Chapter 807: Whetting One's Appetite
It had to be said that the Majestic Clan’s marketing was quite successful. You Laosan's on-the-spot sampling was more effective than any advertising. Who wouldn’t want to keep one or two pills like that around? Emperor realm cultivators were in the minority, after all. Tens of billions of cultivators lived within the several million miles of land that made up the Veluriyam Capital’s ruled territories. How many of those had actually reached emperor realm? For the masses, being able to reach even sage realm was quite a feat already.
The Longevity Pill was suitable for anyone in the sage realm. It could extend their lives by at least five hundred years, and even up to eight hundred if the effects were good. No marketing effort was as striking as the change in You Laosan. The second free Longevity Pill was drawn. The person who drew it this time was an old lone cultivator, on the verge of cultivation dissipation. Yet again, the effects of the Longevity Pill were miraculously displayed. After he took the pill, the old cultivator in the dusk of his years regained his youthfulness in less than a quarter-hour.
The event’s visual and psychological impact completely overturned conventional wisdom. It was truly miraculous. There scant existed any language that could describe the spectacle. It dumbfounded everyone present, including the others in the pill industry at the Veluriyam Capital. It was a long while before they recovered from the shock.
Pill King Lu Feng was surprised as well, and cursed internally. What in f*cking hell?! What is this pill, and why is it so amazing? With this pill in their possession, isn’t the Majestic Clan going to roll in the dough from now on? He felt dissatisfaction, frustration, even jealousy. His heart was filled with a variety of emotions. Though he’d taken Jiang Chen for his master and the latter had taught him a few techniques from the Deviant Pill Sect, he wasn’t yet privy to Jiang Chen’s true identity. Thus, Pill King Lu Feng knew nothing of the connection between Jiang Chen and the Longevity Pill, that it was the work of his new master.
The two free pills had been distributed, yet several hundred cultivators who thirsted for the pill still remained. They could only watch, wide-eyed, as others enjoyed the pill free of charge.
“Clan Lord, there are no more free pills, but surely we can pay for them? I’d like to buy one, so how much are you selling this Longevity Pill for?”
“That’s right, me as well! A single Longevity Pill is all I want!”
“Clan Lord, is the store open today? Surely those of us already here have priority in purchasing the pill?”
“Clan Lord…” The rogue cultivators were indescribably anxious. Their bloodshot eyes were filled with desire, and they edged forward in a throng. There was a very real concern that there’d be no pills leftover. The lord of the Majestic Clan was greatly pleased at the proceedings. He’d known far earlier that the Longevity Pill would have astounding effects, but not necessarily to this degree. He pressed a palm downwards in the air. “Everyone, calm down and let me speak.”
The people present did as he said. In that instant, the words of the Majestic Clan lord seemed to carry a hitherto unperceived clout. “We have a reasonable amount of the pill in stock. However, first things first: it is not easy to refine this pill. Therefore, our supply is not unlimited.”
His listeners panicked at the clan lord’s words. Since the pills weren’t limited, there’d be a severe shortage. That meant the only chance they had at getting one would be to buy it first.
“Majestic Clan Lord, save a few pills for me!”
“Clan Lord, House Nanguo would like to reserve ten!” The people made their orders without even asking the price.
The Majestic clan lord was secretly delighted and his son Wang Teng overjoyed off to the side. From the looks of it, the Longevity Pill would definitely become a pillar of financial support for the clan. It wouldn't be long until they recovered from the loss they had sustained from losing the store! The entire Majestic Clan was excited at their future prospects. Their joy was contagious. They had discussed several tiers of pricing before today's grand opening. If the atmosphere was especially good, they would name the highest tier. The atmosphere evidently far exceeded their wildest expectations. There was no reason to set the price any lower than that.
His thoughts coming to a pause, the Majestic Clan lord laughed. “Thank you for your love and support! We will have a new batch every half month, with two hundred pills per batch.”
There was an uproar even before he fell silent. Only two hundred pills every half-month? Was this an artificial shortage?
“Clan Lord, how can you stock only four hundred pills a month? Isn’t that number too low? In the several million miles of land under Veluriyam Capital’s jurisdiction, there are tens of billions of cultivators. There is huge demand for the Longevity Pill!”
“That’s right, four hundred is a drop in the bucket. That number is way too small, and it would be even so if it were four thousand. I think that at least a hundred thousand a month would be reasonable as a baseline.”
“Clan Lord, can you increase that number even a little? Otherwise, us nobodies will never have a chance to buy it!” Wails of anguish filled the air. The people’s worries were only exacerbated after hearing the bad news. If there were only four hundred Longevity Pills per month, the highborn of the Veluriyam Capital could line up for several years before they were satisfied with their purchases. Who knows when it would be possible for lone cultivators to buy the pill?
The Majestic Clan lord couldn’t do anything about it, either. He wasn’t keeping any pills in reserve by selling only four hundred a month. It wasn't hunger marketing at all. They really didn't have the supply to keep up. The Eternal Celestial Capital only gave them five hundred a month. Of these, a hundred was set aside for internal affairs, only sold to those closest to the clan. It was the most they could do to sell four hundred to the public.
