Within the hall.
Per Northmont Baiwei’s orders, the maidservant outside had exited the corridor and had arrived within the main hall. Upon hearing the words, ‘Zither Fairy, would you be willing to accept an invitation to come to the room of myself, Northmont Fox’, she couldn’t help but be stunned. She hurriedly called out, “Mistress, young master Northmont Baiwei also wishes for Zither Fairy to go to him.”
Miss Ziyi, next to Zither Fairy, was stunned upon hearing this. Moments later, she laughed. “Young master Fox, young master Baiwei is also inviting Zither Fairy to pay a visit,” Miss Ziyi called out.
“Haha, Northmont Baiwei, you are also going to invite Zither Fairy?” That deep voice instantly grew smug. “Why were you so quiet and silent about it? I didn’t hear you say a thing. If you are going to invite someone over, you have to show some sincerity.”
“How could I be as boorish and uncouth as you?” Northmont Baiwei replied with a cold laugh. The two were in different rooms, and were both calling out to each other.
Within the other rooms were young masters of major tribes, superb figures of major clans, and Raindragon Guards. Still, they didn’t intervene, just watched with amusement. After all, Northmont Baiwei and Fox were both highly ranked young masters of the entire Stillwater Commandery. They were both descendants of the Northmont clan, and their parents, Northmont Blacktiger and Northmont Yin, were truly incredible figures. They didn’t dare to rashly intervene in a struggle between two such young masters. After all, in Stillwater Commandery, the Northmont clan was the strongest power.
“Northmont Fox?” Ning looked through the window, towards the direction of that voice. Ning could see a figure in a private room that was a few kilometers away. Northmont Fox appeared quite muscular, and he had sideburns on his face. His appearance was very different from his name. He had the frame and musculature of a dominating tyrant, but his eyes were cold, sinister, and arrogant, like those of a viper’s.
Northmont Baiwei appeared ardent and heroic. Northmont Fox, however, appeared cold and sinister. They were two diametrically different people.
“Miss Ziyi.” Northmont Fox called out in his loud voice, “This Northmont Baiwei hasn’t reserved Zither Fairy in advance, has he?” “He has not.” Miss Ziyi, standing on the ground below, shook her head. “Since there is no reservation, and since both myself and Northmont Baiwei are both inviting Zither Fairy over, let this be determined by who offers the highest price.” Northmont Fox’s voice echoed throughout the entire hall as he called out, “I’ll offer ten taels.” Instantly, every single private room within the giant hall became filled with lowered whispers.
Within Ning’s room.
Ning was puzzled. Ten taels? Ten taels of what? As for Northmont Baiwei, he said with cold fury, “I’ll offer fifty.” “Hahaha, Northmont Baiwei, you are going to compete against me? Are you able to win?” Northmont Fox called out from his distant room, with a voice filled with braggado, “I’ll offer a hundred.”
Within Ning’s room. Ning, Wuji, and Baiwei were all seated. Wuji lowered his voice and said, “Brother Baiwei, if we are going to get into a bidding war, I can assist you.” But Northmont Baiwei just laughed and said, “No need. In terms of wealth, how could Northmont Fox compare with you, you little God of Wealth? Inviting Zither Fairy over is only a minor matter. Normally, just ‘one’ is enough. To spend too much is just foolishness. He’s now offered a hundred; as long as I raise the price again, Northmont Fox definitely won’t make another counter-offer. By then, I’d have to suffer the consequences.”
“Why aren’t I hearing anything from you?” Northmont Fox mocked from far away. Northmont Baiwei called back, “Congratulations, Northmont Fox. You have invited Zither Fairy to accompany you for the price of a hundred taels of liquefied elemental essence.”
Liquefied elemental essence? Ning was stunned upon hearing this. So the ‘one’, ‘ten’, and ‘hundred’ taels they were referring to…were in reference to liquefied elemental essence! Liquefied elemental essence was the refined, concentrated version of natural, elemental energy. One could rely on it to engage in training, without causing any stress to the body. Previously, Ning had acquired a a very thin layer of liquefied elemental essence from the stone room in the mine, most likely just ten or fifteen kilograms worth.
He had used up only a third of the essence, less than five kilograms. This had allowed him to breakthrough to the Zifu Disciple level and also establish and stabilize as an early-stage Zifu Disciple.
