneer came from within the room, “Delivering a gesture of allegiance right away; this old fellow is quite clever despite being from an external branch.” A young lady with beautiful facial features had been standing behind Zhao Youpin all along, but only voiced her opinion at this point.
Wang Youyuan running over to present such a case naturally wasn’t because he coveted the small reward he would gain after the matter was settled successfully. He was actually taking a considerable risk by doing this, not because burying a foreigner without a background was troublesome, but because he might be prosecuted by the Zhao clan’s law enforcement unit.
It was rather unexpected that this general manager of the Xinglong Trading Company, notorious for being a wolf in sheep’s clothing, was actually so decisive. He had noticed that the old city lord wasn’t in good shape and thus had intentionally come over to the popular city lord candidate, Zhao Youpin, to deliver such a benefit as an expression of his allegiance.
“Go and investigate. If everything Wang Youyuan said is true, have Li Liu cooperate with the man.” Zhao Youpin’s expression was calm, but in his heart, he felt quite good about the Wang Youyuan’s expression of goodwill.
But Zhao Youpin felt distraught after thinking about the city lord’s position. The situation within the clan wasn’t very peaceful in the recent years. After the Duke Chengen lineage gradually worked to consolidate their newfound authority, there was a need for them to assign people to certain positions. Despite wearing the Zhao surname, it was becoming increasingly difficult for people from branch families like him to grasp benefits. A share of ten to twenty thousand gold coins would definitely help him in his endeavor. No amount of money was considered too much when pursuing an official position.
Seeing that Zhao Youpin was once again in deep thought, the woman decided not to disturb him and quietly withdrew from the study.
The next day, Qianye continued his leisurely tour of the city after completing his morning cultivation. Darkshore was a center of trade; perhaps he could find some more good items like the Deer Bone Powder.
The bone powder of the fragrant cloud deer wasn’t too rare at its region of production. On Evernight Continent, however, it was a special commodity. Normally, the trade of medicine used in cultivation like the Origin Construction Incense and its corresponding ingredients were monopolized by the expeditionary army.
This authority wasn’t decreed by the empire, but the expeditionary army’s ban was naturally effective on Evernight Continent. Because its supply was fully controlled by the expeditionary army, the prices of these medicinal materials were not only much higher than the source but also unavailable to everyone. With Blackflow City’s current relationship with the expeditionary army headquarters, it was possible that the 7th division’s quota would be withheld.
Bringing back a batch of deer bone powder under such circumstances would afford him great convenience both for sale and self-use.
Qianye browsed through the commodities and thought about what else he should stock up on. There should be several thousand gold coins left over after trading in the piece of solid mithril. He would have to limit his budget accordingly if he were to buy other goods.
Back at the altar within the great hall, Qianye didn’t have Andruil’s Mysterious Realm and the space within his backpack was limited. Thus, he only took some rare materials. Among them, mithril was considered a common resource; there were others so rare that he knew nothing of their origin. As for those rare ores only obtainable from certain mines on certain continents, he didn’t want to sell them off so easily.
Qianye had just turned into a small alleyway when he saw a young man rushing towards him.
He was running hurriedly at full speed, but just as they were about to brush past one another, his body bent forth as if he had tripped and suddenly bumped into Qianye.
Having grown up in a dumpster, Qianye had seen all kinds of tricks. He had long since known that the other party’s movements seemed to be in disorder, when, in fact, his steps were fairly steady and he hadn’t lost control of his body at all. Qianye moved slightly to one side and avoided the youth while locking his hand with a backward grip.
The youth’s movements were exceptionally agile. His hand had actually half-reached into Qianye’s pocket when it was caught.
The youth immediately struggled after he was caught, but Qianye’s grip held firmly onto his wrist like a metal pincer.
“Release me!” the youth screamed.
Qianye glanced calmly at the young man but didn’t let go.
The youth suddenly began to shout loudly, “Help! There’s a foreigner trying to kill me!”
Qianye’s countenance turned cold—a number of disorderly footsteps were heard in the vicinity as a number of burly men who looked like street thugs began to appear and blocked off the two ends of the alley.
After seeing that some people had come over, the youth produced a dagger with his free hand and thrust fiercely toward Qianye’s flank. Not only was the strike swift and ruthless, it was also aimed with exceptional malice. An ordinary person would’ve been killed instantly.
The youth didn’t forget to cry out during this process. “Murder! A foreigner is attempting murder!”
Qianye watched on expressionlessly as the young man’s dagger reached his flank. Its edge was so sharp that it almost didn’t seem like a non-origin power weapon. It pierced through Qianye’s tactical jacket, bypassed his internal armor with great precision and stabbed ruthlessly into his flank. The impact even caused his skin to dip down ever so slightly.
But that was it, not even a drop of blood appeared.
The youth felt as if he had stabbed at a stone and almost dropped the dagger due to the pain from the impact. It was impossible for him to thrust further.
Qianye strengthened his grip ever so slightly and shattered the young man’s wrist bones with a snap. The latter didn’t even have time to scream in misery before Qianye, likewise, grabbed onto the hand holding the dagger and crushed all the bones within.
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