Where do the flowers bloom!
Lin Yun repeated this phrase in his mind as he practiced his sword. The swordplay of the man in the painting had left a deep impression on him, turning him into a man possessed. He had spent the whole night reciting those words as he repeatedly failed to imitate the technique.
When the sun rose, Lin Yun let out deep sigh as he stared vacantly to the east. He had always had absolute confidence in his comprehension, but last night it had failed him. After watching the man’s swordplay, he had only managed to remember one form. He had attempted it countless times during the night, but he still had no idea how it worked.
As he cast a glance to the side, he noticed a flower by the roadside covered in morning dew. It was a tender flower, full of vitality under the sunshine. Slowly, he walked over and placed it on his palm. He recalled once more how the man in the painting moved.
As Lin Yun circulated his internal energy, he gently tossed the flower into the air. As it rose, he passed his sword to his right hand and thrust it in the air, allowing the flower to land on the tip of his sword. He was making the same posture as the man from the painting, but there was no lethality. He only had the form.
“How silly,” Lin Yun said as he shook his head. As his sword trembled, the wildflower broke apart.
What was he doing wrong?
Embody the tiger, smell the rose...
“That’s it!” Lin Yun said excitedly as the answer rushed to his mind. The painting wasn’t giving him step by step instructions for him to follow, it was a metaphor! That flower only represented a form of intent, not a piece of some strange dance.
The moment the realization settled in his mind the earth-shattering aura of the tiger exploded from deep within him. He was the very embodiment a tiger as he unleashed the full intent of the complete mastery Ferocious Tiger Fist.
Where do the flowers bloom?
Enveloped by his ferocious aura, Lin Yun began executing the technique he recalled from the painting. As he did, his aura began acting strange. His aura was overwhelming, like a ferocious tiger with the might of a hundred beasts, but under the influence of Flower Burial, his aura became delicate and gentle. They were two fundamentally different auras, but under the Flower Burial’s guidance they had fused together perfectly.
His gaze followed the tip of the sword closely. Gradually, his surroundings began to disappear and, before he knew it, he was shrouded in darkness.
When the only thing he could see through the darkness was the swords tip, he thrust it into the air.
Where do the flowers bloom?
His internal energy and the stunning tiger’s might vanished. A rose bud formed on the end of the blade and slowly began to bloom. When the last petal opened fully, an unparalleled sword aura surged from the tip of his sword only to disappear a moment later.
Lin Yun staggered, nearly falling to the ground. He had to stab Flower Burial into the ground for support as he gasped for air. There wasn’t a single strand of internal energy left in his body. He had been completely drained.
His eyes shone brilliantly amidst his pale face. He was completely exhausted, but he was experiencing level of joy he had never thought possible.
“I did it! It finally makes sense! ‘Where do the flowers bloom?’ was referring to the first form of the Rose Sword Art. It was referring to the heart! It was saying I needed to conquer the tiger in my heart and convert it to sword intent!”
Despite how simple it sounded; it wasn’t simple at all. This move required complete control over mind, body, and soul. If he had overexerted himself slightly when executing the technique, he would instantly lose control of it. A single successful attempt had left him completely exhausted.
So what did it mean by “the tiger in his heart”?
It meant desire and anger, one’s personal demons. The slightest carelessness would cause the negative emotions in his heart to multiply and run rampant. If that happened, the consequences would be dire.
“I have finally breached the threshold of this technique. Its power is incredible. I’m barely familiar with it and its already my greatest trump card!”
Lin Yun took a moment to regain his rest before departing for Clear Water City. If his internal energy hadn’t been completely drained, he could have reached the city in half an hour using the Wild Goose Art. With it gone, he would have to rely on his legs to carry him.
Four hours later, he arrived at the Myriad Treasure Pavillion.
“Little Brother Lin, you’re here! I was worried you wouldn’t make it!”
When Tong Hu saw Lin Yun, he smiled ear to ear. The man was genuinely happy to see him, but Lin Yun could tell that he was trying to mask the sense of urgency in his heart.
Without saying a word, Lin Yun took out the remaining five Flaming Blood Bones and handed them over to Tong Hu. He believed Boss Tong would keep up his end of the deal but had held onto them just to be safe. After all, you can never trust a businessman completely.
