Chapter 217: Yue Ye Merchant Group (II)
“For instance, a great part of the goods sold in the auction houses of our Temple Alliance, comes from the freelance merchants. And many of the things they bring in stem from the demon side. A lot of our natural resources are sold at their side in the same fashion. Thus, these freelance merchants are bustling in the space between the human’s and the demon’s side, coming in and out, without anyone bothering about their existence. Of course, it is not that simple to become a Freelance Merchant. And this profession is not only limited to humans, it is even occupied by some demons of high rank.”
Hearing this explanation, Long Haochen immediately understood what he meant, “So brother Dian Yan, what you mean is that we should think of a way to get in touch with these freelance merchants, trying to sneak into their group to penetrate in the demon territory.”
Dian Yan nodded and replied, “The freelance merchants will never come to the forts close to the frontier, because it isn’t a safe place for them. I grew up in Starseeker City. Therefore, I can ascertain that there are freelance merchants there. Since we want to penetrate deeply in the central area of the demon territory, we will have to pass through their provinces. Slaughtering our way to pass through isn’t realistic. We can be sure that near the central region, the probing will be tighter. They won’t miss our group of a dozen so easily.”
Long Haochen slightly leaned forward, “Many thanks for your warning, brother Dian. Just like you said, we should have some rest at Starseeker City, to replenish our food and water supply, and to get in contact with the freelance merchants.”
Standing at Dian Yan’s side, Luc Xi revealed a smile and secretly did a thumbs up.
After a journey of eight days, these two Demon Hunt Squads could be considered familiar with each other, but despite the time they spent together, the two teams were still somewhat reserved towards each other, there were still differences of opinion. Dian Yan’s previous suggestion was undoubtedly meant to show them that they weren’t useless to the 21st Demon Hunt Squad. While giving the 4th Demon Hunt Squad some face, it was an important help for this operation.
Pulling Cai’er’s hand, Long Haochen jumped down from Haoyue’s back, “Since we are going to look for the freelance merchants’ help, we should carefully conceal our identities. Shift gears everyone, and change into some plain and simple clothes. Then we’ll enter the city.”
Li Xin inquired, “Then, what will you do about our mounts?” 11 fine horses were quite valuable, so as a knight, she naturally felt sorry for this loss.
Dian Yan replied with a smile, “Let me handle it. Enter the city first, I will be looking for you later. There’s a pretty good inn located in the south of the city. There we will meet. ”
The 13 youths changed clothes. After the mounts were left to Dian Yan, the others entered the city discretely.
Long Haochen’s carefulness was justified: since there were freelance merchants in the city, it was pretty obvious that some of them would belong to the demon side. The more careful they were, the safer their trip would become.
Dian Yan handled everything even better than Long Haochen imagined. After less than one hour passed since they entered the medium-sized hotel, Dian Yan was back, accompanied by someone else.
It was a tall and imposing elder.
As the others had already returned to their own rooms to get some rest, Dian Yan directly led this old man to Long Haochen’s and Cai’er’s room.
Although Long Haochen and Cai’er were still not too intimate with each other, the two of them didn’t fear arousing suspicion, and directly shared a room. Long Haochen would never forget the little home they built in their living quarters in the Exorcist Mountain Pass, but of course, even though they lived in the same room, they were cultivating on their own during the majority of the nighttime.
“Younger brother Long, this person is my brother-in-law Dian Xuan, manager of the Yue Ye Merchant Group’s guard. Hearing that we were interested in a well paid work, he came in person to meet us.”
As he spoke, Dian Yan gave Long Haochen a meaningful glance.
Long Haochen bowed very politely to this elderly man and said, “Hello.”
Seeing that Long Haochen and Cai’er were already so good-looking despite their young age, Dian Xian couldn’t help but feel startled, nodding to them and asking, “I heard that you were a group of a little more than a dozen people?”
“That’s right. Counting in Dian Yan, we are a total of thirteen people: eight men and five women. Please take care of us.” Long Haochen was handsome in appearance, and still quite young. At this moment he showed a respectful appearance, faint traces of simple and honest shyness could be found. Let alone Dian Xuan, even Dian Yan looked puzzled, almost thinking out loud, Is this guy really the captain of a Demon Hunt Squad?
Dian Xuan declared in a deep tone, “Our merchant group needs some manpower to take care of odd jobs. You will be in charge of looking after the trucks, getting two silver coins per day. If there is no mishap, every one of you will get another gold coin after returning. How about it?”
Long Haochen had an extremely happy expression, “That would be very good. Thank you mister manager.” Having said this, he bowed once again to Dian Xuan.
A faint radiance flashed through Dian Xuan’s eye, as he gave an indifferent reply, “Okay, let’s do it like this then. Our merchant group will set off three days from now. Dian Yan knows about the meeting place, and will lead you there when the time comes. Dian Yan, come with, you can take your companions’ new clothes to them.”
“Yes.” Dian Yan gave a simple reply and after giving Long Haochen a straight look, he turned around, following Dian Xuan out.
Leading Cai’er along, Long Haochen followed them to see them off at the exit, before returning to their room.
