"Why do I say so?" The inner disciple looked at Zhang Xuan with sympathy. "Do you know whom the young lady that came by earlier is?"
Zhang Xuan shook his head.
"She's the granddaughter of Elder Bai Ye, one of the Three Grand Elders of our sect, Bai Ruanqing!" The inner disciple shook his head. "Don't let her appearance deceive you. She might have seemed gentle earlier, but she's actually no different from a female dinosaur. Her notoriety has spread across the entire sect, and not even her fellow core disciples dare to cross her! To dare dupe her into spending so much money to sell that useless bottle of water of yours... there's no way she'll let you off as long as you stay in the sect. If you do, you can start writing a letter to your clan to get them to prepare your funeral now. At least there'll be someone to collect your body for you!"
"Female dinosaur?" Zhang Xuan's eyebrows shot up.
He could not feel any of that from the young lady's amiable attitude earlier though.
"You seem to be doubting my words. Last year, a core disciple named Su Tong went to confess to her, but she dragged him to the dueling ring and sent a vicious kick right to his crotch. Even now, he still hasn't recovered from his injuries.
"A few months ago, another core disciple named Zhang Yue seemed to have offended her due to some matter, and he was pummeled to the point he was bedridden for an entire month! I was curious and snuck a peek at his ward, and I can tell you he looked more miserable than you can ever imagine!
"Right, there was this incident several weeks back where a core disciple named Xue Hai tried selling fake medicine, just like you. She thrust his head into the river water and nearly drowned him. That wasn't all... She even cut off half of his tongue at the end to send out a stem warning to others.
"Given that even core disciples have fallen victim to her, do you think that you'll be able to get away scot-free after scamming her?"
"This..." Zhang Xuan scratched his head.
The young lady earlier had a delicate look that made it hard to associate her with the demoness that the inner disciple had just described.
Seeing that Zhang Xuan was still doubtful of his words, the inner disciple sighed deeply before asking, "Do you know how powerful she is?"
Zhang Xuan shook his head.
"Last year, when she fought with Su Tong, she had already reached Heavenly Pseudo Immortal. Whether she has taken another step forward since then, I'll leave that to your imagination!" the inner disciple said as he pulled his stand away from Zhang Xuan. "In any case, let me put some distance between us first. I don't want to be implicated when she finally comes over to massacre you. Sigh, it sure is getting hard to do business nowadays! Not only do I have to keep a low profile, I also have to guard against those seeking death... What a bother!"
Zhang Xuan was rendered speechless.
"It's fine, you don't have to move. I'll be leaving after getting myself an Ethereal Token!" Zhang Xuan packed up his stand and stood up.
The main reason he had gone to the market was to get himself an Ethereal Token. Since he had enough money, he just had to get what he had gone for, and he would be ready to leave.
"I want an Ethereal Token. Here's twenty Sword Pavilion Coins!" Zhang Xuan said as he walked over to the opposite vendor and tossed the bag of money over.
"That won't be enough. The price of the Ethereal Token has just gone up. You'll have to pay twenty-five Sword Pavilion Coins now!" The inner disciple in charge of the store threw the bag of money back at Zhang Xuan.
"The price has just gone up? Didn't you say it only costs twenty Sword Pavilion Coins earlier?" Zhang Xuan frowned.
"It was indeed just twenty earlier, but now that you have offended Bai Ruanqing, you're pretty much certainly dead... What am I supposed to do if she learns that I've sold something to you and makes trouble for me? The additional five Sword Pavilion Coins is just a mental assurance and emergency medical fee for me. It's only because I'm close to you that I hiked the price up by just a few Sword Pavilion Coins. If it was anyone else, I wouldn't have even sold it to him at all!" the inner disciple said vehemently.
"You..." Zhang Xuan's face twitched.
Was that supposed female dinosaur really that frightening?
Unwilling to give up just like that, Zhang Xuan walked over to the other stores selling Ethereal Tokens, but not a single vendor was willing to sell one to him.
