Book 7, Stillwater City, Chapter 8, The Boy of Universal Fire
The treasure auction had begun, amidst this strange atmpshere. One treasure after another was brought out.
“The first treasure.” Miss Ziyi held up a tri-colored stone, which then levitated into the air. “14.5 kilograms of ‘Flame Flint’ which can be used to forge magic treasures. The lowest bid must be at least 130 taels of liquefied elemental essence!”
“150 taels of liquefied elemental essence.” Wuji was the first to speak out. The other guests in the various rooms looked towards Wuji, and all of them called out warmly, “Oh, young master Wuji is present as well?” “Young master Wuji!” They all addressed him in a clearly warm and familiar manner.
“160 taels.” A clear voice rang out from a distant room. It was a rainbow-clothed maiden. “180 taels.” An icy voice from a grim, callous-looking youth.
Within Ning’s private room. Ning just sat there, listening to these people bargain. He glanced backwards towards Hun Wuji. “Brother Wuji, you aren’t going to bid any further?”
“Brother Ji Ning, this is your first time here so you don’t understand.” Wuji laughed as he explained, “The small-scale treasure auctions which the Carefree Caverns normally offer will have treasures that start off at a price which is quite a bit lower than its true value. I offered 150 taels, and that’s a price at which I can definitely make money off this transaction. But as for a price of 200 taels, that’s a bit too much; only those who truly need it would raise it to such a price. I’m a merchant; I don’t like doing business at a loss.”
Ning now understood. So the first bid Wuji had made was for the sake of earning money.
“Ji Ning, after you grow more familiar with Wuji, you’ll understand; this young God of Wealth is always thinking about how to make more money,” Northmont Baiwei said with a laugh.
“290 taels.” A hoarse voice suddenly rang out.
A long silence. “Anyone offering a higher bid?” Miss Ziyi glanced at the private rooms in every direction. “Since there are no other bids, then this Flame Flint will go to young master Qu of the Raindragon Guard.”
“Next is the second treasure…” Miss Ziyi quickly began to introduce the next treasure to the audience.
“Young master Qu is a disciple of the Trueflower School as well as a Raindragon Guard.” Baiwei gave a quick introduction regarding the man. “He is already a peak Wanxiang Adept, and his future prospects are unlimited. Upon becoming a Primal Daoist, he will truly become a major figure here.”
Ning nodded. The others within this hall might not have statuses as exalted as that of Northmont Baiwei or Northmont Fox, but they were all extraordinary figures who were able to converse and interact with Baiwei and Fox as equals. After all, although these two young masters of the Northmont clan had exalted statuses, they were still young and didn’t truly command great power yet.
The reason why the Carefree Caverns treated them so respectfully was because behind the two of them were Northmont Blacktiger and Northmont Yin, who were candidates to become the next Marquis of Stillwater.
“That person just now was Miss Leshan of the Meng clan,” Baiwei said. “Within the Meng clan, she is viewed with great favor. Her training speed has been extremely fast, and in sixty short years, she has become a peak Wanxiang Adept. The Meng clan is one of the major clans within our Stillwater Commandery.”
Ning nodded. The Meng clan? He glanced at the distant maiden, who appeared to only be twelve or thirteen years of age. She was one of the true, proud scions of the Meng clan. Compared to her, Meng Jun, Roch, and Xin were far inferior.
One treasure after another was sold off, most of which were meant for Wanxiang Adepts to use. Although occasionally, there were some appropriate for Zifu Disciples, those were all extremely rare items. Of the people present, aside from Baiwei, Fox, and some other young masters with extraordinary backgrounds, most had already reached the Wanxiang Adept level.
“Of the items that our Carefree Caverns prepared, two were not bid on, while the other sixteen have all been sold. Now, the auction for the top-grade Mortal-ranked ‘Grand Mountain Seal’ of young master Northmont Fox will begin. This treasure is a grand seal that was forged from the peak of Grand Mountain. If it was an Earth-ranked magic treasure, it wouldn’t be particularly precious; its value lies in the fact that it is a Mortal-ranked magic treasure which can be used by Zifu Disciples. When a peak Zifu Disciple uses this treasure, it can transform back into its original form of the Grand Mountain and crush downwards with astonishing force. There is no minimum price; everyone can now commence bidding on the treasure.”
