Chapter 268: A pleasant surprise
Trunks drank all night, holding his head and crying loudly nonstop with bloodshot eyes. Han Shuo wanted to console him, but nothing he did worked. Trunks seemed to forget everything else as he wallowed in his inextricable agony.
That night, Han Shuo took out three of the remaining five Rebirth Pills and handed them over to Odysseus, Gordon, and Aphrodite to reform their bodies. The other two pills were for Trunks and Emily.
At noon the next day, Han Shuo left the Soul Destroyer mercenary band and traveled to the Valley of Sunshine by himself.
The merchants inside the Valley of Sunshine weren’t affected after last night’s battle. They woke up early, busy as usual, and simply unaware of the happenings of last night.
When Han Shuo reached the fence, soldiers from the Cairo mercenary band immediately recognized and respectfully welcomed him. Looking around carefully, Han Shuo discovered that there wasn’t much change to the merchants of the Valley of Sunshine. However the number of Cairo mercenary band soldiers present was much higher than usual. The frequency at which they patrolled the streets was very high.
Everyone from the Cairo mercenary band nodded respectfully towards Han Shuo upon seeing him. Evidently, they all knew of the aid he had given them last night.
Han Shuo bought a great deal of precious herbs from the old orc’s family shop last time in the Valley of Sunshine. This time, he made straight for the orc’s shop.
The shop owner immediately recognized Han Shuo on seeing him. Originally lying down sluggishly inside, he stood up abruptly and enthusiastically welcomed Han Shuo, chattering away, “Long time no see, haha! Do you see anything good this time?”
Sweeping a few glances around, a hint of delighted surprise flashed across Han Shuo’s eyes. He hastily picked a dozen herbs and placed them in front of the orc, laughing heartily, “I want all of these. You can calculate the price.”
In addition to the Dragonfly Fruit, Extreme Frost Grass, and Goldmarrow Grass that Han Shuo had seen last time, he also discovered the Ninejade Flower during this visit. This was truly a delight beyond imagination. Han Shuo had affirmed his belief that this shop could always give him a pleasant surprise.
The Ninejade Flower had nine petals that were as shiny and translucent as jade, emitting a fragrance that permeated the heart and soul. It could be used as the main ingredient of the Yuan Repair Pill, with a couple of other magic herbs used to refine the final product. This herb was normally very difficult to find.
“You decide the price!” Having experienced Han Shuo’s generosity last time, the old orc seemed to have realized something and casually said with a smile.
Han Shuo’s joy could easily be imagined after collecting so many precious herbs. He immediately took out two heavy bags of gold coins from the space ring and plopped them in front of the old orc. He asked smilingly, “A thousand gold coins. Would that suffice?”
“Haha, such a generous young man. Many thanks!” The old orc quickly grabbed the two bags of gold coins and laughed loudly, in a great mood. His mouth was open so wide that it seemed like he wanted to eat a person.
“You again!” An exclamation suddenly rang out from the door. Cecilia, one of the three Dark Mantle heavyweights, approached leisurely. She called out immediately when her vivid eyes caught sight of Han Shuo. She wore a blackish purple dress today, with soft long hair casually let loose down to her shoulders. Two small, middle-aged men followed behind, their eyes carefully appraising the surroundings, full of vigilance.
Seeing Cecilia as soon as he turned around, Han Shuo was a little surprised. He nodded indifferently at her, his hands starting to collect the herbs on the table as he intended to leave the shop.
“Hey pretty lady, you’ve come again! What would you like to buy this time?” Cecilia seemed to be a regular here too. The old orc also welcomed her with warm hospitality and a big smile.
“He already bought whatever I wanted. Damn it, he was one step ahead again!” Her voice held a tinge of anguish as Cecilia frowned at Han Shuo.
“This…” The old orc didn’t know what to say. He wrung his hands, expressing that he was out of ideas.
Han Shuo was about to leave the shop when he suddenly remembered something. He stopped at the door, turned to look at Cecilia, and said, “If you tell me where Emily is, I’ll give you an herb from my purchase just now.”
The disappointed Cecilia immediately lit up at his words. She looked at Han Shuo and asked, “Is that so? You’ll let me choose from the herbs you just bought?!”
Nodding his head, Han Shuo took out the herbs that he’d just bought with a thousand gold coins. He laid them out and pointed at them saying, “I’ll let you choose one!”
“I want this one!” Cecilia pointed at the Ninejade Flower and said softly.
The corner of his mouth spasmed slightly. Han Shuo considered for a moment, then suddenly said coldly, “This one won’t do, transaction canceled!”
The Dark Mantle higher-ups should know of Emily’s whereabouts. If Han Shuo couldn’t get the answer from Cecilia, he could still ask Candide for help. Moreover, he needed this information just because he wanted to give Emily the Rebirth Pill and help her remake her body. This wasn’t a critical matter, so Han Shuo wasn’t in a rush at the moment.
