The visual impact of the twenty-six Eight Treasure Cordyceps was quite intense. The herb wasn't as rare as the Heavencloud Ganoderma, but it was almost impossible to find so many in one place.
Just like the Radiant Celestial Grass that Liu Zhen had produced a while back, the sheer volume of the herb awed Jiang Chen. In some respects, the Eight Treasure Cordyceps was more valuable than the Radiant Celestial Grass, not to mention harder to cultivate.
The Radiant Celestial Grass was only a plant. In ancient times, a fair number knew how to cultivate it. However, the Eight Treasure Cordyceps required eight different types of parasitic bugs in order to flourish. It was extremely difficult to cultivate as a result, and as rare as sky rank herbs.
Strangely, it seemed like Divine Abyss Continent hadn't discovered the best use for these spirit herbs yet. Its spirit herb classification ranked the Cordyceps as quasi-sky rank, rather than sky rank outright.
For Jiang Chen, the sight of twenty-six Cordyceps arrayed together was almost stupefying.
"This is great. All of these are real, quality Cordyceps specimens. You've struck gold, my friends!" Jiang Chen praised, unafraid to reveal his appreciation for the goods. His actions reassured the four wandering cultivators he was speaking to.
They hadn't come to find Jiang Chen until now out of worry for potential malicious price-cutting. Thankfully, the resolution of the Heavencloud Ganoderma crisis had satisfactorily assuaged their fears.
"Young lord Zhen. Do you like these spirit herbs?" The white-eyed leader scrutinized Jiang Chen closely.
"Are you planning to trade all of these to me, friend?" Jiang Chen asked.
"There's no need for us to sell the same product to several different buyers. The reason we're here is because we trust you, young lord Zhen. Please give us a price."
"Why don't you give me the price you have in mind instead? As long as it's reasonable, I'll buy all of them at that price without another word." Jiang Chen was very straightforward.
The Four Elites of Peach Mountain looked at each other, anxiety clear upon their faces.
It took a long while for the white-eyed leader to shake himself free of awkwardness. "To tell you the truth, young lord Zhen… we took these Eight Treasure Cordyceps to Pillfire City before. They forced the price way down. They would only offer the equivalent of an earth rank spirit herb's price for it, but it's an herb that's on par with sky rank! We heard that you were buying these at a good price, so…"
Jiang Chen knew their concerns. "Don't worry," he smiled. "I won't push down the price. I'll pay you the price of sky rank spirit herbs for these Eight Treasure Cordyceps."
"Really?" The Four Elites of Peach Mountain were stunned. They didn't think the young lord would be so easy to reason with.
"The normal market price for a sky rank spirit herb is between fifty to a hundred twenty million. At an auction house, really valuable ones can reach two to three hundred." Laughing, the young lord glanced at the twenty-six Cordyceps once more. "But since you have so many, I doubt it would reach such a high price. Would you be willing to accept an offer of a hundred million per stalk?"
The Four Elites of Peach Mountain were universally taken aback at the offered sum. Incredulity dawned in their expressions.
One Cordyceps for a hundred million? That was a gift from the heavens. A normal sky rank spirit herb went for as low as thirty million sometimes. The Eight Treasure Cordyceps was only equal to quasi-sky rank, so they'd estimated a price of twenty million per at most.
Most importantly, the price that Pillfire City had named had been an alarmingly low ten million per. That was the main reason they hadn't sold these herbs yet. Their target price was twenty million, after all; though if young lord Zhen was a nice enough person, they wouldn't have minded fifteen.
But young lord Zhen had immediately given them a hundred million per stalk instead - several times their hypothetical target price!
"Are you… serious, young lord Zhen?" The white-eyed leader was an experienced man, but even so, his head buzzed at the pleasant surprise.
"We can cut the deal as long as all of you agree. I think my price is very fair. There is no one else anywhere that will give you fifty, much less a hundred." Jiang Chen hadn't investigated the market himself, but he knew the approximate attitudes of the world. The inhabitants of Divine Abyss Continent hadn't discovered the true purpose of the Eight Treasure Cordyceps yet.
"Yes, yes, young lord Zhen. Actually, our target price isn't nearly as high as your quote. Your price has scared us." The white-eyed leader was a bit flustered. "You are too kind, young lord Zhen. Since your price is so fair, we're not so money-grubbing that we can't return the favor. Give us two billion and all twenty-six Cordyceps will be yours."
The other three men of the Four Elites of Peach Mountain nodded in agreement.
"Yes, we cannot take young lord Zhen's sincerity for granted."
"We've been to many places in the Upper Eight Regions, young lord Zhen, but a buyer as equitable as you is a first."
"We will definitely come to any future events that Veluriyam Capital holds, just to support you."
Jiang Chen understood the psychology of these men. If he wanted to lowball them, he could have easily done so. He was giving a fair price to them solely for the sake of building up his reputation. The Four Elites of Peach Mountain weren't exactly the most elite of cultivators, but reputation was based on hearsay and rumor. The intangible value of his investment couldn't be ignored.
