113 Young Master Wu
" Your aim is really gracious I admit. Sparing innocent people seems really noble in itself." The old man chuckled, " But, why do you think that the royalty would spare the innocents?"
Xia Lian looked deeply into the eyes of the old man while speaking, " Old sir, if the royalty truly want to kill someone, nothing can stop them anyways. Those who are targeted by the royalty will die no matter what. My poison doesn't make any difference, at most it may ease their suffering. At least they won't feel any pain in the end. And I am no saint, to take up the mission impossible of protecting everyone was never my intention. For every innocent soul in this world, there is one that deserves to die and I have my own priorities." The old man looked at the young lad in admiration. What the kid spoke was the truth. He only wanted to test him, but he did not expect such sharp words from such a young mouth. It felt like talking to one of his peers with a lot of life experience.
" I can only try to minimize the deaths. That's all I can do." Xia Lian spoke in a monotonous tone " And no one in royalty is clean, one could say it is the home of the most ruthless people. Everyone's hands are stained with the blood of the weak and poor. The riches they are experiencing now is built on the blood and sweat of the common masses. No need to treat them any better than slaves, make sure to extract as much money as you can."
The old man stopped asking too many questions, because he was more than satisfied by the young kid's attitude. But, he had one last question remaining," If I may ask, did you concoct this poison personally?" There was a saying, 'Curiosity kills the cat', but he truly could not contain his desire to know.
" Yes, I did." Xia Lian answered directly. She had no reason to conceal the truth. Anyways, now she possessed the appearance of a young man and no one would be able to recognise her later.
" Oh! Well, who is your master?" the old man was excited. Who in the world trained such a talented poison master? He really wanted to meet this fellow's master to exchange some notes.
" It's a secret.." Xia Lian spoke slowly, " at least for now it is."
The old man was disappointed but he did not pry further. There was a limit to his curiosity and not prying too deep into some secrets was a common courtesy in the Dark City. As an experienced appraiser he knew where he should stop and so he did, naturally.
" Young master, I am Du Weng. May I know your honorable name?"
" You can address me with the surname Wu." Xia Lian decided to use her master's name. It was the safest and she had an additional reason for using that name.
" Young master Wu, everything's fine so far. But, we need to test it out to be sure."
" Alright, I have no objections. But, how are you going to test it?"
In response, Du Weng clapped his hands and a servant dressed in brown robes immediately rushed into the room. The servant did not dare to raise his head, because the only purpose of his life was to listen to all the orders with his head bowed down. No questions were allowed.
" Bring out the next test body." This commonly used phrase for Du Weng nearly ignited a powder keg in Xia Lian's mind. This auction house was really testing her temper and patience.
The servant left the room very quickly and returned, a little while later, with a young man bound in chains. The subject was so frail and weak and his tall frame had to be supported by two guards. Wearing torn down clothes he looked absolutely pitiful, while spreading the smell of reek and filth in the room with his each step in.
The guards just threw him onto the cold floor, not treating him any different from a cold corpse. Xia Lian's gaze turned cold and it was harder and harder to suppress her killing intent, after witnessing the scene in front of her. Again and again, she was hit by the cruel truth of this world, the weak were bound to be abused by those in power. She fiddled her fingers as she tried to control her raging emotions. To be honest she didn't know why she felt such strange emotions about a stranger. But the implications on society of treating humans like trash just passed on the stamp of slavery nearly turned her insane. She was not a naive girl, one could describe her as an asura of the battlefield, but she always had a soft side for the innocent, with a pure soul.
While still contemplating about how to handle the situation, Du Weng was about to move and the end for the slave seemed imminent.
In this sliver of a second everything seemed to be out of her control and her heart already decided before her mind could wager the benefits. She intercepted at the last second, while screaming inside to stay calm. But, her voice came out a few degrees colder than she intended to, " Did he do anything wrong or immoral?"
" Then why are you treating him like that?" Xia Lian was clearly agitated now.
" Because he is a slave." This simple answer was so much more destructive than the appraiser could have ever imagined. This very instant was the moment no one in this world should ever witness, Xia Lian was absolutely pissed off, close to unleashing her fury and removing all brakes she put into place after arriving in this era.
" I refuse.." Du Weng widened his eyes in disbelief as he did not believe his ears. Not only the words spoken, but also the way they were spoken left him with a deep unease. It didn't feel like a rejection for business, more like a judgement of his life.
" Young master Wu, I did not understand.."
" What part of my words did you not understand?" Xia Lian spoke lazily with a dark expression on her face. Du Weng felt cold sweat building on his forehead when faced with this young kid. All that was left was single premonition: 'If I refuse him now, there will be a deadly storm.'
" You cannot kill them under the pretext of testing poisons under my name. Test this poison on those who committed crimes, or don't test it at all.
If you cannot accept my conditions, then I will search for another auction house. If you can't decide within five seconds, this deal is canceled and my relationship with the Black Dragon Auction House is severed for all eternity. " Xia Lian's resolute voice left no room for any kind of argument.