Of course, saying that he would be able to eat Qi Gathering Pills like candy was a somewhat boastful claim. However, given the skills of Yao Lao, with enough materials, helping Xiao Yan refine tens of Qi Gathering Pills was not a problem.
However, even with all the boastful claims of Yao Lao, Xiao Yao had no time to feel any excitement. With each and every required material uttered by Yao Lao, Xiao Yan couldn’t help but feel his heart sink lower and lower.
“Tomorrow, prepare for me four 50 year old Inky Leaf Lotus flowers, two Ripened Snake Venom Fruits, one bundle of 20 year old Spirit Gathering Grass and a Rank 2 Water Attribute Magic Stone,” Came Yao Lao’s indifferent voice and when he saw Xiao Yan’s stiff and distant look, he couldn’t help but be startled. “What’s the matter?”
“50 year old Inky Leaf Lotus? Flowers that age are sold for 3000 gold coins and that’s just for a single blossom! Ripened Snake Venom Fruit? That’s considered one of the top lower grade alchemy ingredients, even the pharmacies don’t carry them, it would have to be through sheer luck if one were to ever obtain one and at the very least 8000 gold coins would be needed to buy just one. And the 20 year old Spirit Gather Grass? Dear god, I have only heard of this item appearing in auctions only once and the starting price was at 10,500 gold! Even the Rank 2 Water Attribute Magic Stone, the cheapest of all the materials, would require at least 2000 gold pieces.” Xiao Yan’s wiped his sweaty brow and painfully let out a groan, “These ingredients alone would cost me around 50,000. Where in the world would I get such a large sum of money?”
“Eh…” On hearing Xiao Yan whine, Yao Lao just rolled his eyes and shrugged his shoulders mockingly, “Obtaining those ingredients is your problem. It has nothing to do with me; I will only be in charge of refining the ingredients.”
“Dammit. The cost for everything is going to be way too high. If I’m really going to eat Gathering Qi Powder like candy, I’m afraid that even the Xiao Clan’s wealth would be unable to cover the costs.” Scolding himself, Xiao Yan fingered the green card he had hidden under the pillow with some regret. Helplessly, he said, “I only have 10,000 gold left from selling the Foundation Elixir, nowhere near enough to buy the ingredients you need.”
Yao Lao laughed while leisurely sitting down onto a chair; showing that the matter of obtaining the ingredients was of no concern to him.
Kneading his head, Xiao Yan grimaced in pain as he continued his line of thought, “First, I`ll just use this money to buy ingredients for the Foundation Elixir. Then I’ll just sell that at the Auction House; otherwise, I’ll never get enough money.”
Yao Lao gave a smug nod. For him, refining something as low-grade as the Foundation Elixir was nothing strenuous. Letting out a short breath, Xiao Yan flopped back onto his bed and bitterly laughed, “Being poor is extremely annoying…”
The next morning, Xiao Yan secretly slipped away from the clan to Wu Tan City’s pharmacies and bought all of the materials needed for the Foundation Elixir. Afterwards, Xiao Yan searched for a tavern in an isolated area and entered.
Because he would be selling the elixirs for other people to use, he could let Yao Lao mix the ingredients together without a single care. So, just like last time, Xiao Yan bought the cheapest and lowest quality materials.
Because he desperately needed money, Xiao Yan bought enough materials to make 7 Foundation Elixirs, which which had completely drained the green card of money.
While waiting for Yao Lao to refine the ingredients, Xiao Yan began to flick the green card around his hands. Absentmindedly shaking his head, Xiao Yan came to realize that he had once again returned to his original poverty stricken state.
This time, Yao Lao had spent an entire hour to create all of the Foundation Elixirs. Arranging each of the seven white jade bottles neatly onto the table, Xiao Yan couldn’t help but smile widely. Carefully wrapping each bottle up in cloth, he secured them tightly to his back.
Gently patting the elixirs on his back, Xiao Yan swung a huge black cloak over himself to hide both him and the elixirs from view before laughing to himself as he exited the tavern.
