“Fifty billion godnotes!” someone shouted. It wasn’t the woman Yang Qi was interested in, but a sinister-looking man in an imperial gown who fairly radiated the fate of a nation. It was an imperial prince from the Eternal-Life God-Dynasty, flanked by numerous experts as he sat in his own private booth.
The surrounding nobility all looked very nervous.
“Tenth Prince,” one of the nobles said, “we absolutely, positively must not let the flower of wisdom fall into the hands of Summer Vastcold. Her cultivation base is on the very cusp of the Unbounded level, and she also has the formula for the Wisdom and Knowledge God Pill, as well as all the other ingredients. Now all she needs is that flower, and she’ll rise to the Unbounded level! That would be very bad for us.”
The man was a marquis, and a powerful Perfect God.
“There’s no need to even bring that up,” the tenth prince growled. “The Nacrelight Sageland is our sworn enemy, and we’ve had our eye on Summer Vastcold for a long time. Although we haven’t managed to get our hands on her personally, we’ve killed a lot of her sisters. Besides, it's not a guarantee that if she gets that flower of wisdom she’ll be able to concoct the pill, nor that it will help her achieve her breakthrough if she does. But in the end, you’re right, it would be better to not give her the opportunity.”
“But Tenth Prince,” another noble said, “if you keep bidding and raising the price, you could very well make a fool of yourself in trying to be clever. What if you win the auction but can't pay up? Besides, we don’t have the formula for the Wisdom and Knowledge God Pill, so that flower won’t do us any good in the end. If His Majesty the emperor finds out you spent tens of billions on it, he’ll be furious, and we’ll all suffer the consequences.”
“Transfer whatever funds are necessary,” the tenth prince said. “I want that pill! Even if I don’t do anything with it! If Summer Vastcold wants to reach the Unbounded level, she’ll do it because I let her. And I’ll make her work for it! Whatever I spend on the pill, I’ll make back, thanks to her. Then I’ll sell it to her for an even higher price than I paid!”
The bidding was at fifty billion godnotes, and the auction floor was so quiet you could hear a pin drop.
No one was jumping in with competing bids. Not even the entire House of God Ordainment could produce that many godnotes, unless they first sold all of their most valuable magical treasures and medicinal pills.
“Fifty-two billion godnotes!” someone said from the Nacrelight Sageland booth. Summer Vastcold looked on with cold eyes as she upped the bid.
“Vastcold,” one of the handmaidens said, “if this keeps going, we’ll run out of funds. The bidding has already gone higher than we can afford. How can we possibly scrape that much money together? If we can't pay up, we’ll end up offending the Truth Academy. We’ll have to pay compensation, and at the same time, lose the flower of wisdom!”
“Yes, but I absolutely have to get that flower,” Summer Vastcold said. “We all know what it can do. All the preparations are in place, except the flower. It's my only hope to reach the Unbounded level. Compared to that, what are fifty billion godnotes? Not even five hundred billion or five trillion could compare!”
“But we just can’t keep bidding!” another young woman said, clearly anxious. “The Truth Academy knows what our limits are, and if we surpass the collateral we’ve put down, they’ll know. We can’t just blurt out prices we can't afford. Even with all of our savings put together, we only have sixty billion godnotes. Our only hope is that our enemies will run out of money.”
“Fifty-five billion!” cried the tenth prince, having called on all of his closest friends to loan him the money he needed to win the flower.
This was a very heated auction.
“Fifty-eight billion!” Summer Vastcold said through gritted teeth. She knew that if the bidding reached sixty billion, she wouldn’t be able to offer any higher bid.
“Sixty billion!” the tenth prince said. He chuckled darkly. “If I'm not mistaken, Summer Vastcold doesn’t have much collateral left. I bet she hasn't put down more than sixty billion. And if I draw on all my family fortune, I can go as high as seventy billion. She’s out of options!”
“Tenth Prince, if this auction ends with us going broke, it's going to be hard to survive in the dynasty. Money is an absolute requirement to deal with the imperial court.” The marquises, counts, and dukes in his retinue were all starting to get very nervous.
“We’ll be fine. Once I win the flower of wisdom, I’ll sell it back to Summer Vastcold. Her Master will pay more for it than she could afford, and we’ll end up profiting handsomely.”
The women in Summer Vastcold’s booth were all so anxious they were crying out loud. “Crap. We can't bid any higher!”
Meanwhile, one of the Perfect Gods from the Truth Academy entered and said, “Miss Summer Vastcold, you have no further funds deposited. According to the rules of the Truth Academy, you aren’t allowed to make any more bids. We hope you understand.”
