Care to Place a Wager?
While Yun Yang was utilizing his talents, he did not notice the three young masters observing him with keen eyes, upon catching sight of the golden monkey on his shoulder.
“Shopkeeper!” Yun Yang straightened up and asked in a loud voice, “How much for these kittens?”
Delightedly springing out from his store, the shopkeeper’s plump face beamed like a blooming flower, “Young master certainly has a good pair of eyes on him, these are the precious offspring of Lightning Cats. Why, I’ve spent a fortune…”
“Yes, yes, just tell me how much does each one of these cost?” Yun Yang feigned annoyance, “I’m buying them back for my lover as playthings. Money won’t be an issue here!”
The shopkeeper was elated but carefully said, “May I then know which one has caught the young master’s fancy?”
Yun Yang straightened up and wove an air of wealth about himself, “This one, this one, this, this, and this one. If the price is reasonable, I want them all.”
He pointed to five of the kittens, two genuine Lightning Cats mixed alongside the three unique ones.
The plump shopkeeper was beside himself with joy, “If young master wants all five… I surely can give a discount of…”
Walking up, the young master in blue said leisurely, “Brother, we have the first claim towards these kittens.”
Yun Yang turned around. “What is the young master trying to say?”
The man in blue explained slowly, biting off each word, “Simple, I want these kittens.”
Although he was unaware that a few of them were exceptional, he was irked by Yun Yang’s arrogant manner, showing off his wealth, and felt an inexplicable need to bring him down a notch. He also had an odd feeling that he would regret missing this opportunity to procure these kitten.
The young master in blue had always believed in his instincts. He did not fully understand how or why giving up a litter of puny, baby Lightning Cats would cause him regret, but he would stand by what his intuition was telling him.
Yun Yang chuckled, “You claim you saw it first, may I ask if you’ve asked for the price?”
The man in blue’s face darkened as he shook his head, “No, I have not.”
Yun Yang then smiled. “May I then ask if you have paid a deposit of any sort for these kittens?”
The man in blue frowned. “I have yet to ask for the price, how could I have paid any surety?”
“I see.” Yun Yang nodded and continued, “It seems to me that the young master had no intention of buying them, but upon seeing me make an offer, changed his mind immediately. Is this so?”
The young master in blue had no wise retort. It was the truth, more so in others’ eyes. The three of them had stood there for the longest time but had shown no inclination of making a purchase. Only right after the purple-robed young master came to ask for the value did they step in and claim first rights. What was this if not asking for trouble?
All three men’s gaze sharpened as they honed their stares on Yun Yang. He felt a piercing sensation of his face as if a sharp knife was held against his skin.
The young man in blue spoke slowly, his tone light but imposing, “Young master, your words are a tad too harsh. If I did not wish to buy them, why would I look at them for so long? I didn’t make an offer right away because I wanted to take the time to choose…”
He paused before continuing, “Besides, even if I didn’t want to buy them at first, I do now. Do you hear? I’m buying them! I saw them first, and of course, that means they belong to me.”
Yun Yang laughed, “May I ask if young master knows the Greatest Beauty, Shui Lanqing?”
He had switched the topic entirely. The man in blue was immediately on his guard, “What do you mean?”
Yun Yang spoke in a carefree tone, “Shui Lanqing was acknowledged as the Greatest Beauty in the world thirty years ago. Before she met her husband, Unrivaled Expert Ling Xiaozui, countless numbers of people had seen her first, but of course, she was still married to her husband in the end.”
The man in blue’s expression darkened in anger.
Yun Yang continued breezily, “If I’d seen Shui Lanqing then, I think, I would also have claimed her hand in marriage. Though, she might not have chosen me of course. But I couldn’t very well say that Shui Lanqing is mine because I saw her first right?”
The young master in blue grew even more incensed.
Ling Xiaozui, Shui Lanqing.
This was Tianxuan Continent’s match made in heaven; Ling Xiaozui was a legend, an unrivaled expert! Dragons such as he soared above mortals, drunken with a tipple and sword; chasing infinity to the corners of the Earth, he was unrivaled among heroes across the world!
Yun Yang was impudent to use this legend as an analogy. Although Yun Yang had a temper, he would have been willing to forgo arguing with these young masters and not think of it as a humiliation if these kittens had not been so very important to him.
After all, there were a lot of influential people in this world, and grudges had always stemmed from petty matters such as these. On any other occasion, Yun Yang would usually steer clear from such troubles.
