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 counter-offers in the same vein. Since this was a transaction, one had to fight for the greatest benefits. Would it not be a waste if they didn’t latch on firmly to an opportunity presenting itself on a silver platter? The Majestic clan lord knew full well 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 far too high, my lord. Especially since we have to shoulder the manufacturing costs as well as the costs of transportation. Pills like these obviously cannot be transported by your everyday person, we would 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 forced a smile on his face, “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 have been 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 rather ambitious and very much wanted thirty percent. But then he thought better of it. If this is really as high as Holy King Ke can go, then the Eternal Celestial Capital would send someone else if I stand my ground too firmly. If that happens, 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 who had clout. With these thoughts, the Majestic clan lord smiled cheerfully. “Twenty five then, 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 an abundance of 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 are supported by noble houses. As a result, 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 just counted the pill kings. Every pill king was supported by a powerful faction. Some formidable factions even had a number of pill kings in their ranks. These pill-making factions were the big players in the capital’s pill market. The lion’s share of the profits went into their pockets, leaving only scraps for the others to fight over. It would be extraordinarily difficult for an outsider like Jiang Chen to even get a toehold in the pill market.
He was still new to the Capital, but he didn’t doubt Wei Jie’s words. Some things never change. No matter whose territory, no matter the market, the majority of the profits were always monopolized by a few. Back then in the tiny Eastern Kingdom, the Hall of Healing and two other factions had managed to corner off the pill market. He had seen the same when he travelled to the Skylaurel Kingdom.
As a power even stronger than first rank sects, Veluriyam Capital controlled countless territories and consumed an astronomical amount of pills. The profits to be had 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 actively 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 simple 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 the capital? Will that even work?” Wei Tianxiao’s smile also wry. “Even dragons bow down to snakes when far from home. 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 definitely 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 could a puny fourth rank sect 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 pill merchants. Almost all the big pill players in the Capital had pill stores there, and all of them 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 the storefront, but they often 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 just 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 had come to Veluriyam Capital and caused House Wei’s mortal enemy, House Sikou, to suffer a great loss almost immediately. 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. He remarked, “Jie’er, invite him to my residence. I want a face-to-face conversation 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, so 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 furthermore, someone he had to meet sooner or later.
The meeting proceeded in an extremely relaxed atmosphere. Wei Tianxiao was someone 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 with barely any hesitation. This took Wei Tianxiao slightly aback. He couldn’t but admire this young man’s daring and vision. He had been prepared for a long bout of haggling. He would have even accepted 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 at the end of the negotiations when the guards reported a visitor at the door.
“Lord Wei, I came charging over, so don’t you go blaming me!.” A voice rolled in 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 also followed behind him. Wei Jie secretly transmitted his voice to Jiang Chen, introducing this visitor, “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 Great Emperor Asura’s flag. 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 Great Emperor Peafowl’s banner. When it comes down to it, our House Wei should be in Great Emperor Peafowl’s camp.”
Jiang Chen could read between the lines. No wonder Wei Jie had been so heartbroken when Great Emperor Peafowl’s true disciple, young master Fan, had passed away. It turned out they had ties to each other. And judging from Wei Jie’s tone, the relationship between the second-ranked Emperor Asura and the first-ranked Emperor Peafowl weren’t entirely harmonious. As a result, relations between the factions under their flags were likely to be 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 to engage Lord Tong in small talk as Wei Jie transmitted information to 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 at that. They looked at each other, both of them baffled. What an admirable coincidence! Someone came to rent the store just 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!