Chapter 727: Why Don't You Beg Me Instead?
This man was about thirty years old and dressed in very luxurious clothing. It made him look a little frivolous, not to mention that he had powder on his face too, adding a hint of femininity to his appearance. Judging from his tone, he and Wei Jie were obviously not so close that they could trust each other completely, even if they knew each other. Although his tone was rather cordial, it wasn't completely deferential.
Wei Jie smiled faintly, "Brother Lin, I see that business is booming." As he said this, he introduced the man to Jiang Chen, "This is brother Lin Ming. He is a respectable person in Fish and Dragon District."
"Brother Lin Ming, this is my friend Zhen Shi." It was still the same pronunciation, just that Wei Jie had used two different characters.
"Hello, friend Zhen," Lin Ming nodded. His expression was neither too cool nor too cordial, but just right for the occasion. "What brings you here today, young master Wei? If I recall, you aren't too interested in the slave market." Lin Ming was a businessman. He immediately felt a prickle of wariness when he saw that Wei Jie hadn't revealed his intentions despite the conversation going on this far. Thus, he decided to take the initiative instead.
Wei Jie smiled, "Brother Lin, can we talk somewhere else?"
It was a bit of face that Lin Ming had to give, so he immediately nodded slightly, "Please, come in." He smiled after as he served them high quality tea, "Young master Wei, this mystery is starting to make me itch. Why don't you tell me directly what good spot of business you're here to offer?"
Lin Ming was extremely smart to use 'good business' as his pretext. The underlying meaning was very obvious: If Wei Jie had nothing good to offer, then he might as well not say anything. Jiang Chen could hear the undertones, and so could Wei Jie. However, Wei Jie smiled and replied, "Brother Lin, I'll be honest with you. I am here to inquire about some news."
Lin Ming's expression froze as the smile on his face abruptly disappeared, "Young master Wei, my business doesn't involve selling information. Do you have the wrong man?" It was an understandable position for a businessmen to care primarily about profit.
"Brother Lin, I will reward you if you have the news I seek," Wei Jie pushed ten thousand saint spirit stones before Lin Ming without batting an eye.
Ten thousand saint spirit stones was not a small sum. Lin Ming's eyes flickered as he glanced down at the spirit stones. However, he pushed them back to Wei Jie without any hesitation, "I'm sorry, young master Wei. We observe certain rules in our trade and will do only what is required by our business. We are absolutely forbidden from carelessly talking about anything else." Lin Ming was obviously extremely cautious when it came to this matter. Although he had no idea what kind of news Wei Jie was looking for, he still turned down the young master immediately without showing even an ounce of interest, despite the promise of great rewards.
His cautiousness quite caught Wei Jie off guard. He had thought that information wasn't all that secretive here, and that ten thousand saint spirit stones would more than suffice. He never thought that Lin Ming would turn him down without a second's consideration. "Brother Lin, we can still discuss this if it's about the money. You simply need to speak your price."
Lin Ming set down his teacup, "Young master Wei, I won't hide this from you. There is no way you'll get anything out of me today no matter how much money you offer me. I don't know about the others, but I will never break our rules. To put it bluntly, our businesses tread the very edge of legality, meaning while we're not illegal, we shoulder an incredible risk all the same. We could be crushed with one careless misstep. Please understand this, young master Wei."
It was true that the slave trading industry was extremely profitable, but it was also equally risky. Bosses normally weren't willing to talk about their industry or even dig into their slaves' backgrounds. If the goods were slaves, then all they did was slap on a price tag and sell the goods immediately. The obvious benefit from this informal protocol was that if the slave's information wasn't disclosed, the bosses were protecting themselves from information leakage and making new enemies. As slave traders, they neither cared not inquired into their slaves' identity. This was also to avoid the disaster that might befall them if they accidentally sold a person with a powerful background.
Although Veluriyam Capital feared no force, that didn't mean every businessman in the Capital was just as strong. There certainly was no end of examples in this trade of someone selling the wrong person and meeting with calamity. That was why slave traders kept a low profile and a tighter mouth even though their profits were massive.
Wei Jie actually wasn't sure what to say when he heard Lin Ming's very decisive rejection. They were both worldly people, so of course he understood that Lin Ming was basically throwing them out of his shop. Wei Jie immediately cast a somewhat helpless glance at Jiang Chen.
Jiang Chen hadn't said anything since entering the shop, drinking his tea calmly amidst the exchange of words. He finally put down his teacup when he saw Wei Jie looking his way. He cast an indifferent glance at Lin Ming and said, "Boss Lin, you haven't been sleeping well lately, have you? Does your left shoulder hurt like a thousand ants are biting you every 11pm to 1am? Moreover, white dots are starting to show up on your left cheek, right? That is why you have no choice but to conceal things with makeup, isn't it?"
Wei Jie looked startled. He didn't know why Jiang Chen had suddenly started speaking gibberish. On the other hand, Lin Ming trembled all over when he heard Jiang Chen's statements. The light of disbelief shone out of his eyes.
"Sigh, how unfortunate. How unfortunate it is that you won't have the time to enjoy all the money you've earned from this trade, Boss Lin." Jiang Chen sighed and stood up, "Boss Lin, please excuse us. Thank you for your service."
