Chapter 25 - Finding An Inn
Lin Mu was standing in front of Jing Weis Emporium, staring at the shop.
Before entering, he withdrew all the materials he was going to sell, as well as withdrawing a sufficient amount of money to be kept in the coin pouch.
He currently had four materials he wanted to sell. They were the pelt and tusks of the Red-snouted boar, the pelt of the Two-tailed wood lizard, and the feathers of the Hook-winged swan.
The gains from these materials would not compare to the number of coins he received from todays previous trades, but it will net him some silvers at least. Because for Lin Mu every little copper counted.
Once Lin Mu ensured that everything was ready, he took a deep breath and pushed open the door of the shop. The door was still hard to push and creaked loudly when it swung open.
The shop was still the same as he had left it before, with the only exception being that the counter was clean from dust and the woman, Duan Ke, was already at the counter.
Duan Ke was sitting at the counter while reading a book. She was wearing a light green dress today and her hair was tied in a bun with the help of an ornate hairpin in the shape of a poplar leaf.
Duan Ke turned her sight away from the book and looked towards Lin Mu, who had just walked in. But as she looked at him closely, she felt that he looked different from before. Only when he came in front of her, could she perceive the reason.
He broke through to the 6th stage of the body tempering already It has not even been a week since he was in the 4th stage of the body tempering realm. Thought Duan Ke with a little surprise on her face.
Lin Mu was thinking about what he was going to say to Duan Ke, so did not notice the slight surprise on her face. He stood in front of her and spoke in a friendly tone,
"Im here to sell more materials."
"Show me what youve brought." Said Duan Ke curtly.
Lin Mu opened the sack and pulled out the materials one by one. He first placed the bundle of feathers from the Hook-winged swan on one side, along with the tusks of the Red-snouted boar. Then took out the rolled-up pelts of the Red-snouted boar and the Two-tailed wood lizard.
Duan Ke unrolled the pelts and inspected them. Finding nothing wrong with them, she placed them down and then inspected the tusks for cracks and counted the number of feathers.
After she was done inspecting all the materials, Duan Ke turned her eyes towards Lin Mu and spoke,
"Ill pay you 1 silver for the Two-tailed wood lizards pelt, 5 silvers for the Red-snouted boars pelt, 2 silvers and 50 coppers for the feathers of the Hook-winged swan and 2 silvers for the tusks of the Red-snouted boar."
"Thats fine for me, I accept." Said Lin Mu.
"Do you want to buy something" Asked Duan Ke with a questioning tone, as if she was displeased with Lin Mu for only selling and not buying anything.
"Nothing right now." Said Lin Mu, oblivious to her tone.
Seeing that Lin Mu was not looking to buy anything, Duan Ke took out a coin pouch from the counter and counted 10 silver and 50 copper coins before passing them to Lin Mu who took them.
Lin Mu was about to turn around when Duan Ke spoke,
"Hows the sword treating you"
Lin Mu stopped upon hearing her and spoke,
"The sword is excellent and has been a great help to me. It did not become even slightly dull after I chopped some trees with it." Said Lin Mu with an impressed tone.
The corner of Duan Kes mouth could be seen twitching after hearing that Lin Mu used the short sword to chop wood.
If grandfather was here, he would definitely teach him a lesson. Using his sword to chop wood, what disrespect. Thought Duan Ke
"You should buy an actual axe to chop wood then. Its not right to use the sword for that." Suggested Duan Ke.
"Also, perhaps for skinning the pelts, you should also get a proper skinning knife. It would make the task much more efficient." Further spoke Duan Ke after seeing that Lin Mu was contemplating on her previous suggestion.
Lin Mu thought of Duan Kes suggestions and indeed felt that he should get a chopping axe and a skinning knife. If not for their intended use as tools, they could be used as extra weapons in case of an emergency.
"Youre right, Ill get them both. Can you show me some" asked Lin Mu.
Duan Ke nodded and came out from behind the counter and went towards a shelf towards the right. She checked the top of the shelf and pulled out a short knife that was kept in a leather sheath. The knife was 10 centimeters long and had a curved blade.
After taking out the knife, she went towards the other corner of the shelf and picked up an axe that was hung on its side. The axe looked very common and unassuming.
