Chapter 253: This Puppet, I Shall Purchase It
Translator: E.3.3. Editor: Vermillion
Along the beach of the Mahayana Island.
Sploosh Sploosh Splash!
Ferocious waves hit the rocks by the shore, leaving behind white foam. It immediately generated a dense layer of water vapor as the salty sea winds blew by.
A muscular figure stood upon a huge rock nearby. This man had dashing brows and glimmering eyes, as well as a dignified sense of domination.
Gazing at the endless ocean, Ji Chengyu drew in a deep breath and exhaled slowly.
A rustling noise could be detected behind him. It was Zhao Ruge, dressed in white, coming his way. The sea winds blew fiercely, ruffling his long robe. Even his hair was tousled into a mess by the breeze.
Zhao Ruge disliked islands by the sea. The wind here was too strong, practically slapping people across the face when they gusted around. Plus, there was that unbearable smell of the ocean. He missed the Imperial Capital, which was always lively and prosperous.
"Congratulations on your recovery and further advancement, King Yu!" Zhao Ruge cupped his hands and bowed to King Yu, as a graceful smile flashed across his face.
Ji Chengyu slowly turned around to peer at Zhao Ruge. His gaze was as sharp as lightening.
"Why is it that both you and your father are racking your brains to help me out. What on earth are you two after?" Ji Chengyu was never able to get rid of that skepticism within his heart. Zhao Musheng was the elder of the Mahayana Island. Though this sect was powerful in his recollections, it seemed rather inadequate... when facing the Light Wind Empire.
Yet, when he actually set foot on the Mahayana Island, he finally learned how terrifying this force of influence was.
"I have no idea. I am simply following my father's order. Besides... if we help you become the ruler of the Light Wind Empire, and King Yu then pays us back somehow, wouldn't that be a win-win situation? We're merely helping ourselves by helping each other." Zhao Ruge faced the ocean and smiled faintly.
The Mahayana Island was not small at all and contained an abundant amount of spirit energy. It also had both majestic mountains and beautiful lakes, making for a gorgeous view.
"King Yu, since your cultivation has recovered, it's about time to return to the continent... We have already settled everything for you there. The rest is on you. But of course... if you ever need any help, feel free to reach out to the Mahayana Island. We will utilize all of our resources to assist you."
Back to the continent? A dark trace of gloominess flashed across Ji Chengyu's eyes as the corners of his mouth curled up. Yes... it was time to go back!
"By the way, there's a piece of news for you, King Yu. The eunuch watching over the imperial mausoleum was furious at your escape. He is already on the move to capture you... You might bump into him soon once you re-enter the continent. And so, allow me to give you this heads-up."
Lian Fu... Right, that was a seventh grade Battle-Saint after all. However... He was suddenly intrigued to see what a Battle-Saint could do.
Ji Chengyu's face froze as he stared at the boundless ocean.
It finally quieted down outside the Southern City.
This sudden tranquility allowed many to breathe easily once again. The residents within the city walls patted their chests as smiles of relief appeared on their faces.
Chang Shan, still on the city walls, was lying flat on his stomach. Different from the cheering crowds down there, he still had a heavy heart.
Peering down from the walls, he could see a giant shadow within the Dragon River. That shadow was emitting such a domineering pressure that he could barely breathe... A seventh grade spirit beast was truly daunting!
"Damn it... How did such a gigantic beast get in?" Chang Shan punched the bricks on the wall. He did not utilize any true energy but immediately sensed waves of pain.
He recognized this spiritual beast, the seventh grade Burst-Dragon Demonic Fish. It was a fearsome spirit beast living in the Boundless Ocean, both awfully destructive and ferocious. This kind of spirit beast should have never appeared in the Dragon River.
Walking against the walls slowly, Chang Shan finally got down. Then, he headed toward the City Court with his guards. He must inform the Lord of the Southern City.
Though the Burst-Dragon Demonic Fish had finally quieted down, nobody knew when this beast might strike again. Since the Dragon River effectively encircled the Southern City, if all city gates were locked up, it meant the city itself would be completely isolated from the rest of the world.
Now that was certainly no good news.
Xiao's Quarter, located in the most prosperous district of the Southern City, was not far from the Southern City Lord's Court. Xiao's Quarter was one of the biggest financial oligarchs of the Southern City and held a high reputation. Perhaps its concrete powers were weaker when compared to the others, but with Xiao Meng's stature, all the other wealthy households had to honor the Xiao Family one way or another.
"Yanyu, are you really going to bring this fellow into Xiao's Quarter? The master won't be pleased." A trace of despise flickered across Xiao Kecheng's eye as he glimpsed at Bu Fang, who was walking behind him leisurely. In his mind, this lad with a puppet must have approached Xiao Yanyu due to the power and fortune of the Xiao Family.
"Third Uncle, I owe you respect as you are a senior figure of the family, and so I hear you, Third Uncle. However, Owner Bu is a friend of mine. Can't I even invite him in as a guest? Don't blame me for being unpleasant if you continue asking me these meaningless questions." Xiao Yanyu cast a serious look at Xiao Kecheng and announced coldly.
Xiao Kecheng's heart shuddered. He was very much flustered, and simply couldn't understand why Xiao Yanyu was defending this fellow.
"Fine! I'll ask someone to arrange a room for him. The master is waiting for you in the loft, please hurry." Xiao Kecheng's face softened a little bit as he replied her.
As they entered Xiao's Quarter, one could immediately detect the differences between the Xiao residence in the Southern City and its counterpart in the Imperial City. The roots of the Xiao Family could be traced back to the Southern City. Though what it has managed to accumulate couldn't serious compare with older forces of influence here, it still reflected the management of several generations. This in itself could not be neglected.
