Chapter 857: Chance Encounter with an Old Acquaintance
The Eternal Celestial Capital had realized to their shock that they were completely trapped. Not only could they not exit, all forms of communication with the outside world had been cut off. It was as though they had been isolated from the outside world in every possible way. Naturally, Jiang Chen was not aware of these things happening within Veluriyam Capital. After he had left, he and Huang’er mixed into the various groups of wandering cultivators. With nothing to obstruct their path, their travel was smooth and peaceful.
When they reached the borders of Veluriyam Capital again, those powers from the Eternal Celestial Capital had already retreated from Myriad Peoples City. By now, the city had already regained its previous state. They passed through unimpeded.
The last time, he had slaughtered his way to Veluriyam Capital from the Myriad Domain. As his path had been paved with countless hardships, it had taken him no less than half a year of time. This time, his mood was entirely different. With no one to block his way and no fear of being recognized, his travels had been extremely smooth. Moreover, Jiang Chen's speed was no laughing matter. Even without using the arts of flying from Emperor Featherflight, the Golden Cicada Wings alone were already incredibly fast. No matter how lively matters were in each territory Jiang Chen passed along his way, he dallied not at all.
They arrived at the Great Scarlet Mid Region within a day. At this point, they weren't far from the Myriad Domain. Although this wasn't the time to seek revenge against the Great Scarlet Mid Region, Jiang Chen still decided to visit the region's imperial capital. At least, he could make some inquiries into the region's recent developments and catch up on some news.
Once he entered the Great Scarlet Mid Region, Jiang Chen could immediately sense that the defenses in said region were much tighter than before. The checkpoints he had to pass by were all extremely strict.
In every city around the Great Scarlet regions, the liveliest places were those bustling with news regarding bounties on both Jiang Chen and the Regal Pill Palace. What Jiang Chen had not expected was for his bounty to rank among the highest. The price on his head was even higher than that on the palace head of the Regal Pill Palace. He wasn't actually too surprised about that. He'd taken out so many heavyweights of the Myriad Domain in Infant Shriek last time and mailed their decapitated heads to the emperor of the Great Scarlet Mid Region. It'd be strange if the region didn't hate him to the bone.
However, Jiang Chen had become more audacious since his skills had improved. He remained completely relaxed even in the face of his massive bounty and entered the capital with Huang’er. Even though so much time had passed since he last visited the capital, the hatred that Jiang Chen felt towards the Great Scarlet Mid Region had not abated at all. Although this region was only an accomplice of the Eternal Celestial Capital, their heinous murders in the Myriad Domain outnumbered even the Eternal Celestial Capital's. It could be said that the chain of calamities that the Myriad Domain had suffered could all be linked to the Great Scarlet Mid Region.
As they entered the region, Jiang Chen and Huang’er were not in a hurry to find an inn. Instead, they strolled towards the Dragon & Phoenix, the tavern they had previously visited.
The Dragon & Phoenix had been their previous haunt. It was where Jiang Chen had coincidentally spotted the third prince of the Great Scarlet Empire and met with Elder Gui of the Eternal Celestial Capital. This was where the two parties had discussed who the creator of the Longevity Pill was. Furthermore, this was where Jiang Chen had overheard the news that Gouyu and the rest had been sold to the Eternal Celestial Capital. This was a place where news from all over the Great Scarlet Mid Region seemed to gather. From imperial secrets to market gossip, one could happen upon all kinds of information.
The Dragon & Phoenix was located in the liveliest district of the Great Scarlet Capital. People came and went amidst busy traffic; it was truly bustling with life. Before the two had even walked to the entrance of the tavern however, they could already see that the empty space in front was filled with people. At first glance, these people looked as though they were about to attack the tavern, their poses were that frightening. Jiang Chen and Huang’er exchanged shocked glances.
Normally, a place for food and beer should be lively but even then, shouldn't it only be lively on the inside? Why were there so many people outside the building? Although the two people were curious, they didn't rashly ask any passersby. Instead, they blended into the fray, secretly eavesdropping on the conversations between the crowd.
"I say! Is this really the way your Dragon & Phoenix does business? Whatever's in the pockets of those domineering nobility is money, and whatever's in ours isn't?"
"That's right! What gives them the right to enter first?"
"You can spew all the pretty words you want. What do you mean by treating nobility and wandering cultivators equally?! Ultimately, we wandering cultivators are still discriminated against!"
"Sigh, never mind. Wandering cultivators will remain wandering cultivators. Don't even think about arguing with those rich nobles."
"Guess you're right. This kind of auction was never something we poor wandering cultivators could afford. Let's go, let's go. Even the entrance ticket is so expensive. They're really ripping people off here!"
"Don't even mention the price. We're still queuing over here, a few thousand people fighting for a single ticket, while those rich and powerful families can just swagger on in!"
After listening to various complaints from these wandering cultivators, Jiang Chen gained a rough understanding of the situation. As it turned out, it just so happened that they arrived at the Dragon & Phoenix while some kind of auction was happening. But, shouldn't auctions be held in auction halls? Why was this Dragon & Phoenix tavern holding some auction?
Jiang Chen was here only to catch up on recent developments, so he wasn't really interested in this.
As he stood in the crowd with Huang’er, he didn't see anyone he knew. They glanced at each other and walked away from the crowd, deciding to leave and go somewhere else. Before they had walked too far however, a line of people along the road stopped in their steps. This group of people were carrying a sedan chair. With a light sweep of the chair's curtains, half a face was exposed from within the sedan as it looked towards Jiang Chen and Huang’er. Although only half the person's face had been exposed, Jiang Chen's heart sank.
