Chapter 19 - Checking Harvest

Lin Yun had two spiritual stone missions completed: collecting the Blood Lilies and killing the bandit, Kuang Yang. That left only one mission: killing the Flaming Inked Tigers.

He had completed two missions in a month which meant he had plenty of time to go through Kuang Yan’s possessions.

Rather than the spoils of wars, he was naturally more interested in Kuang Yan’s interspatial pouch. While the pouch appeared small, it could store many things in it. It was a huge upgrade to the plain, old sack he’d been using. These pouches were extremely valuable and very hard to come by. Chances were Kuang Yan killed someone to obtain it.

Buzz!

As Lin Yun channeled his internal energy into the interspatial pouch, he could see a faint ripple come from the bag. When he looked inside, he could see a space the size of an ordinary room full of dazzling treasures. The things that caught Lin Yun’s eye most, though, were the near 1,500 low-grade spiritual stones sitting atop some of the piles. The man he was hunting had three times his bounty just sitting in his pockets!

“This fellow was rather rich!” Lin Yun gasped. Kuang Yan must’ve traded in his stolen goods in Clear Water City not long before their encounter. Looking at Kuang Yan’s harvest, Lin Yun could see the appeal in being a thief.

Kuang Yan’s crimes had finally caught up with him and it was starting to seem like fate that Lin Yun was the one to take him down!

Pellets!

Lin Yun’s excitement started to fade, though, as, upon closer inspection, their quality was subpar.

“Blood Refining Pellet!” Lin Yun was startled when he saw a Blood Refining Pellet. This was the good stuff! The reason he was tasked with collecting Blood Lilies was so that the alchemists in the sect could refine them into Blood Refining Pellets. Body Refining Pellets worked well through the fourth stage of the Martial Path but started to lose efficacy from the fifth stage on. From then on you need Blood Refining Pellets.

Searching through the pouch once more, Lin Yun found a few books and took them out.

“Mountain Splitting Blade, an advanced martial technique. I’ve heard the name becomes literal if you progress your mastery enough. It’s a shame Kuang Yang didn’t live long enough to find out”

But since Lin Yun did not practice in the way of small blades, he wasn’t interested in it. However, there was another martial technique!

“Wild Goose Art… this is an advanced movement technique! If I’m remembering right, practicing this could allow me to fly! This had to be how Kuang Yang was able to avoid capture for so long.”

A movement technique! At this moment, Lin Yun had the Ferocious Tiger Fist as an unarmed technique, the Pure Yang Art to cultivate his internal energy, and the Flowing Wind Sword as his sword technique. He was only lacking a movement technique. If he had had this earlier, he could have chased down the other Yun Clan member that tried to poach his Blood Lily.

With this movement technique, Lin Yun had finally supplemented his flaw. Although it might be an exaggeration that the one could fly with the Wild Goose Art, it would at least allow him to leap long distances and vastly improve his dodging speed.

Out of all of Kuang Yan’s possession, the Wild Goose Art made Lin Yun the most excited. After adding his personal items and the demonic beast materials he had collected from the pythons to the interspatial pouch, Lin Yun began strolling around town.

He still had a month to hunt the Flaming Inked Tigers and, since he was already in Clear Water City, Lin Yun decided he might as well see what he could get for the python parts. 

Just as he grew tired of walking around, he came to one of the biggest shops in the town—Myriad Treasure Pavilion. When an attendant saw his Azure Sky Sect uniform, he dropped what he was doing and ran to Lin Yun’s side. Sect disciples were known to be big spenders and the attendants here were paid on commission.

Shoving another eager employee aside, the attendant greeted Lin Yun cheerfully, “Hello, how may I help you?”

“Hey, I have some demonic beast materials and a martial technique I would like to sell. Am I in the right place?”

The attendant’s visage was a roller coaster of emotion. He had been ecstatic at the mention of demonic beast materials, but grew quite serious upon hearing about the martial technique. He pulled Lin Yun to the side, making sure no one was nearby, before whispering, “May I know the grade of the martial technique?”

“An advanced martial technique,” replied Lin Yun, trying in no way to be secretive.

“Please, come this way!”

The attendant quickly led Lin Yun to the second floor and smiled, “Please wait here while I get the boss. Help yourself to our complimentary tea station.”

Before Lin Yun could finish drinking his tea, the attendant returned with a plump middle-aged man. As he examined Lin Yun, the middle-aged man smiled, “I’m Tong Hu. You can call me Boss Tong. It’s what my friends call me. I heard you were lookin’ to sell an advanced martial technique, am I right?”

Martial techniques were the basis of martial practitioners. However, selling martial techniques was sensitive business, so Tong Hu had to proceed carefully, “I’ve got one rule. I don’t accept any techniques that belong to sects.”

Sect exclusive martial techniques were how a sect set itself apart, so it was a great crime if they were leaked. If the techniques were leaked, sects made sure anyone caught aiding or abetting would be put to death alongside the thief. The four great sects were the biggest forces in the Aquasky Nation, so as a merchant, the plump middle-aged man naturally had to be cautious.

“Don’t worry. I’m sure that you’ve heard of this martial technique,” Lin Yun said as he revealed the manual for the Mountain Splitting Blade. He couldn’t help smiling as Tong Hu’s jaw almost hit the floor. The boss had guessed that this technique belonged to Kuang Yan.

Something seemed off, though. The common factor between merchants was that they were all slippery. Even so, Boss Tong’s reaction was a little too dramatic. Was it possible that this place was where Kuang Yan sold his goods? Now that would be interesting…

Either way, Lin Yun wasn’t worried about getting cheated. After all, he was a disciple of the Azure Sky Sect.

