When Meng Hao spoke, everything went quiet. Everyone’s eyes focused on the iron spear sticking out of the ground.
Qian Shuihen laughed loudly, cupping hands in salute to Meng Hao.
“So, Elder Brother Meng is willing to part with his treasure. I, Qian, will not allow you to suffer a loss.” He pulled out a bag of holding and tossed it to the ground. “Here are five hundred Spirit Stones!” Clinking sounds rang out as five-hundred Spirit Stones appeared, forming a small mountain. Off to the side, the State of Zhao disciples watched, gloating over Meng Hao’s misfortune. Five hundred Spirit Stones was not a small amount, but also not a very large amount. If he sold a treasured item for that amount, he would become a laughingstock.
They weren’t the only ones to think about the price. Meng Hao frowned. The difference was, his thinking was different from that of the State of Zhao disciples. In his estimation, the iron spear was probably worth two pieces of silver. To trade it for five hundred Spirit Stones meant that he was actually making a tidy profit.
“Are you kidding me?” said Lu Song. “Don’t try to bully Elder Brother Meng. You think you can buy a treasure like that with just five hundred Spirit Stones? I will buy it for one thousand five hundred Spirit Stones!” With a cold harrumph and the flick of a sleeve, he produced a bag of holding. More clinking sounds rang out as one thousand five hundred shining Spirit Stones emerged, producing a pile much higher than Qian Shuihen’s. It was a grand sight which left everyone nervous with anticipation.
The State of Zhao disciples’ hearts pounded. To them, one thousand five hundred Spirit Stones was a lot. Even though they were disciples of the three great Sects, it would still be difficult to accumulate so many. They panted as they watched. Even Sun Hua seemed to quiver with eagerness. Zhou Kai stood behind him, dumbfounded. His admiration for Meng Hao grew even stronger, and he felt regret in his heart. He shouldn’t have called out Meng Hao’s name just now. He sighed, realizing that it was his fault that Meng Hao was being forced to sell his treasure.
“Junior Brother Song really does have gall,” said Qian Shuihen, giving Lu Song a cold look. He was determined to win the treasure. As far as he was concerned, it was his ticket into the Inner Sect, and he would not give up, no matter what price he had to pay. As of now, his true opponent was Lu Song. The two of them could clearly not discuss acquiring the spear together.
“All of you! Give me your Spirit Stones,” said Qian Shuihen, turning to looking at the five or six disciples behind him. “When we return to the Sect I will find a way to repay you.” Without hesitation, they opened their bags of holding and produced all of their Spirit Stones.
“Two thousand one hundred Spirit Stones,” Qian Shuihen said coolly, looking as if he didn’t care in the slightest. “Elder Brother Meng, these are all the items that I possess.” He gave a cold look to Lu Song.
Lu Song’s face twisted. The one thousand five hundred Spirit Stones he’d offered had been borrowed from the handful of fellow disciples behind him. Seeing how many Qian Shuihen had produced, as well as Meng Hao’s apparent hesitation, he suddenly slapped his bag of holding.
“Elder Brother Meng, I have no more Spirit Stones. But, I have medicinal pills.” A bottle appeared in his hand. “Here are three Heavenly Water Pills, suitable for any Cultivator of the eighth level of Qi condensation or lower. It is one of the best pills produced by the Pill Cultivation Workshop of our Violet Fate Sect. Each pill is worth five hundred Spirit Stones.”
The burning look in the eyes of the State of Zhao disciples grew more intense. They knew how valuable Heavenly Water Pills were.
Sun Hua’s breathing grew heavier. He had heard the Elders of his Sect speak of Heavenly Water Pills, and knew that they were one of the three most effective types of pills within the Southern Domain for eighth level Qi Condensation Cultivators. Even within the Violet Fate Sect, prominent members of the Outer Sect would have a hard time getting their hands on one.
