Chapter 142: Who Exactly is the Robber
Liu Chen smiled bitterly, "An outer disciple only gets one Spirit Stone and a thousand silver taels of remuneration. This is not sufficient for cultivation. Furthermore, the competition is too intense; everyone wants to enter the inner sect. There is simply not enough money to keep up with what we need."
Xiao Chen thought to himself, This is probably the problem for most independent cultivators. Unless they have a stroke of good fortune or rob the noble clan disciples, they will have to set up stalls like these people here.
Suddenly, Liu Chen said, "Brother Ye, if you want to find Rank 5 Spirit Beasts, there are a few places on this map where you will definitely meet one."
"Where?" Xiao Chen's interest was piqued. He still had to kill a Rank 5 Spirit Beast. After all, he made so many preparations already; he could not let all the work go to nothing.
Liu Chen pointed to a location on the map; the mark there indicated where Rank 5 Spirit Herbs could be found. "This is where the Rank 5 Herb Luminous Grass can be found. Further ahead, you can find the Rank 6 Herb Ice Crystal Flower. There will definitely be Rank 5 Spirit Beasts protecting the Rank 6 Herbs. They can be found here, here, and here too."
Xiao Chen could not help but smile. This highest rank of herbs indicated on this map was only Rank 5. It seemed like Liu Chen had been hiding some information.
"I know I'm stepping out of my bounds here, but I am quite curious. Brother Ye, why are you asking about Rank 5 Spirit Beasts?" Liu Chen could clearly sense that Xiao Chen was only a Superior Grande Martial Master. It would be impossible for him to survive an encounter with a Rank 5 Spirit Beast.
Xiao Chen smiled faintly, "No reason, just casually asking. How much is the map? I'll buy it."
Seeing as Xiao Chen was unwilling to speak, Liu Chen did not continue to press the matter. "The map is very cheap, just 200 silver taels."
Two hundred Silver Taels for a map and you call it cheap? He must be treating me like a fool.
However, the amount was insignificant to Xiao Chen; thus, he did not bother to bargain. After he robbed the Jiang Clan's secret treasury, aside from the twenty million gold taels he spent on Flying Snow Manor, he still had ten million gold taels and all sorts of Spirit Weapons and Medicinal Pills.
Xiao Chen took out a 1000 silver taels banknote and exchanged it for the map. When Liu Chen saw the Spatial Ring on Xiao Chen's finger, a flash of greed appeared in his eyes for a moment without him realizing it.
Even so, it disappeared almost immediately. He maintained a smile on his face and gave Xiao Chen his change. He said warmly, "I hope Brother Ye Chen will have a good harvest. Maybe we can cooperation again in future."
After Xiao Chen left, the flash of greed in his eyes returned as he watched Xiao Chen leave. He quickly packed up his stall and told the people who were checking out his wares with a smile, "My apologies; the stall is closed for the day."
Amidst the strange looks from the crowd, Liu Chen quickly left and ran into a desolate forest outside Evil Wind Valley. Within the forest, there were a few youths wearing the Heavenly Saber Pavilion outer sect disciple uniforms. In front of them lay a corpse.
"Boss, this fellow was such a pauper; he only had two thousand taels of silver on him. Furthermore, they are all crushed silver. The Medicinal Pills he had are all Rank 2 trash," one of them swore incessantly as he spoke.
[TL note: Silver and gold normally come in an ingot form. Taels is actually a unit of measurement. For easy measurement and counting, silver and gold are smelted into ingots weighing one tael. Normally, silver or gold of equivalent weight but not smelted into such ingots have a lower value.]
The person leading them was called Zhang Tu, an Inferior Grade Martial Grand Master. There was an insidious expression on his face as he said sullenly, "There are just a few months to the end of the year. If I cannot raise my cultivation realm to Medial Grade Martial Grand Master, there will be no chance of me entering the inner sect."
These people were all outer disciples of Heavenly Saber Pavilion; they were all independent cultivators. For the sake of obtaining cultivation resources, they would frequently ambush solitary cultivators in Evil Wind Valley, occasionally even attacking people from the same sect.
When Zhang Tu saw Liu Chen rushing over, he had an unhappy expression on his face. He said, "What are you doing here? Running for your life? Why are you running so fast?"
Liu Chen felt anxious and quickly described everything he saw earlier to Zhang Tu.
Zheng Tu revealed an expression of being deep in thought. He said, "Are you sure he was alone? If he has a Spatial Ring, he is likely to be a descendant of a noble clan. How can he be alone?"
Liu Chen nodded his head, "I am absolutely sure. Furthermore, this person seems to be new; he does not seem to understand anything. He asked a lot of strange questions. He seems to be a peak Superior Grade Martial Master."
"When he paid, he just casually used a 1,000 silver taels banknote. This person is definitely not poor. Furthermore, he did not even bother to bargain on the price. It is definitely a habit nurtured since young. Boss, let's do it!" one of the people beside said as his eyes lit up when he heard what Liu Chen reported.
"Indeed, a Superior Grade Martial Master... Boss, you would be able to handle him alone; it'll be even easier with the few of us. The weakest amongst us is a Medial Grade Martial Master; nothing will go wrong."
"That's right; it's not as if Boss has never done this before. Who knows, this person might even have Spirit Stones on him. That is something you need, Boss!"
Zhang Tu revealed an expression of uncertainty; his rationality was telling him something was wrong. A Superior Grade Martial Disciple asking around about a Rank 5 Spirit Beast was definitely not simple. However, the greed in his heart was like a flood, gushing against his rationality and overwhelming it.
When Zhang Tu heard the words 'Spirit Stones;' his greed immediately overcame his rationality. He consoled himself, "No matter the situation, he is just a Superior Grade Martial Master."
