This chapter has been brought to you by me and larkspur.
Chapter Nine: Sound
On the ground, spring and summer were changing, and even the powerful Chu Dynasty was collapsing. But deep underground in Changling, the temperature did not change much.
Hu Hai had thinned greatly, and his skin grew very pale. Like many other animals that lived for a long time in the underground, his skin even shone slightly. At this time, there were not many marks on his body, there were no chains or other restraints, and he looked like he could move freely. There were many thin bloody pieces of meat on the stone plate in front of him.
The meat was raw rat meat.
Shen Xuan had stored a large amount of food in the cellar, so the rats had followed the smell of food. Of course these rats could not escape Shen Xuan’s perception.
At this time, on the Chu and Qin battlefield, rats were the emergency food. Many armies would dig out roots and rodents to feed, but the rat meat placed in front of Hu Hai had not been carefully prepared. There was a lot of rat hair and dirt, and so the meat looked very disgusting.
Each time Hu Hai’s gaze landed on the smelly rat meat, he dry heaved but did not dare to make a sound.
Shen Xuan was not standing not far in front of him, and using a rag of unknown color to clean the blades secured on the wall. Time passed slowly underground. So his movements were very slow and fine like he was polishing some jade articles in order to while away time.
After a long time, he put down the rag and said. He looked expressionlessly at Hu Hai. “Eat it. In reality, it tastes very good, and can rival the most delicious food in the world.”
The “taowu” was a kind of legendary fierce beast. Such a fierce beast was rarely recorded in the history books, and there were no records of what it looked like. Most cultivators now did not know the name of such a beast, not to mention the unusual characters. But the characters seemed to have a kind of strange magic.
Hu Hai, who had been heaving, heard the words, and then a flush appeared on his face, with a bare greed in his eyes. He seemed to have seen the most delicious food in the world, and leapt at the stone plate. He chewed large mouthfuls, eating the bloody raw meat and even the blood left on the plate.
Shen Xuan looked at him silently without any expression. In the next moment, he hung his head. He thought, it was soon time to go look at Changling above.
Above, Changling was very deserted. The lack of people came from the cleansing after Ye Celeng’s betrayal and Baili Suxue entering the imperial palace. Many officials had been pulled in, many people had died in battle, and many people quickly left in fear of being implicated.
Even more importantly, many sword schools and cultivation places disappeared overnight, not because of the armies, but because they could no longer endure the control from the imperial palace.
Today, there was some liveliness from a small town on the shore of the Wei River outside of Changling, Red River Town.
This was a wharf where many business ships were stopped. This place produced clay for making pottery. There were many ships coming and going, stirring up the red mud at the bottom of the river and causing the river water to look red.
With the border battles ongoing, what was most lacking was food. Then it was carriages and horses. What was most in need was naturally medicine, especially medicine to stop bleeding.
As the weather changed and grew hot, the medicines to stop diarrhea and wounds from being infected grew important.
Today, most of the people who stopped by the little town today were from important businesses in Guanzhong. Some of those who came onto the shore were legendary for their wealth.
But these Guanzhong rich people did not have good faces. Because before everyone detected that medicines were in need, these rich people had found that most of the clotting medicines, diarrhea medicines and wound cleaning medicines had already been bought by a mysterious rich merchant.
It was understandable to have foresight and hoard resources in need. But many materials were controlled by the court. Some businesses had to finish a certain amount in a limited time. When the raw materials were hoarded, and the prices manyfold what they usually were, the price that the businesses sold the products could not increase. This was not just using the opportunity of war to get rich, it was stepping on the faces of all Guanzhong rich and taking money from their pockets.
Who dared to do so?
It was not just that there were connections between the officials of the bureaus and these rich people, and not merely that many cultivators from Guanzhong had become generals in the military. Even most cultivation places in Changling would receive funding each year from these Guanzhong rich.
The only reason that these people had not already attacked was that this mysterious person had terrifying wealth. Otherwise, they could not have so quickly and silently bought out so many materials, and this mysterious person gave them a chance to talk.
Xie Liangying went onshore in the middle of a crowd of other important Guanzhong people, walking to the quietest inn in the little town. As the leader of the Guanzhong rich, when they were challenged, it was naturally him leading the way to come and discuss. But at this time, he was very worried, and his thoughts were not on this.
After the Min Mountain Sword Sect was destroyed, his daughter Xie Rou who had been studying there had disappeared, and before that, Xie Changsheng also went missing.
Compared to the news of his son and daughter, this matter right now was not the most important. But when he walked alone into the deepest room according to the other’s demands, a voice entered his ear and caused him to still.
The voice was familiar but strange.
Xie Lianying’s eyes widened. He looked in disbelief at the young person under the dim light. He felt on the verge of tears. It was his son who he had been worrying about all this time.
In the dim light, his son, who had been idle in the past, seemed to have matured greatly.
“Using such a method to make you come and meet you is not for business and the medicine materials,” Xie Changsheng bowed to his father who he missed day and night as he said softly.
“What does this mean?”
Xie Lianying was stunned for a long moment and then refocused. “What are you doing? How could you have done something like this?”
Xie Changsheng was very excited at meeting his father in such a situation. His hands trembled in his sleeves. But his expression was very stern. He did not answer his father’s question but quickly said, “Zheng Xiu is about to act against Guanzhong very soon.”