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Chapter 27: Counterattack

Zhao Min took a short break, and the symptoms of his throbbing headache slightly eased. Suddenly, he heard someone speaking nearby.

“This customer, the shop, is already closed. If you need ointment, please come back tomorrow.”

“I’m not buying medicine; I’m looking for Zhao Min,” a deep voice resonated.

Someone is calling him by name?

Zhao Min turned around, raising an eyebrow. “Manager Qi? What a rare guest.”

The newcomer was indeed Qi Xing.

Qi Xing looked at Zhao Min, smiling.

“Interested in having a conversation?”

Zhao Min rubbed his chin, revealing an elusive smile. “Sure. Follow me.”

With that, he stood up, leading Qi Xing upstairs.

Customers waiting in line nearby craned their necks, curious about the conversation between the two. Unfortunately, they soon couldn’t see the two figures.

In the VIP room on the second floor, Zhao Min took the initiative to pull out a chair, plopping down lazily. “The new shop just opened; it was not well prepared; there was no tea. Manager Qi, please bear with it and have a seat. I hope you don’t mind.”

While he said this, he showed no signs of apology on his face.

“No problem,” Qi Xing remained composed. Sitting face to face, he got straight to the point: “I came today to discuss a collaboration with Mr. Zhao.”

Collaboration? Zhao Min doubted if he had misheard. Clearly, he had sent someone to create trouble at Qi’s pharmacy, and now Qi Xing was not seeking revenge but proposing collaboration?

“Let’s hear it,” Zhao Min said with curiosity.

“When I arrived, I saw a sign hanging at the store entrance saying that the ointment was sold out. It’s only afternoon now; under normal circumstances, why would a business not operate? Presumably, the production is limited, and the goods are almost sold out. So, I’ve thought of two collaboration proposals.”

“The first proposal is that you provide the prescription, I provide the pharmacist, and we sell the finished product together at a 60-40 split, at the same price.”

“The second proposal is for you to raise the price of the hemostatic ointment, targeting the high-end market, taking a less-but-high-quality route. I will continue to sell my hemostatic powder, with small profits and high sales, occupying the majority of the market share. Everyone stays out of each other’s way.”

“When two tigers fight, one will get hurt. Why not peacefully coexist and make big money together?”

Zhao Min was secretly surprised; Qi Xing was indeed a shrewd person. On the surface, both proposals seemed advantageous to him. In reality, the more advantageous one was for the Qi family.

In the first proposal, although he got a larger share, his shop had fewer product varieties. If both shops sell the ointment at the same price, customers would undoubtedly prefer to go to Qi’s family. Because of Qi’s family, customers could also buy other items conveniently. Moreover, Qi’s family had more branches, making purchases more convenient.

In the second proposal, Qi’s family’s hemostatic powder was already in high demand. Giving up the high-end market to him would affect Qi’s family but wouldn’t be fatal. On the other hand, he could earn more money, deal with fewer customers, and avoid too much exhaustion. Even if his production was low and some big customers were unwilling to wait, it was not impossible for them to do business again with Qi’s family.

Regardless of which proposal he chose, Qi’s family could resolve the current crisis.

Truly a cunning old fox.

Zhao Min sighed. “Manager Qi’s proposal is quite tempting. I’m almost tempted.”

“Almost?” Qi Xing squinted, his face turning serious. “Mr. Zhao, are you determined to compete with me?”

“Blame Manager Qi for offending the wrong person. That person doesn’t want to make money now; she just wants to give Manager Qi a little trouble.” Zhao Min shrugged helplessly. “I’ve said it, but it doesn’t count.”

Qi Xing, angered and mocking, said, “What did she give you to make you wholeheartedly work for her?”

“How powerful that person is, Manager Qi knows better than I do, right? If Manager Qi didn’t know that well, he wouldn’t have sent someone to catch her and openly confront her.” Zhao Min replied with a playful smile.

Qi Xing’s face darkened. “It seems we can’t reach an agreement. Zhao Min, do you think having the hemostatic ointment means you’ve already won?”

“I’m just a small character who recently opened a shop, just looking to make a living. I dare not think so. But, well,” Zhao Min put away his playful demeanor, speaking seriously: “When Qi Huan injured my brother, and my father went to Manager Qi seeking justice, Manager Qi replied, ‘Everyone is responsible for their own abilities, and if you lose, you must be able to bear it.’ How about this time? We each rely on our abilities.”

Qi Xing stood up in anger, leaving with a disdainful remark, “Ignorant!” and walked away.

Zhao Min leaned back comfortably in the chair, and when only one person remained in the room, he snorted lightly. “Just because of their old age, they think they can play others for fools. All they want is to take a step back, give some benefits to appease me, and then kick me out once they have a solution, allowing the Qi family to continue monopolizing the market.”

“Cooperation requires finding suitable, comparable partners. I don’t have the courage to deal with the likes of the Qi family; I won’t dance with the tiger.”

“Despite his advanced age and having lived for so many years, he surprisingly doesn’t know that some people should not be offended. The Qi family offended the divine doctor, so today is their unlucky day. The warning is right in front of me; how could I betray and make the same mistake?”

