'Sure enough, it was a big transaction!' Wen Fang felt hatred gnawing at her, and said, "Big Brother has severely looked down on other people. Even though our branch in South Edict Manor is small, it’s still a branch of the Chamber of Commerce. As long as you hand over your transaction to your Little Sister, I can mobilize our resources just as well. It’ll be no different than that Luo Ping. But you won’t even give your Little Sister so much as a chance. In any case, even if you are afraid that I won’t be able to handle it, you can at least leave something small for me to look forward to. It’s such a pity, especially after Little Sister made those fine pastries and came such a long way to see you. You are so ungrateful."
Miao Yi was speechless. ‘Since when did you come to see me? Wasn’t poaching another person’s business your true intention?’
Some things were not appropriate for Miao Yi to say. For example, the matters of ten thousand pots of wine. ‘If Luo Ping hadn’t utilized his personal connections to find someone to appraise them, Luo Ping himself wouldn’t know how to price them, either. If you, Wen Fang, were to take over, these wines might have been kept away and continued to be served to Yao Ruoxian as a mouthwash. It would be weird if you were able to do the same thing as Luo Ping did.’
Of course, those words could only be thought inside his head. He remained apathetic as he said, "Haha, next time. I will definitely find you next time."
Wen Fang lit up immediately. She took the opportunity and cut to the chase, "Big Brother, you said it yourself. You must not deceive Little Sister for her ignorance or make a fool out of her. I will take it seriously."
"I will remember that," Miao Yi chuckled.
Unexpectedly, Wen Fang held out her pale pinky finger in front of his face, causing Miao Yi to lean his head back slightly. He asked, "What’s this for?"
Wen Fang beckoned her pinky finger at him and said, "Let’s pinky swear on it. You must abide by your promise, and you are not allowed to go back on it."
Feeling pressured by her forcefulness, Miao Yi helplessly extended his pinky finger and clasped it with hers to make the promise. He noticed that her skin felt good to the touch, but this situation felt like he was playing house with a child instead.
Miao Yi could not help but sigh at such actions, "I say, Wen Fang, you’ve even managed to conduct business in such a state. The people at the Celestial Nation Chamber of Commerce are fools for not putting you in a higher position."
"If you don’t want this Little Sister’s potential to diminish, then you as the Big Brother should provide some assistance, right?" Wen Fang giggled after she loosened her grip from their locked fingers, "I see that you’re quite busy. Then I shouldn’t disturb you anymore. Little Sister will go back, but I’ll pay my respects to Qian’Er and Xue’Er first."
After paying her respects to the two ladies, she went outside the residence. She smiled at Miao Yi, and reminded him once again, "Big Brother. Little Sister will wait for your news at South Edict Manor. If you make Little Sister wait too long, don’t blame me for coming to your doorstep again and disturb you."
Feeling unconcerned, Miao Yi nodded his head and chuckled. In his mind, he was thinking that he had finally sent this woman away from his residence.
As Wen Fang turned around and left, the beautiful smile on her face gradually became strained, and then bitter. However, she quickly collected herself and put on a determined look, believing that she would succeed if she just kept on working hard. She would not be warming the bench at South Edict Manor forever, and she would not be constantly looked down by others...
After Miao Yi had swiftly settled his miscellaneous duties, the general situation of Mount Calming Sea had finally been resolved. It was only then that Miao Yi went into the depths of the mountain with Qian’Er together.
The mountain was quiet and still, with the occasional sounds of birds singing around the old tree vines. Qian’Er took the lead in front, wearing an innocent and charming smile. The mountain paths were not difficult to walk on for cultivators such as themselves. But in spite of that, Miao Yi sometimes needed to extend his hand and attentively hold her delicate waist as he followed from behind.
Ever since he was assigned to Mount Calming Sea, Miao Yi hadn’t seen or met up with Yao Ruoxian once. He only knew that Yao Ruoxian was hiding deep in the mountains, but his exact hiding spot remained unknown to Miao Yi. Moreover, the hiding location was very far away from Mount Calming Sea because the number of troops there was larger. If he were to hide somewhere closer, he would certainly be easily exposed.
