Everyone knew that if an army needed to be operated, the country needed to have a stable economy. Without a stable economy, everything is built on a foundation that can collapse at any time. Before war began, the country needed to prepare the supplies beforehand,
Cheng Men formed a massive income source for Cheng Yin. One couldn’t just beat Cheng Yin in a physical fight to completely crush him, they needed to cut off every ounce of support he had. Xuanyuan definitely could not win in a full frontal fight against Cheng Yin at the moment, so he needed to use his resourcefulness to deal blows to Cheng Yin elsewhere. If he really did manage to bankrupt Cheng Men, it would certainly be a massive blow to Cheng Yin. One could say that it would hit him worse than outright killing him.
However, it was easier said than done. Unless the one attempting to bankrupt Cheng Men was someone who was a reincarnation of the Emperor of Acquisition, it was a pipe dream. Fortunately, Xuanyuan had received the legacy of the Emperor in the form of the Book of Acquisitions.
“Master Teng, could you explain the history of the Immortal Gambling House? I’ve heard a few things here and there, but I don’t actually have a clear picture.”
“The Immortal Gambling House was established thousands of years ago. Its a completely neutral organisation, and doesn’t take sides in any conflict. All they do is expand their collections of mineral veins around the world. If one wants to have a higher chance of winning pure energy sources, everyone knows that the Immortal is the place to go. There have been instances of spiritual ices being found in their stones. The stone masters of the Immortal are one of the best in the world, as a result, the quality of stones are also extremely high. On the other hand, Cheng Men is one of the worst places one can go to win.”
“If that’s the case, how does Cheng Men manage to stay competitive against the other three gambling houses?”
“Haha, that’s something you’ll figure out when you enter Cheng Men.”
Smiling, Xuanyuan didn’t ask any further. Walking for a while in silence, Xuanyuan finally spoke up.
“Master Teng, I have come to the North in secrecy. I’m afraid that if people see me with you, they’ll be able to put two and two together, and figure out my identity. This would neither be good for Taibai Trading nor for me. Would it be possible for us to pretend as if we don’t know each other?”
“Don’t worry. I’ve already made arrangements. I’ve sent for a carriage. You will go first, and I’ll come by later, so as to avoid any suspicions. I hope to see your talented stone refining skills at Cheng Men. Brother Xuanyuan, please wait here, the carriage will arrive imminently.”
Thanks to Master Teng’s arrangement, a beautiful carriage made of gold and jade, emblazoned with the VIP symbol of Taibai Trading drew up, drawn by twelve Da Yuan horses. Xuanyuan stepped into the carriage and headed towards Cheng Men.
A handsome, middle aged man stood atop the Seven Stars Platform of Tianji, his strength extremely high. This man was Xuanjizi, one of the smartest men in the world.
A soft, enchanting voice appealed to him, “Mister Xuanjizi, please tell me where Xuanyuan of the Fighting Dragons Sect is.” Xiao Chang, also known as Yuechang, looked at Xuanjizi, her beautiful eyes beseeching him.
“Oh ho, the boy seems very popular these days. Quite a few people within the Northern Dynasty seem to want to know about him. Does the eldest prince have something to do with him?” Despite being perpetually on the Seven Star platform, very few things were hidden from him. Yuechang was one of his regular customers, as a delegate of prince Cheng Yin.
Despite being familiar with each other, Xuanjizi was not one to give out information for free. Yuechang had tried on multiple occasions to squeeze information out of him by flirting with him, but he never had given in.
“That man was responsible for the heavy casualities that were faced by the Northern Army. I’m afraid that the eldest prince is not one to let such grievances pass. Master Xuanjizi, I thank you for your assistance in this matter. As always, the payment for this matter can be put on the eldest prince’s tab.”
Xuanjizi asked no further questions. he smiled and closed his eyes, as a mysterious force was activated in the darkness. After a while, he slowly spoke in a flat voice.
