Chapter 224 – The Value of a Daemon Core
Little Zhang said, “Actually, I can already tell that you’re determined to purchase this item. If I were a merchant outside, I would definitely use this opportunity to increase the price, and with your character, sir, you would probably end up taking a loss.”
Li Qingshan was certain that could be the case. Whether it be in his former life or in this current one, he had no talent with negotiating prices. He was not in search of a bargain. He just wanted to make sure he had not been ripped off. “Alright, I’ll buy it then.”
Little Zhang smiled happily, while Liu Ruping ravished in joy. Those little whores will probably be filled with regret now.
Li Qingshan said, “But, I might not have enough spiritual stones on me!”
Little Zhang’s smile stiffened. “You must be joking, sir!” Liu Ruping’s expression immediately coldened.
Li Qingshan said, “May I ask if you purchase items as well?”
Little Zhang was troubled. “The Arsenal of Arms does purchase weapons, but the price we pay will definitely be lower than the selling price.” He no longer believed that Li Qingshan could afford the Whale’s Ingestion of Water. Was he supposed to pull out another high grade spiritual artifact to exchange for it? Even for stronger Qi Practitioners, it was quite rare for them to be in possession of a high grade spiritual artifact. Li Qingshan clearly did not fall into that category. It had been quite a waste of his time and efforts.
Unbeknownst to him, Li Qingshan actually possessed a high grade spiritual artifact, and not just one at that. The comb and needle from the grannies of the Sect of Clouds and Rain combined with the Cursive Sword Calligraphy totalled to three. However, he could not afford to sell any of them right now.
Liu Ruping could no longer help herself. She mocked, “We might be a store of Miscellaneous Goods, but not all miscellaneous goods are accepted here. You better get out of here and try your luck with the stalls outside!”
Li Qingshan replied with a question, “May I ask how many spiritual stones I can pawn a daemon core for?”
Little Zhang was stunned at first, but he soon exclaimed, “A daemon core? You have a daemon core?”
Liu Ruping frowned. “Daemon cores aren’t obtained that easily. Don’t tell me you mistook some gem for it, trying to pass off something fake as the real thing?”
Then, Li Qingshan took out the daemon core he had obtained from great general Whitefang on Black Rat mountain. “Please take a look and see whether this is a daemon core or not!”
The earthen-yellow daemon core did not give off a particularly resplendent glow, but it contained a daemon’s several centuries worth of hard work.
Little Zhang and Liu Ruping spent most of their time selling items in the store of Miscellaneous Goods, so while their cultivation was not exactly great, their insight was the best of the best. They recognised with a single glance that this item was a daemon core of the legends.
Liu Ruping could not help but extend her hand to touch it. She wanted to hold it and take a closer look, but Li Qingshan had already stowed the daemon core away into his hundred treasures pouch. “Then I’ll see if I can get it pawned in the stalls outside.”
Liu Ruping grabbed Li Qingshan by his sleeve hurriedly and apologised with a bow, “I’ve blamed you wrongly, sir. I hope that you can be the bigger person and forgive me. Please wait, I’ll go fetch the head manager.” Perhaps intentionally or otherwise, but she revealed the snowy peaks hiding within her collar.
If the head manager learned that she had chased away a customer who wanted to sell a daemon core, she probably could not remain here anymore. And, just these two transactions alone could allow her to earn more than a month’s worth of commission. She raised her head and basically looked at Li Qingshan in a begging manner. His robust figure seemed to be filled with a masculine charm. Even if he demanded something extra, it would probably be within her area of consideration.
Li Qingshan glanced into the collar. He knew that while five pecks of rice could not make people bow and scrape1, a daemon core was enough. Perhaps, it could make them do much more than just that!
Little Zhang said as well, “You most definitely should stay, sir. I can tell from a long way away that the Whale’s Ingestion of Water was basically made for you, sir! Actually, I wanted to give you a discount, but only the head manager can make the decision on this when she arrives.”
