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The Dragon

The Dragon By Oct 25, 2023 3 Comments
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Previous: Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Millionaire’s Duel Over A Mysterious Stone

Gu Fuyou did some mental calculations. Her saved up spirit stones totaled around 800,000. Added to the ones she exchanged for pills at the Yinxue Pavilion, she had a total of one million and eighty thousand.

Gu Fuyou cautiously proposed, “600,000?”

Yu Dongsheng countered, “700,000.”

“750,000.”

Yu Dongsheng shot her a glance and declared, “1,000,000.”

Biting her lip, Gu Fuyou fired back, “1,050,000.”

Yu Dongsheng smirked, “1,100,000.”

Gu Fuyou sized up Yu Dongsheng again. In his right hand, he held a withered wooden staff, the head of which was a crystal, carved with a smiling old man’s head. It was evident that this man held a high position in Wanyao Pavilion, judging from this crystal alone, he could afford far more than one million one hundred thousand.

Although Gu Fuyou couldn’t match his lavishness, she leaned over to Zhong Michu, and whispered in her ear, “Senior Sister Zhong, is that stone really worth this price?”

Zhong Michu simply nodded.

Boss Biao had never expected that this raw stone could fetch such a high price. He smiled until his facial muscles quivered, “Third Gu, do you want to raise the price?”

Frowning, Gu Fuyou didn’t respond. Noticing she might not have that many spiritual stones on her, the merchant chirped, “Third Gu, you know the rules here of trading goods. If you’re strapped for stones, other valuables can serve as a substitute. For instance, the spirit beast by your side looks impressive; if you wish to exchange…”

The beast, Ah Fu, took a menacing step forward. Its piercing eyes and sharp, gleaming fangs were on full display as it growled, causing the nearby signs to rattle in the gust it created.

Boss Biao stepped back and laughed, “Third Gu’s spirit beast sure has a big temper, seems hard to tame, not easy to keep…”

Gu Fuyou shot a sidelong glance at Ah Fu. Sensing her gaze, Ah Fu turned to look back, worried that she was considering the merchant’s offer, thinking she was displeased with its appetite and behavior.

In a plea for affection, Ah Fu nudged its snout against Gu Fuyou’s chin and showered her face with licks, whining as if trying to say, “I’m very well-behaved.”

The merchant continued, “Third Gu, if you’re not selling, then this stone will go to…”

Interrupted by Ah Fu’s antics, Gu Fuyou had a flash of inspiration. “Wait!” She grabbed Ah Fu, moved him aside, and retrieved something from her storage bag, presenting it to the merchant, “Boss Biao, how much do you think this is worth?”

Boss Biao’s eyes widened in recognition, “Ah! Dizang meat!”

This was the very piece of Dizang meat Gu Fuyou had acquired earlier. Unsure of its exact worth, she’d kept it until now.

Cradling the Dizang meat and inspecting it carefully, the merchant called over a friend to watch the stall. Holding the meat in one hand and the raw stone in the other, he beckoned, “Please, follow me.”

Boss Biao led the group of three people and one beast to a building. Unlike the neighboring square buildings, this one was circular, with four floors, each adorned with glazed eaves.

Upon entering, many people were bustling about, and they walked straight to the central courtyard, where there was a spacious dueling platform with protective formations below and no cover above, revealing the blue and white sky.

Boss Biao led everyone to the top floor. Next to the grand entrance of the hall on this side hung a red flag with a golden border, with a ‘pawn’ character woven in gold.

Zhong Michu looked across and saw, separated by the central courtyard, a flag hanging in front of each room on the opposite side, with a ‘gamble’ character.

After they entered, they were immediately greeted by a young attendant dressed in gray short robes. Many others in the vicinity wore similar attire.

Walking beside Zhong Michu, Gu Fuyou explained to her, “These are all members of the merchants’ association. On this side is the pawnshop, and opposite to us is the gambling house.”

Approaching the counter, an elderly man inspected the piece of underground meat that Boss Biao handed over. After studying it for a moment, he put down his tools and said, “Five hundred thousand spirit stones.”

“What? Only five hundred thousand? Even though this Dizang meat doesn’t look appealing, given its size, it should be at least seven hundred thousand!” Gu Fuyou rushed forward, leaning over the counter as if she wanted to climb over it to argue face-to-face with the elderly man.

