Chapter 19: Mysterious Treasure
Entering the dimly lit room, Xu Min needed a moment before his eyes could adjust to the light. As soon as they did, he walked towards the counter where a lovely young lady was cheerfully chatting with some customers within the shop.
When he reached the counter, the woman stopped chatting with them and turned around with a big smile beamed towards Xu Min. As her eyes glanced upon the young man, she quickly determined that he was neither a young master nor a successful mercenary. Although he had the aura of a One-Star Warrior, it was not that uncommon to see one. This was especially true since the town was filled with the geniuses from the new generation. Although she was aware that he was not a rich young master, she sent a half smile his way as she waited to hear what he had to say.
“Excuse me, I’d like to rent a room for the night,” Xu Min said straightforwardly while only turning his side towards the woman. This led her to raise an eyebrow in surprise. She was considered a beauty and was used to all the young men who tried to woo her or at least, paid attention to her. Yet, this young man was busy looking at the restaurant guests instead.
At first, this woman had paid no real attention towards the young man. But as she saw that he also didn’t pay her any attention, her interest was piqued. She was even more intrigued when she noticed a green snake coiled around his neck. He had beautiful jade-like eyes which stared at her. No matter how she looked at this demon beast, it was impossible to tell what it was thinking. This was the same case when she couldn’t figure out why the snake was coiled around the neck of the seemingly poor young man.
Turning his head, Xu Min looked at the woman. As their eyes met, an uncontrollable red colour rose in her cheeks. She hurriedly found a key to one of the rooms to the inn. “Excuse me,” she murmured as she traded the key for a gold coin.
Seeing that the young man was paying a whole gold coin for a night at the inn, the woman’s eyes widened in surprise. She quickly curtseyed out of respect and gratitude. How could she have known that Xu Min had nothing less than a gold coin? The Pharmacy had paid him solely in gold coins, so the young man had no other option than by paying in gold.
Having received the key, Xu Min quickly made it to the room. He was quite astonished when he discovered that the room was almost as large as the one he had shared with Wang Li back at Honghe City.
‘Hey, you there. I would like some more food,’ a voice resounded once again within Xu Min’s mind. A wry smile appeared on his face. This snake was eating a lot of food; however, Xu Min had already decided to feed the snake all that it could eat. He wanted to befriend the snake, but the young man started to wonder whether or not he had enough money to sustain having the snake. For now, he did what he could to accommodate for it.
Moving downstairs, Xu Min found a small table in the corner of the restaurant. He smirked as he saw how the lady from the counter made her way towards his table. She was ready to take his order.
“I want one of each item on your menu,” he started. As he said the words, he could feel the bliss that arose from the snake as he slowly slithered down his arm and coiled up onto the table. Its eyes fastened onto the woman who seemed to understand that the food he wished to eat would be delivered to their table by her.
Alongside the food, Xu Min also ordered some drinks. As he ordered two cups, he wondered how the snake would manage to drink alcohol.
While it took some time for the food to be delivered to their table, the drinks arrived almost as soon as they had been ordered. Xu Min poured himself and the snake a cup each, smiling as he saw the hesitant expression on the snake’s face.
‘Father always told me not to drink this,’ he murmured. However, it was clear that his curiosity was overtaking the warning from his father. After only a few more minutes, the slim snake’s tongue entered the drink only to instantly removed again as the snake shook his head, and tears appearing in its eyes. ‘It burns! It burns!’ the snake cried and Xu Min laughed out loud as the snake was twisting and turning on the table, behaving as though the alcohol had sat him afire.
‘That was not fun,’ Cao Cao complained as the burning sensation slowly vanished, his beautiful jade like eyes had unshed tears in them. ‘I’m sorry.’ Xu Min said with his laughter still hiding within. Although he was truly sorry that the snake had had such a reaction, it had still been incredibly fun to watch.
Hearing the snake snorting at him, Xu Min smiled at it and patted the smooth and soft head of the small snake, ‘I really am sorry.’ he repeated, ‘I ordered a lot of food. Perhaps you’ll forgive me when you get a lot to eat?’
Hearing that Xu Min had ordered a lot of food, the snake no longer felt as mistreated as it did before, as his mind started swirling around food. Looking at how simple the snake behaved, much like a little kid, Xu Min chuckled as he started observing the other guests at the inn. Every table was filled with people, and three servants were rushing here and there, bringing kegs of ale, or wine, and wine cups to the various guests. Sometimes food would be brought out from the kitchen, but the majority of the guests were just drinking their alcohol while seemingly waiting for something to happen.
