There was very little dispute when it came to the second grade treasures as well. The group had very keen eyes. Selecting those wasn’t much of a challenge. Everyone’s selections consistently matched each other.
Treasures that were disputed or beyond their knowledge were left untouched and unclassified. However, that still made for fifty-two second grade treasures when the results were out, more than what they’d initially expected.
The group didn’t pay it too much heed as second grade treasures weren’t particularly noteworthy. They were most concerned that there was twenty-four treasures left! This was much beyond their initial estimations!
The original count was that there’d be twenty first grade treasures at most, but a full twenty-four? How were they supposed to classify these items?
Some of these treasures were completely foreign to them. Even a knowledgeable old hand like Emperor Wellspring didn’t dare casually comment on these items. Han Qianzhan and Su Huanzhen were also a lot less experienced than Master Dong Ye. Therefore, perhaps it was up to young lord Zhen and the master to identify these items.
“Master Dong, do you see anything worthy of note? Why don’t we pick a few and classify them as supreme rank?”
Master Dong Ye pondered solemnly. “Treasures worthy of note? Young lord Zhen, this monk is truly unenlightened. What are the characteristics of said supreme rank treasures?” The master thought that Jiang Chen was testing him. He cautiously threw the hot potato back to the young lord.
Jiang Chen smiled. “There are three items which I believe are worthy of being classified as supreme rank. The rest shall remain as first grade treasures. What does everyone think?”
“Young lord Zhen, are you classifying the three as supreme rank because of their extraordinary quality, or because you were forced to do so as the number of items has exceeded your estimations?” Emperor Wellspring quickly interjected.
Jiang Chen smiled. “The former of course. I wouldn’t hesitate to classify five as supreme rank either if there were five that made the grade.”
Master Dong Ye was taken aback. “Is the young lord really certain that three items here are superior to the others?”
The master remained unconvinced. Even though a monk shouldn’t be overly competitive, he was still a cultivator at heart. It was only normal that he’d feel some semblance of competitiveness.
Moreover, he’d always been proud of his keen eye for quality items. He didn’t think it was wrong to classify the twenty-four items as first grade treasures. There were also indeed one or two items of even more superior quality, but he remained unconvinced that there were three supreme rank items among the lot. He felt that young lord Zhen was putting on airs to make himself seem superior.
Jiang Chen smiled. “Let me select the treasures first and give you all a detailed explanation. My words alone wouldn’t hold any weight. We must all agree upon the classifications.”
He immediately identified the three treasures after speaking.
One of the treasures was a jade token. There were ancient symbols carved onto the slip, and looked impossible to comprehend.
Nobody was able to sort it, but one could easily tell that it was no ordinary item. During the sorting, nobody had dared to issue a grade as they didn’t understand it. They were worried that they’d be misclassifying it.
The jade token had made it all the way to the end for this very reason. Nobody brought it up as they didn’t want to reveal their ignorance. They’d rather wait for someone else to bring it up. The crowd was taken aback when Jiang Chen selected the jade token and wondered why. Did the young lord really know it?
The other treasure that Jiang Chen selected was a spirit herb. Su Huanzhen frowned at his decision. Master Dong Ye smirked a little as well. It was evident that he didn’t think very highly of it.
Emperor Wellspring couldn’t help but worry for Jiang Chen. He knew nothing about the herb, but Su Huanzhen and the master’s expression clearly indicated that they did. Moreover, they weren’t particularly impressed by that decision. Jiang Chen couldn’t care less about their opinions. He proceeded to identify the third treasure.
It was a very quaint and unadorned talisman. Master Dong Ye nodded faintly as he finally agreed with one of Jiang Chen’s choices. He’d noticed the extraordinariness of the talisman, but he chose not to come to conclusions as he was unsure of its origin. His hunch was confirmed when the young lord picked it out.
“Young lord Zhen, will you be ranking these treasures as well?” the master asked in a calm and collected manner.
“Haha. In my humble opinion, the jade token should be ranked first, the talisman second, and the herb third. Of course, it’s only a shallow conjecture of mine. Feel free to voice your opinions if you disagree. That’s why I’ve invited all of you here. I welcome your advice as I’m still young and inexperienced.”
Jiang Chen mouthed humble words, but he’d actually noticed Master Dong Ye’s disapproving glances. He knew that the monk was skeptical.
