"What an idiot! He's actually happy for getting trash! Hohoho!" Niu the mixologist chuckled at Chen Xiaobei the idiot.
Chen Xiaobei merely stayed calm - in fact, he was doing his best not to laugh.
Senile old fool! Who's the idiot? You'd just gave up a 50 million Yuan herbal essence like it was trash!
Yap Liangchen, however, was oblivious of that fact. He had been quiet the whole time, but finally exploded when Niu mocked Chen Xiaobei.
"Old man, how dare you talk like that! Don't blame me for returning the favor!"
"Hoho… Master Yap is so violent! Kid, don't you forget that this Herbal Shop belongs to the Wu Family. So please, I dare you lay a finger on me!"
It was thanks to his powerful backing that the old man was acting so arrogant. The Chinese Knotweed he obtained was a huge boon for the Wu Family, therefore he was enjoying himself even as Yap Liangchen threatened him.
"You… I'll have you eat your own words. Believe me when I say I could mess you up!" Yap Liangchen seethed. He was, at the very least, a member of a powerful family; he would never accept such humiliation! If Niu did not tread carefully, he will be eating Yap Liangchen's fist he realized.
"Mr. Yap. Who is it that you're going to beat up again?"
As the atmosphere tensed, a voice filled with malice rang from behind Yap Liangchen. He turned around immediately to find an snobbish young man with two older men who were almost the same age as Niu the Mixologist.
"You! What are you doing here!" The young man screamed the moment he saw Chen Xiaobei in the shop, and fixed him a hostile glare. He was the same person Chen Xiaobei has given a good beating in the auction - Wu Jiechao.
"Well, if it wasn't Wu Jiechao," Chen Xiaobei sniggered at the mere mention of his name (1). "How do you do?"
"Fuck you! My name is Wu Jiechao, not Wu Jiechao!" The other bellowed.
"Oh, come on! It's the same spelling!" Chen Xiaobei teased, smiling.
"Pfft!" Yap Liangchen had tried to hold in his laughter but failed. "Hahahaha! Bro Bei is just the best! Wu Jiechao… Pfft! Hahahaha!"
Blood rushed to his cheeks as Wu Jiechao clenched every muscle in his body. "Fuckers! Is it death you wish for?!"
"Oh! I take that you want another fight then?" Chen Xiaobei smirked and threw the gauntlet daringly.
The first he fought Wu Jiechao and won, he had much lower combat power. Now that his combat power had risen to another level, crushing the arrogant man right then was easier than cracking an egg.
Naturally, Wu Jiechao would not know about that. "Hmph!" He strutted pridefully. "Did you really think you could handle me with the help of Yap Liangchen? I'll even give you a kind advise, he isn't up to my level!"
"Cough! Master Wu. The reason you've called us here was for the Hundred Year Ambergris. But…seeing that you have other matters to tend to, we shall take our leave."
One of the two older men interrupted their confrontation where they stood outside the Herb Shop. Even so, they did it so politely it was clear they did not want to be a part of the Jianghu trouble.
"Please wait, O' respectable ones! I have no matters to attend to… Please! Let's us proceed." Wu Jiechao quickly switched gears, and his expression was suddenly welcoming as he led the two men to the herb counter.
"Well well. Welcome young master, Master Fang, Master Yang!" Niu beamed as he welcomed them. Based on the swindler's behavior, it was clear that he had managed to call in not one, but two very special individuals. Although they were not on par with Elder Luo - China's best traditional medicine practitioner - they must stand near the pinnacle too.
Naturally, making an appointment with one of them was extremely hard. So how would Wu Jiechao stand idly by and let both of them leave?
As the two men then started a conversation with Niu, Wu Jiechao quickly turned and glared at Chen Xiaobei and Yap Liangchen again.
"I'll have you know that luck is on your side. It's a truce for now!"
He then quickly went to join the two men at the counter. "Take out the Hundred Year Ambergris that you received a few days ago," he told Niu. "Allow these two great masters to identify it!"
Instead of complying immediately, Niu smiled like a kid at all three of them. "Let's put the Ambergris aside for now," he said. "I had just received a special Chinese Knotweed. It is said to be at least 500 years old, please have a look!"
"What? 500 years old Knotweed?! Let us see it now!" Old Fang eyes bulged as soon as he heard it.
"That's incredible!" Old Yang was thrilled as well. "500 old year old Chinese Knotweed could fetch as high as 50 million Yuan! If there were irregularities in its form, the price might even be higher!"
"Is… Is that true…" Wu Jiechao was left dumbfounded. Fifty million Yuan was not a small amount of cash!
"It's true. My knowledge may not be as good as Master Yang and Master Fang, but I'd never misidentify any herbs!" Nie said proudly as he pulled out a purple sandalwood box.
"If it's true, and it can be sold for 50 million, I will reward you lavishly! Hahaha!" Wu Jiechao grinned from ear to ear, flashing Niu his pearl white teeth.
They have now completely forgotten about their other customers.
"Bro Bei, let's leave. They're making me physically ill!" Yap Liangchen frowned.
"Relax. The show has just started!" Chen Xiaobei smirked as he pulled put the small 'lump' from the waste basket which Niu cut and thrown away.
"This is… This is indeed a 500-year-old Chinese Knotweed. The shape is also special. Hmm… But there's something missing…." Old Fang frowned worriedly.
"It's the herb itself." Yang narrowed his eyes. "This Knotweed may be old, but its medicinal value is no different from a regular 50-year-old knotweed.
"True." Fang concurred, and picked up the Knotweed to smell it. "Hmm. Not only is the herbal fragrance weak, it's deteriorating by the second. Its like its strength is seeping out… What is happening? Leave it be and it will turn into normal wood!"
"W-What?! How could this be?" Niu was shocked.
Wu Jiechao's face was contorted he probably could not smile anymore.
"Haha! That's a slap to the face right there! Hilarious!" Yap Liangchen laughed as he watched - little did he know that the slap was yet to land.
"Master Yang, Master Fang? What is happening?" Niu tried to ask.
"Look here." Yang pointed at the front end of the human-shaped knotweed. "You did something here. From my experience, you had just removed the knotweed's Spirit Pearl!"
"Huh? What- What's a Spirit Pearl?" Wu Jiechao asked.
"It's the culmination of all the Spiritual Qi the knotweed gathered over 500 years - in other words, the focal point of compressed Spiritual Qi!" Fang explained. "Legend has it that if the Knotweed is cultivated for more than a thousand years, the Spirit Pearl will turn into Demon Pill, allowing the Knotweed to become a Spirit itself. It will then move underground freely, which was why nobody could find one."
"In short, without that Spirit Pearl, any Chinese Knotweed is worthless." Master Yang placed the Knotweed back onto the counter.
"What?! Spirit Pearl? Demon Pill?"
Niu was flabbergasted. Just when he was about to lose his mind, he remembered something and turned to look at Chen Xiaobei.
"Hello again! Who's the idiot now? Anyway, thanks for the gift!" Chen Xiaobei was smiling innocently at him while waving at the hustler with the 'lump' that he had just thrown away.
Niu could feel bile rushing up his gullet - he was about to eject vomit so high he might repaint the ceiling. He had just thrown away a 'lump' worth 50 million Yuan to the brat! He was even mocking him for being an idiot!
By the gods!
Such a tremendous slap…
In that very moment, there was nothing else Niu wanted other than to find an old piece of tofu and smack himself to death with it.
1. Wu Jiechao's name Is pun that could also mean 'no dignity'.