"Damn, it was pretty gullible," Hu Bugui let out a secret sigh of relief.
He found this rusty bronze mirror armor along with the Emperor qi tile once when he had been exploring a huge grave. However, unlike the Emperor qi tile, the bronze mirror armor had completely lost its power. Hu Bugui made multiple attempts and even tried using the Emperor qi tile to shine on it, but he just couldn't activate the formation contained within the bronze mirror armor. He later managed to use some methods to confirm that the contents of the bronze mirror armor were damaged so other than the fact that it was a little sturdier, it couldn't do anything else.
Ye Qingyu didn't know whether to laugh or to cry.
The chief bandit didn't have much else on him but he had lots of these strange and exotic artifacts.
He had used his [Eyes of the Void] earlier to assess the bronze mirror armor and saw that while it was indeed an artifact from the Fiendgod Age, it had indeed lost its divine properties. He guessed that the Ferryman of the Netherworld probably accepted it because it liked the markings on the armor. Since it showed such interest in an artifact from the Fiendgod Age, could it also be from that era?
While he was contemplating, the headless scarecrow had stretched out its straw hand toward the mysterious man in a black cloak.
The mysterious man was already prepared and handed over a broken sword.
The broken sword was about the size of a palm and looked very old, with some rust stains on it. Its blade was not attached to its hilt and it looked like a chopper. It wasn't clear what its weapon grade used to be before it was broken but it didn't contain a divine aura. There were tiny cracks at the edge of the fuller along the blade, as though this blade was pieced together. There was also a strange formation symbol on the blade that glowed faintly red.
As Ye Qingyu looked at this broken sword, he felt that it seemed vaguely familiar but couldn't place his finger on it.
In summary, the broken sword looked very ugly, as though someone had casually snapped it off a rusty chopper.
However, since this broken sword belonged to that man in a black cloak, Ye Qingyu, the Four Stars holy girl and the others weren't naïve enough to assume that it was useless, neither did they think that this mysterious man was dumb enough to use this broken sword that looked like scrap material to mock the Ferryman of the Netherworld.
What happened next proved their suspicions right.
The Ferryman of the Netherworld hefted the broken sword in his hands, then after some hesitation, it stuffed this item into its chest.
This meant that the mysterious man's item had also met its requirements.
Next, it was Ye Qingyu's turn.
He was already prepared and took out a drop of Chaotic Lightning Liquid, sealed it into the shape of a pill, then handed it over.
This Chaotic Lightning Liquid was the relic of the Lightning Emperor Qin Ming and contained the purest and most primitive form of the power of thunder and lightning. It was an authentic Emperor grade item and this tiny drop contained the Emperor's Will. He had already thought of presenting this item earlier and refused to believe that the Ferryman of the Netherworld would deem this item worthless.
His speculation proved to be correct.
The Ferryman of the Netherworld was clearly pleased when it saw the Lighting Liquid Pill.
"Pretty good," it said as two ancient musical notes that sounded like thunder rumbling could be heard from its chest. It held the Lightning Liquid Pill with both hands, as though it was a precious treasure, then it placed the pill into its chest fondly.
Everyone looked astonished.
The headless scarecrow had weighed the scarlet mysterious fruit, the silver shuttle, and the bronze mirror armor and broken sword that it collected later, but it didn't comment on the items at all until Ye Qingyu gave it the purple Lighting Pill that was the size of a thumb. Clearly, that item had been the most valuable item it had received thus far.
On the other end, Thousand Illusion Elder remained silent.
He exchanged a glance with his companion and their hearts burned with jealousy. He couldn't help but call Ye Qingyu an idiot for handing over such a valuable item instead of any other item that could just pass for the ferry fare. So what if he managed to get the Ferryman of the Netherworld to comment on his item, would he be able to take a longer ride on this boat?
Then, it was silly dog Little Nine's turn.
That creature looked a little foolish and indignant as it said, "Wait a minute, listen to me." Then, it used its tail to point at Ye Qingyu, "This man is my human pet. Whatever you take from him is mine as well since we're in the same team. He he, brother, let's discuss? You wouldn't need to collect from me as well, right?"
It felt a little hopeful.
Unfortunately, the headless scarecrow didn't buy its explanation.
Two thin, withered straw tendrils stretched out from its palm and slowly curled toward the silly dog.
"Woof, wait a minute," The fur on its neck stood on end as it turned to Ye Qingyu and said, "Quick, human pet, give him another Lightning Pill."
Ye Qingyu shook his head speechlessly and took out a second Lightning Pill.
To everyone's surprise, the Ferryman of the Netherworld refused to take it from him.
Ye Qingyu and silly dog finally understood that this headless scarecrow was rather impartial. Every living creature had to pay their own 'ferry fare' and couldn't send a representative in their place, it didn't matter whether or not their designated representative was willing to pay the fare on their behalf.
Ye Qingyu's face turned pale.
Little Nine had also turned pale.
The situation was clearly not in its favor. All the while, its first choice had always been to immediately eat any treasure it saw, regardless of divine herbs, precious pills, Immortal pills, or extraordinary jades. Since it wasn't able to eat divine weapons, it had deemed them all to be worthless, so it didn't carry any treasure at all.
