The scene in the auction room was a picture similar to that of a battlefield, as all influential parties were at ‘daggers-drawn’ glaring at each of their competitors fiercely. The Bright Flame Kingdom, the Southern Wasteland, the Western Kingdom along with a few hidden parties each began to prepare themselves for the battle to go down.
The auctioneer WhiteMask smiled to himself as he observed the mood of the atmosphere with interest, momentarily casting his gaze towards the group that just appeared in the most top layer of the auction room. Quickly, he clapped his hands together once more waking each of the influences from their moods.
“Guest and Honoured Guest, as most you can already guess. The item before you is precisely the chart that was used by practitioners in the age of Pre-Calamity when exploring the exploring the Ancient Dragon Battlefield. The Mystery Pavilion has preserved it as a keepsake of the past era, but now, things are different, as we are willing to auction this item in the hopes of contributing to the appearance of the Mystic Realm,” WhiteMask said with a sincere tone.
“Hmph! It’s no wonder they called an auction at this time. It seems they’ve noticed the changes in this region and want to use our aid along with the Divine Prophet’s information to find the entrance to the mystic realm,” A man garbed in decorated robes said. He was seated at the topmost layer, and had a pendant necklace around his neck was with an engraving of a flame that shone across a vast mountain range.
“Your Excellency! It is as you say, even the emissaries of the Golden Dragon Empire have made their way here. We may not be able to claim the leading position even in our own hosted gathering at the selections,” A skinny looking man said who wore dark-colored ancient formal wear, with a beard that reached down to his knees, and sharp cunning eyes.
“Indeed so, it’s no surprise that they would get involved, they didn’t even bother to enter the VIP rooms, as if they didn’t care to make their presence known to the top class. It’s a pity that only a few individuals have noticed thus far,” The man with the flame pendant said.
Madam Xuan who was observing the item smiled as she spoke to Xuan Bei, “Bei Child, we must claim this item no matter the cost, it is the only way to ensure that we are another step ahead of the foreign influences.”
“You don’t have to tell me twice! I know that!” Xuan Bei replied in annoyance as he looked at the Ancient Dragon Chart with flames in his eyes.
Ji Weng, Tang Wu, Xin Qing along with the Southern Wasteland and Hidden Influences looked on in silence as the tension in the atmosphere grew thicker. As WhiteMask saw that each of the influences were ready, he then waved his hand causing a bright light to cover the Ancient Dragon Chart as he spoke once more, “The bidding will now commence; the starting price is…”
Upon speaking to here, the smile underneath his mask grew wider as he lifted one finger and stretched his hand out towards the audience and spoke once more, “One hundred thousand middle-grade essence stones!”
Instantly, his voice resounded throughout the room which was followed by a defining silence. After a while, the influences or rather the parties that resided in the bottom-most layers started a commotion.
“Middle-grade essence stones! Are you kidding me?” A fierce looking bald head man exclaimed in surprise.
“How are we supposed to afford this?” Another individual said with a look of sadness on his face.
However, one cannot blame them, as, like weapons, pills, and artifacts alike, essence stones are divided into separate tiers each tier signifying a different weight representing an entirely different class. These tiers are mortal, earth, heaven, mystical and supreme, the essence stones equivalent being low-grade, middle-grade, upper-grade, top-grade and lastly, ultra-grade.
They are converted as follows:
One middle-grade essence stone – 10 low-grade essence stones.
One upper-grade essence stone – 100 middle-grade essence stones.
One top-grade essence stone – 1000 upper-grade essence stones.
One ultra-grade essence stone – 10000 top-grade essence stones.
Legend says of a tier that exists beyond that of the known tier’s, but that is a story that remains yet to unfold.
Feng Yu, Dai Lin, and Hui Ying looked at the scene with excitement in their eyes.
“Who will win?” Feng Yu curiously asked as he looked at the scene before him. Soon, there was a bid that came from the top class above the third layer.
“The Rain Sword Sect offers one hundred and fifteen thousand middle-grade essence stones!” A man dressed in light blue clothing said.
“The Dark Sky Pavilion offers one hundred and thirty thousand middle-grade essence stones!” A woman in dark clothes said.
“The Midnight Temple offers one hundred and fifty thousand middle-grade essence stones!” The mysterious figure with a dark bamboo hat said.
“The Molten Axe Sect offers one hundred and seventy thousand middle-grade essence stones!” A gorgeous woman dressed in red said.
“The Tang Family offers one hundred and eighty thousand middle-grade essence stones!” The man from the Tang Family said.
“Chet! The Xin Clan offers one hundred and ninety thousand middle-grade essence stones!” Old Zhu said as he glared at the Tang Family.
Xuan Bei and Madam Xuan were about to make their move when suddenly a voice transmission message was sent directly to their eyes, shocked they both looked up at the highest layer. Upon seeing the figures of the man with flame engraved pendant as well as the long-bearded skinny man. A look of excitement shone deeply within their eyes as they no longer decided to make their moves.
As the top-class influences continued their struggle for the Ancient Dragon Chart, a few parties that remained silent were now beginning to make their move.
Hui Ying noticing the change in the atmosphere spoke in a soft voice, “It looks like it’s about to begin truly…”
“Em! They’re making their moves!” Feng Yu said as he looked at the group from the top layer.
A man seated beside Ji Weng raised his betting plate and spoke loudly, “The Western Shengyin Kingdom Imperial Sheng Family offers two hundred thousand middle-grade essence stones!”