However, he just had to have these kittens! It wasn’t just for Ji Ling’s tournament; these Lightning Cat offspring were an undeniable treasure. Once they grew up, they would definitely be a force to be reckoned with! Such opportunities only came once in a lifetime, how could Yun Yang not insist on seeing it through to the end?
The man in blue glared at Yun Yang for a long while before relenting, “If that is so, let us bid for them. That way, you can’t accuse me of bullying you.” He looked like he was about to explode in anger but somehow, he had managed to force his fury down and replace it with icy indignation.
Yun Yang said lightly, “This can only mean that you are absolutely confident that you are wealthier than I am, and can afford to pay more than I; it may seem fair, but it’s just another form of bullying. Browbeating people with money. Where is the fairness in that?”
The man in blue took a deep, shaky breath, “I must have these kittens!”
“You must have them, and so must I. We will never get anywhere if we go on like this. Would you care to place a wager against me?” Yun Yang gave it some thought and continued, “Only with an absolutely fair method of course. If it’s laid, it’s played.”
The man in blue said, “A wager? How?”
Yun Yang replied, “With these kittens. We both have encountered them for the first time today. Let’s bet on who these kittens are willing to follow. We can use anything to entice them, be it food or spiritual methods. Let them choose their owner! What say you?”
The man in blue squinted his eyes and looked thoughtfully towards the energetic kitties in the basket. When his gaze swiveled back to Yun Yang, however, it took on a different light altogether…
Yun Yang could feel his hackles rise as tendrils of probing energy slid over his entire form, seven or eight different ones all at once. There was a trace of inquiry in the tendrils; he could even whiff the scent of a Treasure Hunting Rat. These young masters were clearly making sure that he had nothing that would entice the mystical creatures hidden on his person.
Standing in an open stance, he smiled gently. “What say you, young masters? Would you dare take up this wager?”
Right from the very beginning, he had no intention of backing down. When you dealt with wealthy, spoiled brats, it was impossible to avoid disagreements forever. If they had to resort to a dispute, however, he fully intended to come out top.
He had already cast the net, now was the time to delicately reel it in. The brains and intelligence of the Nine Supremes would never behave brashly.
The young master in blue that faced him gave a confident smile, his hawk-like eyes boring into Yun Yang. Certain now that Yun Yang had no secreted items that would lend him an advantage, he was perceptibly more relaxed, assured that he would win this time.
“You want to bet… against me?” The man in blue smiled in ridicule; his friends beside him wore similar amused expressions. He was not a mystical beast trainer, but he had been familiarizing himself with the profession since he was young; he was certainly more skilled than the average trainer. The guards shared a look between themselves, and one of them hurried away.
“My stakes are high, and perhaps not everyone may be able to match it.” He grinned at Yun Yang, looking for all the world like a cat toying with a cornered rat.
Yun Yang frowned. “Surely you jest? Have we not decided on the stakes since the beginning? It’s these kittens! They belong to whomever who wins.”
The young master’s smile never faltered, and he replied slowly, “Just mere Lightning Cats are nowhere near worthy enough to serve as stakes.”
Yun Yang’s resolution wavered slightly at that, but his gaze turned sharp again after a moment, “If you insist on losing more treasures to me, it would be impolite of me to decline.”
“I thought so too,” the young master in blue retorted.
In a shadowed alcove nearby, Ji Ling covered her mouth, trying desperately to hold in her laughter. When she first overheard Yun Yang requesting to buy the kittens, she had already seen the trap coming from a mile away. She was certain that the schemer’s ultimate goal was not the ordinary Lightning Cats. When she then heard Yun Yang’s suggested wager, and how it was to be carried out, Ji Ling almost guffawed aloud.
“Even the mighty Thousand Illusion Monkey had submitted entirely to Yun Yang… These young masters want to challenge his hold of obedience on mystical beasts? They might as well just give him the money right now.”
She watched as Yun Yang weaved like a boxer, first advancing aggressively with a single step, then retreating by two, successfully luring his opponent in without missing a beat; Ji Ling rolled her eyes, she had nothing to say about this behavior.
It was simply unfortunate for these affluent young masters to have encountered Yun Yang. They would be slaughtered like pigs in the market. Furthermore, they had been the ones who had forced Yun Yang to up the ante; any misery that transpired from this debacle would be of their own doing.
How could there be such miserable people around?
It was certainly an eye-opener for Ji Ling, who had been observing the whole affair from her hiding place. After all, it was rare to find these sort of buffoons who would help their enemies set up a trap and then spring it themselves!