The third day of the auction commenced with much flair. The lower ranked Magi had been suppressing their enthusiasm and saving their magic crystals to the best extent of their abilities, hence once the pressure was diffused, they exploded into action.
Every item was sold for a high price, so much so that Leylin was quite surprised by the number of wealthy Magi that emerged. Some were in the VIP lounges, but there were also others amongst the crowd. It seemed like although he was very rich, he did not belong to the group of the most wealthy.
Leylin witnessed one of the Magi in the crowd buy a treasure for more than 100 million magic crystals nonchalantly. The cause for this transaction was the ever-so-common jealousy of a love rival!
When he began socialising with others, Leylin learnt that this young kid was the direct descendant of a Morning Star Magus who possessed a lot of resources and influence. It was natural for there to be a lot of magic crystals at his disposal.
However, he hadn’t dared to be arrogant in the face of the two Morning Star Magi present, and had hence only revealed himself now.
Leylin also saw Vance, the patriarch of the Rolithe Family, successfully buy a spell formation that was optimized to increase the chances of advancing to the Crystal Phase by 20%. At the same time, he’d also bought a lot of other supplementary materials for the process. It seemed like he’d reached the bottleneck and was ready to advance.
Leylin stole a glance at their party. According to the Coin of Destiny’s guidance, the item he needed to acquire now was probably in their possession.
The last great treasure up for auction was top-grade magic equipment— the Tri-Python Ring!
It was rumoured that the bodies and souls of three ancient cold pythons were extracted to cast this piece of magic equipment. Not only was its spatial storage boundless, it could even withstand three full attacks of a Morning Star Magus!
A full-power attack from an ancient Morning Star Magus was known to be able to kill anything under that level. Such spells had the ability to blot out all light; they could crush mountains and destroy rivers!
To possess the ability to withstand up to three such attacks, this Tri-Python Ring was undoubtedly the most precious treasure up for auction this time.
Even Morning Star Magi would be envious of its ability. This piece of top-grade magic equipment would be a great advantage in a battle between Magi of the same rank. It could flip the heavens and the earth for its user’s sake.
Its value climbed steadily up to the last bid of 8.6 billion by a Magus from a VIP lounge.
According to Leylin’s estimates, that party could be a Morning Star Magus. In fact, it might even turn out to be the Azure Mountain King.
In spite of the hiccups along the way, this Azure Mountain auction had concluded successfully. The emergence of the Tri-Python Ring had created strong waves that continuously spread even to the surrounding areas.
Some lower ranked Magi began to leave the city, heading back home to continue with their own research or embarking on another journey. With the decreasing number of Magi, the city seemed to have regained some order. The original chaos had considerably eased up, and the situation became peaceful.
Leylin and some other high ranked Magi, on the other hand, were waiting in silence.
To them, this auction was similar to an appetizer. The actual main course was yet to be presented.
On the surface, it looked like the Oakheart Clan had recalled their elite patrol. However, the actual fact was that the level of caution had increased threefold. It was only that the security concerns were now internal.
Everything was set up for the anonymous barter. The anonymity of the event meant that many Magi were now disposing of stolen goods. Hence, there were going to be many precious high-quality treasures offered for an attractively low price.
The Oakheart Clan would guarantee safety and confidentiality of both parties. On the other hand, they would not be held responsible for the consequences and disputes that would arise after a successful transaction.
In a room in a small hotel, Leylin who was in the midst of meditation opened his eyes. A flower-shaped secret imprint emerged from his contact book, bringing with it the voice of Serene. “Sir Blood Rogue! The anonymous barter will take place tonight. As for the venue…”
This woman had been attempting to rope Leylin into the Oakheart Clan, and had kept a close tab on his whereabouts. Still, Leylin would not let her have her way. Not only had his past been hidden flawlessly, his attitude towards her left him neither close nor distant, causing her great distress.
Finally, he had even changed his accommodations. The only way to contact him now was via the secret imprint, which left her helpless.
When night fell, Leylin changed his outward appearance once again. Following the directions he was given, he arrived at a spot outside Azure Mountain City.
Unexpected incidences were not rare at such private events. Even under the watchful eyes of the Azure Mountain King, the Oakheart Clan did not dare hold the event within the city, choosing an outside venue instead.
As such, even if anything were to happen, the damages would be reduced to a minimum.
‘Huh? There are other Magi too?’ After his descent, Leylin noticed another Magus who had also just arrived a step ahead of him, walking towards an unremarkable cave.
“Welcome!” Two old men wearing the Oakheart Clan uniform emerged. Without any questions, they handed over a black mask.
