Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“Understood!” Su Yu agreed that he would handle all matters properly, and he was now aware of when he could use the badge.
“Okay! I’m looking forward to your brilliant performance for the Red Blood Palace in a month, so you’d better protect yourself! Also, you should give extra thought to your safety and never divulge the fact that you are knowledgeable about the Wood Clan’s language,” the Deputy General Manager said.
Su Yu became apprehensive, as this matter was related to profits of several billion crystals and he would surely be in danger if he was associated with it. If he was exposed, the Central Prefecture would surely hunt him down!
“Understood!” Su Yu said once more, then took his leave.
Worry appeared on the Deputy General Manager’s face. “There goes another person knowledgeable about the Wood Spirit Clan’s language. I hope that this time, the results of the Desolate Ancient Vicious Forest’s sacrifice won’t be too bad.”
After Su Yu left the side palace hall, he felt several pair of gazes upon him. These gazes were filled with suspicion, surprise, and some confusion. Many of the people were gossiping as they watched him closely…
“Who is this old man? He spent a long time with the Deputy General Manager in the side palace hall.”
“I don’t know him. He’s probably just a small shopkeeper. Otherwise, I would remember his face.”
Although the crowd was curious and confused, they still didn’t pay too much attention to him because Su Yu was a new face here. So, Su Yu just quietly left the hall, with no one knowing exactly what had just happened in the side palace hall.
However, the middle-aged guard who was protecting the hall’s door, sized up Su Yu in surprise. He then chuckled and said, “It seems like you aren’t an ordinary outer sanctum’s disciple. The Deputy General Manager has an irascible temper, so he always only receives visitors for just a short time. Since you stayed for such a long time, the Deputy General Manager must have taken a liking to you, am I right?”
Su Yu smiled bitterly and said, “I’m just a temporary shopkeeper of a low-grade elixir store, so how could I gain favor from him? The Deputy General Manager was just reading books when I stopped to visit, so I didn’t dare to disturb him. This was why I stayed there until now. In fact, I exchanged only a few words with him.”
Although the middle-aged guard seemed to be nice, Su Yu wasn’t stupid to the point that he would blindly trust some random person he had just met. Hence, he remained cautious in his reply.
“Oh! So, it’s like that…” Disappointment appeared in the middle-aged guard’s eyes for a moment. He then led Su Yu out of the nine-story building.
When they reached the building’s seal, the middle-aged guard said, “I wish you luck. If you have any trouble, you can just look for me.”
Su Yu nodded, then said, “Senior, many thanks for your care. May I ask… What’s your name?”
“My surname is Jue, and like I said, if you have any trouble, you can just look for me.” The middle-aged man surnamed Jue wore an amiable look as he spoke.
Su Yu cupped his fists at him. “I will surely do that. Farewell!”
After Su Yu spoke, he left the building and joined the sea of people in the street. The middle-aged man surnamed Jue furrowed his brows slightly as he looked at Su Yu.
He snorted softly and wore an irritated expression as he mumbled, “It seems like he’s just an ordinary temporary shopkeeper, not a reinforcement sent by the Red Blood Palace.”
As he walked among the crowd, Su Yu’s gaze flickered as he thought about the middle-aged man surnamed Jue. He couldn’t help but shake his head, while thinking… That man is too shrewd, as he would even go so far as to treat a weakling and nobody like me in an amicable manner as part of his rouse! He is sneaky indeed…
Although, he couldn’t deny that warmhearted people really existed in the world, he still couldn’t deny that there were many fake people, who would only pretend to be warmhearted in order to accomplish their shady goals! The former existed in peaceful lands, while the latter existed in lands of struggle amid fighting!
The nine-story building was in Tianya City, which had crooks who were mixed in among the honest folk. As such, the nine-story building’s internal section was a mixed bag composed of many factors. This made it an environment that was intense and fierce!
This was why there was a great possibility that the middle-aged guard belonged to the other category and just wanted to leave Su Yu with a good impression in order to achieve his own means in the long-term! However, Su Yu didn’t really feel like he had anything to fear from this guard, but just felt that he was a bit too shady and scheming!
Su Yu shook his head and just planned to keep walking toward the Tonglin Elixir Store. However, the small island that was floating in the sky opposite the nine-story building suddenly flickered, and a woman clothed in a green outfit suddenly came out from it.
