Chapter 29: Re-entering Seven Horn Mountain
"Then would you, pavilion master, please set the price!" Xiao Chen looked at Nangong Yan and requested indifferently.
Nangong Yan muttered to himself for a while before deciding, "This Fasting Pill... Hmmm, Linlang Pavilion will start the auction for this at 10000 silver taels per pill, what do you think?"
Xiao Chen did some calculation in his head: twenty Fasting Pills would be a starting price of 200000 silver taels. Following the rules of the auction house, he could obtain 30% of the starting price as a kind of deposit, which was 60000 silver taels. That should be enough for his short-term usage.
"In that case, it's settled. These twenty Fasting Pills will be left here for Linlang Pavilion to auction. Please draft the contract now."
Nangong Yan smiled gently, "No hurry. I want to discuss something with you. Out of the twenty Fasting Pill, I would like to purchase ten for myself. Of course, I will not take advantage of you. For however much this Fasting Pill sells for at the auction, I will add an additional two-fold."
The deal did not result in any loss for Xiao Chen, so it did not matter who he sold it, "For these ten Fasting Pills, you have to give me 30% of the starting price first, as the rules state. As for the other ten pills reserved for you, you have to give me threefold of 30% of the starting price. That will be a total of 130000 silver taels."
Nangong Yan nodded his head, "That is not a problem. According to the normal procedures, Linlang charges a 10% handling fee. I can reduce this to 5% for you. My friend, if you have any more pills you wish to sell, I hope you will continue to patronize our Linlang Pavilion."
This was quite an attractive offer. Without a large amount of money to spend on materials and ingredients, it would be difficult to improve as an alchemist. It would therefore be a wise move to partner with Linlang Pavilion.
After signing the contract and receiving the money, Xiao Chen immediately left Linlang Pavilion.
Hu Lao took out ten Fasting Pills and placed them in another jade bottle before passing them to Nangong Yan, "Pavilion master, can we directly place this into the catalog?"
Nangong Yan shook his head, "Not yet, find a person to test its effects on first. In case we made a mistake."
Hu Lao was startled in his heart. So even the pavilion master was unable to verify the effects of this pill.
Xiao Chen avoided attracting anyone's attention by virtue of leaving through the back door of Linlang Pavilion. He searched for an isolated area and immediately changed his get-up. Holding the banknotes, he snickered in a silly manner. This was the first chunk of money that he had earned by himself, so he felt very excited.
Going to the herbs shop, he purchased a hundred sets of ingredients for each of both of the pills he intended to refine. After this, he still had quite a lot of money left. Giving it some more thought, he bought some things that girls would like, such as make-up or head accessories. He purchased these to give to Bao`er and Xiao Yulan.
After purchasing everything, he ended up carrying tens of packages of various sizes. It was incredibly inconvenient. But this merely further motivated him to refine a spatial storage treasure. However, in order to do this, he had to cultivate the Purple Thunder Divine Incantation to the second layer first. Only by achieving that would he have met the basic requirement to forge equipment.
His only option now was to spend a small sum of money to hire a horse carriage. Xiao Chen threw a banknote with a hefty amount ascribed to it at the owner of a horse carriage, who immediately scampered off and left behind his horse carriage. It feels great to be rich, Xiao Chen sighed in his heart.
After placing all of his goods on the horse carriage, Xiao Chen felt much more at ease. The horses drawing the carriages in this world were much more docile than the ones on Earth. Xiao Chen gave driving it a try and gradually figured out the trick behind it.
As he drove the carriage out of the city gates, the number of people on the road started to decrease until he could no longer see anyone save for the occasional passing traveler. Xiao Chen, who had earned such a large sum of money for the first time in his life, was at present in a very good mood. He started to sing a nonsensical song that he made up on the spot in a tone-deaf manner.
"The weather today is very sunny, and the scenery is great, great scenery. The butterflies are busy, as are the bees... the clattering of the horse hoofs...~"
"I am rich, rich, there is a Nokia in my left hand and a Motorola in my right..."
Most of the things he sang were nonsensical, as he could not remember the lyrics to any song whatsoever. Ever since he had come to this world, this was the first time he had felt this relaxed. As there were no one on the road, no one would hear his tone-deaf singing, thus he sang happily and without restraint.
Suddenly, from the roof of the horse carriage, a bell-like laughter emerged. It was like the tinkling of a wind chime as it moved in the wind.
"Who is it!"
Xiao Chen hurriedly stopped singing and shouted sternly. He was too careless-how long had this individual been following him? He couldn't actually sense them.
Drawing the Lunar Shadow he had placed on his back, he put down the horse reins and leaped up gently, somersaulting as he hacked towards the direction of the sound.
Feng Feixue, who was on the roof, gently laughed as she avoided Xiao Chen's saber with incredibly soft movements. She somersaulted twice in the air before gracefully landing on the ground.
"Who knew that Young Master Xiao was so talented. Aside from being able to refine medicine, he is also able to sing as well."
When Xiao Chen on the roof saw the smooth and fair Feng Feixue dressed in men's clothing, he felt incredibly embarrassed. It was similar to that feeling he had once experienced when he inadvertently began singing aloud in an internet cafe while wearing headphones.
Sheathing back Lunar Shadow, Xiao Chen smiled, "I did not expect it to be Miss Feng. I did not expect such a fairy-like person to be following me, doing these kinds of sneaky things. Feng Feixue, you have disappointed me." After saying this, he even acted as though it was a serious manner and shook his head.
