Chapter 324: Trade

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“Tang Jie!” Wei Tianchong rushed forward and grabbed Tang Jie.
Tang Jie's eyes were tightly shut and he had stopped breathing, so Wei Tianchong didn't even know if he was still alive.

Aghast, he quickly took out some medicine and fed it to Tang Jie.

But Tang Jie's lips were shut, so Wei Tianchong had to pry open his mouth and pour it in.
As he poured in the medicine, he wept like a widow, “Tang Jie, you can't die! You absolutely can't die! What will I do if you die?”

But no matter what he did, Tang Jie didn't wake up.
Some of the medicine even trickled out of his mouth.

In panic, Wei Tianchong checked that Tang Jie was breathing and then checked for a pulse.
When he found neither, he hugged Tang Jie and cried out, “Tang Jie, you can't die!”

When he thought about all the ways Tang Jie had helped him over the years, the tears began to freely flow.

As he mourned, Tang Jie suddenly moved.
He threw up blood and squeezed out, “Don't, don't shake me… If you keep shaking me, I'll really die.”

“Tang Jie? You're okay?” Wei Tianchong said in delight.

Is there anything to eat…?” Tang Jie said with difficulty.

“Mm, here.” Wei Tianchong offered Tang Jie some medicine.

But Tang Jie shook his head.
“Not this… something to eat… so hungry… I need spirit food.”

“Eh?” Wei Tianchong was taken aback.
But he did as Tang Jie asked and took out all the food he had.

A moment later, Tang Jie was on it like a tiger, shoving all the food down his gullet.

The students had brought a lot of food with them, and as spiritual food had a restorative effect, everyone had amply prepared themselves for this Immortal Fortune Conference.
Wei Tianchong had readied half a month of rations, but it was almost instantly devoured by Tang Jie.
Even this still wasn't enough.
Tang Jie ate up all the food in his own bag before finally burping and saying, “Whew… it's finally enough… I almost died.”

Wei Tianchong looked at him in shock.
“You almost starved to death?”

“…” Tang Jie didn't know what to say.

This battle with Lan Yu was the most dangerous battle Tang Jie had been in to date.
Its danger level was on par with his battle versus Gu Changqing, and the riskiest moment had come with that last shattering of the weapon.

The Weapon Mantra consumed his physical strength.

Initially, Tang Jie could only use the Weapon Mantra once before fainting.
But as he slowly grew more proficient with it and his constitution improved, he was able to use the Weapon Mantra more and more.
Even so, he had never used it on an art relic.
In the True Inheritor struggle, Tang Jie hadn't dared to use it on Zhang Qinan's Heaventopple Stamp, as he had been trying to save strength.

The original body had headed into the formation, and the avatar had a weaker constitution, so he was even less willing to use the Weapon Mantra.

With his current constitution, destroying an art relic like the green tassel sword involved both a decrease in strength and an increase in difficulty, so the risks naturally soared.
If not for the increase in proficiency he had gained with the Weapon Mantra over the years, allowing him to grow accustomed to the power, he would definitely have died on the spot.

Even so, shattering the weapon had made him faint on the spot, his body having been squeezed of all its power.
If not for Wei Tianchong's cries, he might have slept for three days and three nights.

But the immense strain had also put Tang Jie's body back into Tempered Will state, which was precisely why Tang Jie needed so much spiritual food, to restore his body and sate the starving sensation that came from the depths of his bones.
The food before him had only barely satisfied Tang Jie's hunger.
An additional step would require more.

Fortunately, this was the Langya Blessed Land, and the one thing it had in abundance was a variety of spirit plants.
Tang Jie began to plan out how he was going to extract benefits from this place.
Most importantly, this would also benefit his cultivation realm, providing an extra boost when he was making his charge at the threshold.

Seeing that Tang Jie was fine, Wei Tianchong sighed in relief, upon which he felt incredible pain all over his body and remembered that he had also been injured.

But rather than using the Fearless spell, he simply felt the pain coming from all over his body, grimacing as he chuckled, “So refreshing! I've never fought a battle this refreshing before.”

