Chapter 508: Mu Yingdong, you’re simply robbing us outright Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Behind the massive building of Pill Fiend Pharmacy was a flower garden which led to a luxurious guest hall. Both the Wang Zhongyang and Xie Hongming had no idea what had happened to Mu Chaoran, so they didn’t react when they saw him already sitting inside. Instead, it was Mu Chaoran himself who was surprised.
Why did these two show up? His Highness Duke of Qin and esteemed wangfei only told me that father was coming to tea.
He could guess that his father wasn’t only here to drink tea, or that Qin Wangfei was purely buying medicinal ingredients, but he couldn’t fathom why either of those things would involve the Wang and Xie Clans as well. Is Qin Wangfei planning to shop between all three clans and compare prices? The Duke of Qin’s estate is so rich, why would they need to dilly over costs? Unless she’s planning to buy a ton of ingredients?
Mu Chaoran analyzed it all in his head before coming to another conclusion on his own. He decided to keep quiet in the upcoming talks. After all, he’d already offered the lowest price, so there was no way the Wang or Xie Clans would beat him unless they wanted to take a loss. The soil and unique raising conditions for consummate medical plants had high requirements. The Mu Clan not only had plenty of fields, but lots of capable workers as well, so their production costs were lower than the Wang or Xie Clans. In terms of price and quality, the Mu Clan was superior to both.
Mu Chaoran neither knew of Mute Granny nor how his father lost a treasure to Han Yunxi to save Mu Linger in the past. He drew his own conclusions based on his own knowledge and became wholly engrossed in closing a possible deal. That way, I’ll even be on friendly terms with the Duke of Qin. Although the Duke of Qin hadn’t declared himself emperor after Tianning Country split in three, he was more or less the hegemon of the central and southern regions. Currying friendship with him would assuredly open up inroads.
The Wang and Xie Clan representatives paid their respects before taking their seats, but His Highness Duke of Qin and Qin Wangfei remained silent. Both of the representatives shot a look at Mu Chaoran—the leading figure of the black market and Medicine City drug trade, and the man with a handle on them both. But Mu Chaoran didn’t notice their looks, being too engrossed in his thoughts as he calmly enjoyed his tea.
After a period of silence, Wang Zhongyang finally spoke up. “Your Highness Duke of Qin, are…we not all present?”
“Mm, the Mu Clan head has yet to arrive,” Long Feiye remarked offhandedly. Both the Wang and Xie representatives felt flustered by the words. How can this be? Mu Yingdong’s actually coming in person?
The disgraceful affair of the black market drug trade was something they’d come to handle in private! It was the same for the low-grade premium medicinal ingredients that Qin Wangfei wanted to buy. Because Pill Fiend Pharmacy was bearing the title of Gu Qi Sha, they couldn’t afford to trade openly lest Medical City took offense. Under these circumstances, the clan heads would be very reluctant to show up in person. If news of that got out, the entire clan would be forced upon a road of no return. Moreover, if Long Feiye and Han Yunxi raised their requirements, the clan head wouldn’t have a chance to decline their terms.
This is…rather complicated!
The Wang and Xie duo glanced at Mu Chaoran again, only to see he looked incomparably relaxed. As a result, they decided to keep quiet as well. When Mu Yingdong arrived, everyone was silent. He ended up sitting next to Mu Chaoran with a nasty glare, but Mu Chaoran only assumed he was fuming over Mu Linger and allowed his father to stare as he wished.
Mu Yingdong glanced at the Wang and Xie duo before asking, “How far have the discussions gone? It looks like I’ve come too late.”
“With the Mu Clan head coming, why wouldn’t we wait for you?” Han Yunxi grinned.
Hearing this, Mu Yingdong had a grasp on the situation. He rose to his feet and offered his cup of tea. “Your Highness Duke of Qin, esteemed wangfei, I have heard that you both have put in tremendous effort in order to convince Gu Qi Sha to sell his medicinal ingredients for the sake of saving others. This one admires it to no end. Gu Qi Sha never sold any of his wares before and only watched people as they died—an utterly unforgivable sinner. But now that he’s mended his ways and found the proper path, this one feels gratified. Thus, this one has personally come with a ‘medicine token’ to express support.”
