"Your Highness, from the information obtained at the moment, the Other World person went towards the south central region."
Yu Ren Shu nodded his head, "How many cities are in the south central region?"
"There are sixteen cities. Among them, four border the Zhou Qu Canal. If the Other World person wants to escape, the waterways are the fastest, so this subordinate thinks that the Other World person has very likely roamed these four cities."
"Makes sense, we’ll continue to search along the Zhou Qu Canal."
Yu Ren Shu closed the map and turned around. The person that was on the horse just a moment ago had disappeared. He jumped down the horse and walked towards the undergrowth, "Tian Rong?"
"I’m over here." A deep and low male voice sounded.
Yu Ren Shu bypassed a big tree. A man with amber hair sat upright under a tree, enjoying the cool air, slender legs crossed randomly, "Tian Rong, what are you doing here?"
The person under the tree raised his face. It was a man that was handsome yet filled with a wild nature. His pupils were the same amber colour as his hair, like smooth and lustrous beeswax, dangerous and mysterious.
"I hate the sun shining on my body."
Yu Ren Shu smiled: "If you hate the sun, then don’t come out."
"But the scenery throughout this trip is really good. No matter how much you look it’s not enough." Tian Rong played with a small, bright red flower in his hands, "Shu, just how big is this world? Why do I feel that no matter how much I look I’ll never see the end? Is it bigger that the time I’ve been alive?"
"I don’t know either. The Tian Ling continent is already very very big. I can’t walk through the whole thing even if I exhaust my whole life. Yet outside the Tian Ling continent, there’s still foreign countries overseas. One day, I will take you across the sea to take a look. Do you want to look?"
Tian Rong smiled, "Of course."
Yu Ren Shu stretched out his hand, "Let’s go."
Tian Rong borrowed his strength and stood up. He patted the grass on his body and unfolded his tall body, pupils filled with a fighting spirit, "I really want to know, what type of rare beast is sealed inside that Heaven grade spirit weapon. Perhaps it’ll be an old acquaintance."
Yu Ren Shu lifted his lips in a smile, "It would be best if it is."
Meng Sheng held that long long leg bone and looked at it carefully, "This really is the bone of a Li Li?"
Zhi Xuan had an unhappy expression on his face, "You doubt me?"
"Of course not." Meng Sheng said, all smiles: "if it really is the bone of a Li Li, this size, is suitable to make a Earth grade dagger."
"Making it into a dagger, how much can it be sold for?" Jiang Chao Ge asked.
"I flipped through the ancient books and records. Li Li is not a very ferocious beast, the attack power summoned out is also not very strong. At most, it’s worth two or three hundred silver coins."
"An Earth grade spirit weapon is already this expensive, then I’m curious. You are this poor, where did that Dark grade sword actually come from? Dark grade spirit weapons, can’t be bought for less than a hundred gold coins right?"
Meng Sheng gave a sigh, stroking his own sword and said sadly, "This was left behind for me by an old deceased friend."
Jiang Chao Ge now regretted asking. These few days he had always paid attention to that sword of Meng Sheng’s. If it was taken to a pawnshop, it could definitely be exchanged for a large sum of money. As long as you give him a month, he can definitely redeem it. But after hearing about the sword's origin, he found it difficult to bring up the matter. He could only say: "Old Meng, introduce me to a spirit tool master. I’ll go sell this Li Li bone."
"Ok. If it can be made into a spirit weapon, selling it will give us enough money to spend for a while."
"Not enough." Jiang Chao Ge stroked his chin, "I need a gold coin."
Meng Sheng said surprised: "What do you need that much money for?"
"I plan to buy all the Ming Ling Grass in Hu An City that are ready made and can be sun dried within the next 49 days. I can make your pensions worth of money in this 49 day cycle."
Meng Sheng gaped, dumbstruck, "This…."
Jiang Chao Ge smiled: "However, this type of speculation and profiteering business can only be done once, it’s easily met with the envy and hate of people. As long as you have assets, doing other businesses will be easy."
Meng Sheng rubbed his hands, "It can really make a lot of money?"
"It definitely can."
"Let’s go, I’ll take you to find a spirit tool master."
Zhi Xuan grabbed the hem of Jiang Chao Ge’s clothes, "You buy me…."
"Buy you good alcohol, yes. I’ll go exchange this bone for money now, then I’ll buy you the best pot of alcohol."
"If you deceive me again….."
