Chapter 737: Lord of the Majestic Clan
However, Jiang Chen wasn't easily fooled. It was easy to claim loyalty, but it wasn't that easy to actually feel loyalty. "Everyone, I have no way of knowing how sincere you are, so I'm just going to ask one question: do you want me to use restrictions in your consciousness to restrict you until the day you are freed, or do you want to take the initiative and swear to the heavens that you'll serve me loyally? I'm not a greedy person. A mere twenty years is all I ask."
Everyone was overjoyed when they heard Jiang Chen's choice. Meng Redhair hastily asked, "Young master, will you truly unlock the restriction in our consciousness if we swear to the heavens?"
Everyone else were staring at Jiang Chen in surprise too. They obviously hadn't expected to be given such a pleasant choice. Both choices were restrictions of a sort, but the heaven's oath was far less strict than a restriction in one's consciousness. But the difference between the two restrictions were obvious.
It was true that a heaven's oath was extremely strong, but there wouldn't be any consequences as long as they didn't willingly go against their oath. However, a restriction in one's consciousness was different. Such a restriction meant that their lives were completely in the other party's hands. Even if they were to obey Jiang Chen's every whim, he could still kill them with a single thought if he felt like it. It was the same as a lit candle in the wilderness. The tiniest wind could threaten the flame. But if the candle was put inside the house, it wouldn't be extinguished as long as they didn't act stupid and blow it out themselves.
"That depends on your performance," Jiang Chen smiled calmly. He wasn't an easy person to bargain with. He was simply giving them a bite of the carrot so they would remain hopeful for the future. With this rule in place, it would be odd if they didn't work hard for him.
"The time limit on your restriction depends on your behavior and your performance, but you still have to swear a heaven's oath before I unlock your restrictions. After all, there are plenty of ungrateful people in this world, and I cannot say for sure if there are no such person among you. I may have saved your lives, but that won't stop some of you from consciously ignoring that debt and focusing on the fact that I'm going to order you around for twenty years."
"That's unacceptable, that's absolutely unacceptable!" Meng Redhair shook his head repeatedly. "It is only natural to repay one's debt. Anyone who doesn't do that is the worst of ingrates!"
"Yes, yes, we are all willing serve you from the bottom of our hearts. Being your subordinate for twenty years is 100 times better than serving as someone else's slave forever. We all know that very well."
Their words were pretty, but it didn't deter Jiang Chen's decision in the least. He smiled and waved his hands, "I care only for actual actions. Oh right, please tell me who you guys are. As I've said earlier, I like honesty and detest half-heartedness."
The crowd began to introduce themselves to him. As he thought, a large majority of these people were wandering cultivators. Seven out of ten of them were generic cultivators coming from all sorts of regions. They were all from the middle regions and lower regions. Strictly speaking, the remaining three didn't count as a wandering cultivator and should be categorized as sect disciples. One of them had suffered the same fate as the Regal Pill Palace and was sold as a slave after his sect was destroyed and his person was captured. As for the remaining two, one of them had been baited into a trap while he was journeying beyond, whereas the other guy was an even unluckier person who'd been traded as a bargaining chip after his sect had participated in a gamble and lost.
Jiang Chen couldn't help but sigh at the size of the world and its innumerable strangeness as he listened to their odd experiences. However, their background and identity gave Jiang Chen a little peace of mind. At the very least, none of these ten people had extraordinarily powerful backgrounds. The size of a person's background often determined the amount of their arrogance. It would be much easier to order them around without needing to worry too much about a backlash. Of course, intimidation was also an important part of control. Jiang Chen understood that the stick alone wouldn't be enough to control these people. He must also offer them the carrot and make them acknowledge him genuinely and feel like they'd found a place of belonging. When that happened, they might not even be willing to leave even if he told them to get lost.
The Majestic Clan was one of the twenty eight great clans in Veluriyam Capital. They were the highest ranking existence in Veluriyam Capital, second only to the seven emperors. Since the seven emperors often seclude themselves from the world and abstained from personally participating in the management of Veluriyam Capital, the twenty eight clans were the true holders of power in Veluriyam Capital. Any one of these clans could summon the wind and the rain in the Capital.
Currently, the Majestic clan lord was secretly meeting a mysterious guest in his residence. There were only four inside the secret room. The clan lord was seated at the master's seat. A casually dressed pill master was standing beside him.
