Jiang Chen didn't pay much attention when the four venerated wandering cultivators were welcomed into the Resplendent Emerald Veranda. He was deeply entrenched in his thoughts. Not seeing Wei Xing'er made him worry about her well-being.
He could choose to blindly barge into the Resplendent Emerald Veranda, but there was no doubt that that was a dumb move. The Resplendent Emerald Veranda was as dangerous as a dragon's lair or a tiger's den. Fighting its master and the four wandering cultivators alone would be a great challenge unless he used his hidden cards. However, Jiang Chen didn't want to resort to brute force unless it couldn't be helped.
His experience from all these years enabled him to know when to apply brute force and when to apply his wits. Right now, brute force clearly wasn't the suitable choice. It didn't take long before an idea occurred to him.
Moments after the group entered the Veranda, Jiang Chen squeezed his way through the crowd and walked towards the entrance. He was stopped by four Veranda guards before he could even get close.
"Friend, please hold your step. Only important guests are allowed to enter today." The guards were quite well mannered even though they were standing their ground.
Jiang Chen had anticipated this. He kept a straight face and smiled. "I hear that the Resplendent Emerald Veranda collects every single treasure under the sky. I've stumbled upon something precious and travelled across many regions, but no one seems to realize its true value. Today I've come all the way here, only to find myself barred at its entrance. Is this how the Resplendent Emerald Veranda conducts its business?
The confidence and poise he exuded when expressing his displeasure was something the guards couldn't possibly ignore.
One of the guards explained patiently. "Friend, if you really possess a priceless treasure, perhaps you can wait a few more days? The Veranda will surely welcome you with open arms then. Unfortunately, we have important matters to attend to these days…"
"Hahaha! Important matters? How important can it be that you'd ignore your own business? Never mind. The Resplendent Emerald Veranda is clearly undeserving of its reputation. My treasure and the Veranda aren't fated for each other. Perhaps I must travel to the Upper Eight Regions to find someone who knows good from bad." Jiang Chen muttered to himself without being overly quiet or loud. However, his voice was properly penetrative.
An esteemed elder of the Veranda had heard the commotion outside. He walked out of the entrance and stared at Jiang Chen.
"Esteemed sir, how dare you blow your own horn and make such a big fuss in front of our premises? You are spewing out slander. Are you here to cause trouble?" This elder held a high position within the sect. His voice was filled with authority and dominance. He clearly felt that this newcomer was trying to cause trouble on purpose.
Jiang Chen flashed a smile and didn't back down. "If it weren't for the Veranda's reputation, I wouldn't have traveled thousands of miles to come here. I'd finally arrived after such a long and strenuous journey, yet you're telling me to wait for a few days more? Is it really wrong for me to complain about your attitude?"
The elder snorted. "What treasure could you possibly have to warrant such arrogance? I'll assist you in this matter if there's truly something great in your possession. If there isn't, don't blame me for being hostile!"
Jiang Chen couldn't be bothered to waste his breath. "I'll only see the Veranda master. Go back to where you came from, old man. What authority could you possibly have?"
"Insolence! He's an elder of the Resplendent Emerald Veranda! He definitely has the authority to represent the Veranda!"
"Sir, you're only here to stir up trouble aren't you?"
The elder smiled out of rage. "Fine. It's now clear that you're not here for business."
Jiang Chen frowned. "How can you be so sure?"
He immediately reached for a bottle that contained a drop of Kunpeng blood from Veluriyam Pagoda. He'd received three drops back then. One drop had been gifted to Emperor Peafowl, and he'd kept the other two drops. He was prepared to give one to Emperor Peerless, but the timing wasn't right yet. He would gift the Kunpeng blood to the emperor when he was completely certain of the latter's loyalty.
A single drop of this blood could transform anyone into an empyrean cultivator. The mysterious resculpting powers of this bloodline had been passed down from the ancient times. No matter how hard modern cultivators trained, they could rarely ever attain such heights. Therefore, every single drop of blood was of immeasurable value.
Its appearance could lead to a bloodbath if anyone had recognized its value. It was definitely something that could throw the entire human domain into an endless war. Countless bloodbaths and slaughters have occurred throughout history in the name of more resources and strength.
When Jiang Chen casually brought out the bottle, he figured that nobody in the Great Scarlet Mid Region would be able to recognize it. The aura radiating from it was vastly different from true dragon's blood. Anybody who knew a thing or two about bloodlines would immediately recognize a true dragon's blood. The same couldn't be said for the Kunpeng blood however. Of course, he didn't fully reveal the Kunpeng blood's aura. He casually waved it in front of the elder and let some of its aura leak out.
