Chapter 134: Running Into Problems
As they reached the edge of the Ruins of the Immortals, Xu Min was stunned. In front of him was a sea of cultivators. Everywhere he looked he found cultivators. As well, all of them were rather high ranked.
Some of these cultivators were five-star Warriors; others were six-star and even seven-star Warriors. There were even one or two eight-star Warriors in the middle of the group.
Seeing this many expert, Xu Min instantly stopped in his tracks. He had not followed a road, but there was one close by. As he spread his senses, he could see how this sea of cultivators was examining every single person who entered and exited the Ruins of the Immortals.
On the other side of the border to the Ruins of the Immortals were other cultivators. The two sides were glaring at one another, but neither of the sides stepped past the border. All of them just glared at one another.
"Why are the Immortal Ruins amassing such strengths?" One of the experts on the other side of the border asked.The answer was simple, "There was this youth who slaughtered the entire young generation of the majority of the major families. They have hired every mercenary they could find above the fifth-star rank and sent their troops out to catch him. He has said to posses some amazing strength. Even his body is riddled with secrets that they want to have. As well, he has a treasure so outstanding that it allowed him to fight alone against a hundred experts!"
Hearing the words spoken by these men, Xu Min shuddered. It sounded as if they wanted to scour his soul to take out every secret he knew. However, if they did, then they would know about the elves and fairies. Not to mention, Xu Min's entire plan on getting vengeance.
As Xu Min noticed he had no way of exiting the Immortal Ruins where he was, he started walking parallel with the borders. No matter how far he walked, however, he kept seeing experts.
Were they only normal experts without the eight-star warrior, then he could easily break through their ranks and enter the outside world. Nonetheless, both the outside world and the Ruins of the Immortals had deployed all their troops. Every part had an eight-star warrior. Furthermore, if Xu Min were to start battling, at least three or four eight-star Warriors would gather at the location. By then it would be difficult to escape easily, especially since Cao Cao and Ye Ling were not as strong as him.
What Xu Min truly worried about was that although he had not seen anyone yet when there were so many eight-star Warriors. Who were to say that there was no Immortals hiding around somewhere?
If there were an Immortal, then the battle would prove to be the most dangerous situation he could imagine. He might be strong, and he might be able to fight four or five eight-star Warriors at the same time, but against an Immortal he was truly powerless.
Since this was his dilemma, he kept walking until he reached a major town. He was still wearing his cloak. As he was about to enter, he made Ye Ling and Cao Cao stay in a nearby forest. It was a forest which had long since been emptied of magical beasts. No one used it for anything else than lumber. Asking Ye Ling and Cao Cao to hide within this forest, they should remain safe.
Xu Min moved into the major city; his face hidden beneath the cloak and all alone. Although many people sent glances towards him, no one went out of their way to trouble him. Neither were there anyone who thought of him as being Xu Min since he did not have the Golden-Furred Blood Lion by his side.
Xu Min was quite paranoid walking through town. The town was filled with mercenaries who were on break from their guarding duties. The eating and drinking houses were stocked full of people who were drinking and cheering at one another.
"I heard that he killed a whole village recently to hide his face!" someone called out, and Xu Min frowned. Were they talking about him? He had not touched any villagers, though, so perhaps they were speaking about someone else?
"I heard that he slaughtered the old and the young, the defenseless and the strong in one move. He caused the wrath even of the ones who did not have any hostility towards him, and now everyone is going against him."
Hearing these rumors, Xu Min pondered for a while. If they were speaking about him, it made sense why so many people had suddenly been gathered, but he had not killed all those villagers, so who had?
The more he thought about it, the more the hate from within him started to roil in his body. Nevertheless, he quickly got it all under control and after only halting his step for a moment did he move towards the auction house.
The auction house within the Ruins of the Immortals was controlled by the Yong family. Xu Min knew that he had helped the auction house back in Ri Chu City, but that was but a mere branch family. Just for helping a branch, he was not likely to gain any help from the main family or the other branches.
Because of this, he stayed quiet. He entered and allowed for the cloak to fall even further down, covering his whole face as he walked towards a counter.
"What can I do for you, sir?" the clerk behind the counter asked with a calm and casual voice. Even though Xu Min tried to hide his identity, no one seemed to care about it. It seemed he was far from the only one who did so within these auction houses.
