Jiang Chen was indeed trying to cause trouble, but it was all to see Mu Gaoqi. Thus, he didn’t even attempt to deflect when the manager glared at him angrily. “You’re half correct. I’m also here for Master Mu,” he replied while smiling.
“Oh? Don’t tell me that by challenging Master Mu, you’re planning on using his fame to catapult yourself to success? Isn’t that a little too much wishful thinking on your part?” The manager’s tone was extremely cold.
“Borrowing his fame for success?” Jiang Chen burst into laughter. “You’re overthinking things. I’m only here to propose a deal to the Star Harvesters.
“A deal?” The manager tried very hard to suppress his vexation. “What kind of deal?”
“Are you allowed to make decisions for the Star Harvesters? Can you sign off on matters related to Master Mu?” Jiang Chen asked in response.
At first, the manager was stunned by his reply, but he quickly recollected himself and scrutinized the plain-looking wandering cultivator standing before him. He wasn’t sure whether Jiang Chen was truly so dumb and fearless, or if he actually had a card up his sleeves. How dare he quibble with me, a manager of the Star Mill, in Star Harvester territory of all places? Who does he think he is? He’s nothing but a wandering cultivator! Even though he’d almost burst with rage a few times throughout this encounter, his reason managed to keep him sane and his temper in check.
“It doesn’t matter whether I have the proper authority to make decisions. If the esteemed customer wants to make a deal, please at least show us some sincerity. Can you prove that you are worthy of proposing a deal to the Star Harvesters?” The manager sounded cold and aloof.
“Having come all the way here, it’s only natural that I’d have a few cards up my sleeves,” Jiang Chen replied with a faint smile.
“Please forgive me for failing to notice said hidden cards of yours.” The manager didn’t try to be courteous either.
Jiang Chen rummaged in his sleeves and casually took out three spirit herbs. “I have three spirit herbs here. Do you have anything amongst your vast inventory that might rival them?”
The Star Mill possessed quite a few herbs, but sky rank spirit herbs were indescribably rare. They were meant for great emperor realm cultivators, which was why they were rarely ever found in the market. The majority of spirit herbs for sale in the Star Mill were only spirit rank. There were a few earth rank spirit herbs as well, but they possessed none of sky rank.
The manager’s eyes nearly fell out of his eye sockets when Jiang Chen casually took out the spirit herbs. An expression of greed immediately flashed across his face.
“Sky rank spirit herbs?” The manager gulped audibly.
“Good eye.” Jiang Chen praised.
Attempting to distract from his loss of composure, the manager hastily cleared his throat. “Sky rank spirit herbs are rare indeed, but it’s not as if we don’t have any; we just don’t usually display them. I suppose that since you’ve managed to acquire three sky rank spirit herbs, you are barely qualified to propose us a deal.”
“Just barely?” Jiang Chen laughed heartily. “What if I have something worth ten times more than that?”
“Something worth ten times more than sky rank spirit herbs?” The manager was flabbergasted.
Jiang Chen quickly continued. “Are you allowed to make decisions for a deal of such a magnitude?”
The manager almost lost his temper again. Something that was worth ten times more than a sky rank spirit herb was beyond his imagination. Indeed, he truly didn’t possess the authority to make a deal of such caliber.
He took a deep breath. “Dear customer, what kind of deal are you proposing?”
“I intend to exchange my treasure for Master Mu.” Jiang Chen cut straight to the point.
“Exchange your treasure for Master Mu?” The manager immediately turned him down. “Never. Master Mu isn’t for sale.”
Jiang Chen broke into laughter. He mockingly responded, “If Master Mu were truly not for sale, why would the Star Harvesters go to such an extent to promote and publicize him? I rest my case. You’d never spend so much effort promoting him if you didn’t intend to sell him. You would have kept quiet and used him to covertly make money if that were the case.”
The manager was rendered speechless. He couldn’t think of a good rebuttal. Only after a few moments had passed did he manage to eke out a reply. “Customer, surely you don’t think that three sky rank spirit herbs are enough to exchange for Master Mu?”
The manager continued before Jiang Chen could even reply, “If that’s your line of thinking, you should just give up right now. Master Mu isn’t merely worth three sky rank spirit herbs. Even thirty wouldn’t suffice!”
Jiang Chen didn’t argue. “An exchange can only be carried out if both sides are satisfied. Without either side agreeing to its terms, the deal wouldn’t be successful. Naturally, I have my own way of making sure that your side is satisfied.”
“If you can’t represent the Star Harvesters, do you think there’s any meaning in continuing this conversation?” Jiang Chen asked in response.
“Do you think that I will report this matter to my superiors if you don’t show me anything noteworthy?” The manager laughed coldly, refusing to budge.
