Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Madeleine and Madame Boyle walked around the trading house as they talked in low voices. Then, Madame Boyle suddenly sucked in a cold breath.
“The sap of the moon phase grass! Judging from the color, it was picked on the day of the first moon! Such a big bottle! My dear, I have to buy this!” The item she had her eye on was a perfume-sized bottle filled with black liquid. Next to it was a small sign with a price of £200.
It might have been Duan FeiZhou’s imagination, but the liquid seemed to glow with colorful light. But how was that possible? How could there be colorful black in the world? Duan FeiZhou pretended to wander over to her side. “Are you two ladies interested in it?”
“Yes, sir, I’d like to buy it.”
“Two hundred pounds, ma’am, it’s written on the sign. Do you have enough money?”
According to Duan FeiZhou’s past experience in shopping, if a shopkeeper asks such a question, he was clearly looking down on a poorly dressed customer. Customers who were treated coldly would most likely walk away.
Madame Boyle’s eyes did indeed shoot a cold light. She was about to turn around when an arrogant voice came from behind her.
“You’re not buying? That’s good, I need this bottle of moon grass sap so much. Thanks for letting it go!” A man wearing a pure white mask walked over. He spoke with an American accent.
The old woman who was about to leave stopped in her tracks, and glared at the man. “I didn’t say no! I was the one who saw it first!”
“But you don’t have enough money, do you?” The man in the pure white mask sneered.
“I…I can pay a hundred pounds up front, and the rest…” Madame Boyle looked down at her wrap. “I can sell this shawl here, and when I get enough money…”
“The Secret Trading House always pays in cash, money and goods, there is no rule for collateral. I think you’d better give up.” The pure white mask turned to the owner of the trading house, “Don’t you think so?”
Duan FeiZhou hated to grab the ground with his head. It was so close! He was about to drive the old woman away, but he didn’t expect such a guy to appear halfway, and ignite the old woman’s will to win! They were now fighting for the goods more vigorously!
He simply gave up. He didn’t care whether the pure white mask was an occult practitioner, he wouldn’t let him turn him into a groundhog. He said coldly, “So what if it is, so what if it isn’t? I’m the owner of the trading house, and you’re teaching me how to do things?”
He thought the pure white mask would be annoyed, but the guy instantly showed a wolfish look.
“I…I have no intention of telling you what to do!” The pure white mask was like a poor schoolboy justifying his mistake in front of his teacher. “The rules of the trading house are set by you, and you can of course change them at any time. Each generation of trading house owners has its own style of action. I understand very well…”
Duan FeiZhou didn’t know what to say in response. That’s when he remembered Joseph’s second piece of golden advice; to keep the mystery, and smile when he didn’t know how to keep the mystery.
So he squeezed out a false smile.
As soon as the pure white mask saw him smile, he became even more nervous. He took a step backwards, as if he wasn’t facing the owner of the Secret Trading House, but a shark that was showing its teeth at him. His two companions came up beside him at that moment. He was instantly energized.
“I am willing to pay a higher price. You should think about it.” The pure white mask said.
Duan FeiZhou thought quickly and with a vengeance. “Well…” he trailed off. “It’s true that this lady had her eye on it first–”
“That’s right! We can’t cancel the contract with the first customer just because the later bid higher, right? What credibility would that give the trading house?” Madame Boyle said.
“Don’t you threaten the owner of the trading house! You didn’t make any contract!” The pure white mask raised his voice. “The owner didn’t even nod! We were almost here at the same time! It’s time for the highest bidder to win!”
“Please don’t argue with me, I’ll take this item.”
“Who are you to say it’s yours?”
Madeleine was on the verge of tears. She pulled Madame Boyle’s fur shawl, as her eyes glistened with tears. “Madam, let’s forget it…”
“Why don’t you listen to the lady beside you?” The pure white mask sneered.
Madame Boyle pulled the shawl from the girl’s hand and gave the pure white mask a contemptuous glance. “Only the highest level of the secret arts require the moon phase grass. I don’t see any need for you to use it.”
This statement completely annoyed the pure white mask.
“Stinking old woman! Don’t be insensitive!”
