Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Su Yu quietly observed the little devil. She was flipping through some ancient books, furrowing her brows, and scratching her head from time to time. Finally, a smile blossomed on her face.
At the moment, she held an authentic ancient work with a golden cover in her hands, and her facial expression looked as if she had just discovered something precious in the book. It was only after she had spent quite a long time flipping through the book that the little devil finally set it down with a satisfied smile on her face.
She then raised her head suddenly, noticing Su Yu’s presence. She was taken by surprise, as she had not expected to run into him.
“Oh, it’s brother Yuxian,” the little devil ran up to him and exclaimed jubilantly, while putting on a friendly front.”You’re in Tianya City! No wonder I haven’t seen anyone from your faction!”
Su Yu smiled as he replied, “I didn’t think that Wuxie would come to Tianya either, so it has to be fate!”
“Haha, you’re right! It really is fate! I wonder which shopkeeper replaced brother Yuxian using the privilege of the Carp Leaping Over Dragon Gate…” Gongsun Wuxie wondered aloud, half smiling. “Looks like you can only replace the shopkeepers of low-class shops…”
This quota had initially belonged to Gongsun Wuxie. She had planned to use it to earn a large number of merit points, then gain the qualification to enter the Glittering Jewel Wonderland.
She detested the fact that Su Yu had hindered her and taken the quota from her, leaving her with no other other options but to take on dangerous and troublesome missions. Last time, she nearly lost her life to the Ghost Buddha, but was fortunately rescued by a mysterious young expert.
“Right. It was a small, low-class shop that was in a great amount of debt,” Su Yu said, not holding back. “Wuxie, don’t you want to earn merit points? Did you come to Tianya to carry out some mission?”
Gongsun Wuxie nodded and gloated, “Ghost List released a new mission right after you left. Since the senior brother who was in charge of this mission hadn’t made any progress in three years, he had to give up. This mission is worth 100,000 merit points.”
What she was implying was that even though Su Yu had deprived her of her privileges, he himself had missed out on another mission that was worth a lot of merit points in the process.
Su Yu laughed inwardly as he thought… The little devil almost died at the hands of the Ghost Buddha! How dare she bring this up?
“Is that true? Have you accomplished the mission?” he asked, pretending to be surprised.
He had a rueful look on his face, which was the exact look that she was waiting for. At that moment, she felt unimaginably pleased.
Then, as she threw both of her braids behind her head, she burst out laughing, then asked, “Hahaha, don’t you know who I am? I could end the Ghost Buddha’s life with one snap of my fingers! Haven’t you heard about the Three Murders Gang’s leader’s death?”
Su Yu had an unnatural look on his face as he replied in shock, “Yes, I have. But, how is the Three Murders Gang’s leader related to the Ghost Buddha? Is it possible that you killed the wrong person?”
His reply earned a disdainful look from the little devil. Then, feeling extremely delighted inside, she laughed out loud, then said, “Stupid! Do you still not understand? The Three Murders Gang is the infamous Ghost Buddha!”
“What? You killed the Ghost Buddha?” Su Yu was stunned. Then, with her hands behind her back, the little devil asked smugly, “Haha, don’t you admire me?”
“So, it seems like you’ve received 300,000 merit points?” Su Yu asked. He looked as if he was jealous.
The more Su Yu behaved this way, the happier the little devil became. She thought… Now that you’re jealous of me, you probably are realizing that you never should have taken away my privileges in the first place!
“Needless to say, of course, I’ve gotten all of my 300,000 merit points,” the little devil proclaimed with an upturned nose. All the while, her eyes appeared to be asking, “What do you think?”
Su Yu’s facial expression changed a few times before he finally sighed. He looked upset as he asked, “How did you manage to defeat and kill the Ghost Buddha?”
The little devil laughed, then bragged, “Ha! Are you doubting my capabilities? Don’t you know that when the Ghost Buddha heard my famous name, Gongsun Wuxie, he was scared to death?”
She then added, “At first, there was an ignorant fellow, who thought of tackling the Ghost Buddha, but he was ruthlessly beaten up!”
The little devil then described how disheveled the beaten-up fellow was, while using exaggerated gestures and facial expressions. She then said, “I’m the one who finally came to save the day, clobbering the Ghost Buddha until there was nothing left of him!”
She patted her chest with pride, then said, “That fellow was so very grateful to me that he gave me something extremely precious as a thank you gift.”
Su Yu was speechless. He thought that what she was saying was ridiculous as he listened to the little devil’s shameless distortion of the truth.
“Oh I see. It sounds like you’re really amazing,” Su Yu said, while feigning being impressed.
Gongsun Wuxie crossed her arms over her chest, feeling incredibly proud. She then said, “Of course, I really do have great powers!”
Her mood had improved after she bragged for quite a while, so she no longer minded how Su Yu had seized her privileges.
At that moment, she tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Alright, I’m going back to the faction. You should carry on working as the shopkeeper here.”
Su Yu could not help but laugh as he watched Gongsun Wuxie leave. He wondered… What would she think if she knew that she had been bragging to the mysterious senior who saved her?
