At the high and dangerous cliff, Yue Jing Hua released her profound qi from her hands and feet and climbed downwards
The mountain breeze blew at her causing her armor to flutter. She climbed down a few steps and reached a wide and open platform, causing Yue Jing Hua’s heart to become suspicious.
Originally, there shouldn’t have been any footing in this steep cliff wall. However, three meters below, appeared a man-made, chiseled out stone footing.
The stone footing’s surface was smooth, making it clear that people have tread on it before, as there are no traces of moss or growths to be seen.
Climbing down, she was met with obstruction from the mountain breeze. She had to spend several hours until she discovered a cave at the sheer side of the cliff.
Watching from outside of the cliff, she saw a bird’s nest. Going deeper into the cave, it seemed to gradually grow bigger.
Inside the cliff, a fresh and clean mountain breeze blew out. The air had a scent as if some incense was burnt.
Yue Jing Hua activated her fortune’s ability and gradually disappeared from the cavern, blending into the mountain air.
Going further in, the cave grew wider. It was neatly furnished with two whale oil lamps illuminating the cave and a pine wood desk. On top of the desk was two handleless tea cups and a basin of fruits.
In the middle sat two people, with one of them being a familiar face.
It was Old Xia’s general store’s owner- Old Xia.
He was sitting on the ground with an old man dressed in ash grey robes.
The female and male hawks circled behind Old Xia and let out a tamed cry.
Old Xia’s expression changed from his lukewarm ‘general store owner’ appearance to an old face with twinkling eyes burning with fire directed at the old man in the ash grey robe.
The old man had a haughty look. From his bosom, he took out a bulging sack.
“Crash!” The mouth of the sack opened up and from inside rolled out over a hundred dazzling pellets that shone like pearls.
Each pellet was dazzling with profound qi.
Yue Jing Hua’s heart shook at the sight of over a hundred third ranked profound pellets.
She remained at Hundred Beast Mountain for seven days and have yet to find a third ranked profound pellet.
To obtain several hundred third ranked profound pellets, thousands of mysterious beasts would have to be killed. Since when did a third ranked profound pellet become as common as cabbages?
“As expected of little brother Shen, you obtained exactly one hundred-fifty profound pellets, with not a pellet too much or too little.” As soon as Old Xia saw the profound pellets, his face was elated, but contrary to that, his eyes flashed with displeasure. “Only, last time we agreed to one hundred third ranked profound pellets and fifty fourth ranked profound pellets.”
The ash grey robes old man then changed. “Honored Xia, fourth ranked profound pellets are not so easy to obtain.”
“Then how did the ‘Official Trade of Commerce’ all of a sudden receive fifty fourth ranked profound pellets? The hidden palace in the merchant country has long ago already sent the news, yet you’re still trying to quibble. You are extremely audacious. Out of kindness, the Holy Judgement Hall forgave your past transgression and gave you a new lease on life, but to think you would be a turncoat.” Old Xia’s scolding proceeded to get louder.
The hawks circled around his head as they cried out. Over half a meter in length, the wings of the hawks’ countless plumes turned into feathered arrows and aimed towards the old man in the ash grey robe.
The old man’s wizened hand laid on his wooden cane and quickly brandished it. “Thwack thwack!” The hawk then attacked the wooden cane and sparks literally flew.
Old Xia and the pair of hawks executed a pincer attack using the hawks’ talons. From his body, profound qi poured out and filled the air. Anyone looking could tell he was at the Profound Jade rank.
The old man’s fists could barely defend against the hawks’ attack. His unkempt robe started bulging and burst open.
A golden snake then flew outwards from the robe. The snake was only as thick as an index finger. Once it hit the ground, the snake abruptly grew in size. The snake’s head doubled, and its body soon grown to the thickness of a barrel.
One head, which could instantly swallow the head of a calf, was a fourth ranked golden linked snake. The other head was a third ranked goshawk, which acted as support.
The hawks’ body became metallic and their feathers turned into iron black. Their sharp beaks and talons shined with a golden light.
Old Xia whistled and the hawks flew from opposite directions to meet in one converging attack.
Nevertheless, the golden linked snake’s response surprised Yue Jing Hua, when it suddenly open its large mouth and spewed out golden vapor.
