When he heard that Murong Xue and the others’ mission was in Smoke City too, Ye Zichen frowned. He could tell this wasn’t simple.
Would this be a repeat of what happened in Barren Sands City?
Although Ye Zichen worried about this internally, he couldn’t say that outright.
Instead, he said, “What mission do you have in Smoke City?
“It’s a mission the academy arranged for us. A whole bunch of smoke grass appeared in the area, so they’re sending us to gather it up,” said Murong Xue. She arched her brows. “I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering if this’ll be a repeat of what happened in barren sands city, but it won’t be like that.”
Ye Zichen was keenly aware of smoke grass’s value. It was used to refine medicine and could increase a pill refiner’s success rate by a wide margin. Smoke City was famous on account of this grass.
So long as it wasn’t like the incident in Barren Sands City, Ye Zichen could relax. However, when he considered Wei Jie and the others’ urgent cries for help, he knew he couldn’t waste even a moment. “Then let’s go together. This can’t wait, so let’s go now.”
“Alright.” Murong Xue summoned the boat she’d borrowed, then she and the Appearance Association’s “Golden Flowers” got on board. Jiang Yong, Pang Sheng, and Ye Zichen followed soon after.
To their surprise, Xue Mo decided to tag along as well. “I want to go too.”
Jiang Yong heard that and laughed. “Was I right or was I right? I told you that so long as Ye Zichen was on board, Xue Mo would definitely come too. That’s good too, though; we can be considered old war buddies. Alright then, let’s head out!”
The flying vessel rose into the air with a boom. Ye Zichen sat in a corner and fished out his cellphone.
“What’s the situation?” Ye Zichen sent Wei Jie a message.
A few minutes later, he got a response. “We’re still hiding, so we can’t see what’s going on outside, nor do we dare spread our divine awareness. If we do, they might find us. I don’t know what the situation is either.”
“What kind of people attacked the village?” asked Ye Zichen.
“Who knows? We haven’t been on the mountain for long, but they showed up out of nowhere and just started killing people. Men, women, elders, children, they don’t care. They kill anyone they see. Also, all of them are extremely strong. None of us are a match for them,” said Wei Jie.
“Are you certain they’re human? There are no other presences mixed in?” Ye Zichen furrowed his brows.
“They’re human. That, at least, I’m absolutely certain of. The moment they first attacked, I wondered if they belonged to other races, but I don’t sense even the slightest trace of yao or demonic energy about them,” replied Wei Jie.
When he read Wei Jie’s response, ye Zichen fell silent.
He actually still somewhat suspected that the culprits were demons, but when he saw how certain Wei Jie was that they weren’t, he grew uncertain. He needed time to process this.
If they weren’t demons, then they had to be real scumbags to kill even women, children, and the elderly without reservation.
Were these the Horse Bandits?
Although Ye Zichen had never run into them, he’d heard that the Horse Bandits were a particularly violent bunch that ran rampant on the Divine Mountains, and there was no evil act they wouldn’t sink to.
“Stay hidden. I’m hurrying to Smoke City now. I should get there soon.”
“Okay.” Ye Zichen returned his phone to his pocket. It was only then that he realized that a group of women had gathered around him.
Murong Xue, the Dai Sisters, and Xue Mo were all crouched and looking right at him.
“What are you looking at me like that for?” Ye Zichen licked his lips uncomfortably.
Murong Xue frowned then took a step back and addressed Xue Mo. “That communication device he was using now was quite good. It provides instantaneous communication!”
Next, he walked back over to him and smiled radiantly, “Ye Darling, what was that thing… you were using just now?”
“You mean this?” Ye Zichen fished his phone back out of his pocket. Murong Xue nodded. “It’s a cell phone. It’s something my research team developed and can be used for top-speed private and small-group conversations. What, are you interested in it?”
“I am rather interested, but how much does it cost?”
“I’m not sure either, yet. I still need to ask the research team. Once we can produce them en masse, if you’re still interested, I can charge you the base price for materials plus a tiny labor fee. I doubt they’ll be more than two hundred aureus each.”
“That would be fine.” Murong Xue smiled and nodded. Although transmission devices could send messages, they were far from instantaneous. Messages would sometimes get delayed along the way. Also, they were extremely expensive to make. Even the cheapest transmission device started at five hundred aureus, and that was just for the materials.
She took a shine to the cell phone’s high-speeds, and now it sounded like it was cheaper than transmission devices too.
If she had to choose between the two, it was obvious which was the better choice.
“When the time comes, sell me three million units. I want to give one to everyone in the Appearance Association,” said Murong Xue with the air of a rich girl.
Just hearing that made Ye Zichen’s heart jump.
At two hundred each, three million units would add up to six hundred million aureus.
Murong Xue asked to purchase that many without so much as batting an eye. She really was the leader of one of the top-five student associations. Being a Society Leader took so much cash that all of them were all scions of major clans...
This was practically inhuman!
“Beauty Murong, you’ve given me quite the spare! Three million? I’m afraid I can’t provide that many. Our first round of production will only be a few million in total, but I need to outfit Anti-Upheaval and my faction in the Lower Lands first.” Ye Zichen shrugged helplessly.
“To think you had a faction in the Lower Lands! What kind of organization is it? My family has side branches down there too. But have you heard of a gang called Upheaval? They’re as aggressive as can be, and they’ve oppressed our side branches into an utterly pitiful state. Jiang Yong’s family is in the same boat.”
She pursed her lips pointedly. Jiang Yong noticed and shouted, “Yeah, that’s right! Upheaval is way too arrogant. But I’m too lazy to get involved with our side branches’ affairs. Still, I heard that Upheaval is doing amazingly down there. They’ve monopolized practically ninety percent of the Lower Lands.”
“Upheaval? Then isn’t our Anti-Upheaval Society the perfect fit to wipe them out?” added Xue Mo.
These three were all scions of influential clans of the Northern Divine Mountain. The more Ye Zichen heard of their conversation, the more rigid his expression grew.
He scratched his head and coughed, but didn’t participate in their conversation. Instead, he called out, “Ol’ Jiang, how much longer until we reach Smoke City?”
“We’ll be there soon,” shouted Jiang Yong. “Don’t be in such a hurry. Do you know your friends’ location? How about we go there first and rescue them, then the rest of us can split off and gather smoke grass?”
“No need. You can attend to your own affairs. I can handle my own problems on my own. Once things are settled, I’ll go looking for you.”
When he finished speaking, Ye Zichen lowered his head and said nothing more, only to hear Murong Xue ask, “Then just what kind of faction did you set up in the Lower Lands?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter