Soaring the Heavens - Chapter 530 - A New Mission
Chapter 530: A New Mission
Translator: SoupHunter Editor: TomYummy
As a member of the administration, Miao Yi could not refuse an official decree. As such, he risked his life once again by leaving the tavern at a time when Flowing Clouds Dune Sea was at its most chaotic, in order to get to the Chamber of Commerce. There, he found An Zhengfeng, the person in-charge of this particular branch.
The moment he saw the old man, Miao Yi said in a respectful manner, “You win, Manager An. Go on and tell me how you want me to die this time.”
An Zhengfeng chuckled and said, “How could I bear to let such a useful subordinate like you kick the bucket? Sometimes, it’s better to have one useful subordinate than a powerful cultivation. Everyone wishes to have someone like that working under them. I want to discuss something with you. Would you be willing to leave the administration and come work for the Chamber of Commerce? As long as you’re willing, I’ll think of a way to get you transferred over.” He was trying to recruit Miao Yi.
‘I can’t wait to get as far away from you as I can is more like it! Nothing good ever happens whenever I see your face!’ Miao Yi cursed in his mind. He obviously knew that An Zhengfeng was not trying to recruit him just so he could live an easy life, but to put him to work. If he was working in an accursed place like Flowing Clouds Dune Sea, a single moment of carelessness could result in him dying horribly. Naturally, he wouldn’t agree to such a proposition. “Manager An, I’m not accustomed to working in the shadows. I still prefer living in the light and helping the Celestial Sage oversee her territory. I’d like to ask, what kind of mission are you assigning to me this time?”
An Zhengfeng smiled. “Your mission this time is very safe! I trust that you’re aware of the state of things here in Flowing Clouds Dune Sea. Because of the Netherdragon Ship’s reappearance, it is in utter chaos, and even the other five nations have begun sending their forces over. As such, I want you to continue staying in Tempest Tavern and gather information.”
Miao Yi was taken aback. “That’s it?”
An Zhengfeng nodded. “That’s it.”
Miao Yi asked suspiciously, “Then I won’t have to lure out the assassin anymore?”
An Zhengfeng answered, “Of course you still have to! However, since the other party hasn’t made their move in such a long time, it’s clear that they’ve already caught on to us. The harder we try to lure them out, the less likely they will actually show themselves. That’s why you will continue staying in Tempest Tavern while acting as bait. When the other party feels that we have loosened up our guard, then our chance to catch them will finally come. You just need to remember one thing. Whenever you’re about to leave the tavern, make sure to leave some kind of sign outside the window of your room an hour before. Once you’re outside, our men will protect you from the shadows. After all, there’s no guarantee that nothing would happen if we take our eyes off you for even a single moment. On the off-chance that our men fail to notice that you’ve gone out, things will turn out badly for you if you encounter any trouble.”
Miao Yi was quite relieved to hear that he was getting full-time protection. He had been on edge throughout the journey here earlier on. However, he still couldn’t help asking curiously, “You could’ve just gotten anyone to gather information. Why pick me?”
An Zhengfeng chuckled. “It’s because you’re capable, so we need to put you to good use.”
Miao Yi rolled his eyes. “Manager An, you’re joking, right? How am I capable? If you think sending me to gather information is putting me to good use, then I’m afraid I really don’t deserve such a prestigious evaluation.”
An Zhengfeng shook his head and continued to chuckle. “When you and your team encountered the Hive Gang, weren’t you the only one to make it out alive? And when the assassins of Peony tried to kill you, weren’t you also the sole survivor of your group? Not to mention, you were also the one who found the Netherdragon Ship. And back in the Subjugation Crusade, it was also you who managed to slaughter your way to victory out of 180,000 contestants. Do all these coincidences not speak volumes of your capabilities? And there’s one other thing–I heard that you’re quite close to Yun Zhiqiu of Tempest Tavern, and that the two of you even had a drink together before?”
“Uhh…” Miao Yi was taken aback, but the white-robed person soon came to mind. That bastard was definitely the one who ratted him out to this old geezer. He helplessly shook his head and said, “Yeah, we did drink together before, but it’s not like we’re especially close or anything like that. Manager An, why are you asking me this?”
An Zhengfeng smiled. “I heard that the Tempest Tavern is fully booked, and that there’s a large number of people who are can’t get themselves any lodging as a result. Yet, you somehow found a way to stay in the tavern’s storeroom. Is this true?”
