How much should he give the man? Han Yue was deeply troubled. He had quite an amount of cash with him, about 30 Yan-zuan. That was a substantial figure for just about anyone, but paying only 30 Yan-zuan to such a terrifying alchemist … What if he offended that man? After all, the man had used the legendary Green Tempest to save them. If he did not reward the man generously, even Han Yue would think himself stingy.
"Then ask him!" Han Yue thought to himself, but he really did not want to speak to that strange man. It was not just him. The rest of the group dared not speak to the God of Death. In fact, not even a fly could be spotted within 10 meters of Ye Chong. In the end, Han Yue braced himself and spoke to the man, and was given the reply - "Up to you."
Ye Chong had no idea of the local currency and its value, so he came up with this reply.
"Up to you" could mean a lot of things. In the end, Han Yue suggested to Ye Chong that he pay him when they reached Emerald City. The city was under the power of the Han Family, so it would also be more advantageous for him.
Ye Chong studied the map, and found that Emerald City was the closest and only city within reasonable distance, so he agreed. He needed to resupply in the city anyway.
Han Yue had quickly handed over a map to Ye Chong. After studying the map, Ye Chong found that he was quite a distance from the Wang Village. Black Forest was much larger than he expected. He could not believe his luck.
On the other hand, how were Rui Bing and the rest doing? He could he be certain that they had encountered some problems. It had been so many days since, how were they?
"Let’s keep ourselves alive!" Ye Chong muttered to himself.
After handing over the map to Ye Chong, Han Yue did not wish to stay in his company for a second longer, and quickly took his leave. Ye Chong did not delay his exit, and saw him to the door.
"What’s that strange man doing alone in his tent everyday?" A voice outside was saying.
"Who knows? Aren’t alchemists all mysterious people?" Another voice responded.
The first voice laughed. "Hehe, careful you don’t let Bibia hear you, or you’ll be in for trouble."
"Cheh, Bibia is fine, he’ll just let you suffer a bit. If it’s that strange man, probably no one’ll be left to claim your body after."
"Yea yea. Don’t worry, I don’t plan on claiming your body, who knows what kind of poison will be left on you," the other person said.
Ye Chong wanted to roll his eyes so high up. He had heard so many similar conversations these days. No one dared to go near him, and his tent was steered clear of. Ye Chong did not plan to chat with them too, so he stayed in his own tent to research everyday.
Seeing Ye Chong always staying in, the other people began to speak more freely. They did not expect Ye Chong to be able to hear every word they said. Han Yue had kept all tents close to each other for safety reasons. Ye Chong’s sharp hearing also allowed him to hear almost everything in the campsite.
These days, he was the hottest topic of discussion.
However, another conversation caught his attention. He focused on the weak, soft voice.
"That strange man’s crazy! So cruel! Heavens, to think that there’s someone so crazy out there!" It was a woman’s voice. There were only two women in the entire campsite - the Old Mistress and her maidservant. This must be the maidservant speaking.
"Haha, Ying’er, you’re wrong there. The more ruthless you are against the enemy, the better your chances are of survival," the Old Mistress spoke warmly and lovingly.
"Mistress, he’s still too ruthless. Ying’er couldn’t sleep these days with those nightmares. So scary! He’s just like his ancestor," Ying’er complained tenderly.
"Oh, his ancestor? Did Ying’er hear about something outside?" The Old Mistress asked, curious.
"Yes, they’ve been discussing it these days." The maidservant Ying’er recited the origin of the Green Tempest excitedly.
Ye Chong finally realized the story behind it. He thought it strange that Lunatic Guan did not mention it one bit in her chip. If only he knew, then he would not have chosen the Green Tempest. He had a few other alternatives, but the Green Tempest was the most convenient. Besides, the weather that day was very suitable for its usage. That was why he chose that weapon.
It was not his intention to draw attention towards him. He knew very early on that it was better to lay low. It he was found out to be an outsider, that would be a very tricky situation.
