Chapter 763 – How To Make Money
This yellow dragon-robed man was Zhou Kun, the second son of Sublime Smelting Divine Kingdom’s Iron Wood High Prince. At one point, he had been a powerful candidate to be the successor to the Iron Wood High Prince.
Within the Divine Kingdoms, the successor of the High Princes were decided in a different method from in the mortal countries. In those mortal counties, they took the eldest son of the wife as the successor. However, in the four Divine Kingdoms, the title of successor belonged to whoever had the greatest degree of talent.
A few years ago, Zhou Kun had a very strong limelight on him. But after struggling to become the successor, he finally lost to his younger fourth brother. Since then, he had been keep a very low key presence and had rarely been seen in public.
In terms of status, Zhou Kun was naturally far inferior to Li Yifeng. Although the Sublime Smelting Divine Kingdom’s national strength was far higher than the Seven Star Divine Kingdom’s, Zhou Kun was only a failed son who couldn’t even become the successor to the High Prince. As for Li Yifeng, he was a true Prince of the Seven Star Divine Kingdom, so he was by far higher ranked than Zhou Kun.
Although his status was not comparable to Li Yifeng’s, Zhou Kun had no intention showing Li Yifeng due respect. When both of them were in their youth they had entered into a mystic realm together. Because they stumbled upon the same lucky chance at the same time, they had engaged in a brutal battle with each other. From that point on, that enmity had continued all the way to now.
Zhou Kun also loved collecting wood spirit jade carvings. Since he often came to White Dragon Jade Row to purchase items, it was normal for him to bump into Li Yifeng here.
“Hehe Brother Li, how come I don’t see your future imperial consort, ‘Sir’ Murong? I heard that ‘Sir’ Murong has been keeping a tight rein on you. After coming to this White Dragon Jade Row, aren’t you afraid that ‘Sir’ Murong will complain about you? I wonder if Brother Li will be punished to sit on the naughty chair and face the wall to reflect on your faults?”
As Lin Ming listened to Zhou Kun’s words, it was obvious that he knew that the crossdressing Miss Murong was actually Li Yifeng’s future wife. But as for Zhou Kun, he lingered on the word ‘Sir’ every time, obviously mocking Li Yifeng’s future wife’s strange choice of clothing.
Just as Zhou Kun finished speaking to Li Yifeng, Qing’er finally became angry, “Zhou Kun, have you taken the wrong medicine today? I heard that ever since you lost the position of successor you’ve devolved into a rabid dog that’s been biting whoever he sees. It’s none of your business what my family’s Big Sister Murong does or where she goes!”
Qing’er was an unruly smart mouth to begin with. While she acted like a proper girl in front of Li Yifeng, she was still not willing to eat a loss from others and the words that came tumbling out of her mouth after spoke could be especially poisonous.
Zhou Kun originally wanted to say more but his mouth was directly plugged up by Qing’er’s words. What she said had truly stuck at all his sore points, pointing out all his flaws. In his entire life, being defeated in the battle to become successor was his life’s greatest setback and frustration.
Zhou Kun’s complexion sank and he coldly humphed, no longer saying anything further. It wasn’t that he was afraid of Qing’er but he was only disinclined to argue with a mere maid. If they truly began to verbally spar then Qing’er’s reputation wouldn’t matter but his own would suffer.
At this time, the scarred man stepped in between them as a mediator. “Fellow sirs and misses, everyone here are high level characters of the four Divine Kingdoms. Let’s all take a step back and enjoy the brighter future together!”
The scarred man laughed. He was also taking particular notice to this quarrel. If two guests fought with each other then it would be helpful to him for raising prices. But, if this tussle went too far off the ledge and no one gave each other face, then he definitely wouldn’t benefit here.
“That’s right Knifescar, I heard that you just said there was some good stuff a while ago. Hurry up and let me have a look!” Zhou Kun impatiently said as he waved his hand. Qing’er’s words right now had made him feel very uncomfortable.
