Chapter 2121: The Woman in Black
Guan Yang moored his boat on the shore near the city gate, then accompanied Han Li to the gate.
He was clearly very familiar with the halberd-wielding guards in front of the gate, and after a brief conversation, they granted Han Li entry into the city without conducting any examination.
Han Li stood at the city gate and appraised the rows of orderly buildings nearby before tossing Guan Yang some mid-grade devil stones.
"Thank you for your generosity, Senior!" Guan Yang immediately said in a grateful manner.
Generally speaking, he would only receive one or two mid-grade devil stones for taking a high-grade devilish being to Blue Waterfall City, but Han Li had issued several times that amount, so he was naturally ecstatic.
Han Li merely waved a dismissive hand, indicating that Guan Yang could leave.
However, Guan Yang hesitated momentarily, and after looking around to ensure that no one was paying any attention to them, he quickly whispered, "Senior, perhaps you can go to the Vast Origin House to see if the people there can satisfy your conditions."
After that, Guan Yang hurriedly extended a respectful bow and departed before Han Li could ask any questions.
"Vast Origin House, eh?" Han Li murmured to himself as a faint smile appeared on his face.
The flight restriction naturally still applied in Blue Waterfall City, so Han Li hailed a beast-drawn carriage before asking to be taken to the largest shop in the city.
The coach driver immediately did as he was instructed, and Han Li sat in the carriage with his legs crossed, looking out of the window absentmindedly while considering what he was going to do next.
Blue Waterfall City was clearly far more lively and bustling than the average large devilish city, and there was a great number of devilish beings roaming the streets.
Most of these devilish beings were only at the Qi Condensation Stage or Foundation Establishment Stage, but there was a significant proportion of Deity Transformation and Spatial Tempering Stage high-grade devilish beings among them as well, and he had even spotted two devilish lords.
At this point, the beast-drawn carriage had only passed through several streets and hadn't even made it out of one corner of the city.
All of a sudden, Han Li caught sight of a familiar figure, and his expression changed drastically.
He stared intently at the elegant figure, who had her back facing him and was walking into a shop, then shook his head with a hint of disappointment in his eyes. "It's not her; that woman's aura is completely different. Besides, even if she has ascended from the human world, she'd be in the Spirit Realm right now; there's no way she'd appear in the Elder Devil Realm. Why did she look so much like her? Could it be that my mental state has become rather unstable due to my rapid progression in my cultivation base?"
With that in mind, Han Li hurriedly activated his Spirit Refinement Technique and closed his eyes to meditate.
The elegant figure was a devilish woman wearing a black veil over her face, and she was accompanied into a shop by several high-grade devilish beings. On top of that, there was a faint layer of black Qi over her body that made it impossible for anyone to glean her appearance.
Of course, Han Li would've been capable of forcibly assessing her appearance with his powerful spiritual sense, but he was concerned that doing so would draw the attention of the top-tier powerful beings in the city.
At this point, the devilish woman had already been accompanied into the shop by her entourage of high-grade devilish beings, and an elderly man who appeared to be the shopkeeper immediately rushed over with a few employees before they all extended respectful bows.
The shopkeeper then invited the woman into a secretive room before greeting her in a respectful manner. "I pay my respects to the esteemed envoy. I've already prepared everything, and it's all ready to be taken away at any time."
"Well done, Shopkeeper Liao. I only mentioned this to you the day before yesterday, yet you've already gotten everything prepared; it seems that your talents are being wasted here."
The woman's voice was extremely delightful, resembling that of a singing oriole.
"You're far too kind, esteemed envoy; I'm only doing as I'm told," Shopkeeper Liao hurriedly replied with a fawning smile.
"Shi Huo, go and fetch all of the items," the woman said to a horned devilish man beside her.
"Yes, Young Mistress Seven!" The devilish man gave an affirmative response before following one of the employees out of the room.
After that, the woman merely sat in her chair in silence.
The elderly man and the high-grade devilish beings all stood respectfully in the room in silence as well.
After around 15 minutes had passed, the devilish man and employee returned to the room before informing that woman that everything had been gathered.
