A few days later, the cultivator’s Market opened and Xiao Hong decided to tag along with Chen Yu and his friends. As much as she wanted to go by herself, Xiao Hong decided not to. After all, the flies that would gather around the moment she was by herself weren’t something she wanted to deal with! Even now that she was with the group, she still received a large number of leers that roamed all over her.
The Bi Xin City’s Cultivator’s Market used the City’s massive Central Square as a venue.
Numerous cultivators had set up stalls, selling Pills, Treasures, Herbs, Weapons, Technique Manuals, Beast Cores, etc.
Qi Lujuan commented in slight awe, “That’s a lot of stalls! This is at the level of some of the most prosperous cities of the Sect! Don’t you think so, Alchemist Yan?”
“Well, it is at the junction of 3 Super Sects, there would inevitably be at least these many!” He Ping explained, without turning to face her.
Qi Lujuan drilled a hole in the back of his head with her piercing gaze, her face saying: ‘Who the fuck asked you?!’
“I-I don’t think that’s the reason!” The Shouta, Yan Bao, took several furtive glances at the onee-san, his face flushed red. This was the first time any girl had paid him as much attention - usually his ‘unmanly’ behaviour turned off any girl he met. So the fact that a gorgeous woman like Qi Lijuan was paying him attention made him feel very flustered, but it also made him feel very happy!
“Oh, what other reason is there?” Qi Lijuan turned to Yan Bao, her eyes sparkling curiously.
“T-This is most likely because the stall owners know that we - the disciples of the Sects and their Alchemists - are going to be here!” Yan Bao flushed under Qi Lijuan’s interested gaze. “S-See how most of them are selling Talismans, Treasures and Weapons more than Pills?
“T-They know that with us Alchemists around, they would not sell any pills!
“O-On the other hand, Talismans, Treasures, Array Formations and Weapons are more likely to sell because they are far more useful!”
Xiao Hong looked at this onee-san who had also tagged along with them with a strange look in her eyes, ‘Don’t think for a second I don’t understand why you’re here! You’re after the Shouta, aren’t you?!’ Xiao Hong felt like she’d seen through this woman!
As they continued their banter, they browsed through the stalls.
Xiao Hong held a lot of anticipation for this Market. She still thought she was a protagonist! As a protagonist, she was bound to find something amazing right?!
So Xiao Hong carefully used her powerful Divine Sense to inspect each and every item she came across. She was looking for things that were immune to her Divine Sense’s inspection. And every time she found something like that she would immediately buy it - it wasn’t like there were a large number of them.
Just as she was looking through the stalls, she found a very familiar-looking jet-black Stone.
‘Isn’t this the mysterious Black Stone that Gu Ran needs?’ Xiao Hong’s eyes lit up in delight. ‘Maybe I can scam him again!’
She immediately bought it!
Bai Heng's gaze was icy as he fixed it upon Yuan Feng, who was seated opposite him, wearing a relaxed grin and propping his chin up with his clenched fist. Behind Yuan Feng were two disciples of the Mystic Sky Sect, standing straight like poles.
“You invited me here for this, right?” Bai Heng spoke emotionlessly as he slid the letter over to him. “You mentioned you have a way to cure Xiang Qingge?”
Xiang Qingge was his Dao Companion who he loved more than life itself. They had been living a happy life together. However, a few decades ago she had suffered a grievous injury while defending him, leaving her in a vegetative state for more than 40 years now.
His heart felt like someone was driving ice-cold daggers into it every time he gazed upon her beautiful but pale face. Every day she didn’t wake up was a vicious punch to his gut. Every pill and every method that failed to awaken her chipped away at his sanity. Even his cultivation had stagnated.
He had tried everything! He searched high and low, but nothing worked! He turned over countless Ancient Records, Scrolls and tomes. He fed her all sorts of Heavenly Treasures and Precious Medicines.
He even went and kowtowed in front of the scum he called Father - the bastard who did not even acknowledge his existence!
It was all for naught, however.
Everything that could save her was beyond his capabilities. And Xiang Qingge didn’t have enough time for him to break through and reach a level that would allow him to access methods that could save her. Besides, with his stagnated cultivation, that was an impossibility.
But then, he received a letter from Yuan Feng. A letter that said he had a way to cure his Qingge.
Bai Heng, who was already desperate to the point of losing his sanity, immediately accepted. He didn’t care if it was a trap, he didn’t care if he had to betray the Sect; he just wanted to see his Qingge smile again.
Yuan Feng’s smile widened. He might not know Bai Heng’s thoughts, but he had accurately grasped his State of Mind, “Yes, Brother Bai, I do have such a method.”
Bai Heng straightened, gazing at Yuan Feng with his deep, black eyes.
Yuan Feng didn’t move under Bai Heng’s intense stare, keeping his casual smile.
“... What do you want in exchange?” Bai Heng asked after a long while of staring.
