Chapter 28: Agarwood Pavilion
Although Cloud Leopard’s condition had greatly improved after using the medicine, he quickly fell back asleep after expending so much energy.
After Cloud Leopard fell asleep, Su Chen sat there in silent contemplation.
After a spending a long time in deep thought, he finally stood up and walked towards the workbench on the side of the room and began adjusting the components of the medicine.
He very quickly concocted another vial of medicine.
He then poured the medicine into the palm of his hand, gently dabbing it onto his face.
As the medicine soaked into his face, his skin slowly began to darken.
Next, Su Chen picked up a pen and began to draw on his eyebrows, forming an upside-down eight1. Finally, he stuck a fake mustache onto his face. Su Chen’s appearance had completely changed; no one would be able to recognize him.
Su Chen changed into a robe made of coarse cloth and then left the room.
Upon returning to the main room, where the Origin Talisman Energy Formation was still active, Su Chen saw Shi Kaihuang sitting in the middle of the formation surrounded by countless stars revolving and shifting above his head. Shi Kaihuang was currently operating the formation, using the entire sky to make multiple calculations to search for a possible breakthrough combination.
When Su Chen appeared, the stars stopped moving.
Shi Kaihuang opened his eyes. He did not seem all that surprised when he saw Su Chen’s getup. All he said was, “Are you headed out?”
“Mhm.” Su Chen nodded. “There’s some things I need to take care of.
“Do I need to step in?” Shi Kaihuang asked.
Although the old man had never asked, there was nothing that happened inside the Origin Energy Tower that could possibly go unnoticed by him.
Su Chen laughed. “I can take care of it.”
Shi Kaihuang gave him a meaningful look. He thought for a moment and then said, “That’s fine. Since you chose to walk down this path, you will need to have the strength to resolve certain…… issues on your own. It’s not enough just to rely on the strength of your seniors, but if you do ever encounter any difficulties that you are not strong enough to overcome, it’s important to learn when to ask for help.”
“Yes, sir!” Su Chen respectfully replied. “Then your disciple is going to go.”
Shi Kaihuang nodded his head. “Go.”
Just as he was about to leave, Shi Kaihuang suddenly said in a loud voice, “Su Chen!”
“Your disciple is here! Instructor, do you have any further instructions?”
Shi Kaihuang said, “Remember, you need to be focused!”
“Your disciple understands!” Su Chen replied firmly.
After exiting the tower, Su Chen began to head outside the Institute.
At this time of day, the sky was already dark. The shops opposite from the Hidden Dragon Institute were lit up by hanging lanterns.
Every day, many students of the Hidden Dragon Institute came here during their free time for pleasure. Any kind of entertainment that couldn’t be found in the Institute could be found here.
This gave those with malicious intent an opportunity.
If they wanted to mark a certain student, all they would have to do is inform the people inside those shops.
Those insiders would watch for their targets closely. As soon as they discovered their targets, they would immediately report to their employers the targets’ location.
This was how Su Chen was discovered the last time he left the Institute.
But this time, no one recognized him.
Su Chen headed directly for Long Coiling City after exiting the Hidden Dragon Institute.
Northface City couldn’t even compare to Long Coiling City, the capital of Long Sang Country.
This giant city was equivalent to twenty Northface Cities in terms of area. The towering walls, nearly two hundred feet tall,, were constructed from sediment from the delta of the Black River. They were covered in Origin Formation inscriptions and patterns, forming a massive, all-encompassing Origin Energy Formation.
The name Long Coiling City came from the serpentine walls that looked just like a giant dragon, coiling around the city itself. A dragon head and tail were even constructed on the city walls. They connected with each other at the main northern gate, the Ferocious Suppression Gate.
As its name implied, the gate’s significance was the human race’s suppression of the Ferocious Race!
Since ancient times, the Son of Heaven had stood guard over the main gates.
Long Coiling City was in the northern reaches of the country. Further north of it was the drainage spot of the Golden Water River. People from Long Sang Country had established a fort there known as the Flowing Gold Fort. Beyond the Flowing Gold Fort was the Harvey Plain. Deep within the Harvey Plain roamed the barbaric, vicious, and savage Ferocious Race.
This implied that if the Flowing Gold Fort fell, Long Coiling City would bear the burden of keeping the Ferocious Race outside of the country.
Su Chen walked through the city’s South Gate after arriving from the Hidden Dragon Institute.
