Feng Guohai sighed to express his empathy, but his brows were locked tight. "I'll make haste and settle them accordingly. This is a matter that cannot be neglected — it must be executed quickly."
"I can use the existing spiritual jade pieces from the sales of Ethereal Amethysts to shoulder a part of the expenses first, as a sign of my sincerity." Yun Yang offered.
Feng Guohai smiled bitterly. "Brother Yun, your words are as good as a slap to the face for us from the General Commerce League. It's simply a waste of effort if you do that. You took out Ethereal Amethysts from the Spirit's Grave and exchanged them for spiritual jade pieces, which you'll use to purchase other goods to be gifted back in there… What benefit will you gain from this? There's no logic behind this, none at all!"
Yun Yang smiled. "It's not that bad. By doing that, the benefits I will gain is clearly lesser, but it's not like I don't have anything to gain at all. Activating the Spirit's Grave itself will render me some degree of welfare… even if I didn't mention this, I believe your respected self is aware of that. If I manage to further my business and strengthen my sect in this process, isn't that a huge gain on its own merit?"
He gave a fleeting smile. "If we zoom out a little further, I've made a lot of friends from the business we share. You, for example, Elder Feng. There's still point number four, which is also the most significant one. The General Commerce League purchases Ethereal Amethysts with a high price while selling an a.s.sortment of rare and precious materials to me at a low price. There are already huge cuts in cost through these transactions. It's completely understandable for a person to crave for profit, but being too insatiable is absolutely detestable. A man must be virtuous…"
Feng Guohai widened his eyes and mumbled, "Brother Yun, is there some sort of misunderstanding somewhere… We've never promised to sell you the goods for a low price…"
Yun Yang looked deeply saddened. "Ah? You never thought of selling it to me for cheap? Then I must have been mistaken, I must have been extremely insatiable and detestable to ask for that… Sigh, a man can't be as greedy as I am when conducting business."
Feng Guohai nearly choked on his breath when he heard that.
All that talk about pushing down the prices of a high-value item, all that talk about gaining a huge profit from you, all that talk about being a virtuous man … was followed by you wallowing about insatiability after I brought up a slight disagreement. Are you talking about yourself or someone else? Who's the insatiable one and who's the unvirtuous one here?
Do you really think I can't tell what you really meant?
"Brother Yun, you must be joking — how can you ever be insatiable." Feng Guohai frowned. "We can a.s.sure that you're a virtuous man, Brother Yun."
Yun Yang sighed. "Being a virtuous man is a principle I live by."
Feng Guohai was speechless and was on the verge of flipping the entire table over.
With you being like this, who are you to tell me that a man should be virtuous?
If we stop you from gaining profit, does that mean we are being unvirtuous?
You're the virtuous one here by pushing down our prices to gain some profit?
I flattered you for half a day, but how dare you twist my words against me now!
Feng Guohai found it hard to find his voice. "... An old man like me really can't imagine that you're a person like this, Yun Yang. From my perspective, you have the potential of being an unethical merchant."
"Is that so? Elder Feng, that's flattering."
What Yun Yang really meant to say was; In truth, I totally have what it takes to be a scheming, profiteering scammer that lies his way through everything.
However, he would never utter that, even if he was being tortured to death. He had to reserve some dignity for himself.
He gave it some thought. "Everybody's an unethical merchant in this world. Everybody can be one!"
"What does that mean? Please don't hold back on enlightening me, Brother Yun!" Feng Guohai enquired.
"We all want to gain the most by contributing the least," replied Yun Yang. "It's the same for anything and anyone. This is human nature. The only difference lies in whether one has the will to execute and complete this wish; that is all!"
Feng Guohai lapsed into deep thought.
He suddenly felt that these words were very meaningful, worthy of some thought.
He fiddled with the idea in his head and still reached the same conclusion. Even those who were deemed geniuses — those who are enlightened enough after understanding the concept of 'nothing ventured, nothing gained'— would think the same.
Else, why put in the effort?
It was true that everyone was an unethical merchant deep down in their bones. The only difference was in whether they could actually complete the entire process of being one!
"This time, I came here to settle this myself as I haven't found suitable candidates on my side yet… After everything has settled down, I'll send my majordomo to liaise with you, Elder Feng. Actually, he's not quite a stranger to you, I believe."
"It's that little fatty, isn't it?"
Yun Yang laughed heartily.
He was aware that the little fatty, Qian Duoduo, did not leave a good impression for Feng Guohai and his men. After all, anybody would think that he was a questionable character if they find him mincing about in the streets with Ethereal Amethysts in hand.
"That little fatty doesn't have your gimmicky tricks; if you're confident enough to send him over to receive the goods and resources, be sure to send along a mighty bodyguard as a precaution."
Feng Guohai continued. "Or else, that little fatty might just be abducted at any time. We'll be working for nothing then. It'll be a waste of effort, like scooping water with a wicker basket."
Yun Yang nodded his head, whole-heartedly in agreement. "You're right, Elder Feng. You should a.s.sign this said bodyguard as a foolproof measure."
Feng Guohai widened his eyes. It's my job to a.s.sign one just because I suggested it?
It's just a suggestion, and it's one to help you prevent unwanted outcomes — how did this suddenly become my job?
You brat, you're really going to just go with what I say, don't you? You're really going to latch onto my words, just like that?
"Think about it, Elder Feng. If my majordomo were to be abducted…" Yun Yang breezed on casually. "It's not entirely my loss. In truth, I don't have much men on my side and our strength is weak. Perhaps you should handpick the person yourself — take a look at who would be a fine bodyguard among them to be a.s.signed to the little fatty, as a precautionary measure?"
Feng Guohai forced out a smile. "... Sigh, fine, fine. I'll a.s.sign a bodyguard to him."
Frankly speaking, to a.s.sure that those gains with astronomical value could arrive promptly, the strength of Yun Yang and his men was not really up to the mark.
"I might trade for something a little special this time, so, your resources better be amazing and quickly delivered. A successful trade lies in good teamwork and mutual reciprocation. It won't be enough if I'm the only one who's contributing benevolently." Yun Yang reminded the hapless man before he left.
Feng Guohai's eyes twinkled. "Noted!"
Yun Yang might have just left, but Feng Guohai was already packing the items.
It was best to place these items in storage at the first moment possible.
This was especially since Yun Yang's final reminder was of utmost importance; it had to be handled as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, Yun Yang went on his way with ease.
The construction of the Residence of Nine Supremes had finally been completed.
The vicinity of the entire encampment was shrouded in a light veil of fog. The sect had a divine vibe, looking like a palace sitting in the clouds.
The nine peaks surrounding the Residence of Nine Supremes echoed at each other from a distance as tufts of white clouds drifted between them gently.