Chapter 0339: Deal's A Deal

"Maybe it's just a coincidence. It would be a freaking fairytale if dao-gold was so easily earned," Li Luo said.

"The Golden Dragon Bank might be rich, but they can't possibly make it so easy, right?"

Lu Qing'er and Qin Zhulu expressed agreement. Logically speaking, dao-gold was like any other currency—if it were too easily obtained, it would lose its value.

Perhaps they were really just plain lucky.

"Let's continue on. We've just gotten started. Harder days will come." Li Luo grinned, waving them on.

They plodded through the thick snow onwards into the forest.

About 40 minutes later, Lu Qing'er suddenly stepped on something in the snow. She bent down curiously and picked up a crystal-like root. It smelled fragrant too. 

She turned it over in her hands. "Is this a rare herb too?"

Li Luo was stunned for a second, then he shook his head. "C’mon, no way. What do you think they are? Cabbages? We can't possibly be finding them left and right!"

"One way to find out," Qin Zhulu said in his gravelly voice. He lit the golden incense and then the same process happened. The glass-like root faded away and disappeared, and three shiny gold-coins rolled out of a rift to land in the snow.

Another silence.

The three stared at the coins, nonplussed. "Er," Lu Qing'er said with uncertainty as she picked up the coins. "Why does it seem like dao-gold isn't particularly important here at the Dao Fields?"

"Can it be that the amount of dao-gold needed is huge? Like maybe we would need thousands of dao-gold to get one treasured artifact?" Qin Zhulu scratched his head.

Li Luo was completely confused as well. "But surely such rare herbs need time to grow, right? They can't be all that easy to produce even at the Golden Dragon Dao Fields...

"Am I some sort of bumpkin?" Li Luo wondered aloud. "Do I just... not understand the scale of this holy land of cultivation?"

Lu Qing'er and Qin Zhulu had no reply to him. They had never set foot outside of the Xia Kingdom before, so they had no idea about how the larger world outside worked.

Perhaps they were indeed the proverbial frogs in the well.

They continued forward, occasionally coming across more herbs, and not once meeting any danger. They already had more than 50 dao-gold pieces...

Because they had no basis for comparison, they had no idea if 50 pieces was extremely few or many.

"We might have just stumbled across an herb-rich patch," Li Luo finally concluded. That was his best guess.

Just when they spoke, a wounded spirit beast charged out of the trees nearby. But before they could act, the spirit beast toppled to the ground and died from its wounds. They stared at each other.

"Something's wrong, right?" Qin Zhulu swallowed hard. This spirit beast was not easy to deal with. In good condition, the three would have had to combine their full strength for a chance to beat it. But now it was dead at their feet.

It felt like an insult to their intelligence if they were supposed to take this as luck.

It was raining presents everywhere, damn it! 

"I got itm" Li Luo said in a low tone of relief, slapping his forehead.

Li Luo patted the carcass of the spirit beast. "You see, there's a very simple explanation... It means I'm the Chosen One."

Qin Zhulu stared at him. "What the hell has any of this got to do with you? You haven't even found a single rare herb along the way, it's always been..."  

They both turned slowly to look at Lu Qing'er.

Her beautiful eyes went round, and she pointed at herself disbelievingly. "Me? How is that possible?" 

Neither Li Luo nor Qin Zhulu could see how it was possible, but it had indeed happened. All of their bounty so far had been picked up by Lu Qing'er.

And this beast that had conveniently died at their feet.

Li Luo sighed solemnly. "I have a bad feeling about all this."

It was too good to be true. And in Li Luo's experience, that not only meant it wasn't true, but that something very, very bad was coming.

"That just makes it all the more interesting!" Qin Zhulu declared, his face flushing with excitement.

Li Luo was speechless.

“Brother, you're really a battle demon. But can you at least look at where you are? Everyone here at the Dao Fields is basically an Evolving Resonance Tier cultivator. We three Pattern Genesis scrubs would be lucky to survive, you know?”

Lu Qing'er tugged at Li Luo's sleeve. "Let's just stay here and not go anywhere. Then we might not be targeted."

She was not too interested in the Golden Dragon Mountain writs anyway. This snowy gorge was quite picturesque and fun to play around in.

And they could get some dao-gold and some good rewards when it all ended.

"If I stay here with you until it ends, your mom will stick my head in the vault and open and close the door on my neck repeatedly," Li Luo protested.

He could only imagine the extent of her fury. She had paid good money for him to be a qualified bodyguard. Romp in the snow?!!

"I'll explain it all to her," Lu Qing'er said hurriedly. "She won't be mad at you."

Li Luo was just about to speak when he abruptly stopped. Qin Zhulu had frozen on the spot as well. He pulled out his spear.

Li Luo turned around to the snowy forest on the right side. "Alright, sneaking's over. Come on out."

Lu Qing'er had a fright when she heard this, and she quickly channeled her ice resonant power.

Three figures suddenly emerged from the snow. Li Luo and the others watched them warily.

They were all youngsters, and the one in the middle seemed like their leader. He gave them an odd smile. "We accidentally drew too near. You're sharp. I didn't expect you to detect us."

"Seems like you've been following us for a while now," Li Luo noted mildly.

The green-robed leader nodded with a smile. "A while. So, I wonder, could you enlighten us on how you managed to get dozens of dao-gold without doing anything?

"As for us..." He wrung his hands irritatedly. "We've been in this area for half a day, and haven't seen a thing."

Li Luo nodded sympathetically. "That's a real shame."

"So how did you do it? How do you stroll around and just get gold? What's the deal?"

Li Luo's face was serious. "The deal's a deal. But we'll have to know what's your deal and if you're the real deal before we deal."

Confused silence.

"Heh." The green-shirted leader laughed. "Looks like we got ourselves a real wisecrack here.

"Well, if you don't want to talk..."

He lazily unsheathed his lancet, its keen blade gleaming with a green energy that they recognized as wind resonant power. As he curled his fingers more tightly around the hilt, a small gust cleared the snow away from his feet.

"...then I guess I'll have to beg for alms..."

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