IMDC: Chapter 2004

 Chapter 2004 (Raw 2100): The Mysterious Person Again
 The Divine Dragon Empire did not know much about the Thundercloud Ancient Marsh. After all, it did not lie within the Divine Dragon Empire’s borders, and it did not have that many fortuitous encounters, unlike Desolate God Valley.
 However, the Thundercloud Ancient Marsh was slightly famous in the White Marsh Beast Empire. Lightning-attributed cultivators frequently went there for experiential training.
 The White Marsh Beast was a snake-type beast from the ancient Great Desolate Eon. It was entirely snow-white and extremely intelligent, possessing sentience.
 Typically speaking, snakes were sinister existences that inspired fear. All sorts of negative sayings about them provoked horror and fear.
 However, the White Marsh Beast was different. It was seen as a holy snake. Among the ten thousand Great Desolate Eon races, the White Marsh Beast was classed together with the Phoenix, the Qilin, and other Holy Beasts.
 However, the Great Desolate Eon was over already, and it was currently the Epoch Eon.
 Like the Dragon Race, the White Marsh Beast Race did not leave behind any pure-blooded descendants. All that remained were human cultivators that inherited the White Marsh Beast’s bloodline.
 Xiao Chen was short on time, so he spent Primeval Heavenly Pills to use the trans-realm transportation formation this time. After being sent out of the Divine Dragon Empire, Xiao Chen arrived at the nearest city to Thundercloud Ancient Marsh, Thundercloud City.
 Thundercloud City:
 “Stop staring into space. There are people behind waiting.”
 The old man maintaining the trans-realm transportation formation urged Xiao Chen, who was sizing up the surroundings, to come out quickly.
 Xiao Chen sometimes felt quite curious about what kind of faction could connect all these trans-realm transportation formations in the Thousand Great Realms.
 He had carefully thought about it but concluded that even the four dynasties did not have this ability.
 Xiao Chen shook his head and left the transportation formation, formally entering the city.
 For this Thundercloud City to have a trans-realm transportation formation, it could not possibly be a small city. According to rumor, a certain Noble Clan controlled it.
 This was an independent city not belonging to any empire. Many such city-states existed in the northern region.
 For someone to control an independent city, one had to have an extremely strong faction backing him, a faction that could stand up to the empires and Rank 7 sects.
 I need a detailed map of Thundercloud Ancient Marsh to find the definitive location of the Propping Mulberry Tree.
 Xiao Chen leisurely wandered the city’s streets as he rubbed his chin.
 “Nine Cauldron Pavilion!” Xiao Chen read softly as his eyes lingered on a luxurious and magnificent building. He recalled that he had a high-ranked VIP Card for this establishment.
 Xiao Chen entered and handed his VIP card over to the counter. “I would like to see your manager.”
 The pretty lady at the counter looked at Xiao Chen’s VIP card and smiled politely. “Young Master, your VIP card is only a Grade 1 Purple Card, you can only meet a Grade 3 supervisor. If you want to meet a Grade 2 manager, you will need a Gold Card.”
 Xiao Chen felt stunned on hearing that, as well as embarrassed. It looked like that Li Xiuhai had tricked him in Ancient Desolate Town.
 Xiao Chen did indeed have a Grade 1 VIP card, but Li Xiuhai had not told him that there was a Gold VIP card above it.
 However, this made sense too. Li Xiuhai was only a minor character assigned to Ancient Desolate Town. How could he possibly be given high authority?
 “However, a Purple Card is of very high grade already. We can provide you with a ten percent discount and have someone to guide you specially,” the pretty lady added softly with a smile when she noticed Xiao Chen’s embarrassment, easing the atmosphere.
 “I’ll carry out the transaction here, then. I need a map of Thundercloud Ancient Marsh.”
 “Please come with me to the VIP room to wait.”
 Xiao Chen nodded slightly and followed behind the other party calmly.
 “Sir Xiao!”
 Just at this moment, a voice filled with pleasant surprise startled Xiao Chen and the maidservant.
 Xiao Chen turned his head to look, and to his surprise, he saw Li Xiuhai.
 Li Xiuhai showed shock on his face. Overjoyed at the discovery that it was Xiao Chen, he rushed over with large strides.
 “He is?” Xiao Chen asked.
 The pretty maidservant replied softly, “He is our newly arrived Lord Manager.”
 “You are done here. I’ll entertain Sir Xiao. Go work on something else,” Li Xiuhai said with a smile, sending the maidservant away.
 “Yes.”
 The pretty maidservant withdrew cutely, bowing slightly to Xiao Chen and Li Xiuhai before she did so, maintaining a very polite demeanor.
 The Nine Cauldron Pavilion lived up to its reputation as one of the top ten merchant associations in the Central Great Realm; their services were very attentive.
 Xiao Chen took out the Purple Card and mocked, “The grade of this card is really high; I can’t even meet with a manager.”
 Li Xiuhai knew about the little trick that he played. He smiled in embarrassment. “Sorry, sorry. I will help Sir Xiao exchange it for a Gold Card later. Let’s go to the VIP room first. I’ll get someone to call Master Bai over.”
 Soon, the three gathered at the VIP room.
 The group had a casual conversation, and Xiao Chen came to know that his transactions had garnered Li Xiuhai a promotion.
 Now, Li Xiuhai was a Grade 2 manager in the northern region. If he climbed any further, he would be the person in charge of the entire northern region.
 Coincidentally, the Nine Cauldron Pavilion assigned Li Xiuhai to Thundercloud City, away from the remote Ancient Desolate Town. He truly had a fate with Xiao Chen.
