Book 14 Chapter 42 - Idle

The nobility in Central Continent City were constantly watching Lin Xi’s movements.

However, after taking up residence in Wind Tune Tavern across the street from Di Choufei’s residence, Lin Xi’s behavior was extremely ordinary.

After eating breakfast early in Wind Tune Tavern, having a taste of Wind Tune Tavern’s most famous dried pork casserole, he carried the big metal chest on his back, slowly walking out from the tavern, wandering around Central Continent City’s night scene.

It was as if he was truly like a foreign tourist who came from afar, observing Central Continent City’s historical sites and scenic spots, from time to time entering some of Central Continent City’s most bustling streets.

He arrived at the wall in Central Continent City where the most beautiful plum blossoms bloomed.

He walked past Yellow Sparrow Temple where Ni Henian, Zhong Cheng and Nightingale fought.

After walking past Yellow Sparrow Temple, he arrived in Great Maple Alley, taking a look at the two large maple trees that had grown for who knows how many years.

Even if the dark red maple leaves curled up powerlessly under this winter day, this type of large and tall tree that were like maidenhair trees that had grown for several centuries were things Lin Xi had never seen before.

Not far from these two miracle-like maple trees was a stone pillar used to tie down animals, as well as an old well.

Regardless of whether it was the stone pillar or the old well’s bluestone well edges, they had deep grooves made from the pulling of rope, all of this surrounding Lin Xi in a feeling that much time had already passed.

This was also precisely where, after Principal Zhang entered Central Continent City, he defeated Central Continent City’s great swordsman Mo Hong.

When it was already deep into the night, Lin Xi walked into Central Continent City Night Market’s extremely famous pastry alley. Under the flickering of the lanterns’ radiance, he walked up to an extremely old shop named Little Chen's Shop. Inside this old shop were Central Continent City’s most famous stewed pork chops and juicy fish balls.

Little Chen’s Shop’s boss was named Chen Zhangcheng, already over seventy years of age, but his body was still strong. Even though he already passed on the work of butchering the fish and dicing up the meat to his two sons, the final seasoning and flavoring were still managed by him. Normally, he was just like usual, standing in front of the store doorway and greeting customers in a lively manner next to a piping hot pot.

As early as midday, this extremely skinny and shriveled but clean elder already heard that Lin Xi arrived in Central Continent City. When Lin Xi passed by the rising white heat outside his shop’s entrance and appeared in front of him, this elder almost immediately recognized that this was precisely the Young Sir Lin everyone in Central Continent City admired and respected greatly.

This elder who was always standing next to the boiling iron pot, watching as every single white fish ball entered the pot, immediately felt deep veneration, feeling tremendous honor.

Lin Xi bowed slightly in greeting just like how he normally did when he met an elder.

From Lin Xi’s current respectful and calm demeanor, this elder whose eyes were already starting to become muddled, yet already experienced too much worldly wisdom could sense a certain type of heart trembling emotion. As such, as if he was just welcoming an ordinary guest, he revealed a sincere smile, even more wrinkles appearing on his face as he said, “Sir Lin, out for a late-night snack? How about our stewed pork and fish balls?”

“I heard that this shop’s sour and spicy cabbage and soy flat cakes are also quite good. My food size is quite great, so I wouldn’t mind trying these out as well.” Lin Xi nodded with a smile, sitting down at a seat not far from the entrance.

The elder didn’t show any other preferential treatment.

A serving of stewed pork, juicy fish balls, stir-fried sour spicy cabbage and golden small cakes floating in the soup that wasn’t any different from that of normal customers was placed on rough bowls and plates, arranged in front of Lin Xi.

The taste was indeed quite excellent.

Together with some white rice, Lin Xi finished everything in front of him.

“Want some more?” The elder asked.

“Sure.” Lin Xi smiled. “I can eat another round of everything.”

The same type of arrangement was once again arranged everywhere in front of Lin Xi.

Only, while quietly looking at the pair of chopsticks arranged in front of Lin Xi, the elder finally couldn’t help but ask quietly, “Young Sir Lin, your respected self came inside Central Continent City, are the things you have to do extremely difficult?”

Lin Xi gave this elder whose face was covered in wrinkles, his eyes filled with worry a look, nodding his head. Then, he looked at this elder and his two sons who became a bit overcautious and nervous because of his arrival, laughing and asking, “They’ve already done so well, is there anything else for your respected self to feel worry over?”

“It isn’t worry, I’ve just gotten used to it.” The elder stared blankly for a moment. He turned around to look at his two sons who were still busying about, saying with a smile, “If I become idle, what would I do? After staying in this shop for so long, those who come and go are all already friends. Being able to see so many of my friends normally here, if I instead became idle and stayed at home, I wouldn’t be able to easily see all of them.”

Lin Xi thought for a bit and said, “I originally thought that your respected self cared about this shop and its reputation.”

“That is something they need to worry about more.” The elder gave his two diligent sons a look, and then turned around to look at Lin Xi, saying, “At my type of age, if I must say that there is still something that I cannot let go of, then it could only be some people in this city.”

