"But why is she here? And, why is she called Zhang Xin Ci? In my memories, she was clearly a Gu Master, why are they saying she doesn't have cultivation aptitude and is a mortal?"
Fang Yuan was bewildered.
"Is she not Shang Xin Ci and is only similar in appearance? But this is too similar! No, wait a second…"
Fang Yuan's rummaged through his mind, and suddenly, he extracted a very old information from the depths of his memories.
"Shang Xin Ci had a rough life. She was an illegitimate child born of Shang clan leader when he had gone out to travel. She didn't have a father since young and had to endure being bullied. After her mother died, her life became more difficult. She was forced by her clansmen to follow the caravan and become a merchant. In the end, when she arrived at Shang Clan city, the Shang clan leader sensed her bloodline. Shang clan leader felt both surprised and happy, admitting her as his daughter in front of the public. But he still felt he owed her a lot, thus he would bear with and cover up a lot of her mistakes."
Upon thinking this, Fang Yuan's gaze brightened.
"So that's it, I understand now!"
Combining the situation before him with the broken clues in his memories, Fang Yuan arrived at the truth.
Many years ago, when Shang clan leader was only a young master of the Shang clan, he left his seed in Zhang clan; it was Shang Xin Ci.
Shang clan and Zhang clan were at odds with each other since ancient times.
When Shang Xin Ci was born, her mother didn't dare to reveal about the Shang clan leader due to this. Thus, Shang Xin Ci was born as a disgraceful illegitimate child and took on her mother's surname.
This was the reason why she was still being called as Zhang Xin Ci.
After her mother died, she was forced by the clansmen to be a merchant. And after she ended up arriving at Shang clan city, her bloodline was discovered. Her father had also become the Shang clan leader, and with such a high status, he acknowledged her in front of everybody, completely changing her fate.
"So to say, this caravan is her first journey as a merchant!"
Fang Yuan's heart began to thump loudly when he realized this.
One should know, this Shang Xin Ci was a stock that was absolutely guaranteed to increase; she was the future Shang clan leader. No one would believe it if it was said now.
Of course, the future was prone to changes.
Even in the original track in his memories, there were drastic changes in the world, and even the powerful Shang clan was already ruined by the time she became the clan leader.
To Fang Yuan, waiting till she became Shang clan leader was a very long investment without any returns.
Her value didn't lie in the time she became the clan leader, but rather when she was acknowledge by the Shang clan leader and became one of the Shang clan's young masters.
As a young master, she would definitely be given responsibility over a part of the business. This was the tradition of the Shang clan to nurture the clan's successors.
It was exactly this point which Fang Yuan desired.
He needed a way to dispose of the goods; a stable, favorable and safe channel.
In his important plans after his rebirth, this was absolutely necessary.
In the future, he would definitely open up many secret inheritances. There would be many things which he does not need, and by selling them he would be revealing their enormous worth.
For instance, those bone spear Gu and spiral bone spear Gu in Bai Ning Bing's aperture currently.
Fang Yuan and Bai Ning Bing just needed one of them, at most another one for backup. If they didn't sell them, these Gu would just die in their hands and they would even waste a lot of milk in feeding them.
Previously, Fang Yuan had intended to temporarily use Jia Jin Sheng as a channel to dispose goods, then it would be best if he could connect to Jia Fu to nurture this channel.
The result; destiny liked to play with people, because of being subjected to the secret of flower wine monk's inheritance, he had no choice but to kill Jia Jin Sheng.
"This is a gift heaven has sent to me!" Fang Yuan heaved a deep sigh as his gaze towards the distant Shang Xin Ci turned bright as fire.
Shang clan had deep foundations - at least before that violent storm which engulfed the Southern Border - it was one of the overlords of the southern border. When stolen goods were sold to them, the victims wouldn't dare to come find trouble.
However, because their influence was too strong, Fang Yuan is also worried about possible backstabbing.
They belonged to righteous path on the surface, but the core of the Shang clan members were all black; this was actually quite normal.
However, Shang Xin Ci was the exception.
She had been tested by many changes and upheaval in the history of her hundred years. Her kindness, gentleness, benevolence and honesty were praised far and wide in Fang Yuan's previous life, her reputation resounding all over the Southern Border.
The most important thing was that she didn't have any foundation.
Different from other young masters, she would walk a solitary path after she arrived at Shang clan city. In future, she would make many mistakes, but it wasn't because she was not intelligent, but rather because of the other young masters secret plotting to suppress their competitor.
Fang Yuan needed her as a channel, and she also similarly needed the external help - Fang Yuan - if she wanted to live a better life in the future.
Most importantly, she was easy to manipulate and influence! Her youth and kind nature were both 'weaknesses' Fang Yuan could exploit.
"Hahaha." Bai Ning Bing suddenly laughed from the side, "You took a fancy to her, right?"
"What?" Fang Yuan's thoughts paused.
"Don't pretend, we are both men, I can understand just from looking at your gaze. Anyway, this little girl is quite pleasing to the eyes, but it will be very difficult for you to obtain her. Unless I help you and find an opportunity to secretly kidnap her. As an exchange, give the Yang Gu to me first." Bai Ning Bing tried to entice Fang Yuan.
However, Fang Yuan next sentence made her seethe in anger: "You are a man?"
