Chapter 873: The Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain
Jiang Chen's expression didn't change even after he'd heard Lin Yanyu's message. Lin Yanyu transmitted again, "The first two things I've told you are absolutely true. I don't have any hard evidence for the third, but based on my own observations, I am almost certain that it's true. You can see for yourself later, Daoist Huang, but please don't say that I'm the one who told you this, or not even having ten lives can save me."
Lin Yanyu smiled wryly and cupped his hands towards Jiang Chen's direction. Only then did he carefully walk away. Jiang Chen frowned, but didn't look at Lin Yanyu's departing back. Considering how cautious Lin Yanyu was, it must have taken him a great deal of courage to reveal this information. Jiang Chen sighed inwardly. Everyone has their own way of living. This Lin Yanyu may seem petty and low, but he has his own principles. The spirit stones I gave him was what the Eight Treasures Antidote was truly worth, but not only did he refuse to accept them, he even give me a bit of intel in return. He's an interesting fellow alright.
To be honest, he was very impressed with Lin Yanyu. Lin Yanyu might not live an unrestrained life—one might even say that the way he lived his life was perhaps a little too cautious—but that didn't mean that he was a person who lacked principles. He refused to take advantage of others even when he was in dire straits. There were many top-rated experts in this world, but Jiang Chen dared say that many of them didn't possess a moral character like his. He didn't need the Eight Treasures Antidote. Both he and Huang'er had refined the Thundercloud Cicada's bloodline and were thus impervious to poison. There was no poisonous fog or miasma that could hurt them. On the other hand, the information Lin Yanyu provided was of great value to Jiang Chen.
Jiang Chen had figured out the first piece of information Lin Yanyu had provided him with through his own observations. The place he had chosen was a place that no one wanted, even if an expert were to give it up. Jiang Chen had also figured out the second piece through his own observations. There were definitely some experts far stronger than the Ghost Cave Five hiding somewhere around in the area. The third piece he had been given, however, was especially important.
If there really was a secret alliance as Lin Yanyu had claimed, Jiang Chen needed to think through his plan of action thoroughly. Normally, an alliance like this was in no way reliable. Jiang Chen himself had no plans of allying with anyone in the area. However, an alliance like this meant that there clear-cut rules and a set profit distribution system. Bluntly speaking, a small number of experts wanted to claim the pie all to themselves and kick everyone else away from the dining table.
Jiang Chen didn't want to be outcasted by the alliance. He liked the idea that an alliance like this might be stirring up trouble for him in the dark even less. That was why he needed to know more about the alliance. If he couldn't destroy the alliance, he would have to become a part of it. It wasn't like Jiang Chen needed their help, but it wasn't part of his plan to be ostracized like a fool either. While he was deep in thought, he suddenly heard a yell nearby, "Move on, scram!"
Jiang Chen frowned and looked towards the source of the voice. Lin Yanyu's figure appeared before Jiang Chen's eyes once more. He was biting his lip softly and stared stubbornly at the brawny man trying to chase him away. "If you've taken the pill, then you have to pay for it, friend. It's not like you lack the two hundred thousand spirit stones. If you don't want to do so, then you have to return my pill." The person he was talking to was a bulky man. There were also a few cultivators surrounding Lin Yanyu and cackling at him. These cultivators seemed even stronger than the Ghost Cave Five. The place they claimed was also closer to the entrance.
"I'm giving you face and helping your fame by accepting your pill, fool! If it's really as good as you claim, then I'll consider paying you for your troubles after we make it out of the desolate wildlands. Who knows if you're just lying to make some quick money if I pay you now? Don't you think so too, brothers?"
For a split second, the brawny man made the act of claiming another's possessions without providing the necessary compensation seem reasonable. However, this wasn't Lin Yanyu's first day in the jianghu. How could he not know that these men were trying to take his pills without paying? Their so-called delayed payment was complete bullshit. If they weren't willing to pay him now, would they really be willing to pay him after coming out of the desolate wildlands?
"Friend, I'm doing business on a shoestring, and this is the first time we're meeting. There is no way I'm letting you buy on credit like this. If you aren't willing to pay me, then please return my pills now." Lin Yanyu's tone might have been a little fearful, but he still summoned the courage to protect what was his.
"Are you scramming or not?" The brawny man's eyes abruptly darkened as he glared maliciously at Lin Yanyu. "Or maybe you'd like to see if I can slap you to death with one move?"
