Wu Qi looked at Huang Liang with a faint smile on his face. An aphrodisiac ecstasy? A puppet talisman that could be used to control other people? It appeared that this former Military Minister had traded some nasty things here! Huang Liang cleared his throat embarrassingly, cupped his fist, and stammered, "Manager Yue is just... teasing me... Haha… We are here to... We are here to..."
For a moment, he could not come up with an appropriate excuse, so he turned to look at Wu Qi.
Wu Qi touched his storage ring with his right hand to produce a large, tender-looking ginseng with a talisman attached to it. The ginseng exuded a strong energy, the green stalk above its head looked fresh, and a cluster of fiery-red seeds was swaying gently at the end of the crown-shaped stalk, giving off an intoxicating fragrance.
The ginseng had both hands and feet, and its head was almost completely shaped like a human. It was a spirit ginseng which could potentially become a Ginseng Immortal within a few hundred years. However, there was a row of characters written on the talisman attached on it, 'On a certain day, in a certain month of a certain year, this ginseng is suppressed and sealed by Yu Mu, the Grand Oracle of Zhong Province Directorate of Celestials!'
This unlucky spirit ginseng was suppressed by the Directorate of Celestials, just like the huge Banyan tree Wu Qi saw in Greenwood Mountain. Its sentience was destroyed, and it was turned into a spirit herb with powerful medicinal strength, capable of even reviving someone from death. But, at the same time, it had lost the opportunity to become a demon and eventually an Immortal.
The Directorate of Celestials spared no effort in suppressing all sorts of demons, and the only fate demons would face after falling into their hands would be having their sentience completely destroyed. After this spirit ginseng was suppressed and sealed, Yu Mu brought it back to his storehouse, as he planned to give it to his offspring as a reward, which they could use to improve their cultivation base or concoct various life-saving spirit pills.
Wu Qi had extorted a big sum of resources from Yu Mu before he accompanied Yu He to Hai Province. Right now, he had a total of eighteen such spirit ginsengs in his strange-shaped storage ring. He could easily produce a few Heaven Immortals with them.
As soon as he took out the spirit ginseng, the fat Manager Yue narrowed his eyes and smiled. "Oh, Your Excellency Huang Liang has brought us a prestigious guest, haven't you? I suppose this General is your colleague? Aye! It is rare to see a spirit ginseng of such excellent quality. Come, come, the Yao Yue Pavilion pays the fairest price for everything. Apart from us, who would dare to buy this spirit ginseng?"
Even as he said that, Manager Yue grabbed Wu Qi's sleeve and dragged him to the shop where he had come out from.
Despite how Manager Yue pulled at him, Wu Qi just would not budge as if his feet were rooted in the ground. Huang Liang stood awkwardly beside him while he kept rubbing his palms embarrassingly. He looked at Manager Yue, then turned to Wu Qi, and felt like saying something, but the words seemed to be stuck in his throat.
Wu Qi smiled and said nothing. Realizing that he could not move Wu Qi, the manager's smiling face suddenly turned cold. "What is the meaning of this, General?" He asked with a cold grin, "You have shown me a good treasure, so why don't you follow me to Yao Yue Pavilion and discuss its price? Are you just wasting my time?"
Wu Qi shook off the manager's fat hand with a wave of his arm. "It is not me who is wasting time here. Manager Yue, although I've taken out this spirit ginseng, it doesn't mean I must sell it to you! This is a big market, and I can sell it to anyone I like!"
Manager Yue guffawed when he heard that. As his laughter echoed out, some itinerant cultivators who had gathered to watch the fun quickly took their leave. Even the managers of a few nearby shops smiled and shook their heads, giving the spirit ginseng a last covetous glance before moving their eyes away.
"Listen up! If a fellow Daoist visits Yao Yue Immortal Market, he or she is free to make a fair deal with any merchants here, and we, the Yao Yue Pavilion, will never intervene!" said the manager while staring at Wu Qi with a cold grin, "But, who are you? What makes you think you deserve the same fair treatment as our fellow Daoists? Let me be frank with you. Anyone Huang Liang has brought here, and everything they wish to sell, must be traded in Yao Yue Pavilion!"
Wu Qi was shocked and rendered speechless. Manager Yue had assumed a defiant tone in his words, but Huang Liang just stood there quietly as if he were a little chicken! The manager was only a Gold Core cultivator, and despite how weak he was, Huang Liang possessed the cultivation base of a thirty-fifth tier Heaven Immortal! He could easily kill thousands of Gold Core cultivators with just a spat! How could Manager Yue be so bold in front of him? How could a mere Gold Core cultivator be so overbearing in the presence of a human general who was capable of fighting against a Heaven Immortal?
Wu Qi's eyes were full of contempt as he gave Huang Liang a sideways glance. It appeared to him that in order to trade with these cultivators, Huang Liang had completely thrown away his dignity.
Huang Liang bowed his head in shame and muttered, "Manager Yue, shall we not talk about this deal for the time being?"
The manager gave a brittle laugh. He looked at Wu Qi, then turned to Huang Liang, and said arrogantly, "Oh? So, what are you going to do now? Are you going to drink some wine, listen to some music, sleep with a few women, and only then discuss the ownership of this spirit ginseng with me?"
