Chapter 9: We’re Seriously Rich
If this truly happened, the third hallmaster could almost imagine the type of punishment he would face when the lord hallmaster returned!
Although it was just a healing medicine, it was something that every practitioner needed. This size of this market was an astronomical figure.
Not to mention that this was an exclusive trade, available only at this store and no others. They would be able to corner the market with complete peace of mind.
This type of business opportunity happened less than once in ten lifetimes! If they missed out on it, they wouldn’t even be able to find a place to cry.
“Sir, anything can be discussed! Our Hall offers complete sincerity in discussing this matter. How about this, the Hall first offers ten thousand silver as a token of our genuinity. Please treat it as a gesture of friendship, of our desire to be friends with the noble sir. I can also be so bold as to agree to the terms of a 50/50 split. We can sign the cooperation contract as soon as the lord hallmaster returns.”
Jiang Zheng was so happy that flowers were almost blooming in his heart, yet he remembered Jiang Chen’s words. Jiang Chen had said that the 50/50 split was the bottom line. If he could negotiate an even better split, then the additional profit would be his, Jiang Zheng’s!
Wasn’t this opportunity knocking on his door?
“Third hallmaster, I’ve already given you a chance just now, but you did not grasp it. The 50/50 split is a thing of the past. Now, hmph! If we don’t reach an agreement, it will be 70/30. I believe that the Temple of the Farmer God or the Pill King Garden would still be willing even with a 70/30 split.”
This wasn’t exhortation, but a simple fact. The Temple and Garden had always covetously eyed the Hall’s position as the pill market leader in the kingdom. How would they pass up such an opportunity that had come knocking on their door?
The pill medicine’s costs were roughly ten percent. Even with a 70/30 split, there was still room for twenty percent profit.
This twenty percent profit was no small thing. Twenty percent profit of a cornered market was still a showstopping figure. After all, this thing would be able to dominate the markets of all sixteen surrounding kingdoms!
Low profit margins were not a match for low margin and high volume!
“...draft the contract immediately! Attend to me! Immediately offer ten thousand gold to this gentleman as a sign of our sincerity!” The third hallmaster really wanted to slap himself now. Why hadn’t he been more enthusiastic earlier? Why hadn’t he been more resolute?
A perfectly fine 50/50 split had turned into this in a blink of an eye.
But it was still a good deal. The third hallmaster decided to still go through with the deal as he thought of the future potential of this business. Best not to irk this gentleman further. The 70/30 split would become real if he changed his mind again. That would a loss of another ten percent of profit.
Jiang Zheng felt like he was surrounded by happiness and contentment after he’d accepted the ten thousand gold. He patted the third hallmaster’s shoulder, “You are quite a likeable guy. Let’s split, I’ll do 60 and you do 40. We can happily settle on this!”
Jiang Zheng almost forgot how he got home. He felt like his entire body was floating and that he would drift away to the clouds as he walked on the street.
He was too happy, too excited.
So excited that he almost suspected that he was dreaming!
The ten thousand gold was nothing in his eyes now. The contract had been drafted, and he had reviewed it. He remembered that the young duke had promised that he, Jiang Zheng would be able to keep the profits of any split more favorable than the bottom line of 50/50.
But he hasn't signed it. After all, the young master had to weigh in on this. He was just an underling, and didn't dare overstep his place by signing a contract without the express orders of his master.
Jiang Zheng counted on his fingertips. If he converted this ten percent profit into silver, then the proceeds would be enough for him to live in style for a long while.
Delicacies from land and sea, dressed in fine attire and riding well groomed horses, a manor and surrounding lands, home filled with gold and silver.
At this moment, Jiang Zheng felt that this kind of life was already staring at him in the face.
Conversing with the powerful, befriending the noble, wives coexisting in harmony, doting on sons and grandchildren.
This kind of life was already waving to him from afar.
Regulars at the Autumn Crane, financier of the Garden of Returning Spring, whoring with dukes and princes, drinking at the same table with esteemed officials.
