A very long moment passed before Overseer Redwood managed to regain his senses.
“Just who exactly are you?” he asked. “Astral-Star asuras are extremely rare, and come from beyond heaven. Normally speaking, they are sura commanders, or the direct subordinates of great generals. They’re monstrous killers who lead armies of fiend-devils into combat, and are so hard to kill that only Great Sages can fight them.”
“I'm just a rogue cultivator, that’s all.” A faint smile could be seen on Yang Qi’s face as he continued, “Look, if your Grand-Wilds Mansion can’t afford asura devil cores, then what about some bronzeblaze fiend-devil cores?”
He waved his hand, causing dozens of bronzeblaze fiend-devil cores to fall onto the table.
“Devil cores from bronzeblaze fiend-devils?!” the appraiser exclaimed. “Those are so high-quality that they might as well come from dragonlings. They’re priceless! Completely and utterly priceless!”
“Well, what do you think?” Yang Qi said. “I heard the Grand-Wilds Mansion had a good reputation, which is why I came here in the first place. But if you keep asking personal questions, I’ll just leave. ”
After a brief moment of thought, Overseer Redwood slapped his hand down decisively onto the table. “Very well. How many devil cores do you have? We’ll take all of them. What about this: we’ll give you thirty thousand imperial-grade spirit stones a piece for the bronzeblaze fiend-devil cores, and ten thousand sovereign-grade for the asura devil cores!”
“Ten thousand sovereign-grade spirit stones per core?” Yang Qi thought about it for a moment and decided that it seemed to be a reasonable price. Sovereign-grade spirit stones were extremely rare; the powerful magical altar he had encountered in Silvermoon had been constructed with only nine hundred and ninety-nine such spirit stones.
And most Legendaries would only work with royal or possibly even supreme-grade spirit stones. Imperial- and sovereign-grade stones were for the Great Sage level, or at the very least, Legendaries in the sixth transformation.
But considering the technique Yang Qi cultivated, his requirements were sovereign-grade at the minimum, and preferably, sagely-grade.
After maintaining silence for a moment, he said, “I really need sagely-grade spirit stones. Do you happen to have any on hand?”
“Sagely-grade spirit stones!?” the appraiser exclaimed loudly. “You’re not just ambitious, boy, you’re rapacious! Sagely-grade spirit stones are extremely rare! Even a single one could be considered a precious gem of heaven and earth. Asura devil cores are rare too, but they’re not worth sagely-grade spirit stones! Maybe if you had one in the ninth transformation, or a Half Sage version, then the Grand-Wilds Mansion would give you a sagely-grade spirit stone.”
“Oh? What if I have a lot of asura cores just like these ones?”
With another flourish, Yang Qi tossed out several dozen devil cores, all of them from Astral-Star asuras.
After all, when he had been taking control of the Heaven-Dominating Golden Swordbreaker, he had made use of the Hell Portal, and had summoned quite a few powerful asuras, during which time he had kept a handful of demon cores off to the side.
Then he waved his hand to summon a whole pile of bronzeblaze fiend-devil cores. As of this moment, the silver platter had forty asura cores and over three hundred cores from bronzeblaze fiend-devils. The devil energy they pulsed with seemed strong enough to rip the entire dimension they were in to shreds, except that Yang Qi was keeping it under control.
“So many devil cores!” Overseer Redwood said, trembling visibly. “That many cores are definitely worth a sagely-grade spirit stone. Unfortunately, they’re all eighth transformation cores. Don’t you have any from the ninth transformation, or possibly the Half Sage level? If so, we could strike the perfect deal.”
“Indeed I do, just not on me. If your Grand-Wilds Mansion wants them, why don’t we conclude this deal first, and then I’ll come back in a few days. By the way, I don’t just have devil cores. I have a living asura that I could give you, for the right price. Wouldn’t that be worth a lot more than just a simple devil core from the thing?”
This time, Overseer Redwood really couldn’t hold back from leaping to his feet. “You have an actual, living asura? If so, and it’s in the Never-Dying Transformation, then that will definitely earn you a sagely-grade spirit stone. And eight in the Astral-Star Transformation will earn you the same thing.”
One reason living asuras were so valuable was that they lived for battle, and would rather die than surrender. Asuras actually had a unique divine ability called Sura Disintegration, in which they could combine their life force and their sura karmaflame to self-destruct, and usually, take their enemy with them at the same time.
Even a Great Sage would have trouble capturing a Never-Dying asura alive.
In fact, most experts avoided asuras at all cost; one wrong move when facing one, and the result was usually death. From that it could be imagined how valuable a living, sealed asura would be. It would be like a treasure, including its flesh, blood, magical laws, life force, powers, and of course, its devil core.
“Fine then,” Yang Qi said. “Let’s make the agreement formal. And in the meantime, I want the sagely-grade spirit stone for these cores right here.”
“Wait here just a moment!” Overseer Redwood said. Scooping the cores into a bag, he left, then returned a short while later with a softly glowing spirit stone, which he handed to Yang Qi.
‘Wow, it really is a sagely-grade spirit stone!’ Yang Qi thought. Just being near the thing, he could sense the universal power in it. In fact, this was of even higher quality than the similar stone he had acquired from Lady-Princess Silvermoon. Apparently, the spirit stone mines in the Quake-Dawn Continent were far better than those in the Western Continent.