If he could, he would have no problem with selling a hundred thousand a month. Where could they find a supply like that, though? It wasn’t easy to refine the Longevity Pill. It wasn't suitable for mass production. It was taxing even for a pill king to refine a single batch of them. Moreover, the success rate wasn’t particularly good. It was a problem that the Eternal Celestial Capital themselves had as well.
Understandably, the Eternal Celestial Capital had received none of Jiang Chen’s optimizational advice for refining the pill, and grasped few of the key tricks of the trade. Because of this, they experienced higher difficulty both in terms of the refining process and the resulting success rate. This prevented the Eternal Celestial Capital from the bulk production of the pill. Despite their recent mobilization of all of the sect’s pill kings, the refinement of the Longevity Pill was still limited. It couldn’t be like other pills that could be made in volumes of hundreds of thousands, millions, even tens of millions. If the Longevity Pill could be made in those numbers, then the potential wealth would be immeasurable.
The Majestic Clan lord spread out his hands. “Gentlemen, this is the most we can do. I don’t seem any improvement to this in the immediate future. The Longevity Pill is not a common product, after all, and you’ve all seen its effects. It wouldn’t be called the Longevity Pill if everyone could buy it.”
His words were harsh, but rang true. Some lone cultivators piped up nevertheless. “Clan Lord, can you prioritize selling to us lone cultivators today? After all, the nobles in Veluriyam Capital can buy it anytime, but we don’t have nearly the same kind of connections. There’s no chance for us after this.”
“Exactly. If the clan lord is willing to give us this opportunity today, we will spread the good name of the Majestic Clan far and wide!” It must be said that the proposition was quite attractive for the clan lord.
Because of their preference for travel and tendency to mix with a large variety of people, lone cultivators carried news the fastest of anyone. If these cultivators benefited from the Majestic Clan’s goodwill, and moreover put out a good word for the clan, it would be extremely beneficial for the Majestic Clan’s motion to replace the Coiling Dragon Clan. This kind of hype and momentum was something that the Majestic Clan truly needed.
However, his reason won out in the end. Pleasing lone cultivators was all well and good, but the aristocracy in attendance would doubtless be offended in the process. Offending the noblemen of the city risked destabilizing the Majestic Clan’s base, and carried with it many associated troubles. Though they might not promote the Majestic Clan even if they bought the pill, they would definitely try to obstruct the Majestic Clan in secret if they lost out to lone cultivators.
“Everyone, please. I fully acknowledge your great appreciation for the pill. But, everyone who’s come here today is an honored guest. We cannot favour one particular party. Therefore, we’ve decided to maintain our decision to sell by lottery. That way, everyone gets a fair chance at the pills. Success or failure comes down to luck alone, and there’s no debate about it. I believe that all of you ultimately prefer fairness, no?” The Majestic Clan lord was an adept actor.
“Clan Lord, what price are you selling this Longevity Pill at, really? You’ve talked for so long, but we still don’t know!”
“That’s right, an amazing pill like this can’t be cheap, right?”
“Personally, I think that a pill as miraculous as this must carry an exorbitant price to go with it. If everyone could buy it, then it wouldn’t be called a miracle pill. Let’s guess… twenty million saint spirit stones, maybe?”
At the Joined Ridges Pavilion’s auction, three of the pills had been sold for the insane sum of a hundred twenty million. Of course, that was at an auction. The price wouldn’t fly for ordinary sales. The Majestic Clan lord smiled. “It is not easy to refine the Longevity Pill. Each pill has been made with painstaking effort by our pill masters. The materials for the pill aren’t cheap, either. The price for one pill… ten million saint spirit stones!”
Ten million million! Some rejoiced at the price, and some were downcast. The ones who were dejected by it were the lone cultivators. Their status was a mark of relative poverty, and for them, ten million was extremely difficult to bear. They’d guessed prior that the pill wouldn’t be cheap, and had been prepared to buy one for several million. That it would be ten million for one pill was beyond their expectations. The price alone was enough to scare off many of that crowd.
However, the aristocrats felt safe and secure. The announced price did not exceed their estimate, and though it was a little outrageous, they could afford it. As the crowd moaned and sighed, a wave of commotion could be heard on the outside. A troop of men came through, cutting a path into the mob. The men were clad in green armor, each adorned with three distinctive plumes. It was Emperor Peafowl's personal retinue – the Peafowl Guard!
The people present suddenly became quiet. The excited mood chilled instantly. Seeing the Peafowl Guard rush in, the more thoughtful amongst those present could already smell the gunpowder in the air. It was the grand opening for the Majestic Clan’s Taiyuan Lodge, and the Majestic Clan was a faction subordinate to Emperor Shura.
Logically speaking, there was absolutely no reason for Emperor Peacock’s men to appear here! Their sudden appearance in the middle of the proceedings was hardly a friendly signal.