Chapter 96 – The Purple Jade Token, Madam Cuiyun

“Brother Su, you’re amazing! You really brought Xiaoran back safe!” A-Fei dashed over from not far away, shouting in delight. He’d been waiting nervously this entire time, completely on edge.
When he saw Su Yi carrying Feng Xiaoran, he was overcome with joy.

“Come on,” Su Yi patted the young man on the shoulder.
“Let’s go home.”

Deep in Willow Alley.

Here, the night seemed dreary.
The only lights were scattered lamps shining from within the residences.
Fortunately, the moon hung overhead, its light accompanying them on their journey.
Otherwise, Su Yi and company likely would have struggled to find their way back in the darkness.

A campfire blazed beside a dilapidated residence built of mud. Feng Xiaofeng sat in his wooden wheelchair, anxiously waiting. 

“You can relax,” said Huang Qianjun.
“Brother Su went personally, so you have nothing to fear.”

He crouched by the campfire and said offhandedly, “You might not believe me, but I’d bet my life on it.
If Brother Su goes all out, he can kill Martial Dao Grandmasters as easily as if they were chickens.
It won’t even tire him out”

Feng Xiaofeng sighed.
“I sure hope so.”

He naturally didn’t believe a word of it; he just assumed Huang Qianjun was trying to comfort him.
“Brother Huang, how did you and Su Yi meet?”

“Me?” Huang Qianjun scratched his head awkwardly.
“To tell you the truth, it’s a bit embarrassing.
Hm….
How do I put it? Back then, you could call me a prominent figure of Guangling City’s younger generation.
I wasn’t necessarily a household name, but I was still famed throughout the area, so I thought rather highly of myself….”

He stopped to compliment himself before getting to the point.
He then told Feng Xiaofeng of his initial clash with Su Yi, but he made it sound like a clash of heroes who only bonded after duking it out…

Feng Xiaofeng didn’t doubt a word of it.
The story left him totally transfixed.

When Huang Qianjun reached the part about Su Yi’s shocking performance and complete domination of the Dragon’s Gate Banquet, Feng Xiaofeng’s blood surged, and his eyes sparkled.

“Senior Apprentice Brother Su Yi really lives up to the name ‘Outer Sect Sword Chief’.
He fell back into mortal dust, but he didn’t lose his ambition, and now that he’s stepped back into the Martial Dao, he shines brighter than ever!”

But then, Feng Xiaofeng’s spirits sank.

Both of his legs were crippled.
His cultivation might as well have been crippled too.
It would be hard for him to imitate Su Yi and step back onto the Martial Dao….

“Bro, don’t get discouraged.
What is the Martial Dao? It’s a power that ordinary people cannot wield.
It’s seizing fortune from the heavens and transforming the old and rotten into treasure!” When Huang Qianjun sensed Feng Xiaofeng’s despondency, he hurriedly tried to comfort him. 

“You ought to know that this world includes Xiantian Martial Ancestors, as well as the even more incredible Earthly Immortals.
They’ve surely mastered the art of reviving the dead and restoring flesh to bone.
For them, fixing your legs will be as easy as turning over their hands.”

“Reviving the dead and restoring flesh to bone?” Feng Xiaofeng muttered to himself.
“But how could a cripple like me dare covet a miraculous art like that?

“Why shouldn’t you covet it?” A burst of sudden laughter filled the courtyard.

Feng Xiaoran’s head shot up, and he immediately saw Su Yi carrying Feng Xiaoran.
He and A-Fei pushed the door open and walked inside.

Feng Xiaofeng felt as if he’d set down the massive boulder weighing on his heart.
Every inch of him relaxed as he said emotionally, “Xiaoran, you’re not hurt, are you?”

“Big Brother, I’m fine! I’m not hurt at all!” Feng Xiaoran replied, her voice lively and crisp. 

As if to prove her point, she jumped from Su Yi’s back and stretched her slender body.
“See? I’m completely fine!”

The rims of Feng Xiaofeng’s eyes reddened, and he said in a trembling voice.
“Good.
Wonderful! Senior Apprentice Brother Su….”

