The Desolate Era - Book 11, Chapter 15 - Desiring Fame at the Treasure Auction
“Him?” Youngflame Xiushui shook his head. “He’s only trained for thirty short years. To try to shock everyone at the Conclave of Immortal Destiny before he’s truly established his foundation of power? He’d just be dreaming.”
Next to him, his son said while grinding his teeth, “Father, Ji Ning rose to fame by stepping on our Youngflame clan. For the sake of our clan’s reputation alone, we should kill him.”
“That’s none of your concern.” Youngflame Xiushui glanced at his son.
As Youngflame Xiushui, Adept Woodpass, Princess Xiyue, and Fairy Azurewillow were all paying attention to Ning, the number of guests at the Fortunes Peaks had continued to steadily grow. These guests had all come here to participate in the Treasure Auction. Amongst them, there was a bald elder. He walked by himself to a cloud, then sat down in the lotus position.
“Ji Ning?” The bald elder gave Ning, seated on a distant cloud around a different mountain, a sidelong glance.
“If I kill Ji Ning, I’ll then reincarnate. If I can’t kill him, then my soul will be shattered.” The bald elder was Immortal Floatcloud, who had been given the mission by Patriarch Arcanum. Although he had been away from the imperial capital for more than ten thousand years, and very few people in the capital were even capable of recognizing him, Immortal Floatcloud had still changed his appearance and pulled in his aura.
Immortal Floatcloud stood there. Although he was drinking wine quite casually, he had chosen the perfect spot; from the corner of his eyes, he could pay clear attention to Ning’s actions.
“The main headquarters of the Heavenly Treasures Mountain. There are layers of protective spells here, and many Immortals on guard. To kill Ji Ning within the Heavenly Treasures Mountain… unlikely!” Immortal Floatcloud pondered on what to do. Actually, he wanted to walk right over to Ning, quickly kill him, then immediately self-detonate and go reincarnate. But he knew quite well…
As soon as he attacked, in the blink of an eye the formations of the Heavenly Treasures Mountain would activate. There was almost no chance he would be able to kill Ji Ning.
“I’ll wait until he leaves the Heavenly Treasures Mountain headquarters. Once he goes out, on the outside streets…” Immortal Floatcloud continued to ponder. “There will be no restrictive formations there. I can make my move then! As for the Imperial Guards, although they will arrive very quickly, it’ll still take them a bit of time.”
“I’ll let you live a little while longer.” Immortal Floatcloud’s Dao-heart was currently filled with the utmost resolve. There were no contradictory thoughts in his mind at all. He had only one thought – to kill Ji Ning, then reincarnate!
Ning was carefully reading through the intelligence report which Yu Qi had brought. This report detailed all of the more famous Wanxiang Adepts of the entire imperial capital. Indeed, there were several individuals who were publicly acclaimed as having the highest chances of success in this Conclave of Immortal Destiny. There was Xiamang Zishan of the imperial clan, Cangwu Jiu of the Cangwu clan, Xiangtian Xiao of the Xiangtian clan, Youngflame Xuan of the Youngflame clan, Adept Woodpass of the Southern Seas, Adept Redbamboo of the Eastern Seas…
These individuals all had enormous reputations, and were publicly acclaimed as the most supreme of Wanxiang Adepts.
Although the likes of the Sloppy Daoist of the Black-White College were also recorded within the book, they were clearly ranked towards the lower end. The Sloppy Daoist could only be considered one of the supreme Wanxiang Adepts of Stillwater Commandery. Adept Woodpass, Cangwu Jiu, and the others listed in the front, however, were the most supreme of this entire major world.
“I’m actually in this as well?” Ning flipped through, then laughed. “My main battle accomplishment is actually the killing of Youngflame Nong and a Primal-level Fiendgod.” If he hadn’t killed Youngflame Nong and his servant, given how short Ning’s period of training had been, he logically wouldn’t have emerged in this intelligence report at all.
Suddenly, the maidservant who had been standing behind him moved forward. Ning turned to look at her. She smiled and said, “Adept, the Treasure Auction is about to begin. Are you going to participate? If you are, please hand over five thousand kilograms as your deposit; if you are not, then you will have to leave.”
“Participating in the Treasure Auction requires a deposit?” Ning said, surprised, “And five thousand kilograms?”
