Chapter 138: The Auction’s Eve
There existed no wind, shadow, or light. At this moment, Xu Yangyi and Thousandedge were in different rooms, but they both took a knee on the floor. All of the Featherwood Guard’s on-duty cultivators were like this now! It seemed an invisible titan was slowly approaching. Raising a leg, it strode over a thousand mountains. Touching the earth, it surmounted endless waters.
No one whatsoever had the audacity to release a hair of their spiritual sense. Ten minutes later, the formless yet heart-palpitating might quietly receded. In the Xingtian Legion’s office, Xu Yangyi fiercely clenched his fists. In front of him were ten jade slips floating in the air. Even though they were inanimate objects, they generated a heart-shaking spiritual pressure!
It was untamed, lacking the slightest concealment. If said Foundation Establishment was like landslides and tsunamis to Xu Yangyi, then these ten jade slips were practically the raging waves of celestial bodies, the cosmic Big Bang of Earth’s nascence!
His heart was madly beating. He breathed in deeply a few times and extended his hand to grasp the first jade slip. His hand trembled uncontrollably. As if this jade slip was an immortal item, mortals were simply unable to take hold of it.
Xu Yangyi grinded his teeth and exhausted his full strength to take this jade slip into his hand. It was a portrait of hooking silver and streaking iron. The characters on the surface weren’t written with black ink, but rather qi. The qi formed characters.
Flowing Light Imprisoning Shadow, Daomaster Ancientpine will punctually arrive on next month’s day. A Core Formation Dao Master… the world’s apex! He was arriving with his true body! In history, there had never been a person able to accomplish this! To cause the arrival of a Core Formation master with a Qi Condensation cultivator’s meager auction!
It wasn’t an incarnation, spiritual sense, or an assistant. Instead, it was the personal descent of the arcane self! Shutting his eyes and breathing deeply again, Xu Yangyi used all his strength to wave his hand after several seconds passed. In the air, ten jade slips slowly unfolded!
Five Phases Cardinal Extreme, Daomaster Cloudcrane will punctually arrive on next month’s day.
Still Shadow Sinking Jade, Daomaster Hiddenscent will punctually arrive on next month’s day.
Sweeping The Six Directions, Daomaster Skybearer will punctually arrive on next month’s day.
Daomaster Droughtbringer will punctually arrive on next month’s day. Daomaster Blackmount will punctually arrive on next month’s day.
Of the ten Core Formation greats, not a single one was absent! All of them were arriving with their true bodies! After nearly two centuries, the Dao of Pills had emerged again; there was no one that wouldn’t do this honor!
Xu Yangyi closed his eyes and exhaled deeply. The Dao of Pills was his take-off cornerstone. At long last, it was placed before the entire cultivation world! Once this step was trod, a new world of vast oceans and boundless skies would welcome him!
The wind moved again. Shadows also began to sway freely. All of everything returned ten minutes into the past again. It seemed as if these ten minutes had never occurred. The whole Featherwood Guard branch was merely left with half-kneeling cultivators drenched in cold sweat. Only they understood that in these ten minutes, someone had come… A true supremacy of China had come!
Swish… It wasn’t known how long it was until Thousandedge was certain that the other party had already left. He then stood up, his entire face deathly ashen. His fingers were softly trembling, and his chest heaved up and down imperceptibly. Afterwards, he sat down with a wan pallor.
The inside of the room was silent. After ages, he suddenly slammed the table. “How… How is this possible! His Excellency actually didn’t inform me he arrived! He went directly to meet with that bastard!”
No one said anything. At this moment, Nameless, who was like an accompanying shadow, dared not answer, as well.
“It is the Will of Heaven…” After an unknown passage of time, Nameless sighed faintly. “For Xu Yangyi to be able to contact His Excellency… is a dictation of fate…”
“Fate, my ass!” Thousandedge gnashed his teeth as he stood up. He looked outside at the night landscape with killing intent brimming in his heart and spat out two words sinisterly, “Chu Clan.”
Nameless didn’t speak.
“It was them… Only they’re capable of knowing where His Excellency’s body is presently located! Only that old fogey Chu Tianyi understands how to contact this authority!” Thousandedge’s expression was akin to ice. “Just wait… Once I transcend this world, I will inevitably sacrifice you ilk to my banner!” 
Time flowed swiftly, but in some people’s eyes it was too fast. So fast that time wasn’t distant enough! In Panshan City, below the Heavens Law branch, there was a region no less than tens of thousands square meters in size. At this moment, countless machine-puppets with talismans fastened on them were transporting all kinds of spirit objects.
There was a one-square-meter-sized metal-stone composite. This stone material wasn’t only able to absorb all spiritual-force impacts at the middle stage of Foundation Establishment and below, it was furthermore covered in golden veins on its ink-black stone surface. It was impressive and grand, and of course, the object’s price was even more impressive.
