Chapter 0163: Joining a merchant caravan
After the mutual introductions, Ning Cheng came to know that the old man was called Tao Xiumao, and the young man was called Tao Yuan. Both the father and son were very enthusiastic as they not only shared their medicinal salve with Ning Cheng, but they even invited Ning Cheng to sit in the best spot inside their beast carriage.
After Ning Cheng boarded the carriage, Tao Yuan replaced the old man as the coachman of the carriage.
Inside the beast carriage, Ning Cheng immediately started to concentrate on healing his injuries. The Tao father and son were only common people who did not cultivate, as such they were simply not aware of the Spiritual Qi fluctuations in the surroundings.
Since Ning Cheng had closed his eyes to rest up, Tao Xiumao got the message that Ning Cheng was not in the condition to speak.
After two hours, Ning Cheng felt that his injuries had eased up a lot, and was even starting to slowly improve, which immediately calmed his heart down.
With his injuries improving, Ning Cheng also opened his eyes and politely asked, ¡°Uncle Tao, I heard people say that there are a few battalions of the cultivator army stationed in the Yi Xing Ocean, those cultivator army battalions would also be going about recruiting soldiers, isn¡¯t that so?¡±
Tao Xiumao nodded and replied, ¡°That¡¯s right, the biggest soldier recruitment station near us is the Xi Hai City. Tai Wan Sea Town also have a few cultivator soldiers stationed there, moreover our Clear Light Stones are actually to help the cultivator army. Although we sell these Clear Light Stones to the merchants, but these merchant then send these things inside to the cultivator army.¡±
Ning Cheng realized that since the combat operations of the cultivator army stationed in the Yi Xing Ocean went all year round, as such they would also require a variety of Lighting Array Formations, as such they were very much in need of the Clear Light Stones.
When Tao Xiumao saw Ning Cheng speak, he suddenly thought of something but hesitated for a moment before he finally decided to speak, ¡°If you do not have any good place to go to, you can join us in digging out the Clear Light Stones. We make a few trips every year, and in every trip we earn about one to two hundred gold coins. Although there are a few dangers, but at most it would only be a few highway robbers along the roads.¡±
¡°Thank you, Uncle Tao, but I still want to join the merchant caravan, I will be travelling with you till we reach the Tai Wan Sea Town. If I cannot find any opportunity to join a merchant caravan that is going towards the sea, then in that case, I might as well help you earn a bit more.¡±
After hearing Ning Cheng¡¯s words, Tao Xiumao gave a dark sigh in his heart, and did not try to persuade him any further. He knew that the dangers that a merchant caravan faced, were actually countless times much higher that the trafficking of the Clear Light Stones that they were doing. Moreover, Ning Cheng was not even someone he knew, he was just a bystander, as such he would not be able to persuade him anyways.
The beast carriage was not very fast, but at the same time it was also not slow. This Tao father and son took turns taking the position of the coachman of the beast carriage, and ate only normal dried rations along the road.
Four days later, the beast carriage entered a bustling and noisy town. Outside the town there were lot of people with various dressed up appearances. Most of these people were fatigued and were giving off a travel worn aura. Some of the people were dressed up relatively sturdy, while there were also a few normal cultivators mixed in. The Tao father and son, driving the beast carriage, pulled into a place that was not filled with too many people.
The smell of the sea breeze was in the air, Ning Cheng knew that he should be close to the Yi Xing Ocean. Although his injuries were recovering slowly, but at present he only had about 10% of his previous True Condensation strength. So seeing that the cultivation of the cultivators present here was very low, he did not have to worry too much about it.
¡°Brother Xiaocheng, this is the Tai Wan Sea Town. Me and my father are going to sell off these Clear Light Stones, if you are still looking for a merchant caravan, then you can come together with us. There is a Guild here for the merchant caravans, and the merchant caravans collect and exchange all sorts of things there. Moreover, these merchant caravans often have to recruit some manpower to help them out.¡± Although Tao Yuan¡¯s manner was a bit simple hearted, but after becoming a bit familiar with Ning Cheng, he immediately became very warm.
¡°Then many thanks Brother Tao.¡± Ning Cheng quickly thanked the two of them, while simultaneously taking out 10 gold coins and handing them to Tao Xiumao.