“Haha, you’re truly something, young hero. You actually managed to kill Kuang Yan!” Tong Hu’s facial expression returned normal as he laughed. Anyone even mildly in tune with current events could guess that Kuang Yan had died the moment they saw this martial technique.

Tong Hu, who had previously treated Lin Yun lightly, suddenly became serious, “I don’t know that I caught your name...”

“Lin Yun, an outer disciple of the Azure Sky Sect. Boss Tong, how much do you think this martial technique is worth?”

“Fixed price: 1,000 low-grade spiritual stones. Take it or leave it,” Tong Hu replied firmly, snapping back to his merchant persona.

“Ok, have a good one,” Lin Yun said as he pocketed the martial technique.

“W-wait, where are you going?” Tong Hu stammered. Lin Yun’s curt response had caught him off guard.

“You said take it or leave it, so I’m leaving it.”

Boss Tong held onto Lin Yun with a bitter smile, “Young sir, you don’t have to be so decisive. I can add another 500 spiritual stones at most.”

In reality, Lin Yun had no idea how much an advanced martial technique was worth, but he knew merchants were slippery bastards. Their so-called ‘fixed price’ was a common profit maximizing tactic used on the naive and cowardly.

Lin Yun wanted to see how far he could take this. Even if there was no room for negotiating, Lin Yun would still be satisfied with 1,500 spiritual stones.

“Boss Tong, didn’t you claim that it was fixed price just a moment ago?” Lin Yun asked as he sat back down.

However, Tong Hu showed no remorse after being exposed as he smiled, “I can tell you’re gunna be famous someday, kid, so I decided to play you straight, alright? Now, let’s move some money!”

Tong Hu was pretty clearly trying to butter him up, but Lin Yun didn’t mind. He took out the materials that he had harvested from the Flaming Blood Python and placed them on the table.

Tong Hu kept a straight face though the gallbladder and fangs, but his eyes suddenly lit up when he saw the stripe from the Flaming Blood Python. He dug around frantically for a jeweller’s glass as he pulled it towards himself.

“It’s Bone! It’s a Flaming Blood Bone!”

Lin Yun was confused. This stripe only has the thickness of a finger, so why was it called the Flaming Blood Bone?

“It seems that you have no idea what you’ve been holding on to. The stripe on the Flaming Blood Python’s back is called the Flaming Blood Bone and it is unbelievably valuable. I have no idea how you got your hands on this and I’m not sure I want to find out, but not even someone in the ninth grade of the Martial Path can obtain something like this,” Tong Hu said excitedly.

“Is it really that difficult?”

“Are you kidding me? The Flaming Blood Python’s cultivation might not be high, but you have to kill it instantly or else the Flaming Blood Bone will incinerate. POOF! Just like that, gone. It’s extremely difficult. A seasoned cultivator would be lucky to get it in one out of ten tries.”

When Lin Yun heard that, he remembered that the two men from the Yun Clan did not have the Flaming Blood Bone with them among their harvest. Now he knew why.

“The Flaming Blood Bone is the core material for forging the Profound Artifact — Flaming Blood Armor… How about this, there will be a large-scale auction in Clear Water City two months from now. If you trust me, I can auction it on your behalf. I’ll take a small cut for my services, but I promise it will be fair. What do you say? We got a deal?” Tong Hu dropped the merchant act as he laid out the offer. This was business between equals and it was clear he was being genuine. The Flaming Blood Bone was clearly extraordinary.

Profound Artifact!

Lin Yun had never expected to encounter something so valuable attached to a snake!

Seeing that Lin Yun had gone silent, Tong Hu lowered his voice, “I have no idea how you managed to harvest the Flaming Blood Bone, and, like I said, I really don’t want to know. But if you go walking around town trying to find a shop that will pay a fair cash price for nine Flaming Blood Bones, you’re bound to attract some unwanted attention.”

Lin Yun realized what Boss Tong was worried about. The concern wasn’t that people would try to steal his Flaming Blood Bones, but that they would want to know how some random kid got nine of them. If the wrong people found out about Flower Burial, there’s no telling what they would do to him. There was no way he could take these to auction himself.

“But how can I trust you?”

“I can only give you my word. I’m sure it’s hard for you to trust a merchant, but you're just gunna have to. You killed Kuang Yan, I trust that you have the courage to trust me,” Tong Hu smiled helplessly.

 Lin Yun fell silent.Tong Hu was right. It was a gamble. But if it paid off, return would be huge.

“Alright, I’ll trust you. I’ll leave five Flaming Blood Bones with you, and I’ll bring the four when I come back in two months.”

Although he had agreed with Tong Hu’s suggestion, he still wanted to keep his reservations.

“Hohoho! You’ve got yourself a deal, kid! Come ‘ere!” Boss Tong let out a full belly laugh as he stood to shake Lin Yun’s hand.

Tong Hu collected himself before he continued, “As for the other materials and the Mountain Splitting Blade, I’ll pay you 2,000 low-grade spiritual stones in total.”

“Works for me.”

Lin Yun left the Myriad Treasure Pavilion satisfied and hopeful. Boss Tong had even walked him out personally.

As he walked down the street, Lin Yun was surprised to see a bunch of people running in the same direction.

Puzzled, Lin Yun stopped a person and asked, “What’s the matter? Why is everyone in such a hurry?”

“HEY PUNK?! IF YOU DON”T GET YOUR HANDS OFF...” The man was furious at being stopped, but when he saw Lin Yun’s uniform, his expression became gentle, and he took a fawning tone, “Don’t you know, dear sir? The young sect master of your sect is fighting with the strongest disciple of the Violet Ember Sect!”

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