Chapter 770 - A Bad Bargain
“Right now?” Yun Che asked in daze. He had never thought that the Sovereign of the Seas would be a woman, and he had not expected that she would be so honest and frank regarding the huge matter of Supreme Ocean Palace’s forbidden grounds.
“The Devil Sword Conference will commence in three days. In order to prepare the profound formation that will be used during this conference, this sovereign will be even busier than usual for the next few days, and I won’t have time to worry about anything else. So if we can resolve this matter at an earlier date, this sovereign will be able to avoid a potential headache. What do you think about this arrangement?” The Sovereign of the Seas said, her face a rigid mask.
Yun Che thought about it briefly before giving an assertive nod of his head, “Great! Then let’s begin now!”
“Very good!” The Sovereign of the Seas said, after which she glanced to the side before continuing, “Zi Ji, I will task with you personally escorting Yun Che to the Moon Slaughter Devil Nest! You can embark immediately!”
“Hohoho.” A mild laugh rang out as a door on the left side of the Ocean Imperial Palace gently opened and a elegant, middle-aged man who was wearing a purple robe emerged from within. The man’s face bore a faint smile as he spoke, “Yun Che, it has only been a few short months since we last met, yet your profound strength has grown by leaps and bounds once again. This rate of growth is truly breathtaking.”
“As expected, Senior Zi is a member of Supreme Ocean Palace.” Yun Che replied, a faint smile plastered on his face, he was not the least bit surprised at Zi Ji’s sudden appearance.
Zi Ji gently nodded his head, “Given your intelligence and powers of observation, it was expected that you would have long ago come to this conclusion. It is fortunate that the Sovereign of the Seas was agreeable when it came to the matter of the Moon Slaughter Devil Nest, because I, Zi Ji, also owe you a personal favor over the matter of the ten medicine pellets. With this, we can consider our debt settled. Also, the request that you made the last time we met has already been completed, and I trust that you will not be disappointed with the results.”
After Zi Ji had finished speaking, he gave a flourish of his hand. Profound light flashed as two ebony wooden boxes appeared in his hands. Even though he did not know what was within the wooden boxes, but the thick and heavy aura that it released was evidence enough that these two boxes were definitely extraordinary items.
“Could this be two profound cores?” Yun Che immediately asked as his gaze grew more intense, “But I am unclear as to whether it is the profound core of a Tyrant Profound beast or a Sovereign Profound beast.”
“You will know once you’ve taken a look.” Zi Ji said with a placid smile.
Yun Che strode forward and took both the wooden boxes from Zi Ji’s hands. Instead of opening the boxes, he sent two streams of profound energy into them. Immediately, his profound energy came into contact with two incomparably strong profound energy auras that were at the level of the Sovereign Profound Realm.
Much to his astonishment, the two wooden boxes contained the profound cores of two Sovereign Profound beasts.
This is great… Yun Che thought before he kept both of the wooden boxes, “Senior Zi is indeed a man of remarkable abilities. Just as we had agreed upon that day, you have delivered two precious cores to me.”
Yun Che’s flicked a finger towards Zi Ji as he tossed two Overlord Pellets to him. Zi Ji extended a hand to catch them and he handled the two pellets with great care as he withdrew them. His face glowed with satisfaction as he replied, “Sovereign Profound beasts are extremely hard to find, and they are even harder to hunt. In order to obtain the profound cores of these two profound beasts, my Ocean Palace had to exert themselves greatly. But since the payoff was two of these matchless and wondrous pellets, it was more than worth it.”
The Sovereign of the Seas shot Zi Ji a glance before speaking, “Yun Che, I heard the rumors about your master ‘Old Man Duotian’ from Sun Moon Divine Hall. Even though the actions of Sun Moon Divine Hall clearly demonstrated their great fear of your teacher, this sovereign still remained mostly skeptical about the entire affair. But now that I have seen this peerless, precious medicine that your master can produce easily with a flick of finger, this sovereign cannot help but bow to the truth that was demonstrated by such skill. Even if we poured all of our resources and effort into such an endeavor, my Ocean Palace would not be able to refine this medicine.”
