Library of Heaven is Path
1952 Selling Bathwater
The inner disciples' market was an informal trading site managed and frequented by inner disciples. It was the place where inner disciples purchase and sell their possessions.
Under Cao Chengli's lead, it didn't take long for them to arrive at the destination.
The market looked rather shabby. In essence, it was just a small courtyard by the foot of the mountain. After flashing their tokens, Zhang Xuan and Cao Chengli were granted entry into the market.
As soon they entered, they saw quite a number of vendors around with a couple of goods placed before them.
Swords, cultivation technique manuals, medicinal herbs, pills, tamed beasts… It had most of the basic necessities that a cultivator would need covered!
Most of the goods they were selling weren't from the sect. Rather, they were the personal possessions that inner disciples had either acquired in the midst of their mission or brought over from their clans.
"We only accept Sword Pavilion Coins and not Basic Immortal Pills!"
This was the answer that Zhang Xuan received from the vendors when he tried to trade with them.
The main reason why they were selling their goods here was to earn some Sword Pavilion Coins so that they could enter the Compendium of Sword Wisdom and the Hall of Sparring Swords. Those were the places inner disciples would often head to in order to further their path in the Way of the Sword.
What should I do now? Zhang Xuan thought in frustration.
He thought that he would be able to exchange the Basic Immortal Pills he had acquired from Cao Chengli for money, but who could have thought that none of them were accepting it at all!
What was most highly regarded in the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion was not one's cultivation but one's mastery in swordsmanship. Only with superior swordsmanship would a disciple stand out from his peers and be viewed as an asset to the sect. In return, the sect would provide him with ample resources required for him to advance his cultivation.
As such, cultivation resources such as Basic Immortal Pills were less valuable in contrast here.
"Young Master, should we just… resort to stealing? I saw a few people who aren't as strong as you back there. As long as we try to lure them to a corner and kill them, we should be able to acquire whatever we need…" Seeing the frustrated look on Zhang Xuan's face, Cao Chengli stepped forward and presented a solution to him.
"You… Snatch your head!" Zhang Xuan nearly fainted from rage.
Can you use more common sense when you speak?
We are in the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion! If you wish to die, go ahead and try stealing something then!
And dupe to a corner? Do you really think that inner disciples are fools?
The cultivators who have managed to make it here do have some skills, you know! You should already be thankful that they aren't trying to rob you!
"If that doesn't work, why don't I try seducing one of the vendors with my charm then? Just a while ago, I saw a beautiful inner disciple selling her stuff over there…" Cao Chengli continued presenting his solutions.
Zhang Xuan clasped his face. At this moment, he really wanted to kick Cao Chengli and get rid of him once and for all.
"Go ahead and do whatever you want. Just don't say that you are associated with me and don't come looking for me after you get into trouble!" Zhang Xuan waved his hand impatiently as he continued walking through the streets.
After visiting quite a few vendors, he found that the price of Ethereal Tokens was standard. All of them were worth twenty Sword Pavilion Coins. The Basic Immortal Pill was also only worth two Sword Pavilion Coins each.
In other words, even with all the wealth he had on hand, he still wouldn't have enough money to buy an Ethereal Token.
"Why would the price of an Ethereal Token be so much higher than a Basic Immortal Pill?" Zhang Xuan asked one of the inner disciple vendors.
"Ah, you must be used to the prices of Ethereal Tokens from remote locations. Those Ethereal Tokens balances the cultivation to just Great Sage 1-dan, so their prices are of course lower. On the other hand, the Ethereal Tokens sold in our sect balances the cultivation to Ancient Sage 1-dan, so it goes without saying that it's worth a lot more.
"If you are already astonished by this pricing, you should take a look at the Ethereal Tokens used by core disciples. Their Ethereal Tokens balances the cultivation to Pseudo Immortal realm, and the cost is way higher than this!" the inner disciple vendor replied.
"I see!" Zhang Xuan nodded in realization.
To be honest, he didn't think that the answer would be so simple.
He thought that all Ethereal Tokens were the same, but that was clearly not the case. With a cultivation realm of Ancient Sage 1-dan, a cultivator would be able to try out more powerful sword arts. Naturally, its price would be higher.
After asking a few more questions to familiarize himself with the vendor, he finally asked, "Well, the reason why I came to the market is because I urgently require an Ethereal Token. However, I don't really have any money on hand at the moment. Is there any fast way for me to earn money here?"