Jiang Chen laughed slyly. “Hehe, it’s your problem if you don’t want to report this. I imagine that there’s a rather handsome reward for whoever is involved in Master Mu’s sale right?”
“If your boss happened to find out one day that you lost an exceptional deal relating to such matters, what will he think of you?”“
“An exceptional deal? How can you be that confident?”
“Why would I be here if I weren’t confident?” Jiang Chen gave a casual reply. “Since you’re not capable of making decisions on behalf of the Star Harvesters, I have no choice but to personally pay your boss a visit. Once I do so, you can wave goodbye to any rewards you would’ve received otherwise.”
His confidence gave him an air of assertiveness that made him seem extremely convincing. Even the manager had become a little persuaded. He stared at Jiang Chen and asked, “You’re certain that you have an extremely attractive offer?”
“Yes.” Jiang Chen assured.
“You do know what’ll happen to you if you try to con or fool us, right?” The manager still seemed a little hesitant.
“You’ve been prattling on all day. Are you going to say that you don’t have the necessary qualifications to report to headquarters next?” Jiang Chen asked with a faint smile.
The manager snorted and stared at Jiang Chen. He mused for a long time before he finally nodded. “I really hope that you don’t have any tricks up your sleeves. Otherwise, I guarantee that you won’t be leaving the Star Mill alive. Tell me, who do you want to see?”
“Someone who has absolute authority, of course. Ideally it would be someone who has the final say in Master Mu’s fate,” Jiang Chen replied blandly.
“Then I shall have to report to the boss. Let me remind you that anyone who mocks our boss or challenges his authority will be met with a terrible fate.”
Jiang Chen smiled faintly. “Even if I mock you, these sky rank spirit herbs won’t do the same. Remember, it doesn’t matter who talks to me as long as I get to see Master Mu with my own two eyes. I want to make sure that his innate wood constitution of high order isn’t just something you made up.”
It was only fair to inspect the goods before making a deal.
The manager turned towards Keke. “Keke, escort our friend to the honored guest area. Serve him tea and take care of his needs.”
Keke’s anger had yet to subside. “Come with me,” she said indignantly. She served him tea when they arrived at the resting area. When she saw how casual Jiang Chen was acting, she couldn’t resist questioning him. “You’re such a heartless person. If you’re so interested in Master Mu, why did you ridicule his products in such a way?”
Jiang Chen was rather amused by the nosy young lady. He shrugged and looked at her innocently. “When did I ever ridicule his products? I was only speaking speaking the truth.”
“Hmph! How can that be the truth? You were just nitpicking!”
Jiang Chen laughed in response. “Miss Keke, you’re a good employee, but I still stand by my opinion. Master Mu’s products may appear to be quite good on the surface, but there’s an aura of oppression contained within. If I’m not mistaken, Master Mu must’ve felt quite oppressed when he created these spirit herbs, which is why all these spirit herbs possess a similarly wary and oppressive quality—he was mentally torn.
No matter how good it appeared to be, any creation produced from such a mentality would never be perfect. Keke seemed skeptical at first, but she soon began to doubt her own understanding. Master Mu was indeed a slave of the Star Harvesters, so it made sense that there would be a mental knot in his pill dao. The common person would never be able to notice such a detail. In fact, many pill dao masters wouldn’t be able to either.
How did he notice so many details with just a single glance? Keke was astounded. Perhaps it was just an empty guess? Many people in Pillfire City were already aware of Master Mu’s status as a purchased slave, so maybe he’s intentionally saying these things because he already knew about the rumors?
“Miss Keke, I already know full well that I’m speaking the truth, but you’re having doubts about the authenticity of my words, aren’t you?” Jiang Chen read Keke like an open book. It almost seemed like he possessed a mind-reading ability.
Keke tried her best to suppress her astonishment, but curiosity got the best of her. “Sir, what exactly is your background? Were you sent here by one of the great families of Pillfire City to acquire Master Mu?”
Jiang Chen broke into laughter. “If so, which family do you think sent me?”
Keke pondered for a moment before she shook her head. “I don’t know. That’s beyond my ability. However, you don’t seem like you’re from Pillfire City.”
“Congratulations. Your guess is correct.”
“Where are you from then?” Keke asked curiously.
“Myriad Abyss Island.” Jiang Chen was lying through his teeth. The Star Harvesters were unlikely to fear him if he gave them his true background. Since that was the case, he might as well exaggerate and say that he was from the Myriad Abyss Island. The Myriad Abyss Island was considered a mythical island in the Upper Eight Regions and the human domain. It belonged in the legends.
“Myriad Abyss Island?” Keke’s big watery eyes filled with astonishment and doubt when she heard the name.
“Does that place really exist? I thought that it was merely fiction!” Keke was suddenly filled with curiosity.