As he said this, the skinny man beside the man with flame engraved pendant looked towards the man from the Western Shengyin Kingdom and sneered before casting a side glance at the group from the Golden Dragon Empire, seeing them not taking any action he then made his bid.
“The Bright Flame Kingdom’s Imperial Xuan Family offers two hundred and fifty thousand middle-grade essence stones!”
The audience hearing the names of these influences were shocked as they clamored.
“The Imperial Family Clans have sent top figures apart from the Genius Ji Weng and Prince Xuan Bei!” A minor figure said in shock as he looked towards the top floor.
“I didn’t think the major players of both the Imperial Family Clans within the empire would make their move so soon!” Old Zhu said as he frowned.
“Uncle Fei, are we going to keep bidding now that the imperial clans have started to take action?” Tang Wu asked as he looked towards the man beside him.
“….” Uncle Fei did not respond to his question but cast his vision towards the mysterious man with the bamboo hat.
“The Midnight Temple offers three hundred thousand middle-grade essence stones!” The mysterious man with the bamboo hat casually said.
A few individuals seated on the top platform looked below in surprise as saw the mysterious individual in a bamboo hat.
“This Midnight Temple, why have I never heard of their names?” A common figure on the top layer said to himself.
The man from the Bright Flame Kingdom Xuan Family looked towards the third layer with a solemn gaze as he said, “They can’t be?”
The Western Kingdom’s Sheng Family emissary also cast his vision towards the form below while remaining silent.
The man with the Golden Dragon Emblem on his robes looked down towards the form with a strange light glowing in his eyes as he muttered, “Midnight Temple, or is it Midnight Hall… Interesting, it looks like we can’t remain silent any longer it’s time to bring an end to this auction.”
As he said they this he slowly began to rise from his seat and walked towards the edge of the layer while the bidding was growing more and more intense. Soon, is figure becoming visible to many individuals that were paying attention towards the top-layer
It’s as the saying goes, ‘if the tiger is not on the mountain, the monkeys will believe themselves to be its king,’ The moment these individuals noticed the presence of the man that spoke along with his group that sat down on the top layer. All forms of competitiveness had instantly died down as they looked towards the figure with reverence.
The man seeing this smiled as he spoke, “The Golden Dragon Empire offers five hundred thousand middle-grade essence stones! Will fellow Daoist’s give this man face?”
The man from the Sheng Family, Madam Xuan along with Xuan Bei, the Tang Family, Xin Clan and many of the powerful influences upon hearing this man’s words all became apprehensive.
“Damn! What are they doing here so soon?” A man from the Sheng Imperial Clan cursed in anger as look towards the man.
“Well, Old Zhu it seems that today’s auction has been decided!” Tang Fei said as he sent a voice transmission to Xin Zhu.
“Indeed so, sigh…” Xin Zhu said with a slight loss of spirit.
Madam Xuan and Xuan Bei looked towards the man with flame engraved pendant and saw that he shook his head wearily, soon, they became depressed.
As Feng Yu, Dai Lin and Hui Ying saw this scene they couldn’t help but sigh to themselves inwardly.
Feng Yu looked on for a moment before removing his vision and getting up from his seat as he spoke, “Brother Ying, Dai Lin, it seems that the situation is as we’ve expected to unfold. No one will challenge the prestige of the empire that governs them; It’s about time we head back, as I’m eager to test out this new sword of mine,” As he said this, he placed both swords on his back. Black-Lightning was placed on his left with Crimson-Ember on his right.
“Yeah, no point staying here any longer, heh, I’ve already gathered a few necessary items as well,” Hui Ying said.
“Em,” Dai Lin replied who followed behind Feng Yu as they made their way towards the exit, but just as soon as they were about to leave the room, there was a change.
“I’m sorry fellow Daoist’s but the Southern Wasteland does not care about face, we offer one hundred thousand upper-grade essence stones!” A man seated beside the young man from the southern wasteland said, he was wrapped from head to toe with strange garments and looked as if he traveled the from the deepest part of the desert.
As soon as his voice ended, there was a strange scene, as all influential parties looked towards the man in shock. The man from the Golden Dragon Empire frowned as he looked towards the odd-looking figure seated a layer below him.
WhiteMask seeing this scene smiled as he thought to himself, “Hehehe! How fascinating! I didn’t think they’d travel from so far to partake in this empire’s affairs, but who am I to judge, I’m here too after all.”
The man with the flame engraved pendant shook his head as he viewed this scene he looked towards skinny man beside him and spoke solemnly, “No matter what the means we must keep some degree of control. Fei Tan! Relay my message to the knights, gather at Machen Town at once!”
“By your excellency’s command!” Fei Tan replied who then vanished with a ‘swish’ of his body.
Noticing that there was no longer any bids WhiteMask laughed to himself as he spoke, “One hundred thousand upper-grade essence stones!”
“Going once! Going twice!”
“Sold to the group from the Southern Wasteland!” He roared at the top of his voice as a brilliant light shone across the entire auction room.
“Wasteland!… Wasteland!… Wasteland!” His voice resounding throughout the entire auction room as well as the private room that Feng Yu and the guys were about the exit.
Feng Yu looked back in shock as he said, “How could I forget them? It seems that father was right this group from the Southern Wasteland…”
As if continuing his statement, the man from the Golden Dragon Empire spoke from his position as he looked down at the man, “Is… no ordinary influence….”
WhiteMask smiled as he spoke one final time, “I now announce the end of this Year’s Mystery Pavilion Auction! Everyone, until next time we meet!” As he said this, his figure blurred as he turned into a ball of white light and scattered across the room.
Leaving only a shocked audience with a deadly quiet scene.