GDK 705: Hustle and bustle
Han Shuo was startled that a rowdy crowd had gathered in front of his shop all so suddenly. It took him no time to realize what these people were there for. He came down from the gymnasium cheerfully and opened the front door of his Celestial Pearl Pharmacy that had been shut for some time.
Han Shuo could recognize many characters from among those gathered in front of the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy, namely, Carmelita whose skin had become whiter, Andre who was wearing a big smile, Jiya who had previously purchased a bottle of Pill of Tranquility, Donna and a few youngsters from the Lavers Family.
However, Han Shuo did not recognize the majority of the people there. Each and every one of them sinned the most gorgeous garments. There were young, old, and all ages in between. They were chatting with each other as they blocked up the front door of Celestial Pearl Pharmacy. There were also a few gods who were obviously if meager status surrounding those people. Many of them chanted, “Open up! Open the door!”
“Damnit, why are so many people suddenly gathered here?!” Jiya, standing among the crowd, grumbled in a low voice.
“We did not want the news to disperse but Carmelita caught too much attention. Everyone in the City of Shadows knows how she used to look. The sudden transformation to her skin was simply the greatest advertisement possible for Celestial Pearl Pharmacy. Besides, she raved about this pharmacy to everyone she saw. You can't expect this place not to be packed with people.” Beth the upper-class woman standing beside Jiya also felt rather disappointed when she realized her plans to monopolize the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy likely wouldn’t work.
After opening the front doors, Han Shuo swept his eyes across the crowd and asked a question he already knew the answer to. “Hello, people. How can I help you?”
Carmelita jumped, stepped on the heads of a few others and landed right before Han Shuo before she said excitedly, “Rascal, look at me! Notice anything different?” Those people that were stepped on groaned but tactfully shut their mouths right after seeing it was Carmelita.
“What is there to see? I long knew that the medicine will work,” Han Shuo replied smilingly.
“Bryan, make a few more bottles of those medicines for me. Make sure you hurry!” Carmelita smiled mischievously and immediately demanded from Han Shuo with no reservations.
“Here are five bottles. I got these ready for you long ago,” Han Shuo carefully withdrew five small bottles and handed them to Carmelita before the crowd. He could not be more delighted about Carmelita’s publicly endorsing and promoting his pharmacy.
Carmelita stuck out her hand and grabbed the bottles, stowing them away like treasure. She carefreely patted on Han Shuo’s shoulder and said, “Thanks, Bryan. You are truly an unimaginably amazing fella!”
“Bryan, name a price for those medicines. I will pay you later,” Andre gently shouted from among the crowd. His voice wasn’t too loud but was enough to overcome the clamorous noise and for everyone to hear it.
Andre was standing by himself not too far away. Those people standing around him maintained a distance from him. After they heard Andre speak, the originally clamorous crowd suddenly turned quiet.
Andre was the person in charge of the finances of the House of Sainte and he indirectly controlled the economy of the City of Shadows. As most businesses required Andre’s nod of approval to be able to prosper, in addition to the fact that his strength was extraordinary, Andre held an extremely high status in the City of Shadows.
Given his identity, for fear that their voices might block Andre’s and therefore make him unhappy, it was only natural that the crowd would turn silent. For most businessmen in the City of Shadows, Andre was a figure even more important than Wallace, the City Lord.
“These medicines are meant to be given out. They are not for sale and cannot be bought. It is a gift from me to my friend, so don’t pay me for it!” Han Shuo put on a bright smile and refused to be reimbursed.
Andre was stunned for a bit but he did not force Han Shuo to accept his money. He nodded, smiled and said, “Well then, erm, I will buy every medicine that is for sale in your shop at any price you quote. Will that do?”
“How will that do? We have waited here for so long, how could you buy everything just like that!”
“You can’t just buy everything! That is not fair to us!!!”
“Have you ever heard of first come first serve? We have been standing here for ages, you can’t just cut the queue and buy everything!”
