"The meat of a ninth grade sacred beast?!"
The corner of Ji Chengxue's mouth twitched as he looked toward Bu Fang, whose face was currently filled with mystery. If his view of Bu Fang had not changed due to the incident that happened earlier, he would think that Bu Fang was someone with intellectual disabilities.
What was a sacred beast? Within the entire Light Wind Empire, the strongest person that he knew was the number one great general of the empire, Xiao Meng. However, the great Xiao Meng who made the exponents from the surrounding Sects despair was only a seventh grade Battle-Saint...
For the mere owner of a store—who was only a Battle-Master—within the remote alleyways of the capital to mention the meat of a sacred beast… Ji Chengxue had no idea of how strong a sacred beast was, but he could use General Xiao Meng as a comparison.
A single sacred beast should be worth at least a few dozen General Xiao Meng. A single General Xiao Meng was able to dominate over a few hundred exponents from the Sects. A few dozen General Xiao Meng… could probably destroy the imperial palace with a wave of their hand.
"Owner Bu really likes to joke around. I've been to many places but I've never heard of any news of ninth grade sacred beasts," Ji Chengxue said, while faintly smiling as he finished the Lees Fish.
Bu Fang did not reply. He understood that Ji Chengxue did not believe him. However, he was not perturbed; it was natural for Ji Chengxue not to believe. After all, a sacred beast was far too terrifying.
"Actually, the higher the grade of the spirit beast, the better will be the quality of their meat. They are like natural ingredients of the highest grade. If Your Highness were to obtain any good ingredients, you could bring them to the store and I will help you cook them," Bu Fang seriously said. The system had already risen to two stars and he was able to cook ingredients brought by the customers. That was why he decided to remind Ji Chengxue.
"Oh? I can bring my own ingredients? This seems slightly interesting." Ji Chengxue's eyes lit up and he nodded.
Outside, the rain had gradually come to a stop. The dark clouds were slowly dispersing, unveiling countless rays of warm sunlight.
Ji Chengxue stood up and handed over twenty crystals from a sachet to Bu Fang. Then he rubbed the head of Ouyang Xiaoyi, who was still gobbling down the Egg-Fried Rice, and left the store while carrying his oil-paper umbrella.
After the rain, puddles of water had accumulated on the quartzite floor of the alleyway. Green moss looked as if it was stretching while rain water slowly dripped from the walls that were still wet.
The big black dog was still lying at the entrance as it sleepily yawned. Even after the rain, the fur on its body remained soft and shiny, without a single trace of wetness.
Within the majestic imperial palace, row upon row of buildings were orderly built.
Troops of armor-wearing guards were patrolling with grim expressions. They were not weak; the weakest among them was a third grade Battle-Maniac, while the leader of one of the troops was a fifth grade Battle-King.
Ji Chengxue had returned to the palace. The leader of the patrol respectfully saluted when they spotted him and he indifferently nodded in their direction.
Passing through the entrance of the imperial palace, he arrived at the vast and wide Gate of Heavenly Mystery Square. There were six stone pillars erected on the plaza, and carved upon each of them were unusual images of strange beasts and rare treasures.
Ji Chengxue was standing in front of the Gate of Heavenly Mystery and looking at the wide plaza with a complicated expression. He took in a deep breath, inhaling the fresh air after a rain.
The palace of the crown prince was situated behind the Gate of Heavenly Mystery.
After passing through the Gate of Heavenly Mystery, a few dozen meters away to the left of the main hall of the imperial palace was the palace of the crown prince. With golden bricks and red tiles, it was magnificently and luxuriously built.
"Your Imperial Highness. According to our spies, there was an assassination attempt on the third prince in a restaurant within the imperial city," a middle-aged man with an impressive beard said—while holding a message in his hand—toward a seated young man within the palace of the crown prince.
The young man was dressed in a golden python robe and had a purple crown on his head. He had a pale face and long, narrow dashing eyebrows. His eyes were slightly tilted like a sharp blade, giving off a demonic yet dignified aura.
"Oh? Is he dead yet?" the man simply asked. The first thing he asked was the fate of Ji Chengxue.
"No. The third prince spent a long time battling the Sects outside our border. With his combat experience, mere assassins wouldn't be able to kill him." The refined middle-aged man laughed as he stroked his beard.