Clearly, news that he had offended that female dinosaur had already spread. In order to avoid getting implicated, no one was willing to do business with him anymore.
"Those fellows!" Zhang Xuan gnashed his teeth angrily.
At that moment, he really wanted to do what Cao Chengli had suggested and simply rob them.
After all the effort that he had gone through, it turned out that no one was willing to sell the Ethereal Token to him anymore.
"Forget it..." Zhang Xuan sighed deeply.
He would just have to find other means to obtain an Ethereal Token.
Just as he was about to leave, Cao Chengli suddenly walked up to him and said, "Young Master, I have successfully acquired the Ethereal Token that you requested!"
Following which, he passed two of them over.
Looking at the jade tokens in Cao Chengli's hands, Zhang Xuan widened his eyes in disbelief.
After his half a day of effort, he did not even manage to obtain a single Ethereal Token. How in the world did this unreliable subordinate of his acquire two then?
"Didn't I tell you earlier? I saw a beautiful inner disciple..." Cao Chengli laughed a little cheekily as he scratched his head.
Just as he was about to explain the situation, Zhang Xuan suddenly saw a gigantic woman of roughly three hundred jin walking over. "Darling, let's hurry. My bed is huge and spacious. Most importantly of all, it's extremely soft..."
(300 jin = 150kg)
"Yes, honey. I'll be right over!" Cao Chengli nodded sweetly in response. He turned to Zhang Xuan and said, "Young Master, I'll be going over for a moment. I'll explain the details to you after I return..."
Then, he skipped out of the inner disciples' market excitedly with the lady on his arm.
Zhang Xuan clutched his forehead.
He felt like he had opened his eyes that day.
But regardless of how Cao Chengli had managed to do it, there was no doubt that he did have some capability. In just a few hours, not only did he acquire two Ethereal Tokens, he had even managed to get himself a reservation on that lady's bed.
But if he thought more deeply into the issue, for selling his subordinate out for material possessions, did that not pretty much make him a pimp?
Zhang Xuan shuddered a little as he quickly shook those thoughts out of his mind before leaving the market.
The shrill call of a beast echoed in the sky above Elder Bai Ye's residence. Leaping down from above, Bai Ruanqing quickly pushed the door open and rushed into the residence.
"Young Mistress!" An old man walked up to greet Bai Ruanqing.
He was Elder Bai Ye's personal butler, Bai Feng.
Bai Feng had grown up with Elder Bai Ye, and the two of them had entered the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion at the same time. Even though Bai Feng was not well-known in the sect, those who were acquainted with him knew that he was far more than an ordinary old man.
Seemingly aware that Bai Ruanqing had been out to find some recovery herbs for Elder Bai Ye once again, Bai Feng sighed deeply before advising, "Young Mistress, I understand your feelings, but the Old Master's injuries were left behind from his trip to the City of Collapsed Space. His wounds are infused with some kind of mysterious energy that tears him apart from within. The sect has already tried everything at its disposal, but it was to no avail. I really don't think that there's anything you can buy from the markets of the outer disciples and inner disciples that will be effective on the Old Master, Young Mistress!"
The City of Collapsed Space was one of the most elusive places on the Forsaken Continent. There were untold treasures hidden in there, but great peril awaited those who dared step onto its soil.
If it was just an ordinary injury, given Bai Ye's identity as the Third Elder of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, they would have been treated a long time ago. However, the peculiar nature of his injury complicated the matter.
Everything that they had tried on him had been futile.
Furthermore, his condition seemed to be worsening by the day, and most likely, he only had a few days ahead of him.
It was precisely for this reason that Bai Ruanqing went out every single day for all kinds of mysterious pills and medicine, hoping for a miracle to happen. But in truth, all of it was for naught.
Bai Ruanqing clenched her fists tightly as she said, "I know what you are saying is true, but..."
How could she not know that her efforts were unlikely to reap any reward?
But for her to sit idle and watch her only kin die just like that... her heart was not able to take it!