The crowd yet again became clamorous and nearly every person there was protesting. It appeared that Han Shuo’s medicines were indeed the subject of much temptation, so much so that it gave these people the courage to loudly object to the proposal of the powerful Andre.
Andre did not foresee that his suggestion would invite the unanimous opposition of everyone gathered. He stared blankly for a moment before he forced a smile and said, “Bryan, you decide.”
Han Shuo nodded. While forcefully repressing the ecstasy in his heart, he announced, “Since everyone has been so supportive and waited so patiently, of course I cannot let any of you leave empty-handed. Alright, how about this, everyone is limited to three bottles regardless of your identity or status. This will ensure that everyone will get to enjoy the benefits of my medicines!”
“Yay! Hurray!” those among the crowd who knew that their status was not prestigious enough cheered loudly. Beth from the Kinson Family who was about to put forward her suggestion sighed helplessly. She said to the disgruntled Jiya beside her, “There’s nothing we can do now. It appears that he won’t be dividing the medicines by families.”
“We are so unlucky. We were the first to get here but that scoundrel just so happened to have his doors closed. Otherwise, all those medicines would belong to the House of Kinson now,” Jiya said in a dissatisfied manner before saying regretfully, “If I had known earlier, I would have at least brought over a group of our divine guards. Then we could take advantage of the per head quota.”
“Alright, alright, stop grumbling. What’s important now is that this talent remains here. As long as he stays in the city, there will be an unending supply of his medicines. What we should do now is to be more attentive to him.”
“You are right,” Jiya nodded at her mother’s words. When she looked carefully at Han Shuo who was standing among the crowd, she suddenly and somehow felt that Han Shuo had become much more pleasing to the eye. Previously she found Han Shuo to be arrogant and vain. But after learning about the miraculousness of Han Shuo’s medicines, she convinced herself that it was only natural that a person of such extraordinary talent would be a little eccentric in temperament and personality.
“Form a line and enter one by one. Every person can buy a maximum of three bottles. Please carefully read the function and price marked on the medicine bottles. Make sure to choose the medicine most suitable for yourself!” Han Shuo’s cordial voice repeatedly sounded at the front door of the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy.
The crowd that gathered in front of the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy suddenly started to cram and push, forcing others aside to get to the front of the queue. They wanted to be the first to enter the pharmacy and get medicines most suitable for themselves before they ran out.
Some of the weaker members of the crowd were thrown flying from the line. Several oligarchs from influential family clans most impolitely came to stand in front of Han Shuo. They all stared at Han Shuo urbanely as though asking Han Shuo to begin the sale.
“Ermm….” Han Shuo’s face went blank for a moment. He originally wanted to berate them but couldn’t do so after seeing the amiable smiles on the faces of those experts of large family clans. He leaned sideways for the first few to enter and then casually shouted, “Miss Carmelita, please help me with keeping the crowd in order!”
“Just a small pharmaceutical shop. What is so terrific about it? Look at that vile fella’s complacent face! Pfft,” Cage, standing behind the crowd, sneered.
Donna, however, was rather stunned and her mind was suddenly thrown into chaos. Initially planning to condemn Han Shuo for his actions, Donna suddenly became clueless as to what she should do.
Of the first few people who entered the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy, although they were not the patriarchs of those large family clans, they were nonetheless prestigious characters in the City of Shadows. Just like Andre, those people were powerful and highly regarded in their respective families. From how they had behaved so far, Donna believed that those people would not hesitate to side against her House of Lavers in order to establish a good relationship with Han Shuo.
If that wasn’t enough, the infamous Carmelita was present among the crowd. Han Shuo was able to improve and possibly even cure the disease that had troubled Carmelita for many years. After observing her behavior for a while, Donna even started to suspect that if she were to condemn Han Shuo right then, Carmelita might side with Han Shuo instead of her!
On top of all that, after hearing the comments from those around her as well as Carmelita’s promotional words, Donna too thought that the medicines inside Han Shuo’s shop could be beneficial to the House of Lavers. If she were to become hostile towards Han Shuo, then the House of Lavers would likely miss out.