An eighth level emperor realm cultivator was seated at the guest's seat. He wore flowing white robe and appeared unusually humble before the clan lord. There was also a pill master standing next to him as well.
"Clan Lord, I can confirm that this pill is of good quality. I do believe that it's the Longevity Pill." The pill master next to the clan lord inspected the pill for a moment and put it back on the table before making his report.
The clan lord nodded slightly without batting an eyelid. Then, he looked at the guest sitting at the opposite side. "Brother Ke, this is a very good pill. I can see that the Eternal Celestial Capital had reaped quite the profits from your invasion of Myriad Domain," the clan lord smiled faintly.
The man dressed in flowing white robes sitting on the opposite side of the table was none other than a saint holy king of the Eternal Celestial Capital. He had arrived at Veluriyam Capital today personally to promote the Longevity Pill as per his orders and open up retail channels in Veluriyam Capital. The saint holy king looked very at ease even though the other party had brought up the subject of the Myriad Domain.
"Clan Lord, I can guarantee that this Longevity Pill will accomplish impressive sales figures once it is released into the market. However, Veluriyam Capital has always stood alone, and we Eternal Celestial Capital dared not push our own businesses in. That is why I have come to Veluriyam Capital to inquire about the possibility of opening up trade. The first person that came to my mind was none other than the Majestic Clan."
"Hehe. And are you planning to ask my clan to open the way for you?" The clan lord asked indifferently.
"Merely opening up the channels of trade isn't sustainable for a long period of time. I am here today with the Eternal Celestial Capital's fullest sincerity with me. We are willing to share our profits with you. If you support us, clan lord, then we are willing to let you manage the market in Veluriyam Capital on our behalf."
The clan lord's mask slipped just a little when he heard this. A gleam appeared in his eyes as he stared intently at Holy King Ke, obviously trying to peer into the latter's heart and figure out his true intentions. It was obvious that the clan lord couldn't quite believe that free meal would drop from the sky and hit him on the head. The Longevity Pill was such an extraordinary pill. If his clan were to be the sole retailer in Veluriyam Capital, then they would basically monopolize the entire market. He could hardly imagine the sheer amount of profits they would earn from this business!
The Majestic Clan might be wealthy and rich, but who ever would begrudge having more money? Plus, this Longevity Pill was a breakthrough in the history of pill making. If this pill could be mass produced, then the profits it would bring were unimaginable. Even as a retailer, the profits they could earn would still be massive.
"Brother Ke, forgive me for being direct, but why would such a good offer land in my lap?" The clan lord was ultimately a man of great importance. He found it beneath him to beat around the bush.
"Honored Clan Lord, I understand that this offer may come as a bit of a surprise. However, there is a reason behind our offer." Holy King wasn't in a hurry to seal the deal. The bait had been dangled, and now it was time to haggle. "Firstly, I don't know many important figures in Veluriyam Capital, and I am most familiar with you, my lord. Secondly, we are planning to open a trading channel in Veluriyam Capital, and you are without one of the best choices we have in terms of network and connections."
The clan lord chuckled, "I won't deny this, but I am not your only choice even if I am one of the best choices you have, am I right? There must be another reason right, ole brother Ke?"
"My lord is wise. Our final reason is because we wish to borrow your network and status in Veluriyam Capital for a bit."
"What do you mean?" The clan lord asked indifferently. Free gifts could always be turned down, and he would see what his gifter requested from him before he made a decision.
"You and everyone else may be aware of this, but while we have eliminated the Regal Pill Palace, some of them had managed to escape our grasp. These people are an enormous hidden threat if they are not eliminated completely. Among these people, there is even one who holds an irreconcilable grudge with us. This man killed one of our holy kings…"
"You're speaking of the young man you are pursuing. What is his name again?" The clan lord had heard of this. It was just that he didn't pay it too much attention. After all, these was all minor news for someone at his level.
