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Soon after, Miao Yi briskly walked out of the grand hall. The moment his eyes landed on Luo Ping, he cupped his hands and smiled from the distance, "I had hoped for Brother Luo to arrive, and you’re finally here."

Darting down the stairs, he caught sight of Wen Fang who was standing at the side. Somewhat caught by surprise, he wondered why this woman was still here.

Luo Ping also cupped his hands, smiling in reply. "I never expected Brother Miao to be so quickly promoted to Mountain Chieftain. Congratulations."

Miao Yi gestured, signaling the troops surrounding them to dismiss themselves. Then he turned and extended his arms towards the grand hall and said, "Please."

With a nod, Luo Ping beckoned to the old man behind him, and they both followed Miao Yi into the hall.

The dismissed troops of Mount Calming Sea would occasionally turn around to look, each and every single one of them bewildered. They’d never expected the Mountain Chieftain to have friends from the capital city. On top of that, they were Red Lotus experts.

Although she wasn’t invited, Wen Fang shamelessly followed Qian’Er and Xue’Er from behind.

To put it clearly, she had rushed here because she’d already predicted that the news had reached the capital city, and had taken into account the time that Luo Ping would take to arrive at Mount Calming Sea. She didn’t come here to visit her Big Brother Miao Yi and had instead wished to observe and analyze just how much influence Miao Yi held. She wanted to find out whether it would be worth expending a great deal of effort to rope in this big client. After all, Miao Yi was a Mountain Chieftain, so she’d come to determine the truth.

Once everyone arrived at the main hall, Miao Yi informed both Qian’Er and Xue’Er. "Don’t allow anyone to come near my silent quarters without my permission."

"Understood!" responded the two ladies in unison.

Luo Ping also nodded at the old man he’d brought over, signaling the man to stay here and wait.

"Please!" Miao Yi once again extended his arm, leading Luo Ping into his own cultivation quarters, and even going as far as to push the heavy stone door to cover the entrance.

His silent quarters was considered to be an underground room, so the soundproofing was quite good. It was a suitable place to use for a private discussion.

Both of them sat cross-legged across from one another atop the stone chair. Luo Ping smiled and began, "I went to find Lin Pingping before I came, and asked if she had anything she wanted me to inform you. I’m sorry to say that she had no message for me to pass on."

As soon as he could, he was making it clear that he’d always kept Miao Yi’s request in mind in order to close the distance between them.

Miao Yi knew deep down that if Lin Pingping needed anything, she would have relayed the news herself. She wouldn’t have told Luo Ping to do it for her, of course. So, he asked, "Is she doing well?"

"With Brother Miao taking care of her, she’s naturally much better than before. It’s just that in the beginning, there were times when a couple of crooked-minded loose cultivators harassed her after seeing her live a better life compared to before. And with no one to depend on for help." Seeing Miao Yi’s eyes narrow at his words, Luo Ping’s eyes flickered with a cold glint. Based on his experiences with people, he instantly knew deep down that this bastard was a murderer… He waved his hands and said, "Brother Miao need not worry. I’ve already dealt with those loose cultivators. Of course, after I warned them in person, insignificant loose cultivators like them wouldn’t dare bother her anymore. The only problem is that I was unjustly blamed for no reason at all."

Miao Yi asked in return, "How is that so?"

Luo Ping shook his head, a bitter smile on his face, as he replied, "Quite a number of people believe that Lin Pingping is a mistress I’ve been keeping at Jade Capital Peak."

Shocked at the revelation, Miao Yi immediately slapped his thighs in laughter. He could imagine how awkward it must have been for him to be paired with a woman of that age. Cupping his fists, he requested, "Then I would like to ask Brother Luo to keep up this act, and continue to assist me in looking after her."

Luo Ping forced a smile with cupped fists. After using private matters to pull their relationship closer, he went straight to the main point and started, "I’m sure Brother Miao wouldn’t request for my presence without reason. How can I assist you?"

Miao Yi fell silent for a while before saying, "I want to purchase some Crystalline Obsidian."

The Crystalline Obsidian he mentioned was the essence powder extracted from Black Crystals. Luo Ping replied quickly with a question, "May I know how many jars Brother Miao needs?"

The ‘jars’ he talked about referred to the small pots used to store essence powders. A jar required the extraction of about 100 million crystal coins to be filled up. Ten jars were enough to refine a spear.

Obviously, Miao Yi had been mentally prepared in advance. He instantly declared, "One hundred and fifty jars!

