The old man was taken aback as he turned his head around, only to see a handsome young man who emitted an obvious scholarly aura squeezing to the front of the slaves. His face was flushed red, but his lips were pale. Anxiously licking his lips, he continued, "Old mister, I have studied much of the historic archives, and examined scriptures like Songtao, Qilue, Dashu, Shengyu, Lanzhijing, Daodewen. I am also skilled in art, multiple instruments, and mastered the way of tea. Sir, can you purchase me as well?"
The old butler raised his brows, and he slowly replied, "I am procuring slaves for hard labor, not a teacher."
"I can do labor as well!" Liang Shaoqing replied, and racked his brains to think of what labor he could possibly do. "For example, I can prepare the ink, cut the paper, arrange scripts, Oh, and I can boil water, fetch water, split firewood…"
"Are you really well versed in the Lanzhijing?" a deep voice said. Although not loud, the tone brought out a sense of peacefulness. A pale hand flipped up the curtains of the horse carriage, and the owner of that voice revealed his pointy eyes. His gaze was serene like an undisturbed lake, and his face looked ashened. Even though the weather was not cold, he wore a satin robe with a silver finish. Wearing a mantle, it was hard to make out his half obscured face.
"I know a little. Lanzhijing involved many complex philosophical concepts. Based on my knowledge, it would be rude to you to claim that I am really well versed."
The man nodded. He was still young, at most 25 years old, but his movements spoke of inexplicable stoicism and grace. The man nodded and said, "Uncle Qing, let's buy him."
"Young mister! I have a younger brother, and he is really sick. No matter what, we cannot be separated. Could you please buy him as well?"
The man followed the direction that Liang Shaoqing pointed in, and immediately spotted Chu Qiao, who was weakly lying on the ground. He nodded, and agreed. Liang Shaoqing was ecstatic, and with long strides, trotted over to Chu Qiao and picked her up. "We are saved!"
With breathing difficulties, Chu Qiao was still weak from the pain after the removal of the stuck arrowhead. Her voice was almost inaudible as she replied, "Thank you very much."
Liang Shaoqing only shook his head, and suddenly remembered something. "Right, what is your name? How should I address you?"
Chu Qiao replied, "You said I am your brother, so I will just follow your surname. You can just refer to me as Xiaoqiao."
"Alright. My surname is Liang, name is Shaoqing, and have the courtesy name of Zhangyu."
Chu Qiao nodded. "Nerd Liang"
Liang Shaoqing was stunned for a second, before he barked, "Oi! You have to call me 'big brother'!"
But Chu Qiao could hear no longer. Her head slumped to the side and she fainted. At this time, the butler, who was referred to as Uncle Qing, walked up. Taking only a quick glance at Chu Qiao, he instructed, "Quickly, in the carriage. We have a doctor." The carriages rumbled off into the distance, capturing the gaze of common folk, while leaving a trail of dust.
Boss Mu's face turned black the moment he saw that the carriages had disappeared into the distance. At this time, a servant came up and smiled. "Boss! We have struck the jackpot!"
"What jackpot!" Boss Mu was furious. He barked back, "What kind of rich family is this?! So petty! He bargained with me for so long just for those few slaves. F*ck!"
The servant was taken aback, and asked, "Considering their outfits, it did not seem like they were poor. Master, who were they?"
"God knows. They were introduced to us by Mister Liu. He probably did not know how some of those poor nobles like to pretend they are still rich and powerful! Son of a b*tch!" Boss Mu threw his notebook aside and shouted angrily.
"Close shop!" Boss Mu was extremely annoyed as he continued on his rant. "Today was so unlucky! I had barely earned anything. F*ck, such misfortune!"
On the bustling streets of Xian Yan City, there were huge crowds moving around and examining goods that were being sold by foreign merchants. Occasionally, one could see people making purchases when something caught their attention. The merchant who set up shop in front of the slave shop had a heyday as he grinned from ear to ear. Suddenly, his eyes lit up again. He saw that a young mister who had left earlier in the morning had come back again with an ominously gloom over his face. Normal citizens lived a life of boredom, so they were naturally drawn to such gossip-worthy incidents. Amused, he stretched his neck out to observe.
Just when Zhuge Yue had reached the slave shop, Boss Mu had already packed up the store and was ready to leave. Yue Qi caught up, and grimly said, "Please hold your step."
Boss Mu had seen numerous customers, and had polished his senses to tell who was loaded and who was poor by just one glance. Naturally, he recognized that this man had just purchased many girl slaves without even asking for the price. Of course, he would not turn away such a potential customer, so he immediately walked up and asked, "Young Master, what can I do for you?"
