Chapter 984: City Lord
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: StarveCleric
“What’s wrong?” Seeing the anxious look on Hu Yunsheng’s face, Zhang Xuan frowned.
As the boss of a powerful organization, as well as a Saint 1-dan expert, there was no way the other party would panic over minor affairs.
“I had my men spread the news regarding the auctioning of the Sepulture Flower across the city as soon as I returned to Inkcloud Quarter… However, an hour later, a group of men came and insisted on purchasing the Sepulture Flower ahead of the auction.” Hu Yunsheng explained with a livid look. “Judging from how forceful they were acting, it seems like they are intending to force a trade.”
“Force a trade? Is the other party a poison master?” Zhang Xuan was taken aback.
Weren’t poison masters the only ones who would be attracted by the Sepulture Flower? Was there some other use to it that he wasn’t aware of?
“They aren’t.” Hu Yunsheng shook his head affirmatively.
“How can you be that certain?” Zhang Xuan was surprised by the other party’s firm response.
After all, it should be impossible to identify a poison master when he wasn’t using poison. As such, it was possible for anyone to be a poison master.
Given so, on what grounds could Hu Yunsheng be so confident that the group of men who insisted on purchasing the Sepulture Flower weren’t poison masters?
“This is because I know those guys who came over!” Hu Yunsheng replied. “They are City Lord Hong Jin of Jingyuan City and his guards!”
“The city lord? What does he need the Sepulture Flower for?” Zhang Xuan was perplexed.
The Sepulture Flower was needed by the poison masters to concoct poison, but why would a city lord require such an item? Not to mention, to go to the extent of forcing a trade for it…
“I tried to sound him out, but he isn’t speaking a word about it, so I am not too sure either. I have already told him that the item belongs not to Inkcloud Quarter but to you, and he is insisting on meeting you to negotiate now…” Hu Yunsheng said.
“Bring me over.” Zhang Xuan nodded.
Regardless of why the other party needed the Sepulture Flower, this matter should indeed be resolved. Since the other party had requested to meet him, there was no reason for him to turn him down.
Under Hu Yunsheng’s lead, he soon arrived at a relatively spacious room.
An authoritative-looking middle-aged man sat majestically on the main seat in the room, exuding an air of superiority.
Behind him were several armored guards which carried a powerful aura. They were all Transcendent Mortal 9-dan Chrysalis realm cultivators.
“City Lord Hong, this is the owner of the Sepulture Flower, Elder Sun Qiang!” Walking up, Hu Yunsheng clasped his fist and introduced.
The middle-aged man shot a glance at Zhang Xuan, and upon seeing that the other party was a mere Nascent Saint cultivator, he chuckled softly and said, “This friend over here, I wish to buy your Sepulture Flower. Give me a price!”
Zhang Xuan was a little surprised by how direct the other party was. With a wry smile on his face, he asked, “What price can you offer me?”
“A Sepulture Flower with a maturity of a hundred years is usually worth 80 high-tier spirit stones. Since yours has a maturity slightly higher than that, I will give you a hundred and throw in a Spirit high-tier weapon on top of that!” the middle-aged man said.
Hearing the offer, Zhang Xuan’s eyebrows shot up, “Don’t you think your offer is a little low?”
Putting aside the rarity of the Sepulture Flower, even the price at which Hu Yunsheng purchased his Sepulture Flower at back then was higher than the offer that this city lord was giving. The other party was indeed trying to force a trade here.
“Audacious! It is your honor for our esteemed city lord to be interested in your item, you better know your place!” a guard standing behind the middle-aged man bellowed loudly.
“A hundred high-tier spirit stones and a Spirit high-tier weapon is the best price you will get for your Sepulture Flower. Even if you were to go through the auction, it is unlikely that you will be able to get anything higher. Furthermore, it is unsafe to keep such a valuable artifact with you. Listen to my advice and sell it.” the second guard said.
The devil and the angel; a threat and an advice… Ultimately, this was nothing more than a mere ploy for him to hand over his medicinal herbs obediently.
Seeing through what the other party was playing at, Zhang Xuan burst into laughter and shook his head before saying, “Ten thousand high-tier spirit stones, and I will sell it to you straight!”
“What did you say?” The eyebrows of the middle-aged man shot up.
