Chapter 317: Fire-Filled Array

    Chapter 317: Fire-Filled Array

    Translator: Novel Saga  Editor: Novel Saga

    "He he, our Heavenly Wu Gem Pavilion has stemmed from the Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce. So, Friend Mu will obviously be regarded as our old customer if he had been an honored customer of our Chamber of Commerce once. But, can Friend Mu show some proof of that?" The Manager was dumbfounded to hear his words at first. He then nodded and said.

    Shi Mu had no objection to this. He turned his hand, and took out an orange jade token from his Vast Earth Ring. An eight-faced monster pattern was engraved on the surface of this token. The pattern was exquisitely carved, and looked very lifelike.

    Shi Mu had received this jade token when he was in the Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce's Qu Yang City branch. He had entrusted a few tasks to Xu Lu there. And, Xu Lu had in-return sent a person to give this token to Shi Mu after the completion of the task. He had asked Shi Mu to take good care of it.

    The Manager received the jade token, and examined it with great attention. He then raised his head and said, "Yes, it is indeed the VIP token of my Chamber of Commerce. But, it seems that this thing has been issued by one of our Eastern Continent branches. Could it be that Your Excellency has come from the Eastern Continent?"

    "That's right. I had once been in the Qu Yang City of the Ancient Xia Country for a certain period of time. I had some business dealings with Elder Xu Lu there. And, he later bestowed this thing upon me," Shi Mu nodded, and replied.

    "So, Friend Mu is an old friend of Master Xu. I'm sorry for not showing due respect to you. My surname is Shi, and I'm the manager of this shop. Friend Mu is our distinguished guest. But, I would still request you to come inside with me for a talk," The Manager heard Shi Mu's reply, and became friendlier towards him.

    Manager Shi turned around, and walked up to a side door in the room. He then turned around, and made a gesture to invite Shi Mu.

    "You're too courteous," Shi Mu said, and walked into the side door.

    Manager Shi led Shi Mu to a private room. The decoration of the room looked very simple yet elegant. An attendant served them tea as soon as they reached there.

    "Can it be that Manager Shi is familiar with Master Xu Lu?" Shi Mu asked.

    "Master Xu is an outstanding and well-known expert of refining tools in our Chamber of Commerce. So, I naturally know about him. Besides, Master Xu had once come to the Western Continent almost ten years ago. I had consulted with him at that time in order to take some precious refining," Manager Shi replied with a smile.

    "This Mu has heard that the ancient Xi Xia country had gone through a great turmoil some time ago. I wonder if Manager Shi knows how the situation there is these days," Shi Mu asked.

    "I think Friend Mu is talking about the collaborated attack on the Eastern Dark Moon Cult by the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult and the Heavenly Demon Sect. I've also heard about that incident. The Eastern Dark Moon Cult has been destroyed in its entirety by the two forces. Also, Qu Yang City has changed beyond recognition after that incident. It can't be said how many years it might take to restore Qu Yang City to its original state," the Manager let out a sigh as he said.

    "Then, the branch of Chamber of Commerce in Qu Yang City is also..." Shi Mu said.

    "He he, that's not going to happen. Our Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce has been engaged only in business-related things from time immemorial. It has never taken part in the disputes between various forces. Therefore, most of the forces still give a little bit of respect to us. The Chamber of Commerce in Qu Yang City is still operating its business as before. Also, Master Xu is still blessing us with his presence there," the manager replied with a smile.

    "So, this is the case. I was very worried about this. The fact is that I didn't come to your store in order to inquire about the auction alone. I also wanted to know whether the task that I had entrusted before has been completed or not," Shi Mu said in a normal way on the surface. But, he had inwardly become even more curious to know about the background of the Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce.

    "Of course, please sit here and enjoy your tea for some time Friend Mu," Manager Shi nodded and walked out of the room with Shi Mu's orange jade token.

    Shi Mu picked up the cup of tea from the table, and took a sip of it. Meanwhile, a thoughtful look emerged on his face... It seemed as if he was contemplating something.

    Manager Shi returned after a moment. But, his facial expression looked a little strange this time.

    "May I know whether my entrusted task has been completed?" Shi Mu's brow wrinkled as he asked.

    "Friend Mu's entrusted task was to deliver a letter to a woman named Zhong Xiu, wasn't it?" Manager Shi asked.

    "Yes," Shi Mu replied.

    "The records maintained in our books state that this letter has been safely delivered. So, Friend Mu can feel relieved," Manager Shi said.

