“One copper coin…?”
Keep laughing because it might be your last laugh!
“I merely wanted to see your reaction.”
“You. Sure. Are. Humorous,” I grouched through my teeth.
Emperor Yuansheng pulled me in to say, “I do want you to find lodging, but that’s more important. You have any inklings yet?”
“That? Which ‘that’ did you mean, Master? I am a little…”
“Yiren’s whereabouts and infiltrating Refining Divine Convention. Having no roof over our head on New Year’s Eve is trivial. All of us have the warrior spirit. In any case, I must maintain my priorities. We weathered everything for those two things, didn’t we? She may have escaped Abels’ grasp, but she’s hurt, yet we have no other news on her. While I’m worried sick, I can’t conspicuously search for her, either, in Luo Sword Sanctuary’s turf. I think we’ve already been placed under surveillance.”
Emperor Yuansheng was dead right. Besides being a big group of fighters, we didn’t resemble an escort group or travelling businessmen. Thus, people were bound to keep an eye out for us but not tail us since they didn’t know how much firepower we packed.
Emperor Yuansheng expanded, “There’s no guarantee it’s Luo Sword Sanctuary that’s watching us. If a fight breaks out here among all of the groups, it’ll be a riot. We must… take precautions. I’m relying on you to come up with a plan to search for Yiren and to infiltrate Refining Divine Convention during our stay in this town. I feel uneasy if I can’t personally see what the event is all about.”
The pause in Emperor Yuansheng’s speech was unnatural to me. Taken in the context of his instructions, I felt he was particularly sceptical of the event or something of the sort. On one hand, he wanted to convince himself that his old friend had things under control. On the other hand, he was putting himself at greater risk. There was missing context in there somewhere.
The event was on par with a martial world convention, yet they were trying to be secretive. It didn’t take a genius to figure out it was no small event. Yet, our cautious Emperor was trying to charge in with reckless abandon. Luo Ming, a Divine Realm adept, couldn’t possibly be in danger, so I couldn’t fathom why Emperor Yuansheng insisted on risking his wellbeing. If he wanted to confirm Luo Ming’s status, it would be more apt to send in his agents.
Is there something he wants to confirm in person but can’t let others find out about?
I snapped out of my thoughts when my eyes picked up two egg-sized pearls tossed my way.
“You’re going to need money to rent a place for this many people. I’m not a miser. Get going,” commanded Emperor Yuansheng. “I didn’t bring much money on this trip and lost some at the manor. I was going to give those pearls to Luo Sword Sanctuary as gifts, but whatever. Why did you have to reject Qian Clan’s offer? Ah, whatever, I can afford this much.”
That’s not the problem. The problem is that they’re tributes! Nobody is going to accept these as payment. Also, what happened to concealing your identity? You realise how much these are worth?! County magistrates would kick citizens out of their homes if a higher ranking official visited, yet you’re flaunting these giant pearls? Are you logic deprived?
“Fine, you can also have this purple dragon jade. I was going to give it to Zizi.”
How does this help? You want them to kick out another person for Zizi?!
“Phoenix head seven strings instrument. This is a priceless treasure.”
That’s Jingan’s, isn’t it? Come on, even a commoner, like me, can recognise it.
“Nine pattern phoenix cup. Empress Dowager gifted me this at one of her birthday banquets.”
“Your Majesty, if we sell these items, people are going to think your entire family is coming to Cantu Town.”
You’re one step away from misleading people into thinking you’re changing capital’s location!
“One copper coin… so be it. I will think of something to cover the rest,” I drawled with my shoulders hunched.
“Terrific. Now that is why you ar-, ahem, you know.”
Go to hell, Zhuge Liang wannabe!
“Big Brother Ming! Big Brother Ming, wait up for me!” I heard Su Xiao, who was dressed in male clothing tonight, hollering from behind after taking off.
I stopped and queried, “What are you coming along for?”
“Master told me to join you because our personalities complement each other.”
Your Majesty, did you really have to do me like this? Why the indirect insult?
“Fine with me,” I commented, flicking the coin up to have it make a decision for me. “Let’s go together.”
It was so darn crowded I was worried that, instead of squeezing through the crowds, the crowds would squeeze us out of the town. A few hours later, we had gone from the east entrance to the west entrance, yet I still had no genius ideas.
Can I quit this job? I can’t think of any strategy to turn one copper coin into thousands of them in the span of a day besides robbery. Curse you, Zhuge Liang wannabe!
Massaging his shoulders, Su Xiao opined, “They almost squashed me to death. It’s been ages since I’ve patrolled the streets. I’m never patrolling them during New Year.”
As I rubbed my face, I added, “I’m not even going to think about it. If we don’t come up with something, we would’ve suffered for nothing. We don’t have much time before nightfall.”
“How about we try a gambling den or something?”
Whoa! Did Su Xiao seriously suggest a gambling den? Is it my influence?
“You learnt to gamble?”
“Never! I hate gambling more than anything.”
“Why did you suggest going to a gambling den, then?”
“Since they aren’t making money morally, we can purge them and find ourselves a place to spend the night at the same time. That’s two birds with one stone.”
No wonder why Boss Shen holds you in high regard. You’re as violent as each other.
“Why aren’t you saying anything, Brother Ming?”
“I smell blood…”
“I… I don’t smell anything.”
“It’s quite far away. It’s strong and… Let’s go.”
I got up and dragged Su Xiao along in a hurry. If I wasn’t wrong, there were two groups scrapping about two and a half kilometres away. After hearing someone bray, I heard… a blade saw a head off.