Both of them finally arrived at the outskirts of a cave that was situated on a perilous peak. They stood at the entrance and saw Yao Ruoxian writing and drawing on the stone walls.
Qian'Er shouted with a clear voice, "Master, we have come to see you."
"Haha, you've come—" Yao Ruoxian turned around to look and saw that Miao Yi had come as well. His expression immediately turned stiff, and then pretended he hadn't seen him as he continued to stroke his beard with one hand, while using the other to draw on the stone wall.
Qian'Er wanted to say something more but was stopped by Miao Yi. He signaled at her to wait for him outside of the cave entrance. He then went in all by himself and said, "Senior Yao, I came here to take back my mantids."
Yao Ruoxian turned around and gave him a cold stare, "You are going to die soon. What do you still need these worldly possessions for?"
Miao Yi knew that he was talking about his imminent journey to the Sea of Constellations. He replied with a chuckle, "If I die, you won't be able to control these mantids either."
"Trying to provoke me, kid?" He casually tossed away the stone from his hand and walked towards the stone chair with his hands behind him. He watched a bunch of mantids lying on top of the crystal coins to nibble on them, and he said, "Just say what you want to say and get on with it. Don't think that I don't know what you mean when you sent those two girls to leak that information to me."
"Senior is indeed clever." Miao Yi walked behind him and swept a glance at the little fellows on the stone chair. He then continued, "Help me to refine a set of protective transcendent artifacts."
"There's no problem in refining the artifacts. That is my profession." Yao Ruoxian extended his arm and said, "Give me the materials."
Miao Yi swung his arm and piled up one hundred and fifty urns of Crystalline Obsidians on the ground. He placed a wooden case on top of the pile and opened it, revealing one hundred neatly arranged First Grade Yao Cores inside it, with thirty-three pieces of Second Grade Yao Cores placed at the top of the case.
Yao Ruoxian was stunned at what he saw inside the wooden case. He then picked up a Crystalline Obsidian to examine it. Clearly surprised, he said, "How did you stumble on such a fortune this time?"
"I’m now poor as dirt. How can I even be rich?" Miao Yi laughed bitterly, "These are the things I’ve bought by selling off all my assets."
As he said that, the little mantids on the stone chair started buzzing around and flew towards the Yao Cores inside the wooden case. Yao Ruoxian swung his arm and swiftly stored them inside the storage ring. He turned around and said with suspicion, "The ones who flew back and forth from Mount Calming Sea were people from the Chamber of Commerce? Did you sell them the Glorious Star immortal herb?"
Yao Ruoxian had already thoroughly checked this kid’s entire fortune. Besides selling off the Glorious Star immortal herb, he couldn't think of any other way Miao Yi could have earned enough cash to purchase these items.
Miao Yi shook his head and said, "No. Ultimately, that item will be crucial in protecting my life when I go to the Sea of Constellations. How could I sell it? That is, unless I don’t want to live anymore."
Yao Ruoxian nodded his head slightly. He thought that it made sense. However, he stroked his beard as his eyes darted across the pile. ‘It looks like this kid found another way to gain his fortune!’
With a dry cough and a serious expression, he asked, "What kind of item do you want me to refine?"
Miao Yi pondered for a while. The more prepared he was for his journey to the Sea of Constellations, the better his chances of survival. He then forced himself to take out fifty pieces of First Grade Yao Cores and deposited them into the case containing the other Yao Cores.
He’d already had these Yao Cores from the beginning, most of which he’d retrieved from the Sea of Constellations. In the past few years, he’d used them to refine transcendent artifacts and replenish the artifacts’ energy for battles, and now only a hundred remained. And now, he had to brace himself to fork out half of the remaining Yao Cores. He was going to hold on to the other half for his time at the Sea of Constellations just to replenish the energy of his transcendent artifacts. He had truly poured in everything he had for the sake of these preparations.
Miao Yi let out a deep breath, and pointing a finger at a few items, he said, "Help refine a set of Second Grade transcendent artifacts for me and Charcoal. Use the rest of the Yao Cores to refine various protective charms for me."
