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Seeing that Miao Yi was silent, Luo Ping felt slightly worried that Miao Yi would go back on his word. This transaction wasn’t small either. He tried to probe, "Brother Miao. If the intention of your transaction is still the same… Otherwise, it will be troublesome to tally these wines again. When that happens, we’ll have to deliberately appraise them again for a second time to ensure the validity of the transaction. That would be a waste. Why don’t I issue you a proof of receipt and you can hand over these wines into our safekeeping for now?"

Miao Yi could only force a laugh and nod his head. He didn’t have any good relationships or networks with other people, and he was quite powerless in this regard too. Otherwise, he would definitely look for someone with the knowledge for this business to negotiate the price. 

The most powerful person he’d ever known was Yao Ruoxian. However, he couldn’t put his hopes on this man either. Yao Ruoxian could not be expected to expose himself to the public for the sake of helping him on this matter. Besides, whether Yao Ruoxian had knowledge about wines was another story. Based on how that Old Yao had sloppily gurgled this precious wine to the point that some would trickle down the corner of his mouth, Miao Yi deduced that he wasn’t a connoisseur of wine. Otherwise, how could he afford to waste that bit of wine like that?

Luo Ping was elated. He then teamed up with Uncle Hua and Old Dong, and immediately wrote out a proof of receipt for Miao Yi, stating that they had received the unpaid goods. They then proceeded to take away the ten thousand pots of bejeweled nectar from him.

Luo Ping sighed in relief and asked, "Brother Miao, will you still be selling that case of Blaze Resins?"

Uncle Hua and Old Dong exchanged looks. ‘How much would it be for a CASE of Blaze Resins?’ Both of them were unaware of the Blaze Resins deal that had been discussed prior to the wine appraisal.

Miao Yi did some calculations in his mind for a while before he took out a case filled with Blazed Resins, grinding his teeth as he said, "I’m selling it!"

"Alright!" Luo Ping lit up with pleasure. He then quickly pulled over the two old men and started taking inventory of the case.

There was no other choice. Once this case went back to Miao Yi’s hands, what would he do if there was less inside than it had in the beginning?

Not that Luo Ping didn’t want to believe Miao Yi, but according to the transaction rules of the Chamber of Commerce, once a transaction has been settled, it must be thoroughly verified. In addition to that, Luo Ping must not decide on the amount as he pleased—he still needed the Chamber of Commerce to deploy someone to verify it. Those people, for example, would be Uncle Hua and Old Dong who stood in front of them.

Uncle Hua and Old Dong were speechless when they saw a half-filled case of brightly-colored Blazed Resins in front of them. They couldn’t help gazing back at Miao Yi, unable to comprehend the fact that a mere Mountain Chieftain could garner so many valuable items at once. Damn it all, the total pots of bejeweled nectars were in the ten thousands, whereas the Blaze Resins all came in one large case...

Both of them then turned to look at Luo Ping. Under normal circumstances, no one would treat a Mountain Chieftain as a big client. They were wondering how this kid was able to score such a big deal. It looked like the commision he would earn this time would be massive!

When the amount tallied to the previous quantity, the three of them teamed up once again and wrote down another proof of receipt and handed it over to Miao Yi.

Luo Ping immersed himself in his calculations once more as he held a jade archive in his hand, "The Blaze Resins are valued at 83,475,000 Gold Crystals. The spiritual wines are valued at 867,110,000 Gold Crystals, bringing the total to 950,585,000 Gold Crystals. Brother Miao wants to buy one hundred and fifty Crystalline Obsidians, so 300 million Gold Crystals will be deducted. Brother Miao, I will now call someone to send one hundred and fifty Crystalline Obsidians and the remaining balance of 650,585,000 Gold Crystals here."

Miao Yi waved his hand and said, "No rush. I still have to buy some more things."

Luo Ping’s eyes lit up. Even though it was the same kind of transaction, he would still be able to draw out a percentage from all corresponding transactions. He quickly nodded and said, "Brother Miao, please tell us what you’d like to buy. If the capital city is in short supply, we will help you search throughout the entire nation. If the Celestial Nation does not have them, I will find a way to ask the Chamber of Commerce to search beyond the borders. We will definitely think of the fastest possible way to satisfy your demands."

Uncle Hua and Old Dong looked at him slyly after listening to his words. They were thinking that this youngster had scored big time, and that they should sternly teach him a lesson when they went back.

Miao Yi muttered, "I want to buy some Second Grade Yao Cores."