“Haha, it isn’t much!
“You see, my Poem Dao has achieved a new level, I wish for the company of a beautiful fairy to recite my poem to!” Yuan Feng’s smile became wider, as he pointedly gazed towards the window in the room through which one could view the Cultivator’s Market.
Bai Heng’s eyes narrowed and his Cultivation Base exploded to life, creating a horrific aura around him that surged towards Yuan Feng like an unstoppable tsunami! The table that was made of Azure Dragon Wood - which couldn’t be damaged by even Soul Palace Realm beings - was instantly decimated into small chips and splinters! Small remnants of his aura assaulted the walls, instantly cracking them - the Formations protecting them were utterly helpless and were erased instantly!
Yuan Feng also let out his aura - which was not inferior to Bai Heng’s at all.
The two aurae collided distorting the atmosphere. At the epicentre of their collision, a shockwave of sinister reddish-black energy erupted, destroying the furniture and drowning the entire room in a calamitous atmosphere!
Despite the intensity of their clash, this was just a small fraction of their true strength. If they fully let out their full aurae, the entire building would have been levelled!
“Yuan Feng! What do you take me for?!” Bai Heng roared, his face warped hideously in his wrath. “You want me to give up the dignity of my sect member?!”
“Brother Bai, calm down. It’s just an Outer Disciple, anyway! Besides, look,” Yuan Feng’s smile remained steady; he flipped his hand and an especially intricate Treasure Storage Box appeared, which he promptly opened, “What do you think this is?”
Inside, sat a single black pill with dense golden engravings that exuded a powerful Spiritual Fluctuation. The moment it appeared, a refreshing aroma spread rejuvenating their spirits and even slightly strengthening it.
Bai Heng’s eyes widened. He was in shock. So much so that he even stopped releasing his aura!
“T-That is that a Divine Spirit Rejuvenation Pill?!” Bai Heng heatedly stared at the pill, his breaths coming in short, heavy bursts.
“Yep!” Yuan Feng smirked, “And if you agree to my request, it's yours!
“And as a gesture of friendship, I’ll make it easier for you - how about we make a bet? We’ll compete and see whose Sect wins. Regardless of the outcome, you get to keep the pill. But only if the Mystic Sky Sect wins will I get my prize!
“The moment you agree, this pill will be in your hands!”
Bai Heng had a conflicted look on his face. The Divine Spirit Rejuvenation Pill was the perfect medicine for his Qingge! If she could use this Pill, not only would all her problems be solved, but she could also gain immensely… all of this, at the price of a measly Outer Disciple! An Outer Disciple that was worth nothing to Bai Feng. An Outer Disciple that was worth nothing to the Sect.
He knew there was something wrong with Yuan Feng’s proposal, he knew he’d be punished heavily by the Sect, but… thinking back to Qingge’s pale face, her cold hands, and unseeing eyes…
Bai Heng felt his heart tearing apart, ‘I am still an Inner Disciple! Even if I do this, I will only get a punishment. The Sect won’t expel me for a mere Outer Sect Disciple. A few decades in the God Sealing Tower, maybe a little more… It’s nothing I can’t bear!’
A single decade in the God Sealing Tower was already too much for him to bear, but for his Qingge, for her smile… He would do it! Rationality was the furthest from him at this point.
Bai Heng’s eyes grew determined.
A winning smile appeared on Yuan Feng’s face and he brought out an Image Record Crystal.
Watching Bai Heng walk away, the smirk on Yuan Feng’s face grew wider. ‘Brother Bai, ah, Brother Bai, you say you don’t want this to be known to the public. But… that is exactly what I want!
‘I wonder… How will the world react if an Inner Disciple of the Purple Spirit Sect is found to have traded a member of his Sect for a measly Pill? What a scandal!’ Yuan Feng’s smirk grew wider. ‘Will they be shocked? Surprised? Disgusted?
‘Even if the Purple Spirit Sect will likely clean up its reputation, the damage would already have been done. The Inner Disciple represents the Sect, after all. Their decisions are equivalent to the Sect’s decisions.
‘Besides, this is only a small taste of what’s to come…’ He chuckled lightly.
He casually glanced at one of the disciples behind him, his gaze deep, confusing the disciple. Yuan Feng’s eyes flashed with a chilly light, ‘Do your job well my traitorous friend and maybe I’ll give you a quick death.’
After he sent away the disciples that were behind him, a thought occurred to him. ‘Why does the Sect want to destroy the reputation of the Purple Spirit Sect so much?
‘In fact, now that I think about it, all the Super Sects and Factions put tremendous effort into maintaining their image…’
After a while, he shook his head, ‘This isn’t for me to ponder.’
He stood up.
‘Though, this kind of beauty… tsk, tsk.’ On the activated Image Record Crystal was the picture of a devastating beauty whose eyes seemed to embody the very concept of ‘red’.