"Welcome." As Xuefeng approached the gates with everyone, the guards already spotted them and greeted them. Not seeing them even once before, one of them explained the rules, "To enter the inner city, one must show the token of status or pay one hundred middle-tiered Spirit Stones per person."
One could tell with a naked eye that the guards protecting the Inner City were better trained and cultured as they didn't underestimate the new visitors. Seeing the powerful Spirit Beast walking around with them as if a pet, they were bound to be strong cultivators which they didn't want to offend.
"Hundred Spirit Stones?! Yesterday it was only ten!" Wu Kong suddenly peeked out from behind of Xuefeng back and cried out with injustice.
Hearing Wu Kong words, Xuefeng squinted his eyes and looked at the guard with a questioning gaze. He was fine with paying an entrance fee, but if he was being cheated then he wouldn't let that pass.
The guard didn't panic after the accusation and calmly explained, "That is indeed true. Normal fee is ten middle tiered Spirit Stones per person, but today is special. There is a huge yearly auction tonight and hundreds of people will attend it. If we didn't increase the entry fee, there would be too many people trying to get inside, creating massive crowds. It is a normal occurrence. We wouldn't dare to cheat you, Sir."
Xuefeng looked at Wu Kong for confirmation, but he only blushed embarrassed without saying anything. He couldn't admit that he actually didn't know about the yearly auction at all.
"Well, we don't have any tokens of status, so our only way is to pay. Wuying, do you have any Spirit Stones on you?" Xuefeng knew he didn't have any Spirit Stones on him, so he turned to Wuying for favour. Xiao Wen was technically working for him so he didn't want to lend from her.
"I actually don't have any. We spent everything with Wen on our way." Wuying shook her head, completely broke. She wasn't allowed like Xuefeng to take Spirit Stones away from the Liu Clan treasury like Xuefeng could, so unless she earned them, she could only depend on Xuefeng or wait for monthly clan allowance.
"You also don't have any?" Xuefeng asked Wen as well who was next to him, but she also shook her head innocently putting Xuefeng in an awkward position. He knew that Yiren didn't have any so he didn't even ask her.
"How about this. I maybe don't have any Spirit Stones on me now, but I have many pills that I want to sell onto the auction house. How about you go with us to the auction house and I will pay you after I sell them?" Xuefeng figured out a quick solution, but the guard clearly didn't like it as he frowned right away for a second before changing his expression back to normal.
"Sir, I don't think this is a possible option. If everyone was like this, we would be quickly short staffed. We can't leave out posts. How about Sir sell the pills in the medicine shops all around the city and come back later when Sir has money? I think this will be an easier solution for both of us." The guard recommended.
Grumble... Just as the guard finished his speech, Wu Kong stomach grumbled once again.
"Big brother..." Wu Kong called out embarrassedly, trying to apologize, but Xuefeng stopped him and turned towards the guard, saying, "If you don't want to accept my proposition then so be it." The guard smiled, thinking he convinced Xuefeng, but his next words shocked him.
Xuefeng added, "We will just enter first and pay when we will be leaving. Girls, let's go inside." Wuying and Xiao Wen smiled, hearing Xuefeng's decision and followed after him. Yiren wasn't interested in the whole situation as she talked with Wu Lan the whole time and just walked behind Xuefeng.
The guard was speechless for a moment seeing Xuefeng's group walk past him and didn't know how to react when he heard another group's comment, "Wow, I didn't think the guards here were such pushovers. Maybe we should also pay after the event, hehe."
The guard finally recovered and quickly shouted towards his friends on the other side of the gate, "Quickly block the gate!" They couldn't allow anyone to bypass the rules or many others would find that unfair and will revolt as well.
Boom! Just as the gates closed and covered with a barrier, a loud explosion resounded around the area and a small hole was blown inside the gate. Xuefeng with his Black Flames Slayer in his hands passed through it and looked cooly at the shocked guards.
"Big Brother is amazing!" Wu Kong cried out jumping through the debris happily.
"Maybe next time it should be me who is holding your hand instead..." Xiao Wen commented as she entered behind him which made Xuefeng lost in words. He couldn't even follow his own rules, but at the same time, he couldn't say that he didn't try.
"Kids are hungry and I didn't want them to wait anymore. Let's go." Xuefeng shrugged and put away the sword. He didn't want to waste any more time and they left under everyone, gathered around, gazes.
He didn't notice that as they left, the hand he was squeezing this whole time once again slipped into his palm.