Translator: Flying Lines
"Childe, this is an independent two-story building with a yard. What's more, it enjoys a lovely view and a quiet environment. What do you think?"
Nodding his head to show his satisfaction, Shiao Chen then sent the waiter away and walked into the building by pushing the door.
Stepping into the building, Shiao Chen was greeted with a set of furniture with antique beauty and several thriving potted plants at corners of the hall. The plants were either exotic or rare, but the sight of them made one feel good.
Just in case, Shiao Chen carefully scanned the building with his divine sense and found nothing abnormal. He then took a talisman out from his storage bag and threw it to the floor with force. A faint light flashed and the talisman disappeared.
After all needed was done, Shiao Chen finally wound down and nodded his head. With a little bit excitement, Shiao Chen felt it was time to count what he had gained. He then took his storage bag off, put it upside down, and shook it. With a clatter of belongings, plenty of spirit stones, spirit tools, pills, and jade slips were scattered everywhere. Seeing what he had gained, Shiao Chen was a little bit complacent since rare people at Gold Core could earn a fortune like this.
Take spirit tools for example, they were most valuable among all those things. Even a lowest grade spirit tool was worth hundreds of spirit stones, not to mention that a middle grade one could cost thousands of spirit stones and was often difficult to be purchased even with a high price. Shiao Chen counted his belongings carefully and found that until now he had gained a dozen of storage bags, among which four were even from cultivators at Gold Core. What was more, he also had more than ten spirit tools, among which three were at top grade. With a happy mood, Shiao Chen put other spirit tools away and left the three top-grade ones behind, planning to personalize one of them as his tool.
The first one was a silk ribbon designed for women. According to Shiao Chen's experiment, its size could change at its controller’s will and it could effectively wrap the spirit tool of the enemy. Though it was a powerful weapon, apparently, it was not suitable for a man. The second one was a broadsword with a blood red body, at the sight of the flash of which, one seemed to hear screams and shouts from tortured souls. It was definitely a powerful weapon for a ghost cultivator. However, Shiao Chen pondered slightly and gave it up. He was a spirit cultivator and would be in big trouble if he was found using a weapon for ghost cultivators in the future.
Shaking his head, Shiao Chen put the sword down and looked at the last one.
It was an unobtrusive ring in black. Shiao Chen's eyes twinkled with delight after his experiment. The spirit, once entered the tool, could be automatically turned into a fierce sense of sword with great power. Shiao Chen couldn't help but wonder what if a sense of sword exploded after his punch on his enemy. He wore it immediately with a smile since it was just an excellent tool to play dumb.
Shiao Chen was satisfied with what he got though no suitable attack weapons were found. The ring gained from Black Ghost was at top high grade with a power no less than that of low top-grade ones. Thus, he was not going to personalize another spirit tool. Collecting the two tools left, Shiao Chen then cast his eyes on the spirit stones. Based on a rough calculation by the stone's grade, low grade spirit stones amounted to about 180, 000 and middle grade ones more than one thousand. Plus, there were two self-use top grade spirit stones for the puppet. After checking the spirit stones he got, Shiao Chen took out a big special storage bag to pack them up.
As for talismans, Shiao Chen got plenty of them. He searched among those scattered on the ground, picked up a dozen of high-grade ones, and packed them carefully. In terms of the rest low-grade ones, he just stuffed them in a storage bag.
"En, what's this?" An old yellow talisman with a vivid little sword in just few strokes came to Shiao Chen's eyes.
"It looks familiar to me. I seem to have seen it before." Shiao Chen frowned. Suddenly, a thought came to him and he took a jade box out from a storage bag. He opened the box and saw a similar talisman in it.
The talisman was gained after he killed the man in dark outside the Small-cliff Market. It was a talisman with a simple flying needle on it. Though it was not exactly the same as the one catching his eyes, they did have a lot in common. They were with hidden spirits, simple strokes, antique colors, and not conspicuous at all.
Shiao Chen had a feeling that the two talismans were not as simple as they seemed to be. He then kept both of them safely in the jade box.
With regard to the pills, Shiao Chen kept those few for Gold Core safely and the remaining vast majority casually in a storage bag.
Concerning the jade slips, more than twenty of them were found. Shiao Chen had indeed identified good cultivation methods after a quick review. He then collected them carefully in a jade box and put the box in a storage bag.
After all these were done, Shiao Chen felt a little bit tired even his cultivation was comparable to those at the beginning of Foundation Establishment. He swallowed several pills and sat with legs crossed to absorb the efficacy and recover.
Suddenly, a faint spirit fluctuation occurred. After detecting the change, Shiao Chen immediately released his divine sense to scan areas nearby. His divine sense could extend for about one hundred kilometers. He was now at level fifteen of Qi Refining with a divine sense stronger than average. Moreover, with the help of the gold seal, his divine sense was quintupled, equaling to almost that of a cultivator at the beginning of Foundation Establishment. He was sure that his divine sense wouldn't be perceived.
