Book 12: The Strength of the Preparatory Team
Chapter 101.3: The Embryo Of A Hundred Thousand Year Soul Beast
The Star Luo Emperor simpered at Huo Yuhao, who was standing at the side, and said, “My Protector Douluo told me that it is likely that you possess an ice-type martial soul with Ultimate Ice, so this soul bone is suitable for you, just like how a hero deserves an exotic sword. Besides, I don’t think you can find a second person in the entire world with Ultimate Ice. Since that’s the case, I shall gift it to someone instead of letting it collect dust somewhere in a corner. Of course, the champion’s title is a prerequisite – even though this soul bone couldn’t fetch a high price, it needs the respect and dignity it deserves.”
“Thank you, your majesty.” This was Huo Yuhao’s first encounter with the emperor of a nation, so it was impossible for him not to feel a little nervous as he bowed timidly once more.
The Star Luo Emperor continued, “Your name is Huo Yuhao. From what I can see about your place of birth in your registration, you are from my country, after all – we can’t give the good stuff to outsiders, eh? The gates to Star Luo City will always be open to you. Let’s just leave it like this first. I wish to continue with the highlight of this auction, and it’s highly likely that the last item will fetch an exorbitant price. So you guys can witness a miracle before your departure.” With that, the Emperor tilted his head to his audience before he turned and left.
Huo Yuhao’s first impression of him was that his aura of majesty and prestige wasn’t overflowing, yet he was extremely unruffled at the same time. There seemed to be a feeling of absolute control hidden within his indifferent smiles, and he appeared to be able to convince other people for no other reason than it was he who had spoken.
“He’s really giving it to us for free?” Xiao Xiao was a little taken aback.
Wang Yan shook his head and replied, “Nah. Put more accurately, it’s a gift to Huo Yuhao of Shrek Academy. The Emperor is truly well-informed.”
As he spoke, he surveyed the rest of his students, and everybody could see the sudden change in his eyes. Everyone instantly sealed their mouths and ceased to discuss the matter. In the end, Qing Ya and the other two servant girls were still in the room.
Once he was out of the seventh guest room, the Star Luo Emperor smiled as he muttered under his breath, “I do hope this kid won’t let me down. The beacon of trust and friendship has been sent out – I wonder what response Shrek will give. Jiu Jiu – after the conclusion of the competition, strengthen our relationship with Shrek Academy. Waive the taxes for merchants and business delegations from Shrek Academy doing business in our country by fifty percent.”
“Yes, brother. Something’s happening,” Princess Jiu Jiu whispered.
The Star Luo Emperor nodded his head faintly, but asked nothing, and instead strolled back into the first auction room that he was initially in as Princess Jiu Jiu followed behind him. One could see upon closer inspection that there was a white-colored ear plug in her right ear, and she made gestures that suggested she was listening closely to something.
Once the door was closed, only the two of them were left in the first guest room.
“You can speak now,” the Star Luo Emperor signaled to Princess Jiu Jiu.
Princess Jiu Jiu answered, “The target has taken the bait and has begun selling soul tools to us for the appropriate amount of cash. When we proposed to reduce the processing fee for products manufactured by the Illustrious Virtue Hall by ten percent across the board, they had a brief discussion and took out a portion of the soul tools from the Illustrious Virtue Hall to sell us. What a success!”
The Star Luo Emperor smiled and said, “This is within our estimations. The Illustrious Virtue Hallmaster’s great-grandchild is the most prodigious individual in the history of the Sun Moon Empire. If they can finish the fusion of the embryo, it will be like the cherry on the cake. How can they let go of such an opportunity? In terms of financial power, the Illustrious Virtue Hall can be considered to be number one on the continent. Every single soul tool obtained from the Illustrious Virtue Hall shall be immediately sent to the research lab.”
“Yes,” there was a tinge of craftiness in Princess Jiu Jiu’s eyes as she said, “Let’s hope they search for that Class 9 soul master when they go back. Hehe.”
The Star Luo Emperor said, “This plan can be said to be seamless. Start the clock after the conclusion of the auction – three months later, announce a quest to steal treasures from the Illustrious Virtue Hall to the Adventurer’s Association, and that the reward upon completion will be one hundred million golden soul coins. No matter how talented the great-grandchild of the Illustrious Virtue Hallmaster is, it’s highly unlikely that he will finish the fusion within ten years. This estimate is also made under the assumption that they will utilize their most exotic herbs and whatnot. Ten years is enough to change many things and create a lot more variables.”
Princess Jiu Jiu giggled and teased, “I realize that you’re becoming more and more scheming, brother.”
The Star Luo Emperor’s eyes grew a little dull. “Why would we have to employ such methods if we had enough power? According to our intelligence, the Illustrious Virtue Hall’s research on soul tools has had multiple continuous breakthroughs. If we don’t restrain them right now, it won’t take ten years for the Sun Moon Empire to take some drastic action – and we are far from prepared.”
Princess Jiu Jiu attempted to console her brother. “This isn’t your fault, brother. You are already trying your best. The only difference is that, in terms of researching and developing soul tools, we don’t have the rich geographical and natural advantage that the Sun Moon Empire possesses. Furthermore, they have been on this journey even before they clashed with the Douluo Continent.”
