“Sir, I have parents and children to take care of and need this money to eat.” Liu Sanqiang looked pained and complained.
Bai Jinning didn’t understand at all. This was someone who spent 100,000,000 stones for a carving only to give it away.
Now, he wanted to welch over 200 stones? This made zero sense to her.
“Tell them to come here then, I’ll take care of them.” Li Qiye said.
Liu Sanqiang’s expression darkened even more. He eventually gave up and said: “Sir, I suppose I can do this favor if you insist. I will give this ticket to you, just remember to bring me up when you buy something in the auction so I can get a little kickback.”
“Do I get a discount for mentioning your name? What’s in it for me?” Li Qiye smiled.
“If only my name carries so much weight. I just want to make a little bit to buy a pair of bracelets for the wife.” Sanqiang smiled.
“Liu Sanqiang. So what are your three strong points?” Li Qiye smirked. 
“I’m also known as Gluttonous Qiang, Errand Qiang, and Trustworthy Qiang.” Sanjiang liked talking about his name and proudly banged his chest: “If you ever need anything in the future, I am very fast at getting things done on top of being trustworthy. Most importantly, my price is very low.” 
“Not All-talk Qiang?” Li Qiye gave him the side-eye.
Sanqiang forced a smile in response: “No, of course not, I’ve never ever bragged or exaggerated before, hence my good reputation about getting everything done swiftly and correctly. Just need three bowls of rice and I’ll be faster than the best stallion.”
“What is this if not bragging? Seems like it’s your only forte.” Li Qiye chuckled.
“Sir, do you need me to do something? Up in the sky vault and down in the crevices of the earth, across the oceans and over the mountains, I, Sanqiang, will go anywhere and do everything.” Sanqiang became spirited after finding a potential customer and added: “Of course, as long as you pay me.”
“My request is very simple.” Li Qiye said: “There are one or two ships in Uncrossable Expanse, I need you to pull them back for me. As for the price, very negotiable if you can do it.”
“Uhh…” Sanqiang’s expression soured right away. His spirit deflated like a balloon as he responded: “Sir, that’s very funny. I’m just a lowly worker trying to survive so I can’t go to the expanse. My mother is eighty and I have newborns crying and waiting for their next meal, who’s gonna take care of them…”
“Like I said, I will take care of them for you. Go without worries.” Li Qiye said.
“...” Sanqiang didn’t know how to respond.
“It looks like you were just bragging before then, all that crap about there’s nothing you can’t do.” Li Qiye shook his head.
“This is an exception.” Sanqiang was stuck in a hard place and awkwardly rubbed his palms together: “Sir, if you really need a ship, our Arrogance Enterprise has the largest ones in existence, more than enough to take you across the expanse. If you do buy one, remember to mention my name…”
“Ten percent off?” Li Qiye asked.
“That’s a bit hard.” Sanqiang turned red in response: “I think… you can get one percent off if you mention my name…”
“What’s the use of you then? All-talk Qiang is at it again.” Li Qiye shook his head and turned to leave.
Jinning became perplexed again. These two didn’t know each other. Why did Li Qiye want to annoy a little merchant?
“Sir, remember to find me, Liu Sanqiang, if you ever need anything else. Reliable, fast, and profitable!” Sanqiang didn’t mind and smiled while waving at Li Qiye.
Jinning followed behind him and quietly asked: “Young Noble, why did you take his ticket?”
She didn’t say “rob” even though that's what it was. Li Qiye had plenty of money and didn’t need to do so.
“You think that was a coincidence when there are so many people walking on these streets?” Li Qiye smiled.
“Oh?” She found nothing special about the event. Merchants and workers like Liu Sanqiang were everywhere in Sky Pass trying to sell tickets.
“The only reason you think he is a normal merchant is because you can’t see through him.” Li Qiye said.
“Hmm…” She froze for a second. Liu Sanqiang looked exactly like another worker in her eyes.
“He’s not?” She inquired.
“Of course not, a normal merchant can’t have such incredible achievements.” Li Qiye chuckled.
She was slightly shaken. Recently, she has been misreading people. First it was Li Qiye, now this merchant.
“That brat is very bold as well. He knows who he is facing yet still tried to play around.” Li Qiye added.
“Young Noble, where are you going now?” Jinning stopped thinking and caught up again.
“Where else but your place since I’m not used to this area.” Li Qiye casually said.
“Uhh…” She didn’t expect this. It wasn’t suitable for a maiden to bring a man back home. Alas, she had no other choice.
She would stay at the garrison while under duty. Otherwise, she had a small house in Sky Pass during her off days. Having a place in this prosperous city was a privilege granted by being part of the legion.
After returning to her home, she made preparations for him. There was only one room so she had to let him stay there.
Li Qiye took a quick look around and wasn’t picky.
“I will see Tai Yinxi after the auction.” Li Qiye told her after settling down.
“I will add you to the list, Young Noble.” Jinning had no choice but to work for him now.
She then took out the wooden carving and placed it on a tiny altar. She lit up incense sticks and began worshipping. This was a habit from her days back in the clan before the eventual pawning.
“What did your ancestors say about this wooden Buddha?” Li Qiye watched and smiled.
“They say that this is our heirloom and will protect us for generations.” She answered.
“I see, and they’re right, this thing protected you even in an uncivilized place like the wildlands.” Li Qiye nodded.
Jinning didn’t expect him to agree with this. In her opinion, it was more of a symbol for prosperity than anything. How could a wooden carving actually protect their clan?
“You don’t believe me?” Li Qiye smiled after seeing her daydreaming state.
“Well…” This type of protection was discernible and served to comfort people in her opinion.
“Do you know why it is precious?” He asked.
“I do not.” She shook her head.
“I will show you then.” He grabbed the carving while she watched with bated breath.
She naturally wanted to know why the family heirloom was precious.
1. San = three, Jiang = strong
2. Gluttonous here just means that he eats a lot
“You should find this an honor. From now on, you can brag to others about how you gave a ticket to me in the past.” Li Qiye said.