“Damnation!” Summer Vastcold spat, her face a mask of rage. Unfortunately, there was nothing she could do. All of her savings, even when coupled with that of her sisters, still wasn't enough to do anything.
“Hold on!” someone said from the entrance of the private booth. It was none other than Yang Qi. Extending his hand, he revealed a crystal bracelet, which was a holding item filled with a mountain of godnotes. “Miss Summer Vastcold, I’d like to invest in you. This bracelet has twenty billion godnotes in it. That should be enough.”
“Who are you?” Summer Vastcold said, visibly taken aback. Obviously, she was wondering why a complete stranger was being so generous as to hand over twenty billion godnotes. Even in the god world, that was still a vast amount of wealth, such that even superpower sects might not be able to afford it. It was enough to cover investments of all sorts.
Yang Qi waved his hand dismissively. “Worry about such questions later. Win that flower, otherwise your enemy will take it, and you’ll be filled with regret.”
Handing the bracelet over to the Perfect God from the Truth Academy, he said, “Please, assess this immediately. Miss Summer Vastcold, hurry up and make your bid!”
“Alright!” Summer Vastcold said. “Sixty-five billion godnotes!”
“How could this be?” the tenth prince shouted, leaping to his feet. “How could she have more money?! I know for sure that she only had sixty billion godnotes and not a bit more!”
“How could you people let her make a bid when she can’t afford it!” shouted one of the counts.
“I'm sorry,” said the Perfect God attendant from the academy. “Miss Summer Vastcold just added an additional twenty billion in cash to her account. It's been carefully counted.”
“What?!” the tenth prince shouted madly. “What's going on? Who gave her that money?”
“Apologies, but we can't provide that information. We're not even supposed to tell you how much money she's added to her account.”
“Seventy billion!” the tenth prince blurted in exasperation.
A short moment later, the response from the other booth came. “Seventy-two billion!”
The tenth prince looked like a deflating balloon, and one of the nobles said, “Let’s just give up.”
“No more bids?” the Perfect God asked. When he saw the nods of agreement, he left.
“Tenth Prince, don’t be disappointed. Why don’t we just wait until Summer Vastcold leaves the Truth Academy, then ambush her and take the flower by force? We can contact some boundless wretch-devils to help. Maybe we can even arrange for some assassins.”
“That’s our only option,” said the dejected tenth prince. With that, they packed up and left.
“Many thanks for your help, Young Sir,” Summer Vastcold said. “Without you, I wouldn’t have this flower of wisdom. It would be in the hands of that damned prince from the Eternal-Life God-Dynasty.” The flower had already been delivered to her private booth, and she beamed with smiles as she looked down at it. “Now it looks like I have a real chance to reach the Unbounded level.”
“It was my pleasure,” Yang Qi said, waving his hand dismissively. “The truth is that I hate the Eternal-Life God-Dynasty with a passion, so it's only natural that I’d want to help you. You see, by helping you, I helped myself.”
“Many thanks, Young Sir,” she repeated. “I’ll definitely find a way to repay your twenty billion godnotes.”
“Don’t worry about that,” Yang Qi replied. “You just spent an astronomical amount of money, so now's not the time to talk about repayment. In fact, if you need more help with money in the future, I’ll be here to lend a hand.”
At this point, Summer Vastcold finally calmed down from the rush of winning the flower. Meanwhile, the surrounding women from the Nacrelight Sageland were whispering among themselves. Then one of them said, “Young Sir, you must be extremely rich to give twenty billion godnotes as a gift, then talk about giving more. What organization are you from? Are you a confucian? Have you taken a liking to our Vastcold?”
“Any enemy of the Eternal-Life God-Dynasty is a friend of the Nacrelight Sageland. And confucian scholars aren’t heretical wretch-devils, so we can be friends with them.”
“Young Sir, exactly how rich are you? Even the son of the rector of the Truth Academy wouldn't be able to hand over that much money without blinking. It’s definitely enough to sway the heart of a woman.”
Yang Qi laughed. “As long as Miss Vastcold is happy, that’s enough for me. That said, I do consider this an investment. I hope that Miss Vastcold will use that flower to concoct the pill she needs to reach the Unbounded level. When that happens, I’ll surely benefit. It’s really a matter of reaping and sowing karma. I'm sure you all understand.”
“Of course, Young Sir,” Summer Vastcold said. “Again, many thanks to you. If you’re willing, I’d like to extend an invitation to you to come visit the Nacrelight Sageland.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter