After shaking Song Shuhang’s hand vigorously, the old man in ancient attire left with a satisfied look on his face, leaving behind a stunned Song Shuhang.
After seeing Song Shuhang’s stiff expression, Tubo asked somewhat confused, "Shuhang, what did the old man tell you?"
"Nothing, he just said that we should enjoy our stay on the island," Song Shuhang replied.
"That's it?" Tubo was even more confused. "Then, why do you have the face of someone that just got butt-raped?"
"..." Song Shuhang patted Tubo’s shoulder and said, "Tubo, once we go back, you should properly attend the language and literature class. The metaphor you used just now was very inappropriate."
Tubo was speechless.
At this time, Gao Moumou said, "Shuhang, do you believe the words of the old man? Do you really think it’s possible to leave the island by carrying out a transaction inside the tall tower in the ancient city?"
Gao Moumou hadn’t met a bizarre situation such as this before, but both in movies or games, it wasn’t usually so easy to leave once you were in this kind of situation, right?
With a smile, Song Shuhang said, "Whether it’s true or not, we’ll find out once we arrive there."
They wanted to leave this strange island; therefore, no matter if the old man in ancient attire was telling the truth or not, they would have to go in the tall tower and confirm it personally.
Everyone nodded silently and gazed toward the tall tower in the ancient city.
At this time, the businesswoman asked curiously, "You just said that the person inside the tower would conduct a fair transaction with us, right? However, we have nothing with us to make an equivalent transaction right now..."
After the plane crashed, they came out of the wreckage with great difficulty just to meet that weird troop of gorillas. Therefore, most of their belongings were still on the airplane, and they had next to nothing with them at this time.
As soon as the businesswoman finished talking, the complexions of many passengers changed!
The air hostess checked the things on her body and found a business card, a credit card, a handkerchief, a mobile phone, some keys, and other useless stuff.
With a bitter expression, she asked, "Will they accept this stuff when carrying out the transaction inside the tower?"
She wasn’t the only one in such a situation; a lot of passengers had bitter expressions on their faces after searching their bodies—it seemed that the stuff they found wasn’t much better than that of the air hostess’.
It was unlikely that they would accept this junk in that mysterious tower and carry out a transaction for it.
A female passenger asked weakly, "Should we return to the airplane and take our things back?"
"And how are we supposed to return to that place? Don’t forget the scary huge eagles in the sky and the big lizard in the forest!" the chubby man that had challenged the gorillas at a breakdance competition said with a bitter smile on his face. "Also, don’t forget about those strange gorillas. After all, they had a very high intellect. Maybe they already stole all the things we left on the airplane."
The crowd could only heave a deep sigh after recalling those gorillas.
"Try not to overthink things, okay? For now, just try to eat something and recover your strength. Later, we’ll go and take a look at that tower. Perhaps the things we have with us would be enough to make the transaction," Song Shuhang said calmly.
Since they entered the ancient city… Song Shuhang had been wondering why the mysterious island—or Heavenly Island if you wish—allowed all these mortals to enter its domain.
At first, he was of the idea that only he was the objective of the Heavenly Island, and that these passengers were nothing but innocent bystanders drawn in by mistake—it’s not like Song Shuhang had delusions of grandeur. In fact, he was the only cultivator on the plane, and if the Heavenly Island was aiming at someone, he was the most likely target!
But after pondering for a moment, he realized that there was something wrong with his logic.
If he was the sole target, the Heavenly Island could have dragged him here alone.
And even if the island couldn’t do anything of the sort, it was surely capable of making everyone else disappear and leaving only him on the plane.
Then, why did the island bring all these passengers here? What use did they have?
Therefore, as soon as he heard the old man mention the transaction in the tall tower, Song Shuhang had an epiphany.
Was it possible that the Heavenly Island was interested in the things these passengers were carrying with them?
"However, we don’t have anything of value with us!" The air hostess was of the idea that no one would want to make a transaction for this junk.
"Don’t panic. Let’s take a look at the tower and see how it goes. Perhaps our bodies are hiding some treasure that even we are not aware of." Song Shuhang tried to comfort everyone.
All the passengers calmed down and started to recover their strength silently.
Some of them would secretly shoot a glance at Song Shuhang from time to time—when he killed those huge eagles earlier, he left a very deep impression on them.
Just like Joseph, they too wished to learn something from Song Shuhang, even if it was only a small move.
However, they weren’t as shameless as Joseph, and they didn’t know how to approach him without looking awkward.
Anyway, it wasn’t a big deal. Since they already knew him, they had all the time to become friends with him after leaving this island.
Many of the passengers were of the same mind.
Gao Moumou, Tubo, and the others that had a good relationship with Song Shuhang didn’t want to make things difficult for him right now. After all, they knew him well and usually passed a lot of time with him; they could save questions for later.
Around ten minutes later, the old man in ancient attire returned.
This time, he was wearing an apron and holding two big choppers in his hands. He was covered in blood and had a fearful smile on his face.
After seeing the old man, many of the female passengers recalled certain scenes in horror movies and started to shriek.
The old man didn’t bat an eye and kept his fearful smile. Afterward, like those NPCs in games, he said, "Dear heroes, those three birds have been cooked. I’ll have them delivered here in a while. I hope every one of you will enjoy the dish!"
As soon as he finished speaking, five stocky men appeared from the rear. They were carrying two big pots overflowing with a strong meat soup aroma; just smelling this aroma made one’s mouth water.
After seeing that they were here only to deliver the dish, the passengers heaved a sigh of relief. However, they were still looking at the old man vigilantly.
The corner of Song Shuhang’s mouth twitched—this old man was doing it on purpose... what a wicked hobby. Song Shuhang was sure that the old fogey was very pleased after seeing the scared passengers.
The five men put the two big pots on the ground and gave a big bowl of meat soup to the starving passengers.
The hungry and tired passengers were immediately captivated by the meat soup. As soon as they received the bowl, they started to gulp it down without even wondering whether there was something weird inside or not…
Song Shuhang was about to warn Tubo and Gao Moumou when he saw them drink the soup at lightning speed…
He heaved a sigh and took the bowl of meat soup. Then, he said to the old man, "Old man, why don’t you eat with us?"
The old man grinned and gnashed his teeth, saying, "It’s really a pity, but I’m—a—vegetarian! I—don’t—eat—meat!"
It’s fine if you’re a vegetarian, but why are you gnashing your teeth…?
Song Shuhang smiled and gently put the bowl of meat soup on a side.
"Don’t worry. There is nothing weird inside the meat soup. You can consider it some sort of compensation," the old man in ancient attire said in a low voice.
"I still prefer not to eat it," Song Shuhang replied honestly. He didn’t know who this old man was, and he couldn’t casually eat the meat soup while ignoring the consequences.
"Forget it then. I’ll still keep the soup; just tell me if you want to eat it." As if he had already foreseen Song Shuhang’s answer, the old man in ancient attire simply received the bowl of meat soup.
Afterward, he threw the bloody apron on a side.
He quietly waited till the passengers were done eating and said with a smile, "Dear heroes, you’ve already rested, right? In that case, I’ll bring everyone to the tall tower in the ancient city to carry out the transaction!"
The passengers unconsciously patted their bellies. It was clearly a very ordinary-looking meat soup, but they were completely full after eating it.
Moreover, their bodies were brimming with energy. They felt as though they could run a 10-km marathon straight without a hitch!
That meat soup was really miraculous!
They set out on the main road, entered the inner city, and arrived in front of the high tower under the lead of the old man.
Along the way, the passengers were surprised by the small number of people living in the city. Even the inner city was sparsely inhabited; the whole city seemed like a huge ghost town. They only met people here and there.
Since all major Chinese cities were very crowded, the passengers were at a loss after seeing this scene.
Very soon, they arrived beneath the tall tower.
The old man cupped his hands and said, "Everyone, I can only accompany you till here. After you enter the tower, someone else will come to greet you. If everything goes well, you’ll leave the island after completing the transaction. Finally, I hope everyone can obtain something good from the transaction," the old man said with a smile.
"I hope your words come true," Song Shuhang replied.
Then, he brought Gao Moumou and the others along and entered the ancient tower.
When they stepped inside the tower, they suddenly felt a zero-gravity feeling, just like when an elevator goes downward.
Soon after, the scenery before their eyes changed, and they found themselves inside a huge main hall made of precious stones.
There were many things in there, and all of them were made of precious stones or jewels. Even tables were made of many precious gems stuck together. Cups were also made of huge gems that had been hollowed out.
A terrifying divine-level nouveau riche aura blew in their faces.
When the air hostess saw this scene, she gripped tightly the things she was holding in front of her chest, her expression pained. Let alone the things she had with her now, even if she were to sell herself, she wouldn’t have enough money to afford the smallest gem in this hall! Because... even the smallest gem here had the size of a fist!
How was she supposed to make a ‘fair’ transaction? What could she possibly exchange?
The air hostess wasn’t the only one thinking this, even the other passengers were of the same mind and felt helpless.
