The receptionist pointed to the seats in the tavern. "Go and sit down, all the other finders are currently busy and when one is free, they will come to you and you will be brought along to find your desired item." When the receptionist had finished telling the two boys what to do, she started to wave them off and called for the next person. The receptionist certainly seemed to be less moody after dealing with Yan Guo and Shi Die.
As the lady told them to, Yan Guo and Shi Die sat in the seats off to the side of the tavern. There were quite a few people already waiting around the area and it seemed like it would take a long time before it would get to their turn. Yan Guo looked at his father's badge and noticed a little note stuck on it. Yan Guo read it out. "High priority, best service, the antidote to Deviant Love."
Shi Die was looking over Yan Guo's shoulder and read it as well before commenting. "That's nice. I guess there's definitely more to your father's badge than you thought there was to it. I don't think either of us should be surprised that your father is considered a high priority since he is one of the major powers. Being one of the major powers should also give him some benefits so I'd probably say that no matter how many people are waiting in the line, we'll probably be brought along to get the antidote first."
Yan Guo was relieved. "I feel rather exposed here. I can tell that at least half of the people that are waiting around here have their eyes on the both of us. It's definitely not a good feeling since some of them have very greedy expressions on their face."
Shi Die had noticed the stares as well but had done his best to ignore them. "Just ignore them. We'll get the antidote and we'll leave as quickly as we can. I don't think they'd be able to catch up with us if we run away quickly." Shi Die tried his best to reassure Yan Guo since it seemed that Yan Guo was becoming more and more cautious the longer they waited.
Luckily for them, a Finder had entered the waiting area of the tavern through one of the side doors. The Finder scanned the waiting crowd before seeing Yan Guo and Shi Die. The Finder walked over towards them. "Are you the high priority clients?" He held out a hand for verification.
Yan Guo looked at Shi Die before handing over the badge together with the note. When the Finder nodded, he gestured for them to follow him. "Very well, follow me." He led them through the side door that he had entered from before closing it behind him. When it had been shut and locked, the man gestured for the pair to wait. "Stay here, I'll be back with your requested item in a short while."
The Finder had a very soft and quiet voice and if it wasn't for Yan Guo's and Shi Die's enhanced senses, they wouldn't have heard him speak. They nodded to the Finder's commands and waited, and waited, and waited. Yan Guo found out quickly that the man's interpretation of the words 'in a short while' seemed to be distorted. They had been waiting for half an hour and yet the man still hadn't returned. It was rather awkward for them since several others had entered and left the room since they had started their wait.
Shi Die was sitting down on the ground after he kept on fidgeting when he was standing up. He felt that it would be better to sit down and wait since it seemed like the Finder was going to take a rather long time to get back. As soon as Yan Guo was about to sit on the ground, the man came back with a bottle in his hand. "Ah... here is the antidote. Sorry that it took me so long. Didn't think that somebody would need such an obscure antidote for the love potion. Many people don't even realise they are drugged by it."
The Finder stared at them. "I'm surprised that children such as you would come to the Auction Tavern for such an item but I guess it pays to know that appearances don't mean everything." He handed the antidote over to them "If you have any other items that you need me to find then ask me now. The price for all items will be paid at the end." Shi Die looked at Yan Guo. The two were unsure what to ask. They had gotten the antidote for the love potion but the memory poison's antidote hadn't been retrieved.
They had no clue on what the memory poison was, they only knew the effects of it. Yan Guo spoke up when he had an idea. "Are you able to find an item if we tell you what it does?"
The Finder let out a mock gasp. "Is there no belief for my skill to find items? All Finders are trained to find every single item that is stored inside of the room. The only items we can't touch are those that require the permission from the Manager of the Auction Tavern."
Yan Guo seemed slightly happier when he heard that the Finder should be able to find everything.
"What I'm looking for is the antidote to a poison that erases certain memories. When forced down a person's throat, the person who activated the person using their Qi is able to erase the memory." Tian Bai spoke up since he was the one who knew the poison best in the group since he was the only person who could remember or had witnessed the effects of the potion.
The man's face was blank as he was running through all the antidotes that he knew of. He had some very interesting facial expressions that were displayed for Yan Guo and Shi Die as he was deep in his thoughts. After a few minutes of the Finder going through what he knew, he shook his head. "Damn... there are quite a few poisons with such effects but we don't actually have the antidotes for them..." He trailed off as he looked very embarrassed.