In comparison to the northern gate’s majesty and prestige, the southern gate was much simpler. Even the walls were much shorter here.
That was because south of Long Coiling City was the territory of the human race. If the human race were to be driven from Long Coiling City, it would be easier to reclaim in the future because of the weaker defenses.
Because he was a student of the Hidden Dragon Institute, Su Chen was allowed into the city after a brief questioning session.
Even though it was already nighttime, Long Coiling City was still bustling. Lanterns were lit everywhere, and people were constantly coming and going. Crystal lanterns powered by Origin Stones hung from every storefront. In Northface City, only wealthiest stores would use these lanterns, yet they were the standard here in Long Coiling City.
Su Chen’s footsteps began to speed up as he walked along the brightly lit streets..
After walking a certain distance, Su Chen arrived in front of a store called “Agarwood Pavilion2”.
The store was still open, so Su Chen stepped inside.
A servant came up to him. “Sir, this way please. This store primarily deals in precious medicinal ingredients as well as a few high-quality medicines. What do you need, sir?”
Su Chen didn’t say anything. He took out a placard and handed it over.
The servant received the placard and took a look at it. Instantly, he froze in surprise before respectfully saying, “Sir, please wait a moment.”
He went into the inner room to report something.
A moment later, he came back out and lead Su Chen into the inner room. The layout behind the front room was quite complicated. They walked along a zig-zagging hallway for quite some time before arriving in front of a small room.
Someone had been waiting inside the room for them already. Upon entering the room, the person inside gestured for the servant to retreat before bowing deeply to Su Chen and saying, “Li Shu greets Young Master!”
“Stand,” Su Chen said.
The Agarwood Pavilion was run by Li Shu.
More accurately, Su Chen had inspired Li Shu to open this store here in Long Coiling City after starting school here.
In this way, Li Shu, Mingshu and Zhou Hong could find a place to settle down. After all, he did not leave the Institute often, and there was no way he could just leave them to fend for themselves. Second, Su Chen would be able to earn some money and, more importantly, take care of the business between himself and the Immortal Temple. Every month, the Immortal Temple would send him ingredients to this location. Of course, Li Shu and the others didn’t know of his relationship with the Immortal Temple; they only thought that Night Demon and the others were Su Chen’s friends. Third, Su Chen would occasionally produce completed medicine during his study of alchemy. Some of these completed medicines would be sent to the Immortal Temple as repayment as well as to demonstrate his own progress. The rest would be given to this store to turn a profit.
Because his eyes had the ability to see Origin Energy, Su Chen had quite a high success rate when it came to concocting medicine. Thus, this business had earned him some money. Although it couldn’t compare to the money he had made extorting people in the Halcyon Gorge, business here was much more steady.
But for the sake of security, Su Chen’s relationship with the Agarwood Pavilion had always been kept a secret. Thus, this place had become a secret meeting place for his external connections.
Su Chen sat down at the head spot and asked, “Have you seen Night Demon recently?”
Lin Shu replied, “Miss Night Demon came here a few days ago. She complained about not seeing Young Master. She said that Young Master only knows how to spend all his time studying within the Institute and never comes out.”
The Hidden Dragon Institute couldn’t compare with the Su Palace. Many crouching tigers and hidden dragons resided there, and experts were a dime a dozen.
Night Demon’s concealment techniques weren’t nearly powerful enough to sneak into the Hidden Dragon Institute. Doing so would only be seeking death, so in this past year, she had never gone to the Institute. She could only come to the Agarwood Pavilion and complain.
Speaking of which, because Su Chen had requested that Night Demon be his contact with the Immortal Temple, Night Demon also came to Long Coiling City with Su Chen.
But as soon as Su Chen entered the Hidden Dragon Institute, he had basically tossed this girl to the back of his mind. Because she didn’t have any friends to play with, she had been complaining for more than just one or two days.
Su Chen laughed when he heard this. “Aren’t I here now? Go tell her that I want to meet with her.”
“You only want to meet with her, right?” Li Shu understood Su Chen quite well.
“We have some business to discuss,” Su Chen said.
- The Chinese character for eight is 八. What Su Chen drew on his face was flipped upside down ↩
- This is a play on words. “沉香” can be translated as agarwood, but the “沉” character is also the same character used in Su Chen’s name, “苏沉”. Of course, I also could have translated it as Chen Fragrance Pavilion, but I felt agarwood would be more appropriate. ↩