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Chapter 360: Unfair

    Chapter 360: Unfair

    Translator: Novel Saga  Editor: Novel Saga

    Zhong Xiu and Shi Mu returned to their residence after almost half-an-hour.

    "Miss Xiu, what's wrong?" Shi Mu had noticed a hint of melancholy on Zhong Xiu's face on the way. So, he asked with a frown when they got back home.

    "Big Brother Shi, take a look at it." Zhong Xiu said while handing Shi Mu the jade slip that contained the detailed list of the goods for the auction.

    Shi Mu took the jade slip, and released his spirit sense to explore it. He looked at Zhong Xiu a moment later, and said, "If I remember correctly... some of these things are the same goods that we have just escorted here. These things can be regarded as high-ranked items if they are displayed at some ordinary auction. However, it might be impossible for you to defeat Elder Zhao if you only depended on these things. After all, these things are just some middle-ranked products out of that large batch of goods."

    "I think the same. Big Brother Shi, you must have been very tired during this period of time. So, you take a rest here for some time. But, I have something on my mind. So, I need to go out," Zhong Xiu nodded in agreement. Then, she stood up, and said.

    "Okay, be extra careful," Shi Mu said.

    Zhong Xiu nodded, and walked out of the courtyard.

    Shi Mu sat down cross-legged, and looked around a couple of times.

    However, Cai didn't seem to be in the courtyard at this time. And, Shi Mu had no idea where he had ran-off to play. But, this was the Rising Sun City. So, he was confident that nothing would happen to Cai. After all, Cai was very clever.

    He heaved a sigh of relief at this thought. Afterwards, he took out a middle-ranked fire-attribute spirit stone, and clenched it in his hand. Then, he began to absorb the pure spiritual energy of this stone.

    He had fought through many fierce battles in a row over the past few days. Moreover, he had been constantly on the move during this journey. This hectic journey had caused severe damage to his magic power as well as Real Qi. So, he was seizing this opportunity to recover his strength.

    A series of fine red wisps flew out of the spirit stone, and started to blend into Shi Mu's body in a continual manner...

    Time slowly passed.

    Shi Mu realized that it was approaching dusk when he opened his eyes... The color of the sky had started to darken gradually.

    He then threw away the spirit stone that he had held since it had lost its lustre. There were already seven-or-eight red spirit stones around... including the one that he had just thrown. All of them had lost their spiritual energy by now...

    Shi Mu then stood up. He felt refreshed at the moment since his physical weariness had been swept away. Moreover, his Real Qi and magic power had been restored in his lower abdomen to the fullest. Furthermore, he could sense some obvious improvement in his strength. This feeling filled his heart with gladness.

    Shi Mu had started to try this way of strengthening his magic power and Real Qi through direct absorption of the spiritual energy of the spirit stone in the recent days. He would previously use this process only to restore his magic power and Real Qi at the time of crucial battles. In fact, he would use this way only to meet a contingency.

    After all, spirit stones were considered a kind of important resource and trading currency in the Eastern Continent since they were in a very short supply there. In fact, nobody would generally choose this option even though there were many people who knew that spirit stones could be used for practice.

    There was a time when Shi Mu had slaughtered several Xian Tian as well as Earth-ranked powerhouses. And, he had had very small wealth at that time. So, he hadn't been able to build up the courage to use his spirit stones for practice when he had self-examined himself at that time.

    However, he had eventually experienced the sweetness of this process after having gone through it several times over the recent days. In addition, he had understood the reason why people were so desperate to earn spirit stones.

    The spiritual energy in a spirit stone was a very highly concentrated form of the energy that was present in the surroundings. So, it would automatically transform into the purest stream of Real Qi and magic power after being absorbed into one's body. Then, that Real Qi and magic power would flow throughout the veins and muscles. And, they would eventually merge into the person's Real Qi vortex and Qi palace in the lower abdomen. This kind of absorption speed was much faster than that of absorbing the spiritual energy from the surroundings. And, it would grow faster with each subsequent practice.

    Shi Mu had also discovered that the result of practicing through spirit stones was comparatively better at the time when his Real Qi and magic power were completely exhausted.

