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Chapter 157: An Old Acquaintance
The Healing Dan, an Eighth-Realm Dan that defied the laws of nature.
It was a Dan that could alter the path of humanity.
Imagine how mass production of such Dans could change the course of history. According to incomplete records from the Clandestine House, each year, at least a billion cultivators overextend themselves and end up losing large chunks of their existing power. Another billion would see their powers completely vanish.
If two billion cultivators were given a second chance, how many foundational cultivators will emerge? How many completions? How many originals?
The cultivation community will flourish and alter the course the history forever.
Even though the Dans here were only useful for lower level cultivators. But what of Seventh-Realm Healing Dans? What of the Sixth-Realm?
Could the Dan recoup powers at a completion level? What about at the original level?
The answer was a definitive yes.
If only one could reverse engineer the formula. How much wealth could be created? Infinite wealth!
Zhao Zong Hua’s eyes lit up as he went over these possibilities in his mind. He looked at Ling Xian and smiled uncontrollably as if he was standing in front a huge mountain of sparkling spiritual stones.
Ling Xian felt his greed and frowned in displeasure. He mocked, "Manager Zhao, don’t look at me like that. If you insist, I can’t promise you if these Dans will work again."
"Ok, I won’t look, I’m done looking." Zhao Zong Hua laughed. Remembering the initial pain of losing his power, Zhao Zong Hua felt a cold shiver creep down his spine.
"Well then, name a price." Ling Xian put down his tea cup. He was curious how many spiritual stones he would end up with.
"Well..." Zhao Zong Hua paused a moment. He knew this was impossible but decided to ask anyway. "Friend, would you consider selling the formula to the Trade Convention."
"Sell the formula to the Trade Convention?"
Ling Xian threw him an ambiguous glance that seemingly dashed any hope Zhao Zong Hua had in getting his hands on the original formula.
But he wasn’t overly disappointed. He knew the Trade Convention was a powerful establishment. Reverse engineering a formula was not an impossible task. His promotion to the headquarters was already carved in stone.
"I’m not an idiot. I understand the potential value and impact the Healing Dan has on the market. If you insist, you’ll only look like a fool. Give me a price and the 50 Dans belong to you." Ling Xian shook his head. He wasn’t going to fall for such a scheme.
Without exaggeration, whoever controlled the formula of the Healing Dan controlled the market. Spiritual stones would simply fly through the door.
The Artifact Trade Convention was a prestigious establishment. Its wealth could be compared to that of a nation. But all of that wealth was nothing compared to the value of this formula. Hundreds of cultivators saw their life’s work destroyed every single day. The benefits one will derive from being the sole distributor of this Dan was beyond what this world has ever seen.
"Then I shan’t persist. Regarding the price, give me one day. I need to alert the headquarters and get their opinion," Zhao Zong Hua responded politely, albeit with a slight hint of disappointment. But according to his logic, buying or not buying was not important. An Eighth-Realm Dan could be easily reverse engineered. Perhaps they could do that quickly and avoid paying at all.
"Why not, I’ll give you one day." Ling Xian didn’t object. He saw right through Zhao Zong Hua’s scheme. But he was confident a Dan of such caliber cannot be so easily manipulated.
The Healing Dan was composed of one dominant herb and interchangeable supporting ingredients. Unless one figured out the precise main ingredient, this formula was unbreakable.
In addition, Ling Xian had alr

