To Strike a Bargain, pt. 1

Baobiao’s trip into Pandaria, while uneventful, was soon to be more than she planned for…

After her arrival via mage portal in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, she began the journey down to the old Black Market building where she once found work as an Exchange Guard. She looked over the now empty hut with a small sigh, placing a gloved paw to her face. “Right, they moved to the Underbelly when Dalaran was shifted over the Broken Isles… I guess I will have to return to Stormwind and take the portal from there.”

“Bao? Is that you?” A large male Pandaren approached the monk from behind, causing her to whirl around with her fists raised. His own paws rose up, palms out. “Whoa, whoa. No need to get fiesty. It’s me, Liang. You remember, yes?”

Bao’s hands hovered in the air for a moment before recollection took hold. “Liang…? What are you doing here, old friend? I thought you would have gone to Dalaran with the other Guards.”

“Bah. I opted to stay here. Someone needs to keep an eye on the shipments we send from Pandaria, right? Now, what brings you all the way back out here?”

“You remember Lockewood?”

“Mmm…” He tapped a finger against his chin. “The human? The one always asking questions?”

“I… Don’t recall the questions, but yes. The human. I am working for his merchant company. Came to see if that last shipment I sent made it to the Madam, and to see about striking a more formal bargain on their behalf.”

“Oh? Working for a bunch of Gilneans? Pah. They do not eat nearly enough… And you. You look like you’re losing some weight… Dumpling?” Liang held out a small lunchbox filled with the pandaren fare, and Bao almost immediately swiped one. “Still sensitive about the fat thing?”

“Don’t you dare-”

Liang erupted with hearty laughter. “Oh, no no. You’re not fat, Bao! You’re curvy. Voluptuous. Calling someone fat is rude.”

“Glad someone else thinks so…”

“I remember the last time someone called you fat…”

“Yes. They walked away from the exchange with few teeth left, and I was suspended for a week.” The two shared a good laugh at the memory, sitting down to share food and drink. Their chat lasted for a while longer, the two recalling the old days in Pandaria, and regaling one another with their stories of time spent since the Legion’s arrival.

Day quickly fell to night, and Bao stood from where they had sat down together. “Well, if I am to strike a deal with the Madam, I really should get going.”

Liang nodded. “Yes, you should. Thank you for sharing a bite with me, Bao.”

“Anytime I’m in Pandaria, Liang. I hope to see you again soon.”

“As do I, old friend.”

With that, the two parted ways. Liang returned to his post at the Exchange while Baobiao began her ascent up Kun’lai Mountain once again, heading back toward the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, and to the Stormwind portal. From there, she stepped back into the bustling human city and took the portal opened within the Keep to the floating citadel of Dalaran…