Chapter 13: I, Jiang Chen, Carry Even More of a Grudge Than You Do
Long Juxue made no attempt to conceal her pride and superiority at being the beloved daughter of the first duke. Her tone was indifferent, but it gave others a feeling of undisputable confidence.
“Out of the 108 dukedoms in the Eastern Kingdom, there is nothing that anyone can steal from me if I, Long Juxue, want it.”
Jiang Chen was startled into laughter, “That absolute? No exception?”
“Exceptions are impossible.” Long Juxue responded coldly, “At least, I’ve never met one.”
“Alright…” Jiang Chen smiled faintly. “Then I congratulate you, you’ve met one today.”
One had to say, this woman’s sense of superiority was far too strong. She maintained a lofty and haughty demeanor even when she was asking for a favor. As if she was bestowing some great favor by talking to Jiang Chen, like a snow white swan blessing a lowly toad.
But this kind of attitude was beyond laughable in Jiang Chen’s eyes.
The daughter of the first duke in the Eastern Kingdom? So what? Even if it was the first duke himself, such a person wouldn’t even be qualified to carry Jiang Chen’s shoes in Jiang Chen’s past life.
Long Juxue lost face to a man for the first time in her life as she watched Jiang Chen’s resolute figure with the third hallmaster.
“Jiang Chen, I’ll remember you. If I let you successfully pass the Hidden Dragon Trials at the end of the year, then I will change my surname to be the same as yours!”
“I, Bai Zhanyun, will also remember you. You may have won today, but I will show you the price of insulting me during the Hidden Dragon Trials. This isn’t something that a mere Jiang Han dukedom can endure!”
“And I, the Vermillion Bird dukedom, and the Yanmen dukedom!”
These guys had wanted to proclaim their interest and devotion, but their plans had been thwarted. Hearts burning with anger, how could they not take advantage of the chance to beat down on an easy target?
Jiang Chen naturally paid no heed to these kinds of threats. Rather, he thought it quite humerous that these fellows voluntarily identified themselves.
Tripping over each other to identify themselves eh. They might as well, this saves me the trouble of finding them one by one in the future. White Tiger, Vermillion Bird, Yanmen is it? You like to hold a grudge is it? It won’t be long before you learn that I, Jiang Chen, carry even more of a grudge than you do!
If it was any normal day, the third hallmaster would never involve himself in the various ducal feuds. But this time, he had no choice, he had to support Jiang Chen wholeheartedly.
When Jiang Zheng came to find him, he knew that this was his only choice, and the Hall’s only choice.
Otherwise, making Jiang Chen unhappy meant losing the Heavenly Karma pill, and meant losing a huge business deal.
A few ducal heirs was in no way worth as much as such a business deal.
Not to mention, these heirs had no reason to vent their spleen on the Hall of Healing. They would only choose to direct their attention to the seemingly weaker Jiang Chen.
As for how Jiang Chen would handle the situation, the third hallmaster didn’t really care. What he was more concerned with was properly handling the matter at hand.
The negotiations had gone very smoothly, and the contract had been drafted yesterday. Jiang Chen had made a few suggestions regarding some minor details, and allowed Jiang Zheng to sign it.
He was an heir to a dukedom, and naturally wouldn’t appear for such a small issue.
Of course, Jiang Chen didn’t fully trust the Hall of Healing. He still controlled two vital parts; there was no way that he would unreservedly share the entire recipe and refining method.
He had to be on his guard against the possibility of the Hall of Healing having second thoughts once it received the entire recipe and refining method.
The contract was thus happily signed. Because Jiang Chen still had control over the key areas, the contract stipulated that Jiang Chen would visit the hall once on odd numbered months, and twice on even numbered months.
In the world of practitioners, pill medicine was exceedingly precious. An ordinary healing pill was sold for one or two thousand silver. Slightly higher level pill went for three to five thousand silver.
And the Heavenly Karma pill would sell for around eight to ten thousand silver due to its potency and effects. It would be positioned as a luxury item and would undoubtedly have a large market.
So even if only one hundred pills were refined a month, that was still a revenue worth millions of dollars. It was a market worth tens of millions in a year.
This was also the lowest, most conservative estimate.
And what about when they entered the markets of the neighboring sixteen kingdoms, and expanded their production, refining thousands or even tens of thousands a month? With the sixteen neighbors’ purchasing power, even if the Hall produced tens of thousands of pill a month, demand would far outstrip supply.
It was easy enough to imagine the vastness of this market with a few simple calculations.
Thus, it was easy to understand why the third hallmaster was so eager to please.
When the contract had been signed, the third hallmaster raised the suggestion of dining at the Autumn Crane, but was politely declined by Jiang Chen. Keeping a low profile was the name of the game in his partnership with the Hall of Healing. He didn’t want it to become common knowledge within the city.
Besides, he was only in a business partnership with the Hall of Healing; they weren’t friendly enough to the point of sharing a drink.
The third hallmaster politely sent Jiang Chen on his way with two other elders accompanying him, including that elder Blue.
Elder Blue still nursed some prejudices against Jiang Chen, and her facial expressions were stiff.
Jiang Chen was well aware of this, and felt that this woman’s magnanimity and grace were as narrow as a rat’s stomach or chicken’s intestines. She better not ruin my plans in the future, I still need to irritate others with sarcastic words when the situation calls for it.
