Chapter 671: Cooperation
After a few breaths of time, a look of determination filled the eyes of Saint Sun Soul. He lifted up the glass of alcohol and then tossed it down his throat.
After it went down, his body suddenly started shaking, and veins bulged out on his face. A pained expression appeared but he doggedly endured, raising his hand to rotate the full power of his Cultivation base. His wife’s face flickered, and she was about to rise to her feet when Saint Sun Soul stopped her with a look.
He panted for the space of about ten breaths, then suddenly pointed out with his right index finger. A blue aura appeared, filled with an intense sharpness. It shot out through the wall of the tower, after which, a monstrous Sword Qi sped off over the horizon.
Saint Sun Soul breathed deeply, and his face was pale white. He looked over at Meng Hao.
“Does everyone in your hometown drink this type of alcohol?”
His expression the same as ever, Meng Hao lifted up the bronze alcohol flagon and took a long drink, all the while staring Saint Sun Soul in the eye.
Saint Sun Soul’s face twitched again. He watched as Meng Hao had no reaction whatsoever to the alcohol, and in fact, even took another drink. He sighed.
“In all the years I’ve practiced Cultivation, this is the first time someone has ever threatened me with some alcohol.”
“How could treating you to some alcohol be a threat?” asked Meng Hao, sounding a bit hurt. “In my hometown, everyone really does drink this. It’s just that when I left, I was in a bit of a hurry, so I didn’t bring very much with me. Next time, I’ll make sure to bring you a bit more.”
Saint Sun Soul sat there quietly. He wasn’t quite sure what to make of Meng Hao’s arrival. The Sword Qi in the alcohol was very strong, and moments ago he had actually been rocked both physically and mentally. Then he saw Meng Hao drink it without any reaction at all. He couldn’t help but think that Meng Hao was even more mysterious than he had seemed at first.
“He can attract Sea Demons to the point of driving them crazy,” he thought. “He has this strange sword alcohol and a shocking fleshly body, and even canceled out my freezing Qi…. On top of that he’s also a Time Cultivator. So… why exactly is he here?” He lifted up the glass with the freezing alcohol and took a drink.
“Why don’t you exchange your Demon hearts with the Sun Soul Society? The exchange rate won’t be incredibly high, but neither will it be very low.”
Meng Hao looked back silently at Saint Sun Soul for a moment. Then he asked, “Why do the three Sects value Demon hearts so much?”
“Generally speaking, that is a secret,” replied Saint Sun Soul coolly. “However, considering the level of your Cultivation base, you’ll figure it eventually on your own.
“The history of the three Sects go back a long way,” he continued. “As for how long exactly, even I’m not too sure. I only know that the first generation of Patriarchs of the Sects jointly summoned the Stormwind Divide. After that, this area was sealed off all the way down until this day.
“As to whether those Patriarchs are still alive or dead, nobody knows. However, they left behind a legacy treasure that requires Demon hearts to ensure that it will continue to exist. Furthermore, the cultivation techniques of the Cultivators of the three Sects are different from that of outsiders. To us, Spirit Stones are only moderately effective. Demon hearts, on the other hand, are a different story.
“Furthermore, and most importantly, every rotation of the great spell formation that protects the three Sects requires a shocking amount of Demon hearts. Without the Demon hearts, it can’t be operated.”
Having heard all of this, Meng Hao chuckled a bit. “I suppose there is another reason, isn’t there?”
“Yes, but I can’t tell you,” replied Saint Sun Soul, staring at Meng Hao.
“It has something to do with the yellow springs Underworld Ship in the Stormwind Divide,” said Meng Hao, smiling and eyes glittering.
Saint Sun Soul looked back at him expressionlessly. “There’s no need for you to probe for information. That matter is a secret of the three Sects, which cannot be told to outsiders. However, you know of the yellow springs Underworld Ship…. That’s a bit unexpected.”
Although his tone of voice was the same as ever, inwardly, Saint Sun Soul was shocked to hear Meng Hao mention the yellow springs Underworld Ship. Yet again, he found himself more in awe.
It was at this point that a jade slip suddenly began to glow inside Saint Sun Soul’s bag of holding. He took it out and looked it over, then placed it down onto the table.
“If you don’t want to tell me, then forget about the matter,” said Meng Hao, giving up on his efforts to probe for information. “As for the Demon hearts… as long as you give me a huge enough quantity of Spirit Stones, then of course I’ll exchange them with you!” He pulled out a bag of holding, which he loosened and then placed on the table.
Glancing at the jade slip on the table in front of Saint Sun Soul, Meng Hao smiled and said, “You most likely know exactly how many Demon hearts are inside. Name a price.”
“5,000,000,000 low-grade Spirit Stones,” replied Saint Sun Soul. He waved his hand, causing a ring to fly out which Meng Hao then snatched.
He scanned it with Divine Sense, whereupon he saw that the inside of the ring was densely packed with a vast quantity of Spirit Stones!
They were not low-grade, nor even mid-grade. No, all were high-grade Spirit Stones!
Meng Hao’s pupils constricted. According to his understanding, even great Sects and Clans would have a hard time accumulating so many high-grade Spirit Stones. And yet Saint Sun Soul’s attitude was… relatively cavalier.
Meng Hao muttered to himself inwardly about how this cold-faced man turned out to be the truly rich one. However, he still couldn’t wrap his mind about why the trifling Sun Soul Society would have so many Spirit Stones.
His eyes flickered as all of a sudden, he thought about Demon hearts.
“Could it be that there is something about the Demon hearts themselves that cause the Sun Soul Society to be so rich?” he thought.
“Our transaction is complete, you can take your leave now.” Saint Sun Soul closed his eyes and paid no more attention to Meng Hao, as if even looking at him caused him to feel somewhat annoyed.