After he made up his mind, he said, "Liu Chen, you should have left some medicinal powder on him right?"
Liu Chen chuckled, "Definitely, I already spread them on the map long ago. We will be able to find him at any time."
Outside one's house, the human heart is treacherous; wealth should not be revealed. This was a very simple principle, especially in Tianwu Continent. The battles between humans were more bloody than ones with beasts. One should pay special note when outside.
It was not that Xiao Chen did not understand this principle. Unfortunately, Xiao Chen experienced too little and accidently revealed himself. He thought it was not important. However, in this Evil Wind Valley, the hearts of humans were vicious. One must keep their guard up.
Surrounding Evil Wind valley was a tall mountain. To say it was a valley was not quite right as it as very large. Within the valley, there were forests, rivers, and strange stone formations. It was broad and boundless.
There were many Cultivators traveling in and out of Evil Wind Forest. After crossing a river, Xiao Chen entered a dense forest. The forest was very large; people quickly separated from each other. As he continued forward, the number of people he ran into became less and less.
Xiao Bai jumped out happily from the Spirit Blood Jade. In the past few days, aside from the inside of the house, Xiao Chen had not let it out.
The main reason was it was too eye-catching. It was completely snow white without any blemish, and it had eyes filled with spirituality. With one look, it was obvious it was not ordinary.
Xiao Bai was especially excited in the forest. When it landed on the ground, it immediately ran far away. Xiao Chen just smiled and did not bother with it. With its speed, there were no Spirit Beasts who could catch it.
However, Xiao Chen warned it to not run too far. He was not afraid of the fierce Spirit Beasts, but he was afraid Xiao Bai would be seen by the other cultivators and attract some unwanted trouble.
Xiao Chen took out the map and inspected it carefully. He finally decided to go to where the Ice Crystal Flowers were and check it out. He intended to check out all the places, one by one.
It did not matter what Ge Yunbin thought; after making so many preparations, he had to give it everything he had. If Ge Yunbin still wanted to play any tricks, it would not be too late to fall out with him then.
Within Evil Wind Valley, Zhang Tu traced and followed the route Xiao Chen took. He was following behind in a leisure manner. Occasionally, Liu Chen would stop and sniff the air.
His Martial Spirit was an ordinary dog. It was useless in fights, but it was good for tracking people. This was not the first time they had done this. Everyone had relaxed expressions and did not pay note to what was going on.
"Boss, he is likely going to the Ice Crystal Flowers," Liu Chen said after sniffing the air for a while.
Zhang Tu frowned slightly, and his face turned sullen. He muttered to himself, "Could he be really looking for a Rank 5 Spirit Beast? He is just a Superior Grade Martial Disciple; where does his confidence come from?
Liu Chen, who was to the side, heard Zhang Tu's mutterings. He said, "He might have some Secret Treasures. We might have hooked a big fish this time."
When Zhang Tu heard this, he was deep in thought. After a while, he said gravely, "That can be the only possible reason. This fellow is definitely not an ordinary Superior Grade Martial Master. We cannot follow your usual plan."
"Fourth Brother, that thing of yours... how many more times can it be used?" Zhang Tu turned around and asked a skinny cultivator.
That skinny cultivator took out an ordinary looking piece of metal and said with some astonishment, "There should be no problem using it two or three more times. Will we need to use this thing?"
A ruthless look appeared in Zhang Tu's eyes as he took the piece of metal. He said, "This fellow is definitely not ordinary. We won't go wrong listening to me. When we get near, we will hide ourselves first. We must obtain the first move and surprise him; there cannot be any trace of us."
Although this map was very expensive, it accurately marked the locations of Spirit Beasts. Xiao Chen followed the markings and was able to avoid a few Spirit Beasts that tended to group together. Along the way, he only met with solitary Spirit Beasts and dealt with them easily.
After dealing with a Rank 3 Spirit Beast obstructing him, Xiao Chen dug out its Spirit Core and placed it into his Universe Ring. He followed the principle of not wasting anything.
After Xiao Chen had done all this, he took out the map again and looked at it carefully.
At this time, Xiao Bai came out from an unknown place and leaped onto Xiao Chen's shoulder.
When it saw the map in Xiao Chen's hands, it walked over and sniffed it curiously. "Ai Ci!" before it got near, it sneezed. A cloud of power rose up from the map.
Xiao Chen frowned and stopped breathing. He quickly threw the map in his hand onto the ground. Then, he took out a piece of white paper and collected all the powder.
The green core in his sea of consciousness extended out with his Spiritual Sense and carefully analyzed the powder on the paper. This green core was the Spiritual Core only alchemists possessed. Xiao Chen had not used it for a very long time. Now, it was time for it to be put to work.
[TL note: Wow, the Spiritual Core is finally back. Anyway, do bear in mind this is different from the Spirit Core Spirit Beast possessed. For more reference, you can read Chapter 25 again.]
Withdrawing his Spiritual Sense, Xiao Chen discarded the white paper. He breathed out in relief; it was just a powder with a special smell.
Fortunately, it was not poison. If it were, he would have fallen for it.
Xiao Chen's lips curled up in a cold smile. He carefully inspected the map again and said indifferently, "The heart of a human is always unfathomable."
Xiao Chen extended his Spiritual Sense, and everything within 800 meters appeared in his mind; every flower, every tree, and even some cultivators who were fighting with Spirit Beasts. Nothing escaped Xiao Chen's notice.
After a while, Xiao Chen's Spiritual Sense picked up six figures hiding around trees along the path he had to take to get to the Ice Crystal Flowers. Liu Chen's figure was indeed amongst them.