Chapter 125: What if?
Editor/Proofer: nick0 (Pascal)
It was not until a few hours before evening did Zhang awaken from his long night of fun. While his eyes were showered by rays of light from the sun, he realized that the warm and soft objects that usually surrounded him were missing. It had always been the common routine for Zhang to be the first to wake up and watch the others sleep.
“I guess i shouldn't disturb her and let her rest.” He thought as his gaze was focused on Ling. After his hand traced her beautiful sleeping face, Zhang tried to get out of bed and dressed himself however before he could do so a gentle hand tugged on his sleeve.
“Just a bit longer.” Ling asked with half opened eyes. With a smile, Zhang crawled back into the sheets.
Besides laying next to each other and caressing, nothing really happened but one could tell that such a moment was rare for these two so they thoroughly enjoyed it. The warmth that they have off served to fuel their love for one another, unlike the other girls, Ling and Zhang always had a bond that has been around ever since they were children.
A bond that made is so that Ling would always possess a special place in his heart. She wasn't as outgoing as Lingqi, mysterious as Ai, or adventurous as Yuying but Ling would always be there. She would be the wife who would have a meal ready for you after a long day's work.
“Sometimes do you wonder what if the Siwang Empire never attacked?” Ling asked as her arms were wrapped around Zhang’s arm and her thigh brushing against his.
“Don't you wonder what would have become of us, if all those things never happened?” She added.
“You would have gone to the Royal Academy and become a high level Mage who would climb to the pinnacle of status and power and be sought after by princes. While I would have tried my hardest to catch up to you as you keep getting further and further away from my grasp.” Zhang said in a somewhat sad tone as he pulled her in closer.
It was more than likely that the things that Zhang said would have been true had the Siwang Empire not attacked. He would have stayed a level one cultivator while trying his hardest to push his body over the edge to catch up to Ling, a genius Mage who not only had smarts but was also bestowed with beauty. She would catch the eye of some prince and he would watch as she is snatched away from him.
So one could say that the Siwang Empire’s attack was somewhat of a blessing that ensured their fate together. Of course such a blessing would be soon repaid, repaid in blood. But to be able to do that They must first unite the Warring States Region and raise an army that the likes of the other kingdoms and empires had never seen before.
“In the end I would have run away and then we would be together and maybe own a farm or a small inn.” Ling said in a joking tone.
“A farm?” Zhang laughed as he imagined himself tending to cattle and raising livestock.
“Owning an inn wouldn't be too bad though.”
“Yup and then when we grow old we would leave our inn and farm to our kids and grandkids and enjoy our old age.” Ling added.
“We can do that now, you know. Now let's get up and go on that date.” He said as he gently kissed her forehead.
For the most part these two did not need words to convey their feelings but once in awhile time alone to express such things could be considered a treat.
Soon the two of them dressed and departed from the hotel room, arm in arm.
“My lord.” The saluting guards standing in front of the room said in unison as Zhang and Ling departed.
“You guys worked hard, you should go and have some fun.” Zhang said with a grin as he handed one of them a small sack of gold coins.
“Where do you want to go first?” He asked Ling who was now glued to his arm.
“Don't know, let's just go for a walk.” She replied, happy that the others gave them some time alone.
Thus without a goal the two lovebirds made their way to the main staircase and headed outside of the Wolfden Brothel. Wolfden City itself was filled with various attractions that were only waiting to be seen.
Thankfully Wolfden City unlike most cities, was filled with beauties, making it so that the beauties did not attract too much attention to themselves. Although not many could compare to them, the festive atmosphere and pace within the city made it so there weren't too many people looking to cause trouble.
Within each other's care and without any guards, Zhang and Ling made their way through the busy streets.
The instant they walked outside, Ling caught sight of Ai but she skillfully diverted Zhang's attention elsewhere and walked the opposite direction.
“When it's your turn you'd probably do the same too.” She thought with a hint of self pity as she eyed Ai from the corner of her eye.
