“Congratulations, my boy! You’ve made yourself a small fortune! Do you even know how to spend that kind of money?” Boss Tong greeted excitedly.
“It seems you were expecting me,” Lin Yun smiled.
“Oh, but of course! It only makes sense. You’ve got a lot of coin weighing you down, who better to ask than your friendly, neighbourhood merchant!” Tong Hu said as he let out a deep hearty laugh that made his belly shake.
“Who indeed,” Lin Yun chuckled. “I’ll trust you’ll take good care of me.”
After a brief pause, Lin Yun continued, this time in a more serious tone, “I need pellets, ideally something stronger than Blood Refining Pellets. Also, I would also like to convert some of these to mid-grade spiritual stones.”
“Is there some sort of issue? At your current strength, Blood Refining Pellets should still be quite potent. You shouldn’t need something stronger for quite some time,” Tong Hu replied.
“It’s my next opponent in the Azure Sky Sect’s mid-year test,” Lin Yun explained. “They have me up against someone nearing the eighth stage of the Martial Path. I need to find some way to bridge the gap.”
“That’s rough…” Tong Hu gave Lin Yun a concerned look before he continued, “Honestly, kid… I know this may not be what you want to hear, but I think you might be out of luck on this one. I’ve got some pellets that could increase your strength temporarily, but they drain your potential. No point in throwing away you’re career over a single fight.”
“No, no… nothing like that. I’m looking for something that can boost my cultivation rate. I’m in the sixth stage of the Martial Path now and I want to make a breakthrough before the tournament,” Lin Yun smiled.
“Say no more. I have just the thing!” Boss Tong said excitedly as he ducked in back. He returned shortly after holding a jade bottle. “This right here is a Heart Nourishing Pellet. The heart is the core of all internal organs and, as it just so happens, is the main focus of the sixth stage of the Martial Path!”
Looking at Lin Yun, Tong Hu continued, “If that sounds like something you’re interested in, I can sell you this one at a fixed price of 4,000 low-grade spiritual stones.”
A Heart Nourishing Pellet!
In the Azure Sky Sect, they were only ever awarded to someone if that person had contributed greatly to the sect. They weren’t even available for purchase by inner disciples. Other than that, Lin Yun knew very little about them.
“You’re not as simple as you look, Boss Tong. It’s not easy getting your hands on a Heart Nourishing Pellet, even for sect disciples!” said Lin Yun, eyes wide.
“This place isn’t called the Myriad Treasure Pavilion for nothing! That’s not even the best pellet I have in stock,” Tong Hu chuckled.
“Ahaha, you don’t need to worry about that now. With your current cultivation, you won’t need those for a few years,” Tong Hu gave a mysterious smile when he saw Lin Yun’s curiosity.
“Oh, it wouldn’t be for me. I owe someone a huge favour. They’re strong enough that they might be able to use this mystery pellet. Would you mind bringing it out? If it’s as good as you’re letting on, I’ll buy it regardless of the price,” Lin Yun asked as an idea began to form in his head.
Tong Hu hesitated briefly before he replied, “The Heavenly Origin Pellet!”
“Heavenly Origin Pellet? I’ve never heard of that. What does it do?”
“I’m sure by now you know that every third stage of the Martial Path is disproportionately more difficult than the other stages. They’re often described as valleys or gulfs along the path. But even among the third stages, the ninth stage is uniquely challenging. If a cultivator wants to achieve the tenth stage of the Martial Path, they first must refine a Xiantian Seed,” Tong Hu explained, pausing briefly to make sure Lin Yun was following him. “The thing is, not everyone is capable of doing this. That’s where the Heavenly Origin Pellet comes in. This bad boy increases your chances of reaching the tenth stage by 30%!”
“Xiantian Seed?” Lin Yun asked, clearly confused. It seemed that every time Boss Tong opened his mouth, he revealed something new about the world. Lin Yun’s head was swimming. Just who was Boss Tong, really? Why does he know so much about cultivating? How did he get his hands on such rare pellets? What the hell was a Xiantian Seed?!
