Yan Guo vanished from Ye Xiu's residence and made his way towards his own. He was going to ask his father for permission to go to the Underground. The Underground was dangerous and for good reason. It was a cesspit for the degenerates of society and that was being kind. Many things could be found in the Underground and the golden rule of the Underground was to never be caught. If you were caught in the Underground, then it'd be certain death.
He found his father in his office, and with all the manners that had been hammered into him, he addressed his father. He was seeking for his father's permission and it wouldn't do any good if he managed to enrage him. "Father, I ask for your permission to go to the Underground." He kept his tone emotionless so that it wouldn't give away his urgency and rage.
His father had clasped both his hands together and held them underneath his chin as he watched his son. "The Underground? What reason do you have to need to go there?" Though it may seem like he didn't care about his son, he wouldn't needlessly send him into danger. The Underground was dangerous for a reason and it was wise to usually have a companion that was able to fight the majority of the denizens that skulked about in the shadows.
Yan Guo was already prepared for his father's questioning so it was relatively easy for him to answer without giving anything away. "There is something that I need to retrieve in the Underground and it is important to the safety of my group." He knew that he couldn't lie to his father but it didn't mean that he couldn't omit the facts.
Yan Shen watched his son's expression to see if there was anything that he had left out but there was nothing to see since his expression never wavered from its blank mask. He knew that he had trained his son well to the point that even he can no longer see through his mask of emotionlessness. He was proud of the fact that he had managed to train his son to this point. "Important for your group? I'm surprised you are so invested in your little groups of your friend to be willing to brave the Underground for them."
"Do they know of the danger that you face by entering the Underground? Or could it be that you haven't told them what truly lies in the Underground?" His father questioned Yan Guo since he truly wanted to see whether his son's friends were worth the effort that he would put in and the danger that he would face.
Yan Guo's blank face still gave nothing away though he was quietly fuming. His father was obviously mocking his friendship with Ye Xiu and the others but his father didn't need to know that he truly treasured the bonds that he had formed with the group. He stayed silent. Yan Shen continued. "If you're going into the Underground I want you to at least have one other person following you. No matter how much I trust in your ability to traverse the Underground by yourself, it'd still be safer for you to have a companion."
Yan Guo nodded to show his understanding, already thinking about who he should take with him to the Underground. He didn't want to risk people needlessly but he felt that there were only two suitable people that he should take with him. "I'll give you my permission to go the Underground, but I also need you to send a little package to one of my acquaintances in the Underground for me. He'll recognise you since he has met you before."
Yan Guo nodded since he did such things for his father often, though he had never sent packages to people in the Underground. "You're dismissed." Yan Guo bowed to his father before leaving the residence. Once he was far enough from the residence, he let out a sigh that he had been holding in for the entire time that he had been conversing with his father. He didn't like dealing with his father. It was always tiring to deal with him.
Ever since Yan Guo had started to bond with the group more, he realised that he felt more and more exasperated when it came to the way his father treated him. He knew that his father had his own troubles but it didn't mean that he had to take out his anger on him.
Yan Guo walked back to Ye Xiu's residence since he was planning to ask Shi Die to accompany him to the Underground. He would've asked Ye Xiu but he felt like his emotions were in turmoil and that would affect his decision making. He was going to ask Ye Xiu whether he could have Tian Bai follow them since nobody would expect a tiny animal to attack. It also helped that both Shi Die and Tian Bai were fast enough that they would be able to escape the Underground if the situation required it.
He entered the residence easily since the group had given him an item that would allow him unrestricted access into the residence. He knew that nobody would actually be asleep or meditating at this moment of time so it was safe for him to simply walk into Shi Die's room. Shi Die wasn't in his room though Ye Xiu was in his. He could see that Ye Xiu definitely wasn't happy though he was much calmer compared to before.
Ye Xiu looked at Yan Guo the moment his door had opened. "What do you want?" He was irritated and it was clear to Yan Guo when he spoke. Yan Guo didn't bother antagonising Ye Xiu since he knew that would not help him in his endeavour to enlist Tian Bai for the trip to the Underground.
"I need Tian Bai's help, do you mind having your familiar with me for at least six hours?"
