Chapter 29: Scam
Regardless of whether Tang Zhen agreed, Su Chen’s departure for the Scarlet Mountain Range was already settled. He had no choice but to accept it.
All Tang Zhen could do was teach Su Chen everything he knew.
To prevent others from realizing that Su Chen had regained his sight, Tang Zhen would personally go up and down the True Jade Pavilion and bring Su Chen various medicine. He taught him how to analyze and identify them, the differences between genuine and fake articles, and how to use them.
The head storekeeper didn’t hold back transferring any of his knowledge. To him, every bit that Su Chen understood would increase the probability of his survival by a small amount.
One taught attentively while the other studied strenuously. Time flew by, and a day had gone by in the blink of an eye.
The pavilion’s gold-plated timekeeping treasure bell sounded out at this moment, indicating that the day’s business was over.
Tang Zhen said, “Okay, we’ll end here for today. Try and come earlier tomorrow to resume your studies. You can stay and review some of the things I’ve taught you. I will leave first for now.”
Tang Zhen was very punctual when it come to working and resting. And, as the head storekeeper, he could head home earlier than most others.
Tang Zhen went downstairs and briefed the laborers on some matters before leaving.
Su Chen was alone in the tower as he continuously looked over the precious treasures stored there.
This was the homework that Tang Zhen had left for him.
Just as he was scrutinizing them, he suddenly heard a laborer speak up from outside, “Young Master, there is a transaction occurring downstairs. Third storekeeper wants you to go down and help make a decision.”
“What kind of transaction would trouble third storekeeper so much that he’d need my input? Where is second storekeeper?” Su Chen felt slightly surprised as he replied.
“It’s a Beast Repellent Medicine. The price the other party quoted is somewhat high. Second storekeeper is currently bringing in stock so he isn’t around, and head storekeeper has just left. Third storekeeper can’t make the decision on his own, so he can only ask Young Master for his opinion,” the laborer responded.
Beast Repellent Medicine?
Su Chen was shocked.
This was something precious.
Beast Repellent Medicine was a very rare and precious medicine. It could release a very particular odor that was somewhat fragrant to humans but was extremely disgusting to Vicious Beasts when they smelled it, even to the point where they would vomit, so they would desperately try to avoid it. With this kind of medicine on him, no Vicious Beasts would pay any attention to him for at least three days.
Although Su Chen’s purpose for entering the Scarlet Mountain Range was to hunt Vicious Beasts, he didn’t intend to just send himself to his death. With this item, as long as he used it in a moment of critical danger, and there wasn’t too much animosity, even Vicious Beasts that were chasing Su Chen would give up. This was a miraculous, life-saving medicine.
However, creating this Beast Repellent Medicine was extremely difficult. Regular alchemists couldn’t make it; only special Origin Alchemists could refine it. Even so, a large amount of resources and time was required, and not everyone could create it. As such, its price was extremely high, and sometimes there was no market for it.
Who would have expected there to be someone willing to sell it today?
Su Chen was naturally interested, and so he said, “Let them come up.”
Beast Repellent Medicine was a precious item, so its sale naturally wouldn’t be discussed on the floor below. Instead, they went straight to the room on the third floor.
Su Chen sat waiting in the room. Soon after, he heard the sound of footsteps. Lou Yi walked in first, followed by a skinny middle-aged man. His wore a wily look on his face, and he began looking around as soon as he entered the room.
Su Chen felt irked, but there was no change in his expression. He gently smiled and said, “Storekeeper Lou and the esteemed guest have arrived. Please, sit. Su Chen is blind, and I cannot take care of the esteemed guest, so please forgive me. Xiang De, bring the tea.”
But Lou Yi interjected and said, “Young Master doesn’t need to trouble himself. I’ll take care of matters on this end.
At that moment, the maidservant Xiang De had brought in the tea. Lou Yi received it, then waved his hand for the maidservant to retreat. Only Su Chen, Lou Yi, and that skinny man remained in the room.
Lou Yi and the skinny man sat down together. As the skinny man sat down, he curiously waved his hands in front of Su Chen, as if he was trying to find out whether Su Chen really was blind. However, he was pushed by Lou Yi, who gave him a stern glare, evidently rebuking him for being discourteous to the Young Master. That person, however, carelessly shrugged his shoulder. His lips moved a few times. No sound came out of his mouth, but his unhappiness was plain to see.
The pair’s movements aroused Su Chen’s suspicion.
It looked like Lou Yi was familiar with this person?
The skinny man had already sat down when he spoke to to Su Chen, “This must be Young Master Su? My name is Zhao Si. I am the one selling the Beast Repellent Medicine. I am a person who is very straightforward. Eight hundred taels of pure gold and it’s yours. In addition, I have a bamboo leisure painting from the Lichun period, as well as a ceramic glazed bowl from the Illustrious Divine Dynasty for sale as well.”
(TL: Just thought it was funny that his name is a homonym for “courting death.” Ha ha.)
As he said this, he pulled out a portrait from his bag along with a ceramic glazed bowl and placed them both on the table.
