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Chapter 14: Hundred Thousand Taels of Silver

    Chapter 14: Hundred Thousand Taels of Silver

    Translator: CKtalon  Editor: CKtalon

    Qin Yun and Tian Bo left on horseback before eventually parting ways.

    As for the restaurant boat that they had encountered on the Flower Solarium river, it finally slowly approached the shore.

    "Brother Yu Bai, farewell."

    "Brother Wang, it's already getting late. Take care."

    The great scholar, Yu Bai bade his friend farewell.

    Yu Bai was rather handsome and had an elegant bearing. However, there was something decadent about him. Just as he was about to leave with his servants and guards, an old procuress disembarked the boat and hurriedly called out, "Master Yu."

    "Oh, what's the matter?" Yu Bai said nonchalantly.

    The old procuress quickly took on a submissive tone and said, "Our Dreamlike Pavilion Lady has always been your ardent admirer and loved your poems. She wonders if she might have a chance to meet you."

    "I am here in Grand Dominance for important matters. I'm sorry, but I am unable to meet her." Yu Bai responded nonchalantly.

    The procuress rapidly followed up with: "Our Pavilion Lady really admires you. Can you not at least meet her to alleviate her pining for you?"

    "There's no need." Noticing that she was about to continue, Yu Bai immediately turned around and left.

    As the old procuress watched his back, all she could do was stamp her feet before returning to the boat dejectedly.

    Yu Bai carefreely led his servants and guards on their journey.

    "Master, that Dreamlike Pavilion Lady sure has her means. She has already requested a meeting several times. Even though you were invited to that restaurant boat by your friend, that old procuress just now was another subordinate of hers. She really does not miss a single chance to send you an invitation." The guard said with a smile. "Yet up to this day, she has yet to make an appearance herself."

    "Dreamlike Pavilion Lady." Yu Bai laughed as he said, "She was once a renowned courtesan in the capital, but even there she was lacking in fame! However, there are no shortage of high officials and nobles in the capital. She has indeed managed to accumulate some wealth and connections with these officials. Then, as she grew older, she returned to her hometown of Grand Dominance County and established the Dreamlike Pavilion! She even made herself Pavilion Lady. I heard that at the Courtesan Belle selection two years ago, she used all of her connections to forcefully win the title of Courtesan Belle."

    "If she were young, that would have been fine. It would have been duly deserved. However, she's no longer young. She can't compare to her younger self. She doesn't have many admirers, either. When she won Courtesan Belle two years ago, she earned the resentment of many people in Grand Dominance County resented. They found it unfair!"

    "She wants me to help her but why should I?" Yu Bai immediately smiled. "Women have to know themselves. At an old age, one shouldn't contend with the young ladies."

    "Master, how old is Dreamlike Pavilion Lady this year?" asked the guard.

    "Although Qi Refinement can extend one's youthfulness, she's already thirty-five." Yu Bai shook his head. "For a renowned courtesan, that's just too old."

    "She's that old?"

    "She's already more than ten years older than me. She's nearly my mother's age." Another servant by the side exclaimed in astonishment.

    Yu Bai laughed.

    ...

    After a leisurely stroll, Yu Bai and his entourage arrived at the inn where he was temporarily lodging.

    "Master! Master!" Another servant that had been waiting at the inn ran over hurriedly.

    "What has gotten you so excited?" Yu Bai asked.

    "Master, I received news of an immortal cultivator," the servant said eagerly.

    "Immortal cultivator?" Yu Bai's eyes lit up. "Quickly tell me more. Who is this immortal cultivator? What's his name and where is he from?"

    "I heard the news from Swallow Phoenix Brothel. He's an immortal cultivator named Qin Yun." The servant hurriedly said. "I heard that he is a local of Grand Dominance County. At the age of thirteen, he was already one with the sword and cultivated to the ninth level of the Qi Refinement realm. Six years ago, he left home to roam the world. He recently returned as an immortal, having knocked open the gate of immortality! Just tonight at Swallow Phoenix Brothel, Qin Yun threw the Liu family's young master, Liu Qi, down the building, turning his face into a bloody mess! This immortal cultivator even said 'Lady Chen Shuang is my younger sister. Offending her is equivalent to offending me, Qin Yun.'"