The crowd passing by all saw her and many of the onlookers gasped in surprise. Su Yu raised his head subconsciously, his body stiffening when his gaze fell on that woman. He couldn’t avert his eyes from her.
She was a twenty-year-old woman, clothed in a green robe She had fair-white skin that resembled snow in winter. She had fine black hair, which had a red clip in it that was adorned with gold.
She had a graceful and beautiful body and a dignified and graceful temperament. All of this made her seem like a noble princess. She had luminous eyes, which had an alluring charm to them.
Her appearance here wasn’t any different than the appearance of a gentle spring, which sprinkled nourishment in the mortal world and illuminated it with life. Su Yu looked at her for a long time, not returning to his senses for a long time, as this was a woman Su Yu couldn’t forget.
She was Lü Chuyi! He also could never forget the guilt that he felt regarding her.
At that moment, Lü Chuyi calmly and gracefully left the floating island, which was the Purple Cloud Palace’s Headquarters in this land. She had just received orders, so she had come to carry out an important task and had just met the General Manager.
After she left the island, the gazes of the people outside couldn’t affect her at all. She just calmly soared up into the sky and started to leave, intending to head for a faraway land.
However, all of a sudden, her heart shuddered. She distinctly felt a gaze among the crowd. Someone special was looking at her, and it caused her heart to flutter.
When she looked in the direction that the sense came from, she only witnessed ordinary people looking at her. It seemed that the special gaze had already disappeared completely.
“That’s strange! Was it just a false feeling?” Lü Chuyi furrowed her brow as she muttered. She then shook her head and left, still a bit confused.
In a secluded alley far away, lightning flickered and Su Yu appeared out of it. He had complex feelings about this matter that had just occurred.
He couldn’t meet Lü Chuyi in his true appearance for the time being because she probably still believed that Su Yu was living in the remote Zhenlong World. Moreover, even if he met her, Su Yu didn’t know how he could face her, what he should say, and so forth.
I should just bear it for now. After my power becomes great enough and I no longer need to fear any enemy, only then can I meet her… Su Yu thought.
Su Yu surveyed the surroundings and ascertained the right direction before he started walking toward the Tonglin Elixir Store. After half a day had passed, Su Yu finally managed to find the Tonglin Elixir Store’s location with great difficulty.
Tianya City was divided into two parts, the Inner City and the Outer City. Most of the flourishing industries of the Red Blood Palace’s, the Purple Cloud Palace’s, and the Central Prefecture’s factions had been established in the Inner City.
The Outer City seemed more backward in comparison to the Inner City because it had experienced many wars and had been destroyed many times. It was first impacted by the war between the humans and the ghosts. It then destroyed once again when the Central Prefecture attacked the Eighteen Blessed and Heavenly Lands.
If one observed the Outer City from the sky, he could see old ruins everywhere. Even though some of its districts had been reconstructed, it still couldn’t rival the modern and prosperous Inner City.
The people living in the Outer City were mostly just martial artists in dire straits, whose livelihoods depended on Tianya City. These people had no power, and they didn’t have enough crystals to really make ends meet.
This is why they couldn’t afford one of the prosperous Inner City’s expensive residences, much its expensive meals that consisted of spiritual herbs and such. So, they could only try to make a livelihood in Tianya City during the day, returning to the Outer City each night to cultivate quietly.
This was why the Outer City was quite desolate, and if one observed it closely, he would witness the streets in ruins and poverty-stricken martial artists bustling around hurriedly. Su Yu could only describe the Outer City with two words… Slum housing!
Su Yu was now floating in the sky, and all of the martial artists who passed by him would size him up. This was because he wore the Red Blood Palace’s outfit and was clearly a prestigious disciple from a famous sanctum.
Su Yu sighed softly. He finally understood why the Tonglin Elixir Store’s business was so poor. It wasn’t because the past shopkeepers were incompetent, but simply because its environment was not conducive to success.
Su Yu landed on the ground right in front of the Tonglin Elixir Store. The store was situated in the central region of the Outer City, which was the most prosperous region. However, there were still only a few people walking down their streets. The number of people here was still pitifully few.
