Outside the silent quarters, Wen Fang felt more miserable the longer they were holed up inside. She almost went mad from it.
Although her ancestor was also someone who had helped Celestial Sage Mu Fanjun build her empire, but because they didn’t possess a high status, along with the many years that had passed since then, who would still remember who her ancestor was? It was only because of her ancestor’s grace that she was able to go and work within the Celestial Nation Chamber of Commerce. Without a significant background, she obviously wouldn’t have the opportunity to be delegated to the branches in the major cities.
The branches in the major cities would come into contact with a lot of cultivators, so they would naturally have a greater number of transactions. With more transactions, the potential commission from them would obviously be higher as well. And the better one’s performance within the Chamber of Commerce was, the greater the chance of being assigned to an even larger city. Likewise, the chances of promotion would also be higher.
She had only recently finished her training under the Chamber of Commerce, and was assigned to the South Edict Manor branch for a little over a year. There weren’t many major transactions to be had in such a small place. All the deals she came across were always short and easily settled. She had never seen one like this before.
Given the state of the negotiations before her, she didn’t even dare to imagine what it was like inside. ‘Those are two Red Lotus cultivators from the Chamber of Commerce who are inside. They’ve holed themselves up in the silent quarters discussing for more than half a month already! Just how big is this business deal going to be? The Chamber’s Red Lotus cultivators wouldn’t be this patient if it was just a minor transaction!’
To have missed out on such a major business opportunity when it was right within her designated area and from someone whom she addressed as ‘Big Brother’ no less—meant that she still wasn’t putting in enough effort and wasn’t thick-skinned enough. She even felt like killing herself now.
It was too late even if she wanted to butter up to the people beside Miao Yi at this point.
Qian’Er and Xue’Er were guarding the passageway leading to the silent quarters and forbade anyone from approaching. Additionally, four others including Tian Qingfeng were posted outside the gate and keeping guard. Besides Senior Liu being able to come and go through the living room as he pleased, security was all but impenetrable. As a guest, all Wen Fang could do was pace around outside. She couldn’t approach at all.
Within the silent quarters, after they sampled the taste of one fine wine, both Uncle Hua and Old Dong would use clear water to cleanse their mouths in order to avoid the residual taste affecting the appraisal of the next pot of wine. This caused them much distress.
The feeling of alternating between a sip of wine and a sip of water was not pleasant in the least. However, the wines were truly nothing short of bejeweled nectars. To be able to sample so many different varieties of bejeweled nectar in one sitting, it was not an opportunity that came by easily. The two were enjoying themselves immensely despite the unpleasantness. Although they were being tormented, they accepted it wholeheartedly.
No one else could possibly imagine what the two were experiencing. They finally understood what it meant to ‘find joy in misery’!
In order to avoid ruining the taste and potency of each pot of wine, they would poke a small hole on the seal of the pot, then hastily draw out a small portion of the bejeweled nectar before quickly plugging the pot back up, and engraving the insignia of the Chamber of Commerce on the seal. Only then did the two begin their appraisal.
The two were true wine connoisseurs. They could clearly identify the types of spiritual herbs used and the number of years fermented for every type of wine they sampled, then set a price for it.
With a jade archive in hand, Luo Ping would quickly jot down the price and place the appraised wine into the storage ring. At the same time, Miao Yi would place the next pot of wine before Uncle Hua and Old Dong.
Even though he hadn’t rested at all for over ten days, Miao Yi was still brimming with excitement.
Luo Ping was the same. He had come across a truly major business deal this time, so how could he not be in good spirits?
The four of them conducted their appraisals at a pace of five hundred pots a day. After twenty days, they finally completed appraising all ten thousand pots of wine.
Luo Ping quickly calculated the sum of the prices.
Heaving a sigh of relief, Uncle Hua and Old Dong shook their heads in disbelief.
"Unbelievable. It’s a first even for me to witness so many different fine wines brewed utilizing such a vast array of spiritual herbs," sighed Old Dong, shaking his head.
To which Uncle Hua added, "It’s not as simple as that. Have you realized, Old Dong? The spiritual herbs used to brew these fine wines not only included those that you and I are aware of, some are even materials only found within the treacherous waters of the Sea of Constellations. What’s more, some are even deep-sea treasures found only within the territories of those Demonic Behemoths under the ocean. Truly inconceivable!"