Qian Shuihen frowned, his eyes fixed on Lu Song. Clenching his jaw, he slapped his bag of holding and produced his own pill bottle.
“I have no Heavenly Water Pills,” said Qian Shuihen dramatically, “but, seeing that Elder Brother Meng is of the seventh level of Qi Condensation, please accept these seven Earthly Spirit Pills. They were awarded to me for meritorious service within the Sect. They are perfectly suited for the seventh level of Qi Condensation.”
“I have some piddling Earthly Spirit Pills too,” said Lu Song with a cold laugh. He looked back at the disciples behind him. They gritted their teeth and produced their bags of holding, handing over ten Earthly Spirit Pills. They looked with reddened eyes at Qian Shuihen and his group.
“Elder Brother Qian, look….” said Meng Hao shyly. His heart beat rapidly.
Qian Shuihen’s face changed as he realized that his offerings didn’t match up to Lu Song’s. But this was his opportunity to enter the Inner Sect. He would not let it pass.
“Junior Brother Lu, you are determined to have it out with me today, aren’t you? Fine!” His eyes flashing fiercely. He slapped his bag of holding, and immediately, a black beam shot out, transforming into a black spike. It glittered like lightning, producing multiple afterimages. The afterimages all came to rest on Qian Shuihen’s hand, and everything grew quiet.
It was pitch black and carried an air of indescribable sharpness.
“Elder Brother Meng, this is a magical item bestowed upon me by the Sect. It is called the Hellfighting Spike. Cold and dark, if it wounds an opponent, the wound will freeze over and an intense coldness will enter their body.” Qian Shuihen forced himself to ignore his heartache as he spoke.
When the spike appeared, the faces of the disciples behind Qian Shuihen filled with envy. Lu Song’s expression changed, and he looked distressed. He had never imagined that Qian Shuihen would take out the black spike.
Meng Hao’s eyes widened and his heart raced even faster. It wasn’t just him. A buzz of conversation arose among the nearby State of Zhao disciples.
“That’s a Hellfighting Spike from the Violet Fate Sect. I’ve heard the Elders speak of it. Only the Violet Fate Sect possesses them. It’s said there are only one hundred and eight in existence. Each one is shockingly powerful.”
Sun Hua’s mouth grew dry, and he stared fixated at the spike. He wished beyond anything that he could be Meng Hao, then he could have this treasure.
Lu Song’s face continued to twist. Grinding his teeth angrily, he thought about the chance to join the Inner Sect, and how there was only one spot available. He would not retreat from this opportunity. Enduring the disappointment, he slapped his bag of holding and produced a treasure.
It was a feather fan, composed of a total of sixteen multi-colored feathers. As soon as it appeared, it emanated a shocking spiritual power which struck fear into the hearts of the onlookers.
“Elder Brother Meng, this is my most valuable treasure. It is a Milky Way Fan. You don’t need to practice with it at all, you can use it immediately. It allows the user to soar, and can change size. The sixteen feathers can also fly out in an attack, or circle around you to form a shield. It can be used in both attack and defense. It is not a treasure of our Sect, but rather something I acquired by luck. Allow me to present it to you in trade, Fellow Daoist.” An unsightly expression filled his face, and his heart fairly dripped with blood, but in contending with Qian Shuihen for a spot in the Inner Sect, he charged forth without regard to rhyme or reason.
When the fan appeared, Qian Shuihen’s facial expression changed. He took two steps back, his eyes filling with lines of blood. He knew that this was an extremely valuable treasure. To offer this up was almost like risking one’s life.
As for the State of Zhao disciples, they looked shocked, and their heads hummed. They might not be familiar with the fan, but it was obviously a spectacularly extraordinary item. It emitted fierce spiritual power which left their hearts pounding in shock.
Sun Hua’s eyes grew wide, and his body trembled as it filled with a fierce envy.
