"So that’s it," Fang Yuan rubbed his chin, then shook his head, "This Liquor worm is not for sale. Since Yao Ji is insistent, why isn’t she finding that Gu Master who bought the Liquor worm?"
Hearing this, Qing Shu looked like a dark cloud was looming over him as he sighed deeply, "Sigh, we do not know which clansman has it. After buying this Liquor worm, there has been absolutely no news. We cannot find anything, and we cannot simply inspect apertures right? That is a taboo, the biggest taboo among Gu Masters. For a small matter like the Liquor worm, causing public rage is not good. But it is understandable that this clansman is keeping a low profile on his treasure, this is also human nature."
Qing Shu did not know that the real person who bought the Liquor worm was sitting in front of him.
But Qing Shu never suspected Fang Yuan, since in his perspective, Fang Yuan had the Liquor worm already, he wouldn’t need to buy a second one. What’s the use of it?
If he knew about the Four Flavor Liquor worm’s recipe, he would definitely suspect Fang Yuan. But now, this recipe was solely Fang Yuan’s secret to keep.
The only one who knew that Fang Yuan was the buyer, is Jia Fu. But to Jia Fu, Fang Yuan could be helping another person to buy it. Whether it be a relative or a lover, something like this is natural. Yao Ji is the same right, buying the Liquor worm for her granddaughter?
"No matter what, I am not giving way for this Liquor worm matter." Fang Yuan’s attitude was firm without any loosening, as he smirked in his heart.
This was the system.
The system made one strong, but it was also a restraint.
Gu Yue Yao Ji was a Rank three Gu Master. She was much stronger than Fang Yuan, but due to the system she could not snatch it from him. Due to the rules of the system and minding her own reputation, she cannot forcefully purchase it either.
Fang Zheng who was at one side suddenly urged, "Brother, the Liquor worm is useless to you, why cling on to it. Granny Yao Ji is very kind. I’ve met sister Yao Le many times too, she is a good person, I am sure she will take good care of the Liquor worm. And the Liquor worm is very helpful to her. Kindness begets kindness, brother, you saved the village and I am happy for you. This brings honor to our family as well. But why are you being so stubborn now, isn’t this too petty?"
Fang Yuan’s expression stiffened as he said coldly, " My good little brother, are you lecturing me? The Liquor worm is my business. Even if it rots in my hands, you have no rights to dictate what I do."
He was not really angry, but attitude is the mask of the heart, and by expressing his attitude, it would allow Qing Shu to see his determination to reject.
"It seems Fang Yuan is bent on rejecting. Bringing Fang Zheng here on purpose was a bad move. These brothers have a poor relationship and are always at odds, I’ve shot myself in the foot," Gu Yue Qing Shu’s gaze shone.
"Fang Zheng, go out and shop around." Fang Zheng wanted to say more, but he was stopped by Qing Shu.
Fang Zheng gritted his teeth, but still obeyed Qing Shu’s command.
"Either way, I cannot understand you in this matter, big brother." He opened the door, leaving his last sentence.
"What I do, does not require your understanding, Fang Zheng." Fang Yuan was expressionless.
Fang Zheng’s movement of opening the door stopped for a moment, but he quickly walked out of the room without turning around, closing the room door with a bam.
This movement caused the room’s atmosphere to become even more awkward.
"If there is nothing else, brother Qing Shu can take your leave." Fang Yuan instantly evicted his guest.
"Hehehe," Qing Shu laughed dryly, trying to alleviate the tension, but Fang Yuan’s face was cold as ice, showing no signs of change.
But his temper was mild, and he did not get frustrated.
Touching his nose, Qing Shu laughed awkwardly, "There is another matter, regarding the Nine Leaf Vitality Grass."
"The Nine Leaf Vitality Grass is not for sale." Fang Yuan rolled his eyes.
"I know, I know," Qing Shu nodded, "It is regarding the vitality leaf, this is the personal business of my group. I hope you can supply the produced vitality grass to us. Of course, we will pay you an appropriate compensation."
Seeing business approaching, Fang Yuan naturally did not reject, "Then, sixty-five primeval stones per leaf."
Qing Shu on hearing the price, was tongue-tied.
According to market rates, the clan’s original sale price is fifty-five primeval stones. Although the vitality leaf is an expenditure type Rank one Gu, gone after one use, this was something to save lives, and nobody would mind more of it.
Especially with the wolf tide nearing, the clan is also raising prices, and each leaf is sold at sixty primeval stones. Actually, not just the vitality leaf, but also resources are also getting pricier. This is the volatility of the situation, and Gu Masters have to live with it.
But what Qing Shu did not expect was, Fang Yuan’s price was even higher than the clan’s.
"Finding it expensive? You don’t have to buy it. But as far as I know, after the wolf tide, the clan will tightly control resources, and the vitality leaf would have excess demand. By then, the prices will soar again, there might not even be stock, what do you think?" Fang Yuan’s tone was calm as he safely evaluated his pricing.
Qing Shu was stumped, his tone turning helpless, "You sure are clear of it. But your price raising is slightly overbearing. Aren’t you afraid of offending people? If you reduce the prices, you can use the opportunity to build relationships. But if you raise prices like this, the clansmen will keep a grudge on you for earning profits this way."
Fang Yuan raised his head and laughed, "The wolf tide is nearing, I am but a small fry, I can die anyday. How can I bother with these trivialities?"
