Chapter Four Hundred and Thirty Nine - Cloud Sea Jie.
Three months later.
A non-descript, little black ship appeared at the entrance of the Cloud Sea Jie river.
Everyone inside the Black Turtle squeezed in front of the mirage formation. Looking at the scenery outside, they were very excited.
"We've finally arrived! So this Cloud Sea Jie!"
"It's so beautiful!"
"Yes, it's the first time I've seen a place this beautiful ... ..."
Under their feet was an endless sea of clouds. Floating among this sea of clouds werewere little islands. The cloud sea slowly floated, and the white cloud energy was faintly discernable like mist.
Suddenly, a big, bright-green bird shot out of the cloud sea, its wings stroked as it furiously flew into the sky and disappeared into the distance in a blink.
"Such fast speed!"
The people that saw this scene all inhaled sharply. The speed of this green bird was something who even A Wen, the fastest one among them, could only gape at.
The expressions of Zuo Mo and few others also changed slightly. They exchanged looks with each other and saw the gravity in each other's eyes. The green bird's grade was not low. In Sky Moon Jie, it would definitely be at the top of the food chain.
If the grade of the yao beast in an area were very high, it meant that there would not be a high population of xiuzhe in this area and that the area was not well explored. Yao beasts were not friendly to xiuzhe. Xiuzhe liked to hunt yao beasts, and yao beasts were also showed a similar interest and fondness for xiuzhe.
"There aren't any people on these islands." Wei Sheng stared at the island as they passed by. The island was not very large, about fifty mu. Because it was so close, the group could see it very clearly. There were ruins of buildings on the island which indicated that xiuzhe had once resided there.
Thinking about the green bird that had darted by, everyone's expressions were not very good. Were the ling beasts here left to roam free to such a degree?
"Everyone, be careful," Zuo Mo ordered.
Everyone immediately focused and prepared their defenses. However, the reality proved they had worried needlessly. Other than that shockingly fast green bird, they did not encounter anything significant along the way.
After the initial novelty passed, the endless cloud sea quickly became dull and boring in everyone's eyes.
After more than a dozen days, just as everyone was feeling restless, an enormous island appeared in their vision. Everyone's morale rose, but no one had expected that they had to continue flying for three more days before they could be considered near to this island.
They finally realized that the enormity of this island far surpassed their imagination! When they flew closer, this feeling increased. It was like a colossal sea turtle silently floating in the cloud sea. In front of it, the xiuzhe were insignificant like specks of dust!
Approaching the large island, the number of fragmented little islands they could see increased. They were scattered randomly and in various sizes. Some were just dozens of zhang in diameter, while others were tens of thousands of mu in area.
When Zuo Mo and the others flew close, a xiuzhe flew out from one of the little islands. This xiuzhe's face looked clever. He wore a cloth robe and crisply stopped fifty zhang from the Black Turtle. He made a bow and shouted loudly, "This one is Shang Wei Ming. Bosses, welcome to Dong Sheng Cloud Island. This one hopes your business is prosperous and flourishing! Do you require a guide? This one is a local, so if Boss wants to know of something, sell or buy, this one might be able to offer some scarce effort."
Shang Wei Ming's face was open without any shyness.
"Guide?" Zuo Mo felt it was interesting. After thinking a while, he shouted his order, "Get Bao Yi to come."
As he finished, he flew out of the Black Turtle first. Wei Sheng was worried for Zuo Mo's safety and also flew out. The other people inside the ship were alert and guarded, to ensure they could respond the moment they encountered any danger. They had slaughtered their way out of Bloody Sky Metropolis Jie and had formed the habit of being alert at any moment.
Shang Wei Ming saw two people fly out of the ship. His expression was steady but he released a breath inside. It seemed that this business was possible!
"This is Dong Sheng Cloud Sea?" Zuo Mo asked curiously.
"Yes, this is Dong Sheng Cloud Sea." Shang Wei Ming bowed towards the two. "What do I call both bosses?"
"My name is Zuo," Zuo Mo said with a smile. He pointed at Wei Sheng and said, "He is Wei."
"Good day, Boss Zuo and Boss Wei," Shang Wei Ming raised his folded hands in salute and gave his greetings. He examined the two people. Seeing their attire was normal, he was slightly disappointed inside. The black ship behind them was very normal. Shang Wei Ming was increasingly sure that Zuo Mo and the others were just small business merchants.
However, while he felt disappointed inside, he did not allow it to show it on his face. No matter what, it was good that he had business today.
"Have you come to Dong Sheng Cloud Sea for business or to visit friends?" Shang Wei Ming looked as Zuo Mo and asked. He could see that Zuo Mo was the decision-maker.
At this time, Bao Yi hurried over. He bowed towards Zuo Mo, "Boss," and then bowed towards Wei Sheng. "Teacher Wei!"
"Brother Bao is too courteous," Wei Sheng said humbly.
Zuo Mo wasn't polite. "Old Bao, you came at the right time. You can deal with the business affairs. This Mister Shang is our guide. You can deal with the fees and such."
Bao Yi hurriedly said, "Yes."
Shang Wei Ming's heart jumped. The decision-maker's clothing was normal but his presence and tone of voice was definitely not of a small business merchant. He also smelt something familiar from this person who was as thin as bamboo.
It was the smell of a merchant!
"What is the daily fee, Mister Shang?" Bao Yi raised his head, his eyes flashing with calculation.