    "That's good. Is it possible to ask your Chamber of Commerce to help me in finding out something again? I want to know about Zhong Xiu's present condition. How is she now? Was she also affected by the war?" Shi Mu said.

    "This matter is a bit difficult to deal with. I don't know why... But, all information related to this woman has been sealed up by the Chamber of Commerce. I had tried to inquire about her, but found myself unable to pull out any information related to her," Manager Shi looked embarrassed when he said this.

    "Why is it so? Does Manager Shi know the reason behind this step?" Shi Mu's brows creased as he asked.

    "I'm sorry. I don't know the reason. I've told you about this in accordance to the records we keep," Manager Shi replied.

    Shi Mu's brows twitched upward, and he gazed at Manager Shi's appearance. But, the Manager didn't seem to be lying to him.

    "Is such a situation a common occurrence in your chamber of commerce? Or, is there any specific reason that can compel the Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce to seal up a person's information?" Shi Mu remained silent for a moment. Then, he asked in a roundabout manner.

    "This situation ought to be very rare. After all, this is the first time this humble man has come across such a situation. I can see that Friend Mu wants to know whether Zhong Xiu is safe or not. So, I must tell you that you don't have to worry about her safety. There might be something related to the Chamber of Commerce that has led them to conceal all information related to her," Manager Shi said.

    "Isn't there any way to crack the seal of Zhong Xiu's information? How many spirit stones do you want for that?" Shi Mu still looked reluctant to give up.

    "It's impossible. Our organization's rules are very strict. So, nothing can be done about this sealed information... even if you were to come up with a large number of spirit stones," Manager Shi shook his head.

    "Well, please notify me if there is any change in Zhong Xiu's situation. I don't care how many spirit stones are needed," Shi Mu said with a wry smile.

    "It's only natural. So, Friend Mu can rest assured. By the way... the Chamber of Commerce is going to hold the auction after two days. Friend Mu can come and take part in it if he's interested. This is the entry pass," the Manager said while taking out a golden card. Then, he passed that card to Shi Mu.

    "Will there be blood essence of high-ranked apes and monkeys at the auction?" Shi Mu asked while receiving the card.

    "The blood essence of apes and monkeys? The list of items that will be displayed at this auction doesn't seem to include this thing," The Manager revealed a surprised look first. Then, he shook his head and said.

    Shi Mu's heart got shrouded with an air of gloominess as he heard the reply. His luck seemed rather awful today since he hadn't heard anything good so far.

    Shi Mu didn't need to participate in this auction anymore since he wouldn't find the thing that he wanted.

    He was about to bid farewell to Manager Shi when something crossed his mind. Consequently, his eyebrows creased... He then asked again, "There's still one thing on my mind. I wonder if your Chamber of Commerce can help me with this."

    "Friend Mu, please feel free to ask whatever you want. I won't decline you as long as I'm capable enough to do it," Manager Shi said.

    "Mu wants to rent a fire room in this city. I wonder if you can help," Shi Mu asked.

    "A fire room? Such places are basically controlled by the Fierce Snake Tribe or by the Western Dark Moon Cult around here. Besides, our Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce isn't involved in weapon-forging and pills-refining work in this Peaceful Sun City. So, please accept my sincere apologies since this humble man can't help you with this matter either," the manager said in an apologetic manner.

    "Isn't your Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce considered omnipotent? Shi Tou asked you three things back-to-back. But, all you did was 'decline' every single of them using random excuses," Cai had been waiting on Shi Mu's shoulder quietly since the beginning. However, he suddenly opened his mouth at this time, and shouted at the Manager.

    Manager Shi cast a glance at Cai, and couldn't help exposing an awestruck look on his face. He then considered for a moment and asked, "What's the use of a fire room for Friend Mu? Can it be that you want to use the room for refining pills and tools? Or do you want it for some other use?"

    "Nothing of that sort... I need a fire room solely for my practice. The fact is that I practice a cultivation art that is a bit special, and requires an environment rich in fire-attribute spiritual energy," Shi Mu replied.

    "This man has another way to deal with this situation if this is the case. It might work out for you," Manager Shi said.

    "What is that other way?" Shi Mu's eyes brightened up.

    "Friend Mu, please wait a moment," Manager Shi turned around, and walked out of the room. He returned after almost a-quarter-of-an-hour with a worn-out book in his hand.

    "Friend Mu, please take a look at this book."