Things were a bit troublesome now. First of all, Fang Yuan needed to approach Shang Xin Ci, then obtain her trust. However, he didn't have a lot of time, he must settle everything before she reaches Shang clan city.
Bai Ning Bing's idea of capturing her was too dumb and risky; it would just cause the situation to be even more messed up.
Fang Yuan was very clear the reason why Shang Xin Ci could be repeatedly cheated; it was not that she was stupid, but rather she was too kind.
In his previous life, there was a demonic path figure called 'Night Gentleman'; he was an expert thief and was as cunning as a fox.
He had swindled Shang Xin Ci many times using the same excuse. One day, he couldn't endure it anymore and asked: "I always tell you this, aren't you worried I am swindling you?"
At that time, Shang Xin Ci had replied: "You say you are unable to make ends meet, and if you aren't able to immediately borrow some primeval stones, your family will starve to death. I know that you are most likely deceiving me, but every time you say this, I can't bear to think that what if you were saying the truth this time? And if I didn't lend you the money, then several lives might be lost. Although, that is not likely to happen, I don't want to bet on it."
When the Night Lord heard Shang Xin Ci's reply, he couldn't stop his tears from flowing. He was so moved by her that he fell on his knees on the spot.
After this event, he changed from demonic to righteous, and followed Shang Xin Ci with unwavering loyalty, achieving many war exploits.
The sun was slowly swallowed by the mountain ranges in the west and the night gradually descended.
The long queue of people also decreased, till all the servants received food and dispersed.
"Alright, that's it for today. I will come again tomorr…" She hadn't even finished speaking when a figure suddenly jumped in front of her.
What kind of face was this!
Eyebrows all burnt off, only a bit of hair remained and one ear less. Who was it if not Fang Yuan?
Shang Xin Ci was startled, the maids behind her even screamed in fright.
"What the hell are you doing?!" That tall and sturdy old Gu Master immediately shouted.
"Lady Zhang, please buy my goods!" Fang Yuan didn't care about this old Gu Master, and screamed towards Shang Xin Ci.
Bai Ning Bing silently stood far away, enjoying Fang Yuan's performance.
"I have one steamed bun remaining, take it, okay?" Shang Xin Ci revealed a gentle smile, she didn't feel any revulsion towards Fang Yuan, only sympathy. She tried to think of how much pain he must have experienced for such severe wounds.
Sigh, such a pitiful person.
Fang Yuan but threw the steamed bun on the ground: "I don't need this, I want to sell my goods! I sold my old house and bought this cart of purple maple leaves. But I haven't been able to sell it, the leaves will soon wither up; what meaning will my life have then? Sob sob…I don't want to live if I can't sell it. I should just smash my head and die!"
He started to weep while speaking. He stamped his feet and howled, his expression carried a hint of madness and was extremely moving.
Bai Ning Bing was dumbstruck.
"This acting skill, I really have no hope of catching up!"
If she didn't know about Fang Yuan, even she might have been deceived by Fang Yuan.
She then observed the expressions and gazes of the crowd; stunned, disdainful, sympathy, indifference, but there were no suspicions.
"Who is this man? Charging over so suddenly, scared me to death!"
"Such greed, he actually wants Lady Zhang to buy his goods."
"Serves him right! Does he think trading is so easy?"
"Sigh, the buyers must have demanded a lower price. When I think of those times I encountered…"
There were all kinds of discussions going on in the crowd.
"Tsk, you lunatic, you actually dared to frighten our young lady, screw off this instant!" That old Gu Master's tongue seemed to give off lightning sparks as he took a step forward and protected Shang Xin Ci behind him.
"Lady Zhang, I don't want to live if you don't buy my goods! Lady Zhang, you are a good person, please buy this cart of purple maple leaves and save me." Fang Yuan wailed without ceasing.
Shang Xin Ci's heart softened: "Sigh, don't cry. I will buy them, but life is the most valuable thing in our life, live properly from now and don't give up on life so easily. Uncle Zhang Zhu, give him three primeval stones."
"Miss…" The old Gu Master's brows furrowed.
"Huh, it worked?!"
"Maybe I should do this too?"
A commotion erupted among the stall owners.
"Thank you lady, thank you. Lady Zhang, you are my, Hei Tu's, savior!" Fang Yuan was greatly ecstatic and there were signs of tears on his face as he repeatedly bowed.
The old Gu Master's eyelids twitched, he looked at the cart behind Fang Yuan: "This cart of purple maple leaves is worth two primeval stones at most. Three is too much!"
"Uncle Zhang Zhu…" Shang Xin Ci said with a soft voice.
The old Gu Master heaved a deep sigh: "Miss, it isn't that I am unwilling to part with three primeval stones. But this amount is too big for a mere servant like him. It is bound to attract those who will eye the money and scheme against him. Miss, for his own safety, we should just give him two primeval stones. Moreover, all the peddlers might come over tomorrow if you give it to him like this."
"Uncle Zhang Zhu is correct, then please give him two primeval stones." Shang Xin Ci pondered for a while and readily agreed.
Fang Yuan accepted the two primeval stones with trembling hands, he looked deeply at Shang Xin Ci: "Miss Zhang, you are a great person, you will definitely be rewarded!"