Chapter 55: Ruins of the Immortals
Having traveled for around four months, Xu Min finally found himself entering the area known as the Ruins of the Immortals. The place he arrived at was the easternmost area. Looking at his map, Xu Min realized he would soon reach a city.
The Ruins of the Immortals was a far larger province than the one Xu Min had come from. The city he was about to enter was double the size of Ri Chu City. Even though it was large, it was not considered one of the major cities of the Ruins. The major cities of the Ruins of the Immortals existed since the ancient times whereas this city Xu Min soon would entered had not. Moreover, considering that the Ruins of the Immortals was a place where multiple experts came to train, to find a treasure which would allow them to live a comfortable life, or to undergo the trials of becoming an adult. People came to this province from all around the world, and the promise of treasure had drawn in experts since long ago.
During his journey, Xu Min did not travel on the main roads but instead entered through forests, plains, lakes, and rivers.Thus, his advance was greatly hindered compared to traveling on the easier paths. This detour tempered his temperament and body.
At first, he had felt rather sad leaving Ri Chu City. Nonetheless, every time hardship arose all he had to do was imagine his sister’s face and the rage within him would burn once more. There was no way he could get any peace of mind before he could achieve his revenge.
To not constantly dwell on Yong Meilin and his sister, Xu Min blindly launched himself into the forests, fighting one magical beast after another. When trouble would come, Cao Cao assisted him. However, as they moved further and further through the wilderness Xu Min had to rely less and less on Cao Cao. This lessening of help was something Cao Cao often complained about.
Now that Xu Min and Cao Cao had reached the Ruins of the Immortals, Xu Min knew that it was best to enter a city to obtain some information about the area. Although he had acquired as much information as he possibly could from the Yong family, their information was not from the area itself but rather from books. It was impossible for them to have updated information, and they needed to be updated information.
Deciding he needed to enter a city, Xu Min slowly joined a broad, dusty road. He followed many other people marching onwards towards a large wall surrounding the city. Xu Min was in no rush. As well, he was not moving faster than any other ordinary person would.He did not want to draw attention towards himself. Wearing some plain, peasant clothes, which were dusty and worn from his long travels, and with his sword sheathed behind his back, Xu Min resembled an average adventurer.However, upon a closer inspection, his persona changed in the onlookers’ eyes.
No one paid any mind to the young man, at first. Everyone was busy dealing with their matters. The merchants, especially, entirely avoided all interaction with mercenaries or adventurers. Strong guards patrolled their caravans. Even though they had power, they preferred not to insult or interfere with anyone. One never risked insulting a person that was prestigious or powerful.
Xu Min followed this same mentality. He did not annoy anyone, and, in return, no one annoyed him.
The sword, however, managed to grasp people’s attention. Because of Xu Min's sword, they instantly understood this young man was an external expert. His rank was not easy to guess, and no one would ever guess he knew some stances as well. However, examining Xu Min’s body, he did not seem as powerful as most external experts. As a result, they all assumed he was a low ranked expert. If he had reached the ranks of a Warrior, he was at most a one-star warrior.
Even so, no one desired to insult him. His sword was mighty, and his person seemed calm but also slightly aloof. If he had reached the rank of a Warrior at such a young age, everyone assumed that he was from one of the major factions within the Ruins of the Immortals, sent out on a trip to prove his worth.
A real expert would be somewhere near looking after this young man if he was one of these young masters. No one knew whether he was an adventurer or a young master, but either way, he was someone they did not wish to deal with.
This lack of interference was a great benefit to Xu Min who could observe everything around him. From time to time, he would talk with Cao Cao since the snake was shocked by a number of humans, and the size of the city they were going to.
‘How can so many people live within a single city?! I just don’t understand.’ Cao Cao exclaimed time and time again. ‘Although I know that there are numerous beasts in forests, it is nothing compared to these cities.’ he continued. His eyes were round from staring at everything and his tongue constantly slithering next to Xu Min’s ear.
‘This is the largest city I have ever seen.’ Xu Min stated, agreeing with Cao Cao, ‘but this is considered one of the more average cities within the Ruins of the Immortals.’
‘Here is the plan. We will enter, get some information and then determine which place is best for training. I prefer if we can find a forest ruin to examine. Although we won’t discover any treasures since they have been explored by thousands of people, I still believe that we can gain some training, and I can see what the actual ruins are like. One day, I wish to become an immortal as well.’
Cao Cao just hummed an answer while his face constantly turned from side to side, looking at the many different experts.