Lin Yanyu's eyes were bloodshot, and a bit of hesitation crept up into his face. In the end though, he shook his head and said, "Give me back my pills and I'll leave immediately."
The brawny man laughed savagely, "You asked for it!"
No one here was unfamiliar with the law of the jungle in the world of wandering cultivators. That Lin Yanyu tried to market his pills to a group like the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain was suicidal to say the least. Money? It would already be considered a great feat if he managed to escape with his life. The Ghost Cave Five might appear oppressive and ferocious, but that was all on the surface. The evil deeds the Ghost Cave Five had committed didn't even amount to one tenth of what the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain had done.
The Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain was a famous brigand group that operated all throughout the human domain. They were ruthless and merciless bastards who specifically targeted lone, wandering cultivators. If they were in a good mood, they might kill off their victims immediately, but if they were in a bad mood, they would torture their prey endlessly until they gasped for their last breaths. The fate of women was even worse than that of their male counterparts. Female cultivators who fell into the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain's hands were better off dead than alive. They went on top of their prey in turns and used every kind of disgusting tricks they could think of to torture their prey. The captured female cultivators were often tortured to death before the group eliminated their victims. That was why the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain was infamous in the world of wandering cultivators.
Unfortunately for everyone else, the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain was both tricky and strong. They had managed to escape several organized hunts and remained free despite numerous wandering cultivators' attempts to hunt them down. In fact, the wandering cultivators who had participated in the hunts were later the victims of revenge, either vanishing without a trace or dying horrible deaths.
Compared to them, the Ghost Cave Five were a bunch of brats who had just learned how to walk. The brawny man Lin Yanyu was facing was the third oldest group member. He was the kind of guy who caused trouble even when none came to him, so he couldn't think of any reason to turn down a fat lamb who had walked right up to his doorstep like Lin Yanyu had.
Lin Yanyu's expression changed when he saw the man approaching him. The man was obviously stronger than him, and he had no idea what he could do to protect himself. He put a pair of gloves on his hands immediately and said, "Don't come any closer. My gloves are filled with all sorts of poison. You'll die if I touch you even once!"
The brawny man laughed, "Trying to scare me, eh? Even if I assume that the poison on your gloves is real, do you really think you can touch me before I crush you like an ant?"
Jiang Chen frowned at the scene and spoke up, "That's enough."
Everyone was watching the spectacle unfold quietly and didn't lift a hand to help Lin Yanyu, because offending the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain was a foolish thing to do. Therefore, Jiang Chen's voice came as a surprise to many people. The brawny man abruptly glared at Jiang Chen after a brief moment of surprise. "And who are you talking to?"
Jiang Chen sneered, "I see you have a big head on your shoulders, but your brain must be pretty small."
"Are you trying to interfere with my business and stand up for justice, boy?" The brawny man suddenly cackled and whistled frivolously, "Hey brothers, someone is trying to stand up for justice over here! What a trip!"
The other five cultivators of the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain looked over with unfriendly looks on their faces. A white-haired old man, who was clearly the boss of the group, walked slowly over to their side while holding a walking cane made of a strange type of metal. "It might be better to keep your mouth shut, friend."
Jiang Chen answered in annoyance, "Who's your friend?"
The white-haired old man looked surprised by this. The Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain was quite infamous in the human domain, so who on earth was this guy to talk in such a way with the alpha wolf of this pack? The wolves behind the old man hooted in anger, "Got tired of living eh, you bastard!"
"Kill him, boss!"
"Even a blind fellow should have a pair of ears. Haven't you heard of the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain?"
Their yells coupled with the clanging of their weapons built up quite a bit of momentum. It was obvious that Jiang Chen's thrashing of the Ghost Cave Five didn't intimidate the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain much at all. The old man commanded quite a bit of respect in the group. He only needed to make a single hand gesture to silence all of them. Even so, they all continued to stare at Jiang Chen with evil eyes that were filled with malice and devoid of any trace of humanity. They looked like a pack of wolves that was waiting for their king's permission to charge so that they could savagely maul their enemies and deal the fatal blow.