“You do not need to worry. Zi Ji has only advised me on the truth behind this precious medicine. In this world, only the three of us know about it, there definitely won’t be a fourth person.” The Sovereign of the Seas said, her face expressionless and her eyes cold and tranquil as a lake.
“This junior naturally will not dare to doubt the words of the Sovereign of the Seas.” Yun Che replied.
“Zi Ji has also mentioned this to me. Several months ago, you requested that the Black Moon Merchant Guild help you auction off twenty of these precious pellets, and after that, you swore that you would not sell any more of these pellets to the Four Great Sacred Grounds. Is that truly the case?”
“Of course it is.” Yun Che replied as he nodded his head unhesitantly, “No matter how precious something is, if it is easily available, it won’t be worth much. If not for the fact that this junior required a large amount of Purple Veined Divine Crystal within a short amount of time, I would definitely not choose to sell this medicine at all.”
“That would be most ideal.” The Sovereign of the Seas said as she nodded her head solemnly. Once the twenty Overlord Pellets that came from Yun Che were revealed to the whole world, it would definitely cause a great stir. The other three Sacred Grounds would spare no expense in obtaining as many of them as they possibly could. But in the end, the most likely outcome was that all four Sacred Grounds would split the twenty pellets evenly. Anyone who was not a Sacred Ground could forget about obtaining even one pellet.
So, in the end, Supreme Ocean Palace would appear to have five of the pellets, but the fact of the matter was that they would have seventeen of them! And the price they had to pay merely amounted to a measly ten kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystal and granting Yun Che permission to enter the Moon Slaughter Devil Nest once. These extra twelve Overlord Pellets could not be used publicly in the short term, but once a generation had passed, the peak of the Supreme Ocean Palace’s power would definitely far exceed its current lofty heights, and they might even be able to surpass Absolute Monarch Sanctuary!
“This Devil Sword Conference will cause all the heroes of the realm to gather together, so it will be an excellent time to hold an auction. After the Devil Sword Conference ends, this sovereign will naturally get Zi Ji to make the necessary arrangements.” The Sovereign of the Seas raised a long sleeve as she flipped her hand, and a piece of precious jade that emitted an ethereal blue light floated on top of her palm. She gently pushed the precious jade towards Zi Ji, “This is our Supreme Ocean Palace’s Ocean Emperor Seal, the emblem of the Sovereign of the Seas. It is also the only object that can release the restriction placed on the Moon Slaughter Devil Nest. Zi Ji, take it and bring Yun Che to the Moon Slaughter Devil Nest right away. And once the matter has been resolved, come back as fast as you can!”
Zi Ji did not say a word. He merely gave a faint nod of his head as he gripped the Ocean Emperor Seal tightly in his hand.
Yun Che’s expression had not changed this entire time, but he had been secretly observing the expressions and body language of both the Sovereign of the Seas and Zi Ji…. As the ruler of the Ocean Palace, even the extremely exalted great elder Mo Chenfeng still held her in great reverence. But when Zi Ji interacted with the Sovereign of the Seas, his attitude was nearly the same as it had been when he was talking terms with Yun Che, there was hardly any fear or reverence when he spoke to her. When the Sovereign of the Seas had given Zi Ji and order, her tone was far less intimidating and imposing than when she was ordering Mo Chenfeng around… Furthermore, it seemed that this softened attitude was something that she was completely unaware of.
The relationship between Zi Ji and the Sovereign of the Seas… definitely seemed to be rather special.
A thought flashed through Yun Che’s mind, causing his eyebrows to twitch. He swiftly seized the opportunity to speak, “Sovereign of the Seas, Senior Zi, regarding the auctioning of these precious pellets, this junior has thought of a new trade and perhaps, it might be of great interest to the both of you.”
“Oh?” The Sovereign of the Seas said, her eyes slanting. But Zi Ji’s expression lit up with expectation and he replied merrily, “What kind of trade do you have in mind?”