The Star Luo Emperor waved his hands and said, “Nothing you can say can alter reality, and we can only work with what’s real. I will pay a personal visit to Shrek Academy in the near future. If the Sun Moon Empire decides to take some drastic action, they are the only allies that we can count on. What are the responses from the other powerful sects?”
Princess Jiu Jiu replied, “Everyone has responded, and two of them are clearer with their intentions and they have already sold us a great many things. A conservative estimate of our direct revenue from this auction should be in excess of fifty million golden soul coins. This sum of money is enough to purchase plenty of things from the Sun Moon Empire via our agents.”
A trace of chilly light flickered in the Star Luo Emperor’s eyes. “Try to instigate sparks between them, as much as possible.”
Thirty minutes was enough time – enough for many people to settle a lot of things.
The audience from Shrek Academy followed the intense contest in the last round of the auction as outsiders who were out of the picture, who simply sat back and relaxed.
The opening price of the hundred thousand year soul beast embryo was an outrageous one hundred million golden soul coins. Princess Jiu Jiu claimed that this opening price was unprecedented in the Starlight Auction and set a historical record.
The subsequent events could only be described as cruel and fierce. Three parties entered the fray from the very beginning. The price rose steadily, and swiftly reached one hundred and thirty million golden soul coins. The moment this number was reached, the speed of the bidding became a lot more gradual.
After all, anything after a hundred million golden soul coins was a sum that most parties wouldn’t be able to fork out.
At this very moment, the number changed suddenly. “One hundred and fifty million golden soul coins!” Someone had added twenty million golden soul coins in one go.
A youth stood before the soul screen in the second guest room with his fists tightly clenched together. “I want to see who will compete with me now.”
There were about a dozen people sitting on the sofa behind him, and everybody’s expression was a little different. Some looked envious, some had indifferent faces, and some were even jealous, while others were clearly displeased.
If the people from Shrek Academy were here, they would have recognized their identities instantly. Were these people not the students from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy, here to participate in the competition? The youth standing at the forefront was their reserve team leader, Xiao Hongchen.
Elder Wu’s brows were tightly knitted together. “Don’t you think you raised the price a bit too high? Twenty million golden soul coins in one bid…”
Xiao Hongchen shook his head and snickered, “This is meant to frighten my competitors so that they’ll be afraid to continue bidding. If we grind them down slowly, the price may end up being even higher.”
Ma Rulong lowered his voice and said, “Is it really worth it to spend so much money on just one thing?”
Xiao Hongchen’s emotions and rationality were already influenced by the hundred thousand year soul beast embryo, and he was almost in a hysterical state of mind. He didn’t spare a second thought and said, “Of course it’s worth it. I’m not spending the academy’s money either. I’ll be able to obtain twin martial souls, or a hundred thousand year soul bone and soul ring with this sort of precious treasure, thus advancing my soul. This is an opportunity that comes once in a blue moon; how can I let it slip through my fingers?”
Ma Rulong’s face instantly turned even darker, but Elder Ma glared at him, and he said nothing more.
Inside the third guest room.
“Little bastard. Tell me who’s the one raising the price – I’ll end him.” There were only two people inside this room, and they both looked like they were at least forty years old. The person who spoke was tall and lanky, and the most striking feature about him was that his right arm was unnaturally thick and burly – at least twice as large as his left arm. His entire being seemed to emanate with an aura that resembled that of a prehistoric beast.
The other man was a lot smaller and skinnier, but his head was especially large, which made him look like a big-headed doll. There were barely a few strands of hair on his head and they were all yellow in color, but his eyes sparkled as he blinked, as if they were flickering lights.
“I think we have to find out who this is. If we can’t take this item back to our little lord right away, we at least have to find out where we have to snatch it from.”
As he spoke, the big-headed man closed his eyes into slits, and the air within the entire guest room immediately started to twist vigorously. The sensation was similar to that of a person in a daze as he witnessed heat ripples above raging flames, and the entire room suddenly became extremely surreal.
Every room was hosted by an auctioneer and two servant girls. The first people to feel the intensity were the three girls working for the auction. As their bodies quivered, their eyes grew empty, and they just stood there, rooted to the ground, and didn’t move a single inch.
The big-headed man sank back into the sofa and gestured towards the black-ranked auctioneer. “You, get over here.”
The black-ranked auctioneer stepped up hurriedly and stopped before him as if she were in a stupor.
“Go out and find out the identity of the person who just raised the price to a hundred and fifty million golden soul coins.”
“Yes.” The black-ranked auctioneer actually bowed respectfully before she turned and left the room.
If the Soulsucking Bell Soul Master, Shangguan Can, who had faced off against Shrek Academy during the Continental Advanced Academy Soul Dueling Tournament, were to see this scene, his jaw would be hanging slack – that big-headed man had hypnotized and controlled the willpower of several people at a whim, without even unleashing his martial soul. Even though they were just several normal people, this was a miraculous and incredible occurrence.
The thick-armed man whispered, “You’re so powerful, second senior brother. Why don’t we just control the people working for the auction instead, and simply steal away the item?” As he spoke, murderous emotions flickered in his eyes, and his burly right arm cracked several times in a row. These sounds weren’t produced by his bones – instead, they were the crackling sounds created by a change in the air flow surrounding his arm.
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