Chapter 231: Pill Auction
In all of the Southern Domain, there was only one person who could appear so domineering, who would use a flying sword to grind his teeth!
… Also known as Fatty. Other than him, there was no Cultivator in the Southern Domain who dared to grind his teeth in such a fashion. Clustered around Fatty were a group of Golden Frost Sect disciples with vigilant and protective looks on their faces. Their presence actually served only to draw more attention to him.
Fatty was… even fatter.
The other Cultivators who sat nearby eyed him with strange looks, and engaged in furtive conversations. How could Fatty pay attention to such things though? He complacently pulled out a Spirit Stone, popped it into his mouth and crunched it into bits.
This caused the eyes of the surrounding onlookers to fill with shock, and their hearts with envy.
Meng Hao hadn’t seen him in four years. However, he would think of him often, as well as Elder Sister Xu and Chen Fan. Seeing him here, Meng Hao couldn’t help but smile and sigh emotionally.
Being Fang Mu for the past four years, taking root in the Violet Fate Sect and rising to prominence, had given him the means to send out some inquiries about his friends. He knew that all of them had made progress in their various Sects. For example, Elder Sister Xu had long since reached Foundation Establishment. She had taken Han Bei as her Master, and was in a much better position in the Black Sieve Sect than she had been all those years before.
As for Chen Fan, after four years’ time, he was now a Chosen in the Solitary Sword Sect.
Fatty, of course, was the least given to studying and learning techniques. However, he was still in the same position as he had been within the Golden Frost Sect. If he wanted wind, there was wind, and thanks to his value to the Sect, he also had reached Foundation Establishment.
The name of Meng Hao was now nearly forgotten in the Southern Domain.
Meng Hao smiled happily. To be able to see his old friend really lifted his mood.
Seeing Meng Hao looking at Fatty, Bai Yunlai leaned over and, in a low voice, said, “That’s Li Fugui from the Golden Frost Sect. I remember hearing that last year, he married his third beloved…. According to the rumors, the Golden Frost Sect will go to any lengths to find appropriate female Cultivators to become his beloved, all with hopes of continuing his bloodline….”
Hearing this, Meng Hao gaped for a moment, then laughed and shook his head wordlessly.
Sighing, he thought, “I never thought that from the group of us from the Reliance Sect in the State of Zhao, Fatty would end up in the most comfortable position.” Even he couldn’t help but feel a bit of envy at Fatty’s special position on the path of Cultivation.
He suddenly thought back to when they had first joined the Reliance Sect. Fatty had constantly wept and wailed about wanting to go home and get married. Meng Hao couldn’t help but smile at the memory. A gentle light filled his eyes.
The auction was continuously underway, of course. Each pill that came up for auction would have a bit of powder shaved off and given to one of the Cultivators who had practiced Violet Qi to the West. After consuming the powder, the Cultivator’s body would become translucent, so that all the onlookers could see the effect of the medicine.
This was a tradition of the Violet Fate Sect Pill Auction that had existed for countless years, a method to guarantee the quality of the products.
Time passed, and soon it was noon.
“This lot is for a Barrier Breaking Pill. Fellow Daoists, Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m sure you’re all very well aware of the properties of this pill….” As he spoke, a Violet Qi to the West disciple consumed some of the powder, giving everyone a clear view of the results.
“20,000 Spirit Stones!” cried Fatty, his voice filled with a domineering tone that well matched his stocky frame.
“30,000 Spirit Stones!”
“Your granny!” shouted Fatty gruffly. He stood up. “Fine, you punk, 50,000 Spirit Stones!”
“60,000 Spirit Stones!”
“70,000 Spirit Stones….” someone else said.
Actually, the value of a Barrier Breaking Pill was dependent on individual circumstances. With a hundred thousand Cultivators present, the number who were currently stuck in a bottleneck, or who soon would be, was hard to determine. A high price was always required to break through a bottleneck.
“100,000 Spirit Stones,” roared Fatty. “I have Spirit Stones to spare, punks! They’re not even mine! Do you really dare to compete with me!” He pulled out a Spirit Stone which he then placed between his teeth and crushed. The surrounding Golden Frost Sect disciples could only make wry smiles.
Fatty’s words seemed to have the desired effect. Besides, Barrier Breaking Pills were good, but not necessarily guaranteed to be completely effective. 100,000 Spirit Stones was an incredible price that apparently no one was willing to exceed.
A strange look had appeared on Meng Hao’s face. The Barrier Breaking Pill hadn’t been concocted by him. From this distance, he could clearly see the pill’s effect on the translucent body of the Violet Qi to the West disciple, as well as its medicinal strength. Based on his skill in the Dao of alchemy, it was obvious that whoever had concocted the pill had only been able to extract thirty percent medicinal strength from the plants and vegetation which had been used as ingredients.
“It seems the price I charged Ding Yong for the same pill… was a little low….” he thought. Of course, it wasn’t really possible to compare the prices within the Sect with those outside. This was especially true when one was sold to a fellow Sect member, whereas the other was sold at auction.
The auction continued on. As more pills appeared, the atmosphere in the auction stadium climbed. This was especially true when a pill concocted by a Furnace Lord appeared. The price for that particular pill had already reached hundreds of thousands of Spirit Stones. This caused Meng Hao to pant. It was the first time he had seen how much profits master alchemists could make. It was really shocking.