It didn’t take long before plates of food were taken to Xu Min’s table. The massive quantities of food caused the majority of the guests from within the restaurant to look towards his direction. Some narrowed their eyes as they saw the young, poor looking man, but others were a lot more careless and quickly retracted their gazes. Only a few of the men within the room had their eyes focused upon the small green snake. It was seated on the table and happily eating away the many dishes which had been placed around it.
Although some had been very curious about the snake by the young man’s side, no one did anything about it. Soon, the chatter within the room returned to the same height that it had been previously. At the counter, one could hear how the various customers were wooing the lady while others were calling out for beer or wine to be brought to their tables.
As the atmosphere returned to the way it had been before, Xu Min finally started straining his ears to their limits. He listened in on every conversation that was being held within the restaurant.
“I heard that the Black Wolves moved their headquarters into the forest itself. It seems that they are planning on making the forest into their own personal space.” someone mentioned. Xu Min had finally understood why a lot of mercenaries were within the forest. However, that did not explain why many families had sent out their geniuses alongside many warriors, and not to mention, why other mercenaries were flooding into the forest. While trying to pick up on other conversations, he honed in on anything from a man talking about wedding his daughter to a local mercenary discussing with someone on how to kill a friend of theirs who had been lucky enough to achieve a treasure from within the forest.
After having listened to the conversation within the room for more than an hour, it was shown to be possible for Xu Min to get his hands on some information. The information was given by two customers dressed as soldiers who were discussing their master’s plans.
“Having arranged for this many soldiers to set out, we will, without a doubt, find the hidden treasure within the forest,” one of the men said in which the other man nodded. “When I heard that they had found an ancient cave filled with the leftovers from a Nine-Star Warrior, I thought it was a joke,” the other said with his eyes glistening with greed.
“Although we will enter the cave, we aren’t eligible to get any of the treasure anyway,” the first man continued. He sighed deeply as he also had a hint of greed within his eyes. “The young master will get all the treasure we find. Although we might get a raise in salary, we won’t be getting anything from the cave itself.”
Having heard enough, Xu Min looked at the men and noticed that both of them had a key laying on the table in front of them. They were the keys that showed that they were staying at the inn just like Xu Min himself was.
‘Eat up,’ Xu Min said with a chuckle. The snake had been eating one dish after another with an expression of utter bliss. After the snake had finished the final plate it slithered up Xu Min’s arm with an experienced move. It coiled itself around his neck once more. If it were not for their blood bond, Xu Min would have been incredibly uncomfortable by having a snake around his throat.
The two youngsters, man and snake, moved towards their room where they both sat down. Xu Min once more entered a meditative state where the snake coiled up within his lap and looked at the surroundings. From time to time, he grabbed one or two sparks of the golden light.
The night went by quickly. As he woke up the following morning, Xu Min felt much more energetic than he had been previously. Too many mercenaries were entering the forest and he felt that he should enter to see what was going on. However, unlike the majority of the men who had entered, Xu Min had no wish of achieving anything from the cave itself.
Xu Min already had a great weapon that had been granted to him by his teacher, Wang Li. He also had the snake which was far stronger than he himself was. When it came to martial arts, he was learning the Radiant Jade Shower. Currently, he felt as though he had everything he needed. However, he still wished to see the surprises in the cave. At the same time, he wanted to get a better look at the geniuses to measure his own strength against theirs.
Waking up early, Xu Min went down to the restaurant where he ordered a hearty breakfast for both him and Cao Cao. The snake was filled with excitement because it understood that they were going to enter the forest once again.
‘Let me kill some of them this time,’ Cao Cao said with a childlike excitement. This was something which caused Xu Min to frown a little. Although he was aware that he had to kill humans to stay alive and prove his strength, he still prefered to not kill if it had no reason. If any of the men they came across had any ill intentions, he would be as merciless as the Zhong family leader had been back when he knew that Xu Wu had been killed.
Finishing the food quickly, Xu Min smiled as he picked up Cao Cao and allowed for the snake to coil around his neck once more. The two, man and snake, left the inn and followed the big flood of humans that was making its way into the forest ahead.