Chapter 10: A Temporary Job
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
“Move aside if the two of you are not traveling. Don’t block the people behind.” The guard impatiently waved at the two of them to go away as he continued to signal to the people at the back. The next person in line took out a handful of translucent pearls and passed them over, then walked towards the patterns.
“Master…” Yi Qing was filled with guilt. After the battle with Rui Mi, it was already a miracle to have kept himself alive; he had truly forgotten about losing the storage bag. “It’s all my fault. If I had not rushed to deliver the Soul Devouring Gonfalon, I would not have caused Master to not bring any spirit stones.”
“Uh…” No, I really don’t have any money.
“Why not Master shop around in the city first. 50 spiritual pearls is not a lot. I can find a temporary job here, and I will be able to earn enough for the transportation fees before the sun rises,” he suggested solemnly.
“Forget it, let’s go together!” Shen Ying nodded. “Two people can earn them faster.” Before he could respond, she dragged him away from the public square.
Yi Qing seemed to have a lot of experience in this matter. After asking around in the city for a while, he brought her towards the tallest building in the city. He cupped his fists before the steward and said, “Fellow Daoist, I heard that this place needs some protection.”
The steward was courteous and he returned the gesture. After looking at them for a moment, he said, “That’s right, my Treasure Pavilion is having a treasure evaluation event which requires a few strong cultivators as guards. Fellow Daoist is…?”
“I am a Sword Cultivator. Golden Core stage.”
“Golden Core Sword Cultivator!” The steward was elated and excited as he bowed again. “So you are a Dao Lord.”
“I wonder if I meet the criteria.”
“Of course, of course you fit the criteria!” The steward was grinning from ear to ear. The items to be auctioned today were considered to be very special. He had originally thought that it would be good enough if he could find a Foundation Establishment cultivator but to his surprise, a Golden Core cultivator fell into his lap. There were barely any Golden Core cultivators throughout the entirety of Shunyu City, much less a Sword Cultivator. “Dao Lord, you will only need to protect the people who have bidded for treasures to return safely after the event. The remuneration for each trip will be two pieces of low-grade spirit stones, what do you think?”
Yi Qing contemplated it for a moment, and then asked, “There are two of us, so how about two pieces each?”
“Two of you?” The steward paused, and then looked left and right about four or five times before he noticed Shen Ying at the side. Huh? When was this person even here, how could he have not noticed her? Upon taking a closer look, it was evident that she did not have any Spirit Qi, and even seemed to be a mortal at that. But the partner accompanying her was a Golden Core cultivator so that did not seem plausible. He asked, “Fellow Daoist, are you also here to be a guard? Pardon me, but may I know what your cultivation level is?”
“I don’t know either.”
“…” Don’t know? Then what kind of guard do you intend to be! The steward twitched his mouth, but he could not offend a Golden Core Dao Lord. “Then… the two of you will share three pieces of low-grade spirit stones, how about that?”
“Alright.” Shen Ying nodded. It was a package price. Before this, she had come to understand that a piece of low-grade spirit stone was equivalent to 100 spiritual pearls which was sufficient for the travel fees.
An explanation had been on the tip of Yi Qing’s tongue but he swallowed it down. Yes, Master must want to maintain a low profile.
“The two of you may follow me.” The steward brought them to the second floor—that was when they realized this place was filled with people as the faint sounds of shouting for bids could be heard. It looked like a mini auction sale.
The steward got them to wait in a small partitioned space. Yi Qing took the initiative to explain the nature of this temporary job. This was a commercial business, and it was usually only when they received an extremely rare Dharma treasure, artifact or elixirs that they would hold an auction sale. At times like this, the shop owner would hire some cultivators just for a short period to escort the bidders home; this was also considered as an after-sales service. It was just that these guards were usually Foundation Establishment cultivators and they were all itinerant.
“When I was in the Foundation Establishment stage, I had often picked up jobs like these. Master, you can rest assured. This city is small and the district is not wide, so the trips will usually not be too long and can be finished before sunrise. It will not waste too much time.”
