The Use of the Heavenly Flower Tile
After receiving the harassment of the three empires for years on end, the Profound Orchid Empire directed most of its attention to war. Its production strength and resources were also largely devoted to the military sector, slowing down the Profound Orchid Empire’s development. The Ice Moon Empire was much stronger than Profound Orchid, not to mention the Harmonic Flower Empire.
The gap between poor and rich sharply differed between territories in the empire. Areas closer to the Ice Moon Empire were much more prosperous, while those closer to the south, Harmonic Flower and Qi Lu were much more destitute. Profound Orchid City was at the center of the empire. It was a lot worse than Crow Orchid City, but it occupied more land.
“Eat what? Quickly bring me anywhere with delicious food!” Salamandhys was a dragon that didn’t like waiting at all.
“Okay, you can eat until you die. I still have ten gold coins Liu Lang gave me that day. It should be enough for several meals. Let’s go and find a restaurant.” They walked around the corner, and Nian Bing decided on a direction. He led Salamandhys closer to the center of Profound Orchid City. That was somewhere that must have places to eat.
As they neared the center of the city, the number of beggars decreased and the shops increased. Although the scale wasn’t all that big, it was at least somewhat flourishing.
They hadn’t walked far when they finally spotted a restaurant. Without waiting for Nian Bing’s prompt, Salamandhys walked in. The building looked plain from outside; there weren’t even people waiting to attend them at the entrance. When the two entered the restaurant it was close to noon. The number of guests reached about seventy percent capacity. Nian iIng pulled Salamandhys to a table near the window.
Salamandhys was most interested in human restaurants. He looked left and right, focusing particularly on the dishes on other tables. He started salivating.
“Hello, what would you like to order?” A waiter came up to them.
Nian Bing and Salamandhys looked to be almost the same age. Although they had different temperaments, the two were handsome. A subdued aura of dominance leaked from Salamandhys. Because Nian Bing cultivated magic, he exuded a faint noble aura despite his plain clothes.
Salamandhys answered impolitely, “Whatever you have that is good. Make it about ten person’s portions.”
“Ten people?” The waiter looked at him with surprise.
Salamandhys said impatiently, “Go on with you. Hurry up. Are you scared we don’t have enough money?”
The waiter nodded and hurried off.
Nian Bing said quietly, “Mighty Salamandhys, you should be as polite as you can be when you’re eating.” He understood Salamandhys’ eating habits from experience. Before, they had been to a restaurant in a small town. Salamandhys’ wild eating habits had scared a few people.
“Polite? Say it again once I’ve eaten first.” Salamandhys wouldn’t take Nian Bing’s advice.
Nian Bing was at a loss. He really wanted to tell others that he didn’t know this gluttonous beast, but his life was more important. Endure, just endure it. He didn’t say anything else. He turned his attention away. Right at this time, guests at the table nearest to them were talking. Their voices were quite loud, so Nian Bing could hear them clearly.
“Did you hear? Duke Lan Yu returned from the frontlines.”
“Duke Lanyu has returned? They don’t need his strength anymore? If he’s not there to lead the troops, what will they do if Harmonic Flower and Qi Lu attack?”
When he caught this exchange, Nian Bing could not help the pique in his interest. Didn’t Luo Rou want him to send a letter to the Duke Lan Yu’s mansion?
“There’s no need for defense of course. I heard that that the Ice Moon Empire came to mediate, and the problem was resolved. Harmonic Flower and Qi Lu promised that they wouldn’t invade us for another three years. Of course, we paid no small price. Harmonic Flower and Qi Lu are a tiger and wolf. Who knows how much of our resources they pillaged this time.”
“Ai, I knew it would end up like this. If it’s not territory we have to give reparations. Profound Orchid is done for.”
“Shh, be quiet. It won’t be good if the officers hear you. Ai, now our Profound Orchid Empire is relying on Duke Lan Yu’s support. If for not his command of the Silver Feather Cavalry Troop in battle, perhaps we would have been beaten by the men of the Harmonic Flower and Qi Lu already. We won’t be able go on much longer. We should group towards the north, closer to the Ice Moon Empire. Ice Moon won’t just watch our Profound Orchid get destroyed. If Harmonic Flower get’s stronger, perhaps the climate of the whole continent will change.”
“You can’t say that. I think that the Ice Moon Empire harbour bad intentions. Otherwise, all they needed to do was ask the Ice and Snow Goddess’ Worshipper for help. Then how could the Harmonic Flower Empire dare to boast. Our Profound Orchid Empire has too few strong people, so we get pushed around all the time.
“Harmonic Flower and Qi Lu are already so big, but they still haven’t stopped expanding. They really are avaricious wolves! Actually, if Duke Lan Yu were to be in charge of our Profound Orchid Empire, perhaps the current situation could change? It’s such a pity that Duke Lan Yu is too loyal to the royal family, so nothing will ever happen.”
“Stop talking about this. The affairs of the government has nothing to do with ordinary people like us. Drink, drink.”
The conversation stopped there as the guests continued eating and drinking. From their words, it was not hard to understand what sort of position Duke Lan Yu held in the Profound Orchid Empire. Nian BIng thought, Luo Rou, oh Luo Rou. You were counting on Duke Lan Yu’s daughter to help you, but the Profound Orchid Empire has no time for your affairs. Never mind. No matter what, he would certainly carry out what he promised: he would deliver this letter.
However, he caught onto another detail. This Duke Lan Yu was the commander-in-chief of the entire Silver Feather Cavalry. Hadn’t Aunt Yu Ru Yan been under their protection? Maybe this Duke Lan Yu knows Auntie Yu Ru Yan. If he could meet her through this that would be good. So many years had passed, he didn’t know how she was doing.
When he thought of her kind smile, he couldn’t help but feel a warmth swell in his heart. He stood up and walked over to the table next to him. To the person wearing a white, long robe, he asked, “Big Brother, could I trouble you with something?”
The man in white was drinking. When he heard Nian Bing’s voice, he subconsciously lifted his head. Nian Bing’s handsome mien was easily accepted by others. When coupled with his sincere and polite tone, the man in white responded favorably. “Little Brother, what do you want to ask? I can tell from your accent that you’re not from around here.”
Nian Bing nodded and answered, “I am from the Ice Moon Empire. I must ask you, how do I get to Duke Lan Yu’s mansion?”
The man in white was obviously surprised. He sized up Nian Bing. “You’re looking for Duke Lan Yu? Little Brother, I see you want to enlist. You should go to the military department. Duke Lan Yu isn’t someone who can be seen whenever you want.”
Nian Bing adopted a reverent expression. “Duke Lan Yu has always been my idol, my most respected person. I just want to know where his mansion is. Maybe I can wait outside there so I can catch a glimpse of him.”
Hearing Nian Bing’s praise, the white clothed man’s faced morphed to one much more pleasant. He nodded his head in approval. “Not bad, Duke Lan Yu is said to be the guardian deity of our Profound Orchid Empire! Without him, Profound Orchid would not be able to look the way it does now. There are many youths like you, but you’ll need luck to see Duke Lan Yu. The duke’s mansion is in the south of the city. The only thing bigger than the duke’s residence is the imperial palace. If you ask around in that general area, you’re sure to find it.”
Nian Bing smiled. “Thank you for the tip.” He returned to his seat.
“Nian Bing, you brat, you didn’t bring me to Profound Orchid City so that I could eat delicious food,” Salamandhys said dissatisfied.
Nian Bing grinned. “Of course I did. Why wouldn’t I? I just happen to have some personal matters. A friend entrusted me with a letter. Don’t worry, it won’t take too much time.”
“Delivering a letter! That is permissible, but don’t you forget, your body carries my magic brand. It’s impossible for you to run.” Salamandhys’ eyes suddenly turned red, and gave Nian Bing a heavy look. They seemed to say, Boy, I will definitely eat you later.
Nian Bing helplessly shook his head. Lowering his voice, he replied, “Being together with the mighty Salamandhys is my honor. Why would I want to run? Don’t worry. After we finish eating we will first find a place to stay, then in the afternoon I will deliver the letter. If you feel that it’s no good here, tomorrow we can go to the Harmonic Flower Empire. It’s the strongest empire in all of Yangguang, and also the most prosperous. Naturally, they have many delicious foods there.”