“Ten or fifteen kilograms was comparable to the entire wealth of the Ji clan,” Ning mused to himself. “A hundred taels of it…that’s roughly equivalent to five kilograms. Just now, in order to have Zither Fairy accompany him, Northmont Fox casually tossed out a sum that is equivalent to half the total wealth of my Ji clan? He is too…too insane.”
“A hundred taels of liquefied elemental essence.” Hun Wuji nodded. “That’s roughly equivalent to an Earth-ranked magic treasure. Given Northmont Fox’s temperament…for him to throw away an Earth-ranked magic treasure for the sake of making trouble for you is his limit.”
Ning, hearing this, was speechless. Well, then. After killing Adept Xu Li, he had only acquired three Earth-ranked magic treasures. He had worked so hard to accumulate that amount of wealth…but compared to exalted young masters of the Marquisate of Stillwater, he was indeed quite far off.
Outside the room, Northmont Fox’s voice continued to ring out with arrogance and smugness as Miss Ziyi was introducing Zither Fairy to him.
Within Northmont Fox’s room. Northmont Fox was currently seated alongside three other men. As for their servants and followers, they had a separate room of their own.
“I didn’t expect that I would run into Northmont Baiwei here, today.” Northmont Fox held a beastskull goblet in his hand, his red tongue gently lapping at the wine as he laughed sinisterly. “I just so happened to acquire a powerful retainer recently, as well as an extremely rare magic treasure. What happened just now was just the starter course. Today, I’m going to anger him so badly that he vomits blood. I’ll make it so that he will never forget this day. I’ll make him feel terror in his heart whenever he sees me!”
“Then let us congratulate you in advance, young master Fox.” “Let’s watch as Northmont Baiwei is embarrassed.” The other three in the room, Zhou Li included, all cupped their hands in a salute.
“Hahaha.” Northmont Fox laughed joyfully. Right at this moment, Zither Fairy came in, and Fox immediately said, “Come, Zither Fairy, come. Please come in and sit.” “Thank you, young master Fox.” Zither Fairy’s gentle laugh made Fox feel as though even his bones had relaxed. This made him feel all the more pleased.
With a beautiful woman accompanying them, Northmont Fox’s room was filled with laughter and amusement.
A long time later.
“Mm.” Northmont Fox looked down at the main hall, and at the dais that was beginning to be set up. “It should almost be time for the treasure auction.” Fox waved his hand, and a grand seal suddenly appeared within it. He handed it to the neaby Zither Fairy and said, “Zither Fairy, this grand seal is a top-grade Mortal-ranked magic treasure, ‘Grand Mountain Seal’. It was forged from an actual mountain, the ‘Grand Mountain’, which was refined into this seal. Its true value comes from the fact that it is merely a Mortal-ranked magic treasure, but in terms of power, it isn’t inferior to any ordinary Earth-ranked magic treasures. Thus, this Grand Mountain Seal is absolutely a top-grade Mortal-ranked magic treasure.”
“Top-grade Mortal-ranked?” “It is extremely rare to find a top-grade magic treasure. Young master Fox actually has a treasure like this?” Everyone nearby, Zhou Li included, was surprised. Zifu Disciples were capable of using Mortal-ranked magic treasures, while Wanxiang Adepts were able to use Earth-ranked magic treasures. But generally speaking, they only used low-grade or middle-grade treasures. It was extremely rare for someone to be in possession of a high-grade Earth-ranked magic treasure. As for top-grade…that was incomparably rare.
“I’ll deliver it over now.” Zither Fairy rose to her feet.
The dais rose up within the main hall below. Miss Ziyi’s voice echoed throughout the entire hall: “It is now time for the treasure auction. Today, our Carefree Caverns has prepared eighteen treasures, each with extraordinary attributes. Anyone willing to purchase them can buy them. The high bidder wins the auction!”
Within Ning’s room. Ning, upon hearing this, couldn’t help but feel startled. Wasn’t this identical to auctions on Earth? So a place like this, where Immortals and Devils gathered, also had so-called ‘treasure auctions’.
