Chapter 443 - The Grief of Balls
The mayor’s residence was bustling with noise and excitement that night. The ill-feelings between everyone had disappeared. People were toasting each other while laughing and cheering happily. Qiao Meiqi was exceptional at adjusting the atmosphere of a social setting. The atmosphere of the banquet was very lively now.
Everyone had heard of the renowned Lightning Blade. In front of the wealthy and powerful Shi family and Gong family, the local rich men were nobodies.
"So you own the A-grade fire liquid?"
Venerable Volcano asked impatiently, looking as if he was about to run up to Ai Hui’s face.
The lively banquet quieted down in an instant. Among the invited guests tonight, many of them were presidents of enterprises. They had obtained the news of the fire liquid at an earlier time. Those who had a general knowledge of business knew the worth of an A-grade fire liquid.
Qiao Meiqi knew very well how to conduct a business. Similarly, he knew the worth of an A-grade fire liquid. However, instead of withholding the news, he released the news with great fanfare. He’d invited numerous enterprises to the banquet that night.
He clearly knew what was important and what was not. The A-grade fire liquid might be important, however, it paled in comparison to the worth of Ai Hui’s presence. Furthermore, there had been some misunderstandings previously and this banquet would be the best chance to remedy everything.
Qiao Meiqi had a smile on his face the whole time. Every now and then, he would fawn over Ai Hui and advertise his fire liquid to everyone.
"It’s A-grade refined fire liquid," Qiao Meiqi added motionlessly.
All the guests became restless. The word "refined" implied that the fire liquid could be produced indefinitely. Everyone loved treasure, but most treasures were exhaustible. To businessmen, the only way to make money was to sell something that was inexhaustible.
Ai Hui looked at Qiao Meiqi with surprise. This mayor was indeed a shrewd individual.
"Mr Kang knows this fire liquid the best. Why don’t we have Mr Kang give us an introduction of it?" Qiao Meiqi smiled.
Qiao Meiqi clearly knew of Ai Hui’s intentions so he invited Appraiser Kang Ding to this banquet. With Kang Ding’s endorsement of the fire liquid, everyone would not have no qualms about purchasing it.
Everyone’s gaze was directed at Kang Ding. He stood up to greet Ai Hui and Qiao Meiqi and began the introduction, "It’s my honor to have Mr Ai Hui place his faith and trust in me. Right now, I will introduce snow lava’s characteristics to everyone…"
Everyone, including Venerable Volcano, listened to Kang Ding attentively.
Ai Hui raised his cup and gave Kang Ding a toast. Kang Ding smiled and raised his cup to return the toast.
Both of them smiled at each other and downed their wine cups.
Such a shrewd individual.
The same thought arose in both of their minds at the same time.
Every now and then, an alarmed cry would ring across the meeting hall. A-grade fire liquid was seldomly see on the market. Kang Ding was fully aware of his role. His introduction of the snow lava was filled with flowery compliments. Of course, being an A-grade fire liquid, the snow lava deserved such compliments.
As the fine wine slid down his throat, a fragrant and burning sensation erupted in his chest.
Ai Hui seldom drank alcohol. However, he felt a rare satisfaction at this moment.
Beside him, Iron Lady was whispering something to Gong Peiyao. Wrong, Gong Peiyao was whispering something to Iron Lady. Like a bottle of glue, the little princess from the Gong Residence had been sticking to Iron Lady and chattering nonstop since the moment she met her.
The bright, swaying light, the tipsiness from the fine wine and the clamor from the guests in the meeting hall made Ai Hui feel as if his mind was shrouded in mist.
Since the atmosphere is so lively, I should be able to sell the snow lava for a good price...
Ai Hui did not know whether it was because of the tipsiness from the fine wine or because his pressure was relieved that his entire body felt relaxed.
Every step I took, they are all still vivid in my mind.
My heart is filled with regret, my life is filled with tears.
The hardships of beginning an undertaking.
Is it easy? No, it’s not. Is it hard? It’s very hard.
What if I could restart my life? Which path would I choose?
