Chapter 23 - Shocking The Merchants
Lin Mu searched around in the spatial rift, wanting to find whatever was in there so that he could stand up. It took him over 15 minutes, after which he was able to find the item. He pulled his hand out and withdrew the item from the ring. But upon seeing the item, Lin Mu became a little dumbfounded.
"Is this just dirt" Said Lin Mu, on seeing the clump of dirt in his hand.
Lin Mu touched and smelled the clump of dirt and could not find anything special about it, but still stored it in the ring. He stood up and entered the hunting shack to sleep. As Lin Mu was already tired, he fell into a deep sleep within two minutes and entered the dark place.
Lin Mu appeared in the dark place and looked around. He felt like it was a little different this time. Somehow the darkness seemed to have reduced a minuscule amount. He still could not see anything, but the Darkness did not seem as dark as before. It was hard to explain, but thats what he felt like.
Since I appear here every time I sleep, I should probably give this place a name.
Hmm, Ill name this place the Sleepscape. Thought Lin Mu, and felt a little proud of his naming sense.
Lin Mu then sat down to recall and practice the boulder collapsing fist. He found out that now that he had memorised the entire martial technique, he could practice it here. Even though he could not feel the vital energy within his body, he could still improve his coordination between the fist routine and breathing technique.
If I practice here, Ill have twice the gains in half the time. Thought Lin Mu as realisation dawned on him about the benefits of the Sleepscape.
Others could only sleep and dream while Lin Mu could enter the Sleepscape to practice and still wake up feeling refreshed. Thus Lin Mu continued practising the technique until he woke up.
Upon waking, Lin Mu set some meat on the stove to cook while he practiced the martial technique and see how much he had improved after practicing in the Sleepscape. He could see some improvement in his coordination, but his vital energy still had difficulty in finding the right path to flow.
As soon as the breakfast was ready Lin Mu stopped to eat it and then sat down to chant the calming heart sutra. Lin Mu noticed that the rate of assimilation had increased, as before it took him 30 minutes to completely assimilate the vital energy, but now it took him 25 minutes.
Looks like my assimilation rate increased after the breakthrough, or it could be that I can assimilate more vital energy than before, perhaps. Ill have to test it out after coming back from the town. Thought Lin Mu.
Lin Mu stored the sled he had made into the ring, as he would be walking most of the way to the town, and only when he is close enough will he use the sled to pull the corpses. He also withdrew the sack which he slung on his back and a coin pouch that he tied to his waist.
Ensuring that everything was ready, Lin Mu set out on the path to the town. It was around 8 am right now, and most of the merchants should be reaching the town by noon. Lin Mu had plenty of time to do all the tasks today. If he is able to get a substantial amount of money, Lin Mu should be able to book a room in an inn for at least a month.
Lin Mu was about one-quarter of the way away from the town when he finally saw some people on the path. He then waited for the people to go far enough for him to not be visible. Once there were no people nearby Lin Mu took out the sled and put the corpses on it.
He then started to pull it along, when he suddenly got the idea that he should probably not let the beast corpses be exposed and cover them. The only thing that he had that could somewhat cover the beast corpses was the large sack that he had. So he covered them with the sack, leaving some parts of the corpses exposed but not so much that it would invite the peoples interest.
While walking he came in contact with some people, but they only paid him a momentary glance before turning away. Lin Mu reached the Northern town in 30 minutes, during which he saw some merchant carriages that were also entering the town.
The view of the town had completely changed due to the large number of merchants who had set up their stalls and shops everywhere. There were a ton of people browsing and buying the goods the merchants had brought. While some hunters could be seen selling some beast materials to the merchants.
Even the peasants working in the spirit apple orchards were given two days off, as this would be their only chance in buying whatever goods they needed from the merchants before winter comes. Once winter officially starts, the next time the merchants would be coming to the town would be at the start of spring, next year.
The trade route that the merchants followed was to enter the four towns and then head towards Wu Lim city where they would be selling off their most expensive goods and buying the shipments of spirit apples as well as some miscellaneous goods.
After completing their trades in the city they would all exit through the southern town and then head towards the various villages, towns, and cities towards the south. The things which attracted most merchants to Wu Lim city were the spirit apples and the occasional rare spirit beast materials.
Lin Mu took the road towards the town square where the bigger merchants set up their shops. He wanted to sell the beast corpses to a merchant who specialised in them. Also, if he wanted to sell the fragrant wood box, he will have to find a merchant who dabbled in luxury goods.
He reached the town square 20 minutes later as there were many people and carriages on the street which he had to carefully wade through. Lin Mu let his sight wander and saw a myriad of people and a cacophony of sounds.
There were merchants and shopkeepers shouting out their wares, people bargaining with the merchants, and some people arguing with each other on who spotted the item first and had the right to buy it.
One could see people from all walks of life in this square. Some were hunters with sinister appearances, some merchants who had cunning eyes, and of course some naïve commoners.
Lin Mus sight eventually stopped on a group of merchants who were surrounded by a large crowd of people. Their carriages were parked behind them and on the side, one could spot some live beasts in cages as well as beast corpses which were currently being skinned by some men.
Lin Mu dragged the sled towards that group of merchants. He bumped into some people and had to also push some people aside so that he could pull the sled in order to reach the merchants.
Once he reached the merchants, one of the young men that were skinning the beast corpses spotted him and gestured him to bring his sled there. The young man looked to be in his early twenties and was wearing a tough travelers robe.
"Youre here to sell some beast corpses, I presume" asked the young man to Lin Mu.
"Yes, I have two beast corpses that Im looking to sell." Replied Lin Mu.
The young man gazed at the sled and said,
"Were currently only buying larger beasts, so if you have any other smaller beast corpses, Im afraid youll have to look elsewhere."
Lin Mu nodded to the young man and turned the sled around to show him the beast corpses. But when he lifted the sack and exposed the corpses, the young mans eyes went wide and his jaw fell.
"This... This is a long-armed Heimao ape, and thats a Yellow-tufted panther." Shouted the young man in shock.
Hearing the young mans shout, the other merchants and the people standing around also turned their focus towards him and then towards the beast corpses. Surprise could be seen in the eyes of people who knew what those beasts were, and confusion in the eyes of those who didnt.
The older merchant who seemed to be the leader of the group approached the sled to check on the beasts corpses. His experienced eyes scanned the corpses and then turned towards Lin Mu.
"A long-armed Heimao ape corpse at the peak of the mid-tier and a Yellow-tufted panther corpse at the High-tier; youve been very lucky, boy." Spoke the merchant.
Lin Mu was a little confused when the young man was shocked, but when he heard the words of the older merchant, he finally understood his reaction. If not for the scenario where the two beasts had already heavily injured each other, there was no chance that Lin Mu could hunt them; even escaping from them would be pushing his luck.
The other people who were watching were gossiping and muttering amongst themselves. The older merchant seeing the crowds condition gestured towards a burly man that was skinning a beast corpse at the side. That burly man came close and dispersed the crowd. Some people in the crowd were unwilling at first, but then scattered under the threatening eyes of the burly man.
Once most of the people dispersed and only the people who were actually trading with the merchants were left, the older merchant spoke,
"Though the pelts of both the beasts are damaged, I can still pay you for their materials and the meat."
Lin Mu nodded as he knew that the pelts were beyond saving and the beast corpses were only worth their materials.
"Yes, I want to sell these beast corpses, so how much will you pay me for these" asked Lin Mu.
"2 gold coins for the long-armed Heimao ape and 4 gold coins for the Yellow-tufted panther." Stated the older merchant.
This time it was Lin Mus turn to be shocked.