It was especially astounding because Meng Hao knew the base cost of the pill, which was just a few tens of thousands of Spirit Stones. Furthermore, the so-called medicinal strength was only at fifty percent. Meng Hao could produce a similar pill without barely even concentrating.
Fatty made bids on just about all of the pills, and acquired quite a few. He was becoming one of the most recognized figures in the auction stadium. This was especially true considering how he continuously made furtive glances at nearby female Cultivators. When he caught the eye of one, he would put on the most casual, cool look he could.
The others from the Golden Frost Sect could only sigh. They did nothing to stop him. After all, he was engaged in a “righteous cause.” That “righteous cause,” was of course, finding wives. It was an order passed down by the Sect Leader himself.
The middle-aged auctioneer smiled and flicked his sleeve. “This next lot contains medicinal pills concocted by Alchemist Li Tao,” he called out. “The name of the pill is Foundation Establishment Day. It can be used by the mid Foundation Establishment stage and sometimes even the late Foundation Establishment stage. In total, there are three bottles, and each bottle contains six pills. All the bottles will be sold together.” Three pill bottles appeared. When the Violet Qi to the West disciple sampled the powder from one of the pills, the entire auction stadium immediately went silent. The silence lasted for only a moment, whereupon a buzz of conversation filled the air.
“It has forty-five percent medicinal strength!!”
“This is not an ordinary Foundation Establishment Day! Who is this Alchemist Li Tao? This pill is second only to the type concocted by Furnace Lords!”
“The interactions of the plants and vegetation in this pill are extraordinary!!”
Of course, most of the hundred thousand Cultivators in the auction stadium understood little about the Dao of alchemy. However, the interactions happening within the translucent body of the Violet Qi to the West disciple gave some clues as to the astonishing nature of the pill.
The auctioneer also stared in amazement, then looked back down at the three pill bottles he held.
Meng Hao’s gaze fell upon the bottles as well. After a while, he smiled. He was friends with Li Tao, and as such, the man had come to him before concocting this batch of Foundation Establishment Day. During their discussion of the Dao of alchemy, Meng Hao had pointed out some variations in the plant and vegetation interactions. You could actually say that it was with Meng Hao’s help that Li Tao gained enlightenment that day, and was able to concoct this batch of pills, which was the pinnacle of his current achievements in pill concoction.
“I won’t ask him about this batch of Foundation Establishment Day,” thought Meng Hao. “However, the variations I talked about that day could only have extracted forty percent medicinal strength from the plants. The final five percent was an achievement based on Li Tao’s personal enlightenment and skill.” Seeing the fervent reaction of the crowds around him, Meng Hao smiled.
Within his bag of holding, he still had several Foundation Establishment Day pills that he himself had concocted. Those pills had ninety percent medicinal strength. If he put those up for auction, it would certainly cause some waves.
“I wonder what the auction of my Bedevilment pill will be like….” he thought, his heart filling with anticipation. The energy he had expended concocting the Bedevilment pills exceeded that he had spent on Foundation Establishment Day by double, triple or perhaps more.
The concoction of the Bedevilment Pills was the true expression of his will, and the pinnacle of his Dao of alchemy.
With a smile, the auctioneer said, “Again, these three pill bottles will not be auctioned separately, but together. The opening bid for the three bottles is 250,000 Spirit Stones.” In his estimation, the price for these bottles would surely reach an incredible height.
In fact, it might be the crux of the entire auction, and would likely cause Li Tao’s name to rise to prominence in the Southern Domain.
This was because, although he wasn’t a Furnace Lord, he had concocted pills of almost exactly the same quality as a Furnace Lord’s. As such, the pills must have plant and vegetation interactions of his own creation, which was the hallmark difference between master alchemists and Furnace Lords.
Any master alchemist who wished to become a Furnace Lord must be able to produce plant and vegetation interactions that were uniquely his own. By rising above other master alchemists in such a way, he could then advance to being a Furnace Lord.
Because of those interactions, the value of such a medicinal pill was far beyond the value of an ordinary pill. Their appearance in the auction would immediately cause a huge scene. Many people would be willing to pay an exorbitant price to acquire the pills for research.
After all, once a master alchemist was raised to Furnace Lord, he would be able to use alchemic concealing techniques to hide the plant interactions. In that way, it would be much more difficult for others to unlock his secrets.
However, a pill concocted by a master alchemist would contain no such alchemic concealing, and would be much easier to unlock and research. The East Pill Division was aware of this, of course, and really had no way to control it. Skill manifest in the path of medicinal pills, was innately researchable.
Leaks like this didn’t occur in all Pill Auctions, but rather, perhaps one in ten. As such, one can only imagine the frenzy caused because of the appearance of this batch of pills.
The East Pill Division naturally had a degree of forbearance. Since the pills had been put up for auction, the East Pill Division would not attempt to cover up their true nature, nor try to prevent people from researching them.
Immediately, people began calling out bids.
“300,000 Spirit Stones!”
“500,000 Spirit Stones. I must acquire these three bottles of Foundation Establishment Day!”
Meng Hao’s eyes glittered. For a Foundation Establishment Day pill of forty-five percent medicinal strength to be so explosively popular caused him to wonder what kind of reaction his own pill would provoke.
This chapter was sponsored by Peter Armstrong, Josef Apor, David Cross, and CV