Chapter 52: Doing Business (2)
The rumors about the starsilver in the Halcyon Gorge spread like a plague all throughout the entire Scarlet Mountain Range. Because of this, countless people who were thirsty for a chance to get rich were attracted to the place.
The thirst for riches triumphed over the fear of death, so these people would traverse tall mountains, ford rivers, and pass through forests, arriving at this place all while under threat of Vicious Beast attacks. They thirsted for the fantasy of getting rich overnight.
However, fate would not show them any favor because of this.
Most people would die in the mountains during their journey for riches. The majority of those who survived and worked hard to find riches would completely use up their existing money only to return empty-handed and disappointed. A select lucky few would find starsilver, but many of them did not have any opportunity to keep the riches that they had found, since others would forcefully seize or steal it.
Only a small number of people could safely return to their homes upon obtaining the starsilver.
It was fated that only two kinds of people could obtain any benefits in this ore-excavation location.
One was those who were strong, such as Origin Qi Scholars, especially those who were strong even for Origin Qi Scholars. They could find their own starsilver or employ others to find it for them. They could not only claim the areas with the most ore, but they could also receive a certain amount of benefits from others. The other kind of person was one who could use their brain. They did not place their hopes on fleeting, illusory good fortune. Instead, they used their own vision to discover opportunities and create riches for themselves.
People such as Li Shu and Su Chen.
With so many people in the gorge, eating, being clothed, and waste excretion were all troublesome. If someone was able to help them solve these problems, they would more than likely be willing to pay a high price.
Didn’t Li Shu say that laborers here required wages three times higher than that of laborers in the outside world?
This price was truly not too expensive.
By the same logic, goods sold here could also fetch three to five times their regular price.
Although people without money might not be able to afford it, there were always those who were lucky enough to dig out some starsilver. To people who had suddenly gotten rich overnight, they would definitely be willing to spend money to improve their quality of living. That was especially true given that nobody was able to know if their riches would be stolen away by others tomorrow. In addition to these kinds of people, Origin Qi Scholars, who inherently did not lack money, would not mind paying three to five times the regular price to buy the things that they needed.
Su Chen’s target customers were precisely these kinds of people.
Four days later, Su Chen once again reappeared in the Halcyon Gorge.
At this point in time, the wine shop and general store that he had wanted was already completed. He himself had also brought back a large quantity of goods from the outside world.
These goods included shovels necessary to excavate ore, crystal lamps, tents that could be used for resting, as well as daily living necessities such as buckets, basins, bedding, towels, etc. There were even a few livelihood products such as firestarters. They were all things that everyone in the Halcyon Gorge desperately needed. Apart from this, there was wine, meat, and vegetable produce. Meat was relatively easy to obtain from the nearby Vicious Beasts. However, wine and vegetables were very difficult to find.
To fit all of these goods, Su Chen had stuffed Zhang Yuanliao’s storage ring completely full. He had also carried a gigantic sack that could fit three people. When Li Shu saw this gigantic sack, he didn’t know what to think.
All of the goods were priced at three to five times that of market price. Rare yet low-cost necessities were even priced ten times or higher.
Even so, more than half of Su Chen’s goods had been sold in just a day.
There was no way around it. Why was there only one such store in the entire Halcyon Gorge?
As for forcefully seizing these goods, that was a joke. People could see that the owner was an Origin Qi Scholar.
Under unclear circumstances, no one would lightly offend an Origin Qi Scholar. People who felt as if they were the greatest under the heavens and on the earth still existed, but they didn’t usually live very long.
Whether these kinds of people existed in the Halcyon Gorge was still not known, but at least at the moment no one had jumped in to cause Su Chen any trouble.
Because his business was too good, Su Chen had only conducted a day of business before preparing to gather more goods.
Thankfully, he was already somewhat prepared. The remaining items he would tell Li Shu to continue selling while he gathered more stock.
The process for receiving the second shipment of goods was not the same as the process for receiving the first shipment. Before he arrived, he had already set up relations with a few hunters. He had put them in charge of harvesting and purchasing things from the outside world, then delivering them to the Seven Star Mountain. The path from outside the mountain range to the Seven Star Mountain did not have many Vicious Beasts, so it was enough just to put those hunters in charge of delivery. All Su Chen needed to do was receive the goods at the Seven Star mountain, then inform them about the next batch of goods that he needed. They would then settle on a time to meet.
Thus, although Su Chen had additional expenses, it had also saved him a significant amount of time. Going there and back only took a day’s journey. As he went back and forth, he could continue to battle any Vicious Beasts that he encountered, continuing to temper himself. He was neither neglecting saving up money nor his cultivation.
In this way, Su Chen’s Starplucking Wine Pavilion and General Store began to rapidly grow in the Halcyon Gorge.
There was no tax or rent. He only had four laborers, each of them responsible for certain tasks in the wine or general store. He also found a chef to cook and placed Li Shu as the head storekeeper, responsible for all transactions.
Apart from selling all kinds of living necessities as well as good wine and other services, the store’s most important business was probably purchasing starsilver.
In the outside world, a tael of pure starsilver was worth nearly twenty Origin Stones.
Inside the gorge, this value was halved regardless of whether one wanted to sell or not.
Origin Qi Scholars and martial artists who had found starsilver would inevitably curse the owner’s black-heartedness upon discovering the sale price. However, after cursing, many of them had still chosen to sell, offering up many excuses such as ‘they weren’t sure that they could hold onto it’, ‘they didn’t have any money left to spend’, and other similar excuses. They would thus sell the starsilver that they had bitterly worked to obtain at a much lower price, then use that money to buy wine and meat. Some would even spend money to find women. In any case, most spent until they had run out of money.
Su Chen’s wine shop also had women selling their bodies. Of course, he was not the one who had recruited them; those women had come on their own. Su Chen did not stop them and did not charge them any fees. The presence of these women could increase the amount of money spent at his wine shop as well as the overall sales volume. The number of hunting groups that specifically hunted for Su Chen had also increased from four to six, and Su Chen had been forced to buy an even larger storage ring to transport these goods.
Many people’s bitter work had resulted in them ending up with nothing. They had only obtained a temporary bliss, and the starsilver that they had bitterly saved up ended up flowing into Su Chen’s hands. Only those who didn’t have any money could prevent Su Chen from profiting off of them.
Because of this, there was a joke going around that everyone was working for Demon Face. Some busybodies even said that Demon Face was the single richest person in the entire Halcyon Gorge. Of course, Demon Face was Su Chen. Because he wore a mask all the time and didn’t reveal his true face, he came to be known by this name.
The bigger the tree, however, the more likely it would attract wind. With too much money, others would become jealous and envious, and some would even intentionally stir up trouble.
Even Origin Qi Scholars could not avoid this kind of trouble.
One day, when Su Chen had just returned with the latest shipment of goods, Li Shu came to greet him with a serious expression.
“Something happened?” Su Chen instantly recognized that something was wrong.
“Wolf Blade and two of his brothers came to drink yesterday and didn’t pay,” Li Shu replied.
He paused for a moment, then added, “They said that they would not pay any more money in the future.”