Steamed lamb, braised duck, steamed eight treasure pork, glutinous rice stuffed duck, stir-fried carp, assorted stuffed intestines, spicy oil crispy roll, honey yam, sliced fresh peach, eight treasure ding, steamed bamboo shoots, ape lips, camel humps, antlers, bear paws, three fresh osmanthus soup, beeswax pork trotters, fresh sharks' fin soup...
A moment later, Fang Yuan and Bai Ning Bing sat at elegant seats on the fourth floor, as a spread of delicacies were presented before them, each possessing visual appeal, fragrant smell, and flavor.
Fang Yuan picked up a pair of bamboo chopsticks, and casually ate a few mouthful, he first tried the steamed bamboo shoots, they tasted refreshing, raising one's concentration. He next took a piece of the fresh peach, its sweetness was perfection. Next he took the bear paw, it was plump and tender, just like the steamed lamb, tasting divine with just a bit of flavoring.
Bai Ning Bing drank a mouthful of the three fresh osmanthus soup, flavor spreading in her mouth as fragrance remained on her lips and teeth, causing her appetite to awaken.
"After spending so much time with you, this is the first time you are so generous." As she ate, she did not forget her sarcastic comments to Fang Yuan.
Fang Yuan laughed, not giving a reply, he knew Bai Ning Bing's suspicion and impatience.
He got closer to Shang Xin Ci, using all his effort to protect her laboriously. And yet at their destination, he purposely split away from them; this action was something Bai Ning Bing could not comprehend.
Fang Yuan was now rank two peak stage, only a step away from rank three. The agreement he set with Bai Ning Bing back then regarding rank three, was approaching its end too.
But Fang Yuan would definitely not keep his word! In his eyes, such a thing like integrity, was only a compromise made out of necessity, or a beautiful cover-up, like a convincing mask.
Fang Yuan knew this, so did Bai Ning Bing.
Thus, she was starting to feel hasty.
Because she had already sensed that Fang Yuan would break his word. Yet, there was nothing she could do to Fang Yuan, the Yang Gu was in his possession, her hands were tied.
Right now, without Bai clan's hunting, and without beast hordes, Fang and Bai ate at the same table, giving off a sense of amiability, but their relationship was extremely tense, if they progressed one more step, they would fall apart and turn against one another.
And this step, is Fang Yuan advancing to rank three.
Once he advances, he and Bai Ning Bing would no longer had any hopes of reconciling, the two would have to face each other directly.
How to deal with Bai Ning Bing?
Throughout the meal, Fang Yuan considered this.
His cultivation could not stay stagnant, one day, the conflict will escalate.
The situation now was very delicate.
Fang Yuan had the upper hand because he controlled the Yang Gu, but in fact, Bai Ning Bing also held Fang Yuan's handle.
She travelled along with Fang Yuan, experiencing Bai Gu mountain's inheritance herself, while also saw how Fang Yuan attracted all those beast hordes to attack the caravan.
She knew too much.
Compared to the potential threat Ding Hao was, Bai Ning Bing's threat towards Fang Yuan was far greater.
"If I finish off Bai Ning Bing, I will not have to worry about Shang Xin Ci, but because my cultivation is insufficient, I missed the best chance to kill off Bai Ning Bing during the caravan journey. Back then I needed her strength to ensure my survival. Moreover, with Shang Xin Ci nearby, I could not strike easily. This Bai Ning Bing had always been wary of me secretly, and she has the ice muscles jade bones to defend her, I cannot finish her in one hit. Furthermore, her battle instinct is outstanding, with her recently gained experience, she is even harder to deal with now..."
Fang Yuan considered all possibilities as his thoughts flowed, but at the same time Bai Ning Bing was also deeply considering her situation.
"Since leaving Qing Mao mountain, there's finally a time to rest and recover. I have to take back the Yang Gu and regain my male body! I have little chance of succeeding if I directly snatch it, unless I can kill Fang Yuan in an instant. But this scoundrel, even though he is rank two, his fighting strength is much greater than that, such a weirdo, with extremely experienced fighting techniques. Together with that scheming devious mind of his, capable of commiting all heinous crimes, no morals can restraint him, he is somebody who can truly commit any sin."
"Most importantly, I have not discovered his true trump card yet. But I have my advantages, his current cultivation is still dependant on me, and I know too many secrets, maybe I can use these things to force him to compromise. Using the poison vow Gu, and make an agreement with him that cannot be broken, other than that, I can use plunder Gu, seize Gu, petty thief Gu and others to steal the Yang Gu…"
Bai Ning Bing was not stupid, she had been observing along the way, and considering her options.
As the two ate on the same table, not even three steps away from each other, they looked like good friends, but were scheming against each other in their minds.
The disappearance of external pressure caused their internal conflicts to surface. In this relatively safe environment in Shang clan city, they had the time to consider such problems.
But the more they thought about it, the more troublesome they felt the other party was!
Fang Yuan did things without restraints, but Bai Ning Bing was just the same. In her ideology, as long as life is exciting, anything goes. Morals and principles? What are that?