Besides the Tonglin Elixir Store, this district was filled with all kinds of small stores, and there were thirty elixir stores among them. The stores’ shopkeepers were all overcome with boredom, so they were just passing their time as they wanted.
Tonglin Elixir Store didn’t have any distinguishing features, and in comparison to the other elixir stores here, it wasn’t at all conspicuous. If Su Yu didn’t have his current mission, he wouldn’t have even taken a single look at it as he walked down this street.
The situation is more bleak than I could have imagined… Su Yu sighed softly.
Su Yu then clasped his hands behind his back and stepped into the Tonglin Elixir Store. It was just a small elixir store, which really couldn’t be any smaller.
This Elixir Store had a comprehensive supply of all kinds of elixirs, but they were just ordinary elixirs, which could be consumed even by people below the Fairy Realm. There were only a few spirit elixirs, which could be consumed by Fairies, and even those were in scarce supply.
The reason behind this was that only a few Fairies lived in the Outer City, and even if they filled the whole store with Spirit Elixirs, they wouldn’t be sold at all. This was why the store’s owner had decided to mainly target the Outer City’s poor residents.
“What do you want?” After Su Yu had stood in front of the counter for a short while, a youth came out from behind it and shouted at Su Yu. His voice was ice-cold and emotionless.
Gosh! I can’t believe that even the employees are like this! Su Yu was dumbfounded by this young man’s attitude. This elixir store was really hopeless.
“Do you this I have come here to buy elixirs?” Su Yu asked him expressionlessly.
The youth furrowed his brows and asked him impatiently, “Well… Are you sick? If you didn’t come here to buy elixirs, what did you come here for?”
It was only when he came a bit closer that he noticed Su Yu’s outfit. He instantly recognized the Red Blood Palace’s long robe, which was adorned with blue patterns.
Surprise appeared on his face for a moment, and he immediately hid his irritated expression. But, no respect appeared on his face whatsoever as he said, “So, you are the new person, coming here to assume the shopkeeper’s position! Good… Give me my past two months’ wages and I’ll be on my way, as I already don’t want to continue working here!”
He was one of Tianya City’s locals, and was apparently an employee who had been invited to work here. The employees had been left in charge of the store because there wasn’t any shopkeeper present.
However, there wasn’t anyone who had come here recently to buy anything because the store was about to be closed. This explained why the wages of the few remaining workers hadn’t been paid.
Su Yu examined him calmly, then nodded. “That’s right. I came to assume the shopkeeper’s position. How many employees does the store have? Call them for me, as I have something to say to you all.”
The youth twitched his mouth into a smirk. “Is it yet another encouraging speech, asking us to work wholeheartedly and welcome customers, selling them elixirs with a smile? The past shopkeepers always tried this same tactic, and they also tried all kinds of tactics to attract customers. So, why would you waste time on doing the same things? In any case, this store will be closed for good soon.”
Even thought his youth grumbled disdainfully, he still guided Su Yu toward the backroom because he wanted to be sure that he got his wages. The backroom wasn’t big. It was a courtyard house that had a fully enclosed courtyard. It had four rooms, one of which was empty, while the other three were occupied.
“Qing Liu, Ying Luan, come out! Our new shopkeeper wants to admonish us. Hehe!” The youth stood in the middle of the courtyard and shouted loudly in a mocking tone.
Su Yu still wore the same indifferent expression as before, while standing calmly in the middle of the courtyard. After a short while, a boy and a girl came out from two of the rooms.
They both seemed to be around ten years old and wore tattered clothes. Their cultivation levels were quite low, and it seemed like the girl named Ying Luan hadn’t even reached the Immortal Realm yet, but was still in the Dragon Realm. It also seemed like they were both poor residents of the Outer City.
The boy named Qing Liu was quite lean, and he had an ice-cold, arrogant, and unyielding expression. He clearly didn’t fear the new shopkeeper, so he just walked out leisurely to meet him. As for the girl, Ying Luan, she was timid, so she nervously ran to meet him.
“Gr… Greet… Greetings, shopkeeper.” Ying Luan was so nervous that her face became flushed and she even stuttered while she was speaking. She didn’t dare to meet Su Yu’s gaze.
