The Desolate Era - Book 11, Chapter 17 - Stopping At Nothing to Acquire It
Whoosh! Instantly, more than a thousand of the other customers at the Fortunes Peaks all turned to stare. It must be understood that although they, too, were participating in the Treasure Auction, in reality they would only spend around fifty thousand kilograms or so in purchasing treasures. Only very, very few were truly willing to pay more than five hundred thousand kilograms! The entire networth of many Loose Immortals was perhaps lower than this amount, and their networth was usually tied up in their magic treasures!
Only a small portion of the people present at the Fortunes Peaks were capable of making a bid of 1.3 million kilograms of liquefied elemental essence.
“It’s that Ji Ning again.”
“A mere Wanxiang Adept?”
“He dares to purchase the Five Elements peacock plumes?”
“Does he even have that much liquefied elemental essence?”
“He killed Youngflame Nong and a Primal-level Fiendgod. Youngflame Nong had quite a few treasures on him, and that Fiendgod probably had quite a few as well.”
A series of conversations erupted. Everyone was stunned at the fact that Ning dared to bid as well. After all, all five of the previous bidders had extraordinary backgrounds, and all of them were Immortals! Ji Ning? He was a mere Wanxiang Adept.
“1.35 million kilograms. Young fellow from the Black-White College, this is just raw materials, not an actual magic treasure; even if you buy it, it will be of no use to you. You have to match it with many other raw materials and invite a forging expert to forge an Immortal-ranked magic treasure for you.”
“1.4 million kilograms. Whoever bids the highest will gain the treasure. It doesn’t matter that Ji Ning is just a Wanxiang Adept; even an ordinary mortal who has enough money can bid. Don’t concern yourself over why he’s buying it.”
“1.5 million kilograms. Everyone, stop fighting with me over it. Master has needed this sort of Five Elements raw materials for a very long time.”
The price slowly began to rise. Ning, in turn, began to feel the pressure as well. After all, he had only sold off around 1.3 million kilograms of treasure earlier. Still, this was within his expectations; after all, the peacock plumes could serve as the primary materials for a high-grade Immortal-ranked magic treasure. This wasn’t something which his Azuresilk Godfire Lamp could compete with. It was, after all, just a low-grade Immortal-ranked magic treasure!
“Ji Ning, send the price sky-high and stun them.” Suddenly, the giant yellow bear’s voice rang out in his mind. “If they slowly bid it up, the final price will probably be even higher. Make an immediate bid of 2 million kilograms.”
Ning hesitated slightly. He was carrying the underwater estate with him, and the spirit of the estate was capable of sensing everything going on in the surrounding area.
“2 million kilograms!” Ning called out in a loud voice.
Instantly, the Fortunes Peaks fell completely silent.
Earlier, the bidding increases had all been at slow increments of just fifty thousand kilograms. This sudden increase of five hundred thousand kilograms was simply too huge. After all, this wasn’t an actual Immortal-ranked magic treasure; just materials for making one.
“He has that much liquefied elemental essence?” Princess Xiyue began to worry in her heart. When she saw Ning make bids, she wanted to help him… but she always stayed within the royal estate and rarely ventured out to the Heavenly Treasures Mountain. As a result, she almost never spent money, and thus she only carried some protective treasures with her. In addition, she was only a Wanxiang Adept herself; she naturally wouldn’t have any Immortal-ranked magic treasures with her.
She didn’t go out adventuring, and she always stayed in the imperial capital; thus, most likely the total value of the magic treasures she was carrying, if sold off, would only come to perhaps five hundred thousand or a million kilograms of liquefied elemental essence.
2 or 2.5 million kilograms… not even many imperial princesses were capable of producing such a sum.
“If only Grandpa was here,” Princess Xiyue mused silently to herself. Given how her Grandpa coddled her in all things, if he was here, purchasing the peacock plumes would only be a minor matter.
“This Ji Ning… how much treasure did he acquire from killing Youngflame Nong?” The nearby Fairy Azurewillow sighed, completely moved. “He even dares to bid on items like the peacock plumes. 2 million kilograms! That’s enough to actually purchased a completed Immortal-ranked magic treasure.”
“Ji Ning only killed a mere Youngflame Nong; how much could Youngflame Nong have possibly been worth? Ji Ning actually dares to bid two million kilograms?” A white-faced, beardless youth frowned.