"Do you really think that you have the right to call the shots here just because you took out the Ghost Cave Five?" The white-haired old man sneered. The Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain were no idiots. They had all seen how Jiang Chen had destroyed the Ghost Cave Five. To be entirely honest, the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain thought nothing of the Ghost Cave Five at all. The young man who had destroyed them, however, would require a little more probing before they could decide whether to attack. They weren't afraid of fighting, but they weren't the only two groups that existed in the area. Only the heavens knew exactly how many experts had established themselves in the surroundings. The Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain had come to this place with great ambitions, so although they weren't afraid of trouble, they weren't willing to reveal too many of their trump cards either.
Jiang Chen smiled slightly and cast Lin Yanyu a glance. "I don't care if you use that act on someone else, but this person here is my friend. Are you trying to slap my face by harming him in front me?"
"Friend?" The old man chuckled oddly. "If I remember correctly, you guys have only just met each other. Don't you think it's a stretch to claim that you're friends already?"
"Haven't you heard of the saying, familiarity at first sight?" Jiang Chen's smile was as calm as ever.
The old man's expression froze for a second. Finally, he nodded, "Alright, if he's really your friend then we'll give you some face. We'll pay him back after we return."
Jiang Chen broke into involuntary laughter. "Anyone who makes this type of trade is expected to pay immediately. After all, the customer can claim all kinds of nonsense to avoid paying if the transaction isn't carried out immediately. Plus, who knows if you'll come out alive from the desolate wildlands? Also, the Eight Treasures Antidote is the real thing. I've verified its effectiveness myself. If you dare doubt the pill's effect, then you are doubting my insight. Do you really expect me to tolerate such insolence?"
Jiang Chen purposely threw his weight around like a true troublemaker to the point that he appeared even more tyrannical than the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain. Off to the side, the Ghost Cave Five was stunned by the sight. They were clutching their faces and butts while feeling a great deal of shock and regret. This young man was someone who dared to provoke even the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain. They were fools to taunt someone like him. The beating they had suffered was completely justified!
Chapter 874: Lin Yanyu's Background
Lin Yanyu was a little surprised. When he did business with Jiang Chen earlier, the only impression he got was that this 'Daoist Huang' was extremely overbearing. He surmised that this person was a descendant of one of the great clans or great families, because he carried himself with the strong mannerisms of aristocratic families. A person like him might spare the less fortunate a little money when they were in a good mood, but they would never take the other person's side when they were being threatened by injustice. This was because such actions were utterly beneath them and why Jiang Chen's actions had caught Lin Yanyu a little off guard. However, he was obviously unwilling to involve an innocent person in his own predicament. He went over to Jiang Chen and said, "It's alright, Daoist Huang. I can give up a few pills. It's not like I'd become rich even if they paid."
Jiang Chen snorted coldly, "Now that I've interfered, you'll get those pills back even if you don't want them anymore."
The onlookers watching the spectacle all thought that he had a screw loose in his head. Why was he insisting when the master of the pills himself had given up on pursuing the matter? Did he fancy himself the master of this place and ruler of all or something? The onlookers couldn't wait for the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain to grow enraged and immediately fight Jiang Chen to the death. In fact, the more chaotic the better, and the best—if someone died. Who didn't want a good show and fewer competitors to fight against? Surprisingly, the infamous Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain were unusually restrained today. Everyone could see a hint of killing intent passing through the white-haired old man's face, but not only did he hold himself back, he went so far as to control his restless companions as well.
"Daoist Huang, is it? The young do indeed harbor heroes, and you're one one with a fiery temper too. If I have to guess, both your background and origin aren't simple, are they? Fine, I'll give you a bit of face this one time." The white haired old man swung his arm and tossed a storage ring to Lin Yanyu, "Keep your eyes open, kid. We won't be this lenient if you try to sell us pills again a second time."
Did he just… pay for the pills? The sight stunned everyone who was watching the scene. The white-haired old man wore no expression on his face, however. He simply stared indifferently at Jiang Chen. "The Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain never forgets a grudge. The reason we give you face today isn't because we're afraid of you, but because we want you to remember that you've offended the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain. Once we head out of the desolate wildlands, you and us shall settle this grudge once and for all."
What he really meant was that both their goals lay inside the desolate wildlands, and that there was no point in hurting each other now and enabling others to take advantage of their weaknesses. Jiang Chen shrugged nonchalantly, "I hope you can come out alive too. A reminder, if you will—the Eight Treasures Antidote is the real thing. If you don't want to be poisoned to death, you'd better consume it now."
