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Tower of Myriad Immortals

7

Chapter 7- Making a Deal

10

Tae-yang moved through the treacherous terrain with remarkable ease and speed, his improved cultivation granting him an almost supernatural agility. The poisonous plants that once posed a threat now seemed to wilt at his touch, their toxins powerless against his detoxified body.

 

As he journeyed, Tae-yang marveled at the potency of the Heavenly Clarity Pill, its effects still evident in his enhanced state.

 

He felt invincible, his steps sure and steady as he navigated the poison-ridden land. From a distance, his clan's home appeared like a tiny green dot in the sea of dark red land.

 

The further he traveled from their territory, the more he noticed the poison dissipating. The poisonous plants grew fewer and fewer, and the air no longer carried the same pungent smell.

 

The water in the rivers was clearer, with less toxicity. It was as if the poison's influence waned the further he moved away from his clan's land.

 

This change was a welcome relief for Tae-yang, who had grown used to the constant threat of poison.

 

After 17 days of arduous travel, he finally reached the makeshift port that their clan had created.

 

Approaching the small, dilapidated boat he often used to cross the river and reach the nearest city of Hwanmongsi, Tae-yang couldn't help but think it was time to look for a newer, sturdier vessel. The surrounding area was desolate and empty, with no signs of human life for miles around.

 

The journey to the grand city of Hwanmongsi would be a long one. Tae-yang survived by catching fish and cooking them over a fire created with his aura, conserving every bit of money he had.

 

The funds given to him by the patriarch were just enough to pay the toll and enter the city. He had some extra cash, but he had plans for it. After three days of sailing, it was time for him to travel on land once more.

 

After nearly 25 days of travel, Tae-yang finally saw the massive, imposing gates of the city in the distance. The gates were guarded by people in the initial stages of the Soldier class, and Tae-yang occasionally saw people being turned away by the guards.

 

Tae-yang felt a twinge of guilt as he watched people being driven away from the city gates, knowing he was in a similar position.

 

He approached the massive gates of Hwanmongsi, his eyes drawn to the imposing guards. As he neared, one of the guards stopped him, asking for proof of identity. Tae-yang hesitated, knowing that his clan, the Han Clan, had been banished from the city years ago.

 

"Han Clan?" the guard sneered, laughing and exchanging a knowing look with his colleagues. "What a bunch of trash. The sinners of the empire."

 

Tae-yang gritted his teeth, trying to keep his anger in check. He had always expected this treatment, but it still stung.

 

Just then, he saw a familiar face among the guards. It was someone he had known from the war—an errand boy who had now risen to the rank of head security.

 

"Tae-yang, is that you?" the man called out. "Look at you, still trying to cling onto your clan's scraps. Pathetic."

 

Tae-yang forced a smile, trying to play it cool. "It's good to see you, old friend," he said through gritted teeth. "I'm just here to run some errands."

 

The man snorted. "Well, good luck with that. You'll need it."

 

With a final sneer, the man turned and walked away. Tae-yang couldn't let this encounter discourage him. Tae-yang brushed the ridicule aside, focusing on the task at hand.

 

He needed information, the best place to get it- the pub.

 

Entering the pub, Tae-yang was immediately hit with the strong smell of alcohol and sweat. The place was packed with people, all chatting and laughing loudly as they ordered drinks from the busy bartenders.

 

He made his way to the counter and ordered the cheapest liquor available, silently grimacing at the foul taste as he took a sip.

 

He scanned the room, taking in the various conversations happening around him. One group in particular were talking about a silly rumor.

 

"I heard that the city's richest merchant turned into a demon overnight!" one man exclaimed, his eyes wide with excitement.

 

Tae-yang tried to control his laughter at the absurdity of the rumor.

 

He knew better than most that these kinds of stories were usually blown out of proportion. Still, it was entertaining to listen to the various theories and speculations being thrown around. He decided to take a seat and listen in on the conversation for a while longer.

 

Tae-yang sat quietly in his corner of the pub, nursing his cheap liquor as he listened to the conversation of two men sitting not too far from him.

