Book 12: The Strength of the Preparatory Team
Chapter 99.2: Top Quality Goods & The Princess
No wonder there wasn’t an auction station – the item itself was a magnified projection! It was displayed across the ten-meter-long wall, down to its most intricate details.
Dai Yaoheng asked inquisitively, “Why is this auctioneer following the formalities of the royal palace of the Star Luo Empire?”
Qing Ya glanced at Dai Yueheng with a look a of faint shock and answered, “Fine eyes you have, valued guest. Auctioneer Jiu Jiu is the lead auctioneer of the Star Luo Auction, and its only gold-ranked auctioneer. However, only when the value of the item is over hundreds of millions of gold coins will she don the golden auctioneer’s uniform. At the same time, Auctioneer Jiu Jiu is the youngest sister of the current emperor of the Empire. She has remarked that her status in the auction is as an auctioneer, which is the reason why we don’t address her as ‘Your Highness’.”
Everybody exchanged looks with each other, as this was surreal for them. Even though they had already guessed that the Starlight Auction had an extraordinary background, they never thought it would reach such a level.
A princess from the royal palace as an auctioneer. What did this mean? This meant that the entire Starlight Auction probably belonged to the royal family of the Star Luo Empire.
Still, while they were boggled by what they had just discovered, everybody’s attention was diverted to the item that was presented before them, and Princess Jiu Jiu’s voice could be heard.
The Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade is a Class 8 close-combat soul tool. Its components are extremely valuable, including the right arm bone of a ten thousand year Tyrannical Tiger. It also contains a soul bone skill called the Tyrannical Slash. At the same time, it can boost the offensive powers of compatible soul skills by fifty percent.”
“Do take note, honorable guests, that every strike using this precious close-combat soul tool will produce the effect of a Tyrannical Slash, and this effect will add onto the effects of any related soul skills. At the same time, through the sophisticated workings and direction of the formation arrays, and in addition to the inherent energies contained within the soul bone, the amount of soul power required to use the Tyrannical Slash is only a third of what it normally is.”
“Lastly, the Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade originates from the Sun Moon Empire’s Illustrious Virtue Hall. I think these three words – Illustrious Virtue Hall – are enough to prove its quality. Seven-ringed Soul Sages can use this weapon, and they will be able to challenge a Soul Douluo. You will have five minutes to inspect the item.”
Once Princess Jiu Jiu completed her introduction, deep breaths could be heard being drawn across the room – this was only the first item up for auction!
It was a Class 8 soul tool, and even though both Huo Yuhao and He Caitou were from the Soul Tool Department, they had never seen this before. Several simple and crisp sentences were enough to bring out the most powerful and attractive aspects of this item.
Even the more experienced Ma Xiaotao, Dai Yaoheng and Ling Luochen betrayed looks of amazement. They had seen Class 8 soul tools in past auctions that they had participated in before, but they were few and far between. Normally, the appearance of a Class 6 soul tool in an auction was already a rare sight. Once in a blue moon, a Class 8 soul tool would be revealed, but even then, they would be the anchoring item to close off the entire auction. Today, the first item was already a Class 8 soul tool, and it was the item with the lowest value in the list of items that were in store – how could all this not overwhelm them with bewilderment and excitement?
One couldn’t underestimate the Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade just because it was a close-combat soul tool. In reality, for high level soul masters, close-combat soul tools were more important than long-range soul tools and stationary soul tools, as they were more complementary to their skills.
The students were unable to help themselves as they got up from the comfort of their seats and stepped up to the screen to inspect this eighth-ranked war blade.
There was a comprehensive description of the item on the screen. The Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade was four feet six inches long, while the blade itself was at least an inch wide. It was modeled like a saber, the hilt extending to the handguard, and it was shaped like a bone. The handguard itself was ten centimeters wide, and was a caricature of a tiger’s head – there was no doubt that this soul tool’s formation arrays were located there. The tiger’s head radiated with a crystal yellow hue, and seemed to have been made from a special jewel.
He Caitou was the most knowledgeable amongst the entire group regarding soul tools. He took but a few glances before a look of awe came over his face. “These… not only do these formation arrays draw from the power of the soul bone, but the entire body is made from Amber Gold! Such extravagance! Besides, it’s quite a large piece of Amber Gold! No wonder they can solidify the energy from the soul bones. Items produced in the Illustrious Virtue Hall are indeed extraordinary.”
Huo Yuhao was beside He Caitou, and he too was observing it intently. Even though it was just an image, he could feel a faint aura of ferocity drafting towards him. The broad blade seemed to shimmer with a terrifying layer of blood.
Huo Yuhao lowered his voice and asked, “Senior brother, what kind of place is the Illustrious Virtue Hall?”
Before He Caitou could respond, Wang Yan lowered his voice as well and answered, “The Illustrious Virtue Hall has connections with Shrek that run very deep, and they hold the highest status in the Sun Moon Empire. Put more accurately, they are a part of the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy. Much like our own inner courtyard, only the most outstanding students from the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy are allowed to enter for cultivation and studies. At the same time, they are the cardinal authority in forging and manufacturing soul tools. All the soul tools produced by the Illustrious Virtue Hall overflow with excessive demand the moment they hit the market. Thus, the Illustrious Virtue Hall is also a substitute representation of a soul tool’s quality.”
