“They won’t come back for a while. Let’s stroll around the city.”
Zhuo Fan turned around and walked away. Captain Pang knew he didn’t take his words to heart and sigh as he followed.
They were soon in the market area. This was where rogue cultivators sold their wares, to exchange items or other cultivating materials.
With Zhuo Fan’s experience, he should be able to find goods which others overlooked.
The two visited many stalls, and many times, Captain Pang wanted to put his hands in his pocket, but when he saw Zhuo Fan walking away with a dull look, he followed suit.
Perhaps he wasn’t aware, but the grand captain of the guard was reduced to following Zhuo Fan at every step.
“Ai, since when did the world overflow with overlooked treasures? Let’s just go.” Zhuo Fan scoured the market but nothing caught his eye.
It was then he heard a ruckus.
He went to see a stall owner and a red-faced girl in a heated dispute.
He led Captain Pang through the crowd’s center and saw the girl’s appearance. She wore white clothes, with fine eyebrows like a crescent moon and looked calmed and gentle. Even when yelled at, she never lost her smile as if she never got angry. She persevered despite opposition.
“This black jade is fake.”
“How is it fake? This is the purest black jade, one that if left in the sun for a day, will still feel cool to the touch. If worn as a pendant, cultivation will be much easier...”
The man spat non-stop about how pure it was, “Young miss, do you understand what I’m saying?”
She shook her head, but her smile never faltered, “I do not know much about black jade, but I have seen one so I can tell this one’s a fake.”
“Ha-ha-ha, you saw it once and dare to say you find this one fake? Did you hear, everyone? Has there ever been such an absurd situation in the world?”
“It has, and I know I’m right. If we talk about price, the worst black jade is worth 10 spirit stones while the best a hundred. Yet yours is only 3 spirit stones.”
“Get out of here! Enough with your rubbish, little girl. Don’t ruin my business. How could you possibly know of its value?”
The girl smiled while staring at the man. He felt a rage burning inside, but had nowhere to vent.
As the saying goes, you can’t strike one who only smiled.
The girl kept denying the black jade’s price without a solid reason. If it was any other person, he would’ve slapped them silly. But her smile left him powerless to even lift his hand.
“That black jade is indeed fake.”
A man’s voice echoed out and the crowd saw Zhuo Fan watching the girl with a smile, “Young miss’ eyes are true, but cannot explain where the fault lies. As everyone knows, reality is a matter of perception. What’s real can be fake and what’s fake can be real..”
The girl was taken aback but nodded while scrutinizing him.
Zhuo Fan turned to the crowd, “Everyone, is it possible to prepare a few things? Sulfur, clover...”
He enumerated some of the most common things, and some people already bought them.
Under everyone’s eyes, Zhuo Fan threw them in water, stirred, and said to the stall owner, “Please place the black jade inside.”
“Humph, you’re just washing it!” He was also confident, even as he placed it inside.
But once it entered, the water began to bubble and turn red. It even released a faint hint of blood energy.
“How can it be?” The stall owner was shocked.
The girl also watched wide-eyed, astonished.
“Ha-ha-ha, no need to be so surprised. This black jade was just an imitation that will show its real color once introduced to water.” Zhuo Fan took the black jade and gave it to the owner, “Now you should know this lady was right.”
“That bastard lied to me! He sold it to me for 20 spirit stones.” The stall owner gnashed his teeth.
“This black jade is only worth 3 spirit stones.”
The girl declared her assessment then smiled to Zhuo Fan, “Mister has good eyes. I knew it was fake, but couldn’t pinpoint the difference. I thank mister for his intervention.”
“It was nothing. I have also seen this once,” Zhuo Fan smiled. “Young miss, won’t you buy it? It’s just 3 stones now.”
“No need. I only wanted to inform others of the stone’s real price.” She chuckled and left.
Watching her figure fading into the crowd, Captain Pang sighed next to Zhuo Fan, “What an odd girl.”
Zhuo Fan, on the other hand, breathed out relieved as he muttered, “That girl’s eyes are sharp and sinister. It’s a good thing she is still inexperienced, or she would’ve taken the treasure without hesitation.”
He then turned to the black jade, eyes shining with excitement.
But the stall owner was sighing as he packed his things, ready to go home...
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