    The servant went as far as to imitate Qin Yun.

    "Swallow Phoenix Brothel, Lady Chen Shuang?" Yu Bai's heart stirred as he hurriedly asked, "Where does this immortal Qin Yun live?"

    "He is a local of Grand Dominance City. He lives in Qin Manor." The servant hastily added, "In all of Grand Dominance County, there is only one place that is called Qin Manor. It's the silver-badge constable, Lord Qin Liehu's, residence. That Qin Yun is the Qin Manor's second young master."

    Yu Bai nodded. "Ah Fu, send a letter of mine to the Qin Manor tomorrow."

    "Yes," the servant Ah Fu said politely.

    Yu Bai's eyes turned deep and serene as he thought to himself, "I wonder how deep the relationship between this immortal cultivator, Qin Yun, and that renowned courtesan, Lady Chen Shuang, goes. I wonder if he has the ability to help me!"

    "Also, go and find out for me what sort of relationship that immortal cultivator Qin Yun has with that Lady Chen Shuang." Yu Bai instructed.

    "Master, it will be done, rest assured." Ah Fu hurriedly replied.

    ******

    The sun rose on Qin Manor's practice grounds, beginning the next day.

    Qin Yun was leisurely practicing his swordplay. It was still slow but the sword beams were a blur, like something out of a dream or illusion. If Lady Chen Shuang's sword dance was the combination of sword techniques and dancing that aesthetically pleased people, then Qin Yun's pure swordplay could make anyone who watched it fall into a dreamlike world. They would not be able to help themselves from being intoxicated. It far exceeded the boundaries of artistry.

    "Phew." After sheathing his sword, Qin Yun headed for breakfast.

    As he drank thick rice porridge, he heard conversations coming from outside. Soon, he saw Qin Liehu and Qin An walk in together.

    "Father, you haven't been back for two nights," Qin Yun said with a smile. "Quickly come and drink a bowl of porridge."

    Qin Liehu sat down and immediately drank a few mouthfuls. He finished about half of a big bowl of porridge before giving the order, "Everyone else is dismissed."

    "Yes, Master." The maidservants that were tending to them quickly retreated.

    There were only Qin Liehu and his two sons left in the hall.

    "Brother, you brought your wife and children here?" Qin Yun said with a smile. He had come home late last night and didn't notice until the morning.

    "Demons were targeting me. Although you told me that you have resolved the issue, how can I feel at ease? It's fine if I die, but if anything untoward happens to my wife and children..." Qin An hurriedly said, "It's best I come back. There's Father and you here! I will feel more at ease here."

    "Yea." Qin Yun nodded slightly. Yes, his brother was after all an ordinary person. How could he not fear demons?

    However, Qin Liehu looked at Qin Yun and said, "Yun'er, I heard from your brother that on the night you came back, you did some secret investigating and resolved the trouble that was plaguing him? Is it that old demon, Chu Yong?"

    "The one hiding in Brother's residence was a cat demoness. She had been hiding there for half a year." Qin Yun drank two mouthfuls of porridge before continuing with a smile, "She was doing it under orders. The one behind it was that old demon leader, Chu Yong. That night, after capturing the cat demoness, I followed the clues and went to the old demon Chu Yong's underground palace. He admitted that he wanted to make Brother a demonic slave so he could threaten you. After learning this, I wiped out all the demons, including Chu Yong!"

    "So, it was really you who did it."

    Qin Liehu sighed. "Back when I went to the underground palace and learned that it belonged to the old demon Chu Yong, it crossed my mind that you were the one to end him! However, I then thought that you were too young and had only recently knocked open the gate of immortality, so it was unlikely that you were the old demon's match."

    "Father, you have underestimated Brother," Qin An said.

    "It's been six years. Yun'er's strength is a lot greater than I expected," said Qin Liehu with a laugh.

    "Chu Yong's hide was indeed rather thick. Even thousands of arrows or a powerful shot from a crossbow would not be able to penetrate his skin." Qin Yun said with a sigh.

