Fang Yuan paid two hundred primeval stones, and entered the inner city with Bai Ning Bing.
Inner city, although built in the mountain, had wide walking paths that could accommodate ten horse carts travelling in a line.
Once they entered, the crowds became much smaller, less than half of the outer city.
But Gu Masters became littered everywhere, rank ones were all over the place, rank two mixed in among them, and occasionally one or two rank threes.
There were few to no mortals, after all, a hundred primeval stones were needed to enter. Most Gu Master had servants to attend to them, but did not want to waste their money like this.
The illumination of the inner city was through a type of charcoal.
The charcoal stone could burn for a long time, and did not produce smoke. Every hundred steps, Fang and Bai would see a hole dug in the walls, as a bunch of charcoal stones burnt within.
Even though the charcoal stone did not emit much heat, with so many of them burning at once, it still caused the inner city's temperature to be higher than outside, and the air to be much dryer.
Unlike outer city, which had all sorts of buildings, being a complete mix, the buildings here were all of one structure, and looked the same, made through a heat-resistant red lava stone.
All sorts of paths extended out from the main street.
At the same time, every five hundred steps, a huge round pillar would appear.
There was a spiral stone stairs on the surface of the pillar, as it extended upwards, with railings along the stone stairs.
Through the stone pillars, people could go up one floor, or get to the street one floor lower.
The inner city was not flat, but was more spherical. From up to down, numerous paths and buildings existed, linking together and allowing one to travel anywhere they wanted easily.
Fang Yuan and Bai Ning Bing moved towards the deeper part of the mountain, this was still not their destination.
At a certain location, a sentry appeared.
The Gu Master at work had higher cultivation, as the security of the place was heightened.
"Do both of you have a token?" The guard stopped Fang and Bai.
Shang clan gave tokens of varied authority to people of different statuses.
"This is our first visit." Fang Yuan said.
Obviously, he had no such thing.
"In that case, it will be two hundred primeval stones per person." The guard said.
Fang Yuan paid the primeval stones, and the guard let them through.
The two arrived at the fourth inner city as a result.
Shang Liang mountain had been through a few thousand years of development by Shang clan, the entire mountain was remodelled by Shang clan, digging paths and constructing new buildings, classifying the place into regions.
Thus, the inner city was huge, from inner to outer, there was five regions.
The first inner city was called the central inner city, the political heart of Shang clan, and also their military base.
The second inner city was also known as the clan city, only Shang clansmen could stay here.
The third inner city had an elegant environment, with clean and fresh air, it was the high-class zone.
Fourth inner city was the middle-class zone. Fifth inner city was the low-class zone.
Any further and we get to the outer city, having high traffic flow, and all sorts of goods transportation. Compared to the inner city, it was much more chaotic.
This construction structure, was somewhat like a termite hill on Earth.
Termite hills were four to ten meters long, with the termites living within, in small interconnected tunnels, complex and exquisite.
Once the two entered the fourth inner city, they could feel more moisture in the air as the temperature dropped slightly.
Compared to fifth inner city, fourth inner city was a grade higher, not only was the entrance fee twice as high, it also had much better facilities.
Firstly, light was not provided by charcoal, but by a large number of a specific rank one grass Gu.
The name is — Moonlight crawling mountain tiger.
This was a type of vine, growing on the walls of both sides of the street, as it spread out, it could be seen everywhere.
The roots were deep blue, and the leaves were wide and large, emitting a small blue moonlight. Just one segment of the path had thousands of leaves, as the gentle blue light merged into one.
Because of the large numbers of leaves, the air is more humid and water vapor filled the air. Near the ground, there was mist from the condensed vapor.
The moonlight refracted in the mist, turning into an aurora. As one walked on the streets, they had a feeling of walking in a spiritual realm.
The buildings here were mostly full of carvings and decorations. Some residents created grass fields, and placed flower vats, while others made artificial mountains, and pavilions.
There was even less people on the streets here.
Rank two Gu Masters were now the common group, after all, two hundred primeval stones was a huge sum to rank one Gu Masters.
Most evidently, the streets were still noisy in fifth inner city, but here, it was much more quiet.
The two continued deeper, and got to the city gate.
"Without a token, to enter the third inner city, both of you would need to pay six hundred primeval stones." The guard's cultivation was already rank three.
Fang Yuan gave the primeval stones, and arrived at the third area.
This place was different from fourth inner city yet again.
All infrastructure were made using star stones.
This type of rock, was a widely used material in Gu refinement, able to emit starlight in the darkness.
The entire third inner city used star stones. Not only buildings, but even the walking paths were made of star stones.
At one glance, starlight filled the air as vision is clear, without any mist as obstruction.
The air was fresh and clear. Looking around, there were pavilions, red walls and green bricks, and even transplanted bamboo forests, famous trees, making an artificial mountain, with spring water flowing as well.
The streets had little people, quiet and serene, like a star palace.
"Truly rich and extravagant…" Bai Ning Bing slightly assessed, just the cost of the buildings she could see, was an astronomical figure.
