"Xiao Cui, a customer is here. Quick, go and greet him."
A voice that resembled the crisp sounds of pearls hitting a plate appeared. Then, Ling Xian watched a person who looked neither like a man nor a woman walk towards him.
The person was olive skinned and was physically very fit. The face of the person was also square, exuding masculinity. However, her chest was very full, and she had no Adam's apple. Therefore, after observing closely, it became apparent that she was a woman.
It was just that she had no softness about her that normal women have. Every single part of her body was muscle, therefore making her look like a man.
Ling Xian shook his head at this and muttered to himself, "An odd store sure employs odd people."
"Mister, I wonder what you are looking for?" The lady named Xiao Cui asked. Her voice sounded like a stifled thunder and did not contain any gentleness that women normally have.
Ling Xian smiled helplessly. "This is the Street of the Odd Medicine, of course I am here to purchase strange medicine."
"If that's the case, then I will have to tell you our rules." Xiao Cui's expression quite blank. Her olive face did not look happy or sad.
Ling Xian chuckled. "This is about what you guys don't sell?"
"Smart." Xiao Cui curved her lips. "I am not bragging, but in the entire Street of Strange Medicine, I dare say that our store have the rarest medicine and the most valuable."
Ling Xian's interest intensified and he smiled. "I am glad that I am not wasting my time."
"If that's the case, then, customer, you really are wasting your time here."
Xiao Cui's face began to show traces of arrogance, "You do not know about the rules of my shop. If you cannot fulfill the requirements, no matter how rich you are, you will not be able to touch a single medicine inside this store."
Ling Xian raised an eyebrow and his competitiveness was triggered, "I sure want to hear just exactly what kind of rules you have in this store. And I am really excited to try and see if I can buy medicine off you."
"Courageous. Then listen to me well." Xiao Cui eerily smiled. "The first rule, we do not sell you anything you do not recognize."
"You don't sell what I don't recognize?" Ling Xian frowned slightly but instantly understood the meaning. He laughed, "You mean, you will not sell me any spiritual medicine that I cannot name?"
"That's right. If you can say the name of the spiritual medicine you wish to buy, then you pass the first test and have the right to try out the second test." Xiao Cui grinned. She seemed to really enjoy watching customers leave her store empty-handed, rather than leaving with a full basket.
Ling Xian's lips formed into a faint smile. He had the Essence of Herbalism anyway and knew every single kind of spiritual medicine like the back of his hand. Why would he care about this test?
One could say that this test was designed for him to succeed. Perhaps this test can bring down countless number of cultivators, but it will not stump him!
"Alright, I understand the first rule now. What is the second rule?" Ling Xian asked.
"You have heard the first rule yet you are not flustered. It's either you are confident, or you are ignorant." Xiao Cui was a little surprised. However, she then smiled confidently because she believed that the second rule would change Ling Xian's expression.
"The second rule is that we do not sell anything that you will not eat."
"You won't sell me what I wouldn't eat?" Ling Xian frowned, feeling more and more curious about the spiritual medicine here.
Everyone knows that other than spiritual medicine that is beneficial to humans' health, there are also many natural spiritual items in the world that are poisonous. Though the poisonous ones are rare and hardly ever seen, the ones that are poisonous are absolutely terrifying. Once consumed, one's life ends.
From this strange rule, it became obvious that most of the medicine here are poisonous. If not, why would they make their customers eat beneficial spiritual medicine for free? If that was the case, then this rule is utterly useless.
From this, Ling Xian concluded that all the medicine here are poisonous.
What Xiao Cui said next confirmed his belief.
"Oh, right. It is also worth to mention that most of the medicine at my store are poisonous and pose no benefits to the human body." Xiao Cui's eyes flickered with satisfaction. She had high hope that Ling Xian would become overwhelmed at this and express it with exaggeration.
Pity, she was disappointed.
Ling Xian's expression was as collected as per usual. Flustered? His face muscles didn't even flinch, and he remained unmoving like a pile of mud.
Xiao Cui raised an eyebrow at this and commented, "You sure have some guts."
"Guts is one way to put it. More accurately though, it's confidence." Ling Xian beamed gently, exuding much self-assurance.
Don't forget, he had the Flame of Purity inside his body – the nemesis of all poison. What kind of poison could hurt him?
One has to admit that this entire situation was far too big of a coincidence. The first rule of this shop was one he could ignore. The second rule was also something he could ignore. It was as if the shop made up these rules and waited for his arrival.
This made Ling Xian ecstatic and he felt like he made the right choice coming here.
"Interesting. Even after hearing the second rule where I tell you clearly that the medicine is poisonous, you can still remain so calm."
Xiao Cui's eyes flashed strangely and she looked at Ling Xian in a serious manner. "I have underestimated you. However, everyone can talk big, as for whether or not you have real capabilities, we will have to see based on facts."
"That's what I was thinking. Please speak of the third rule. Then, I will place reality right before your face." Ling Xian faintly grinned, full of confidence.
If the first two rules were true like what Xiao Cui said, then he has nothing to worry about.
