"Young master, yesterday I informed the headquarters details of this transaction. The Managing Director personally made the proposal of 80,000 spiritual stones for each Dan. How does this offer sound to you?"
Zhao Zong Hua let out a quiet moan as he began with a price 10,000 stones fewer than authorized by the headquarters. He wanted to test the waters first.
Ling Xian feigned calmness. This was not an indecent price. Actually, this was more than a fair price. The Healing Dan merely belonged to the Eighth-Realm. It targeted cultivators below the foundational level. If not for its incredible after effects, this Dan would never fetch such a price.
An ordinary Dan of the Eighth-Realm would yield a value of 2,000 stones at market price. Those that reached Seventh-Realm could fetch up to 10,000 stones. An Eighth-Realm Dan for the price of 80,000, such was an astronomical price never before seen.
Even Dans of the Fifth or Sixth-Realm were not guaranteed to invite such an offer.
The Healing Dan was truly nature-defying.
But Ling Xian knew this price was a lowball offer. Thus, he threw the elderly man a cunning grin and said, "I’m not a business man, but I understand more or less how this game works. You lowball me first, which means there’s room for you to go up. Let’s not waste time. Give me a fair price."
"I knew you would not settle for this initial offer..."
Zhao Zong Hua smiled bitterly and continued, "Alright then, I’ll tell you what was discussed. The Managing Director had agreed on a price of 90,000. This is our best and final offer. We cannot afford to offer more."
"90,000... hmm, not bad, a genuine offer." Ling Xian paused a moment before letting out a sneer, "If I’m not mistaken, you will market the Healing Dan at 100,000 per Dan."
"How did you know?" Zhao Zong Hua was startled. They had settled on this price after nearly half an hour of discussion. He didn’t expect Ling Xian to see through their market strategy this quickly.
"Not difficult to guess."
Ling Xian threw him another smile and explained, "The Healing Dan could be used by both cultivators of the foundational and meditational levels. These cultivators could afford at maximum a Dan that cost 100,000 stones. So this was not a difficult guess."
Zhao Zong Hua laughed. "You look no more than 15 or 16 years of age. Who knew you’d be this cunning," He praised.
"Let’s talk business. 90,000 is a fair price. I accept. Let’s complete the deal." Ling Xian swung his sleeve, and 49 tiny jade vases appeared on the table. A soft, floral aura filled the room.
The missing Dan was the one previously consumed by Zhao Zong Hua.
"Good, very good!" Zhao Zong Hua could not contain his joy.
Yesterday, the Managing Director had promised him that he would be promoted to the headquarters the minute this deal was complete. His dream was about to be fulfilled.
The Trade Convention had pocketed a great opportunity. This deal was indeed lucrative. But the real value lay in their ability to re-engineer the formula of the Healing Dan and begin brewing their own stock. This deal would propel them to the top of the trading world inside the Yunzhou.
"Young master, here’s 4,500,000 spiritual stones. Please check for yourself." Zhao Zong Hua focused his Qi, and a golden card appeared in midair. The surface of the card had the logo of the Trade Convention as well as a purple stamp.
"This card is unique." Ling Xian frowned, waiting for an explanation from the elderly man.
"This is our own card. This card contains spiritual stones that can be taken out at any of our branches. This card is only given to customers of great importance. The stamp signifies the level of discount you’re entitled to. This purple one entitles you to a 10% discount on anything you wish to purchase," Zhao Zong Hua explained patiently.
Ling Xian nodded in satisfaction and pocketed his card.
Had he not lived a century inside his fantasy, perhaps he’d be lost in the excitement.
An astronomical amount!
To put this into perspective, the total annual income of the Ling House was approximately 50,000 spiritual stones. It would take the Ling House 90 years to earn 4,500,000 stones!
This income plus the 1,750,000 stones he earned from the sale of the Luxury Dans, this deal had generated 6,250,000 spiritual stones for Ling Xian.
What a shocking number!
What’s more shocking was that this wealth took Ling Xian only 10 days to generate!