“Haha, yes. Breaking one’s Xiantian Seed is how a cultivator attains the Xiantian Realm, but you need to form it before you can break it. This is done by condensing your blood and internal energy. The tenth stage of the Martial Path is sometimes called the Quasi-Xiantian Realm because it is the period in which the cultivator has formed their Xiantian Seed but has yet to break it,” explained Boss Tong. “And let me tell you, boy, a whole new world opens up once you attain the Xiantian Realm!”
“I’ll take it!” Lin Yun said excitedly. He might not need one for some time, but he could give it to Su Ziyao. He had promised the previous owner of his body that he would repay Su Ziyao ten-fold for the pellets she gave him over the years. The problem he had run into was finding something she needed. Her cultivation was at a point that she had no need for the pellets Lin Yun normally had access to and, based on how many pellets she had given him over the years, she clearly had enough money to buy anything she wanted. As far as he could tell, the only way to fulfil his promise was to get her something incredibly rare. The Heavenly Origin Pellet was just the thing!
Tong Hu was stunned. Lin Yun didn’t even know what a Xiantian Seed was when he came through those doors and yet he was ready to spend thousands of spiritual stones on a pellet that didn’t even guarantee the user would form one. On top of that, it wasn’t even for himself. It was a gift!
A playful smile rose to Boss Tong’s lips as he replied, “I don’t know if I should sell such an expensive pellet to someone who is just going to give it away. This pellet happens to be the treasure of my shop. Do you know how many sect elders begged me to sell this to them? How many I’ve rejected?”
“Name your price.”
“Fixed price, 40,000 low-grade spiritual stones.”
A moment later, Lin Yun received the Heart Nourishing Pellet, the Heavenly Origin Pellet, and 10 mid-grade spiritual stones that he had exchanged 10,000 low-grade spiritual stones for. With that, he had spent all of his 54,000 low-grade spiritual stones.
“I always seem to leave here with a fraction of the money I walked in with,” Lin Yun chuckled, mocking his own lack of restraint.
Not realizing Lin Yun’s joke was meant to be self-deprecating, Tong Hu began to feel guilty. It was said that a talentless merchant could succeed as long as he had thick skin, but Tong Hu had grown fond of Lin Yun and didn’t want business to sour their relationship. With an embarrassed smile, he said, “You’ve been good to me kid, so how about this: pick any item in the Myriad Treasure Pavilion and it’s yours, free of charge. Consider it as my way of saying ‘Thanks.’”
“Anything?” Lin Yun asked playfully. “Don’t mind if I do! Thank you!”
Boss Tong accompanied Lin Yun as he strolled around the shop. The Myriad Treasure Pavilion was home to a wide variety of items. You could find anything from pellets, martial techniques, armour, weapons, herbs, and many things that Lin Yun couldn’t even name. Thankfully, Boss Tong always had an answer.
Not all items had price tags on them, but Lin Yun could tell how expensive an item was by how tense Boss Tong’s smile became when asked about it. Admittedly, Lin Yun had a little too much fun making the poor old merchant sweat.
Lin Yun’s meandering inevitably led him to the martial technique shelf.
“The Mountain Splitting Blade, 4,000 low-grade spiritual stones…” Lin Yun trailed off. Something about this technique seemed familiar.
“Hey, wait a minute!” Lin Yun shouted once he remembered. This was the technique he had gotten off Kuang Yan, the technique Boss Tong had only given him 1,500 low-grade spiritual stones for.
When he turned his head around, he saw Tong Hu wearing an awkward smile as he explained, “It’s just the marking price. It’s just to scare off people who aren’t serious about buying.”
“Uh-huh, sure,“ Lin Yun laughed.
A few shelves later, a martial technique caught his attention.
“That’s the Spiritual Convergence Art,” Boss Tong explained. “It’s a nurturing cultivation technique that helps herbs to grow swiftly. Normally, it would cost 2,000 low-grade spiritual stones”