"Fast way to earn money? Tell me about it when you find one… If I had a better idea in mind, I wouldn't be here selling my goods!" the inner disciple vendor rolled his eyes.
Hearing those words, Zhang Xuan scratched his head in embarrassment.
Taking his leave, he continued walking through the streets with a contemplative look on his face.
I only have seven Basic Immortal Pills and a storage ring at the moment… I won't be able to earn twenty Sword Pavilion Coins even if I were to sell all of it…
If he had valuable goods too, he could still consider setting up his own store too, just like what the other inner disciples had done. The problem with that was that he didn't have anything of much value on hand at the moment!
Take storage rings for example. Despite being a rare commodity in Xuanjiang City, everyone he had met in the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion so far actually had one each. When he asked about the matter, he realized that it was actually possible to even rent one from the sect… There was no market for it at all!
As for his Basic Immortal Pills, even if he, by any chance, managed to find some buyers, he still wouldn't be able to earn enough money to purchase an Ethereal Token.
Sighing deeply, Zhang Xuan began racking his brain once again over his ever-present monetary issues when a brilliant idea suddenly struck him.
"Right! The Dongxu Gourd's bathwater has the mystical effect of curing one's injuries swiftly. It should be able to fetch quite a good price if I were to sell it!"
To be honest, he hadn't really done much ever since arriving in the Azure. Other than fighting duels, he knew of no other ways he could earn money quickly. If there was anything he had that was of value to the others, it could only be the gourd's bathwater.
Fortunately, he still had several bottles of it in his storage ring.
This gourd's bathwater was exceptionally effective in healing wounds, such that there were probably no pills in the market that could compete with it. As long as he could market it well and sell it out, he should be able to make enough money to purchase an Ethereal Token!
"It's settled then!"
Without any hesitation, Zhang Xuan took out a few materials from his storage ring and set up a stand. He took out the jade bottles containing the gourd's bathwater and laid it out neatly before him. He hesitated for a moment before taking out a cloth and writing the words 'Godly Recovery Medicine' before sitting down.
"Godly Recovery Medicine? Brother, you really don't fear death! Don't you know that the word 'God' mustn't be used casually? You'll be obliterated once the gods find out about it!" the inner disciple sitting beside Zhang Xuan took a look at his sign and exclaimed in horror.
"The word mustn't be casually used? But… doesn't the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion have a place called the Sword God Hall too?"
"The '神 (God)' character that is used in the Sword God Hall was snatched from the Hall of Gods by the founder of our sect. However, as our founder had only managed to snatch half a character, he only had the right to use the character in the name of an ordinary building and not in the sect's name.
"Of the entire continent, only the Ethereal Hall has the right to bear this character in its name! Legend has it that the founder of the Ethereal Hall singlehandedly barged into the Hall of Gods and forcefully took an entire '神 (God)' character right beneath the eyelids of the gods!" the inner disciple explained.
"The Azure actually limits the use of certain characters too?" Zhang Xuan was perplexed.
After asking a few more questions, he finally came to understand what was going on.
The Azure, also known as the Forsaken Continent, was said to be a piece of land tossed away by the gods. The gods viewed this land in disdain and prohibited the beings living in it from using the character, '神 (God)'. This rule applied to everyone, be it the Six Sects or ordinary civilians.
If one really had to use this character, there was only one way one could do so. One would have to enter the Hall of Gods and steal the '神 (God)' character from the gods!
Over the past few millenniums, the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion and the Ethereal Hall were the only ones who had succeeded. The former managed to steal half a character whereas the latter succeeded in claiming an entire character from the Hall of Gods…
The other sects had tried their hand too, but they had never succeeded before.
From this, it could be seen just how frightening the Hall of Gods was.
It seemed like the '神 (God)' character was indeed not to be used carelessly.
Thus, Zhang Xuan erased 'Godly Recovery Medicine' from the board and changed it to 'Divine Recovery Medicine'. He pondered for a brief moment before adding a tagline below 'All kinds of injuries and illnesses will be cured in the blink of an eye!'.
After that was done, he began waiting patiently for customers to arrive.
Two hours passed swiftly. There were quite a few customers who came over to his stand to take a closer look. However, when they uncorked the jade bottle and examined the contents inside, they shook their heads in disappointment and left.
Most recovery medicine sold in the market were overflowing with spiritual energy, but whatever that was in the jade bottle appeared to be no different from ordinary plain water. Who would want to waste valuable Sword Pavilion Coins to purchase something as useless as this?
