"Really?" It all happened within a day.
Ye Chong, likewise to his fellow teammates, was fully unaware of the attention they had attracted in the village. They were staying at Wang family mansion for the moment. Old Jalopy would love to be the tour guide but the last time he came here was 30 years ago, literally a window period of 3 decades, in which things could have changed drastically into something unrecognizable by him. And that was true, Old Jalopy was finding the place as foreign as the others, so they grew cautious.
"Yi Yu, how do you view our fellow strange guests?" The mistress looked at her trustworthy assistant, with fine fingers over her chin in grim. That frail mesmerized look of hers during the meal was nowhere to be seen.
Yi Yu was the middle-aged woman who served the guests at noon today. She pondered and she spoke, "They are indeed strange. But how... I can't really describe their strangeness."
The mistress nodded in approval. Part of her gorgeous face was engulfed by the darkness of the room, as gravely her brows furrowed in the dimness, "Keep an eye on them for the moment. It'll be a chore to settle that girl. Probably even Uncle Yun would have to spend a few turns with her in a fight. But we aren't letting an elite go like this."
"Understood, mistress," nodded Yi Yu.
The second early morning, Ye Chong was informed by the mistress, claiming that she was occupied by administrative works at the moment and they had been given permission to tour the village as they wished.
That would be great. The entire group was very much intrigued by the happening village, including both Ye Chong and Rui bing - the pair usually indifferent to the world - who were highly interested on the ancient establishment. Ye Chong however, also sensed a danger in this village. That was reasonable as he was in an utterly foreign environment filled with people bearing a total different mindset than any other galaxy he had visited before.
Nonetheless it felt bitter in his heart when he thought of how he was getting farther and farther away from Mu Shang the more he tried to reach them. He thought by now he was exactly a few galaxies away from them, but in reality Mu Shang had already arrived by He Yue galaxy.
The village was huge, only when you were traveling by foot. The village would become a small garden to stroll once you boarded a mech. Ye Chong was calculating how many mechs it would take to raid the entire village. The strength demonstrated by the troops of Wang was already triggering red light in his mind. Wang Zishi was technically a pretty decent fighter, he lost merely because the lack of experience. And there were a population of 8 hundred thousands in the village. Imagine the number of fighters as competent as Wang Zishi in that.
Ye Chong would never buy the statement that Wang Zishi was the best fighter in the village.
There must be tons of better fighters.
And if any conflict were to happen, Ye Chong and Rui Bing might be safe but the others would be toasted. That would be an undesired situation since they would have insufficient members to operate the entire spaceship. Cornerstone would be a real stone in the corner instead of a significant foundation to his journey. It would be a major challenge to ensure safety of everybody but it did not seem like he had other main mission to attempt on his list to proceed with his game.
The space zone was as natural as it was introduced. The village was primeval as on
e could imagine, not even the slightest bit of technological interference could be seen here. Every building was made out of clays and woods. It felt like a magical theme park with ridings of peculiar-looking animals.
There was this riding animal called Umen. Its limbs were strong, befitting to its gigantic size. Its paws were thick but it was docile in nature while being a steady ride lasting in journeys. There was also an animal in the pen called Hurryclaw, its action was dexterous and speedy, perfect for short, quick travel, while its front paws were armed with metallic shoes which provided it some offensive aspects.
The street was wide, flooded with crowd. Almost everyone in the strange costume of theirs was riding Umen and Hurryclaw around. There were rows of shops at both sides of the road, with strange items and fascinating scenery.
"So this is the market," said Wang Meng, "As mentioned this is the largest trading space within proximity of 300 kilometers. Merchants all around the area would run their business here, so choices are fine I guess, even though still incompetent to Village of Hundred Tribes. Do not worry, you could pick whatever you want. The mistress had just handed me a large amount of money. Keep your wallet and keep shopping." The last sentence ran dramatically.
It certainly feels great to shop all you want, especially when someone is going to pay the bill for you.
Fei Si's eyes twitched, even Rui Bing's expression melted a little as she did intend to have few new garbs in her wardrobe. Unlike men like Ye Chong, she could not stand wearing the same garb for months.