“Haochen, wasn’t that too sloppy?” Closing the door, Cai’er asked Long Haochen in a low voice. Her personality was a lot gentler than before, on the premise that she wasn’t on duty.
Seeing Cai’er’s twinkling eyes, Long Haochen held her in his embrace, her body’s soft fragrance giving him a feeling of loving her too much to let her go.
“This Manager Dian is probably aware of the fact that we are a group of special people. We were just putting on a play with each other just now.” Long Haochen replied with a smile.
Cai’er started, lifting up her head previously leant against his chest, “Does he know about our identity? And we just met him for the first time today, should we really trust him?”
Long Haochen revealed a faint smile, replying “It is exactly for this reason that he is worth trusting. You should know that each of the official Demon Hunt Squads’ members are tightly investigated. That’s to say that there’s no doubt on Dian Yan’s identity. I may feel skeptical towards this Manager Dian, but I cannot doubt Dian Yan. Although Dian Yan didn’t say it out clearly, he let us know that this is not the first time at all for Demon Hunt Squads to enter the demon territory through freelance merchants. In the same way, even the demon side will dispatch spies to the Temple Alliance, concealing their identity. What we don’t know is just how they are concealed. I believe that Dian Yan wouldn’t make our identity clear to Manager Dian, and the latter shouldn’t have asked him about it. These are important unwritten rules. As for what we will do after getting to the demons’ side, this is unrelated to them.”
Cai’er felt a bit puzzled, “I still don’t really understand. Could it be that this Yue Ye Merchant Group doesn’t fear we may give them some inconveniences?”
Long Haochen shook his head, “What kind of inconvenience? Since they can employ a group of a dozen like us to do odd jobs, this merchant group’s scale is surely not small.
Since the freelance merchants were able to keep existing, they should naturally have their own means. Let’s just wait, I reckon that Dian Yan will explain us everything after coming back.”
Cai’er looked at his pure smile, thinking to herself, For him to actually be so smart although he’s still only a little more than fifteen years old… could this be coming from the influence of his physique as the Scion of Light?
From the time she met Long Haochen up until now, half a year had not passed yet, but Cai’er could clearly feel Long Haochen’s astonishing speed of change. It wasn’t only about his strength, but his attitude and personality traits were also changing. In particular, after this period of tests, he gained another special quality. It was a unique charm that didn’t only attract the surrounding people, but also made them feel his calm and wiseness. It was just as if he was born to be a leader. At least within the 21st Demon Hunt Squad, no one paid any attention to his age.
Just as Long Haochen said, a short time later, Dian Yan returned and sounded his room’s bell. Long Haochen immediately let him enter.
“Captain Long, everything that happened just now was a bit sudden. Let me give you a detailed introduction about the Yue Ye Merchant Group’s situation. The Yue Ye Merchant Group, one of the biggest groups of freelance merchants, is not only limited to humans: high level demons also participate in it. When hiring staff, their requirements aren’t high at all, and they will not carefully examine their workers’ identity. This is one of the freelance merchants’ unwritten rules. But their precondition is that outside from their core members, their recruits mustn’t exceed the sixth step of cultivation. This is the main reason why they can go back and forth from the humans’ to the demons’ worlds. Every time they will cross the border, the two sides will check this carefully. If a powerhouse of the sixth step or above is discovered attempting to slip through among them, the whole group will immediately be arrested. But both of our teams don’t have any powerhouse of the sixth step, which is why I suggested to enter the demon territory through the freelance merchants.”
Long Haochen scratched his chin, asking, “Brother Dian, why didn’t you tell us about that in detail back then, outside of the city?”
Dian Yan was slightly startled, but quickly recovered his senses, “At that time I forgot about it. After all, the matter had yet to be carried on. But now that we have the help of a reliable merchant group, it is only natural that I told you about the situation, Captain Long.”
Long Haochen replied, “Thanks a lot, brother Dian. Let’s make our preparations then, before we leave together when the time comes.” Dian Yan didn’t stay any longer, turning around after giving Long Haochen a last deep glance. But he didn’t know that after he turned around, Long Haochen was gazing at him with a reserved look.
Having left Long Haochen’s room, Dian Yan didn’t return to his room to rest, but entered Luc Xi’s room.
Luc Xi was seated there, drinking some water, but as he saw him come in, he pointed him to sit on the sofa, “Have a seat and tell me about it. How did it go?” Dian Yan replied, “Everything is settled. My brother-in-law’s merchant group happened to head to the central province of the demon territory. Following them should spare us a lot of trouble. The merchant group will have to stay at the central province for a month, to sell and buy goods. When the time comes, we will also be able to follow the merchant group in returning, reducing the risks of this mission to the utmost.”
“What was Long Haochen’s reaction?” Luc Xi’s eyes glinted, and in response, Dian Yan’s eyes displayed some disdain, “He’s nothing more than an unwary little kid. How old is he? What if his individual strength is great? Carrying out missions does not only depend on one’s strength. But he can be considered to go along with our plan.”
With a meaningful glance Luc Xi declared to him, “It is not bad to gradually affect Long Haochen’s authority within the team, but we cannot go against each other. We are after all in a relationship of cooperation. Our final objective is to fight to make our team get the best benefit possible. Be more careful about that.”