This was Wei Tianchong's first time truly working together with Tang Jie in a do-or-die battle, and it was precisely because of the difficulty that Wei Tianchong was particularly enjoying the sweetness of victory—so much so that he didn't even want to conceal the pain.

This was because this pain had been the price of victory.
Happiness came at a cost, and without this pain, even the joy of victory would have been reduced.

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His wounds were like an old soldier's scars.
While they brought Wei Tianchong pain, they also conferred upon him a sense of glory and honor.
He could point at these scars and tell others, “This is the proof that I defeated the number one genius of the six major sects, a medal forged from blood!”

This was also why Wei Tianchong had made the unprecedented choice to enjoy this pain, the immense psychological satisfaction breaking through all barriers and letting him taste the fragrant sweetness that came after hard work.

“It truly was refreshing,” Tang Jie chuckled.
“Now that I think about it, this is the first time we've fought alongside each other.”

“Huh? You're right.” Wei Tianchong also realized that this was the first time he had truly fought alongside Tang Jie.
In the past, it had mostly been training.

Wei Tianchong couldn't help but sigh when he thought about how he had actually fought alongside Tang Jie.
It wasn't just him.
Even the spectators outside felt like these two had had a hard-won victory, and cheered for them.
While talking, both of them began to apply medicine to each other.
Tang Jie's butt had been sliced open, so Wei Tianchong applied a large amount of paste to his behind.
Cai Junyang was quite familiar with this sight and was crying warm tears of sympathy.
In the distance, Xu Miaoran could also finally relax.

Once the medicine was applied, Wei Tianchong commanded his puppet to bring over the Mustard Seed Bags of the three Beast Refining Gate students.

It was time to split the spoils.

Splitting the spoils was always a happy occasion.

No matter how poor these three students had been, each one was able to offer over ten thousand coins in resources, and their Mustard Seed Bags and weapons alone represented a significant sum.

Wei Tianchong gleefully dumped out the bags, dividing the weapons, talismans and medicines into three piles: one for Tang Jie, one for himself, and one to negotiate over, showing off his merchant background.

Tang Jie saw how serious he was being, and smiled.
“There's no need to split them up.
You can take all of it; I don't want any.”

“Huh? How could that do?” Wei Tianchong replied.

Tang Jie said, “Give me that art relic and your blessed land quota in exchange.”

The most valuable of all the spoils was the low-grade art relic, the Black Cloud Banner.

As an art relic, when used, it could engulf the surrounding several kilometers in dark clouds, blotting out the sunlight.

It was rather powerful, but its power was limited in a clash of cultivators.
In the current situation, the Black Cloud Banner actually wasn't very useful.
Tang Jie guessed that the student he had gotten it from had probably gotten it from killing someone as well.
But for Tang Jie, this object had the use of obscuring vision.

Against Lan Yu, he hadn't dared to use multiple Mindseizers because he feared exposure.
The Black Cloud Banner would make things much easier.

The art relic and Wei Tianchong's blessed land quota could probably reach half the value of the items here.
With both Wei Tianchong's and Ye Tianshang's quotas, Tang Jie would be able to gather many more plants and take another large stride toward Mortal Shedding.

Wei Tianchong naturally had no objection.

As Tang Jie took the banner, he furtively glanced at a gleaming gold object in the dirt nearby.

He calmly moved a few steps to the side, cast Nullight, and then moved his foot away.
Sure enough, there was a golden grain in the ground.

It was much bigger than the golden grains from before.
Tang Jie lightly nudged it with his foot, upon which the golden grain merged with his body and fused with his own grain.

The golden grain was getting bigger and bigger, and it was now the size of a pigeon egg, able to take the form of a small dagger.

Tang Jie had used exactly this dagger to stab that red wheel student in the back.

But the transformed dagger was extremely small and had no handle, so he was liable to hurt himself.
As a result, Tang Jie hadn't used it in a head-on fight.
The golden egg grew larger again with the addition of this golden grain, and he knew that it wasn't long before he could properly use it against an enemy.