Perhaps because he knew Su Chen couldn’t see, he didn’t even bother to open it in front of Su Chen.
“Third storekeeper, what’s your take on it?” Su Chen glanced at Lou Yi.
Lou Yi responded, “This little one has already seen them downstairs. The bamboo leisure painting and the ceramic glazed bowl are all genuine. As for the Beast Repellent Medicine, I’ve never seen it before, and I don’t know if it’s real or not. However, this esteemed guest has agreed to demonstrate its abilities, so it shouldn’t be fake. However, the price he wanted was somewhat high. He wanted two thousand taels of pure gold for all three items added together, and is unwilling to sell them individually.
Zhao Si laughed, “Testing it out is a simple matter. The current climate is hot, and there are lots of mosquitos. I’ll show demonstrate the might of this Beast Repellent Medicine for all of you to see.”
The pill vial had already been opened as he said this and the mosquitos that had been flying around in the room instantly dispersed. Soon, not a single mosquito remained in the entire room.
Zhao Si merrily said, “Although Young Master Su can’t see, you must be able to hear the buzzing of these mosquitos. Young Master Su, can you hear any mosquitos now?”
“They truly are gone,” Su Chen said with a slight smile on his face, but his heart sank.
He didn’t understand ancient artifacts. Although he’d studied under Tang Zhen for a while, his knowledge wasn’t at the point where he could determine the veracity of such things. Thus, he didn’t know whether the bamboo leisure portrait or the ceramic glazed bowl were real. However, based on what Lou Yi had said earlier, he was clearly pretending to not know the seller.
As for the Beast Repellent Medicine, it appeared as if its efficacy had been proven. However, Su Chen was clearly knew that there was another kind of medicine called Insect Repellent Medicine which could achieve the same effect. However, its price was a hundred times lower. But most importantly, the medicinal vial that the man had opened was actually not the one that he had brought out earlier.
That was to say, what he intended on selling to Su Chen wasn’t even the mosquito repellent.
It was a scam!
Su Chen realized this in an instant.
In fact, it wasn’t even an elaborate scam. They were just selling fake items to deceive the store. Which treasure store wouldn’t run into such situations at least three to five tems a year? But, bribing a store’s employees to sell a counterfeit was a completely different matter.
However, because they thought that Su Chen was blind, they couldn’t be bothered to put in much effort for their facade. Thus, this scam didn’t trick Su Chen for even a second before he saw right through it.
Indeed, being blind allowed one to see more.
Su Chen laughed coldly in his heart, yet he still said, “Indeed, this is the Beast Repellent Medicine. This is too great. As for those two ancient relics, with storekeeper Lou present, I naturally believe you. It’s just that this price……”
Su Chen pretended to hesitate for a moment.
Zhao Si said, “I see that Fourth Young Master is also a frank and straightforward person. If you really have your heart set on them, I’ll only ask for a thousand eight hundred taels of pure gold.”
Su Chen shook his head. “I really do like them, but at the moment the True Jade Pavilion doesn’t have that much surplus money. Why doesn’t esteemed guest come by tomorrow, and I will prepare the pure gold to buy it.”
Zhao Si immediately shook his head and said, “That won’t do, I have something urgent I need to take care of and I desperately need the money. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be taking out these family heirlooms to sell. I can’t wait until tomorrow.”
Really, he couldn’t wait until tomorrow? The other party had purposefully chosen this time. Head storekeeper had already returned and second storekeeper wasn’t here, so third storekeeper was the one calling the shots. They were taking advantage of this to lie to him.
That was to say, this matter had nothing to do with everyone else, and only Lou Yi was part of it?
That was good.
Su Chen made a decision internally as he continued to say, “But the tower can’t take out that much money at the moment. Can I only buy one?”
“No, if you want to buy it then you have to buy all three at once. If you don’t have enough money, you can use resources instead as a substitute. In any case, the reason I need money is to buy cultivation resources,” the middle-aged man responded.
Everything had been well-thought out. If there wasn’t enough money, he could use resources to make up for the deficit in addition to using the Beast Repellent Medicine as bait.
To get the Beast Repellent Medicine, he would have to buy the other two fake items, resulting in an even greater loss.
Yes, it had to be one of Yan Wushuang’s schemes. Once she knew that he was going to the Scarlet Mountain Range, she had taken out a fake Beast Repellent Medicine with the intention of taking advantage of his self-preservation instincts, along with storekeeper Lou’s cooperation, to complete this scam.
To be honest, the two biggest pieces required to pull this scam off were already in place. One, they had exploited the buyer’s need, and two, they had someone helping from the inside.
Their major mistake lay in their execution of the plan. They didn’t know Su Chen’s vision had long since recovered, which resulted in the scam being easily seen through.
Thinking up to this point, Su Chen let out a sigh and said, “Lou Yi, you were personally recommended by the head storekeeper and I believe in his foresight. Based on your character, you wouldn’t do such a thing, and yet you still did it…… is your disappointing son causing trouble for you again?”