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Quan Ningyue smiled heartlessly. Yes, Gao Muya was one of the several grand artificers. Even using his secret, Xu Yangyi still wouldn’t be able to currently afford this price, even if he was richer.
Xu Yangyi smiled wryly. “No discounts?”
The little lolita wagged a finger right before him, squinting her eyes and laughing like a fox, “Even in the mortal world, there are no discounts at luxury stores. You seriously want a grand artificer to make a discount? You’re too stingy.”
Xu Yangyi laughed bitterly and shook his head. It wasn’t that he couldn’t pay out 300,000 medium-grade spirit stones, but… this was merely the cost of Grandmaster Gao Muya undertaking the project.
Artificing was never a matter of one-shot success. One could only pray for success in a single trial, but as for the prepared materials… Everyone was well aware that greater preparations weren’t certain to yield anything. This was an artificer’s red packet. Even Core Formation ancestors wouldn’t do such a thing.
If the refinement wasn’t a success on the first attempt, then the lord artificer certainly wouldn’t prepare the other materials for him. Xu Yangyi would still have to find them himself. It was truly unknown how many materials the Ketu-Rahu Sword would use.
“I’ll tell you some more bad news.” Quan Ningyue’s smile was very joyful as she saw that her successful commander was having some difficulties. She was quite unsympathetic. “My hand cost 5,000 high-grade spirit stones due to my Nine Yin Extremes bloodline…” she giggled and fell into her seat. “Jeez… figuring out how much I am isn’t easy… hahaha!”
“Ahem.” As an important figure in the Yangyu Fan Club, Peony was rather dissatisfied and lightly coughed, “You seem to be enjoying the misfortune.”
“How could that be… This is my satisfaction for doing the calculation for Commander… hahaha! Keke… cough… cough…”
Choking on a cookie, Quan Ningyue hacked fiercely. Peony eyed her pitifully, bemoaning the state of things. “You had that one coming to you.”
The airplane flew quickly. Gao Muya’s Dao sanctum was located in Beijing, not too far away from Mingshui Province. As they descended into the airfield, they were quickly harassed by two people as they left the airplane’s waiting lounge.
Two youths… a man and a woman. The man was rather handsome. His appearance was a little similar to… Who was it? Xu Yangyi didn’t remember, but it seemed to be a famous singer. The girl… How was it to be said… She was… appealing. One could see her careful application of makeup. Be it her blush, eye shadow, or lipstick, not a single aspect was lacking.
This was a very attentive woman with a love for aesthetics. Still… this was unable to mask her body weight of 85 kilograms!
“Woah…” Just as the woman approached Xu Yangyi, her high heels stopped, and she toppled over onto the ground.
Mhm, when a woman fell over, a man was bound to lend her hand, but… the handsome fellow at the side didn’t even glance at her. He came forward and gave Xu Yangyi a bear hug.
“Brother Xu! You’re so handsome! I love you to death! Do you know how long I prepared once I heard you were coming?! I was still worrying yesterday if the outfit I’m wearing would offend you! My idol! You don’t know…”
“Seventh Junior Brother.” Quan Ningyue’s icy voice interrupted him. “Third Senior Sister was enough. Why have you come as well?”
The handsome fellow didn’t even look at Quan Ningyue. Even ghosts could hear how half-hearted he was as he said, “Oh, Fifth Senior Sister, you’re back… Brother Xu, I’ll tell you that there are ten of us disciples—seven of them are guys—and they all want to meet you! Even if you don’t meet them, they’ll definitely ask for an autograph! Fuck me! Danxia Temple! The Danxia Temple deadland! I finally got to see a living person today… Hey… Senior Sister, if y-you have something to say—let go of me! Don’t be in such a rush to get me!”
Quan Ningyue pulled his ear and said in displeasure, “Lead the way.”
