Happy New Year! It’s amazing to think that this is the second New Year’s Day that has passed since I picked up CCM. Thanks for all the support this past 2016, and I hope you continue to support CCM in 2017 as well!
Translated by: Taffy
Chapter 356 – One Step Forwards, One Step Back Pt. 1
Nicole calmly sat at the table. Although it was already filled with various dishes, nobody had made any move to go eat them.
Suo Jia swept a glance around and said in a low voice, “Did you all pass on your messages? How did they respond?”
Xiang Yun was the first to reply to Suo Jia’s words. “I passed it on. Those guys even ignored me at first, but…after I split a bottomless, dozen meter long crevice into the ground with my blade, their jaws all dropped wide open!”
Roger chuckled and added, “I also got my words across. However, I used a kick to smash a 30 meter tall limestone sculpture into powder to make them shut their mouths.”
“Hehe…” Nicole smiled and chimed in, “I also encountered a similar situation. They didn’t pay any mind to me at first, but that wasn’t an issue. I stealthily snuck into their boss’s bedroom and used a dagger to carve the appointed date and time into the wall.”
“Mmmm….” Suo Jia nodded in satisfaction. He knew that after these kinds of moves were revealed, those other parties had no choice but to come. Even if they believed they could defeat Suo Jia’s group in a fight, it was impossible to do so unscathed. Most importantly, having received such a provocation, they definitely wanted to come and regain their face. If they didn’t, wouldn’t it mean that they were afraid of Suo Jia?
Suddenly, the sound of jumbled footsteps from at least 50 people could be heard from outside heading towards the room. With a smile, Suo Jia leaned back in his chair. He knew that the three groups had most likely joined together. However, Suo Jia wasn’t particularly concerned about it.
“Bang!” With a violent boom, the carved wooden doors were suddenly burst open. Shattered pieces were sent flying through the air towards Suo Jia’s party.
Seeing this, Suo Jia’s gaze hardened. With a stomp of his right foot, a row of diamond-like icicles neatly pushed out of the ground towards the side to block all the wooden shards.
The people outside the room couldn’t help but be shocked by this sight, and they hurriedly dodged to the side. Due to the Diamond Charge, that entire wall of the room immediately disappeared. In that moment, the inside of the room was revealed before all the enemies.
Suo Jia shot a quick glance outside. It was just as he’d guessed; there were three groups, and under the lead of the three group captains, they’d completely blocked the doorway. There were around 50 people in total.
Originally, if things had gone the way the three groups had intended, they definitely would’ve charged straight in and grabbed these extremely audacious fellows. After all, in their view, no matter how powerful this party was, there were only four of them. With this greater than 4:1 ratio, wasn’t an easy victory within their grasp?
However, Suo Jia revealing just one of his moves had made everyone realize that the situation wasn’t actually that simple. Based on the strength he’d displayed, aside from the few group leaders, everyone else was basically just cannon fodder to Suo Jia. As a mage, there was no way he’d be afraid of going against a larger number of people. One AOE magic attack was enough to send anyone lacking in strength down to play in Hell!
Suo Jia raised his voice to speak to the stunned crowd at the door, “Since the three great group leaders have already arrived, why not come in and take a seat? Don’t tell me…you don’t dare to do anything without being surrounded by your group of men?”
The three captains couldn’t help but inhale sharply at Suo Jia’s comment that had pushed them to the edge. If they sent their lackeys to attack now, wouldn’t that be equivalent to proving Suo Jia’s words correct? Wouldn’t they then become spineless cowards that only relied on their subordinates?
The three captains exchanged glances with each other, then laughed out loud. Together, they strode into the room–which was now missing a wall–and without saying another word, sat down in the remaining three seats.
Suo Jia smiled at them and raised a jug of wine, personally filling their glasses to the brim. He then warmly said, “Perhaps you three have some kind of misunderstanding. The reason I invited you all here today was simply because I wanted to discuss something with you. I had no intention of becoming your enemy.”
One of the captains roared out indignantly, “Who invites people like that? You dared to brazenly threaten us at our own doorsteps, did you think that we didn’t have sufficient forces?!”
Suo Jia indifferently met their gazes and replied, “If I didn’t do so, would all of you have been so willing to come meet me? If you didn’t come to see me, then my face would be damaged, and wouldn’t it become a killing fest where one of us must die? Really…I just wanted to arouse some minor commotion.”
The captains fell silent at these words. If Suo Jia hadn’t made a move earlier, they would still be fearless. But, after seeing all that, they knew that Suo Jia alone was enough to inflict serious injuries on them. Even if they went to the second checkpoint, they probably wouldn’t be able to do much by then.
One of them spoke up, “Cut the bullshit. The past has passed. Go ahead and tell us, for what purpose have you called all of us here?”
Suo Jia slowly took a sip of his wine and calmly answered, “Actually, it’s nothing big. I was just interested in the travel privileges you have. I wanted to see which group would be willing to give that travel right to us!”
“What!!!” The three captains suddenly leapt up and hostilely shouted, “Brat! Although you have some strength, don’t act too arrogant. Even if we lose all our stakes today, we will definitely end your measly lives here!”
Xiang Yun, Roger, and Nicole immediately jumped up as well and adopted aggressive stances. They warily watched the captains, complaints racing through their heads. Suo Jia was clearly just stirring up trouble. No matter how powerful the three of them were, they couldn’t possibly go up against 50 opponents!
At the moment, the atmosphere in the room was still mostly peaceful. Suo Jia alone played around with the wine glass in his hand and calmly said, “I’m not forcing any of you, I just wanted to make a purchase. I’ll hand over a million Trade Route coins to buy your ship tickets.”
“Tch…” One of the captains tsked in disdain, “F**k your million Trade Route coins. Let me tell you, you’re naive for thinking that you can buy the ship tickets!”
Suo Jia’s expression didn’t change despite the captain’s acerbic tone. “A million isn’t enough? Then two million.”
“Pfft!” Another captain spat out in contempt, “Yeah right, we’ve already told you that we don’t care about money!’
“Three million!” Suo Jia leisurely responded.
One of the captains shot a helpless look at Suo Jia and said, “Why don’t you understand? This isn’t a matter of money!”
“Four million!” Suo Jia’s tone still didn’t waver at all.
The expressions of the three captains finally changed. They exchanged a few looks with each other, but still firmly replied, “Although you’re proposing such a large amount…”
“Five million!” Suo Jia was still as calm as if he was just idly making some small chat.
“You…you’re just using money to pressure us!” One of the captains trembled. It was clear that this much money was enough to shake them!
“Six million!” Suo Jia indifferently played with the glass in his hand, not even bothering to look over at the three captains across from him.
“Deal!” As soon as Suo Jia finished speaking, one of the captains quickly replied, as if afraid Suo Jia would take his words back.
Suo Jia looked up, a victorious grin on his face, and he calmly stated, “Finally, someone clever. Actually, you guys should all know that passing the checkpoint or not isn’t important. Increasing your strengths is the ultimate Way. With six million, I’m sure you have enough money to boost the strengths of everyone in your group by several fold!”
The other two captains were stunned in silence for a bit, but they eventually understood as well. Suo Jia was right…strength was the only thing that mattered in the Greater Trade Routes, so was there even a difference between passing and failing at the checkpoints? To refuse so much money before them just to pass the checkpoint a few months earlier was simply idiocy. With six million, the group’s strength would be greatly boosted by however many magic fruits they wanted. They’d miscalculated, really miscalculated!