When he heard about the storeroom, Miao Yi immediately recalled the naked figure he had seen above his head, and a sense of unease quickly welled up inside him. He shrugged his shoulders and sighed. “Do you think I had any other choice? Obviously, I had to find some place to stay in, and this was the solution I came up with after racking my brain. What’s wrong with that?”
“There’s nothing wrong! Nothing wrong at all!” An Zhengfeng’s eyes gleamed as he abruptly stood up and started circling around Miao Yi, sizing up the latter as he paced about him a few times. Miao Yi felt chills run up his spine from the other party’s fervent gaze. Finally, the old geezer clicked his tongue and said, “It doesn’t matter where you’re staying in. What I need is precisely this ability of yours to come up with solutions in order to accomplish your goals. Kid, stop wasting your time elsewhere. Just come over to the Chamber of Commerce.”
“I’m just staying in a storeroom. Manager An, do you need to get so agitated about it?”
“No one else has been able to squeeze themselves into that tavern but you. Does this still not highlight how big of a deal this is for you?”
“…” Miao Yi was lost for words. He waved his hands and refused, “Let’s just talk about business instead. What kind of information do you want me to gather? I’m sick of this place already. The sooner I finish my job, the sooner I can leave.”
“You are aware of Yun Zhiqiu’s background, yes?” An Zhengfeng asked.
“Somewhat. She’s Yun Aotian’s granddaughter, as well as Feng Beichen’s granddaughter-in-law.” As he said this, Miao Yi curiously asked, “Why are you so concerned about her? Don’t tell me you’ve taken a liking to her? If you’re really interested, then I don’t mind hooking you guys up. I’m not particularly close to her, but I can still help put in a few good words for you at least. If you pay me the matchmaker’s fees up front, then I will definitely give it all I’ve got.”
An Zhengfeng broke out in laughter, tapping on Miao Yi’s shoulder as he said, “That kind of good fortune is not for me, I’m afraid. Personally, I would love to take you up on that offer, but I think Yun Aotian and Feng Beichen would surely want to rip me to pieces if I did that. I won’t be able to beat either of them, so I think I should just leave the opportunity to you youngsters instead. However, I do require your ability to engage in a conversation with her. It should be clear now that the one I want you to keep an eye on is none other than Yun Zhiqiu herself. Your new mission is to get as close to her as you can and keep an eye on her every move.”
Miao Yi was shocked. “Why do you want me to keep an eye on her?”
An Zhengfeng said solemnly, “That woman comes in contact with the upper echelons of the Great Devil Realm and the Boundless Realm quite frequently. Unfortunately, these people almost always visit her in disguise, making it hard for us to recognize them. We’ve tried to plant a spy next to her several times before, but the entire tavern is only so big, and we have limited manpower to spare. That’s why we’ve never been able to find our chance. Remember this: for normal guests, Yun Zhiqiu will only interact with them out of courtesy. As such, if you ever find someone that she’s treating especially well, I want you to immediately make a note of that person and report it to us. After that, we will send in our scouts to follow them and investigate deeper. You don’t have to worry about anything else.”
‘What will you be investigating exactly?’ The other party might not necessarily reveal that information to him, and Miao Yi himself wasn’t that keen to find out either. He couldn’t help smiling wryly as he realized just because he was a little closer to the Lady Boss than the average guest, he was immediately turned into the Celestial Sage’s tool. It seemed the conflict between the Six Sages really was intense on all fronts, with each faction utilizing every opportunity they could get their hands on. Meanwhile, he was no more than a pawn in the midst of it all.
“Manager An, even though I’m staying in the storeroom, I’m still being charged the accommodation fees. I won’t be able to sustain myself if I stay too long!”
“You don’t have to worry about this. We will cover your accommodation fees for you. You won’t be made to suffer any losses.” An Zhengfeng then handed Miao Yi a storage ring. “You’ll find ten million Gold Crystals inside. That’s enough for you to stay in the tavern for half a year. After that, just quietly make your way back to the Chamber of Commerce and hide in here for a month. Once a month has passed, you’ll go back to the tavern and stay for another six months. Otherwise, given the way that accursed tavern doubles their prices every month, there’s no way anyone would be able to stay for too long.”
Miao Yi tucked the storage ring away and sighed. “Manager An, I have something I need to tell you. During the previous mission, my Third Grade Armor Artifact got destroyed when I found the ghost ship.”