“If the divine doctor gets really angry, she might generously distribute the formula to various families. Damn, can we manufacture medicine? When everyone has a copy of the formula, who would still go to the pharmacy to buy medicine?”

In the end, Zhao Min sighed in a concluding tone, “Thinking he can fool me just because I’m young, he picked the wrong person!”

Qi Xing returned to the study of the Qi family, his expression becoming calm and indifferent, devoid of any hostility.

The anger on his face just now was intentionally shown to Zhao Min.

“Since there’s no way to communicate with Zhao Min, we can only tough it out for the next few days,” Qi Xing muttered to himself, then issued a series of commands to the employees using the contact list.

“Quietly buy all the bluegrass available on the market and stack it in the warehouse.”

“Continue producing the hemostatic powder as usual; there is no need to reduce production. Store the excess for now.”

“In the next few days, if anyone goes to the pharmacy requesting a refund, there is no need for much talk; just process the refund. Don’t experiment with medicines publicly anymore.”

After the call ended, Qi Xing leaned back in his chair, revealing a contented smile.

It was a confident smile while holding the winning ticket.

Qi Xing couldn’t help but feel proud.

In his hands were two boxes of ointment. One box was obtained from Wang Jiao, emitting a refreshing fragrance. The other box was brought back by his naive son, exuding a subtle and pleasant scent.

He had to admit that the unnamed pharmacist was very clever, knowing how to add spices to the ointment, creating the false impression that it was made from three different materials. If he hadn’t had two boxes for comparison and discovered the same effectiveness, he would never have thought that the fragrance was a form of disguise.

But now he knew that the ointment’s ingredients were bluegrass and medicinal stones. Was he still afraid of not being able to make the ointment?

Now, the only thing he lacked was time.

“Unfortunately, Zhao Min is cautious enough. Otherwise, we could have shaken hands and made peace, giving the Qi family enough time to catch their breath.” Qi Xing sighed lightly. Why was there such a big difference between other people’s children and his own son?

“Fortunately, the cultivation area of the Huangsha Star is limited, and the production of medicinal herbs has always been maintained at a low level. As long as I buy all the bluegrass on the market, without medicinal herbs, what use is the effectiveness of the ointment? And he won’t be able to reproduce it.”

“Once I research the formula for the hemostatic ointment, that will be the moment when the Qi family truly rises, returning to its peak. No, with the hemostatic ointment, the Qi family will probably reach even greater heights.”

“This crisis, when handled well, is indeed an opportunity!”

Qi Xing chuckled.

“Tsk tsk, Qi Xing indeed intends to use this move.” Tang Xin, while gnawing on a chicken leg, sat in a food shop and observed. Across from the food shop was a large pharmacy.

She had just seen someone enter the store and, after a while, come out with several people following, carrying a few boxes of bluegrass and loading them into a car.

As she expected.

“Medicinal stones are minerals with a large stock. To control the situation, Qi Xing can only choose to spend money to monopolize. If he doesn’t have enough money to monopolize medicinal stones, he can only monopolize bluegrass. Moreover, the Qi family also needs bluegrass to make hemostatic powder, so stockpiling is not a loss for them,” Yan Hao analyzed.

The fact that hemostatic powder was made from bluegrass was something he had heard from his master.

“Exactly. The land for cultivating medicinal herbs on the Huangsha Star is limited, and it’s easier to monopolize bluegrass than medicinal stones. If Zhao Min can’t buy medicinal herbs, he can only choose to grow them himself. However, bluegrass is an annual plant, so it will take at least a year to grow. Qi Xing’s calculation is not bad, but unfortunately, he ran into me.”

Dealing with serious matters, Tang Xin was quite serious. She tossed aside a half-eaten chicken leg, used her greasy fingers to open the contact list, and started contacting Zhao Min.

In no time, the call connected, and the light laughter of Zhao Min reached her ears. “Divine doctor, do you need something from me?”

Yan Hao remained expressionless, while Tang Xin, who called herself a “divine doctor,” was surprised that the other party went along with it so smoothly.

Why did the two people involved speak so naturally about it? Listening on the side, he felt inexplicably embarrassed.

“Big trouble. Qi Xing is currently dispatching people to massively purchase bluegrass, intending to buy out all the bluegrass,” Tang Xin warned.

“Buy out bluegrass? Let him do as he pleases.” Zhao Min laughed even more.

“Huh?” Tang Xin was taken aback.

Initially, she planned to sell the prescription to various families, fearing that the materials would become expensive later. She had bought a batch in advance and stored it in her space. After cooperating with Zhao Min and anticipating Qi Xing’s attempt to buy out and interfere, she bought a large amount of bluegrass, intending to sell it to Zhao Min at the original price. Unexpectedly, he didn’t care.

“As a collaborating partner of the divine doctor, of course, I can’t be led by the nose by the Qi family. Ten days ago, after deciding to open a pharmacy together and cooperating, I applied to leave the Zhao family to my father. I received a considerable inheritance. I bought land and already had people planting bluegrass.”