Shang Wei Ming focused. "Five third-grade jingshi per day.
"This price isn't high." Bao Yi nodded. He then slowly asked, "What other services does Mister Shang provide?"
Bao's attitude, presence, and calculation caused Shang Wei Ming to realize that the person in front of him was an old-timer. His confidence of his positive speculations increased.
This group was surely here to do big business!
The smile on Shang Wei Ming's face grew more friendly. "Providing directions is the most basic service. If you need to find shelter and food, this one can find appropriate inns and restaurants for everyone. This one is a local merchant and has a small network. This one also knows the local goods. If there is a need for information, this one can also find it, but this will require some additional jinshi."
"Good." Bao Yi took out fifteen pieces of third-grade jingshi. "This is the fee for three days. I hope to have a good partnership with Mister Shang."
The other was generous in payment, and Shang Wei Ming's mood became even better. He took the jingshi and said humbly, "To serve you is this one's honor."
Seeing the two finish their conversation, Zuo Mo smiled and opened up, "This is the first time we have come to Cloud Sea Jie. We are unfamiliar with this place. Can Mister Shang give us an introduction?"
"No problem." Shang Wei Ming discretely put the jingshi into his pocket and continued. "Cloud Sea Jie is remote. Even though it was discovered early in recorded history, there haven't been many xiuzhe here. You must have seen the many abandoned cloud islands along the way?"
"Yes, what happened?" Zuo Mo hurriedly said.
"The reason there are not many xiuzhe in Cloud Sea Jie is because we are currently overrun with yao beasts. Those cloud islands were occupied before, but as there are too many yao beasts in Cloud Sea Jie, those who are weak were eaten by the yao beasts."
"Why don't you hunt and kill the yao beasts?" Zuo Mo asked curiously. "Every part of a yao beast is treasure!"
Shang Wei Ming showed a grimace. "It's the fault of this cloud sea! This cloud sea is endless and extremely deep. No one knows how deep it is down there. These yao beasts mostly live inside the cloud sea with it as a barrier. This cloud sea is also very strange, it can almost completely block off ling energy. For many years, an unknown amount of people used to dive into the cloud sea to explore it; but though many went, only a few come back. Of those that came back, they usually have no gains. Gradually, few wanted or dared to go down anymore."
"Then isn't it very dangerous above the cloud sea?" Zuo Mo was frightened.
"Yes. The cloud sea is vast and filled with danger. Our jie's cloud islands can be counted in tens of thousands, but there are not many that are truly suited for xiuzhe to inhabit. Our Dong Sheng Cloud Sea is the biggest cloud sea. Other than this, Qi Luo Continent and Hu Ju Island are among the relatively large cloud islands. Please do not randomly fly among the cloud sea, it is very dangerous. There are transportation formations that go between the cloud islands. It is much safer to go through transportation formations. Between the cloud islands that do not have transportation formations, there are shipping routes that have defended cloud islands among the way. That is also a safer option."
Finishing, he took out a jade scroll. "This has all the transportation formations and shipping routes of Cloud Sea Jie. It isn't worth much, but a token of this one to give to Boss."
Shang Wei Ming's action clearly showed his intentions of forming a relationship. Zuo Mo naturally understood. He smiled and took the jade scroll. "Many thanks, Brother Shang." He took out a third-grade flying sword. "A little token of our own, nothing major. Brother Shang, please accept it!"
Shang Wei Ming took the flying sword. Taking it in hand, he channeled ling power through it. The smile on his face increased as he gave his thanks. Intermediate third-grade water element flying sword, this could be sold for a pretty good price. However, he did not plan on selling it. His son was not far from entering ningmai and this flying sword was perfect for him.
If it had just been a guess before, now he was almost certain this Boss Zuo was a big boss!
Using a third-grade flying sword as the first move, this was the first time he had encountered such a thing! He couldn't help but rejoice how wise his decision had been. It was really profitable this time!
Zuo Mo looked around. "Are there any yao beasts where we are now?"
Shang Wei Ming hurried to say, "Boss, don't worry. Our Dong Sheng Cloud Island has a large formation. Yao beasts will not come here. See how there are many cloud islands in this area, they are all protected by the large formation, and we do not need to worry about our safety. If Boss wants to have a long stay, you may want to buy one and turn it into a private yard."
They conversed as they slowly flew towards the large island, the Black Turtle following closely behind them.
"Oh, these cloud islands can be bought? Where can one buy them? What are the prices?" Zuo Mo was instantly interested. The Black Turtle was spacious on the inside, but after staying in for a long time, they had all, naturally, become restless. Searching for Water Cloud Embryo would not be a not a quick matter. This place was relatively safe, and it was good to have a place to put their feet down.
Shang Wei Ming just mentioned this in passing. He hadn't thought that Zuo Mo would really be interested. He instantly became alert. According to the rules of the island: if he really could make this deal, he could receive a significant commission.
Shang Wei Ming seemed to see countless jingshi beckoning him!
Good fortune had come so suddenly!
Translator Ramblings: Think of it this way, Fang Xiang is trying to keep the pace up so reader will not be bored reading about people travelling.
Also, I think there was a misunderstanding based on my translation last chapter. The "Meat Grinder" doesn't refer to Zuo Mo or Gongsun Cha, it is referring to the chaotic situation they left behind when they killed Ming Lie. Fang Xiang is implying Zuo Mo's battle has set off the war and caused high fatalities. Essentially, they were the spark to lit off the firestorm.