"Sigh!" Knowing Bai Ruanqing's thoughts, Bai Feng sighed weakly and said, "So, what have you brought this time? Can you let me take a look at it?"
"It's this..." Bai Ruanqing passed the jade bottle that she had just bought over.
Bai Feng took the jade bottle, uncorked it, and took a whiff. Soon, he shook his head and said, "Young Mistress, this isn't medicine at all. I have lived for 150 years, and I have seen all kinds of medicine in my lifetime. However, this water has no spiritual energy at all. Could it be that you have been scammed?"
For a medicine to be effective, it had to contain spiritual energy in order to nourish one's body. However, what was in the jade bottle seemed no different from clear water. There was no hint of spiritual energy.
Could it be that the Young Mistress had been too excited and gotten scammed?
"An internal disciple sold it to me. He said that it's a divine medicine that can heal any wound and illness," Bai Ruanqing said with a lowered head.
She did have her doubts when she purchased it, but her grandpa was already nearing his limits. She had to clutch onto every sliver of hope there was.
Not to mention, the person who sold her the medicine had been extremely confident, which indicated something.
After all, she was extremely famous in the sect, such that there was no inner disciple or core disciple who did not know of her. He should have known the cost of lying to her, and yet, he was still willing to make such a bold claim. He might really have something to substantiate his claims!
"A divine medicine that can heal any wound and illness? It doesn't have a shred of spiritual energy in it, and he still dared sell it to you..." Bai Feng harrumphed. "That person sure is brazen! How much did it cost?"
"Twenty Sword Pavilion Coins," Bai Ruanqing replied meekly.
"Twenty?" Bai Feng was stunned for a moment before blowing his top. "Young Mistress, I am certain that you have been scammed! With twenty Sword Pavilion Coins, you can buy ten Basic Immortal Pills! Yet, he actually charged such a price for this bottle of clear water. Which elder is that inner disciple under? I'll head over there right now to demand an explanation! Does that person think that he can take advantage of us just because Elder Bai is injured?"
Under his rage, immense energy poured out from his acupoints. The entire residence rattled unsteadily, seemingly on the verge of collapsing under his wrath.
Elder Bai might have been injured and on the verge of death, but as long as he, Bai Feng, lived, he would not allow anyone to take advantage of the Young Mistress! That inner disciple was courting death!
"I... I was willing to buy it. He didn't scam me..." Bai Ruanqing's face reddened.
The other party did say that she had the choice to buy it if she wanted to, and he did not force her into making a decision.
Those words did not quell Bai Feng's rage in the least. "You were willing to buy it? Humph, he must have relied on some flowery words to dupe you..."
"Alright. Regardless of whether there is spiritual energy in it or not, since we have already bought it, let's give it to grandpa and see if it works..." Bai Ruanqing interjected before walking right into the main bedroom.
Standing by the bedside, Bai Ruanqing looked at the withered face of an old man with a pained look. There was a gaping depression in his chest, and the flesh in that region had started rotting, emanating a pungent smell.
The eyes of this elder were tightly shut; even the earlier commotion was not enough to wake him up.
"Grandpa, you must get well," Bai Ruanqing muttered as she helped the elder up and poured the water in the jade bottle slowly into his mouth.
After she was done, she waited for a moment, but the rotting flesh showed no signs on improving at all. Slowly, Bai Ruanqing's face darkened.
"There is no spiritual energy at all, so the medicine is bound to be fake. Young Mistress, you mustn't listen to the words of these scammers in the future. Even the sect elders who specialize in medicine have tried treating the Old Master, but they were unable to do anything at all. Given so, how can medicine sold by mere disciples possibly be effective?"
Bai Feng sighed deeply
At that moment, a feeble voice was heard. "Cough cough cough... What did you just give me?"
Bai Ruanqing and Bai Feng's eyes slowly widened in shock before they hurriedly turned their gazes over. At some point in time, the unconscious Elder Bai Ye had opened his eyes once more.
He was still in a weak state, but he had finally regained consciousness after so long!