Of course, he wasn't doing this for the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain's sake. He was advertising for Lin Yanyu. Humans were strange creatures in that they bullied the weak but bowed to the strong. Jiang Chen's tyrannical and self-centered behavior intimidated even the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain, much less the other normal wandering cultivators. As Jiang Chen had expected, people began approaching Lin Yanyu to buy pills on their own.
There were a lot of people here who could afford two hundred thousand saint spirit stones. The price Lin Yanyu had priced his pills at really was quite fair. In less than an hour's time, the Eight Treasures Antidote that no one had wanted to buy just a few moments prior was actually completely sold out. Lin Yanyu had roughly sixty pills before he had met Jiang Chen. He had failed to sell even a single pill despite trying to do so for a couple of days. This was because no one was willing to believe his words and take that first leap of faith.
But Jiang Chen did, becoming the first person to buy his pills. He was then followed by the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain. Soon after, everyone else grew tempted to buy them. After all, the desolate wildlands were filled with danger. The price of a mere two hundred thousand saint spirit stones for insurance against one kind of danger one might encounter there was quite fair. While some of the top experts or leaders within the area might possess powerful pills that protected them from the threat of poison, the same couldn't be said for every wandering cultivator. That was how the pills came to sell like hot cakes.
Even the Ghost Cave Five purchased five Eight Treasures Antidotes before the pills were sold out. This time they were extremely honest and didn't try to cheat during the payment at all. It was obvious that they had become a lot more obedient after they had been taught a lesson by Jiang Chen. They too were afraid that he would hold a grudge against them, and they bought the pills in an attempt to express their desire to reconcile with him. They wanted to say, hey, we can't beat you, and we're afraid of you, so we're buying a few pills from your friend as a show of our respect.
The fact that he had sold out of pills in just an hour bewildered Lin Yanyu a little. He had transformed into a rich man, with ten to twenty million saint spirit stones jingling in his pockets. The cost to make the pill was relatively low, so his net profits were pretty high. He had earned at least ten million saint spirit stones from today's business. "Thank you for standing up for me, Daoist Huang. I cannot even begin to express my gratitude. I have a few pills left that I would like to gift to you as a show of my thanks." Lin Yanyu truly was a person who refused to take advantage of another person. He was the kind of person who repaid every kindness he received.
Jiang Chen waved a hand and said, "It's fine."
Lin Yanyu fell silent. He wasn't quite sure of how to deal with Jiang Chen's oppressive mannerisms. He wanted to be acquainted with Jiang Chen, but he was also afraid that Jiang Chen might be disdainful of him, which was why he was pacing back and forth around the area in an awkward manner.
"You sold your pills, so why haven't you left yet?" Jiang Chen asked with a frown.
Lin Yanyu smiled wryly at Jiang Chen. Although he didn't reply, his eyes told Jiang Chen that he wasn't planning to leave.
"You're a wealthy man right now. Someone may think ill of your profits. You can stay if you think you're good enough to deal with these greedy robbers." Jiang Chen had spoken out of good intentions. He could see that Lin Yanyu's martial cultivation wasn't as outstanding as his pill dao cultivation. Although he was a sage realm expert, he was only at the first or second level sage realm. Cultivators like him were everywhere in this place. Even the weakest amongst the Ghost Cave Five was slightly stronger than Lin Yanyu.
Lin Yanyu knew that Jiang Chen was saying this for his own good, so he sent him a mental message, "Thank you for your kindness, Daoist Huang, but I still wish to enter the desolate wildlands and try my luck. Do not misunderstand my intentions, however. I am not here to get rich or anything… I bear a burden that I cannot speak of."
Lin Yanyu might look like a soft person, but in reality he was quite stubborn. Jiang Chen knew Lin Yanyu must have his own reasons for staying and that it wasn't the sort of thing for him to stick his nose in. Suddenly, he recalled that Lin Yanyu came from Pillfire City. He threw out a careless question, "Do you come from Pillfire City?"
Lin Yanyu nodded with a bit of self derision, "I am from Pillfire City, but their reputation is less of a talisman and more of a burden to me."
"Burden? What do you mean?"
Conflicting emotions roiled behind Lin Yanyu's eyes. He cast a glance at Jiang Chen before saying, "I hope you won't tell this to anyone, Daoist Huang. I may come from Pillfire City, but if I'd had the choice of choosing my own birthplace, I would prefer to not have had any association with that place."