"Hello ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Starry House! In this place, we always conduct an ‘equivalent exchange’. Therefore, you can completely be at ease whether you’re buying or selling!" A clear and sharp voice echoed throughout the hall made of precious stones. "Here at the Starry House, we treat both the young and the old honestly, we sell genuine goods at reasonable prices, and all our articles are genuine! If you find a defective article, you’ll receive ten times its worth as compensation!"
"..." Song Shuhang.
When the Starry House used the same cheap slogans as street vendors, their reputation plummeted in everyone’s eyes.
"Everyone, be at ease. The interface to carry out the transaction will soon appear before you. We’ll perform an equivalent exchange and allow you to see which articles you can use to make the transaction and what you’ll receive in exchange. The articles will be equal in value, and the transaction will also be completely fair!"
After hearing these words, everyone took a deep breath and tried to calm down.
Afterward, a light screen appeared in front of each person—everyone could only see their own screen.
At this time, the air hostess cried out in surprise. "W-what? You only want my pendant?"
She looked at the pendant hanging around her neck. She bought this pendant in a small antique shop for 30 RMB. She didn’t know if it had any special meaning, but since she found the small wooden fish attached to it cute, she decided to buy it.
Never would she have expected that the ‘Starry House’ would settle on this gadget to carry out the transaction.
Was this wooden fish some kind of treasure?
Then, she curiously looked at what the Starry House was offering in exchange for this wooden fish.
[The Everlasting Youth Pill. Description: Do you want to look like a lovely 20-year-old woman while in your fifties? Do you want to look like a 30-year-old beauty while in your seventies? No need to worry, the Everlasting Youth Pill can greatly delay the aging of the human body. This is what you deserve!]
If someone were to sell her something like the ‘Everlasting Youth Pill’ earlier, the air hostess would surely curse them and label them as a scammer. But now, she was inclined to believe the description of this item, because all the things that happened today had exceeded common sense by far.
Then, she looked at another article they were offering in exchange for the wooden fish.
[Calamity Dispersing Amulet. Description: Wearing this amulet will help you avoid a calamity. It allows its user to escape a life or death situation once.] This description was very straightforward and contained no shameless boasting.
There were only these two options, and after pondering for a moment, the air hostess resolutely chose the ‘Everlasting Youth Pill’.
It seemed that beauty was more important than a one-time chance to escape a calamity for this air hostess!
"Congratulations. You’ve successfully carried out the transaction in the Starry House. Would you like to immediately leave the Heavenly Island or do you prefer to leave after twenty-four hours?" That voice echoed in the hall once more.
At this time, a glittering and fragrant pill appeared in the palm of the air hostess.
She turned her head and looked at Song Shuhang. It seemed she wanted to hear his opinion on the matter.
After thinking for a moment, Song Shuhang replied, "This Heavenly Island is full of dangers. Therefore, I suggest everyone to leave as soon as they get the chance. After all, I’m a lone man, and it’s difficult for me to protect everyone. If we were to chance upon something akin to those huge eagles again, I’m not sure if I can guarantee everyone’s safety."
When the crowd recalled those two terrifying eagles they met at the city gate, their complexions changed.
"In that case, let us meet again in the real world, Mr. Shuhang." The air hostess nodded her head and swallowed the fragrant medicine pill. Next, she chose the option to immediately leave the Heavenly Island.
Song Shuhang nodded faintly.
But will we really meet in the real world? At the time, you won’t have any memory of the things that happened on the Heavenly Island...
For powerful cultivators, it was quite easy to wipe someone else's memory.
And in this case, even those seniors from the Nine Provinces Number One Group remembered nothing about the Heavenly Island...
After leaving the Heavenly Island, even if Song Shuhang and the air hostess were to meet again, they wouldn’t recognize each other.
The air hostess chose the option to leave the island immediately.
Soon after, a blazing light started to burn on her body—it was the same light that had appeared on the plane and in front of the city gate.
The air hostess was scared by this sudden change.
The voice from before echoed in the Starry House once more and explained, "No need to be afraid. This is just a means to send you back, it won’t cause you any harm. Once you wake up, you’ll find yourself in your warm bed."
After hearing these words, the crowd recalled to mind the scene in front of the main gate and the choice between YES and NO… so that choice was really about being sent home or not!
After hearing this much, Joseph also heaved a sigh of relief—if that was the case, his daughter was also sent home when she was engulfed by the blazing light back on the plane.
Just like Joseph, a lot of people were relieved after hearing these words. It seemed that some of their family members or friends had disappeared while still on the plane.