"You have long gone past the stage of a small fry, and human relationships are not trivial either." Qing Shu stared at Fang Yuan deeply, then lightly shook his head, "But everyone has their own thoughts and choices, I will not force you. However do be more careful, Lord Yao Ji will not let go so easily... Goodbye."
Qing Shu no longer mentioned the matter of purchasing vitality leaves, Fang Yuan’s prices had scared him.
He was a smart person, and when a smart person buys things, they do not act on impulse, but only after intelligent consideration. A smart person would have an evaluation in their heart, and once the prices exceed their worth, they would calmly pull out.
Fang Yuan seemed to have only increased the price by five primeval stones, but Qing Shu was not just buying one vitality leaf, and the wolf tide would be going on for at least a year, he would be expending a lot of vitality leaves. If this accumulated, it would be a heavy cost.
"Thanks for your advice, take care, I shall not send you off," Fang Yuan said, watching Qing Shu leave. His heart was clear as he knew that Qing Shu would definitely be back.
That is because he had underestimated the wolf tide’s severity too much.
Under such a wolf tide, death might instantly befall anyone, and the vitality leaf had no lack of customers. In his memory, the price rocketed to over a hundred primeval stones!
Of course, this price was also during the period when the wolf tide was at its strongest. Right now, what Fang Yuan wanted to do was to accommodate to the time period, gradually raising prices.
As time flowed, the winter wind grew more cold and harsh.
This year’s winter winds were evidently colder than previous years for Qing Mao Mountain’s three villages.
Taking the Gu Yue village for example.
More and more crippled wolves appeared near the village surroundings.
The clan sent out large amounts of missions, and almost all of them were about exterminating the crippled wolves.
During December, when the crippled wolves’ amount reached its peak, this caused the situation to worsen quickly, reaching an atrocious level. In fact, there was even a situation where a hamlet at the mountain foot was slaughtered by a large group of wolves.
Good thing was, the dozen Gu Masters in the village retreated in time. The clan higher-ups breathed a sigh of relief secretly, as the death of a Gu Master would cause them to feel pity for over half a day, but for mortals, they were all slaves anyway, so be it if they die.
In this world, there are no human rights.
A Gu Master’s life is more valuable than a hundred mortals, this is the viewpoint of everybody.
However death and injury would definitely not be little, thus, the village had sounds of crying and sniffing from morning to night.
The village emanated a sense of grief and suppression throughout.
The crippled wolves were only the prelude; the true wolf tide was even more horrifying.
More and more people started to realize that the wolf tide this year, is exceptional.
Under such pressure, the negotiation that had been under a stalemate obtained quick progress, and the three-clan-alliance was formed.
A month later, at the end of winter.
Alliance Slope, Three Clan Alliance Meeting.
Little snowflakes that were like soft white fur slowly drifted down.
Hundreds and thousands of Gu Masters gathered here, forming a grand scale.
The alliance slope was originally an ordinary mountain slope, but throughout history, the Gu Yue clan’s second generation clan head managed to create the first three clan alliances at the slope. Thus forth, all future alliances were held there.
After many years of refinement, the current alliance slope had already expanded tens of times, becoming a giant town square.
The town square was along the mountain wall, and there was a huge rock erected there.
On the huge rock, there were rock carvings of buildings, and in the buildings there was rock furniture properly assembled. The three clan higher-ups were sitting inside, closely discussing.
Below the giant rock building, the three clan’s Gu Masters had their respective standings, forming three large groups.
Gu Masters wore similar battle clothing, and along with a belt, their respective cultivation levels were apparent. Fang Yuan was within them.
He secretly observed the situation.
The Gu Masters below the stage were all Rank two Gu Masters. Most Rank one Gu Masters were allocated to support, and only Rank two Gu Masters were the true mobile troops. As for Rank three Gu Masters, they were clan elders, and for a mid-size clan like the Gu Yue clan, even after each generation’s effort they only had a little more than twenty clan elders.
Fang Yuan was observing, and the other Gu Masters were also watching. Countless gazes intersected with hatred, curiosity, and alertness.
Gu Yue clan’s Gu Masters were on the skinny side. Xiong clan’s Gu Masters were strong and robust, and from appearance their strength could be shown. Bai clan’s Gu Masters, maybe due to living by the waterfall behind the mountain, had whitish skin and had a Yin aura(1) around them.
"That long hair guy is Gu Yue Qing Shu, Rank two peak stage, and is the Gu Yue clan’s number one Rank two Gu Master," some pointed out.
"Mo Yan! Hmph, this wrench caused me to lose an arm. After the wolf tide, I must get revenge!!" Someone snorted in their heart.
"Woah, that girl riding on the giant bear, she should be the Xiong clan’s Xiong Jiao Man. Don’t be deceived by her appearance, she goes battle-crazy when fighting."
"Do you see that white fat girl? She’s Bai clan’s Bai Zhong Shui, a Rank two upper stage fighter, who has the Water Boar Gu. She is very promiscuous and very lustful towards men. You newbies be careful, don’t get fucked by her."
The three clan’s animosity and grudges had long been deep-seated.
Alliance slope’s discussion noises became louder as it turned into an uproar. Many Gu Master seniors were pointing around, introducing the strong people from the other two clans to their juniors, reminding them to be careful of them.
(1) Yin aura, this is a bit hard to explain? Yin is associated with females, dark energy, water energy…
Xiong clan - Bear clan.
Bai clan - White clan.