Chapter 24: Shopping Time
Early in the morning, the golden specks of lights fluttering around the young man shone in the rays of sunshine. As soon as he stopped his regulated breathing, they all dissipated into thin air. By his side, little Cao Cao was still asleep while coiled up on the soft bed with a satisfied look on its face.
Cao Cao had finally woken up the night before. After looking at the small snake, Xu Min understood that it was still exhausted after having battled many men in the forest. The young man could not help but feel both gratitude and a desire to improve rapidly so that he was strong enough to protect the snake by his side.
Having decided to strengthen himself, Xu Min started stretching his tired muscles before he quickly dressed. Afterwards, he went to the outskirts of the city once more. He exited the large gates and started to run from one gate to another.
The city was massive. At first, Xu Min had planned on running around the entire city. However, as he ran for hours on end without even having completed even a quarter of the way, Xu Min finally decided to only run towards the next gate.
Running in the scorching sun with the snake coiled around his neck, Xu Min pushed himself to his limits. His legs had long since gone numb. Sweat dripped from his body and the only thing that motivated him to keep moving was the constant thoughts of how weak he was. Laughing at himself, he remembered that he wished to take revenge upon the Zhong family leader. However, he was nothing more than an early stage One-Star Warrior.
Gritting his teeth, Xu Min forced himself to keep running every time his body wished to stop. After running at his fastest speed for what felt like an eternity, he finally saw a city gate in the distance.
Witnessing him running all the way to the wall, everyone stared in shock. The sight of the sweat dripping off his body and the sound of panting from inhaling air was enough to make anyone who looked at him to slightly inch away. But the young man did not care. Looking at the sun, he could see that it was the afternoon and was shocked to know that he had managed to run for all these hours straight.
With tired legs and a rumbling stomach, Xu Min went back to the inn. His entrance was even more astonishing than it was the day before. This time, no one assumed that he was rich. Everyone could see that he looked like a poor man who had managed to find enough coins to rent a good room for a short time.
Having people think this way did not bother Xu Min. The more people who expected him to be poor, the more likely he was to be left alone by the other cultivators within the inn and the restaurant.
Xu Min started to make some stretching movements which Overseer Tian had taught him. He slowly relaxed his entire body before he went for a bath to wash all the sweat off his body. At the same time he began washing himself, Cao Cao decided to wake up. With skilled movements, he swam around in the water with as much enjoyment as Xu Min.
After the bath was over, Xu Min once more ordered a massive amount of food. He shared it with the snake and then stood up within the room to take the stance which Wang Li had given him. Standing in position, the young man closed his eyes as thousands of jade white specks of light appeared behind him. At a closer inspection, one could see that these specks of light actually looked like small shards of ice made from white jade. They all hovered there filling up the entire room with specks. As Xu Min opened his eyes, an excited expression was on his face.
Having created this many shards, he was incredibly satisfied with his performance. The sun was getting ready to start its descent behind the city walls. Xu Min looked out to the city at dusk and the streets were still bustling with life. Carts were driving on the busy roads and customers, cultivators, and commoners alike were travelling to and fro within the city.
Xu Min looked at the bustling life down on the street the young man sighed deeply. Having finished the scheduled physical labour of the day, the young man knew it was time for him to start cultivating the Qi within his Dantian cave. Unfortunately, he also knew that even if he had started a few hours earlier, it wouldn’t have amounted to much. Cultivating the Battle Qi was something which took an immense amount of time.
The reason why the majority of the so-called geniuses were all from rich families were because they could afford to purchase medicinal herbs, pills, and pastes to enhance their high class martial arts.
Knowing this, Xu Min suddenly felt like hitting his head heavily against something hard. He knew that with the money he currently possessed, he would still be able to purchase some pills. However, they would not be the most expensive and rarest of the pills but would be a great benefit for an early stage One-Star Warrior.
Xu Min looked at the bustling streets once more. He rushed out the door, down the stairs towards the restaurant, and left through the front door with an incredible speeds.
As soon as he had entered the stone roads outside the inn, Xu Min was suddenly and completely uncertain about what to do. He knew what he wanted to do, but how to execute it was not easy. He had no idea as to which kind of shop sold medicinal pills nor did he know anything about which kind of pills he needed to purchase. Every time he thought about how weak he was, Xu Min’s eyes glistened with anger and determination. So, he rushed through one street after another as the sunshine slowly became less and less. As his passion grew, the sun began to descend behind the city gates as a chilled air filled the city.