It will still be the same.
One who holds the sword feels fear. One who bears responsibility is tied down. One who seeks revenge has difficulty in recovering from his wound.
Since when have I forgotten the warm sunshine, the cool breeze, the tranquil morning, the whooshing sound of Three Leaves Bamboo Carts, the sleepy shop assistants, the dancing smoke from the kitchen chimneys… in Central Pine City?
Ai Hui’s turbid eyes slowly regained their clarity and his hazy vision became clear once more.
At this moment, someone asked, "May I know how much does the snow lava cost?"
Ai Hui raised his wine cup and took a sip. Just as he was about to speak after moistening his lips with the wine, someone interrupted him.
"No matter how much it costs, I want all of it!" Venerable Volcano roared with his eyebrows raised.
At this point of time, no one dared to say anything. Whether it was because of his status as a Master or because he had the backing of the Gong Residence, these businessmen did not dare to offend him.
Ai Hui laughed involuntarily, "You want all of it? Do you have enough money?"
Venerable Volcano replied proudly, "You have underestimated me. When I attained the level of Master, your balls were not even fully grown yet."
Laughter broke out in the meeting hall. Ai Hui gave a soft cough as a tinge of embarrassment appeared on his face.
Hey, hey, hey, you better leave your insults off my balls.
Deep down, Ai Hui was fuming with rage. On the surface, he put on a nonchalant look and replied, "You want all of it, right? On the account of our deep relationship, I shall give you a discount. One hundred essence elemental beans per drop, what do you think? I’m not scamming you!"
"Alright. There’s some conscience in you after all. Give me one hundred and eighty drops!" Venerable Volcano replied.
He was a fire elemental master and he was very familiar with the market prices of various fire elemental materials. This price was not expensive at all. Even B-grade fire liquid costed around twenty essence elemental beans per drop.
"One hundred and eighty drops?" A mysterious smile appeared on Ai Hui’s face.
Venerable Volcano looked slightly worried and replied, "You don’t have one hundred and eighty drips? Sixty drops will do for me as well."
Even though high-grade fire liquid was sold in drops, they could not be used in singular drops. In the terminology of fire elementalists, there was a very special term used for drops, which was called "seal". "Seal" was used as a unit of measurement for many types of fire liquid. One seal of fire liquid was equivalent to around twenty drops of fire liquid.
A tiny amount amount of fire liquid was useless to a fire elemental master like Venerable Volcano.
An ordinary individual definitely could not afford to use an A-grade fire liquid for battles. However, for a Master, this wasn’t much of a problem. One hundred essence elemental beans per drop. Therefore, a seal of fire liquid would only cost at most two thousand essence elemental beans.
If a Master decided to spend money, he or she definitely would not just spend a few thousand essence elemental beans only.
Take Venerable Volcano as an example, he was definitely capable of forking out tens of thousand of essence elemental beans. That was merely his monthly salary.
Tens of thousand of essence elemental beans were an immense sum of income in a small city.
A Master, who was at the top of the food chain, was a representation of wealth and prestige. Each city did not have many Masters. Other than the fact that they were hard to find, their exorbitant salaries made it hard for one to hire them as well.
A Master was like a beast that devoured money. Other than having to pay them salaries, one had to offer them various rare food ingredients and materials and provide them with sufficient elemental energy too.
Clearwater City was considered wealthy to be able to sustain two Masters.
Deep down, Ai Hui was surprised at how wealthy Venerable Volcano was. However, he was still slightly annoyed that he was being looked down on by him. Following which, Ai Hui yelled, "Lou Lan, let’s show this old man something."
"Ai Hui, here."
Lou Lan took out a basket-sized, black-colored volcanic rock ball. The volcanic rock ball was generating waves of heat.
The old man chuckled with raised eyebrows, "Woah, such a big ball. I shall take back my words just now! Lad, your balls are quite huge after all! Huge!"
After finishing his sentence, the old man shook his head and laughed even louder.