An Zhengfeng’s expression froze. “What are you trying to say?”
Miao Yi answered disapprovingly, “Oh, nothing much. I just want to ask if the higher-ups plan to compensate me for my loss. By right, as a Manor Head from the administration, I don’t need to be involved in the Chamber of Commerce’s internal affairs. However now, not only am I risking my life to accomplish your tasks, I’ve even lost my Third Grade Armor Artifact for your cause. You don’t seriously expect me to just suck it up like this, do you?”
An Zhengfeng’s expression instantly darkened. He asked angrily, “Kid, don’t you think you’re asking for a little too much? Do you really think the Chamber of Commerce is a bottomless pit of treasure? Go ahead and ask yourself honestly, how many things have you already taken from me? Even if you go back to become a Hall Master, you won’t normally be able to save up such a vast amount of wealth in a thousand years. How are you still not satisfied? Third Grade Armor Artifact? How did you even get your hands on a Third Grade Armor Artifact? And you still want another? Do you think Third Grade Armor Artifacts are like the little grains of sand you can just casually pick up from the ground here in Flowing Clouds Dune Sea? Do you have any idea how many Red Lotus cultivators out there don’t even have a single Third Grade Armor Artifact? Stop lying to me already! Have I been too treating you too kindly?!”
“Manager An, do you think I’m trying to cheat you? After I came back from the Subjugation Crusade, I had painstakingly procured myself a Third Grade Armor Artifact. But when I found that ghost ship, I ended up suffering a terrible loss. Wu Zhen and Wu Ming were there as well the moment my armor artifact was destroyed. They saw it with their own eyes. Even my life was almost forfeit. You can ask the two of them if you don’t believe me.” Miao Yi continued in exasperation, “Why assign me such a mission if you don’t even trust me?!”
His armor artifact was indeed destroyed by Wu Zhen and Wu Ming, but it was only a Second Grade one. Miao Yi was confident that those two women wouldn’t deny this claim. ‘There’s no way in hell you can expect me to suffer a loss after being assaulted. I’m getting back what I’m owed no matter what, and with added interest.’
Hearing his statement, An Zhengfeng asked suspiciously, “Wu Zhen and Wu Ming really saw it for themselves?”
If that was truly the case, then he would believe Miao Yi’s words. After all, he was the one who arranged for Wu Zhen and Wu Ming to protect him in the first place. They were both his trusted subordinates.
“Even though we were roaming around the desert for almost a year, we barely even spoke to one another. You don’t honestly believe they would lie for my sake, do you? If you don’t trust me, go ahead and ask them then! Oh, that’s right. There’s also a Glorious Star Immortal Herb as well. It’s the one you gave me before. It’s also gone now. Seeing as how you were the one who gave it to me, I didn’t even want to mention it at first.” Miao Yi begrudgingly continued, “I risked my life in the Subjugation Crusade just so I could bring back a meager fortune. For others, they would be rewarded by their higher-ups for undertaking their missions, whereas I, on the other hand, am forced to suffer losses instead. What kind of messed up logic—”
“Alright, alright, alright!” An Zhengfeng hurriedly raised a hand and stopped him. “I don’t want to bicker with you any longer. I will confirm your story with the two of them first. If it’s true, then I’ll consult with the higher-ups and try to compensate you as soon as possible. Stop being such a drama queen already. Are you a woman or something? First, focus on the task at hand. If you do your job well, then you will be rewarded accordingly.”
Miao Yi asked, “When you say ‘compensate me as soon as possible’, how soon do you mean exactly?
“You—!” An Zhengfeng glared at him and continued, “Three days at most. Are you satisfied?!”
“Manager An, you don’t have to feel so troubled. If you would just let me return to Traversing Water Palace, then I can forget about that Third Grade Armor Artifact. Just think of it a token of my loyalty to the Celestial Sage…”
“Piss off!” An Zhengfeng sharpyl retorted. As an esteemed Golden Lotus cultivator, most people would tremble before him. In contrast, this bastard just shamelessly tried to bargain with him. What impudence!
Miao Yi became a little timid when he saw how furious the other party was and left the Chamber of Commerce dejectedly. That being said, he was able to say what he needed to say in the end. After all, he still had a bunch of people at home waiting for him to provide for them. Since he was already risking his life by coming out here, he needed to make every single penny count.