Chapter 89: Setting Up Shop
Three days later, Su Chen finally stepped out of the research lab.
When he saw Su Chen appear, Li Shu hurried over and said, “Young Master has finally come out.”
“Has anything happened recently?” Su Chen asked as he used a grooming technique to clean off the filth on his body.
“Vice Commander Ji and Cloud Leopard both came to find you, but not for any important reasons. The Origin Bureau has been quite peaceful as well; a few small commotions came up, but Cloud Leopard took care of them. Everyone knows now that the Secret Task Force supports Young Master. Their influence is great enough that even the Bloodline Nobility Clans are apprehensive……”
“Pick what’s important to tell me,” Su Chen began to take care of his fingernails and hair after using the grooming technique.
“Shen Yuanhong returned a few days ago.”
“Oh? He didn’t die?” Su Chen arched his eyebrow. “What a pity.
Even though he hadn’t held much hope about it in the first place, the Shen Clan’s old man not being killed made Su Chen a bit disappointed.
“He didn’t die, but he should have been injured quite seriously. As soon as he returned, they announced that he was going behind closed doors.”
“Announced that he was going behind closed doors?” Su Chen paused for a moment. “Did they announce that publicly?”
“Then it’s no use. That shows that his wounds aren’t that serious; he’s just setting up a trap. Anyone who dares attack at this moment in time will only be seeking death.”
Li Shu was stunned for a moment before he recovered. “Young Master truly is perceptive! This war tactic is called feigning weakness in front of an enemy!”
“Ah, forget about it. Fighting against a mussel is always a matter of luck; if you can’t make it as the fisherman, there’s nothing you can do about it,” Su Chen said indifferently. “How are things on the waterways?”
“Prince Jiang already went to Lingyuan Marsh, and the Third River Army has begun to reestablish themselves and unify the various forces there. A few days ago, I heard the wiped out an alliance of three groups of pirates, causing their influence to swell. If this continues to go on, there really might be a few Light Shaking Realm cultivators who get drawn out.”
“That’s alright. He has a Prehistoric Beast Bloodline; even if they’re a Light Shaking Realm cultivator, Jiang Xishui might be okay as long as they don’t have a lord-class bloodline or higher. In addition, given his identity, there might not be many people who dare kill him even if he loses.” Su Chen didn’t seem worried at all.
“There’s one more matter……” Li Shu hesitated as he hemmed and hawed.
Su Chen glanced at him strangely. “If there’s something, just tell me.”
Li Shu said, “We don’t have much money left.”
“Don’t have much left?” Su Chen was taken aback. “How much do we have left?”
“Below three million.”
“Only below three million?” Su Chen muttered.
Previously, Su Chen had earned forty million almost instantaneously when selling Kaihuang’s Heaven, followed by occasional bursts of income. But Su Chen spent the money just as fast as he earned it; every experiment often used thousands if not tens of thousands of Origin Stones. Given that he only spent money and didn’t spend much time earning it, every month his stores would decline.
The ridiculous rate at which his strength had advanced these past seven or eight years had been achieved basically by burning money.
Even the descendants of a Demonic Emperor Bloodline Nobility Clan or even the imperial family wouldn’t spend money like this when cultivating.
The remaining three million or so Origin Stones were entirely the result of Li Shu’s tireless maintenance.
When he saw that Su Chen’s expression was a bit unpleasant, Li Shu hurriedly said, “I swear on my life that I did not pocket any of it for myself.”
When Su Chen saw him like this, he laughed, “I know, I know, I’m not suspecting you. I’m just a bit regretful that I’ll have to rein in my experiments in the future, and my progress will probably slow to a crawl as well. Perhaps it is time to start thinking about how to earn some money.”
Su Chen thought for a moment, then said, “Tell Jiang Xishui to make a few more raids in the coming days and seize all of the Clear River Bloodline Nobility Clans’ goods for me. He doesn’t need to send them to Jadeheart Island and sell them for low prices anymore; he can just give them to me, and I’ll deal with them.”