“Great! Fellow sirs and ladies, please enjoy and take a look around first!” The big fellow Knifescar respectfully said to Li Yifeng and Zhou Kun. However, he didn’t bother paying attention to Lin Ming or Zhou Kun’s entourage. It was obvious that he regarded Lin Ming as one of Li Yifeng’s followers.
“Everyone feel free to look. Every item has a number beneath it and a corresponding price in this jade slip.” The big fellow Knifescar said as he waved a jade slip in his hands. In Jade Row, the private price was not made public. If a curious visitor came in to just take a look then the manager wouldn’t even bother telling them the price or would make up a sky high price to drive them away. It was only when a true customer came in that the manager here would write out the true price from the jade slip and give it to the customer.
“Brother Lin, let’s just take a look around. Most of the things here are fake, so if you’re thinking of buying something it’s best that you don’t, lest you suffer a loss.”
“Fake?” Lin Ming asked, stunned.
“Yes. These are the unspoken rules of the Jade Row. In the Jade Row, there are seven fake items to every three real items. And sometimes there are even nine fake items to every one real item. If you were to go outside and take a look in the stalls instead then perhaps every item there might be fake. If you really want to ensure that what you buy is real then you can only go to a great auction house. But, the price at a great auction house would be much more expensive than here!”
So that’s how it was… Lin Ming was speechless. He never thought that even though the Sky Spill Continent and the Realm of the Gods were two completely different levels of existence, there was an astonishing number of similarities. In the Realm of the Gods, most of the wood spirit jade carvings were fakes. If one wanted to buy a true wood spirit jade carving then they could go to an auction house, but the price would simply be too high. Thus, many people were willing to go to shops to gamble their luck to make purchases, willing to accept the repeated losses.
The rules of the Jade Row were that all purchases were willing; if someone bought a fake item they could only blame themselves.
Li Yifeng sighed and shook his head, “These old things are sold at astronomical prices and the profits are corresponding highly. But, the fact is that these imitation goods aren’t cheap either. If I can’t look past them to see if they are real or fake, then all I can do is blame my own sight. Several years ago I bought a wood spirit jade folding screen. I thought it was the work of a grandmaster call Xuan Jiong from 20,000 years ago, but the reality was that I tricked myself. Because of this I was forced to face a wall in confinement for an entire year, so that Zhou Kun is only using this matter to insult me.”
As Li Yifeng spoke, he also used his perception to carefully examine the wood spirit jade carvings. One of the special features of wood spirit jade was that it was able to shield against perception. Even a Divine Sea Supreme Elder could give up any idea of piercing through wood spirit jade by even a half inch with their perception.
Li Yifeng released his perception. He was only able to casually touch the surface of the wood spirit jade and feel through the its texture, luster, and quality of the years. In addition, he also scrutinized the engraving style and painting style of the wood spirit jade. Every grandmaster had their own unique style that they applied to their works. But, there were also no lack of imitation masters, so identifying the truth was easier said than done.
Li Yifeng had played around with wood spirit jade carvings for several years so he had a great deal of experience in these matters. As he examined these works he also explained to Lin Ming on the side, “After a wood spirit jade has been carved, it will absorb wood-attribute origin energy every year and slowly form a fine hair-like texture on the surface. This texture is extremely difficult to sense… and there are even some supremely skilled experts that can reproduce this texture – these people are usually wood-attribute martial artists. They can use the wood-attribute energy within their own bodies and leave behind a similar fine hair-like structure on the wood spirit jade, to the point where even a master can’t distinguish between that and the real deal. For instance, this dragon carving… I’ve come to see it several times already and yet I just can’t make up my mind about it…”
As Li Yifeng said this, he bitterly placed the dragon carving back on the shelf. As Lin Ming saw Li Yifeng’s appearance, he couldn’t help but ask, “How many spirit essence stones is this dragon carving?”
“3300!” Li Yifeng let out in a single long breath. Even though if Li Yifeng could burden such a price, he still felt pained in the flesh to do so.
