Chapter 730: You Forced Me to Rob You
However, Shopkeeper Li had also mentioned that they had a rapid turnover. These slaves might be considered a new batch right now, but in just half a month, they might be all gone. If one took into consideration how these slave traders conducted business, it would be incredibly difficult for him to track down his sect members if they were sold again. With rules like these in place, it would be near impossible to track down a buyer, no matter how far one dug. It was impossible to check who they'd sold to whom and to where. Without a first name, a last name or any physical characteristics to use as a reference, there were naturally no clues left behind.
He had to admit that although these rules were absolutely disgusting, it did protect these profiteers' interest and safety to an extreme degree. Even if a slave somehow regained their freedom and experienced a massive growth in strength, they wouldn't be able to find a target for revenge. After all, just how would one track down the ultimate mastermind or the middlemen after they'd been passed through so many hands with every sense sealed?
Jiang Chen wasn't sure what his next steps should be. If he didn't buy them, he would miss the chance to save his sect members that were part of this group, if they were even part of this group. If that happened, he would never have the chance to save them again. If he were to try and purchase them all, he might not be able to afford all two thousand slaves at once no matter how wealthy he was. Moreover, whether the trader was even willing to make such a sale was another question in and of itself. After giving the matter some thought, Jiang Chen ultimately decided to do what he could at the moment. He immediately asked, "Shopkeeper Li, what kind of price can you give me if I were to buy all of them?"
"What?" Shopkeeper Li was completely stunned by this, "Buy… buy all of them?"
Jiang Chen rubbed his nose, knowing that his words must be rather shocking considering how exaggerated the reaction was. However, he was not in a position to back down after venturing the question. "Yes. Don't tell me that this too is against the rules?"
Shopkeeper Li smiled wryly, "Honored customer, I think you best look at the prices first… also, we have a rule that restricts us from selling more than fifty slaves at once. It would cause too big of a splash if we were to sell anymore than that, which is why we're absolutely forbidden from doing so. Fifty slaves is our highest limit."
Jiang Chen cast a few random glances at the prices and was instantly flabbergasted by the absolutely ghastly prices. An origin realm cultivator could cost between two hundred thousand to one million saint spirit stones. A sage realm cultivator was priced anywhere between two million to ten million saint spirit stones. This meant that on average Jiang Chen would have to spend at least two to three million saint spirit stones on every slave, and there were roughly two thousand slaves in this place. It would cost him more than six billion saint spirit stones to buy all of them. No matter how wealthy Jiang Chen was right now, the total sum of his wealth was far and away from this number.
Yes, it was true that he gained a lot of profit after sweeping through the three thousand strong group of cultivators at Infant Shriek, but those people had only brought enough spirit stones to spend on daily expenses, not their entire wealth. Even if he were to convert all the spirit stones he collected into saint spirit stones, it would only still be worth a couple billion or so. The sum needed to purchase all of the slaves in front of him was completely astronomical!
Even House Wei might not necessarily be able to mobilize this many saint spirit stones at once, despite being one of the top few aristocratic families of Veluriyam Capital, to say nothing of Jiang Chen. Or rather, while they could afford this amount, but even they would find it difficult to gather this sum in a hurry. He suspected that only one of the great clans could easily produce this number without suffering too great a loss.
"Didn't Wei Jie said that this Myriad Puppets Pavilion is a property of House Sikou? Is House Sikou this rich?" Jiang Chen was secretly shocked. However, he did understand that this trade had a rather high profit margin. These goods might have a price tag of two to three billion, but the actual cost would be at most one tenth of the price. At the same time, roughly only forty percent of these profits would enter House Sikou's pockets. The rest would be spread out to many, many other channels. Otherwise, it was impossible for such profits to exist in a high risk business like slave trading.
Right now, the problem he faced was that the boss refused to sell to him, even if he somehow possessed the capital. Shopkeeper Li made it very clear that he could only buy a maximum of fifty slaves at once. Anything more than that was unacceptable. Jiang Chen finally understood why the other party had worn such a astonished expression on his face when he heard that he was going to buy all of them. He had inadvertently spoken something stupid that revealed his lack of knowledge of this industry. "Shopkeeper Li, the rules of your trade sure are inflexible! How would you justify this fifty slave limit? Why won't you allow your customer to make a purchase if they have the money?"
Shopkeeper Li smiled wryly, "You must be new, honored customer. In the first place, slave trading isn't the kind of business that can operate openly. If I were to be blunt, it steps across a few lines in the sand. Thus, if we were to make too big of a sale, then it would influence the general state of affairs. If we allow you to buy a hundred or a thousand slaves at once, and if these people were all granted their freedom, how big of an impact do you think they would have on Veluriyam Capital? And how big of a hidden threat would it create in the Capital? Hypothetically speaking, if someone were planning to cause trouble and purchased several thousand slaves at once, how much damage would that cause in the Capital?"
"So you're saying that I won't have a place to spend my money today?" Jiang Chen was absolutely depressed by these confounded rules.
"I'm sorry, honored customer. You can follow our rules and make a total purchase of fifty slaves every seven days. This is our absolute limit," Shopkeeper Li had worked here for dozens of years, but he had never met a situation like this before.
Buy all of them? You want to buy two thousand people at once? Are you sure you have the money to do so? Shopkeeper Li was ultimately a worldly person. He might find it funny and think that this customer was much too green for this trade, but nary a trace of his true feelings made it to his face.