“How are you going to handle all these goods?” Li Shu asked.
“Of course I’ll be setting up a shop. Later you should go and take a look at the streets and find a few aesthetic storefronts,” Su Chen replied. “Right, we should open up a few medicinal stores as well.”
Relying on Jiang Xishui’s blood was evidently not enough. Su Chen planned on using some of his own creations as supplements – it was time for him to make some medicine to sell.
At this point, he was already a Distinguished alchemist, only one step below becoming a master. An alchemist like him was already extremely valuable in the outside world. People who had reached this level yet hadn’t plied their trade for some cash were probably quite rare.
When he heard Su Chen say that, Li Shu reminded him, “If that’s the case, we’ll be at oods with those Bloodline Nobility Clans again.”
Su Chen laughed, “Yes, we’ll be at odds with them again. But what choice do we have? Who told those Bloodline Nobility Clans to stretch their hands that far? They’ve monopolized everything, from the raw source of resources in West River Forest to the waterway transports on Lingyuan Marsh to the storefronts themselves in Clear River City. If I’ve bitten off a chunk of meat in West River Forest and a leg in Lingyuan Marsh, it’s about time for me to face off with them in Clear River City itself as well.”
“West River Forest and Lingyuan Marsh are both a distance aways and are largely beyond their influence, but the stores in Clear River City are extremely close. If we provoke them here, their forces will be extremely close by,” Li Shu reminded him.
Su Chen smiled slightly, “There’s some danger to that, but that can also be beneficial to us. Just go and do it; if anything happens, I’ll take care of it.”
Li Shu was a talented steward. He would provide reminders or even outright object if necessary, but when his master made his decision, he would do his best regardless of whether he thought it was right or wrong.
After Li Shu left to take care of his commission, a number of stores quickly sprouted up in Clear River City, including one medicinal store and one treasure pavilion. They mainly sold a few medicines that Su Chen had concocted and the Origin Tools that he had seized, all while acquiring a few treasures.
To avoid any unnecessary problems – or, in other words, to earn some money peacefully for a few days, Li Shu didn’t add on Su Chen’s name to the business.
Every store was under a different name. Even the invited storekeeps had no idea that the true landlord was the Origin Bureau’s Knowledge Executor Su.
The businesses opened up in a low-key and quiet manner, beginning to do business peacefully and silently amassing a large quantity of money.
At the same time, the Third River Army, under the command of Jiang Xishui, began to plunder the Clear River Nobility Clans’ fleet like mad. The Third River Army had always carefully controlled their actions to avoid the wrath of the Bloodline Nobility Clans and would normally only go out once every month or so. This time, however, they set out three times in three days, robbing the Clear River City Bloodline Nobility Clans’ fleets and seizing large amounts of goods.
These goods were all sent to Su Chen through the Long Clear Gang, bringing a ton of resources to Li Shu’s business.
Three of the fleets heading to Clear River City had been robbed in quick succession, immediately creating a deficit in the supply of products. The shops all began to increase their prices, causing turmoil and anxiety among the people. Thankfully, there were a few stores that continued to sell goods at the normal price, attracting many more customers and increasing their renown for a short period of time.
The end result was that those businesses were suddenly being noticed.
On this day, Li Shu was in the “Peaceful Prosperous Shop” asking about the circumstances of the business. This was a store that primarily sold miscellaneous goods. Even though the goods themselves weren’t worth that much, they made up for it in terms of quantity. Every day, a large number of guests would come over.
Just as they were speaking, a few gangster-looking youths swaggered into the store.
The youth at the front yelled in a loud voice, “Where’s the steward of this place at?”
The storekeep that Li Shu had invited said, “My name is Zhang Liu, and I’m the storekeep of this place. Is there something you would like?”
The youth pulled back his robe, revealing a massive tattoo of a tiger head and said, “Nothing much, we just wanted to tell you that from this day onwards, this shop of yours is under the protection of the Evil Tiger Gang. From this month onwards, pay us a thousand taels of gold and we’ll make sure that nothing happens to your store.”