As he pondered, Tang Jie heard Wei Tianchong say, “But it's rather strange.
Why are there no refined beast tokens?”

Startled, Tang Jie asked, “Are you sure?”

Refined beast tokens were necessary for the Beast Refining Gate to control their refined beasts.
Not using the refined beasts could simply mean that they had died in battle, but the fact that the refined beast tokens weren't here made things very suspicious.

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Wei Tianchong pointed at the ground.
“Everything is here, but there are no refined beast tokens.
On the contrary, there are two suits of Godhead Amor.
In fact, a bystander would think that we had killed two Godhead Palace students.”

Tang Jie's pupils constricted.
“This truly is rather strange.”

“Could the Beast Refining Gate's people have given their refined beasts to Yun Wuji to hold the rear while they used the chance to escape?”

Tang Jie thought it over and shook his head.
“It's not entirely impossible, but the problem is that Yun Wuji and the others don't know the Beast Refining Gate's mantra, so how could the two of them control the refined beasts of three people?”

“This…” Wei Tianchong thought it over.
“What if they didn't control them and let them run free?”

“Then there would be no reason to leave behind the refined beast tokens.”

“Then I don't get it.” Wei Tianchong scratched his head in confusion.

As they wondered what was going on, a group of people rushed over, led by none other than Mu Yi.

When he saw Mu Yi coming over, Tang Jie knew that the matter on the other end was settled.
In truth, the Taiyi Profound Clarity Cup was already in the hands of the Seven Absolutions Sect.
However, the one holding it wasn't Mu Yi, but another Seven Absolutions Sect student called Lin Wang.
This person was ranked third in the Seven Absolutions Sect and had a decent level of strength, but he was far from reaching Mu Yi's level.

Mu Yi's group was startled upon seeing Tang Jie, blurting out, “Why are you here?”

Tang Jie should have been on the perimeter beating back the reinforcements.
Why had he come here into the inner circle?

Tang Jie replied, “Lan Yu didn't heed my words and charged through the blockade into the forest.
In fulfillment of my promise, I pursued him into the forest and beat him back.”

“Is that so?” Mu Yi looked at the bodies of the three Beast Refining Gate students.
“Why do I think that Senior Brother Tang came for the Mustard Seed Bags of these three guys, then?”

Tang Jie threw his head back and laughed.
“I just happened to come upon them.”

Looks of disdain appeared on the faces of all the Seven Absolutions Sect students.
They clearly didn't believe him.
Everyone knew that Horizon Ocean Pavilion was in alliance with the Seven Absolutions Sect.
Even if Lan Yu had gotten in, he wouldn't have done anything to them.
Thus, the Seven Absolutions Sect had only requested that the Basking Moon Sect keep out Godhead Palace and the Beast Refining Gate, saying nothing about Horizon Ocean Pavilion.
Tang Jie had appeared here because he had been hunting down the Beast Refining Gate students, at the same time attempting to ruin the relationship between Horizon Ocean Pavilion and the Seven Absolutions Sect.

But while everyone understood, nobody said it out loud.

Tang Jie commented, “Right, what happened to Yun Wuji?”

“Dead, of course,” a Seven Absolutions Sect student replied.
His name was Xiao Wen, and he was ranked second in the Seven Absolutions Sect.

“Dead? Just like that?” Tang Jie was startled.
Although he knew that the Seven Absolutions Sect would never let Godhead Palace go, he was still taken aback by the news of Yun Wuji's death.

Yun Wuji was still a genius of Godhead Palace, yet he had been the first to fall in this struggle over the ten treasures, creating no waves at all.
Tang Jie couldn't help but sigh.
Sure enough, even if you were some peerless prodigy, if you died, you were nothing at all.

The six major sects controlled all the manpower and resources of the world, so they had geniuses and elites crop up every year and were numb to such things.
Only Tang Jie couldn't help but ruefully sigh at the difficulty of the Immortal path and how geniuses were nothing more than grass.

