Chapter 10: King of the Mountain
Shen Mu, who was walking by Xue Wei's side, was used to the young man being quiet, and he did not mind it. He was, however, quite surprised that Xue Wei had accepted to come to town with him since he had avoided the city center due to the others bullying him.
Although Xue Wei did not speak, there was a bright light in his eyes, and Shen Mu knew that he was simply too excited about being able to cultivate. He was also aware that Xue Wei was hoping that the others would accept him now, but he was more realistic about their reactions.
If he had just reached the first layer of the Ordinary Warrior rank, then they would not have minded, but Xue Wei was now at the peak fourth layer! In a mere four months, he had started to rush down the path of a cultivator with a speed so shocking that none of the others could compete against it.
Those who had hated him for being a piece of trash were likely to hate him for having too much talent, and no matter how he looked at it, Xue Wei was going to get beaten up. He was only a fourth layer expert, so how could he possibly withstand the ninth layer geniuses of the town as things were now?
The sad thing was that many of them did not hate him because he was trash, being trash was just convenient for them to bully him and gave them a legitimate reason to beat him up. The truth was that all of them were jealous of him being Xiao Lei’s nephew.
Sighing, Shen Mu shook his head with a small self-mocking grin on his face. Although he was the one who had suggested they went to town, he never expected that it would happen and now he could only curse himself. If Xue Wei were to enter a fight, then he would have to stick up for him, and in the end, it was likely that he too would be drawn into a beating.
Shen Mu would never let his friend fight alone, and he knew that although he was the strongest expert in town, he was not the only expert, and Li Jian had gathered a whole group of followers who would beat anyone and anything that stood in the way of bullying Xue Wei.
Truthfully, while Shen Mu did not dislike Xue Wei, and he was genuinely shocked by the performance this young man had shown with his sudden explosive talent, he did not consider Xue Wei one of his good friends either.
Xue Wei was simply too hard to get close to. He was never one to talk much; he kept everything he felt on the inside, and his eyes would always burn with defiance.
This was also another reason why they had beaten him time and time again. One thing was that he was a piece of trash, another thing was that he refused to bow and grovel on the ground in front of them. His eyes were always shining with an unyielding spirit, and Xue Wei was without a doubt the smartest youth in the entire city.
Although he was incapable of cultivating inner Qi, when it came to his mental age, it was many times more developed than any youth his age, and his knowledge even surpassed that of some elders.
This was yet another reason that the young members of the city all hated Xue Wei. He could not cultivate, but he could do just about anything else, and this agitated them. They wanted to prove that he was truly worth nothing compared to them.
But now Xue Wei had managed to get a cultivation base; he no longer wished to stay an ordinary youth with high intelligence.
Xue Wei had always dreamt of making his uncle proud of him and to do so he needed to be one of the strongest experts. He wished to slaughter Primordial Beasts like his uncle and gain recognition.
His eyes shone with excitement as he thought about it, and he sped up slightly as he moved towards one of the shops selling medicinal plants and pills.
Shen Mu, who was completely in the dark about what Xue Wei had been thinking about, just followed behind. He had already accepted that whatever would happen would happen and that he could not stop it no matter what.
When he saw Xue Wei speed up, he was certain that the reason he did so was because he did not want to be caught by the others, not because he was eager to find the herbs he needed.
Shen Mu agreed with Xue Wei on making their trip to the city markets as fast as possible, so he said nothing and just sped up as well.
Unfortunately, things did not go as he wished. Li Jian and his followers had not seen Xue Wei in four months, and although Xue Wei did not often leave the mansion, he would at least enter the markets around once a month.
Now it had been four months since last, and Li Jian was missing his favorite hobby of bullying Xue Wei. He had even started worrying that Xue Wei would never enter the marketplaces again and thus he had paid beggars and other commoners to keep an eye out for Xue Wei.
Whoever managed to bring news to Li Jian about Xue Wei entering the marketplaces could go and collect a silver coin from Li Jian, and a silver coin could feed a family of four for three weeks.
The offer was simply too tempting for anyone to care about the possibilities of revenge from Xiao Lei who was not even present in the city, and as soon as they saw Xue Wei, a few commoners vanished from the street as stealthily as shadows as they moved towards the Li residence.
The first commoner that made it to the Li residence found the Young Master Li at the family's training ground where he was practicing.
"Young Master! Young Master!" someone called out, and Young Master Li scowled as he was interrupted in his training of a martial art skill. He turned around looked at the person who appeared in front of him, his scowl turning to excitement. He knew that there would only be one reason for a commoner to arrive in front of him at this time.
"I will go to town instantly!" he exclaimed and waved his hand, causing a whole group of experts to stop their training and follow behind him.
