Chapter 168 - Track
A crescent moon was illuminated the night sky, while a gale swept across the grassland.
The nights in the Great Devil Grassland had always been cold and desolate that you could hardly see any living traces of human beings within thousands, or even tens of thousands of miles in radius; the only thing you could find in this area was countless demonic beasts, and the only kind of sound that could be heard were fierce and resonant beast roars.
Ye Chen's first destination was the Thousand Thread Nation, located in the northeastern direction of the Windy Nation. He had to travel across the Great Devil Grassland in order to reach his destination. He could've chosen to take a detour, but that would cost a lot more time.
Not far away, a house-sized boulder had blocked the gale, and behind the boulder, a blazing bonfire could be seen dancing happily, bringing a miniscule amount of security in this frigid and lonely night.
Wiping the oil from the corners of his mouth, Ye Chen leaned against the boulder and murmured, "Boars living in this grassland taste quite amazing, I could even eat all those grilled meat without salt."
Boars of the Great Devil Grassland were only bottom grade demonic beasts, and were at the lowest level of the food chain in this part of the grassland, that most of the other demonic species fed on these boars. However, these boars' reproductive ability was ridiculously astounding. One female grassland boar could give birth to tens of offsprings every year, and they could keep reproducing for many years. Ever since the ancient times, the grassland boars had been the most thriving species of the Great Devil Grassland, until the present time; plants that grew in this grassland couldn't fill their stomachs anymore, and they would even dug the roots of those plants out and consume them.
After grabbing a stick and poking the bonfire a few times to rekindle the flames, Ye Chen then sat up straight with his legs crossed and started his daily cultivation.
The first and second levels of the Great Mystery Art were essential and fundamental, only a solid foundation had allowed Ye Chen to break through the third level steadily. Beyond the third level. Ye Chen's main purpose was to condense and purify his Zhen Qi as much as possible; on the third level, the quality of his increased Zhen Qi was already better than his original Zhen Qi that he had gained while practising a top-ranked Mortal Realm art. The quality of his Zhen Qi would improve further on the fourth level, and on the fifth level, the quality of his Zhen Qi would surpass the Pure Jun Zhen Qi, and be gradually turned into a pale blue colour.
As his Zhen Qi had completed multiple, complete revolutions inside his body, only a small amount of Pure Jun Zhen Qi was left. Instead, the Great Mystery Zhen Qi had occupied ninety percent of the Zhen Qi spiral inside his dantian and had gradually stabilized.
'When the rest of Pure Jun Zhen Qi converts into Great Mystery Zhen Qi, I will be able to break through the sixth level, by then, both quality and quantity of my Zhen Qi will go far beyond my original Pure Jun Zhen Qi, and that would mean a solid improvement in my overall power.'
This thought flashed in his mind, and at the same time, Ye Chen raised the flowing speed of his Zhen Qi.
A great gale approached with an ear-piercing swooshing noise, pressing all grass to the ground, disabling them from standing back up.
The sound of faint, ghost-like footsteps disappeared as the gale came, followed by which, a pair of blood-red, glowing light spots had been slowly approaching Ye Chen, bit by bit.
Under the dim moonlight, you could see that the owner of that pair of blood-red glowing pupils was a cattle-sized, cyan wolf. Its fluffy fur looked like a blazing, cyan flame dancing in the air, and its pair of frosty eyes looked absolutely emotionless; the pair of glowing dark red and erect pupils had been unmovingly gazing at the bonfire behind the gigantic boulder.
A fourth level demonic beast, Cyan Flame Wolf!
A hundred meters!
By now, the wolf had already seen Ye Chen's face clearly. Seeing that Ye Chen had his eyes closed and seemed to be in a deep sleep, hints of cruelty flashed across its eyes.
The wolf slightly lowered its body, then suddenly leapt into the air and darted out.
At the very next moment, its claw was only less than three feet away from Ye Chen's face, and was so close to tearing Ye Chen apart, tasting his tender flesh and fresh, warm blood.
Without opening his eyes, Ye Chen clenched his left fist and thrusted his arm out at a lightning speed; without any extra movement, his fist smashed against the wolf's head, sending it flying backwards for over a hundred meters. The wolf's body whirled over ten times in the air.