Having said as much, Mu Yingdong withdrew a wooden tablet token that emitted a medicinal fragrance.
Of course Han Yunxi would accept it! Even if Mu Yingdong hadn’t offered it up himself, they still would have asked him for it. This so called ‘medicine token’ was equivalent to a permit for doing business. In Cloud Realm Continent, all legitimate medicine shops had such a token; otherwise, the medical community wouldn’t recognize them as official stores, nor would anyone be willing to trade with them. Doctors would also be reluctant to send their patients there as well. Medicine City was in charge of all medicine tokens, and each of the three great clans had the right to confer them.
Han Yunxi accepted it with great ease, while Mu Chaoran was utterly shocked. Father doesn’t need to go to such extremes just to make friends with the Duke of Qin. By publicly recognizing Pill Fiend Pharmacy, he’ll have trouble explaining things to Medical City even if he uses fancy words!
Meanwhile, the Wang and Xie duo kept silent. Mu Yingdong was a wily old fox, so he didn’t make a single mention of the black market drug business. The first thing he did was give Pill Fiend Pharmacy a big advantage in the hopes that Qin Wangfei wouldn’t trouble them too much.
Han Yunxi put away the medicine token as Mu Yingdong said, “Your Highness Duke of Qin, esteemed wangfei, my Mu Clan has offered up a medicine token, so we’ll do our best to assist Pill Fiend Pharmacy. Of course, we’ll be rigorously enforcing Pill Fiend Pharmacy’s sales as well, so I hope you two can understand.”
Han Yunxi admired his excessive bureaucratese. If Mu Yingdong had come right out to ask them for the evidence in Zhangsun Zelin’s hands, his plot would’ve been too obvious. But Mu Yingdong had come out to publicly support Pill Fiend Pharmacy while covering up his misdeeds with jargon so it’d be hard for them to get a handle on him. Here was yet another good method.
Thus, Han Yunxi followed along and said, “With the Mu Clan’s words, this wangfei feels more self-assured. Pill Fiend Pharmacy is interested in low-grade premium medicinal ingredients. I don’t know whether the Mu Clan would be willing to cooperate on this matter?”
“Of course,” Mu Yingdong agreed easily. The Wang and Xie duo hastened to echo his sentiments.
“Esteemed wangfei, the Wang Clan is willing to cooperate as well.”
“Esteemed wangfei, the Xie Clan is willing to supply goods to Pill Fiend Pharmacy. This one has full plenary powers to determine the price of the goods.”
Since Mu Yingdong had already handed over the all-important medicine token, the Wang and Xie Clans had no need to fear pressure from Medical City and were eager to express their support. Mu Chaoran kept quiet the entire time, but smiled coldly once he heard ‘price of the goods.’
“I don’t know how many low-grade ingredients Pill Fiend Pharmacy plans to buy?” Mu Yingdong got straight to the point. He had lost sleep over an entire night before coming up with his current negotiation plan. Now he wanted to finish things quickly so he could give Mu Chaoran a thorough lesson back home, then strive to hunt down that damned Mu Linger.
Of course, he still remembered the issue regarding Mute Granny as well, but he couldn’t make a move until Long Feiye and Han Yunxi did first.
“How much….that’s hard to say,” Han Yunxi said seriously.
“How could that be? Esteemed wangfei, we’re all straightforward people here. Give me a quantity and I’ll offer a price,” Mu Yingdong said.
“What, is there preferential pricing for larger quantities?” Han Yunxi asked curiously.
“Naturally, that is so. The more you buy, the more favorable the price,” Mu Yingdong was planning to take a good chunk of money out of Han Yunxi for this deal. Even if Gu Qi Sha were here, it was unlikely anyone could guess the true baseline prices of the medicinal ingredients.