eady prepared for such a scenario. He had already meddled with the composition of each Dan to make the thief’s job even more difficult.
Let’s just say even an alchemist of the first realm will not be able to reverse engineer this particular formula. Of course, he could encounter a cultivator with uncanny ability to identify Dan essence. But the chances of that are slim to none.
Therefore, the alchemists and cultivators of the Artifact Trade Convention could only be left disappointed.
"Well then, rest assured, when you come tomorrow, the Trade Convention will definitely be ready to present you with an offer you’ll be pleased with." With a swing of his sleeve, Zhao Zong Hua summoned a golden, metallic looking card and explained, "This is the Card of Spiritual Stones. There are 1,800,000 stones in this particular one, cashable at any bank inside the Zhou Dynasty. This is for the 50 Luxury Dans. We shall talk about the price for the Healing Dans tomorrow."
Ling Xian nodded and put away the card. Then, he rose to depart.
"Would you not wish to examine the content of the card first?" Zhao Zong Hua asked in a tone of surprise. He was shocked that Ling Xian didn’t bother glancing at such an enormous sum of wealth a second time.
"The Artifact Trade Convention has so little credibility? Isn’t it the largest trading platform inside the Zhou Dynasty?" Ling Xian shook his head and asked, half joking and half seriously, "Not to mention, do you dare deceive me?"
"Well... of course not." The pain he felt when the blow struck his chest was still fresh in his mind and on his body. Of course, he wouldn’t dare deceive Ling Xian. He was keen on staying alive.
Ling Xian suddenly remembered Liao Cang Xiong’s condition and asked, "Right, does the Trade Convention have Mount of the Healing Soul, Lake of the Resting Soul, Iron of the Setting Soul, or Wood of the Warming Soul? Only a little would do."
Zhao Zong Hua paused a moment and tried to make sure he knew what was asked of him. Then, with an apologetic smile, he replied, "Friend, that is too much to ask. Those are incredibly rare items of immense value. Even if we had it, the Trade Convention would guard it as our top secret. Those items will never appear in a store like mine. But, for you, I can ask."
Ling Xian sighed in disappointment and responded, "Very well, I leave it with you then."
"Leave it to me. Tomorrow, same time, same place." Zhao Zong Hua noticed the disappointing look and realized the importance of those items. If the headquarters actually had them, this would be a good opportunity to bargain for the formula of the Healing Dan.
"En, I will be here. Ling Xian bids you farewell." Ling Xian nodded and turned to leave.
Zhao Zong Hua watched his shadow disappear. Then, he hurried to the backyard and made preparations for the request to be sent to the headquarters.

The midday sun shone brightly over the busy alleyways.
Ling Xian walked amongst the crowded streets with mixed feelings.
There were only 80 days until Liao Cang Xiong’s soul vanishes forever. For Ling Xian, there was no time to lose.
Mount of the Healing Soul, Lake of the Resting Soul, Iron of the Setting Soul, and Wood of the Warming Soul were some of the rarest and most elusive items in the world. Even a mighty establishment like the Artifact Trade Convention may not have them in their possession.
"Aye, we’ll have to wait and see. Hopefully, I get some good news, any news." Ling Xian sighed. But he collected himself and continued more confidently, "If not, I’ll go look for them in the supernatural realm. Even if I have to die, I’ll die saving him."
Liao Cang Xiong was not just his Master, but more importantly his savior. Without him, Ling Xian would not be where he was today. Ling Xian would never rest until he is saved.
Ling Xian made this promise to himself. Regardless of how difficult this journey may be, he will find the antidote that will bring Liao Cang Xiong back from the brink of death.
"May as well go back to the hotel and wait for tomorrow's news. If nothing comes out of it, I’ll go immediately to other dynasties. 1,800,000 spiritual stones and 50 Healing Dans should be able to buy something that heals the soul," Ling Xian muttered to himself and continued on in the direction of his hotel.
Just as he turned to leave, the sound of a kerfuffle broke out in his path.
A young woman dressed in a light green dress was running for her life, her dressed dotted in flashes of red. Behind her, three men in black cloaks were in pursuit, leaving behind an enormously powerful Qi. The busy street suddenly fell silent. All eyes were fixed on the lonely woman and the frightening trio.
Three people, all foundational-level cultivators!
The woman was also a foundational-level cultivator, but evidently no match for the trio. Her conditions were not ideal. Her clothes were covered in bloodstains, her Qi weak. She wasn’t going to last long.
Ling Xian stopped in his tracked and looked at the fleeing woman. Her face was hidden behind a silky veil. But her eyes were exposed. Those eyes suddenly awakened a memory buried deep in his mind. He had seen those eyes before.
She returned his gaze in the same instant. Suddenly, she stopped in her tracks and looked at him in astonishment.
The woman broke into tears the moment their eyes locked.
Ling Xian was completely stunned. Moments later, as the pursuers closed in, he suddenly became consumed with rage. In one swift moment, he leaped out in front of the fleeing woman, turned around, and stood firmly between her and her pursuers.
Then, in a proud, anger-filled voice, he shouted.
"This woman is now under my protection."

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