Chapter 143: To Slap or To Be Slapped?
As one of the four great locations of the Skylaurel Kingdom, the Azure Heaven Southern Palace had an enormous reputation. Its influence was almost unmatched within the southeastern region of the Skylaurel Kingdom.
In comparison to the tyrannical reputation of the Azure Heaven Northern Palace, the Southern Palace appeared much more practical and friendly.
Of course, this had something to do with its location as well.
The capital of the Skylaurel Kingdom was in the southeastern region of the kingdom. This region was where the core of the royal family’s power was located.
It was obviously impossible for the Southern Palace to be as domineering and bratty as the Northern Palace.
Within a kingdom, the power and influence of the royal family was still paramount. If the Southern Palace didn’t keep a low profile to the side of the royal family, how would the latter tolerate their existence?
How would an outsider be allowed to snore next to your bed?
Therefore, in stark contrast to the tyrannical domination of the Northern Palace, the Southern Palace had an exceptionally good reputation, and was the location out of the four that was most willing to enter society.
The Qingyang Valley kept as low a profile as they could. Their members almost never made an appearance in society, and very rarely formed relationships with those in the outside world.
Apart from recruiting, they had almost no business with the outside world.
The Myriad Treasures Palace both spanned the greatest breadth of all of the locations and was involved in every field, but emphasized doing business.
As opposed to saying that the Myriad Treasures Palace was a site for conducting rituals, it would be more accurate to say that it was a place that the Precious Tree Sect had established to do business within a common kingdom.
In addition, the areas that the Myriad Treasures Palace were involved with were quite broad.
Pills, spirit medicine, spirit weapons, martial methods, secret arts, talismans and seals, spirit creatures…
All sorts of popular fields, non mainstream fields — there was almost no business that the Myriad Treasures Palace didn’t partake in.
Since the two supplementary ingredients he needed could be obtained in a few days at the exhibition, Jiang Chen wasn’t in a hurry because of just a few additional days.
These merchants were simply trying to raise prices by not selling their wares now. Although Jiang Chen could still purchase them by bidding a high price, he stuck to his principles of keeping a low profile, and didn’t wish to draw overt attention.
He wouldn’t be able to start making wine the instant he’d purchased these two supplementary ingredients anyways.
After all, making wine required the use of a wine distillery and all sorts of equipment.
Equipment was easy to take care of, but finding a wine distillery would take more time. It was a good thing that the atmosphere of enjoying wine within the Skylaurel Kingdom was quite prevalent, and that there were many wine distilleries up for rent.
Over the next couple of days, Jiang Chen sent out his people to ask around, finally finished negotiating with a wine distillery that had come down in the world, and signed a short term lease agreement with it.
After everything had been readied, the great exhibition from the Southern Palace proceeded as planned.
Jiang Chen brought his followers to the exhibition location early that morning.
Apart from the Myriad Treasures Palace being right outside the capital, none of the core territories of the other four locations were in the capital. But as great powers within the kingdom, they all had their own turf within the capital.
The Azure Heaven Southern Palace was no exception.
Jiang Chen had thought that he’d come quite early, but discovered that he wasn’t the earliest when he arrived. When they arrived, there were already many present.
All sorts of booths and transaction counters were decked out in full array, and the entire scene was bustling.
Jiang Chen’s goal this trip was the two supplementary ingredients.
When he arrived at the transaction area though, there were so many rows of booths that it was difficult for his eyes to take in.
However, he also knew that the two supplementary ingredients were relatively uncommon, and thus ordinary booths wouldn’t have them. Only those belonging to the great powers would have them in stock.
Therefore, he made directly for the VIP area.
The VIP area was filled with the influential powers and great merchants of the Skylaurel Kingdom.
Anyone who could have a booth in the VIP area was basically at an awesome level of existence.
It went without saying that the Southern Palace would have spots. The other three locations had also received invitations and sent many representatives.
When Jiang Chen and the others neared the VIP section, a pair of eyes immediately discovered them from a spot inside the transaction area.
This person was a disciple of the Northern Palace, and had participated in the battle pursuing Jiang Chen’s group. However, this person was only of the true qi realm, and wasn’t too conspicuous.
When this person saw Jiang Chen, his head retracted slightly, and he lowered his head. He walked to the side of one of the people in charge on the Northern Palace side and murmured a few words next to the person’s ears.
This person was also roughly twenty or so years old, and had look of cunning shrewdness on his face. When he heard the words of his peers, his eyes formed into a long slit as he glanced semi-unwittingly in Jiang Chen’s direction.
He only gave a hasty flick and retracted his gaze, obviously afraid of acting rashly and alerting the enemy.
He then said a few words to his peer and nodded his head slightly, speaking a few words in exhortation — plainly already formulating some sort of scheme.
Jiang Chen’s attention naturally didn’t take heed of all of this.
“Do you have Bluelily Grass and Wooden Pellets?”
“Boss, how much are you selling these Bluelily Grass and Wooden Pellets for?”
“Eh, this is just a sample, it’s not for sale.”
“Brother, what price are the Bluelily Grass and Wooden Pellets going for?”
“My apologies, someone’s already reserved these items and I can’t sell them!”
“My apologies, I don’t have any Bluelily Grass or Wooden Pellets.”
Jiang Chen only discovered that something was afoot after he started inquiring about the two ingredients. He could’ve brushed it off as the merchants stockpiling and not selling if he hadn’t been able to purchase these two items two days ago, the merchants wanting to obtain a high price.
But the transaction fair had started already… then, did they still wish to raise their prices? Business had never seemed to be done in this fashion, starting from ancient times.
The items were right there, but they had all sorts of excuses for not selling.
