Yunqin’s North Grain Cave Town was the border trade market closest to Dragon Snake Mountain Range in the empire’s eastern border.
This simple town that had several dozen restaurants, taverns and a few simple rain canopies was a natural gathering place that didn’t lack caravans, runaways and gold panners who wanted to try and get rich overnight.
There was a mountain stream to the south of North Grain Cave Town, on it a pier made of wood that only a single carriage could move through.
Lin Xi who had a black bone giant bow and wore an exquisitely embroidered plum blossom silver mask was sitting right at the end of this pier, staring past this mountain stream at North Grain Cave Town.
For Lin Xi, this North Grain Cave Town wasn’t unfamiliar.
This was precisely where he met Chen Feirong. Meanwhile now, he officially opened up the trade route with the cave barbarians, so this North Grain Cave Town once again became an important supply receiving point.
Many resources from Dragon Snake Mountain Range and Great Desolate Swamp Yunqin lacked would start flowing from this point, move through many channels that didn’t see the light and ultimately enter a destination he controlled, thus flowing into his hands.
Meanwhile, the medicines and food Dragon Snake Mountain Range and Great Desolate Swamp lacked would similarly arrive from the other end through paths that didn’t see radiance, arrive at Dragon Snake Mountain Range’s borders, at several towns like North Grain Cave Town.
Even though it was also because of Lin Xi that back this North Grain Cave Town experienced an armed investigation from Dragon Snake Army’s Black Snake, Black Dragon and Black Flag three great armies, becoming extremely bleak compared to the first time Lin Xi came here, Lin Xi knew that soon, this place would become even more prosperous and chaotic than before.
Without coming here to deal with Mu Chenyun, he wouldn’t have come into contact with the underground black market, he wouldn’t even think about doing the black market business, thus, there wouldn’t be any way of delivering food into Great Desolate Swamp. Without meeting Chen Feirong here, he wouldn’t be waiting here to deal with some of her matters.
That was why as Lin Xi watched the distant mist shrouded North Grain Cave Town under the first glimmer of dawn, he felt more and more that this world was filled with countless cause and effect events, beginnings and endings, and then endings back to beginnings.
While Lin Xi waited, in the mist shrouded mountain path, a carriage slowly arrived.
The one who drove this carriage was a stern faced middle-aged man. There were three people in the carriage.
One of them was a thin middle-aged scholar dressed in a moon white gown. The other two were a male and female pair, both of them a bit chubby, their bodies carrying a type of oily feeling that didn’t disappear, the husband and wife of a wine shop. They were always a bit huddled in the corner of the carriage, in a type of half asleep yet not sleeping state.
The carriage’s doors weren’t shut. Even though there were thick carriage curtains, because of the bumpiness of the road, the curtains moved up and down. As such, the moon white robed middle-aged scholar in the carriage already saw Lin Xi who was waiting by the pier in the distance.
While looking at the patiently waiting Lin Xi, this middle-aged scholar’s eyes produced a bit of an indescribable expression. After a few quiet words, this carriage slowly stopped by this pier.
The middle-aged scholar bent down, moving aside the carriage curtains and stepping out. He bowed slightly towards Lin Xi, saying, “This one is Cheng Zijing, I wonder what advice your distinguished self has for me?”
Lin Xi didn’t get up. He only gave this calm faced middle-aged scholar who carried vigilance and killing intent in his eyes a look, shook his head and said, “This isn’t something your Liu Family can get involved with.”
“You are quite direct.” Cheng Zijing stared blankly for a moment, his brows unconsciously furrowing. He looked at Lin Xi and said with a light sigh. “It seems like you are Chen Feirong’s subordinate… It also seems like the people our Liu Family sent over before also died under your hands.”
“Some people died, some are still alive.”
Lin Xi looked at Cheng Zijing, calmly saying, “Since you all learned about some things you all shouldn’t have learned about, that is why I would routinely give the people sent by your Liu Family two choices. They will either remain in Dragon Snake Border Pass and work under me, or they can choose to become my enemy, thus dying here.”
