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Published at 6th of March 2020 03:07:05 PM

Chapter 48

Calm and composed, Li Xing asks, “Why?”

“The truth is that someone is going to accompany my sister and me on our trip this afternoon . I had people ask around and learned that person is Ximen Tai, the son of the ruler of Feilong City . Ximen Tai is twenty-seven, handsome and has level seven blood power .  So just think, if my sister ended up liking him instead, how much chance would be left for you to win her over?”

Li Xing says to Chen Shaung with an odd look, “It seems you care about your sister’s marriage more than she does . ”

Shen Shuang sighs, “That’s because an outsider like me is able to see more clearly than the two of you who are involved in this marriage arrangement . ” Then she thought to herself, “You are a fool for not realizing that my sister has already got a bit crush on you . As long as I help create more chances for you two, you will become a couple in the end .  How can I just let someone else to become my brother-in-law?” 

Of course, the girl knows better than just bluntly reveal her innermost thought .  

Unable to get an answer from Chen Shuang, Li Xing thinks, “Might as well! It won’t be a bad idea to see the blood crystal mine anyway . ”

After convincing himself, Li Xing says, “Fine . I’ll go . ”

Chen Shuang is glad but tries to not show her delight, saying, “You better make good use of this opportunity . ” But the next second, her mind is on something else, “Zhao Yun left so abruptly last time . I wonder if he has recovered from his wounds . ” 

As the two talk to each other, the sound of footstep is heard from outside and Chen Xue walks in . Obviously she didn’t expect to see Li Xing there, while Li Xing is also stricken with strange feelings the minute he sees the girl to whom he has just learned he has been betrothed pre-birth .   

In the past, Li Xing just thought of Chen Xue as a regular, attractive girl and saw her with an appreciative eye just like every other man did .  But now that he’s learned about the truth, he cannot help but starts thinking about other things as well .

Seeing Li Xing looking at her, Chen Xue immediately averts her eyes, asking, “Chen Shuang, how could you bring a man in here?” 

Chen Shuang rolls her eyes and responds, “Sister, I heard there are a lot of bandits on the way to the blood crystal mine . Li Xing has level five blood power . Wouldn’t it be a good idea to bring him along for protection?” 

Chen Shuang frowns, but she finally agrees to her sister’s suggestion and says without emotion, “If Mr . Li is available to go, we will appreciate your help . I hope Mr . Li will understand the risk along the way . ” 

Hearing Chen Xue still addressing him as “Mr . Li”, Chen Shuang starts to get impatient, protesting, “Sister, his name is Li Xing . You don’t need to keep calling him ‘Mr . Li’ . ”

Li Xing follows with a smile, “She’s right . Just call me Li Xing . ”

Chen Xue still refuses to show any friendliness toward him, “Mr . Li, I suggest you get ready for the trip . We will be on our way in a short while . ” 

Li Xing replies, “I’m ready to go . ”

The atmosphere in the living room starts to get a bit tense, with Chen Xue lowering her head in silence and Chen Shuang keeps moves her eyes from Li Xing and her sister with a playful look on her face .

While Li Xing keeps focusing on admiring the various calligraphy and paintings on the wall . About ten minutes later, a person is heard laughing outside the living room .  Then there walks in a man dressed in purple . He is about twenty seven or twenty eight years old, tall and strong, with a kind smile .

“Sorry for keeping you two ladies waiting,” the man holds his fists together as a salute to Chen Xue and Chen Shuang .

Chen Xue returns with a polite smile, “We’re the ones who should be thankful for Mr . Ximen’s help . ”

Chen Xue nods in agreement, “Please have a seat, Mr . Ximen . ”

The man is none other than Ximen Tai .  Instead of sitting down, he claps his hands and two servants enter, each carrying an open box with a necklace in it .

Both necklaces are made of the same rare, cherry-sized pearls which sparkle in the light . They are called Rainbow Pearls which are extremely valuable .

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Ximen Tai smiles, “I hope you will like this small gift of mine . ”

There two necklaces each can value no less than one hundred blood crystals . In Tianyuan Isle, there is more than one type of money in circulation, including blood crystal, energy crystal and fantasy crystal, with the next one more valuable than the previous one .

However, Chen Xue’s attitude is still lukewarm and after taking a look at the necklace, she says, “Thank you . ”

Chen Shuang is more enthusiastic in her response as she orders a girl servant to receive the gift, saying, “You shouldn’t have made so much trouble, Mr . Ximen . ”

It isn’t until after Ximen Tai finishes presenting his gifts to the two sisters that he starts paying attention to Li Xing . Since he stepped inside, he hasn’t bothered to take a look at the third person in the room, and beneath his wide smile, Li Xing can still feel his innately supercilious air .

“May I know who this is?” Ximen Tai asks smilingly

Chen Shuang introduces, “This is Li Xing, from the Li family of Three Chivalries Garden . ”

Ximen Tai, who obviously heard about Li Xing, gives a seemingly polite yet intentionally offensive response, “It’s that ba… Haha, I’ve heard a lot about you . ” It’s a primal instinct of men that they tend to view each other as enemies in the presence of beautiful women .  In fact, Ximen Tai already had bad vibes about Li Xing the moment he laid eyes on him . The instinct to compete with Li Xing led him to ‘misspoke’ .

