Chapter 23: Jade Card
“This is a White Jade Card,” the lady said with a laughter. “Jade Cards can be found in both green and white jade. The Green Jade Cards can hold up to one thousand gold coins while the White Jade Card can hold up to ten thousand gold coins.”
“I’m giving you a White Card containing eleven hundred for the Yearning Sunflower and fifteen hundred for the three other herbs,” she said. She gestured towards the three herbs at the other side of the counter, “In total, this Jade Card contains two thousand six hundred gold coins.”
“All the decent shops within this city accepts Jade Cards as a form of payment so you should be all set now.” Having given a short introduction of the Jade Cards, the woman no longer paid any attention towards Xu Min. Instead, she paid her full attention towards the Yearning Sunflower. Her face was filled with smiles and expectations of what she would use it for.
Seeing that the woman no longer paid attention to Xu Min, the young man took the Jade Card and looked at it. No matter how much he stared, it looked exactly like a very plain Jade Card. Had it not been for the customers’ reactions within the shop when the woman pulled out the white jade card, Xu Min would have been certain that he was being tricked.
Now that he had seen greed in the men’s eyes around him, he quickly stored the card within his robes and left the store. One again, he started hunting down an inn where he could feed the snake a meal that it deserved.
Walking through the streets, Xu Min had soon noticed that he had reached the upper class stores within the city. His appearance was far away from someone who belonged within the town. Everyone stared at him with blatant mockery within their eyes.
Even if he managed to find an inn that sold delicious food for the snake, the young man was quite certain that they would bar him from entering due to his clothes. When a clothing store appeared by the side of the road, Xu Min did not think twice before he entered the shop.
Entering a shop which specialized in clothes was a completely new experience for Xu Min. All his clothes had been previously gifted to him by Wang Li. None of it had been sewn to him, but instead had all been oversized so that he could grow in it.
Xu Min did not mind the clothes being baggy nor did he mind that they were a bit oversized. He did not even care about what others thought of him. However, he did care about keeping the promise he had made. He was perfectly aware that his life had been saved quite a few times by the snake coiled around his neck.
If paying the snake back meant that he had to no longer look like a country bumpkin or a manual worker, then so be it. Although the store was a new experience for him, he still entered. He wore nothing but his clothes and looked like a worker.
The store clerk instantly went towards the young man. His face was frowning and his nose wrinkled. He expected the young man to be have a foul odor. As he came closer, he noticed the young man withdraw a White Jade Card from his clothing. The frown instantly disappeared and his unsightly expression changed to a gentle, kind, and welcoming visage.
“Welcome, my good sir!” the clerk said as he clasped his hands together. Afterwards, he was gesturing for the young man to follow him. “What can we do for you today?” he asked with a gentle voice as he was constantly staring at the White Jade Card in the hands of the customer. The store clerk wondered where this young master had come from.
“I need a set of clothes. I don’t want anything gaudy nor do I want anything excessive. Just a set of ordinary clothes of good fabric,” Xu Min answered. He was not completely sure what to say or how to convey his intentions.
Although he had money now, he had never had money in his hands before. He was very worried about spending it all and becoming penniless with a snake which seemed to enjoy eating as much as a full grown dragon.
Hearing the description, the man nodded his head for some time. Without wasting any time what so ever, he suddenly returned with a few sets of clothes. One of these sets, Xu Min instantly liked. It was a black shirt with black trousers. Attached to the set was a black robe. The robe was lined with a simple red border and a red belt.
Looking at that set of clothes, Xu Min instantly picked it. The clothes were made from the best materials around. While wearing it, the young man could definitely feel the difference between his previous clothes and this set. It was as though he was wearing clouds as his clothes were light on his body and felt soft and durable.
Sewing the robe to fit Xu Min’s size did not take long. As soon as it had been sewn, Xu Min handed over the White Jade Card which the clerk took thirteen gold coins.
Thirteen gold coins was an astronomical amount of money for a set of clothes. However, Xu Min had chosen the best materials they had within the store. Looking at the clothes now, it was definitely worth every coin.
Walking on the street no longer caused anyone to look at him. Although he was still unwashed and weary, the clothes he now wore was enough to make him fit into the upper class of the town.
After having wandered about for another good hour, Xu Min finally started to smell the scent of delicious food. As he followed this scent, he ended in front of a massive building built solely from marble. The windows were open and the scent of food wafted out together with light and cheerful sounds.