"That Jiang Chen is an extremely cunning person, and we suspect that he has escaped into Veluriyam Capital already. If that is the case, then our investigation attempts will be greatly obstructed since Veluriyam Capital is not a place where we can chase him down at will. If we give him time to grow powerful, he will inevitably become a huge threat to the Eternal Celestial Capital. That is why… I have come today for two reasons: one, to promote the Longevity Pill and two, to obtain some rights of arrest in Veluriyam Capital. Naturally, it would be best if our arrest is supported by the heads of Veluriyam Capital, and you are the best choice I can think of, my lord." Holy King Ke was quite gifted in eloquence. He wove half truths in his words and spoke with sincerity. He didn't speak in a secretive manner and even snuck in some flattery while explaining his reasons.
As expected, Clan Lord Wang Ting pondered for a moment before raising an eyebrow, "Is that all?"
"Yes. Hunting down the remnants of the Regal Pill Palace is our only wish," Saint Holy King nodded without hesitation. Of course, there was no way he was going to explain deeper into his reasons.
The clan lord nodded slightly, but gave a committal response. Holy King Ke was an experienced person. He knew that it was time to talk about splitting the profits after the demands had been brought to the table. After all, how could he convince the other party to accept his wishes delightedly if he wasn't willing to offer them a nice, juicy carrot? "Our master has personally given his word that anyone who can help the Eternal Celestial Capital in solving this problem would be given the retail rights of the Longevity Pill in Veluriyam Capital. We will bear all the costs and give the retailer twenty percent of our profits."
Twenty percent! It might not sound a lot, but it was almost a costless profit to the retailer. They didn't need to bear any costs at all other than the establishment of shops and the costs associated with the employees. This meant that they would be gaining this twenty percent for almost nothing at all. After all, the cost and fee necessary to sustain the shops were nearly negligible compared to the Longevity Pill's priceless value.
Moreover, this pill was one of a kind and thus heralding a monopoly. In fact, the retailer didn't even need to open a shop for this type of business! They only needed to sit at their homes and when for the orders to come in. Their buyers would come present themselves and beg for a sale! This was the benefit of a monopoly! To be honest, ten percent profits to a retailer was a shocking sum already in this kind of business, much less twenty!
Click through to the official announcement post for pictures of volare staff, WW staff, and yours truly! I did a heart pounding live reading of those battle scenes! The new novel will launch this weekend!
Chapter 738: Wave After Wave
Even the Majestic clan lord could feel his heart palpitate in eagerness in that moment. However, as the leader of a great clan, his appetite was one that would never be fully sated. He smiled faintly, "Thirty percent. For thirty percent, I'll sign the contract here and now, without another word!"
The seller asks for the moon, the buyer counteroffers in the same vein. Since this was a transaction, one had to fight for the greatest benefits. Wouldn't it be a waste to not firmly latch onto an opportunity that had presented itself on a silver platter? He knew that they would have considered things from every angle before coming to him. They certainly wouldn't settle on someone else without rhyme or reason.
Indeed, after muttering to himself for a moment, Holy King Ke said, "Thirty percent is too high. We have to shoulder the manufacturing costs as well as the cost of transportation. Pills like these obviously cannot be transported by your everyday person, we need masters, so costs will be very high. My lord, twenty percent is already a great show of sincerity."
Indeed, as Holy King Ke said, twenty percent was already a great show of sincerity. The Majestic clan lord didn't deny this point. With a smile at Holy King Mu, he said, "Ole brother, let me simply say this. I would sign the agreement for twenty percent as well, but I might not provide my full assistance. My sincerity depends on your own sincerity."
Holy King Ke said with a forced smile, "Twenty five, that's my upper limit. I beg the clan lord not to force me into a difficult spot. This is the highest I am authorized to go. Thirty percent is beyond the scope of my authority."
There were only a few percentage point difference between twenty five and thirty. The Majestic clan lord was very ambitious and very much wanted thirty percent. But then he thought better of it. If this is really as high as Holy King Ke could go, then if the Eternal Celestial Capital sends someone else if I stand my ground too firmly, the ones they'll negotiate with might not be our Majestic Clan…
After all, the Veluriyam Capital was big, with many great clans in it. The Majestic Clan was a well-known faction, but they weren't the only ones. With these thoughts, the Majestic clan lord smiled cheerfully. "Twenty five, it's so decided."
"Brother Jiang, did you say you want to open a pill store?" Wei Jie asked, a little startled.
"Indeed. I wonder if there is a decent storefront that House Wei can provide?"