Yun Che proceeded to explain in an unhurried manner, “The last time we spoke of this at the Black Moon Merchant Guild, Senior Zi said that one of these precious pellets could be sold for at least one kilogram of Purple Veined Divine Crystal. After that, Senior Zi did not even hesitate to produce ten kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystal and even tell me about the secret of the Moon Slaughter Devil Nest, all so he could purchase ten pellets from me immediately. So it is very clear that Senior Zi regards the price of one kilogram of Purple Veined Divine Crystal as a very conservative estimate, and the actual price of one pellet when the time comes for it be auctioned will definitely be far higher than this.”
“Hohoho.” Zi Ji gave a tepid laugh and allowed Yun Che to continue. Even though he held an extremely exalted position within one of the Sacred Grounds of the profound world, when he dealt with profound practitioners, he would always rather identify himself as a merchant. And a merchant would definitely never easily reveal his “true valuation” of an item. Once he had found out about the effects of the Overlord Pellet, he was entirely sure that the price of one pellet would definitely not only be one kilogram of Purple Veined Divine Crystal… especially if they were talking about the Sacred Grounds, it was definitely not going to be as low as that.
The Sacred Grounds would never have enough of resources that could directly increase their power, so a medicinal pellet like the Overlord Pellet that could forcibly break through high-level bottlenecks was an item that the Sacred Grounds yearned for even in their dreams.
Yun Che reached into the Sky Poison Pearl and took out twenty Overlord Pellets. The rich, thick and intense aura of medicine instantly pervaded the entire Ocean Imperial Palace, causing the atmosphere within the Ocean Imperial Palace to change precipitously, despite being enveloped by an extremely strong profound formation.
The gazes of Zi Ji and the Sovereign of the Seas fell on the twenty Overlord Pellets simultaneously… and even though she was the Sovereign of the Seas, she could not help but be shaken when confronted with a medicinal aura that she acknowledged as being able to shake the heavens and the earth.
“Originally, my desire was to hand over twenty of these precious pellets to Senior Zi so he could auction them off. But now, I have changed my mind.”
“Oh? Could it be that you decided not to sell them?” Zi Ji asked.
“No! I have only decided to change the way they are going to be sold.” Yun Che made a gesture with his arm, but he did not withdraw these twenty Overlord Pellets. Instead he continued speaking with an extremely sincere expression, “I decided that I would rather sell these twenty Overlord Pellets for twenty kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystals directly to the Supreme Ocean Palace before I venture into the Moon Slaughter Devil Nest. After that, whatever you get from auctioning off these twenty precious pellets will all belong to you, it will have nothing to do with me!”
“...” The Sovereign of the Seas’ and Zi Ji’s eyebrows very clearly twitched at those words.
“Why have you come to this decision?” Zi Ji asked in a composed manner, “If you auctioned these pellets to the Four Sacred Grounds, their price will definitely not only be twenty kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystal. I can frankly and honestly tell you that the price of one kilogram for one pellet is indeed the most conservative estimate. And for medicine that would allow a person to break through the bottleneck of the Tyrant Profound Realm, even if it was one and a half kilograms for one pellet, the Four Sacred Grounds would still fight tooth and nail with each other to obtain these pellets.”
“I know.” Yun Che said with a bland smile, “If not, given Senior Zi’s mental state which is akin to a thousand year old dead tree, he would not have been so anxious to buy ten of these pellets.”
Zi Ji, “...”
“I am not a greedy person.” Yun Che continued, “And the price of one kilogram of Purple Veined Divine Crystal for one pellet had already exceeded my initial expectations. Even though the price I could fetch for twenty of these precious pellets through an auction is far higher than twenty kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystal, this amount already satisfies my requirements, and I have no real need for any more than that. For me, if I can obtain this amount early on, it would give me greater peace of mind.”
Zi Ji fell silent for a brief period of time before replying, “In another three days, the Devil Sword Conference will commence. Once the Devil Sword Conference ends, I will personally arrange for an auction to be held before all the heroes of the realm depart. Added altogether, this should take place in a mere four to five days. At that time, the price you can get from the auction will at least surpass twenty five kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystal! But for the sake of getting these Divine Crystals a few days earlier, you are willing to forego at least five to ten kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystals!?”