Identifying the source of the spirit fluctuation, Shiao Chen frowned and was then indulged in thoughts, "It is them. Could it be my false judgment that they are actually cultivators?"
After a second thought, Shiao Chen shook his head to temporarily let the doubt go. He would be back to his Sect tomorrow and such a little incident wouldn't exert great influence on him even if there were something wrong. Thinking of this, Shiao Chen again took several pills in and continued his cultivation. Even though he might not get enough strength to get through to the next level, at least he could refine his spirits.
It was not until the next day before dawn that Shiao Chen slowly opened his eyes. A faint light flashed across his face and then disappeared. His eyes became darker and were just like bottomless calm waters.
Shiao Chen stood up and walked out of the room. Though spirits in the mortal world were rare, he felt calm and peaceful seeing everything came back to life with the sun rise and vitality arose in tranquility.
It had been a year since he embarked on the cultivation road. He was no longer the carefree teenager in the village. The past year had totally transformed him. He was now a cultivator, treading a long unknown path to immortals, trying to figure out natural laws of the world.
At this moment, there came a squeak from a distance. Shiao Chen came to himself all of a sudden and again resumed his poker face.
Seeing the figure under the bamboo grove, Li Xiaoyi was surprised and then said with a smile, "Pal, you seem to have a good mood. You are such a tasteful person to get up early to enjoy the beauty of morning dew." Li Xiaoyi wagged his head along with his words, looking like a nerd.
Though willing to reply his words, Shiao Chen remained composed and said with a smile, "Good morning, friend." This person seemed to have performed an excellent cultivation method to hide his spirit flows, but still, Shiao Chen felt faint spirit flows on him. He was inevitably a cultivator. However, if he was reluctant to show his cultivation, Shiao Chen would naturally play dumb accordingly.
The person impressed Shiao Chen favorably. Shiao Chen didn't feel him as a threat.
"I'm Li Xiaoyi, seventeen years old. I come from Beihua State." Squinting his eyes, Li Xiaoyi said with a giggle.
"Shiao Chen." Shiao Chen glanced at him and told him his real name after a slight hesitation.
"Haha, I feel like we're old friends at first sight. How about having breakfast and a free talk together?" Though Shiao Chen just told him his name, Li Xiaoyi was not annoyed at all and offered his hospitable invitation.
After a slight hesitation, Shiao Chen nodded with a smile, "Ok."
Li Xiaoyi was thrilled on hearing the reply and headed to the restaurant in the front yard together with Shiao Chen.
"Where will brother head to? I'm just roaming around. How about we two travelling together in the next following days?" After figuring out Shiao Chen's age during breakfast, Li Xiaoyi then called him brother again and again with great enthusiasm.
Shiao Chen tried to reject the proposal for several times but failed. He had no choice but to accept it. They were on intimate terms with each other. It would never come to others' mind that they just met yesterday.
"Hehe, I'm heading to Peng City. It's a long journey. I'm afraid you can't bear such a long weary journey. You'd better stay and enjoy your happy days here." Avoiding direct eye contact, Shiao Chen randomly said a place with a smile.
"I've heard of Peng City. Ok, I'll go with brother and see what Peng City have." Li Xiaoyi giggled and promised to go with Shiao Chen.
On hearing his reply, Shiao Chen just smiled without showing any objection.
Outside the city.
"Hello, everyone. The places nearby are not safe places. Numbers of brigands and mounted gangsters are frequent visitors of the area. They kill and rob. Since we are here together seeking for safety, we'd better take care of each other. Once we're encountered with troubles, please don't act like cowards. Ok, it's getting late. Let's go."
The old leading the queue seemed to be respected by others. The merchants and passers-by all nodded at his decision. The old was happy to see that everyone in the queue reached a consensus. The gangsters used to rob a single trade caravan or passer-by. Now in the queue there were five trade caravans and almost three hundred passers-by. The brigands wouldn't dare to rob them then.
The old waved his hand and mounted the horse. They set off in a queue like a long snake.
"Brother, I saw the people we met yesterday in the queue. I'm afraid they bear grudges in their hearts." Li Xiaoyi pouted his lips as a signal. Following his instruction, Shiao Chen indeed saw the old he met yesterday. The old was in another caravan with several youngsters standing behind him. And the Wang Ziyang now stared back resentfully.
Shaking his head, Shiao Chen was reluctant to think over the issue though he doubted their identities, "Let's go. There's no need to take him seriously."
Li Xiaoyi nodded with a giggle and headed to their caravan together with Shiao Chen.
Half a day later.
Shiao Chen was in a carriage, talking freely with Li Xiaoyi who sat in the opposite. There were two other people in the carriage. One was a servant of the trade caravan and another was a passer-by.
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