He thought for a bit and suddenly smiled, “Third hallmaster, if we didn’t have this cooperation in place, you most likely would not have sold the Dragonbone Sun Grass to me today, would you?”
“Haha, how can you say that. The Hall still adheres to our rules when conducting business.” The third hallmaster gave a hearty laugh, but even he himself didn’t quite believe his words.
Rules were a dead thing, but people were living. If it wasn’t for this business deal, then the Dragonbone Sun Grass would have gone to anyone but Jiang Chen.
Jiang Chen also laughed heartily and didn’t poke holes in the third hallmaster’s charade. He said, “No matter the reason, I can only say that the third hallmaster made a wise decision.”
“What makes you say that?” The third hallmaster’s interest was piqued.
“Simple. Because obtaining the Dragonbone Sun Grass was a mission appointed by the king himself. If you hadn’t sold it to me, then the lawsuits that the Hall of Healing would have faced would have been many. Hahaha, I’ve spoken too much, too much.”
Jiang Chen laughed heartily again, swiftly mounted his horse, and gave a long laugh, “You don’t need to continue sending me off, third hallmaster.”
The third hallmaster was dumbfounded and became deep in thought as he watched Jiang Chen gallop off into the distance.
“The king himself?” The third hallmaster murmured to himself as he thought of yesterday’s engraved dragon medallion. He subtly felt that, perhaps this Jiang Chen had not spoken a falsehood.
“This brat can make a good boast The king himself? Wasn’t he just beaten by His Majesty?” Elder Blue pouted and muttered disdainfully.
The third hallmaster glared at her severely, “What do you know? You almost wrecked the deal today! Take this to heart, be smarter about how you conduct business in the future! Do you think his engraved dragon medallion is a fake? You think that the wind blew in the Heavenly Karma pill receipe?”
Elder Blue had nothing to say. True, there’s something odd about this brat.
The third hallmaster was still haunted about what could have been, and issued a warning. “No matter the situation, all of you remember this! Humble yourself in front of Jiang Chen! He is not a simple character!”
Deep within the palace.
Eastern Lu slowly put down the book in his hand and lightly tasted the tea in the cup on the table.
“Tiandu, what news from the Jiang Han household?”
“Your Majesty, the duke of Jiang Han has been quiet, without making any movements.”
“And the kid?”
“The kid? He seems to have stayed home all day yesterday, and went to the Hall of Healing this morning. He got into a conflict with a crowd of heirs…”
The trusted guard called Tiandu gave a thorough overview of the situation, missing not a single detail.
“Oh? This kid was severely beaten and not only didn’t die, but could prance around on the streets today? When did my guards become unable to carry out a decent beating?” Eastern Lu smiled but didn’t really seem to. “But, you say that the Hall of Healing supported Jiang Chen and ignored those sons of eminent duchies?”
“Your servant also thought it odd, but this is the truth. In addition, the Hall of Healing kept him as a guest and entertained him for quite a while. It would seem that this kid is not as useless as the rumors say he is.”
Eastern Lu was deep in thought and nodded, “I hope so. We can only pin our hopes for Zhiruo’s sickness on him. I hope this kid doesn’t get up to any tricks.”
“It wouldn’t seem so. If he’s running a con, how would he dare swagger into the public like this? Deceiving the monarch is not a crime that the Jiang Han duchy can afford to commit.”
“Tiandu, remember this. Protect this kid no matter what. Fully carry out whatever plans he has. If anyone is so blind as to cause trouble, punish first and ask questions later, no matter their identity.” Eastern Lu commanded.
It was quite obvious that Eastern Lu had no desire for a repeat of the events of this morning. He deduced that the Dragonbone Sun Grass had something to do with his daughter’s illness!
If it has something to do with my daughter’s illness, then even Long Teng’s heir must step aside for me!
Jiang Chen did not immediately return home upon leaving the Hall. He had some more errands to run. There were a lot of preparations to be made before entering the palace in three days.
He hadn’t walked far before his keen instinct enabled him to discover someone surreptitiously following him. He couldn’t be bothered to reveal their existence.
“Huh. Someone who is blind. Come at me if you’re truly strong enough to steal even from Eastern Lu!” Jiang Chen did not care in the slightest if he caused a clash between monarch and subject.
Others had been treated to a grand show at the Rites of Heavenly Worship. If someone was so blind as to step out of line and create trouble, he wouldn’t mind if a nice struggle between monarch and subject developed.
He would even cleverly, subtlely, play along.
What Jiang Chen felt regret about was that public security was actually quite well in within the capital. At least something like robbery in broad daylight didn’t occur.
“What a bunch of spineless people. The Dragonbone Sun Grass is here right now, come on out and try to grab it. I’d definitely not risk my life for Eastern Lu. I would happily hand it over if you tried to grab it, and then happily hand you over when Eastern Lu questions me about it.”
Jiang Chen was joyfully anticipating something like this happening as he walked, but sadly enough, those tailing him never came to rob him. This made him a bit depressed.
“What a bunch of cowardly robbers!” Jiang Chen shook his head and thought no more of this small interlude. He spurred his horse on towards the Turquoise Hall, he had more errands to run.