After the air hostess, more and more passengers started to carry out their transactions.
The traded things were of various types; so many that it exceeded the imagination of those present.
Someone had to trade the leather coat they were wearing… someone their engagement ring...
Interestingly enough, the chubby breakdancer had to trade off a birthmark he had since he was little, obtaining a big necklace of fine gold in exchange that somewhat resembled a dog collar. The funny thing was that he was already planning to have that birthmark surgically removed, but now, not only he got rid of it for free, he even obtained a thick necklace of gold in exchange. He really struck it rich.
After looking at his screen, Tubo was stunned.
Because he was asked to trade a… syringe of fresh blood!
And he could exchange it for a bowl of meat soup similar to the one the old man served them before. Moreover, it was the only transaction he could carry out.
"A syringe of blood… and meat soup?" Tubo was confused.
However, he didn’t immediately carry out the transaction. He looked Gao Moumou in the eye and turned his head toward Song Shuhang.
After seeing the worried face of his roommates, Song Shuhang smiled as he said, "Guys, don’t waste time. Complete the transaction and quickly leave the island."
"What about you?" Gao Moumou asked. From the way Shuhang was speaking, it seemed he didn’t want to leave just yet.
"Don’t forget about Zhuge Zhongyang and Zhuge Yue! I have to look for them," Song Shuhang continued with a smile. "Don’t worry. As soon as I find them, I’ll come back to this place and leave."
"I see. In that case, make haste, alright?" Tubo said.
Song Shuhang nodded with a smile.
Tubo took a deep breath and accepted the transaction. Then, a delicious bowl of meat soup appeared in his hands… afterward, he was covered in flames and disappeared.
Gao Moumou, Yayi, Lu Fei, and Lu Fei’s elder sister also completed their transactions and disappeared like Tubo.
Finally, only Song Shuhang and Joseph were left in the Starry House.
"Teacher, let me accompany you!" Joseph said excitedly. He had decided to closely follow his teacher and witness his incredible power.
"You should also go back," Song Shuhang said with a smile. "Otherwise… we won’t be happy neighbors when the time comes."
After hearing Song Shuhang’s words, Joseph heaved a sigh. Then, he completed his transaction and changed into particles of light, disappearing.
Now, only Song Shuhang was left in the Starry House.
Song Shuhang heaved a deep sigh and showed the middle finger to this hall made of precious stones.
Then, he put his hands in his pockets and left the place without any hesitation.
When he left the hall, he felt that zero gravity feeling once more.
In the next instant, he reappeared at the entrance of the tall tower.
"Oh? Little friend Song Shuhang, how come you didn’t carry out the transaction and left?" After seeing Song Shuhang, the old man in ancient attire wasn’t surprised and laughed foolishly.
"Old man, what’s the point of asking if you already know the answer?" Song Shuhang furrowed his brows. "Since the beginning, the Starry House had no intention of letting me carry out the transaction, right?"
When he was inside that hall, everyone had an interface in front of them to carry out the transaction… everyone except Song Shuhang—this happened even if he had many treasures with him.
Song Shuhang was absolutely sure that it was intentional.
"Hehe." The old man in ancient attire laughed joyfully. Then, he took out that bowl of meat soup once more and said, "Won’t you eat it?"
Song Shuhang took the bowl and clenched his teeth, saying, "Old man, speak clearly. Who are you? What do you want from me?"
"If I were to tell you that you couldn’t carry out the transaction because you didn’t eat the meat soup, would you believe it?" The old man heartily laughed.
Song Shuhang gave him a supercilious look.
"Drink it while it’s hot. Anyway, if I had evil intentions, I could just make you drink the soup through unconventional means." The old man laughed foolishly.
Song Shuhang gritted his teeth and grabbed the bowl of meat soup, starting to drink it. "You can talk now, right? Who are you? Why were you looking for me?"
"Youngster! This is actually a good question!" the old man in ancient attire said with a smile.
Next, the old man stretched his hand and tapped on his forehead. His gray hair disappeared, leaving behind a smooth and shining bald head.
Afterward, his humpback also disappeared and his back straightened; his face also changed. In the blink of an eye, it changed into a heroic face with starry eyes and slanted eyebrows. But none of them were enough to overshadow the elegance of this person.
"Young benefactor… I’m the same Nine Lanterns you enjoyed 300 years ago!" the bald girl in front of Song Shuhang said with a smile on her face as she joined her palms together.
"Pfff…" Song Shuhang immediately spurted out all the soup in his mouth.