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Chapter 2245 Raw 2352 : Love Dies Hard



The imperial capital Yan City was flourishing and bustling. Magnificent carriages and precious horses traveled treasure-lined streets. Tassels hung everywhere, and gold threads wound around trees. Birds chirped, flowers bloomed, trees sported luxuriant foliage, and countless silver platforms filled the place. One could hear the sounds of joy coming from the windows. The entire place showed the style of wealthy sects competing in luxuries, presenting a scene of profligacy.


Xiao Chen slowly came to understand the flourishing nature of the imperial capital Yan City as he traveled the streets in the morning.


“Many thanks for helping with Wu Meng’s matter.”


Before leaving the main pavilion, Xiao Chen had checked Wu Meng’s injuries again. Then, Su Ye got the Misty Rain Twin Demons to contact famed healers of the imperial capital quickly to help treat Wu Meng.


“It’s just a minor matter. Even without a famed healer, Master Ku Yun’s disciple would have the means to treat him. Your friend should soon recover. However…if I guess right, he was following me in secret, which resulted in this situation,” Su Ye said as she glanced at the scenery, appearing not to care.


“I’ll ask him when he wakes up,” Xiao Chen said with a serious expression. Of course, Xiao Chen would not admit to initiating this.


Keep on pretending! Su Ye thought to herself in disdain. Just when she was about to speak, a figure suddenly rushed over to the two.


The newcomer did not look old; in fact, he appeared extremely young. He wore simple azure clothes with an Azure Luan embroidered at the collar.


“This is a messenger from the Azure Luan Pavilion,” Su Ye explained. She was very familiar with the major factions of the imperial capital.


“Miss has good eyes. This must be Young Master Xiao, right? I have a letter for you. Please receive it.”


After delivering the letter to Xiao Chen, the messenger left silently, disappearing quickly into the tide of people.


Xiao Chen opened the letter and read its contents.



“Regards, a humble monk of the Hidden Spirit Temple, Yuan Zhen.”


Xiao Chen put away the letter and thought, That was fast. I only just arrived in the imperial capital Yan City, and he already received the news.


He should be coming for the Ethereal Immortal Palace’s key.


“It looks like I will have to trouble you to prepare a private room for me in the Misty Rain Pavilion three days later.”


“That’s simple. I will get someone to make arrangements when we return.”


The minor incident did not affect Xiao Chen’s mood. The bustle and the beautiful scenery of the capital were worth watching.


However, Xiao Chen had not invited Su Ye out to accompany him to sightsee. Instead, he wanted to probe her attitude.


However, there was no rush. Xiao Chen believed that Su Ye would be in a bigger rush than he was.


Indeed, Su Ye took the initiative to ask after a while. “What do you plan to do next? With seven of the top ten merchant associations gone, the Heavenly Alliance’s profits in the Yanwu Dynasty will decrease by at least eighty percent. Not only will you have to deal with pressure from the Heavenly Alliance, but you will also face threats from the Noble Clans.”


Xiao Chen replied calmly, “Take the initiative to deal a blow. First, cut off the resources of the Heavenly Alliance going to those seven merchant associations that left. Then, support one of the remaining merchant associations. I want to show them the heights a merchant association receiving the full support of the Heavenly Alliance can reach. As for pressure, while I face pressure, they will too. It’s just a matter who can last longer.”


A bright light flashed in Su Ye’s eyes. She had underestimated Xiao Chen. It looked like he came prepared and did not drive off the seven merchant associations on a whim.


Xiao Chen understood the consequences of his actions clearly and did not show any regrets.


“Are you sure you want to do that? If Lord Mu Zifeng does not give permission, I’m afraid it will be difficult.”


The Misty Rain Pavilion managed the resources provided by the Heavenly Alliance headquarters for distribution to the top ten merchant associations.


From a certain perspective, the true power lay with Su Ye as the Misty Rain Pavilion’s Pavilion Master.


If Su Ye were unwilling, it would be impossible to cut off resources to the top ten merchant associations.


“It’s fine. I will shoulder all responsibility. If it makes things difficult for you, you can leave it to me to deal with.”


Xiao Chen’s meaning was apparent. If you are unwilling, then just leave. I will deal with it myself.


Su Ye’s expression changed. Clearly, she was debating in her heart. After a while, she said, “Alright, I promise to help. However, I will keep ten percent of the Heavenly Alliance’s resources every time. This rule cannot be changed in the future.”


Xiao Chen thought, I could not tell that this great beauty Su Ye was so black-hearted.


She keeps ten percent of the goods for herself. I wonder how much profit she has made over the years?


She probably can’t monopolize all of them for herself. If the Sword God’s Noble Clan backs her, then they know of it.


However, since this is in the clear and I now know the other party’s bottom line, it will be easier to discuss other things.


“Alright. It is a deal, then. Of the Ancient Cloud Merchant Association, the Linlang Pavilion, and the Nine Cauldron Merchant Association, which should we support, in your opinion?”


There was no need to turn hostile with Su Ye. Ten percent of the goods was within Xiao Chen’s acceptable range.


