As the words left Xiao Zhan’s mouth, the whole hall fell silent. A while later, one by one, everyone’s gazes turned towards the ashen faced Jia Lie Bi, gleeful at the calamity that had befallen him.
“Haha, 100,000 gold coins for two bottles of Foundation Elixir… this guy is truly extravagant.” Watching as Jia Lie Bi’s face cramped up, Xiao Yan bowed his head in an effort to hide a cheeky smile and muttered.
Seeing the gloating Xiao Yan, Xun Er smiled and, softly laughing, she said: “Normally, a second rank pill would have a market value of at most 30,000 gold. The Foundation Elixir is a wonder drug that is able to increase the speed of Dou Zi Qi training and is relatively rare, thus it’s price should be much higher than a second rank pill. However… using 100,000 gold to buy it, this Jie Lie Bi is seriously “extravagant”.”
Xiao Yan laughed as he nodded in agreement. He licked his lips in yearning before he smiled and said: “If a bottle of second grade Foundation Elixir could be sold for tens of thousands of gold, doesn’t this mean that those great alchemists would be able to swim in gold?”
“Alchemy is the continent’s most wealthy profession, this is a fact, every Alchemist owns a generous amount of property.” Xun Er was all smiles as she nodded her head. Shifting her gaze towards the Foundation Elixirs on stage, she continued: “As an Alchemist’s rank rises, they don’t auction off their products often. Instead they would rather choose to engage in bartering, as money no longer has value to them…”
“Bartering?” Xiao Yan’s eyebrows perked up and realized that he gained a little insight as to why Yao Lao had such an abundant secret treasure stash.
“Yeah, they use things like Dou Techniques, Qi Methods, rare alchemy ingredients or high level Monster Cores to trade for such pills.” The corners of her rosy lips tilted upwards, forming a smile as Xun Er continued her lecture, “As a result, it is often said that the Alchemist is the most envied profession in the continent. All people dream to become an alchemist but those dreams are often shattered by the harsh and unreachable requirements.”
Eyeing the somewhat regretful Xun Er, Xiao Yan rubbed his nose, grateful for the mutation in his soul.
Deciding not to further the conversation, Xiao Yan turned his sight towards the ashen faced Jia Lie Bi.
Similarly, Jia Lie Bi was shocked into a daze by Xiao Zhan’s words, he stared stupidly at Xiao Zhan who had so easily given up on the bidding war as the corners of his eye’s twitched in disbelief. It felt like half a day had passed before it finally dawned upon him. Jia Lie Bi hoarsely croaked: “Bastard, you tricked me again! It was all an act!”
“Hehe, weren’t you trying to do the same, except that recently your mind was a tad distracted and your acting, it’s…… too fake.” Xiao Zhan smugly laughed, his tone full of mockery.
“Good, good, very good, extremely good, the best, Xiao Zhan, I, Jia Lie Bi will remember those words!” Jia Lie Bi continued to gasp out a few breathes in fury, his gaze cold and venomous.
Xiao Zhan ignored his threat, with a final sneer he turned to face Ya Fei and said: “Mistress Ya Fei, let us start the last auction.”
Nodding her head, Ya Fei smiled as she maintained her impartial expression. Yet inside, she was giddy with laughter at this turn of events. This auction had exceeded her wildest expectations and the better the profits, the more the mysterious alchemist would favor the auction house.
Gracing the ashen faced Jia Lie Bi with a consoling smile, Ya Fei once again bent to retrieve the last two bottles of Foundation Elixir. Complementing her rosy lips with a dazzling smile, she announced: “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the last batch of elixirs, likewise, the starting bid is 30 000.”
At the sight of the final batch of elixirs, the few elders in Xiao Zhan’s vicinity trembled and hurriedly gazed at Xiao Zhan with obvious intentions.
Calmly sitting in his chair, Xiao Zhan took no notice of the elders signals. Instead his gaze looped around the auction house, coming around full circle before he finally announced in an icy tone: “50 000.”
Having heard Xiao Zhan’s bid, Jia Lie Bi’s face tightened as his mouth instinctively started to open, yet at the thought of his current financial crisis, he could only shut it regretfully.
In another corner Ao Ba Pa kept eying the stoic Xiao Zhan. Furrowing his brow and thrumming his fingers against the back of his hand, Ao Ba Pa’s eyes faintly flickering in movement of revelation. In a moment, he faintly smiled and said “55,000”
The three great clans of Wu Tang City had a strange relationship, each wanted to consume the other two’s businesses, yet each feared to act out against the other clan, for the neutral clan would gain from them doing so. Yet even if two of them joined hands, they could not avoid suspecting their ‘partner’. Thus unless they were assured of completely wiping out one party, all three sides could only continue in this complicated and brittle stalemate that had formed between them.
Each of the three great clans had their own set of grudges; each could not stand the sight of another. Even though before, Ao Ba Pa had mocked and ridiculed Jia Lie Bi and now that Xiao Zhan was bidding, Ao Ba Pa was more than willing to compete with Xiao Zhan so that Xiao Clan would lose a bit more money.
Ao Ba Pa’s bid didn’t make Xiao Zhan face change expression. With a casual glance, Xiao Zhan called out, “65,000.”
65,000 was a bit too much for the regular market price for a Foundation Elixir but Xiao Zhan was also knew in deep down that in this 3 way struggle between the clans, it would be impossible to buy a Foundation Elixir for a low or even fair price.
“Hehe, the Xiao Clan Leader sure is extravagant but I’m afraid of being be tricked by you. I already have Foundation Elixir, so I’ll give this one to you.” After Xiao Zhan’s bid, Ao Bo Pa had started to hesitate. It would seem that after the Jia Lei Bi’s huge loss, he had become even more cautious.
Xiao Zhan gazed at Ao Ba Pa and relaxed in his chair while giving out a laugh. The smile, or whatever Ao Ba Pa had plastered on his face was obviously not what the man was feeling. Regardless, Xiao Zhan still let out a grumble afterward: “Dammit, I had to pay an extra 10,000. This bastard is nothing good.”
Hearing those words, Xiao Yan thought that it was comical. In this kind of battle, were there any good men? If the other party did not fear of ending up in a predicament like Jia Lie Bi, he would have definitely continued to raise the bid even more before finally letting the matter drop.
Tapping his fingers, Xiao Yan directed his gaze upon the stage at Ya Fei, who had just brought down the small hammer, signalling the end of the auction. Inwardly, he let out a sigh of relief, this sum of money would be enough for a period of time. Now, all that was left were the alchemy ingredients and for Yao Lao to refine the Qi Gathering Powder…
“Soon, I’ll be a Dou Zhe…”
Xiao Yan licked his lips and let out a long sigh, the first obstacle in his training journey was about to be overcome!