He reached for his cane and was struggling to rise and express his gratitude when Su Yi shook his head and pressed him back down into his chair.
“We weren’t so polite with each other when we cultivated together in Blueriver Sword Manor.
It wasn’t that way then, and it won’t be that way going forward.”

Feng Xiaofeng grinned.
“As you say!”

“Brother Xiaofeng, everything’s settled, so I’m going back home to eat,” said A-Fei from the side.

“Don’t go yet.
Let’s have dinner together first,” said Su Yi.

When A-Fei brought up food, Su Yi realized that he was a bit hungry too.

There was nothing for it; those who cultivated the Martial Dao needed to supplement their bodies with vast quantities of food on a daily basis.
Only then could they satisfy the needs of their vital energy.

Once they stepped into the Origin Dao, they could abstain from food and subsist entirely on sunlight and morning dew.

“Okay! Then let’s go to the House of Prosperity!” Huang Qianjun rubbed his hands together; he was ravenous too!

“The House of Prosperity?” A-Fei was stunned.
“That….
Isn’t that a place only the upper class can afford to dine in? A single dish costs over a hundred taels of silver.
That’s years of my family’s income!”

Huang Qianjun burst into laughter.
“Hahaha, I’ll ensure you eat to your heart’s content, my treat!”

Although this delinquent young master was in many ways ignorant and incompetent, he’d fully mastered the illustrious arts of drinking, fine-dining, brothel-frequenting, and gambling.

Feng Xiaofeng said hurriedly, “That place is too expensive.
How about we….”

“Let’s go.” Su Yi gave him no chance to refuse.
He just pushed his friend’s chair outside.
At the same time, he ordered Huang Qianjun, “Go arrange for a carriage.”

Huang Qianjun briefly voiced his assent, then dashed off to do as he was told.
He was delighted; It’s finally my turn to shine….!

“Xiaoran, A-Fei, you two follow me,” ordered Su Yi.

Both of them agreed, then stuck to Su Yi like glue. 

When they arrived at Spring Jade Alley, they saw a spacious, ornate, horse-drawn carriage waiting for them.
Its driver was none other than Huang Qianjun.

“Everyone, please get on board.
I’ll be your driver for the night, said Huang Qianjun gleefully.

A-Fei couldn’t help but exclaim, “Big Brother Huang, are you some kind of conjurer? How did you rustle up a horse-drawn carriage so quickly?”

Huang Qianjun said lightly, even dismissively, “Little fellow, remember this: in this world, problems you can resolve with money can’t even be called problems.”

Once he saw that everyone was on board, Huang Qianjun shook the reins like an experienced driver.
“Everyone, sit tight! Let’s ride!”

……

The House of Prosperity. 

It was located in a prosperous strip of the prefectural capital’s eastern district.
It was famed as the city’s top money pit; its guests were all either wealthy or noble.

Night had just fallen, and the lanterns were freshly lit. 

All nine floors of the House of Prosperity were well-lit, and neatly-dressed servants were there to greet and see off guests.
All of them had perfect manners.

“I apologize, but I’m afraid none of our private dining rooms are currently available,” said the servant with a bow when he saw Su Yi’s group draw near.
“Would you like to wait? Or would you prefer to try another restaurant?”

Huang Qianjun snorted.
“Don’t even try this trick.
Do you really think I don’t know that the House of Prosperity always leaves a portion of its private dining rooms open just in case?”

The servant was briefly stunned.
Then he explained, “Young Lord, if you know that, then you surely know that those empty private rooms are only opened for our most distinguished guests.”

His attitude wasn’t exactly bad, and he was perfectly polite.

But when his gaze swept across Feng Xiaofeng, Feng Xiaoran, and A-Fei, his expression went a little strange. 

“You’re saying that our status is insufficient to dine here?” Huang Qianjun was a bit angry.

The servant smiled bitterly.
“Young Lord, please don’t put it like that.
I’m but a humble servant.
I wouldn’t dare say such a thing.”

Suddenly, someone exclaimed, “Su Yi?”

A man and woman walked over.
The man was tall, heroic-looking, and handsome, but his eyes widened when he saw Su Yi, as if he dared not believe what he was seeing.

Su Yi looked up.
He recognized the man at a glance.