“So expensive!” Lin Ming gulped. After Xuan Wuji died he had left behind around 6000 top grade true essence stones. In addition to all the other treasures combined, if they were completely reduced into top grade true essence stones that would still only be around 20,000-30,000. If he were to use all that wealth to buy this carved dragon, then he would go broke once he bought seven or eight of them!
This was the entire wealth of a fifth-grade sect’s ruler.
Compared to the four Divine Kingdoms, the South Horizon Region truly was some remote backcountry.
As Lin Ming thought of this, an idea suddenly popped up in his mind. He asked Li Yifeng, “How about at an auction house? If this dragon carving were to be auctioned off, how much would it sell for?”
“A bit more than this.” Li Yifeng extended five long fingers.
“Yup! You could auction it for around 1700 more than this price, and after deducting the different auction house fees you’ll still have around a thousand remaining. Of course, all of this depends on whether you can determine what you choose is real or not!”
So this was how it was! This was an excellent method of gaining spirit essence stones!
Lin Ming’s eyes brightened. He had originally neglected that Realm of the Gods alchemist’s carving skills and identification abilities. But now, it seemed that they had had an extremely important function. It could certainly help to solve his lack of spirit essence stones.
If he could buy at a low price and sell at a high price, then he wouldn’t need to spend time personally looking for wood spirit jade.
Lin Ming immediately transferred out the memories of that Realm of the Gods alchemist and began to meditate on them, thoroughly contrasting it with what he knew.
The memories of the soul fragment were not like lines of text in a book.
No matter how much textual knowledge he had, if he didn’t practice it then it was wasted.
But, the memories of the soul fragment contained a massive amount of personal, hard-earned experience. That was the Realm of the Gods alchemist’s total accumulated training for a period of over 10,000 years. There were countless experiences identifying countless items and collections. As long as Lin Ming could fully integrate all of this knowledge into himself, then his identification ability would rise to ridiculous heights.
Even if he could only achieve a 40 to 50% standard for a Realm of the Gods alchemist, that was still enough to deal with any problems in the Sky Spill Continent. After all, the most ancient wood spirit jade carvings wouldn’t be older than 70,000 to 80,000 years old. This was because after the ancient catastrophe of the Sky Spill Continent, the rise of the martial arts world here only began 70,000 to 80,000 years ago.
Li Yifeng looked through three or four collections, taking an hour each time to examine them.
After looking for such a long time, Li Yifeng still didn’t buy anything. Still, manager Knifescar wasn’t nervous. To a martial artist, several hours could be just the time spent on some light meditation; it couldn’t be considered much at all.
Beside Li Yifeng, Lin Ming had actually closed his eyes and seemed as if he had entered meditation. In truth, he was rapidly fusing in those Realm of the Gods alchemist’s memories concerning wood spirit jade carvings. He definitely didn’t want to give up this chance of easily getting rich. In order to practice alchemy techniques, he not only needed wood spirit jade but also a massive amount of precious and rare materials. Relying on what he plundered from the South Sea Demon Region and Yin Yang Profound Palace was far from enough.
“I say Brother Knifescar, hurry up and show me the new stuff. All of these things on the shelves are either new imitations or old dubious items that no one has bought for several years. If you have anything new that just arrived then bring it out so we can take a good look and open our eyes.”
Most of the things here were purchased by the Knifescar fellow from the bandits in this region. Since he bought them at a low price they were naturally sold at a low price too. All of the good items only took several days to sell to others, so what was left over was what others could only call ambiguous goods.
Thus, Li Yifeng asked the Knifescar fellow to take out the new goods.
“Hehe, I do have some things. What I have here is a pair of newly excavated ancient jade bracelets. These are the burial goods of ancient Emperors!” The Knifescar fellow was going to take these things out anyway, but had he wanted to wear down Li Yifeng’s patience by having him look over the old items first. Then, his interest in the new items would greatly increase. This was also a form of marketing.
As Zhou Kun heard the Knifescar fellow say this, his interest was also piqued. He laughed as he walked over and said, “What is there? Take it out so I can open my eyes too.”
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