Two hours later. Nian Bing wore a long fance as he and Salamandhys exited the restaurant.
“Peh, peh peh! What sort of dog shit restaurant is this. They made such disgusting food, Nian Bing! Your skills are way better than theirs.” Salamandhys was extremely dissatisfied with the restaurant’s food.
“Boss, don’t curse them. Despite everything, you ate so much anyway, and you ate their most expensive dishes. We only have two gold coins left; I think it’ll be enough to stay the night. It seems I really might have to find work to support your lifestyle.”
Salamandhys acted as if that was at it should be. “Even if it tasted bad, I still managed to eat my fill. If you want to find work then do so. As long as I can eat good food, it doesn’t matter to me where we stay.”
When he heard this, Nian Bing was pleased instead of angry. Lowering his head, a glimmer flashed through his eyes that Salamandhys didn’t say. The words “to use” fluttered through Nian Bing’s head.
Salamandhys had high demands for what he wanted to eat, but he wasn’t particular about where he would live. As long as he had a bed he could sleep. Sleeping after a full meal was his favorite thing to do. The two found the cheapest inn and settled in. Salamandhys went to sleep, and Nian Bing used one gold coin at a magic store to buy ten of the cheapest blank scrolls.
Selling scrolls was perhaps the fastest way to make money. With a stomach like Salamandhys’, not many people could sustain it.
His Ice and Fire Source had advanced, making Nian Bing much more adept at magic arrays. Turning blank scrolls into magic scrolls had an low success rate, but if he made ordinary rank 4 scrolls with the trigger effect, it wasn’t hard. Profound Orchid City was really very poor, if he sold a couple he would have enough money.
Making the scrolls only took Nian Bing two hours. Except for one that failed due to carelessness, he managed to make nine rank 4 magic scrolls. Salamandhys’ snored quite loudly. Nian Bing gave him a look, then quietly left to the room. As he heard from others, he headed to the southern part of the city.
He was in no hurry to sell the scrolls; he would do it after delivering the letter. Just like the white-clothed man had said in the inn, it wasn’t hard to find Duke Lan Yu’s mansion. After Nian Bing arrived in the south, all he had to do was ask one person to find his target destination. Even two streets away, he could already see the seven meter high courtyard walls. The mansion was huge. The vermillion courtyard walls resembled city walls.
At the main entrance, sixteen Silver Feather cavalrymen clad in light silver armor were standing in two lines. On their helmets were green feathers. Each had their hands on the swords that hung on their wait. Although they seemed to be intensely single-minded. Nian Bing could clearly sense that they were observing everything in their surroundings. In case a blade of grass so much as shifted in the wind, these cavalrymen would execute the fastest reaction.
These sixteen low-level Silver Feather Cavalrymen were actually all swordmaster level warriors! Who could say that the Profound Orchid Empire was weak. Harmonic Flower’s Flame Lion Cavalry might be the only ones comparable to the ten thousand man Silver Feather Cavalry. No wonder the citizens called Duke Lan Yu the guardian deity of Profound Orchid. The Silver Feather Cavalry definitely could face off against two hundred thousand army of ordinary people.
Inside the duke’s mansion.
A handsome man in his forties was seated behind a table in the studies, his brows furrowed. He seemed to be thinking about something that weighed on his heart. Although this man was sitting, he was inadvertently exuding an intense pressure. Emotions flitted through his eyes. His long, black robe couldn’t cover imposing figure. His hands, resting on the table were exceptionally striking. His palms were broad while his fingers slender. Although his joints didn’t protrude, it was obvious that these were an extremely powerful pair of hands.
The door opened and someone walked in. A pleasant and gentle voice spoke. “You’ve returned. What did His Majesty say today?”
The middle-aged man lifted his head. A woman who looked to be twenty-seven or twenty-eight years old entered. She was wearing a pale blue dress which was stitched with beautiful flower patterns. Elegant eyebrows, a fine nose, supple skin. A head of dark green, silky hair, spilled behind her, bound by a silver ring. Her bleu eyes were clear and penetrating. A mixture of concern and worry showed on her face. If Nian Bing saw her, he would immediately recognize her. She was Ru Yu Yan who had given him the Heavenly Flower Tile. She had not changed at all in these eight years.