The man from the Beast Pavilion led them to a small attic, where there was a large fire brazier. A whiff of charcoal was circulating within.
The warm temperature made Guo Shier feel very comfortable.
There were already five people waiting in the attic—three men and two women. The space felt even more cramped when they entered.
Guo Shier looked around and took off his big fur hat. "Who is looking for me? I’m Guo Shier from the North Rune Sect," he announced.
The old man seated in the middle of the beast’s skin mat replied. "West Rune Sect Inner Door Elder, Chen Zhizhong."
Wu Qing scrambled to make proper introductions. "Old Chen is a Beast Artificer Grandmaster. Hehe! Shier, the same job as you—an Artificer class."
Guo Shier nodded and proceeded to introduce his followers.
Listening to the child speak, Chen Zhizhong could hardly contain his surprise. Although it was well known that Guo Shier had two Marked Warrior Grandmaster followers, he was still shocked to see them with his own eyes.
"Little Brother—you have already advanced to Artificer Grandmaster?" he asked.
"Only my combat power is at the Grandmaster level, but my overall skills as an Artificer practitioner is not quite there yet," Guo Shier replied, smiling. He has never hidden the fact that he was not a Grandmaster. But no one could deny that he had Grandmaster-level combat powers.
Chen Zhizhong nodded. "I see. That sounds more reasonable."
He then proceeded to introduce the people from his side. The two followers behind him were Beast Warrior Masters. Next to them was a young woman and a young girl who were curiously looking at Guo Shier.
"These are my female apprentices, the youngest Beast Artificer Master in West Rune Sect, An Bilan. Hehe! The little girl next to her is a Beast Warrior Adept, only eight years old this year. She's called An Biyun."
Guo Shier met the two a while ago in the Beast Pavillion. He nodded slightly and said, "Nice to meet you."
An Bilan nodded and said hello.
"Shier elder brother, nice to meet you!" An Biyun chirped in.
She now seemed like a very polite child, but the first time she saw Guo Shier, she called him a bad man.
"Please, sit down," Chen Zhizhong graciously instructed their group.
Guo Shier accepted the gesture, took off his big fur robe, and then sat down. Ying Mo and Luo Zhan sat behind him. Huo Bao and the rest sat behind those two.
"Grandpa Chen, do have anything in mind?" Guo Shier asked without hostility, trying to be very polite to the elders.
Chen Zhizhong liked the sound of grandpa. He smiled. "Hehe! I deliberately invited you, Little Brother. The Beast Pavilion is my main source of revenue. Has anything caught your eye? I was wondering if you had anything to exchange."
"Grandpa Chen, you invited me here just to trade?"
"Yes—what do you think it is for?"
Guo Shier smiled bitterly. "Oh, I have nothing to exchange, everything is with my master."
He dared not take out the materials that he had gathered in the Secret Realm. For him, selling raw materials was the dumbest thing to do.
Chen Zhizhong pressed on. "I heard you and your master killed a Marked Insect Variant in one of the secret realms."
News travels really fast, Guo Shier thought to himself. Even the people from the West Rune Sect already knew. He wondered if news of the altar was exposed.
Ying Mo chimed in. "Oh. Hehe! I wonder where elder brother Chen got the news?"
Chen Zhizhong laughed heartily. "How can the West Rune Sect not know what happened in the grasslands? Hehe!"
Guo Shier cleared his throat. "I cannot trade with you," he said. "Everything is with my master. I have nothing with me."
He would never foolishly exchange his materials with others.
Ying Mo secretly agreed. Guo Shier would certainly lose if he continued with the exchange because none of them knew the right market values.
Chen Zhizhong was disappointed. "Oh! That's too bad," he said. "I have a Spirit level Glyph that I wanted to trade with you. I didn't realized that Little Brother here cannot trade. What a pity."
Wu Qing's eyeballs widened. He only had a single Spirit Glyph with him. "Shier, when did you meet a Marked Insect Variant?" he asked.
"After you separated from us!" Guo Shier said, laughing. "We found a Secret Realm and encountered Marked Insect Variant!"
Realizing his missed opportunity, Wu Qing gave himself a slap in the face (facepalm).
An Bilan and An Biyun giggled in amusement.
"Sister," An Biyun whispered, "Why did he hit his face?"
"Maybe his face itches … hee hee," An Bilan whispered back.
Wu Qing was full of regret. He missed a Secret Realm AND a Marked Insect Variant. In his distraught, he started hitting his face again.
Guo Shier couldn't stop laughing. "You shouldn't regret that you missed out. That Marked Insect Variant was very powerful. At that time, we had three Grandmasters and a bunch of people with us, but we had an extremely hard time killing it. It was a very tough insect."
"For a bottle of Marked Insect Blood!" Chen Zhizhong suddenly jumped in, insisting on a trade. "A Spirit Glyph for a bottle of Marked Insect Blood—even if it's just an ounce."
"Grandpa Chen, it's not that I won't change my answer," Guo Shier explained. "But I have no access to the raw materials. They're with master."
He won't be fooled. Marked Insect blood is very precious. These creatures were relative small and didn't have as much blood in them. A Marked Insect Variant would have slightly more blood, but they are hard to come by and are harder to deal with.
The quarter of a kilogram of the Marked Insect Blood has been reduced to an ounce, Guo shier thought. Chen Zhizhong is offering one ounce of Marked Insect Blood for a Spirit Glyph. How bewildering.
"Grandpa Chen, a Marked Insect Blood is not like a Marked Beast blood. It's not something the people from the South Rune Sect are interested in. What are you going to do with it?" he asked.