The wolf crashed on the ground heavily. Its head was smashed by Ye Chen, its brain matter mixed with fresh blood had been squeezed out, flowing everywhere on the ground; sooner or later, the wolf's heart stopped beating.
Under the dim and hazy moonlight, the demonic beasts which had been hiding in the darkness and staring at Ye Chen with pairs of greedy eyes, couldn't help but moan out while turning around and fleeing instantly. In their eyes, this human was terrifying, that the Cyan Flame Wolf which was one of the most powerful kind of these beasts, couldn't even survive a punch launched by him, and was immediately killed in such a horrible state.
The Gale City was the only city located at the Great Devil Grassland, it was as vast as Happy City, which was known to be the biggest city in the Northwest. The Gale City was over fifty miles in square meters, and over fifteen million people had been living here. Thirty percent of those people were mainly composed of travellers, selling all demonic-related materials as livelihood; they saw Gale City as one of their strongholds.
"Damn, we've suffered a great loss this time. Not only did we fail on hunting the Half Demonic Horse, but also, five of our team members were killed by the fourth level beast, Cyan Flame Wolf."
"Who could've known that the Half Demonic Beast would head into the wolf's territory? We're already lucky for coming back alive, eh, poor Song Tao, this is just his first hunt."
"They're dead already, what we can at least do is to send their families some silver, especially Song Tao's newly-widowed wife, we should send her double the shares."
'People always say that martial artists can easily earn huge amounts of money in Gale City, but those people never know that they could get killed so quickly here.' Thought Ye Chen, as he heard these martial artists sigh.
From a great distance, Ye Chen saw the magnificent Gale City. Slightly pressing his straw hat down, Ye Chen raised his walking speed towards the city.
In a short while, Ye Chen walked up to the city gate.
Warriors who had been guarding the city gate were all strong and sturdy, their temples bulged out and their gazes were piercing and fierce, that would make ordinary people shiver in fear. Obviously, most of them were tenth level martial artists in the Mortal Realm, and the few, who seemed to be leaders, were early Condensing Reality Realm martial artists.
Not only that, Ye Chen had clearly sensed the power of Clasping Yuan Realm martial artists from inside the fort built upon the city wall.
'Such a strong defence, no wonder this Gale City can stand firm in this fierce grassland for thousands of years and had never suffered a single attack from demonic beasts.' Silently, Ye Chen was a bit surprised.
A few warrior leaders had been patrolling in front of the city gate while growling, "Five silver for one person, don't even think about sneaking in, or you're gonna have to pay ten times more and stay in the jail for ten days, do not do anything you may regret yourself, since there's no cure for regret in this world."
"Five silver? So expensive." Ye Chen remembered that the Windy City only required fifty bronze coins for entry, it was ridiculous that this Gale City asked for five silvers.
However, after he saw that people who came to the Gale City were all martial artists, Ye Chen loosened his raised brows. A martial artist could make fifty silvers by hunting a bottom level demonic beast, and three to four hundred silvers by killing a second level demonic beast; if this martial artist could hunt a third level demonic beast, one to two thousand silvers would slip into his or her pocket. Compared to their incomes, five silver was nothing.
Handing five silvers to the guard, Ye Chen walked into the Gale City.
"Boss, is it him?"
A team leader of those guards looked at Ye Chen's back while leaning his face near the guard commander's ear, and asked.
The guard commander nodded and said, "Although he's wearing a straw hat, his body shape is exactly the same as the picture, it is him, definitely."
"Hehe, that man said that we can get a hundred thousand gold and a hundred pieces of low-ranked magic stones after we finish him. Ha, with this sweet price, our hard work will be worth."
"For the hundred low-ranked magic stones, you can have thirty percent while I'll have the rest, are you ok with that?"
"How would I dare to not be okay with that, my dear boss? Without you, I could never get such a sweet job."
"Good then, just go send a few street boys to keep an eye on him, don't let him out of your sights. I'll inform that man right now, and get our gold and stones by the way."
