STR 7jasdjiwe

You Forced Me to Rob You

However, Shopkeeper Li had also mentioned that turnover was quick. These slaves might be a new batch right now, but they might be switched out for a new group in just half a month’s time. Considering the way these slave traders were conducting business, it would be incredibly difficult for him to find his sect members again after being sold. It was impossible to find any clues with rules like these, no matter how hard one tried to dig. It was impossible to check who they’d sold, to whom and to where. Without a first name, a last name or any physical characteristics to hone in on, there were naturally no clues that were left behind.

He had to admit that although these rules were absolutely disgusting, it did protect these profiteers’ interest and safety to a maximal degree. Even if a slave somehow regained their freedom and experienced a massive growth in strength, they wouldn’t be able to find their target to take revenge against either. After all, just how would one deduce the ultimate mastermind or the middlemen after they’d passed through so many hands?

Jiang Chen wasn’t sure what he should do for a time. If he didn’t buy them, he would miss the chance to save his sect members if they were part of the group. If that happened, he would never have the chance to save them again. If he were to make the purchase, he might not be able to afford all two thousand slaves at once no matter how wealthy he was. Moreover, whether the trader was even willing to make such a sale was a question in itself. And that was assuming he had enough wealth to buy them in the first place. After giving the matter some thought, Jiang Chen ultimately decided to do what he could at the moment. He immediately asked, “Shopkeeper Li, what’s the price if I were to buy all of them?”

“What?” Shopkeeper Li was completely stunned by this, “Buy… buy all of them?”

Jiang Chen rubbed his nose, knowing that his words must be rather shocking considering how exaggerated the reaction was. However, he was not in a position to back down after venturing the question. “Yes. Don’t tell me this is against the rules too?”

Shopkeeper Li smiled wryly, “Honored customer, I think you best look at the prices first… also, we have a rule that restricts us from selling more than fifty slaves at once. It would cause too big of a splash if we were to sell anymore than that, which is why we’re absolutely forbidden from doing so. Fifty slaves is our highest limit.”

Jiang Chen cast a few random glances at the prices and was instantly repulsed by the absolutely ghastly prices. An origin realm cultivator could cost between two hundred thousand to one million saint spirit stones. A sage realm cultivator could cost between two million to ten million saint spirit stones. This meant that on average Jiang Chen would have to spend at least two to three million saint spirit stones on every slave, and there were roughly two thousand slaves in this place. It would cost him more than six billion saint spirit stones to buy all of them. No matter how wealthy Jiang Chen was right now, the total sum of his wealth was far and away from this number.

Yes, it was true that he gained a lot of profit after sweeping through the three thousand strong group at Infant Shriek, but those people had only brought enough spirit stones to spend on daily expenses and not their entire wealth. Even if he were to convert all the spirit stones he collected into saint spirit stones, it would still be worth a couple billion or so only. The sum needed to purchase all of the slaves in front of him was astronomical!

Even House Wei might not necessarily be able to mobilize this many saint spirit stones at once, despite being one of the top few aristocratic families in Veluriyam Capital, to say nothing of Jiang Chen. Or rather, they could afford this amount, but even they would find it difficult to gather this sum in a hurry. He suspected that only one of the great clans could easily produce this number without suffering too great of a loss.

“Didn’t Wei Jie said that this Million Puppets Pavilion is a property of House Sikou? Is House Sikou this rich?” Jiang Chen was secretly shocked. However, he did understand that this trade ran on high profits. These goods might have a price tag two to three billion, but the actual cost would be at most one tenth of it. At the same time, roughly only forty percent of these profits would be flowing into House Sikou’s pockets. The rest would be spread out to many, many other channels. Otherwise, it was impossible for such profits to exist in a high risk business like slave trading.

Right now, the problem he faced was that the boss refused to sell to him, even if he somehow possessed this much money. Shopkeeper Li made it very clear that he could only buy a maximum of fifty slaves at once. Anything more than that was unacceptable. Jiang Chen finally understood why the other party had worn such a astonished expression on his face when he heard that he was going to buy all of them. He had spoken something stupid that revealed his lack of knowledge of this trade. “Shopkeeper Li, the rules of your trade sure are inflexible! How would you justify this fifty slave limit? Why won’t you allow your customer to make a purchase if they have the money?”

Shopkeeper Li smiled wryly, “You must be new, honored customer. Slave trading is not a regular piece of business that can be conducted openly in the first place, and if I were to be blunt, then I would say that it steps over a few lines. If we were to make too big of a sale, then it would influence the general state of affairs. If we allow you to buy a hundred or a thousand slaves at once, and if these people were all granted their freedom, how big of an impact do you think they would bring to Veluriyam Capital? And how big of a hidden threat would it create in the Capital? Hypothetically speaking, if someone were planning to cause trouble and purchase several thousand slaves at once, how much damage would that cause in the Capital?”

“So you’re saying that I won’t have a place to spend my money today?” Jiang Chen was absolutely depressed by this.

“I’m sorry, honored customer. You can follow our rules and make a total purchase of fifty slaves every seven days. This is our absolute limit,” Shopkeeper Li had worked here for dozens of years, but he had never met a situation like this until today.