‘Boom!’ The golden vapor hit the crying wind hawks and blood immediately splattered on the ground.
As soon as Old Xia saw this, he knew he couldn’t win and leapt to flee away.
The old man laughed heartily and had the snake wrap itself around Old Xia to constrict him to death.
After the snake wrapped itself around him, Old Xia’s spine crackled like popped beans, each segment cracking one by one.
His pupils contracted, and he gave out a shout of despair. In this life or death situation, Old Xia was ready to risk his life. With his hand shining and his entire body’s effort, he managed to pierce the snake seven cun deep.
Like piercing rain, the raw, hot blood flew out of the golden linked snake. That seven cun cut through the base which allowed him to sever the two heads. The heads then rolled on the ground, signaling the snake’s death.
Old Xia had already become ground meat.
The ash grey robed old man was distressed. The golden linked snake was something he had raised since childhood, and it wasn’t easy to raise it up to a fourth ranked mysterious beast. To think Old Xia would end up beheading it and killing it.
He let out a low-spirited groan. His eyes betrayed his greedy nature, as he picked up the sack of profound pellets and spat on the ground.
“Holy Judgement Hall, don’t blame I, your father, for being cruel and heartless. If it weren’t for the decline of my Shen family, how can I, who is a summoning master’s descendant, be your lackey?” His voice then fell as he felt extreme pain as his eyeballs popped out.
A knife had silently pierced his heart. The knife had originally been in the dead, stiff hands of Old Xia.
“You…” The ash grey robed old man fell to the ground with a loud crash.
Yue Jing Hua wiped her forehead full of cold sweat and pulled out the knife. She looked around the cave and at the two parties that didn’t gain anything from the altercation.
Relying on what she just saw, Old Xia’s identity was not simple. It seemed like the Holy Judgement Hall was a mysterious force in the Hundred Beast Mountain.
This ash grey robed old man was probably the descendant of the summoning master, Shen Lan. This cave was probably Old Xia’s and his meet up point.
During the profound pellet exchange, Yue Jing Hua felt a chill. The incomparable strength pierced right through her consciousness.
The old man’s dark mental strength came out from his body and attacked Yue Jing Hua’s state of mind.
“Child, you dare plot against me. Allow me to show you the might of the Shen Lan family!” Clamoured laughter bursted out and abruptly stopped.
An alarming consciousness blotted out the sky and covered the earth. A burst of evil laughter filled the air. The ash grey robed old man’s mental strength struggled but was thoroughly broken.
Yue Jing Hua felt cold sweat run down her back.
“Right in front of me, a girl courted death by using cheap tricks to attack. You really aren’t careful, huh?” Qing Pu ridiculed.
In the cave, the old man’s eyes turned white. In fact, he had already died.
Yue Jing Hua forced a smile, when the bottom of her heart felt pensive.
This place’s circumstances was unbearable. After packing up the sack of profound pellets, Yue Jing Hua searched the dead bodies.
Old Xia’s body held a command tablet. Written on it was “One Hundred and One.” She also found several human face masks on him.
Yue Jing Hua impolitely took it all and stored it in her sack. When rummaging around ash grey robed old man’s body, she found a small jade box.
The box was only the size of her palm. It did not have a lock nor a crack to open it. Grasping it in her hand, she felt a ice-cold sensation emanating from it. If it wasn’t for the polished appearance, Yue Jing Hua would believe it to be a simple block of jade.
Using a knife to cut along the box, she still couldn’t find any notches.
Even when she used the whale oil lamps to burn the box, it showed no signs of change.
Seeing that it was already past morning, and that it was extremely gruesome inside the cave, Yue Jing Hua decided to return to the free market. She cast the bodies off the cliff and retrieved the box. She used the same route as before to return up the cliff.
Shortly after Yue Jing Hua left, the female hawk that was on the muddy and bloody ground staggered and flew out of the cave.
T/N: I know it’s pretty common to see death in these types of novels, but I felt pretty sad translating Old Xia’s death…idk tell me what you think? We appreciate constructive criticism if you have any.
E/N: I’m okay with it, but bruh we just got to know Old Xia and now he’s dead?! WTH? At least bury him.