Jiang Chen exchanged a helpless glance with Huang'er. They could both see the resignation in each other's eyes. "Miss Huang'er, they might actually be forcing me to rob them," Jiang Chen mentally communicated with Huang'er.
Huang'er smiled faintly, "Then let's commit a robbery."
For some reason, what Huang'er used to view as an extremely despicable act of banditry somehow became an unbelievably wondrous experience when it was done with Jiang Chen. She was experiencing the joy that one experienced breaking the rules, that she was so used to following, with someone she admired.
Jiang Chen suddenly smiled and said to Shopkeeper Li, "I say, Shopkeeper Li, security isn't very tight here, don't you think?"
Shopkeeper Li abruptly paled, "You…"
He couldn't even finish his sentence before the scene before him blurred. He suddenly found himself standing at the center of a sea of yellow sand. It was as if he was suddenly exiled to an abandoned desert. "Not good! Someone's attempting a robbery!" Shopkeeper Li shouted at the top of his lungs. His shouts were pointless, however. With a formation between him and the real world, he could shout himself hoarse and not be heard by anyone outside.
Jiang Chen summoned his palace abode and threw every slave inside it. "Miss Huang'er, let's go!"
They both felt a sense of helplessness, but also a streak of excitement in committing this robbery. They felt like naughty kids breaking the rules and got an extremely great kick from it. The two shot straight into the sky, tearing up escape glyphs as they did so. At the peak of their flight, they abruptly vanished.
Shopkeeper Li kept yelling without pause, but his view blurred once again. Once he could stop his eyes from rolling, he discovered that he was still at the shop. All the slaves before his eyes had vanished. "Not good! Help! Help!" Shopkeeper Li started screaming like he was a pig being slaughtered.
It wasn't like this backyard had lacked formations or defenses that would activate to protect their property. However, this pair had been able to calmly avoid triggering these defenses and any formations before vanishing! Shopkeeper Li could scarcely believe that such a bizarre thing had happened. The experts of the Myriad Puppets Pavilion surged in from all directions.
Before long, dozens of sage realm experts had surrounded the backyard and an initial emperor realm expert strolled in. "What's wrong, Old Li?"
Shopkeeper Li gasped wretchedly, "Manager Qiu, a disaster has happened! Our goods from the last three months has all been robbed by someone!"
The initial emperor realm Manager Qiu thought that his ears were mistaken, scolding, "What kind of nonsense are you spouting? There was a total of two thousand slaves here! Are you dreaming or what?"
"I'm telling you the truth!" Shopkeeper Li looked like he was about to cry.
Manager Qiu gestured to behind him, "Check the warehouses."
The warriors behind him had long since gone to inspect the warehouses, even before the order had been issued. It didn't take long for them to rush back, panting, "This is bad, my lord! They really are all gone!"
"None of the formations at the scene were triggered. Manager Qiu, these people came bearing ill intentions!"
Manager Qiu's expression immediately darkened. He finally realized that Shopkeeper Li wasn't lying. "What happened? Tell me everything in detail." He was an emperor realm cultivator after all, and quickly calmed his rage.
Shopkeeper Li began conveying everything from beginning to the end with a wretched expression on his face. He also emphasized strongly that the other party had a piece of spirit marrow, and that they'd attempted to buy all of the slaves at once.
"So they're foreigners," Manager Qiu wore an extremely ugly look on his face as he muttered to himself, "If they were locals, they would have known about our purchasing rules."
But another warrior said, "Manager Qiu, that may not necessarily be the case. What if this bastard has been planning this robbery for a long time and merely said those words to confuse us and lead us down the wrong line of thought? We might be falling into their trap if we go down this way of thinking."
His words called Manager Qiu's attention to this possibility, and the manager nodded slightly, "We should follow both paths of investigation thoroughly! How dare they rob the Myriad Puppets Pavilion! How dare they commit such atrocities in Fish and Dragon District! This is… this is…" Manager Qiu was so angry he couldn't even find the right words to describe his feelings. He really was feeling a little muddleheaded from anger. Regardless of who their enemy might be, they certainly had unmitigated gall. After all, robbing the Myriad Puppets Pavilion was the equivalent of robbing House Sikou. Moreover, committing a robbery at the Fish and Dragon District was the equivalent of taunting the entire District! House Sikou wouldn't be the only one offended in this case.
This entire matter seemed all so ludicrous. It wasn't like the Fish and Dragon District had never experienced a robbery, but they had mostly happened to those luxury stores that sold trinkets. In the slave market, 'robbery' simply didn't exist as a concept because the amount of people one could loot in one go was plainly limited. Plus, it wasn't easy to hide a person at all. Unlike precious herbs and treasures, the uses of a slave were too singular. Moreover, these slaves might not even be useful if one obtained them outside of purchasing them!
It was exactly because robbery didn't exist as a concept in the slave market that the Myriad Puppets Pavilion had not put up an utterly impregnable defense. Unfortunately, this had also given their enemy the opportunity to rob them. Most importantly, the enemy was actually capable of making off with two thousand people at once. This was the most shocking news of them all. Everyone knew that humans couldn't live long inside a space ring. Moreover, how did they manage to transfer two thousand people into a ring in such a short time?