As the day of the new emperor’s coronation grew near, foreign cultivators filled Xiankan’s streets and Nephrite’s crown jewel bustled with activity.
Six days before the ceremony, Panorama Pavilion’s auction official began. This auction in particular was a nexus of attention, especially from master refiners. The Ten Orientations Stone was to be made available, an immortal-grade material surpassing ninth rank!
The present world wasn’t as prosperous as the ancient era, but its resources remained quite abundant in terms of various special and unique natural materials. However, something as precious as the stone was an extreme rarity.
This was no ordinary supreme material. Rumor had it that a real world was hidden inside, one that could be used to make particularly extraordinary treasures. The pavilion had paid the hefty price of four dao immortals in the process of obtaining it.
So why was it selling it, then? That remained unknown.
As one of the largest mercantile guilds in the world of immortals, the Panorama Pavilion owned a blessed land in Xiankan’s inner city—one that was promptly renamed upon new ownership.
Sublime mist wreathed around the small world and crane song wafted through the air. On this highly anticipated day, Panorama Blessed Land opened its gates to great fanfare. A collective jolt of excitement ran through the immortals assembled out in front.
“What?! I need to pay ten thousand premium crystals just to get in?!” Dissatisfaction rang out strongly when the rules were announced.
True immortals usually consumed inferior crystals for cultivation. A premium crystal was worth a hundred inferior ones, making ten thousand of them an astronomically large sum for most.
“Today, we auction off three treasures that cannot be priced with immortal crystals. Ten thousand premium crystals serve only as an entry fee to keep out the rabble.”
“What do you take the Panorama Pavilion to be? A tavern house for peasants and rubes?” A rather arrogant youth casually tossed a storage ring to the guards, then entered with the same ease with his followers.
His words easily shut up the crowd. They’d wanted to see a top-notch auction in person, but the entrance threshold effectively barred them from doing so.
Lu Yun, Qing Han, Lu Shenhou, and the other sovereign youths strode in together in a small group, led by a few immortals from the Lu Clan. After they paid the fee, they were allowed to enter the Panorama Blessed Land.
“Ten thousand premium crystals…” Lu Yun felt the pinch. “That’s enough to buy a third of Dusk Province.”
“Why do you care about such a paltry sum?” Zi Chen couldn’t help chuckling. “If you charged entrance for that inheritance tower outside Dusk Capital, plenty of people would be willing to pay just as much. You’d become the richest man in the world practically overnight.”
Lu Shenhou’s eyes lit up, rather inspired by the suggestion. Could he talk the clan ancestor into doing the same with the tower back in the clan paradise? Would a hundred thousand be a good price?
“Forget it. Charging an entrance fee goes against my original intentions,” shrugged Lu Yun.
He wanted to make Dusk Province fundamentally his. Its standing should be so secure that even if the restriction disappeared one day, it would still remain safe from the predations of the rest of the world.
Emulating the Skandha Range was a good way to go about it. That place protected countless evil and otherkind cultivators, a sacred land for them in the world’s eyes. If not for Aoxue’s mastery over that place, Lu Yun would’ve been cut to shreds as soon as he left Dusk Province.
He’d flung open the doors of the tower to everyone in the world. If even a tenth of those who used the inheritance tower were grateful to him, that would be more than enough. In fact, he still received a small trickle of goodwill from Dusk City’s direction.
“Actually,” Qing Han smiled, “remember the talismans you used during the reselection tournament? There’s a lot of old collectors who love ancient artifacts like those. If you’re willing to sell a few of them, you’ll easily make a few hundred million immortal crystals off that.”
Lu Yun nodded eagerly, noticeably more pleased with this idea. As they spoke, Panorama Pavilion staff seated them at a floating gazebo. Thousands of these gazebos hung in the blessed land’s airspace.
Immortals qualified to enter the blessed land were generally prominent individuals in their own right, or perhaps the core disciples of various great sects and clans. The mercantile guild was hardly going to neglect them.
Only about ten meters in diameter from the outside, spatial formations inside the gazebos expanded the interiors to a dozen times that. Each one was furnished with a plethora of tasty foods, as well as multiple august immortal singers and dancers.
“Tsk tsk. This is quite the arrangement. I guess the price tag makes sense now.” Mo Qitian stroked his bare chin in thoughtful praise. “The Panorama Pavilion does good business. No wonder my clan’s Treasure Emporium can’t beat them.”
