Chapter 56: Deterrence by Force
A person walked in through the hole in the wine shop.
He was wearing an azure robe, and had his hands clasped behind his back. He waltzed in as if he was just visiting a neighbor, and he was smiling. However, his eyes were slightly tinted red.
His behavior was very cordial, but the moment he walked in, the entire wine shop quieted down once more.
A clueless person called out his name, and his mouth was directly covered up by the person next to him.
Scarlet Demon Needle, Chang Ye.
As if he were a scholar dressed in an azure robe, Chang Ye stood in front of Su Chen with a faint smile.
Upon seeing Chang Ye walk in, Su Chen was also slightly startled.
There was an entire large realm between Blood Boiling Origin Qi Scholars and Qi Drawing Origin Qi Scholars. In the Halcyon Gorge, those like the Scarlet Demon Needle were considered peak existences.
Could it be that he also fancied Su Chen’s wine shop?
Or could it be…… that he was only interested in the blade?
Or could it be…… that he was just carelessly mentioning it?
Su Chen did not know which of these possibilities was true, but he was not shaken at all by Chang Ye’s gaze.
He replied, “It’s not for sale.”
Everyone in the wine shop sucked in a breath of air.
Demon Face had refused him just like that.
Refused him easily and directly. He hadn’t even been willing to consider it.
Chang Ye’s expression was also slightly surprised. “You aren’t even going to ask about the price?”
Su Chen expressionlessly pulled out a Cracked Soul Magic Pearl. “Your price will not satisfy me.”
Although grade nine Origin Tools were hard to come by, they were not invaluable.
If Chang Ye were to propose a good sale price, even Wolf Blade himself would have been willing to sell it, let alone Su Chen.
Thus, the root of the matter was not related to price.
That was especially true given the price that a Blood Boiling Origin Qi Scholar could pay. It was better just to clearly say that it was not for sale.
Chang Ye laughed. “What if I am dead set on buying it?”
“Then we will have to do battle,” Su Chen replied frigidly.
Everyone was completely stunned.
Holy shit, you’re directly declaring your intentions to fight with a Blood Boiling cultivator? Are you trying to kill yourself?
Chang Ye was not enraged. He only looked at the black pearl in Su Chen’s hand. He did not know what it was, but he could sense a trace of danger from it. “It seems that you have a lot of confidence in being able to deal with me?”
Su Chen shook his head. “I don’t have any such confidence, but I do have a good chance of harming you, and a very small chance of successfully escaping. However, I have a hundred percent determination to not bow my head.”
With the Cracked Soul Magic Pearl, his Soul Eye technique, and the speed granted by his Cloud-Stepping Boots and the Snaking Mist Steps Su Chen had quite an extensive arsenal. He truly had some confidence in his ability to land an attack on his opponent.
If he added on the Flaming Hunter Blunderbuss, his chance of success would be even greater.
However, though he was confident that he could land an attack, he had no idea what effect the attack would have, if any.
Most likely, his attack would hit the opponent, and the opponent would block it using an Origin Skill or Origin Tool that had an ability like the Amethyst Battle Armor’s barrier.
Another possibility was that his attack would hit the opponent. They would block it, but the strength of the blood aura would inflict light injuries.
Less likely was that his attack would hit the opponent, and that they would block it, but the blood aura would have inflicted severe injuries.
It was basically impossible for his attack to kill the opponent.
But as long as there was a chance to damage, that was enough.
He believed that the opponent would not be willing to go all out against him.
After all, strong people had their own honor.
If Su Chen were to make a move and end up being injured, Chang Ye’s victory would not be awe-inspiring. Instead, others would know how things stood, and they would even feel that this was the only possible outcome.
Strong people also had their own opponents.
If Chang Ye were to make a move and end up getting injured, that would be equivalent to giving his true opponents an opportunity.
Strong people also had their own appetite.
While the wine store’s profits were not small, they were not enough to cause a Blood Boiling Realm cultivator to forcefully seize something from a far weaker character.
This was also why Yang Opening experts would not stoop so low as to excavate starsilver.
Different people with different statuses would have different ways of thinking and needs.
Emperors did not need to be carried by simple gold.
Su Chen did not need to make Chang Ye fear him. He only needed to make Chang Ye feel that making a move would not gain him anything and would only lose him prestige and face. There might even be opportunities for his opponents to make a move, and that was enough.
Indeed, upon hearing these words, Chang Ye laughed, “Truly you are someone with guts. Demon Face, would you be interested in working with me?”
The topic of conversation had shifted towards winning Su Chen over.
Su Chen still shook his head. “I prefer independence. I don’t want to join anyone else.”
“You’re not even curious about the conditions?” Chang Ye asked. “For instance, an absorption technique of mid-tier or higher quality.”
Everyone began to look on with envy.
The higher quality an absorption technique was, the harder they were to obtain. Based on Chang Ye’s tone, it was possible that even high-tier absorption techniques were possibilities.