However, Li Xing is smart enough to know that he wanted to say the word “bastard” . This unsaid yet intended insult is even more humiliating .  

In response, Li Xing keeps his face straight and remains seated without even looking at that man, replying, “Nice of you to say that . ”

The slight treatment makes Ximen Tai enraged at once . As the son of a city ruler, he is used to being respected by others wherever he goes, and never has he met anyone who dared to be rube to him like Li Xing did .

Chen Shang has also recognized the intentional offensiveness in Ximen Tai’s remark, so she stops smiling and turns to Li Xing with a sour face, “Mr . Li, I have something to say to you . ” Then she nods at Ximen Tai and pulls Li Xing away to the back of the living room .

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After the two get inside another soundproof room, Chen Shuang says, “That man is Ximen Tai . His father, Ximen Nu, is the ruler of Feilong City, who is also a country warrior with level two breath power . The reason he sent his son over here is to forge an alliance with Three Chivalries Garden through marriage . ”

“Why is he also going to the blood crystal mine?” asks Li Xing who finds it a bit strange .

“You should know that Ximen Tai knows mining very well and is able to identify mineral veins and mining output . Blood crystal is very valuable and Three Chivalries Garden only controls one such mine . So it has been very careful with the mining process . ” 

“This time, Ximen Tai is going to help evaluate how much the amount of blood crystals is left for mining . So I need to remind you that you must avoid openly competing with him, because we don’t want anything to affect the mining . ” 

Being informed with the consequences, Li Xing says, “I know what to do . ” After a pause, he goes on asking, “May I know how many blood crystals Three Chivalries Garden mines per year?”

Chen Shuang answers, “All the other large mines are under the control of influential players . The one controlled by Three Chivalries Garden can produce ten thousand to thirteen thousand blood crystals annually . ”

“So why do you need to check the account?” Since Li Xing hasn’t known everything about Three Chivalries Garden, he figures this is an opportunity to ask for more details .  On the plus side, he is going to need all the information on this upcoming trip .

Chen Shuang explains, “Three Chivalries Garden has three families – the Chens, the Lis and the Bais . Our three families take turns at taking charge of blood crystal mining . So whenever one family is taking the supervising role, the other two families have the right to check the account . That’s already an agree-upon practice . Every year, we are required to send sixty percent of the blood crystals to Qiyun Sect, twenty percent to higher-level marquises, and Three Chivalries Garden only gets to keep the rest . If someone is found playing dirty tricks on the account, there will definitely be severe consequences . ”

After finishing their conversation, the two return to the living room where Ximen Tai is trying to engage Chen Xue by talking nonstop . But the minute he sees Li Xing, he stops speaking and casts him a cold glance .

Li Xing doesn’t feel like talking to the man, either . Seeing the two coming in, Chen Xue stands up and says, “We should go . ” 

Afterwards, the four of them each take a horse and set off for the blood crystal mine .

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All of the horses are of fine breed and run very fast . Although the mine is roughly fifty kilometers away from Three Chivalries Garden, the four manage to arrive in half an hour .  

From a long distance away on the back of his horse, Li Xing can see a long stretch of tall and solid walls on which there stand a post every three to five meters, with each being guarded by a man armed with high-quality bow and arrows . All of the guards are brave warriors with at least level five blood power .

In the middle of the wall is a large gate which opens as the four arrive . Then there come out two brave warriors who speak to the two sisters respectfully, “Misses, the account book is already prepared . Please follow me to the accountant . ”

The two warriors were dispatched by the Li family to supervise the mine, and they were informed about the account-checking in advance .

Chen Xue nods to the two men, and the four of them pass through the gate to the mine .

After getting inside, Li Xing is greeted by rows of low-rise stone cottages behind which is the rolling mine where thousands of laborers are working, walking in and out of the pits .

Li Xing and Chen Xue ride side by side, as Chen Shuang points at the stone cottages, saying, “That’s where the miners eat and rest . There are five thousand or so miners working here and all of them are criminals from Qingyun City . ”

Li Xing doesn’t need to look closer to know that life here must be difficult for the miners .  He keeps looking around and asking for more information .  

After a short while, they pull to a stop in front of a two-storey stone building, and one of the warriors leading the way says, “Here is where the accountant works . ”

Chen Shuang turns around and says smilingly, “Sister, I’ll go check the account . Why don’t you and Li Xing take Mr . Ximen to check the mineral veins?”

Since that is actually what the two sisters agreed on, Chen Xue gives a nod of assent .

So the four part ways as Chen Shuang stays to look at the account while Li Xing and Ximen Tai follow Chen Xue on each side up to the mine . The three is being guided by another supervisor who reminds them as he walks, “The miners can be rough and rude . Miss Chen, you don’t have to pay attention to them . ”

Soon they arrive at a pit where they see a row of miners walking out, each carrying a large rock . The miners are all very strong and are shackled with iron chains around their ankles and wrists . In fact, a majority of them used to practice blood . All are dressed in rags, but that fierce and cruel look can still be found in the eyes of every one of them .

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