"I want to buy a face-altering mask," Xu Min replied, "and I also wish to purchase a jade satchel. If I don't have enough gold to pay it, I have some items I am sure you will love to have your hands on," Xu Min said with a hoarse voice.
"A face-altering mask and a jade satchel? Face-altering masks are not very expensive, but Jade Satchels are. They allow you to carry living creatures for a short period. We happen to have a Jade Satchel. Nevertheless, you will have to pay a total of thousand seven hundred and fifty gold coins."
The price was truly steep, but Xu Min had killed so many members of the younger generation to acquire such a some. He had enough gold to pay this amount; he also had quite a lot of treasures, but he would prefer not using them if he had a choice.
Paying the gold coins, he accepted the goods and left the city instantly. Although the Auction House had guessed who he was due to the items he requested, none of them asked for anything, nor did they sent someone to follow him. Insulting him was not worth it. Though they had business relationships with the other families of the Immortal Ruins, none of these had enough incentive to make the auction house break their neutrality.
Xu Min continued to the forest where he quickly met up with Cao Cao and Ye Ling. "You did not buy any food?" Cao Cao asked dejectedly. Xu Min who could not help but roll his eyes and laugh.
Even in a situation like this where they were in a rough spot the snake only thought about food.
Xu Min removed his cloak and took the face-altering mask from his storage treasure. He looked at it in his hands; it was a transparent mask seemingly made from some jelly. When he placed it on his face, the features started changing. His hair grew longer; his eyes grew lighter. His chin grew more distinct, and his face grew nonproportional. A scar spread from his temple down his chin. He looked like a savage mercenary rather than the handsome young man he had been before.
It was impossible to see through a face-altering mask. However, Xu Min was still uncertain that he would be safe if he traveled on his own. They were checking every single person, and the moment they would find his jade satchel with Ye Ling he would be done for.
"Since it is like this, I only have one other option," Xu Min mumbled to himself. He decided to return to the city. Ye Ling and Cao Cao should be able to stay within the jade satchel until they were dying from hunger. Thus spending a few days to cross the border was not impossible.
Xu Min readied himself and went towards the city once more. This time he was not wearing a black cloak covering his face, but a simple black outfit which was neither too fine quality, nor was it cheap. He seemed like the average mercenary.
Entering the city he blended into the crowd. A few people would glance at him an extra time because of the scar on his face. However, on the whole, no one paid him any attention.
Xu Min had also suppressed his cultivation base so that he was a mere six-star Warrior. To Xu Min this base level was low, but for the average mercenary, it was quite high. It was the peak of what most rogue cultivators would be able to reach!
Contemplating for a moment, Xu Min moved to the mercenary guild. He had never before entered one of these places. He knew, though, that if his plan was to succeed, then that was the best option to take.
"Hello Hero," a flirtatious young woman behind the counter said as soon as she saw Xu Min enter into the guild. A wry smile crept up on Xu Min's lips.
"I am looking for caravans that are going to the city of Honghe or Ri Chu." He said with a hoarse and very deep voice, a voice which was usually not heard from young men.
"There are a few caravans going that way," the woman said after looking through a book for some time, flapping from one side to another, "but their pay is far less than the United families of the Immortal Ruins are paying now. If I were you, I would consider working for them instead. They are really paying a high price to get their hands on this young man known as Xu Min."
Xu Min felt his scalp tingle, but he smiled, nonetheless. "I have some personal affairs that I need to deal with within these two cities; I cannot afford to be moved by money."
His reply was straightforward and honest. Although he came from outside of the Immortal Ruins, no one knew exactly where he came from so telling them his destination could not harm him.
The woman behind the desk nodded her head after a short moment of thoughts. It made sense if he truly had something he needed to get done, then he could not afford to accept this time-consuming task. No one knew when Xu Min would show up, nor did they know if it would be worth all this hard work and risk after all.
"There is a caravan here that requires a six-star Warrior. The pay is two hundred gold coins with twenty-five of those paid out in advance; the rest when the caravan safely arrives."
"It does not go straight to either Honghe or Ri Chu city but towards Lingyun City as this city is a bit bigger than the other two. However, I am sure you can find other caravans to travel with from there on after."
Xu Min nodded his head. It made perfect sense what she said, and he signed up for the job. This would allow him to travel through the barrier at the border without too much hassle. At least he hoped so.