The business plane in the imperial city was one of the most flourishing places in the entire Titan Emperor Heaven. Massive quantities of treasures were shuttled back and forth, and money changed hands constantly.
Yang Qi could see many things that glowed with faint godliness. They weren’t god items, but rather divine objects that had been passed down from the kingdom of the gods, things that were naturally imbued with deathless godliness. Obviously, such items would be considered extremely valuable even here in an immortal world.
At one point, Yang Qi sensed something familiar.
‘What’s that? Why does it remind me of imperial snakecharms?’ He even felt his one hundred and eighty-five imperial snakecharms stirring, as though they sensed something similar to themselves.
There were a total of three thousand imperial snakecharms in existence, which corresponded to the existence of three thousand great daos. As for where the other snakecharms were, it was impossible to say. All he knew for sure was that each talisman he added to his collection represented an immense increase in power.
He had started with twenty-eight snakecharms, then increased the number to seventy-seven, and now he was up to one hundred eighty-five. That made him strong enough to directly devour the essence of immortal worlds and turn it into Heaven-Devouring True Energy.
He was already using that true energy to grow his internal pellet, combining it with the power of faith and the magical laws from the Hell of Mahānata and the Hell of Gloom and Darkness. That was the power he would use to step into the Demolishing level and become an immortal.
Thanks to the Heaven-Devouring True Energy, the internal pellet he was forming contained almost no impurities and was close to being deathless godliness.
However, if he could get more imperial snakecharms, he could form stronger Heaven-Devouring True Energy and make his internal pellet even purer. Eventually, it would radiate the glory of actual godliness and, when he used it, it would cause his genes to rise to a higher level.
For a Demi-Immortal from the mortal world to use genes eight hundred forty million times stronger than normal to become an immortal would lead to incomprehensible power.
Yang Qi pointed to a street lined with buildings that glittered with decorations of pearls and jade, which was the location that had just caused his imperial snakecharms to stir. “Let’s go to that area over there.”
“Milord,” Titan Duelbringer said, sounding a bit hesitant, “that’s the Heaven's Net Consortium, which has deep connections to the imperial court here, and also other immortal worlds. They illegally mark up their prices and—”
“I don’t care,” Yang Qi said coldly. “They have something I want. I just sensed an aura with deathless godliness, as well as imperial snakecharms.”
“Alright, Milord. Just be aware that if they do have imperial snakecharms, they’ll definitely charge an astronomical price for them, if they offered them for sale at all. The people from the Heaven’s Net Consortium are very unscrupulous, and there are even rumors floating around that they have competitors assassinated. But, thanks to their connections in the court, they’re never investigated. Thankfully, we’re from the imperial clan, so they’ll be hesitant to do anything to us. Maybe they’ll even drop prices a bit.”
“Understood. Let’s go.”
The street that was the Heaven's Net Consortium was lined with shops and businesses of all sorts. A dazzling array of immortal items, weapons, clothing, armor, and jewelry could be seen, as well as immortal pills, fruit, and herbs.
There were some shops that offered crystal vases with spatial pockets in them, which were occupied by mutant immortal creatures. There were dragons, qilins, heaven-rocs, cloudtreaders, nine-headed snakes, and more. All of them were very rare creatures, the kind that immortals might use as mounts.
There were other shops that sold mechanical humanoids and beasts, things that harkened back to the ancient mechanical civilization. Such mechanical beings could be extremely powerful, perhaps even as strong as the immortals who created them.
That said, the techniques used to create mechanical items were degraded by the immortal skills used on them, and couldn’t possibly compare to the actual machines created by that ancient civilization. They hadn’t used even the tiniest bit of magical power from the dao of immortals, but their machines could kill Godmyths and threaten the actual legion of gods.
‘Ai, what a dazzling lineup of goods,’ Yang Qi thought. ‘I want all of it! Just imagine how amazing it would be if I could send all of these things down to the lower world.’
Sighing, he and Titan Duelbringer entered one particular shop. At the far end was a raised dais upon which sat an immortal, who was obviously a clerk tasked with keeping an eye on the customers and handling any transactions.
It was actually a pawn shop, which meant it was the perfect place to exchange his Tusita Heaven power stones for brahmanints.
Approaching the dais, Titan Duelbringer pulled out a violet immortal stone and said, “We’d like to pawn some of these for cash. How much will you give us?”
At a glance, Yang Qi could tell that the clerk had only recently stepped into the Demolishing level. However, he was clearly a shrewd fellow, a fierce fighter, and a cunning businessperson.