"No problem," Luo Ping said reflexively, "Yao Core is a strong currency. Ten thousand low-grade Orbs of Will will amount to one piece of Yao Core. You will lose nothing with this kind of deal."

Miao Yi was well-aware of this market price. The Orbs of Will and Yao Cores were both the strongest forms of currency in the world of cultivation.

The gradeless Yao Core could only amount to a piece of low-grade Orb of Will; by turning it to a First Grade Yao Core, the price would immediately increase a hundredfold, valuing at one hundred pieces of low-grade Orbs of Will. On the other hand, a Second Grade Yao Core would yield a hundred times more than a First Grade, amounting to ten thousand pieces of low-grade Orbs of Will. The Third Grade would continue to yield a hundred times more than the previous grade, resulting in the value of one million low-grade Orbs of Will. Whoever could turn it to a Fourth Grade Yao Core would be able to yield one hundred million Orbs of Will in a flash.

There was no helping the fact that these amounts could increase in such a ruthless way. Take for example the Third Grade Yao Core: only those who were able to kill a Purple Lotus Yao cultivator would be able to obtain them. A living Purple Lotus cultivator would be worth way more than just one million low-grade Orbs of Will. Only after they perished and were devoid of life would it be possible to assign such a price to them. After all, the dead could never be valued in the same way as those alive—it wouldn’t make any sense.

Miao Yi said, "Use the crystals to buy them."

He didn’t have that many Orbs of Will with him. He had squandered his fortune by selling a great deal of items in exchange for crystals, all for the sake of buying those items.

"You want to use Gold Crystals to buy them, I see!" Luo Ping sighed and let out a bitter laugh, "Brother Miao, you know this too. Normally, the market value for one low-grade Orb of Will will amount to 1,000 Gold Crystals. One Second Grade Yao Core worth ten thousand low-grade Orbs of Will will have a market value of nearly 10 million Gold Crystals. But if you want to buy it now—according to the current market price—one Second Grade Yao Core will require 20 million Gold Crystals!"

That was twice the initial amount!

"WHAT!?" Miao Yi shot him a glare and roared furiously, "Isn’t your Chamber of Commerce a little too shady? That’s twice the original amount. Isn’t this embezzlement?"

"Brother Miao, listen to me." Luo Ping wasn’t angry at all as he waved his hands in response. "We aren’t trying to short-change you deliberately, but the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade is coming soon. Many participants have been rushing to purchase Yao Cores and the like for the sake of their own protection. Not only in the Celestial Nation, but the other five nations who have to participate in the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade are experiencing shortages in their supplies too. With that said, the price will naturally skyrocket. It’s considered cheap if you buy them now. If we wait until the moment when all the participants in the candidate list are announced, I fear that the price will only soar, I…"

Luo Ping suddenly froze in mid-sentence, seemingly having a revelation of the situation. He stared at Miao Yi with wide eyes and cried out, "Brother Miao, you’re not going to participate in the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade too, are you?"

In that moment, he seemed to have understood why Miao Yi was rushing to sell his items.

Uncle Hua and Old Dong were also gazing at Miao Yi thoughtfully.

Miao Yi knew he couldn’t hide it any longer after his intentions had been exposed. He nodded slightly, implicitly admitting to the truth of the matter.

He looked a little pale. Luo Ping’s words were not good news to him. Based on the current situation, it seemed like he wasn’t the only one who had squandered his fortune away in preparation to go to the Sea of Constellations. Wouldn’t this mean that the competitive strength by then would be a lot stronger and thereby more dangerous?

"Brother Miao, I think it is better for you to think of ways to bail out instead." Luo Ping gave the advice with good intentions. He didn’t want to lose such a big client either.

Miao Yi snorted, "You think I’m so willing to get myself killed? The superiors have already given their orders, and it was the Hall Master who personally put my name on the list. I have no other choice but to go. It is beyond my control."

Luo Ping silently nodded his head, indicating that he understood the situation. He pondered for a while before saying, "I have looked into this before I came here. The one above South Edict Manor is the Hall Master of Suppressing Second Hall, and above him is Traversing Moon Palace." He turned toward Uncle Hua and asked, "Uncle Hua, aren’t you familiar with the Palace Lord of Traversing Moon Palace? Why don’t you go plead for Brother Miao and help him avoid this disaster?"

Miao Yi was pleasantly surprised. He immediately gazed at Uncle Hua with anticipation.

However, Uncle Hua’s expression changed as he flew into a rage, "Luo Ping, are you too comfortable with your life that you wish to be expelled from the Chamber of Commerce? Do you think such matters are something the Chamber of Commerce can simply meddle in?"

