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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 counteroffers in the same vein. Since this was a transaction, one had to fight for the greatest benefits. Wouldn’t it be a waste to not firmly latch onto an opportunity that had presented itself on a silver platter? He knew 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 too high. We have to shoulder the manufacturing costs as well as the cost of transportation. Pills like these obviously cannot be transported by your everyday person, we 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 said with a forced smile, “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 am 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 very ambitious and very much wanted thirty percent. But then he thought better of it. If this is really as high as Holy King Ke could go, then if the Eternal Celestial Capital sends someone else if I stand my ground too firmly, 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. With these thoughts, the Majestic clan lord smiled cheerfully. “Twenty five, 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 abundant 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 have the support from noble houses. 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 were just counting the pill kings. Every pill king had the support from a powerful faction. Some formidable factions even had a considerable numbers of pill kings. These pill-making factions were the big players in the capital’s pill market. The majority of profits all went into their pockets. They only left a few scraps for others. Difficulty was truly extraordinary for an outsider like Jiang Chen to get a foothold in the pill market.

He was still new to the Capital, but he didn’t doubt Wei Jie’s words. Things were the same everywhere. No matter whose territory, no matter the market, the main profits were always monopolized by a few. Back then in the tiny Eastern Kingdom, the Hall of Healing and two other factions had monopolized the pill market. Likewise when he travelled to the Skylaurel Kingdom.

As a power even stronger than first rank sects, the Veluriyam Capital controlled countless territories and consumed an astronomical amount of pills. The profits to be had there 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 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 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 capital? Will that work?” Wei Tianxiao’s smile also wry. “The mighty dragon can’t oppress the local ground snakes. 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 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 a puny fourth rank sect could 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 the pill merchants. Almost all the big pill players in the Capital had pill stores there, and all of them were 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 that storefront, but they 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 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 came to Veluriyam Capital and caused House Wei’s mortal enemy, House Sikou, to suffer a great loss. 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 after reaching this conclusion. He remarked, “Jie’er, invite him to my residence. I want a face-to-face 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, 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 someone he had to meet sooner or later.

The meeting proceeded in an extremely relaxed atmosphere. Wei Tianxiao was one 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 without barely any hesitation. This took Wei Tianxiao slightly aback. He couldn’t but admire this young man’s daring and his vision. He had been prepared for haggling. He would have accepted even 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 after the end of the negotiations when the guards reported that there was a visitor.

“Lord Wei, I came charging over, don’t blame me!.” A voice came from outside 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 Tianxia walked outside after a momentary pause. Jiang Chen and the rest of House Wei followed behind. Wei Jie secretly transmitted his voice to Jiang Chen and made an introduction, “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 the Great Emperor Asura’s flag. The 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 the Great Emperor Peafowl’s banner. When it comes down to it, our House Wei should be in the Great Emperor Peafowl’s camp.”

Jiang Chen could make out something between the lines. No wonder Wei Jie had been so heartbroken when the Great Emperor Peafowl’s true disciple, young master Fan, passed away. It turned out they had ties to each other. And judging from Wei Jie’s tone, the relations between the second-ranked Emperor Asura and the first-ranked Emperor Peafowl weren’t so harmonious. As a result, relations between the factions under their flags were likely 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 the niceties with Lord Tong as he spoke with 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 when they heard. They looked at each other, both of them baffled. What an admirable coincidence! Someone came to rent the store 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.

 

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