As the two made their way through the streets a sign caught Zhang's attention. The sign read, “Wolfden City Beast Auction” and in front of the building was a stone statue of a fierce looking wolf.
“Let's go have a look.” Zhang said once he saw that hordes of people which were going into this particular store.
Following the crowd the two of them made their way into a large auditorium with a mid sized arena pit at the very bottom. Much like the arena in the Wolfden Brothel, where the fights took place.
“Welcome everyone to our monster auction!” A middle aged man said as he walked to the center of the arena down below as everyone was getting seated.
“Here at the Wolfden Monster Pen we offer some of the finest specimens that you'll ever come upon. From rare never before seen demonic beast's to the monsters of legends, if you're lucky enough to be around, we’ll be auctioning them off.” The man said while waiting for the last few people to enter the room and seat themselves.
Like the Golden Lotus auction houses, there were vip rooms with balconies. Of course since Zhang and Ling simply followed the crowd and did not reserve a room prior or tell others of their status, they were seated with the common people.
“For those who have not taken part in one of our auctions before the rules are simple. Each bid is made in at least a one thousand coin increment and all sales of course are final. Demonic beasts come as they are displayed and it is the buyer's responsibility to transport and tame them, of course all the beast's that we auction have had a bit of training done so they will not outright attack people but we feel that too much training would defeat the purpose of having a demonic beast, since no one wishes to buy a full knife or a dog with no canines. So without any further ado the auction will now begin.”
Moments later a large cloth draped cage was pushed onto the center of the arena by two hulking men.
“To start off our auction, I present to you a rare Treasure Eater Tortoise.” The man said as the cloth that was curtain owning the cage was pulled off, revealing a large turtle with s golden shell that gleamed and blinded everyone looking at it.
“Treasure Eaters are generally level three demonic beast's and are only found in mineral mines and will take up the characteristics of whatever minerals it eats. This particular one was caught in a gold mine, hence its shell is gold, but if someone were to feed it let's say mithril then it would turn into mithril.” The middle aged auctioneer said as he tossed a few silver coins to the turtle.
The audience watched in amazement as the the turtle turned from gold to silver once it ate the silver coins.
“Bleh… It eats treasure…” Zhang looked at the turtle in disdain. The last thing he wanted was a beast that ate treasures.
“The bidding for this Treasure Eater will begin at ten thousand gold coins.” The auctioneer said, before Zhang zoned him out.
“Brother you think we should get it?” Ling laughed as she said jokingly, knowing full well that he would absolutely hate having such a pet. It was one thing for them to spend lavishly on themselves but to feed treasure to a pet was something outrageous.
“If we get it you're feeding it. Actually if I feed it a piece of mithril and then kill it and collect the mithril then I could profit off of it.” Zhang replied half jokingly.
So while Ling continued to tease Zhang, the Treasure Eater tortoise was sold for a staggering price of one hundred thousand gold coins to one of the people in the vip boxes.
“The next beast up for auction is a death worm!”
Upon hearing the words death worm, Zhang could not help but chuckle inwardly, remembering back to the auction in Red Mist City. Of course many other people couldn't help but chuckle also because domesticated death worms are generally worthless and the only good use anyone could get out of one would be churning soil for farming.
After the death worm was sold for a measly seven thousand golds, another cage was pushed into the middle of the arena by the same hulking men.
“Next we have an level four Eyeless Silver Winged Bat!”
This too did not catch Zhang’s attention, because within his Ruler’s Domain were hundred of Wraith Spiders that could slaughter this bat in an instant.
“Next up is a level six White Wind Liger. This beast took a team of a dozen level seven cultivators the span of a month to capture it. In front of it’s fangs and claws, steel might as well be considered paper. Along with its outstanding arsenal, this liger can manipulate wind to make itself run faster when on land. The bidding starts at one hundred thousand gold coins.” The auctioneer said as the curtain was removed from the cage while pushing the cage to the center of the arena, revealing a massive liger that was easily five times larger than any average tiger. With beautiful white striped fur the liger gave off a majestic air that couldn't properly be described as he eyed the people in the audience.