And that was when the men learned the painful experience of going shopping with women, as the underlings of Wang Meng carrying mountains and mountains of things. Wang Meng showed his sympathy through the constant glances, pronouncing that he would never ever go shopping with women again. He could not accept the fact that Rui Bing was not monstrous only in her skills but also when she got her shopping list. Ye Chong remained expressionless however, seemed to be unaware of the weight in his hands. His stamina and patience were something impressive.
And that was when he suddenly held his steps and headed into one shop.
It was rather surprising as everybody else except Ye Chong had made their purchase of the day throughout the travel, even that scarred man bought a new dagger for himself. It was as if nothing in the market could capture Ye Chong's interests, till he stopped by that one shop.
What is there?
Wang Meng lifted his head and saw the name, "The Treasure Pavilion".
Oh he sure has some good taste.
He gave a bitter smile and followed the folks.
The Treasure Pavilion was somehow... one-of-a-kind, very much different than the other shops the folks had visited before. The pavilion was not the one with the fanciest furnishings but it just felt different. The items offered in the shop were measly, only few tens of them, pathetically measly compared to other shops, except they were given exceptional care as being kept inside a single wooden cabinet each.
There were no other customers than Ye Chong and the folks. The owner of the shop was a middle-aged man who stood expressionlessly at the counter. The norm of friendly business courtesy seemed to be non-existent on that unsmiling face of his.
Ye Chong gave a glance around and he found what he wanted.
"How much is this?" Pointed Ye Chong at one brownish nut which had the appearance of an ostrich egg, with wavy stripes over it while exuding a particular kind of aroma.
Nobody knew what kind of nut it was.
"Not for sale." The owner looked at Ye Chong and flatly he stated, "We only do exchanges. Get something of a similar value and we'll talk."
Only exchanges? That's new...
That was new indeed. Wang Meng had once heard of this fairly odd shop with odd rules and an odd-tempered owner yet having an array of oddly good stuffs. The owner's odd temper and regulations had offended quite a number of customers when the shop first opened. Moreover the number of goodies inside the shop was envy-inducing that a handful of people coveted but all of them somehow vanished by the time things were supposed to happen.
The owner might be odd-tempered, but he seemed to be highly respected by the mistress so not many villagers would want to cause havoc in his shop.
"Exchange?" Ye Chong frowned with his head tilted.
"Yeah, yeah, only exchanges, we don't want your money," the owner emphasized.
"Well, guess I can't help you with that," shrugged Wang Meng.
"What do you want in exchange for that?" asked Ye Chong.
The owner got up and gave a close look at Ye Chong whose expression seemed convincingly determined, "Regardless of what the thing is, the deal is on as long as it's something I've never seen before."
Something he had never seen before?
Ye Chong pondered, as he took out some red strands from his bag. The red strands about breadth of a thumb were glossing in brilliant scarlet. Those were the loot from Ye Chong's adventure in the Red Sea back then, the remnants after the living strands disappeared, the very essence of their entity. The strands were highly durable, uncuttable using normal knife, only Ye Chong's modified dagger so far could leave a mark on it.
"How about this?" asked Ye Chong.
The owner jumped from his seat and took the red strands, gave a few looks, astonishment then filled his quivering cheeks. "Very strange."
And he gave a pull, a violent pull, a more violent pull. Thump~ the red strand was stretched, yet it never broke no matter how violently the owner pulled.
"This is good stuff! Very resilient being! And it's so elastic! Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!" The owner was very fascinated as he kept stretching the strand playfully. Wang Meng was astounded though... as he realized the owner was truly not an ordinary folk, judging by how the strand was pulled, the owner was clearly very powerful of his strength. No wonder the mistress once warned them to not mess with his shop.
"Deal?" asked Ye Chong.
"Deal! I'm a fool if I don't accept this deal!" He rose his brows, the owner quickly replied and happily gave Ye Chong the brown nut with both hands.
"Okay." Ye Chong took the brown nut and left the shop right away.
"Hold it right there,," shouted the owner.
"Yes?" Ye Chong seemed bewildered.
"What do you call this?" he asked Ye Chong curiously.
"I dunno. You could give it a name yourself," Ye Chong said and walked out of the Treasure Pavilion right after.