Xiulan pouted and retorted, ”you saw me at the market today. Before long I will be rich. Most importantly however I can make your cultivation soar if you stay with me. I cannot fight the way you can my only defence is what you saw today with that servant and that is not with out cost. ”
Yen Wen giggled, ”shouldn we exchange names before you offer to make me a rich woman? ”
Xiulan blushed. She had forgotten that Yen Wen did not have appraisal vision like her, ”my name is Long Xiulan, and I am going to be the worlds best merchant. ”
Yen Wen sat up and reached out her hand to shake, ”Well met Long Xiulan. I am Yen Wen and I gladly accept your offer.
The duo slept under the stars that night and reconvened for a meeting the next morning.
”I think the best start for us would be to gather some more furs and hides from the mountains. I can turn those into silver easily, ” said Xiulan.
Yen Wen huffed, ”considering that we had to leave Rockcreek without any food or supplies we would be best off by going to my village first anyway.
Xiulan reddened at the reference to their sudden departure but agreed. Yen Wens village was not that far away so they set out for it. After hiking for a few hours, they reached a village as they came to the base of the mountain proper.
Several children ran out to great them, and Yen Wen lifted one of the boys up onto her shoulder. It was not a large village. Fewer than one hundred people overall. There was only one large hut that Yen Wen gave a wide berth.
Shooing the children away Yen Wen led Xiulan to a small hut, ”wait here, ” said an oddly morose Yen Wen. She then disappeared into the hut through the deer skin flap. Xiulan looked around the village and noted that the all the adults particularly the woman looked miserable. Perhaps there was another reason beside Xiulan herself that made Yen Wen so keen to leave.
Soon Xiulan had her answer as she saw several men approach. There was a large man in the front of the group that was dressed far more lavishly than the other villagers. Xiulan appraised him and saw:
Village Chief Qin Rong – First level Qi Condensation, Level Two forced Spiritual Roots. Worth 100 Gold coins. Double to eliminate.
The chief swaggered up to Yen Wens hut and then leered at Xiulan. ”Where is the Wen woman? ” he demanded.
Xiulan blinked and then looked around at the small village and then at Yen Wens small hut in an overdone way. Clearly, she was saying that Yen Wen was in her hut.
The chief huffed in annoyance and then shouted, ”Yen Wen get out here. ”
The flap opened and Yen Wen stepped out carrying several packs. She dropped them at her feet and gave the chief a cool stare, ”yes chief? ” questioned Yen Wen in a light tone.
The chief eyed her bags and equally coolly asked, ”going somewhere? ”
Yen Wen smirked ”yes chief. I am leaving to make my fortune. You will finally be the only cultivator in the village. Just as you have always wanted. ”
The chiefs mouth twitched, ”did you ask my permission to leave Yen Wen. Your meat will be needed come winter. Also, I have not chosen a third wife yet. ”
He said this last with a suggestive smile. Yen Wen did not reply immediately. Instead, she bent down to recover her bags and began to walk away. Catching Xiulans hand in her own as she moved. The chiefs face went red with anger and he raised a hand to stop Yen Wen.
Yen Wen released Xiulan, raised her own now free hand, and caught the chiefs. Yen Wen proceeded to force the chief to his knees and exerting more pressure brought him to the edge of breaking bone, The chief to his credit did not scream but only grunted and went pale with fright.
He then whispered, ”second level. ” As if disbelieving and fell to his side. Yen wen snatched Xiulans hand again and then left the village.
Affter the village passed out of their sight Yen Wen said, ”I would kill him but without his cultivation the villagers would not survive the winter. The heavens were blind when they let him inherit his fathers title.
Xiulan said nothing but gave Yen Wens hand a firm squeeze.
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