The woman nodded in response before suddenly asking, "How long have you been working at this shop for, Shopkeeper Liao?"
Shopkeeper Liao's heart stirred slightly upon hearing this, and he hurriedly replied, "I've been working at this shop ever since I was transferred here around 200 years ago."
"200 years, eh? That's quite a long time; I'm sure you've lined your pockets quite significantly during this time."
Shopkeeper Liao was horrified to hear this. "Is there some kind of misunderstanding, esteemed envoy? I've always managed this shop diligently and haven't made any transgressions; you can't just make such claims with no evidence!"
"I'll be the one to decide whether you've made any transgressions or not. Mu Xi, show him the evidence," the woman said with a cold smile before suddenly pointing at one of the employees accompanying the shopkeeper.
"Yes, Young Mistress Seven! The quantity and sale prices of stock, as well as all of the shop's trade partners for the last close to 20 years, have all been recorded here for your examination!"
The employee was a young man who appeared to be around 16 to 17 years of age, and he immediately pulled out a black accounts book as he stepped forward in a respectful manner. Shopkeeper Liao's face instantly turned deathly pale upon seeing this.
The woman drew the accounts book into her grasp before carefully assessing it. "As expected, this is different from the accounts book that you gave me the other day. You've already embezzled so much, and this is only in a span of less than 20 years; what do you have to say for yourself?"
"Mu Xi, how dare you compile all of this false evidence to incriminate me! Young Mistress Seven, he has a personal vendetta against me, so that accounts book is definitely fake!"
"I'll know whether it's fake or not once I use a soul search technique on you. If it's real, then you can die without anyone to blame, and if it's fake, I'll kill him to avenge you," the woman said with a faint smile, but her words made Shopkeeper Liao feel as if he had been plunged into a glacial pit.
All of a sudden, the elderly man let loose a desperate cry as he swept a sleeve through the air, instantly producing a yellow talisman amid a burst of black Qi that filled the room.
He frantically waved the talisman, upon which his body suddenly began to sink into the ground.
"To think that a mere Core Formation Stage being dares to play these little tricks in my presence!" the devilish man by the name of Shi Huo chuckled coldly before suddenly making a grabbing motion.
Howling winds were instantly swept up throughout the entire room to disperse the black Qi, and at the same time, Shopkeeper Liao's body was completely immobilized. Thus, he was stuck with half of his body in the ground.
"Please spare me, Young Mistress Seven! I'll give back everything I've embezzled!" Shopkeeper Liao yelled in a display of horror and desperation.
The woman heaved a faint sigh before flicking a finger through the air, and a streak of black light shot forth before piercing through his glabella.
At the same time, Shi Huo withdrew his hand, and the shopkeeper's body thumped down onto the ground.
"It's a pity that you've embezzled far too much and already sold everything. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been opposed to sparing your life. Mu Xi, you're the shopkeeper here from this day forth. Shi Huo, take care of the body; we still have a few more shops to visit," the woman said before rising to her feet and exiting the room in a calm manner.
Mu Xi immediately fell to his knees to express his gratitude in an elated manner, while Shi Huo opened his mouth to expel a burst of black devilish flames that instantly incinerated the elderly man's body into ashes before also departing.
"This is the largest shop in the entire city?" Han Li asked with furrowed brows as he appraised the slightly dilapidated pavilion before him.
There was a large plaque above the door that read "Rainbow Pavilion".
"This Rainbow Pavilion may not appear to be all that noteworthy, but it's definitely the largest and oldest shop in the city, Senior," the coach driver replied in a confident manner.
"Alright, I'll take a look inside." Han Li was still rather skeptical, but he issued the coach driver some devil stones before making his way toward the pavilion.
As soon as he entered the pavilion, he detected a hint of feeble spatial fluctuations, following which a massive hall with an area of several acres appeared before him.
"Oh? So this is a small Xumi space created using a spatial devilish treasure; it looks like that coach driver wasn't lying," Han Li mused as he inspected his surroundings in an intrigued manner.