Su Yu then stepped into the bookshop, while shaking his head. It was quite deserted in the bookshop, and only a handful of people were quietly browsing for ancient books.
“Hello, sir. What kind of books were you looking for?” a young servant asked as he walked toward Su Yu with a warm smile on his face.
Su Yu scanned the surroundings, then calmly inquired, “What is the price per hour for borrowing books?”
The young servant smiled, then replied, “The cost is 10,000 crystals for an hour.”
Su Yu was utterly shocked by this amount. It was not that he did not have that many crystals, but this price was truly exorbitant!
At that moment, Su Yu saw a customer making a payment. Su Yu could clearly see that the customer had paid only 10 crystals.
Su Yu quickly did some calculations in his head, figuring that, based on the price that the sales clerk had just quoted to him, that meant that a single minute was worth 150 crystals. However, that customer was here before Su Yu arrived, so he surely must have spent at least a few minutes here with the books already.
So, Su Yu had to wonder… How is it possible that this customer only needed to pay 10 crystals?
Su Yu could not help but stare at the young servant. This was because he had suddenly noticed a vague taunting look in the customer’s eyes. Also, Su Yu had suddenly recognized that the young man was glancing at the Red Blood Palace symbol that was on his chest.
“Are you intentionally making things difficult for me because of my identity?” Su Yu asked.
He suddenly recalled that Tianya was situated at the border between the Red Blood Palace and the Central Prefecture. This meant that a lot of influential people in the city bore grudges and were hostile toward the Blessed and Heavenly Lands.
For example, the martial artists of the Central Prefecture could purchase a rare elixir with 10 crystals, but the same elixir would be sold to the students of the Blessed and Heavenly Lands for a far more expensive price of 20 crystals. The same situations happened to the martial artists and the students of the Red Blood Palace and the Purple Cloud Palace.
Su Yu had noticed similar happenings in the account book when he was appointed as the shopkeeper of Tonglin Elixir Store. In light of this, it seemed like his hunches were right, and the bookshop before him was clearly founded by an influential person from the Central Prefecture.
Since Gongsun Wuxie was dressed in casual attire, the servant failed to recognize the Red Blood Palace symbol and did not bother her. However, Su Yu was troubled, as he was wearing his Red Blood Palace uniform.
At that point, any ordinary student of the Red Blood Palace would have left for the sake of dignity. But, not Su Yu.
With a tinge of coldness flickering in his eyes, Su Yu nodded slightly, then said, “Great. That’s it then… 10,000 crystals for an hour. I don’t mind the crystals.”
The servant’s smile froze when he heard that Su Yu agreed to the price instead of leaving with anger, and he thought… Is this man a fool? Who could afford such a price?
“What’s wrong now? Won’t you allow me to borrow and read?” Su Yu asked, while casting him a sideways glance.
The servant just could not understand why Su Yu would be so foolish and gullible to accept such an offer! Nonetheless, he knew that it would be unforgivable if he let such a lamb escape, willingly wanting to be slaughtered, escape!
“Haha, please come in, old man. We will begin calculating your total price once you start turning the pages. Which book would you like to take a look at first?” The servant was secretly scorning Su Yu, but he had a bright smile on his face to hide it.
Su Yu glanced around the shop, then said coldly, “Get me all of the books regarding curses, spiritual rocks, and jades.”
The servant became even more scornful as he thought to himself… Is this man an imbecile? How can he possibly finish reading all three types of books in such a short time? Moreover, it’s a huge bookshop, so those three types of books could number in the hundreds!
“Are you sure, old man?” the servant asked with a fake smile.
Su Yu shot him a sideways glance, then asked, “Have I not made myself clear, or are you deaf? Get me all of the ancient books of those three types of genres! And… Bring me the golden ancient authentic work as well!”
As Su Yu spoke, he pointed to the ancient book with the golden cover that Gongsun Wuxie was flipping through just now. The servant was slightly angered by this, but he kept it to himself and forced a smile as he replied, “Alright. Would you prefer the stone-rubbed version or the authentic-writing version?”
“I want all of the relevant stone-rubbed and authentic-writing versions!” Su Yu said in a low voice.
The servant looked at him with disdain as he reminded Su Yu, “Old man, let me inform you beforehand, we have a rule here that says that all of the books have to be read in the shop. Bringing them outside is not allowed! So, you’d have to finish reading them before you leave!”
The servant knew that there were so many books, and he couldn’t imagine how anyone could finish reading them without spending several days and nights doing so. Moreover, if the price followed the rate of 10,000 crystals per hour, even the Almighty Divine Masters could not afford to read for much longer than one day’s session.
Thinking of this made the servant even more curious to see how long this martial artist from the Red Blood Palace could last before giving up. Upon seeing the smug look on the servant’s face, Su Yu became angered.
“Well? Just do as I say and go get the books!” Su Yu scolded the servant with a stern face.
Although the servant was infuriated, he had to contain his anger. After all, his low status as a servant did not give him the right to argue openly with customers. So, with the help of a few others, he clumsily scoured the bookshops and found all three types of the books and the ancient authentic work with the golden cover.
“Old man, the books are all here, so feel free to help yourself,” the servant said as he laid down the books and retreated with the others, while staring at Su Yu with cold eyes.
