Before Nick had left he had cooked the Emperor's dishes in advance, just so his absence would not attract too much attention. And as long as his belly was full and his craving was satisfied the Emperor didn't give the tiniest shit on wether Nick was inside the palace or not.
Early at dawn the next day at the City gates of Imperial city Nick noticed a large crowd of soldiers inspecting the area with posters in their hands. Printed on the poster was Nick's earlier disguise, the disguise he had used when kicking the exit fee collector in the nono region!
"Please help us locate this culprit! A criminal so cruel that he attacked a helpless poor guard that was only trying to do his job!"
"Locate this despicable person and earn your reward! Three hundred origin stones to point out his location, and a thousand to capture him!"
The guards by the gate were handing out the poster while also advertising the lucrative rewards people would receive if they found the man!
Even Nick was tempted to find himself a little! A thousand origin stones were no small sum, and the mission was so simple as well! And as the head chef of the palace how could he not help these poor officers in their time of need?
So, Nick walked away from prying eyes and activated the Death monger skill to release five clones. Then out of the five clones, three were disguised as different people, but the other two were disguised as the person from the poster.
Then the clones and Nick dispersed, Nick joined the lively crowd that was talking about the criminal.
Only a few minutes had passed when suddenly a middle-aged man that was passing by one of the posters in the hands of a guard jumped in surprise and did a backflip of excitement dramatically.
"Is this true, will I really receive three hundred origin stones if I reveal his whereabouts?!!" The middle-aged man asked anxiously.
"Huh?! Hey, are you doubting us?! Of course, we will give you the reward if you locate the man!" One of the guards had nearly given up when he thought about how hard it would be to locate in man in this large Empire but now, the middle-aged man was giving him hope.
"Great then, payment first, then I'll take you to where he is!" The middle-aged man seemed to still be wary of them as he requested payment upfront.
"Wait, what if your information is wrong?!" The guard asked.
"Don't worry it won't be. Besides, I will go with you, how can I escape from under your noses depending on my measly cultivation?!" The middle-aged man reasoned.
The guard thought about it for a little while more before he headed in the direction of the guard captain and came back with a large sack. He was paying first because he was certain the middle-aged man wouldn't dare to run away with his measly Spirit realm cultivation!
"Hehehe, a pleasure doing business with you! Now follow me!" The middle-aged man smiled slightly and led a pack of guards to the tiny forest behind the city.
Then he pointed at a figure sitting alone around a campfire and yelled, " There he is! Go get that bastard!"
The Guards still weren't convinced though, they couldn't see the man's profile because the man had his turned around, and more importantly, the man shouldn't be stupid enough to commit a crime then stay so close to the crime scene, right?!
But just as they were about to turn back and yell at the middle-aged man the man beside the campfire turned his head and screamed out in terror!
"You!!! How did you find me?! I thought that this place would be the least suspected!" The man shrieked and ran away into the forest!
"Chase him! Catch this bastard!" The guards immediately gave chase, while the middle-aged man simply watched as they got farther and farther into the forest calmly before turning around and running back to the city entrance. The middle-aged man was one of Nick's clones, and so was the man the Guards were currently chasing.
And, on the way back to the city another one of Nick's clones intercepted the middle-aged man, and took the satchel and stored it in a storage ring. Nick's clones could use his skills and all, but they couldn't access the storage space granted by the system, so Nick had given them the storage ring he received from Curt!
After handing over the sack to the storage ring holder the middle-aged man changed his appearance into a good looking young woman and as if by accident passed by one of the posters again, then the young woman shrieked in surprise and excitement.
"Woooooow! This is such a coincidence, I just saw this man earlier! Will you be rewarding me if I help you find him?!" The young woman asked.
"Uhhh, sorry lady, but our men already have a lead and are following it! Someone already reported the criminal's whereabouts and is being rewarded as we speak." A guard gently explained.
"Such bad luck! So, the person already took your men south to capture the criminal? Such a shame!" The young woman sighed.
"Yeap, the man only arrived a few moments before you did, if only you had come a little earl...wait a minute! Did you say south, not east of the city?!" The guard noticed something and asked.
"Of course, wait, did the man tell you that he saw the criminal east of the city perhaps?! I just saw the criminal on my way here and he definitely was in the south!" The young woman said with certainty.
The guard was stunned, the middle-aged man had taken the group of guards with him due east, definitely not south! But if what the lady said was accurate then the man was either mistaken, had old news, or was a liar!