“Didn’t your mother teach you polite language, little brat?”
The guests closest to the front door began to tiptoe out of the trading house. The guests standing deeper in the hall also tried to retreat backwards as quietly as possible without drawing attention to themselves.
Their fears proved to be correct. The pure white mask suddenly snapped his fingers. Duan FeiZhou only felt a flash of something in front of his eyes, and the old woman was gone.
A painful moaning sound came from overhead. He fixed his eyes and saw that the old woman hadn’t disappeared. She was lying on the ceiling, as if a big invisible hand had pressed her down hard on it.
“Young people nowadays should really learn a lesson in manners.” Madame Boyle said hoarsely. She stood up, head pointing away from the ceiling, as if gravity didn’t work on her. She pulled off the fur shawl, and threw it down.
The shawl turned into a silver fox, leapt at the pure white mask and wrapped around his head.
The pure white mask grabbed the shawl wildly, as he tried to rip it off. His two companions shouted nervously, “Don’t grab it so hard! Your head might get torn off!”
One man grabbed the young girl’s wrist, and held her hostage. He yelled at Madame Boyle on the ceiling, “Come down, old woman, or I’ll break her neck!”
Madeleine let out a whimper and tried to escape. The man yanked violently, and ripped a string of beaded chains from her wrist.
Clatter. White pearls fell to the ground like rain, then bounced up and flew at bullet-like speed towards the man who was holding the girl hostage. They only heard a loud “bang”, then the man flew backward, and slammed into a glass display case. The merchandise in the display case was shaken to pieces.
What happened next, Duan FeiZhou could only describe as a nightmare. The two women and three men began throwing their ornaments at each other. The old woman’s shawl covered the pure white masked man’s face, while a trail of blood flowed down his neck. Another man’s thrown cufflinks turned into a snake and lunged at the young girl. The young girl screamed in some exotic language, the snake twisted up in the air in pain and burned to ashes…
Duan FeiZhou was on the ground as flying cufflinks, pearls and shawls whistled above his head, and all he could do was crawl forward and inch behind the counter. He thought he would be safe here, but soon a man was thrown over the counter and tumbled right over the top. The man staggered to his feet, and spat out a bloodstained tooth. He didn’t dare look at Duan FeiZhou as he pounced on the old woman again.
The trading house was now in a state of chaos. Duan FeiZhou held his knees and secretly rejoiced. The other customers who saw how dangerous the trading house was wouldn’t dare to come to the door! Thanks a lot, guys!
A pearl hit the ceiling and bounced back at Duan FeiZhou, hitting him in the back of the head. With an “OW”, he fell down and almost broke his teeth on the metal box behind the counter.
“What a pleasure,” Duan FeiZhou said. He was expecting the fight to end more quickly than it was. After all, one of the combatants was an old lady and another a young girl. How could he know that the two ladies were so strong in battle that they were fighting three big men to a standstill? If this went on, wouldn’t the trading house be demolished by them? How to make them stop?
He had a flash of insight, and his uncle’s third suggestion came to mind.
If someone is looking for trouble, open that chest.
If this situation was not called trouble, what was trouble?
Duan FeiZhou fumbled with the lid of the box. The box was labeled with seals, and he tore them off.
What could be in the box? A weapon powerful enough to deter all customers? Or some magical secret treasure that could make people who wanted to kill each other put aside their hatred and shake hands to make peace? Maybe it was a magic book with a spell that could turn all the troublemakers into tropical fish?
Duan FeiZhou opened the lid of the box with a sense of apprehension and excitement.
His smile froze on his face.
Inside the box was a rusty longsword with a fist-sized stone stuck on the tip.
What kind of sword in the stone was this?!
This sword, forget about using it against the five fighting occult practitioners, Duan FeiZhou suspected that he could break it with his bare hands. Just as he fell into despair, he heard a lazy and arrogant voice, “Boy, lift me up!“
Duan FeiZhou looked around for the source of the voice, but the voice didn’t touch his ears, just appeared directly in his mind, “Don’t froth! Lift me up!“
Duan FeiZhou stared at the rusty sword in stone in the box. Could it be…Was it this sword that was speaking?