"The third rule is that we do not sell anything you cannot brew." Xiao Cui said softly and explained, "If you pass the first two tests, then you must brew a medicinal Dan worth the same amount of money as the one you are trying to purchase. If you can't, then you cannot purchase the selected spiritual medicine."
"I see how it is." Ling Xian nodded. His expression was calm like usual and remained unmoving.
Compared to the previous two rules, this one was without a doubt, much easier. After all, the price of a spiritual medicine cannot be compared to the value of medicinal Dan. Of course, this is just spiritual medicine, not miraculous medicine.
Ling Xian did not believe that this shop would carry any magical or miraculous medicine. Therefore, he didn't think this rule would be difficult.
"It looks like you don't think this rule is difficult." Xiao Cui smiled sarcastically and said. "Mister, it is good to be courageous, but if you have no actual abilities, then you will just look dumb."
"As for whether or not I am confident or stupid, let reality speak." The corner of Ling Xian's lips curled up. He can ignore the first two rules, and didn't think the last rule was difficult.
Though he wasn't an alchemist that focused on brewing Dans everyday, as his cultivation level increased, his Qi now belonged to the sixth realm. In other words, he was now a Sixth-Realm Alchemist.
This realm may be next to nothing to master alchemists. However, amongst the younger generation, this realm is like finding a phoenix feather amongst a pool of bird feathers. Therefore, he didn't think he would fail at making a Dan that is worth the same amount of money as the spiritual medicine.
"I look forward to it then."
Xiao Cui said softly. She then extended an arm and said, "Follow me."
Hearing this, Ling Xian marched forward and tagged alongside this strange and masculine woman.
However, just as the two of walked, a sudden voice made them stop.
Just then, a young man wearing an expensive purple gown entered. His face was handsome, and he held onto a paper fan. A jade was tucked into his silk belt, and he overall looked very extraordinary and studious.
However, this person's arrogant facial expression ruined his elegant temperament.
Seeing this person made Xiao Cui raise an eyebrow, "You're from the Cao Clan?"
"Your eyesight is not bad."
After hearing Xiao Cui's comment, the young man thought she recognized him and the arrogance on his face became even more obvious. "My name is Cao Feng, you've heard of me before, haven't you?"
Hearing this, Xiao Cui shook her head with a smile. The only reason she knew he was from the Cao Clan wasn't because she recognized him, it was because she recognized the symbol sewn on his chest.
Ling Xian chuckled at this. He knew of the Cao Clan, as it was one of the five Clans in the City of Dan. Not only does this clan have extremely profound alchemy knowledge, but they were also very capable.
However, he has never heard of the name Cao Feng.
Seeing the two of them laugh, Cao Feng frowned and felt somewhat embarrassed. He hissed, "Hmmph, how poorly informed not to know my name. Neither of you have seen much have you."
"How presumptuous. Acting like he owned the world… as if everyone should recognize his face." Ling Xian's brows were slightly furrowed. However, he didn't say anything. With his big heart, he wouldn't care about this kind of behavior.
It did however, make Xiao Cui hiss, "Less bullsh*t talking. What are you doing here?"
"What do you think? Of course, I am here to buy spiritual medicine." Cao Feng's expression was arrogant, "I have heard the three rules you mentioned, and I don't need you to repeat them. Hurry and take me."
"Interesting. On a normal day, nobody dares to entire my store. Today, two people who do not know how high the sky is entered." Xiao Cui looked at Cao Feng, then glanced at Ling Xian, her eyes flashed with anticipation.
It was as if she was looking forward to when they escape in haste.
"I am the most talented man to be born out of this Cao Clan's generation. Why would those three stupid rules stop me?" Cao Feng laughed, his face full of confidence.
"No wonder you act so arrogantly. You do have reasons to act this way." Xiao Cui's eyes flashed with shock.
Ling Xian was surprised at this as well. He didn't think this arrogant young man would be the top talent of the Cao Clan's younger generation.
To know that the Cao Clan was a superpower in the Cao Clan. Every year, many genius alchemists are born. For him to be able to stand out amongst the group of geniuses was something extremely difficult to achieve.
From this, it indicated that his alchemy skill is not extraordinary and he had the right to be cocky.
"Now you know who I am."
Seeing Xiao Cui and Ling Xian reveal looks of shock, the arrogance in Cao Feng's face intensified and he announced in disdain, "Those three stupid rules may seem hard to others, but they are not difficult to me."
Then, he shifted his gaze towards Ling Xian and as if he didn't care, he said, "I am not like some people – people who have no real capabilities but pretend to be calm. Those people are truly people who are unaware of the depth of the situation."
Noticing how this person was pointing fingers, Ling Xian frowned but felt too lazy to argue.
Xiao Cui however, appeared interested in this, "Since both of you want to buy my magical medicine, then show me your abilities and let's see who end up getting more."
Then, he marched forward.
"That goes without saying. A bumpkin dares to fight against someone like me?" Cao Feng sneered and followed behind Xiao Cui.
"I hate stupid people the most. They generate so much for me." Ling Xian shook his head helplessly and strolled behind as well. 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2020 So Far