Yan Chengrong, a prominent figure of Blueriver Sword Manor’s outer sect.

He was harsh-tempered and arrogant, and just like Wei Zhengyang, he was the scion of one of the prefectural capital’s major clans. 

He and Su Yi had once been hostile to each other.
When Su Yi was chosen as the outer sect’s Sword Chief, Yan Chengrong was naturally unconvinced.

He once said a line that was famed throughout Blueriver Sword Manor: “So what if I can’t beat Su Yi? Does that mean I’m not even allowed to look down on him?”

He couldn’t win, but he could still look upon Su Yi in disdain.
He was like a hoodlum firing off wisecracks to satisfy himself.
Even without a fight, they could fling insults to their heart’s content.

To Yan Chengrong, the son of a major clan, the Su Yi he once knew as the Outer Sect Sword Chief was indeed strong.
Still, Su Yi’s status paled in comparison to his, which was what gave him the confidence to look down on Su Yi so brazenly. 

But of course, all of that was in the past. After losing his cultivation and getting expelled from Blueriver Sword Manor, Su Yi was already nothing but an old joke. 

But Yan Chengrong wouldn’t have guessed he’d bump into Su Yi at the gates of the House of Prosperity of all places.

“Oh? Junior Apprentice Brother Feng Xiaofeng is here too? Tch tch, you brothers in adversity are back together, huh?” When Yan Chengrong saw Feng Xiaofeng, his words were mocking and his tone strange. 

“Sigh! What’s the point of saying all that? You’re nothing but a waste and a cripple.
If I bully you now and word gets out, it’ll just hurt my reputation.” Yan Chengrong shook his head, as if this were no longer interesting.
He wrapped his arm around his lady companion’s slender waist, then proceeded into the House of Prosperity.

“Right,” he said, almost as an afterthought, “Nian Yunqiao is here tonight too, and he brought Yu Qian.
They’re both in the seventh floor’s ‘Splendid Hall.’”

Feng Xiaofeng didn’t care about Yan Chengrong’s taunts in the least, but when he heard that final sentence, his expression darkened and his fists clenched.
His eyes flashed with pain, fury, and bitterness. 

Su Yi patted him on the shoulder and said flatly, “Why lose your temper at a group that’s about to die? It’s not worth it.”

Feng Xiaofeng whispered bitterly, “Senior Apprentice Brother Su, let’s just go back.
If Nian Yunqiao finds out we’re here, he’s sure to show up and cause trouble.”

“Why go back? Actually, I think we picked just the right place to dine.” Su Yi’s tone was casual, but a chill flashed through the depths of his inscrutable gaze.

Half a year ago, it was Nian Yunqiao who’d broken Feng Xiaofeng’s legs, transforming him into a cripple!

And Yu Qian was originally the girl Feng Xiaofeng liked most, but she was also the one who stabbed him the most ruthlessly in the end. 

“Right!” said Huang Qianjun.
“And I insist on eating our meal at the House of Prosperity, and furthermore, I want us to enjoy ourselves thoroughly!”

The servant couldn’t help but repeat, “I apologize, but there is currently no space for you to dine in the House of Prosperity.
I suggest you try another restaurant.”

He had just witnessed the way Yan Chengrong taunted Su Yi and Feng Xiaofeng.
Looking at Su Yi’s group now, his expression carried a newfound hint of impatience, and his tone was noticeably colder.

Huang Qianjun was instantly furious; Yan Chengrong’s brazen arrogance had enraged him too. Now, even the servants dared look down on them.
How could Huang Qianjun bear such humiliation?

But just as he was about to speak, Su Yi casually tossed over a command token.
“Take a look at this.
Is this qualification enough?”

The servant caught the medallion.
He was suddenly a bit uncertain.

The command token was carved out of purple jade.
It was heavy, and it glowed beneath the lamplight. 

On the back, the character “Xiao” was engraved in an old-fashioned, exuberant style.

“Please wait a moment.
I need to check with the manager.”

The servant couldn’t determine the jade medallion’s origins, but he sensed that it was no ordinary object, so he hurriedly entered the House of Prosperity.