With this stone, he could significantly boost his true energy. Then, with enough five phases vital energy, he could push his cultivation base toward the Five-Phases Transformation.
Making that next step would ensure that he didn’t need to fear low-level Great Sages.
Putting the sagely-grade spirit stone away, Yang Qi rose to leave. However, before he could do more than that, Overseer Redwood said, “Hold on, friend.”
“What,” Yang Qi said, his expression flickering.
“Well, if you're really a rogue cultivator, then the Grand-Wilds Mansion has a mission you might be interested in. We’re hiring a large group of experts to travel to a low-level plane and look for an extremely valuable treasure. A fragment of the Yore-Wilds’ Heart. If you're interested, you could join the team. The payment will be substantial. Of course, I need to point out at the beginning that there’s a selection process you would need to pass first. If you do, then you could earn at least ten sagely-grade spirit stones.”
“So many!” Yang Qi replied. “Exactly what lower plane would we be going to? I would think that lower-level planes would be safer, and that big rewards would come with going to higher planes. Sounds pretty shady if you ask me.”
Overseer Redwood chuckled. “That’s funny, friend. Come on, the Grand-Wilds Mansion never does shady things. We’ve been in business for years, and our reputation is our biggest asset. It really is a lower-level plane. It's a place called the Rich-Lush Continent. Have you heard of it?”
“The Rich-Lush Continent?” Enormous waves of shock battered at Yang Qi’s heart. “I've never heard of it, no.”
“I see. Well, there’s a bit of a story behind this mission. You see, the Rich-Lush Continent is a lower-level plane, however, it's an extremely important spatial nexus. It’s like a springboard that leads to all sorts of extremely high planes, with an inactive teleportation portal from the ancient past, and even maps of the Yore-Wilds Continent. That said, its greyspace is protected by the will of Great Sages from the distant past. After years of being battered by hell monsoons, those sage spirits slowly sank into despair, and the greyspace began to break down.
“However, something changed recently. The spirits of the ancient sages woke up and repaired the greyspace, allowing the previously inactive space-time wormholes to once again be activated. In fact, there are wormholes here in the Quake-Dawn Continent that lead there, and many of the top organizations in the land are forming mercenary squads to go explore the place. Of course, the main goal will be to find the Yore-Wilds’ Heart fragment, and the ancient teleportation portals.
“As you know, traveling through space-time wormholes is extremely dangerous. Furthermore, the Rich-Lush Continent won’t allow extremely powerful experts to go there. If a Great Sage tried to go, he or she would be killed instantly.”
Yang Qi nodded. “I see. A Yore-Wilds’ Heart fragment, one of the most powerful artifacts from the distant past. Alright, considering how incredible the reward is, of course I’m willing to sign up. But how would I actually collect the reward? Would I get the ten sagely-grade spirit stones beforehand, or would I have to find the Yore-Wilds’ Heart fragment first?”
“A fragment of the Yore-Wilds’ Heart would be worth far more than ten sagely-grade spirit stones. In fact, forget sagely-grade. Even heavenly-, godly-, or the fabled immortal stones would be on the table. But that will come after the mission is complete. First, you need to pass the selection process set by the Grand-Wilds Mansion. If you prove that you're strong enough, you would be given an up-front payment of five sagely-grade spirit stones. Of course, don't forget that space-time wormholes often have greater fiend-devils in them. You’ll likely have to fight your way past them, and therefore, it's important to ensure beforehand that you can do so.”
“Yeah, I understand that part. Alright, when can I sign up?” From what Yang Qi could tell, it seemed like a pretty good opportunity.
Overseer Redwood held up three fingers on his right hand. “In three days. Didn’t you say you needed time to go get that living asura? We can handle the formalities when you return.”
“No problem. I’ll be back in three days.” With that, Yang Qi turned and blurred into motion, vanishing without a trace.
“Such incredible speed!” Overseer Redwood said, visibly surprised.
“Overseer,” the old appraiser said, “this guy has a mysterious background. I almost can’t believe he has so many demon cores. Should we follow him? Perhaps run an investigation to see who he is?”
“Are you retarded?!” Overseer Redwood shouted angrily. “How exactly are we supposed to investigate him? And how are we supposed to follow him? Not even I could see how he left so quickly. Who do you think you are?!”
“Er, what?” the old man said, looking crestfallen. “Not even you could lock onto his aura, sir? But he’s only a Space-Void Legendary!”
“Perhaps he's using some primeval treasure,” Overseer Redwood replied. “Or maybe he’s magically sealing his cultivation base, and is really some top expert. Just wait three days. If he proves himself and ends up joining our mercenary squad, we’ll probably be able to get a much better idea of who he is.”
By this point, Yang Qi was standing on some nameless mountain, far, far away from Vermillion Dragon City. ‘He wanted to lock onto my aura, but I caught him off guard.’
He looked down at the glittering, sagely-grade spirit stone in his hand. ‘Excellent. I’ll go out into the void and grab some fiend-devils, and hopefully a Never-Dying asura. With enough sagely-grade spirit stones, I should be able to reach the Personal-Domain Transformation with ease.'Previous Chapter Next Chapter