He flung a glance at Wei Jie after saying this and made to head outside. The look in Lin Ming's eyes grew complicated as he bit his lips softly. It was obvious that Jiang Chen's words had struck a nerve, and he was feeling extremely conflicted on the inside. Seeing that Jiang Chen was about to leave, he leaped to his feet and swiftly caught up to him, "Brother Zhen, please wait."
"What is it, Boss Lin?" Jiang Chen purposely answered as if he didn't understand his actions.
Lin Min sighed wryly with resignation, "Please stay for a while longer, brother Zhen."
"Oh, it's alright. There are still some things that we need to attend to. Thankfully we came out early today, so maybe we'll get the news we need if we use the time to visit a few more shops, don't you think?"
Jiang Chen was finding the entire situation quite amusing. After he had struck Lin Ming's weak point, the trader would probably do his utmost to keep him there even if he really were to leave now. As he had expected, Lin Ming said morosely, "Brother Zhen, you shouldn't trouble two people with the same trouble. There's no need for you to go to other shops. It is very likely you won't get anything out of them either."
Jiang Chen purposely responded, "But Boss Lin has to scrupulously abide by the rules of trade. We can't possibly trouble you with this dilemma any further!"
Lin Ming seriously felt like crying. He waved his hands repeatedly, "It's no trouble, no trouble at all."
When Jiang Chen so accurately spoke of the symptoms that had been plaguing him, Lin Ming really felt as if a bolt of thunder had struck his head. This illness had been plaguing him for several years now. Moreover, he had gone to many reputable pill kings in Veluriyam Capital and paid countless fees, but his illness had never shown any signs of recovery. Even those pill kings could do nothing.
Lin Ming might earn a lot of money, but his status really wasn't all that high. He neither had the qualification nor the right to visit a high ranking pill king and request a diagnosis. Therefore, not only was he not recovering, he was even getting worse and worse. When Jiang Chen had suddenly identified his sickness, he felt as if a ray of light had suddenly entered the infinite realm of darkness he was trapped in. He was as if a drowning man who suddenly found a log to cling to.
So how could he possibly let it go?
Wei Jie was caught off guard by this sudden turn of events, but he reacted very quickly to this new charade, "Brother Zhen, let's stay for a while longer. Look at how cordial Boss Lin is. There aren't many people who are as good a friend as him in the Fish and Dragon District, you know."
Lin Ming's face was burning. He wasn't sure if Wei Jie was provoking or taunting him by saying that, but none of that mattered right now. When everyone was seated once more, he personally poured tea for Jiang Chen and Wei Jie again. "Young master Wei, I wasn't lying about what I said earlier. Those are the rules of my trade. I am but a small fry in this river, and one misstep may very well result in my demise. Please understand that I am not making your life difficult on purpose, and my caution is all a helpless action to protect myself."
Wei Jie smiled noncommittally. Now that Jiang Chen had taken the reins, it wouldn't be right for him to speak up. Jiang Chen also smiled and said nothing. Although he knew that Lin Ming's words had some grains of truth in it, in reality, it was all up to the individual himself. There was no way a bit of insider information could bring forth disaster, could it? Regardless, he held his opponent's life in his hands right now. It was now up to Lin Ming and how far he would cooperate.
Lin Ming also knew that he might not even have the chance to speak if he didn't express something right now. He immediately looked at Wei Jie. "Young master Wei, my business is small in this trade. If I know anything about the news that you seek, that I will definitely tell you about it. I only ask that…"
Lin Ming looked at Jiang Chen while he said this. He obviously was hoping that this mysterious Sir Zhen Shi could diagnose his illness for him. Jiang Chen smiled faintly and responded, "It's nothing big, really. Have you heard of the Myriad Domain, brother Lin?"
"Myriad Domain?" Lin Ming was slightly startled as he nodded subconsciously, "Sure. They're the force that's currently in conflict with the Eternal Celestial Capital, right?"
"Yes, they are. I heard that Veluriyam Capital has taken in a group of slaves from the Myriad Domain. So what I want to know is, which faction has these slaves?"
Lin Ming stared a little suspiciously at Wei Jie after his initial surprise, and then looked at that Sir Zhen Shi. He couldn't help but feel a little strange. Why was House Wei interested in a mere Myriad Domain?
Wei Jie smiled faintly, "Reign in your imagination, Boss Lin. I heard that Myriad Domain's Regal Pill Palace is a sect of pill dao, and that there is an extremely rare pill dao genius among them. Plus, they have some items that I want… as you know, I've been worrying about getting a pill king for many years…"
Everyone in Veluriyam Capital knew that House Wei didn't have a guest pill king. Everyone also knew that House Wei's previous pill king had died a horrible death. That was why Lin Ming believed almost all of Wei Jie's words when he heard them. "Is that all?" Lin Ming blinked once and looked at Jiang Chen.
Jiang Chen smiled faintly, "If your information is useful, then I'll be able to treat you. I won't be just treating your symptoms either. You'll be fully cured!"
"You can cure me fully?" Lin Ming's eyes lit up, "That all depends on whether your information is worth the price, Boss Lin," Jiang Chen didn't deny it.