Wu Qi had his gaze rested on this bracelet. The bracelet glinted dazzlingly, and he vaguely saw countless starlights and passing clouds flashing by on its surface. In its depths, indistinct streaks of blood were interwoven and formed strange-looking runes. Wu Qi knew these runes, as they were mentioned in Scroll of Stealing. They were the Immortal Runes of 'The Sumeru and the Mustard Seed' , which could only be found in upper tier magical storage items.
Looking at the charming smile on the old man's face, Wu Qi narrowed his eyes and smiled. "I don't deserve it, please pardon Wu Qi for refusing the gift."
The old man was surprised. He looked at Wu Qi, shook his head and said "My young friend Wu Qi, have you not heard of the saying that one cannot refuse a gift from an elder? Although this is the first time we have met, I've taken a liking of you, and therefore, I just want to give you a small item as a present. Why are you saying that you don't deserve it? Wei Clan has been running its business in Great Yan Dynasty for a long history, and a magical storage item is considered nothing for us."
Lu Chengfeng gave Wu Qi a look and said with a smile on his face, "Wu Qi, since it is merely a piece of kindness from old mister Wei, why don't you just keep it? Chengfeng owes him a great debt of gratitude. Not only is old mister Wei my benefactor, but he is also a senior to us. It is just a magical storage item, you can just take it."
Wu Qi shook his head. With utmost respect, he bowed deeply towards the old man, then slowly took three steps back. Looking at the old man, he said with an indifferent voice, "By refusing the gift from old mister, it is not just that Wu Qi feels that I don't deserve it. Wu Qi doesn't want to owe any favor to old mister, as it will be really tough to repay a small favor to someone like you."
The expression on Lu Chengfeng's face changed slightly, while the old man straightened his back, throwing an interesting look at Wu Qi as he said, "What makes you said that?"
Wu Qi gazed back deeply at the old man, laughed lightly and said, "May I ask, what is the true purpose of old mister's visit? Could it really be a simple meeting of catching up with my young master? If old mister does come with such intentions, you should have come here long ago. After all, our young master had arrived at Ji City for such a long time… don't you think so?"
Slowly, Lu Chengfeng sat back in his chair, wearing a smile on his face and looking at the old man.
The old man sighed, weighed the storage bracelet in his hand, shook his head and said, "What a cunning little man. I've been in the field of trades for all my life, and this is the first time that I've failed in giving out a present. Tsk, someone actually refused a gift from me. You little man!" With a rather upset expression, he looked at Wu Qi, sighed again and said, "Fortunately, there aren't many people like you existing under this heavens, or else, how am I going to run my Wei Merchant? Hahaha!"
After letting out a loud, long laugh, the old man casually tossed the bracelet out from the parlor. A sound of water splashing was heard, as the bracelet was thrown into some small stream or river outside the parlor. Then, the old man laughed and said, "Well, since our little friend turned his nose up at my present, the bracelet has lost its value. I have no choice but to cast it away!"
Lu Chengfeng cupped his fist, bowed slightly at the old man and said, "Wu Qi's words are rather inappropriate. I hope old mister won't blame him for that."
The old man shook his head and said, "No, no, why should I blame him for that? To be honest, Wu Qi had hit the nail on the head. My purpose of the visit is not to catch up with Duke Yan Le." Putting up a serious expression, the old man continued saying with a deep voice, "I'm a merchant, and the duty of a merchant is to store up goods to make a good profit later on. In those years, Duke Yan Le was bullied and tormented by the brothers of Lu Clan, living a life of desperation. It was fortunate that I came across it, and gave Duke Yan Le a basic technique of cultivation, the profound knowledge of arrays, and one million gold coins."
Wu Qi instantly gasped at the generosity of this old man. How could he invest so much of money to Lu Chengfeng, who was merely a love child in a desperate situation? Wu Qi did not feel anything special for the technique of cultivation and the profound knowledge of arrays. To be honest, although they were both secret knowledge that could not be measured with money, as a matter of fact, it merely cost the fee of hiring someone to copy them, some papers and ink.