If everyone was doing so, then he’d let it go. But everyone was conducting their purchasing and selling of all sorts of spirit medicines quite smoothly. Although their prices veered on the high side, no one had run into the same baffling treatment that Jiang Chen had run into.
Every store he walked into would either not sell, or would find all sorts of excuses.
This was truly strange. Jiang Chen hadn’t thought that he’d be able to draw such hatred, being a newly person arrived in the capital, such that all the merchants would unite against him.
The first being that Jiang Chen thought of was the Azure Heaven Northern Palace.
He took another look at the Northern Palace booths. They appeared quite busy and crowded, with plenty of people standing in front of them and bustingly with activity.
Qiao Baishi walked up at this moment and said lowly, “Young master, your subordinate just handed over some silver and asked these merchants. It seems that… the merchants have formed an accord in that they won’t sell anything that you wish to buy to you.”
“Why is that?”
“I think the Azure Heaven Northern Palace is purposefully making life difficult for you.” Qiao Baishi speculated.
“The Northern Palace?” Jiang Chen’s gaze turned cold. He hadn’t fully collected on the debt for the Northern Palace irritating him last time — did these fellows want to give him trouble within the capital?
Old and new grudges surged up together as a bit of killing intent flashed through Jiang Chen’s eyes.
“Mm. Who else is there apart from the Northern Palace? It’s impossible for these merchants to not give the Northern Palace face. It’s rather normal for the four great sites to give each other face. After all, we have no influence or power within the capital, and no one would be willing to offend the Northern Palace over this small matter.”
Jiang Chen also felt that Qiao Baishi’s analysis made a great deal of sense. But the Northern Palace was truly being too childish by playing this hand.
“If they’re unwilling to sell to me what I want to buy, will they still refuse to sell if someone else buys for me?”
Qiao Baishi smiled ruefully, “I seemed to hear that the Azure Heaven Northern Palace has released word that they’re buying Bluelily Grass and Wooden Pellets at a high price. They’re buying up all of these two items today, and will pay double.”
“Tsk tsk, they’re willing to pay a high price.” Jiang Chen smiled coldly. “This is to say, they’re going to buy whatever I want?”
“Ai, come come come. We’re purchasing Bluelily Grass and Wooden Pellets at high prices. Our Azure Heaven Northern Palace is willing to buy as much stock as there is!”
A fellow suddenly cupped his hands by his mouth and started hollering and yelling by the booths of the Northern Palace.
He smirked and winked in Jiang Chen’s direction as he yelled, obviously purposefully displaying his strength.
“Damn it!” Gouyu couldn’t help it but want to grip her sword handle.
“Don’t be rash.” Jiang Chen flung out his sleeve and halted Gouyu’s action of fumbling for her sword
“They go too far in their bullying!” Princess Gouyu was indeed quite ticked off as her chest heaved, obviously heavily angered.
Jiang Chen smiled faintly, as he walked over with slow steps and stood in front of the Azure Heaven Northern Palace booth.
“You’re planning on cornering the market aren’t you? If I recall correctly, this is a transaction fair held by the Southern Palace, when was it the Northern Palace’s turn to behave wildly?” Jiang Chen asked faintly.
“Kid, you can eat out of the wrong bowl but you can’t say the wrong words. This is normal purchasing behavior. What cornering the market? Don’t spew blood from your mouth.” The person in charge smiled coldly at Jiang chen.
“Tsk tsk, isn’t it said that the Northern Palace won’t dare admit to their deeds? You guys even dare do things like killing and looting others, but don’t dare admit to these sort of acts? Normal purchasing behavior? Doesn’t your face flush red when you utter these words?” Jiang Chen laughed contemptuously.
The face of the person in charge darkened, “What? Do you see a rule that says we can’t make our purchases? Make your own if you have the skills to. This is fair competition!”
“Indeed.” The person in charge strutted. “It isn’t that I, with the Zhang surname, hold you in contempt, but if you can buy the Bluelily Grass and Wooden Pellets here today, I’ll crawl out from here!”
The person in charge had a sharp eye and he could tell that Jiang Chen likely didn’t have much of a position within the capital. Otherwise, he wouldn’t use this sort of method to purchase these two items.
A person who utterly lacked methods like this fellow was on a completely different level to his Northern Palace. How would the merchants of the transaction fair today not give face to his Northern Palace and sell the two items to Jiang Chen instead?
Therefore, the person in charge felt greatly assured when he spoke these words. He wanted to leverage his actions in this matter to suppress Jiang Chen and curry favor with his senior brother Liu who was already in the spirit realm.
Although senior brother Liu hadn’t come today, if he did this matter well, it would surely travel to senior brother Liu’s ears.
The person in charge had committed these actions to fawn over a spirit realm practitioner, and had raised such a fuss.
He also firmly believed this because he’d been in this line of business for so many years and had deep and vast connections. Those who’d appeared here today were all old faces. They all met regularly and frequently, therefore who would deny him this face?
Besides, this kid looked like a foreigner. Even if they weren’t his old pals, these merchants wouldn’t offend him, a disciple of the Northern Palace, for a foreigner.
Jiang Chen looked at this person and then looked at the expressions of the merchants surrounding them, watching them with the look of enjoying a good show. A trace of a smile appeared on the corners of his lips.
“Crawl out? Are you sure?”
The person in charge puffed out his chest, “Yes. If you can buy them, I’ll crawl around this transaction area three times. What will you do if you can’t buy them?”
Since he was going to suppress Jiang Chen, the person in charge didn’t want to simply ban him from the market. The more he humiliated Jiang Chen, the more capital he’d have in the future for currying favor with senior brother Liu.
Not only did he wish to force out Jiang Chen, he also wanted to make use of the opportunity to thoroughly stomp on him, utterly shaming him, and making it so that he had no face to stay in the capital anymore.