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Chapter 275.1: The Art of Negotiating

    "Wait." Huo Yuhao raised his hand to interrupt any further questions from Xu Jiujiu and asked quietly, "Princess, do you think it's appropriate that we are negotiating this out here?"

    Xu Jiujiu bit down on her lower lip as she stared at this innocent and harmless-looking fellow with a faint smile at the corner of his mouth. She really wanted to pounce on him and strangle him. This bastard brought up what is perhaps the most important point at the last moment to wake me up. Seriously...

    Many large sects and reputable academies currently resided in this building, so it was true that this place wasn't suitable or appropriate for discussing such top-secret things.

    Those thoughts did run through her head, but it was clear that there was no way she could put them into practice. She calmed herself down and regained her elegant posture and composure as she said apologetically, "It's my fault for overlooking that. I invite the two of you to come back, so that we can discuss this deal in further detail. What do you think?"

    Huo Yuhao smiled and said, "Of course. It would be even better if you could give us a cup of tea."

    Damn it! She felt resentment bursting in her mind, but she didn't dare to reveal even a single ounce of it on her face. Her heart was still beating very quickly, and the possibility that had just occurred to her was far too important for the Star Luo Empire.

    "I'm sorry, I was being discourteous before. I was too pleasantly surprised to see the two of you - please come back, and I will personally make some tea for you two of you." She made a gesture for them to kindly proceed back into her room as she spoke.

    "Alright, we'll have to trouble you, then." Huo Yuhao didn't push around too much. He had to play this just right, as going too far was as bad as not doing enough. He was dealing with a big customer, after all!

    They returned to the princess' room, and Xu Jiujiu personally brought them two fragrant cups of tea as she invited Wang Dong'er to sit down on the sofa before turning towards Huo Yuhao with an eager look on her face.

    One had to admit that the princess was extremely pretty, and she could be ranked along with Jiang Nannan and Wang Dong'er as a top-tier beauty. If the princess had been staring at someone else with the same look on her face, they might possibly stop at nothing to give the princess whatever she wanted.

    It was a pity then that Wang Dong'er was the only person in Huo Yuhao's heart. Furthermore, Huo Yuhao had seen quite a few top-class beauties. He possessed immense spiritual power, and his mind was steadfast and unwavering. He was naturally unaffected by Xu Jiujiu's small psychological move.

    "Do you have any questions or doubts, princess? Please ask, and I will tell you everything I can." Huo Yuhao's face was cool and collected, and the sincerity in his eyes was no less than the look in Xu Jiujiu's eyes.

    The red-dressed old woman felt a twitch at the corner of her mouth as she stood to one side. She thought to herself, The new generation is taking over from the older generation after all, and everyone seems to be as sly as a fox. Jiujiu has met her match today.

    Xu Jiujiu's graceful and charming look finally froze momentarily, and she suppressed the impulsive desire in her heart to strangle this fellow before her as she replied, "I wish to ask about something you said before this. What did you mean when you said that soul masters aren't needed to operate this soul tool? Are you trying to say that if these Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannons have Milk Bottles, normal people can also operate them?"

    Huo Yuhao shook his head and said, "Normal people definitely can't."

    Huo Yuhao's simple statement immediately caused Xu Jiujiu's eyes to fill with disappointment. Her eyes quickly turned unfriendly. Is this fellow deliberately trying to mess around with me?

    Xu Jiujiu was on the brink of erupting, and she grit her teeth as she said, "Then what do you mean when soul masters aren't needed to operate this soul tool?"

    Huo Yuhao didn't seem ruffled at all. "That just means soul masters aren't needed to operate this soul tool!"

    Xu Jiujiu planted her hands on the desk in front of her and took a deep breath. She didn't mince her words, pausing slightly as she enunciated each one. "Will you die if you make yourself clearer?"

    Huo Yuhao had a forced smile on his face and an innocent look as he said, "My words are very clear! It means the Tang Sect's Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannon no longer requires a soul master to operate it after attaching a Milk Bottle to it. Normal people definitely don't meet the requirements, as they are not strong enough, and they will struggle with reloading and switching magazines. Only soldiers that are relatively stronger can operate this soul tool, and it's even better if they've been trained before. Can you understand my explanation now, princess?"

    The redness that was on Xu Jiujiu's face due to her fury immediately vanished, and she said eagerly, "Are you for real? Even soldiers that are not soul masters can operate a Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannon?"

    Huo Yuhao nodded and said, "Of course! Otherwise, how could I claim that our Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannon has excellent value for the money? If not, how could I sell you a Class 4 soul tool for the price of a Class 6 soul tool? Wouldn't that just be a rip-off?"

    Xu Jiujiu leaned against the sofa, and her eyes changed continuously as her brain began to spin with ideas and thoughts. Her fists were clenched slightly from all her intense and riled-up emotions.

    Huo Yuhao picked up his cup of tea and finished it with a gulp. This was good tea, indeed... it was aromatic, and its fragrance lingered in his mouth, while it was fresh and quenched his thirst at the same time.