The Ninejade Flower, however, could only be met by chance and not found, so it was a very important to Han Shuo. He could refine a cauldron of Yuan Repair Pills using this flower as the main ingredient. Han Shuo immediately went back on his word when forced to choose between the two options.
Cecilia had been reaching out for the Ninejade Flower when she was halted upon Han Shuo’s words. She was dumbfounded for a while, then frowned as she looked at him, “You reneged on your word!”
“I didn’t promise you anything so it doesn’t count as going back on my word. I can let you take two others except for this flower if you’re still willing to tell me!” Han Shuo first placed the Ninejade Flower into the space ring and then shrugged his shoulders, speaking to Cecilia as if nothing had happened.
Sparks flew out from Cecilia’s eyes as she looked at Han Shuo. She remained frozen for quite a while before nodding bitterly, saying, “Stingy brat!”
She took two blades of Extreme Frost Grass, then glared at Han Shuo and answered, “After Emily completed her mission with me, she should have returned to the Empire’s Ossen City. To think that the person that Emily greatly respects is actually this petty. I really don’t understand why she values you so much!”
“This has nothing to do with you!” Han Shuo chuckled. He felt quite secure after knowing Emily’s location. He was planning on returning to Ossen City soon anyway. Emily would take the initiative to find him once she knew of his presence. He could then use the Rebirth Pill to help her.
“You there! Don’t move, or don’t blame us for being rude!” Suddenly, ten mercenaries from the Cairo band surrounded the old orc’s shop, pointing their crossbows at the three in Cecilia’s group.
“What is this? Is this how the Cairo mercenary band treats us merchants?” Cecilia asked, her expression angry as she coldly looked at the leader.
“We always treat merchants nicely, but you people didn’t enter normally. Otherwise, we would have your records. Come with us!” The cold words of the mercenary was accompanied by an unceremonious and stern stare.
It seemed Cecilia’s group of three hadn’t come in through the fence, but had used another way instead. The Cairo mercenary band might not have found out if this had been normal times. However, after the fiasco last night, the Cairo mercenaries were on high alert. They were all extremely cautious, so no wonder they had discovered the abnormal entry.
“Mister Bryan, please be careful with these people!” The leading mercenary’s attitude towards Han Shuo, compared to his attitude towards Cecilia, was as different as the heavens and earth. His tone was sincere, his manner respectful, and even a touch ingratiating.
“Mister Bryan, when our chief learned you’d arrived at the Valley of Sunshine, he immediately wanted to meet you. If you wait for just a moment, the chief himself will come to see you regarding last night’s agreement after he handles the matters within the valley. We will fulfill the promised amount of gold, so please wait just a bit!” Another mercenary bowed respectfully to Han Shuo and said in a humble tone.
What is this? Cecilia looked at Han Shuo suspiciously. She secretly thought, Han Shuo is only a Dark Mantle envoy, while the other person is the violent lunatic Laureton. Why is he treating Han Shuo so kindly? This is truly confusing! Laureton is notoriously arrogant and hard to please, but is so unexpectedly respectful towards this fellow? Weird, really too weird!
“Hey, we’re together, you must’ve been mistaken!” Cecilia suddenly came up with an idea. She abruptly walked up to Han Shuo with a charming smile, patting his shoulder as if their relationship was very intimate!
Han Shuo was dumbfounded. He glanced at her with a cold face and was about to open his mouth to say something when he heard Cecilia whisper, “We are carrying out a mission. As a fellow member of the Dark Mantle, if you have the guts to not help me, I’ll definitely report to that old fellow Candide when I return!”
“Hehe, we are together indeed!” Cecilia and Han Shuo stood side by side as he suddenly relaxed.
“Mhm, they are my friends, so I guarantee that they won’t do anything detrimental to your mercenary band’s interests. I’ll wait for your people to meet me at the shop. If your chief comes, I’ll let him know about this!” Han Shuo smiled and nodded at the mercenaries, then put his arm around Cecilia’s waist with naughty intentions. His actions screamed of an ambiguous relationship.
Cecilia’s small waist was plump and firm. The thin dress couldn’t hide its amazing elasticity. Han Shuo couldn’t help but secretly praise it as he held on. This young woman didn’t only have a beautiful face, even her body was truly tempting.
“So it’s like that!” The mercenaries suddenly realized and spoke apologetically to Cecilia, “Our apologies, we didn’t know of your relationship with Mister Bryan, we’ve been rude!”
“Let’s go, there is no problem in this area. Let’s go inspect the other areas. Do not let any suspicious characters slip through our fingers!” After bowing respectfully to Han Shuo, the leader loudly shouted a command and led the group of mercenaries to leave in a blink of an eye.