"I won’t." Jiang Chao Ge stretched out his hand and flicked his forehead, "I guarantee you’ll drink to your heart's content."
A group of three people, old young and underage set out to find the spirit tool master that was a considerably old acquaintance of Meng Sheng’s.
That spirit tool master lived in a small, two story attic. The house didn’t look bad, only the courtyard was a fearful mess. On the grass, beast bones and beast armour were piled up randomly in a hideous mess.
Meng Sheng pounded on the door, "Elder Brother Xu, Elder Brother Xu!"
An old man walked out, "Ai, Younger Brother Meng, you’ve returned." He opened the door, "You've been to the imperial capital for about a month, did you bring back something back?"
"Ai, don’t mention it. I originally……"
"Brought back this." Jiang Chao Ge lifted up the wrapped up thing in his hands, and smiled very sincerely, "Old Meng brought back this Li Li bone from Tian Ao City."
Meng Sheng turned his head and stared at him. Jiang Chao Ge didn’t bat an eyelid.
"The bone of a Li Li?" Old Xu opened the door, taking the bone, unraveling the wrapping clothe and looking at it, "But this is a loose bone, what’s more, Li Li are not some ferocious beast. Younger Brother Meng, this time you didn’t bring back anything good."
"Old Meng brought back a lot of good things." Jiang Chao Ge smiled: "Now they are all placed at home."
Old Xu narrowed his eyes, "Who is this little brother and this child?"
Meng Sheng gave a soft cough, "He is a traveller I got acquainted with in the imperial capital, that is his son. They wander in all directions, relying solely on reselling the raw materials of spirit tools for a living."
"Oh?" Old Xu half believed and half doubted. Normally, people who resell raw materials for spirit tools are almost all not very young. Finding a treasure within scattered materials was like finding a real antique in a pile of fake artefacts. Without rich experiences and knowledge, they would’ve long lost everything they invested. This person was not only young, his spiritual power was also weak. It really aroused doubt in people’s hearts.
Jiang Chao Ge didn’t have a bit nervousness on his face, bragging as soon as he opened his mouth, "Old Xu, I left home since I was fifteen and have walked across half of Tian Ling continent, experiencing tens of thousands of beasts bodies. I’ve once earned enough to fill tubs and bowls in one stroke, and I’ve also lost money till I was penniless. In the past, I was young and aggressive, even daring to stake me and my family on something unrestrainedly, but now I’ve got a child and have become a lot more prudent. I no longer look at those Dark grade raw materials but specially look for good Earth grade materials. I’ve never made an error of judgement in the past. I received Meng Sheng's help on the road and wanted to repay him so I helped him find many good Earth grade materials and followed him to Hu An City. I’ve heard Old Meng say, that you are a famous spirit tool master in the city and definitely won’t fail to live up to these good materials. But I still want to first look at Old Xu's ability and then decided whether or not to give the rest of the good materials to you."
Cold sweat continuously beaded on Meng Sheng’s forehead. He really didn’t expect this mouth of Jiang Chao Ge’s to be this amazing. Matched with that upright and handsome face, once he lied, it resembled nature itself. Finally he also used the trick of prodding. Could it be that when Jiang Chao Ge was asking him about Old Xu's character on the way was also early preparation?
Sure enough, Old Xu’s eyebrows raised at once, his voice raising as well, "Youngster, I didn’t know how skilled you are but when it comes to looking at materials and making spirit tools, I don’t fear anyone in the whole of Hu An City. You want to try me out with that bone? Fine, you come in. I’ll show you whether or not I have the skills to accept those good materials of yours."
The three followed Old Xu into the courtyard.
Meng Sheng glanced at Jiang Chao Ge. Jiang Chao Ge wore a smile on his face and winked. Zhi Xuan tugged on Jiang Chao Ge’s collar, bright golden pupils filled with disdain, and opened his mouth wanting to say something.
Jiang Chao Ge used the pad of his finger to lightly press against his soft, dark red little lips, smiling: "If you want to eat and drink yummy things then you have be obedient, ok?" That voice was gentle and soft and full of pampering, sounding completely like the tone of a father.
Zhi Xuan curled his lip and didn’t speak.
As soon as they entered the house, Jiang Chao Ge became shocked. How was this a place that people lived in? It was completely a spirit tool manufacturing warehouse. All the rooms on the entire first floor had been opened up, using several poles to bear the load. On the walls, floors, old fashioned tables and everywhere an eye could see were all filled with the raw material of beast bodies, most of them bones and shells. There were also many animal skins, tail feathers, tails, muscles, and claws, allowing Jiang Chao Ge to broaden his horizon. Just based on this room of beast materials, it was enough to confirm the aptitude of the owner of this room.
