Chapter 143: Returning to Ri Chu City
Xu Min continued onward. From time to time bandits would notice him, but by relying on his speed, he was able to escape without entering any fights.
After a few more days of traveling, he made his way through the danger zone without encountering any more bandits or dangerous situations, though, some of the experts he was up against were also eight-star Warriors. However, as soon as they saw Xu Min running away from them so swiftly, they all decided that it was not worth it and led their bandits another way.
Once he was out of the danger zone, Xu Min took Cao Cao and Ye Ling out of the jade satchel and allowed them to move as they pleased.
"We are halfway to Ri Chu City now," Xu Min explained cheerfully. Together the three of them continued forward at their fastest speed.
Many noticed them on their way. Seeing Xu Min, everyone was shocked by how young he looked and how fierce his companions were. No one dared to stand in his way. Even though Xu Min wished to keep a low profile, at this point in his journey, this was impossible for him.
Fortunately, his teacher had not been joking when she said that she would get vengeance on the allied families of the Ruins of the Immortals.
Everyone who had partaken in the hunt for Xu Min was punished severely. No one dared to say a word when they saw how the Guardians of the Immortal Valley exploded forth with their strength and discipline.
The allied families each possessed one Immortal, but this was nothing compared to the many Immortals that were present in the Guardians of the Immortal Valley. Those who still held resentment towards Xu Min buried it deep in their hearts, never allowing for anyone to ever discover it.
If Xu Min had been aware of this, then he would have been less worried. Nonetheless, for now, he figured that the best idea was to move as swiftly as he could, so no one would catch up to him.
Moving as swiftly as Xu Min and his beast brothers were, one day turned into two and two days turned into three. After seven days he finally arrived at Ri Chu City. His previously cold and callous face broke into a smile as he remembered everything which had happened between himself and Meilin within this city.
He entered into the city. Everyone around him stared at both him and his beasts with reverence. Even the guards dared not stop and question him about his purpose within their city.
The moment Xu Min entered he felt a strange peace overwhelm him. He remembered all the memories he had within this city, and he could not help but smile a little as he was reminded of Meilin and their first encounter.
At first, he had disliked her, but this was only because he had misunderstood her. She had been haughty and arrogant, which also turned Xu Min off. However, only after getting to know her did he understand that she was a gentle and loveable young lady, not someone who judged others based on their heritage.
He remembered how he had fought the other families in the tournament in an attempt to assist Meilin and her family, and he could not help but chuckle. Now that he was back, he would be able to deal with their families much more easily if it was needed.
Xu Min had been gone for quite some time. Because of this, those who had seen him before were unable to recognize him. The two fierce beasts by his side drew most of the attention, detracting most of the attention from Xu Min. Although he was the owner of these beasts, his appearance was just that of a human and thus he was easily forgotten.
Xu Min did not mind that no one seemed to recognize him. In fact, he was rather relieved. He returned to Ri Chu City to reunite with Yong Meilin, not to have his old enemies know that he was back. Then these enemies of his would perhaps plot something against him, causing him more delays.
Xu Min felt his heart beating rapidly. The closer he got to the Alluring Treasure Pavilion, the more excited he became.
Cao Cao and Ye Ling could not help but joke amongst themselves. "Look at him; he’s so lovesick!" Cao Cao commented, making Ye Ling laughed, "I wonder what kind of woman can make him this excited," he answered curiously.
Ye Ling had joined them in the Immortal Valley. Thus he had never before met Meilin. He was filled with curiosity towards this mysterious woman who could make his otherwise cold and cynical friend filled with warm feelings.
"You'll see her soon enough," Cao Cao snickered. "She is beautiful like no other woman; she is his moon. She shines light into his darkest moments, and if it was not for her, I fear he would have become a monster long ago."
Cao Cao spoke rather seriously. Ye Ling nodded his head, still fascinated by this woman. It was clear that Xu Min would have become a true monster if he had lived solely for revenge. Fortunately, he had two good brothers in these two beasts and a woman whom his heart longed to be with. Because of these three loved ones, Xu Min was incapable of turning into a mass-murder who cared little about innocent lives.
Xu Min continued. A smile edged onto his lips, and his eyes shone. "Meilin, I hope you have lived well," he mumbled to himself. When he reached the location where the Alluring Treasure Pavilion had been located last time he was in Ri Chu City, he felt something was not right.
Xu Min's face turned dark; his brows furrowed and a killing intent so strong emerged that anyone close to him instantly retreated.
The location where the Alluring Treasure Pavilion had stood strong and towered over Ri Chu City was now in rubble. Everything showed signs that a massive fight had taken place. Courtyards and other buildings had holes through the walls where experts had flown through. Dried blood painted some of the white walls in a black color, and the beautiful gardens had been uprooted.