Ai Hui felt like smashing the volcanic rock ball onto the old man’s face. He restrained himself and muttered silently to himself, "Money is a devil, money is a devil…"
Following which, he unsheathed his Wintry Jade Blade and carved a circle on the volcanic rock ball. With a flick of the tip of his sword, a circle-shaped piece of rock flew out.
Crystal-clear flames gushed out of the hole on the volcanic rock ball.
Venerable Volcano yelped and appeared beside Ai Hui and snatched over the volcanic rock ball. The snow lava within the volcanic rock ball remained motionless. The layer of volcanic rock was thin and the lava within the rock ball was crystal-clear.
"Not bad! How much snow lava is there inside this volcanic rock ball?"
"I want all of it!"
"Pay the money first!"
Everyone stretched their necks and looked blankly at the volcanic rock ball. They wished they could snatch it over from the old man’s hands now.
"Do you think I won’t be able to pay you this small amount of money?" Venerable Volcano replied with irritation.
"Pass me the money and I will hand it over to you," Ai Hui sneered without any intention of submitting to the old man.
Venerable Volcano glared at Ai Hui. Even so, Ai Hui did not submit to him and glared back at him.
Everyone was shocked by this scene. They had never seen anyone that dared to go up against a Master directly like this before. Lightning Blade was indeed vicious. One should try his or her best not to provoke a vicious individual like him.
"Humph, how much?"
"One liter is equivalent to five hundred drops, so that will be fifty thousand essence elemental beans."
Venerable Volcano gritted his teeth as he felt heartache. After all, this was worth a month’s salary. Even though he had a high income, his expenditure was high as well. Ordinary elemental food no longer had any effects on him. As such, only high-grade elemental food was useful for his training.
Venerable Volcano didn’t expect himself to give in and clenched his teeth, "Here!"
He could only eat ordinary elemental food for the rest of this month now. However, now that he had A-grade fire liquid, he was filled with satisfaction while tears ran down his cheeks.
Of course, the old man had not brought tens of thousands of essence elemental beans with him. Instead, he brought high-grade essence elemental beans. Each high-grade essence elemental bean was equivalent to roughly one hundred regular essence elemental beans. Naturally, this exchange rate could change at any moment.
When Ai Hui obtained the five hundred high-grade essence elemental beans, he was exceptionally excited. Regardless of elemental energy purity level or elemental energy capacity, essence elemental beans paled in comparison to high-grade essence elemental beans. Ai Hui had an urge to absorb these high-grade essence elemental beans on the spot. Nowadays, who would be so free to cultivate high-grade essence elemental beans? Only a wealthy aristocratic family like the Gong Residence would spend so much time and effort in cultivating such high-grade essence elemental beans.
These high-grade essence elemental beans could have been from their stockpile as well.
The Gong Residence was indeed rich and powerful. Ai Hui’s eyes flickered. He couldn’t do the same thing with the Shi family as he was too close with Shi Xueman. However, for the Gong Residence, why shouldn’t he make a huge profit off them? After all, they were the ones who offered themselves to him.
Let me milk this old fogey dry!
The smile on Ai Hui’s face became more affable. He reached out his hand and told Lou Lan, "Lou Lan, one more ball!"
He was unusually excited.
Lou Lan replied happily, "Ai Hui, here!"
When the second volcanic rock ball appeared, the atmosphere in the meeting hall became lively all of a sudden. Everyone’s eyes were filled with shock. There’s more snow lava!
Ai Hui casually carved a hole on the volcanic rock ball and teased Venerable Volcano, "I can sell this to you as well! Do you want to buy it?"
A look of distress appeared on the old man’s face. However, very soon, he clenched his teeth and replied, "I’ll buy!"
Ai Hui grinned. Suddenly, his smile vanished into thin air.
"Lou Lan, more balls!"
"Lou Lan, more balls!
A row of volcanic rock balls were placed neatly in front of Ai Hui. All of them were burning with crystal-clear flames, resembling a line of soldiers waiting to be inspected.
The old man was dumbstruck.
Everyone was dumbstruck.
A dead silence descended upon the meeting hall.