But, he was shocked on the investment of one million gold coins! By investing such a great deal of money on a love child, it proved that not only this old man was daring and bold, but he was also simply insane. Could he have learned the secret that Lu Chengfeng was the love child of Yan Buji at that point in time? Or, could he have known of the future achievements of Lu Chengfeng?
One million gold coins! Thus, without even asking, Wu Qi now knew where Lu Chengfeng got his Little 25th Lamp, the lower tier magical treasure. With such a huge amount of money, Lu Chengfeng could almost purchase anything he wanted! It was no wonder why Lu Chengfeng was so poor when he arrived at Little Meng City, as he must have spent all his money in purchasing this lower tier magical treasure.
While remaining sitting, Lu Chengfeng once again cupped his fist and bowed to the old man. "The kindness of old mister is like giving Chengfeng a new life. Chengfeng will never forget your gratitude for the rest of my life." He then rose to his feet, looked at the old man and said with a deep voice, "No matter what request old mister has, as long as it is within Chengfeng's ability, I'll never reject the request. Old mister, please tell Chengfeng the purpose of your visit."
'This guy has simply sold himself out with what he just said!' Wu Qi frowned and gazed at Lu Chengfeng, thinking inwardly, but he could only sigh at it. Well, it couldn't be worse, since this was the weakness in Lu Chengfeng's character, and at least it made him more dependable than those guys who could turn their back on friends at any time. In future, Wu Qi would focus all his attention on making progress on the path of cultivating the Dao, and that would require immeasurable money, energy stones, and pills. Thus, Lu Chengfeng would have to be his biggest source of finance. Having an affectionate and faithful brother was better than having a partner who could turn his back at any time!
Wu Qi sighed again, then walked towards a table placed beside Lu Chengfeng and sat down behind it. A few serving ladies came to him without making any sound and brought him tea, fruits, and some tidbits. Wu Qi took up a teacup, brought closer to his nose and smelled the tea with an indifferent expression. Then, he took a sip of the tea, placed the teacup back on the table, and turned his gaze towards the old man. Quietly he kept staring at the old man. It seemed to him a thought was ready to come out from his mind, but yet, he just couldn't get a grasp of it.
It was a thought that came from the powerful intuition inherited from Le Xiaobai, and had nothing to do with Wu Qi himself. The intuition told Wu Qi that he should be able to guess who this old man was. However, no matter how hard he racked his brains, he still could not guess the real identity of this old man from Wei Clan.
The old man was looking at Lu Chengfeng with a satisfied expression. Lightly, he tapped on the table with his fingers, then said with an indifferent voice, "Let's put it this way. I considered it as an investment by providing aid to Duke Yan Le in those years, and I expect returns from all my investments. Now, what I want is the exclusive right to the management of all metals and energy stone mines in Duke Yan Le's fief. I'll still pay Duke Yan Le with all the supposed profits from them. However, Wei Merchant must be the sole party that manages all of these resources."
Before Lu Chengfeng could say anything, Wu Qi had quickly jumped into the conversation, "We can give old mister all the metal mines, but not those energy stone mines. Since my young master and I have become the disciples of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, these energy stone mines are now solely harvested by Heaven Breaking Sword Sect."
The old man pondered for a brief moment, then turned to Lu Chengfeng.
Lu Chengfeng nodded his head and said, "That's right. Currently, Heaven Breaking Sword Sect is solely in charge of harvesting of all the energy stone mines in Chengfeng's fief, and all the harvested energy stones will be given to Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, becoming the provision to all the disciples in aiding their cultivation."
The old man sighed softly, shook his head and said, "It seems I've come too late. Fighting with Heaven Breaking Sword Sect? I'm not that insane yet! Well, let's forget about those energy stone mines then. But, all the metal mines have to be solely controlled and managed by Wei Merchant, what do you think, Duke Yan Le? By granting the exclusivity rights to us, I'll consider Duke Yan Le have paid off your debt of gratitude!"
Inwardly, Wu Qi let out a cry of praise. This old man was truly a great merchant with many years of experiences. A moment ago, he was still talking about gratitude and favor, but now, he had immediately changed his tone, naming his price and talking about business. If Wei Clan were granted the exclusive rights to all the metal mines in Lu Chengfeng's fief, even ghosts would know how lucrative the profits that his Wei Merchant would have bagged! Compared to Wei Xiaoxiao, the greed of this old man was many times stronger, as Wei Xiaoxiao merely demanded a few iron mines in Lu Chengfeng's fief. Yet this old man wanted to swallow all the metal mines with just one mouth.