“This is the requirement of the Heavenly Treasures Mountain headquarters,” the maidservant explained. “Ordinary Treasure Auctions don’t require deposits, but the monthly Treasure Auction held by the headquarters is an auction with treasures collected from throughout the Grand Xia Empire, and even some other major worlds. Generally speaking, there will be extremely valuable treasures present that are extremely rare and precious. To prevent customers from making random bids they cannot or will not honor, there is a need to put in a deposit of five thousand kilograms of liquefied elemental essence. If someone makes a bid but doesn’t honor it, then we will punish them by taking away the five thousand kilograms.”
“Also, the five thousand kilograms is non-refundable,” the maidservant said. “Adept, you can use it to buy whatever treasures you like during the Treasure Auction. In the end, we will deduct the five thousand kilograms from your total bill.”
“It seems all participants in the Treasure Auction, no matter what, must pay at least five thousand kilograms…” Ning swept the area with his gaze. “There are more than a thousand customers present. The amount of liquefied elemental essence will be at a minimum of five million kilograms.”
“We have prepared many treasures as well,” the maid said.
“Mm.” Ning nodded, then tossed out an elemental talisman he had acquired earlier when selling his treasures. The maid accepted it, then stepped backwards once more.
Atop the Fortunes Peaks, the clouds were filled with maids chatting with their customers. Some customers left, but quite a few remained. In fact, there were some latecomers as well who had clearly arrived just for the Treasure Auction.
“Youngflame clan.” Ji Ning stared towards the distant Youngflame Xiushui. “It seems they’ve discovered me as well. Hmph. The reason I came to the imperial capital was to make more people know about me. The more, the better.”
The reason why Ning had come so openly and in full ‘regalia’ was to become famous! The Youngflame clan had been frantically searching for him and knew about his whereabouts. However, the enemies of the Youngflame clan such as the Kindwater clan, their most powerful enemy, probably didn’t know about Ning’s arrival yet. So… what he wanted to do was to make himself famous! To make all the customers at the Treasure Auction spread word of his arrival.
“When the major powers of the Grand Xia’s imperial capital all know that I am here… those who wish to befriend me will probably seek me out.” Ning knew quite well that fighting against the Youngflame clan by himself would be extremely taxing. He needed a bit of outside support! Thus, he needed to become famous! It would be even better if his name became spread throughout the imperial capital!
Moments later. An enormous, rainbow-colored cloud soared into the skies, with a black-haired maiden standing atop it. Riding the cloud, she flew directly towards the air in the center of the nine peaks of the Fortunes Peaks.
“Everyone.” The black-haired maiden laughed, spinning around and curtseying in each direction. “The time has come once more for the monthly Treasure Auction. This Treasure Auction shall be administered by myself, Feathervoid. The Heavenly Treasures Mountain has prepared, in total, 1360 treasures, each of which are extraordinary. They all have their own unique attributes, and many of them come from hidden areas. Some even come from dangerous areas that are elsewhere in the Three Realms, or even beyond the Three Realms.”
“Same as always; aside from the treasures which our Heavenly Treasures Mountain is selling off, all the customers present who possess treasures they wish to auction off can do so, after an examination by us. The Treasure Auction itself will only charge a commission of 5%, capped off at five thousand kilograms of liquefied elemental essence.”
“Alright, enough with the small talk. Let’s begin with the first item of this Treasure Auction.”
The long black-haired maiden waved her hand, and a golden set of drums suddenly appeared in the air, wafting out with ripples of power.
“Battlesoul Drums, Heaven-ranked magic treasure. It can be used to wound enemies, and it can also be used to make thousands of your Dao-soldiers unleash extraordinary combat power. Reserve price of five thousand kilograms! Each bid has to be at least five hundred kilograms higher,” the black-haired maiden said with a laugh.
The formidable figures who had come to attend the Treasure Auction all began to make their bids, purchasing one treasure after another. Those who had the money to put down 5000 kilogram deposits were all extraordinary cultivators. Ordinary Primal Daoists wouldn’t be willing to spare a deposit of such size.
Ning sat there, drinking and watching leisurely.
“Master, aren’t you going to act yet?” Little Qing felt her blood boil as she watched the Treasure Auction go on. She was incomparably excited.
“Don’t be impatient,” Ning said. “The Youngflame clan hasn’t acted; why should I be in a rush? And in addition, there aren’t any treasures that I deeply desire either.”