“Xuanyuan is in the sky, at a place close to you. It appears that he is at the Cheng Men Gambling House at this moment.”
“Interesting… He comes seeking death, daring to come all the way to the Cheng Men Gambling House. Does he wish to win money?” Her eyes flashed with a slight flare of rage, her beautiful features further accentuated by the flare of emotion. Yuechang was clearly no stranger to killing her enemies.
Saying his piece, Xuanjizi simply walked away. As he left the room, he simply said, “As a favour for the eldest prince, one of my most regular customers, I feel I should warn you. Xuanyuan has the Nightmare Ghost by his side. If you wish to fight against him, prepare for Cheng Men to be razed to the ground, and the entire Northern Dynasty to be in disarray. Cheng Yin will not survive this confrontation.”
Yuechang trembled with fear as she heard this. “Are you sure?”
“Why else do you think Xuanyuan acts so recklessly? Aside from the Nightmare Ghost, he also has the five fighting elements and the dragon elixirs.” The calmness of Xuanjizi’s tone further heightened Yuechang’s fear. “You do know what a dragon elixir means right?”
Yuechang broke out in cold sweat, thankful that Xuanjizi had warned her before she acted thoughtlessly. She thought to herself, “If I need to harm Xuanyuan, I’ll have to do it indirectly, because a frontal attack will fail.” Bowing to Xuanjizi, she said, “Thank you for all your help, Mister Xuanjizi. I must take my leave now.”
By now, Xuanyuan had arrived at the Cheng Men Gambling House. It was made from exquisite stone, and engraved with nine golden dragons, signifying the status of the owner, Prince Cheng Yin.
As Xuanyuan stepped out of the carriage, he drew a lot of attention from the onlookers.
“What do you mean? This is the Taibai Trading VIP carriage. Who was that man?”
“You don’t know? This man made a commotion at the gates of Taibai Trading after the guards didn’t let him in.”
“So what? VIPs come to Taibai Trading everyday, what’s so special?”
“He is just in the emperor realm. Despite this, he could easily crush fighters at the peak of the emperor realm. Furthermore, his family name is Ji.”
“What? Ji, as in the Ji family of the central dynasty?”
“That’s right. I didn’t expect that one of the strong rookies of the Central Dynasty would come to the North. Looks like he wants to try his hand at gambling. Want to go in and inspect his technique?”
Because of the competition between the dynasties, everyone had their eyes on the rookies. These rookies represented the individual strengths of their respective dynasties. The Central Dynasty was always one of the strongest dynasties, and as a result, people always kept an eye on rookies that came from here.
Xuanyuan didn’t expect all the attention on him. Fortunately, they were distracted by his fake name which tied him to the Ji family, thus still keeping his real identity secret. Xuanyuan was not scared of his real identity being exposed, but since he had several treasures on him, it was expected that people would come to loot him. That was just how humans were, ruled by their greed.
Since Xuanyuan was dropped off by the VIP carriage, he was warmly received at Cheng Men. Two attractive women, their attire leaving little to the imagination, came forward to greet him. Every one of these women were skilled at seduction, flirting with the customers and inciting them to spend money at Cheng Men. This was one of the main reasons as to why Cheng Men thrived.
“Welcome to Cheng Men, young master.”
Xuanyuan smiled at them. Cheng Yin was unexpectedly trying so hard to increase his profits. These women were very attractive, and their seductive atmosphere ensured that men would come here just for a glimpse of these women. It was no wonder that the place did so well.
Xuanyuan entered the gambling house and looked around. Rather than a gambling house, it resembled a quaint village, with the men competing for the favour of the beautiful staff of Cheng Men. Raucous laughter rang out, as these men continued to gamble and fight for the favour of these women. The female staff had a solid grasp on the male mentality, and they delicately treaded that fine line between being available, yet desirable.
Gambling generally meant that one would lose nine out of ten times. Everyone knew that. To keep their customers within the grounds, they used women to distract them from their losses, making sure that they stick around.