The old man slowly said, “Third Gu, if it were in the past, this piece of Dizang meat would be worth at least seven hundred thousand spiritual stones. But now, the son of the Xu Ling Sect hunted a whole Dizang beast in Xian Luo, which has brought down the market price a lot. You know, the rarer something is, the more valuable.”

Cursing in her heart, Gu Fuyou thought, why is Zuo Tianlang everywhere?

“Fine, five hundred thousand it is. Along with the previous one hundred and fifty thousand, that’s a total of one million five hundred and fifty thousand spirit stones, Boss Biao. We’ll take the raw stone.”

Zhong Michu and Ah Fu stood aside. While Zhong Michu wasn’t entirely disconnected from worldly matters, being accustomed to a life of privilege meant she wasn’t particularly sensitive to prices. She didn’t have a clear concept of what one million five hundred and fifty thousand spirit stones could equate to or what could be done with such an amount.

Thus, she didn’t interfere, leaving the negotiations to Gu Fuyou. She gently stroked Ah Fu’s head, waiting quietly and watching Gu Fuyou deal with Boss Biao.

Yu Dongsheng interjected, “I’ll match that.”

This wasn’t over.

However, Boss Biao’s demeanor shifted from his typical money-loving appearance to a more serious one. “The two of you are fighting over this raw stone, and the price increase has exceeded a million. If neither of you is willing to let go, there are other rules.”

Yu Dongsheng looked at Gu Fuyou, smirking slightly, “Naturally.”

Gu Fuyou, looking distressed, turned to Zhong Michu, “Senior Sister Zhong…”

This Wandering Market was organized by the merchant association, and naturally, they set the rules behind the scenes. One rule was established to prevent inflated pricing.

Prices in the market are naturally set by the seller. The seller can decide if items go to the first buyer or to the highest bidder.

If it’s the latter and two parties are competitively bidding, to avoid exorbitant prices, once the price exceeds ten times its original value, and neither party wants to back down, a different competition method is invoked.

A duel. Overseen by the merchant association, the victor gets the item.

This is the way of the world, the survival of the fittest.

Gu Fuyou explained this to Zhong Micchu. Currently, she and Yu Dongsheng had driven the price of the raw stone over a million spirit stones. Now, it wasn’t about who could offer more money, but who was stronger. Either give up or duel with Yu Dongsheng for the stone.

Boss Biao approached and said, “Third Gu, I see Master Yu is determined to win. He’s advanced to the later stages of the Golden Core. If only the young city lord was here, but now, it’s just you. You can’t win against him… Why not let your friend choose another raw stone? I’ll give you a fifty percent discount.”

Gu Fuyou wasn’t entirely certain about what was inside the raw stone, so she didn’t feel a strong need to obtain it. However, Zhong Michu wanted it, so she tried her best to get it for her.

But now, the situation had evolved beyond just paying with spirit stones.

Competing in a duel requires significant cultivation. If the opponent were of a lower cultivation level, it wouldn’t pose much difficulty, and Zhong Micchu could handle it herself. However, Yu Dongsheng is already in the late stage of the Golden Core, making it extremely difficult for Zhong Michu to secure a win, even if she competes.

Zhong Michu remained silent, her eyes slightly downcast.

Zhong Michu was a woman of few words and expressions. But after spending some time with her, one would find she’s actually quite easy to understand, like now.

Seeing her like this, Gu Fuyou didn’t want to disappoint her. She pondered for a moment, then pulled Zhong Michu aside, saying, “Senior Sister Zhong, if you really want it, I have a way. I can’t guarantee that we’ll definitely beat him, but it can increase our chances of winning. However, it might require some discomfort on your part…”

Zhong Michu asked, “What way?”

Gu Fuyou leaned closer, whispering into her ear.

Being so close, the strong fragrance from Gu Fuyou was unmistakable, causing Zhong Michu to hold her breath unconsciously. From her position, Zhong Michu’s gaze fell upon a half-exposed mark on Gu Fuyou’s shoulder. The faint traces of the bite mark were visible…

Zhong Michu felt a moment of helplessness, like a child who had done something wrong, afraid of being discovered by an adult, not knowing what to do.

She stepped back slightly, saying, “Alright.”

Gu Fuyou didn’t expect her to agree so readily and was somewhat taken aback, feeling very awkward, “Okay, then, that’s it.”

Turning to Boss Biao, Gu Fuyou declared, “Boss Biao, I want that raw stone. Let’s have the duel.”

Seeing her determination, Boss Biao sighed and replied, “Alright.”

