Chapter 26 – Chance Encounter

A week had now gone by since Flesc’s death.

Tired of staying in the inn room drowning himself in thoughts, Zilan decided to go for a short stroll around the city.

He breathed in the somewhat dry air with a light smile hanging on his face.

“Once I’m done buying the spirit herbs, I’ll go pay a visit to Uncle. He must be really worried; I didn’t even give him a good excuse.”

When Zilan thought about his Uncle, warm feelings of love, safety and kindness embraced his heart. However when he recalled how he had treated his dear uncle over the course of the past two weeks, Zilan couldn’t help but want to smack himself repeatedly.
He had failed to control his frustration when he found out Flesc had brought the book he had requested into the city. Major cities like Morning Dew had special methods meant to identify any illegal items from the Beast lands that had been smuggled in, that’s why Zilan knew that the only way Flesc got here with it was if he had illegally entered the city which meant he was a fugitive.

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As for why the item were not tracked back to Zilan, that probably had to do with Flesc’s false testimony once he was captured and tortured as well as the sealing capabilities of the voidless sack. Nevertheless, if Zilan hadn’t quickly made use of it and then destroyed it he would undoubtedly have been captured after some time.
Thankfully, he was not so patient as to give them the chance to lock down his location.
The blood and core were not important since any number of such things could be found at even the Merchant’s egg. The book however was highly illegal and was one of the things powerful humans tried their best to conceal from the public’s eye.

“Maybe the price that was paid this time was too great. Sigh, all I can do for your soul now is to wholeheartedly fulfil the task that was worth you laying down your life.”

With that thought, Zilan decided to stop thinking about the sad incidents of the past and instead focus on the future. After all, this was not his first time seeing people close to him perish thus with time he had become an expert at bottling up all those sorrowful emotions that were hindering him from moving forward.
It couldn’t be called healthy but it was effective! If his dark thoughts were left to wander freely then Zilan would have probably long ago ended his own life.
If not for a quote from Zaum that said, “Dying is as easy as taking a long slumber however living on no matter the obstacle requires strength beyond even the Heavens grasp!” Zilan wouldn’t have been able to pull himself out of the darkness.
………

Zilan casually strolled through the streets as he made his way towards the Merchant’s Egg. There he would purchase the materials needed to make the “Tembu Pain”.
Although he couldn’t necessarily be called rich, Zilan could still be considered reasonably wealthy.
In the past, he had used the advantage of his eyes to spot some hidden gems from the market place and then sold them to the Auction house thus amassing a fat wallet. So whatever it was that he wanted, he could probably purchase and if he didn’t have enough, now that he had his cultivation back Zilan could probably amass a fortune just from selling a handful of random potions.
However, he had no intention of doing that. Only a fool would attract so much attention to themselves.

Morning Dew city had very few spirit masters with even fewer inscription and alchemy masters. Therefore if Zilan suddenly took out bottles of potions which were regarded by many as treasures and then sold them, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that some of the higher powers of either the auction house or the Governor’s mansion would start monitoring his movements in order to find out the origin of those potions.

As he was almost arriving at his destination, Zilan unexpectedly caught a glimpse of a certain beautiful young lady. She was standing in front of a newly constructed stall with the name “One day offer on one of a kind spirit medicines and herbs.”

“Young lady, I don’t care who you are. Even if the Governor himself came here, he still wouldn’t be able to threaten me! As for this thousand year old ginseng….” The cloaked sickly old stall keeper paused as he stared at the ginseng in his hands. “It can’t be bought with money. Take out a spirit herb of equal value and it’s yours.”

Hula was getting frustrated with each passing minute. All she wanted was to buy a present that would cheer Zilan up as well as give her an excuse to go to the Inn, never would she have thought that a thousand year old ginseng would appear in a place like this. Unfortunately, the stall keeper was an insufferable old toad who not only refused to sell but kept giving out hints implying his status was way above hers.

“Why set up a stall if you aren’t going to sell? If you want to barter then why not head to the Auction house, I’m sure they’ll give you what you want!” scolded Hula.

“Just like you, those people are fools who think they have good eyes but in truth are better off selling them off.” snorted the old man.

Hula wanted to retort and curse at this old toad however, she needed something from him so self-restraint was key at this moment.

“You think I need this ginseng? The only reason I want it is because father once said that it could aid in the healing of injuries to the meridians. If I didn’t l..lo.v…e…..” Her entire face all the way to her neck instantly became red.

“Ehem, I’m taking a short trip to my house. Don’t sell the ginseng to anyone else, you hear?”

“Oh! I look forward to seeing what you’ll take out but as for whether I sell or not that depends on what I am offered. Hehe, don’t delay too much.” mocked the stall keeper.

Hula didn’t bother responding as she rushed to her house. Hopefully, she could find something as valuable as a thousand year old ginseng.

A few moments after Hula left, the old man suddenly turned towards Zilan’s direction and made a “come here” gesture with his hands.
Needless to say, Zilan was shocked beyond belief. All he did was listen in on their conversation from afar, as many others did. So then why was he singled out?

He thought about turning back and taking a different route around however, for the sake of it not happening again he wanted to find out what methods this cloaked man used.

“You have a relationship with that girl, yes?” asked the stall keeper in a much calmer tone.

Zilan tried to find any defining features other than the old man’s voice but unfortunately the cloak covered every inch of his body.

“How do you know that?” smiled Zilan.

“Oh! When you work in my field, a keen nose and a perceptive eye are just the basics but I’m sure you already know this.”

Zilan’s mind raced as he tried to avoid changing his expression,

“I don’t know what you mean.” said Zilan.

“No need to worry, for you to give off that smell. Your master has taught you well in the ways of alchemy!” exclaimed the man in admiration.
It has to be known, raising a disciple is already an expensive endeavour however, raising a disciple in the ways of the spirit, alchemy and inscriptions was in an entirely different realm compared to simple cultivation.  Unless one had extreme confidence in their disciple, there was no way they would willingly invest so much.

“What do you think of this ginseng?” asked the old stall keeper, a trace of anticipation in voice.

“May I touch it?”

“Sure, sure…here!”

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Zilan reached to grab the stalk only to be shocked beyond words once he touched it. Although he hadn’t opened any scorched gate, Zilan was still able to get one line of information from just touching the ginseng.

“Ten thousand year old Bone cleansing ginseng!”

This time Zilan couldn’t hide his change of expression.
Seeing Zilan so stunned, the old stall keeper laughed out in excitement. He had finally found someone in this small town who actually comprehended the depth of his ginseng.

“I’m sorry sir, but I cannot see through the age of this ginseng.” said Zilan as honestly as possible.

“It’s already good that you can tell it’s more than a thousand years old. Tell me who is your master?”

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