Even if the stall owner had known how to answer, he wouldn’t have gotten the chance to say the words. With the Jin He City being so close to the grounds of the Jin Shan Sect, there were a lot of cultivators on the streets. After hearing both the name 'Seal of Doom' and 'Hairpin of Regeneration', they couldn’t hold back their curiosity and came looking. One after the other, surprised cries rang out, drawing over even more people until a crowd had gathered around the stall.
Nie Chang’s expression had long tensed. This wasn’t what he had imagined! He just wanted to make an exchange but it seemed everything he could take out of his spatial ring would be some priceless treasure that would make people gasp regardless of how unassuming it looked.
He glanced at Su Yan who was likely the culprit behind this issue. Just how had he imagined Ziju An? Like a wandering treasure vault? Ah, it was too late now.
Nie Chang cleared his throat and turned to the crowd, letting the hairpin disappear in his spatial ring again while lifting the seal. "These fellow cultivators, as you have seen I have the level seven spiritual artifact the Seal of Doom here in my hands. This artifact has accompanied me for a long time but now, it is time to part with it. I don’t expect much in exchange for this seal." He thought back to the price the stall owner had mentioned before continuing. "A hundred spirit stones or two-thousand copper coins will do. Is anyone willing to exchange?"
The cultivators looked at him dumbfounded. What was this guy saying? A hundred spirit stones for a spirit artifact? Was he nuts?!
One of the cultivators surrounding them awkwardly cleared his throat. "Your Excellency, excuse me but … are you joking?"
Nie Chang leveled him with a 'Do I look like I’m joking?'-gaze before turning away and raising the artifact higher. "Nobody?"
One of the cultivators in the back pushed forward, holding out a bag. "Here! Here! I want it!"
The others looked at him with disdain but he just smiled. What were they pretending for? Everyone wanted this artifact! If the owner already offered it, why shouldn’t he take him up on it? Was it his problem that the guy had no idea how much it was worth?
Nie Chang didn’t care for the looks of disdain either and turned to the man that had just spoken. Seeing that he really wanted to hand the artifact over, the others started to regret.
One of them hurried forward. "Your Excellency, this … A hundred spirit stones are too low a value in exchange for such an artifact!"
Nie Chang shook his head. "I don’t need the artifact but I do need the spirit stones. Since one of them is worthless to me, a hundred spirit stones are plenty in exchange."
Su Yan’s eyes widened. Whoa! His boyfriend was surprisingly good at pretending to be deep! If he didn’t know any better, he might believe that he was the real Ziju An.
The cultivators around them were also tongue-tied. Somehow what this Master said seemed sensible but … How could someone attach no value to a priceless spiritual artifact?! This wasn’t normal!
The cultivator that had stepped out at first smiled brightly. "If it’s like that, then please take these spirit stones. It might be a little more than a hundred but they also don’t hold much value to me." He gave him the bag with a generous attitude and received the Seal of Doom under the doubtful gazes of the other men.
Nie Chang nodded at him before turning back to the stall owner. "One spirit stone for two tanghulu you said?" He opened the bag and handed over one spirit stones.
The owner looked at him, utterly floored. Had this really just happened? So this was indeed not a scam but a legit Daoist Master with his lover … ah, no, his disciple that lacked in money but not in priceless artifacts? Heavens! He couldn’t believe he’d ever experience something like this!
He hurriedly took the tanghulu Su Yan had had his eyes on and handed it over before turning to him again, clearing his throat. "Young Daoist, do you have a preference for any of my other tanghulu? Or should I choose one for you?" The stall owner wasn’t too sure just who this person was to the Daoist Master next to him but they were obviously very close. He should show this person the corresponding respect!
Su Yan pursed his lips and looked at the bright-red tanghulu. They all looked great … Unable to decide on one, he looked up at Nie Chang, begging for help.
Nie Chang smiled and pointed at one at random. "How about that one? I feel like the color looks especially vibrant. It’s certainly tasty!"
Su Yan looked at it and nodded. "You’re right! It looks much better than the others. I’ll take this one, boss!"
The stall owner picked up the tanghulu and handed it to Su Yan.
Su Yan happily took it and turned to Nie Chang. "Where do we go now? Can we take a look at the rest of the city? And I want to see one of those herb shops!"
Nie Chang nodded. "Alright, then let’s go." He turned around and the cultivators in front of them made way without being asked, watching as the couple left.
The street around the tanghulu stall was quiet until finally, one of the cultivators stepped forward and pointed at the tanghulu. "Boss, say what kind of tanghulu are you selling? Are they made of some special spiritual fruit that can help one advance a rank?"
The stall owner shook his head in confusion. "I don’t know about such things. These are just regular candied hawthorns."
The cultivators stared at him. What? Those were just regular candied hawthorns? Then … why had that man given away a level seven spirit artifact in exchange for it?! And he had even offered a ninth-rank mythical artifact! Don’t kid them! Something had to be special about these tanghulu!
The cultivator that had just spoken up furrowed his brows. Even if the stall owner didn’t want to divulge this secret, he would find out! "Boss, give me one of your tanghulu!"
"Me too! Me too!"
"I also want one!"
Before the stall owner knew what was happening, several spirit stones were thrown at him and the tanghulu snatched away one after the other, the price rising steadily until his stall had been emptied. Looking at the heap of spirit stones that didn’t even fit into his purse anymore, he could only shake his head.
Cultivators were strange these days.