Miao Yi felt a little guilty upon hearing this. These were the gains he had obtained from slaughtering and plundering the people from the Sea of Constellations after all. Since Yuan Kaishan and Bi Youpo were sworn brothers, it probably wasn’t difficult for Yuan Kaishan to obtain some deep-sea treasures from the latter.
Old Dong nodded, "Anyone would be flabbergasted by the quantity and quality of the spiritual herbs used to brew these ten thousand pots of fine wine. Truly astonishing. In all the years that I have been alive, I can’t imagine what kind of individual would put in so much effort to produce such goods merely to sate the palate."
The two suddenly turned to Miao Yi and asked, "Mountain Chieftain Miao. Did you brew all of these?"
Miao Yi laughed dryly, "That’s confidential information."
"Ah…" Old Dong and Flower Grandpa immediately pretended that they hadn’t asked the question at all. The rules of the Chamber of Commerce stated that they should not question the customer’s privacy and must never reveal the customer’s personal information.
"These things will be worth quite a sum." Uncle Hua squinted at Miao Yi and chuckled, "I think it will be worth over eight billion Gold Crystals at least"
Contrary to their expectations, Miao Yi wasn’t happy to hear it at all. Instead, his expression quickly darkened and he abruptly shouted, "THAT GODDAMNED OLD FOOL!"
Stunned by the outburst, Old Dong and Uncle Hua stared at Miao Yi in confusion. The only ‘old fools’ here were the two of them after all.
"AH!" Luo Ping raised his head in shock as well.
A little startled, Miao Yi hurriedly waved his hand and gave a dry laugh, "Don’t be mistaken, Seniors. I wasn’t talking about you two. I was just scolding the fool that was always stealing my wine."
The wine-stealing fool was just an excuse. There had only been one man who would pester him incessantly for wine. That man was none other than Yao Ruoxian.
At first, Miao Yi only allowed Qian’Er and Xue’Er to occasionally send a single pot over. Afterwards, Yao Ruoxian became addicted to the taste and would often force the two girls to ask Miao Yi to hand some over. At the time, Miao Yi only knew that these wine were beneficial to one’s cultivation, so even though he treasured them, he didn’t think much about giving them away either.
How could he have known that these pots of wine would be worth so much? He definitely wouldn’t have given any away if he did!
With a simple calculation, Miao Yi realized that Yao Ruoxian had drunk over three thousand pots over the years that they had been together!
‘How many billions of Gold Crystals would three thousand pots of wine be worth!?’ Miao Yi felt his head ache from the thought alone. He even thought about catching Yao Ruoxian and forcing him to spit it all back out. However, that wasn't possible. The maces in his hands were no laughing matter after all.
There was another matter that was making Miao Yi feel a great deal of pain. If he had known that those seventy-two Fort Masters in the Sea of Constellations were this amazing, he wouldn’t have killed them back then. It would have been much better if he had abducted them all away and turned them into his own wine-brewing slaves, then made a profit off them.
However, this thought didn’t make him feel that regretful. He knew that it was unrealistic to think of abducting them all away. Even if he could have tied them up and bring them all back with him before, he had no way of procuring the ingredients to brew those spiritual wines anyway. Thus, he only sighed in regret for a moment. It was quite a waste to have killed all those peculiar demons. It would probably be difficult to meet another group like them in future!
Miao Yi never would have thought that the ten thousand pots of wine that he used to think were the least valuable things in his storage—would turn out to be the most valuable ones after the immortal herb. How inconceivable!
If he had known earlier, he would have been able to invest in a good set of transcendent artifacts and completely pulverize Xiong Xiao long ago. He wouldn’t have risked running off to Ten-Thousand Thriving Manor.
"Brother Miao. Look what you did to me." Luo Ping didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as he stared at the jade archive in his hands. "I’ll need to do a recount."
Miao Yi was surprised for a moment. Then he realized that his shouting of ‘goddamned old fool’ must have disrupted Luo Ping’s thoughts. He hurriedly cupped his fists and apologized.