Naturally, these kinds of scenes wouldn’t be too far away!
He returned joyfully to the manor and was about to report the good news to the young duke, but was informed that the young duke had closed his doors for training. Any messages would have to wait.
Jiang Zheng didn’t think too much about it as his entire being was enveloped by happiness. He simply decided not to leave, and sat down in front of the young duke’s room, loyally filling in the role of a guard.
He still had not regained his calm after he’d sat down. He reminisced about the young duke’s historical antics, and thought about the astonishing events of today.
Jiang Zheng couldn’t help but suspect, “Has the young duke been a charlatan all along? Was he testing me with those nonsensical actions before? Was he pretending to be weak, when in fact he was quite strong?”
Whether it was being a charlatan or truly a visitation from the gods, Jiang Zheng clearly realized that his doubts from before were quite incorrect.
He knew that even if the young duke had no other redeeming qualities about him, this pill recipe alone represented unlimited potential!
As the young duke’s personal body servant and steward, it would be a grave mistake if he didn’t keep close to the young duke’s footsteps!
“I was being silly before in wanting to quit. Thank goodness the young duke still believes in me, Jiang Zheng. I’ve got to do a good job in the future. What does the gain and loss of a moment matter? The young duke hadn’t made any moves before simply because he didn’t want to. Now that he’s made one, it’s a grand gesture indeed! It looks like the young duke is no ordinary person!”
Many thoughts were running through Jiang Zheng’s head, but the most resolute one was that in the future, he would steadfastly follow the young duke’s footsteps. He would not even crease his brow if they scaled mountains made of knives, or dived into oceans of fire.
Wasn’t the goal of a steward following a master to attain power and riches?
The more he thought, the more Jiang Zheng’s blood thrummed. He would have more status now at home, and could lecture that yellow faced wife of his to not be so short sighted!
Why should I, Jiang Zheng, try to one up the other stewards? So they're momentarily wealthy and temporarily high placed, big freaking deal. Can all of them added together measure up to my haul today?
While Jiang Zheng was happily dreaming of his blueprints to a happy-ever-after, Jiang Chen was taking the first steps on the path of training in both his past and present lives.
One had to say, the past Jiang Chen was the epitome of laziness. His potential was in the top percentile amongst all 108 dukedom heirs, but the effort he put forth was without a doubt the lowest.
“This kid was seriously a ne’er-do-well. All this potential, wasted!” Jiang Chen was a bit dissatisfied with his past self.
The divisions of the martial dao mastery in this world were defined by the initial step of training true qi.
In this world, the basics of martial dao were -- there were twelve major acupoints in a person’s body, and twelve meridians flowed through them. One could clear a meridian by clearing an acupoint, and coalesce the body’s energy into one current of true qi.
Altogether, there were twelve meridians true qi in the true qi realm.
But in the Eastern Kingdom, there existed no one who had been able to obtain twelve meridians true qi by clearing all twelve meridians, via clearing the twelve acupoints.
Therefore, a sentence existed in the world of training: Twelve levels of true qi separate snakes and dragons.
Whether a practitioner was a dragon or snake depended on how many acupoints he could clear in his body.
Generally speaking, clearing three meant passing. Three meridians true qi were called the realm of initial true qi. These types of people were a bit stronger than your average person. They were suitable for joining the military and fighting in wars, or guarding homes.
If one surpassed three and was within six levels, that counted as intermediate level true qi. This level of practitioner enjoyed higher status amongst martial dao practitioners. Whether it was joining the military or trying their hand in other professions, they would achieve good results.
As for surpassing six levels and staying with nine levels, then that was entering the advanced level of true qi.
There were exceedingly few within the advanced level. If one became an advanced level practitioner, then he would be quite a character in the Eastern Kingdom region.
Those above nine levels would be hailed as true qi masters, but those were as rare phoenix feathers or dragon scales.
They were few and far in between in the entire Eastern Kingdom. Anyone who could train to the ninth level or above would be respectfully titled a true qi master and genius of martial dao.
