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Translator: Silavin & Jon
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
Yang Kai strolled along the intricate streets as he took a glance at every single shop and experienced the local customs, which helped broaden his horizons.
Half a day later, he stepped into a teahouse and ordered a pot of tea before waiting in silence.
When the shop hand served him the tea, Yang Kai stopped him and said, “May I ask you a question?”
The shop hand politely replied, “Please.”
Yang Kai said, “It’s my first time here, so I’m not familiar with this place. Can you recommend someone who can take me for a tour around this city?”
The shop hand asked, “Are you looking for a guide?”
“You’ve found the right person then. I do have someone in mind, but I’m not sure if she’ll meet your requirements.”
“Please bring her to meet me,” Yang Kai replied gently.
“Good. Please give me a moment,” the shop hand said.
As Yang Kai looked out the window, he enjoyed the tea and waited patiently. Although the jade slip given to him by the Proprietress contained all sorts of information about the 19 shops, he was totally unfamiliar with this city. Despite the fact that he had the jade slip, he had no idea where to look for those shops, which was why he came to a teahouse to hire a guide. Now, it seemed that he had made the right decision. No matter the city, teahouses and restaurants were where people from all walks of life gathered together, so it was easy to look for a guide from one of these places.
With a local guide leading the way, it would be easier for him to look for those shops. It was a necessary expense to help him achieve his goal quicker.
Soon after, the shop hand returned with someone. Yang Kai lifted his head and realised that the newcomer was a woman who appeared to be in her early thirties with a curvy figure. She appeared quite charming. Her twin peaks were especially pronounced. However, there was a cautious smile on her face, and she appeared to be apprehensive. Standing behind the shop hand, she looked anxiously at Yang Kai.
Her cultivation was excellent as she seemed to be at the peak of the Emperor Realm; however, Yang Kai couldn’t detect any condensed aura of Dao from her. In other words, she hadn’t condensed her Dao Seal yet. It wasn’t surprising as at least ninety percent of Emperor Realm Masters couldn’t condense their own Dao Seals, spending their entire lives achieving nothing great.
The shop hand approached Yang Kai and spoke to him in his ear, “Sir, she’s a local who is familiar with this city. Are you fine with her? If not, I’ll get you a different one.”
Yang Kai lifted his head, whereupon the woman saluted him and said in a small voice, “Greetings, Sir.”
Her voice was soft and gentle. Without looking at her face, one would’ve thought that she was a young woman in her early twenties.
Yang Kai raised his hand and passed her the jade slip, “Do you know how to get to these places?”
After taking it, the woman scanned it with her Divine Sense and nodded, “Yes.”
“With our current location as the starting point, plan a route that will take me the shortest time to visit each of these places. Engrave it in the jade slip and show me.”
“Yes.” The woman immediately got to work. Soon, she respectfully returned the jade slip with both hands, “Sir, please have a look.”
After taking it, Yang Kai scanned it and realised that some information had been added and the nineteen shops had also been rearranged in sequence.
“Are you a local?” Yang Kai stared at her and asked.
The woman pressed her lips together and replied, “This Mistress was born in this city and has never left it before.”
Yang Kai nodded and shifted his attention to the shop hand, “I’ll hire her.” Then, he tossed 2 Open Heaven Pills at the shop hand.
The shop hand took them and became elated, “Many thanks, Sir. I’ll take my leave now.” As he turned around, he hinted at her with his gaze to motion for her to do her best.
After the shop hand was gone, Yang Kai gazed at the woman and said, “Have a seat.”
The woman hesitated for a moment, but she reckoned that she looked too conspicuous just standing in front of him, so after thanking him, she took a seat.
Yang Kai filled her cup with tea and asked, “What’s your name?”
She hurriedly replied, “This Mistress is Luo Hai Yi.”
After a nod, Yang Kai introduced himself, “My name is Yang Kai. I’ve hired you to take me to some places, but my task can’t be completed in just one or two days, so you best be prepared. During this period of time, you have to be ready whenever I call for your help.”
Luo Hai Yi quickly replied, “There’s no problem. This Mistress is a single woman with no family members, so there’s nothing else I have to attend to.”
A surprised Yang Kai asked, “Aren’t you a local here?” Since she was born in this place, why didn’t she have any family members?
A bashful Luo Hai Yi explained, “Although I was born in this city, I have no idea who my parents are. I was adopted as a child, and my adoptive Mother passed away 700 years ago.”
Yang Kai couldn’t help feeling sorry for her, “You’re quite pitiful.”
In response, Luo Hai Yi smiled demurely.
“What’s your rate?” Yang Kai changed the topic.
Luo Hai Yi replied, “2 Open Heaven Pills a day.” Then, she carefully examined Yang Kai, and upon seeing that he frowned, she hurriedly offered a lower rate, “I’m fine with 3 pills every 2 days as well.”
Hearing that, Yang Kai realised that she had misunderstood him. He frowned not because he thought it was expensive, but because he felt that the rate was overly cheap; after all, he had just tipped the shop hand with 2 Open Heaven Pills.
However, he soon recalled that when he was a Worker in Seven Wonders Land in the past, he only received 3 pills every year. Although there were other ways to make additional income, an ordinary Worker would only receive 20 to 30 pills every year on average.
In comparison, Luo Hai Yi charging 2 pills a day couldn’t be considered quite expensive.