Buy all of them? You want to buy two thousand people at once? Are you sure you have the money to do so? Shopkeeper Li was ultimately a worldly person. He might find it funny and thought that this customer was much too green in this trade, he didn’t show it at all on the surface.

Jiang Chen exchanged a helpless glance with Huang’er. They could both see the resignation in each other’s eyes. “Miss Huang’er, they might actually be forcing me to rob them,” Jiang Chen communicated with Huang’er by mind.

Huang’er smiled faintly, “Then let’s commit a robbery.”

For some reason, what Huang’er used to think to be an extremely despicable act of banditry somehow became an unbelievably wondrous experience when it was done with Jiang Chen. She was experiencing a certain a joy that came with breaking the firm rules she was to following because she was doing so with someone she admired.

Jiang Chen suddenly smiled and said to Shopkeeper Li, “Shopkeeper Li, security isn’t very tight here, don’t you think?”

Shopkeeper Li abruptly paled when he heard this, “You…”

He wasn’t able to finish his sentence when the scenery before him abruptly shifted to something else. He suddenly found himself standing at the center of a sea of yellow sand. It was as if he was suddenly exiled to an abandoned desert. “Not good! Someone’s attempting a robbery!” Shopkeeper Li shouted on top of his lungs. His shouts were pointless, however. With a formation between him and the real world, he could shout himself hoarse and not be heard by anyone outside.

Jiang Chen summoned his palace abode and threw every slave inside it. “Miss Huang’er, let’s go!”

They both felt a sense of helplessness and fun in committing this robbery. They felt like naughty kids breaking the rules and got an extremely great kick from it. The two soared to the sky, used up their escape glyphs and immediately vanished on the spot.

Shopkeeper Li shrieked madly nonstop, but when he opened his eyes again, he discovered that he was still at the shop. All the slaves before his eyes had vanished entirely. “Not good! Help! Help!” Shopkeeper Li started screaming like he was a pig being slaughtered.

It wasn’t like this backyard had no formations or defenses in place to protect their property. However, the pair had been able to calmly avoid triggering these defenses and any formations before vanishing directly from this place! Shopkeeper Li could scarcely believe that such a bizarre thing had happened. The experts of the Million Puppets Pavilion surged in from all directions.

Before long, dozens of sage realm experts had surrounded the backyard and an initial emperor realm expert strolled in. “What’s wrong, Old Li?”

Shopkeeper Li gasped wretchedly, “Manager Qiu, a disaster has happened! Our goods for the past three months had all been robbed by someone!”

The initial emperor realm Manager Qiu thought that his ears were mistaken and scolded, “What nonsense are you saying? There was a total of two thousand slaves in this place! Are you dreaming or what?”

“I’m telling you the truth!” Shopkeeper Li looked like he was about to cry.

Manager Qiu waved his hands and ordered, “Check the warehouses.”

The warriors had long gone to inspect the warehouses before the order had even gone out. They all rushed back in after a short while, “This is bad, my lord! They really are all gone!”

“None of the formations at the scene were triggered. Manager Qiu, these people came bearing ill intentions!”

Manager Qiu’s expression immediately darkened. He finally realized that Shopkeeper Li wasn’t lying. “What happened? Tell me everything in detail.” He was an emperor realm cultivator after all, and quickly calmed down.

Shopkeeper Li began conveying everything from beginning to the end with a wretched expression on his face. He also emphasized strongly that the other party had a piece of spirit marrow, and that they’d attempted to buy all of the slaves at once.

“So they’re foreigners,” Manager Qiu wore an extremely ugly look on his face as he muttered to himself, “If they’re locals, they would have known about our purchasing rules.”

But another warrior said, “Manager Qiu, that may not necessarily be the case. What if that bastard has planned this robbery for a long time and said those words to confuse us and lead us down the wrong line of thought? We might be falling into their trap if we go down this way of thinking.”

His words called Manager Qiu’s attention to this possibility, and the manager nodded slightly, “Regardless, we shall investigate into both possibilities thoroughly! How dare they rob the Million Puppets Pavilion! How dare they commit such atrocities in Fish and Dragon District! This is… this is…” Manager Qiu was so angry he couldn’t find the right words to describe his feelings. He really was feeling a little muddleheaded from anger. Regardless of who their enemy might be, their gall must be exceptionally large. After all, robbing the Million Puppets Pavilion was the equivalent of robbing House Sikou. Moreover, committing a robbery at the Fish and Dragon District was the equivalent of taunting the entire of the District! House Sikou wouldn’t be the only one offended in this case.

This entire matter seemed all so ludicrous. It wasn’t like the Fish and Dragon District had never experienced a robbery, but they had mostly happened to those luxury stores. In the slave market, ‘robbery’ simply didn’t exist as a concept because the amount of people one could loot in one go was plainly limited. Plus, it wasn’t easy to hide a person at all.  Unlike precious herbs and treasures, the uses of a slave were too singular. Moreover, these slaves might not even be useful if one got them through ill gotten ways!

It was exactly because robbery didn’t exist as a concept in the slave market that the Million Puppets Pavilion had not put up an utterly impregnable defense. Unfortunately, this also gave their enemy the opportunity to rob them. Most importantly, the enemy was actually capable of making off with two thousand people at once. This was the most shocking news of them all. Everyone knew that humans couldn’t live long inside a space ring, and how much time would it take to transfer two thousand people?

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