This face belonged to someone he knew from a long time ago. The person in the sedan also seemed to respond, calling out lightly, "Stop for a while. I'm going out."
"Young Mistress, the auction will be starting soon."
"If I tell you to stop, you stop. What nonsense are you blabbering on about?" The person in the sedan scolded delicately. It was a girl's voice.
As soon as Jiang Chen heard this voice, he was even more certain. This was someone he knew. Only, how had she recognized him in his current disguise? Moreover, she had clearly been in the sedan. How had she seen him? As Jiang Chen was unwilling to interact with this person, he spoke to Huang’er, "Let's go."
The two of them had barely managed to walk away before the delicate voice sounded out from behind them. "Please stop, the two of you."
Jiang Chen did not pause, only continued to walk straight ahead. However, the person behind them were clearly calling out to them. When she saw that Jiang Chen's footsteps had not paused, she walked faster. Sweeping along like a scented breeze, she rushed in front of Jiang Chen in two or three steps. Raising both her hands, she blocked Jiang Chen and Huang’er's way.
This girl had a slender figure, a waist as thin as a water snake yet still supple. The curves on her body were still impressively perfect. Only, her face had gained a sense of maturity and melancholy, and lost some of its previous seductive grace. This girl was actually Wei Xing'er of the Myriad Domain's Walkabout Sect. She had tried to tempt Jiang Chen with sex appeal during the Mt. Rippling Mirage PIll Battle. Ling Bi’er had repeatedly warned Jiang Chen that this girl was a poisonous scorpion that he should handle with caution. She was a famous scorpion temptress in the Myriad Domain. Although he wasn't with Ling Bi’er now, her earnest advice remained rooted in his memory. Moreover, he never had any pleasant history with Wei Xing'er, so he didn't want engage in any pleasantries now.
"Move aside." Jiang Chen frowned.
Wei Xing'er's lips curved into something that wasn't quite a smile. She placed her hands on her hips as she fixed her gaze on Jiang Chen. "Would you have any interest in a little chat?"
This was what Wei Xing'er had said to Jiang Chen during the Mt. Rippling Mirage Pill Battles as well. The only difference was that back then, Wei Xing'er had harbored no good intentions. She had wanted to use the Azure Smokesnare Powder against Jiang Chen, but Jiang Chen had turned her plans against her and given her a harsh spanking. Today, the same sentence had been spoken. Yet, it managed to move Jiang Chen's heart. Wei Xing'er actually managed to recognize me? Why would she say the exact same line to me as back then otherwise? The only difference was that she didn't add my name at the front.
"We don't know each other. There's nothing much to chat about." Jiang Chen said as he was about to walk around Wei Xing'er.
Wei Xing'er giggled as she extended a hand to block his way. "You little boy, we haven't seen each other for so many years, but you're still so insensitive?"
Jiang Chen furrowed his brows. "Please control yourself."
Wei Xing'er rolled her eyes because shooting a glance at Huang’er at his side. She clucked her tongue. "Who would have thought that even after a few years, you still don't lack a beauty hanging off your arm. So, how did you swindle your way into this little girl's heart? I once took you for a loyal and dependable rare male specimen. Who'd have thought you also ended up being one of those hot and cold playboys? Heehee, if that delicate senior sister of yours saw you now, I wonder how heartbroken she'd be?"
If Jiang Chen hadn't altered his looks, the expression on his face would definitely be flabbergasted. Wei Xing'er's words already sufficiently revealed that she knew who he was. The only thing left was for her to call his name. That aforementioned sweet senior sister, wasn't that Ling Bi’er? For a split second, the thought of murder flashed through Jiang Chen's mind before quickly being quashed.
This was unrelated to his being in the Great Scarlet Mid Region. Even if he wasn't in this region, murdering someone to silence them wasn't something Jiang Chen could do. Besides, he was still unclear about Wei Xing'er's intentions. Her watery eyes seemed to be able to tell a story. They seemed to understand everything as they swept up and down Jiang Chen's body. With a knowing smile, she said, "You fickle bad boy. Good thing you're not totally evil, nor do you have any murderous inclinations. Or else, I'd definitely be shouting your name loud and clear."
As she said this, Wei Xing'er tossed her hair and revealed a meaningful smile. She suddenly changed to silent transmission. "Jiang Chen, you little brat, I'm on my way to attend an auction. Either you come with me, or…"
"Or what?" Jiang Chen's brows furrowed. If this Wei Xing'er dared threaten him, Jiang Chen definitely didn't mind making her suffer a little. Even if he was stuck in this dragon's lair, he could still kill her in a flash before she could spit out a single word.
"Look at you, you look like you want to eat me. Don't you know? This big sister has never bore you any ill will. Last time, when I used the Azure Smokesnare powder against you, it was merely in the interest of the clan. I told you a long time ago that I love boldly and hate openly. And the kind of man I love most are geniuses like you. Especially since after so many years, you've even become the worst nightmare of the Great Scarlet Mid Region. The higher the price on your head rises, the more I feel justified in my tastes back then. What a pity…" Who knew what Wei Xing'er pitied herself over. Jiang Chen had no interest in listening further. Wei Xing'er abruptly shifted the topic of discussion. "You can choose not to go. But, if you don't go, then you might not be able to hear some information about the Myriad Domain."