What many people didn’t understand, was that even though the ambush on Jiang Feng became the talk of town, the anticipated great storm and waves didn’t follow.
There were no major movements from the royal family.
The duke of Soaring Dragon also didn’t seem to take any action.
The oddest thing was, the Jiang manor also didn’t make any major moves. It was as if Jiang Feng being ambushed was just a small interlude, and it didn’t cause major ripples.
Jiang Chen also kept an extraordinarily low profile. He stayed within the manor, kept a handle on the situation, and threw himself into training.
The Jiang Chen of now, after practicing “Secret of the Nine Laughing Oceans”, used the vast waves true qi to strengthen his meridians everyday. He had long since forged his six meridians to become extremely strong and durable.
If you add to that the stimulus and support provided by spirit medicine, Jiang Chen’s six meridians could be labeled as containing the vigor of dragons and ferocity of tigers. They were full of vitality and held extreme explosiveness.
Jiang Chen had also successfully located his seventh acupoint through the “True Acupoint Resonance” method. However, a noticeable moat existed between six meridians true qi and seven meridians true qi.
Six meridians true qi counted only as the intermediate realm of true qi.
Seven meridians true qi would be the advanced realm of true qi.
Moving forward just one small step here meant a great increase in level. So therefore, against this hurdle, any practitioner would face more resistance towards their ascension.
It was the same for Jiang Chen. He was in no hurry to attack the barriers to breakthrough before he had found the appropriate timing.
About four or five days after the ambush, Jiang Chen still kept a low profile as he paid a visit to the Hall of Healing.
Qiao Baishi had been waiting with bated breath at the Hall of Healing. His eyes lit up when he saw that Jiang Chen had arrived. He had been waiting for the stars, the moon, and finally successfully awaited for Jiang Chen’s arrival.
“Young duke Jiang, I’ve finally awaited your arrival.” Qiao Baishi was overjoyed and he directly invited Jiang Chen to the secret room.
“What’s wrong?” Jiang Chen felt it was rather odd that Qiao Baishi had such a discreet manner about him.
“Young duke Jiang, our partnership must move forward earlier than planned.” Qiao Baishi cut straight the point. “We’ve gathered news from many different avenues that the Pill King Garden is researching a new type of miraculous medicine for healing, in preparation for storming the market. If the Pill King Garden obtains the first mover advantage, then it would be a fatal blow for our Hall.”
Qiao Baishi was indeed a bit anxious. He hadn’t thought that the Pill King Garden would suddenly play this hand.
One had to say, the hand that the Pill King Garden had played had come with unexpected swiftness, catching the Hall of Healing off guard.
“Pill King Garden?” A hint of killing intent flashed through Jiang Chen’s eyes when he heard these three words. He naturally wouldn’t have forgotten how the Pill King Garden had suppressed his Jiang family at the Soaring Dragon manor.
And, he would never believe that the Pill King Garden hadn’t had a hand in the ambush of his father this time. Instinct told Jiang Chen that there was definitely the Pill King Garden’s shadow behind all of this.
“What exactly happened?” Jiang Chen was unflustered. If it was a matchup of healing medicine, he didn’t believe that anyone could outdo him, Jiang Chen, within the capital.
“This is how things stand: In seven days time, the Pill King Garden will hold an exhibit for pill medicine in the largest marketplace in the capital. It’s said that they will feature a new spirit medicine called the “Dragon and Tiger’s Blood pill”. It’s a supreme rank pill for healing physical injuries and its effectiveness is the utmost. It will reign victorious over any other pill in the same category that’s on the market currently.”
Qiao Baishi’s tone held a few traces of refusal to submit at this point. The Hall of Healing was the publicly acclaimed number one heavyweight in the world of spirit medicine in the Eastern Kingdom.
In terms of spirit medicine business, the Hall of Healing occupied half of the market territory just by itself.
As for the Farmer God Temple and the Pill King Garden, they, along with some other small, scattered vendors, occupied the other half of the market.
If the Pill King Garden was allowed to make a big splash with the “Dragon and Tiger’s Blood pill” and gain the first mover advantage, then it would be an exceedingly huge blow to the Hall of Healing.
First would be the blow to reputation. The Pill King Garden could only count as a third heavyweight in the spirit medicine market in the Eastern Kingdom. If it was able to thoroughly beat the Hall of Healing black and blue in the segment of healing panaceas, then it would undoubtedly be a huge blow to the Hall’s face.
Secondly would be the blow to business. Everyone knew that healing pill medicines were the largest market in the pill medicine arena. Pill medicines were also finished goods, different from spirit medicines that had to be cultivated. Its prices were often quite astonishing. If the Pill King Garden was able to completely eat up this market, then its strength would be sure to greatly increase after a few years. But in terms of competition, others decrease when another increases. Who knew, perhaps the position of number one spirit medicine heavyweight in the Eastern Kingdom would change hands in ten years.
No matter how one looked at it, the Hall of Healing would not sit idly by and watch the Pill King Garden rise to power.
Jiang Chen had also heard these connotations from the words that Qiao Baishi had spoken.
“The Pill King Garden suddenly becoming so high profile likely means that they have completely thrown their lot in with the duke of Soaring Dragon and found a big backer!” Jiang Chen laughed coldly. “This move is likely their first step in a declaration of war on the Hall of Healing. Third hallmaster, forgive my candor. The ambitions of the Pill King Garden are great, and they are mostly likely rushing at an aim of replacing the the Hall of Healing.”
Qiao Baishi’s face was ashen, “My Hall of Healing has occupied the position of number one spirit medicine heavyweight in the Eastern Kingdom for hundreds of years. As a latecomer upstart, the ambitions of the Pill King Garden are simply a bit too great. Young duke Jiang, I don’t wish to put on any airs. As of today, your house and mine are actually two grasshoppers tied on the same string.”