The Magus nodded his head without replying, accepted the mask, and headed in.
Without the need for a number, command, or even an invitation card, any Magus would be granted access as long as they knew of this entrance. In addition, they would be given items to help conceal their identities. It was this persistent and tight secrecy that allowed the anonymous barter to be successful for so long.
According to Serene, the entire location had been masked by a cover-up spell formation. With these matching face masks and their own identity concealment, even their genders were difficult to make out. Even Morning Star Magi could not see through these disguises.
Leylin’s mouth curved into a bitter smile.
“In reality…” He stopped mid-sentence, and stepped over to take the mask from the old man before proceeding to head inside.
Both these old men were at the Crystal Phase, and yet were stationed to guard the entrance. The Oakheart Clan had indeed invested heavily into this event.
‘A.I. Chip! Mobilize the atomic microscope and begin scanning!’ Leylin commanded in silence.
[Beginning Scanning! Microscope engaged… *Beep!* Abnormality detected!]
The reply from the A.I. Chip was swift. Leylin noticed within his line of sight that on the black mask were innumerable ladybugs flooding the surface. These were the same creatures that he’d seen at the auction.
In fact, their numbers far exceeded what he had seen previously. They were even cautiously entering Leylin’s body.
‘Hehe… This is the true Oakheart Clan!’ Leylin shook his head.
The spell formation enveloping the entire barter was genuine. The concealment runes on the mask were also genuine. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have by-passed the inspection of the many Magi. However, the Oakheart Clan had secretly planted these ladybugs all over the event area, including on all the masks.
They hadn’t dared to tamper with the spell formation for fear of being discovered by Morning Star Magi. However, with these ladybug spies, which were ten thousand times smaller than a speck of dust, everything that every Magus did, and all other matters regardless of importance would ultimately be known by them.
‘I’m afraid even Morning Star Magi won’t be able to detect these… ’ Leylin sighed, and a layer of fine black powder appeared on his hand.
As if drawn by some unknown attractive force, the ladybugs advanced in the direction of the powder, and soon lumped together into a ball.
‘A.I. Chip! Begin imitation of the organism’s energy signature, issuing misleading information!’
The A.I. Chip’s feedback was immediate.
[Mission received. Beginning…]
Leylin had been low-key for these past three days, and hadn’t bought anything at the auction. He had held back due to fear of the espionage of these bugs.
However, he hadn’t been idle at all. He’d made use of the A.I. Chip’s abilities to continuously scan and collate data about these bugs, learning all there was to know.
Knowing the tendencies of large organisations, if they’d rigged the auction to their advantage, there was no chance they wouldn’t do the same with the anonymous barter. In fact, the surveillance would even be much stricter. Therefore, Leylin had prepared well with his own customized potion on top of his disguise.
After the powder took effect, Leylin could see through the microscopes that the ladybugs had slowed to a languid crawl. Soon, they all moved back to the mask.
Leylin was pleased and smiled. Walking in, he slid the mask on. At the same time, a mysterious current and fine undulations emitted from his body.
At the huge barter event, in the centre of a hidden area.
“Reporting to Grandfather! According to feedback from the stardust bugs, everything is working normally!” The present chief of Oakheart reported respectfully to a middle-aged Magus with blue hair.
“Hmm! There are rumours about some convicts from the north heading towards us here. They had stolen some local treasure with intentions to trade and dispose of their stash. Be alert and pay special attention!” The blue haired Magus spoke indifferently, without the slightest degree of power and influence, yet it made the chief of Oakheart nod his head ceremoniously.
“Do not worry. Under the strict surveillance of the stardust bugs, nothing can stay hidden, regardless of the methods they use!” There was a reason for the chief’s confidence.
This species of stardust bug was a unique find from another plane. The Azure Mountain King had stumbled upon it during one of his interplanar experiments.
Thereafter, through intensive research, not only had he successfully tamed this organism, he had also given it the ability to work as a probe, becoming the secret trump card of the Oakheart Clan. In the entire clan, only the Azure Mountain King and the current elders knew of this.
Given their minuscule size, their energy undulations could not be detected without a special instrument. Thus, even Morning Star Magi couldn’t find out about them as they were spread everywhere undetected.
The knowledge that these presumptuous Morning Star Magi had the impression that their concealment skill was flawless, not knowing that everything was being exposed, made the chief smile heartily.
Of course, armed with such stardust bugs, he had even used them for his own benefits, to peek at the naked body of female Magi and had even kept the images. However, he was careful not to reveal such details for risk of angering the other Morning Star Magi, and having them turn on the Oakheart Clan and razing the entire clan to the ground.
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