“Great! Here are the terms of our agreement. Feel free to read them over before you sign,” Tong Hu said happily as he pulled out a contract. It stated that Lin Yun would entrust the Myriad Treasure Pavilion to sell the nine Flaming Blood Bones at the auction. Once the auction was finished, the Myriad Treasure Pavilion would receive a 10% commission on any of the goods sold.
After Lin Yun signed the contract and retained a copy for himself, he turned to Tong Hu, “Boss Tong, do you have any idea how much these nine Flaming Blood Bones will sell for?”
“If memory serves, there was a Flaming Blood Bone sold for 5,600 low-grade spiritual stones last year,” Tong Hu laughed.
“5,600!” Lin Yun could not believe what he was hearing, “Wouldn’t that mean 50,000 low-grade spiritual stones for all nine?”
“You must not be familiar with the cost of profound artifacts. The Flaming Blood Armor is a Low-Grade Profound Artifact, ranked among the top within its category. It provides serious protection despite being soft and lightweight. Let me put it this way. If your wearing Flaming Blood Armor, you don’t have to worry about anything lower than the tenth stage of the Martial Path. You might still get hurt from practitioners in the eighth and ninth stages if they really put their back into it, but you become functionally invincible to attacks from the seventh stage down.”
Seeing the look of disbelief on Lin Yun’s face, Tong Hu laughed, “The price tag makes sense now, doesn’t it?”
“You’re basically buying yourself an extra life….” Lin Yun said solemnly.
“If word got out that nine Flaming Blood Bones were showing up at the same time, at the same auction, the four great sects would lose it. There would definitely be some fighting. My entrepreneurial instinct is telling me the bids will go much higher than 5,000 low-grade spiritual stones this year. All that’s left for you to do is kick back and wait for the good news!” Tong Hu could barely contain his excitement. The truth was he had accidently let news of his windfall slip during a night of celebratory drinking.
Buy nine Flaming Blood Bones was essentially the same as ordering nine sets of Flaming Blood Armor. They represented a huge strategical advantage to any sect who could get their hands on them. The temptation was too great for the sects to pass up.
“When will the auction begin?” Lin Yun asked.
“Tomorrow afternoon. Why? Interested in coming?”
“Haha! I thought you might be! Here, I prepared this for you. It’s a VIP card. All you have to do is flash this at the gates. Event staff will take it from there,” Tong Hu said as he handed a silver card over.
With smaller things, turning the offer down once before accepting is seen as polite. It shows that you appreciate the gesture, that their kindness is enough of a gift, and gives them an opportunity to change their mind. At some point, an offer can become significant enough that that custom no longer applies. The same action insinuates they have not given such a serious matter proper thought, or that their best is not good enough for you. Lin Yun knew this was one of those times. Out of respect for his friend, he accepted the card graciously right away.
Lin Yun sighed inwardly. He was thinking about the promise he had made to the previous owner of his body. With the 45,000 low-grade spiritual stones he would gain from this auction, he could pay back his debt to Su Ziyao.
In the afternoon of the following day, Lin Yun arrived at the auction grounds. This was by far the most bustling place in all of Clear Water City. The plaza packed with people that happily wandered the maze of pop-up shops and food stalls.
There were even more people at the gate to the auction house. To Lin Yun’s surprise, almost everyone he saw was a martial practitioner, most of which were in the seventh stage of the Martial Path or higher. Evidently, this auction wasn’t your usual one.
Once Lin Yun entered the auction house, he handed the silver card over to an attendant. When the attendant saw the silver card, his bored -almost sullen- demeanour became vibrant and full of passion. He politely requested that Lin Yun hold on while he ran to grab his boss.
“Mr. Lin, this way please. Boss Tong told us you were coming. We have been informed that we are to treat you as an honoured guest. Please, come this way.”
The supervisor was all smiles and professionalism, but he couldn’t hide the shock in his eyes upon seeing Lin Yun. The way Boss Tong had spoken of Lin Yun and the lengths he had gone to to make sure his guest was properly honoured had painted a very different picture in the supervisor’s mind. He never would have imagined Lin Yun would be a 16-year-old boy who was only in the sixth stage of the Martial Path. In the four great sects, even the weakest inner disciple was in the seventh stage.
When Lin Yun entered the hall, he took a moment to take it all in. There were over a thousand people seated in the front of the main stage. Turning to the supervisor, he said, “Take me to my private room. After that you’re free to go.”
“Yes, sir!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Thyaeria: There's always an auction plot in all cultivation novels. I guess that's really true :/