“It is Beast Smith Grandmaster Wu Yanyan from the West Rune Sect," the servant said. "She has already entered."
From the door, a voice can be heard. "What a wonderful smell!" Wu Yanyan said. "Old timer Luo, I am here to intrude into your gathering. Little Brother Shier, aren't you welcoming elder sister?"
Luo Jie immediately stood up to welcome the new unexpected guest. Forgoing formalities, he didn't wait for his lower-ranking followers to stand up with him.
(Note: I guess it is customary to stand when the person with the highest rank is standing in the room.)
Upon seeing Wu Yanyan, Guo Shier got a headache. This woman is outrageous, he thought to himself. How can she be so shameless?
“Arrange a table for Grandmaster Wu," Lu Jie ordered. Turning to the lady, he then said, "Please try and taste Shier's cooking."
Wu Yanyan let out a delicate laugh. “Luo pops, just call me Yanyan!"
She then glanced at Guo Shier. "Little brother, you're not welcoming your elder sister?"
“Why should I? Haha! Elder sister Wu, just take a seat! What are you here for?" Guo Shier teased.
The lady smiled and walked over to him, then leaned in to give him a hug. “Why don't you welcome elder sister?"
Guo Shier felt helpless, but there was no way out of the situation.
He said, “Fine, welcome, welcome. How can I dare not welcome elder sister? Go try my grilled cooking. Hehehe!"
Wu Yanyan was surprised. “You can cook Rune Food?”
“I have an Artificer profession, so of course I can cook well!”
Wu Yanyan smiled and scanned the room to look at the other guests. She and Lan Tianbao were familiar with each other.
“Sister Lan is also here? Ah, Yingying! Come and give elder sister a hug!" She picked up Lan Yuying and sat down smiling.
Guo Shier was getting dizzy. Wu Yanyan called Lan Tianbao elder sister and then made Lan Tianbao’s daughter call her elder sister. Does she know how to count??
“Somebody please serve elder sister some Rune Food," he said.
Wu Yanyan carried her small table and sat next to Guo Shier. "Let me see if Shier cooked something good!"
A servant placed a couple of dishes in front of Wu Yanyan. Fortunately, Guo Shier cooked plenty of Rune Food.
Wu Yanyan wasn't interested in spicy dishes, so she ate only a few mouthfuls. But she especially liked the braised pork ribs and pheasant bamboo shoots soup. She also praised the tender fresh meat from the Emerald Blade Mantis.
The crowd had almost finished eating, but Wu Yanyan didn't care. She was hungry and ate with big mouthfuls. The women from the West were not inferior to men at all when they eat. They had no lady like manners and weren't afraid to devour the whole meal. Wu Yanyan's speed in eating was comparable to a beast. Guo Shier was surprised.
"It's very delicious!" Ying Mo exclaimed while licking his mouth. "I want more. Give me a plate of roast meat and some more bread.”
Wu Yanyan also asked for more roast meat and broth. She didn't think it was enough; to her, this was an appetizer.
Lan Tianbao mother and daughter were not accustomed to this show of appetite. They ate their meals in a more refined manner.
Lan Yuying kept looking at Wu Yanyan, biting her finger as if to stop herself from saying something. But when she finally couldn't keep it in any longer, she blurted out, "Elder sister Yanyan! You eat faster than our Little Tiger!"
Guo Shier smiled and curiously asked, “Who is your Little Tiger?”
Lan Tianbao was embarrassed. “Don’t listen to Yingying's nonsense,” she said hurriedly, trying to stop her daughter.
Lan Yuying, somewhat aggrieved, objected. “I’m not talking nonsense! Little Tiger is the name of my beetle!"
Guo Shier touched his nose. "I didn't say anything, Elder sister Wu. Hehe! Just go on eating. Hahaha!”
Wu Yanyan continued to eat like she didn't hear anything. She has eaten numerous Rune dishes before but has never tasted anything this delicious. Guo Shier sure can cook.
