Shout-out to Baghead and Krzysztof Michalski for supporting me!!
It was already evening. This was a very special time for Nik. After his training session with his apprentices in the afternoon, Nik now had all the time for himself. Instead of touching himself akin to a horny youth, Nik spent his time wisely. A few of the items required by Asmodeus were actually herbs. Spirit Herbs had an abundant market in the city, and even when potted herbs had a higher value, Nik was willing to procure necessary plants for himself.
In Glory City, many opened stores that dealt with spirit herbs with miraculous effects. But only specialized stores with the approval of the Alchemist Association are allowed to trade in potted spirit herbs.
A soft chime marked the entry of a handsome customer with a set of coarse clothing. His olive skin and ravishing violet orbs stunned the store owner. Violet Eyes was quite common in this city and hunks even more so. But with a rumor stating the most handsome guy with violet pupils, the store owner instantly acted with a warm welcome. His chubby face creased, and his oily, bald head shone under the fading sun's scorching rays.
"Welcome, Sir. How may I assist you?"
The shop owner did not identify Nik instantly as a potent medicinal scent invaded Nik's senses. Used to strange odors (don't ask him how,) Nik managed to keep an impassionate expression. He had done his homework, and even when he did not understand everything about the world of Spirit Herbs, Nik knew what Asmodeus required.
Nik scanned the entrance of the shop featuring a few expensive spirit herbs in cases constructed out of unique materials that allowed the potential customers to gaze at the content without letting the medicinal potential of the spirit herbs drop. In this world, the Spirit herbs were not only used to cook pills, but also used to grind the ink used in multiple inscriptions. In a way, the value of Spirit herbs was higher than the value of Spiritual beasts.
"I would like a pot of Purple Gold Emperor Grass."
Nik stated plainly. Although pleasant, Nik did not feel the need to get social with the merchant. Hearing Nik's order, even if the Merchant felt distaste, only calm understanding flashed over his expression.
The chubby merchant snuck down and picked out one of the unpleasant potted plants. It was a single blade of grass, its surface purple in color and thin, golden veins marred its surface. The reason for its unpleasantness was this product's infamous nature. With the primary usage of the material considered as a poison, the tax on this spirit herb is massive, and with an already saturated market and regulated price rates, merchants couldn't profit from this particular spirit herb even if they want to.
Nik carefully scrutinized the single blade of Purple Poison. According to Asmodeus, her body's main attribute was poison, while her spirit's leading quality was Flesh Manipulation. So, Nik's hunt was around items that matched similar traits. The next plant, just like the Purple Poison, was another poisonous spirit herb named Thousand Ant's Sting.
With a heavily concealed reluctant expression, took out a crimson cactus reaching a palm's length. Tiny thorns covered the surface of the cactus, and Nik once again verified the plant before nodding. Even if there were spirit herbs that could reinforce his spiritual energy, Nik did not wish to buy them for his body was shackled. He had already reached the determined limits of his body set by the [Transmigration Paradise], and if he wished to further his strength, then Nik needed to advance the promotion quest successfully. If Nik could compare his current energy capacity, then he might not be able to surpass Rank 18 Spirit Master. Fortunately, he had access to the forms of energies other than the spiritual one that proved to be far more beneficial.
With a soft exhalation, Nik inquired about the price and did not even haggle to lower the cost. It wasn't that he was well aware of the market rates. Nik acquired his assets by killing. It was easy money. And easy money should be spent without fearing the risk of paying high. Had Nik earned the stack of demon spirit coins himself, he would have stooped low enough to mind control the shop owner and made him give the two potted plants for free. Lucky for the shop owner, the money originated from a miserable whore master.
With Nik's spatial ring and inventory incapable of storing living plants, Nik had to carry the two pots back to his room. Nik had decided to buy a few more items to personalize his room. Since he had decided to spend, Nik would pay most of his money and then target another whorehouse owner for his acc.u.mulated riches. Most of the people who owned a whorehouse were the ones deeply embedded with the addiction of flesh.
Hence, easy targets.
