Chapter 22: Ri Chu City
Some warriors had survived the ordeal, but they were the warriors who had not participated in the battle. They were the ones who had been staying away from the clearing as they watched their comrades and friends get executed one after another.
Xu Min paid no attention to those men. He knew that if they were to participate then Cao Cao would have stepped in and stopped them. Although Cao Cao wished for Xu Min to increase his strength, the snake had no interest in seeing him dead. Due to this, he still assisted the weak young man.
‘How can you even be called a man when you can’t even protect your own life,’ Cao Cao muttered as he was coiled around the young man’s neck. His eyes were struggling to keep open. After only a few moments did the snake fall into a deep sleep. Snickering, Xu Min looked at the snake. He was fully aware that he too had pushed himself to be able to take care of those seventeen men. And now, he now needed a long sleep.
While the snake was asleep, Xu Min came to the end of the forest. As he looked around, it looked exactly the same to how it had been where he had entered at the opposite side of the forest.
Small towns adorned the landscape here and there. They were selling items needed for the cultivators who entered into the forest. These towns had inns for other groups and pharmacies to buy and sell medicinal herbs and concoctions.
Looking at these towns, Xu Min opted not to enter them. The warriors within the forest were likely to inform their superiors about which direction he was taking. It was highly likely that he would be attacked the moment he were to enter town.
Instead, Xu Min left the area around the forest and decided not to follow the standard roads on his way towards a major city.
No cities were within range of view. By moving parallel to the road, Xu Min only needed to walk for around four days before he could see the massive city walls in the distance again.
All this time Cao Cao had been deeply asleep. He had never once left the position around Xu Min’s neck. Although he was sleeping, the young man felt quite relaxed knowing that the snake was with him.
Travelling for an extra few days, Xu Min reached the agricultural area outside the city. As he was finally closing in on the major city, Xu Min once more dared to travel on the roads. As a matter of fact, he did not have any choice other than to follow the main roads. Anything between the roads had turned into rice fields or other kind of agriculture.
Reaching the roads, Xu Min was capable of moving much quicker towards the city. After another three days did he finally arrive at the city gate. This city was the same size as Honghe City which he came from. A special feeling of nostalgia welled up within the young man as he wondered how Overseer Wang Li was doing.
Xu Min knew nothing about the city he had arrived at, but what he did guess was that much like any other city. This place much like any other place accepted gold coins as payment. He quickly entered through the gates, looking for inns anywhere around the entrance to the city.
Many inns were located at the entrance. It was not that rare that travellers came across; however, all these inns looked to be rather run down. Xu Min remembered that he had promised the snake the meal of his lifetime, so he needed a proper place to accommodate them.
Walking through the town, Xu Min caught a hold of the name of the city. The city was named Ri Chu City and unlike Honghe City, this one did not have a harbor. Instead, it was considered one of the larger intersections for travellers and merchants which had allowed for the city to grow to the size it had today.
Moving towards the inner regions of the city and looking for a high class inn, Xu Min’s eyes were caught by a pharmacy. Looking at this, the young man tapped his bag and moved inside. He completely ignored the glances given by the citizens around him.
Xu Min wore simple clothes which were the clothes he had gotten from Overseer Wang Li back when he lived at Honghe City. They were clearly the clothes of a worker. For him to enter a high end pharmacy was something which caused much interest on those who walked on the street. However, only a few of the curious citizens entered the store to see what would happen.
Xu Min had long since guessed that these citizens were curious about him. Ignoring them, he went to the desk where a middle-aged woman was standing. Looking at the young man, the woman could not help but frown her nose. She wondered why such a weak person would have entered her esteemed shop.
She did not have to wait long. After a few moments, Xu Min had reached the counter. As soon as he did, he swept his hand across the counter and placed down four herbs he had no clue of what use they had. The moment he placed them down, shock and greed became visible in the woman’s eyes. Her expression no longer was loathing, but was extremely welcoming.
“Greetings, my good sir,” she said with a gentle and pleasant voice. “Am I correct to believe that you are willing to sell these herbs?” she asked while licking her lips. She tried to moisten them as she felt deeply shocked.
Seeing her expression, a sly smile appeared on Xu Min’s face as he shrugged carelessly. The shop itself was filled with customers as they all held their breaths in excitement. For many citizens, this was some of the most exciting thing they had seen in the recent days.