    "Yun'er, you have eliminated a great problem for our Grand Dominance City. When that old demon was entrenched in the city, he caused a great deal of harm. In that underground palace of his, there was a pit of white bones. They were the remains of the humans he ate." Qin Liehu shook his head. "These demons deserve to be killed."

    "He ate humans? Pit of white bones?" Qin An was alarmed.

    "Humans eat beasts while demons eat humans. It's very commonplace." Qin Yun said, "Demons can be both good and bad. There are many good demons as well. However, demons like Chu Yong deserve death."

    "An'er, do not spread the news of your brother killing the demon Chu Yong." Qin Liehu exhorted him.

    "I understand." Qin An immediately nodded.

    ...

    At that moment, something happened in the county governor's residence. The county governor's residence was naturally large, considering that they had hundred personal guards stationed there.

    A colorful-robed man was nervously standing in a tiny yard, waiting.

    "I wonder why the county governor suddenly summoned me." The colorful-robed man was feeling anxious. He had no other option. Although he was the patriarch of the wealthy Liu family, one of the top three family clans in all of Grand Dominance county, he knew very well that the Liu family had come this far because of the county governor! In front of the county governor, his Liu family was just a dog!

    A dog had to loyally watch the house.

    If the master threw a bone, the dog had to cock its head and wag its tail and enjoy the bone.

    One day, the master might even kill the dog! And the dog's only choice was to die in silence!

    "I don't think I did anything wrong. Whatever he ordered me to do has been done perfectly." The colorful-robed man had various thoughts surfacing in his mind.

    "Patriarch Liu, please follow me," said an old servant with a smile.

    "Steward Wang, do you know why the county governor suddenly summoned me?" Patriarch Liu approached Steward Wang in a fawning manner as he stuffed a banknote into his hands. Noticing that it was a note for a hundred taels of silver, Steward Wang revealed a smile and whispered, "Don't worry. Master seems to be in a good mood. I doubt it's anything serious."

    Patriarch Liu heaved a sigh of relief.

    Soon, he was led into a garden.

    An elder dressed in a simple gray robe was sitting across a blue-robed man.

    "Greetings Lord County Governor and Commander Fang!" The moment Patriarch Liu arrived, he immediately bowed politely.

    There was no need to mention the county governor. He was an existence that had absolute control over both the military and political powers in Grand Dominance County. No one dared defy his orders. He had the authority to persecute any official under the seventh grade without permission from his superiors. Above the seventh grade, he could directly remand them. In order to deal with demons, it had to be ensured that the county governor's words carried weight! Wealthy family clans of certain regions could be vanquished for any reason on the county governor's order.

    As for the blue-robed man, he was, on the surface, the strongest person in Grand Dominance County. He was a Connate False Core realm who was commander of the county governor's personal guards!

    "Regarding the money that the Liu family needs to hand over every year, do not leave it to the end of the year." The gray-robed elder said casually, "I need it within half a month. Will you be able to do that?"

    Patriarch Liu felt a knot in his heart.

    The Liu family had earned large amounts of money with the county governor's backing. Naturally, it had to offer large amounts of money as a tribute. However, the offering was typically done at the end of the year. It was presently only March.

    "By the way, I need a hundred thousand taels." The gray-robed elder added.

    Patriarch Liu pricked up his brows. Wasn't it usually eighty thousand taels of silver a year? Why did it increase?

    However, Patriarch Liu did not grumble at all. "Lord County Governor, rest assured. I will definitely raise the hundred thousand taels in half a month."

    "Alright." The gray-robed elder nodded slightly. "I heard that Liu Qi clashed with Qin Manor's second young master at Swallow Phoenix Brothel last night?"

    "Yes, yes, yes." Patriarch Liu hurriedly said. "I have reprimanded him for his terrible decision-making."

    "Your luck isn't bad. That second master of the Qin Manor showed mercy." The gray-robed elder casually waved his hand. "Alright, you are dismissed."

    "Yes, yes!"

    Patriarch Liu immediately retreated obediently. However, his mind was spinning with questions. "Why would the Lord County Governor suddenly mention the Qin Manor's second young master? Even if he has knocked open the gate of immortality, he has yet to enter the Connate realm. He shouldn't matter. Commander Fang himself is already an immortal at the Connate False Core realm!"
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