"Why?" Now Jiang Chen was puzzled. Pillfire City was the greatest power in the pill industry and one of the most powerful entities in the entire human domain. Normally, to have been born into a powerful entity like Pillfire City, one would be proud of both their status and origin..
A hint of hatred actually flashed across Lin Yanyu's normally gentle eyes, "That's because Pillfire City destroyed my family and robbed us of the pill formula that's rightfully ours. They killed my clan and destroyed my entire life."
"Huh…" Jiang Chen was speechless for a bit. He never would have thought that Lin Yanyu would have such a tragic past.
"Thirty years ago, when I was still a child, my Lin family was a top-ranked aristocratic family in Pillfire City. One day, my family found an ancient inheritance of three ancient sky-rank pill formulas inside our ancestor's house. After news of the discovery was spread,countless powers set their eyes on my Lin family. Just like that, a family of ancient heritage was wiped from the world. If I hadn't happened to be with my mother paying a visit to her family at the time, even I may have been destroyed along with the rest of my family." A hint of apology passed through Lin Yanyu's eyes before he cut his sorrowful story short, "Daoist Huang, I've never told anyone this secret before, but you aren't from Pillfire City, and you are my benefactor. It wasn't my intention to burden you with such a secret, but… I hope that you won't tell anyone about this."
Jiang Chen was dumbfounded by Lin Yanyu's reactions for a moment. Finally he said, "Relax, I'm not that senseless of a person."
Lin Yanyu nodded nonstop, "I know, I know."
"You're still staying in Pillfire City after your family's destruction?"
"Mm, Pillfire City is huge, and my enemies do not know that I am right within their midst. Pill factions are everywhere in Pillfire City, so I randomly joined one and learned the basics of pill dao at a young age. I did know some of my family's inheritance. That was how I managed to climb to the… half-assed level I'm at right now," Lin Yanyu said a little self-derisively.
Jiang Chen grew some respect for the man. It was rare to find a person who could endure such humiliation and bear his family's mantle for revenge for so many years while still maintaining a heart of gold on the inside. Another person might have already become twisted beyond recognition. "I don't think your pill dao level is half-assed. In my opinion, you're at least at the level of a mid-rank pill king," Jiang Chen gave his assessment.
"That's because my family has a long history in pill dao," Lin Yanyu sighed. "My grandfather and great-grandfather are all ninth-rank pill kings. In fact, my father was once called a genius who could challenge a half-step pill emperor. Unfortunately… it's all gone. It's all gone."
"Your father could challenge a half-step pill emperor?" Jiang Chen looked a little surprised. "He was that great?"
Great pride exuded from Lin Yanyu's eyes when his father was brought up. "It's true. When my father was still young, he was on par with Pill King Ji Lang. However, Ji Lang was lucky to be born in the emperor's direct line of descent. In the end, the sheer amount of resources Ji Lang had access to propelled him to where he currently stands. My father may not have necessarily been weaker than him if he had been given the same amount of opportunities."
Pill King Ji Lang was the pill king who had fought against Jiang Chen at Sacred Peafowl Mountain. He was said to be second only to the ruler of Pillfire City, Emperor Pillzenith, and was his indisputable successor of pill dao. Before he had participated in the pill battle of Sacred Peafowl Mountain, he was said to be undefeated in pill dao. Had Lin Yanyu's father really been the equal of Pill King Ji Lang when he was younger? If this was true, then his talents really were quite incredible.
Jiang Chen smiled, "Do you mean that Pill King Ji Lang who lost to Sacred Peafowl Mountain's Pill King Zhen not long ago?"
A hint of disgust flashed through Lin Yanyu's eyes when his name was brought up, "That's him, that cocksucker. The stories of him being undefeated for his whole life is utter nonsense. My father's fought him countless numbers of times in pill dao, and they both scored victories and suffered losses, so how can he possibly be undefeated?"
It was clear from Lin Yanyu's tone that he was extremely hostile towards Pill King Ji Lang.
I’ve always felt that Divine Throne of Primordial Blood’s cover is pretty badass…
Su Chen lost his sight in an unfortunate, unanticipated encounter. He was unwilling to give up despite suffering one of the most tragic fates possible in the human realm, and fought on. Su Chen wants to use his own efforts to create a completely new destiny, both for himself and for mankind!