“With the current production speed, the quantity of materials in the warehouse should last for about three to four years. Even if the Qi family buys out bluegrass now, it won’t affect the business of the store, even if they buy it out for several years.”

“Oh, today, when my father heard that opening a pharmacy made the Qi family suffer a loss, he was delighted. He transferred me a sum of money and plans to send several people to the store to help.”

“If Qi Xing only has this monopoly move, the Qi family won’t be able to turn things around.”


Tang Xin fell silent.

“Is there anything else?”

“No, it’s nothing. Since you were well prepared, I feel relieved now.”

After hanging up the phone, Tang Xin muttered with lingering fear, “Madman… gambler…this person is really scary!”

Zhao Min spoke casually, but she understood.

Zhao Min actually voluntarily requested a separation, using the funds obtained to buy medicinal materials, herbs, land, and open a store.

Doing all these things requires a considerable amount of money, probably using up all the funds. Didn’t he consider that if the store failed, he would have no way out?

Tang Xin ruled out that possibility. Zhao Min was not lacking in intelligence and had methods; he must have thought about this outcome.

There was only one possibility left—seeking fortune amidst danger. He chose to take a gamble with everything.

What else could this be, if not madness?

Yan Hao, with an icy expression, thought, “You actually have the nerve to call someone else mad…”

A busy day came to an end.

Zhao Min counted in the warehouse that night, suddenly speechless. On the first day, he sold 1,500 boxes of ointment and 150 boxes of detoxifying medicine.

Half of the accumulated stock from ten days was sold in a single day.

But the money earned was indeed substantial.

Taking into account defective and waste products, the cost of the medicine was approximately eighty credits. After deducting various miscellaneous expenses, Zhao Min earned at least one hundred and sixty thousand today.

A profit of one hundred and sixty thousand in a day!

Zhao Min considered himself a person with a bit of insight. One hundred and sixty thousand is equivalent to the monthly sales of a reasonably good small store.

Doing a month’s worth of sales in a day made Zhao Min feel a bit dizzy; the money was too easily earned.

The only issue was the supply of goods.

Zhao Min rubbed his chin, needing to come up with a solution.

The next day, Zhao Min announced with a smiling face, “The store will sell one hundred boxes of ointment per hour, first come, first served, and each person is limited to purchasing three boxes.”

The store operated for eight hours a day, totaling eight hundred boxes. Adding the three hundred new boxes made by the pharmacist each day, the inventory was sufficient to meet the sales demand.

What’s even better is that if the ointment sold out ahead of time in a given hour, the employees had time to rest until the next hour before starting to work again.

Immediately, some people expressed dissatisfaction with this rule, attempting to incite level five and level six individuals to oppose it together.

Zhao Min respectfully invited the level five and level six individuals upstairs and subtly indicated to handle them properly with a look before going upstairs. With a cold snort and a wicked smile, the others immediately lined up obediently, not daring to make a sound. The powerful ones had already been taken away, leaving behind a group of low-level individuals who were no match at all.

“Boss Zhao, what’s the meaning of bringing us upstairs?” Someone couldn’t help but ask.

“To be frank, I have a batch of high-quality goods in my hands. The quantity is extremely limited, but the effects,” Zhao Min deliberately paused, “are absolutely excellent, guaranteed to satisfy you.”

Someone showed disbelief. “Even better than the ointment downstairs?”

Zhao Min waved his hands repeatedly. “There’s no comparison, no comparison at all.”

As curiosity mounted among the crowd, Zhao Min continued with an eloquent explanation: “The ones downstairs are inferior products made by newcomers, while the ones upstairs are masterpieces. Those who aren’t distinguished customers of the store won’t have the chance to see them.”

Deliberately leaving the audience hanging, Zhao Min proceeded to demonstrate the effectiveness of the medicine on the spot, stunning everyone.

“Name your price,” the only level six martial artist spoke up.

Zhao Min’s eyes gleamed. “The quantity is limited. Six hundred credits per box; no bargaining. Each person is limited to purchasing three boxes per month.”

The level six martial artist frowned. The price wasn’t an issue, but three boxes per month were too few.

“No room for negotiation?”

“Not exactly,” Zhao Min rubbed his hands, revealing a shy smile. “The new store is just opening, and we still need manpower in various aspects. If someone is willing to join the Zhao Pharmacy as a guard, they will receive a salary and, as a bonus, can enjoy the monthly benefit of receiving five boxes of ointment for free.”

The level six martial artist hesitated. The current job benefits were excellent, and with the kindness of the clan leader, it was impossible to leave. He could only settle for buying three boxes of ointment.

Although he declined, there were others willing to accept.

Initially, some people were distressed about the price of six hundred credits per box of ointment. However, upon hearing about the opportunity to become guards for Zhao Pharmacy with a monthly salary and the additional perk of receiving five boxes of ointment for free, they immediately agreed.

After inquiring one by one, Zhao Min discovered that there were a total of two level five individuals willing to join. He couldn’t help but burst into laughter.

With both money and personnel, the future of Zhao Pharmacy seemed limitless.








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