Chapter 12: Ji Tingyu
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The top floor of the Pearl Gathering Pavilion was very spacious, but there was only a small elegant pavilion in there. A large portion of the remaining space was covered with small yellow flowers with an unknown name. At that moment, as the bright sunlight illuminated the flowers, the scene shone like a piece of bright dazzling gold—akin to a fantastic dream.
This place was restricted to the staff of the Pearl Gathering Pavilion. No more than five people were allowed to visit the top floor.
Master He, a second-grade alchemist, was one such individual.
Master He hurried up the stairs and arrived at the top floor. With one look, his eyes locked on a young lady dressed in yellow apparel, sitting in the elegant pavilion on the top floor. Those eyes immediately gave a look of doting love and respect.
She was a beautiful young lady, who seemed like she was just sixteen or seventeen, with facial features that were more delicate than Xiaonu by several levels. Dressed in a light-yellow long dress that wrapped tightly around her delicate body, she sat in the elegant pavilion surrounded by flowers, quietly reading a book. She held it in her hands with a cup of hot tea next to her, which had hot vapor swirling above. She gave off an air of elegance and perfection, like a queen amongst flowers, completely overshadowing all the other flowers surrounding her.
She had a pair of pretty red phoenix eyes, with pearl-black pupils that sparkled and gave a penetrating stare. Realizing that someone was hurrying towards her, she raised her long shapely eyebrows slightly and set her book down. Looking over, she gave a light smile and asked, “Grandfather He, you’re walking ever so hurriedly—could it be that something went wrong?”
Master He walked into the elegant pavilion without uttering a single word, only handing the single black elixir pill he took from Jiang Yi over to the beautiful young lady. The lady stretched out two jade-white fingers to receive the pill and carefully scrutinized it for some time, even bringing it to her nose and giving it a sniff. However, her nice-looking eyebrows became even more tightly wrinkled. With some misgivings, she asked, “This is just an ordinary elixir pill, and one that has been reheated and re-refined. It should also contain a random mixture of additional medical ingredients combined into it. This elixir should at most be considered only of man-tier medial-grade, surely?”
Master He stroked his white beard and nodded with satisfaction, replying, “Young Mistress is certainly bright and intelligent. You have said nothing wrong—but observe the pill carefully once again.”
The beautiful face of the young lady clad in a yellow attire became more stern. She was aware that the alchemy master working in her family had a very odd temper and would not chat idly with her without any reason. Squinting her red phoenix eyes, she carefully scrutinized the pill further under sunlight.
It was not long before she discovered that something was not right. A look of shocking confusion and strong emotions appeared on her small, tranquil, and calm face. Her red phoenix eyes also lit up as her cherry-like mouth released sounds of uncontrollable surprise, saying, “Huh? The vein lines on the exterior of this pill are strange. Don’t tell me, is this the legendary…?”
Master He nodded his head in utter assuredness and said, “You’re right, this is the legendary… elixir vein pattern! Young Mistress, you have indeed read extensively, and your intelligence surpasses all others. This elixir vein pattern is something an average low-grade alchemist would not know about.”
The pretty young lady’s pretty eyes were transfixed on the few threads of faint vein patterns circulating in the black elixir pill, taking the time to look at them once again several times. Shaking her head, she giggled and said, “Grandfather He, I am no alchemist. I read about the elixir pattern in some ancient texts. According to those books… the alchemist who can refine and produce such elixir vein patterns is considered remarkably skilled, is he not? What special uses do these elixir vein patterns have?”
“The elixir pattern is no use. The pattern does not add any additional ability to the elixir’s medical efficacy itself.”
Master He took a deep breath. With a solemn expression on his face, he said in a deep voice, “However, in the last ten thousand years of history, there were only one hundred and seven alchemist masters and nine alchemist saints in Stellarsky Continent. And there have only been one hundred and two individuals whose refined elixirs contained… elixir vein patterns!”
The young lady dressed in yellow shuddered as her beautiful face turned pale and her beautiful eyes lit up brightly in shock. She asked nervously, “Grandfather He, where did you get this pill?”
Master He stretched out his hand and pointed a finger downwards, replying, “A young man downstairs was trying to sell this.”
“A young man?”
The young lady dressed in yellow opened her small mouth in confusion. She quickly asked, “What is the power level of that young man?”
Master He shook his head and answered, “This gentleman’s power is very weak, only at the first stage of the Cast Tripod Realm. This is definitely not refined by him. To be able to refine an elixir like this requires the power level of at least the fifth stage of the Cast Tripod Realm. I came up here to seek your guidance, Young Mistress—how should we deal with this? Should we send someone to tail this young man, and thereby search for this master alchemist?”