Luo Ping’s eyes gradually widened; deep down, his heart was overwhelmed with happiness. Sure enough, he hadn’t made this trip in vain. He cautiously confirmed once more, "A hundred and fifty jars?"

It should be made known that after a jar of Crystalline Obsidian was extracted from 100 million Black Crystals, it would incur twice the amount in labor fees. In terms of Gold Crystals, it would cost 2 million. Thus, one hundred and fifty jars were equivalent to 3 billion Gold Crystals. 3 billion Gold Crystals! It wasn’t White Crystals or Black Crystals. When exchanged into White Crystals, it cost 3 trillion. What a tremendous sum indeed!

"That’s right! One hundred and fifty jars!" After Miao Yi confirmed the amount, he asked hesitantly, "Could it be that you don’t have enough stock right now?"

Luo Ping instantly let out a hearty laugh, "Brother Miao is funny. Forget one hundred jars—even if it’s one thousand or ten thousand jars, the Chamber of Commerce can supply them. We’re not afraid of you wanting more but are more scared of the fact you might want less. However, Brother Miao, I will put it bluntly: the price will have to go according to the market value. I cannot give you any discounts because the amount you’re purchasing has yet to reach the threshold where you will be given discounts."

"Understood!" Miao Yi nodded.

He understood the reasoning behind it. If he sold something to the Chamber of Commerce, he wouldn’t be able to sell it at market value. Yet, if he were to purchase some items from the Chamber of Commerce, they would sell it to him at market price. That couldn’t be helped as they operated for profit, and wouldn’t do anything in vain.

"May I know if Brother Miao will exchange items for them, or will you be paying in cash?" asked Luo Ping.

"No rush!" Miao Yi waved his hands and brought out a storage ring, then instantly withdrew a case from it. He patted the case and said, "Help me estimate how much this is worth."

Once he finished, he immediately flipped open the lid of the case and toppled the contents out. A pile of gold, blue, and red crystal stones about the size of a thumb came rolling out from it.

After he cleared the contents of the case, he placed it to the side, extending his arms to invite Luo Ping to make his estimation.

"Blaze Resins?" Luo Ping inhaled sharply, his eyes once again widening in shock.

It wasn’t that he’d never seen them in person before. It was because he had never seen this many from any of his previous item dealings, especially from a Mountain Chieftain.

The more items he dealt with, the larger his commission. Luo Ping was secretly overwhelmed with joy, but quickly put on a more calm and professional expression. Picking up a Red Blaze Resin, he commented. "The market price for this is 10,000 Gold Crystals. The Chamber of Commerce can purchase this at 8,000. Since you’re an official, a discount will be applied. In addition, you’re selling in bulk. I can make the decision, and offer you 9,000."

He took up a Blue Blaze Resin. "The market value costs 50,000 Gold Crystals. The Chamber of Commerce will purchase it at 40,000. I can make the decision, and offer you 45,000."

Lastly, he picked up a Gold Blaze Resin, "The market price for this costs 100,000 Gold Crystals. The Chamber of Commerce will purchase this at 80,000. I can decide myself and offer you 90,000."

Putting the item down, he continued, "Brother Miao, please rest assured that the price I gave you is the discounted amount. Please think about it for a while. Should you agree, we will do the count."

Miao Yi cursed the Celestial Nation Chamber of Commerce for being too sly. He had risked his life to obtain these items, yet they were having the time of their life profiting from it.

But again, it couldn’t be helped. Ordinary folks couldn’t afford these many items, and he didn’t have the connections to find a suitable buyer, so he could only sell them off at a cheaper price. He finally nodded and said, "I believe in Brother Luo. Please do the count."

Luo Ping’s spirits were lifted at his straightforward answer. He quickly took out a jade archive to make his counting easier. First, he picked out all the Gold Blaze Resins and threw them into the empty case at the side.

The Gold Blaze Resins came to a total of four hundred and forty pieces. Luo Ping swiftly registered the amount in the jade archive as he said, "90,000 a piece. The grand total for the Gold Blaze Resins is 39,600,000 Gold Crystals."

Soon, he once again threw the pile of Blue Blaze Resins into the case, coming to a total sum of seven hundred and thirty-five pieces. He picked up the jade archive again and registered while he detailed, "45,000 a piece. The grand total for the Blue Blaze Resins is 33,075,000 Gold Crystals."

He again threw the Red Blaze Resins into the case, coming to a sum of one thousand and two hundred pieces in total. Similarly, he picked up the jade archive, recording it as he said, "9,000 a piece. The total value of the Red Blaze Resins is 10,800,000 Gold Crystals."

