"Fatty, this is perfect… this is amazing." Jun Mo Xie wiped his mouth. It seemed as if he couldn't find the right words. He could distinctly remember the last time Fatty had something like this. These words had clearly brought back that paranoia.
Fatty had clearly lost his mind. The Young Master Jun could only describe this as — [a poor man loses his mind if he earns too much money!]
"Fatty Tang, you, you, you…. you are too shameless!" Dugu Xiao Yi flushed with anger. Her almond-like eyes were wide open with rage. She had held her breath in anticipation to hear Fatty Tang's cherished dream. However, she hadn't expected to hear something so shameless.
It was evident that Fatty Tang's outrageousness had reached an entirely different realm altogether.
"Fatty, don't get so worked up; ahm, ahm…" Jun Mo Xie coughed twice, "Let's get down to business first."
"Sure. Sure. But I'll hire a few carriages once we're done here. Then I'll have them take the money down to the Spirit Fog Lake. I will spend the entire evening spending lots and lots of money! Let's see who can resist me then!" Tang Yuan waved his hand in a very overbearing manner. Suddenly, he felt as if his throat had become dry. Then, his gaze fell upon a glass of wine, and he drained it down in one gulp.
"Concerning this auction… " The Young Master Jun instantaneously sunk as his gaze swept through the crowd. He felt very stifled all of a sudden, and couldn't prevent his expression from becoming grave. There were several Sky Xuan experts present — Jun Wu Yi, Song Shang, and Hai Chen Feng. In fact, Jun Wu Yi was his own uncle. However, they couldn't help but feel insignificant in front of that expression in Jun Mo Xie's eyes. The cold and acute austerity in his eyes was indeed awe-inspiring.
Jun Wu Yi couldn't help but exclaim in admiration. [Perhaps such unique temperament is needed in a person who occupies the top position. Why would there be a need to flaunt if you're at the top? His involuntary reaction to stay aloof from the world is simply awe-inspiring.]
Even the seasoned general who had seen and commanded many wars over his lifetime couldn't help but feel a sincere pang of oppression in his heart. So, what could one possible say about the others…
"This auction is… your idea! Do you understand that Tang Yuan?" Jun Mo Xie sternly looked at Tang Yuan as he spoke.
"This auction is my idea?" Tang Yuan scratched his head. There was a look of utter confusion on his face. He was surely confused with regard to the meaning of Jun Mo Xie's words. However, he was even more perplexed since the Young Master Jun had addressed him as "Tang Yuan". The Young Master Jun very rarely addressed the Fatty by his real and full name. The friendship between the two youngsters had indeed been very deep. So much so, that the two would address each other by almost any name jokingly, and neither man would take any offense to it. Hence, this was a rare term of address.
"That's right. This auction was entirely your idea! No matter who asks… this auction was your idea. Understand?" Jun Mo Xie's tone became even sterner, "I said, no matter who asks… the reply will be the same… do you understand?"
"I understand! Even if you were to ask… this was all my idea!" Fatty Tang sounded a bit complacent, "I cannot think of anyone smarter. Bah! Only I had the brains to draw out this plan. I oversaw everything and nothing went wrong. Who would dare to doubt me? Who would dare to disagree? Whoever doubts me will die. Whoever questions my brain will perish!"
"Exactly! Your only intention was to make money! And aristocrats have money! That's the reason this place is called the 'Aristocratic Hall'. Some people were invited, while others weren't… this was all done to incite competition and consumption… in other words… it was all done to make money! Got it?"
Jun Mo Xie glared at him, "I will explain everything later if you don't understand things right now! But you are the founder of the 'Aristocratic Hall' from now on. This whole plan was yours. You will tell me the whys and whats of everything soon. And you shall remain silent if you can't think of a reasonable explanation for something. Also, you can't just go to the Spirit Fog Lake at your whim. In fact, you shouldn't even step foot outside this Hall."
Jun Mo Xie was being capriciously mule-headed and stern, "Brother, you will carry the burden of my secret?"
"This doesn't require any justification. I am a genius! This is only a small matter. It's nothing for my big brain. What's all this fuss about? Wow, haha… " Tang Yuan burst into laughter. Tang Yuan had spoken all this in a very casual and easy manner even though his entire body was rippling with confusion. …but one really couldn't tell from his demeanor. However, he was betrayed by the narrowed glance he shot towards Jun Mo Xie; his vision contained the trace of extreme anxiety which he couldn't convey in words.
Tang Yuan was no fool. In fact, he was very intelligent. Why would the Young Master Jun chose him as his partner if wasn't smart enough for the job? Fatty clearly knew that there was a justification behind his friend's words. [Something has certainly happened… he's definitely thinking of something… It's got to do with the Jun Family's situation… Jun Mo Xie is truly remarkable.]
[I will have to carry this burden on my back this time since there is no one else who can.] The Fatty was well-aware that there was no one more suited for this position at this time. Hence, he left his doubts for later, and took upon the responsibility without even knowing the particulars.
But… most people would still suspect Jun Mo Xie for this idea. However, they could never be allowed to be certain of it. He and his idea needed to remain unlinked.
