When he returned to the inn, he found out that the spirit beast was still being taken care of. The people of the inn obviously knew that their honored guests were no ordinary person, so they took very good care of the spirit beast. The owner of the inn looked to be between joy and tears when Jiang Chen and Emperor Peerless finally returned. "Thank goodness you're back, Arena Lord Shao. That spirit beast of yours has an extremely bad temper, and we just can't satisfy its needs no matter what we try. Do you hear that? It's throwing a tantrum again."
Jiang Chen wasn't surprised by this. He smiled. "It would actually be stranger if you could satisfy it."
He walked to the area where the spirit beast was penned up and whistled. The spirit beast that looked like a Cloud Devouring Tiger cub immediately charged into Jiang Chen's arms like a black-and-white hurricane. Jiang Chen chuckled. "Did you miss me, little fella?"
The spirit beast nodded repeatedly and obediently at Jiang Chen. It kept scratching his shirt with its front paws as if protesting against Jiang Chen's temporary departure. When the spirit beast noticed that everyone else was shooting it a strange look, it immediately glared at them and bared its teeth in a demonstration of might.
Even Emperor Peerless couldn't help but laugh at the spirit beast's reaction. He had never seen such an interesting creature before.
"Let's go, Brother Mo." Jiang Chen ignored the looks of astonishment on the inn owner and attendants' faces and threw down a bag of spirit stones. "This is the payment for our stay. You can keep the change."
The inn owner accepted the spirit stones, but still looked dejected. "Is Arena Lord Shao a beast tamer or something? Why did this spirit beast look like it could die when it was with us, but become so lively when it was with Arena Lord Shao? Can it actually tell who's who?"
"Of course it can. That being said, it's rare to find such an intelligent cub. Speaking of which, I heard that this Cloud Devouring Tiger cub belonged to young master Nangong."
"Young master Nangong? Hah! The Nangong clan is totally screwed this time. Did you hear how they presented the spirit beast to Arena Lord Shao like meek servants?"
"That's only because Emperor Peerless is around! Do you really think that the Nangong clan would be afraid of him if he wasn't supported by Emperor Peerless?" Someone disagreed with that statement.
Whatever they were discussing, Jiang Chen was out of earshot already. When they left the inn, he exchanged a glance with Emperor Peerless to immediately travel to Tilted Moon Region. But it was at that moment a figure suddenly appeared from a side alley. "Could I have a moment, Arena Lord Shao?"
Jiang Chen was caught off guard. He must have gotten really famous in Pillfire City, for he wasn't expecting to be called in public. When he turned around, he discovered that it was a short man who called out to him.
"Are you looking for me?" Jiang Chen stared at the short man with a bit of astonishment. He had a good memory, but he didn't remember this person at all.
The man cowered a little. It was obvious that he found their auras a little unbearable, but despite the pressure he still forced himself to speak. "Excuse me, but… can you come with me so we may speak in a more private place?"
Jiang Chen stared blankly at him. They didn't know each other, but this short man wanted him to follow him to a private place. Was this another ploy by some faction in Pillfire City?
"If you belong to a faction in Pillfire City, then you can save your breath now." Jiang Chen's tone immediately turned indifferent.
When the short man noticed that Jiang Chen had misunderstood, he hastily explained, "Absolutely not, I am not related to Pillfire City in any way. I… I have need of you, Arena Lord Shao."
"You have need of me?" Jiang Chen laughed involuntarily. "What makes you so sure that I'll lend you my aid?"
Jiang Chen might have helped a lot of people in the past, but he wasn't so magnanimous that he would help every person who crossed paths with him. He wouldn't be able to do anything else if he did. The short man looked a little ashamed, but he ultimately gathered the courage to say, "I won't ask you to work for free. If you will help me, I can gift you another shoot of Radiant Celestial Grass."
"What?" Jiang Chen's face changed slightly. "What did you just say?"Emperor Peerless had been silent all this time, but when he heard this, he trained a harsh gaze onto the short man as if he would see through the very soul. The short man nearly crumbled to the ground under the mighty pressure of a great emperor. He was just an origin realm cultivator.
Emperor Peerless stared at him for a moment. "Brother, he's just origin realm. He's probably the person who entrusted a Radiant Celestial Grass to the Temple back then."
"Yes, yes! That's me. Your eyes are truly keen, Emperor Peerless. I can't believe you realized this in just one glance," the short man hurriedly explained.
Jiang Chen waved his hands. "Let us speak in a more private place."
After they'd arrived at a relatively secluded area, Jiang Chen stared at the short man and threatened, "I hope you aren't lying to me. Our time is very precious."
"Absolutely not. If I haven't seen you winning the Radiant Celestial Grass at the auction, I wouldn't have dared come to you in the first place. I was thinking that you might need more in the future, and it so happens I have more with me, so…"
"So that's why you sought us out. What do you request of me?" Jiang Chen valued the spirit herb quite a lot. After all, it was practically the most important ingredient in refining the Sage Smile Pill.