Ye Xiu snorted. "Sure, go ahead. It's not like I need him currently. I'm going to be stuck inside of the residence until that little bitch comes back." He summoned Tian Bai out promptly and Yan Guo nodded his head in thanks. Yan Guo picked up Tian Bai and placed him on his head. Remarkably, Tian Bai didn't react to Yan Guo's actions and instead calmly watched everything that was happening. He had no idea why he was required by Yan Guo but trusted him since Ye Xiu trusted him.
Yan Guo made his way to the kitchen since there were only a few places that Shi Die would be found at. He found Shi Die in the middle of cooking food. He pulled a chair from the dining table and sat in front of the counter as he watched Shi Die cook. "Hey Shi Die, do you mind accompanying me for a trip after you finish cooking? My father won't let me go to the Black Market unless somebody is following me and you're the best choice currently."
Without stopping his actions, Shi Die considered Yan Guo's request before replying. "This trip to the Black Market is for Ye Xiu, am I right to assume that?"
Yan Guo nodded though Shi Die couldn't see it. "It is. I won't be able to go to the Black Market without you. If you do accept to join me, we'll have to take a slight detour before we reach the Black Market since I have a package that I need to pass along to one of my father's acquaintances."
Shi Die didn't respond for several minutes and only gave his answer after he had finished his cooking. He cleaned his hands before drying them on a towel. "I don't mind following you. It'll be interesting to see this Black Market. As long as we can get what we need to help Ye Xiu then I don't really mind if I waste my time with you." Yan Guo smiled at his response.
"We'll be gone immediately then." He left the kitchen and stood at the front door whilst he waited for Shi Die to prepare whatever he needed. Shi Die didn't take long to request some extra elixirs and pills from Ye Xiu. After receiving the extra elixirs and pills, he followed Yan Guo out of the residence.
Yan Guo started to explain what was going to happen and what to expect. "The trip to the Black Market will take awhile. We have to reach the Underground first. The Underground is basically what the city is for normal civilians but it is for the criminals instead. It means that it'll be much more dangerous than you expect it to be. Though I don't think we'll have to be too worried about making it there since the people that usually prowl around the entrances to the Underground are a bunch of weaklings."
"The true danger of the Underground lies within and you can't underestimate anybody which is actually there. You learn to hide your actual strength and nobody attacks another unless they are certain of victory. It isn't rare for fights to break out especially when it comes to different factions. It is best to avoid those though it is rather hard. It is also the main reason why my father probably wanted me to have a companion since people are more hesitant to attack when there are more people."
Shi Die listened to Yan Guo's explanation of the Underground carefully since it sounded rather dangerous.
"From the Academy to one of the entrances to the Underground, would probably take us about an hour or two. We don't want to be seen rushing towards the entrances since you're more liable to be attacked. It's best to approach by walking and we'll walk the entire distance."
Yan Guo looked at Shi Die to see if there was any hesitation or fear, he was glad that his friend showed none of that but seemed to be more excited at the fact that they were going to the Underground. "I was going to ask Ye Xiu to follow me but I don't think he's in the right state of mind to be doing anything subtle. It also helps that both you and Tian Bai are the fastest people in the group. It means that I wouldn't have to worry about either of you if disaster strikes."
Shi Die shrugged. "Ye Xiu's probably going to be an emotional mess until he gets to have his revenge on Hua Fei. His anger seems to be much more pronounced ever since his scent changed. He's more animalistic in a way and I'm guessing that has something to do with his bloodline. I'm not going to poke into his business unless there's a good reason to."
They made their way towards the Underground slowly, stopping at several places to buy things that had caught their interest. Yan Guo had brought a substantial amount of money with him since the Underground usually had things that weren't able to be bought elsewhere. Yan Guo wasn't sure exactly when he was supposed to give the package to his father's acquaintance. He was only told the location.
The two had entered the Underground and had been waiting for an entire hour for his father's friend to show up. They hadn't been looking around the Underground for things to buy since Yan Guo wanted to hand over the package before doing anything. He wanted to take his time to peruse the items in the Underground since there were usually shady businessmen selling fake goods to those that couldn't appraise items.
A person appeared after thirty more minutes of waiting. When he spotted Yan Guo, he simply grunted and held out his hand for the package. Yan Guo's eyebrows rose. "Are you serious? At least confirm that you're my father's friend. He's given a passcode so either you tell it to me or this package won't be delivered."
The man grunted once again before taking out a scimitar and lashed out at Yan Guo. "Tsk, brats that stick their noses in the wrong places should be silenced."