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Chapter 351: Rumors Spring Up From Everywhere

    Chapter 351: Rumors Spring Up From Everywhere

    Translator: Novel Saga  Editor: Novel Saga

    "Elder Zhong, you are responsible for the value of the goods which were dispatched under your custody. I hope you are very clear about this," Wang Rui Kun said to Zhong Xiu.

    Zhong Xiu didn't speak anything. She just nodded gently in response.

    "Have you made any positive progress to resolve this matter?" Wang Rui Kun asked again.

    "I have found some clues. But, I haven't got my hands on any solid evidence yet. So, I'd better stay silent in order to avoid being misunderstood," Zhong Xiu said.

    "You are deliberately trying to complicate this matter!" the enchanting woman said with a cold snort.

    "Elder Zhong, I can see that you insist on recapturing the goods by yourself. But, this Old Man feels that it's rather like constraining yourself to do something that's beyond your power. You shouldn't forget that the opposite party has dared to rob the goods of our Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce. This indicates that the people behind this matter are not as simple as we think. So, let's do it like this. Let's assume that Elder Zhong succeeds in finding some solid clues or evidence of these robbers... Our Chamber of Commerce will come forward and negotiate with the owner of those goods in order to recover our goods." Wang Rui Kun took a moment of consideration before putting his point forth.

    "I think that Elder Zhong must find some conclusive evidence within half-a-month since the Chamber of Commerce will have to come forward for the negotiations. After all, she will need to leave sufficient time for the Chamber of Commerce to respond and deal with the subsequent processes. Otherwise, the Chamber of Commerce will be seen as very passive. Elder Zhong will be held responsible for solving this matter on her own if it surpasses half-a-month," the enchanting woman said.

    "Elder Zhao's proposal sounds reasonable to me. But, the deadline of half-a-month is a little too pressing. I think twenty days will be fine," Wang Rui Kun said while looking at Zhong Xiu.

    "Thank you for your understanding, Vice President Wang. But, it's entirely my responsibility to take care of this matter. So, I shouldn't allow the Chamber of Commerce to undertake this matter on my behalf. We still have more than a month from the date of delivery. Zhong Xiu is ready to accept any punishment if she fails to retrieve the goods before the appointed time," Zhong Xiu replied, but the expression on her face remained unchanged.

    Zhong Xiu's statement left Wang Rui Kun and the enchanting woman stunned for a moment. They apparently hadn't expected that Zhong Xiu would reply in such a straight and simple manner.

    After all, it was obvious that the Chamber of Commerce's official intervention might solve some of the issues very easily.

    Let's assume for the time being that the Chamber of Commerce couldn't retrieve the goods... However, it was still capable of gathering all the goods apart from the Star Stone. As for the Star Stone - it couldn't be found anywhere. In fact, it was a treasure that could only be discovered by sheer luck. But, the Chamber of Commerce's internal strength couldn't be overlooked either. So, there was still a possibility that it could obtain the Star Stone if it was willing to pay a high price for it.

    However, Zhong Xiu obviously wouldn't be able to escape from her responsibility if the Chamber of Commerce stepped-in to resolve this matter. And, it was also hard to say that there would be no variables in her 50 years of service time.

    This was something Shi Mu was unwilling to see. So, he had already considered this matter thoroughly before arriving here.

    However, the most important point was it that was very difficult for them to find solid evidence that could uncover the secret involvement and conspiracy of the Dark Moon Cult.

    "Elder Zhong, you genuinely don't want the Chamber of Commerce's support?" Wang Rui Kun asked after a little consideration.

    The enchanting woman looked at Zhong Xiu with an idiotic look on her face. It seemed as if she was thinking that Zhong Xiu didn't know what was good for her.

    "Yes." Zhong Xiu nodded.

    "Well, then let it be since Elder Zhong is so confident about it. But, we must keep this matter confidential before any further action is taken. After all, this is directly related to the Chamber of Commerce's reputation. So, we can't disclose it for the time being," Wang Rui Kun nodded in agreement.

    "I understand," Zhong Xiu replied.

    "Oh, by the way... the Chamber of Commerce has already arranged accommodation for both of you. I will ask someone to usher you to that place in a while," Wang Rui Kun said.

    "Thank you, Vice President Wang. This Zhong Xiu takes her leave now."

    Zhong Xiu and Wang Rui Kun made a bow with hands folded in front to bid farewell to each other. After that, she walked out of the door with Shi Mu.

    "Master, I think this girl is reluctant to admit her mistake. She might not know anything about the people who've robbed those goods. But, she still wants to make a useless attempt to recover the stolen goods. It's simply whimsical!" the enchanting woman looked at Zhong Xiu's receding silhouette from behind, and said with a cold snort.