    The practicing speed of martial warriors and magicians of the Western Continent was much faster than those of the Eastern continent. And, this clearly had a relationship with the abundance of spirit stones here.

    Sounds of footsteps spread from outside the courtyard at this moment. And, this interrupted the train of Shi Mu's thoughts.

    The courtyard's door was pushed-open after some time, and Zhong Xiu walked in. Her facial expression didn't look so good at this time.

    "Miss Xiu, what's the matter?" Shi Mu asked.

    "Big Brother Shi, I just made some discreet inquiries related to this issue," Zhong Xiu's words were accompanied by a sigh.

    "Is this matter concerned with the goods for the auction?" Shi Mu asked again.

    "Yes, I have already inquired about it properly. City Lord Linghu has allocated goods for this auction to the Chamber of Commerce. However, almost all precious goods have been taken away by Elder Zhao." Zhong Xiu said in an indignant tone.

    "It seems that this matter is somehow related to that man Wang Rui Kun," Shi Mu said.

    "You're right, Big Brother Shi. This matter has indeed received Vice President Wang's tactical consent. I've just found out that Elder Zhao apparently has some family relationship with Vice President Wang." Zhong Xiu said.

    "So, that's the case. That man Wang Rui Kun seems to be a person of integrity and fairness. Who could've thought that he would stoop so low?" Shi Mu said.

    "In fact, he's still fair to a certain extent. The things that have been allocated to me are just ordinary goods. However, they are comparatively larger in quantity. In other words, the goods assigned to me are almost the same as Elder Zhao's if they are compared on the basis of their market value," Zhong Xiu added.

    "This is the shrewdness of this old man. No one can get hold of any evidence against him due to his prudent move. You must know that the value of ordinary products won't show major fluctuation at the auction. However, you can't say anything with accuracy as far as the high-value products are concerned. This problem is still not alarming. However, we can't rely only on these things for the auction. We'll have to think of another plan," Shi Mu pondered for a moment, and then said.

    "It's not all about the goods for the auction. I just went to the auction site that is situated in the western part of the city... The peripheral environment and popularity of that site can be considered much better than that of the black pavilion," Zhong Xiu said.

    "This crafty old man has indeed gone too far!" Shi Mu couldn't refrain from clenching his fist tightly when he heard these words.

    Shi Mu had heard Zhong Xiu saying something before the distribution of the venue. He then recalled the righteous appearance that Wang Rui Kun had displayed before the people in the morning. He couldn't help but sneer inwardly as these thoughts tumbled in his mind.

    However, a pair of soft little hands suddenly grasped Shi Mu's fist, and left him dumbfounded for a moment. Shi Mu had been in a foul mood. But, his mood instantly returned to normal as a result.

    "Miss Xiu, this situation seems very disadvantageous for you if we are to connect these two matters together, you..." Shi Mu looked at Zhong Xiu, and said in a rather sympathetic tone.

    However, he knew that Zhong Xiu appeared to be a delicate girl on the surface, but was a very strong-minded person on the inside.

    "Big Brother Shi, I have thought about it deeply on my way home. I have two months of time for the preparation of this auction. The source of goods and popularity can be pulled back with the help of other means. I'll try my best and fight for it despite the fact that the situation seems very unfavorable for us at the outset." Zhong Xiu took a deep breath, and the expression in her eyes gradually became resolute.

    She would never give up in front of Shi Mu no matter what. After all, she didn't want to become a burden to Shi Mu. She rather wanted to take this opportunity as a pretext to do something for Shi Mu.

    "That's good, Miss Xiu. You just rest assured; I will also render full support to you in this field of endeavor. There are some things in my possession that can also be put up for the auction in the name of the Chamber of Commerce," Shi Mu felt a flush of warmth in his heart when he heard her words. He then waved his hand, and took out five-or-six spirit tools... as well as a small jade box.

    Zhong Xiu was stunned to see these things. She then swept a cursory glance over those spirit tools. And, she was overwhelmed with exultation...

    The quality of these spirit tools was exceptionally good... so much so that they were far better than the spirit tools that Wang Rui Kun had transported in that batch of goods.

    "Big Brother Shi, you don't need these spirit tools? Don't do this for me..." it seemed as if Zhong Xiu had thought of something. She then asked with some concern.