At first, the clerk looked at them like a vicious wild animal eyeing its prey.
But then he noticed that they wore the clothing of imperial clansmen and the avarice vanished. Taking the power stone, he inspected it visually, then pulled out a mirror that he used to illuminate it with magical light, revealing its quality and strength.
The more closely he looked at it, the more his face flickered with shock. Finally, he gripped the stone as tightly as he would a precious treasure, and looked up at them. Trying to sound casual, he said, “This immortal stone is middling at best. Considering how average it is, I can only offer ten brahmanints for it.”
“What?!” Titan Duelbringer blurted, his eyes bulging with fury. “That’s a high-level immortal stone! The immortal power in that thing surpasses anything from the Titan Emperor Heaven by so many times it's incalculable. An ordinary immortal stone is worth ten brahmanints, and you’re offering us that much for this!? It's worth ten thousand brahmanints at the very least! In fact, that might be undervaluing it! I knew the Heaven’s Net Consortium was unscrupulous, but I never imagined you were this bad!”
The immortal clerk snorted coldly and said, “How brash! I can’t believe you would dare to call the Heaven’s Net Consortium unscrupulous! The only reason I'm not striking you down right here and now is that you’re imperial clansman! Do you know who the Heaven’s Net Consortium has backing us? Obviously not! Get the hell out of here right now! I'm keeping this immortal stone, and if you even think of causing more trouble I’ll make sure the Department of the Imperial Clan arrests you!”
“You!” Titan Duelbringer growled, and it looked like he might start a fight right then and there. After all, ever since Yang Qi helped him transform his immortal body and gave him five godly-class energy arts, he was in a completely different position than he had been in the past. How could he possibly take such insults standing?
“Hold on a moment,” Yang Qi said, reaching out to stop Titan Duelbringer from doing anything. Looking at the immortal proprietor, he said, “I see how the Heaven’s Net Consortium runs their pawning business now. If this is how you want to do things, fine. I couldn't care less if you take that one immortal stone. I have plenty more where it came from. And if I can’t pawn them here, I’ll just go somewhere else. Don’t blame me for losing out on such a good deal.”
“What? You have more of them?” the clerk said, visibly taken aback. He had previously assumed that these were two imperial clansmen down on their luck. The Heaven’s Net Consortium wasn’t worried about reprisals from the imperial clan, much less two nobodies who were in dire straits. Under the impression that they had just come across a power stone, he had decided to take it, confident that there would be no repercussions. But now he was being told that they had more, and he realized that he’d made an unwise miscalculation.
Although he realized his mistake, it was too late to suddenly start fawning over these two customers. As a result, his face flushed, then turned a sickly green, and finally deathly white.
Of course, their dialogue was already the subject of attention; people had looked over the moment Titan Duelbringer pulled out the power stone. The dazzling light and sensation of magical laws that it emanated were very eye-catching.
After a short, awkward silence, a tall, imposing figure walked out from the depths of the shop.
Glaring at the clerk, he said, “Who trained you for this position?! I can’t believe you actually treat customers this poorly. You’re dismissed immediately. I’ll figure out how to punish you later.”
“Y-yes, yes of course, Sir Sun.” 
The proprietor handed the power stone over and scurried away.
“My dear customers,” Sir Sun said, “our clerk was very unprofessional just now, and I’ll make sure he pays dearly for that.” He brushed off the power stone and handed it back to Yang Qi. “Brother, did I just hear you mention you have a large collection of power stones like this? If so, I'm sure we can work out a deal. The clerk just now offered you ten brahmanint, which was truly an insult. In fact, I think I’ll fire him. Come, come. Why don’t we head inside to discuss the particulars of the deal?”
‘Now this is more like it,’ Yang Qi thought. Inside, he was laughing coldly at this Sir Sun’s act of cordiality. However, he kept his face calm and relaxed. “I can’t refuse such a warm and thoughtful invitation,” he said. “You know, if we seal a deal I think it will be very beneficial for your Heaven’s Net Consortium. After all, I’ve heard you don’t have a very good reputation.”
“Oh, you can’t trust gossip!” Sir Sun said, though he couldn’t keep his cheek from twitching. “Those are just rumors spread by other consortiums. Besides, Brother, if you heard we have a bad reputation, why would you come to us to do business?”
“Er, good question….” Titan Duelbringer said. “Well, you might have a bad reputation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give us a good deal. Besides, I'm hoping that this incredible deal of ours will actually help boost your reputation.”
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