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71 Merchant Of the Abyss
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Ultimate Rice System
Author :Dism
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71 Merchant Of the Abyss

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The forest soon cleared up and they were met with the sight of a large plain. There was little to no trees in sight beyond this point. However, there was a large paved road stretching out from one end of the horizon to the other. The pavement seemed to be poorly maintained with cracks expanding like a spider web. Other than that, there didn't seem to be anything off about it. It didn't release some sort of aura nor did it contain formations within the cracks.

"A road, but to where?"

Chilong bent over and put his finger over it. The wind picked up blowing away the dust that accumulated along the pathway. A cloud of dust enveloped the team as all forms of sight seem to vanish. As the dust settled, it was replaced with a thick fog that covered the entire area.

"This road is used quite a bit."

*Guk*Guk*Guk*Neigh*

Along the the shroud of fog, was a shadow slowly approaching. As it approached, the figure became more clear. At first, Xin Fan could not make out what it was. However, after a while, he started to make out the shape of a horse, then a carriage and finally a man driving the carriage. The hooded figure had his face covered so Xin Fan could not make out his facial features.

"Guk*Guk*Guk*Creak*

As it neared, the carriage started to stop until ultimately it ended in a halt right in front of the team. The man peered over his shoulder to stare at the children through the holes of a mask. The man was donned in an all white cloak with a white mask.

"I am the abyss merchant...Do you need anything?"

Xin Fan was hesitant about talking to this man. There was something about him that seemed off. It may be the uncaring air he was giving off but the blank stare was making him uneasy.

"What do you sell?"

The man stayed silent for a solid 30 seconds before replying.

"Everything."

Xin Fan looked around at Chilong and Tianfei as if asking for ideas.

"What do you trade with?"

Once again, the merchant stayed silent before responding 30 seconds later.

"Everything."

It was as if he was playing a recorded message. The intonation, speed, and volume of the response were unnaturally similar. As much as Xin Fan wanted to take no part in this, another part of him was telling him to go ahead. In situations like this, instinct and intuition are what decides something is the right choice. Xin Fan took out a portion of Fire Soul Rice and placed it on the platform that the man took out.

"Does this work?"

The man stared at it for a moment before nodding.

"Acceptable trade item."

The man opened up the cover on the side of the carriage. Unlike the carriages that Xin Fan have seen before, this one had a sliding cover not unlike one would see at store fronts. It almost seemed like a portable shop, then again, it wasn't far from it. From under the covers were a wide variety of objects ranging from rare spirit herbs to materials and even elixirs. Each of the items had a name tag under it and a set number. From assumption, it meant how he could buy.


"Xin Fan what are you doing?!"

Tianfei shook him as if he was hallucinating.

"I'm buying things, can't you see?"

Tianfei stared at the carriage and then at Xin Fan again. She had quite the worried expression on her face.

"Xin Fan...there is nothing there?"

Xin Fan looked at Tianfei in confusion. He turned to Chilong who returned with a similarly worried expression.

"Please hurry and make a choice."

The merchant spoke in a monotonous voice urging Xin Fan to hurry. Xin Fan stared at the pile of items and randomly picked one up. All the other items disappeared as did the rice he placed on the platform. All that was left was the item he took. The man bowed before returning back to the driver's seat.

"Thank you for your patronage."

The merchant shook the reigns before driving off to the distance slowly fading away into the shadows. As he did so, the fog started to disappear. Tianfei stared at the object in Xin Fan's hands.

"Did you always have that?"

"I just bought it. Didn't you see?"

Tianfei shook her head as she stared at his hands. The object seemed like some sort of pill. Chilong also was staring at it intently.

"Pass it over."

Xin Fan threw the pill over for Chilong to observe. Chilong always seemed to be the person who knows everything about natural objects. Chilong took a small knife and shaved a bit off the surface onto his finger. He then licked it and thought for a moment.

"Xin Fan, do you know what it's called?"

Xin Fan thought for a second and responded.

"I think it was called a restoration pill."

Chilong nodded his head in agreement.

"As I suspected. The smell and taste is too familiar. Many of the ingredients are common with my own herbal balm. If I remember, you just eat it and you will recover completely."

Chilong passed the pill back to Xin Fan. Xin Fan hurriedly stored it in his inventory. He expected it to be valuable but not this valuable. The team preceded along the road however, they never came across the merchant again.

-

"Ah a fog! We can't see through!"

Wang Mei stared at the projection in panic. The old man patted her on the shoulder to calm her down.

"Don't worry it's just the Abyss Merchant."

"Abyss Merchant?"

The old man nodded his head before picking a thin book over the shelf. He flipped to a page around the end and passed it over to Wang Mei. The book was titled "Mysteries of the Abyss" the author seemed to be a man with the pseudonym Abyss Scholar. The old man pointed at himself proudly with his thumb while adjusting his glasses.

"I wrote this book. Hah....back in the day, this was a bestseller."

Wang Mei however ignored him as she was too preoccupied reading the text.

"It wanders from abyss to abyss. Nobody knows who he is...He has existed since the very beginning...Fog of shrouding...Equivalent exchange..oh sorry, got caught up reading."

The old man waved his hands as if he didn't care.

"It's fine, It's fine. I'm happy that someone still reads my book. Let's just say it's his good fortune that he had met the Abyss Merchant."

"Wait, didn't it say the abyss merchant would appear more often to people who hold things of greater value?"

The old man frowned.

"It's not my place to say this but some things are best to be kept to themselves. Everyone has their own rights to their fortunes. What he gets there is all his business."

"Sorry..."

"It's fine, It's fine."
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