“In addition, honored guests, if you have any precious treasures which you are willing to sell, you can bring them out as well and allow everyone to bid on them as well,” Miss Ziyi said with a laugh. “Just now, young master Northmont Fox has brought out a top-grade Mortal-ranked magic treasure, ‘Grand Mountain Seal’, and has made it the nineteenth magic treasure up for bidding in our treasure auction.”
“Northmont Baiwei! I wonder what sort of treasures you might have for sale?” That deep voice echoed out once more.
This was a slap in the face. He was directly striking Baiwei on the face! Within his room, Baiwei had an extremely ugly look on his face. Hun Wuji was frowning as well. “This Northmont Fox actually managed to procure a top-grade Mortal-ranked magic treasure. Things are now a bit troublesome. I can bring out quite a few Earth-ranked magic treasures, but in terms of rarity, they can’t compare with this Grand Mountain Seal.”
Ning could tell what was going on. For these young masters, when they competed in treasures, what they cared the most about was rarity! Although Earth-ranked magic treasures were much more expensive, in terms of rarity and uniqueness, they were far inferior.
“Dogshit luck. I truly stepped into dogshit today.” Baiwei gritted his teeth. “I didn’t expect that not only would I run into this fellow, he actually came prepared. I’ll have to endure. Next time, I will get him back.”
“Brother Baiwei,” Ning said, “I also happen to have a top-grade Mortal-ranked magic treasure.” “Oh?” Baiwei and Wuji both looked towards Ning in surprise. A top-grade Mortal-ranked treasure wasn’t something you could simply buy with money; the reason why they were ranked top-grade was because they were truly few in number.
“Please take a look.” Ning waved his hand, and the dragon pearl appeared within it, along with four dragon scales. The dragon pearl had the illusory dragon swimming about in the middle of it.
“A dragon pearl!” Baiwei and Wuji were all startled. Wuji then cried out in astonishment, “A four-sided formations that matches with a dragon pearl? Judging from how complex the formation is…this is inconceivable. What formation is this?”
“Netherwyrm Heavenlock Formation!” Ning gave his response.
“Netherwyrm Heavenlock Formation?” Northmont Baiwei said in astonishment, “Our Northmont clan has a grand formation called the Netherwyrm Heavenlock Formation, but that is a Heaven-ranked grand formation, and an extremely powerful Heaven-ranked grand formation at that. So there is actually a Mortal-ranked version of the Netherwyrm Heavenlock Formation as well? It was actually simplified? This truly is unbelievable.”
Wuji quickly said, “Such a grand formation…this is far rarer than what Fox has brought out. In addition, Fox just brought a single grand seal. What you have here, Brother Ji Ning, is a formation! It is far more valuable.” The value of a formation was, indeed, higher than that of other magic treasures of the same level.
The way in which Hun Wuji looked at Ning had changed. Top-grade Mortal-ranked magic treasures weren’t so easily procured. It seemed as though this friend of Baiwei’s, Ji Ning, was quite extraordinary as well.
“Ji Ning, are you truly willing to sell it? A treasure like this…after selling it, it will be hard for you to regain it,” Baiwei said. “Yes, sell it.” Ning laughed.
The Ji clan now had the protection of the Marquis of Stillwater; naturally, it no longer had any need for the Netherwyrm Heavenlock Formation. In addition, a grand formation like this one required five people controlling it in order to unleash its full combat power. The reason Ning had brought this formation to Stillwater City was because he planned to sell it, and thus acquire a large amount of Mortal-ranked flying swords, which would vastly increase the power of his [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation].
“Alright. Brother Ji Ning, I’m not going to waste too many words on effusive thanks. This time, I’m going to give Northmont Fox a good slap across the face.” Baiwei’s own face was turning ruddy with excitement.
“Northmont Baiwei, can it be that you, the young master of Northmont Blacktiger’s estate, don’t have any treasures?” That deep voice once more rang out mockingly. Baiwei laughed softly, then called out in a loud voice, “Miss Ziyi, I have a formation here. Although it is quite ordinary, it is still naturally far superior to what Northmont Fox produced.”
The atmosphere in the hall instantly changed slightly. Everyone understood that young master Northmont Baiwei was finally standing up and preparing to deliver a vicious slap to his opponent’s face.
Only, would his slap be a loud, ringing one?
That would depend on whether or not this formation treasure was superior to the Grand Mountain Seal.