    Shi Mu received the book. "Making Unusual Arrays" was mentioned on the cover of this book; a few simple and unadorned ancient characters also reflected in his eyes.

    He flipped over the pages, and was pleasantly surprised to find that this thin booklet contained various kinds of magic spells. One of them was called the Magic Formula of Fire-Filled Array. This formula stated that a large number of Fire-attribute Stones and fire-attribute spirit stones could be used to create an atmosphere that was rich in fire-attribute spiritual energy. Also, this formula could form an array which could be placed on par with volcanoes when it came to the intensity of the fire-attribute.

    "It is said that a senior member of the Chamber of Commerce wanted to cultivate a kind of high-quality fire-attribute spirit grass. So, he did a thorough research in order to create an appropriate environment artificially. This formula was the outcome of his research. However, the amount of resources needed for this work was excessively large. In fact, the percentage of loss was far beyond that of the gain. So, this formula was eventually dropped. It's good that this formula has been handed down to us. And, I think that it should be able to serve Friend Mu's purpose," the Manager said.

    "This Fire-Filled Array is truly very useful to me. May I ask the number of spirit stones needed in exchange for this ancient book?" Shi Mu asked.

    "The magic formulas recorded in this book "Making Unusual Arrays" are rather obsolete and unpopular. In fact, it hasn't been asked for since many years. But, it seems to be useful to Friend Mu. So, this humble man can give it to you for only five-hundred spirit stones," Manager Shi said.

    Shi Mu readily paid the five-hundred spirit stones. Then, he departed from Heavenly Wu Gem Pavilion.

    He was so impatient that he started to study the Fire-Filled Array as soon as he returned to his dwelling place.

    The book stated that the number of Fire Star stones and fire-attribute spirit stones required to complete the formation of this magic array was indeed unimaginable. But, this would surely form a rich degree of fire spirit energy. In fact, it would be as rich as a fire spirit place when it came to the intensity of it.

    However, the fire-attribute spirit stones Shi Mu had in his stock were far below the minimum requirement for this magic array.

    The fire-attribute stones were primarily used to stabilize this magic array, and prevent the fire energy from over-dissipating. It could be said that the price was acceptable, but the required quantity was still excessively huge. So, he must have a large amount of money to gather these spirit stones.

    In addition, a massive consumption of fire-attribute spirit stones was also needed to complete this array. However, Shi Mu had squandered most of his savings these days. And, the little savings that he was left with could support him for only a small period of time.

    Shi Mu was trapped in this city for now, and he had no idea how long it would take to get out of here. But, it would be worth it if he could make a fire room and begin the practice of the Book of Flaming Red Ape's eighth stage.

    Therefore, Shi Mu had to find a suitable place to make a fire room on priority basis.

    He found a remote and secluded house in the city after two days with the help of a real estate agent.

    This house was situated in the northern region of the city; it was fairly large in size, but its price was considerably low.

    "This house is the perfect place for Senior Mu. It can satisfy all of Senior's requirements. In addition, this house is located far from the city. So, there will be no one to disturb you," the grey-dressed man said.

    This man's facial expression gave off an impression of a very cunning and sly man. However, he displayed a rather warm and cordial approach toward Shi Mu.

    Shi Mu took a glance at the abandoned house once, and then nodded.

    It didn't matter to him whether this place was remote or not. All he wanted was a place where he could practice without being disturbed.

    "This is it," Shi Mu said at a glance. He then paid the agent the spirit stones.

    The grey-dressed man's face glinted with happiness. He received the spirit stones, and then hurried away.

    "Shi Tou, you know that this is a haunted house. So, why do you want to take it?" Cai stood on Shi Mu's shoulder. He then said timidly while looking left and right.

    "It's cheap and secluded."

    "There is a ghost, a ghost... did you know that?"

    "I will catch the ghost if there is one. Besides, I have you by my side."

    "What? Do you want me to help you in capturing the ghost? I might not be able to do this thing... can't do, can't do...

    "That's even better. We'll stay here together with that ghost. I don't mind."

    "I think you've lost your mind."

    Shi Mu was taking pleasure in teasing Cai. Simultaneously, he was observing the house.

    There was a rumor attached to this house. It was said that many of the people who had lived here had disappeared very mysteriously. Consequently, a rumor had gradually spread in the vicinity that this house was possessed by an evil spirit.

    Such rumors obviously didn't have any effect on Shi Mu. However, these rumors seemed very vivid and realistic. So, Shi Mu was rather enjoying teasing and frightening Cai since the parrot was quite a coward.
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