Book 12: The Strength of the Preparatory Team
Chapter 99.1: Top Quality Goods & The Princess
This was a room that was roughly two hundred square meters in surface area, and the decorations were as posh and extravagant as they could be. There were exotic wood and jade stones, along with other furniture and decorative items that people could tell with one look were highly valuable. The ornaments around the room were filled with garishness, yet they gave off a feeling of elegance that one simply couldn’t help but praise.
This was inside the first auction hall of the great Starlight Auction, in the seventh room, and it was ostentatious.
The entire room was rectangular, and the longer side of the wall was crystal clear with a radiant white hue. This was the only wall without a single decorative element.
The sprawling sofa was made from the skin of an unknown beast, and the long white fur was incredibly soft and tender. Anyone sitting on the sofa would enjoy the comfortable feeling of sinking into the whole thing, and yet there was enough support.
The sofa was large enough to accommodate twelve people. There were also all kinds of refreshments and condiments laid out on the jade table stand at the side. Huo Yuhao quickly realized that he had never even seen the things laid out on the table before, not even a single kind of fruit.
Everybody was just comfortably spreading out on the long sofa. Qing Ya, the auctioneer, and the two other young girls clad in flowing golden dresses stayed back. Qing Ya was standing by the side of the sofa and grinned as she said, “I will explain the rules of our top-ranked auction.”
As she spoke, she signaled to the two young girls beside her.
One of the girls stepped over to the smooth wall and tapped lightly on its surface. Instantly, a layer of gentle light started to radiate from the entire wall, which gradually became stronger until the entire wall eventually transformed into an enormous screen.
All this fell into Huo Yuhao’s eyes as he turned towards He Caitou with an astonished look. He Caitou was the first to speak as he couldn’t help but ask, “Is this a soul tool?”
Qing Ya nodded her head and replied, “This is a custom-made soul light screen that we specially obtained from the Sun Moon Empire. It can display images via an esoteric method, but its formation arrays are not activated by soul power – instead, they’re activated by a kind of ore from the Sun Moon Empire.”
It wasn’t just Huo Yuhao and He Caitou who reacted in shock at her statement – the other members of Shrek shared the same confoundment.
What did using ores to activate soul tools suggest? It implied that soul engineers no longer needed to expend any soul power to use soul tools! The value of this to the world of soul tools was simply too great.
Qing Ya was adept at reading people’s emotions, and it was only natural that she picked up on the befuddlement from her audience, because she quickly tried to explain. “Don’t be too hasty everyone, and wait for me to finish my explanation. Even though this light-directing screen is activated by ore, this kind of ore emanates an extremely weak and gentle energy, and there’s no way it can activate offensive or defensive soul tools. All it can do is carry out the lighter tasks of weak soul tools.”
Qing Ya gave a most logical and sensible explanation, but the confusion and bewilderment in the hearts of her audience had not been fully dispelled yet.
Perhaps it was true that the Sun Moon Empire had yet to discover a method to activate soul tools without using Soul power. However, this soul light screen was evidence of how advanced the Sun Moon Empire was in terms of the development of soul tools. Wang Yan’s speech about the future drifted to the forefront of everyone’s minds, and everyone started to feel heavy in their hearts. Times were ever-changing, civilization was always advancing, and soul tools were continuously being developed as well. The Sun Moon Empire had never been too keen about interacting with other nations, so nobody really knew the exact extent to which the Sun Moon Empire had made advancements in their research on soul tools. Before long, they would be facing the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy.
The Light-Transmitting Screen was becoming clearer. Some images were displayed on either side, while an auction station was presented in the middle. The auction didn’t seem very big, but was presented on the screen with extreme clarity.
Qing Ya continued, “In order to protect the privacy of the participants of this top-ranked auction, all valued guests will have their own designated rooms, just like the one everyone is in right now. All viewing and the contest for items up for auction will be carried out inside this room, and I will be responsible for introducing the items up for auction in detail. These two girls will report the quotations during the auction.”
“All you have to do is quote the price. Everything in here – the food and refreshments – are complimentary. After the auction, the items will be sent into the room as soon as possible and will be settled with a final overall bill at the end of everything. As our guests, you can grab something to eat before we officially begin the auction.” Everybody had just had a meal not too long ago, and nobody was too interested in the foodstuffs. However, the alluring drinks were too tempting to resist, and some of them reached out to try them.
The top-ranked Starlight Auction was worthy of its name. The drinks were not only delicious, they were as nutritious as the food provided to the core disciples of Shrek Academy itself. Huo Yuhao only had a single glass of fruit punch and he could already feel a comfortable warmth coursing through his body.
Wang Yan said to Qing Ya, “Auctioneer Qing Ya, please have a seat as well.”
