Liu Zhen hesitated.
He had to admit he was slightly moved by the offer, despite the small fear that still lingered in his mind. It was an instinctual fear of those who were stronger than him and a fear of loss. However, his experience told him that these people were trustworthy characters. At the very least, they were much easier to interact with than the people of Heavensfall Society.
Emperor Peerless continued seriously when he saw that Liu Zhen was still a little apprehensive. "To be honest, you're not powerful enough to haggle with anyone, but my brother is still willing to transact with you on equal footing. If you cannot recognize his good intentions even now, then I must say that you're a little blind. If we really wanted to harm you, do you really think you could've arrived at Frostmoon City safe and sound? Do you really think my brother couldn't rob you of your Radiant Celestial Grass anytime he wished to? Also, I don't mean to be rude, but it's entirely possible that you'll be a corpse in the next second if we were to leave you right now."
Emperor Peerless' words were direct, but also the stone cold truth. If both parties shared the same level of strength, then Liu Zhen certainly had the right to haggle or even refuse the trade. But right now, he was the one who needed their help, yet he still couldn't set aside his worries and acted as if Jiang Chen and Emperor Peerless would take advantage of him. His attitude displeased the great emperor.
"Liu Zhen, I may be the only person who's willing to trade fairly with you, and the price I'm offering is more or less actual market price. Of course, I admit that there are very few sky rank spirit herbs in the market, but that doesn't change the fact that it's risky for you to possess them. You may as well trade it for spirit stones and be safe, don't you think?"
Liu Zhen was definitely moved now. The Radiant Celestial Grass was valuable, but he would undoubtedly have to bear a high amount of risk the moment he produced a shoot and tried to exchange it. Literally anyone could try to rob him because he was an origin realm cultivator, not a great emperor. It was nearly impossible for him not to draw any attention.
"Liu Zhen, I have one last thing to say to you. If you're worried that we might scam you, you can stop worrying about that right now. I swear by my title that we will not scam you after the exchange is complete. Seriously, do you have such a low opinion of my brother?"
Liu Zhen hurriedly shook his head. "Oh no, of course not. I'm not worried about your integrity, and I'm definitely not worried that you might scam me. It's just…"
"What is it?"
"To be frank, these Radiant Celestial Grass don't belong to me alone," Liu Zhen said honestly. "I discovered them with a sworn brother of mine, so he has a right to them too. I'm hesitating because I don't dare make a decision without hearing his opinion."
"What cultivation realm is your friend at?" Jiang Chen asked curiously, "Is he a lot stronger than you are? If that's so, then how did you come to know each other?"
"Oh no, he's an origin realm cultivator just like me. However, his talents are a little special and he grows at a tremendous rate. He has a high amount of talent, but for some reason he wasn't recruited into any great sect or factions when he was younger. It's all pretty unusual."
"If he's an origin realm cultivator, then the spirit herb is useless to both of you," Jiang Chen persuaded.
"I know it's useless to us, I just… ai. I'm just worried he'll be unhappy if I make the trade behind his back." Liu Zhen stuck by the code of brotherhood even though he had a somewhat wretched and cowardly personality. Not just anyone could risk their life to save their friend, or resist the temptation to leave their friend behind and take all of the spirit herbs for themselves. This was especially true considering how risky it was for an origin realm cultivator to travel back and forth between Pillfire City and Frostmoon City.
"Your deep friendship with your friends impresses me greatly. How about this: we will decide what to do with his portion of the Radiant Celestial Grass after we save him. How much do you have in your possession?" Jiang Chen smiled calmly. "I'll buy any you have. Hmm, the Radiant Celestial Grass is the main ingredient of the Sage Smile Pill. When you ascend to the sage realm in the future, I can gift you a Sage Smile Pill at no cost. It will allow you to ascend a level unconditionally as long as you're still in the sage realm."
Liu Zhen's eyes lit up. This was the most tempting offer yet, and so he nodded. "Alright, we found eighteen shoots back then, and we agreed to split them. I sold one at the auction in order to save him, and I gave you two as your reward for escorting me safely back to Frostmoon City. When we return, I will be gift you one more. Therefore, we've theoretically used up four shoots in total. My brother and I will be sharing the losses because we're both involved in this, so I still have seven shoots to trade you."
Eighteen shoots of Radiant Celestial Grass! This number absolutely stunned Jiang Chen. These two origin realm cultivators had found eighteen sky rank spirit herbs at once. Just what kind of insane luck was this? Not even a great emperor could be this lucky, right?
Luck was truly was an unpredictable thing, and everybody had their own. One couldn't be jealous of another's luck.
"Alright, since you have seven shoots, I'll give you 1.1 billion saint spirit stones in return."
The Radiant Celestial Grass was the kind of spirit herb that Jiang Chen would accept as many as possibly, because it was the main ingredient of the Sage Smile Pill and couldn't be replaced. Therefore, the more there were, the better.
1.1 billion? This was undoubtedly an astronomical number to an origin realm cultivator like Liu Zhen. Heck, even 1.1 billion origin spirit stones would be a ridiculous amount of money to an origin realm wandering cultivator already, but no, the reality was even better than that! 1.1 billion saint spirit stones was the kind of wealth he'd never imagined even in his wildest dreams.