Staring at the old man, Lu Chengfeng clenched his jaw, nodded his head heavily and said, "Chengfeng owes a great debt of gratitude to old mister. Since old mister has told me the request, there are no reasons for Chengfeng to reject it. However, as the income from all the metal mines in Chengfeng's fief is used to pay for the expenses of several thousand members of the Ninth Clan..."
While touching his gray beard, the old man smiled and said, "Of course, how much is the annual yield from all the metal mines in Duke Yan Le's fief? Taking the average annual yield of the last ten years, and topping that up with another thirty percent of profits, I'll pay Duke Yan Le with this sum of money."
The old man let out a loud laugh, then focused his glance on Lu Chengfeng and said, "Now that we've come to a conclusion to our business, I've another small request. As you might have known, Wei Xiaoxiao is my good-for-nothing granddaughter. I've just let her fully in charge of all the affairs related to Wei Merchant in Ji City, yet she has already created a huge trouble for me."
He sighed briefly, looked at Lu Chengfeng and said slowly, "I hope Duke Yan Le can forgive Wei Xiaoxiao for offending you. In addition to that, the man you captured in Shi Martial Club is just an ordinary guard hired by Xiaoxiao, and he had nothing to do with Yan Buji's death."
Lu Chengfeng frowned and said nothing. He turned to Wu Qi, with his eyes subtly filled with a restless and hesitating look.
Wu Qi turned to the old man and asked, "So, those men of sacrifices were from Wei Clan?"
"Yes. It was me who personally gave them the order, asking them to kill the guard and destroy his face. If the presence of Xiaoxiao's guard in Shi Martial Club were learned by Scouting Office and the Swallow, we, the Wei Clan, would never be able to wash away the sin of colluding with Shi Tianmo in the assassination of Yan Buji. For the sake of avoiding these troubles, I had no other choice but to give the order, removing us from the list of suspects. Then only I came to Duke Yan Le to ask for a favor." said the old man.
Lu Chengfeng pondered for a brief while, then again turned to Wu Qi.
Wu Qi sighed. He spread his right palm and raised it up in the air, then said with a deep voice, "I, Wu Qi, hereby swear with the lives and souls of all the teachers and fellow disciples in my sect, that I will never leak anything that happened in Shi Martial Club to anybody. Everything that had happened is merely a coincidence. And it was all because the guard was trying to make an escape that made Wu Qi capture him. In brief, it is impossible for Wei Xiaoxiao to have any sort of connection with Shi Martial Club."
With a surprised look, the old man stared at Wu Qi and asked, "It is a strange vow. What is the sect of our little friend, Wu Qi?"
Wu Qi sighed softly and replied, "Wu Qi was raised up by my teacher. To me, he is considered both my father and mother. If Wu Qi does not abide by today's vow, then let the soul of his, and all my fellow disciples, be shattered and disintegrated by the force of the vow, may they never be reincarnated again." Two drops of tears lightly flowed down from his face. The souls of Wu Wang and Le Xiaobai had long shattered and disintegrated, and they could never be reincarnated again.
Hearing such a vicious vow, the old man had his mind instantly rested in peace. While putting up a sorrowful expression, he said a few words of comfort to Wu Qi.
After shedding a few tears, Wu Qi wiped off the traces of tears from his face, wore back a smile and asked, "It is a shame that I still don't know the great name of old mister. Can old mister please enlighten me?"
The old man laughed. "I am Wei Sanjue, and I've given myself the title of Yangdi Sou. My little friend, you can just address me as Wei Yangdi."
Wei Sanjue, Yangdi Sou. Suddenly Wu Qi had his glance swept over the ring worn on the old man's finger. The thought in his mind suddenly exploded.
He had roughly guessed the identity of this old man! The man who dared to invest heavily on Lu Chengfeng while he was in a desperate situation, besides from that man, who else could he be?
 The Sumeru and Mustard Seed (须弥芥子) - It means hiding the Mount Sumeru in a mustard seed - hiding something big in a small object.