In the middle of his sighing, Mu Yi asked, “Right, Senior Brother Tang, when you killed these three, did you find any Godhead Armor on them?”

“Yes,” Tang Jie replied.

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Mu Yi nodded.
“No wonder! When we killed Yun Wuji, we found that they weren't wearing Godhead Armor, so we wondered where it had gone.
It turns out that it was on these three escapees.”

“We didn't run into any refined beasts when we killed them,” Tang Jie immediately said.

“Mm.” Mu Yi nodded.
“We killed them.
Yun Wuji was commanding them around.”

“Oh? So they really traded.
Did they know the Beast Refining Gate's mantra?”

Mu Yi shook his head.
“They didn't, so those refined beasts were extremely weak in their hands, and we easily killed them.
I really have no idea what they were thinking.”

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Tang Jie bitterly smiled.
“I was going to ask you what was going on, but it seems like you don't know either.
Ah, forget it.
They're all dead now, so it's pointless to ask.”

The living have their own concerns, like this.” Mu Yi pointed at the Mustard Seed Bag which Wei Tianchong had yet to put away.

Tang Jie laughed.
“Junior Brother, are you thinking of robbing us?”

“Don't misunderstand,” Mu Yi replied.
“I simply want to ask what my two senior brothers obtained.
As the two of you know, not everything gained is needed.
There are some things that may be valuable but can't be used by oneself.
In those situations, it would be better to see if any other people need it and then trade with them for what one does need.
Isn't that better? I happen to have some True Essence Pills that Senior Brother can trade for if you are willing.
If there is anything else you need, please tell me.
So long as my Seven Absolutions Sect can provide it, we will not be stingy.”

Mu Yi took out three bottles of True Essence Pills and looked at Tang Jie.

This action took Tang Jie aback.
He seemed to realize something and began to think.

Wei Tianchong chuckled, “Is that what's happening? Then go and see if there's anything you need in here.”

He opened his Mustard Seed Bag.

Several Seven Absolutions Sect students looked inside together, but they only looked for a moment before withdrawing, one of them even furtively shaking his head at Mu Yi, causing him to frown.

Tang Jie finally understood.

Mu Yi said, “It seems like there's nothing that good.
Senior Brothers, do you have anything else that you want to trade?”

Tang Jie narrowed his eyes.
“Junior Brother Mu didn't like what my young master had to offer?”

Mu Yi replied, “I've already entered Mortal Shedding, so spell weapons and spell talismans aren't very useful to me.
I might reconsider if there were any art relics.”

Tang Jie chortled.
“'Art relics'? Speaking of art relics, I do have one here.”

The disappointed Seven Absolutions Sect students perked up at this, that Xiao Wen even asking, “Then could Senior Brother Tang take it out so that we could see it?”

To their surprise, Tang Jie shook his head.
“The problem is that I have some use for this art relic and don't plan to trade it away.”

Everyone paled at these words.

Lin Wang stepped forward and said, “Tang Jie, you know that my Seven Absolutions Sect excels in the auxiliary fields.
While we don't dare to make claims in any other fields, I can say without a doubt that we have a better assortment of items than the other sects.
Brother Tang, if you have some sort of treasure, why not take it out and let us take a look?”

Tang Jie ignored him, coolly saying to Mu Yi, “Junior Brother Mu, in our earlier trade, I got five bottles of True Essence Pills from you.
If I recall correctly, you only had two bottles with you at the time, so you got the other three bottles from the others, right?”

Mu Yi said in surprise, “Yes, but what about it?”

“If that's the case, how can you now take out three bottles from your Mustard Seed Bag?” Tang Jie asked.

Mu Yi grimaced.

Tang Jie interrupted him, “Because you were ready to make a trade, right? That's why you gathered together your remaining True Essence Pills, because you knew that I needed it.
Unfortunately, while my young master is willing to trade, he doesn't have what you want.
And of the possessions of the three Beast Refining Gate students, only one is in my hand.
In other words…”

Mu Yi took in a deep breath and finally nodded.
“In the end, I was not able to keep it from you, Senior Brother Tang.
Yes, we already knew that you killed these three.
I said all that just now because I wanted to trade for the Black Cloud Banner in Senior Brother Tang's hands.”