Boss Biao then led them to the gambling house. As the three waited outside, Boss Biao headed inside.

After a while, three servants came out, each holding a red lacquered wooden tray, followed by a lady in red.

This lady in red was to be the official witness of their duel. She gracefully approached, inquiring, “Which two individuals are dueling over the raw stone?”

Yu Dongsheng and Gu Fuyou stepped forward. The lady said, “Please sign the life-or-death agreement.”

Among the three red trays, one held the raw stone, while the other two contained ink and a life-or-death agreement.

This duel wasn’t necessarily to the death, but accidents could happen. By signing the agreement, whatever happened on the dueling platform – injury or death – was no one else’s concern.

Gu Fuyou pulled Zhong Micchu and said to the lady in red, “Sister, she needs to sign too.”

The lady in red smiled slightly, replying, “Young lady, duels are one-on-one. There is no precedent for three participants.”

Gu Fuyou, leaving Ah Fu behind, took Zhong Michu’s hand and walked over to the woman in red. “Whether the two of us can participate together needs your verification. But since this verification requires disrobing, it wouldn’t be appropriate in public. Could we go somewhere more private?”

The lady in red showed a brief moment of surprise, but soon her expression softened into a gentle smile, and she elegantly said, “If that’s the case, please follow me.”

The woman addressed Yu Dongsheng, saying, “Sir, please wait a moment.”

Yu Dongsheng frowned in displeasure but didn’t say anything, just watching the three of them head toward the inner hall.

The lady in red led the two to the door of a room and inquired, “What kind of verification do you wish to make?”

Gu Fuyou replied with a smile, “While the duel is one-on-one, summoning a spirit beast is allowed. She isn’t breaking the rules by joining because she’s my spirit beast. I feared you wouldn’t believe me, so I wanted you to verify it.”

Upon hearing this, the lady in red indeed looked surprised and puzzled. However, the strength of the trading association’s service was its discretion—they never pried into matters that were none of their business.

So even though she had her doubts, she didn’t ask any more about it and only said, “If that’s the case, I’ll need to verify the beast mark.”

The lady in red opened the door, gesturing, “Miss, please come in.”

Zhong Michu entered, and Gu Fuyou also wanted to follow. However, after receiving a glance from Zhong Michu, Gu Fuyou pursed her lips, stepping back and watching as the lady in red went inside and closed the door behind her.

To establish a bond with a spirit beast, a beast mark is always present. Gu Fuyou had inquired about this with Zhong Michu beforehand and learned that she possessed such a mark, which is why she was confident in bringing her for verification. Otherwise, no one would have believed her claim that Zhong Michu was her spirit beast.

Gu Fuyou wondered where on Zhong Michu’s body the mark was located. Typically, the shape of the mark mirrored the form of the spirit beast. Could Zhong Michu’s mark resemble a graceful beauty?

Driven by curiosity, Gu Fuyou very much wanted to have a look. But she feared upsetting Zhong Michu and thus obediently waited outside.

After a short while, the door opened, and the two women emerged, one after the other.

Zhong Michu was straightening her clothes. The lady in red looked at Gu Fuyou and respectfully confirmed, “It is indeed a beast mark.”

The lady in red no longer harbored any doubts. However, as a standard procedure, she asked Gu Fuyou to summon Zhong Michu on the spot. Afterward, she led the two back to the main hall and announced to everyone, “Both are eligible to compete. Please sign the life-and-death agreement.”

Yu Dongsheng questioned, “What’s the meaning of this?”

The lady in red explained, “The two of them share the relationship of master and contracted spirit beast; therefore, so both can participate.”

Yu Dongsheng sneered, “She’s clearly a human. Since when do humans become spirit beasts? Are you blatantly lying?”

The lady in red replied with a smile, “Please trust the merchant association’s verification. Alternatively, you can choose to forfeit the match. Of course, this raw stone will then belong to the other two.”

Yu Dongsheng stared fiercely for a moment, then snorted coldly after a pause, “Fine, two it is.”

“One is in the mid-stage of the Golden Core, the other at the peak of Qi Practicing. Does it really make a difference if there’s one more or one less?”

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Previous: Chapter 23

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Anon
Anon
8 months ago

Can’t wait for next chapter thanks for TL

dadin
dadin
8 months ago

this is going to be exciting

Khriss
Khriss
6 months ago

Aaa I can’t wait for the reveal!!!