"Have you heard? Someone is trying to trade two sky rank spirit herbs for one Smiling Bodhi at Three River Street!"
"You must be joking! why is it be worth so much all of a sudden?"
"I know, right? Brother, do you have any? If you do, we'd better sell it to him now! This opportunity isn't going to come around ever again!"
"Aii… the Smiling Bodhi might be a quasi-sky rank herb, but that doesn't take away the fact that it possesses sky rank qualities. I don't even have an earth rank herb, let alone a sky rank one!"
"Anyways, anyone who has a Smiling Bodhi is going to get rich! Getting two sky rank herbs for one? It's a gift from the heavens!"
"Hehe. I suspect that the eminent figures who own a Smiling Bodhi will not be so willing to trade."
"Huh? Why do you say so?"
"Are you really that clueless? There's a reason why that man wants to trade two sky rank herbs for one Smiling Bodhi. First of all, do you know what it's used for?
"It's for curing poisons, right?"
"Hehe, if he's in such urgent need for it, he's probably going to use it to save someone. The person must mean a lot to him too if he's willing to trade two sky rank herbs for it. Since he's already willing to part with two, maybe three or four more might be within the realm of possibilities too?"
"Hmm. Now that you mention, it's a really good opportunity for extortion."
"Heh! Let's head over there and watch the show. It'll be a good one! Let's not miss it!"
Jiang Chen occupied the most conspicuous place in Three River Street without a care for territorial disputes. He placed a signboard on either side of him. 'Trading two sky rank pills for a single Smiling Bodhi!' was written on one board, while 'This is a one day offer! All deals are off after the day is over!' was written on the other. It might not be the smartest idea, but it was the most straightforward one.
Jiang Chen added the second signboard even though he had three more days for a good reason. He wanted to see if there really was a Smiling Bodhi in this city. It would definitely appear today if there was one. As for what the price would be, well, that was an issue for later He'd never allow others to trample all over him. The time limit served as a warning. Those who wish to trade must hand over the goods today, or all deals were off.
Trading one Smiling Bodhi for two sky rank herbs was an absolute steal. It was in no way a fair deal. It was a wonderful opportunity for anyone who possessed a Smiling Bodhi. However, Jiang Chen understood that greed was human nature. There would be some who tried to extort him in his time of need. This was why he clearly stated that they would only be given one day to make a decision.
He was certain that Smiling Bodhi holders would want to make use of this rare opportunity to get their hands on two sky rank pills. It was a game of nerves. Jiang Chen looked like he was meditating, but he was actually observing with his consciousness. Most of the crowd in the surroundings was only there to watch the show. There wasn't even a single earth rank herb in sight, let alone a Smiling Bodhi. However, he was certain that there was at least one Smiling Bodhi in the city. In fact, they might've already sent their subordinates to scour more information, or they might be hidden amongst the crowds themselves.
"Hey, friend! Do you really have two sky rank herbs?" someone tried probing.
Jiang Chen replied in a flippant manner. "Show me a Smiling Bodhi first and you'll get to see my spirit herbs."
He wasn't so stupid that he'd show his own hand first. Even though the deal was destined to be unfair, he didn't want to reveal his trump cards just yet.
"I have a friend with a Smiling Bodhi. I've informed him about your deal, but he's currently in closed door cultivation, and cannot find the time to leave. However, he did say that you may visit him if you wish to trade."
Jiang Chen smiled blandly. "I'll remain here. Some sincerity is still needed if you wish to make this handsome deal. If he isn't willing to come, there will be others who will."
"I wouldn't be so sure about that. The Smiling Bodhi is almost a sky rank herb after all. The inventory we have in this city is already quite limited. It won't be easy to find one!"
Jiang Chen smiled without further response. Many others also tried to probe him, but he remained uncompromising. He would never reveal his sky rank herbs unless somebody showed him their Smiling Bodhi first.
The crowd quickly grew as time went on, but there wasn't even a single person who could hand over a Smiling Bodhi. Jiang Chen was beginning to feel a little anxious, but he understood that this method was the only way he could obtain a Smiling Bodhi, even though it was a bit risky. There was simply no other choice right now.
Despite his anxiety, he grit his teeth and kept on waiting. If there was a Smiling Bodhi in the city, he was certain that someone would eventually cave in. As expected, a man dressed in lavish clothes approached him right before the sun went down the hill. He had many vicious looking guards standing behind him. The crowd immediately opened a path upon noticing him. They all wore respectful smiles on their faces, but one could easily see the fear in their eyes. He was definitely not of a common background.