Many of those experts were of minor noble families, whose families were beneath the Li family, and others were just opportunists who figured that following Young Master Li around would be beneficial to them in the future.
This entire entourage moved towards the city marketplace where Xue Wei was. Oblivious to this coming threat, Xue Wei had entered the first shop he saw to spend some of the gold he had brought with him.
The shop was covered in a dim light within the room, dust could be seen floating in the air, and a scent of herbs assaulted their noses as they narrowed their eyes, slowly getting used to the light.
Xue Wei was easily able to see the different herbs and took a deep breath. For some reason, he felt emotional having entered the shop, but no matter how much he scoured his memories, it was impossible for him to figure out why an apothecary shop was something nostalgic for him.
Without caring too much about it, Xue Wei shook his head and headed to the counter.
The man behind the counter looked at Xue Wei with surprise. Everyone knew Xue Wei within the city and to see him in a shop was truly rare. Especially seeing him with such a casual expression as the one he wore right now. It seemed as though nothing could faze him; even if another expert appeared out of the blue, Xue Wei gave off the impression that he would not bat an eyelid.
Still, this apothecary wanted Xue Wei to leave the shop as soon as possible. The longer he was in the shop, the more danger his shop was in. Every genius in town, except Shen Mu, hated him and a battle was bound to happen if they were to spot him.
"I need five pieces of ten-year-old blood ginseng and seven stalks of forty-year-old corpse grass. I also need three solar flowers that are around thirty years old and finally one beast core of the earth warrior rank, the first layer is enough."
The apothecary was shocked when he heard the items that Xue Wei wanted to buy. Some of them were even poisonous! But all of them were easy to get their hands on; the rarest item was the beast core, but even that was somewhat easy to purchase.
Without even moving, the clerk did the math. When he was done, he looked at Xue Wei as if he had seen an idiot.
"That is a total of one gold, eighty-seven silver, and five copper coins," the clerk said with a doubtful expression on his face. Yes, Xue Wei was a young master, but did he really have the gold to pay this?
Although the items were easy to find, the Fierce Beast core was different. Everything that came from beasts was incredibly expensive, and especially their beast cores. Even the ordinary noble-born would not buy Fierce Beast items.
Without caring for the doubtful expression on the face of the young man, Xue Wei found three gold coins and handed them to the apothecary who instantly accepted them and returned the few silver coins and coppers that were extra.
Then he remembered that he still had not found the items and he hurried to pick out the items he had just sold. The core was placed in a jade box while the herbs were placed in metalwood boxes. He then packed all the things in a bag and handed it to Xue Wei.
Metalwood was a specific kind of wood that was used to storing herbs and other valuable items in. It was highly sought after, and was often farmed by farmers in the northern areas of the Kingdom of Heping.
Accepting the packed-up items, Xue Wei nodded his head and turned to leave. Yet the moment he left the shop, he saw that a whole group of experts were waiting for him outside. Sighing, Xue Wei put the items he had just bought into a pocket and looked at the Young Master Li that stood in front of him.
Young Master Li was now a nine-layer Ordinary Warrior much like Shen Mu, but he used his power for bullying others, and Xue Wei had no good impression of him.
"Shen Mu, leave now, and I won't beat you up too," Young Master Li said in a dangerously low voice as he took a step towards Xue Wei.
"Sorry, it turns out that Xue Wei is a friend of mine. How can I step aside while a friend of mine is in danger?" Shen Mu asked with a slight smile on his face, and the color started draining from Young Master Li's face.
"So you only dare to venture into town when you have protection, huh? You useless piece of trash. If I don't cripple you today, then I won't be the young master of the Li family any longer!"
He was livid with anger as he never expected that Shen Mu would actually stand up for Xue Wei.
Everyone looked at Xue Wei, and their eyes were filled with enmity, and suddenly a chill flashed by the eyes of the number two man under Young Master Li.
"Young Master, take care of Shen Mu. The rest of us will thrash that piece of crap!" he exclaimed, but shockingly enough, all he heard was a chuckle from Xue Wei.
"Would you look at that. It is like watching two monkeys playing King of the Mountain." He said lightly, yet his words were heard by everyone present, and their faces turned pale from the shock of his choice of words. Was this the young piece of trash? Where did he get the courage to say such words?
"What did you just say?!" Young Master Li suddenly exclaimed, his face alternating between red and blue, anger flashing in his eyes. He had never before been insulted in such a way.
"I said, since you are a monkey, you are acting just as I'd expect," Xue Wei continued as he shrugged his shoulders, a sinister grin appearing on his lips. He had endured for long enough; now it was time for some payback and to see just how powerful he was compared to these soon to be experts. At worst, he would be beaten badly, but that would not be the first time it happened.