"I mean I don't mind checking because I might have remembered wrong but I sincerely doubt we have any of the antidotes for poisons that can remove or change memories. The poisons in that category are already considered extremely rare to find since they are so hard to make and the materials needed for the creation of the poison are expensive as well.
"I'm not too surprised that I can't remember if we have any remaining antidotes for those poisons since it is harder to make antidotes for those poisons in the first place." The man stopped talking when he saw the sullen expression on Yan Guo's face. Shi Die was much more dignified in his response.
"Thank you for trying to help us, could you still check your storage rooms to see if there are any antidotes?" Shi Die put on his best puppy-eye look that he could and it made the man look away. The Finder couldn't stand cute faces being made at him. It was why he was in the Underground's Auction Tavern. It was rare for children to come here if at all and even if they did, it was usually accompanied by an adult or their faces were hidden from sight.
The Finder sighed as he knew that he had succumbed to his weakness to cute faces. "Just wait right here. I'll probably take a long time to get back so uh... here's some food." The man took out food from his dimensional storage and ran away as quickly as possible. Yan Guo looked at the food suspiciously but ate it anyway. He sincerely doubted that there were many poisons that could affect him anymore so he was going to be the one to test it.
Yan Guo found nothing in the food that he had been given and nodded towards Shi Die who had been waiting for his confirmation. He tore off a few pieces to feed to Tian Bai since he was badgering Yan Guo by tugging on his hair, whining about being hungry. Surprisingly, the Finder came back in less than twenty minutes. "I'm honestly surprised. I didn't expect to find anything for the poisons but I found a single antidote for one of the poisons. I'm not sure if it is the correct one that you seek but it's worth a try."
Yan Guo nodded in appreciation for the man's effort. "Thanks for taking all the extra effort for us. What's the total price for everything?"
The man went back into his business mode. "The total for the two items that have been retrieved is 50,000 gold. Due to the high priority status that you have, the price is lowered by 10% which brings it down to 45,000 gold." Yan Guo promptly took out the appropriate amount of gold and paid in full. Shi Die and Yan Guo didn't even bat an eye at the price since they've seen much more expensive items before.
"Thank you for taking your time to do business with the Auction Tavern, do come again. If you do, please look for me. I get a Finder's fee for helping retrieve items. My name is Cao Ma." The man walked with them to the door and pushed them out gently. "Do be careful out there. The Underground is dangerous."
He waved them off, Yan Guo and Shi Die to show their appreciation by waving back. "Time to get out of here." Yan Guo nudged Shi Die to remind him that they were going to leave pretty soon. "Do you want to run back? I don't mind how we get back as long as we get back to the academy grounds quickly."
Shi Die shook his head. "Let's not run back. We'll draw too much attention if we're running since it would look like we're running away from danger. It'll be better to walk at a faster pace than before but certainly not at a running pace." Shi Die's words had merit and it was very logical. Though Shi Die had only been in the Underground for a few hours, Yan Guo's stories were enough for him to know that certain things were sure to draw attention to them.
They walked out of the Auction Tavern and into the streets. Yan Guo looked at the stalls and stores in the Black Market longingly but drew his gaze away since he knew that he would be tempted to stop to buy things. It wasn't long after they left the Black Market's vicinity when Shi Die sensed danger. He noticed only because the people that were following after them, weren't even bothered to cover up their intent.
They were very focused and they were chasing after them. Shi Die narrowed his eyes and started to push Yan Guo into running faster. Yan Guo was confused with Shi Die's actions until he looked behind and he started rolling his eyes. "I feel like it's your fault for saying that the entire journey was boring."
Shi Die snorted. "Let's not focus on that right now, we can have a laugh later when we're safe. Just concentrate on where we're going. If we get lost now, we'd probably get cornered eventually. You don't even come to the Underground often and I'm literally just following you. I hope you've remembered the way back since I don't want to die." The two still felt relatively safe enough that they were tossing jokes at each other.
Unluckily for them, they not only had to run away from thugs behind them but they also had to dodge the people that were standing in front of them. It seemed like many of them were of the same faction since all of their clothes had an insignia sewn onto them. Shi Die looked at Yan Guo. "I feel like your father has more enemies than we thought."