Chapter 51: Doing Business (1)
Upon hearing Li Shu’s words, Su Chen understood.
In a large forest, all kinds of birds were bound to exist.
There were those who relied on luck to feed themselves, those who relied on looting others to get rich, those who bitterly labored to earn a living. Naturally, there were also quite many who relied on their intelligence and quick wits to climb higher.
Naturally, Li Shu was such a person.
This person was not a martial artist and possessed no martial strength. He had paid money to be able to come to the Halcyon Gorge, and had mixed himself in with a group of martial artists in order to safely arrive.
Although he didn’t have any martial strength, his brain was quite versatile. Upon hearing the rumors that the Halcyon Gorge had starsilver ore, he had decided to do some business here. However, he didn’t plan on excavating starsilver. He did not have the strength, so he would only be able to excavate a tiny amount. He also wouldn’t be able to fight others for better pieces of land. Even if he were to find some scattered starsilver, perhaps it would still be stolen by others.
Thus, he had chosen to serve as an assistant. Since he had entered the gorge, he had begun to look for someone to rely on.
However, his luck was not very good. Although he had asked around in various groups of people, none of them had taken a fancy to him.
The main reason for this was because his asking price was too high.
One Origin Stone for five days.
An Origin Stone’s value was roughly equivalent to a tael of gold, and an assistant would probably only earn a tael of gold for a month of work.
To put it another way, this guy wanted a price six times that of normal people. No wonder people didn’t want him.
However, Li Shu continued to push for his asking price. He believed that he could definitely find someone who had money and who could also see his true value.
Upon talking with Li Shu for a bit, Su Chen also smiled.
“You are pretty bold with your asking price. Aren’t you worried that I’ll kill you on the spot out of anger?”
Li Shu hurriedly said, “That’s not what I meant, Sir. It’s not that this little one is asking for an exorbitant price. However, the people here are generally worth three times as much as people outside.”
“Oh?” Su Chen was startled.
Li Shu continued, “Sir, think for a moment. The Halcyon Gorge is deep in the Scarlet Mountain Range, and the path is lined with many vicious, savage beasts. The road itself is also treacherous, and it’s hard to enter and exit. Arriving here is no easy feat in the first place. The work is also manual work; who would come to this kind of place?”
That was true. If they didn’t harbor thoughts of striking it rich, what kind of person would brave such dangers to get there?
“Thus, this little one’s true value is not six times that of other people, but only twice,” Li Shu laughed, raising two of his fingers.
“Twice the value of others? You really know how to make these calculations,” Su Chen couldn’t help but laugh at what Li Shu had said. “So why are you worth twice as much as other people?”
“Based on the fact that I, Li Shu, can read and do math, as well as identify various kinds of minerals,” Li Shu proudly replied.
In this time period, where strength was emphasized and culture was looked down on, it was very expensive to print books and manufacture them, and books were also difficult to disseminate. Bringing about an advance in the dissemination of culture was very difficult. Even many mid- to high-class individuals were uneducated and did not know how to read, let alone the lower-class masses.
For Li Shu to know how to read and do math were skills that were truly quite rare.
Su Chen looked at him with some surprise, then looked around and said, “But your abilities don’t seem that useful in this kind of place.”
Li Shu’s face reddened.
That was correct. So what if he could read and do math? So what if his brain was agile?
In this place, all one needed was strength.
Without strength, it would be impossible to protect one’s starsilver even if one managed to find some.
Upon thinking to this point, Li Shu sighed in his heart.
Just as he thought that he had failed once again, he heard the youth in front of him say, “It seems as if your luck is quite good. If you can write and do math, perhaps you will actually be of use to me.”
Li Shu raised his head
He saw Su Chen continue to walk forwards. “I’ll use you for one day. Give me a report on the circumstances in the Halcyon Gorge. If you do possess some ability, and this place is really how I imagine it to be, I can consider officially hiring you.”
Li Shu was extremely happy. He hurriedly rushed to follow Su Chen. “I am indebted to Sir’s generosity. Li Shu will definitely spend all his energy serving Sir. That’s right, Sir, the most ore in in the Halcyon Gorge are located……”
Su Chen interrupted him, “I don’t want to know where the most ore is. I only want to know how many people are here and how the strength is distributed, as well as how much food they eat every day……”
Su Chen had already listed out a bunch of requests.
Li Shu felt somewhat dizzy. He couldn’t understand why Su Chen wasn’t concerned about the ore, instead choosing to focus on the people.
However, Li Shu did have some talent. Although Su Chen’s questions were somewhat tricky, he could still answer most of them.
“Replying to Sir, the Halcyon Gorge has roughly five hundred to six hundred people. Thirty two of them are Origin Qi Scholars. Oh, including you there are thirty three. There are around four hundred hunters and martial artists, and the remaining people are just commoners who came here to test their luck.”
“What are the cultivation bases of the Origin Qi Scholars like?”
“It’s not entirely clear. However, there are a total of three Origin Qi Scholars here who are the strongest. They are Si Lan the Swordsman, Chang Ye the Scarlet Demon Needle, and Zhou Yuniang the Water Immortal. These three people occupy the three locations with the most starsilver ore. From what I heard, they are all Origin Qi Scholars in the Blood Boiling Realm. Si Lan the Swordsman is somewhat reclusive. He’s the only one that doesn’t speak much. The Scarlet Demon Needle and the Water Immortal have both gathered a group of people to help them dig for ore. Currently, these two groups of people have the most strength, but it seems as if they don’t quite get along with each other.”
Su Chen finally began to look at Li Shu with a new level of respect. To collect all these tidbits of information indicated that Li Shu was someone who was very meticulous.
Su Chen asked a few more questions, but they were all related to the circumstances of those who were mining in the Halcyon Gorge. He had no interest, however, in the starsilver ore itself.
As Su Chen listened, he also grabbed a pen and paper and began to write everything down.
After he pretty much understood the situation, Su Chen handed Li Shu a piece of paper and said, “I will be leaving for a few days. I need you to help me take care of one thing while I’m gone.”
Li Shu received the paper and glanced at it. An impressive drawing of a wooden building was on it. The background seemed to be somewhere in the Halcyon Gorge.
“Sir wants me to construct a building?” Li Shu blurted out, suddenly understanding
“That’s right. Construct a building for me according to the specifications of the diagram. You will need to find laborers for yourself. Here is the money.” Su Chen handed Lin Shu ten taels of pure gold.
He was not worried about Li Shu taking the money and running. No one dared to renege on the debt of an Origin Qi Scholar.
“But sir, you didn’t come here to harvest starsilver but to build a wooden building…… why is that?” Li Shu did not understand.
“I did not intend on harvesting starsilver in the first place,” Su Chen replied. “I only intended to open a wine house and a general store here and do some business.”
“Do some business? Wine house and general store?” Li Shu was flabbergasted.
“That’s right,” Su Chen replied. “I will sell wine, Vicious Beast meat, shovels to mine ore, as well as a few wares for daily necessities such as cooking pots and pans. All the people living here that are searching for starsilver must have some means of living, right? They can get by for one or two days, but any longer than that and it will become difficult to endure. Since there’s no one who will provide services for them, then I will. In addition……”
Su Chen paused for a moment, then said, “We can also accept starsilver. If some people have earned some starsilver and are worried that others will find out, they can sell it to us if they don’t want it to be forcefully taken by others. They can exchange them for some daily necessities. That is a pretty good choice as well.”