“Oh.” Shen Ying nodded. In conclusion, this was a short job that would save time and energy but… what did ‘Zhu Ji 1 ‘ mean?
They waited for nearly three hours. The sky had already turned dark, and the bidding voices gradually subsided as people began to leave. The steward then brought them before a cultivator.
Yi Qing took a look at this person, and realized that despite only being a young, ninth-stage cultivator, he was wearing third-stage Dharma clothing which meant that he had to be a young master from a family of Immortal Cultivators. In his hand was a black box, most probably a Dharma artifact that he had just bidded for.
“Dao Lord, Fellow Daoist Lu is the customer that you need to escort back today. You just need to bring him to the west side of the Lu residence.”
Yi Qing nodded as he brought the young man out. The man was rather polite; perhaps due to the surprise of being escorted by a Golden Core cultivator, he seemed really excited the entire journey. He continued to talk about how he had managed to bid for the treasure in his hand as they walked towards the west of the city.
The Lu family was considered a reputable family clan in the area, but it was a distance away from Shunyu City. In addition to leaving the city, they needed to pass through a thick bamboo forest which was dense with miasma, making it unsuitable to travel through by sword-riding. The item he had bidded for was a rare fourth-stage Dharma artifact which was why the Treasure Pavilion had to arrange for the best escort it could to protect such an important customer in case somebody tried to kill him and steal the artifact.
Shen Ying had nothing to say about such simple manual labour, but… why did the auction have to drag on so late into the night before they started their walking journey? How sleepy!
“Dao Lord, we will reach the Lu residence once we get out of the forest.” Lu pointed ahead. “Thank you for your protection on this journey, Dao Lord.”
“It is my responsibility. You are welcome.” Yi Qing looked at the surrounding and said, “I am afraid this deep forest might be looming with danger.”
“Dao Lord, fret not.” Cultivator Lu paid no attention to his words and voiced out, “Shunyu City may be a secluded little city, but it has always been peaceful. Nothing much is going to happen.”
“It is still better to be safe than sorry.”
“Dao Lord must be kidding. Although it is not possible to traverse this forest by sword-riding, I travel this route often. There shouldn’t be any problem.” Cultivator Lu still felt carefree as he said, “It’s all because the Treasure Pavilion’s steward is too worrisome, insisting that someone must escort me back. While fourth-stage Dharma artifacts are rare over here, they are actually pretty common outside. It can’t be that someone would really jump out…”
He had not completed his sentence when all of a sudden, a white glow emerged from beneath him—an array formation took form and the ground shook as a large patch of thistles and thorns grew out and targeted Cultivator Lu.
Cultivator Lu was taken aback. He lost his grip and dropped the box in his hands right into the crazy thistles as they coiled back into the ground.
“My Dharma artifact…”
“Be careful!” Yi Qing grabbed and hurled him backwards, summoned his spirit sword and swung it down forwards; his Sword Qi shot towards the thistles with a flash of swift and fierce light, sweeping across them and severing a huge section. But in the next moment, more thistles grew out from the ground attacking them.
Yi Qing shoved Cultivator Lu further back out of the danger zone, and instructed, “Stay behind me, do not leave my master’s side.”
Surprised and confused, Cultivator Lu thought: Master? What Master? He subconsciously turned around to look and only then did he see a girl in gray robes, the sight of her giving him a scare.
When… when was this person here? Wasn’t it just him and Dao Lord on the journey? When was there one more person?
(⊙ o ⊙)
Recalling Yi Qing’s instructions, he immediately stayed by the girl’s side. For a Golden Core Dao Lord to call her Master, she had to be someone who could ensure his safety.
“Thank you Fellow Daoist,” he politely said. The girl, however, merely stood there straight with her head pointed down, giving no response at all. He thought the other party was angry at his negligence, hence he subconsciously took a step closer. “Pardon my negligence, it must have been tiring this journey. I do hope that Fellow Daoist will not be mad. Fellow Daoist, Fellow Daoist? Fellow Daoist, you…”
The next moment, he heard a faint snore.
She… was… asleep…
“…” Sleeping in this situation, are you freaking kidding me?!