Because of her speed, she almost finished eating at the same time as everyone—even though she started much later.
“It’s been a long time since I ate so much,” she sighed. "Shier you're such an awesome cook! If I'm available later, elder sister will come again. Hehehe!”
The servants cleaned up and gathered the small desks. Guo Shier invited the guests and his master to move to the small living room where they can rest and talk.
Seven people gathered: Luo Jie, Qi Nanshan, Wu Yanyan, Lan Tianbao, Lan Yuying, Guo Shier and Ying Mo.
Guo Shier started the conversation. "Elder sister Lan, when did you arrive in the West Rune Sect? You don't have to hide anything. This is the first time I’ve ever seen a Grandmaster from the South Rune Sect. Hahaha!”
Lan Tian Bao laughed. "In order to participate in the Northwest Sect Faction trade fair, I left the South Rune Sect more than three years ago. At that time, Yingying was only 5 years old. We arrived here in the West Rune Sect just six months ago.
Luo Jie laughed. "Ah, the South. I went there when I was still young. That was almost 200 years ago. Is the South Rune Sect still the same? I remember that there were two powerful large factions there."
Both Lan Tianbao and Wu Yanyan were surprised because Luo Jie looked like a middle aged man. A two hundred-year-old Artificer Grandmaster would definitely NOT look like this unless he advanced further than the Grandmaster level. But what can be higher than a Grandmaster? Is it possible to go even further? They couldn't wrap their heads around the idea.
Lan Yuying started using her fingers to calculate Luo Jie's age, but her 10 fingers and 10 ten toes were not enough. She couldn't help but look at him with a puzzled face.
Lan Tianbao tried to hide her surprise with a laugh. "The two factions—the Insect Rune Sect and Plant Rune Sect—stopped fighting ages ago. The Plant Rune Sect moved to One Hundred Thousand Mountain Range while the Insect Rune Sect is still in the same place."
Luo Jie nodded. He knew that in terms of fighting, the Plant Rune Sect was inferior to the Insect Rune Sect.
The living room was filled with noise of people chatting.
Lan Tianbao pulled Guo Shier aside. “Shier, check out this Glyph. This is an ancient Insect Glyph that I acquired in the Secret Plane. I like it but I'm having difficulty manipulating it. If you think you can handle it better, then we can trade. If you don't feel right, I can trade something else."
Guo Shier took a closer look. He liked it instantly.
The Glyph was inscribed with what looked life a flattened scorpion. The body was painted in indigo, the two scorpion claws were painted in blue, and the head and scorpion stinger was painted in bright red. The scorpion had a pair of very thin wings—you could only see it if you looked closely. Under the wings were hundreds of tiny dots.
“A scorpion with wings?" asked Guo Shier.
"As I've said before, this is an ancient Insect Glyph that I obtained from a Secret Plane. Even in the South, no one has ever seen this kind of scorpion. This probably existed in one of the Secret Planes and was processed into an Ancient Glyph. No one knows the real name of this ancient flying scorpion. I've checked old records and did not find any information about it."
Guo Shier couldn't hide his curiosity. “Elder sister Lan, can you manipulate the Glyph to make the ancient flying scorpion come out?"
Lan Tianbao's face turned red. "This elder sister cannot absorb this Glyph into my Innate Rune Book. I also can't stimulate the ancient Insect Glyph using normal methods."
This made Guo Shier happy. It was a high level Glyph, he realized.
“But you're a Grandmaster. Can't you activate this Glyph?" he prodded.
Lan Tianbao was a bit embarrassed. "Oh, hehe! I asked an Insect Caster to activate the Glyph but he also failed. Don't worry—if you are not satisfied, I can exchange it for another one."
"A Glyph that can't be activated?" Ying Mo jumped in. "Isn't that a waste?"
