258 Collecting Spiritual Herbals
"What nonsense! Ouyang Na, do you think I'm the same as you, always flirting with men?"
Gao Tian'ai wasn't a weak girl. She talked back aggressively.
Anyone could tell she and Ouyang Na didn't get along well.
"So he's your friend?"
In a quarrel between women, the one who got irritated first would lose. Ouyang Na ignored her and directed the spearhead at Jiang Chen again.
"Daughter of the family of the inheritance of phoenix blood. Bad taste in friends," the woman beside her said in a voice dripping with sarcasm.
"An aristocratic family of inheritance doesn't have to make friends with someone from another aristocratic family. I can make friends with anyone whom I get along well with," Gao Tian'ai said.
Jiang Chen's eyes lit up. He agreed with her.
"Hm, I'm not seeing anything special about him. You get along well with him. Well, that explains what your level is," Ouyang Na sneered.
It was too mean for Gao Tian'ai to stay calm, but she didn't know how to refute her.
"Miss, what did you mean by 'nothing special about me'?" Jiang Chen asked.
It had been Ouyang Na and Gao Tian'ai's battle of words since the beginning. Jiang Chen had been excluded from it, as though he wasn't good enough to join their battle.
His interruption surprised Ouyang Na and the woman beside her. A corner of their mouths lifted. They looked scornful and arrogant.
"So, what are you proud of?" Ouyang Na asked.
Jiang Chen smiled without speaking. He emitted the energy of a Reaching Heaven State. Everyone around was shocked.
There were many Reaching Heaven States in the Sacred City, but there weren't so many that you could come across them on the street easily.
Neither expensive spiritual suits nor a great background was comparable to his state, not to mention Jiang Chen's youth. He was less than twenty, but had already achieved the Reaching Heaven State. It was unimaginable how shocking the revelation was.
Ouyang Na, who had been looking down on him, turned pale, as if she had seen a ghost.
"Ouyang Na, what do you think of my friend?"
Gao Tian'ai hadn't expected it either. She felt joyful and smug.
Although Jiang Chen was in cheap clothes, he left an extraordinary impression on people as soon as they saw he was a Reaching Heaven State. In comparison, the clients in the shop, who were mostly in the Mental Wander State, seemed tasteless.
Ouyang Na's arrogance was gone. She was annoyed and unhappy. She turned around to leave.
"You're leaving. To meet your boy-toy?" Gao Tian'ai said.
Ouyang Na was frozen there for a minute, and then walked faster to leave.
"Haha," Gao Tian'ai laughed when Ouyang Na was far away. She seemed very happy.
Then she looked towards Jiang Chen in a different way. She was smiling at him.
"Cousin," she called him. Jiang Chen was surprised.
He frowned and started to think.
He was sure Gao Tian'ai was ignorant to who he was. She hadn't realized, even when she had heard his name, not until she saw his state. Besides, she knew his name. He had been in the paper so much recently. It wasn't difficult for her to associate him with the worthless Reaching Heaven State of the Sacred Institute.
She called him cousin. It meant the Gaos knew of his existence.
"The Gaos know about me?"
"Don't behave like a stranger. You're a member of the Gaos, too."
Gao Tian'ai smiled at him. She said in a tone of blame, "Cousin, you knew who I was but didn't tell me who you were. If I wasn't quick-minded enough, I would still be in the dark."
"I didn't know the Gaos knew about me. What if you think I'm a con if I told you who I was?" Jiang Chen said helplessly.
Gao Tian'ai treated Jiang Chen more warmly after knowing his identity. She didn't care what others would say, but linked arms with Jiang Chen and started to ask him about almost everything.
Jiang Chen felt complicated. He thought the Gaos wouldn't know about him as long as he didn't visit them.
That being said, the Gaos had never contacted him.
"What do they think about me?" Jiang Chen asked directly.
Gao Tian'ai was surprised. She looked a bit strange, hard to describe.
"It's complicated," she said after a good while.
Gao Tian'ai frowned. She didn't know how to put it.
"Let's finish what we came here for first."
Jiang Chen calmed down. In any case, at that moment, he had to focus on the spiritual herbs.
Gao Tian'ai led him to an herb shop.
Jiang Chen told the salesperson what he needed. Since Gao Tian'ai was with him, a steward of the chamber of commerce received them.
"Star grass, rootless water, ghost head mushroom, and nine star ice crystal, these four fall into the valuable and rare category and the rare category."
"What do you mean?" Jiang Chen didn't understand the terms the steward had used.
"We've classified spiritual herbs into several categories: common, few, rare, valuable and rare, and exceptional."
"Star grass and ghost head mushroom are valuable and rare. The other two are rare."
"So, do you have them?" That was what Jiang Chen cared most about.
"If you want them immediately, we don't," the steward said meaningfully.
Business was about making money. Of course, he wanted to maximize the profits.
Jiang Chen knew that. He asked calmly, "How long will you need to collect all of them?"
It took the steward a good while to think. Then he said, "Between six months and a year and a half. We'll charge you a fee between 50 million and 100 million yuan stones for them."
He glanced at Jiang Chen and added, "Middle-grade yuan stones."
Gao Tian'ai had almost said it wasn't expensive, but then she was shocked. Her expression told him how high this price was.
The exchange rate between low-grade and middle-grade yuan stones was 50 to 1.
Jiang Chen had ten million low-grade yuan stones. That would be half a million middle-grade yuan stones. It was far away from what the steward had asked for, and these ten million low-grade yuan stones had been the compensation paid by the Black Dragon City. Jiang Chen hadn't earned them himself.
"It's too much. If you charge so much for unprocessed spiritual herbs, how much will you charge for refined panaceas?" Gao Tian'ai said.
"Miss Gao, besides how much the spiritual herbs are worth themselves, there are other expenses included in this price. If this client can let us know where each of the spiritual herbs is located, it will be forty percent cheaper. If we only sell the information of these spiritual herbs so that the client can collect them by himself, the information fee is only twenty percent of this price."
The steward said when he thought he had explained everything, "If you're interested, we'll nail down the deal after receiving your deposit. We can guarantee you we'll find all of them in two years."
It was beyond Jiang Chen's expectation, in a good way.
It had been impossible to purchase these spiritual herbs with middle-grade yuan stones 500 years ago.
Money was never his concern, although he didn't have it at that moment.
"I guess you have one of them now, don't you?" Jiang Chen asked.
"Yes, we have ghost head mushroom now. You want to purchase it alone?" the steward asked.
"That's right. How much?"
"Thirty million middle-grade yuan stones."
"That can't be right. You charge between 50 million and 100 million for four kinds of herbs. How could one of the four be so expensive?"
"I'll give you a discount then, for Miss Gao's sake. Twenty-five million. It can't be lower." The steward didn't explain. He made a concession, but managed to nail down the price.
"Okay. The thing is, I don't have so many yuan stones now," Jiang Chen said.
The steward was astonished. They had spent so much time in bargaining, but he had turned out to be penniless?