Although he was not reluctant to bring out more gold, but at the moment he was disguising himself as an ordinary person, and he even had to hide his cultivation, moreover he also had to go and find a rich person of a merchant caravan. Once he came up with more gold, it would make other people cast a shadow of doubt in his direction.
Tao Xiumao did not want to really take the gold coins from Ning Cheng. He simply handed them back, and said that his beast carriage was only pulling the goods, and just incidentally took Ning Cheng to the Tai Wan Sea Town. If he wanted to collect coins for this, then it would really be insincere of him.
Ning Cheng could only put away the gold coins, as he followed the Tao father and son to visit the Guild of the merchant caravans.
The beast carriage did not take long, before it stopped before a tall tower like gate. Tao Xiumao then took out a wooden plaque, as he respectfully gave it to the guard beside the gate. The guard looked at the wooden plaque, before returning the it to Tai Xiumao, and then waved his hands at Tai Xiumao to signal him to go in.
Tai Xiumao then daringly took his beast carriage through the tall gates, as Ning Cheng also entered through the tall gates following the beast carriage.
After entering through the gate, Tao Xiumao directly pointed to the front, towards a row of tall magnificent buildings in front of Ning Cheng and said, ¡°Little Brother Ning, that is the place where the largest merchant caravans in the Tai Wan Sea Town are stationed. If you are looking for a merchant caravan to join, you can try your luck there. At the moment I have to take my boy to deliver the Clear Light Stones.¡±
Ning Cheng had already seen the big sign in the front, that had a few words ¡®Tai Wan Business Chamber¡¯ written on it. Seeing that, he hastily thanked the Tao father and son again, as he left them and entered the Tai Wan Business Chamber.
The Tai Wan Business Chamber was not just a single entity, but rather it was the collection of all the Business Chambers in the Tai Wan Sea Town. After entering here, Ning Cheng even had a certain feeling that he had entered one of the Business Chambers back on Earth.
There were all kinds of names of the merchant caravans displayed, moreover there were stations of all the merchant caravans here, as such the signs simply were innumerable. In front of some of the stalls of the merchant caravans, there were a few titbits of information displayed, showing some of their profile and also announcements of recruitment of staff personal.
Ning Cheng looked around, but found that there was no merchant caravan that was going to the Hua Continent, almost all of them were going to a place called Pu Bu Island.
Ning Cheng called out to a man who was also watching the announcements, as he cupped his fists and politely asked, ¡°Friend, I want to join a large merchant caravan, but how come none of the merchant caravans here are not even going to the Hua Continent?¡±
¡°You want to go to the Hua Continent?¡± The man stared at Ning Cheng in shock.
Ning Cheng quickly spoke, ¡°No, I just want to join a large merchant caravan, but I do not know about any of such merchant caravans. I heard that in the Yi Xing Ocean, there were some large merchant caravans that can even go across continents. So I thought that a merchant caravan that is able to cross continents would certainly be a large one.¡±
When the man listened to the explanation provided by Ning Cheng, he laughed and said, ¡°Most of the merchant caravans here in the Tai Wan Sea Town will only go to the Pu Bu Island, only from the Pu Bu Island and the Xi Hai City will you be able to find a merchant caravan that would go to the Hua Continent. You should have just arrived at Tai Wan Sea Town, right?¡±
¡°Right right, I¡¯m a newcomer here, but I am somewhat confident in my strength, originally I wanted to go to the Xi Hai City to join the cultivator army, but I did not think that the Xi Hai City would be so far, as such I came to Tai Wan Sea Town instead.¡± Ning Cheng hastily replied.
¡°You are a cultivator?¡± When this man heard that Ning Cheng was a cultivator, his expression immediately turned respectful.
Ning Cheng once more spoke, ¡°I cannot be regarded as a cultivator as yet, as my cultivation level is very low, and is only in the Qi Gathering Realm.¡±
Hearing that Ning Cheng say that he was a Qi Gathering Cultivator, and also speaking so kindly to him, he estimated that he was only at Qi Gathering 1st or 2nd Level. This man secretly sighed to himself, as he spoke, ¡°Even if you were an Early Stage Qi Gathering Cultivator, you can still join the cultivator army. In fact, if you are looking for recruitment into the cultivator army, then in addition to the Xi Hai Town, the Pu Bu Island also recruits people. As such, many of the Qi Gathering Cultivators join a merchant caravan to go to the Pu Bu Island, and then join the cultivator army there.¡±
¡°That is the best news for me, I have to try my luck at Pu Bu Island, if it doesn¡¯t work out, then I would simply go and join a merchant caravan.¡± Ning Cheng spoke with a happy expression.