Before long, the sun was already starting to set by the horizon. Sighing deeply, Zhang Xuan was just about to pack up for the day when a young lady suddenly walked over.
This young lady appeared to be in her early twenties, While her looks couldn't compare with Zhao Ya and the others, her tall stature and delicate features made her a rare beauty.
Zhang Xuan noticed that her eyebrows were tightly knitted together, as if there was something weighing down her heart.
"Is your medicine really effective?" the young lady walked up to Zhang Xuan and asked.
"Of course!" Zhang Xuan nodded. "It can heal any injuries in a heartbeat. If it doesn't work, I'll give you a full refund right away!"
"A close kin of mine has been injured by an immortal beast. We have tried using all kinds of medicine on him, but nothing worked at all… I guess I'll just give your medicine a try too. How much does each bottle cost?" the young lady paused for a brief moment before asking.
That close kin of hers had been diagnosed by the best physicians in the sect, and he had tried all kinds of medicine too. However, all of them proved to be ineffective. It was out of sheer frustration that she was roamed from market to market, hoping to stumble upon a miracle. As such, the board which Zhang Xuan had put up swiftly caught her attention. The tagline he had put up promised to cure all kinds of injuries and illnesses.
Thus, as unlikely as the chances were, she chose to give it a try.
Perhaps, this might just be the miracle that her close kin needed to recover. She had to give it a try.
"Each bottle costs twenty Sword Pavilion Coins!" Zhang Xuan replied.
"Twenty Sword Pavilion Coins? Why don't you go rob a bank instead?" the young lady was astonished.
Ordinary recovery pills, even those at Pseudo Immortal-tier, were worth only ten Sword Pavilion Coins. Yet, this jade bottle filled with what that appeared to be no different from clear water actually cost twenty Sword Pavilion Coins?
You must be trying to scam me!
"Young lady, my goods are worth every single coin I charge. The reason why I dare to charge a premium price is because I am confident in my medicine. Otherwise, I would just be asking to be killed for setting up a stand like this!" Zhang Xuan replied to the young lady calmly. "You can choose not to buy if you find it too pricey, but just know that this price will never change!"
After which, Zhang Xuan closed his eyes once more, as if he could care less if the young lady wanted to buy or not.
He had never really done business himself, but having read many books, he knew of the common tricks and psychological manipulation that businessmen used. If he were to desperately try to promote his goods, it would make his product appear less credible instead.
On the contrary, if he maintained a lofty attitude that rendered it impossible for others to read him, there was a greater chance that he would be able to win the trust of others.
Besides, the bathwater he was selling was as miraculous as he claimed it to be!
And from the looks of it, it seemed like Zhang Xuan's ploy was indeed working.
In any other circumstances, the young lady would have walked away without any hesitation. However, the fact that she was unable to see through the effects of the bottle of water and the bizarrely confident attitude the vendor had put up was making her hesitate.
The condition her close kin was suffering from was not something any ordinary medicine could cure, so the air of mystery around the medicine ended up reeling in the young lady instead. After all, what she was looking for was a miracle, a supernatural force that could somehow achieve the impossible.
After a moment of hesitation, she took a bottle and harrumphed, "Fine, I'll buy your medicine. However, you should know that I'm not a person to be trifled with. If your medicine doesn't work, I'll hunt you down and show you the consequences of daring to scam me!"
"Rest assured. If my medicine is ineffective, I'll smash my own store before you can even say a single word," Zhang Xuan replied with perfect nonchalance, almost as if he had heard far too much of such words in the past.
He was planning to sell the bathwater this once anyway. Once he acquired an Ethereal Token, he wouldn't have to resort to such means to earn money anymore.
After all, he was a professional at raking in money through duels!
"That would be for the best!" the young lady replied. She took out a bag and tossed it over casually, "Here is your twenty Sword Pavilion Coins!"
After which, the young lady turned around and left the inner disciples' market.
Zhang Xuan excitedly opened up the bag and counted its contents swiftly. There was indeed twenty Sword Pavilion Coins in there!
He thought that he would have to camp at the market for another few days before he could find a buyer, but things were going much more smoothly than he thought.
Rising to his feet, he was just about to pack up his stand when the vendor seated opposite to him suddenly his over and shook his head in pity.
"You should run away as quickly as you can. In fact, you should leave the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion for the time being. Otherwise, you might be smashed into meat paste very soon!"