The tower itself which had been the Alluring Treasure Pavilion had been leveled flat. Nothing of it remained.
"What happened here?" Cao Cao could not help but ask in a shocked voice. He looked at everything around him with eyes that failed to believe what he was seeing.
"Meilin!" Xu Min called out, but no one answered. Without waiting for any reply, Xu Min entered what was left of the Alluring Treasure Pavilion and started walking through the devastated area.
He soon noticed the many poorer families who had moved into the courtyards and houses which had not been fully destroyed. Beggars and other citizens lived in the rubble.
"My lord, can I help you?" A small girl asked and tugged Xu Min's clothes as she looked at him with big eyes. "I am hungry," she continued, "I will show you around town for a copper coin. Please let me help you."
Xu Min bent his knees and looked her in the eyes. "I will help you buy a lot of food if you can tell me what happened here. And if you can tell me what happened to auctioneer Yong Meilin, then I will give you two silver coins."
Xu Min dared not promise the little girl more than two silver coins as wealth could lead to greediness and then calamity. However, he would help her and her family eat well for a few days. That was the best he could do for now.
"Around a year ago Auctioneer Yong Meilin went back to the capital," the girl with the big eyes started explaining in a bright voice right away. She was afraid that the offer would vanish, and then have no more opportunity for food. "We don't know why she left Ri Chu City, but she was fetched by a magnificent entourage. I have never seen so many horses and warriors before! They rode through the entire Ri Chu City, even the slums. That is how I got to see them." she explained.
"When they left, the other families in Ri Chu City, lead by the Tang family, pounced at the Alluring Treasure Pavilion. They killed everyone who worked here and divided the spoils. They didn't dare do anything to the grounds though. They wished to use Alluring Treasure Pavilion’s destruction to show other newcomers what happens if one tries to overreach the major families within Ri Chu City."
Xu Min's eyes turned hard. Wasn't Meilin's grandfather the man in charge of Ri Chu City?
"How come the Alluring Treasure Pavilion allowed this to happen?" He asked with a silent voice, but the girl just shrugged her shoulders, "I don't know," she said honestly. She was only a little girl. How was it possible for her to know the answer to such a serious question?
"Tell me about the Tang family," Xu Min changed the subject. "How strong is their strongest member, and how many high ranked Warriors do they have?"
Although the Alluring Treasure Pavilion had no intention of gaining revenge, Xu Min was different. He felt that he owed the Alluring Treasure Pavilion of Ri Chu City a debt, and this debt was going to be repaid by him. Unfortunately, it seemed that the only thing he was able to do was to gain vengeance for the dead spirits. It was unfortunate he was always too late to save the ones that mattered to him.
"The Tang family is the most prominent family within Ri Chu City now. Especially after the Alluring Treasure Pavilion was crushed. They have multiple businesses within Ri Chu City, and their businesses can be recognized by the sign of two crossed war hammers that is shown outside on the doorframe of all their shops."
"They have two eight-star Warriors and many seven-star warriors. They also have hired most of the six-star warriors within Ri Chu City as guards, and they patrol the entire area as if they are the kings."
The little girl pouted as if she was used to being mistreated by these guards. Xu Min gently petted her hair. "Don't worry about them for now," he said with a smile. "Why don't you go and fetch your family? I will take you to eat as much as you can."
The little girl stared at him with big eyes and nodded her head. Without doubting that he would vanish if she left. She instantly turned around and ran to a house which was in terrible shape. After which she returned to Xu Min with around ten other kids.
All of these kids were in terrible shape. Their clothes were filled with patches, none of them wore shoes. Their faces were sunken in, and they were incredibly skinny. Seeing them, Xu Min felt bad and shook his head in regret. He wished he could do more for them than what he was about to do.
"Come with me," he said. He then led all the kids towards the center of town where there were many inns.
Xu Min picked the nicest of all the inns. He turned to enter, but when he tried to go in, the inn keeper looked upon the kids and instantly frowned.
"Esteemed expert, these kids are not able to enter," he said snobbishly while wrinkling his nose.
By now both Ye Ling and Cao Cao were within the jade satchel, but Xu Min's eyes flashed dangerously. With a flicker of his hand, he retrieved ten gold coins.
"I will give these to you if you feed me and the children," he said with a dangerously low voice. He prefered avoiding any violence if possible.
The innkeeper looked at the ten gold coins, and his eyes started shining with greed. When he looked at the children, he was unsure of what to do.
"Why don't we do like this," Xu Min offered, "you don't want them in the restaurant. Then just give us a room instead. This way we will not insult any of your other customers, and you can still ensure that we get treated well."