As the most wealthy clan in the southern border, even Shang clan's leg hair was thicker than normal people's waists. Although an exaggeration, the rumors were not baseless.
Shang clan's wealth was like a mountain, in fact, the entire Shang clan city was a literal mountain. Shang clan mainly traded and that involved the entire southern border.
Shang clan's true wealth and asset, no one could make clear of it.
But Fang Yuan knew, just this third inner city's construction, could match with tens of Gu Yue clan's total wealth.
At this place, even rank two Gu Masters became rare.
Once in a while, they saw Gu Masters, but there were almost all rank three.
This was Fang Yuan's destination.
Any deeper, and it is the second inner city.
But to enter, it is no longer a problem of primeval stones, Shang clan city's token is required. And this token's authority has to reach a certain level.
"Tong Ou shop." Fang Yuan looked at the plaque before walking in.
This was a shop that sold Gu worms.
"Two esteemed guests, please enter." The attendant was a young girl, walking over and spoke in a soft volume.
Her aura was not concealed, showing off her rank one Gu Master cultivation.
Although Fang and Bai wore mortal clothing, one was ugly while the other was down and out, this Gu Master girl still showed a respectful attitude, displaying her superior service attitude.
Fang Yuan and Bai Ning Bing were brought into an elegant room.
This is a private room, with wooden tables and chairs, with sculptures and paintings hanging on the white walls. The brush strokes resembled dragons and phoenixes dancing as the strokes were written with precise strength.
Through the window lattice, the garden could be seen; green trees and red flowers along with the chirping of birds.
The Gu Master young girl brought over two cups of fragrant tea and left.
Just as she left, an elderly man entered.
"May I inquire if our two esteemed guests are here to buy or sell?" The elderly was a rank two Gu Master, smiling as he cupped his fists and asked.
"Both buying, and also selling." Fang Yuan raised his cup as he answered.
The elderly laughed, and two flashes of light flew out of his body, floating in front of Fang Yuan and Bai Ning Bing.
It was two bookworms.
Bookworm was a rank one Gu worm, but was precious, as rare as the liquor worm.
Once one appears on the market, it would be sold instantly, there was often demand but no supply for it.
It was like a silkworm, although it had a head, body and stomach, three distinct parts, its body looked like a cocoon overall, round and cute.
Its body was white, but the surface had a layer of enamel, giving off an oily glow.
Holding it in one's hand, it was round and smooth, like a high grade porcelain vase.
The bookworm was a storage type Gu, similar to the tusita flower.
The difference was, tusita flower stored physical items, while bookworm stored knowledge and information. Even if it was destroyed, it would only explode into a flash of harmless white light.
"Please browse through." The elderly Gu Master said.
The two bookworms were refined by him, thus he could easily lend them to Fang Yuan and Bai Ning Bing.
Fang and Bai both used a trace of snow silver primeval essence, and injected it into the bookworm.
The bookworms turned into a flash of white light, entering the two's forehead, in between their eyebrows.
Suddenly, Fang Yuan and Bai Ning Bing gained a wave of information in their heads.
The information was like content they memorised, deeply entrenched in their minds.
Bai Ning Bing bit her tongue secretly, Tong Ou shop sold almost tens of thousands of Gu worms! Gu worms of all kinds, causing one to get dizzy from observing the selection alone.
Among them, there was bookworm, liquor worm, all sorts of precious Gu worms, from low to high, rank one to five.
Of course, there was definitely no rank six Gu.
Each Gu worm had their specialized introduction to state their uses. There was even accurate prices, some were priced highly, while rare and precious Gu worms even had all sorts of token requirements.
This means, only Gu Masters with specific Shang clan tokens had the qualifications to buy these Gu worms.
Fang Yuan needed to purchase large numbers of Gu worms, after browsing through casually, he came back to reality and returned the bookworm to the elderly.
Although he had over ten thousand primeval stones now, to purchase all the Gu worms he needed, there was still some way to go.
Money was not the problem, because some of the Gu worms had token requirements.
"Esteemed guest, what are you interested in? If you purchase in bulk, we can give an appropriate discount." The elderly smiled and said.
Seeing Fang Yuan and Bai Ning Bing's snow silver primeval essence, his tone became even more respectful.
Fang Yuan waved his hand: "No rush, I have Gu worms to sell."
Saying so, he summoned a bone spear Gu.
The elderly was not surprised, there was many who came to Tong Ou shop to buy, but also many who came to sell.
He held the bone spear Gu, took a look, and showed a trace of surprise on his face.
He had never seen the bone spear Gu.
Of course he has not.
This was a special Gu worms made by Grey Bone Scholar, it had never entered the market.
"Please enlighten me, esteemed guest." The elderly showed a solemn expression as he cupped his fists.
Fang Yuan nodded, drinking some tea: "Of course. This is the bone spear Gu, a specific lineage of Gu worms. I'll lend it to you now, you'll know when you try it."
The elderly wielded it at once, remarking: "This Gu, although rank one, is not easy to raise. But its attack power is high and is rather unique, it is worth this price."
The elderly stretched out his palm, showing a number.