Fatty had always considered Jun Mo Xie to be his brother. In fact, the Tang Family had a few other youngsters in Fatty's generation. However, Tang Yuan had always associated himself more with the Young Master Jun than his own blood-siblings. Hence, Fatty had opted to help out Jun Mo Xie without even considering the consequences of the matter.
Dugu Xiao Yi's face turned pale. She was naïve and young. However, she was still fairly intelligent, and had obviously sensed something. She may not have been able to realize the gravity of the situation, but it was enough to get her worried. She could sense that this matter would implicate the Young Master Jun if it were to come to light. Hence, she too knew that she couldn't lower her guard… even if it turned out to be a trivial matter in the end.
Jun Mo Xie felt an indescribable sense of comfort upon seeing the anxiety in Tang Yuan's eyes, and the worry on Dugu Xiao Yi's face. He feigned an indifferent smile as he said, "It's nothing. Don't you see my uncle over there? He's a seasoned strategist… do you see any fear in his eyes? Isn't that self-explanatory? My uncle would've been the most worried if there was anything major. It's okay if you don't trust my words. But wouldn't you believe my uncle?"
Dugu Xiao Yi immediately turned and looked at Jun Wu Yi sitting upright in his seat with a slight smile on his face. In fact, there was no trace of worry on his face. Jun Wu Yi smiled the moment the young maiden looked at him, and said, "Don't worry; just do as told. My Jun Family will continue to persist in the Tian Xiang Empire as long as certain super-families don't come into play."
The young maiden immediately felt reassured after listening to Jun Wu Yi's words even though he had spoken them in a very dull tone. However, he had clearly exposed every variable of the equation — without making any omissions.
His words came as reassurance to the young girl… but only made Fatty more worried. The young maiden was clearly no match for Fatty's intelligence. Fatty had clearly understood that something was off even though he didn't have any insight on this mystery. [Why would Third Master Jun say something like that if everything is fine? Third Master Jun's words obviously didn't slip out by mistake… but why would those super-families come into play?]
[Even the Royal Family can't put that kind of pressure on the Juns… I must do everything in my power to assist my brother!]
Fatty and the little girl were unaware that the anxiety they had just sensed were the true emotions of the Hitman Jun. They were completely unaware that only a handful of people had ever been able see the Hitman's true feeling over the course of his entire existence…
Suddenly, someone came into report that Princess Ling Meng had invited Dugu Xiao Yi downstairs.
Dugu Xiao Yi stood up and glanced at Jun Mo Xie. Jun Mo Xie smiled as he nodded for her to carry-on.
Dugu Xiao Yi took two steps towards the exit, but then suddenly turned around and went over to Jun Mo Xie. She caressed his collar as she whispered, "You… be careful. You know… you know you're an idiot."
She lowered her head after she finished. Then, she quickly ran out of the room. Little White had been reluctantly looking at Jun Mo Xie's body ever since they had entered the room along with Dugu Xiao Yi; it was almost as if he didn't wish to leave. However, he too quickly followed after Dugu Xiao Yi when he noticed the change in Jun Mo Xie's bearings.
"Alright. It's time to get busy. Fatty, you can't move the money out at this time." Jun Mo Xie immediately put Fatty's long-cherished desire on hold. He then took out a piece of paper from his pocket, and wrote down the names of several medicinal herbs on it.
"Send out news. We need to purchase these herbs at any cost," Jun Mo Xie carefully handed the paper to Tang Yuan. "The more, the better; the sooner, the better."
"Heavenly Star Grass, Tri-colored Reishi Mushroom, Nine Xuan Roots, Dream-lined incense, Chiba Grass, Dragon Whisker Leafs, Black Ginseng, Black Bamboo fruit, Silkworm Stems." Tang Yuan sucked in a mouthful of air. He was knowledgeable enough to know the value of these herbs. Moreover, he was completely taken by the sheer number required. He had realized that even his own share of profits from the auction would slip away from his fingers by the time these herbs were purchased…
"Third Young Master… My Brother… " Tang Yuan's face turned sullen, "This has been my life's objective… I've lived my entire life for this purpose alone… You, you, you cannot be so cruel to me… I've just earned a little money that I can spare… You have to consider that I've been kicked out of my Family's home… "
The little money that Tang Yuan was talking about — was estimated to be around ten million silver taels. It must be mentioned that the military expenditure of the entire Tian Xiang Empire was around thirty million silver taels per year…
Jun Mo Xie kicked his foot as he smiled, "Stop with the nonsense! Hurry up! Do you know how much money the 'Aristocratic Hall' will make once these herbs have been collected? You can't see what I can. If you think that our current profits are splendid, then you can't even imagine the volume of the next one!"
[That would go over my top! I've got no idea what a big profit will look like if this one is being considered small?]
Fatty momentarily raised his eyebrows and laughed, "That's good. That's good! Uh… Third Young Master, this wine… Will we really sell this wine only once? Why can't we sell it again? It's a real pity!"
"Never. Don't you understand the truth of the matter? The rarer something is… the greater it's value!" Jun Mo Xie waved his hand decisively, "The value drops if there's too much of something… This wine was good enough to make them spend so much money. Would they think that it's worth so much if they could get their hands on it whenever they wanted?"