Chapter 281: Graceful Steps upon the Wave, the Lamp Oil Is Completely Dried Up
Translator: Subudai11 Editor: Chrissy
"Oh, it's a lot more prosperous here than the last time I came. Mm, the change is simply tremendous."
In a spacious road, Aya, who was dressed in a gray cloak, was surprised to see the high rise buildings on both sides of the road and the bustling traffic.
Today, she, Wang Lu and the other team members arrived at the westernmost place in the Nine Regions, a city called Sky Road. Everywhere around them was a bustling scene.
"This is one of the trade hubs between the East and the West, moreover, it's a newly built port city, so naturally, there would be new developments everyday. When you came here a hundred years ago, it has just been built, not much bigger than a small fishing village, but now it's a major city with population in millions."
Not only this place was flourishing, the more impressive thing was, the atmosphere here was quite open to cultural mixing. The culture of the two continents grew along with the trade, and the people became intermixed. Thereupon, all kinds of cultural crystallization grew ever brighter.
Unfortunately, the team did not have much time to stay to enjoy the scenery because Wang Lu's schedule was very tight. The team rushed along the main avenue of the Sky Road City because they wanted to catch a fleet of merchant ships of Mysterious Sky Mansion that was about to set sail for the Western Continent.
Around half of the trade between the Nine Regions and Western Continent was controlled by the Mysterious Sky Mansion and the banner of their chamber of commerce. After all, only a huge colossus like Mysterious Sky Mansion has enough resources and manpower to organize the trade across the continent. The seizing-life fog and endless sea monsters were things that ordinary chamber of commerce absolutely could not deal with.
Through the years of relationship between Wisdom Sect and Mysterious Sky Mansion, Wang Lu successfully managed to make a contact with the branch of the Mysterious Sky Mansion at the Sky Road City and agreed on the time to board their merchant ship that would set sail to the West. This merchant fleet would only sail two or three times per year, and it would take several months if they missed this time's opportunity. In addition to the Mysterious Sky Mansion fleet, obviously, there were many other cargo ships, but the security and other issues were hard to maintain there.
Through contact details sent out by Mysterious Sky Mansion, Wang Lu and his teammates found the leader of the fleet at the dock, ready to set sail. However, as the law very familiar to any veteran adventurer said: In any adventure, dealing with emergencies would use up most of the time. Wang Lu and his team just happened to meet that emergency situation.
"In simple terms, you want to increase the initial price? The initial price of one thousand spirit stones couldn't get us in anymore."
On the pier, Wang Lu smiled slightly before the warm and humid sea breeze, but there was no warmth in that smile.
Standing in front of Wang Lu was a tall, burly, darkened-red skinned middle-aged man dressed in luxurious clothing, which was exactly the person in charge of the fleet, Nie Yang (Ocean whisperer). As the vice leader of the Mysterious Sky Mansion branch of Sky Road City, Nie Yang has a considerably high status in the Sky Road City. At the same time, he also has a quite respectable cultivation base. Whenever ordinary cultivators met him, they would all act differential. However, right now, being coldly looked at by Wang Lu, he could not help but break into cold sweat as his heart palpitated madly.
"The initial price is... perhaps not wrong." In the end, Nie Yang was a seasoned man, thus, after calming himself, he began to explain, "But we are forced to do this by the circumstances. Recently, the endless sea is having a great change, which increases the risk of sailing through. To cope with the risk, the fleet has made a massive arrangement, including increasing the cost of sailing. The original one thousand spirit stones agreement is not enough anymore, so I have to be bluntly honest here... in short, the price of three thousand spirit stones is still not enough to cover the cost."
Wang Lu had no intention of calculating the cost of the sail, but just coldly smiled. "If this East-West trade has no risk, do you think you would be here in charge of this? You are a businessman, so you should know about the spirit of keeping the contract agreement."
Nie Yang said, "The contract also stipulates that provides that there's a force majeure, we have the right to adjust the price."
"Yeah, sure, and the definition of what constitutes a force majeure is also according to your interpretation."
Nie Yang replied, "Please believe that we are absolutely not trying to blackmail you guys here, but our hands are forced. Moreover, the reputation of our Mysterious Sky Mansion is also on the line. If not for the previous fleet that set off from Western Mausoleum port some time ago that sparked up monstrous waves in the endless sea, we wouldn't have done this. In fact, there are not that many fleets that are willing to set sail now."
Seeing that Nie Yang refused to budge from raising the price three times as much as the initial price, Wang Lu deeply wrinkled his brows.
He certainly did not care about those thousands of spirit stones. Perhaps for ordinary cultivators, it was a huge sum of money, but his wealth was already difficult to count, a few thousand or even tens of thousands of spirit stones were just a drop in the bucket to him. However, he did not like to be forced to pay the increased price. However, Nie Yang's price increase also made sense...
"If it's difficult, let's just take another ship."
During the ensuing silence, a girl in a gray robe who stood behind Wang Lu softly said.
Wang Lu shook his head. "The Endless Sea is vast and boundless. moreover, countless changes could happen at any time, so if there's no skilled fleet guide, it would be very difficult to cross the sea."
The girl said, "It's not that hard. I have come across the sea from the West alone, and at that time, I didn't find the right fleet."
Wang Lu was surprised. "Crossing the sea alone? Did you swim here?"
The girl replied, "My spirit is blessed, so I am able to walk freely on the water. Of course, there were occasional big waves and storms, which were troublesome. But generally speaking, as long as I walk in the Eastern direction, I will eventually reach my destination."
"..." Wang Lu inwardly sighed, no wonder after you reached Nine Regions, before long you became like a dried lamp, you really f*cking deserved it!