 

"Did you hear about the auction that's happening on the second night of the month?" said one of the men.

 

"Yeah, I did. I heard it's going to be the biggest auction in years. They say they're selling a rare metallic material imbued with the power of ice, blessed by the feather of the Ice Qilin," replied the other man.

 

Tae-yang was intrigued by the conversation. The prospect of selling their Heavenly Clarity Pills at such a grand auction seems to be a great solution.

 

He approached the two men with a friendly smile, trying to appear as non-threatening as possible.

 

"Excuse me, gentlemen. I couldn't help but overhear your conversation about the auction happening in two nights' time. I'm actually in town to sell some items myself, and I was wondering if you might have any information about the event."

 

The two men looked at Tae-yang skeptically. They exchanged glances before one of them gestured to the empty seat at their table.

 

"Sure, take a seat. What do you want to know?"

 

Tae-yang sat down. He reached into his pocket and withdrew one Earth coin, sliding it across the table toward the two men. He understood that there was no free meal in this world; you must give something to gain something.

 

"I was just wondering if you might have any information about what's going to be sold," Tae-yang said "I heard something about a rare metallic material imbued with the power of ice. Is that true?"

 

The two men looked at the coin and then at Tae-yang, their expressions softening slightly.

 

"Yeah, that's true," the first man said."Apparently, it's been blessed by the feather of an Ice Qilin."

 

Tae-yang nodded. He knew he had to be careful with his next question. He just acted interested about the Ice Qilin sword.

 

"Do you know who's managing the auction?" he asked, trying to sound casual.

 

The two men looked at each other again before the second man spoke up.

 

"Rumor has it that it's being managed by a member of the Ryu Clan," he said in a low voice. "But that's just a rumor. No one really knows for sure."

 

 

Tae-yang left the crowded pub and navigated through the streets of the city, his eyes scanning for any empty alleys or secluded areas. As he turned down a particularly shadowy lane, he spotted a small alcove hidden behind a stack of crates.

 

Perfect, he thought to himself.

 

He made his way over to the alcove and quickly began to change his clothes, pulling out a set of garments from his pack. He then set to work altering his appearance, using a face alteration technique he had learned during his time in the war.

 

It was a tricky technique to master, but it had proven useful in various situations. After a few minutes of careful work, Tae-yang had transformed himself into a completely different person, unrecognizable to anyone who knew him.

 

Satisfied with his disguise, he set off once again to seek out the person in charge of the upcoming auction.

 

Tae-yang strutted into the Ryu Clan's store, dressed in his finest hanfu, a luxurious robe with flowing sleeves and intricate embroidery.

 

Despite its age, it was well-maintained. His confidence was apparent as he approached the female attendant, who greeted him with a respectful bow.

 

He barely gave her a passing glance, acting as if he was used to such deference and expected nothing less. He was the picture of imposing presence, a man who had seen and accomplished great things in his life.

 

The female attendant tried to stop him, but Tae-yang barked at her to fetch the owner of the store immediately.

 

His hanfu billowed behind him as he walked, his steps echoing with authority. He stood tall in the middle of the store, his eyes narrowed as he glared at the attendant.

 

"I said, call the owner of this store. I have no time for your petty excuses. I am here on important business, and I won't be kept waiting."

 

The attendant hesitated for a moment, her hands shaking as she fumbled for an excuse.

 

"I-I apologize, sir. It's just that the young master of the Ryu Clan is a very busy man, especially with an event that he is preparing. I'm afraid he doesn't have time to see just anyone."

 

Tae-yang let out a huff of frustration.

 

"Do you know who I am? I am from the Zhuge Clan. I have no time to waste on the likes of you. Now call your master, or I'll make sure to report your insolence to the clan leader himself."

 

The female attendant's face paled at the mention of the guest's status, and she quickly scurried away to fetch the young master of the Ryu Clan.

 

A few moments later, a handsome young man with sharp features and a commanding presence entered the store.

 

"I am Ryu Byeol-ha, the owner of this humble establishment. How may I be of service to you, sir?"

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