“Really.” The handsome fellow snorted. “I just got to meet the idol I’ve only seen a couple times, and I didn’t even manage to get off a few sentences… Hurry up and reincarnate or go hurry off to a funeral…”
“You wanna die?” Without a modicum of etiquette, Quan Ningyue sent a kick towards the knee area of her apprentice-brother’s bright, clean black suit.
“Hey? Where’s Third Senior Sister?” the handsome fellow immediately shifted topics. “Didn’t she come together with me? Is she still spending half the day doing her makeup? Oh, that’s right, Brother Xu. She’s also your fan! She’s in that something Yangyu Army! She’s really fanatical! She switched her body pillow from pikachu to you!”
I keep on feeling that something’s not right here… The crook of Xu Yangyi’s mouth twitched. “Hehe, thanks for the love…”
“No problem!” Stars promptly radiated from the handsome fellow’s eyes. “Our body pillows are the same as well!”
“Junior Brother…” Cold as frosted ice, a voice was heard from the handsome fellow’s side. Third Senior Sister was looking at him, the emotions swimming below her mask of calm unknown. “Good… When we get back, we’ll have to slowly settle debts again.”
She turned her head and looked at Xu Yangyi, her smile just like a peach blossom in full bloom. “Commander Xu, I’m your fan. Our duty is to erase any website that has a negative opinion of you. Anyone that doesn’t like you is our fan club’s enemy!”
“Hehe…” Xu Yangyi laughed, “thanks.”
“Rest assured.” Third Senior Sister gazed at his left arm. “Master will certainly be able to fix you up. He was able to fix Junior Sister Quan. Yours is just an arm. W-We’ll try to persuade him to cut down the price…”
“Thanks.” Xu Yangyi said, “But the body pillow…”
“Relax, Master is good to us!” the handsome fellow quickly added.
“Thanks, but the body pillow…”
“Oh wow, look at me, you still haven’t rested yet, right, Brother Xu? C’mon, I’ll take you to a few residences!”
Alright… It was fine to just let the body pillow business die in the gullet. It seemed that their selective-ignoring skills were already a bit full.
The group walked over to the entrance of a courtyard house. The building could already be labeled a cultural relic. Third Senior Sister’s and the handsome fellow’s expressions turned grave, and they bowed. “Commander Xu, although we want to follow you in, Master has been busy recently forging a very difficult-to-use magik artifact for some demon clan. He’s forbidden us from entering…”
“Thanks.” Xu Yangyi smiled and nodded. He and Quan Ningyue pushed the door open together and walked in. Yet as he pushed the door open, he fell into a daze. To his surprise, there were many people seated inside.
Some wore changpaos and some wore suits. Some wore tunic suits, and some wore cloth. Regardless, each person looked at the new arrival. With a glance, they caused Xu Yangyi’s spiritual sense to feel as if it was being pinched by a giant hand! A ruthless jolt!
Xu Yangyi inhaled deeply. He didn’t evade and moreover lose himself to fear. On the contrary, he looked at each person.
All together, there were seven people present. None of them were young. Even if the youngest seemed to be a thirty-somewhat-year-old man, his eyes were still brimming with years of great vicissitudes, azure seas to mulberry fields. Xu Yangyi immediately understood that in this place… there were seven Foundation Establishment cultivators sitting down!
This was the face of a grand craftsmaster, the esteem!
You wish to forge an item? Sure, line up. Don’t talk to me that you’re so-and-so of some clan, there’s still a Core Formation cultivator ahead of you waiting in line. You don’t want to line up? You want to cut the line? Alright, let’s see if everyone else won’t slap you to death!
And with no tea brought out or presents to give, you’ll just have to wait in line in this courtyard whether you like it or not while I’m inside artificing. No? Alright, look for better somewhere else. With Grandmaster Gao here, you and the clan behind you don’t need to come ask around in the future.