Donna felt awfully sick when she thought of all these. She glanced at her cousins standing beside her and inwardly resented them for their immaturity - all that they knew was to create trouble for her family. With that thought in mind, not only did Eve’s face, still swollen from the abuse, stop arousing her pity, she even seemed uglier in her eyes.
“Elder sister, are you going to reproach him?” Eve hastily asked when she saw Donna’s eyes flickering with lights of indecision.
Feeling somewhat disgusted at heart, Donna shot a glare at Eve and said with a cold face, “Look at the situation now. Is the condition suitable for us to do so?”
“Why not?” Eve could not read the situation. All that was in her mind was revenge.
Donna was very disappointed. She ignored the anxious Eve and instead asked her brother Cage, “Cage, tell me, do you think we should put Bryan to trouble today?”
Cage wasn’t as foolish as his sister. He sighed helplessly and replied, “We should forget about it for today. If we actually proceed with condemning him right now, we could possibly offend everyone here who came to purchase his medicines. This seems… This indeed seems rather inappropriate…”
“Then what are you all standing around for? Go home,” Donna instructed resentfully and turned around to leave. However, she was feeling regretful and bitter in her heart, Bryan, oh Bryan, you truly are a capable person. Within the short span of half a year, not only have you managed to associate yourself with the most intimidating family clan in the City of Shadows, but you even produced such miraculous medicines… Sigh…
“Teng Fei, aren’t, aren’t you leaving?” Cage asked Teng Fei in a puzzled manner when he saw Teng Fei with his two feet stiff on the ground, remaining motionless.
Teng Fei put on a faint smile and gently replied, “You guys leave without me. I want to buy a few bottles of medicine to see if they really do hold up to the chatter!”
Although Teng Fei too held an unfavorable opinion towards Han Shuo, as a member of a large family clan, he never neglected his duty and always strived to improve the strength of his own family clan. If he found that those medicines in Han Shuo’s pharmacy were actually effective, Teng Fei would surely give up and ignore his personal opinions and do everything he could to acquire those medicines.
“If you lot were as sensible as Teng Fei, this talent wouldn’t have slipped away from our House of Lavers for nothing. Think about it, just how beneficial it would be for the House of Lavers if those medicines were exclusively provided for our family!” Donna sighed and left disappointedly.
“You, you actually believe in what that guy sells?!” Eve yelled at Teng Fei. She was angry.
“All these people gathered here for his medicines. They aren’t just ordinary people but experts from all big family clans in the city. I don’t think that their judgments could be wrong. I may not like that fella one bit, but for the interests of my family, I must stay behind. I’m sorry!” Teng Fei replied. He looked down upon this brainless girl.
“How, how could you say that… you are such a disappointment! Brother, let’s leave!” Eve left furiously while pulling her brother Cage.
“What a retard! If you had half the intelligence Donna has, perhaps that fella would have become a pharmacist working for the Lavers Family! Idiot woman, don’t make the mistake of thinking I can’t lose you!” Teng Fei put on a sneer and softly said to himself after Eve left.
Right after that, Teng Fei proceeded to cram himself into the queue excitedly. He weighed in his mind if he should spare no effort in establishing a good relationship with Han Shuo and draw a line with Cage and Eve to avoid Han Shuo’s hatred.
The clamorous noise continued. But thanks to Carmelita, the people stopped cutting in line.
All those who entered the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy would leave with both happiness and regret; happiness for obtaining the medicines, and regret for leaving with no more than three bottles of the medicine. Before they left, they would exhort Han Shuo to reserve some for them if he had produced a new batch of medicines.
Han Shuo laughed and smiled courteously but did not give any guarantees. He watched excitedly as the medicine bottles on his shelves became lesser and lesser while the crystal coins in his hand grew more and more.
“Miss Jiya, I’m really glad that you are not here to cause any trouble!” Han Shuo greeted Jiya with all smiles when he saw Jiya enter his pharmacy with another beautiful woman.