    "There hasn't been peace in the outside world over the past six months. Such an incident had occurred in the Likun City's Sub-altar some time ago as well. Someone had robbed the goods of the Sub-altar there. After that, similar incidents occurred in Wuba, Qisa, and many other cities in quick succession. And now, the same kind of problem eventually took place in the Peaceful Sun City. It seems at first that some local barbarian tribes are involved in these plundering. But, this may not be the truth in my opinion. There should be some big force behind this. However, Zhong Xiu wants to settle this issue by herself. And, I think she happens to come at the right time. I think she may uncover some vital clues pertaining to this issue." Wang Rui Kun said in a thoughtful manner.

    "Master, do you genuinely believe this Zhong Xiu can keep her words?" The enchanting woman's facial expressions made it seem as if she wasn't convinced.

    "It would be a good thing for the Chamber of Commerce if Zhong Xiu genuinely turns out successful in recovering the goods. After all, she's a person of remarkable capabilities. Otherwise, the President of the Chamber of Commerce wouldn't have thought highly of her. And, he would've never allowed her to compete with you for the position of the special envoy to the Demon race. She will obviously lose her qualification for that competition if she returns empty-handed," Wang Rui Kun stood up, gazed out of the window, and said in a calm tone.

    "So, it looks like Master has genuinely thought it through!" the enchanting woman looked delighted when she said.

    ... ...

    Only a few days had passed since Shi Mu and Zhong Xiu had left the Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce's Headquarters. However, the news had already begun to spread throughout the Rising Sun City that Zhong Xiu - the member of the Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce - had lost the entrusted goods.

    People held different opinions on this matter. Some people believed that it was the Demon race's doing. And, some people said that there were some barbarian forces which weren't satisfied with the Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce being a sole big entity. Some people even said that it was an act of embezzlement. In short, various versions of rumors were floating in the entire Raising Sun City.

    However, there was one thing in-common in the midst of all these rumors - Zhong Xiu, a high-ranked Elder of the Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce had returned to the Rising Sun City. But, there was no trace of the batch of goods that she had been put in-charge of...

    In the Clay Street's warehouse...

    "It seems that this matter has finally circulated in this city. Fortunately, we have set these things ready," Zhong Xiu gazed at the fully-loaded eight Floating Cloud Carriages in front, and said with a soft sigh.

    "Don't worry. It would've happened sooner or later. In fact, it's not a bad thing for us if this matter spreads in the city at such a fast speed," Shi Mu took a moment of consideration before he replied.

    "But Big brother Shi, we are in the light while the enemy is in the dark. This thought always leaves me with a strange uneasiness in my heart," Zhong Xiu said.

    "It's nothing; don't think much about it!" Shi Mu extended his hand and held Zhong Xiu's. Then, he patted her hand gently to comfort her.

    ... ...

    There was a rumor that the goods which were being escorted by the Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce's Zhong Xiu had been plundered. However, neither the Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce showed up to refute the rumor... nor did Zhong Xiu appear even though she was directly involved in this case. Consequently, this matter spread quickly throughout the city under the deliberate intention of some people.

    Two days later... two unexpected visitors appeared outside the door of the Heavenly Wu's black pavilion.

    One of them looked like a 30-or-40-year-old man. His eyes were blue, and his hair was brown. He had a tall and sturdy stature. He was the current Lord of the Rising Sun City. He was also the Chief of the Mystical Eagle Tribe - Elder Linghu Kuan.

    As for the other man... Shi Mu would've been thunderstruck to see this person if he were here. This person had embarked on the journey to the Western Continent with Liu An that very day - he was Palace Lord Di Feng!

    "City Lord Linghu, you have honored us with your gracious presence. This Old Man is deeply sorry for not coming out to give you a proper welcome! By the way... this person is?" Wang Rui Kun hastily arrived at the entrance as soon as he received the notification. He then clasped his hands towards Linghu Kuan, and said with deep veneration. His eyes then fell on the person who stood beside Linghu Kuan. So, he asked out of curiosity.

    "This is Altar Lord Di of the Dark Moon Cult. He's in-charge of the Sub-altar which is situated in the Wind-Splitting Cliffs," Linghu Kuan said.

    "So, it turns out to be Altar Lord Di; nice to meet you!" Wang Rui Kun put on a smile, and greeted the opposite party with his hands folded in the front when he heard his introduction.

    "Vice President Wang, I don't wish to beat around the bush... I have come here to seek confirmation about the matter that is making a buzz throughout the city nowadays," Linghu Kuan got straight to the point and said.

    "This Old Man has been occupied with some matters of the Chamber of Commerce. So, I haven't had the time to step out of the door. Consequently, I don't know about the matter City Lord Linghu is trying to talk about..." Wang Rui Kun said.