On the black market, a piece of this stone material could sell for one medium-grade spirit stone. Presently, like cash was unwanted, thousands upon thousands of these pieces were tossed inside. Machine-puppet beasts that were tens of meters tall were being controlled by talismancers. Between countless mechanical marionettes, they were particularly striking. They were similar to a clear and orderly great river, taking the original plain space and arranging it with lustrous gold and jade.
“The entire overhead needs to be covered with the Mercury-Gold Shadow Seizer Formation! Didn’t I want at least 8,000 square meters of formation?! How can there only be 6,000 right now?!” A middle-aged fatso, who was at least over 100 kilograms, was sitting on a soft palanquin raised up by four marionettes and shouting, “Where’s the site manager?! Get him over to answer!”
“Ancestor…” A few assistants at the side of the palanquin answered in embarrassment, “This is too sudden. This is the largest formation that the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion is capable of providing. We…”
“Don’t go lookin’ for a reason to give me!” The fatso’s eyes were somewhat reddened, and he glared at the other. Because he was constraining his excitement, his voice was a tad floaty. “This is my Golden Dipper Hall’s greatest transaction! Right now, the Xingtian Legion has already received business cards from tens of first-class clans in the whole country! If we do this well, the moment the Golden Dipper Hall surpasses the rest of the cultivation auction companies and jumps to number one is around the corner!”
His gaze roiled as he looked at the scene. “The best… This Throne only wishes the best for everything! Even if the Golden Dipper Hall’s ancestral coffers are hollowed empty, I have to arrange things so everyone is satisfied!”
“Where is Fellow Daoist Hundredtongues?! Didn’t I have him come over a few days ago from Beijing’s branch hall? Where is that guy? Right now, everything has to be number one for Panshan City’s auction!”
A secretary immediately answered in respect, “As our hall’s most famous auction official, Senior Hundredtongues has already entered Mingshui Province. He’ll arrive in approximately thirty minutes.”
The fatso then nodded in understanding and took a heavy breath. He looked at everyone and gritted his teeth. “Do this nicely, do everything nicely… If that’s not done, just wait for the Golden Dipper Hall to break up!”
“Ancestor!” At this time, a late-stage Qi Condensation cultivator, who was sitting on a three-meter-sized bird-shaped magik artifact and drenched in perspiration, came flying over. His voice was shaking. “Ancestor! A big matter! A big matter! Ancestor…”
“Hmph!” the fatso snorted forcefully. Instantly, the magik artifact fell to the ground like it was struck by lightning. After the cultivator landed on the floor, he didn’t pat himself free of dust, but rather shot up at once. Like he was crazy, he clasped an ancient box in his hands as he ran and yelled, “Ancestor! Something big has happened! Ancestor!”
You piece of a junk! The fatso gnashed his teeth and looked at his ordinarily most competent subordinate. Normally… he viewed these people favorably. How was it that the more he looked at them, the dumber they were!
The Dao of Pills had come into the world. He didn’t know how many lifetimes of expensive incense the Golden Dipper Hall had burned to obtain this chance! The inside of his heart was in an awful frenzy. For the past few days and nights, he was unable to cultivate. Now that there were a couple people shouting so loudly, were they trying to kill him?!
“Ugh!” he grunted heavily. The nervousness, excitement, and expectation in his heart all converged into a stream of irritation.
“Ancestor! T-This is the imperial mandate that the Xingtian Legion just sent over! Sir…”
“Isn’t it just a business card?!” Listening to these words, the fatso’s heart brimming with irritation transformed into a fiery wrath that rocketed straight to the crown of his head. He slammed an armrest and yelled angrily, “Beat it! Get lost and take care of it! Only report to me when you understand what an important matter is!”
His roar reverberated through the entire site, but in the next second he suddenly discovered everything around him was deathly silent.
The fiery wrath in his heart was yanked back. His gaze faintly swept over the surrounding secretaries and assistants. On each person’s face, an excited fanaticism emerged into view! Some people’s legs were even trembling!
Wait a minute...
Subsequently, bean-sized sweat drops fell from his head. His hand started to shiver, unable to be controlled. Afterwards, his whole body began to shake like sifting chaff.
No… Not a business card… Right, he’d just heard… heard it was...
An imperial mandate!
Who would dare use an imperial mandate?!
His heart began to speed up into wild palpitations. The fatso’s figure instantly disappeared from the soft palanquin and teleported to the kneeling cultivator’s side. His wavering hand falteringly extended towards the box. Breathing deeply a few times, he stifled the excitement and alarm in his mind, and shakily opened it.
In a twinkling, treasure light ascended!
Ten streaks of qi that shrouded the heavens and covered the earth jetted forth like an ancient devil-god! It caused the entire space to tremble!
Thump… The first person kneeled. Thump thump… The second and third persons both kneeled.