His offer was one hundred, yet the other party’s offer was ten thousand. That was a blatant disregard for his standing as the city lord!
“Insolence! How dare you…”
The first guard bellowed once more, but before he could finish his words, Zhang Xuan’s voice had already sounded once more.
“Are you certain that you want to do this? I am only saying this out of concern for you, but…” the second guard said with a frown.
“Thirty thousand!” Zhang Xuan declared.
“You…” The middle-aged man’s face reddened as his eyebrows knitted together tightly. In this moment, it felt as if his rage would burst forth at any moment.
The other party clearly had no intentions of selling the Sepulture Flower to him, and from the looks of it, the other party also didn’t care who he was either.
“Friend, allow me to give you a word of advice. You are in Jingyuan City at this very moment. Regardless of who you are, you would do well to carry yourself humbly. Otherwise, you won’t know what kind of trouble you will be bringing to yourself!” the middle-aged man harrumphed coldly with narrowed eyes.
“Fifty thousand!” Zhang Xuan waved his hands nonchalantly and continued, unbothered by the threats the other party was making.
Trying to throw your weight before me? Hah, heaven knows which sandpit you were kneading mud in when I was out posturing in the world!
“Hmph, let’s go!” Seeing how the owner of the Sepulture Flower wasn’t willing to budge at all, the middle-aged man harrumphed coldly before walking out of the room.
The moment he stepped out of the room, his face immediately turned livid with rage.
“City lord, shall we dispatch our men to snatch the Sepulture Flower over?” The first guard glanced at the room behind him coldly as he subtly pulled his thumb horizontally before his throat—a gesture to kill.
“There is no need for that. I do need the Sepulture Flower, but since that fellow is going to auction it, there’s no harm in going through the official process.” A glint appeared in the middle-aged man’s narrowed eyes. “I don’t believe that there would be anyone in Jingyuan City who will dare bid against me!”
“Indeed!” The eyes of the two guards lit up.
Living in Jingyuan City, who would be so foolish to offend the city lord over a mere flower?
As long as no one dared to bid against him, he could easily take down the flower at any price he wanted. By then, that fellow would be deeply regretting not selling the Sepulture Flower to him for a hundred high-tier spirit stones!
The city lord said before walking away with widened strides.
“Elder, aren’t you being a little reckless offending the city lord like that?” Hu Yunsheng asked with a conflicted look on his face.
“It’s fine. It is one thing if he doesn’t pull anything, but if he does, I don’t mind replacing him with someone else!” Zhang Xuan replied nonchalantly.
With the influence and power he wielded at the moment, there was no need for him to lie low anymore. If the city lord knew what was good for him, he would do well to drop whatever malicious thought he had in mind. Otherwise, he didn’t mind teaching the other party a lesson.
As long as he gave Yu Shenqing a heads up, there was no one who would dare object to him changing a city lord or two. Or if it were to come down to it, he could even dispatch a few master teachers down to investigate this Jingyuan City Lord. A person who would force a trade on others was bound to have committed plenty of atrocious deed during his rule. With those misdeeds the other party had done in the past, he could indict the other party and have him severely punished for his crimes.
“Alright then…” Hu Yunsheng was still a little skeptical, but recalling the incredible prowess that the elder before him had displayed earlier in the Eccentric Old Man’s residence, he decided not to think too much into the matter. A short moment later, he continued, “I think there is a chance that the city lord might engage in bid rigging by scaring off the other bidders. If that were to happen, it might prove to be a little troublesome.”
“Scaring off other bidders?”
“Un. Given his standing and influence, he could easily demand others not to compete with him in the bidding of the Sepulture Flower. If so, I fear that the poison masters might be dissuaded from participating in the auction as well!” Hu Yunsheng replied.
Inkcloud Quarter conducted auctions regularly, so he was rather familiar with the various ploys that bidders could use to undermine the auction system.
It wasn’t rare for those who wielded great authority and power to use their standing to force the other bidders to remain silent, thus obtaining the item at a discounted price.
Despite having met with this situation several times, Hu Yunsheng was still unable to find any good solution to the problem.
“This is simple. Plant a person in the midst of the auction, and as long as that fellow dares to raise the price, have your man double the current price. It’s my item anyway, so it doesn’t matter even if the price hikes up to a million high-tier spirit stones.” Zhang Xuan replied.