“Two million kilograms?” The man whose entire body glittered with a metallic azure light frowned as well. This price was indeed rather high. To produce a powerful Immortal-ranked magic treasure, other materials were needed as well. In addition, a Celestial Immortal Patriarch who was skilled in forging artifacts would have to personally oversee the forging, which would not be cheap either. Only after all these expenses would an Immortal-ranked magic treasure take form.
“What a fellow.” Adept Woodpass, who had been watching this with intrigue, sighed in amazement as well. He couldn’t help but cast the distant Ning a deep, long glance. Two million kilograms? Ji Ning truly was quite wealthy.
As the saying went, a horse who was not fed an extra ration of grass wouldn’t be fat and sturdy; to focus on training and searching for natural treasures truly wasn’t as efficient as Ning’s killing of Youngflame Nong. By killing Youngflame Nong, he had instantly grown rich!
“Fellow Daoist Xiushui, are you still planning to bid against him?” Adept Woodpass laughed. “I still have roughly half a million kilograms that I can led to you, fellow Daoist.”
“Thank you, fellow Daoist Woodpass.” Youngflame Xiushui glanced towards a nearby attendant, and the azure-robed man immediately walked over.
“Didn’t you say earlier that based on your investigations, Ning’s trade with the Heavenly Treasures Mountain was only worth around 1.3 million kilograms?” Youngflame Xiushui said, frustrated and irritated, “If he only had 1.3 million kilograms, how would he dare make a bid of two million?”
The azure-robed servant said hurriedly, “Master, this information is absolutely correct. Don’t worry; the Heavenly Treasures Mountain headquarters also knows that Ji Ning only traded for 1.3 million kilograms of liquefied elemental essence with them. For him to suddenly bid two million… they, too, will be worried that Ning is not going to be able to honor his bid for this auction, and so will go investigate him.”
“Mm.” Youngflame Xiushui nodded. His gaze suddenly lit up, as he already saw that atop the distant cloud on which Ning was seated, a man and a woman were flying towards him.
Ning had noticed two figures were flying towards him from behind as well. One was an azure-robed Yu Qi, while the white-robed one was a bald woman. As the two flew towards the cloud, a mist suddenly arose from it, completely blocking out the surrounding area, causing the outside world to have no idea what they were discussing.
The bald woman said with a smile, “Fellow Daoist Ji Ning, I am Soledust of the Heavenly Treasures Mountain. I know that you, fellow Daoist, had already traded for 1.3 million kilograms of liquefied elemental essence, but now that you are suddenly bidding 2 million… our Heavenly Treasures Mountain is concerned that in the end, this transaction cannot be completed.”
Ning nodded. In an ordinary treasure auction, if the auction failed due to insufficient funds from the winning bidder, it would be enough to just punish the faithless bidder by taking away his deposit of 5000 kilograms. But this was the auction for the peacock plumes; the value of it was simply too great. If Ning were to make random bids that he could not honor, there would be no way to make up for the damage done by just penalizing him 5000 kilograms.
“I truly hope you can understand our position, fellow Daoist Ji Ning,” the bald, white-robed woman said with great courtesy.
“I do understand,” Ning laughed. “I’ve heard earlier that during this Treasure Auction, if I have treasures of my own, I can hand them over to you for auctioning, right?”
“Right.” The bald, white-robed woman nodded.
“I have one right here.” Ning waved his hand, and an ancient, unassuming lamp appeared. The lamp had azure flames blazing above it. Instantly, the face of a child appeared within the azure flames. Scanning the surrounding area, the child sighed, “You locked me in your storage treasure for so long. That was really stifling. And whoah, what’s this place?”
“An Immortal-ranked magic treasure?” The white-robed woman was startled. “Azuresilk Godfire Lamp?”
An Azuresilk Godfire Lamp was considered a fairly common type of Immortal-ranked magic treasure. Described simply, it was just a type of lamp with Azuresilk Godfire within it, but the Godfire within the lamp could be borrowed to attack enemies. Although it was fairly common, quite a few experts would still fight over the chance to acquire one. After all, everyone wanted to help the skyfire in their bodies rise to the first grade if at all possible.
“Fellow Daoist Ji Ning, are you saying that you are intending to auction off this Azuresilk Godfire Lamp? Here, at this Treasure Auction?” The white-robed woman asked.
“Right.” Ning nodded.