Wei Jie said with a smile, "A storefront isn't actually a problem. House Wei has abundant properties in the capital, so that won't be an issue. Only, there's great competition in the pill market in the capital. The great pill stores are more or less entirely monopolized by the great clans. Even the next tier of pill stores have the support from noble houses. In the capital, the profits to be had from pills are almost next to nothing."
It wasn't that Wei Jie didn't want to help. The competition in the pill market inside the capital was indeed very fierce. It was hard to tell how many pillmakers there were in the capital, even if one were just counting the pill kings. Every pill king had the support from a powerful faction. Some formidable factions even had a considerable numbers of pill kings. These pill-making factions were the big players in the capital's pill market. The majority of profits all went into their pockets. They only left a few scraps for others. Difficulty was truly extraordinary for an outsider like Jiang Chen to get a foothold in the pill market.
He was still new to the Capital, but he didn't doubt Wei Jie's words. Things were the same everywhere. No matter whose territory, no matter the market, the main profits were always monopolized by a few. Back then in the tiny Eastern Kingdom, the Hall of Healing and two other factions had monopolized the pill market. Likewise when he travelled to the Skylaurel Kingdom.
As a power even stronger than first rank sects, the Veluriyam Capital controlled countless territories and consumed an astronomical amount of pills. The profits to be had there were certainly astounding. However, astounding profits didn't mean that just anyone could corner a share. Many pitfalls awaited an ordinary outsider trying to squeeze their way in, even if the big players didn't try to crush them. With so many pill stores around, why would someone come and buy pills in a tiny little shop?
"Young master Wei, I already have a preliminary plan on the matters of survival and development. I'm not asking for anything huge, a foothold will suffice. I will also pay a fixed amount for the required rent. How about it?" Jiang Chen had no desire to explain too much.
Wei Jie smiled wryly when he saw Jiang Chen's attitude. "I can make the decision myself for an ordinary store, but I feel that it wouldn't be showing you enough face. Let me ask my father first."
"Open a pill store?" Wei Tianxiao, Wei Jie's father, was greatly taken aback.
"Yeah," Wei Jie repeated what Jiang Chen had told him.
"Open a pill store in capital? Will that work?" Wei Tianxiao's smile also wry. "The mighty dragon can't oppress the local ground snakes. Not to mention, he's no mighty dragon when it comes to pill-making, while the local magnates aren't simple ground snakes either. It'd be too difficult for him to survive."
"But he won't change his mind no matter what. I think he might have a hidden ace no one expects! The Longevity Pill, for example?"
"The Longevity Pill? That's impossible! If he refines the Longevity Pill, he'd be exposing himself?" Wei Tianxiao shook his head. "That's absolutely impossible."
"Indeed. The Regal Pill Palace might be a pill dao sect, but what kind of extraordinary pill a puny fourth rank sect could have?" Wei Jie was also skeptical. "Father, don't we have a storefront in Farmer God Market?" Wei Jie probed.
"You want to give him that storefront?" Wei Tianxiao was stunned. Farmer God Market was a famous street market in the capital, even more famous than the Fish and Dragon District. That was because almost all the pill retail storefronts for the Capital and even many surrounding cities were gathered inside Farmer God Market. It was a paradise for the pill merchants. Almost all the big pill players in the Capital had pill stores there, and all of them were core shops. House Wei also had a storefront in Farmer God Market. However, House Wei had always been tepid when it came to pills. They owned the property rights to that storefront, but they sold other items there instead of pills. But still, profits had always been mediocre.
"Father, that shop isn't very useful in our hands anyway. Why not let him give it a try?" Since they wanted to rope in Jiang Chen, that was actually a most excellent opportunity.
He would be labelled as man of House Wei if he was to use a store belonging to House Wei, whether House Wei participated in the venture or not. Their mutual relationship would then very naturally become a firm collaboration. Wei Tianxia became contemplative. He would never have considered it for an ordinary person. However, he couldn't see through this Jiang Chen. He could only feel a boundless potential from this young man, as though nothing was impossible.
Breaking through the Eternal Celestial Capital's encirclement again and again, exterminating several thousand people from the Eternal Celestial Capital and the Ninesuns Celestial Sect… Now he came to Veluriyam Capital and caused House Wei's mortal enemy, House Sikou, to suffer a great loss. These glorious achievements were far from what one would expect from a young man coming from a fourth rank sect. And yet, he'd accomplished them.