Old Xu placed the Li Li bone on a table and spread out a thick and old fashioned book. That is precisely the <>, handed down for millions of years on the Tian Ling continent. According to Meng Sheng, it was similar to their <<The Classics of Mountains and Rivers>>, its description of rare beasts, monsters and spirits were just more detailed, a lot of things can all be found within the records.
Old Xu searched for a long time, finally finding the picture of the Li Li, "Leg bone….. leg bone…. Looking at it compared to this picture, it really is the leg bone of a Li Li but we must be certain, it only works if we can summon out the spirit of the beast. Maybe it’s beast spirit has long been taken."
Jiang Chao Ge smiled: "This, truly no one can say precisely."
Old Xu: "Old rules, do you want to pay in full or pay in advance?"
There was a rule when reselling scattered bones. After the buyer had basically confirmed what sort of beast bone it was and decided to buy it, they must summon the beast spirit. Only then will they know whether or not it actually was that beast as well as finding out if the beast spirit had been occupied and used. Who will undertake the risk existing within it shall be discussed between the buyer and seller. The so called full payment was when the buyer suggests a very low price, whether it was trash or treasure, this material would have nothing to do with the seller again; Yet the so called advance payment, was when the buyer doesn’t give a cent. After the spirit tool has been into finished product, they will divide shares with the seller. The former is the buyer bearing the risk. The latter is the seller bearing the risk.
Jiang Chao Ge really liked to play this type of "fullness for the bold, famine for the timid" buying and selling, stimulus. High risk, high payback. In addition it regarded courage, the thing he lacked the least. However, at the moment, what he needed most was assets. Only with assets, could they go buy more scattered bones. He said very straightforwardly, "I want to pay in full."
Old Xu was somewhat surprised: "You want to pay in full?"
Jiang Chao Ge smiled: "At the moment, we happen to be short of money. Besides we brought a lot of scattered bones back from the imperial capital this time, it does not lack this one. Just regard it as giving Old Xu a gift."
Old Xu thought deeply for a moment, "Alright I’ll give you five hundred copper coins."
Jiang Chao Ge also didn’t think it was too less, "Five hundred is fine."
"Then the rest of the scattered bones…..?"
"Old Xu, how many days do you need to make this Li Li bone into a spirit tool?"
"Three days, if I can summon it’s beast spirit."
"Ok, three days later we’ll come find you." Jiang Chao Ge gave a smile, "I travel throughout the year and have experienced many powerful spirit tool masters. Exactly as I said before, I want to see the ability of Old Xu in making spirit tools and then decide whether or not to give those scattered bones to you."
Old Xu gave a snort, "No problem, see you after three days."
As soon as the three walked out of Old Xu’s house, Meng Sheng wiped off a severe sheen of sweat, "Little Jiang ah, you don’t even make a draft when you boast and shoot off your mouth. Even I was scared to death by you."
Jiang Chao Ge shrugged his shoulders and gave the five hundred copper coins in the money bag a shake, rattling them. Listening to the sound of the money moving, he was in a good mood, "You can earn these just by moving your lips, why not do it?"
Thirty copper coins turned into five hundred copper coins, fifteen times rate of return. This buying and selling was worthwhile.
"You said to Old Xu that you have a lot of scattered bones. Where are you going to get them from?"
Jiang Chao Ge shook the money bag once again, "This, plus….." He propped the Little Zuzong in his lap, "This."
Meng Sheng couldn’t help but give a thumbs up, "Your courage is really too big, boasting that you specialise in the business of reselling scattered bones. You’re not even afraid of him testing you?"
Jiang Chao Ge gave a calm and collected smile, "Confront soldiers with generals and stem water with earth."
Zhi Xuan gave a humph: "Mouth full of lies, humans are just this sly and greedy."
Jiang Chao Ge smiled: "Humans also have good food and good alcohol. You only need to enjoy those."
Zhi Xuan pulled his hair, "Buy me alcohol, buy me alcohol."
"I’ll go buy it for you at once, but you must help me with something."
Zhi Xuan narrowed his eyes, "You want me to help you find rare beast bones right?"
"As long as you help me find a lot of rare beast bones and allow me to earn even more money, later when you go on the street, you can grab whatever you want."
Zhi Xuan gave a snort, "You have to give me everything I want."