Before long, an entire group rushed out of the building.
The sight left the servants stationed near the main gate utterly bewildered. 

What’s going on?

Why are the owner and all eight managers here?

Is it to welcome some distinguished guest?

The scene drew some of the nearby guests’ gazes too.
All of them looked surprised.

In the Cloudriver Prefectural Capital, the proprietor of the House of Prosperity, “Madam Cuiyun”, had eyes and ears all over the city, and her reach extended far and wide.
She had deep connections with many of the city’s long-established higher-ups.

The managers were more than enough to welcome even most major powers.
An ‘ordinary VIP’ was in no way qualified to receive Madam Cuiyun’s personal welcome. 

Much less the joint efforts of Madam Cuiyun and all eight managers!

Before long, all gazes turned toward them.

“Your Excellencies, it… It was this young lord who gave me this command token.” The servant was covered in sweat, and he lowered his head and stood to the side, shaking, too afraid to even breathe heavily.

The second he showed the token to a manager, the manager’s expression underwent a dramatic shift, and he immediately went looking for Madam Cuiyun.

That ultimately led to the current spectacle. 

The servant would never have guessed, not even if you cracked his head open, that a mere command token could wield such unbelievable power.
Even a lofty, distinguished figure like the proprietor had been stunned into action.
She’d come here to welcome these guests in person!

Whoosh!

Madam Cuiyun’s gaze landed on Su Yi, and she was briefly stunned.
It seemed she hadn’t anticipated that the medallion’s owner would be so young.

Then, she bowed and smiled, “Young Lord, thank you for gracing our humble shop with your presence.
I apologize for not coming out to greet you earlier and humbly request your forgiveness.”

Her hair was tied up in a bun, and she wore a form-fitting, dark dress.
Her face was dignified and beautiful, her skin snowy white and tender.
Her every subtle movement carried a mature charm.

The eight managers behind her each clasped their fists in turn.

This scene left the nearby servants and guests dumbfounded.

And the first servant, the one who’d greeted them at the door, practically flung himself to his knees.
He wanted to cry, but he had no tears. He’d thought Su Yi’s party nothing but a group of insignificant kids.
Who would have thought….
That they had such a grand background?

Feng Xiaofeng, Feng Xiaoran, and A-Fei felt a bit dizzy. It’s just a command token.
Why did it cause such a disturbance?

“We’d like to dine here.
We’ll have to trouble you to arrange a private room,” said Su Yi.

His calm composure made Madam Cuiyun nod to herself.

To carry the most precious command token of the Lanling Xiao Family, the Purple Jade Token, meant that Su Yi was undoubtedly extraordinary, regardless of his age.

But in contrast with the youth in blue, the others’ attire was rather strange.
A few of them were obviously just kids from the slums.

But Madam Cuiyun was conscientious enough not to inquire any further, nor did her gaze or bearing let slip any sign that she found this unusual.

She turned to one of the managers and ordered, “Go and get the ninth floor’s ‘Mountain and River Palace’ in order.
Have someone brew tea, and remember: use the best we have, the kind reserved for entertaining our most distinguished guests.”

“Yes, Ma’am!” The manager ran off to carry out her orders.

“You, fetch a jar of the Azuresky Burn from my private collection and have it delivered to the Mountain and River Palace.
Consider it a token of the House of Prosperity’s regard.”

“You, have the chefs prepare a feast.
Have them choose the best ingredients we have on hand, and have Ol’ Wang take charge of their preparation personally.”

“And you: wait outside the Mountain and River Palace.
Be prepared to receive further instructions at any moment.
You are not to be the least bit negligent.” Madam Cuiyun spoke at lightning speed.
After this rapid-fire series of commands, the managers rushed off to do as they were told.

When she was finished, she smiled radiantly, then bowed slightly and gestured for Su Yi’s group to follow her.
“Please, right this way.” 

As she said this, she already started leading the way.

This level of courtesy and ostentatiousness left many of those nearby so stunned, their jaws practically fell off. 

It was only after Su Yi’s group disappeared into the Hall of Prosperity that the servant who’d initially turned away could no longer remain standing.
He thudded to his knees, his face ashen.

He had already sensed that this time, he might really be finished. 

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