And now this person wanted to open a pill store in the Capital, who said he would necessarily fail? It was worth giving a young man like this a chance to try! Wei Tianxiao smiled after reaching this conclusion. He remarked, "Jie'er, invite him to my residence. I want a face-to-face with him. You and he are friends, so you can only play the part of the good guy. Only your father can play the part of the bad guy. Let me be the villain."
"Father, you…" Wei Jie stared.
"Don't worry. I won't hinder him. However, since he's going to use our store, we're bound to talk about how to split the profits! Our business has been declining for these years, this might actually be an opportunity."
Jiang Chen also knew that Wei Tianxiao, the lord of House Wei, would certainly request to see him. This was an eighth level emperor realm man in charge of a noble house and someone he had to meet sooner or later.
The meeting proceeded in an extremely relaxed atmosphere. Wei Tianxiao was one who knew how to conduct himself well. He never broached matters outside the subject at hand. He merely told Jiang Chen many secrets about the pill market in the capital, his undertones hinting that doing pill business inside the Capital wouldn't be so easy an affair. In the end, both of them reached a very happy agreement. House Wei would provide the storefront and the raw material for the pills, while Jiang Chen provided the manpower and the refining techniques. The profits would be split evenly between them.
The negotiations went without a hitch. Jiang Chen didn't care unduly about the division of profits. When Wei Tianxiao mentioned splitting half and half, he agreed without barely any hesitation. This took Wei Tianxiao slightly aback. He couldn't but admire this young man's daring and his vision. He had been prepared for haggling. He would have accepted even forty percent for House Wei. He didn't think Jiang Chen would actually agree without a second thought.
Both of them happily reached a verbal agreement, and agreed they would sign a formal contract after Jiang Chen proceeded with his initial preparations. Jiang Chen was about to take his leave after the end of the negotiations when the guards reported that there was a visitor.
"Lord Wei, I came charging over, don't blame me!." A voice came from outside like rumbling thunder, very much at odds with House Wei's tranquil style. One could know just from the sound of his voice that he was used to forcing his will upon others. He didn't curb his manners even when visiting someone else's house.
"Is it the lord of House Tong?" Wei Tianxiao walked outside after a momentary pause. Jiang Chen and the rest of House Wei followed behind. Wei Jie secretly transmitted his voice to Jiang Chen and made an introduction, "House Tong is also a ninth rank aristocratic house with a very high status in the Capital. It's one of the noble houses beneath the Majestic Clan. As for the Majestic Clan, they fly under the Great Emperor Asura's flag. The Great Emperor Asura is nominally third among the seven great emperors, but his real influence actually ranks second."
Wei Jie's introduction was very detailed. Jiang Chen understood the situation as soon as he heard. "Is House Wei in the same camp as them?" Jiang Chen inquired.
Wei Jie shook his head with a wry smile, "House Wei is closest to the Coiling Dragon Clan. The Coiling Dragon Clan is a faction under the Great Emperor Peafowl's banner. When it comes down to it, our House Wei should be in the Great Emperor Peafowl's camp."
Jiang Chen could make out something between the lines. No wonder Wei Jie had been so heartbroken when the Great Emperor Peafowl's true disciple, young master Fan, passed away. It turned out they had ties to each other. And judging from Wei Jie's tone, the relations between the second-ranked Emperor Asura and the first-ranked Emperor Peafowl weren't so harmonious. As a result, relations between the factions under their flags were likely very strained. For that reason, it was startling for the lord of House Tong to visit, a house that belonged in the Emperor Asura's camp.
Wei Tianxiao had already begun the niceties with Lord Tong as he spoke with Jiang Chen. "Which wind has blown Brother Tong this way today?"
"House Lord Wei, I wouldn't be here for no good reason. I came here this time to rent the store your house owns in Farmer God Market."
Both Wei Jie and Jiang Chen were startled when they heard. They looked at each other, both of them baffled. What an admirable coincidence! Someone came to rent the store moments after they concluded their negotiations? Judging from Wei Jie's flabbergasted expression, it was clearly not something House Wei had planned for in advance.
Click through to the official announcement post for pictures of volare staff, WW staff, and yours truly! I did a heart pounding live reading of those battle scenes! The new novel will launch this weekend!