Miss Ziyi was laughing as she spoke. The treasures which guests occasionally brought and auction off always started off at a minimum price of zero. The amount that was bid would be the amount the guest would receive; the Carefree Caverns never asked for any commission at all.
Within Ning’s private room. “I wonder how much this Grand Mountain Seal is worth?” Ning mused to himself. After having visited the Treasure Hall of the underwater estate, Ning didn’t hold the Grand Mountain Seal in high regard. If it had been left in the Treasure Hall, the first master probably would’ve just classified as something which only barely qualified as a high-grade Mortal-ranked treasure.
“Eighty to a hundred taels of liqueified elemental essences,” Wuji said. “This is the most common of all grand seal-type magic treasures. Although it is top-grade, it isn’t all that precious; it can just barely reach the price of a normal Earth-ranked magic treasure.”
“Fifty five taels.”
The various rooms were all making their bids. Soon, a final price was reached; 110 taels of liquefied elemental essence. Ning stared through the window towards the distant Northmont Fox, who had a smile on his face. Clearly, he was pleased with this price.
“Next is a formation technique, one offered by young master Northmont Baiwei,” Miss Ziyi called out loudly, a look of joy on her face. “The Marquisate of Stillwater has a famous Heaven-ranked formation, the Netherwyrm Heavenlock Formation. As for this formation, this is the simplified version of that ancient, mighty formation. Although it is simplified, our Carefree Caverns have ascertained that it was simplified in a nearly perfect way; it is at the utmost peak of Mortal-ranked magic treasures, a top-grade amongst top-grades.”
In front of Miss Ziyi, a dragon pearl and four dragon scales suddenly emerged, hovering before her. Everyone present had extraordinary eyesight, and as they stared towards these items, astonishment appeared on quite a few faces.
“Ziyi!” Northmont Fox had an extremely ugly look on his face. He barked out, “I’ve never heard of there being such a thing as a simplified Mortal-rank version of the Netherwyrm Heavenlock Formation. Are you sure you assessed it correct?”
Miss Ziyi just replied in a loud voice, “Our Carefree Caverns is willing to pay two hundred taels of liquefied elemental essence to purchase this grand formation.” Upon these words coming out, Fox’s face instantly blackened, and he no longer said a single word. The reputation of the Carefree Caverns was beyond reproach; if the Carefree Caverns was willing to make an offer, that meant that it had an extremely good opinion of this formation technique.
“I am willing to offer 210 taels.”
Right away, the price began to rise. In his own room, Ning felt his heartrate begin to quicken; this was his treasure, after all. Slowly, the price continued to tick upwards….
“360 taels!” Suddenly, the clear voice of a young child rang out. Instantly, everything fell silent.
First of all, the price had risen very slowly to 300 taels, and this had been viewed as a hard ceiling to break through. For someone to suddenly increase the price to 360 taels was surprising. And secondly, the person who had made the bid had the voice of a child…this caused quite a few people to look towards him. Even Ning couldn’t resist from turning to look. He saw that in a distant, private room, there was a child that appeared to be six or seven years of age. He had a golden necklace around his neck, and he was nibbling on a bone.
“The Boy of Universal Fire?” Baiwei was surprised. “He came today as well?” Wuji was also shocked. As for Ning, he narrowed his eyes. ‘Boy’? This was the first time he had encountered an Immortal practitioner who looked like a child.
“Brother Ji Ning, according to stories, this Boy of Universal Fire is a reincarnated Immortal,” Baiwei said in a soft voice. “He is one of the most indisputable masters of formations, and he stands at the very top of the field amongst those of us in the younger generation. He has trained for less than thirty years, but he is already a peak Wanxiang Adept. In addition, he primarily focuses his efforts on analyzing formations, and has only spent a bit of effort on training. And yet, he has already reached such a level.”
Less than thirty years of age? A peak Wanxiang Adept? Who only spent a small part of his attention on training? And was a reincarnated Immortal? Ning was truly speechless.
“Are there any higher prices?” Miss Ziyi looked towards the surrounding rooms, but unfortunately, there were no further bids. “Then this Netherwyrm Heavenlock Formation will go to the young master of Universal Fire,” Miss Ziyi said in an extremely respectful manner.