He then turned toward Miao Yi to explain, "Mountain Chieftain Miao, it’s not that we don’t wish to help you, but the Chamber of Commerce has always taken care not to interfere with the internal affairs of the members of the system. We have been independent of each other as one is a trader in nature, and the other a martial force. You might even say that one is geared towards knowledge while the other towards military strength. The Chamber of Commerce does not participate in any matters of war, otherwise it can turn into an extremely sensitive matter when a strong martial force is assimilated with the elevation of financial resources. Because of that, the two sides never mix with each other. Please forgive me for my powerlessness on this matter. Don’t listen to the nonsense spewed by this brat, Luo Ping."

When he was done, he gave a vicious glare at Luo Ping. He surreptitiously reprimanded Luo Ping, "Do you like to be involved in this sort of thing?"

Luo Ping had an awkward expression on his face. Even though he knew Uncle Hua was right, he also knew that sending his regards over and making a request for the sake of a Mountain Chieftain wasn’t a big deal. However, Uncle Hua felt that there wasn’t a need to go through with such a risky affair as he had no ties with Miao Yi whatsoever. On the other hand, if Luo Ping himself were to meet with a similar situation, Uncle Hua would definitely lend a hand to him.

Luo Ping could only revert back to the original conversation, and he said, "Brother Miao, we definitely do not intend to rip you off. The current market price is just as we’ve said."

Miao Yi glanced at Uncle Hua. He wouldn’t beg for his help. Both of them were unfamiliar with each other to begin with. Uncle Hua had already explained the severity of the situation, so he knew that begging would be futile. He then nodded and said, "I appreciate the kindness Brother Luo has offered. Then we shall go according to the market price."

Luo Ping nodded, "How many Second Grade Yao Cores do you want?"

Miao Yi held up a jade archive and made some calculations. He still had more than 650 million Gold Crystals available. With more than 30 million Gold Crystals on hand, it would be enough to retain just a few million crystals. He could round up the sum and fork out 680 million crystals.

With this in mind, he then said, "Give me thirty-three Second Grade Yao Cores and one hundred First Grade Yao Cores."

His heart bled at these words. Under normal circumstances, he could have bought twice the quantity. But now, his fortune had already been halfway depleted. This was indeed a heavy wound. Anyone would feel awful if they were in his shoes.

This was another big transaction. Luo Ping refreshed his mind and quickly held onto a jade archive to make his calculations, "According to the current market price, one Second Grade Yao Core will cost 20 million Gold Crystals. Thirty-three pieces will be 660 million Gold Crystals. One First Grade Yao Core is worth 200,000 Gold Crystals, and one hundred pieces will amount to 20 million Gold Crystals. Altogether, the total is 680 million Gold Crystals… Brother Miao, with the surplus from your side, you still have to pay about 30 million Gold Crystals. Do you want to take a look?" 

Miao Yi waved his hand and replied, "Go ahead. I have cash on hand to pay the difference."

"There’s another thing that I first need to clarify with Brother Miao. The Yin Core, Inner Core, and Yao Core have the same effect, thus their price is the same. In case supplies are insufficient, what would Brother Miao think if I were to use the other two as substitutes?" When Luo Ping mentioned that point, Miao Yi was visibly shocked. Seeing that expression, he quickly added, "Like I said before, the Yao Core is in high demand at this point. I’m only afraid in the off-chance that it won’t be enough. Of course, if Brother Miao insists on a Yao Core, then we will definitely think of something to amass them."

This wasn’t a problem. Yao cultivators had Yao Cores inside them; Ghost cultivators had Yin Cores; and Devil cultivators were called as such because they had cultivated the so-called ‘evil techniques’ that had gone beyond the scope of ordinary human cultivators. Like demonic ghosts, they could also form cores inside their body, which led them to be seen as a different species. This was why they were seen as devils, because Devil cultivators could also form Inner Cores in their body.

Killing Ghost cultivators could yield Yin Cores; killing Yao cultivators could yield Yao Cores; and the result of killing Devil cultivators could yield an Inner Core. If an ordinary cultivator were to fall into either of their hands, they could use the demonic arts to refine and condense the cultivation base of an ordinary cultivator into an Inner Core, killing the cultivator and seizing the Inner Core in the process.

Human cultivators were used to utilizing Yao Cores only because the demon form manifested when controlling a transcendent artifact was more easily acceptable in their minds.

Miao Yi considered it for a while before he gave a nod and said, "As long as the grade is about the same, then it’s fine."

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