Zhi Xuan said reluctantly: "Lets go."
Meng Sheng said: "Right now the sun is too high. You wait until the sun sets. Only then will the night market sell more things. Little Jiang, you also have to make best use of your time and cultivate."
"Old Meng is right, let’s go home first. You haven’t strolled through the night market yet. At night I’ll take you to play properly."
This time, Zhi Xuan actually didn’t have any complaints.
Jiang Chao Ge had already been cultivating for half a month and could finally feel that weak thread of spiritual power within his body. Meng Sheng took out some small spirit tools, most of them were mice, cats, dogs and such spirit tools, specially for people to practise summoning and controlling.
Jiang Chao Ge held that mouse spirit tool in the palm of his hand and attempted to transfer spiritual power into it. The spirit tool flashed with a white light, yet the mouse slowly didn’t appear.
"Concentrate your energy, feel the beast spirit within the spirit tool and breathe in agreement to it." Meng Sheng guided from the side.
A thin sheen of sweat appeared on Jiang Chao Ge’s forehead. Spiritual power flowed within his body, bit by bit flowing into the spirit tool. The white light became blinding. Jiang Chao Ge felt his palm itch and loosened his hand, looking at it. A small white mouse stood atop that flat and thin mouse bone sculpture, using eyes as big as a mung bean to look left and right.
Jiang Chao Ge was absolutely thrilled: "Success! I summoned it!"
Meng Sheng was also very excited: "Very good. This is the first time you summoned a beast spirit by yourself!"
Jiang Chao Ge placed that small mouse onto the table. It looked completely like a living little thing.
Meng Sheng said: "It relies on your spiritual power to move. You can control it. You try."
Jiang Chao Ge perceived that thread of spiritual power that belonged to him in the mouse's body and used thought to control the mouse to move towards the left. That mouse paused for a moment and then really moved towards the left.
Meng Sheng said happily: "The lower the grade of animal, the easier it is to control. You cultivate slowly, and later you can have the ability to control other spirit tools."
Jiang Chao Ge looked towards Zhi Xuan, "I can control him?"
Zhi Xuan gave him a huge scornful glance, "Trash like you don’t even hope to control me."
"Oh….. in theory it’s ok, but just like what he said, your spiritual power is too weak and is unable to control him. In fact, the relationship between most spirit weapon users and high grade spirit weapons is not a relationship of control or not control but a relationship of reciprocity and mutual benefit. Spirit weapon users receive a powerful helping hand and spirit weapons can obtain rebirth by relying on the spiritual power of spirit weapon users."
Jiang Chao Ge thought, if he could really control this brat, the first thing he’d do is to let him shut up.
The small mouse ran to the other end of the table. Zhi Xuan grabbed it with one hand and was about to stuff it in his mouth without the slightest bit of hesitation.
Meng Sheng snatched it over at once, "Sir Zhi Xuan, this is not tasty."
"How can you know it’s not tasty if you haven’t tried it. Let me taste it."
"It is not a living mouse but a beast spirit. Beast spirits are poisonous."
Jiang Chao Ge said curiously: "What would happen if you ate it?"
"Normal people will be poisoned. In serious cases, it will endanger your life."
"I’m not a normal person." Zhi Xuan stretched out his hand and ordered: "Give it to me."
At this moment, the small mouse suddenly disappeared in mid air.
Zhi Xuan glared towards Jiang Chao Ge. Jiang Chao Ge loosened his grip, "I also have to practise withdrawing it."
Zhi Xuan gave a loud humph.
Jiang Chao Ge looked at the little brat and thought about that Heaven grade spirit weapon, Zhi Xuan Sword and couldn’t help but sigh, "Old Meng, cultivating spiritual power is really too slow."
"Actually, your speed is already very fast. You are extremely gifted, and have strong comprehension abilities. According to this speed, you can have the strength of a Level 3 spirit weapon user after cultivating for four or five years."
"Four or five years?"
