Under a small hill, near a beautiful small lake, a light-cyan small building was surrounded by trees with bloomed flowers. Inside the building, the light was soft, and the natural green power was pure and dense. By inhaling that cool green power, one would feel immensely refreshed, and the mind would instantly turn clearer.
Sitting on the wooden bed near the window, Ji Hao carefully observed this small building. He released a stream of spiritual power and scanned through this building, then surprisingly found out that this three-story building was carved entirely out of a whole piece of wood. In the light-cyan wood, blood-vein-like, silver streaks were faintly visible. Searching in his head for a while, Ji Hao quickly recognized this wood. This was nothing else but the legendary ‘wind dragon nest’, which had almost disappeared in the world. According to the legend, this type of tree grew in the gales of the void, and usually served as nests of ancient wind dragons.
Ancient wind dragons looked like ordinary dragons, but with wings. Naturally, they could control the wind, and were equally famous as the other legendary and magical creatures. Wind dragon nest floated in the void, nourished by the power of hurricanes, and was an extremely precious type of pre-world magical material.
Long ago, the ancient dragon-kind was enraged by ancient wind dragons, because they took the name of ‘dragon’ but refused to follow Dragon Emperor’s orders. A great war was started, and ancient wind dragons were almost exterminated. Wind-dragon nests were either destroyed or occupied by the dragon-kind. Therefore, it had been a truly long time since wind dragon nest appeared in the human world for the last time.
Nevertheless, Tushan Family had actually attained such a huge piece of wind dragon nest, and even carved it into a small building like this to treat their guests. Judging merely by this small building, Tushan Family was indeed as wealthy as the dragon-kind and phoenix-kind, and also the richest family among the entire humankind.
Among the alliance of human clans, You Xiong Family, Fu Xi Family, Huaxu Family, Lie Mountain Family and Suiren Family were all powerful. However, their power was mainly embodied in their great populations, broad territories and elite warriors. Unlike these large human families, Tushan Family was a special one among all human families.
Tushan Family people were all smart and shrewd, every one of them was sharp-sighted. Some people even said that an ancestor of Tushan Family broke human tradition and fell in love with a divine fox spirit which had nine tails. A branch of Tushan Family people was descended from this ancestor and the fox spirit. These descendants, who partially possessed the bloodline of the divine fox spirit, had normally been hiding among ordinary Tushan Family people while controlling the entire Tushan Family in the dark.
Probably because of the smartness given by the divine fox spirit’s bloodline, Tushan Family people had shown their amazing talents in commerce. The businesses of Tushan Family spread all over Midland, while Tushan Family trade caravans could often be seen in the four wastelands.
Among those trade caravans, which had passed Ji Hao’s Gold Crow Clan countless times, fifty percent belonged to Tushan Family. It was not hard to imagine how widely the businesses of Tushan Family spread, and how firm their commercial channels were.
Weapons, armors, medicines, magic talismans, even information, slaves, large scale mercenaries, there was no business that Tushan Family dared not to do, neither was there any business Tushan Family couldn’t do. Therefore, Tushan Family was known as the richest one among countless human clans and families, and they were also the only human family which could compete against the dragon-kind and phoenix-kind in terms of financial resources.
"Rich people." Ji Hao sat on the wooden bed and swayed his body.
Two beautiful maids with watery sparkling eyes carefully served a nicely smelling tea, with jade trays. A refreshing tea aroma drifted over. Even though Ji Hao was now a Divine Magus, his sticky and heavy spirit blood still boiled inside his body as he sensed that tea, while streams of warm power silently generated inside his body, that caused a thunder-like noise from his internal organs.
Picking up the teacup, Ji Hao drank up the tea. Instantly, he sensed a strong stream of warmth spread out from his stomach, as his physical strength was improved by a little bit. He couldn’t help but praise, "Top-grade tea indeed. Tushan old man, pack five-hundred kilograms of this tea for me when I leave!"
Tushan old man was sitting in front of Ji Hao, and had been holding a teacup, carefully sniffing the tea. Hearing Ji Hao, his face twisted intensely. Squeezing a big grin out of his face and showing his teeth, he looked at Ji Hao for quite a while, then responded, "Good, Earl Yao, alright, alright, five-hundred kilograms…five-hundred Kilograms you will have."
Again, Tushan old man grinned and shook his head.
Ji Hao raised his eyebrows, put down the teacup, looked at him and said smilingly, "I thought you would give me an introduction of this tea, like where it came from and how precious it is."
Tushan old man carelessly waved his hand, laughed out loud and said, "Nothing special, what is there to brag about? If this tea weren't my personal favorite and had a seriously low yield, I would simply present all to you, Earl Yao, without saying a word."
Ji Hao nodded. As a Divine Magus and a cultivator, who had broken the fourth level of the Cultivation Method with Nine Turns, this tea still could allow him to sense an obvious improvement of his physical strength. Apparently, this tea was indirectly precious.
Nevertheless, Tushan old man agreed to give Ji Hao five-hundred kilograms of this tea without any hesitation. Judging by his facial expressions, five-hundred kilograms was definitely all he had, but he didn’t show even a little bit of unwillingness. This proved that the legends regarding Tushan Family’s wealth were not unreal.
"Alright, let’s head to the business." Crossing his legs, Ji Hao put his hands before his lower abdomen and silently made a lotus-like hand motion. He breathed deeply, smiled, looked at Tushan old man and asked, "I assume, you didn’t come to find me simply because you want to know me, did you?"
Tushan old man grinningly nodded, then conveniently took out from his sleeve a scroll made from the skin of golden-horned, eight-winged, blood-sucking boa. The boa skin had a special aroma and a magical dark golden glow. Therefore, Ji Hao recognized it at first glance.
This type of boa was as powerful as dragons, and usually fed on flood dragon spirit blood. Their skin could fend against the teeth and claws of dragons, and could also be counted as one of the strongest skin in the world. For ordinary people, if anyone luckily attained a piece of blood-sucking boa skin, he or she would certainly make it into a chest armor. But Tushan old man made it into a scroll, this clearly showed his unreasonable richess.
Written on the scroll was a contract. As for the contents of the contract, in the coming one hundred years, Tushan Family would provide Ji Hao’s Yao Mountain territory with all needed armaments, including weapons, armors, bows, arrows, battle drums, battle flags, chariots and other weapons and equipments. In addition to that, Tushan Family would put a heavy investment to help Ji Hao’s territory to exploit mines and produce all kinds of precious metals and crystal. In other words, in the next one hundred years, no matter how much military force Ji Hao wanted to develop, Tushan Family would cover all the costs, even if he raised a great army with ten-million, a hundred million, and even a billion warriors.
That cost would be a shocking figure. Ji Hao clearly understood that, based on the current developing rate of his Yao Mountain territory, raising an army with a million warriors would be his limit, and he couldn’t afford all required equipments for that army within a short period of time.
Tushan Clan presented a great gift, which was an opportunity for Yao Mountain territory to develop at a soaring rate, and speedily become a strong force among the alliance of human clans.
"What do you want in return?" Ji Hao asked frankly.
"We want a share." said Tushan old man while grinningly looked at Ji Hao, "For what you’re going to do with the dragon-kind, phoenix-kind and that kid, Si Wen Ming, our Tushan Family wants a share. We just want the trade route of the new world to belong to us, and us alone."
Ji Hao paused and looked at Tushan old man in shock.
‘This old man, he's indeed well-informed.’ thought Ji Hao.