Chapter 288: Qilin Egg

“Oh?” Lu Yun’s lips tightened disagreeably at the unwanted third party. The newcomer was a handsome young man with a mild-tempered smile, dressed in fine robes. His gaze was fixed on the stall owner.

“I...” the golden immortal waffled and cast Lu Yun a conflicted look. He was here to earn money, otherwise he wouldn’t have asked for a million after seeing the Deaf Prince. Now that someone was offering him two million, he immediately changed his mind. He could tell the unassuming stone must be more valuable than it seemed, and his quick wits wondered if he should increase the price even further.

Thud! Thud!

With an unwavering smile, the young man chucked two silver boxes onto the stall table, crowding the limited space.

“This gentleman is Fang Feixing from Ingress Island. The stone is mine now.” 

His tone was polite, but he was already reaching out for the stone in Lu Yun’s hand. However, Lu Yun was even faster. With a twist of his wrist, he put the stone into his storage treasure.

Grasping nothing but air, Fang Feixing’s polite mask broke. “What, do you want to make an enemy out of Ingress Island?”

Ingress Island was one of the three leading factions of the North Sea, ruling over Levitating Island along with the Dark North Sword Sect and North Sea Court. Fang Feixing was one of Ingress’ core disciples, which granted him great influence and authority on the island.

“I’ve made a deal with this golden immortal to buy the stone for a million premium crystals, and we’ve already traded crystals for the ware,” Lu Yun enunciated clearly. “It’s the rule of this market that a transaction is completed once the exchange has been made, yet you want to take the stone from me. Do you think being from Ingress Island justifies your behavior?”

The golden immortal had accepted the Deaf Prince’s crystals, and Lu Yun had taken the stone. According to the rules of the market, the deal was done.

Fang Feixing looked at the golden immortal, who shuddered in response. Although he was a golden immortal and considered royalty in the world of immortals, he was nothing when facing a faction as powerful as Ingress Island.

“I’m not selling the stone!” he shouted suddenly. “Although you’ve given me the crystals, I haven’t verified the amount yet. The deal hasn’t yet been completed, so return the stone to me. I’m not selling it to you!”

A great aura roiled from the golden immortal over to Lu Yun, but an even stronger aura exploded behind Lu Yun, causing an enormous collision. Beigong Yu stepped between Lu Yun and the merchant to guard his master. 

Bam!

“Peerless immortal!” The golden immortal took several steps backward, color draining from his face.

Fang Feixing smiled coolly when he saw Beigong Yu step forward. “Do you plan on forcing a sale and violating the rules of the market?”

“You said you needed to verify the amount. Isn’t that an insult to the third prince of the East Sea? Do you think he would give you the wrong amount of crystals?” Lu Yun completely ignored Fang Feixing. He already had the stone in hand, and he wasn’t surrendering it.

“I...” The golden immortal paused. That was right. This young man’s backer was the third prince of the East Sea, one who could crush people with immortal crystals. This wasn’t someone he could afford to offend, either.

“Hahaha!” Fang Feixing laughed. “Threatening North Sea denizens with an East Sea prince? Do you take us for such pushovers?”

That struck a chord in the hearts of the onlookers, and hostile glares swung at Lu Yun.

“Hah! Third prince of the East Sea? How very impressive!” Someone snapped, echoing Fang Feixing. “Throwing his weight around on our Levitating Island and crushing someone with immortal crystals. He shows our North Sea cultivators not one bit of respect!”

“Show you not one bit of respect?” Lu Yun looked at the man derisively. “I remember you. You’ve been following the prince’s carriage since outside Myriad Returns City. You’ve collected quite a lot of crystals by now, haven’t you?”

“I picked them up from the ground,” the monster spirit said self-righteously. “What does it have to do with an East Sea prince?”

Within the carriage, Hongxiu’s expression darkened. Lu Yun was right; not everyone would be grateful for the prince’s actions. The Deaf Prince looked around in confusion, as he had no idea what was happening. He was used to such situations. In fact, to him, this was just how the world operated. Everyone relied on transmission to communicate, and there was no such thing as communication through sound alone. Although he spoke as well, that was because he believed his words would transmit into listeners’ minds.

“I’ve finally experienced Myriad Returns Market for myself today. Truly, knowing something by its reputation isn’t the same as seeing it in person.” With a sigh, Lu Yun threw the stone at the stand and grabbed the silver box from the golden immortal’s hands.

“Let’s go,” he transmitted to the Deaf Prince.

“You’re not buying it anymore?” the prince asked in surprise.

“The local lords of the North Sea are influential. If we dare buy something they want, we’ll be killed before we leave the island!” Lu Yun transmitted and said out loud at the same time, “Rules of the market? Tsk, what a joke.”

The golden immortal blanched, while Fang Feixing remained impassive.

“What?!” The Deaf Prince jumped and flew into a rage. “Someone dares bully senior brother Lu? Hongxiu, give me my crystal!”

Fang Feixing’s expression finally changed.