“Tsk, tsk, it looks like the Mu Clan’s quite talented in business matters,” Han Yunxi laughed. However, praising the business acumen of anyone from Medicine or Medical City, two places dedicated to saving lives, was just another form of insult.
Mu Yingdong felt quite awkward after Han Yunxi’s praise. “Esteemed wangfei, how much will you be needing?”
“That would depend on the types available as well as their individual pricing,” Han Yunxi answered earnestly.
Mu Yingdong took out a list of medicinal ingredients which contained 270 varieties of low-grade premium medicinal plants and their individual prices. It not only lacked the 30 Mu Clan exclusive plants that Mu Chaoran had mentioned, but it also had completely different pricing.
The costs were five times as expensive as Mu Chaoran’s numbers!
Mu Yingdong, you might as well rob us outright! Han Yunxi came straight to the point. “Head of the Mu Clan, I heard Eldest Young Master Mu say that the Mu Clan has 30 varieties of plants exclusive to the clan. This wangfei is quite interested in them, yet why aren’t they on this list?”
Mu Yingdong immediately looked towards Mu Chaoran, who sat with his head bowed, not daring to meet his eyes. Once Pill Fiend Pharmacy started its business, it’d be a direct competitor to Medicine City. If the Mu Clan lost its 30 exclusively cultivated plant types, they would have lost their standing in the low-grade ingredient market! If this was any other time, Mu Yingdong could refuse Han Yunxi’s request, but this seemingly peaceful negotiation held the three clans at an disadvantage. There was no real room to haggle at all.
Mu Yingdong could only agree, “Indeed we do. I simply haven’t written them on this paper.”
“And the price for them?” Han Yunxi asked.
Mu Yingdong raised his voice to list another price, again five times as much as Mu Chaoran’s quote!
Han Yunxi’s eyes were already flashing dangerously for the second time, but she still maintained her smile. “And if this wangfei wants 50 dan of each type? How much would the Mu Clan reduce the costs then?”
She wants 50 dan of each type? Just one dan is enough to fill 30 sacks! Has she gone mad?!
With so many ingredients in stock, it wouldn’t be strange if they all spoiled before she stored them all! Unharvested medicinal plants were better when left for longer periods in the soil. Once they were picked, the effects of the medicine would fade over time, or mold and rot away. Everyone else was surprised by Han Yunxi’s request as well. Even Long Feiye had to furrow his brows at her decision.
Han Yunxi persisted nonetheless. “Mu Clan Head, it won’t be a show of good faith if you can’t give me a good price at that quantity.”
Mu Yingdong thought it over before getting to the point again. “Since esteemed wangfei has such faith in me, then this old man shall give Your Highness Duke of Qin some face and sell it for two parts less.”
What did two parts less mean? A 20% discount.
If one bag of medicine was 50 taels, then a 20 percent discount would make it 40 taels. However, Mu Chaoran had quoted a price of 10 taels per bag, which couldn’t turn a profit even after 10 bags sold!
Han Yunxi was furious!
“Your Highness, it looks like your face isn’t worth much at all. Let’s not buy anything.”
Long Feiye’s expression was cold. “Then let’s ask the guests to leave.”
The mood had changed so quickly that both the Wang and Xie representatives were left stunned, to say nothing of Mu Yingdong. If he couldn’t complete this deal, then their disgraceful trade with the black markets would be exposed.
“Esteemed wangfei, then how about you offer a price,” Mu Yingdong said anxiously. He privately thought that there was no way Han Yunxi could guess the baseline price.
However, Han Yunxi simply said, “You can keep the 20 percent for yourself and give us an 80 percent discount.”
80 percent off the listed price perfectly gave them Mu Chaoran’s quoted price—the Mu Clan’s lowest possible cost! Mu Yingdong’s icy glare swiveled to rest on Mu Chaoran’s huddled form. He wished he could stab his son to death with his stare!
This unfilial son, he actually told them our lowest possible price! And after I said all that nonsense beforehand. Now I’m an absolute laughingstock!