eady prepared for such a scenario. He had already meddled with the composition of each Dan to make the thief’s job even more difficult.
Let’s just say even an alchemist of the first realm will not be able to reverse engineer this particular formula. Of course, he could encounter a cultivator with uncanny ability to identify Dan essence. But the chances of that are slim to none.
Therefore, the alchemists and cultivators of the Artifact Trade Convention could only be left disappointed.
"Well then, rest assured, when you come tomorrow, the Trade Convention will definitely be ready to present you with an offer you’ll be pleased with." With a swing of his sleeve, Zhao Zong Hua summoned a golden, metallic looking card and explained, "This is the Card of Spiritual Stones. There are 1,800,000 stones in this particular one, cashable at any bank inside the Zhou Dynasty. This is for the 50 Luxury Dans. We shall talk about the price for the Healing Dans tomorrow."
Ling Xian nodded and put away the card. Then, he rose to depart.
"Would you not wish to examine the content of the card first?" Zhao Zong Hua asked in a tone of surprise. He was shocked that Ling Xian didn’t bother glancing at such an enormous sum of wealth a second time.
"The Artifact Trade Convention has so little credibility? Isn’t it the largest trading platform inside the Zhou Dynasty?" Ling Xian shook his head and asked, half joking and half seriously, "Not to mention, do you dare deceive me?"
"Well... of course not." The pain he felt when the blow struck his chest was still fresh in his mind and on his body. Of course, he wouldn’t dare deceive Ling Xian. He was keen on staying alive.
Ling Xian suddenly remembered Liao Cang Xiong’s condition and asked, "Right, does the Trade Convention have Mount of the Healing Soul, Lake of the Resting Soul, Iron of the Setting Soul, or Wood of the Warming Soul? Only a little would do."
Zhao Zong Hua paused a moment and tried to make sure he knew what was asked of him. Then, with an apologetic smile, he replied, "Friend, that is too much to ask. Those are incredibly rare items of immense value. Even if we had it, the Trade Convention would guard it as our top secret. Those items will never appear in a store like mine. But, for you, I can ask."
Ling Xian sighed in disappointment and responded, "Very well, I leave it with you then."
"Leave it to me. Tomorrow, same time, same place." Zhao Zong Hua noticed the disappointing look and realized the importance of those items. If the headquarters actually had them, this would be a good opportunity to bargain for the formula of the Healing Dan.
"En, I will be here. Ling Xian bids you farewell." Ling Xian nodded and turned to leave.
Zhao Zong Hua watched his shadow disappear. Then, he hurried to the backyard and made preparations for the request to be sent to the headquarters.
The midday sun shone brightly over the busy alleyways.
Ling Xian walked amongst the crowded streets with mixed feelings.
There were only 80 days until Liao Cang Xiong’s soul vanishes forever. For Ling Xian, there was no time to lose.
Mount of the Healing Soul, Lake of the Resting Soul, Iron of the Setting Soul, and Wood of the Warming Soul were some of the rarest and most elusive items in the world. Even a mighty establishment like the Artifact Trade Convention may not have them in their possession.
"Aye, we’ll have to wait and see. Hopefully, I get some good news, any news." Ling Xian sighed. But he collected himself and continued more confidently, "If not, I’ll go look for them in the supernatural realm. Even if I have to die, I’ll die saving him."
Liao Cang Xiong was not just his Master, but more importantly his savior. Without him, Ling Xian would not be where he was today. Ling Xian would never rest until he is saved.
Ling Xian made this promise to himself. Regardless of how difficult this journey may be, he will find the antidote that will bring Liao Cang Xiong back from the brink of death.
"May as well go back to the hotel and wait for tomorrow's news. If nothing comes out of it, I’ll go immediately to other dynasties. 1,800,000 spiritual stones and 50 Healing Dans should be able to buy something that heals the soul," Ling Xian muttered to himself and continued on in the direction of his hotel.
Just as he turned to leave, the sound of a kerfuffle broke out in his path.
A young woman dressed in a light green dress was running for her life, her dressed dotted in flashes of red. Behind her, three men in black cloaks were in pursuit, leaving behind an enormously powerful Qi. The busy street suddenly fell silent. All eyes were fixed on the lonely woman and the frightening trio.
Three people, all foundational-level cultivators!
The woman was also a foundational-level cultivator, but evidently no match for the trio. Her conditions were not ideal. Her clothes were covered in bloodstains, her Qi weak. She wasn’t going to last long.
Ling Xian stopped in his tracked and looked at the fleeing woman. Her face was hidden behind a silky veil. But her eyes were exposed. Those eyes suddenly awakened a memory buried deep in his mind. He had seen those eyes before.
She returned his gaze in the same instant. Suddenly, she stopped in her tracks and looked at him in astonishment.
The woman broke into tears the moment their eyes locked.
Ling Xian was completely stunned. Moments later, as the pursuers closed in, he suddenly became consumed with rage. In one swift moment, he leaped out in front of the fleeing woman, turned around, and stood firmly between her and her pursuers.
Then, in a proud, anger-filled voice, he shouted.
"This woman is now under my protection."