Plundering The Heavens - Chapter 23
Chapter 23: Demon Pellet
Translator: Actias-Myriea Editor: Nou
’’Shixiong, I don't mean this in a bad way, but do you really think anyone would want to exchange their Ore Essence Powder for the sake of a Demon Pellet? It's an essential ingredient for the Poji Pellet1! The only way to get the powder is with a lot of wealth or by completing dangerous sect missions; it's unlikely you'll ever find it in the Black Market.’’
’’I'm here to try my luck. I wasn't expecting to find it anyway, but if I never came, I wouldn't even have the chance to get lucky. Worst-case scenario, I'll have my contacts in the inner court try to see what they can do for me. Besides, this Demon Pellet is many times better for Qi fluctuations than Spirit Stones, so even if I don't end up exchanging it for what I want, keeping it isn't a major loss.’’
Hou Qing stood his ground, as though nothing could change his mind about wanting to exchange for Ore Essence Powder.
’’Well, even if you do get your hands on the powder, its only usage is to make the Poji Pellet and there are a dozen other ingredients you need on top of the powder to make one! Even if you do manage to gather all of the ingredients, then you'll need a good alchemist to help you make it!’’
’’That would be none of Shixiong's concerns. The other ingredients besides the Ore Essence Powder are rather easy to purchase.’’ Hou Qing spoke before showing an unenthusiastic smile. ’’As for the alchemist, just rest assured; I have my connections.’’
’’Ah well, if that's the case.’’ The other man gave a heavy, unwilling sigh and walked off.
After hearing the exchange between the two, it all started to make sense to Fang Xing. There had only been rumors in the outer court that Hou Qing had already reached the peak of tier three, but it seemed he desperately needed Ore Essence Powder for a Poji Pellet to break through his bottleneck. Since the sect had strict control over the pellet, the only way to obtain it was through crafting it from scratch or successfully completing sect missions.
It seemed as though he had chosen to try for the former.
Ore Essence Powder was fine powder refined through special methodsknown only to a few large sects and clansfrom Spirit Stones. It was an excellent raw material and was used to craft various pills and pellets, the Poji Pellet in particular.
For the first stagethe ’’Spirit Stage’’of cultivation, the primary bottlenecks were between tiers three and four, between six and seven, and then finally for the mastery of the ninth tier. The easiest and most successful method of breaking through was by taking a Poji Pellet at each of the bottlenecks, but all of the pellet's raw materials were under a strict quota from the sect.
This was one of the methods sects and large clans used to control the fate of all cultivators.
The sect may turn a blind eye on the Black Markets, but they would never allow such a crucial ingredient for the Poji Pellet to be leaked outside sect doors.
Hou Qing was unconvinced and was even willing to exchange a rare Demon Pellet for it. Of course, at the end of the day it was almost certain that he would return empty-handed; things
like Ore Essence Powder couldn't be obtained by anyone ordinary.
As Fang Xing observed from afar, he saw that about five people had come up to Hou Qing with offers for the Demon Pellet within a mere hour. Some of the items they were willing to exchange even had Fang Xing filled with envy, but Hou Qing on the other hand was unmoved no matter the offer. When it looked as though Hou Qing was on the verge of giving up, Fang Xing rose to his feet.
’’I will need to verify the Demon Pellet first,’’ Fang Xing said in a low voice while walking towards Hou Qing at last.
Hou Qing's eyes suddenly grew wide, his voice hopeful. ’’Shixiong has Ore Essence Powder?’’
Pretending to be upset at the question, Fang Xing responded with a scolding ’’I've never seen such an idiot like you before. This might be the Black Market, but who the hell dares to bring it out of the sect? Even if someone did, everyone here would be in deep trouble if the sect heard about it!’’
’’My apologies, Shixiong. I was too hot-headed and I acted recklessly. May I ask, though does Shixiong really have it?’’ Hou Qing looked at the tall man in front of him with a glimmer of hope.
’’Heh, do you know how rare these powders are? Why would I have it!’’ Fang Xing ridiculed.
Hou Qing held down his anger after hearing that this man didn't have what he was after. ’’Are you toying with me?’’
’’I've been here listening to your conversations all this time. Even if you wanted to play, I don't have that kind of time just for you!’’ Fang Xing replied in a profound manner.
It was true that Hou Qing had noticed the man sitting on the side listening for quite a while. Hope sprouted within him once more. ’’Then?’’
Fang Xing continued with a sigh, ’’I can get my hands on the powder, but it is rather risky.’’