"Wonderful. You gentlemen have shown me your sincerity. Two billion it is!" Jiang Chen laughed heartily. "I can't pay you in full with stones I currently have on hand, but I'll auction a batch of items in a few days' time. Shall we conclude the deal after?"
"Not a problem." The white-eyed leader agreed readily. They had no worries at all about Jiang Chen's financial solvency. Even a single Pinecrane Pill from the young lord's hands would fetch a fortune. "Then, we will wait for your good news, young lord Zhen."
Before Jiang Chen could reply, Emperor Peerless approached them. "If you don't have enough stones on hand, young lord Zhen, take a few from me. I should be able to rustle up the two billion pretty easily through a few contacts."
"No worries. There's nothing wrong with waiting for a few days." Jiang Chen had plenty of spirit stones with him, but he had even more uses for them. He couldn't spend them all in one place like this.
The Four Elites of Peach Mountain all saluted respectfully to Emperor Peerless upon seeing the prestigious senior.
Emperor Peerless didn't take Jiang Chen's response seriously. He turned to the four wandering cultivators. "If you leave the herbs here, I'll pay one billion upfront. The rest, I'll send for from my acquaintances. You'll get it very shortly. Surely my reputation is sufficient to serve as temporary credit for a few days?"
"You are our senior, Emperor Peerless. Of course we trust you. Let it be as you say, sir." The Four Elites of Peach Mountain were sharp. How could they turn down a request from Mo Wushuang? Furthermore, the emperor did have a very solid reputation among wandering cultivator circles. They weren't worried that he'd refuse to pay the rest.
Emperor Peerless was about to leave to gather the stones, but Jiang Chen stopped him. "Never mind. Old Brother Mo, I can pay the other billion. Don't bother reaching out to your contacts. Put the billion you're paying on my tab, too. I'll return it as soon as possible."
Mo Wushuang laughed. "Young lord Zhen, why stand on ceremony with me? Don't worry about the billion. Take it as a gesture of thanks. The favors you've done me are more precious than stones could ever measure. I can't hope to repay you with wealth alone."
That was absolutely true. Jiang Chen had saved his wife's life and moreover, given him the kunpeng bloodline. Neither was particularly purchasable by spirit stones alone. The Four Elites of Peach Mountain looked on with mouths agape. One billion was nothing to either the young lord or the emperor. No wonder they were big shots; they certainly acted like it with their finances. The four wandering cultivators aspired even more to become like their senior one day.
Despite the spirit stones physically present within their possession, now, it still felt like they were in a dream. If they'd made the alternative decision to sell to Pillfire City, they would only have received two to three hundred million stones. Instead, they had two whole billion on hand!
Jiang Chen appreciated the twenty-six Eight Treasure Cordyceps specimens so much that he couldn't keep his hands off them.
"Old Brother Mo, if these herbs were sold at Pillfire City, the most one'd get for them would be ten to twenty million. Do you know why I'm giving them this price?"
Mo Wushuang was perplexed. "How come?"
"With the two billion worth of Cordyceps in my hands, I'll produce product with them that's more than ten times their worth!"
"Ten times? Twenty billion?" Mo Wushuang clucked his tongue. This second number was almost too large to comprehend. Even a great emperor of his caliber couldn't produce a sum anywhere near that amount.
Only great emperors belonging to large factions could pool their faction's resources together to produce such an amount. Alternatively, some ancient hermits also had that much wealth stashed.
"Isn't twenty billion too much of an exaggeration?" After some consideration, even the great emperor found the sum incredible.
"None whatsoever." Jiang Chen laughed. "No one has discovered the true value of the Eight Treasure Cordyceps yet. If they had, then they would know it is only slightly less valuable than the Heavencloud Ganoderma."
"Oho, then what is their true value, young lord Zhen? What is their purpose?" Mo Wushuang was curious.
"The Heavencloud Ganoderma can be used to refine the Emperor Supremacy Pill. But the Eight Treasure Cordyceps, on the other hand, is the main material for the Emperor Ascension Pill!"
"What?" Mo Wushuang had heard of the Emperor Ascension Pill before. He'd seen the name in an ancient text.
"The Emperor Ascension Pill… isn't that the miracle pill, able to unconditionally increase an emperor realm cultivator's level by one?" The Emperor Ascension Pill was the same kind of pill as its different-realmed peers: the Origin Doubling Pill, the Sage Smile Pill, and the Emperor Supremacy Pill.
However, the Upper Eight Regions was capped at the level of the Sage Smile Pill. Though the Emperor Ascension Pill had records about it in various books, there was no consensus about its recipe. There were rumors that Pillfire City had the recipe, but according to the city itself, the pill's materials were difficult to acquire. Therefore, it had trouble refining the pill in bulk.
Jiang Chen smiled with a nod. "The Origin Doubling Pill, the Sage Smile Pill, the Emperor Supremacy Pill, and the Emperor Ascension Pill. The world of martial dao has a place for all of these, and the marvel of its treasures is far beyond mortal imagination."
"The Eight Treasure Cordyceps… is the main material for the Emperor Ascension Pill?" Mo Wushuang inhaled sharply, a bit quizzical.