They were very similar, looking at the world with disdain, and were strong willed individuals, with an extremely thirst for power, only trusting themselves.
From others' perspectives, they were accursed demons, scum that harmed society, their death would benefit the world.
But because they were so similar, the two could feel each other's danger.
The most difficult enemy to deal with, was often oneself.
Most importantly, they held each other's weaknesses. If they could not win in one strike, and allowed the other party to escape and recover, then both of them would go down in flames!
The two got a headache the more they thought about it.
"This Bai Ning Bing is not easy to deal with." Fang Yuan gritted his teeth, he had too little resources to manipulate.
"This Fang Yuan has almost no weaknesses…" Bai Ning Bing squinted, her eyes shining with cold light.
The two could not think of anything, thus looking up at the same time, staring at each other.
Their gaze met for an instant, before turning away.
The delicacy before them, although delicious, had barely any flavor to the two who were deep in thoughts.
Even though there was a fifty percent discount, Fang Yuan still paid fifteen primeval stones.
Shang clan city indeed, commodities were expensive here.
The two filled their stomachs, and left the restaurant.
On the streets, Fang Yuan heard people discussing.
"Do you know? At the southern gate, Shang clan leader appeared!"
"How is this possible?"
"It's true, he came and left like a flash, the entire street was thrown into chaos…'
"Bullshit! What kind of person is the Shang clan leader, why would he appear on the streets for no reason?"
Rumors spread as some claimed it was Shang Yan Fei, while others denied it.
Fang Yuan chose to enter from the eastern gate, while Shang Xin Ci came in from the south. By the time the rumors got to the eastern gate, the truth had already been distorted beyond recognition.
Bai Ning Bing heard this, and thought of it as just a passing rumor, not paying attention to it. Soon, people started a new conversation.
But to Fang Yuan, it was a clear indication of events.
He laughed secretly, it seems that Shang Xin Ci's situation did not exceed what he had expected from his memories.
Next, he would wait for the fruits to mature, and land on himself.
"Quickly look, its the flying blue whale, Shang clan's caravan is here!" Suddenly, someone pointed to the sky, shouting in shock.
At once, people on the streets stopped, and looked up in the sky.
A giant shadow engulfed everyone.
In the sky, a giant blue whale slowly emerged.
Well, compared to "flying", one might as well say they are "swimming".
Flying blue whale, was a huge beast capable of moving freely in the air.
They lived above the nine heavens of the eastern seas, having a peaceful and mild temperament. Often Gu Masters used the whale enslavement Gu to control them and used them in the caravan.
Flying blue whale was huge, like a small mountain, and the entire caravan hid within its body, as it flew in the sky. Compared to the caravan moving through the forests, the danger was much less and the speed was much faster.
But the flying blue whale consumed up to five hundred kilograms of food a day, only a large-sized clan could afford to feed them.
In the entire southern border, only Yi clan owned flying blue whales.
Yi clan is one of the overlords of the southern border, almost the same status as Shang clan, and had a close relationship with the forces in the eastern seas.
"What a grand sight." Bai Ning Bing sighed.
She thought about the former Bai clan village, this blue whale just had to land on Bai clan village, and the entire village would be in ruins.
The huge figure moved towards Shang Liang mountain, as the flying blue whale gradually landed on one of the mountain peak.
Fang Yuan could see from afar, it opened its huge mouth and a large number of black dots emerged from its mouth.
These dots were the Yi clan caravan members, but because of the distance, they could not be seen clearly.
"Yi clan caravan is here, the market is going to fluctuate again."
"I heard Yi clan brought a rank five Gu this time to auction on Shang Liang mountain."
"Yi clan and the eastern seas have a deep connection, they definitely brought many specialties from the eastern seas this time, there is value in purchasing them."
The topic quickly shifted to the Yi clan caravan.
Fang Yuan and Bai Ning Bing walked up the path together.
Gu Yue clan village was only a portion of Qing Mao mountain, but Shang clan city covered the entire Shang Liang mountain.
In the southern borders, even the number one clan Wu clan, did not have such a massive mountain city.
The entire Shang clan city had all sorts of buildings; bamboo buildings, dried mud houses, brick houses, shacks, treehouses, and even mushroom houses, caves, towers, castles, and much more.
These structures blended together, covering Shang Liang mountain in a beautiful garb with assorted colors.
As the trading hub of the entire southern border, Shang clan city occupied the most space among all forces.
But if one thinks this is all Shang clan city has to offer, then they cannot be more wrong.
This is only the outer city of Shang clan city.
Fang Yuan and Bai Ning Bing came to a huge cave.
"Would both guests like to enter the inner city? It will be a hundred primeval stones per person." The guarding Gu Master requested.
"Just entering requires a hundred?" Bai Ning Bing expressed her shock.
"The inner city has a smaller space, this is to prevent irrelevant people from entering, and also to maintain social order." The Gu Master replied respectfully.
Shang Liang mountain had been modelled by Shang clan for thousands of years, not only did they use up the surface of the mountain, but even deeper into the mountain's interior, they built an inner city.