After a moment of thought, Li Qingshan realised that he had underestimated the value of the daemon core slightly. Originally, he thought that it was roughly equivalent to a high grade spiritual artifact, but a high grade spiritual artifact was clearly not enough to make the two of them behave like this.
Li Qingshan had only estimated the value of the daemon core based on the spiritual qi it contained, but he did not know that daemon cores were crucial to refining certain precious pills as well, which could be used to increase the amount of true qi and spiritual qi for a certain element.
The millenniums of peace between humans and daemons had directly resulted in a scarce supply of resources like this. When Qi Practitioners ventured underground, it was not just for collecting spiritual herbs. Otherwise, all they needed to do was demonstrate sufficient strength, and the daemons would basically all choose to flee.
However, most Qi Practitioners would cast down formations and trap daemons in their dens. Obviously, it was not because they had nothing better to do and wanted to purge evil in the name of justice. They did it for the daemon core.
Li Qingshan said after a moment of thought, “Fine then. I’ll wait here.”
Liu Ruping moved her hips and left in a hurry. Before long, she returned with a plump, old madam. Her true qi had actually reached the ninth layer already, and her face was creased with wrinkles from smiles. She lacked the strange arrogance of the grannies from the Sect of Clouds and Rain, and she did not possess the degrading lowliness of the procuress. Instead, she was noble, receiving all people with a smile.
“I’m Shi Peipei. Are you the fellow who wants to sell the daemon core?”
Li Qingshan said, “I am!”
Shi Peipei said, “Could you take it out and show me?”
Li Qingshan hesitated before handing the daemon core over to Shi Peipei. Since the school of Miscellany could set up such a large town with so many businesses, they would never stoop so low as to tarnish their reputation over a single daemon core.
Shi Peipei studied it carefully; Liu Ruping was nervous. A while later, Shi Peipei said, “Sir, the quality of your earth element daemon core is very impressive!”
Li Qingshan said, “May I ask how much it’s worth?”
Shi Peipei said, “About that. I have a recommendation. I hope that you can hear me out. Before the Herb Gathering ceremony, my humble store will hold an auction. If the daemon core is sold through the auction, you’ll definitely get many more spiritual stones than what we can offer. We’ll only take five percent of the earnings.”
Even Foundation Establishment cultivators could appear for the auction of the school of Miscellany, so if the school did not offer a few items of value, they would be looked down on. And, a person who could casually pull out a daemon core was definitely well-off. If they joined in on the auction, they would be able to raise the prices even higher, making the whole auction better. It was killing two birds with one stone.
Li Qingshan hesitated. “But I’m in urgent need of spiritual stones right now.” And, he was not particularly willing to hand a precious daemon core to someone else.
Shi Peipei waved her hand dramatically and said to Liu Ruping, “As long as this fellow’s expenditure today doesn’t exceed two thousand spiritual stones, feel free to just hand him the item. If your daemon core doesn’t fetch this price in the auction, it’ll just be on us.”
Liu Ruping bowed happily. “Yes, head manager!”
Li Qingshan hid his surprise. The value of the daemon core had truly surpassed his expectations. However, he seemed to think of something and his face sank slightly.
Shi Peipei frowned. “Is there anything that dissatisfies you, sir?”
Liu Ruping said, “Little Zhang promised him a discount for this high grade spiritual artifact!”
Little Zhang rubbed his nose as Shi Peipei probed into the matter a little. “Then knock off the extra fifty-two and make it a round eight hundred spiritual stones!”
Li Qingshan said, “If that’s the case, I’ll go with the auction then!” This was not what he had been thinking about. Instead, he had been thinking about how humans and daemons were probably unable to maintain their peace forever, and when that day arrived, he would also happen to possess a treasure worth two thousand spiritual stones on his body.
Wealth begets trouble!
1. The idiom that describes a person who won’t bow and scrape over five pecks of rice (so around 50 litres of rice) means that they possess high moral integrity. The author basically spun the idiom into fitting this context.