Feng Feixue smiled gently, "I did not follow you sneakily. I have been on the roof of your horse carriage even before you left the city gates. To think that not only are you not grateful to the person who sold you your medicinal cauldron, you even pulled out your saber to try and injure me. Young Master Xiao, I'm so disappointed in you too." After she said that, she imitated Xiao Chen and shook her head.
This time, when he met with Feng Feixue, Xiao Chen did not feel that uneasy feeling he had when he was in Regretful Iron the last time. Furthermore, he could not feel any evil intentions coming from Feng Feixue, thus he was quite relaxed.
Seeing the way Feng Feixue shook her head, Xiao Chen could not help but laugh. He jumped down from the top of the horse carriage and took out a hairpin from among his stash and tossed it at Feng Feixue before he rode onwards without pausing.
"Miss Feng, regardless of your intentions in following me, I am going home now. Consider this hairpin as a thank-you gift for selling me the medicinal cauldron."
Feng Feixue grabbed the hairpin out of the air and looked at the horse carriage galloping off into the distance. She shook her head, "Idiot! Since when have you seen me use a hairpin?"
Indeed, the Feng Feixue who frequently dressed up as a male did not have much use for a hairpin that was normally used by a girl. Perhaps this was done intentionally by Xiao Chen, or perhaps it was unintentional. However, he had already made it quite far into the distance, so it was too late to question him about it. Feng Feixue shook her head and eventually turned around to return.
By the time Xiao Chen made it back to the Xiao Residence, it was already noon. His trip this time had taken the entire morning. When he drove the horse carriage to his tiny courtyard, Xiao Chen saw Bao`er tidying up the mess he had created in the front yard.
Jumping off the horse carriage and looking at Bao`er's frail body, Xiao Chen felt a sense of pity. He called Bao`er over with his hands, "Put what you are doing aside for now and help me move these things."
Bao`er immediately stopped what she was doing and ran over to him. Although Xiao Chen had told her to help him, he still had to carry the larger packages himself. As they were moving the things, Bao`er looked strangely at a large pile of accessories in the horse carriage. She picked up these things and carried them to Xiao Chen's room, feeling very puzzled.
Seeing the things in Bao`er's hands, Xiao Chen smiled, "I brought these for you, pick out a few for yourself, but just be sure to leave me some, as I still have to give a few to some friends."
Bao`er felt a warmth spread in her heart. She had not expected that these things were bought for her. She was just a maid, so why did the Young Master buy things for her? Could it be...
Thinking of those shameless things, Bao`er blushed again. She lowered her head and simply picked out a few clothes and head accessories, quickly running away shortly after. Xiao Chen was puzzled at this. Were the things that he had bought inadequate? Would girls not enjoy them? After all, this was the first time he had ever purchased anything for girls.
In the following days, Xiao Chen began anxiously refining the Essence Nurturing Pill and Qi Returning Pill. He would refine pills until he exhausted all of his Essence and became too mentally exhausted before resting. On the first day of refining, he had a ridiculously poor success rate; out of ten refinements, he would only succeed in three. After he became more familiar with the process, his success rate began to gradually increase.
However, regardless of how hard he tried, this success rate never came close to his refinement rate for the Fasting Pill. Xiao Chen knew that this had something to do with his abilities as an alchemist. When his abilities were insufficient, it was normal for him to have a high failure rate for pills with higher difficulty. He could not rush it and could only slowly accumulate experience to raise his ability as an alchemist.
After a week, Xiao Chen had completely used up all of the medicinal ingredients he had purchased. He managed to refine fifty Essence Nurturing Pills and seventy Qi Returning Pills in this time frame. Evidently, he had experienced higher returns with the Qi Returning Pill. In this week of non-stop refining, he grew more adept at controlling the Purple Thunder True Fire. As a bonus, his cultivation of the Purple Thunder Divine Incantation had reached the peak of the first layer.
What gave Xiao Chen the most joy was that the green sphere in his sea of consciousness could now penetrate into the medicinal cauldron and allow him to see clearly the state of the flames and the medicinal liquid in the cauldron. It was a pity that he could not control this phenomenon. Sometimes it happened, sometimes it did not. If it could be controlled, then his success rate pertaining to pill refining would increase dramatically.
At this moment, there were only about four more months to the Promise of Ten Years. The urgency in Xiao Chen's heart increased as the days went by. It was about time for him to enter Seven Horn Mountain for more bitter training.
Early in the morning, Xiao Chen packed the bottles of Qi Returning Pills and Essence Nurturing Pills, equipped Lunar Shadow on his back, and made some other simple preparations before he prepared to leave. He also brought along the Fasting Pills that he had refined for the sake of this cultivating session.
"Young Master, I have brought the washing water, can I come in?"
Bao`er's voice came in from outside the door once again. Xiao Chen revealed a smile on his face. He had not stepped out of his room for the past week. Everything that he ate and drank were specially prepared and brought to him by Bao`er, creating an ideal environment for alchemy. This made him feel quite grateful to her.
After he opened the doors, Xiao Chen received the wash basin. After washing his face, he told Bao`er, who was tidying his bed up, "I am going to start my secluded, bitter training from tomorrow on. Remember to stay here and look after my courtyard."
Bitter training. That meant he would be leaving for a long time. Bao`er felt a sense of loss as she wordlessly answered Xiao Chen, continuing to tidy the bed up.
Xiao Chen stepped out of the doors. Before he left, he looked at Bao`er's figure and smiled warmly before leaving. The morning sunlight shone down on the youth's face. The light felt really warm, filling him with fighting spirit.
The next time he came back, not only would his Purple Thunder Divine Incantation be in the second layer, his own cultivation realm would be Medial Grade Martial Disciple. Xiao Chen made a solemn oath in his heart.