The shop that Zhou Qin took a fancy to was on the Pedestrian Street of Tiannan City. It had two floors, totalling about three hundred square meters. It had once been a small electronic appliance supermarket, but it had been unable to keep up with the trends and its business had gradually been taken by large shopping malls, so the turnover had declined year on year. The former boss couldn't bear it, so he had considered selling the shop and doing other business.
Li Yundong followed Zhou Qin to the shop and looked around. He whispered to Zhou Qin, "This shop is good. It is spacious, bright, and near the street. But I guess the rent will be quite high. I don't know if we can afford it."
Zhou Qin explained with a smile, "I've already inquired about it. It costs 300,000 a year."
Li Yundong was startled. "300,000 a year? That's a lot of money!"
Zhou Qin said, "Yes, it's not cheap. We have rented two houses before, each of which cost more than a hundred thousand a year. But these are houses, and this is a shop on the street. It's only natural that it'd be more expensive."
Li Yundong thought for a moment, then turned to Zi Yuan and asked, "Zi Yuan, what do you think?"
Zi Yuan had been off in her own world, and she said in a daze. "Huh? What did you say?"
Li Yundong was puzzled. He had never seen Zi Yuan behaving like this and couldn't help but ask, "What's wrong? It seems like you have something in your mind."
Zi Yuan became more focused and smiled slightly. "Nothing, are you asking about the rent?"
Li Yundong saw that she wasn't going to say anything, so he stopped asking. He planned to find a private opportunity to talk to her later. He said, "Yes, I think this price is really too high. 300,000 a year is a lot of money. Even if we pay for it once a year, it'll wipe out our coffers. Not to mention that it needs decorating. We'll really have nothing left."
Li Yundong continued to say, "You see, although we have a lot of tea, it is all Tie Guanyin. we can't only sell Tie Guanyin, right? We'll need to buy some other tea, and then we will need to spend money again."
Saying that, Li Yundong couldn't help but smile bitterly. "After becoming a leader, I've started to realize that there is never enough money. In the past, I always thought that cultivators could do the inedia, so they didn't have to spend a penny on eating. Now I know that it's all the other cr*p that matters!"
Zi Yuan smiled and said, "The five elements of cultivating Taosim are not allowed to be cultivated without money. Even the greatest cultivators still need to eat and drink. The theory of cultivation originated from traditional Chinese medicine, which was scientific and rigorous. Even if it mostly wasn't explained by western scientific theory, some things could be explained. The law of energy conservation can explain the law of cultivation: people can't create new energy without any help. They must absorb and borrow surrounding energy, or store excess energy in their bodies through eating, cultivation, etc., then release it when they use it."
Next to them, Zhou Qin heard the conversation between Zi Yuan and Li Yundong about cultivation. She pricked up her ears and listened intently. When she heard this, she suddenly asked, "Is inedia a lie?"
Zi Yuan took a look at her. Seeing how studious she was being, she smiled approvingly and said, "No. No matter if it was in ancient or modern times, the Inedia skill has existed. It's just that there are some differences between the understanding of ordinary people."
Zhou Qin asked, "What's differences?"
Zi Yuan looked at Li Yundong and smiled. "This is your disciple. Aren't you going to explain?"
Li Yundong smiled and said, "Are you testing me? Okay, then I'll explain."
Li Yundong said to Zhou Qin, "As the name suggests, from the literal meaning, you can see that it means that people don't eat whole grains. However, ordinary people think that cultivators don't eat anything at all. Think about it, if we cultivators all ate nothing, how much money could we save? Would I even need to worry about money?"
Zhou Qin chuckled. "But the truth is?"
Li Yundong laughed and said, "The truth is that it's a big mistake. Inedia is just for getting rid of the evil and unholy Qi in the body. When a person eats whole grains, he will inevitably have dirty defecation and urination. How can he become an immortal like that? But if he doesn't eat the five grains, where will the nutrition come from? People must consume energy to live. Where does the energy come from? Can one really live on without eating anything? Isn't that a big joke?"