Feeling some relief, Hou Qing quickly added, ’’I've got this Demon Pellet here. It's made from a tier three high-quality beast core, equivalent to one hundred Spirit Stones when used for Qi fluctuations. If you are able to get me a couple pounds of the powder, the pellet will be yours.’’
While the tall man outwardly appeared to be considering the offer seriously, Fang Xing was head over heels within, One hundred Spirit Stones? Holy mother of God!'
’’Is is that too little for you?’’ Hou Qing nervously asked; the tall man in front of him was the only person all night who had revealed he could get his hands on the powder. With such strict restrictions on raw materials like the powder, it was difficult for an ordinary outer court disciple to obtain.
’’A Demon Pellet no, that's definitely a fair trade. But to be quite honest with you, while I can get my hands on it, the risk is way too big. If any of this talk were to be leaked, it wouldn't just be me, but my father, too. Well, that is none of your business; I'll tell you what, I can get the powder, but only if you improve your offer.’’
Hou Qing's eyes glistened, but as he was about to say something it was interrupted by Fang Xing's cold and cruel words, ’’And I must warn you, once you have the powder you'd better shut up about it. If I hear anything about it afterwards, I'll make sure you regret it. At the very least, you won't be seen in the Qing-Yun Sect anymore!’’
If anything, Fang Xing's threat before the price had even been established had actually reassured Hou Qing about this tall man's authenticity.
With what Hou believed was an unintentional slip about a ’’father’’, he was convinced that the tall man had connections beyond his imagination. From the way this man had threatened him, perhaps his father was someone of power within the sect and this man standing in front of him was the spoiled child.
’’Of course. My lips are forever sealed! Besides, my clan does have some power as well, so if someone was to ask about where I got the powder, I'll just tell them my clan got it for me. It won't cause Shixiong any problems,’’ Hou Qing solemnly vowed to demonstrate his sincerity.
’’As long as you know what to do. Oh, and the offer needs to be higher.’’
After some time of thought, Hou Qing answered, ’’On top of the Demon Pellet, how about another thirty Spirit Stones?’’
Though Fang Xing cried of happiness inside, outside he instead bit on his lips in hesitation. ’’Make it forty!’’
’’Deal!’’ Fang Xing said with a wave of his fist; they had settled into an agreement.
Hou Qing let go of a long breath. ’’When can you get it?’’
The tall man appeared to think hard on that one before answering, ’’Before midnight, nine days from now. Go to the hills outside of the Hualin alley. Wait for me there and only show yourself at the sound of three claps. Bring everything.’’
’’Okay. Thank you, Shixiong.’’ Hou finally relaxed, gratefully cupping one fist in his other hand.
Fang Xing nodded his head before suddenly commanding, ’’What the fk are you doing still sitting here?’’
Hou was confused at such an abrupt change of tone, ’’Why are you cursing at me?’’
’’Not only that, I want to strangle you to death! Are you going to continue sitting here like an idiot and tell the whole world you're looking for Ore Essence Powder? Since I've already promised to get you some, you'd better not let another person know that you're after it. If I hear anything about our tradeanywhere, from anyonethis deal will be void!’’
It was only after Fang Xing had reminded him that Hou Qing understood and wiped off the sweat from his forehead. ’’Thank you, Shixiong, for the reminder. I will leave now.’’
The words had truly left an impact on Hou Qing and he began to leave the market altogether. Not long after, Fang Xing left the market as well with extremely high spirits.
Discovering Hua earlier had become a lot more meaningful now that Fang Xing had unexpectedly found out how desperately Hou Qing was searching for Ore Essence Powder.
Naturally, there was no way Fang Xing would be able to get Hou Qing real Ore Essence Powder, but he did have a forgery master readily available.
Fang Xing rested his head on his arms. That same night, he came up with a plan for the early hours of the following morning.
The next day, Fang Xing took out the robes he wore as a daotong and placed them on together with the Mask of Wanluo. This time, he did not transform into a grown man and instead was a child only slightly older than himself. Picking up a bronze mirror, he checked himself out by creating different faces before deciding on the most suitable a shy and bashful, feminine child.
Once everything was ready, Fang Xing swung his hips while humming light tunes to himself and stepped outside his wooden cottage. With only a few steps, he realized that he was supposed to be a shy daotong; was there any need for such movements?
He settled for walking normally instead and headed out.
1Poji Pellet 破阶丹 po jie dan1, lit. pellet that breaks through tiers. Romanized into Poji for easier reading.