The servants all stealthily exchanged words among themselves via their Vital Energies.
“Zhao Chuan, isn’t this too much? I mean, 10,000 crystals per hour is a lot of money! I think that he may just be looking for trouble.” One of the servants was clearly worried about the situation.
Zhao Chuan, who was the initial servant that helped Su Yu, smiled, then responded, “So what if he is looking for trouble? Why would the Shizhen Bookyard be scared of that? We’re not afraid of him!”
Upon hearing that, the servants quietly nodded in agreement. Since the Shizhen Bookyard had a fifth-grade Almighty as its backer, it was uncommon for people to behave recklessly in the bookshop, and its employees certainly weren’t scared of many people.
Another servant hesitated before asking, “What if he manages to actually finish reading all of these books?”
Zhao Chuan snorted, then said, “That’ll be even better. It’ll take a few days and nights for someone to finish reading a few hundred books. Moreover, there are lots of difficult words from different languages, so he surely won’t be able to read them all in less than 10 days. So… We’ll just have to wait for his payment of crystals! Haha!”
Su Yu had undoubtedly had an ample amount of confidence when he had asked for that many books. After taking in a light breath, Su Yu secretly operated the power of time, propelling himself into the state in which time was accelerated by 400 times its normal speed.
Thus, in the blink of an eye, Su Yu finished reading books that it would usually take the time to empty a teapot to read. This was helped by the fact that Su Yu had mastered the basics of words from different languages.
Hence, the foreign words in the ancient books, which seemed difficult to most people, were similar to human words to Su Yu. Therefore, Su Yu was turning the pages very quickly, and when all was said and done, he only spent an hour to finish each book.
Thus, in the servants’ eyes, Su Yu appeared like an illusionary shadow, one who could finish a book within ten breaths’ time! They even beheld the scene in awe as the books chafed against the air to produce sparks and flames as Su Yu was turning the books’ pages at an extremely fast rate.
The scene left everyone with their jaws agape. Even Zhao Chuan was dumbfounded and unable to believe his eyes.
All in all, Su Yu spent what it would have taken any normal person in a normal world more than 300 hours, which was equivalent to thirteen days, to complete reading over 300 books. But, in reality, only about half an hour had passed in the external world.
Upon finishing reading, Su Yu’s eyes became bloodshot and he looked slightly haggard. But, after such a labor, the outcome was sweet. Su Yu had discovered some of his most desired answers from the few hundred precious ancient documents.
“Fire Essence Jade can be refined into inner fire!” Su Yu exclaimed in surprise.
After all, Fire Essence Jade was a jade essence that was produced during a few hundred year process by a great fire. As such, every drop was worth up to a million crystals. So, they were valuable yet lacking an ideal market.
Although it had a variety of uses, it was mainly used as a material in crafting top-grade spiritual artifacts. Some fire-based top-grade spiritual artifacts could be greatly upgraded by it, and their powers could also be enhanced when added with fire essence, thus making them nearly compatible with the prototypes of fairy artifacts.
During the ancient era, it was a priceless treasure that many people had strived to own. However, as it was a treasure that had been born from a harsh environment, it was extremely rare and hard to find. It was only after learning this that Su Yu understood how unimaginably valuable it was.
However, Su Yu had discovered yet another use of Fire Essence Jade in a non-mainstream ancient book. Apparently, it could also be used to strengthen the body.
If one was able to sustain the destructive high temperature of the fire essence, that person could then merge the fire essence into the body, hence refining the characteristics of the fire essence.
Different fire essences possessed different extraordinary characteristics. For instance, some had absorbed the fire poison for a hundred years, which meant that they possessed extremely acute poison. Others had been tempered thousands of times, so they were deathless and burned eternally once they were ignited.
The characteristic contained by the little devil’s fire essence was still unknown. If it could be refined and integrated into the body, then Su Yu would be able to master its characteristics.
The only troublesome thing was that fire essence was extremely precarious, and as such, not even the All Creation strong men dared to touch it at times. Therefore, refining it and integrating it into the body was very risky.
Fortunately, mankind’s Divine Masters from the ancient era found a stabilizing method, which was to use a water-based material to mediate the destructive power of the fire essence by applying the counteracting interaction between water and fire. This enabled the fire essence to be safely introduced into the body.
When Su Yu read about this method, it had aroused his interest. Now, he had the desire to search for the water-based material right away.
It was said that the third-grade Almighty martial artists from the ancient era used to refine drops of fire essence with drops of millenary water extract. And… As it turned out, Su Yu had acquired a rare property of fire essence, the Fire of the Heart! Now, whenever he was against an opponent, the Fire of the Heart would be activated if the attacker approached within ten feet.
The results depended on the severity of the variables. The less severe fire could disturb the opponent’s heart and blood, making them prone to errors. The more severe fire could drive the opponent into a state of obsession, forcing him to descend into madness and even death.
Thinking of all of this was truly terrifying. As such, even the sixth-grade Almighty dared not to provoke him, who was merely a third-grade. If Su Yu could also acquire an element from this drop of jade essence, he could definitely boost his strength exponentially!