“Yes!” Yun Che said as he nodded his head, “Of course, this is just my own personal desire. If the Sovereign of the Seas and Senior Zi are not amenable to this suggestion, then I won’t try to force the issue.”
Zi Ji and the Sovereign of the Seas exchanged a glance before he replied with a wide smile, “How could our Ocean Palace miss out on this great opportunity? If you are truly willing to do as you said… Sovereign of the Seas, we will need to use a part of those Divine Crystals.”
“Indeed, we must.” The Sovereign of the Seas said with a faint nod as she gazed into Yun Che’s eyes before replying, “Purple Veined Divine Crystals are the most valuable and rare resources in the entire Profound Sky Continent! And it is extremely hard for anyone to be able to use twenty kilograms of it in a single transaction.”
“Oh?” Yun Che said as he raised his eyebrows, “The Four Great Sacred Grounds definitely have resources that are far more vast than the common man can imagine. Moreover, the Supreme Ocean Palace also has the support of the Black Moon Merchant Guild. While twenty kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystal is an astronomical sum to the other powers, for your Supreme Ocean Palace, it shouldn’t be too big of a request, correct?”
“It seems that you do not have a clear understanding of just how precious and rare Purple Veined Divine Crystals are.” The Sovereign of the Seas said as she shot Yun Che a glance, “When it comes to the abundance of resources, our Supreme Ocean Palace is the first amongst the Four Great Sacred Grounds. But do you know how many Divine Crystals our Ocean Palace distributes to our most talented disciples every five years?”
Yun Che, “...”
The Sovereign of the Seas slowly extended one finger, “It is fifty grams! Moreover, only the most talented, high-status disciples in our Sacred Ground will receive this amount, and that includes this sovereign as well!”
“That is also to say that even if it was this sovereign’s son, he would only be able to obtain half a kilogram of Purple Veined Divine Crystal after fifty years! As for Absolute Monarch Sanctuary, Sun Moon Divine Hall and Mighty Heavenly Sword Region, they will definitely distribute a lesser amount than we do! Even for the other powers within the Profound Sky Continent, obtaining a Divine Crystal that is as small as a grain of sand could be said to be the highlight of a lifetime! Yet you are willing to forego such a huge amount of Divine Crystals just for those few days of ‘peace of mind’. This ‘magnanimity and open-mindedness’ has truly expanded my horizons!”
Yun Che’s expression did not change. “This junior definitely understands the value of the Purple Veined Divine Crystals. But since your Ocean Palace is unable to retrieve twenty kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystal, then you can treat it as if this junior had never mentioned this matter in the first place. Senior Zi, I will have to trouble you to escort this junior to the Moon Slaughter Devil Nest.”
Yun Che was calm and collected and there was an air about him that showed that he did not really care whether it was a few days early or a few days late or how much more or less Purple Veined Divine Crystals he could obtain from this deal.
“Twenty kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystal is indeed an astronomical sum, but that does not mean that our Ocean Palace is unable to foot the bill.”
Zi Ji continued speaking as a merry smile spread across his face, “The last time we expended ten kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystal in order to buy those ten pellets from you, using up nearly half of the Divine Crystals that our Ocean Palace had allotted for use. That is to say that the amount of Divine Crystals that our Ocean Palace is currently free to use only amounts to about ten kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystal. But other than this amount, we still have a stash of Divine Crystals that we are not allowed to touch.”
“Not allowed to touch? Could it be that it is being held in reserve in case disaster strikes?” Yun Che asked after he thought about it briefly.
“Hoho, you are indeed intelligent.” Zi Ji said as he nodded his head, “Our Supreme Ocean Palace has stashed away twenty five kilograms of Purple Veined Divine Crystal for the longest time. And this stash of Divine Crystals are only to be used to activate a sect-wide protective profound formation when the Ocean Palace encounters a great crisis. So we were given a strict order that has been passed down for generations, that we were not to use these Divine Crystals unless we encountered such a crisis. The truth of the matter is that these twenty five kilograms of Divine Crystals have been stored in reserve for the past eight thousand years or so, but we have yet to find the occasion to use it.”
Because within the Profound Sky Continent, there was nothing that could threaten the extermination of Supreme Ocean Palace.