Of course, this was only directed to cultivators of somewhat weak reputation, usually rogue cultivators or clan retainers away from home. True leaders were like half-step Core Formation, the master of an organization, or even Core Formation Dao Masters. Lining-up was lining-up; these figures had another private room.
If his Pill Dao succeeded, Xu Yangyi could also be this awesome! This extravagant! Who would dare say a word!
He curbed his train of thought and slightly bowed towards everyone. “Junior greets all the Seniors.”
“Branchmaster Xu?” A round-faced Foundation Establishment cultivator laughed. “A model talent. This Throne has a peculiar matter. I do not know whether Branchmaster Xu is willing to answer or not.”
“I cannot match the two words of ‘branch master’.” Xu Yangyi laughed, neither haughty nor humble. “If Senior has some question and I know, I will certainly do my best to answer.”
An old, wrinkled-faced man raised his head and dipped his head in approval. “Neither arrogant nor hot-tempered, with the degree of freedom to advance or retreat. Calm and composed, regardless of whether your fortune dictates it so. There are not many among the younger generation with this bearing.”
The round-faced Foundation Establishment cultivator laughed as he nodded. “Branchmaster Xu, about your Danxia Temple journey this time. This is the first time I’ve even paid such attention to a junior. I’m just unaware…” he paused and said with outward leisure, “how are you planning to fill in your lost forces?”
Xu Yangyi laughed, “To answer Senior, I chose the best the first time. It’ll still be choosing the best this time.”
The round-faced cultivator said with a smile on his face, “I have a disciple. His talents are outstanding and his comprehension is extremely high. He will surely enter Branchmaster Xu’s discerning eye.”
Xu Yangyi coolly eyed the round-faced cultivator. This man was able to line up here, but Xu Yangyi didn’t see that he was sitting in this courtyard. Nevertheless, this cultivator’s status wasn’t too low at all. Even if his status wasn’t high, his clan resources were definitely still generous. But…
How was this damn business related to him? Could it be that these great Foundation Establishment cultivators believed… that if Gao Muya wanted them to line up in this place, then Commander Xu wasn’t needed to make a selection here?
“Senior,” Xu Yangyi said indifferently. “The Xingtian Legion chose the best last time. We'll still be choosing the best in this occasion. If Senior has confidence in your disciple, Junior will take special note of him.”
This wasn’t saying anything to a Foundation Establishment cultivator.
“Junior.” At this time, a woman smiled. “Do you know… who he is?”
Xu Yangyi slightly bowed. “Ordinarily, Junior has very little contact with the cultivation circle. I have eyes but fail to recognize Mount Tai. I do not know.”
“Since you know of Mount Tai…” The round-faced cultivator’s smile vanished, and he gazed at Xu Yangyi with a smile that wasn’t a smile. “Are you not intending to sell Mount Tai this meager face?”
Xu Yangyi’s gaze flashed. In an instant, his heartbeat slowed down a little bit. He was calm and collected, unchanging. The other… was actually releasing Foundation Establishment spiritual pressure!
This time, Xu Yangyi didn’t speak. With a crash, a door opened, and an old man walked out. Even though he was donned in an ancient cloth gown, his essence was hale and hearty. He glanced dimly at the Foundation Establishment cultivators. “What, where do all of you take this place for?”
“Grandmaster Gao, I, Wang, have a gift here.”
“Grandmaster Gao, how can you leave during your busy schedule?”
“Hehe…” Gao Muya didn’t look at Xu Yangyi at all. Instead, his eyes deeply scraped through everyone else like an old eagle. A beard was left on his lean face. Following his laughter, his beard floated up. “I can’t leave?”
“If I can’t leave… am I just supposed to let all of you have your way and bully This Throne’s junior?!” At his final word, his voice abruptly rose. His pupils were lightning, sweeping through several people.
1. Red packet is something like a nice bonus, sometimes used to express goodwill.
2. “You had that one coming to you.” Literal Chinese is “self sin, can’t live” (自作孽，不可活). Something of a phrase.
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