Qing Ya smiled faintly and chimed in. “Teacher Wang is right. There are more teachers than students within the Illustrious Virtue Hall, and the most powerful soul engineers are concentrated there as well. Over the years, most of the epoch-making soul tools originated from the Illustrious Virtue Hall. One can well say that the Illustrious Virtue Hall is like the most important ivory tower of the Sun Moon Empire. Their technologies regarding the development of soul tools are also the most advanced on the continent.”
Bei Bei appeared behind Huo Yuhao like a ghost. He was also listening attentively to Qing Ya’s explanation as he tapped Huo Yuhao on the shoulder and whispered, “Keep it up, little junior.”
Only five simple words fell into Huo Yuhao’s ears, but it instilled in him an overflowing feeling of hope. Huo Yuhao thought to himself – how incredible would it be if the Tang Sect could one day receive such exalting praise?
Huo Yuhao hadn’t been so sensitive back when he was still cultivating and studying inside the academy, but following his expedition out of the academy and into Star Luo City for the competition, he had picked up and learned so many things in the process that he would never have been exposed to in the academy. He gradually began to understand the substantial importance of soul tools, and that the manufacturing of soul tools by the Sun Moon Empire were far greater than that of other nations – more than he had imagined.
The thing that staggered Huo Yuhao the most wasn’t the Class 8 Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade before him, but the soul screen that could be operated without the injection of soul power, in spite of Qing Ya’s previous explanation about the weakness of these external sources. However, the Sun Moon Empire had already produced a soul tool that didn’t require soul power to be activated – in that case, what was the difference between the weak and the powerful? It wouldn’t take more than a few years before the Sun Moon Empire would be able to produce soul tools with offensive and defensive capabilities that could be activated without consuming soul power. When that day arrived, the structure of the entire continent would change drastically.
“I have to work harder and become stronger,” Huo Yuhao made a mental note to himself.
“Time’s up. The Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade’s opening price is six hundred thousand golden soul coins, and every bid cannot be less than five thousand golden soul coins. All of you, my honorable guests, are experienced with this, and I trust that we won’t need Jiu Jiu to explain too much. If a bid is unanswered after a minute, the deal is done – let’s begin.”
The screen started to transform into a pale white color. The image of the Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade gradually grew more obscure as it faded into the background, while a giant number that read “six hundred thousand” flashed on the surface of the screen.
“Six hundred and fifty thousand.” Dai Yueheng was the first to bid, before he turned towards Wang Yan. “Teacher Wang, this is my personal decision.”
Wang Yan didn’t say anything, and simply nodded in his direction.
The students in the inner courtyard of Shrek Academy had never had any issues with their finances, and they would also bring their savings with them when carrying out similar tasks. Dai Yaoheng himself was the eldest son of the White Tiger Duke, who had been passing down the position for at least ten thousand years – this naturally meant that the amount of money he could use was plentiful.
The moment he quoted his bid, the golden-robed servant girl immediately executed a simple action on the soul screen, and the giant numbers on the screen subsequently changed to six hundred and fifty thousand.
The reason why Dai Yueheng was so moved was that this Class 8 soul tool had something to do with the tiger, and could be used by a Soul Sage. Dai Yaoheng wasn’t too far from his seventh ring, and he could probably break through to that level in the next three to five years. Furthermore, a Class 8 soul tool such as this that was complementary to his abilities didn’t come around too often.
Ma Xiaotao snapped at once. “You think you’re big just because you’re rich?”
Dai Yueheng wasn’t angry at all. He flashed her a faint smile and said, “You are stronger than me, Xiaotao, and you will definitely advance to the seventh ring before I can. How about this – when you become a soul sage, you can use the Tyrannical Tiger Soulblade first and return it to me once I reach the seventh ring. How’s that? If not, it will just be rotting in my possession anyway.”
Ma Xiaotao shot him a look and said, “Why do I need your stuff? Besides, it’s still uncertain whether you can win the bid in the end.”
Indeed, the numbers on the screen were already starting to flicker.
Huo Yuhao was a little perplexed. When he was at the Treasure-Appreciation Conference at the Treasure Pavilion with Wang Dong, Wang Dong’s Golden Light Left Arm Bone had been valued at nine million five hundred thousand golden soul coins. This Class 8 soul tool’s opening price was only six hundred thousand golden soul coins, and it even included a tiger-type right arm soul bone – how could the price disparity be so great?
Wang Dong understood him very well, and instantly detected the doubts in his mind. He lowered his voice and said, “Are you thinking about the Golden Light Left Arm Bone? That’s incomparable. Even though soul bones are all precious, a tiny distinction in quality can lead to vastly different values. The description of this blade’s power seems fine, but it probably means that the quality of the soul bone infused within it isn’t too great – otherwise, why would it be used to forge a soul tool? A soul master could just absorb it. As for the Golden Light Left Arm Bone, it gives my abilities an overall boost. Furthermore, I can feel that the reason why its effects on me are still limited is because my level of mastery isn’t high enough, just like your soul skills. Otherwise, it would be because I am not yet familiar with handling it. Do remember that the presence of the bone enhances our cultivation speed when we use the Haodong Power. You have to know that an increase of even ten percent in our cultivation speed is already difficult to gauge with money. Besides, this Class 8 soul tool’s opening price may only be six hundred thousand, but who knows how much its final price will be?”
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