The overall style of the architecture was simple and pleasant. With such a vast space and twisted paths, one could easily get lost in here.
Xiao Yanyu asked for Bu Fang's pardon and went up the loft along with the others. She had already ordered someone to arrange living accommodations for Bu Fang.
Xiao Kecheng, on the other hand, eyed Bu Fang coldly, waved his hand, and also turned around to leave.
By then, everyone had left. Only the maid who had accompanied Xiao Yanyu earlier remained by Bu Fang's side.
"Young Master Bu, this way please," Xiao Ya said coolly. She glimpsed at Bu Fang and led the way.
Bu Fang wasn't bothered by the unfriendly attitudes of the other Xiao Family members. He peered at the aged gardens and nodded lightly. Waterside pavilions, ponds of fish, and bushes of flower. The scenic beauty was worthy of admiration.
Ordinarily, Bu Fang would never be that interested in the Xiao Family. However, Xiao Yanyu had divulged to him that in order to taste the most authentic Pan-Fried Pork Bun, he must visit the Xiao residence.
Bu Fang also recalled Aunt Liu of the Spring Fragrance Brothel mentioning a "Beauty of Bun", the famous Miss Lin, who married into the Xiao Family and became the wife of the second master. It seemed he had to pay a visit to Xiao's Quarter if he wanted to taste this Pan-Fried Pork Bun.
That was precisely why Bu Fang didn't turn down Xiao Yanyu's invitation. He came to the Southern City in search of gourmet delicacies. Since authentic Pan-Fried Pork Buns could be found in the Xiao residence, he couldn't just simply let it go.
Maid Xiao Ya's figure was rather tall and slender, but her complexion betrayed her young, inexperienced nature. She led the way without paying close attention to Bu Fang, who was behind her.
Bu Fang, on the other hand, strolled along in a leisurely manner as he enjoyed the gorgeous view of the Xiao Family garden.
There were many people in the Xiao Family. As they walked through the residence, they came across numerous occupied servants, playful children, and refined ladies with paper fans in their hands.
This was what a grand household should look like. Compared to this place, the Xiao residence in the Imperial City lacked this kind of lively, homely characteristics.
Bu Fang relished in the wonderful view around him, rather amused. People passing by kept on eyeing him, or more accurately, the puppet behind him, curiously. Again, Bu Fang did not mind any of this.
He was never one to care about what others thought of him.
"Young Master Bu... This way, please hurry."
Xiao Ya's somewhat impatient cry echoed in his ears. Bu Fang was caught by surprise but continued to stride down the path slowly.
Xiao Fa felt honestly frustrated. Anyone with eyes could easily notice Xiao Kecheng's distaste for Bu Fang. As a maid of the Xiao Family, she had to act accordingly and did not treat Bu Fang with the usual cordiality. With Bu Fang taking his time, all of this vexed her even more.
Bu Fang gave this maid a surprised look, but his face remained blank.
Xiao Ya flicked at glance at Bu Fang, led him through several small paths, and finally reached a row of rooms.
"The second room to the left is yours. The bedding has already been prepared and food will be sent to you during meal times. You should not wander around. If you happen to offend certain junior masters of the Xiao Family, you'll suffer unimaginable miseries." Xiao Ya warned him.
After these words, she turned around and hurried off without waiting for Bu Fang's response.
Bu Fang watched as the maid's shadow disappeared. He curled the corners of his lips and scanned his surrounding. Given his inspection of the residence on his way here, this had to be the worst location yet. The room was dark and gloomy, effectively untouched by sunlight, and even had damp floors.
It looked like he was indeed not welcomed by the Xiao Family.
Bu Fang thought to himself quietly. But then again, he wasn't too bothered, and headed for the room Xiao Ya assigned him.
He pushed open the doors to see a very dark room. But at least it smelled fine and didn't have the kind of moldy odor that made one frown.
He lit up the oil-lamp in the room and surveyed the modest accommodations around him. His eyebrows arched as he found the beddings somewhat damp. In fact, they felt somewhat cold to the touch.
Putting down the oil lamp, Bu Fang left the room with hands behind his back. Even though he couldn't care less what others thought of him, living in a room like this... was beyond his level of tolerance.
As for Xiao Ya's "no wandering around" advice, Bu Fang scoffed and directly stepped out of the courtyard.
Whitey followed Bu Fang closely, with its robotic eyes flashing.
After a few steps, Bu Fang suddenly detected a gush of wind whistling through his ears. His eyebrows immediately knitted into a frown.
He lifted a hand and easily smashed away a rock flying toward him.
"Oh my! He has got some techniques. It seems like this country bumpkin is somewhat trained!"
The sound of teasing laughter rang up from a distance. A huge crowd followed a smaller crew of people and came their way, fencing in Bu Fang and Whitey.
Bu Fang frowned. He felt very much displeased.
The one in the lead was a young man, dressed in silky robes and with a jade crown on his head. The young lad's face was full of arrogance as he stared at Bu Fang with contemptuous eyes.
He had seen many yokels like Bu Fang in the Xiao residence before. Every single one of them showed just as much interest as Bu Fang did in their gardens.
He was, however, fascinated in the puppet behind Bu Fang. He had never seen something like this before and was very much intrigued.
"You... name a price. This iron puppet, I shall purchase it!" The young man waved around the paper fan with his hands and declared to Bu Fang with airs of extravagance.
Bu Fang was at a loss. What a rich kid... Oh my god, this brat wanted to buy Whitey?