The treasures which Ning had sold off were virtually all from either the Witchriver Immortal Estate or from Youngflame Nong. As for the truly exquisite items left behind by Immortal Juhua, Ning was holding them back and in no rush to sell! After having been ‘baptized’ by going through the treasures of Youngflame Nong, Immortal Witchriver, Immortal Juhua, and the underwater estate, Ning now had very high standards.
“This next treasure is a formation diagram! This formation diagram belonged to the Crab-Tortoise Immortal Duo. These two old Celestial Immortal Diremonsters made them as part of a game. I imagine that you all know that the Crab-Tortoise Immortal Duo had received a legacy from a major power of the Three Realms, and are exceptionally skilled in the Dao of Formations. Although this was nothing more than a toy to these two Celestial Immortals, it is still quite extraordinary, and contains many profound mysteries regarding formations. The Crab-Tortoise Immortal Duo once said… anyone who completely comprehends this formation diagram can be considered a grandmaster of formations.” The black-haired maiden laughed, “This formation diagram will start at a minimum price of 25,000 kilograms. Everyone, place your bids.”
“The Crab-Tortoise Immortal Duo?” Everyone began to discuss this. As for Ning and Uncle White, their eyes lit up as well.
The Whitewater Hound was completely focused on the Dao of Formations. Ning had a certain degree of understanding regarding formations as well. Naturally, the two knew of the Crab-Tortoise Immortal Duo. The Crab-Tortoise Immortal Duo were two figures out of legends. Both were Celestial Immortal Diremonsters… and they could be said to have the highest level of comprehension regarding formations, here in the major world of the Grand Xia Empire. In addition, it was said that they were apprentices to a truly major power of the Three Realms.
“Nothing more than a toy to them… if this was the essence of their knowledge, then the price would definitely not be a mere 25,000 kilograms.” Ning gave the nearby Uncle White a glance; clearly, Uncle White was rather eager and excited.
As someone who walked the Dao of Formations, he was naturally filled with eagerness towards this formation diagram.
The price of this formation diagram quickly skyrocketed. Although the Dao of Formations was an extremely complex and difficult one which very few truly supreme geniuses would embark on, there were still some people who knew that they had no hopes of becoming a Celestial Immortal and who would thus focus their efforts on formations. Formation grandmasters were quite terrifying, and in fact there were even some Celestial Immortals who relied on formations as well.
Still, the Dao of Formations was a bitter, tough Dao to follow. A single formation diagram wouldn’t rise to an excessive price.
“40,000 kilograms.” Youngflame Xiushui finally spoke out. This was already quite a high price. Those who had come to the treasure auction were all quite level-headed, and wouldn’t bid randomly.
“Any higher bids?” The black-haired maiden swept her gaze towards the surrounding area.
Ning, who had yet to make a bid yet, suddenly spoke out. “42,500 kilograms!” He had immediately raised the price by 2500 kilograms, and it had already been at quite a high price.
The black-haired maiden glanced over, revealing a smile. “42,500 kilograms. Any higher?”
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
The guests seated on the clouds surrounding the various peaks all looked over, curious as to who the bidder was.
“Oh? A fur-clad youth? A Whitewater Hound? An Azure Skysnake?” Ning, for the sake of making himself more recognizable, had Little Qing revert to her Azure Skysnake form.
“That fur-clad youth… is he Ji Ning, who was said to have killed Youngflame Nong?”
“Who is Ji Ning?”
“Youngflame Nong, the next Godplume Duke of the imperial capital’s Youngflame clan, was killed in Stillwater Commandery. Didn’t you hear about this? The person who killed him was Ji Ning! The one who just made the bid! Look at those two spirit-beasts next to him, and look at his appearance. There’s no mistaking it. It’s him.”
“He killed Youngflame Nong?”
“The previous bidder was Youngflame Xiushui of the Youngflame clan. Ji Ning is in a bidding war against Youngflame Xiushui!”
The many guests of the Fortunes Peaks were all focused on Ning now, and instantly, a buzz of conversation swept the area.
Youngflame Xiushui’s face became unsightly to look at. As for the nearby Youngflame Jun, his face turned red with anger. He ground his teeth, and it seemed as though his eyes were spitting fire. He called out loudly, “45,000 kilograms!”