    "It's no big deal. After all, I don't even use these spirit tools. In fact, I had been looking for a chance to sell them off. And, this is a perfect opportunity to do so. Therefore, it can be considered as a master-move that can help us achieve two things at one stroke," Shi Mu replied with a smile.

    "Well... then I will take Big Brother Shi to sign the entrustment agreement tomorrow," Zhong Xiu felt relieved when she heard his reply.

    She then picked up the jade box that was beside the spirit tool, and opened its lid. A small and fiery-red stone was kept in it; it was almost the size of a fingernail. It actually a Star Stone!

    Shi Mu had grabbed two Star Stones from Di Feng's clutch on that very day. One of them had been handed over to the City Lord Linghu Kuan, while the other one was here.

    "Big Brother Shi, this... this Star Stone is excessively precious. You do know that Liu An and the others have their covetous eyes on these Star Stones? They are scheming very desperately to plunder these stones. So, I think it ought to have some wondrous usage. You'd better keep it. It'll be very regrettable to put it up for the auction," Zhong Xiu's facial expression looked solemn when she said.

    "What's so regrettable about it? It's merely a Star Stone. It's not worth a penny compared to Miss Xiu's freedom. This stone can be treated as the final-show-case product at the auction," Shi Mu beckoned with his hand, and said in a casual manner.

    There was still a much bigger Star Stone in Shi Mu's possession. So, it was much superior to this small Star Stone in every aspect.

    However, Shi Mu was unlikely to bring that Star Stone out in any case. It wasn't because he was reluctant to do so. Instead, it was because he thought that Zhong Xiu might get caught up in an unexpected situation if he took it out before her.

    He knew that a small piece of Star Stone could lead to a bloodbath anywhere... regardless of whether it was the Eastern Continent or Western Continent. So, there was a higher probability that a fist-sized Star Stone could trigger a catastrophic situation once it was taken out.

    "Big Brother Shi, thank you." Zhong Xiu looked at Shi Mu, and a faintly sparkling and translucent thing rolled down her beautiful eyes.

    "Well, there is no need to thank each other between us. After all, I'm counting on you to take me to the Rising to the Heavens Mountain Peak for a stroll!" Shi Mu caressed her beautiful hair as he said with a smile.

    There had been a tensed expression on Zhong Xiu's face this entire time. But, that taut face finally melted away by Shi Mu's words. She then moved a few steps forward, held Shi Mu in an embrace, and buried her head in his chest.

    Shi Mu felt warm and fragrant arms around him... like soft jade. In addition, the faint aroma of a maiden's body lingered around his nose. Consequently, his heart couldn't help but flutter. Simultaneously, his breathing also became a bit louder.

    Zhong Xiu had apparently felt the subtle changes in Shi Mu's body. Therefore, a flush of shyness rose to her cheeks. But, she still didn't push him away.

    "Wow, I can see that the two of you are taking advantages of my absence, and embracing each other again!" an ear-piercing voice resounded at this moment.

    It was Cai's voice, but it couldn't be said where he had come from. He flew over, and landed in the courtyard. He then made a playful expression when he saw them hugging each other.

    Shi Mu's brows creased. He then turned his head, and shot a dreadful glare at Cai.

    Cai moved away from his line of sight, and pretended like he hadn't seen anything.

    However, Zhong Xiu's cheeks turned bright red, and she quickly loosened her hold on Shi Mu.

    "Big Brother Shi, I'm going to take a rest," Zhong Xiu's voice sounded like the sound of a housefly. Then, she lowered her head, and went towards her room at lightning speed.

    Shi Mu glared at Cai in a ferocious manner once again, and lifted his hand. But, Cai fluttered his wings and flew away into the distance before Shi Mu could do something.

    Shi Mu didn't pursue him. He simply took a deep breath, and tried to pacify his somewhat agitated mood for a moment.

    He then came to the courtyard in spite of returning to his house. Then, he jumped onto the roof.

    A crescent moon was slowly rising above the horizon.

    Shi Mu sat down with his legs crossed, and assumed a posture with his hands raised skyward.

    Shi Mu hadn't practiced the Moon-Swallowing Art for several days. So, he needed to make up for it now.
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