Uncle Hua slapped the back of Luo Ping’s head, and said, "This is not a small sum. You can try to hide the joy on your face as much as you want, boy, but what’s wrong with doing a recount?"
It was obvious that the two shared a good relationship with one another. Otherwise, Luo Ping wouldn’t have been able to use his personal ties to invite the other person all the way over. After all, these wines didn’t have any assigned value in the first place. If they didn’t have a good relationship, a prestigious Red Lotus cultivator wouldn’t have made such a journey for no reason.
Why was it that Wen Fang only operated within the tiny South Edict Manor branch, whereas Luo Ping worked in the Chamber of Commerce of the capital city?
It was easy to imagine the reason why. There was a clear difference between the backgrounds and personal ties of the two.
From another perspective, it was the right decision for Miao Yi to look for Luo Ping instead of Wen Fang. If he had decided to look for Wen Fang, he might not have been able to make such a transaction for the wines.
Even though he was slapped on the head, Luo Ping wasn’t bothered at all. Grinning all the while, he continued his calculations to verify the sum from his previous tally.
After he was done with his confirmation, Luo Ping took in a deep breath; then stared at Miao Yi and excitedly said, "Brother Miao. The total amount comes up to eight billion, sixty-seven million, one hundred and ten thousand Gold Crystals. Please verify it."
This was not a small sum. Miao Yi obviously had to verify it. He had made his own calculations just now as well. He had simply added on the prices as the two old men mentioned them. Even though he didn’t double-check the sum like Luo Ping did, their numbers matched up all the same.
Although it was a large sum of money, Miao Yi could not find it within himself to rejoice at all. When he first heard that a pot of wine could be sold for a hundred thousand Gold Crystals, he roughly calculated and assumed that the total amount would exceed ten billion Gold Crystals.
He didn’t expect that the ingredients used, the quality of the wine, and the number of years it was left to ferment would have an impact on the price as well. The price of the most expensive pot of wine even went up to one million and five hundred thousand Gold Crystals, whereas the cheapest was only at ten thousand Gold Crystals. After he roughly tallied the sums together, he had come up with the aforementioned price for these ten thousand pots of fine wine.
He didn’t know if this was a suitable price or not, because he could not objectively appraise these wines. All he knew were that they were good to drink. Not to mention, it wasn’t like they had a set price he could refer to like the other goods the Chamber of Commerce usually dealt with. So he could only leave it to Uncle Hua and Old Dong to settle the issues regarding the price, as well as the appraisal of the wines. He himself was stuck in the dark the entire time.
The two old men already informed him that they would not give him a bad price. The Chamber of Commerce was still quite reputable in this regard, but they would undoubtedly take in a cut of the profits as well. What’s more, the two of them sampled so many different fine wines in one go. Once they drank too much of the good ones, their appraisal as well as the agreed price would surely be affected when sampling some of lesser quality. It was not a very fair assessment.
That said, it was truly impossible to give a fair price for something such as this precisely because there was nothing similar to refer to. At the same time, the Chamber of Commerce behind them wouldn’t be able to gauge how much they could profit off selling these pots of wine as well. Therefore, the two of them could only guarantee a fair price on the precondition that the Chamber of Commerce would not suffer a loss. Otherwise, why would the Chamber of Commerce support them if all they did was make them incur losses?
Even though it was a little unfair to Miao Yi, the two old men explained that the best option was to allow the Chamber of Commerce to auction these pots of wine off. Then, the Chamber of Commerce could offer similar items to those high-profile customers of the cultivation realm to sample, and organize a special auction afterwards. These ten thousand pots of fine wine were enough to organize a special auction once.
After the Chamber of Commerce took out the commission earned from the auction, the remaining amount would all go to Miao Yi, thereby ensuring he would get a fair price.
Miao Yi asked how long it would take for the results of the auction to come about. Luo Ping told him that these things could not be rushed. If he wished to get a good price, he would need to make the proper preparations. It would take at least a few years.
However, Miao Yi couldn’t possibly wait that long. If he could wait a few years, he wouldn’t need to sell off all his assets.
Thus, Luo Ping couldn’t offer him any more assistance than he already had. From the perspective of the Chamber of Commerce, this was the best price he could offer. And Miao Yi could do little, but grit his teeth and accept it.