Thus it was not without reason that alchemy was considered the most lucrative profession of the cultivation community. Even then, this achievement was most definitely out of reach for most practicing alchemists.
For any alchemist who specialized below the Fifth-Realm. Ling Xian was the only one.
He had superior techniques, a superior body and most importantly, original formulas of the rarest Dans.
The Luxury Dan and the Healing Dan were the only exceptions in their leagues.
Equipped with the formulas of these two rare and powerful Dans, without exaggeration, Ling Xian could be considered the pulse of alchemy.
"Oh, young master, the Managing Director also said, if you give us the Dan formulas, the Trade Convention will pull our forces behind you and help you end the conflict you have with the Third Prince," Zhao Zong Hua added suddenly. He looked at Ling Xian with much hope, praying that Ling Xian would agree to his proposal.
But Ling Xian shook his head without hesitation and said, "I thank you, but I won’t need it."
"Well... young master, please give it some thought. The Third Prince is one of the most prominent figures in the Zhou Dynasty. Your life is worth more than any Dan you have," Zhao Zong Hua said hurriedly.
"No need to convince me, I’ve made up my mind. I don’t need your protection." Ling Xian waved his hand and gestured for the elder to stop.
Zhao Zong Hua was visibly disappointed and let out a long sigh. "Ah, alright then, if you have made up your mind, I won’t insist. But, if you ever need us, we’re here to offer you help and protection."
"I believe in the Convention’s powers." Ling Xian smiled softly. He understood the Prince’s reach. But as long as the Prince is still a prince, his forces could not overshadow those of one of the wealthiest establishments anywhere in the Dynasty.
"Ok, let’s talk about something I’m interested in. Does your establishment have the four magical items I mentioned?" Ling Xian shifted the topic abruptly.
Zhao Zong Hua had yet to emerge from his disappoint, so he said carelessly, "Guess."
Ling Xian accidentally sniggered. Then he extended his right hand and jokingly said, "Manager Zhao, perhaps you’ve forgotten about the beating you received yesterday. The Healing Dans won’t help you this time."
Zhao Zong Hua snapped out of his state and smiled apologetically. Remembering the terrifying powers of Ling Xian’s strike, he couldn’t help but shudder.
"Then speak." Ling Xian retrieved his hand and took another sip of his tea. But he stood up in the very next instant.
Because he had just heard the words he had desperately needed to hear.
"I asked for you, the headquarters had no stock, but one of the branches is in the process of finding a buyer for a drop of water from Lake of the Resting Soul."
"You speak the truth?" Ling Xian beamed at Zhao Zong Hua and tried his best to contain his excitement.
"Correct. According to my sources, on the 8th day of next month, a large-scale auction will take place in the City of Yun Xiao. There will be a single drop of water from Lake of the Resting Soul up for grab," Zhao Zong Hua answered.
"Just a drop... but enough to stabilize his conditions." Ling Xian frowned and made up his mind at once that the next stop on his journey would be the City of Yun Xiao.
Even though the Seventh Princess was in possession of a tiny piece of the Wood of the Warming Soul, Ling Xian could not say with certainty that she’d be willing to part with it. He didn’t want to be indebted to Lin Qing Yi, indebted to the Princess.
Not to mention to the road to the Capital was long and full of danger from the Prince’s men.
If he failed to retrieve or retrieved the Wood of the Warming Soul too late to save Liao Cang Qiong, Ling Xian will never forgive himself.
A drop of water from the Lake can stabilize Liao Cang Qiong’s condition and prevent his soul from evaporating into nothingness. This was the best way forward.
"Manager Zhao, thank you kindly." Ling Xian bowed.
"You are most welcome. Please think of us next time you wish to do business," Zhao Zong Hua responded with a smile.
"Will do. I bid you farewell." With a gentle hop, Ling Xian disappeared through the crack in the roof. Then, opening his wings, Ling Xian headed back to the cave where Lin Qing Yi was waiting.
But just as he began to ascend, a cold voice pierced through the air.
"Young fella, you can go, but you must leave your head."