“Our Heavenly Treasures Mountain can just purchase it for a price of 1.5 million kilograms,” the white-robed woman, Soledust couldn’t refrain from saying. Although fairly common, it was extremely rare for an Azuresilk Godfire Lamp to appear at auction, and whenever one appeared, it would immediately be purchased. Naturally, the Heavenly Treasures Mountain was willing to accept it.
“No, I’ll sell it off in this Treasure Auction. Let’s set the reserve price at 1.5 million kilograms. If no one buys it, then I’ll sell it to you,” Ning said. “Fellow Daoist Soledust, you wouldn’t object to this, would you?”
The white-robed woman’s facial muscles twitched. A reserve price of 1.5 million kilograms? To be sold to the Heavenly Treasures Mountain only if no one was willing to buy it?
“No objections, no objections.” The white-robed woman picked up the Azuresilk Godfire Lamp, then turned and left.
Ning didn’t feel worried; when the Heavenly Treasures Mountain headquarters engaged in a business trade, they wouldn’t stoop so low as to embezzling a single low-grade Immortal-ranked magic treasure like an Azuresilk Godfire Lamp.
The black-haired maiden standing on a cloud and officiating over this Treasure Auction was waiting for the investigation by her side to conclude. Now that she knew that Ning did indeed have the ability to complete this purchase, she immediately said, “2 million kilograms. Are there any higher bids?”
“It seems this Ji Ning does have the ability to honor his bid.” The pale-faced, beardless youth shook his head and sighed. “Too expensive. The price is too high.”
“The price is too high.”
People immediately began to give up. After all, Ning’s suddenly price increase of five hundred thousand kilograms had truly stunned quite a few people.
Still… there were others who remained greatly desirous of these peacock plumes.
“2.05 million kilograms!” The man who shone with a metallic azure light said with a growl, “This is something I need for my tribulation. I hope that you will all give me, Eastclown, some face.”
“Hmph, Eastclown, you need to pass your tribulation, but so do I! 2.1 million kilograms,” Youngflame Xiushui growled back.
Immortal Eastclown was just a solitary, wandering figure; although he was extremely powerful, Youngflame Xiushui was still of the Youngflame clan.
“2.15 million kilograms!” Immortal Eastclown growled.
“2.2 million kilograms!” Youngflame Xiushui ground his teeth.
“2.3 million kilograms!” A killing intent appeared in Immortal Eastclown’s eyes.
“2.35 million kilograms!” Youngflame Xiushui’s gaze was like ice.
The tribulation. This was the most difficult trial for any cultivator on an Immortal path. By passing the Celestial Tribulation, one would be able to escape the confines of the Three Realms, to live a carefree life, to live forever! Upon failing… if one was lucky, one would end up as a mere Loose Immortal. How could they not be willing to fight over a treasure helpful for their tribulations?”
“2.5 million kilograms!” Ning’s voice thundered out.
Youngflame Xiushui and Immortal Eastclown simultaneously turned to stare. All of the guests present turned to stare as well. They couldn’t help but begin to chatter about Ji Ning once again. This was insane. 2.5 million kilograms?!
“Youngflame Xiushui, do you have another bid?” Ji Ning stared at the distant Youngflame Xiushui. If the desire those two Earth Immortals towards acquiring the plumes could be described as ‘intense’, Ji Ning’s desire would have to be described as no less than theirs! Finding treasures with the essence extracts of the Five Elements… although it was a bit easier for the second Cycle of the Starseizer, the third Cycle was far more difficult.
The peacock plumes, however, were absolutely capable of allowing Ning to reach the second and third Cycles, with some left over! Of the divine abilities Ning trained in, the most powerful one was definitely the [Starseizing Hand]; this was ranked as one of the top ten divine abilities that had been created after the heavens had been established. It was supreme within the Three Realms!
Magic treasures, curios… those were all secondary. The divine ability, [Starseizing Hand], was what would make Ning’s power rise the most! The peacock plumes… he absolutely had to have them!
“2.5 million kilograms of liquefied elemental essence. Any higher bids? Any higher?” The black-haired maiden, atop her cloud, called out in a high voice. The Fortunes Peaks were filled with a buzz of conversation, but not a single bid came out. Although Youngflame Xiushui’s face was quite ugly to behold, even he hesitated. As for Immortal Eastclown, he had no choice but to grit his teeth and accept it.
“If there are no higher bids, then this peacock plume will go to fellow Daoist Ji Ning!” The black-haired maiden made one final urging call to the crowd.