But of course, the twelve levels of true qi were still only a basic foundation at the end of the day. Within the realm of true qi, one was still only a true qi practitioner no matter how strong he was. If they could not transform their true qi to spirit qi, then their path of martial dao was but an elusive and futile effort. All would be as ephemeral as the clouds at the end of two hundred years of life.
Thus, there was another sentence that existed as one ascended higher: if true qi does not transmute to spirit qi, then one is still a worm.
Adding the two sentences together gave rise to this saying: Twelve levels of true qi separate snakes and dragons. if true qi does not transmute to spirit qi, then one is still a worm.
What did it mean to transmute true qi to spirit qi?
It was the act of training true qi to an utmost level, perceiving the spirit sea, and transforming true qi to spirit qi. It was to borrow the powers of heaven and earth, and transforming to supreme spirit power.
Once true qi was converted to spirit qi, that was when one shook off the shackles of martial dao and entered the dao of spirit.
Spirit dao practitioners created clouds with the flip of a hand, and made it rain with another flip. They could summon forth the wind and rain, move mountains and frame the sea.
It was said that even the combined efforts of ten true qi masters would be unable to withstand a careless blow from a spirit dao practitioner.
It would not be hyperbole to say that if someone entered the spirit dao, then they were truly a golden scaled dragon soaring above the clouds!
There was a legend of a strong spirit dao warrior residing in the Eastern Kingdom. He was a recluse, hidden deeply, and mysterious beyond belief. Even the king would have to humble himself and pay his respects to this warrior.
The funny things was, in the world of martial cultivation, although those walking the paths of spirit dao rarely surfaced, there were still a few. However, there were none that numbered amongst the supreme true qi masters.
What did one mean by supreme true qi master?
It meant a genius martial dao practitioner who had cleared all twelve acupoints and meridians.
In the annals of its history, no one had ever given birth to such a genius in the Eastern Kingdom. Even the surrounding sixteen kingdoms very rarely boasted of one.
A twelve meridians true qi master was even more uncommon than a spirit dao practitioner.
As for the ten, eleven meridians -- each kingdom had a small handful of those.
But for reasons unknown, there wasn’t a single twelve meridians true qi master.
Logically speaking, once someone had trained to the eleven meridians true qi, they could absolutely continue the fight and clear the twelve acupoint as well. But the rules of training were just that harsh.
Some geniuses arduously sought after the twelve meridians paragon after training to the eleven meridians true qi, but ended up with nothing in the end, and even missed out on the best timing to attempt to ascend to spirit dao.
According to the laws of martial dao, those under 30 had the greatest chance of transmuting true qi to spirit qi. The probability would shrink by one half if under 40, with no chance at all after 50.
Therefore, if one didn’t make good use of time in transforming true qi after training to the eleven levels of true qi, they would forever lose this chance if their age exceeded the appropriate range.
Training to the twelve meridians paragon still meant staying within the true qi realm, and one’s lifespan would not exceed 300 years.
But once a practitioner transmuted their true qi, their lifespan would immediately jump to 700 or 800, even 1000 years, giving rise to many more opportunities on the path of martial dao.
Therefore, ten and eleven meridians true qi masters were always faced with this dilemma. Do they continue to explore twelve meridians true qi? Or make the best use of their time and transform true qi to spirit qi?
This was a difficult decision, but reason would win out over impulse for most true qi masters, and they would choose to transform their true qi.
Although the success rate of transmuting was also low, at least it was better than the fleeting gesture of pursuing the twelve meridians paragon, right?
The additional years of life granted from successfully transmuting to spirit qi were the greatest temptation of all.
Of course, the Jiang Chen of today had no time to muse on these matters.
With his current abilities, this was all too abstract and unattainable for him right now. It was something he did not need to think about, for now.
The problem he faced today was to increase his strength as much as possible in order to face the oncoming Hidden Dragon Trials. If he couldn’t even pass the basic exams and obtain the right to compete in the Trials, then his first steps in this newly reincarnated life would be truly too depressing.
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