Chen Xiaobei arrived at their meeting place before Yap Liangchen, and so decided to start reading on two recipes of special pills while waiting for him.
It was then that he found out that most of the ingredients could not be found on Earth, but his scholar heart allowed him to modify them and come up with two recipes.
With those two manuals, he could use concoct those special pills with mundane Chinese medicinal ingredients - although they would not be as effective as described by the original manuals.
Still, Chen Xiaobei's target market were ordinary human beings. It was not necessary for them to acquire the effect of true Spiritual Pills!
Yap Liangchen led Chen Xiaobei to the traditional Chinese market in Dragon City after they met. The area had much more choices and varieties of products compared to every other town in China, and Traditional Chinese medicine was no exception. In short, all sorts of rare ingredients and even oddities could be found in Dragon City.
Nevertheless, only experts could determine the authenticity of some of the rare medicinal ingredients since there were a lot of unethical traders in Dragon City. Most of the time, victims could only consider themselves unlucky if they bought the fake one - they could expect no recompense.
"Bro Bei… Are you interested in all these weirdness?" Yap Liangchen asked, eyebrows raised.
"Nope, almost all of them are fake crap!"
Chen Xiaobei shrugged. With the help of Compendium of Materia Medica, Golden Gaze Fiery Eyes, and the Eight Diagram Qi Observing Skill, he could examine the authenticity of those items with his naked eyes.
"Bro Bei, you're a genius! Nine out of ten people take huge loses when they come here to look for treasure."
"Huh. So it's possible for that ten percent to find real stuff here?"
"It is! Only the luckiest would get the real stuff. There was a student from a Chinese medical school who spent a thousand Yuan to buy a real Ganoderma, and then then sold it to the Chinese herbal shop for 800,000 Yuan. That lucky bastard!"
"Well, I guess you need to be really lucky to acquire the authentic ingredient from this market. Not that I would miss out… Still, I have some stuff I want right now. Let's look for those first!"
"Understood. Wu Family Chinese Herbal Shop has the most complete store of Chinese medicine, and they are of premium quality as well. Follow me!"
Soon, the pair arrived at a traditional Chinese building with an old sandalwood signboard hanging over the entrance. The words 'Wu Family Chinese Herbal Shop' was carved upon it, giving the premise a grand sense of antiquity.
"Bro Bei, this is it!" Yap Liangchen spread his arms and gestured for Chen Xiaobei to enter first. He could smell the aroma of traditional herbs once he stepped inside, and the first thing he saw was a wide assortment medicine being displayed on shelves as far as the eyes could see.
A salesperson quickly approached them to offer his assistance.
"How can I help?" He asked. "Well, if it Isn't Master Yap? To what do we owe the pleasure?"
"Please call for Niu the mixologist to meet us right now." Yap Liangchen said, his tone offering no space for argument. While his family was far away from the pinnacle Dagon City, they were still quite the reputable clan - middle and lower-class citizens would never take them lightly.
"Niu is mixing some medicine. Please wait for a moment," the salesperson said politely, and went off.
"Okay." Yap Liangchen was not at all pleased, but he did not complain. Niu had a special status that even someone as powerful as him had to show him some respect.
Mixologist, like Niu, are greatly respected traditional Chinese medicinal practitioner, and are knowledgeable in treatment as well as traditional medicine. People like him were a treasure for Chinese herbal shops.
Since whether politicians or Kung Fu masters would become ill one way or the other, it was unwise to mess with a doctor who would one day hold his scalpel over you. Countless elites would beg for treatment from treatments from legendary healers like Elder Luo, and half of Jianghu would be incensed if someone tried to mess with him.
In other words, one would feel the wrath of the Wu Family if someone offended Niu.
"Bro Bei, shall we sit down and drink a cup of tea first?" Yap Liangchen asked politely.
"Well, since there is nothing we can do now… We could just go watch Niu work!"
Yap Liangchen only needed to give the salesperson a stare, and he quickly led both of them to Niu. They stood behind a counter to observe Niu, who turns out to be a white-haired man and happened to be throwing a fit at a young man.
"I've told you. This Chinese Knotwood is planted, not from the wild! I can see it clearly, you used a mold to form a human shape on this Chinese Knotwood!"
"Sir, please take a good look again!" The young man pleaded. "This Chinese Knotwood is from the wild! I swear to you - I got it from deep inside a jungle! How could it come from a plantation?"
"I have seen plenty of fake Chinese Knotwood - its fair color and soft texture is telling. Look at mine! Its skin is dried, like tree bark! The human shape of the real deal is different from yours as well!"
Chen Xiaobei narrowed his eyes at the 'real' Chinese Knotwood placed on the counter, which was around twenty centimeters. Its skin was similar to the skin of a tree, bore a human shape and looked rather old.
"This is wild Chinese Knotwood! It's around five hundred years old, and extremely scarce!"
Chen Xiaobei kept quiet, although he was really excited. That Chinese Knotwood was the one the main ingredients of concocting the Bone Burning Pill, and its very age determined the effectiveness of the pills!
Initially, Chen Xiaobei thought that it would be lucky for him if he could buy one that was a hundred years old. He never expected to see one that was five-hundred-year-old! He wanted it badly, but he did not say a thing. There were unspoken ethics in business - Niu was dealing with the young man now, and they were not to be interrupted. It was basic manners too!
"It's pointless to discuss anymore," Niu was saying impatiently. Show me proof. I won't argue if you can show me proof!"
"Sir, I'm not lying! I swear, I will be hit by a truck if I'm lying!" The young man said nervously. It was clear that he was an amateur - he could not show any proof other than repeatedly telling Niu that he acquired the Chinese Knotwood from the jungle.
"Fine, fine! I can see that you are in need of money… I'm willing to pay five hundred Yuan for it. What do you think? I'll pay you immediately too, you don't have to swear or anything." Niu shrugged. He looked generous, but it was clear that he had something vile in mind.
"Huh?" Chen Xiaobei suddenly knew that kind of person that old man was when he saw the glint in his eyes.
'He's a hustler!' He thought.