"Those who would dare to assassinate third brother would at least be Battle-Kings and third brother would definitely be injured. However, if he was injured, then the entire imperial city would know about it. If Father knew about it as well, the current state wouldn't be this peaceful." The crown prince opened his eyes, revealing dark and deep pupils.
"The third prince is indeed unharmed. That's strange. Could it be that an expert aided him?" The middle aged man pondered.
"Xushi, isn't third brother constantly going to that restaurant in the alleyway these days? Is there anything abnormal about that restaurant? Did you send anyone to investigate?" The crown prince asked.
"Your Highness… There's something weird with that restaurant," that middle-aged man called Xushi strangely said.
"Hmm? How is it weird?"
"That restaurant is the black-hearted little store from the rumors circulating within the imperial city. A bowl of Egg-Fried Rice… costs ten crystals. A bowl of dry-mixed noodles costs a hundred gold coins. The most expensive dish is the Lees Fish, which costs twenty crystals. They really are astronomical dishes." Xushi had a weird expression on his face.
"It truly is an astronomical price... Third brother has actually fallen in love with this black-hearted little store? It seems that there is definitely something about that store that no one knows about. Xushi, find an opportunity to visit that store." The corner of the crown prince's mouth curled up with interest.
"There's two more days until Great General Xiao Meng triumphantly returns to the imperial city. The Great General Xiao Meng is truly incredible. He defeated the Heterodox Sect, Death Soul Palace, in one fell swoop and even captured their six leaders. With this, the morale of the Sects will surely suffer. This truly is the fortune of Light Wind Empire." The crown prince stood up and slowly paced around while sighing.
"If I wish to secure my position as the crown prince or even become the emperor, I will definitely need the support of Great General Xiao."
"Your Highness, the Sects are showing signs of uprising these past few years. Since His Majesty sent General Xiao to conquer the Sects, I am afraid that Xiao Meng has become a thorn in their sides. He would surely be obstructed by the Sects as he escorted the prisoners into the imperial city. There has recently been some movements occurring within the imperial city. According to our spies, exponents from the five great Orthodox Sects and the three great Heterodox Sects have already infiltrated into the imperial city," Xushi said with a frown.
"Unrest? It's better when there's unrest. There are some things that are easier to do when there's unrest. Isn't that what my second brother is thinking? Otherwise, why would he send assassins after third brother? However, he probably did not expect that third brother would return without any injuries." The crown prince chuckled with his hands behind his back as he looked into a distance.
Xushi was stunned and did not say anything else. He was only an advisor; he would only speak when he should speak and would remain silent when he should not speak.
"It's fine, I already know about third brother's matter. I am not worried about him. The one that I am concerned about is second brother. However, there's indeed something strange with the assassination this time. Send someone… No, you should personally visit that black-hearted little store. That store is indeed quite interesting," the crown prince said.
Xushi nodded, then withdrew after performing a fist and palm salute.
King Yu's manor.
The second prince, Ji Chengyu, expressionlessly destroyed the letter in his hand.
"A mere restaurant dares to obstruct me. It looks like there's a need to visit this restaurant. I'd to like see who's hiding inside that would actually dare to kill four of my fifth grade Battle-King assassins," King Yu coldly said.
Within an hour of the third prince's assassination attempt, the high ranking officials and influential factions within the imperial city had received the news. Whether it was the Xiao manor or the Ouyang manor, they were shocked by the news. An assassination attempt on a prince was not a small matter.
Naturally, other than the fact that there was an assassination attempt on the prince, Fang Fang's Little Store had entered the line of sight of these bigwigs as well. Many of them were extremely curious about this store that sold a bowl of Egg-Fried Rice for ten crystals.
Consequently, various factions sent out their men to visit the store.
At that moment, the owner of that store was leisurely curled up on a chair. The warm sunlight after the rain was enveloping his body, causing him to comfortably yawn.
He may not know it yet, but a huge group of bigwigs was approaching.
 Python Robe(蟒袍) - It was a robe worn by court officials in the past, named for the python sewn on it.
 Purple Crown(紫金冠) - It was also known as "Crown Prince Helm". It was generally worn by princes and young generals.