The person sitting across from Ye Zichen looked just over twenty years old. He was short and seemed under-developed. He had prominent cheekbones and was covered in freckles. His beady, shifty eyes darted in all four directions.
The young man had come out of nowhere, but Ye Zichen wasn’t particularly displeased. Instead, he was even someone intrigued.
“That’s right, Sir. I, Bai Xiaosheng, know all there is to know of heaven and earth. I’m proficient in all kinds of divination techniques. No matter what you want to know, I, Bai Xiaosheng, can help you,” said the youth with the utmost certainty. However, given his shifty eyes and disreputable look, it was hard to feel any sort of trust.
“Brat, are you trying to trick our customers again!?”
At that moment, the clerk emerged from the wine cellar. When he saw the youth, he immediately chastised him. He set the gourd onto the table, then turned to Ye Zichen and said, “Sir, whatever you do, don’t believe his lies. This troublemaker is a famous scoundrel. He makes his living through lies and trickery. If you’re interested in buying information, I suggest Grandmaster Yi. He’s actually proficient in divination, and his predictions are accurate at least eighty or ninety percent of the time.”
“Tch, what can that geezer predict? He’s just got a few subordinates out constantly gathering information for him is all. He’ll answer people’s questions when he can, and when he can’t, he just says ‘we cannot reveal the inner workings of fate…….’ Feh. If that were true, I would have been zapped to death a hundred times by now.”
The youth hacked up a mouthful of spit. He obviously disdained the “Grandmaster” Yi the clerk had recommended.
“That’s still better than just randomly making up nonsense,” said the clerk, glaring viciously at the youth. The clerk reached out and grabbed him by the collar. “Get out of here. Quit trying to scam our customers. I’ll let what you said earlier slide, but this honored guest isn’t someone you can afford to offend.”
Although the clerk wasn’t particularly tall, he was obviously much stronger than this youth.
The clerk grabbed him by the collar. The youth instantly pushed him away and shouted, “A cultivated man uses his words, not his fists. Let me tell you, I am the reincarnation of one of the Emperor Star’s Auxiliary Stars. I have an incredibly lofty status!”
“You dare spout such nonsense here….” The clerk raised his fists as if to strike the youth, only for Ye Zichen to stop him halfway through.
“Sir?” The clerk asked in confusion.
Ye Zichen took yet another bag of coins from a spatial ring. As it thudded to the table, the youth’s eyes widened. “That's at least five hundred spirit coins,” he murmured to himself.
Ye Zichen pointed to the bag, then addressed the clerk.
“Bring me a few side dishes. You can keep whatever’s left as your reward.”
"Of course, sir.” The clerk accepted it, clearly pleased. It had definitely been worth approaching Ye Zichen. He’d earned at least a thousand spirit coins in just one night.
Once he accepted the money, the clerk frowned at the youth. “Sir, that kid…..”
“Let him stay. I’m interested in what he said just now.” Ye Zichen smiled calmly.
“You hear that?” With Ye Zichen’s support, the youth instantly grew arrogant. “This good sir is interested in what I have to say. You’d better listen to him. He’s got sharp eyes and can see that I’m no ordinary person. You’re destined to be a servant for the rest of your life, while I’m destined to traverse the nine heavens.”
After a pause, he snorted, “what are you just standing there for? Hurry up and bring us our food and drinks!”
The clerk paused, dumbfounded. Ye Zichen had paid him so handsomely, he couldn’t bear to just watch this kid scam him. He couldn’t help but try and warn him, “Sir, you have to be careful. This brat is full of tricks and knows all kinds of ways to scam others.”
Ye Zichen acknowledged the clerk’s good intentions, then sent him off to prepare their food and drinks. When he was gone, Ye Zichen turned to the youth and laughed, “Let’s try this one more time. I’m Ye Zichen.”
“Bai Xiaosheng!” the youth said arrogantly. As he spoke, he fanned himself. He really did look somewhat like nobility.
“Alright, Bai Xiaosheng. That’s a good name,” Ye Zichen said with a smile.
“Hmph. I can see you’re no ordinary person. You’re not like these commoners. Go on, then. What did you want to ask me? I’ll tell you anything I know without reservations. That said, you’ll have to follow the rules. Once I’ve shared information with you, you can’t go on and sell it to others. Also, all my information comes at a price!”
By now, Ye Zichen roughly understood. Simply put, this Hundred Daybreaks Inn was a hotspot for selling information, with people conducting business at practically every table. The flow of people in and out were their customers. The salesmen seemed like they worked alongside the staff. They likely shared a portion of their profits with the inn.
Ye Zichen’s eyes flashed with delight. He turned to Bai Xiaosheng and said, “earlier, didn’t you say you were one of the Emperor Star’s Auxiliary Stars? Which one are you specifically?”
Bai Xiaosheng said nothing. Instead, he glanced meaningfully at Ye Zichen’s immortal brew. Ye Zichen instantly understood and passed the gourd over.
“Not bad.” He seemed quite pleased by Ye Zichen’s behavior. He lifted the gourd to his lips. Instantly, his arrogance vanished without a trace as he poured the alcohol into his mouth.
“It’s been years since I last tasted Jade Dewdrop Wine.” He took gulp after gulp, his face gradually reddening. When the gourd was empty, Bai Xiaosheng wiped his mouth and burped.
“You’re asking which star I am?”
Ye Zichen chuckled and nodded. He’d stopped the clerk from chasing Bai Xiaosheng away simply because the kid said he was an Auxiliary Star. Ye Zichen was the Emperor Star after all. He naturally had to pay attention to self-professed Auxiliary Stars.
“Since you’ve been so understanding, I’ll let you know my secret, but you absolutely must not tell anyone else. Otherwise, you’ll bring disaster upon me.”
“I’m actually one of the Four Great Auxiliary Stars serving the Emperor Star, the Literati Star!” Bai Xiaosheng let out a self-satisfied grin. Of the Auxiliary stars, the Literati Star was absolutely the best in terms of divinations. So long as this idiot believed him, Bai Xiaosheng could name whatever price he wanted for his information. He was going to make a killing!
In truth, he’d had his eye on Ye Zichen for a long time. He tipped at the drop of the hat. To Bai Xiaosheng, he was obviously just a brainless moneybags. Bai Xiaosheng’s infamy had already spread throughout Raging Flame City; everyone knew he was a scam artist. It was increasingly difficult for him to make money.
This Ye Zichen was a stranger, and he was rich…..
When the clerk came to chase him away, he’d been on the edge of his seat, but then this moron sent the clerk away. That meant Bai Xiaosheng’s fortune was about to change!
“Are you telling me you’re the Literati Star?” Ye Zichen smiled calmly, his thoughts utterly unreadable in his gaze.
Bai Xiaosheng didn’t know why, but looking at him set his heart on edge. Even so, he steeled himself and said decisively, “that’s right. I’m the Literati Star! What, you don’t believe me? Given the look on your face, it seems you want to tell me you’ve met the Literati Star? In that case, I’m truly sorry, but it seems I’ve never met you before!”
“Ha.. hah…..” Ye Zichen laughed coolly, then his expression instantly soured. He narrowed his eyes and snorted. “There’s no way you’re the Literati Star. Unfortunately for you, I…. happen to have met the real one!”