Due to his superior handling, he was able to waft just enough to pique the elder's interest. As expected, the elder's eyes brimmed with curiosity as soon as the aura disappeared.
"Friend, what is that?" He was visibly moved by the item.
Jiang Chen wasn't at all surprised by the elder's complete change in attitude. He smiled blandly. "I wouldn't be here if I knew what it was. Oh well. Since you don't seem to possess even the slightest sincerity, I bid you farewell." He raised his hands in a cupped fist salute and was prepared to leave.
The elder quickly ran up to Jiang Chen and apologized. "Friend, please hold. It was my fault for being rude to you."
Jiang Chen waved his hands dismissively. He ignored the elder completely and kept walking on.
"Friend, please wait! Nobody except us can recognize what you hold and sell it to the appropriate party! Even if someone was willing to buy it from you, your returns will definitely be dwarfed in comparison to what we can offer!"
The elder was trying his hardest to make Jiang Chen stay. He was clearly mesmerized by the bloodline's majestic aura. Even the Veranda master wouldn't be able to contain himself if he were present, let alone a mere elder. The Kunpeng bloodline's power was extremely captivating after all. Even an idiot would realize its value.
Jiang Chen stopped abruptly and smiled at the elder. "I stand my ground. I will only see the Veranda master himself."
The elder didn't dare to promise anything on his own accord. Instead, he patiently explained everything. "The master is receiving very important guests and isn't available right now. Friend… why don't you stay for a few days? We will treat you with the highest honors possible. Once the master is free, I assure you that he'll immediately see you and give you a reply which you'll be most satisfied with!"
Jiang Chen frowned. "A few days? How can you expect me to wait for a few days?"
The elder rubbed his hands together anxiously. "It's only a few days. It'll pass in a blink of an eye. Friend, surely you can spare us a few days?"
Jiang Chen grumbled deeply before he replied. "Fine. I'm willing to come to a compromise. I've once passed through the Great Scarlet Capital and heard that the young madame of the Resplendent Emerald Veranda is an extremely fair businesswoman. If your master is occupied, surely your mistress could spare some time?"
The young madame? The elder gave Jiang Chen a complicated look.
"What is it now?" Jiang Chen brimmed with annoyance.
The elder mumbled. "Esteemed sir, in recent days, it's even harder to see our mistress…"
"You might as well save your breath then. The Resplendent Emerald Veranda does lack sincerity after all. Farewell!" Jiang Chen had come all this way just to see Wei Xing'er. Since the elder was giving him all kinds of excuses, he decided that leaving was the best way to advance.
The elder hesitated greatly when he saw Jiang Chen leave.
"Friend, please wait a moment. I'll consult the Veranda master and the young madame to see if either of them are willing to receive you. It'll only take fifteen minutes. Surely you have fifteen minutes to spare?"
Jiang Chen snorted. "Fifteen minutes it is then. If I hear nothing from you after fifteen minutes, you may simply assume that the deal is off."
The more arrogant Jiang Chen acted, the less suspicious he seemed. The elder was throwing all kinds of excuses at Jiang Chen to test if he was actually the master's enemy. After close scrutiny, the elder concluded that this wasn't the case.
A few moments later, the elder came running back to Jiang Chen. "Friend, our master has agreed to let you meet our madame. Esteemed sir, please understand that our mistress is a member of the rear court, so it's advised that you show some respect and decorum during your interaction with her."
Jiang Chen flashed a mocking smile. "Do you really think that everyone behaves like you?"
The elder smiled awkwardly. He felt a little insulted but he was able to cover up his anger well. The huge crowd watched on as Jiang Chen followed the elder's lead and walked into the Resplendent Emerald Veranda.
In a remote hall, Jiang Chen finally saw Wei Xing'er again after so many years. She was still dressed in the same way as before, except she'd now lost some weight. However, she'd also become more mature and bewitching.
"Young madame, this is the guest. He has a treasure that he wants us to identify. He.."
"I know. Servitor Li, you may leave." Wei Xing'er said coldly after making a dismissive gesture.
The elder hesitated a little. He was deciding if it was appropriate to leave. After all, the Veranda master had ordered him not to let anyone meet the young madame alone.
Wei Xing'er raised an eyebrow. "Servitor Li, do I not have the authority to dismiss you? If that's the case, I'm no longer interested. You can ask the master to deal with this himself."
She turned around and made to leave. The elder quickly stopped her. "This subordinate doesn't dare. I'll leave! Immediately!"