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Chapter 48-Part 1

On the third day of opening the shop, Tangmen’s business was still booming.

Zhao Min, a man with considerable experience, was much calmer during his second shop opening, having previously opened a shop on the planet Huangsha. He handed over the shop’s affairs to his subordinates and went to a quiet room to do the accounts himself.

Just the hemostatic ointment, priced at 400 credits per box, was enough to make a fortune.

As Zhao Min calculated the profits, his eyes squinted into a line from smiling. The large sum of credit coming in brought him immense satisfaction.

What excited him even more was that this was just the beginning; greater wealth awaited him.

While Zhao Min was lost in his pleasant thoughts about the future, a commotion arose in the shop.

He glanced outside and immediately recognized the newcomer as the new steward of the Ma family, accompanied by several unfamiliar faces.

One employee, sensing the visitors’ unfriendly demeanor, approached them proactively. “Who might you be?”

“Ma Tao, head of the Ma family, is calling for your boss,” Ma Tao said in a deep voice.

The employee was about to fetch Zhao Min when Zhao Min appeared beside him and waved him away. “Go back to your tasks; I’ll handle this.”

Ma Tao squinted, scrutinizing him. “You are the owner of Tangmen?”

He had heard the owner was young but didn’t expect him to be this young.

Zhao Min smiled kindly. “Yes, I’m Zhao Min. What brings you here today, Mr. Ma?”

Ma Ruian, visibly enraged, stepped forward aggressively and said hatefully, “Don’t pretend you don’t know. If you dared to cause trouble at the Ma family, you should be prepared for retaliation!”

Zhao Min looked surprised. “Retaliation? The Ma family plans to retaliate against me?”

Ma Tao glared fiercely at Ma Ruian.

If you can’t speak properly, stay quiet and don’t rush, making us look inept.

Ma Ruian immediately shrank back, not daring to say more.

Ma Tao took a deep breath and softened his tone.

“This is Ma Ruian, one of my juniors. A few days ago, you won a small competition at the Ma family’s place. Youngsters can be impulsive and handle things poorly; I hope you can understand, Mr. Zhao.”

Without waiting for Zhao Min to reply, Ma Tao continued, “However, since we’re all in business, you should know that losing a competition can damage a shop’s reputation. No matter what, the Ma family needs to regain its face.”

Zhao Min raised an eyebrow, realizing that not all of the Ma family were incompetent; there were some capable individuals.

Ma Tao’s words were reasonable, placing the Ma family in the position of the victim, occupying the moral high ground, and pressuring Zhao Min to agree to another competition.

Unlike the impulsive fool beside him, who made it sound like a childish quarrel, this approach was much more strategic.

“Mr. Zhao is unwilling to compete?” Ma Tao asked with a smile.

He had already planned his response. If Zhao Min agreed, he could argue convincingly.

If Zhao Min only wanted to challenge others but refused to accept challenges himself, that wouldn’t be justifiable.

Zhao Min understood this as well and shook his head with a light laugh. “I have said that exchanges are always welcome, and I won’t refuse.”

“That’s good.”

Having agreed to the competition, Ma Tao proposed the rules, “As a guest, I’ll state the rules this time: best two out of three. The first competition is in anesthetics, the second in bone-setting medicine, and the third in medicinal cuisine.”

Zhao Min appeared slightly resigned. “These competitions?”

“Yes,” Ma Tao answered decisively.

He had calculated that the three types of medicine Zhao Min used to embarrass the Ma family were very potent, and they had no countermeasures for them yet, so they couldn’t be competed with again.

The medicines he chose were relatively obscure but still commonly used.

Choosing obscure ones indicated that Zhao Min might not be prepared, while common ones would satisfy the onlookers, and most importantly, the Ma family excelled in these areas.

The competition should leverage one’s strengths against the opponent’s weaknesses.

“No need to compete,” Zhao Min straightforwardly declared.

“I concede.”

“???” Ma Tao was dumbfounded. “You want to concede?”

Ma Tao thought he had prepared thoroughly, but suddenly found Zhao Min’s move utterly baffling.

“Yes,” Zhao Min nodded.

“Why?” Ma Tao pressed.

If Zhao Min had conceded initially when the Ma family challenged him, people would have thought he was afraid.

But after the Ma family lost three rounds, Zhao Min’s concession would make people suspect there was more to it, rather than seeing it as a simple defeat.

Realizing this, Ma Tao cursed inwardly. Victory alone wasn’t enough; he needed the process of publicly shaming Zhao Min to prove the Ma family was still the best on the planet Jupiter.

Zhao Min spread his hands in helplessness. “Our shop currently only sells three types of medicine: hemostatic ointment, detoxification medicine, and scar removal ointment. We have no other medicines to compete with.”

Ma Tao’s face turned ashen. He had never heard anything so ridiculous. Every pharmacy specialized in one or two things, but their stock would still include a variety of medicines.

“No other medicines?” Ma Ruian exclaimed in disbelief.

“Yes,” Zhao Min nodded, explaining, “Our formulas undergo hundreds of tests by our chief pharmacist to ensure they are flawless and highly effective before being sold. Our business philosophy is quality over quantity. We don’t seek to offer the most varieties, only the best effects.”

He added, “That’s why I went to the Ma family. The so-called ‘challenging’ was just a joke; it was actually to test our medicines against the best. Only if they matched up to Ma family standards would I dare sell them officially.”

In reality, although Zhao Min had hired twenty apprentices, it would take time for them to get up to speed.

Moreover, Tangmen’s pharmacists were insufficient in number, limiting production.

Even though Tang Xin was willing to provide more formulas, Zhao Min decided to focus on a few for now.

He had his pharmacists concentrate on making hemostatic ointment to increase proficiency and output.

However, this didn’t stop him from saying nice-sounding things.

“Well said!” Suddenly, a voice from the crowd cheered.

“Zhao is truly a conscientious seller.”

“Buying medicine from a shop like his is reassuring!”

“Ha, the Ma family must be dumbfounded. They expected to regain face through competition, not knowing Zhao Min is an honest man, seriously making only the best medicine, unlike those money-grubbing merchants.”

The last comment, spoken softly from within the crowd, annoyed Ma Tao, but he couldn’t identify the speaker.

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