"Oh, so the strange man has a very prominent teacher," the Old Mistress said.
"Famous? How can such a bad person be considered prominent?" Ying’er muttered.
The Old Mistress smiled. "Haha, be it a good or bad reputation, aren’t they all famous?"
Ye Chong listened to them talk, and began to think. Could Lunatic Guan be a successor of the Green Tempest’s inventor? After all, Lunatic Guan had always been secretive about her school.
However, Green Tempest did not particularly standing out in her chip. Lunatic Guan had described it with her usual plain manner.
Ye Chong quickly set the problem aside. He was interested in knowledge itself, but he did not feel a particular sense of belonging to any alchemy school.
"It’s obvious that he’s not a good man. Think about it, Mistress, what kind of people want to discuss terms when it’s an emergency? If he’s a good man, he’d have helped us earlier. Any delay would have cost a life! He’s just a sordid little man, not some capable gentleman." Ying’er was obviously looking down on Ye Chong.
"Haha, that’s not exactly true. He’s not related to us in any way. We can only be grateful that he’s willing to save us. Besides, Ying’er, didn’t you notice, he never specified an exact amount of money. Think about it, if he had demanded a huge sum back then, we could only agree with it. Besides, why would anyone so powerful as him lack money? If he wanted money, he’d have plenty of ways to get it, no need to expend so much effort like that. As for the map, it’s even more worthless. Haha, that man may not be as bad as you think," the Old Mistress said with a smile.
"But," Ying’er hesitated, and asked, "Isn’t he afraid that we’ll not pay up?"
"Oh, my dear, think about it for awhile. If he can save us from all the fangwolves, then surely it’s not too hard to kill us all too. Han Yue would not be as silly as you in these matters. It only makes sense to try to recruit someone to powerful. Why make an enemy with him just because of money?" The Old Mistress told her off lightly, and explained the reasonings behind their actions.
"Yeah. But he’s all cool and emotionless, not like a human at all. Sigh, Mistress, do you think he’ll really kill us if we don’t pay him?" Ying’er asked with interest.
The Old Mistress was silent for a moment before replying her with certainty, "He will, definitely. Ying’er, there are a few kinds of people that you should never seek trouble with in this world, and that man is one of them. Remember that!" The Old Mistress said this solemnly, without her earlier warmth.
"Ying’er will remember!" Ying’er answered obediently.
There was no useful information from their later conversation, so Ye Chong gave up on listening. He was in no habit of wasting time. All his time was spent on improving himself. Perhaps it would take a long time to gain a slight improvement, and he would probably not achieve anything given the short time he had now. However, he knew that strength was something that was gradually accumulated over time.
He would never waste time.
Before he could relax himself, his ears caught an almost imperceptible sound. In the darkness of his tent, Ye Chong’s eyes lit up abruptly.
It seemed that someone was approaching. Ye Chong could not be certain. Soon, however, he could already make out the sounds of footsteps. The footsteps were light and hurried.
An ambush! Ye Chong was surprised, but quickly calmed down.
He did some quick calculations, but could not arrive at an accurate figure. There were no less than a hundred of them, and they were all skilled. If Ye Chong had not been concentrating on hearing that conversation earlier, he would not have noticed them. It was luck that allowed Ye Chong to notice them so soon.
The ambushers moved quickly. Ye Chong even heard a few suppressed moans. Some people were already dealt with.
They were ruthless! Ye Chong noted to himself. Now, he had to focus on protecting himself. Attacks with clear objectives were often done ruthlessly. Besides, Ye Chong had no plans of handing himself over easily.
Ye Chong did not stand up. He quietly opened the leaf pouches on his waist. The strong, scentless knockout agents quickly filled up his tent. Right now, it was better to stay inside than rush out.
For now, he could only wait for them to take the bait. Ye Chong did not move in the dark. He sat quietly and patiently like a nocturnal predator, waiting for its prey.