Customers no longer headed out to shop and the majority were on their way home to eat with their families or to finish their work. Even so, Xu Min did not give up and finally, he reached a place called Alluring Treasures Pavilion.
Looking at the place, Xu Min could not think of anywhere else that could sell medicinal herbs or medicines. He saw that customers still entered the shop.
He was relieved that he had been wearing his black set of clothes as he had left the bath. They had made him look less like a penniless manual laborer.
When he came to the front gates, he found that one had to pay an astonishing entrance fee of fifty silvers. Even though the fee was quite extraordinary, multiple people kept flooding into the store. Eventually, Xu Min paid the fee and began to follow the flood of people.
Following the masses, Xu Min and Cao Cao were taken into a massive room filled with people who each were sitting on chairs that were placed in front of a large stage. Seeing this, Xu Min was completely taken aback. He had previously heard about auction houses from Overseer Wang Li, but he had never truly entered one before. As he continued exploring the inside of the house, he was filled with confusion as to what to do.
He had been given a number when he had paid the entrance fee. At first, he had expected that it was the number in which he’d be served. But now, he understood that it was a number used when bidding on an item.
Although Xu Min felt somewhat out of place, he quickly found a seat. As he glanced in every direction with curiosity, he finally experienced what an auction house was like for the first time.
Xu Min was not the only one astonished because little Cao Cao’s face was turning from one side to another. He looked at the humans and his surroundings, while feeling the apprehension within the small room. Both the man and snake could not wait for the auction to actually begin.
Although they were impatient, it took about an hour until the doors of the auction house were finally closed. Prior to the start of the auction, guests constantly flooded in through the doors. At last, the light within the room dimmed while the lights at the stage shone with an amazing radiance.
Seeing this, Xu Min was excited and happy. Although he had never been at an auction before, he had heard that exotic and tempting items and high end medicines all appeared there.
Waiting patiently, a woman finally stepped onto the stage. Her body was shrouded in a very tight fitted dress and an elaborate and bejewled crown sat on the woman’s hair. She was so incredibly beautiful that both Xu Min and Cao Cao found themselves breathless. Looking at this beautiful woman, Xu Min remembered a sentence his teacher once had told him,
“Women are the cause of many evils. A beautiful woman can cause men to go insane and cities to be destroyed.”
Looking at the woman in front of him and at the fevered glances of the surrounding men, Xu Min could not think of any other woman that the phrase could fit as perfectly as it did on her.
Her beautiful hand was slim and displayed a bit of her wrist. Her skin was white like jade and her lips were as red as blood. Her eyes were dark and deep like a phoenix. Her hair appeared to be smooth and beautiful in an elaborate style.
Even Xu Min, who usually felt nothing about women, could not help but feel his heart skipping a beat. Even Cao Cao, the snake around his neck, was mesmerized by the beauty of the woman on the stage.
Just as Xu Min was drawn into her beauty, the red lips opened themselves and a greeting sounded out. Her voice was soft as velvet and comfortable like a warm bed in the cold dark night.
“Welcome to the Alluring Treasure House,” the woman started. “Today, we have three extraordinary items on display. To ensure that the good gentlemen have enough money for the items all the way to the end, we will start with these treasured items.”
And without further ado, the woman swung her hand and came four cultivators. Each one of them were far higher in rank than Xu Min. This made it impossible for him to determine their strength. Cao Cao whispered, ‘Four Seven-Star Warriors!’ which took the young man by surprise.
On the table, there was a scroll in a case. The scroll looked like any other, but the way it was guarded clearly showed something different. Xu Min’s curiosity prompted him to adjust himself slightly in his seat so he could see the scroll better. Yet no matter how hard he looked at it, it was just an ordinary scroll.
Sighing deeply, Xu Min leaned back against the seat once more as he waited for the explanation from the beautiful woman. He did not have to wait long before a smile broke out on her tempting red lips. A gentle voice rung through the quiet auction house.
“What we have here, good Sirs, is a martial art skill that has been acquired earlier this season from the Ruins of the Immortals.” she said. As the ravishing woman paused slightly, a collective gasp of air could be heard within the room. Xu Min was not as interested in the martial art skill as he was for what this Ruins of Immortals could be. He had only glanced once at an Immortals Cave. To see the legendary Ruins of the Immortals would be something he would trade his wealth to see.