    "I'm talking about the matter related to the robbery of the goods that Peaceful Sun City's City Lord You Can has entrusted to your noble Chamber of Commerce," Linghu Kuan glanced at Wang Rui Kun and said.

    "Respected City Lord, I have no idea where this kind of news has surfaced from," Wang Rui Kun replied.

    "Vice President Wang doesn't need to know where this news came from. City Lord Linghu and I only wish to confirm whether the goods sent under the Chamber of Commerce's custody have been lost?" Di Feng suddenly took the lead and said.

    "This Old Man genuinely doesn't know about this matter. We might as well move to the room to talk about it in detail," Wang Rui Kun proposed as he noticed that some people had started gathering around.

    Linghu Kuan and Di Feng looked at Wang Rui Kun, but they didn't budge an inch.

    "Both of you should know that the Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce puts the highest amount of emphasis on credibility while doing business. So, I assure you that we will compensate both of you thrice the original price - according to the rule - if the matter you just mentioned is genuinely true. However, my knowledge suggests that the agreed date of delivery hasn't arrived yet. So, I request both of you to keep calm, and not lose your temper. Please wait patiently. And, don't pay attention to those rumors and slanders," The smile on Wang Rui Kun's face gradually melted away. But, he still spoke with deep veneration when he saw that more and more people were gathering in the surrounding.

    Wang Rui Kun didn't mention the matter of loss of goods even once. Even his face carried a noncommittal look the entire time. Wang Rui Kun's approach obviously left Linghu Kuan skeptical about this matter. The fact was that Linghu Kuan wouldn't have come here to denounce the Chamber of Commerce publicly if this matter hadn't been mentioned by Di Feng.

    Rumors were indeed floating everywhere in the city. But, the Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce's reputation was far heavier than these floating rumors. Besides, Wang Rui Kun had given his words for the compensation of loss in case the goods had genuinely been plundered. And, such assuring thoughts filled Linghu Kuan's heart with great relief.

    Linghu Kuan still stood on the stairs of the opposite party. But, his facial expression looked a little relaxed now. He then exchanged a few casual words with Wang Rui Kun. After that, he departed along with Di Feng.

    Wang Rui Kun gazed at their receding silhouettes, and a complex look surfaced in his eyes.

    The fact was that he wasn't confident whether Zhong Xiu could recapture the goods or not. He had sent an informer to keep watch over her... However, the informer had said that Zhong Xiu had only been at her place over the last few days... Moreover, it had seemed as if she had no intentions of stepping out to look for the stolen goods.

    In the Clay Street's warehouse...

    "Miss Xiu, you clearly look a bit depressed. It seems that you've received some message," Shi Mu saw Zhong Xiu sitting silently with a blank expression on her face. So, he asked with deep concern.

    "Big Brother Shi, Vice President Wang has sent me a message that the City Lord - who is the owner of the goods - has paid him a visit of late. But, Vice President Wang was lucky enough to fool him this time by evasive answers," Zhong Xiu said.

    "Oh, the agreed delivery date hasn't arrived yet. City Lord's sudden visit must be stemmed from these rumors. And, I believe that would've only intended to exert pressure on the Chamber of Commerce. So, there shouldn't be any big problem," Shi Mu said.

    "I'm not worried about the City Lord's visit. I was just thinking about our plan. Will it work out?" Zhong Xiu said.

    Shi Mu didn't give her any reply. He simply smiled and nodded without showing any sign of panic.

    In this meantime, Cai fluttered in the room from outside and landed on Shi Mu's shoulder. He then said, "Shi Tou, try to guess who I just saw?"

    "Don't be mysterious; spit out quickly!" Shi Mu didn't give Cai any face. It must be said that Cai had a flare for theatrics.

    "Look at your urgency. You don't even let me take a rest and catch my breath. Do you know how tiresome it is to fly hither-and-thither the entire day..." Cai retorted.

    Cai hadn't even finished his words when Shi Mu landed a blow on his head. Cai couldn't help but expose an expression of deep hatred and resentment on his face after being hit. However, Zhong Xiu was still amused to see his naughty behavior.

    "Okay, say it; don't keep us in suspense!" Shi Mu flung a water-attribute spirit stone towards Cai and said.

    "Well, it's still not enough! Anyways, it's that man Di Feng - Palace Lord Di. He's now the Altar Lord of the Dark Moon Cult's Sub-altar... the same one which is situated in the vicinity of this place!" Cai swallowed the spirit stone and said.

    "Palace Lord Di? He's also here?" A thought tumbled in Shi Mu's mind as he heard Cai's words.

    "In addition, the relationship between this man and the Lord of this city seems very cordial. I saw that both of them rushed to the Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce, and made a lot of noise there some time ago," Cai continued.
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