As it mesmerized everyone, a ferocious roar echoed from its mouth and startled everyone present, it seemed like this liger could break out of its cage at any moment and slaughter the audience.
“I'm getting this for you.” Zhang said with a grin as he looked at Ling. He was eventually going to give the Ruler’s Domain to Yuying, in turn giving her the horde of Wraith Spiders, and since most if not all animals are extremely afraid of Ai for some reason, only Ling and Lingqi need demonic beasts to protect them.
Also there was something about this liger that made Zhang like it.
“One hundred and one thousand gold coins!” One of the people in the audience said.
“One hundred and ten thousand!”
“One hundred and fifteen!”
One hundred and sixteen!”
“One hundred and fifty thousand!” Zhang said in a loud voice.
“One hundred sixty!”
One hundred sixty six!”
“I want that Liger! Two hundred thousand!” Someone in the vip box said leaving the small time bidders speechless.
“Three hundred thousand.” Zhang said further adding to the silence.
“Three hundred thousand gold coins, going once! Going twice!” The middle aged man began counting down.
“Three hundred and fifty!” Someone from the vip boxes said. Looking up at the balconies a elderly man with shaking hands could be seen gripping the balconies stone railing.
“Four hundred thousand.” Zhang said calmly.
Well it could be said that the White Wind Liger was soon given a new owner as no one else placed anymore bids.
After the Liger were a few pretty strong demonic beasts, however Zhang did not think that any of them could compare to the potential he saw in the Liger so he did not bid.
Once the auction concluded, all of the bidders who had won were ushered down into the arena where they would claim their prizes and of course pay.
“Young master and young lady, thank you for your patronage.” The auctioneer said with a smile as he approached Zhang and Ling with the White Wind Liger’s cage following behind him, being pushed by the two hulking men.
“Now young master will your people be coming to pick up the liger or we could deliver it to wherever you are staying for a small fee. We can even train it for you for a fee.” The auctioneer said.
“No need, we’ll take it out for a walk.” Zhang said with a grin and a wave of a hand he made a mound of gold coins appear on the ground, causing everyone around to gawk.
“I would advise against that young master, this liger is not tamed yet and very dangerous.” The auctioneer warned since there have been cases of people buying demonic beasts and being killed or attacked by them.
“It's alright. Just open the cage there's nothing to worry about, my husband will have everything under control.” Ling said with a reassuring smile.
“We’d have to wait until the other masters leave the arena before I can open the cage.” The auctioneer said, thinking about the safety of the other customers.
“No problem.” Zhang and Ling said in unison and waited patiently for the gold coins that Zhang placed on the ground to be collect and for the other customers to leave.
Once the arena was finally vacated, the auctioneer stood in the stands while one of the two hulking men was standing in front of the cage with a small key in his hand. Soon the cage was unlocked and the door slowly creaked open.
The hulking man ran toward the gate and slammed it shut, leaving only Zhang, Ling and the Liger in the arena.
Moments passed before the Liger charged out of its cage with a savage glint in its eyes.
“Sit.” Zhang said as his aura exploded and suppressed the liger, before it could even get close to him and Ling.
The amount of essence under his control swirled in the air and wrapped around the Liger’s body, pressing it onto the ground.
The liger’s savage glint soon disappeared as Zhang and Ling made their way toward it. The closer Zhang inched toward the Liger the more his aura intensified, showing the difference between their strength.
Although Zhang was only a single level higher than this Liger, regular cultivators could not compare to him, since his body was constantly being nourished by the Underworld Heart. Making him many times stronger than others.
“I'm going to call you Little White.” Ling said with a smile as she patted the Liger’s head.
“Follow.” Zhang said as he released the pressure he placed upon the Liger and gestured for it to follow him and Ling. Being intelligent as it is, the Liger instantly listened to Zhang’s command and obediently followed behind him.