Walking on the street, Ye Chen raised his head and looked around. Generally, Gale City was not as luxurious and exquisite as Happy City. Most buildings here had simple but solid structures, that looked nice and functional. However, not every building was like this. Further away were multiple establishments composed of hotels, all of those hotels had four to six floors and looked very stylish, some of those buildings were even inlaid with precious gemstones.
"Ah, I'm so sick of grilled meat since I have only been eating that for these past few days. It's nice to rest a little bit, and maybe take a nice bath." Ye Chen walked into the most luxurious hotel with a relaxed demeanor.
"My dear guest, do you have any friend who is coming with you?" A front desk waiter bowed and asked politely.
Ye Chen threw a whole piece of silver, that's worth around ten silver, to the waiter and spoke blandly, "I came alone. Just give me the best room and prepare some hot water."
"No problem! Just follow me, please."
Shoving the silver into his pocket, the waiter guided Ye Chen upstairs with a big grin on his face.
This was a commodious suite, containing a tastefully decorated living room and a cozy bedroom, as well as a well-equipped bathroom.
In the middle of the bathroom was a small pool filled with steaming warm water. Streams of steam slowly rose into the air, and soon covered the entire room with mist.
Ye Chen took off his clothes and jumped into the pool, he couldn't help but let out a moan filled with comfort.
Leaning against the backrest at the edge of the pool, Ye Chen curved his lips upwards and murmured, "It feels marvellous to be rich. Back in that world, I was indeed a student from a famous university, but I was also only a poor orphan and had to work bloody hard in all summer and winter vacations, but still, the money I earned couldn't even afford my daily life. I was so afraid of all kinds of money issues back there. I dared not to even think about having a girlfriend. But in here, I can live happily for like a thousand years with only the gold in my backpack, if I sell some valuable stuff, I'll probably have more money than the total amount possessed by the Windy Nation's ten greedy officials."
Before he travelled across the time and space and came to this world, Ye Chen was so jealous of those martial artists that he had read about in martial novels. Those legendary martial artists drank booze with kegs and each could even swallow an entire boar leg; they never worried about financial situations and could spend money as normally as pouring water. Even if they run out of money, they could just go out and take a job with their martial power, which would bring them wealth that ordinary people could never even imagine. With this money, they could keep living a free and exciting life, fully concentrating on martial arts that they loved.
Now, Ye Chen's old dream had come true. His life was now even more unfettered and easier than those so-called martial artists that he had read about in his other life. He was now more powerful than ordinary martial artists that he could easily and conveniently kill a fifth or sixth level demonic beast, and earn thousands, even tens of thousands gold. Even if he didn't want to waste any time on hunting beasts, it would be totally fine; those gold carried by him could support his life for a very, very long time, and he hadn't even counted those magic stones yet.
Thinking about these, Ye Chen slowly closed his eyes and fell into a ninety percent deep sleep, as for the ten percent left, he stayed perfectly awake that if anyone walked into his room, he would know in an instant.
Inside a room of another hotel.
A middle-aged man who had a huge scar on his face had been leisurely sitting in a cozy leather chair and sipping wine. That was Zhu Lieyang, the Purple Sun Martial School's elder, of the information department.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Someone knocked at the door.
"Come in." Responded Zhu Lieyang in a cold tone.
The door was pushed open, and the guard commander who walked in with his body bowing deeply said, "The man you're looking for showed up, he is now staying in Jin Hua Hotel. Now that you have your man, so... what about our gold and stones..."
"You'll surely have your gold and stones, just keep track for now."
"Eh, you have clearly said that you would pay us once your man showed up, haven't you?"
Zhu Lieyang raised his head and stared at the guard commander with a blade-sharp gaze, saying, "What? You think I would break my own promise?! A hundred thousand gold and a hundred low-ranked stones are nothing to me, but if you let that boy get away, you will get nothing, and you'll die!"
The guard commander was a peak-level Condensing Reality Realm martial artist, but under Zhu Lieyang's gaze, cold sweat trickled down his forehead in streams while his legs began shivering ceaselessly.
"Good, off you go."
After the guard commander left, Zhu Lieyang showed a malicious smile and murmured, "Ye Chen, you can never know that there's a spy among your Sky Cloud Martial School's elders, can you? We got the information once you left. This time, you're not gonna survive."
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