"I hope that you can escort me away from Pillfire City and to Frostmoon City of Tilted Moon Region."
Frostmoon City? Tilted Moon Region? Jiang Chen and Emperor Peerless exchanged a glance with each other. That was their next destination. Could it be that this person knew they were heading to the Tilted Moon Region? But that was impossible. they had conversed in a most secretive manner. Not even a great emperor could've listened in on Emperor Peerless' conversation, much less a mere origin realm cultivator.
Emperor Peerless cast a glance at Jiang Chen before sending a message. "It should just be a coincidence. Why don't you question him closely and see what he knows?"
"You know, it's not going to be cheap to employ someone of our caliber. Don't you think that we're too expensive for an origin realm cultivator like you?" Jiang Chen joked.
"Yes, I know that I'm humble and weak, and that I don't deserve to employ either one of you. I doubt I can do that even if I have the wealth of ten lifetimes. However, I do have the Radiant Celestial Grass. If you are willing to escort me safely away from Pillfire City and into Frostmoon City, I will give you one shoot. If you're willing to help me after we entered Frostmoon City, I'm willing to give you two shoots."
Earlier, Jiang Chen had to spend four hundred million saint spirit stones to win the bid. Two shoots of Radiant Celestial Grass were obviously worth a lot. It was definitely enough to hire a couple of emperor realm experts at least. However, it was a different story if the person he aimed to hire was a great emperor expert. It depended on the great emperor's feelings.
Jiang Chen smiled calmly. "From what I learned, the Radiant Celestial Grass is an extremely valuable sky rank spirit herb. It is rare enough to find one shoot, and it's a fact that you've auctioned one of them. But now you're telling me you have another two with you? Do you think this is a joke?"
A trace of hesitation colored the short man's countenance, but he made up his mind in the end and produced out a storage bag before their eyes. Although the bag was simple and crude, the short man opened it to reveal was two shoots of Radiant Celestial Grass inside. The scene was like a three years old child walking on the streets while carrying a gold brick. Even Jiang Chen was shocked to find so many blades of the spirit herb on a mere origin realm cultivator.
Jiang Chen was a bit caught off guard. He looked at Emperor Peerless.
The great emperor nodded slightly. "Brother, do as you wish. If this spirit herb is that important to you, then it is no trouble to escort him along his journey."
Jiang Chen stared at the short man and chuckled in a strange tone. "I'm surprised. Aren't you afraid that we will rob and kill you right now?"
The short man raised his head high and declared. "Of course I'm afraid, but I don't have a choice. If I walk out of the city alone, I am sure to die a horrible death. In fact, I know I'm being watched by many factions in Pillfire City. It is inconvenient for them to act against me while I'm still inside the city, but the second I get out, I will be a fat target waiting to be picked up."
"Oh? So you do know that you're a fat target." Jiang Chen made fun of him.
"I may be weak, but I'm not an idiot. That's why I'd rather to trust in you and Emperor Peerless' reputation. I am a wandering cultivator myself, and I know that Emperor Peerless is a titan in our world. He is very well famed within our community." Jiang Chen had to admit that the short man was pretty eloquent. After shedding his initial nervousness, he was a lot more eloquent than before.
Emperor Peerless beamed at the praise. "His praises have reached even me, brother. It doesn't look like you can turn down this business."
Jiang Chen also smiled. "In that case, why not? Still, if you're not an idiot then why did you auction this spirit herb off at the Temple of Cleansing Fire? Aren't you just drawing attention to yourself?"
The short man let out a long sigh. "Arena Lord Shao, you have no idea how difficult the life of a wandering cultivator is. You have no idea the pain of a bottom rank cultivator either. If I wasn't in need of money, do you really think I would've come all the way from Frostmoon City just to auction off a single Radiant Celestial Grass? Do you really think I would risk taking this treasure to the Temple if I didn't think that they have enough integrity to appraise this spirit herb without scamming me?"
Jiang Chen was stumped for words. The short man's words rang true when he thought about it carefully. An origin realm cultivator wouldn't dare to bring the spirit herb to a random store for appraisal even if they knew that it was an extraordinary spirit herb.
After all, only two kinds of outcome could come out of this action: One, the store labels it a true saint rank spirit herb instead and bought it at a pittance even though it was sky rank. Two, the store admitted that it was the Radiant Celestial Grass but keeps an eye on him. He might be killed and robbed the second he stepped out of the spirit herb store.
To a wandering cultivator, the possession of a treasure that surpassed their realm was both a blessing and a curse. In an instant, Jiang Chen understood the short man's pain and difficulties.
"Alright, I accept your request. We will take you to Frostmoon City first. If you still need us after we reached Frostmoon City, you will tell us what kind of complications you're facing. If it is too difficult, we will need to think twice before accepting it." Jiang Chen hadn't fallen so low that he would rob a person, but this was a business deal. All details of a deal must be clarified before it was settled.
The short man hurriedly replied, "It definitely won't be too much trouble for you two, but it is a great deal of trouble to us weak wandering cultivators though."