"Seems like you’re really going all out for the sake of protecting your own life. To think you’re willing to pay anything to refine single-use items such as these. These charms are going to cost a lot to make." Yao Ruoxian chuckled, "Aren't you missing a few materials to make them?"
Miao Yi swung his hand again and took out a pile of skins peeled from the seventy-two Fort Masters. These were all materials needed to refine charms. He had been keeping them with him, and now he could finally clear them out from his storage ring. He then asked, "Is this enough?"
Yao Ruoxian beckoned to him and said with a look of a dishonest tradesman, "I need a lot of Blaze Resins to refine these many things!"
He knew that Miao Yi still had quite a lot of Blaze Resins with him. If he didn't extort them from him now, when would he be able to do it later on?
Miao Yi nonchalantly replied, "I don't have them. I’ve already sold it all."
"Er…" Yao Ruoxian was shocked. He proceeded to dismiss that statement by saying, "It's fine if I use my own Blaze Resins. Just count them into my payment. You should just focus on my payment. I don't need much from you either, so just give me eight or nine billion Gold Crystals."
"I don't have them. I’m poor to the point that I can't even fork out ten million for you." Miao Yi retained a calm expression on his face.
Yao Ruoxian chuckled coldly, and responded, "Kid, are you kidding me? You want me to refine so many things in one sitting, yet not only are you not paying me, you’re expecting me to fork out a share as well. Did you take the wrong medicine?"
"I really don’t have any cash left. I will have to owe you for now."
"You’re kidding me. With your cultivation base, no one knows if you’ll come back alive from that blasted place. What if you died with nothing intact, who will I collect my payment from?" Yao Ruoxian extended his arm and continued, "Don’t play dumb with me. Give me my payment first, and I will give you your refined equipment. I don’t take credit."
Miao Yi flipped over his hand and gave it to him. However, it wasn’t his payment, but a jade archive.
"What is the meaning of this?" Yao Ruoxian was suspicious. He invoked his transcendence energy to examine the archive. It was only then that he realized that this was a recent proof of receipt of the transaction between Miao Yi and the Celestial Nation Chamber of Commerce. He continued to read it and finally understood that Miao Yi had really sold all those Blaze Resins to them.
When he saw the selling price of those wines, a wonderfully interesting expression crossed his face. But soon after that, his expression slowly became rigid, as if he had realized something. He meekly lifted up his head and asked, "Are those wines that expensive?"
There was hardly any strength in those words. He seemed to recall that he’d drunk quite a large amount of them!
Miao Yi said, surprised, "Can it be that Senior doesn’t know that he was drinking spiritual wines? Such expensive spiritual wine was easily worth tens of thousands of Gold Crystals for a single pot. Did you see the most expensive one on that list? I was afraid that Senior would be fussy, and that you would be unhappy if I gave you anything of poor quality. For the sake of flattery, most of the wines that I’ve given you were the ones that cost 1,500,000 Gold Crystals per pot. You’ve drunk more than five thousand pots in the last few years… Senior, what’s with that expression? My god! Senior, you really didn’t know about these wines? Are you purposely trying to feign ignorance for the kindness I have shown you? I didn’t even make you pay, so you shouldn’t upset me like this, right?"
To be honest, Miao Yi didn’t know that the spiritual wines he had given to Yao Ruoxian had some sort of grading in the sales ranking either. He surmised that these wines had both bad and good rankings. The five thousand pots he’d mentioned to Yao Ruoxian earlier wasn’t true, but an amount of three thousand pots might be possible. However, Miao Yi believed that he would certainly not make a deliberate effort to remember how much he’d drunk after he’d treated those spiritual wines like mouthwash. Yao Ruoxian wouldn’t be able to recall the exact amount either, even if Miao Yi added two thousand more into the number.
"More than five thousand pots…" Yao Ruoxian face went blank. He really couldn’t remember how much he’d drunk, but through some calculations and considering his frequent drinking during the years, a few thousand pots could be true despite the uncertainty of the exact number.
A receipt of more than five thousand pots, more than 1,500,000 Gold Crystals per pot...
Yao Ruoxian shivered with shock as he made a quick calculation. He had gulped down more than seven billion Gold Crystals into his belly. For real?