Aside from a few scented candles and some soaps, Nik also bought another round of clothes and shoes. With the remainder of his wealth, Nik decided to expend on various souvenirs. It was quite early to spend on things that he decided to take back for his girls, but Nik thought better now. He did not know what could happen, and so, he had to keep souvenirs in hand at all times.
With all his cash spent and the night sky kissing the city, Nik decided to turn to one place where he could shamelessly eat food without thinking of money. It was unfair, but hey, Nik had already paid Shen Xiu enough with his body! She got to hug the rugged L.u.s.t Apostle while he slept in vain, unable to lay his hands on the voluptuous figure of the scarlet fox. Once again, Nik found himself in front of the lavish exterior.
Walking on the velvet spirit beast hide, Nik tipped the receptionist accordingly and found himself walking towards the first floor of the establishment once again. The first floor was filled more than usual. Aside from Shen Xiu's table where the red-headed fox sat in calm solitary, the other tables were occupied. Nik's appearance, unlike yesterday, attracted the attention of too many people too quickly! Most of them were men, barely middle-aged, and defined features.
A slick-haired man with a massive sword behind his back walked up to Nik and scanned him from head to toe. Nik had too many questions. Why would the authorities allow a person to carry a weapon inside the establishment? It was a simple understanding that the use of weapons should be forbidden even if the spatial rings made it far too easy for anyone to smuggle goods inside.
"You must be Nik Faran?"
The man inquired with a dispassionate tone as Nik frowned and touched his forehead. His frown grew tighter, and Shen Xiu, who sat with the scene entering her vision, couldn't help but feel strange with Nik acting this strangely. She held little expectations for Nik to come back to the Star Restaurant and have a meal with her, even if it was an unpaid one. Shen Xiu had her own methods of receiving compensation. But, even the scarlet lady did not anticipate multiple members of the higher echelons of the Spirit Master Association reserving the tables of the first floor. Most of them already had three spirits with a rare few owning four, while the man confronting boasted the strength of Peak Rank 49 Spirit Ancestor.
"Ah, sorry. I forgot to stick the paper saying I am Nik, nice to meet you."
Nik's words silenced the softly whispering crowd. The slick-haired man frowned before inquiring, "I don't seem to understand your words. Is that some sort of greeting I am unaware of?"
Nik's lips twitched. The people he did not know of got easily offended in this world while the targets Nik wished to rile up were surprisingly resistant to such acts. To the man's inquiry, Nik decided to restrict his immature behavior and inquired on his own, "I am Nik. How may I address you?"
"Lan Kin, One of the Spirit Association's Advisor."
The man spoke in a formal tone and then gestured towards a relatively empty table.
"We won't be taking your time for long. If you can just hear my offer for a moment, it would prove to be beneficial for both of us."
Nik glanced towards Shen Xiu's empty table and then nodded, "I have some prior reservations. So, I won't be able to entertain you for long."
Lan Kin nodded as the duo made their way towards the table and finally settled.
Respecting Nik's wishes, the man cut to the chase and inquired, "The Spirit Association is interested in your martial arts and wish to purchase the copy and the rights of the martial arts techniques you are willing to sell. Of course, the methods should not include the basic technique you have taught within the Holy Orchid Institute.
Compensation of equal benefit can be discussed."
Nik nodded at the man's words. Nik had a massive pool of martial arts techniques, and the man in front of him emerged from an association that boasted an equally large pool of resources. Hastily deciding on matters may result in losses, and Nik did not entertain the notion of that.
"Lan Kin, thank you. I will contact you once I sleep over your offer. Is there any way to contact you?"
Lan Kin nodded while his gaze grew slightly dispirited. He wished for Nik to make a fast reply and quickly decide on his rewards. This way, he could have maximized their own profits. But forcing a genius that could beat the living shit out of him wasn't Lan Kin's cup of tea.
The man nodded and replied plainly, "I am the head of the group of advisors, so I do not leave the Spirit Master Association. You can reach me within the HQ at any hour."
Nik nodded and stood up alongside Lan Kin as they both bent their waists and bowed to each other. Nik then finally left the table and sat in front of Xiu with a tired grin, "Being wanted sure is tiring. Of course, you know that more than I do. So? Have you eaten yet, or are you interested in my company?"