The young lady dressed in yellow muttered to herself. Her facial expressions quickly returned to a look of calmness as her black gemstone-like pupils shone a mysterious ray of light. She suddenly stood up and walked down the stairs, saying, “I will go and see him personally.”
The atmosphere in the Pearl Gathering Pavilion was noisy. Many sons and daughters from famous and powerful familial clans loved going to the Pavilion to do their shopping. This was after all the biggest merchant-house in all of Skyplume City. To be able to regularly visit the place was a symbol of one’s status.
As a young lady dressed in yellow apparel walked down the stairs from the floor above, the entire Pearl Gathering Pavilion immediately turned silent after some commotion for a brief moment. The atmosphere was so silent one could hear a pin drop. The eyes of many gentlemen in embroidered robes revealed looks of burning passion as they sought of rushing to the young lady with haste. However, they could only watch her ignore the masses around her and walk directly towards the interior of a small elegant booth.
Jiang Yi, who was inside the booth, was in a nervous mood. This was the first time he had been to such a major location; on top of that, he had to wait for his counterpart to evaluate and make a decision on the offer. He would be lying if he said he was not anxious. Thankfully, his entire face was entirely shrouded by his black cloak, while his steady personality and much calm composure were developed by many years of oppressive cruel life.
However,the calm demeanor he put on quickly disappeared to nothingness after the young lady dressed in yellow walked into the booth. Upon giving this young lady a glance, his gaze froze immediately. There were many pretty ladies in the Jiang Clan. The Eldest Young Mistress and the Second Young Mistress were as beautiful as flowers. However, at that moment, comparing them to this young lady wearing yellow robes was akin to comparing fresh flowers and green leaves—they were at two completely different levels.
Thankfully, Master He followed behind the young lady in yellow robes, walking into the booth and startling Jiang Yi. He hastily pretended to cough and lowered his head down, not daring to stare any further. He was there to sell his medical elixirs, whereas this young lady in yellow robes was evidently wealthy and respectable. It was likely that taking the liberty to stare at his counterpart would end up infuriating her.
After walking in, the young lady in yellow robes moved her pretty eyes to take a seamless glance of the room, ignoring Jiang Yi as a potential visual obstacle. Raising her hand to stop Housekeeper Liu and the maidservant from bowing to greet her, the young lady finally looked towards Jiang Yi and said, “My name is Ji Tingyu. May I ask for your name, good sir?”
Ji Tingyu? This Pearl Gathering Pavilion is certainly the business establishment of the Ji Family, and this lady must be the daughter of the City Lord’s family.
The young lady’s voice was as sweet-sounding as the singing of a yellow oriole. Jiang Yi’s spirit was distracted, but his mind shifted quickly. He put on a calm voice and said, “Pleasure to meet you, Miss Ji. My name is Yi Jian.”
He did not dare to use his real name at that moment. He was well aware that in case that the elixir had startled the young mistress of the Ji Family, the other party must have found out the special abilities of the black essence force. A man’s wealth is his own ruin, for it encourages greed in others—he certainly understood this concept.
I cannot stay here for too long.
This young mistress of the Ji Family was a remarkably beautiful and alluring woman. Her pair of beautiful red phoenix eyes twinkled radiantly, making him feel as if she could see through everything clearly. He feared that if he stayed here for too long, all of his personal secrets might be completely revealed.
As such, he paused for a moment. Not waiting for the other person involved to open her mouth, he just said, “Miss Ji, my elixirs—are you going to accept them or not? If not, I’m going to take my leave!”
Master He and Housekeeper Liu, as well as an elegant maidservant—all revealed expressions of astonishment. They clearly knew the magnetic powers of attraction this Young Mistress from their own familial clan had on men. What young master had not become completely enamored to her upon seeing her and were able to chase it away at all? This young man was clearly a shrewd and sophisticated person—otherwise, how could he have that much determination?
Ji Tingyu was slightly stunned for a moment, but she quickly gave a faint smile. Nodding her head slightly, she responded, “We will naturally accept the elixirs. Young Master Yi, what is the price you are prepared to see one pill for?”
“The man-tier superior-grade elixirs are worth ten taels of silver per pill. According to your alchemist here, my elixirs are not of high-quality, and yet they were enough to have the Young Mistress of their clan to settle this herself. Is it not evident enough that this elixir is extraordinary? Surely, the value would be higher than any man-tier superior-grade elixir?” Jiang Yi’s mind moved as fast as lightning. Very soon, he gritted his teeth and said, “T-twenty taels of silver for each pill.”
Ji Tingyu and Master He exchange looks, both of their eyes flashing a thread of amazement. Was an elixir pill with vein patterns refined onto it actually being sold for only twenty taels of silver each? Did the alchemist, who could produce such kinds of elixirs, care for only so little money? Could it be possible that this young man stole the elixir from someone else?