After several seconds, the site grounds were morbidly silent. Besides the machine-puppets, everyone was taking a knee on the floor!
The Core Formation Dao Masters were attending!
“Ten… Ten imperial mandates…” The fatso’s face twisted in excitement, and his voice went dry. “T-T-The X-Xingtian Legion’s auction… a-a-actually has ten Core Formation cultivators assembling together!” In his heart, endless jealousy and envy intertwined together, causing him to feel a complex tangle of emotions!
Each province had several A-rank legions. Some even had close to ten. However, was there an A-rank legion at the beginning of its legion inauguration that could assemble ten great Core Formation masters?!
An imperial mandate was only sent when a Core Formation ancestor arrived with their arcane body. Otherwise, a spiritual-sense avatar wouldn’t be capable of using an imperial mandate! The reputations of the ten great Core Formation ancestors were akin to thunder piercing the ear in all of China, but to lay one’s own eyes on several of them? Couldn’t one boast for a lifetime upon seeing this? And now, because of the Xingtian Legion’s auction, all of them were arriving! 
“This… Our Golden Dipper Hall has been established for over a hundred years… but never have we once witnessed a Core Formation ancestor’s true body!” It was unknown how much time had passed until he stood up. He turned his head, and his eyes were so stirred with emotion that these feelings transformed into a killing aura. “Immediately! Right now! Take out the Golden Dipper Hall’s hidden inheritance formations! Hurry! Hurry!! HURRY!!!” 
“There are still places that don’t have enough dazzling gold and jade! There are still places that don’t have enough lavishness! Patch it all up! What the hell are you still waiting for?! Right! NOW! Get it! DONE!”
But at the same time, it was a mystery how many clans had reached a most scorching-white state despite not being in a situation of war!
“Is this concrete?” In Beijing, in a several-odd-meter-sized office, a changpao-wearing old man looked down oppressively at all the people below.
“Definitely, Clan Elder!” Below, a woman said with a heavy tone, “An hour ago, ten great Core Formation imperial mandates were exhibited at the Golden Dipper Hall. The Golden Dipper Hall’s hall master increased the budget by another hundred high-grade spirit stones!”
The old man breathed in deeply and strongly thudded his walking stick. “Time… Fate… There will be a day when our Meng Clan also has the reputation to cause the ten Core Formation greats to gather together… It’ll be fine even if the clan is defeated!”
No one spoke. In no one’s heart did burning fervor not exist! In the cultivation world, the last one capable of such honor was Ancientpine, a Core Formation cultivator! The Shennong Convention which was inscribed in the annals of history!
This time, Xu Yangyi, a Qi Condensation cultivator, had roused the Core Formation ancestors to personally arrive! The myriad masses were gazing intently!
In a similar office in Shanghai, there were likewise ten-odd people, but their faces were even more solemn!
“The Core Formation masters have entered the stage…” At the head was a woman. Her lips softly quivered. “Double our budget again… No matter what, we need to meet with that pill master this time!”
In the Pill Masters Guild headquarters, a heavy stone door swung open. An old man with an aged aura was standing at the entrance. At the entrance, there was already a large group of half-kneeling apprentices.
The old man’s deep gaze scanned everyone present, and he uttered, “Go.”
“Allow This Throne… to personally examine this medicinal pill’s quality!”
The clouds of the eight reaches stirred, and the entire cultivation world seemed to completely boil for this magnificent assembly. Everyone was taking note of the calendar date. The day destined to be engraved in the annals of cultivation history.
2. “Arcane body” I am unsure if the author is actually referring to a more creative idea of a “magic body/law body”, but the specific term used is a major concept in Buddhism called the Dharmakaya. The Dharmakaya is one of Buddha’s three bodies. It is the body of truth, a body of reality. It encompasses all spiritual beings/concepts. When I use the word “arcane”, I am indeed calling on an imagery of “magical”, but also “esoteric”.
3. I want to point towards the “hidden inheritance” the specific term here is “压箱底”. I will lend a word of advice and tell you not to look up images of this in public. This term literally means “Pressed to box’s bottom”, but is a type of ancient Chinese porcelain used for sex education. When a woman was to be married, a mother would show her daughter the contents of this box. Traditionally, the box is in shape of a fruit and the inside contains porcelain figures having intercourse. In a more superstitious sense, it is called “pressed to box’s bottom” because this porcelain was generally kept at the bottom of a box/chest/trunk to keep away evil spirits.
There is one thing I want to make clear about the context of how Core Formation masters are viewed in the world of Archfiend. Because of the way translation works, to describe it in full in the text would be both clunky and repetitive. In any case, the best way to look at Core Formation masters are as modern-day emperors. The author uses a lot of terminology specific to emperors of ancient times for these Core Formation masters. The idea of a Core Formation cultivator and an emperor is more so an “entity” versus a “person”.