Meng Hao smiled, clasped the ring in hand as he stood up and prepared to leave. However, after taking only two steps, he suddenly stopped and looked back.
“Considering how many Spirit Stones your Sun Soul Society has,” he said, “perhaps you would be interested in forming a cooperation.”
Saint Sun Soul opened his eyes and looked at Meng Hao.
“What sort of cooperation?”
“The two of us join forces to kill Sea Demons. I’ll help you to draw them out.”
Saint Sun Soul’s eyes glittered, and after a moment of silence, he said, “What’s the split?”
“For every ten we acquire, you keep nine and I keep one. Furthermore, when it comes to exchanging the Demon hearts for Spirit Stones, I’ll give you a ten percent discount!” [1. Just to forestall any questions, Meng Hao's offer is translated correctly. He gives Saint Sun Soul nine for every one that he gets]
“Fifty percent!” retorted Saint Sun Soul.
“No way,” said Meng Hao, shaking his head. “It’s not easy to attract the Sea Demons, and that’s my responsibility. It’s just that with your help things will go a bit faster. Also, the Third Ring belongs to your three Sects. If it weren’t for that, I could just do it all myself.”
“Oh, so you do know what it means to be in the Third Ring after all!” shot back Saint Sun Soul. The two of them continued to negotiate the terms of their cooperation. Off to the side, Saint Sun Soul’s beautiful wife covered her smile with her hand as she watched on. She hadn’t heard Saint Sun Soul speak so much in years.
She understood her husband well. He seemed cold on the outside, but he viewed the people he approved of as close friends. As for the people he didn’t approve of, even people who were incredibly powerful, they would not hear more than three sentences come out of his mouth.
She could see that although her husband and Meng Hao didn’t seem to get along, in truth, they both admired each other.
Meng Hao slapped his hand down onto the table, causing the jade slip to fly up into the air. “You listen to me, swindler, I’ve been going easy on you so far, don’t make me get serious! You’ve tasted my hometown alcohol, so you know that a fifty percent discount is not going to happen!”
Saint Sun Soul gave a cold snort. “For hundreds of years in the Third Ring, the Saints have controlled everything! Without my permission, will you be killing any Demons at all?”
The two of them faced off angrily. Smiling, Saint Sun Soul’s wife rose to her feet to refill their glasses of alcohol. Her voice soft, she said, “There’s no need to act like this, you two. Instead of sticking to fifty percent or ten percent, why don’t you both back down a bit and settle on thirty percent?”
Meng Hao thought for a moment and then nodded in agreement. “Fine, thirty percent it is!” After all, this was the Third Ring, and when it came to Saint Sun Soul, unless he used some of his trump cards, he wouldn’t quite be a match. Although the two of them didn’t quite know how to deal with the other, Meng Hao couldn’t help but think about how annoying it was to try to earn his Spirit Stones only to be interfered with by other random people.
Saint Sun Soul hesitated for a moment and then nodded.
Meng Hao rose to his feet, “Alright, swindler. Since we’re in agreement, then we’ll head out in a few days.”
“I’m a Saint and my name is Lin Tao!” said Saint Sun Soul through gritted teeth.
“Thanks for telling me, swindler,” replied Meng Hao, flicking his sleeve and preparing to leave.
It was at this point that Saint Sun Soul’s eyes flickered, and he suddenly swept his sleeve across the jade slip sitting on the table, sending it flying toward Meng Hao. Meng Hao turned and grabbed it, then looked at Saint Sun Soul.
“Saint Flying Immortal and Saint Sea Divinity sent me some news. Take a look.” He took another drink of alcohol, then closed his eyes and said nothing further.
A serious expression on his face, Meng Hao sent his Divine Sense into the jade slip. After looking at the information therein, a tremor ran through him. According to the jade slip, Saint Flying Immortal and Saint Sea Divinity were currently on their way to the Third Ring, along with seventy thousand of their disciples.
In addition to that information, there was also a picture of Meng Hao, as well as an message to Saint Sun Soul, inviting him to join in the search.
Finally, there was a message indicating that the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch was coming personally to meet with Saint Sun Soul to explain the rewards he would receive for participating in the search.
Meng Hao’s face was expressionless as he tossed the jade slip back, where it hovered in the air in front of Saint Sun Soul.
Saint Sun Soul took and put it away, then coolly said, “Han Feng.”
As soon as the words left his mouth, Han Feng teleported into the room to stand in front of Saint Sun Soul. He clasped hands and bowed.
His voice calm, Saint Sun Soul said, “Go out into Seahold and get rid of any information about Master’s friend here. It doesn’t matter how many people saw him or had dealings with him, go take care of everything. Spare no cost.
“That includes people who have left the city in the past few days. Clean it all up.”
Han Feng gaped for a moment, then bowed his head and voiced his assent. He glanced over at Meng Hao and then turned and left.
Meng Hao’s eyes glittered as he watched these things happen, but he didn’t speak.
“Saint Flying Immortal and Saint Sea Divinity are passing through the Stormwind Divide. Given the speed they can attain, it will take them two months to get here. As for that 10th Wang Clan Patriarch, even if he does have a Dao Seeking Cultivation base, it will also take him about two months.
“I will agree with the requests of the other Saints, as well as of the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch. That way, it will be much harder for traces of your passage to be picked up in my territory.”
Meng Hao was silent for a moment before clasping hands and bowing. “Many thanks!”
“I’m not helping you, I’m helping our business,” replied Saint Sun Soul coolly. Then he cleared his throat and looked at Meng Hao. “Eighty percent discount!”
Meng Hao gritted his teeth. Although his expression was the same as usual, he glared at Saint Sun Soul, who was beaming in self-satisfaction. “Forty percent, that’s the most you’ll get!”
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