"Third Master Jing is here!"
"He must possess a Smiling Bodhi!"
"Tsk tsk, if Third Master Jing didn't have one, then no other clan could possibly have it."
"Young lad, your luck is not bad. You've caught the third master's attention!" The owner of the voices were trying to curry favor. They raised their voices for a game of obvious boot-licking.
Jiang Chen swept a glance over the man. He was wearing a purple, formal robe and had a slightly waxy complexion. His face also had a slight moustache and beard. One could easily tell that he was of high status just by looking at his stride.
"Friend, I heard that you have two sky rank herbs?" The man asked nonchalantly after measuring Jiang Chen up a little.
The latter nodded without hesitation. "Third Master?"
There was nothing much he knew about the city or its factions. His knowledge of the Tilted Moon Regions was limited to the Moon God Sect alone. However, he was certain that this man was not from the Moon God Sect because they were the rulers of the Tilted Moon Region. Their sect was built on a land rich in spirit energy, and not a backwater place like Frostmoon City. The city was only a place where commoners live. Of course, the factions here were all governed by the sect.
"My surname is Jing, you may call me Third Master Jing. Friend, how may I address you?"
Jiang Chen smiled faintly. "My surname is Shao. Shao Yuan."
Third Master Jing furrowed his brows. The name seemed to ring a bell. Shao Yuan…? Now, where have I heard that name before?
Since he couldn't recall, he quickly tossed the thought aside and opened his palms, revealing a Smiling Bodhi.
"I coincidentally have one Smiling Bodhi in my hands." He said nonchalantly. "Friend, if you're willing to part with three sky rank spirit herbs, I just might consider trading it with you."
The crowd gasped upon hearing his words. Some even began to laugh at Jiang Chen's misfortune. They all know just how overbearing Third Master Jing was. His appearance spelled nothing but bad news for the young man. As expected, he immediately raised the price to three sky rank spirit herbs.
Jiang Chen instantly burst into laughter. "Third Master Jing, sky rank spirit herbs aren't common everyday grass. Even though I really need the Smiling Boddhi, I've already given you my most sincerest offer as I only have two sky rank spirit herbs. If you want me to offer you a third one, then I have no choice but to turn down the trade."
Third Master Jing already figured that Jiang Chen would say as such. "Is that so? That's too bad. Feel free to visit my manor whenever you're ready to accept my offer. Also, you should give up trying to trade with others. Even if someone else possesses a Smiling Boddhi, they will never trade with you."
Jiang Chen's brows twitched. "Oh? Why is that?"
Third Master Jing laughed but didn't answer. A large brute standing beside him answered instead. "You're such a clueless country bumpkin! Who'd ever try to steal third master's business?"
"Nobody would ever try to steal the meat that the third master already has his eye on!"
His words triggered a huge, roaring laughter among the crowd. They seemed to agree.
Jiang Chen frowned. "Third master, the trade will lose its meaning after today, as I will no longer need the Smiling Boddhi. Surely you can't expect me to find a third sky rank spirit herb within the time we have left now?"
He refused to fall victim to the third master's extortion. The latter was calling it a trade, but it was actually daylight robbery. If he handed over three sky rank herbs, the third master would probably ask for a fourth. People like him were greedy beyond help.
Third Master Jing shrugged. "Friend, a trade can only happen if two parties are willing. I'm not the type of person to force a deal upon others. If you don't hand over a third sky rank spirit herb, don't even think about leaving with a Smiling Boddhi in Frostmoon City. My city, my rules."
The third master refused to budge. It was obviously not his first time doing this. He was extorting Jiang Chen without fear while waiting for the latter to get on his knees and beg.
Jiang Chen would never fall for such a trick. "Third Master, I've mentioned it before, and i'll mention it again. I only have two sky rank spirit herbs. If you really have to suck my blood dry, then I can offer you two more earth rank spirit herbs. It's all I have."
Jiang Chen might sound like he was trying to come to a compromise on the outside, but he was absolutely smoldering on the inside. Regardless of whether the trade was successful or not, he was going to remember this offense.
Third Master Jing was a little offended when Jiang Chen refused to back down. He was treated like a king in this city. Even outsiders would have to conduct themselves in a respectful manner before him. Nobody had ever talked back to him before, especially not a youth that was still wet behind the ears like him!