Silently counting for a while, Luo Ping lifted his head with a smile stretched across his face, "This half-filled case of Blaze Resins amounts to 83,475,000. Brother Miao, I didn’t make any mistakes, did I?"

Miao Yi nodded. He was well aware of the total amount of items in that case. When the price of each item was announced, while the other man was still doing the calculations, he’d already deduced the total value in his head.

Heaving a light sigh, he said, "So, this means that if I want to purchase those one hundred and fifty jars, I still need to add about another 220 million?"

"To put it precisely, you are short of 216,525,000 Gold Crystals." Luo Ping gave him the exact amount. It was no wonder he was a businessman.

Miao Yi fell silent. He still had about 30 million Gold Crystals at hand. But he was short of about one trillion and eighty million. He still had one hundred First Grade Yao Cores to spare, but those were only worth 10 million Gold Crystals at most. There was still a large gap to fill. Even if he sold almost eighteen thousand Orbs of Will, he’d only manage to cover 20 million and would still fall short of the required amount. The gap was too big!

His scraps were worth nothing.

He was itching to take out and sell off the shockingly resplendent Glorious Star immortal herb he had at hand. He estimated that the immortal herb would fetch more than enough if he sold it.

But that was paramount to his life support when he went to the Sea of Constellations. Once he sold it away for real, what would he do if he was injured? Under such dangerous conditions, he couldn’t guarantee that he could escape unscathed.

What was the reasoning behind his desperate attempt to fork out his entire fortune just to create a set of better quality transcendent artifacts? Wasn’t it all for the sake of keeping himself alive while in the Sea of Constellations?

Wealth was merely a worldly possession. So long as he safely returned from the Sea of Constellations, so long as he passed this trial, armed with good quality transcendent artifacts, he would have great prospects for the future within the system. What he lost could easily be regained.

Right now, he was a little angry at Yao Ruoxian for taking away half of the Blaze Resins in the case. If he didn’t do that, he could have covered a larger portion of the required amount.

But alas, it was difficult to get them back. And even if he could seize them back, he wouldn’t. He still needed to rely on that man to help refine the transcendent artifacts after this. Based on the current market, that old bastard’s labor fees would not be a small sum as well. Especially when it involved a higher grade transcendent artifact. If they really fought it out, he wouldn’t be able to gain the upper hand.

Seeing that he remained silent, Luo Ping cautiously asked, "Brother Miao, is there a problem?"

Miao Yi, who was still mulling over what else he could sell, recovered his senses. He chuckled dryly for a while and abruptly whipped out a pot of wine. He presented it before Luo Ping. "Brother Luo, try this."

"Uh..." Luo Ping forced a smile and pushed it away with the palm of his hand. "Brother Miao, this isn’t the time for a drink. It won’t be too late if we share this later. Let’s discuss our official business first."

Miao Yi smiled in reply, "Offering Brother Luo a drink is official business. See how much my exquisite wine is worth."

"Ah!" Luo Ping was dumbfounded.

Miao Yi had already removed the lid of the pot and invited him to have a taste.

An overwhelming fragrance emerged and permeated the room. Luo Ping’s eyes gleamed instantly. He invoked his arts and flicked his finger. A stream of clear spring wine bore its way into his mouth like a snake from the pot.

The moment he swallowed it, Luo Ping, who had tasted it with his eyes shut, opened his eyes and sighed, "Such amazing wine!"

Miao Yi’s eyes shone as he asked, "How much does Brother Luo think it’s worth?"

"I…" Luo Ping spread out his arms and exclaimed, "Although the wine is exceptional, but I’m not really a drinker so I’m not familiar with this. To tell Brother Miao the truth, this is my first time meeting someone who wants to sell wine to me."

Miao Yi was so desperately poor that he was running out of options. Miao Yi said awkwardly, "Offer me a price."

Luo Ping didn’t know how to handle this, but he could tell he was a bit tight. Because he was a major client, and carrying the notion that he shouldn’t offend him if he could avoid it, he sighed and asked, "May I know how many pots of wine Brother Miao has?"

Miao Yi revealed a finger. "More than ten thousand pots."

"Uh..." That was seriously a lot. Luo Ping laughed forcefully, shaking his head as he said. "Brother Miao, I can use my personal connections to contact a senior from the Chamber of Commerce to determine the price, but I advise you not to put too much hope into this."

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