At the Misty Peak cafeteria, Wang Lu, Wen Bao and Mu Xiao each took their respective seat.
Mu Xiao looked around to observe the scene at the cafeteria as emotion welled up in his heart. Ever since that chef from the Western Continent came, he hasn't eaten at this place for a very long time.
He then turned his head and saw that famous specialty dish "Look Up at the Starry Sky"—those fish heads standing upright on top of the cake—and could not help but sigh at the people's misery.
Before long, the puppet waitress served their ordered dishes in succession. It also delivered two bottles of purple red Western Wine. After pouring for the three of them, it quietly withdrew.
Wang Lu picked up the wine glass and then said with a smile, "It's nice, right? In this huge lobby, there're only three of us. It's like our own private place. You can't find this kind of treatment in anywhere else.
Mu Xiao inwardly sighed and thought, "Why wouldn't it? This place is rarely visited, so when our group deigned to visit, that Western Foreign Chef would probably like to run over here and kiss our feet." However, for now, he was not in the mood to care about this cafeteria thing.
"If you have something to say, please get straight to the point."
"Very well, I won't be polite then." Wang Lu put down the wine glass. "About our previous bet… If I want to claim it, you, Senior Brother, won't be able to pay your debt."
Mu Xiao mirthlessly laughed but did not say any word.
"Two thousand eight hundred and ninety points is equivalent to two hundred and thirty-nine thousand spirit stones. Even the sect Elders won't be able to come up with this huge sum of money. Not to mention Senior Brother, you are just ordinary disciple, so your cultivation requires a lot of power consumption from those spirit stones, am I right? However, it doesn't matter, I am not going to force you."
Not going to force?
Mu Xiao was immediately shocked. Although it seemed improbable, the meaning of Wang Lu's words was… No, have those from the Non-Phase Peak ever had such a compassionate heart? In accordance with that greedy for money Fifth Elder, it was highly likely that he would be forced to pay a lifetime's usury that he won't be able to afford! It was also because of this that Mu Xiao had the impulse to retreat and live in seclusion for a hundred years at the sword tomb.
"Wang Lu, what exactly is your game here!? I have previously offended you, so now I acknowledge that I got what I deserve! If you want to finish me, you are free to do so, but don't make fun of me!"
But then he saw Wang Lu sternly reply, "Senior Brother Mu Xiao, as fellow disciples of the Spirit Sword Sect, no matter what happens between us, I would never ever thought of killing you! Do you think we are sworn enemy? Those are nothing but a disagreement, a dispute, what does it have to do with enmity?"
Even if Wang Lu castrated him on the spot, it wouldn't cause Mu Xiao to be so dumbstruck as this.
"You, you mean…" "How could you be so considerate!? This is so unlike you at all!"
Then, he heard Wang Lu continue, "On the day of that disagreement, no one did it intentionally. So, Senior Brother need not feel remorse. On that day, did Senior Brother deliberately make things difficult for me?"
Mu Xiao quickly shook his head. "Absolutely not! Actually, actually…"
Wang Lu said, "It was your face at stake there."
"Face…" Mu Xiao muttered. After a moment, he suddenly drank all the wine in his glass in one gulp, and then he sighed. "What a mess caused by face!"
For a time, many things weighed down his heart.
He then poured down another glass of wine and drank it all.
"Oh, Senior Brother Wang Lu, what you said is true. At that time I… In short, it's because of my preconceived stereotypes of you in addition to you not acting servilely in front of me like the other Junior Disciples. Alas, my moment of mischief almost ruined your important matter."
Mu Xiao emptied another glass and said, "Luckily, you Senior Brother Wang Lu are broad minded!"
"Senior Brother Mu Xiao, you are too kind…"
"Don't call me Senior Brother; according to the sect rules, before I reach Jindan Stage, I am not qualified to be the Senior Brother of a Successor Disciple… Alas, all of this bad conduct is because of face, I actually almost forgot all the sect rules."
As he spoke, another glass of wine entered his stomach. The Western Wine in this Misty Peak cafeteria was made from some heavenly materials and earthly treasures; it was quite strong. After a few glasses, Mu Xiao was already slightly intoxicated.
"Then, as for that bet; Senior Brother Wang Lu, rest assured, no matter what, I owe you that much! Starting tomorrow, I will quit working at the Heavenly Policy Hall and then descend the mountain to do experiential learning! They say earning spirit stones down the mountain is relatively quick. With my Xudan Stage strength, as long as I give my best, gaining two hundred thousands spirit stones is not that hard."
Wang Lu counseled, "I told you there's no need to think about your gambling debt."
"Ai, how can I not think about it!? Especially after I listened to your enlightening words, I felt even more ashamed! If I just throw away this gambling debt, then in the future, I would never have a good sleep! And if I can't have peace with my conscience, there will be obstacles in my cultivation, and I'll never reach a higher level!"
Wang Lu sighed. "You're too persistent."
Mu Xiao said with a smile, "As a cultivator, how could I not be persistent? Haha, maybe because of this chance, when I descend the mountain, I would cultivate even harder! Within ten years, I'll show you guys that I'll reach the Jindan Stage!"
Seeing Mu Xiao had already been thoroughly affected by the wine, Wang Lu nodded. "Having such a grand ambition is indeed praiseworthy! But Junior Brother Mu Xiao, think about this, if you truly descend the mountain to pay off your debt, what will Martial Uncle Liu think about me?"
Mu Xiao was immediately stunned. "This… I would explain it to him."