At the Primer Auction House inside the treasure inspection hall.
Primer Auction’s top auctioneer, Ya Fei, was staring at 7 small jade bottles full of Foundation Elixir in front of her in shock. Her eyes had lost her usual sparkle and she leaned forward at a precarious angle.
“Cough…”Sitting not too far away from Ya Fei with his black pouch, Xiao Yan coughed, bringing her back to attention.
Her pale white hands tenderly groped the jade bottles while she sniffed it to try and authenticate the elixirs. After a while, she handed the bottles to Gu Ni, the alchemist expert of the auction.
Taking the Foundation Elixir from her, Gu Ni began to inspect the bottle closely and then remarked, “All of these are truly Foundation Elixirs…”
Upong hearing Gu Ni’s confirmation, Ya Fei’s eyebrows leapt up in surprise. She observed the black cloaked figured before her and her face carried a smile. Bringing out the most appeal she could muster, she said, “I didn’t think half a year later, uncle would bring us such a large business.”
“When will the elixir be sold?” The cloaked figure asked with the voice of Yao Lao.
“Does uncle need money right away? If you are not that busy, then I suggest waiting for 1 or 2 days. 7 bottles of Foundation Elixir rarely come onto the market at the same time. If you would let the Auction House publicize this then your profits will surely be a lot higher…” Ya Fei smiled sweetly while suggesting her idea.
Hearing this, the cloaked figure went silent momentarily and just for a moment, a light groan in confirmation was heard.
Hearing his response, Ya Fei’s smiling face slipped for a second. Her white hands reached for her teacup and she brought it to her lips. She could now ascertain that this black cloaked figure was a rank 2 alchemist, if not a rank 3 alchemist!
Taking a sip from the teacup, the cloaked figure spoke once more with an elderly voice, “Perhaps your auction house could assist in helping me procure some alchemy ingredients as well?”
The bright eyes of Ya Fei twinkled as she sat down on top of a chair. Smiling even brighter, she said, “What ingredients does uncle want?”
“Four 50 year old Ink Leaf Lotuses, two Ripened Snake Venom Fruit, one bundle of 20 year old Spirit Gathering Grass and a single Water Attribute Rank 2 Magic Core…”
By the side of Ya Fei, Gu Ni’s face changed drastically upon hearing the ingredients listed. His eyes had a hint of confusion as he watched the black cloaked figure.
“Hehe, Ya Fei will definitely help uncle find those materials. The moment I hear a single mention of any of the items, I will inform uncle immediately. But, where does uncle live I wonder? How will we keep in touch?” As Ya Fei asked, she glanced at Gu Ni and saw shock etched on his face. Seeing that her heart gave a violent leap but she didn’t show her surprise on her face.
“There is no need to try to contact me. If any of the ingredients appear, deduct the costs from the Foundation Elixir. I will visit again.” Under the black cloak, a wizened voice rang out. “I also have other matters to attend to that cannot be postponed. I will be back in two days.” With that said, the cloaked man stood up and walked out of the Auction House.
Watching him disappear as he turned around the corner, Ya Fei’s eyes narrowed. “Was there something wrong with the ingredients he asked for, Gu Ni shu-shu?”
Gu Ni shook his head and exhaled before laughing bitterly, “If I remember correctly, these are the ingredients to refine and make the Qi Gathering Powder.”
Ya Fei’s face changed immediately after hearing that, “Doesn’t one have to be a Rank 4 alchemist before attempting to create the Qi Gathering Powder?”
Nodding his head, Gu Ni continued, “That would appear to be the case. However, within the Jia Ma Empire, there are no more than 20 Rank 4 alchemists. How is it that we’ve never heard of this mysterious cloaked person before?”
Ya Fei gently shook her head, her eyes were brimming with curiosity as she spoke, “A Rank 4 alchemist…if I ever get the chance, I’ll definitely have him owe a favor to me!”