"Alright, you can have all of them. About the Sage Smile Pill…"
"Don't worry, you will get the Sage Smile Pill. Also, do try to change your friend's mind, will you? I'll buy them off his hands at the same price too."
Liu Zhen nodded. "I will do that. This price is very fair, so I doubt he'll disagree with me, not to mention that he's in need of money last I heard of him. He'll certainly find no better way to trade away these spirit herbs."
Eighteen shoots of Radiant Celestial Grass! Jiang Chen felt his greed stir just thinking about it.
"Then it is settled. There are a lot of other people here, so we'll make the trade after we meet up next time. Let's head out and see what's going on first." Long Xiaoxuan hadn't returned, so Jiang Chen knew that that dragon must be causing trouble again.
After leaving paying for their drinks, Jiang Chen and Emperor Peerless left with Liu Zhen. However, they were dumbstruck by the scene before them. Long Xiaoxuan was waving his hands and making all sorts of noises. Meanwhile, the thugs were running circles in front of the restaurant in only their underwear. The dragon kept calling out, "The last person will have to take off their underwear, you hear!?"
Madame Yun's normally composed and elegant face blushed red.
Emperor Peerless laughed loudly. "This guy sure knows how to have fun with people."
Jiang Chen couldn't help but shake his head too. He walked over. "Brother Long, I was worried that there'll be flesh and blood all over the place, but tell me, what on earth are you playing at now?"
Long Xiaoxuan answered confidently. "You told me not to kill, didn't you? But you know that I can't control my strength, so I did this instead."
Jiang Chen was speechless. Long Xiaoxuan was changing too quickly. He never thought that an introverted dragon could change so thoroughly in such a short time. Are all dragons born restless or something?
"Whatever. Come on, let's go." Jiang Chen could see that these people were about to fall apart from their deathly pale faces alone. It was so bad that even he couldn't help but pity their plight.
Meanwhile, Liu Zhen was smiling ear to ear at the way Long Xiaoxuan had toyed with his pursuers. Obviously, he had been extremely frustrated when he was pursued by the group, so their misery could only be food for his joy.
"Are we going there now, young master Shao?" Liu Zhen hurriedly ran over to the group and asked carefully after seeing that they weren't stopping.
"When else but now? Or do you have a time in mind?" Jiang Chen asked curiously.
"Shouldn't we make some preparations or something?" Liu Zhen looked a little dumbstruck.
"Prepare for what, exactly? Is the Heavensfall Society really powerful?"
Liu Zhen couldn't help but nod. "They are a local faction and the number one underground power of Frostmoon City. They are not to be underestimated."
"How do they compare to the first division of Moon God Sect?" Jiang Chen smiled leisurely.
"They're incomparable to Moon God Sect. After all, Moon God Sect is the ruler of Tilted Moon Region." Liu Zhen's answer was extremely fair.
"Then there's no problem whatsoever. Even Jing Third of the first division has to treat us with full courtesy, so why should we prepare against a mere Heavensfall Society?"
Liu Zhen was completely stunned. He had to think for a moment before he could understand Jiang Chen's meaning.
Emperor Peerless barked out a laugh and followed behind Jiang Chen. Long Xiaoxuan exclaimed with delighted surprise. "Are we going to fight someone? Who? Where? Is it far away from here?"
Jiang Chen discovered that human language was no longer adequate to describe this battle fiend, so he did the only thing he could do: ignore the dragon.
"There's not going to be a fight. Brother Long, were you always this much of a battle fiend? Do you feel itchy when you're not causing trouble?" Jiang Chen said impatiently.
"Stop right there. You are the one person who doesn't have the right to say that! Compared to you, my ability to cause trouble is nothing at all!" Long Xiaoxuan argued.
Jiang Chen found that he was actually had no response for that. Behind them, Liu Zhen was completely flabbergasted by their playful banter. Up until just now, he had thought that the visit to the Heavensfall Society was a very serious matter. However, the two didn't seem like they were under any pressure whatsoever. In fact, it looked like they were just taking a stroll down the market.
Liu Zhen felt both surprised and relieved at their confidence. Not long after, they arrived at the entrance of the Heavensfall Society's headquarters. Heavensfall Society was an underground faction, so they had plenty of eyes everywhere. They got wind that Liu Zhen was coming even before the man himself had arrived at their headquarters. They were surprised to see that Liu Zhen had brought some helpers with him. Moreover, they didn't look like average cultivators.
Long Xiaoxuan took the lead and offered himself. "Let me call out to them."
Jiang Chen's expression changed when he heard this. He tried to stop him, but Long Xiaoxuan didn't give him the opportunity and charged straight forwards.
Jiang Chen's expression changed again. This guy's going to cause trouble again, isn't he?
"Is there anyone alive in there? Come out and speak with us!" Long Xiaoxuan had fused a tiny bit of dragon roar technique in his voice, so the shout caused the ground itself to tremble. The building looked like it would collapse at any moment.
Emperor Peerless clicked his tongue with wonder and felt even more curious about Long Xiaoxuan.