    Five minutes passed before Xu Jiujiu suddenly stared at Huo Yuhao and asked, "Can you give us a promotional price if we order in bulk?" She was extremely clear about the value of Class 6 soul tools.

    Huo Yuhao shook his head and said, "No can do. I've said it already, that our product is excellent value for the price, and the price will not change. The price will remain the same whether we're selling the cannons to you or to other clients, and we will be fair to everyone. The only benefit I can give you, princess, is purchase priority. There's an upper limit to our production speed, after all."

    Xu Jiujiu took a deep breath and said, "But we can only validate your words after field-testing this soul tool and experimenting with it. Can you reserve purchase priority for us?"

    Huo Yuhao contemplated momentarily, then said, "You have three days. I hope you can give us a decisive response before the competition starts."

    Xu Jiujiu said angrily, "We're inside the Sun Moon Empire, not the Star Luo empire. Where do I find a place to test it?"

    Huo Yuhao glanced at the red-dressed old woman beside them and said, "Technology is advanced today, and we can use flying-type soul tools now. It doesn't seem difficult to return to the Star Luo Empire within a day. Princess, if I wasn't from the Star Luo Empire myself, I wouldn't have pleaded with my eldest senior brother time and time again, and perhaps you wouldn't have been our first big customer. Three days is already the maximum allowance that our sect can give. I hope you can understand. How about this... we will give the Milk Bottles that are specially crafted for our Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannons to you as an expression of sincerity."

    Huo Yuhao gave Wang Dong'er a look as he spoke.

    Wang Dong'er nodded and passed the Milk Bottle that she had taken back before this to Xu Jiujiu.

    Xu Jiujiu felt a little strange as she held onto the strangely-shaped Milk Bottle that was at least twice as heavy as a normal Class 6 Milk Bottle. The materials used to craft this Milk Bottle didn't seem ordinary or typical.

    Huo Yuhao said, "Princess, I'll pass another piece of secret intel to you for free."

    "Speak."

    Huo Yuhao said, "You're in charge of intelligence. Are you aware that the Illustrious Virtue Hall has devised technology to seal Milk Bottles? That means, the soul power contained within Milk Bottles will no longer leak outside."

    Xu Jiujiu felt her heart skip a beat. "Are you sure?"

    Huo Yuhao nodded and said, "The Tang Sect has also mastered this technology. The Milk Bottle you're holding in your hands is sealed, which you will know once you give it a try. The truth is that the cost of crafting one of these Milk Bottles is equivalent to purchasing five Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannons. With this sealed Milk Bottle, you can reload a Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannon ten times without switching Milk Bottles. Ten magazines mean you can fire four-hundred and eighty stationary cannon shells in one go. I'm sure you understand what this means."

    ---

    Xu Jiujiu was left sitting motionless on the sofa even after Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong'er left her room. Her enchanting eyes sparkled with sophisticated light, and "Tang Sect" had been deeply imprinted on her.

    All her complicated emotions and thoughts gradually became disappointment and a sense of loss. Bitterness began to surface at the corner of her lips as she said, "We are still so slow, Grandma Yi Man. We are trailing the Sun Moon Empire in soul tool research, and we are even lagging behind Shrek Academy. The Tang Sect is undoubtedly representing Shrek Academy. Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannon, sealed Milk Bottles... impressive indeed!"

    The old woman sat down beside her and gently caressed Xu Jiujiu's flowing hair. "Don't put too much pressure on yourself, child. You're just a girl, and you have enough burdens on your shoulders. That boy is extraordinary. I studied him closely, and I've never seen spiritual power like his in my entire life. His spiritual power is both unique and powerful at the same time, and it's on an entirely different scale from his soul power. Furthermore, his eyes were calm and collected from beginning to end, no matter what expression he was wearing. Even you are a little inferior to him in this respect. If you can't have a person like that as a friend, then..." The old lady squinted a little as a look of hostility and murder flashed across her eyes.

    Xu Jiujiu's expression changed as she exclaimed, "No, Grandma Yi Man!"

    Grandma Yi Man stared at her amusingly and said, "What? You can't bear to see anything happen to him? He seems a lot younger than you are."

    Xu Jiujiu blushed and leaned into Grandma Yi Man's embrace disapprovingly. "What are you talking about, Grandma Yi Man? There's nothing between the two of us. That guy is one of the most outstanding individuals of Shrek Academy's younger generation, and the academy places great emphasis on him. My elder brother has already prepared a plan to pull him close, and this guy is likely to become the link between us and Shrek Academy. Therefore, we can't touch him, and we have to protect him.

    "Grandma Yi Man, what do you think about the Holy Ghost Church that he spoke of?"

    Yi Man's face turned black as she said, "That's a tough one. If he's right about the Dragon Emperor Douluo being used by the Holy Ghost Church, then the Star Luo Empire will be in some real trouble. We need to act, and we need to do it now."

    Xu Jiujiu tilted her head and glanced at the massive Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannon resting on the floor. "Time is of the essence, Grandma Yi Man. I'm afraid I'll have to trouble you this time."

    Yi Man heaved a faint sigh and replied, "What trouble is there? I should do more for the empire while I can still move. I'll take this back to the empire for field-testing and experiments right away."
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