“The Linlang Pavilion and the Ancient Cloud Merchant Association are at the bottom of the top ten merchant associations. They also do not have deep connections with the Noble Clans and have a negligible presence. That’s why they dare to sign the new contract. If you want to support one, it can only be the Nine Cauldron Merchant Association. However, that fatty is not easy to deal with. He looks foolish and crazy, but in reality, he is competent and ambitious.”


Su Ye gave Wei Dexin a high evaluation. Then, she continued, “If you are not worried about getting bitten by him, there is no problem with supporting him.”


“It looks like that is the only choice.”


The Nine Cauldron Pavilion seemed to have a strong fate with Xiao Chen.


Su Ye looked at Xiao Chen and suddenly laughed, “I discovered that I really find you somewhat unfathomable. The First Prince is backing the Bountiful Treasure Pavilion, and the Thirteenth Prince backs the Golden Essence Merchant Association. These two princes possess great strength and are capable of seizing the throne. To think that you are not flustered at all. Can you tell me why you are so confident? Are you really not afraid of death?”


After seeing Xiao Chen pondering how to support the Nine Cauldron Merchant Association, Su Ye could no longer hold back. Due to Monarch Yu, Xiao Chen already offended three princes.


Su Ye simply could not understand a person who dared to offend the people of the Royal Clan in Yan City.


“I can tell you. However, you have to tell me what your connection to the Sword God’s Noble Clan is,” Xiao Chen countered with soft laughter while raising an eyebrow.


“No comment.”


Su Ye’s expression immediately changed at the mention of the Sword God’s Noble Clan, even showing some coldness.


Xiao Chen entered deep thought. It looks like Su Ye’s connection to the Sword God’s Noble Clan is not as simple as I thought.


The Sword God’s Noble Clan is orthodox and prestigious. How could they let one of their female members openly run a pleasure quarter?


Actually, this was frowned upon even more severely than the Fiendish Saber Xi Mu practicing the saber.


Su Ye’s reaction was the same as the previous night. The moment Xiao Chen mentioned the Sword God’s Noble Clan, she got upset.


It looks like this is taboo for her. There must be more behind this.


“That is…the Smiling Daughter Pavilion!”


Xiao Chen looked around and noticed an ancient pavilion even grander than the Misty Rain Pavilion and used it to change the topic.


“Yes, that is the Smiling Daughter Pavilion, the best pleasure quarter in the imperial capital Yan City. It has the best musicians, the prettiest songstresses, and an excellent sword dance, known as the best in the world, that has been passed down in the Smiling Daughter Pavilion for a long time. When the Fairy Basket appears, even Sovereign Emperors will give generously. Their daily profits reach horrifying levels.”


When the discussion turned to the Smiling Daughter Pavilion, some complex emotions, including admiration, appeared in Su Ye’s eyes, and she quickly forgot about the earlier incident.


Xiao Chen recalled the Pleasure Quarter Alliance Mo Chen mentioned. Aside from the Misty Rain Pavilion, all the pleasure quarters in Yan City belonged to the Pleasure Quarter Alliance.


In a way, the Smiling Daughter Pavilion represented the Pleasure Quarter Alliance.


“How does the Misty Rain Pavilion compare to it?”


Su Ye frowned slightly before sighing, “Most of the top ten headliners in the imperial capital are in the Smiling Daughter Pavilion; the Misty Rain Pavilion has only one. In the end, the greatest difference is accumulations. The Smiling Daughter Pavilion can endlessly nurture headliners, but the Misty Rain Pavilion cannot.”


Suddenly, Xiao Chen recalled one person. He asked, “Have you heard of the headliner Ling Long?”


“Naturally. She has ranked among the top ten headliners for a very long time already. Her skills at the pipa are unparalleled. People even say that she is so skilled that she produces celestial music. However, she already—”


“Bang!”


Suddenly, the Smiling Daughter Pavilion tossed someone out onto the streets, midway through Su Ye’s words.


This immediately caused a commotion. There would always be someone who did not follow the rules in the pleasure quarters. Most of these people would be people who could not resist getting handsy with a songstress or musician.


Such things happened nearly every day, attracting many people over to watch the commotion.


“Another pervert,” Su Ye said disdainfully.


Xiao Chen looked over. Many people came out of the Smiling Daughter Pavilion, seemingly not wanting to let the expellee off the hook.


A beggar caught the expellee.


“Hahaha! Silly fellow, you got tossed out again. Big Brother already said not to go in, that you would just end up beaten up. However, you refused to listen. Hahaha!”


The beggar’s laughter and smile inspired favorable impressions. Xiao Chen felt that the expellee seemed familiar.


However, when Xiao Chen wanted to take a closer look, the beggar had already caught that person amid loud laughter and weaved his way through the crowd, disappearing.


The Smiling Daughter Pavilion’s guards cursed as they searched around to no avail.


Xiao Chen could only give up upon seeing this situation.


“Let’s go. Let’s return.”


After Xiao Chen and Su Ye left, a window opened in one of the Smiling Daughter Pavilion’s upper floors.


A pretty woman looked in the direction of the beggar. She narrowed her eyes, worry tightening her brows, apparently disappointed and frustrated.


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