Meng Hao took in a deep breath. At the moment, he actually wasn’t very happy, but instead apprehensive. He had already offended Eccentric Song, and the thought of deeply offending the Violet Fate Sect caused a cold sweat to break out over his entire body. But it seemed that whether or not he wanted to trade… he would have to.
His current appearance, his frown, and the dark look in his eyes, all made the onlookers think that he didn’t view the treasures in front of him as valuable enough to trade.
“Elder Brother Meng, I also have a Plateau Charging Pill, useful at the ninth level of Qi Condensation.” Ignoring the pain in his heart, Qian Shuihen slapped his bag of holding and produced a pill bottle. “It is very precious. Any Cultivator of the ninth level of Qi Condensation would go crazy upon seeing just one. Even though it can’t compare to a Foundation Establishment Pill, it’s still very valuable.” As he spoke, he didn’t even look at Meng Hao, but rather Lu Song.
“This spear…” Meng Hao felt even more conflicted at heart, and he was about to speak further when suddenly Lu Song raised his head to the sky and laughed loudly. He lifted up his hand and pulled a brocaded pouch out of his robe. He turned it over, and a thick, round pill fell out. It was black, and did not emit even a shred of spiritual power. But, seeing how Lu Song treated it with utmost care, it was obviously some sort of treasure.
“Elder Brother Meng, this pill is not reusable. In fact, it is a rare magical pill. When you crush it, it will turn into a hyper toxic black scorpion that can injure a Cultivator of the ninth level of Qi Condensation, perhaps even kill him. This magical pill was bestowed upon me by my clan. Here, take it!” Lu Song’s eyes were red, but they weren’t looking at Meng Hao, but rather Qian Shuihen. He held the magical pill up in trade, but he was actually using it to threaten Qian Shuihen, as if this were the tie-breaker.
Qian Shuihen’s expression changed, and his eyes flashed, filling with killing intent. But he quickly got himself under control, and then casually said, “Perhaps we should both trade for the treasure, then take it back to Elder Wu and let him decide what to do.”
Lu Song didn’t respond. He didn’t actually want to attack. If it were in a remote place where no one could see, perhaps he would. But things were complicated with so many people watching. He had only wanted to threaten Qian Shuihen. Upon hearing the suggestion, he nodded. Even though it hurt a bit, when he looked at the Plateau Charging Pill in Qian Shuihen’s hand, he could only clench his jaw and put his magical pill down in front of him.
Seeing this, Qian Shuihen relaxed a big. Without asking Meng Hao, he grabbed the iron spear and sped off. Lu Song went with him, also holding the spear. They shot toward the city gate, each of them eyeing the other suspiciously.
The other Violet Fate Sect disciples immediately charged after them, instantly disappearing through the city gate and off into the distance. They appeared to be heading in the direction of the State Shield Mountain chain.
Meng Hao’s heart raced. Without hesitation, he flicked his sleeve, collecting all of the various objects. Then he turned and sped off as fast as possible. The eyes of the disciples of the State of Zhao glittered brightly, especially Sun Hua’s. His eyes filled with fervor, and he moved to pursue and attack Meng Hao. But Meng Hao waved his right hand and the fan flew out to land beneath his feet. His speed increased rapidly, and he shot off into the distance.
At the same time, the middle-aged man sitting next to the Pill furnace in the Hundred Treasures Pavilion cracked open his eyes. They flashed like lighting as he watched Meng Hao disappearing.
“These Violet Fate Sect disciples get worse and worse with each generation,” he said coolly. “They are idiots. Even though they don’t have the Spiritual Sense of the Foundation Establishment stage, they should still be able to tell that thing is useless.”
Upon hearing this, Qiao Ling and the other girls, who had just watched everything happen, looked incredulous.
“It’s just an iron spear,” the man said quietly. “That young member of the junior generation, surnamed Meng, he said it himself.” He closed his eyes again.
This chapter was sponsored by Tjandra Johannes, Deep Bhattacharya, and Ngan Nguyen