"Yeah, four or five years is already considered a very short period of time. Mediocre people can only get to a Level 4 spirit weapon user if they cultivate their whole lives. The level of spirit weapon users, spirit tool masters and spirit doctors are divided, distinguishing into Nine Levels, Seven Stars and Five Ranks. Let’s just take Spirit weapon users as an example. Level 4 spirit weapon user is the peak of what normal people can achieve in their lifetime, especially for those that have a poor background who have no chance to come into contact with high level spiritual cultivation technique books, Level 4 is already considered to be a very good cultivation base. I’m considered to have pretty good talent and also had the help of someone. Only then could I use ten years time to achieve Level 4 close to Level 5 strength. However while the divide between Level 4 and Level 5 seems to be only a Level, it’s actually a totally different concept. Those that can break through Level 5 spirit weapon user as long as they are matched with a Dark grade spirit weapon, they can face a hundred on their own, their power shaking the other. And those that can break through Level 7 spirit weapon user, are basically a spiritual being. In the thousands of years, spirit weapon users that can break through Level 7 are all exhibited on a register circulated for hundreds of generations."
"Then what about Level 9?"
"Level 9 is only a legend, just like Divine grade spirit weapons."
Zhi Xuan’s bright gold pupils darkened slightly, "Not a legend."
"Level 9 spirit weapon users, Seven Star spirit tool masters, Rank 5 spirit doctors, even Divine grade spirit weapons are all not legends. It’s just that you ignorant people have had no chance to see it."
Meng Sheng said surprised, "Sir Zhi Xuan, could it be that you’ve seen it?"
Zhi Xuan gave a soft humph and haughtily turned his head away.
Jiang Chao Ge said: "That Prince Shu is already a Level 5 spirit weapon at such a young age, isn’t it quite rare?"
"Of course, there really is few Level 5 spirit weapon users who are just twenty. The lineage of the royal family is originally quite superior. Prince Shu not only has outstanding talent, he also cultivated the best cultivation techniques from childhood, ate the best spirit medicine, acknowledge the best spirit weapon users as masters and now he also has a Heaven grade spirit weapon to support him. You can say that there are not many people in the entire Tian Ling continent that can defeat him."
Jiang Chao Ge felt a bit panicked. He didn’t expect that he would offend such a powerful person as soon as he crossed worlds and even took away the Zhi Xuan from right under his eyes. He suddenly had that feeling of chills running up his spine. He forced a smile: "Old Meng, your courage is really big enough. That time, you knew perfectly well who he was and actually still dared to save me."
"Of course, I only dared to save you when I saw that he didn’t bring spirit weapons. However, I think Prince Shu clearly deliberately let you go."
Jiang Chao Ge nodded, "I also have such a feeling. He pretended to be seized by me and obviously wanted to monopolise the Heaven grade spirit weapon. Even us successfully leaving Tian Ao City could possibly all be his idea. Otherwise, Heaven grade spirit weapons are so important, how could the interrogation at the outer gate be that relaxed?"
"These few years, along with each of the princes growing up and becoming independent, the fight for the throne has become increasingly intense. Perhaps Prince Shu really had a different consideration. In any case, while we are still safe, we must make the most of it and cultivate. Heaven grade spirit weapons ca make up for your lack of spiritual power but the premise is that you can at least use it."
Jiang Chao Ge nodded his head fiercely, "Oh, that’s right, what did you say about spirit medicine a moment ago?"
"Oh, you remember the Fan Clan from the East I talked to you about last time? The Fan Clan not only has a lot of powerful spirit priests, the different spirit medicine they make are also the best on the Tian Ling continent. There are many different types of spirit medicine. There’s poisonous medicine and also medicine to treat a wound. Of course, there are also ones that can enhance cultivation, only the price is extremely expensive. Some first class spirit medicine you might not be able to buy even if you are rich. Hu An City is precisely the spirit medicine shop of the Fan Clan. The effect can only be considered ok but you still can’t afford it."
Jiang Chao Ge gave a smile, "Looks like, we really properly need to earn some money."
"Alcohol! Alcohol! Alcohol!" Zhi Xuan seized his collar and began to flail fiercely,
Jiang Chao Ge picked him up, "Lets go. I’ll buy you alcohol, you help me find rare beast bones."
The Classics of Mountains and Rivers/山海经- A book compiled around 500BC to 200BC, containing a wide range of information about geography, mythology, witchcraft, popular customs etc.
Make a draft/打草稿- Means that someone is so fluent in something they don’t even need to practise or plan it out.
Spirit priests/魂导师- This was previously translated into spirit doctors but now I realise that the 'doctor' part is more accurately translated to priest or monk. So sorry for all the confusion. Spirit doctors will become spirit priests from now on
Hey guys, I’ll be going overseas next week thus I probably won’t be able to publish anymore chapters till January of next year. Depending on the restrictions there, I may or may not be able to publish a few chapters while I’m there but that really depends. Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for all your patience and support XD