Zhou Qin became more and more curious. "So where does the nutrition come from?"
Li Yundong smiled and said, "Where does it come from? From eating anything else! Inedia is just about not eating whole grains, but any other foods are fine."
Zhou Qin was surprised and asked, "Really? So if someone eats other things, they won't have defecate or urinate?"
Li Yundong laughed and said, "It depends on what you eat! The Beiqi Book tells of a Hermit cultivator of Langya Mountain. He practiced the Inedia skill. He ate pine nuts, atractylodes macrocephala and Fuling every day. The Old Book of Tang also records a person called Wang Yuanzhi, who was a cultivator who cultivated the Inedia skill. What did he eat every day? Ganoderma! He ate Ganoderma as food! Of course, he didn't have to eat whole grains as food!"
Zhou Qin opened her mouth and said, "Really? He ate Ganoderma as food? How much did that cost at every meal?"
Zi Yuan chuckled and said, "Now you know why money ranks second out of the five elements of cultivating. In the past, there were many cultivators who didn't come from rich families and didn't have much money. However, they wanted to cultivate. They didn't have enough money to buy all the necessary medicinal materials for cultivation, so they went up the mountain and dug up herbs for themselves to cultivate in the mountains."
Zhou Qin sighed and said, "No wonder those cultivators in ancient times lived in the mountains and were all proficient in traditional Chinese medicine. They needed to be self-sufficient. But why don't we hear about any of this in modern times?"
Zi Yuan nodded and said, "In modern times, the Inedia skill is also common. On the 7th day of the first month of the 1988 year, the People's Daily paper once reported about a 25-year-old girl from Moon Village of Macheng City in Hubei Province. This girl was named Xiong Zaiding. When she was 15 years old, she had a serious illness and even once she was out of danger she never ate again. She hadn't eaten anything for 10 years. When she recovered from her illness, her behavior went back to normal. At that time, it was thought to be a myth."
Li Yundong smiled and said, "This lady must have met a great cultivator and taken some Inedia drug or an elixir of life."
Zi Yuan glanced at Li Yundong and nodded. "You're right! Back then, Taoist priest Zhang happened to pass by and fed her with the Immortal Inedia Elixir, thus saving her life."
Li Yundong asked, "Then she didn't cultivate later?"
Zi Yuan shook her head and said, "No, a serious illness destroyed her furnace tripod. Even though she was saved, her Furnace tripod was left unusable."
Zhou Qin asked curiously, "Immortal Inedia Elixir? Is there even such a thing in this world?"
Zi Yuan smiled and said, "Yes, I still remember the prescription!"
Zhou Qinqi was curious. "Tell me about it."
Zi Yuan said, "The Immortal Inedia Elixir is made up of herbs and foods such as yellow Essence, Polygonatum odoratum, sesame seeds, asparaginase, jujube, black beans, Ganoderma, pine nuts, Atractylodes macrocephala, mulberries, walnuts, and honey. In addition, minerals are used as medicine prescriptions, such as Cinnabar, Realgar, and Mica."
Zhou Qin was stunned to hear this. "Oh my god, these are all healthy foods with excellent nutritive properties! How much would it cost to eat them every day?"
Li Yundong laughed. "You see now?"
Zi Yuan said with a smile, "Among the cultivation sects, only a few rich sects can cultivate Inedia. And only a few leaders and direct descendants can take this kind of Immortal Inedia Elixir. Even the leaders of ordinary sects can't afford it, so we have a special name for the Immortal Inedia Elixir in the cultivation world."
Li Yundong and Zhou Qin both asked in unison, "What do you call it?"
Zi Yuan's lips curled into a smile, and then she said, "The Elixir of Bankruptcy!"
After that, the three of them laughed in unison.
Su Chan, who was strolling around the store, heard their amused laughs. She came over curiously, blinked her eyes, and asked, "Yundong, what are you talking about? Why are you laughing so happily?"