The reason Yang Kai felt it was cheap was that he had stayed by the Proprietress’ side for too long. Presently, he owed her 16.2 million Open Heaven Pills, so when compared to such an astronomical number, 2 or 3 pills were basically negligible.
“I’ll pay you three pills a day. Be ready at all times.”
Luo Hai Yi’s gaze brightened as she rose from the chair and saluted him, “Many thanks, Sir.” Seeing that Yang Kai’s cup was empty, she quickly poured him more tea.
Yang Kai nodded gently as he thought that this woman had sharp vision and a commendable demeanour. Judging from how cautious she was, she seemed to be an honest yet prudent person; therefore, he didn’t have to worry about anything when hiring her.
After they finished drinking the tea, they left the teahouse together.
Luo Hai Yi led the way and passed through several streets before stopping in front of a shop. Yang Kai looked up and saw ‘Gathering Virtue Emporium’ on the signboard.
If he wasn’t mistaken, Gathering Virtue Emporium was a business of Nine Stars Paradise, which was one of the 72 Paradises. It was a First Class great force in the 3,000 Worlds that had numerous High-Rank Open Heaven cultivators.
Yang Kai gritted his teeth as it was certainly difficult to demand repayment from a shop backed by one of the Paradises; however, since he had come to this place, he had to give it a try at least.
Gathering Virtue Emporium lived up to its name as a business-sponsored by one of the 72 Paradises as it was much larger than the shops nearby. Moreover, a lot of customers could be seen patronising the shop. It wasn’t certain what kind of business it did, but with so many customers, they must earn a lot of money.
“Sir, do you want this Mistress to accompany you?” Luo Hai Yi asked in a hushed and shaking voice.
Yang Kai turned to look at her and realised that she had turned pale, and she subconsciously clenched the hem of her clothes, which suggested that she was nervous.
Although it had only been a short time since they met, Yang Kai could see that she was a self-abased woman who had always been at the bottom of the social hierarchy in the Star City. Apparently, she hadn’t been to such a high-end shop before, which was why she felt nervous.
“There’s no need for that. Wait here for me,” Yang Kai shook his head.
Luo Hai Yi was evidently relieved, then she pursed her lips, “Sir, I wish you success.” Although she had no idea why Yang Kai decided to come here, she reckoned that it wouldn’t be wrong to wish him well.
After a gentle nod, Yang Kai turned around, placed his hands behind his back, and shuffled confidently into the building.
Upon entering the shop, he saw a shop boy passionately approaching him and without beating around the bush, he fished out a notice of debt, which he had prepared earlier, “I’m looking for the shopkeeper.”
Upon hearing that, the shop boy was startled. Although he was just a general worker in the shop, he still technically belonged to Nine Stars Paradise, a point of pride for him. In all the years he worked here, he had never seen someone as arrogant as Yang Kai who directly demanded to see the shopkeeper.
It wasn’t easy to see the shopkeeper, who would only personally greet certain wealthy patrons and Yang Kai didn’t look like he had a lot of money.
After doubtfully taking the jade slip, the shop boy scanned it with his Divine Sense and immediately straightened his face. It was only then that he realised that Yang Kai was from the famous First Inn, so he said solemnly, “Wait a moment. I’ll inform the shopkeeper about your visit now.”
Then, he turned around and walked towards the back of the shop.
While Yang Kai was waiting, he took a stroll around the floor and realised that this place engaged in many kinds of businesses. All sorts of goods could be found here, including materials for Alchemy and Artifact Refining as well as finished products. Whenever he picked up something, a shop boy would come over and passionately introduce the product to him.
A moment later, the first shop boy approached Yang Kai and extended his hand, “The shopkeeper will see you now.”
Since Yang Kai was from First Inn, he believed no one would dare to reject meeting him. After a nod, Yang Kai calmly followed the shop boy and strode further into the shop.
Soon, Yang Kai met with the shopkeeper of Gathering Virtue Emporium in a reception room. He was a thin elderly man in the Open Heaven Realm. Yang Kai had a feeling that the elderly man was as powerful as Duan Hai from Seven Wonders Land who was a Fourth-Order Open Heaven cultivator, which matched the information in the jade slip.
Yang Kai was stunned by how extravagant a First Class great force truly was. Even a mere shopkeeper in this Star City was a Mid-Rank cultivator. Given his cultivation, this elderly man could’ve become a Protector Venerable in Seven Wonders Land.
However, it was even more outrageous in First Inn as the Proprietress was a Sixth-Order Open Heaven Realm Master. At the thought of this, Yang Kai relaxed.
When Yang Kai stepped into the room, the elderly man didn’t rise from the chair; after all, there was a huge gap between their strength. If he stood up to greet this young man, it would weaken his authority.
Then, the shop boy left and closed the door, leaving the two inside the room. Yang Kai cupped his fists and said, “Junior Yang Kai greets Shopkeeper Gong Sun.”
The shopkeeper of Gathering Virtue Emporium was named Gong Sun Hong, information which was included in the jade slip given to him by the Proprietress. His face and cultivation matched the information recorded in the jade slip, so Yang Kai wouldn’t be mistaken.
A smiling Gong Sun Hong said, “You don’t have to be overly polite with me. Have a seat.”
Yang Kai thanked him and calmly took a seat. Although there was a huge gap between their powers, he was currently a representative of First Inn; therefore, he couldn’t appear weak.
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