Jiang Chen smiled leisurely, “If they were to put on the exhibit tomorrow, then we really wouldn’t have enough time. Seven days from now leaves us a lot of time.”
Qiao Baishi’s severe expression relaxed slightly upon hearing Jiang Chen’s words.
“Can we refine the Heavenly Karma Pill in seven days?” Qiao Baishi couldn’t really make an estimate and spoke these words with hesitation.
“Third hallmaster, do you only want to refine the Heavenly Karma Pill? Playing it by ear means always residing in passivity. We make not a move because we choose to, but when we do, we need to make such a move that the Pill King Garden has no room and ability to counter us!”
An astounding aura pillced between Jiang Chen’s brows. He had finally revealed his long concealed extraordinariness!
“Young duke Jiang, do you possibly have other plans?” Never would have Qiao Baishi thought that Jiang Chen’s appetite would be even bigger than what he’d imagined.
“Tell me first, what is the pill medicine that the Pill King Garden is most proud of, and thus the basis of their footing in the capital? Or to put it another way, what is their core competency?”
Qiao Baishi mused silently for a moment and said, “A large half of the Pill King Garden’s business is concentrated in two areas. One of which is pill medicine that replenishes and gathers qi, and the other pill medicine that clears internal fire and calms the mind.”
Pill medicine that replenishes and gathers qi were largely used in battle. The situation of depleting true qi often appeared in battles between the strong. At that moment, a pill medicine that replenished and gathered qi would serve the function of instantaneously replenishing qi.
Clearing internal fire and calming the mind was used more often in training. Martial dao practitioners often faced numerous internal demons when training, and maintaining a dispassionate self was something that a practitioner had to achieve at all times. Except, a practitioner’s internal demons were not that easy to control, so pill medicine that cleared one’s internal fire and calmed the mind were employed to control internal demons and prevent practitioners from a cultural deviation.
The coincidental thing was, Jiang Chen had written out a list for for Princess Gouyu a few days ago, and its use was to clear internal fire and calm the mind. It wasn’t a pill recipe, just a regular medicine prescription. She would be able to directly take it if she mixed the appropriate spirit medicine ingredients together.
“How much true qi can the pill that replenishes and gathers qi instantaneously recover?” Jiang Chen asked with curiosity.
“Our Hall of Healing has a similar product, but one pill can at most recover twenty percent of true qi. It also cannot be taken in succession – it will be ineffective if retaken within two hours.”
Qiao Baishi was a bit shamefaced. “Our Hall has always wanted to expand into this arena, but the technical barrier to a qi replenishing pill is high and difficult to breakthrough. The Pill King Garden actually is ahead in this area. Their qi replenishing pill can instantaneously recover thirty percent true qi, and usage can be repeated after an hour.”
Jiang Chen nodded. “What of their mind calming pill?”
“There are no quantitative measures for this type of pill, but its effects are instantaneous and readily apparent after being taken. Our Hall is also slightly inferior to the Garden in this regard.”
Qiao Baishi did not deceive himself and truthfully conveyed the situation to Jiang Chen.
Jiang Chen didn’t respond immediately, but closed his eyes and pondered. After a long while, Jiang Chen’s finger lightly tapped on the table.
“What if we were to produce a pill that could instantaneously recover forty to fifty percent true qi. Would it defeat the Pill King Garden in this area?”
“Instantaneously recover forty to fifty percent?” Qiao Baishi surged to his feet with a face full of excitement. “If our Hall had such a good product, based on our sales channels and networks, as well as our strong distribution capability, we can absolutely cause the Garden’s products to go into the trash heap within half a month!”
“If the costs of the mind calming pill was only one tenth of similar pill products, but its effects were superior, would it be enough to throw the Pill King Garden’s products once more into the trash?” Jiang Chen asked again.
“Costs of goods sold are only one tenth? Its effects are superior? Then what else is there to say? It will definitely put them into the trash heap! We only need to wage a price war to wipe the floor with them!”
Qiao Baishi was agitated with excitement and his eyes were filled with desire. “Young duke Jiang, are you joking when you say all this?”
Jiang Chen said faintly, “Do I look like I’m joking?”
“This…” Qiao Baishi was at a momentary loss for words, but his trembling lips betrayed the wild and crazy emotions that were currently running through him.
The mere thought of this situation coming to bear fruit, and the victorious scene of thoroughly beating the Pill King Garden, was enough to cause Qiao Baishi’s heart to race and his hot blood to thrum quickly.
“I only have one request and that is to completely pulverize the Pill King Garden. Make them disappear and have that Wang fellow beg in the streets!”
Jiang Chen felt a deep seated internal disgust towards Grand Courtmaster Wang. Whenever he thought of the haughty tone that person had adopted as he’d lectured Jiang Chen’s father, Jiang Chen had the urge to stomp him to death.
“Young duke Jiang, if we were to crush the Pill King Garden in these two areas, then the Garden would be a fly without wings. It wouldn’t be able to struggle for long, and we would be able to swot them with one wave of a hand!”
“Old rules with regards to the split. I’ll take sixty and you forty!
Qiao Baishi nodded his head repeatedly. “That is how it should be. Young duke Jiang is indeed a phoenix or dragon amongst men. Allow me to say something fawning and that is truthful – our Hall is honored even by a split.”
Qiao Baishi was a smart man. The lower his profile was now, the more goodwill he would engender from Jiang Chen.
At this moment, the smart Qiao Baishi knew clearly that the partnership between the Hall of Healing and Jiang Chen was not one of equal footing. The Hall was dependent on Jiang Chen and curried favor with Jiang Chen.
If he didn’t get that relationship straight, then the Hall definitely wouldn’t be in business for long!