“It’s alright, let it go. Some of the establishments here belong to Fairy Qing Xun. It’s better to avoid trouble,” Lu Yun transmitted while continuing to lament out loud, “heh, I’m but one man without a faction behind me. I happened to run into a treasure by accident, yet I’m forced to give it up.

“I wonder how many people in the market will encounter the same fate as well,” Lu Yun sighed woefully. “If I insist on buying the stone today, I won’t be able to leave the island alive.”

That finally hit a nerve and brought the crowd back on his side. True, very true, Lu Yun was right!

Over the past thousands of years of tripartite rule from the North Sea court, Ingress Island, and Dark North Sword Sect, they’d committed no end of atrocities. The rules of the market protected only the powerful!

Low level cultivators and those without an impressive background remained vulnerable to their superiors. Although the rules would keep them alive while they were in the market, they’d be killed as soon as the market ended, or when they left the island.

Lu Yun walked off, but the cultivators in the market were still deep in thought.

“Lu Yun...” Fang Feixing sneered. “You’ve offended all three major factions in the North Sea with your actions. You won’t be going anywhere in the North Sea.”

He’d plainly recognized Lu Yun from the start and didn’t care at all what the young man said. He was right, but the market had still thrived for thousands of years. It wasn’t going to change on account of one word from a specific individual.

“Sir Fang...” The golden immortal handed the stone to Fang Feixing, who took it with an impassive look and retrieved the two silver boxes he’d thrown out with a wave of his hand. Then, he threw four inferior immortal crystals onto the stall.

The seller pulled a long face, but couldn’t say anything. He could’ve earned a million premium crystals, but now only had a few inferior ones to show for his business. Many cultivators looked at him with a trace of sympathy.

“I can’t stay any longer. Dusk Province of Nephrite Major isn’t far from here...” murmured the golden immortal. “Perhaps the overlord of Dusk, the top youth sovereign, will be different.” He disassembled his stand and left the market in a streak of sword light.

Thud!

Suddenly, an enormous flash of sword energy pierced the sky and cut the immortal down.

“Anyone who dares betray the North Sea,” boomed a powerful voice, “must die!”

……

“We’re going to let it go just like this?!” The Deaf Prince was frustrated. Lu Yun looked thoughtfully at the crimson flower that’d newly appeared in the sky. 

“Honestly, the market wasn’t like this when it first started,” Qing Xun sighed. “But this is the North Sea, after all. That means the North Sea Court, Ingress Island, and Dark North Sword Sect are in charge. We merchant guilds have no choice but to compromise when we enter.

“Levitating Island’s location makes it unique. It not only leads to the North Sea bordering Nephrite Major, but also to the Exalted, Truespirit, and Lazuli Majors. Everyone has to pass through this island to enter the four majors.

“Cultivators who return from an expedition in the North Sea must trade on this island for a passage token, or they’ll be raided by pirates upon their departure.” Qing Xun also transmitted to the Deaf Prince when she spoke.

”What a bunch of scurvy curs! Bastards, the lot of them! My East Sea cultivators would never do such a thing!” raged the Deaf Prince.

“The North Sea Court, Ingress Island, and Dark North Sword Sect don’t yet control the entire North Sea. There are many uncharted regions waiting to be explored, and many more treasures than there are to be found in the East Sea.” Qing Xun sounded resigned. “That’s why immortals keep flocking to this island, despite the shady business. While the market is open, all routes leading out of the North Sea are blocked off.”

Aoxue nodded in agreement. Back when the North Sea dragons had been at their peak, they’d been able to rival even the most powerful heavenly courts of today, such as the Exalted, Aureate, and Lazuli courts.

Even then, there were many secret realms in the North Sea that the dragons had yet to explore. The same was true of all four seas. Those who ventured into the ocean for opportunities were low-level immortals and cultivators who couldn’t survive in the world of immortals. Powerful immortals and factions mostly targeted the ancient tombs, where complete heritages and opportunities could be found. The Skydragon Tomb, of course, was an exception.

“The three factions of the North Sea are indeed tyrannical,” Lu Yun sighed.

“Did you really just give up on the thing you wanted?” Qing Han piped up with a frown.

Lu Yun cracked a smile. “I already have it in hand.”

……

“I didn’t expect to find an egg of the ancient divine beast, the water qilin here!” Fang Feixing toyed with the oval-shaped stone with a smile. “Top youth sovereign, my ass. So what if he’s killed many dao immortals of the nine majors and ten lands? He still has to cry uncle in the North Sea!

“However, it’s unwise to openly attack him, since he’s gotten the support of the Deaf Prince. Whatever, Ingress Island has no feud with Lu Yun. Let the monster spirit court worry about him.” He caressed the egg as he spoke.

Boom!

A tremendous pulse of vitality suddenly burst from the egg, whereupon it exploded with a bang. Caught off guard, Fang Feixing suffered severe injuries from the close range detonation.

“What just happened?!” He laid prone on the ground after being hurtled backward by the explosion, disbelief marking his face. “The… the egg! It must have been tampered with! ...Lu Yun!!”

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etvolare's Thoughts

Honestly.. this sounds sadly like our modern world. Rules for thee and not for me.