Li Yundong smiled and touched her hair. "It's nothing. So, what do you think about this shop?"
Su Chan nodded excitedly. "Well, it's great. We all like this place very much!"
Li Yundong turned to Zhou Qin and said, "Then let's rent this place. I have decided."
Zhou Qin saw that Li Yundong had been worried about the rent before. He had been hesitating for a while and consulted with Zi Yuan for a long time. But now, a single sentence from Su Chan had immediately settled things. It was obvious that Su Chan was very important to him.
Zhou Qin sighed in her heart, but she didn't show her true emotions on her face. She nodded with a smile and took out her mobile phone. "I'll call the people from the Bureau of Business." After that, she went to the other side of the room to make a phone call.
Li Yundong smiled and nodded. He wondered in his heart, "Haven't Zhou Qin's official relations been ruined because of her father's fall from power? How can she still contact the Bureau of Commerce?"
But he quickly realized, "Even if a centipede dies, it doesn't freeze. After all, the Zhou family still holds some power in Tiannan City."
However, after a while, he saw Zhou Qin walking over with a livid expression on her face. Li Yundong's heart thumped, and he asked in a deep voice, "What's wrong?"
Zhou Qin's face was cold and she did not speak for a long time. After a while, she gnashed her teeth and sneered, "Wang knows that our Zhou family has fallen and is putting on airs." She looked at Li Yundong in confusion and said, "Master, have you offended someone? As soon as I said that you wanted to rent this store, they immediately began backpedalling."
Li Yundong was surprised and said, "Me? I don't think so. Wait..."
Li Yundong said thoughtfully, "Actually, I've offended a lot of people. Liu Chuan from school is one of them. I've also offended the Great Six in the cultivation world, not to mention the Zhengyi School. On top of that, I've offended Zheng Youming and Zhao Yougen in the business circles."
Zi Yuan said helplessly, "I still remember that last time on Tianlong Mountain, I told you not to kill too many people or it would be difficult for you to take so much as a single step in the future. Do you understand now? There are too many bad people in this world. You can crush them with a single finger when you confront them face-to-face, but they are good at sabotaging you behind your back. You don't even know who is trying to harm you."
Li Yundong said with a wry smile, "Yes, yes, you are right! What should we do now? Zhou Qin, do we have any room for negotiation?"
Zhou Qin shook her head and said, "If my father was still in power, it naturally wouldn't be a problem. But now..."
Li Yundong didn't want Zhou Qin to feel any guilt. Although he was feeling unhappy, he still smiled and said comfortingly, "It's okay. Xuanzang encountered eighty-one difficulties while going to the West Heaven for Buddhist scriptures. Compared to that, our problems are nothing."
Zhou Qin sighed, "The store here is ideal. The other stores are not as good as this."
Li Yundong smiled and said to Su Chan, "Go and get your shibos and sisters. Let's go."
Noticing that things were not going well, Su Chan responded obediently and greeted the members of the Fox Zen School. Then, they left the shop together.
When they got to the Pedestrian Street, Zhou Qin sighed. "Master, it's all my fault. If I just..."
Li Yundong did not wait for her to finish, interrupting her with a smile as he said, "Don't say that. It wasn't your fault. As the saying goes, there must be a road for the car to arrive at the mountain! There had to be a way. The worst thing that can happen is that we won't get to rent this place. Let's go to see if there are any other good shops elsewhere."
The others nodded one after another. When they were about to leave, they suddenly heard an elderly voice cry out in surprise and joy, "Little magic doctor?"
Li Yundong felt that the the voice a little familiar, but he didn't pay too much attention. However, a thought came to Zhou Qin. She turned around and took a closer look, only to see an old lady wearing a dark blue jacket and a pair of multi-layered cloth shoes. The old lady was looking at her with a serene smile.
Zhou Qin recognized that the woman in front of her was the one who she had been close to while she was in hospital. She was surprised and delighted. She shouted, "Granny Xu!"