She brought both items to the counter and showed them to Lin Mu, who checked them out. Finding them acceptable, he spoke,
"How much for them"
"A total of 5 silver coins, 2 for the axe, and 3 for the skinning knife." Said Duan Ke.
Lin Mu was a little surprised that the knife cost more than the axe, but then understood that the knife was of a much higher quality than the axe.
Lin Mu took out 5 silver coins from his pouch and passed them to Duan Ke, who promptly stored them in the counter. Lin Mu took the two tools and stored them in the empty sack.
He then walked out of the shop and went towards the main street.
After Lin Mu was gone, Duan Ke was still staring at the door for a while, until the door behind her opened and the old man Jing Wei walked out.
"Was it the boy" asked Jing Wei to Duan Ke.
"Yes, it was that boy Lin Mu. He came to sell more materials." Answered Duan Ke.
Jing Wei looked closely at his granddaughters expression and asked,
"Was something different with the boy"
"You were right before grandfather." Spoke Duan Ke.
Jing Wei raised his brows in question.
"The boy is in the 6th stage of the body tempering realm." Explained Duan Ke upon seeing her grandfathers questioning gaze.
Jing Wei too was a little surprised, like Duan Ke upon knowing this.
"The boy definitely has some secrets. There is no other way he could reach the 6th stage of the body tempering realm this fast. Im even thinking someone may be backing him." Said Jing Wei, after thinking a little.
"Grandfather, if someone is backing him and is able to hide themselves from you, they must have a high level of cultivation. We need to find out and verify this, or it could be problematic for us." Said Duan Ke.
"No, wait for a while. We have been hiding here for all these years now. If we expose ourselves this early, all our plans could go to waste." Said Jing Wei with a firm tone.
Duan Ke was a little taken aback from her grandfathers reaction but did not question it.
Back on the main street, Lin Mu was looking for an inn. He wanted to see if he could get a room in one of the inns. He knew that it could be a little difficult as the other hunters who did not have houses in the town must have already booked the inns beforehand for the winter.
He reached the first inn and walked in through the door. There were already many people standing around in the lobby, most of them looked like they were merchants with some hunters and common folk mixed in.
Lin Mu went up to the person sitting at the front desk and asked,
"Do you have rooms available"
"No, sorry we are already booked for three days from today and if you were asking to stay for the duration of the winter then youll have to come back three days later to inquire." Said the person sitting at the desk in a practiced manner, as if he had already repeated the same sentence many times.
Upon hearing the mans answer, Lin Mu walked out of the inn and went ahead to check the other inns on the street.
He ended up checking all the inns in the street and got a similar answer. They either told him to come back in three days as the merchants had booked them all, or that they were completely booked for the winter.
I guess I must come back three days later then. Worse that could happen is that I cant find a room and Ill have to rent a small house instead. At least I have plenty of money now. Thought Lin Mu.
Failing in his search for an inn, Lin Mu went back to the main square where all the merchants had set up their stalls and shops. He had left behind the sled that he had made, with the merchant who had bought the two beast corpses from him.
He did not want to pull the sled around the town, so he thought to get it later on if he could not find a room today. He reached the square 10 minutes later and talked to the young man who had taken the beast corpses with him.
The young man pointed him towards the cages, at the side of which his handmade sled was kept. Lin Mu thanked the young man and started pulling the sled out of the town. Now that there was no weight on the sled, it was much easier for Lin Mu to pull it.
He exited the town after 15 minutes, unaware that two men had followed him the entire time. They stayed far from him, so he did not notice them at all.
He had to travel about halfway to the hunting shack before he could store the sled in the ring as there were more travelers and hunters who were going towards the town now than in the morning.
When he finally reached a remote enough place, he stored the sled in the ring. But this time there were two men who were hiding behind a knoll, who had seen the sled disappear.
The two men were shocked but then remembered what they had seen before in the morning and understood that Lin Mu had a spatial storage treasure as well.
The greed in their eyes was blazing now. They were already thinking about how rich they were going to be after they kill Lin Mu and take away his belongings.
The two men took out their weapons and held them in their hands before approaching Lin Mu.
"Stop right there brat." Spoke one of the men.
"Ah, not again." Was the only thought that Lin Mu had upon hearing the voice that came from behind him.