“This…” Hu Yunsheng blinked his eyes in shock.
To actually hike up the price of your own item, isn’t it a little too shameless to do that…
However, thinking about it, that was indeed a good idea to this situation.
This idea was cheap, but that was precisely what they needed to choke the other party with anger and frustration!
“Alright, go and make preparations. As long as I can uncover the location of the Poison Hall, I will resolve your poison.” Zhang Xuan said.
“Yes!” Hu Yunsheng nodded before taking his leave.
Shortly after he left, Zhang Xuan’s body jolted slightly before vanishing on the spot. In the next moment, he appeared in the Myriad Anthive Nest.
At this moment, the Anthive Nest had already been fully expanded. It had a length of five hundred meters from one end to the other, an incredibly vast space, and there were all sorts of buildings here and there, reminiscent of a massive village.
“Master!” Upon seeing Zhang Xuan, the many tamed beasts within the Anthive Nest hurried forward and greeted him.
Living within the Anthive Nest were the Byzantium Helios Beast and the nine kings of the Cloudmist Ridge. With this powerful force, he could easily wipe the remote Jingyuan City off the map without lifting a finger.
“Cultivate hard. If I have time, I will come in to resolve the problems you face in your cultivation.” Nodding at the various beasts, Zhang Xuan said.
These saint beasts were a strong fighting force for him. As such, after placing them in the Anthive Nest, he had been lecturing them whenever he had time. Over the past two to three months, they had made significant advancement in their fighting prowess.
Were it not for the inability of saint beasts to practice cultivation techniques, these fellows should have advanced their cultivation to an incredible level by now.
After instructing the saint beasts to work hard in their training, Zhang Xuan headed towards a certain room.
Within the room, Wei Ruyan lay peacefully with her eyes closed on a clean bed.
As the goal of finding the Poison Hall was to resolve the poison aura in her body, naturally, Zhang Xuan had been bringing her around through the Anthive Nest.
He placed his hand on the girl’s pulse, and a moment later, he heaved a sigh of relief.
“It seems like she still can hold on for some time…”
He hadn’t found any good way to resolve Wei Ruyan’s dangerous accumulation of poison aura, but through his means, he was still able to alleviate her situation temporarily and stabilize her condition.
She was unlikely to wake up until her affliction was resolved, but at the very least, there was no threat on her life for the time being.
“This lass sure is pitiful…” Zhang Xuan sighed deeply and shook his head.
From her birth, she was tortured by her illness, putting her in great misery. It wasn’t easy for her to grow to adulthood, but by the time she realized it, she had lost her closest kin, her father.
It was no wonder why others called the Innate Poison Body Constitution of Disaster. It brought disaster not only to others but even to the person herself as well, depriving her of even a single day that was devoid of pain and suffering.
After confirming that Wei Ruyan’s condition was still stable for the moment, Zhang Xuan headed to the specially-built training grounds and sat down there.
It had been more than ten days since he had reached Nascent Saint pinnacle, and while he hadn’t obtained the artifact required for his breakthrough to Saint 1-dan, he hadn’t been slacking on his training either. Every single day, he would make sure to spend some time on furthering his cultivation without fail.
Under his persistent hard work, his zhenqi was getting more and more purer and condensed.
Ever since reaching Half-Saint, he could feel that it was getting more and more difficult to make breakthroughs as compared to from before. In the past, the breakthrough of a realm only took two hours, but now, it was taking a few minutes more than before!
“As expected, cultivating is not as easy as I thought…” Zhang Xuan shook his head and sighed
Cultivation was indeed a path fraught with difficulty. Without diligence and mental resilience, it was impossible to persevere on.
Six hours passed in a flash.
Making a quick calculation, Zhang Xuan deduced that it should be night outside, and the auction should be starting soon. Thus, he backed out of the Anthive Nest.
Shortly after he returned to his room, Hu Yunsheng walked in.
“Elder, the auction will be starting soon…”
Nodding, Zhang Xuan followed Hu Yunsheng towards the direction of the auction. However, before they could get to the allocated VIP compartment, he suddenly frowned for a moment before his footsteps came to a complete halt.