Chen Zhizhong smiled bitterly. "It's a neutralizing agent," he explained. "A Marked Insect Variant is the best neutralizer. I need to do an experiment and I'm missing several materials. The Marked Insect Variant's blood is one of the most important."
Guo Shier thought about what the old man said. He knew he was severely lacking Spirit Glyphs. His Innate Rune Orb was very tricky; it won't accept anything lower than a Spirit level Glyph.
"I can go and mention this to master. But if your Spirit Glyph is something that I do not need, the deal would be difficult to set up," he told the Grandmaster.
Chen Zhizhong took out a Spirit Glyph and placed it in front of Guo Shier. "This is a Beast type Spirit Glyph. Check it out. You should be able to use it."
Guo Shier already has a Bird Glyph, and its power is substantial. He had even the same expectations for this Beast Spirit Glyph.
To test it, he picked it up and placed it on his forehead. He felt it quietly disappear and enter the Innate Rune Orb within his soul.
This proved that the Glyph was truly at Spirit level.
"It's good!" he said. "Let's swap! I’ll give you the Marked Insect Variant blood when I get back. Hehe! You can send someone to come with me."
Chen Zhizhong was overjoyed. "I'll let my little disciples go with you. Bilan, follow Shier back and get the Marked Insect Variant's blood. Then come back immediately."
An Bilan nodded in response.
Guo Shier found that this Beast Spirit Glyph was lower in rating than his Bird Glyph. But it can be absorbed by the Innate Rune Orb—which means that it's not that bad. Spirit Glyphs are very rare in this world, after all. They are some of the top Runes, second to Ancient Glyphs.
At the moment, he couldn't see the beast soul was sealed within the Beast Spirit Glyph.
"Grandpa Chen, what's the name of this Spirit Glyph?" he asked.
He knew that the Spirit Glyph grade was relatively low. He couldn't identify the soul within.
Chen Zhizhong was quick to enlighten him. "This is called Bull Spirit Glyph. Sealed within is the soul of an Armored Bull that grew Rune lines on its body. Although not a Marked Beast, it's much stronger that the average beast and can be used to block attacks. It's a nice Spirit Glyph."
Guo Shier nodded with satisfaction. Even with Marked Warrior Grandmaster escorts, one more powerful Bull Spirit Glyph would also be very good.
"Armored Bull, Hehe! This is the first time I heard of this beast," he said.
"Little Brother, please give me the Marked Insect Variant blood as soon as possible," Chen Zhizhong replied.
Guo Shier stood up and said, "No problem, I'll take my leave."
"Master, I'm going with him," An Bilan declared.
An Biyun also stood up. "Elder Sister, I’ll go with you!"
There were many shops in Beast Plaza. Guo Shier entered the more interesting ones and purchased a number of specialty products from each of them.
He then returned to his dwelling contentedly.
He arranged accommodation for both An Bilan and her sister before meeting up with his master.
Luo Jie laughed at the sight of him. "Shier! You beat a Beast Caster Grandmaster from the West Rune Sect today?
Guo Shier nodded. "News travels so fast, eh?"
Qi NanShan laughed and recounted the story. "You caused a stir in the whole West Rune Sect. Hehe! Brat, you’re better than me!"
Guo Shier smiled. "He was careless. He just threw a few beasts out. Hehe! When I moved my Sword Glyph over his head, he just threw in the towel. I don't know if I would have won if he got serious."
Luo Jie was visibly amused. "This kid… you're too deceptive. Even I don't know your strength, let alone that Beast Caster Grandmaster. If anyone let their guard down, they would surely suffer from you."
Guo Shier changed the subject. "Master, I met a West Rune Sect Elder called Chen Zhizhong in the Beast Pavilion. He wants to exchange items with me. I promised an ounce of Marked Insect Variant's blood in exchange for a Spirit Glyph."
"One ounce—so little?" Luo Jie asked, surprised. "What’s he going to do with the Marked Insect's blood?"
"Something to do with experiment," explained Guo Shier. "He'll use the Marked Insect Variant's blood as a neutralizing agent."
"Neutralizer? Oh, I understand," his master nodded. "That’s a good idea. In exchange for a Spirit Glyph he suffered a loss. Wait a minute. I’ll give it to you."
He then handed Guo Shier a tiny crystal bottle. After purification, the Emerald Blade Mantis' rich green blood turned to cyan. The crystal bottle was about a finger thick and a palm in length. The very beautiful light blue blood had a bit of little green light within it.
"Here, there are two ounces of purified blood in this bottle—not one," Luo Shier said. "Let’s not take too much advantage of them. It’s not necessary."
Guo Shier nodded and said, "Master, I know. But this was his price. I didn’t bargain nor speak. Hehe! Elder Chen Zhizhong himself reduced the amount from a quarter of a kilo to one ounce."
"That’s what he wants!" Ying Mo laughed. "Guo Shier was very cunning. He never bargained nor spoke."
"The blood is Master’s," Guo Shier explained. "I had no way to decide its value. I guess my silence forced the Elder to keep on lowering his price."
"I reckon Chen Zhizhong had a difficult time negotiating. You made a Grandmaster yield to your terms, Shier. You're really amazing!" said Ying Mo.
Guo Shier looked haughtily at him. "Uncle Ying Mo, are you praising or mocking me!?!"
Ying Mo laughed. "Certainly, I'm praising you!"
"Well, quickly send it over, Shier," Luo Jie ordered. "Oh right, what Spirit Glyph did you get?"
"I got a Bull Spirit Glyph that seals an Armored Bull's soul."
Translator: Glasses TangGu