Who would have known that it would be in this predicament one day?
The withered straw tendrils slowly moved toward Silly Dog.
Ye Qingyu opened his palm and the [Blood Drinker Sword Pill] appeared, trembling slightly.
If the headless scarecrow truly meant to kill Little Nine, Ye Qingyu would definitely attack. He wouldn't be cowed even if this Ferryman of the Netherworld had the combat strength comparable to a Quasi-emperor. Despite their usual bickering, since he found Little Nine, this dog had rarely left his side, so Ye Qingyu treated it like family.
"Don't attack," the million-year-old soul said telepathically. "There's a treasure on Little Nine's body."
Ye Qingyu was slightly surprised.
By the time the million-year-old soul finished speaking, the withered straw tendrils from the headless scarecrow had already touched Little Nine's body.
"To hell with it, I'm going all in," Hu Bugui couldn't rein in his anxiety and activated the Emperor qi tile. He was going to try to save Little Nine. Even though Little Nine was always arguing with him and would bite his leg without warning, he still considered the silly dog a friend.
Ye Qingyu hastily held him back and shot him a glance that told him to remain calm.
The withered straw tendrils had climbed all over Little Nine's body…
"Help! A dog is being murdered, someone is murdering a dog…" Little Nine bellowed in rage and its body trembled as it prepared to expand and then fight with all his might. However, something strange happened then. The withered straw tendrils wrapped themselves around Little Nine's body but it wasn't suspended over the Heavenly River as the Human Race Saint had been earlier. Instead, the straw tendrils plucked a strand of dog fur from Little Nine's neck before they retreated.
The headless scarecrow kept the dog fur in its chest, then picked up the black, long poles that stuck out from the Heavenly River, and started to row the boat once more.
On the boat, a strange atmosphere hung in the air.
Even the silly dog itself was stunned.
What was going on?
Did plucking one strand of dog fur from it count as a treasure?
Why didn't the Ferryman pluck a hair from the head of the Human Race Saint earlier?
The Four Stars holy girl stared at Little Nine in astonishment.
She remembered this dog and recalled seeing this dog by Ye Qingyu's side on a couple of occasions but other than the fact that this dog looked a little goofy, it was basically a disaster. It didn't even have any extraordinary combat power, so she didn't take much notice of it, but now… She seemed to have made a mistake. Could the reason why Ye Qingyu had gone from a peasant from a lower domain to his current status be attributed to this dog?
Otherwise, how could an unknown Human Race peasant from the village without any legacy of his own enjoy such status and power right now? She couldn't think of any other explanation for Ye Qingyu's rise unless it had been an absolute miracle.
However, this hypothesis seemed too farfetched, right?
Did a dog really manage to groom a Human Race deputy spokesperson?
It didn't seem like it.
She glanced at the Third Prince of the Mizar Race.
Yin Kaishan was also looking at Little Nine in shock.
He had basically come to the same conclusion as the Four Stars holy girl.
The Ferryman of the Netherworld had let this dog off after plucking one strand of fur from it. What did this mean?
It meant that one strand of dog fur from Little Nine's body was as valuable as the exotic treasures everyone else had presented earlier.
This was a perfectly logical explanation but in reality, everyone found it hard to accept.
As they stared at Little Nine, their gazes gradually grew hotter. If its dog fur was this valuable, then wouldn't this dog be the most valuable war pet in the world? All of the fur on its body could be worth billions in total.
At that moment, even Ye Qingyu was a little dazed.
While it was true that the origins of this dog were unclear and there was a possibility that it could have originated from something powerful, whatever happened earlier was far too ridiculous.
Hu Bugui was already plotting to pluck some fur off this silly dog for further research.
"Woof, damn you. Are you a pervert? How dare you pluck my fur?" Little Nine finally reacted and started to curse loudly. "Plucking my fur is the equivalent of stripping my clothes from my body, you forcefully undressed me… This headless scarecrow is a pervert, I need to stay clear of him."
Then, it jumped onto Ye Qingyu's shoulder, looking terrified.
"Woof, chief bandit, you were pretty cool earlier when you showed your loyalty. Ha ha, I won't bite your ankles anymore in the future…" Little Nine turned to look at Hu Bugui, clearly very pleased that he had taken out his Emperor qi tile earlier in an effort to save it.
"It's good that you know now," Hu Bugui said with a friendly smile, his mind still on the matter of its dog fur.
Then Little Nine completed his sentence, "I'll bite some other body part instead."
Hu Bugui suddenly felt like strangling this silly dog.
Another hour passed as they joked amongst themselves.
Everyone's focus remained on Little Nine.
At that moment, the black mist on the river surface gradually dissipated.
Suddenly, the boat stopped.
"We're here," an ancient musical note sounded from the headless scarecrow's chest like a demonic dragon's howl. Then, it continued, "The first one to disembark is… you." It pointed its black pole toward the Human Race Saint next to Thousand Illusion Elder.
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