"Young lady, take me to the criminal! If you are correct and he is there, we will pay you the reward instead!" The guard said anxiously, whatever happens, today they couldn't lose the criminal! The soldier he had attacked was the son of a very powerful general sent here as punishment, and if the person responsible wasn't found they were all to blame!
"Sure, but you have to give me the reward as soon as I've helped you find him! Don't even think of telling me to wait for the reward!" The woman stated her terms.
The Guard was now angry, when did the people of this Empire lose faith in their soldiers?! Two people on the same day said the same thing, practically asking them to show the money because they weren't trustworthy enough!
Did perhaps seeing the mighty Emperor soiling the street ruin the image of the Empire in the eyes of its citizens?!
"Wait a moment then!!!" The Guard angrily stormed inside and asked for another sack of rewards from the captain after explaining the situation to him in a hurry.
And the same thing that happened last time happened again, the guards found the criminal sitting around a campfire in the south and gave chase. But only after handing the sack of rewards to the young woman first.
Then, the storage ring equipped clone came by and collected the sack. Nick knew that if another person were to walk up to the city gate and claim on seeing the criminal in a different direction it would immediately make the captain suspicious. So all that was left now was to collect the final reward!
To get the final reward Nick first dispersed his two clones that were being chased by the two groups of guards after making sure that they weren't seen vanishing. Then the young lady clone took a few moments in hiding to change it's appearance again, but this time, into a muscular young man!
And after handing the storage ring back to Nick, the clone in charge of carrying the storage ring changed its appearance as well, but it was into the criminal on the poster this time.
Then after meeting up with the muscular man in the secluded area, the criminal clone had its hands tied behind its back then was dragged to the city gates.
"I have come for the reward, give it to me!!!" The muscular man roared out to notify the guards of his appearance.
And just as the guards were about to tell him to quiet down they were stunned to see the man actually dragging the criminal with him!
"Captian! He's here, somebody has brought the criminal in!!" One of the soldiers hurriedly notified the captain.
"Ahhh, but didn't we send two groups after him already?! And they even took their rewards!" The captain grumbled as he walked over and inspected the criminal clone.
"Hmph, you thought that you were invincible didn't you?! You thought that after harming one of our guards that you could escape didn't you?! But you didn't get far bitch!" The captain mocked as he stared at the criminal in the face literally inched away from it.
Right in the face! The criminal clone spat a large ball of phlegm onto the captain's face!
"Sorry, what were you saying again?" The criminal asked nonchalantly.
Angry wasn't enough to describe the emotion the captain was experiencing! He was so mad that he wanted to tear the criminal limb from limb! And he was about to attack when the muscular man dragged the criminal behind him as protection and said.
"No attacking the bounty, no spitting on the bounty, and no speaking to the bounty before you pay up!" The muscular man said firmly.
"You!!! Are you protecting a criminal?!"
"Are you going against your word?!"
"Of course not! I'm just trying to appraise the man before handing over the bounty!"
"He spat on your face, how much more real can the criminal be?!"
"Fine! Guards, get the man his thousand Origin stones!" The captain commanded while breathing in and out rapidly, showing clearly how angered he was.
Soon a guard ran over with a sack much larger than the first two and presented it the muscular man with two hands. But he then noticed the furious look on the captain's face and changed his way of handing the reward as he threw the sack at the muscular man instead.
The muscular man didn't seem to mind though as he easily grabbed the sack and walked away, leaving the criminal behind.
But after the muscular man turned the corner Nick was there to store the sack and everything else into his system storage space before dispersing the muscular man.
In the Guards tower, the Captain had just dragged the criminal into a torture room and was about to vent a little when the criminal suddenly spoke.
"This was fun and all, but I should really get going, your wife, mother, and sister must be waiting for me in bed...hope I work hard enough and give you a brother soon!" The Criminal laughed a little.
"Hahaha, you sure can talk can't you! But let..." The captain hadn't even finished when the clone began chanting something.
"Can't touch this, can't touch this, mamase mamasa mamakusa! Great vanishing technique!" Then poof, the criminal was gone!
Obviously, the criminal clone was just dispersed, but Nick just wanted his clone to make a classy exit! And boy was it since the Captain just stood there doubting his eyes, did the man just vanish into thin air?!
"Mamase mamasa mamakusa!" The Captain tried to mimic the criminal's words, to see f he can also vanish but sadly, he couldn't.
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