The Boy of Universal Fire, gnawing on his bone, instantly began to laugh loudly. “To condense such a complicated grand formation in such a manner, yet maintain so much of its essence…it has been a long time since I’ve seen something like this. I truly am curious as to which formations master carried this out. I bought it for just a bit over three hundred taels…what a bargain, what a bargain!” The Boy of Universal Fire waved his hand, and the dragon pearl, along with the four dragon scales, flew straight towards him. At the same time, he also tossed out some black marks, sending them flying towards Miss Ziyi.
As soon as the dragon pearl and the dragon scales entered his grasp, the Boy of Universal Fire instantly began to peruse them. The distant Ning, upon seeing this, sighed to himself. Even though this person was a reincarnated Immortal, he was also insanely dedicated to what he did. If he wasn’t, could he have reached his current level of accomplishments?
“Hmph.” In the other room, Northmont Fox had an increasingly ugly look on his face. He had lost. His Grand Mountain Seal had only sold for 110 taels, while the Netherwyrm Heavenlock Formation had sold for 360 taels.
Within Ning’s room. An attendant brought in a stack of black marks, placing them on the table. The attendant then bowed respectfully and left, closing the door as he did.
“This is 360 taels,” Baiwei said, delivering the stack of black marks to Ning. Ning saw that there were three slightly larger marks and six slightly smaller marks. On the large marks, there were the words, ‘Heavenly Treasures Mountain of the Grand Xia Dynasty’ and ‘Exchangeable For 100 Taels’. On the small marks, there were the words, ‘Heavenly Treasures Mountain of the Grand Xia Dynasty’ and ‘Exchangeable For 10 Taels’.
“Every single commandery city controlled by every single Marquisate of the world has a Heavenly Treasures Mountain within,” Baiwei explained. “This elemental mark is used quite commonly. It is also a magic treasure that requires someone to be at least at the Xiantian level to bind. After binding it, you can carry it with you and use it to buy other magic treasures, or trade for liquefied elemental essence. Liquefied elemental essence is something which every single major power in the entire world delights in.”
Ning nodded. At Earth, one of the trillion Lesser Worlds, it could be said that gold was a common commodity used for trade. In this vast world, however, the refined extract of the natural elemental energy of the world was what was used as a common currency. By relying on them, one could avoid having to waste precious amounts of time in slowly, bitterly gathering in energy. However, not even Immortals could be wealthy enough to use liquefied elemental essence nonstop; at most, they would use them to help in making breakthroughs.
“I’ve caused you, Brother Ji Ning, to lose a grand formation. I truly feel ashamed,” Baiwei said quickly. “But I acquired this liquefied elemental essence,” Ning replied hurriedly. “As for the grand formation, it was of no use to me.”
Baiwei shook his head. “It’s not the same. Such a rare formation can easily be exchanged for liquefied elemental essence, but it will be very hard for you to use elemental essence to buy another such formation. Still, I have to admit, this feels excellent. Today, Northmont Fox wanted to cause trouble for me. He first ruined our plans of having you, Brother Ji Ning, enter the Skysplitter Sword Sect, and then he insisted on taking away Zither Fairy. At last, I’ve given vent to my anger.”
“Given Northmont Fox’s temperament, I imagine that he’s going wild with rage by now,” Wuji said with a laugh. “Right.” Just thinking of this made Baiwei begin to laugh even more happily.
Ning grinned as well…and in his heart, he was calculating how many flying swords he might be able to purchase with these 360 taels of liquefied elemental essence.
“When I left Swallow Mountain, I first made a trip to the underwater estate. I passed the second level of the Wargod Hall and traded for the Nine Yang Swords Formation.” Ning was pondering to himself. The Nine Yang Swords Formation was an extremely good match for the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation]; although Daoist Threelives had individually ranked those nine swords as only being high-grade, in the modern era, they would all definitely be considered top-grade. In addition, all nine swords came from the same source, and they just so happened to form a formation base for the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation], and so the power of the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] had naturally increased significantly.
“I need to acquire some more high quality flying swords that come from the same source. I can’t hope for top-grade Mortal-ranked flying swords like these Nine Yang Swords, but I have to try and procure high-grade or at least middle-grade swords.” Ning understood that there was a direct link between the power of his [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] and the quality of his magic treasures. The higher quality those magic treasures were, the greater the power of the formation would naturally become.
Given the current power of his divine sense, his [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] would be capable of unleashing tremendous combat power. His true killer attack, the [Starseizing Hand], was something he would only use at the most critical moments; under ordinary circumstances, he would rely on the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] to make his way through the world.