Qing Liu crossed his hands before his chest as he sized up Su Yu. “Are you the shopkeeper?” he asked.
The youth, which Su Yu had met first, revealed a playful smile and said, “That’s right! He’s the shopkeeper, and he came here to pay our wages…”
“How much wages are you owed?” Su Yu asked them calmly.
The playful youth was taken aback and wondered in surprise… Will he really pay our wages?
He laughed, then asked, “You will really pay our wages? I assumed that you were just being boastful…”
“Do you have a problem with your hearing? I asked you how much?” Su Yu still wore a calm and indifferent expression.
The playful youth’s expression stiffened, and he was slightly infuriated. He then extended his hand and said, “It’s two months’ wages… Twenty crystals.”
Qing Liu’s gaze flickered, and he sneered coldly and quietly as he stared at Su Yu. But, Su Yu just nodded and was just about to take out twenty crystals from his pocket, when he heard Ying Luan say to him softly, “Wait! Our wages weren’t that high!”
Su Yu stopped and looked at her, stunned. Under his gaze, Ying Luan’s body shivered. She was quite afraid, so she clenched her hands and bit her lip.
“Is this truly the case? How much is your two months’ salary?” Su Yu didn’t look at the playful youth, but just looked at Ying Luan.
The playful youth curled up the corners of his mouth and seemed quite angry upon hearing this. “Ying Luan, why was I never aware that you were this daring? If you dare to talk such drivel again, I will beat you up!”
After he spoke, he looked at Su Yu coldly and asked, “What are you still standing there in daze for? Take out twenty crystals and pay us immediately!”
But, Su Yu turned a deaf ear to him and looked at Ying Luan instead. He then asked, “How many months’ wages are you really owed?”
Ying Luan was so afraid that she didn’t dare raise her head. She then extended a single finger and spoke in a soft voice, “I came here just a month ago.”
As a matter of fact, besides the playful youth, the other two had only come here quite recently. As for the past employees, they had all left early on after they realized that they didn’t have good prospects left here.
“Okay… So… Twenty crystals, you say? Just take it.” Su Yu took out a small spatial ring, which was filled with twenty crystals.
A spatial ring? Qing Luan and the playful youth were startled to see this, as just this small spatial ring alone was worth ten crystals. So, it was like he had just given Ying Luan thirty crystals!
Ying Luan raised her head, looking like a frightened deer, and she quickly gestured with her hand as she drew back from him, saying, “No! This is too much! I just worked for a single month. So, my wages should just be two crystals. I won’t dare take more than that…”
As Su Yu thought of this, he knew that she was telling the truth. Two crystals was a fair sum for Tianya City’s slum residents.
“Well, as I’m the shopkeeper now, it’s up to me to decide your wage. From today onward, the Tonglin Elixir Store’s employees will be paid twenty crystals each month!” Su Yu declared loudly as he stuffed the spatial ring in Ying Luan’s hand.
Ying Luan’s mind went blank as she held the ring. It had twenty crystals in it, which was an amount that she couldn’t earn in a whole year!
Moreover, from now on, she would still get twenty crystals each month! This was the kind of good and decent treatment that was usually only enjoyed by the employees of the prosperous Inner City’s high-grade stores!
Su Yu turned his head around and looked at Qing Luan, asked calmly, “What about you?”
As he faced Su Yu’s gaze, Qing Luan became more reserved, and he put down his hands, which he had crossed before his chest. His gaze wasn’t as sharp as before, and he didn’t dare meet Su Yu’s gaze for too long. It was obvious that he was shaken by Su Yu’s commanding presence, which explained why he had finally stopped putting on airs.
“My wage owed is also just a month’s wage…” The minute Qing Luan spoke, he immediately regretted it… Why didn’t I add several months? It seems like this new shopkeeper is spineless, as he didn’t even get when Qin Ze mocked him several times earlier!
Su Yu nodded, then threw a bag to him that contained twenty crystals within it. However, he didn’t get a spatial ring, which meant that his wage was short of Ying Luan’s by a great deal.
Regardless, Qing Luan became overjoyed when he had the crystals in his hands. He couldn’t believe that he had unexpectedly ended up getting such a great profit.
He couldn’t help but lick his lips, and his gaze flickered as he said, “In fact, I am still owed…”