It was evident that Ji Tingyu’s status in Pearl Gathering Pavilion was exceptionally high. No one would raise any objection even if she muttered anything. After a brief moment, she once again asked, “Young Master Yi, I would like to take the liberty to ask—the alchemist who refined this pill… does he know that you would be selling it?”
The elixirs were developed by Jiang Yi himself, so he naturally nodded without minding about the question. He replied, “Yes, of course, he knows! Would it not be considered stealing if he doesn’t know?”
“I didn’t mean that! It’s just that there are some rules here that we have to follow. Young Master Yi, please don’t get offended…”
Ji Tingyu did not ask any further. Instead, turning to Chief Liu, she instructed, “Fetch one tael of purple gold, the Pearl Gathering Pavilion will accept these three pills.”
“One tael of purple gold?”
Jiang Yi was stunned. One tael of purple gold was equivalent to one hundred silver! Not only did Young Mistress Ji not reduce his price, but she even increased it.
The housekeeper hastily went to fetch a piece of tiny gold leaf and passed it to Jiang Yi. It was only then that Ji Tingyu smiled faintly and said, “Young Master Yi, if you have any more of such elixirs in the future, please feel free to come to Pearl Gathering Pavilion! We want them all! On top of that, we will buy all of them based on the rate of one tael of purple gold for three pills. If the grade is higher than this, we will offer an even higher price. Of course… you would need to get the permission of the alchemist who refined this pill.”
“This is purple gold?”
Jiang Yi’s attention was completely drawn to the piece of purple gold leaf on his palm. He had never seen purple gold before in his life. His breathing had even become hurried and brief. Regarding the words of the young mistress without care at all, he casually waved his hands and said, “Very well. The next time I have such elixir pills, I will definitely sell them to you at the Pearl Gathering Pavilion. I have other things to attend to, so I will take my leave now…”
Finishing what he had to say, Jiang Yi put away the purple gold before impolitely cupping his hands to bid them farewell and hurriedly walking out of the Pavilion building. Master He initially wanted to ask more questions to him, but he was prevented from doing so with a raise of Ji Tingyu’s hand.
As Jiang Yi walked out of the elegant booth, he realized that there were countless gazes locked onto him. There were even some gentlemen who were giving him looks of envy and hatred. He was unsure if it was because of Ji Tingyu. Feeling goosebumps on his head, he hung his head, tightened the cloak that enveloped around his head, and walked out of the Pearl Gathering Pavilion with a quick pace. He soon disappeared into the sea of people outside…
Master He waited until Jiang Yi had left for some time before dismissing Housekeeper Liu and the maidservant. He turned to Ji Tingyu and asked, “Young Mistress, besides the vein patterns, this pill is completely valueless; its medical effects are also unclear. We can’t sell this off at all. How could you have accepted all of them? On top of that… should we send someone to follow him?”
Ji Tingyu was full of laughter, her giggles making her beauty ever more dazzling. Moving the pupils of her beautiful eyes around to look at Master He, she smiled, saying, “Grandfather He, in a place as vast as Skyplume City, there is no alchemist on par with you, but when it comes to doing business… no one is on par with me. Just based on this elixir vein pattern alone, if not for the fear of scaring away the young man, I would even be willing to purchase the elixirs from him for ten taels of purple gold.
“If I only have to use a little amount of money, and in turn, receive someone who might become… an alchemist worthy of being an alchemist master or alchemist saint, such an exchange is truly value-for-money. Oh, right! Grandfather He, no matter what, do not send someone to follow him. Otherwise, should we infuriate that mysterious alchemist, we would never be able to replace that potential loss. Don’t worry, that young man would certainly return soon enough…”
Master He suddenly saw the light. Stroking his white beard, he wholeheartedly praised her by saying, “Young Mistress, you are certainly quick-witted and far-sighted. I admire you. Yes, indeed… there are millions of people in such a big city like Skyplume City, yet there is no one who can do business better than Young Mistress yourself. Otherwise, how could it have been possible for the Pearl Gathering Pavilion to become the number-one merchant-house in all of Skyplume City within just two years? Right! Young Mistress, you were just fourteen years old when you took over the management of the merchant-house, right? If we continue allowing you, Young Mistress, to continue running the business, we wouldn’t even need ten years before the Pearl Gathering Pavilion becomes the number-one merchant-house in all of Divine Martial Kingdom.”
Ji Tingyu smiled faintly and shook her head, unwilling to comment any further. Through the small gap in the window in the elegant booth, her gaze turned to look at the faraway sky. She sighed slightly and muttered, “What’s the point of being the number-one merchant-house in all of Divine Martial Kingdom? I, Ji Tingyu, am going to become the future wife of the king. How can I continue doing this greedy, money-grubbing business of mercantile trading?”