Guo Shier's mind quietly made calculations while he toyed with the Ancient Insect Glyph. He was interested-but he was also afraid to experiment with it.
"I like this Glyph, elder sister Lan. It's not bad as a pendant. Hehehe! I'll take it!" he finally decided.
Lan Tianbao smiled, "Shier, elder sister is not lying to you. Don't blame elder sister if you can't activate this Glyph."
“I'm not blaming you, elder sister. I simply like its shape and color. This Glyph is destined for me. Hehehe! So, what does elder sister want in exchange for it?"
“A pound of blood from the Emerald Blade Mantis, and also some Emerald Blade Mantis shell. Even a little bit is fine," answered Lan Tianbao.
She inhaled and looked at Guo Shier with a some uneasiness. Perhaps she was asking for too much.
Guo Shier pondered for a moment.
"Elder sister, what are you going to do with so much blood and shell?”
"Oh, hehehe! I'm going to make an Insect Glyph"
With the blood and shell of the Emerald Blade Mantis Variant, she wasn't just going to make a normal Insect Glyph—she was building a Spirit level Insect Glyph, thought Guo Shier.
Although there was a huge difference between the power and speed of the actual Emerald Blade Mantis Variant and the Spirit Insect Glyph, she would at least be able to restore one-tenth of the original strength.
“Hmmm, okay," Guo Shier replied. Since this is my first time trading with elder sister, I'm not going to drive a hard bargain. As long as I can get another Glyph of any kind, then we have a deal."
Without another word, Lan Tianbao took out another Glyph. "This is an auxiliary type Treasure Glyph. This is a basic Detoxification Glyph, which is a basic type of Glyph from the Insect Rune Sect. It's very useful if you're going to the southern forest."
Guo Shier nodded, “Good! We can trade."
From start to finish, Luo Jie did not say a word. The negotiation was single handedly managed by Guo Shier.
Luo Jie waited for his apprentice to finish talking before taking out the blood and shell of the Marked Insect Variant.
Lan Tianbao inspected the raw materials and happily stored them away.
“Shier is very cool. Elder sister took advantage of you this time. Hehehe!" said Lan Tianbao.
Luo Jie agreed. "I've never seen Shier lose from a trade before. Hahaha!"
From a short distance, Wu Yanyan had been watching curiously. She was a little puzzled.
"Shier, this Glyph cannot be activated. Why do you want it?"
Guo Shier just laughed and did not answer her question.
"Elder sister Wu, come here. You fancy the blood of the Earth Dragon Variant right? What are you going to trade for it?"
“I do not have Spirit Glyph," Wu Yanyan replied. "But I have the blood of a Marked Beast Variant. Although it's not as precious as the blood of the Dragon line, it's still a rare commodity."
Guo Shier laughed. “Then you and my master can talk about it. I just want a Spirit or Ancient Glyph. I'm not interested in other things."
Luo Jie was always fascinated by any kind of rare blood material that can be used to make a Rune. It was not enough to rely on only one material, after all. He must collect a variety of materials.
“What kind of Marked Beast Variant?” he asked.
Guo Shier did not bother to watch Wu Yanyan and his master's transaction.
Instead, he tried to affix the ancient Insect Glyph to his forehead and absorb it.
Lan Tianbao was startled. She was just about to stop Guo Shier—but it was too late.
The Ancient Insect Glyph transformed into a mass of black mist and swiftly flew into his forehead.
Lan Tianbao's jaw dropped at this unnatural scene.
A North Rune Sect Artificer Grandmaster can actually take in the Ancient Insect Glyph into his Innate Rune Book!?! She has tried so many times before, but she couldn't take in the Glyph herself.
Guo Shier then closed his eyes once the Glyph was absorbed by his Innate Rune Orb. Now, he has a complete understanding of this Glyph.
With the capabilities of his Innate Rune Orb, Guo Shier can absorb Glyphs that he has never even seen before.
Translator: Glasses TangGu