"Based on Martial Uncle Liu's temper, I am afraid he will take it the wrong way. Not to mention that your action would make the Heavenly Policy Hall short of manpower, who would take your place? If someone arbitrarily pick another Senior Brother to replace you, I'm afraid he won't have your efficiency."
It was as if someone had poured cold water on Mu Xiao's head; he said, "Then, what should I do?"
Wang Lu inwardly laughed. "It has finally arrived."
"This is somewhat a coincidence. I happen to be in need of something that is slightly embarrassing and need Junior Brother Mu Xiao's help."
Mu Xiao hurriedly said, "You might as well say it! Anything!"
Wang Lu said, "Actually, for you, Junior Brother, this is not difficult. But to me, it's very important. If you are willing to help, it would be equal to that two hundred thousand spirit stones."
"Is there such a thing?" Mu Xiao was surprised.
"Yeah, this experiential learning in the Small Clear Sky Peak would perhaps be a miracle in other people's eyes. But actually, for me, it's still somewhat a disappointment."
Mu Xiao suddenly sucked in a mouthful of cold air. "You think that's a disappointment? What do you think of other people's achievement then, a waste?"
Wang Lu said, "Actually, when we did the experiential learning, I and Wen Bao were already at our limits; our tactics have no more room for improvement. After much deliberation, I concluded that our team is somewhat weak. If we want to make up for the shortcomings, we need to introduce new blood."
Mu Xiao nodded his head, expressing his understanding. However, inwardly, he thought, "What does this have to do with me? Does he need my help in recommending a candidate?"
"It's like this, the foreign aid that I hope to introduce… has a somewhat special identity."
Mu Xiao froze for a moment and then frowned. "Could it be someone from the evil path?"
"Um, where would I know someone from the evil path? Rest assured, that person's past history is not going to be an issue. Um, I can vouch this person on behalf of the Fifth Elder's name, it won't stain your name. The special identity of that foreign aid is that, that person is not a cultivator, but a mortal world's martial art master."
"Mortal world's martial art master!?" Mu Xiao was taken aback. "Wouldn't that be the same as suicide!?"
Wang Lu pointed at himself. "Don't forget that I am technically just a mortal world's martial art master. I can guarantee that person is absolutely strong, much more stronger than me. That person is the key to complete the challenge."
Mu Xiao hesitated. "But, in accordance with the rules…"
Wang Lu said, "Yes, in accordance with the rules, unless the person is a Successor Disciple like myself, no mortal is allowed to enter the Small Clear Sky Peak. However, if there's a guarantee from a sect Elder, that's a completely different matter. Now, I can easily get that guarantee using the Fifth Elder's guarantee document, but the key is whether Junior Brother Mu Xiao willing to admit your mistake."
Finally understanding the crux of the matter, Mu Xiao silently nodded.
If he stuck to the rules, Wang Lu could easily bypass him by coming up with a guarantee document on behalf of the Fifth Elder's name and use that exception to include the foreign aid. But, like the so-called 'rules are dead but people are alive', in order to avoid problems with the actual operation, Wang Lu still needed his consent as the official in charge.
However, there were two problems. One, how could Wang Lu brazenly use the elder's seal? Was she aware about this? Two, even if the Fifth Elder personally issued the guarantee document, in light of her peculiarities, whether that document would be valid or not, it was another matter entirely. In the end, the one who could allow Wang Lu to include a foreign aid was indeed Mu Xiao.
This matter was indeed a bit difficult for him to decide. According to Mu Xiao's character, the uncertainty on this thing was too many, and the risk was too high, so normally, he would definitely reject such a proposal. However, the one who proposed this was, after all, his Senior Brother Wang Lu… But if he gave him his consent, it would be a great violation of the relevant rules.
When Mu Xiao was still hesitating, Wang Lu continued.
"Junior Brother Mu Xiao, if you think this matter is not reliable, I can try to work something out."
Upon hearing this, Mu Xiao could only clench his teeth. "Even if this thing is unreliable, but you, Senior Brother Wang Lu, are absolutely reliable, so I trust you! How about this, I'll write you a permission document. I'll left the name empty, feel free to fill it later. I happen to bring the office seal so I'll give it to you now!"
While talking, Mu Xiao pulled out the Heavenly Policy Hall official seal from his bag, opened up the already formatted golden colored sincerity paper and stamped the seal on the lower right part of that paper.
"Okay, it's done. Later on, you can fill any name in it. However, because this is a sincerity paper, be sure to fill the real name of that person. Once you fill out that person's name in this document, your companion would be able to pass through the restriction spells on the Small Clear Sky."
Upon hearing this, Wang Lu frowned, yet he immediately took that document, and then raised the wine glass and laughed. "Junior Brother Mu Xiao is really frank and straightforward! I salute you!"
"Well said! Drink up!"
After completely violating the operational rules, Mu Xiao seemed to loosen up a lot and started to enjoy the pleasure of the wine. After finishing the glass, he directly drank it from the bottle, which scared the sh*t out of Wang Lu and Wen Bao.
However, after being an official for three years, he had enough time to practice his drinking skill. Thus, although he had already felt tipsy because of the strong wine, his mood became even more carefree instead.
"Haha, what a great wine!"
Wang Lu echoed him, "Yes, it's great indeed! But we need to eat too, not just drink! We can't leave before we try the Western Traditional Dishes!"
Mu Xiao casually picked up the chopsticks and subconsciously took a piece of that "Look Up at the Starry Sky" cake—the one he cursed and resented—on their table and put it in his mouth.
Then, he went unconscious; his head fell on the table, unable to get up.