When Duan Ren sat down, he couldn't resist casting a quick glance at Feng Yang behind Huang Xiaolong, his large body hidden wholly under a large black hooded cloak. The days they had been traveling, Feng Yang did not utter a word, but there was a sui generis atmosphere coming from Feng Yang that made Duan Ren feel slightly uncomfortable. This atmosphere was something innate, which made Dua Ren wonder about the background of Huang Xiaolong's bodyguard.
However, Huang Xiaolong did not say anything and it wasn't Duan Ren's place to ask. Like Duan Ren, the two old guardians of Duanren Institute were also curious about Feng Yang's identity, but regardless of the many possibilities that crossed the three people's minds, they never would have imagined that Feng Yang was actually an otherworldly creature-a ghost.
In the Martial Spirit World's long history, only the Ghost King of that era was able to subjugate ghosts.
The night passed in silence, without any words.
The morning sun rose from the eastern horizon, its bright rays dispersing the morning fog. What shocked Duan Ren was that the true essence fire burned throughout the night without requiring any burning fuel, unchanging. When everyone stood up, preparing to continue their journey for the day, Huang Xiaolong retrieved the true essence fire with a casual hand flick, keeping it back in his dantian.
This bizarre scene once again caused Duan Ren and the two old men's eyes to go round in wonder.
Duan Ren looked at Huang Xiaolong, the sword-shaped brows and bright clear eyes, the face that was slightly too charming, he increasingly felt that he couldn't see through the youth in front of him.
"Let's go." Huang Xiaolong said after retrieving the true essence fire into his body, he was the first to fly off.
Only then did Duan Ren recover from his gaffe. The rest quickly caught up to Huang Xiaolong.
The group continued to accumulate miles at high speed.
Five days later, the group arrived at the northernmost point of High Sun Empire, the Rising Sun City. It was a day with harsh sun and strong wind.
Huang Xiaolong stood some distance from the Rising Sun City's gates, observing the endless line of carts and horse carriages, then he said solemnly, "We'll enter the city for a short break, we should take this chance to understand the Origin Forest's current situation."
"Very well." Duan Ren agreed. He was thinking along the same line. They already reached the Rising Sun City, there was no hurry to rush into the Origin Forest blindly. Hence, the group made their way into the Rising Sun City.
Although the Rising Sun City wasn't High Sun Empire's imperial city, it was one of the empire's bigger cities. With its strategic location being close to the Origin Forest, its prosperity and liveliness didn't lose out to Duanren Imperial City in any way.
Huang Xiaolong also noticed that Xiantian realm warriors were a common sight here, one could even see high-level Xiantian realm warriors here and there.
For some kingdoms, Xiantian realm warriors were the pillars of strength, but here, Xiantian warriors weren't worth much, to the point that the majority of the shopkeepers here were Xiantian realm warriors. Zhao Shu, Duan Ren, and the rest were also surprised seeing so many Xiantian realm warriors.
In Duanren Imperial City, there was a probability of one in ten thousand people for a Xiantian to appear, in this Rising Sun City however, the ratio was closer to one Xiantian realm warrior in a hundred people.
The group walked the streets, following the flow. A while later, they stopped in front of a building called Smooth Voyage Inn.
The layout and ornamentation of Smooth Voyage Inn were glorious and impressive to the extent that the Unforgettable Intoxication Restaurant in Duanren Imperial City seemed paltry in comparison. The Smooth Voyage Inn's business was booming, with an endless stream of patrons walking in and out of the establishment, each clad in various styles of clothing. Judging from the looks, most of the warriors had rushed over for the same reason as them-the Ancient Dragon Clan's ruin in Origin Forest.
Huang Xiaolong and his group stepped into the inn.
For information gathering, eating places like this that gathered all kinds of people were the best. Huang Xiaolong scanned the ground floor, nearly all of the over a hundred tables arranged were occupied. At this point, a small waiter came up to welcome Huang Xiaolong's group.
His main purpose was to collect information, so instead of going up to the first or second floor, Huang Xiaolong simply picked an empty table on the ground floor.
Taking a seat, Huang Xiaolong asked the small waiter, "What's the best wine you have here?"