He laughed in a strange manner, then squinted his eyes and said, "It seems you are well-informed, eh? A few days ago, the entire clan of that old fellow in Bo Lang Mountain was wiped out, and a dozen of his granddaughters were sold to the Yao Yue Immortal Market. They are now entertaining the guests in the Fragrance Pavilion not far away from here! Hehe, of those girls, two are very beautiful Nascent Divinity cultivators! Could it be that you are here for them?"
Upon hearing that, Huang Liang's eyes lit up. He quickly lifted his head and said, "Really? Aye, what are we waiting for?"
Wu Qi gave Huang Liang a fierce glare. While he was surprised by the fact that Yao Yue Immortal Market was running a prostitution business, his passion of wiping out Mount Moon Gazing was growing stronger at the same time - how much dirty money was there in this market when they were running such a lucrative business? And, what was the percentage of share that Reverend Yao Yue had in it? Wu Qi could get all the money he needed for developing an army as well as his own territory in Hai Province if he managed to kill Reverend Yao Yue!
Besides, judging by its name, this Yao Yue Pavilion must be Reverend Yao Yue's property. When Wu Qi thought of this, he had an idea. He threw the ginseng at Manager Yue and said with a smile, "Well, let us talk about business first, and only then of pleasure! You are right! How could we not enjoy ourselves to the fullest on such a splendid night when we have traveled so far?"
Manager Yue hastily clumsily caught the spirit ginseng, brought it under his nose, and took a deep inhalation without giving the name on the talisman a glance. A refreshing aroma immediately washed through his body and made him straighten his back. "Wonderful! It is indeed an excellent natural spirit treasure!" He praised while bobbing his head.
Rolling his eyes, he smiled to Wu Qi and said, "I'll pay you one hundred lower-grade energy stones for this wild ginseng. What do you say?"
Wu Qi did not answer but strode towards the Yao Yue Pavilion. At the sight of it, the managers of the nearby shops could not help but shake their heads, thinking that the lucrative deal was seized by Yao Yue Pavilion once again. But, what could they do? Who dared to fight for the deal when Reverend Yao Yue had secured an exclusive deal with Huang Liang since the beginning?
Wu Qi made no comment on Manager Yue's offer. The way the manager turned a tens of thousands of years old spirit ginseng into an excellent wild ginseng made him believe that Huang Liang was treated the same in the past, forced to lower the price of his treasures. 'This good-for-nothing has never cared about the face of the Military Court!' He glared fiercely at Huang Liang once again.
It was not that Wu Qi had developed any sentiment for the Military Court of Hai Province. But, since he was the current Military Minister, he had to pay attention to these issues.
Manager Yue did not ask Wu Qi and Huang Liang to sit down and offer to serve them tea when he walked into the shop. He was too lazy to waste even the most basic courtesy on Huang Liang. He called upon an old man and carefully handed the ginseng to him, then asked him to store it in the finest jade box.
When the old man was gone with the spirit ginseng, Manager Yue seated his big buttock on a large chair in the middle of the lobby and said arrogantly, "Now, we can talk about the deal. As I mentioned just now, I'll pay you one hundred lower-grade energy stones for the wild ginseng. It is the best price you can get here. You are free to take away anything you like in Yao Yue Pavilion, as long as their prices are lower than one hundred lower-grade energy stones!"
Wu Qi laughed. He found himself a big chair and sat down with his knees crossed. "One hundred lower-grade energy stones is fine, and I still have a lot of excellent spirit herbs... Hehe!"
With a malicious smile, Wu Qi took out all sorts of spirit herbs from the storage ring given to him by Yu Mu, placing them on the side table next to him.
Huang Liang was stunned, while Manager Yue's eyes shone with a bright green gleam. The fat manager bounced to his feet like a ball and leaped towards the side table.
Wu Qi grabbed Manager Yue by the neck and lifted him up. "Be patient, my friend! They can be yours!" He said smilingly, "But, I have a question for you. Is there any beast soul of excellent quality in Yao Yue Immortal Market? The more ancient the bloodline, the better, and it must possess the cultivation base of an Immortal! It would be best if it can absorb, refine, and attack with the essence of the stars!"
Wu Qi had very high requirements for the beast soul. He still did not have a handy weapon, and he could not wait to craft himself a powerful immortal item. He had a piece of Star Jade Spirit Gold which he had prepared for a long time, and what he lacked was a strong enough beast soul which he could use as the item spirit. The Star Jade Spirit Gold was an extremely rare material, so he was reluctant to use a common beast soul as its item spirit.
All of Manager Yue's attention was attracted by the spirit herbs that filled the side table. The aroma of herbs lingered around his nose, and he even ignored the fact that Wu Qi was holding him up rudely. Staring blankly at the heap of valuable spirit herbs, he said, "A beast soul who can absorb, refine, and attack enemies with the essence of stars? We have nothing like that in Yao Yue Immortal Market. But, my Master is inviting fellow Immortals to help him hunt down a Green Dome Shark and craft an immortal item with its inner core. They will set out in three days!"
Wu Qi raised his eyebrows and suddenly laughed.
A Green Dome Shark? That was really good news!