Lin Xi quietly nodded his head. He finished everything in front of him and then raised his head, looking at this elder and slowly saying, “Actually, the reason why I came to Central Continent City is to get revenge in my friend’s place. He was fighting in the front lines, yet he was sold out by his own people.”

The elder became a bit sluggish, finally understanding why Lin Xi would have this type of emotion.

“The one who betrayed him is in Central Continent City?” This ordinary elder looked at Lin Xi, asking this.

Lin Xi nodded his head. He began to size up this old shop filled with liveliness. “Your respected self has watched over this shop for so many years, I reckon you’ve worked extremely hard. Has there ever been a time when you did things well, yet you were doubted by others, your reputation harmed as a result?”

The elder’s expression became even more serious. He quietly thought to himself, and then nodded his head. “There was. Twenty-six years after Yunqin Empire was founded, there was a batch of fish that had issues. The people who sold it to me didn’t know anything, and then the people who ate the fish balls at my store vomited and had diarrhea, many of them becoming sick. There were some people who were at odds with me that began to stir up controversy, saying that the fish balls I make are filled with the dead fish I secretly dice up at night.”

Lin Xi asked, “And then?”

“Then, my business suffered a devastating decline. It was completely reliant on my old customers’ care, it is only because of them that I slowly made it through.”

“Your respected self hasn’t tried to use dead fish to make fish balls, letting people taste that the fresh fish balls are different?”

“I didn’t. Those who will doubt you will always doubt. Even if there is a clear difference in taste, they will doubt your methods. Those who trust you will always be able to see your integrity.”

“Your respected self’s food here all tastes excellent, I’ve eaten quite a bit. I also greatly appreciate all the things your respected self told me.” Lin Xi slowly raised his head during their conversation, looking at this elder and saying this with a slight nod.

When he saw that Lin Xi was preparing to bid his farewells, the elder’s wrinkled face produced a hint of worry again. “I am merely an elder who already has half his body in the grave, but I do know a thing or two about this Central Continent City. If Young Sir Lin has any place you wish to go to, or any questions about any place in Central Continent City,I will be able to offer a bit of help.”

“Your respected self should be able to help me greatly.” Lin Xi seemed to have already completely thought through something, the smile on his face a bit cold, but he now had even more confidence. “Do not sell anything to Di Manor’s people.”

The elder was a bit stunned when he heard this sentence, wondering if he heard anything wrong.

However, Lin Xi was already looking at him, seriously continuing, “This place is already extremely far from Vermilion Bird Avenue, but who knows, Di Choufei’s people might still come here to sell some things… I do not wish to sell things to Di Manor’s people.”

This old shop naturally wasn’t Lin Xi’s, but this elder’s. Right now, Lin Xi’s words didn’t carry any pleading tone either, seeming a bit domineering, but the elder’s heart instead became cold and respectful, bowing slightly in honor. “Unless I die… this shop won’t sell anything to Di Manor’s people.”

Lin Xi left this pastry alley, returning to Wind Tune Tavern.

Early the next morning, he ate a bowl of thin fish over noodles at a noodle shop near his tavern. Then, just like a tourist, he strolled around Central Continent City’s streets and alleys, observed Central Continent City’s scenery, observed Central Continent City’s liveliness.

It wasn’t just historical sites and scenic spots. Even rice shops, vegetable markets, butchers… He had great interest in wandering through all of these places.

All of the influential figures who were watching if he would do anything extreme saw that he didn’t seem to be doing anything, wandering through Central Continent City day after day just like an idle tourist.

However, soon afterwards, while most of the influential figures were carefully waiting for his movements, Di Manor’s people were the first to notice something wrong.

They discovered that when they left their Di Manor and walked along the streets, the streets became especially cold.

This type of coldness came from how most people along the streets remained further away from them, as if the people who left Di Manor all carried a type of terrifying disease.

Many bosses in the shops, when they saw Di Manor’s people arrive from the distance, would use all types of excuses to close up shop early.

Even if it was some traders who normally didn’t recognize Di Manor, the people next to them would quietly tell them that the people coming were Di Manor’s people.

Those who left Di Manor to purchase things actually became unable to buy anything.

During these days, even after walking through three streets, six or seven li of road, they couldn’t buy even a single stalk of green vegetable or a piece of meat. The honest and considerate faced housekeeper who left Di Manor, in charge of purchasing things, finally couldn’t hold on anymore. He grabbed the collar of a boss who he normally often visited for vegetables and screamed furiously, “How can you bully others… If all of you decided to not do any business anymore, then that is that. However, you clearly only sell to other people, you don’t sell to us, what kind of reasoning is this? Could it be that the people in our manor are all supposed to starve to death?”

This oily collared, fifty something year old boss who was already bald normally had some dealings with this family. However, when facing this Di Manor housekeeper who still did things decently normally, at this time, this vegetable shop owner instead coldly shook his head. “When I do business, who I sell things to, who I refuse to sell things to is my freedom. You also have two legs, wherever you want to go is your freedom. Central Continent City is so big, you can go anywhere, so why do you just insist on staying in Di Manor?”

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