Emperor Wellspring laughed. “Well, count me out then. I know nothing about these items. I sense an ancient aura emanating from the talisman, but I know nothing about its use. I can only wait for an analysis from the experts.”
Su Huanzhen didn’t say anything. She recognized the herb, but it was impossible that she’d question Jiang Chen’s choice because of her relationship with Veluriyam Capital.
Han Qianzhan was the same as Emperor Wellspring. He could tell that those three items are very extraordinary, but he couldn’t pinpoint why.
Master Dong Ye didn’t remain reserved. “Young lord Zhen, I agree with the talisman, but I don’t understand why you’ve selected the jade token and the spirit herb. Since this is an open discussion, we shouldn’t be lenient and accept your decision unquestioningly, or this exercise would lose its purpose.”
The followers of Buddhism were sometimes very stubborn. They were often very single-minded and inflexible, but Jiang Chen didn’t mind. In fact, he admired such people.
“Master Dong Ye, perhaps you recognize this spirit herb?”
“If I’m not mistaken, it should be a Heavencloud Ganoderma. I’ve come across this sky grade spirit herb before. But as the young lord has mentioned, only sky grade treasures can be classified as first grade, and since the fungi is a sky grade spirit herb, shouldn’t it be classified accordingly? Does it really deserve a supreme classification?”
Jiang Chen nodded without dispute and pointed at the token. “Master, what is your opinion on the jade token then?”
He’d ranked the jade token at the very top. To him, it was clearly something very remarkable.
Master Dong Ye was very straightforward. “I don't recognize the characters on the jade token. If the young lord wishes to classify it as supreme rank, you have to tell us its origin. Or else, we’d be hard pressed to believe that it’s actually the best item among everything else.
Emperor Wellspring laughed. “The others might not know the young lord very well, but I can confidently say that he’s a flawless decision maker. He must have his reasons for selecting the jade token. Young lord Zhen, you needn’t keep us on tenterhooks any longer. We were told that your knowledge is from Myriad Abyss Island, and that you’re much more knowledgeable than us. Surely you can clear up our confusion?”
“Hahaha! Agreed! Young lord Zhen, stop keeping us in suspense! I’m about to die from curiosity!” Han Qianzhan belly-laughed.
Jiang Chen nodded. “I recognize the characters on the jade token. It’s actually an ancient scripture of an extraordinary martial technique. After some evaluation, I feel that the scripture is very immaculate and so is the ancient martial technique. Its potential is comparable, if not better than the ultimate treasures from the great sects of the Upper Eight Regions.”
“It’s comparable to a sect’s ultimate treasure?” Han Qianzhan and Su Huanzhen could barely contain their shock. Emperor Wellspring’s jaw nearly fell off.
This information was too shocking as the human domain was sorely lacking in powerful cultivation techniques, even more so for wandering cultivators. Martial dao treasures had mostly been monopolized by the great sects. Wandering cultivators often had to make do with items much inferior.
“Young lord Zhen, y-you’re pulling our legs, right?” Emperor Wellspring could barely contain his excitement.
“I’ve already given my word that I wouldn’t lie during the treasure appraisal.” Jiang Chen answered with a faint smile.
Master Dong Ye doubted Jiang Chen’s words in spite of himself. Perhaps young lord Zhen isn’t mouthing empty words, but there's still a possibility that he's mistaken. Maybe his observation is actually false?
Jiang Chen nodded with a smile. “Yes, that may be true. However, I'm willing to bear the price of my mistakes. If the bearer of the foremost supreme treasure wants to part with it in the end, I'll buy it from his hands with a price that's more than adequate for a treasure of this caliber.”
The crowd was taken aback.
“Since we've vowed to have an open and fair discussion, we should discuss matters related to the jade token at a later time.” Su Huanzhen suddenly interjected.
“That’s also fine. We should discuss disagreements openly to prevent further misunderstandings down the road.” Jiang Chen answered straightforwardly.
Master Dong Ye wasn't convinced, but he still nodded without saying much else. His gaze suddenly fell upon the Heavencloud Ganoderma. He’d sooner die than classify this herb as supreme rank. He knew that it was a sky rank herb as he’d encountered it before, but there was no way it was worthy of such a high mention!