Qing Ya didn’t reject this offer, and after tilting her head with a wide smile on her face, took a seat beside him. Wang Yan hurriedly shifted to the side to create some space between the two of them before his face flushed red. He wasn’t young anymore, but he didn’t yet have a family, and he had never really interacted with girls before – his heart and soul were dedicated to the research and development of soul masters. At this moment, there was a mature and enchanting beauty sitting so close to him and this made him a little uneasy.
Qing Ya covered her mouth as she giggled at the sight of his reaction. Yet, instead of teasing him, she asked softly, “Is this your first time in Star Luo City?”
Wang Yan shook his head and replied, “I’ve been here before, but every trip was completed in a hurry.”
Qing Ya said, “You must be very busy with your work at Shrek Academy.”
Wang Yan answered, “It’s better if I’m busy with my work. If it’s just normal teaching, it won’t be so tiring. After all, the members of our academy are all outstanding students, and they don’t need too much worrying from us teachers.” As he said this, a look of pride flashed across his face, and this was naturally due to Year 2’s Class 1.
He had said before, more than once, that Year 2’s Class 1 was the most talented class he had ever taught. This was also extremely compatible with his teaching style, which was purely skill-based, and he was also strict and firm with his students.
His students were not only prodigious, one was more hardworking than the other. According to his own estimations, when they ascended to Year 3, the entire class could reach the third ring in mastery. How impressive would that statistic be? His greatest wish at this moment was to have the honor of taking his entire troupe of students to the end, and to ensure that everybody successfully graduated from the academy.
Qing Ya smiled faintly and said, “One look, and I can tell you’re a great teacher. The moment you mention your students, there is an obvious exhilaration in your emotions.”
All this small talk caused Wang Yan to unwind a little, and his emotions became a lot less tense. “It’s because my students are too cute. In reality, as a teacher, my greatest wish is to see my students succeed. As of now, my students haven’t disappointed me.”
Qing Ya bowed her head a little and said, “I hope you can produce even more extraordinary students.”
“Many thanks.” Wang Yan returned her well-wishes politely, but he failed to detect the slight unnatural sparkle in Qing Ya’s eyes as she stared at him.
Qing Ya giggled as she asked, “Teacher Wang, the Starlight Auction wishes to expand our business into Shrek City. What suggestions do you have for me?”
Wang Yan was slightly taken aback. “The Starlight Auction wants to go to Shrek City as well? That’s a good thing! However, there seem to be multiple auctions in Shrek City already, and thus the competition is bound to be pretty vigorous.”
Qing Ya chuckled and replied, “The Starlight Auction has never been afraid of competition, as we believe in our own strengths. If we ever have a chance to venture into Shrek City, I wonder if I can contact you?”
“Of course you can.” Wang Yan answered her question almost subconsciously.
Qing Ya raised her hand and produced a small gold box. “Do accept this gift from me then. This is a sound-amplifying soul tool, and they are produced in pairs, so I have one as well. As long as we are within fifty kilometers of each other, we can communicate using this. If you need anything from me during your stay in Star Luo City, feel free to contact me!”
Wang Yan accepted this little gift and glanced at Qing Ya. He suddenly noticed that Qing Ya was staring at him with a piercing gaze, and it instantly gave him mixed feelings, so he hurriedly nodded and put the sound-amplifying soul tool away.
Right at this moment, the entire room was abruptly plunged into a layer of golden light, and everybody turned toward the soul screen.
A gentle golden light that wasn’t hurtful to the eyes emanated from the screen that had previously blocked everyone’s field of view. Pale rays of golden light also shone from the every corner of room, and the calm and comfortable atmosphere was instantly transformed into something more dignified and elegant.
Qing Ya announced, “My honorable guests, our auction is about to begin.”
The golden light coming from the screen gradually receded as a charming voice rang out from within. “Welcome to the top-ranked Starlight Auction. Today, we are placing nine exotic items up for auction. These items will be shown to you, our honorable guests, by their value from the lowest to the highest. We do hope you will enjoy yourselves.”
The soul screen cleared up again, and the platform that had appeared before was now covered with another layer of pale white light. In the middle of the platform was a young girl clad in a lengthy red dress.
This girl appeared to be no more than eighteen, and she was enchantingly pretty – to the point where she rivaled even the looks of Jiang Nannan. Furthermore, she was a few years older than Jiang Nannan, and her body was much more mature. The combination of her flowing red dress and her pale white skin gave onlookers a feeling of perfection – the only strange thing was that the auction station had yet to appear on the platform.
“Greetings, valued guests. I am today’s auctioneer, and my name is Jiu Jiu. I am honored to be here today to host this top-ranked auction. Your time is valuable to us, so we shall begin the auction right away. Subsequently, do feast your eyes upon the first item of the day.”
As she spoke, she flashed a glamorous smile and made an extremely exquisite greeting as she gestured with her right hand. The scene switched right away, and the soul screen on the wall presented the first item up for auction.
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