“I am looking to sell,” Xu Min said with a slow voice. He was dragging on every word and making the woman wait for the ‘but’. The young man did indeed say a ‘but’ as he continued his sentence.
‘I am indeed looking to sell,” he repeated, “But, you see these herbs were quite dangerous for me to gain.” he continued, “I am only selling them if I am getting a good price. After all, I did risk my life to get them.”
Hearing the words, the woman’s face turned slightly sour. After only a few moments had she managed to control her facial expression once more. She was all smiles once more as she looked at the herbs.
These herbs were all rare herbs. They were herbs she could sell to the upper families within the city. The woman could use them to invite alchemists or other important people to the city.
Gnashing her teeth, she looked at the young man in front of her who had a wry but indifferent smile on his face. His eyes were curiously scrutinizing the shop as though this had nothing to do with him.
Looking at him, the woman could instantly tell that this young man was perfectly well aware of the value of his herbs. She came to the conclusion of giving a serious offer from the start in case he would get insulted and move to another pharmacy to sell. That was without a doubt something which she could not afford that he did.
Looking at the herbs on the desk, she took one and placed it away from the rest. Pointing at that herb, her soul somewhat trembled as it was the rarest amongst them. After a short break came her offer. “I will offer you one thousand gold coins for this one,” she said. Her eyes clearly had a pained expression. “The rest of them I can’t pay more than five hundred gold coins for a piece.”
Hearing the valuation, Xu Min had to swallow a little as he was caught off guard. He expected that they were worth an amazing sum of money, but this was far above every expectation that he had. He was even more so surprised considering that he had a whole bag stuffed full of the herbs.
Xu Min was not the only one shocked within the shop. The entire shop was still filled with curious citizens. As soon as they heard the value that these herbs were worth, they were all stunned into silence. Some tried to squeeze up towards the counter to see these amazing herbs.
Fortunately enough for Xu Min, no cultivators had entered the pharmacy. Only commoners did which meant that no one would try to steal the herbs from him. As a commoner, one had to be suicidal to battle a One-Star Warrior.
Saying that these commoners were not cultivators was quite the wrong phrase. Everyone throughout their lives cultivated in one way or another. One’s body would always change throughout the years by coming into contact with the essence of the heavens and the earth. However, these commoners had not had the time to prioritize cultivation over their chores or every day lives. This resulted in them only becoming Two or Three-Star Warriors throughout their entire lives. Many of them would only be a few hundred years of age before aging and dying.
Although some of them were One-Star Warriors much like Xu Min, none of these men were cultivators. None of them knew about the random martial arts nor did they know about how to use their strength. Considering this, no one wished to participate in a battle against a real cultivator.
Xu Min was still slightly hesitating. The reason he hesitated was not because he was unhappy with the price, but rather because he was truly astonished by it. However, the lady did not know this. After clearing her throat once, she gritted her teeth and spoke once more. “Eleven hundred is the absolute highest price I can pay for this herb,” she said. Her heart bled thinking of all the gold coins she would have to spend. At the same time, it was definitely worth it.
The herb was known as a Yearning Sunflower. It was a flower which only grew within the densest areas of a forest where no sunshine would ever reach. On the other hand, the petals looked as though it were a small sun. The taller the stalk was, the older it was. The older the flower was, the more precious it was.
This flower had gotten its name as it would always grow towards the sun. Should the flower succeed in reaching sunlight, it would mutate and become a Lustful Sunflower. This was a flower that never received enough sunlight and always begged for more.
The Yearning Sunflower Xu Min had brought with him today was at least fifty years old as the stalk was quite tall. Selling it to a high ranking eccentric expert or an alchemist would bring in tens of thousands gold coins. If she was unlucky, she could not find a collector interested in the flower. In that case, it was only worth two to three thousand coins. This was why she had sat at such a low buyout price. Before she could sell, she needed to get her hands on the flower first.
Seeing the nervousness in the shopkeeper’s face, Xu Min shook his head and nodded vigorously. The price was definitely much better than what he had expected. With great happiness did he wait for the woman to receive the money. She took out clear card made of jade and handed it to the young man who curiously took it to see what it was.
One has to know that Xu Min never really dealt with money before. Back in Honghe City, he had never been paid anything from Overseer Wang Li. The money he had received in the town on the border of Snake’s Forest had been given to him in cash.
Now he was handed a clear card made from white jade, his face was filled with questions when he received it. Looking at his confused face, the lady could not help but laugh a little.