“Death or surrender, this truly is quite the simple choice.” Cheng Zijing laughed. He looked at Lin Xi and said, “Only, what are they remaining here to do? Become bandits?”
Lin Xi gave Cheng Zijing a look, not replying.
“It seems like what Su Zhongwen discovered and what I suspected wasn’t mistaken. Chen Feirong not only has a problematic past history, she is even connected to the bandits and the black market business.” Cheng Zijing looked at Lin Xi with a smile. “Then even if I don’t want to die, if I remain here, could it be that I need to serve as a bandit for the rest of my life?”
“Not necessarily.” Lin Xi gave Cheng Zijing a calm look. “Perhaps you only need to wait until Liu Family collapses. If Liu Family insists on continuing with this, their collapse is also merely a matter of time.”
“However, it truly is a pity that the more ambitious the individual, the more often they die early.”
Cheng Zijing looked at Lin Xi, shaking his head and saying with a bit of mockery. “Could it be that you think our Liu Family, after continuously suffering so many losses, wouldn’t make any preparations, that only this single carriage would leave this place?”
After saying these words, Cheng Zijing gave the dark bone giant bow behind Lin Xi a look. Then, he calmly raised his head to look at the mist shrouded mountain forest behind Lin Xi.
Some rustling noises sounded in that mountain forest.
Chi… Chi… chi chi chi!
However, immediately afterwards, the rushed and concentrated noises seemed to have become connected by a cutting noise, the sound completely overwhelming that area.
Cheng Zijing’s expression changed greatly.
The mist behind Lin Xi suddenly faded. A masked cultivator dressed in dark clothes rushed out, in his hands a bronze-colored crossbow covered in runes that was about to fire at Lin Xi. However, in that instant, the rushed and concentrated cutting sounds already reached this cultivator.
In a split second of time, when the runes on that crossbow just began to shine, an indigo longsword connected to a long chain, still seemingly burning, passed through this cultivator’s neck, instantly severing his spine.
The rapid and concentrated cutting noises completely disappeared.
The world before Cheng Zijing became completely quiet.
When he saw the chains and the indigo blue longsword that seemed to have emerged from hell itself, both his and the coachman’s bodies both turned completely rigid.
The indigo blue longsword withdrew into the bloody mist that was already starting to become a bit pink from it spreading.
A tall and slender man dressed in ordinary clothes walked out from the mist while carrying that indigo blue longsword. Those chains that seemed to be flowing with magma already completely retracted into his sleeves.
As he looked at this gentle faced man, Cheng Zijing was incomparably shocked. He already knew this person’s identity, but he never would have imagined that this person would appear here, that he would make Liu Family his enemy because of Chen Feirong.
During this deathly silence, waves of clear horse hooves sounded from the mountain path behind Lin Xi.
When they heard these horse hooves sounds, Cheng Zijing and the coachman beside him were like fish that were near death, displaying a bit of hope.
Transport carriages emerged from the mist.
Cheng Zijing and that coachman were stunned again.
“What are you all waiting for?”
Lin Xi looked at these two stupefied individuals, saying with cold mockery. “Are you waiting for your Liu Family’s seven hundred membered private army?”
“They aren’t coming.” After a slight pause, Lin Xi looked at Cheng Zijing, saying, “Half of them have already died and half of them chose to surrender.”
Cheng Zijing and the coachman’s breathing seemed to have stopped, their entire bodies soaked through from cold sweat.
Following the appearance of that fleet on the mountain path, a wave of faint medicinal fragrance and the unique fragrance of provisions entered these two’s nostrils.
More and more provisions carriages appeared before Cheng Zijing and the coachman’s eyes.
There were more than ten individuals that first ran over. As if Cheng Zijing and the coachman didn’t exist, they began to lay out boards and hammer down nails, fortifying this pier.