Tang Jie asked, “What do you need it for? And how did you know that the Beast Refining Gate had the Black Cloud Banner? Why didn't you stop them earlier?”

“We didn't know that they had the Black Cloud Banner, and only found out after the fact.
As for the exact details…” Mu Yi hesitated.
“My apologies.
This involves the sect's internal matters, so I cannot speak about it.
All I can tell you is that the Black Cloud Banner originally belonged to my sect.”

“Huh?” Tang Jie was stunned.

Mu Yi replied, “Senior Brother Tang, if you don't believe me, you can take out the Black Cloud Banner.
You will find that the mark of my Seven Absolutions Sect is on it.”

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Tang Jie quickly took it out, and, sure enough, in an inconspicuous corner, he saw the seven-petaled lotus symbol of the Seven Absolutions Sect, indicating that it had been made by them.

“So how did it end up in the hands of the Beast Refining Gate?” Tang Jie asked.

Mu Yi sighed, “This matter concerns the private affairs of my Seven Absolutions Sect, so I do not wish to say too much.
In short, it has nothing to do with the Immortal Fortune Conference.
If Senior Brother Tang is willing, I am willing to trade for it three bottles of True Essence Pills and one art relic.”

Tang Jie shook his head.
“I don't need an art relic.
I can trade, but I will need your Seven Absolutions Sect's blessed land quotas.”

He had a lion-like appetite, asking for nine quotas all at once.

One art relic was worth only one person's quota at most, so this was nine times the original offer, and Mu Yi's group grimaced.

Xiao Wen grunted, “Tang Jie, don't push us too far!”

Tang Jie said nothing and looked at Mu Yi, who darkly said, “Tang Jie, don't forget that we outnumber you.”

Murderous intent appeared on the faces of all the Seven Absolutions Sect students.

Tang Jie chuckled, “At least before then, I can destroy the Black Cloud Banner.”

“You dare!” Lin Wang barked.

Tang Jie said nothing and just kept staring at Mu Yi.
The two of them stared at each other for a while before Mu Yi finally said, “Three quotas.”


“Five is the highest I'll go.”

“Plus the three bottles of True Essence Pills.”

Mu Yi took a deep breath.

A single art relic had been sold for five people's blessed land quotas—five times the normal price—and Tang Jie knew to be content with what he had.
With this, Wei Tianchong's, Ye Tianshang's, and Tang Jie's own quotas, he had eight quotas' worth in all.
With the eight bottles of True Essence Pills, he had enough to get all the way to the peak of Spirit Sea.

With the negotiations done, Tang Jie handed Mu Yi the Black Cloud Banner.
Mu Yi kept his word and left as soon as he got the treasure.

As he watched Mu Yi's party leave, Tang Jie deeply frowned.

Wei Tianchong looked enviously at Tang Jie.
“Selling a Black Cloud Banner for such a price! You've made a huge profit again.”

Tang Jie casually replied, “It could also be the exact opposite.”

Wei Tianchong said in surprise, “You think that the Black Cloud Banner was some treasure?”

Tang Jie shook his head.
“I've already checked over the Black Cloud Banner multiple times, and it's nothing more than an ordinary art relic.
But if Mu Yi values it so much, there must be something weird about it.”

Wei Tianchong smiled.
“That has nothing to do with us.
It belonged to the Seven Absolutions Sect, so that's their own business.
So long as it has nothing to do with this battle, just let him be.”

“It might not be completely unrelated,” Tang Jie sighed.
“He's still our rival, and so long as he's our rival, no matter how frank and honest he seems, you can't completely believe what he says.”

“Then why did you sell it to him?”

Tang Jie replied, “I don't have the ability to account for all the unknowns.
I can only try my best to hold onto what I do know.”

Wei Tianchong pursed his lips.
“Enough! Just say that the win or loss of a sect can't compare to the win or loss of the individual.”

This really was the truth.

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