Zhuge Yue ignored him, and with a long face, walked up to the bunch of slaves who had been tied up at the back.
Boss Mu was surprised, and quickly followed behind him. "Oh, this young master, what…"
Whoosh! Yue Qi raised his sheath to Boss Mu's neck, and without any sympathy, grimly hissed, "Stop right here. Did we ask you to approach him?"
Boss Mu anxiously rubbed his palms. Being so cautious all these years, his experience told him that these people, while loaded, were also people he could never afford to offend.
After a while, the young man returned, and stood in front of Boss Mu. He inquired, "Are all of your slaves here?"
"Yes, they were all here. I was about to close for today. Even those cages from the back were just brought in. Young master, did any slave catch your interest?"
Zhuge Yue's eyebrow gradually furrowed, and he remained quiet for quite a while. After deeply contemplating, he firmly asked again, "Are you sure, everyone is here?"
Such a short sentence, but it made Boss Mu break out in cold sweat. He nodded in panic, and replied, "Yes, young master, every one of them is here. I dare not lie to you."
Zhu Cheng already understood what was going on. He slowly edged forward and said to Zhuge Yue, "Master, could it be that you saw wrongly? Considering Miss Xing'er's abilities, how could they manage to catch her?"
Zhuge Yue remained speechless, and stood completely still in consideration. The midday sun glazed the surrounding in a shade of yellow as Zhuge Yue stood so still and aloof in the city, complete with a river in the background and boatmen casually rowing their small boats along, forming a picturesque scene.
Zhuge Yue lifted his foot and headed out, with a frozen gaze. Just when he was about to leave, a dark skinned man ran out from the back. In his rush, he had not seen Zhuge Yue and his servants. He blurted out in excitement, "Master Mu! That kid had a good sword with him! I think this is worth a lot!"
Everyone's gaze gathered on him without exception, and of course Zhuge Yue's too. His eyes widened, and his frown returned to his face. With a few big strides, he snatched the sword from the dark-skinned man, and with a swift motion, he pulled out the blade from the sheath!
In that instant, a kaleidoscopic flash tore through the air. Everyone's jaws dropped as the sword of unparalleled sharpness was unveiled before their eyes. The blade had a greenish tinge, and one could vaguely see stains of blood. But what stood out the most was the words written in small seal scripts, Moon Shattering Sword!
Zhuge Yue's expression fell below absolute zero, and he stomped forward, holding the blade horizontally. He asked, "How did you get this sword?"
"This-this, I picked it up."
Whoosh! The blade cut through the air, and Zhuge Yue's blue blouse fluttered in the breeze from the slash. He pointed the blade squarely at Boss Mu's neck. Slowly, but firmly, as if suppressing his anger, Zhuge Yue asked again, "Are you going to tell me?"
"Pardon me! Please pardon me! This-this sword belonged to a slave!"
"Where is that slave?"
Boss Mu was already petrified. He blurted out whatever he knew, "That slave has just been bought!"
"Bought?" With a cold snort, Zhuge Yue scoffed, "Do you need me to show you your coffin?"
"Master! I have spoken the truth! If you don't believe me, you can ask those surrounding shops! There really was someone who bought a batch of slaves, and that person was included!" Boss Mu was terror-stricken as he dropped on all fours to plead, utterly incoherent.
Zhuge Yue swept his gaze on the surrounding people, and was convinced that Boss Mu had spoken the truth. Swiftly, he interrogated, "Who was the customer? How long ago did they leave?"
"They just left! It was not even a few minutes ago! As for who was the customer, I have no idea! I really do not know!"
The comfortable breeze swept past the street, lifting up dust along the way. Zhuge Yue's sleeves waved in the afternoon wind, as he stood in the center of the crowd. In his eyes, there was a rare tinge of indecisiveness. And along with that was a mixture of many other emotions, like anger, regret, and most of all, a very intense disappointment.
"That person was injured, right? Was it serious?"
Given Boss Mu's social astuteness, if he had not inferred that the slave had an impressive background, he would have wasted his whole life's worth of experience. He immediately answered, "Yes, it was very serious. There was a blade wound on the left chest, and an arrow wound in the shoulder. I found that slave in the suburbs of the city last night. After seeking a famous doctor, I saved his life! Master, I am really so foolish! If only I knew that young mister was your friend! I even dared to sell him as a slave! I deserve to die!"
"Young mister?" Zhuge Yue raised an eyebrow, but immediately understood the confusion. He looked down at Boss Mu, who was still kneeling. Pausing after each word, Zhuge Yue grimly stated, "Yes, indeed, you deserve to die."