Cheng Zijing’s body began to shudder. At this time, he discovered a reality… such large amounts of medicinal goods… not even thousands of bandits would be able to use up all of them.
This discovery turned his shock into admiration. The scene of Liu Family’s collapse appeared in this important Liu Family Consecrator’s head. He couldn’t help but kneel down, expressing his servitude towards Lin Xi.
Zhantai Qiantang and Lin Xi walked together. They got on a carriage, starting to make their way around North Grain Cave Town, heading towards Turtle Edge Mountain.
This time, their meeting also carried great significance.
It was because this was the first transaction carried out after the path into Great Desolate Swamp was opened.
With Lin Xi’s appearance, the ore and medicines sent out from Turtle Edge Mountain were already transported over. Meanwhile, after this group of medicines and food were transported to Turtle Edge Mountain, they would immediately enter the hands of Fire King and the others who were waiting, delivered into the deep underground world.
“Yunqin’s southern war great army has already taken down Devil Altar City.”
Without saying any small talk, Zhantai Qiantang directly told Lin Xi about this world’s most pressing news. When he looked at Lin Xi, the happiness of this first successful trade route was replaced by a wave of worry. “According to the precise news Great Shopkeeper Chen Feirong received, Yunqin has already sent in another hundred thousand soldiers. Over four hundred thousand Yunqin soldiers have entered Great Mang’s territory. With the collapse of Devil Altar City, Great Mang’s Seven Paths Great Armies will definitely be cleaved open. According to my predictions, there will be at least two hundred thousand Yunqin troops who will advance towards Moon Seizing City that is currently being overseen by Wenren Cangyue. Meanwhile, Moon Seizing City’s total military force numbers seventy thousand at most.”
Lin Xi didn’t remove his mask, quietly saying. “With this type of battlefield situation, Yunqin’s army is achieving great victories step by step?”
“Correct.” Zhantai Qiantang nodded. “After Moon Seizing City are provinces populated with Great Mang’s people. As long as Yunqin’s army breaks through Moon Seizing City and into those provinces, not only will it be a fatal blow to Great Mang’s morale, just by relying on occupying and looting, they can replenish a lot of supplies, even capture large amounts of people to build military fortifications.”
“What you are saying is that Moon Seizing City definitely cannot be lost.” Lin Xi turned around to look at Zhantai Qiantang, saying with a slightly cold voice, “However, there is no way Wenren Cangyue will be that easily defeated.”
“I understand Great Mang’s military strength better than anyone in Yunqin, as well as most people in Great Mang.” Zhantai Qiantang said with a slightly bitter voice, “According to what I know, within this amount of time, Great Mang can transfer at least another hundred thousand troops. However, according to the current situation, Great Mang’s side still hasn’t sent in large amounts of their rear guard. That is why it has always been close to four hundred thousand Yunqin soldiers facing two hundred thousand Great Mang soldiers.”
Lin Xi took a deep breath. “That is why Wenren Cangyue will definitely have a one last stand great counterattack.”
“Only, I don’t know when his counterattack will begin. If he does not defend Moon Seizing City, losing many Great Mang provinces, causing a severe loss of Great Mang’s national strength and morale, it might not be something a march and battle can decide.” Zhantai Qiantang shook his head and said, “However, if they choose to defend Moon Seizing City, then they will definitely be surrounded by a Yunqin army numbering over three times their own forces… so how can it be defended?”
Lin Xi couldn’t determine what Wenren Cangyue was going to do from this simple information either, so he only faintly felt like the southern war wouldn’t end that simply. As such, he didn’t think too much about it either, only asking, “What other news is there from Chen Feirong’s side?”
“Jadefall City has already officially been divided into two provinces.” Zhantai Qiantang looked at Lin Xi and said, “Great Shopkeeper Chen Feirong told me to specially bring you this message, saying that this Xu Sheng you sent out is extremely outstanding, already owning large amounts of good agricultural lands and pastures in Jadefall City.”