40 Another Key Discovered
"Oh, there are a lot of people today," Zhang Yong said as he entered.
Shou waved him in. "Welcome."
"Well, you know why I am here. Open an instance for me as fast as you can." Zhang Yong slapped a bunch of crystals on the table, an amount just enough for 5 hours.
"You've come at just the right time, I only have one spot left."
Zhang Yong nodded and walked inside. In there he saw the three men resting on a chair. On each of their screen, they stood there astonished and screaming around. "Aren't those the guys from that one Dragon Circle? Shou you seem to be attracting quite the important people to your business."
He shrugged his shoulders. "Are they really that important? I don't know who they are."
"Well, they are one of the richest men in this city and may even be able to compete with the some in the capital, so I guess it is not to bad?" he laughed out loud. "Though I suppose it is nothing in comparison to the three great families."
"Well, not that it has anything to do with me."
Zhang Yong smiled as a response. "I wouldn't be so sure if I were you. After all, these people had all assembled at your place for the treasure. Though I guess your strength is not to bad, I wonder if you can protect it?" He patted Shou on the shoulder. "Say, how about this, if you give me a discount, I can work as your bodyguard."
"Thanks, but I think I will be fine," Shou answered succinctly.
"I see that's too bad." He sighed. It really was too bad. He shook his head in resignation. Zhang Yong was sincere when he offered his service, as he was scared that with such magical artifacts, it was only a question of time until a customer came and tried to seize it. As a fifth stage cultivator, not may dared to stand in his way. "Anyways, I see that the Li and Wang brats aren't here today."
"Who knows, the day isn't over yet."
"I doubt they will come. I'm sure they are occupied having a heated discussion with their elders, after the fated three-family meeting here yesterday."
"Oh." Shou looked at Zhang Yong. "And what about you then?"
He did not answer immediately. Instead he stared at the core and placed his hand on the table. "Hmm, how do I say it—I have my reasons."
As he was about to enter the illusory world, a sudden scream emerged from on of the screens. Zhang Yong, Shou and Si, all faced the direction of the sound.
Ah Liang who had been casually frolicking for a few hours and feeling his body being nourished by the superior Spiritual Essence of this world had stumbled upon a worn-out path. Not seeing the danger of it he casually followed it to see where it led. One thing led to another, until he was finally disintegrated by the witch.
The three watching from the real world weren't surprised at all, as they saw the big Ah Liang slowly rebuild. Rather, Zhang Yong found it quite funny to see someone have the same reaction as he did just a day before.
By the time Ah Liangs fingers had reformed, he decisively decided to logout—regardless of the consequences—making him the first customer to do so. he returned to his senses and sprung up as if he just had a nightmare.
"Holy shit, what the hell was that," he shouted through his ragged breath. He lifted his hand to check whether he was still alive or not.
"You died," Shou explained, with Zhang Yong nodding right behind him.
"Then, have I reached the afterlife?" Ah Liangs face turned pale.
Shou tilted his head in confusion. "What? No? I meant that you died in the illusory world. Whatever happens there doesn't affect you here. Even death."
"Ah... I see..." Ah Liang wanted to say something more, but he swallowed his words. "Then, uh, I need a rest first." He placed his hand on his palpitating heart and wiped the massive amounts of sweat running down his face. "Geez, what the hell was that monster?"
Zhang Yong stepped forward. "We call her the witch."
"The witch?" Ah Liang searched for the voice. As his sight fell on the person his eyes shot wide open. "A-Ah! Sir Zhang Yong from the Zhang family? The man that has reached the 5th Stage in his early thirties? The same man they call the Hero of Daixin?"
Zhang Yong, seeing the mans budding enthusiasm, slowly backed away. "Uh, yes, that would be me."
Ah Liang promptly bowed down. "I apologize for not introducing myself immediately. I am Ah Liang, the 2th rank of the Golden Dragon Circle. I'm currently at the 2th cultivation stage, but I someday hope to reach as high of a level as yours!" He then looked around and realized he was still in the store. "Uh, Sir, may I ask you, do you come here often?" He had also remembered the reason why he came here. When the City Lord said someone from the Zhang family patronized this store—he could not have meant Zhang Yong, right?
"Hmm, I guess I don't," Zhang Yong answered. This shop's only been open for a week after all. though he did plan to visit it a lot with the times to come.
The big guy sighed in relief. Next, he started a conversation with the shop-owner. "Sir, those artifacts are incredible! They defy common sense! May I know for how much you are selling them for? Or how I may get my hands on the blueprints of these?" Depending on the answer, this may just bring him a fortune!
"Sorry, not for sale. Also, calling me Shou is fine."
"Si—I mean, Shou! How about 300—no, 500 spirit stones!" Ah Liang pushed out 5 fingers.
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Shou simply shook his head.
"Now, now, don't pressure him like that," Zhang Yong advised him, "the shop-owner is a man of principle, he won't budge that easily. Also, if anything, he should sell one to me first." though he wasn't sure if he could procure a whopping 500 spirit stones. he almost had a heart-attack as he heard the number...
"I see. That's too bad," Ah Liang looked sullen.
"Instead of that, why don't you get back into the instance," Shou asked him.
Ah Liang vigorously shook his head. "I don't think I can handle any more stress."
"Well, if you guys do not mind, I have to get my moneys worth," Zhang Yong interjected and prepared to place his hand on the core, when another screech echoed through the store from on on of the screens. "What now? Another witch victim?" He was starting to get annoyed by the incessant interruptions.
It was the bodyguard. He had just died. Interestingly enough, the scenery was not as expected. There was no dilapidated house and no masked curvaceous woman—only the evergreen grass with colorful blooming flowers. As the bodyguard resurrected, and the camera panned out, everyone saw what had killed him. And everyone felt a numb shock run through their bones.
A dark, ghoulish beast, resembling a wolf and a tiger stood in front of the body guard. It was two meters tall and had four glowing red eyes. It's fur seemed pointy like needles and his fangs hard like steel. The thing opened its mouth and growled loudly, spitting his saliva everywhere.
Zhang Yong was the first to cry out, "What the hell is that?" His mouth stood agape. "It wasn't there the first time I entered!"
Ah Liang thanked the lords that he had logged out in time. He'd probably died of a cardiac arrest if he stumbled upon this beast with no preparation.
Shou looked closely, "I guess he didn't walk into the direction of either village or witch? This is rather interesting, I don't recall seeing such a thing in my memories. Si, did you add things because you were bored?"
"How rude, I would not do something like that. This beast is indeed from your memory. Though you may not know since you never met it."
The bodyguard packed his legs and ran away as fast as he could. The beast did not pursue and stayed at its resting place.
Zhang Yong stared through the screen at the beast. "Interesting," he muttered. "All right, after I visited the village, I will go and slay this beast!" He may not have any confidence in directly confronting the witch, but since it was called Witch Hunt, there had to be a way to do so. Maybe that creature was the key?
Zhang Yong placed his and on the core and fell unconscious.