 “This is unexpected. To think that we could see Sir Xiao again not long after we arrived in Thundercloud City,” Liu Xiuhai said with a smile. He felt that Xiao Chen was his lucky star, so he felt very excited to see him again.
 Master Bai appeared calm. He said softly with a smile, “It’s a small world. Little Friend Xiao Chen, you must be here in Thundercloud City for the Propping Mulberry Tree’s tribulation?”
 Master Bai was as wise and farsighted as ever, quickly guessing Xiao Chen’s destination.
 The slightly shocked Xiao Chen asked, “Master Bai, how did you know?”
 Master Bai was about to answer when Li Xiuhai rushed to speak, “I know the reason. There have already been three waves of people coming for a map of Thundercloud Ancient Marsh. After that, we heard from the Heavenly Alliance’s information network that a Propping Mulberry Tree is about to undergo a tribulation.
 “I heard that a few experts proficient at divination predicted the tribulation of this Propping Mulberry Tree and that a Five Element Divine Lightning might appear. Sir Xiao happens to be a lightning-attributed cultivator. Aside from this, you should not have any other reason to come to Thundercloud City.”
 Now, Xiao Chen understood. He asked thoughtfully, “Is my request difficult?”
 “Getting the map is no problem. After all, all the places that should be scouted in the White Marsh Beast Empire have been scouted in the past ten thousand years. However, getting the position of the Propping Mulberry Tree is rather tough. Sir Xiao, you know this as well. After ten thousand years, some trees can gain sentience. Furthermore, this is a divine tree. It should have turned into a spirit long ago,” Liu Xiuhai replied with a slight frown, appearing troubled.
 “I see…”
 Xiao Chen entered deep thought. He did not have the leisure to explore the Thundercloud Ancient Marsh.
 Since the Propping Mulberry Tree was now sentient, it would run around, which would make it too difficult to find.
 If so, Xiao Chen might as well return and save himself the trouble. He could focus on cultivating and prepare for the competition between the seven outer palaces.
 Master Bai said, “Actually, it is not as problematic as you imagine. Based on what I saw, the people of the earlier three waves were mostly confident. They did not worry about being unable to find the Propping Mulberry Tree.”
 Xiao Chen’s heart skipped a beat. He looked at Master Bai and asked, “What do you mean?”
 “This Propping Mulberry Tree has existed since the early period of the Martial Epoch. It has already undergone an unknown number of tribulations by now, so there should be a pattern. There are only a few places suitable for it to take its tribulation. If it already chose its tribulation location, there would be some clues and signs. You just need to stand guard there.”
 Master Bai paused before continuing, “Little Friend Xiao Chen, if you are willing to trust me, in two days—no, one day—I can help you find the most likely locations for the Propping Mulberry Tree’s tribulation.”
 “I am exceedingly grateful. Thanks,” Xiao Chen said after standing up and performing a cupped-fist salute.
 “Since it will take one day, I shall make arrangements for Sir Xiao to stay at the merchant association. That way, it will be convenient to inform you of any news,” Li Xiuhai invited warmly.
 Xiao Chen refused, “I will just stay somewhere nearby. There is no need to go to all that trouble.”
 After Xiao Chen left, Li Xiuhai smiled and said, “Senior Bai, it is all thanks to you again this time, that we can keep Sir Xiao’s business here. I really could not tell that Senior Bai is so knowledgeable.”
 Master Bai said indifferently, “I don’t really know much. However, the Propping Mulberry Tree undergoing a tribulation is a major matter, so I paid some attention to it.”
 “Haha! Let’s not mention that for now. However, is it too rash to promise Sir Xiao to have it done in one day?”
 “That’s not a problem. With my authority in the Heavenly Alliance, it is sufficient.”
 “Bang!”
 Just at this moment, the two’s expressions changed at the same time. An intense killing Qi burst out in the Nine Cauldron Pavilion.
 The two were familiar with this killing Qi. It came from Xiao Chen.
 Something happened. A conflict started between Xiao Chen and someone. To think that they started fighting in the Nine Cauldron Pavilion in violation of the rules!
 “Hurry! Run! Don’t ever let the guards fight with Xiao Chen.”
 The two knew that the situation was urgent, so they rushed out. Even so, they found that it was already somewhat too late.
 The Nine Cauldron Pavilion’s experts blocked Xiao Chen in the main hall. The two sides faced each other with weapons drawn.
 “A misunderstanding! A misunderstanding! What happened?!”
 Li Xiuhai rushed over, fearing that the Nine Cauldron Pavilion experts started fighting with Xiao Chen.
 Xiao Chen sighed and performed a cupped-fist salute to apologize. “This time, it is this Xiao’s fault. I’ll apologize to Manager Li and Master Bai.”
 Right after Xiao Chen came out of the VIP room, he happened to sense a familiar aura.
 A certain mysterious person wearing a cloak came out from another booth. That person held a Thundercloud Ancient Marsh map.
 Xiao Chen immediately recognized him. This was the mysterious person shrouded in bloody shadows who had stood beside the Holy Son Ming Xuan in the ancient city.
 Just as Xiao Chen found this strange, the other party discovered him as well. Without saying a word, the other party quickly left.
 This seemed extremely strange. Xiao Chen could not help himself; he wanted to make a move to stop the other party but accidentally broke the Nine Cauldron Pavilion’s rules.
 It was prohibited to attack in a merchant association.
 Hence, the Sovereign Personage experts of the Nine Cauldron Pavilion directly blocked Xiao Chen. He could only watch as the other party left.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

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Written by Fiery Moon / Yuè Rú Huǒ (月如火). Translated by DragonInWhite. Edited by Vampirecat, Dank Oz, Nora, MindLitUp, Chlocolatte, FluffyGoblyn.