Su Chen, however, uncompromisingly shook his head. What Chang Ye could give him, the Su Clan already possessed. If he didn’t treasure the Su Clan anymore, how could he treasure a mere Chang Ye?
Chang Ye did not get angry. He nodded and said, “So that’s how it will be. Alright, just make sure you remember your words, Demon Face.”
Su Chen replied respectfully, “Many thanks for Senior Chang’s instruction. Demon Face understands.”
Su Chen also understood what Chang Ye had meant.
Chang Ye had no interest in the Heavenly Wolf Blade.
Rather, he was interested in Su Chen himself.
Earlier, he had been testing Su Chen’s resolve. Upon seeing that Su Chen truly did have some courage, he had wanted to recruit him and win him over. For Su Chen to reject him without any hesitation was an indication that Su Chen had someone else backing him.
This made Chang Ye completely give up on any ideas of taking him in.
However, before he left, Chang Ye had warned Su Chen to remember the words that he had spoken about remaining independent until the end. If Su Chen were to follow someone else, Chang Ye might be forced to strike first to gain the upper hand.
This “someone else” naturally referred to the other Blood Boiling Realm cultivators.
Upon seeing Chang Ye leave, Su Chen’s heart which had been tightened slowly relaxed. He continued to hold the Cracked Soul Magic Pearl in his hand, which was soaked in sweat.
The pressure from facing a Blood Boiling cultivator was truly too great.
But no matter what, Su Chen had successfully passed through this trial.
The moment that Chang Ye left, everyone turned to watch Su Chen with strange gazes.
This was a stubborn person who dared to stand up to someone in the Blood Boiling Realm, a fierce person who had killed five Origin Qi Scholars in a short amount of time – one-sixth of the “strong” people in the Halcyon Gorge. He was a vicious man who dared to use poison and sneak attacks, and did not shy away from any tactic..
When facing this kind of stubborn, fierce, and vicious person, it was best to avoid provoking them.
Giving oneself a bloodthirsty reputation was the best way to scare away others. The battle at the Starplucking Wine Pavilion had shown all of the guests who were coveting his shop to give up on that thought.
Su Chen’s business began to stabilize because of it. Even on the days that he was not present at the wine shop, no one made any trouble.
This gave Su Chen even more free time, allowing him to go out and supplement his stock.
After a month of hunting and training, Su Chen became even more proficient in using his Origin Skills. His cultivation realm had officially reached the second layer of the Qi Drawing Realm, going from seventeen to twenty-three Yellow Stars. This rate of improvement was even faster than the month before. This was because his strength had increased, so he could kill more of the Vicious Beasts that he encountered around the Halcyon Gorge.
However, even after adding all of these benefits together, they were still not as great as Su Chen’s inconceivable increase in wealth.
In just a month’s time, Su Chen had stored up twelve thousand Origin Stones, and this did not even include what he had taken from Wolf Blade and the other four.
Wolf Blade and his brothers gave Su Chen twelve kilograms of starsilver, four hundred Origin Stones, a grade nine Origin Tool, and two refined blades. Although these blades were not Origin tools, they were top-tier for normal blades. There was also an Immortal Grass, which was a rare cultivation herb. It was stored in a jade box.
The Bai couple were also pretty rich. They had eight kilograms of starsilver and eight hundred Origin Stones. They even had an Origin Skill pearl that recorded a blade skill known as Thunder Blade. Apart from Origin Skill pearls used by clans to transmit their unique skills, most Origin Skill pearls were one-time use only. This pearl of theirs was the same. It was unclear where they had obtained this pearl from, since they were both sword users. Thus, they had no use for it, but Su Chen did; he learned it right away.
The Thunder Blade’s strength was not too great, and the damage it could do was limited. However, it was extremely versatile and could be used for both close- and long-range combat. It could be applied on a blade or could be used on daggers or even flying daggers, which could be close-range or thrown. Its energy consumption was not too great and could be sustained for some time, increasing the power of each strike. Individually, this effect would not be great, but when accumulated its strength could be imagined. It was very representative of a current Origin Skill.
Excluding the Moon-Swallowing Heavenly Wolf Blade, the profit Su Chen had made from these five people was roughly equivalent to a month of hard work at his store, and this was when he had a monopoly on the market. No wonder others commonly said that killing people was the best way to get rich quick. However, the prerequisite condition was that one had to kill others, not be killed.
However, this was not Su Chen’s final way to earn profit.. Most of his Origin Stones had been exchanged for starsilver. Because he bought at half the regular price, he had actually doubled his profits. Calculating it this way, Su Chen had earned roughly a total of thirty thousand Origin Stones in just a month.
Excluding the profit of just killing others, merely twenty thousand Origin Stones every month was enough to move the hearts of countless people.
Even if they couldn’t forcefully take it, that didn’t mean that there were no other methods.