No matter where Huang Xiaolong went, he rarely lacked good wine.
The small waiter grinned, "Young Noble, our highest quality wine is the Origin Wine, brewed from a hundred kinds of herbs and fruits collected from the Origin Forest, but the price isn't low, every jug is two hundred thousand gold coins."
"Oh~, two hundred thousand gold coins?" Huang Xiaolong was astonished. The most expensive wine Huang Xiaolong tasted was the Sapidity Wine in Duanren Institute that only cost him ten thousand gold coins a jug. He didn't expect this Origin Wine to cost so many times more.
The small waiter added, "Young Noble, other than the Origin Wine, we also have Dragon Tiger Wine, the Monkey Wine is also very good, only several hundred gold coins." The small waiter thought that the Origin Wine was too expensive for Huang Xiaolong from his astonishment, thus he recommended other cheaper wines. He had seen too many of the same reactions from guests upon hearing the Origin Wine's price.
After all, people who were willing to pay two hundred thousand gold coins for a jug of wine were few and far between.
Huang Xiaolong didn't mind the small waiter's misunderstanding, saying, "Firstly, bring five jugs of Origin Wine and a table of your best dishes."
Firstly, bring five jugs! The small waiter looked dumbfounded, "Young Noble, are you sure you want to order Origin Wine?" Five jugs, that was a million gold coins!
Huang Xiaolong nodded. He took out a spatial ring, opened the restrictions on it and placed it on the table, allowing the small waiter to clearly see the piles upon piles of mountain high gold coins in the space inside. This spatial ring once belonged to Blood Dragon City's Li Li before it became Huang Xiaolong's property after killing her.
Looking at the numerous mountain high gold coins inside the spatial ring, the small waiter trembled, unsure if it was from fright or excitement. In the next second, the small waiter's attitude turned a hundred and eighty degrees, nodding profusely, displaying his utmost respect, telling Huang Xiaolong to wait for a moment while he scurried off in a jiffy to have the orders prepared.
Very soon, the small waiter returned with five jugs of Origin Wine and served a table full of fragrant dishes. After serving the wine and dishes, the small waiter did not leave, instead, he waited close to Huang Xiaolong in a complaisant manner, in case Huang Xiaolong had more orders.
One of the two Duanren Institute's Honorable Saint Masters unsealed a random jug, filling out five wine bowls for everyone. Five because giant ghost Feng Yang remained standing loyally behind Huang Xiaolong.
Grabbing one of the wine bowls, Huang Xiaolong raised it, "Brother Duan Ren, please."
Duan Ren quickly raised his wine bowl, "Young Noble Huang, Mister Zhao, please." Duan Ren clinked his bowl with Huang Xiaolong, Zhao Shu, and the two companions before gulping a mouthful of wine.
The liquid eased down the throat with fiery smoothness, primal, pristine, mellowing into a warm gentleness akin to being transported from one era to the next, everchanging, leaving one in reverie and longing for another taste.
The small waiter watched Huang Xiaolong, his nerves strung high.
Huang Xiaolong nodded happily, "Not bad."
This Origin Wine was a grade higher than Duanren Institute's Sapidity Wine. Hearing Huang Xiaolong's compliment, the small waiter breathed in relief inwardly.
"How many jugs of this wine do you have left?" Huang Xiaolong asked the small waiter.
The small waiter blanked for a moment, "There are still five hundred and thirty-two jugs in the cellar."
Huang Xiaolong said, "I'll take them all."
"All, all of them?" The small waiter stammered.
"I cannot?" Huang Xiaolong asked.
"No, no, can, of course you can!" The small waiter replied hastily, even though this kind of thing had never happened in the inn, it was just the same. There was no rule saying that guests cannot buy all of them. The small waiter excused himself and quickly ran off.
Huang Xiaolong laughed, explaining to Duan Ren and the rest, "Other than practice, I don't have many hobbies except for good wine."
Those at the table chuckled cordially.
Moments later, the small waiter returned, but this time, he wasn't alone. The small waiter was a step behind a tubby middle-aged man. Apparently, this middle-aged man was the inn owner.
Huang Xiaolong action of wanting to buy all the remaining Origin Wine naturally alerted him.