“Yes,” Wu Tulong nodded with utmost seriousness. “Just from the name itself, ‘Treasure Emporium’ is a bit too tacky. ‘Panorama Pavilion’? Much more sophisticated. It makes perfect sense.”
Mo Qitian took a swig from the flagon on the table, speechless at the response.
Qing Han glanced at the dancers before waving a few fingers. “You’re all excused.”
They bowed before slowly departing, leaving Lu Shenhou to smack his lips in sadness.
“It’s about to start soon!” In a different gazebo, Zhao Changkong squinted with great concentration at the floating platform in the center of the blessed land. “The Ten Orientations Stone will be mine.” He balled his hand into a fist. “Sir, you must help me!”
“Don’t worry, I will.” A masked man stood beside him, cloaked in a perpetual state of shadow. His face was completely hidden from the world, but the veiled covering couldn't blank out his bloody eyes.
“The Panorama Pavilion’s requests are rather unique, but I’m more than capable of handling them,” he remarked coolly. “I’m glad that old thing isn’t interested in the stone. If he was here, this Obscuring Shroud wouldn’t be enough to hide me from his senses.”
The masked man was no other than the communer of colors, Art Saint Wayfarer.
“Very good!” Zhao Changkong spat viciously. “Chen Xiao… Qing Buyi… how could those two bastards convince father to take away my throne?! I have to get the Ten Orientations Stone no matter what. If I can refine that treasure, I’ll have another chance to rise again!”
Wayfarer inclined his head silently.
Rather than immortal crystals in exchange for its three invaluable treasures, the Panorama Pavilion had listed three tasks. If the requests were fulfilled, that would be sufficient payment for the treasures. The general populace had no idea about this, but Xiankan’s great clans had prepared well in advance.
“Three conditions for three treasures. I wonder what the Panorama Pavilion is planning?” In a different gazebo, a girl in silver sipped from her teacup and giggled. “Recognizing herbs, distilling herbs, and refining pills… that’s what you need to do to get the treasures, huh?
“There are a lot of master refiners here, but they mostly specialize in treasures over pills… I wonder what they’ll think of the requests?”
“They’ll be alright, young miss. They must’ve heard the same news we did. There are plenty of pill masters in attendance too, see?” Her maid responded cheerfully by her side.
The girl in silver stood up for a languid stretch, putting her graceful figure on full display. Her name was Yue Longsha, the youngest daughter of the Yue patriarch. Alongside the Zhu Clan’s Zhu Yan, the two girls were called Xiankan’s Twin Stars—unrivalled in cultivation and beauty both!
In the eyes of many, they rivaled the immortal world’s twin beauties of many millennia ago: Ao Xue and Huang Qing. Although Zhu Yan and Yue Longsha were only august immortals right now, they were connate immortal constitutions!
In other words, they were born as immortals, much like the ancients had been, and thus hailed as the world’s brightest hope.
“I don’t want the Ten Orientations Stone, but those luminous wings are mine.” Yue Longsha flashed a dazzling smile. “Those idiots in the Panorama Pavilion are offering the fragments of a connate-grade treasure… Do they mean to do that? Maybe it’s a real mistake… those are the Lunar Wings, one half of the Lunisolar Wings…”
A lovely girl appeared upon the high stage at the heart of the blessed land, accompanied by enchanting music. She was outlined by a faint golden light, signifying her identity as a golden immortal.
“The Panorama Pavilion is honored to receive so many guests.” Her voice was as captivatingly ethereal as the song around her. “I bid you all welcome on the guild’s behalf.”
She made a slight curtsey to the crowd at large.
“Fairy Qing Xun!”
“I didn’t expect her to be the host of this auction!” A fair portion of the audience became fired up. The beautiful and talented Qing Xun was one of the hallmarks of the Panorama Pavilion, a disciple of its owner and master.
“These are the three treasures for sale today. The Skydragon Tendon, Divine Lightwings, and Ten Orientations Stone!” Qing Xun waved a hand, producing all three items in front of her and holding captive the audience’s attention. “However, the bidding will not be done with immortal crystals or any valuable treasures. Instead, it will be a competition to fulfill three requests!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Lol, the sovereign youths suddenly feel like schoolboys joking with each other. I like the touch of levity.