‘ I have some gold coins, but I don’t think I can be considered wealthy.’ Xu Min continued to ponder. ‘I wonder how much we need to pay for a room and food in this city? Not to mention, how much it will cost to get the information we need.’
‘We need food!’ Cao Cao said adamantly. ‘We can get the information slowly from random people, but we should not go around without food!’
Hearing the desperation in Cao Cao’s voice Xu Min gently laughed before he patted the snake head. ‘Don’t worry; I won’t let you starve.’ he assured Cao Cao while his eyes were glancing across the massive city in front of him.
At first, it had been possible to see the start and end of the city wall. The closer they came towards the city, the more the walls enveloped the horizon. This made it difficult for Xu Min to see everything. No matter which way Xu Min looked, all he could see was the wall of the city. He could not help but feel his heart beating rapidly, and his eyes filled with disbelief. A city this large was considered an average city within the province? That was unfathomable for someone who came from a small area like Honghe and Ri Chu City.
Xu Min was on high alert because of the largeness of the city. Although he knew it was highly unlikely that anyone would fight him right outside the wall, he still felt worried.
The gate was in front of him, and following everyone else he made his way into the city. Everywhere he looked houses were taking up the entire view, some of the houses were multiple stories while others were single story. The single story complexes were not in as great shape as the others. Alleyways were visible on the side of most of the houses. They lead into a world of darkness.
Within these alleyways were scents of urine and blood. Clearly, only the brave dared to enter. Ignoring them, Xu Min kept moving through town until he found an inn which did not look too high class but not too low class either.
Entering in the inn, he went to the desk. “I’d like to book a room, please.” he gently requested. His hand brought forth a jade card. As soon as the card was seen by the shopkeeper, he instantly showed more respect towards Xu Min, “Young master, how long do you wish to stay?” He asked while bowing slightly. Contemplating for some time, Xu Min was uncertain how long he would stay, but eventually, he decided to stay a week.
“Seven days? Okay, please hand me your jade card, and I will deduct the amount from your card.”
With the card in the clerk’s hand, he instantly took out a black stone.He then swiped the card; moments after, the jade card was delivered back to Xu Min.
“Breakfast is included in your fee. If you wish to eat lunch and dinner those will be extra.” the shopkeeper automatically said before he found a key and handed it over to Xu Min. “This is the key to your room. Your room is on the third floor, room seven.”
Hearing this, Xu Min nodded his head as he accepted the key and turned around. Looking at his room, he observed many experts were eying him. Some of them with greed in their eyes, while others had curiosity in their expressions. Seeing the different expressions, Xu Min did not think too much about it. He was quite certain that none of the experts present were stronger than Tang Jin. As long as they were weaker than him, they would be easily disposed of.
Though he had a few problems when he fought with Tang Jin, that battle was almost half a year ago. Presently, Xu Min had increased his combat ability since then. He fought one beast after another and became much more skilled in life-and-death battles. He had learned to let go of the hesitation and aim straight for the kill, and he now knew how to use his strength most efficiently.
Even if someone who was present was stronger than Tang Jin, Xu Min should still be able to win since he had Cao Cao who had slowly but steadily grown stronger as well.
Xu Min did not avert his eyes, but instead looked into the eyes of everyone present causing the experts to be shocked. The experts speculated Xu Min was without a doubt only a two-star Warrior, but even so, he still seemed confident in dealing with them.
It was not before now these cultivators also reached the conclusion he was a young master who was being protected by an unknown expert in the shadows. Knowing that he was so confident, no one wished to battle him. The specialists in the inn were not willing to gamble on Xu Min’s supposedly watcher not being there and perhaps lose their lives for a single jade card.
Looking at these hesitating experts, Xu Min went up the staircase to their room. Here, he picked up a lot of food and handed it to Cao Cao. During their fights with wild beasts much meat had been dried and although it was not as delicious as fresh dishes Cao Cao enjoyed gnawing on the dried meat of magical beasts.
Xu Min looked tenderly at the snake while he was eating. Then he quickly wrested his attention from the eating snake; and instead, he looked at the room he was currently within. After a few moments, he changed his clothes, leaving the worn clothes in a cloth bag. He put on his black robe with the golden embroideries.
“Time to get some information,” he said to Cao Cao. Cao Cao agreed by instantly nodding his head and quickly grabbing another few mouthfuls of wild beast meat. He slithered onto Xu Min’s shoulder where he coiled around his neck. Everyone could see this food-gorging snake was content with his current life.