Wang Lu had nothing to say. While Nie Yang, upon hearing the girl's words, inwardly thought otherwise, so he tried to persuade them, "Indeed, a brilliant cultivator could fly over a long time period, but even if we don't take the maritime direction into consideration, giant creatures that lie dormant in the ocean are no small matters. Legend has it that even a Yuanying Stage cultivator could not resist them. If you meet the sea monsters without taking a fleet, they would certainly put you in so much trouble."
Wang Lu was very curious about this, so he asked, "Aya, have you ever been attacked by sea monsters on your journey here?"
"Of course, and they were all repelled by me. But, they were indeed strong, so sometimes they did give me trouble."
When Aya crossed the sea, theoretically, she still had the strength near the Unity Stage cultivator, thus, for creatures that could give her trouble, Wang Lu and his team could not deal with head-on, so...
"Let's aboard then." Wang Lu finally shrugged.
After paying the first half of the price, Wang Lu and others boarded the fleet. The head of the fleet, Nie Yang, personally led them into five superior rooms on the pilot ship. The rooms of Wang Lu and his teammates were especially furnished with luxurious decoration and wide space. Their rooms nearly occupied almost an entire floor of the huge pilot ship. That floor only has six rooms, of which, five were used by Wang Lu's team, leaving only one empty room. In fact, this was also the main reason for a large amount of boarding price, otherwise, how could mere several travelers be charged with several thousand spirit stones?
Soon after the fleet sailed, Nie Yang diligently found Wang Lu. On one hand, he busily professed his apology, and on the other, introduced a special neighbor to them.
On this floor, besides Wang Lu and his team, there was only one other passenger, which was the person behind Nie Yang.
"This is our navigator, Ayun." Nie Yang said with a warm smile and then pushed the girl he mentioned about forward. "She is our greatest security measure in sailing to the Western Continent."
Wang Lu was a bit surprised to look at the girl named Ayun, who seemed to be around thirteen to fourteen years old and also of mixed race. Her features have both the characteristics of East and West Continent. The girl has as-long-as-cloud hair, and pale and rosy skin, completely unlike the sunburnt characteristics of coastal people. At the same time, the girl's attire was obviously luxurious-a spotless finest silk that was woven into a short one piece skirt, wrapping her delicately shaped body. Her bare limbs were freely exposed while each of her wrists and ankles wore precious jade bracelets. On her delicate neck were two strings of necklaces. One was a string of neat and clean shells, and the other was one huge and perfectly round pearl. Within most of these trivial pieces of jewelry contained vague immortal spiritual energy breath, which was absolutely beyond the use of the world of mortals.
Wang Lu earnestly looked at the young girl. At the same time, the girl also raised her eyes and looked at Wang Lu; the former nodded slightly to the latter, with calm and natural stance, completely unlike a thirteen or fourteen years old young girl who was ignorant of worldly affairs. During that nod, Wang Lu caught with his eyes what seemed to be several pieces of scale thing behind the girl's ears.
Noticing Wang Lu's eyes, Nie Yang smiled and explained, "Ayun is a member of the sea tribe, the most professional navigator on the Endless Sea."
"Yes. Legend has it that they were born from the Endless Sea. They have a unique perception and affinity towards the big waves and treacherous ocean. As we all know, the Endless Sea is unpredictable, even the most seasoned sailor can hardly predict what will happen in the next moment. However, the sea-tribe people are acutely aware of the change in the ocean and can make early warning ahead of time. Similarly, the ferocious beasts that live in the sea usually do not attack ships that have sea-tribe in it. So, as long as the ship has a navigator from the sea-tribe, the risk of sailing through the Endless Sea goes down by ninety percent. Of course, with such a skill, naturally, the price is exceedingly high. Don't think that she's defenseless and frail, if you want her to act, without this number, it's impossible."
Nie Yang stretched out his palm twice, gesturing the amount of ten thousand spirit stones.
Wang Lu nodded in acknowledgement. Nie Yang brought Ayun to introduce her to them to explain the reason for the high price.
Generally speaking, in one voyage, it was already a very good result if a ship could have as much as tens of thousands of spirit stones as a profit; this was a risky business after all. While a girl of sea-tribe could have ten thousand spirit stones as payment, knowledge was indeed power.
Nie Yang patted the girl Ayun on the shoulder, and then sighed with emotion. "In ordinary circumstances, we will not ask someone from sea-tribe people to be the navigator. But a while ago, during their voyage, the fleet from the Western Mausoleum port encountered a sea beast. That fleet carried a lot of powerful cultivators, and they relied on their strong power to fight against the sea beast, instead of acting according to the custom, which was to give an offering. As a result... alas, they annihilated the sea beast like bandits, but this also caused the wrath of the fierce beasts in the sea. After that fleet passed, that whole piece of Endless Sea became restless. Three ships have been attacked and annihilated by the angry sea beasts. Now, without someone from the sea-tribe as a navigator, no one dares to go to the sea."
Wang Lu waved his hand. "Okay, I get it. We've already paid the first half of the deal, are you afraid we're not going to pay after we arrived at our destination? Rest assured, we don't like to renege on our contract, and will not arbitrarily use force majeure to modify the contract."
Nie Yang naturally was forced to smile again and again before leaving with Ayun a moment later.
Watching the exquisite figure of Ayun who gradually walked away, Wang Lu inwardly sighed.
The fleet that departed from Western Mausoleum port... who else but the Excavation Management Team? The team that was led by Daoist Master Feng Yin was especially luxurious, nicknamed the Dream Team, but in the end, it was just a wet dream team 1
! At the front, they kept playing cool, but they left behind a mess that implicated many people!
I only hope this additional two thousand spirit stones are worth it.
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