Entering this building, Xu Min quickly found that two floors were used as restaurants and the residence area was above this. Walking to the counter, he was flabbergasted to find that almost every table was already filled with customers. As Xu Min entered, quite a few were looking his way. He felt that the majority of the customers inside the shop were cultivators.
Being aware that he was watched, Xu Min went to the counter. With a low voice, he asked for a room in which he could board for a week.
This was a high class inn and even the rooms were much more luxurious than those of smaller inns. As a result, they charged an astonishing twelve silver coins a night. Hearing this, Hui Yue intentionally picked up one gold coin from his bag and handed it to the owner.
Xu Min intentionally chose to use cash. He knew that he was currently being observed. If he was dumb enough to bring out his White Jade Card now, it was highly likely that he would be tailed and killed so that someone could steal his money.
Although one gold coin was a lot, it was not unnatural for travellers to pay a high fee for a good bed, bath, and delicious foods.
Xu Min had also ordered that some plates of food were to be brought to his room. In the end, not many tips were left for the man behind the desk.
Accepting the keys and moving upstairs, Xu Min kept his full attention at the dining room. He knew that there still were a few cultivators who were eyeing him. As long as they did not follow him, he saw no reason to start a fight.
As he entered the room, he could not help but whistle in amazement. This was anything but the plain room he had lived in together with Wang Li. The room itself was a little bigger than the room he had shared with the Overseer for years. It was an suite where the bathroom was located right next to the bedroom. The bathroom had a submerged bath and steam wafted out from the deep water. A look of delight appeared on Xu Min’s eyes.
Just as he was about to undress and enter the water, he heard a knocking on his door. The once blissful expression on his face became serious. His body instantly turning vigilant and he slowly made his way to open the door only to realize that it was the food he had ordered.
Plate after plate entered through the door. Before long, the table was filled with delectable and enticing foods. Nodding gratefully, Xu Min closed the door behind the servant who vanished down the stairs. He moved towards the table.
The scent of the food was filling the entire room and Xu Min no longer thought about the warm bath. Instead, he sat down at the table and gently patted the snake’s head to rouse it from its deep sleep.
The gentle pats roused the snake with a soft and comfortable touch. Soon, the snake’s face lifted slightly and its tongue slithered in the air. Its beautiful green eyes opened, but they initially seemed as though Cao Cao’s mind was in a bit of a disarray. After a few moments, the scent of the food caused the snake to close his eyes and inhale strongly.
‘You are not a bad human,’ the snake said with a blissful smile on its face. It slowly made its way down to the table where he started to slowly eat one plate of food after another. Seeing that Cao Cao was eating quickly, Xu Min could not help allow a laughter to ring out through the rooms they had booked. He quickly sat down at the table and ate the foods together with the snake. He quickly hurried to fill his stomach before everything had vanished.
When all the food had been eaten, a chuckle could be heard from the small snake as it slithered around on the table. It was looking around to ensure that every meal had been eaten. Although he had eaten far more than the size of his body, its stomach was not the slightest bit bulging outwards.
Having rested in the chair for some time, both the snake and the boy went to the bath. They allowed for their sore muscles to rest and removed the dirt that had been growing on their skins.
Although Xu Min was in a hotel and the bed was soft and comfortable, the young man spent no time sleeping. Instead, he sat with his legs crossed on the soft mattress while he cultivated. He was refining the essence of the heavens and the earth which allowed for him to gain more Qi.
Refining the essence from the heavens and the earth was something that took time. Although Xu Min was working hard, he was still only an early stage One-Star Warrior. Having battled within the forest, he had understood how weak he was. His plan was to settle himself within the city until he managed to reach a Two or Three-Star Warrior. To keep travelling in the world filled with cultivators, the weak would be swallowed up by the strong. Forcing himself to become a part of it too was something which wasn’t considered bravery. Instead, it was clearly stupidity. Thinking about it like this, Xu Min could not help but wonder why Wang Li had decided to send him away as soon as he managed to reach the One-Star Warrior rank.
Glancing at Cao Cao by his side, Xu Min sighed in envy. The snake was deeply asleep and not bothering with refining essences at all because he was a magical beast. Cultivation for a magical beast was quite different from those of humans. While Xu Min was working hard to increase his rank, Cao Cao automatically grew stronger and stronger just by growing up. He was currently nothing more than a juvenile. However, the strength he would gain by the time he reached adulthood was unknown. Also, no one would know how much food he would be eating.