“Haha, you really know how to joke around,” Jiya wore a big smile on her beautiful, glowing face as she said pleadingly, “In any case, I’m one of your first supporters. Couldn’t you spare me a little preferential treatment?”
“Of course. I will give you a twenty percent discount on any three medicines you chose. What do you think?” Han Shuo nodded and replied.
“You rascal!” Jiya scolded smilingly before she continued with her bright eyes looking straight into Han Shuo’s, “You know that’s not what I mean! I don’t need discounts, in fact, I’m willing to pay a premium. You just have to sell all the remaining medicines to us. What say you?”
Han Shuo knew that members of these large family clans cared little about this bit of crystal coins. He was purposefully teasing Jiya. But after hearing her proposal, Han Shuo immediately declined righteously, “How will that do? If I sell everything to you, those lining up behind you will get nothing. Look, every person is equal in my eyes no matter how grandiose their status!”
“Stop pretending to be so righteous before us. If everyone is equal, why didn’t you take crystal coins for Carmelita’s medicine?” Jiya argued. She was both amused and irritated.
“That’s not the same. Carmelita and I are friends. Those medicines are gifts!” Han Shuo replied.
“We are friends too. Sell them to me. I am willing to pay big money for them!” Jiya continued to pester Han Shuo.
“Oi, can the person inside hurry up please? We are still waiting!” a few people outside the store waiting for their turns shouted impatiently when Jiya nagged Han Shuo.
“Five bottles, each of you gets five bottles. That’s the most that I can give!” Han Shuo had no choice but to raise the white flag and give preferential treatment to the insisting Jiya when those waiting outside grew more and more impatient.
“Alright then. I will take that for today. When you have produced new medicines, make sure to save some for the House of Kinson. Crystal coins are no issue!” Jiya knew that she might actually irritate Han Shuo if she pestered him any further. She chose ten bottles of medicines with her mother and casually dropped Han Shuo a bag of black crystal coins. She smiled at Han Shuo before swiftly leaving hand in hand with her mother.
“Three thousand black crystal coins and… a tip of two thousand black crystal coins?!” after thinking for a moment, Han Shuo realized that Jiya didn’t care about those couple thousand extra black crystal coins she handed and therefore he kept his gratuity away smilingly.
“Hello, Bryan! We meet again!” After the tens of customers entered and exited the shop, Teng Fei entered with a big smile. He immediately greeted Han Shuo in a friendly manner.
Han Shuo withdrew the smile on his face as soon as he saw Teng Fei. With a dispassionate look on his face, Han Shuo said, “Ah, it’s young master Teng Fei. Are you here to buy medicine?”
“Of course I am. I did not know you were a talented pharmacist. I really made an error of judgment the last time!” Teng Fei did not fuss about Han Shuo’s attitude towards him. He continued with a big smile, “You know, I’m just a guest at the Lavers Residence. What happened the last time was merely a quarrel between you and Cage and Eve. Please don’t count me in. You should know that I’m very admiring of you…”
“Choose three bottles. I don’t have time for you,” Han Shuo was disinclined to talk with him and impatiently hastened.
“Don’t be so cold, man. Haha, I was indeed wrong the last time, let me now formally apologize to you…” Han Shuo’s impolite attitude did not cause Teng Fei to flip out. Instead, he jabbered on and on to Han Shuo.
Han Shuo couldn’t help but admit that Teng Fei had indeed a knack for talking. After listening for some time, Han Shuo forced a smile and said, “I did not hear you being so talkative the last time. Enough, hurry up and pick your poison. Many are still waiting behind you, don’t obstruct me from doing business.”
“That bastard inside there, are you done yet? If I hear any more of your rubbish talk I will throw you out the door!” Carmelita suddenly threatened from outside the shop. She had seen Teng Fei together with Eve and therefore had a bad impression of Teng Fei.
“I’m leaving, I’m leaving!” Obviously afraid of Carmelita, Teng Fei gave a hollow laugh, randomly choose three bottles of medicines, left eight hundred black crystal coins and hastily left.
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