But in his heart he was very disappointed, if there was a direct merchant caravan to the Hua Continent, it would have been the best for him, but alas.
Thanking this man, Ning Cheng casually selected a merchant caravan called the Flying Sea Merchant Caravan and went inside. He had chosen this Flying Sea Merchant Caravan because he could see on the notice outside that this merchant caravan was going to leave tomorrow, from the Tai Wan Sea Town to the Pu Bu Island.
Since he could not find a merchant caravan to go directly to the Hua Continent, so he could go out and casually look for anyone, it would not have made any difference.
The station of the Flying Sea Merchant Caravan was not very big, and there was only a woman sitting inside. This woman looked like she was in her twenties, but she had a body that was sturdy and was giving off a faint seafood like smell, it gave the people who came close to her a feeling that she travelled the sea all year long.
Although she was sitting on a wooden chair, she appeared to be in a daze. When Ning Cheng came in, it looked like she was not aware of it. Either it was that she was not aware of it, or simply did not care about it, but it looked like she was thinking about her own affairs.
Although this woman was not very beautiful, she was also not an ugly woman either. But what made Ning Cheng surprised was that she turned out to have the cultivation of True Condensation 9th Level.
Ning Cheng had originally thought that since it was a merchant caravan, as such it would mostly have common people in it. Yet, just as he entered the first merchant caravan station, he saw a cultivator with the cultivation of True Condensation 9th Level.
¡°Excuse me¡¡¡± Ning Cheng had just spoke two words, when this True Condensation 9th Level woman turned her head towards him and spoke in a cold voice, ¡°What do you want?¡±
¡°I heard that the Flying Sea Merchant Caravan is short of hands, I¡¯m here to apply for¡¡¡±
Ning Cheng had still not finished what he was going to say, when he was once again interrupted. But this time Ning Cheng was not interrupted by the True Condensation 9th Level woman, but rather a middle aged man. This middle aged man hurriedly came in running, as he bowed his head towards the woman and spoke, ¡°Goddess Zhuang, the ship has arrived.¡±
Hearing the words ¡®the ship has arrived¡¯, the woman immediately stood up and said, ¡°Now that the ship has already arrived, then we will start tonight.¡±
¡°Yes, Yes¡.¡± Although this middle aged man was saying the words ¡®Yes¡¯ multiple times, but his face was already somewhat awkward.
The woman surnamed Zhuang spoke in a light voice, ¡°I know that you want to recruit a few people, but at this current time it is already too late. There is this person who came to apply for a position in the crew, let¡¯s bring him in immediately. If there are any losses caused by the insufficiency of manpower, I, Zhuang Ya, will bear it myself.¡±
¡°Does not dare, does not dare¡¡¡± The middle aged man quickly bowed, as he let this woman named Zhuang Ya out.
Once this woman walked away, the middle aged man wiped the sweat of his brow, as he began to observe Ning Cheng, and asked after a short while later, ¡°Do you want to join the Flying Sea Merchant Caravan to go out into the sea? What is your name?¡±
¡°I am called Ning Xiaocheng, I heard that the Flying Sea was recruiting crew members, so I hurried over here.¡± Ning Cheng immediately answered.
The middle aged man nodded and asked, ¡°How is your strength?¡±
Ning Cheng quickly made a flexing motion with his arms, ¡°I definitely am a muscle man, in my village, many girls like me for my great strength and endurance.¡±
The middle aged man thought that Ning Cheng was joking but still smiled and said, ¡°All right, then it is you. My name is Shen You, but you can call me Deacon Shen. You are a temporary crew of the Flying Sea Merchant Caravan, and the reward is a thousand gold coins, 10% of the rewards will be deducted as remuneration of the trip, 30% will be paid to you on reaching Pu Bu Island, and the remaining will be paid after we return back to the Tai Wan Sea Town.¡±
¡°It suits me.¡± Ning Cheng replied without hesitation, he had not imagined that he would easily find a merchant caravan to the Pu Bu Island. Because he would not be returning, he knew that he would not receive all of the thousand gold reward, but this fact Ning Cheng completely ignored it.
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