Hou Xifeng could tease and make fun of those spectators to some extent because they were not buyers on this occasion. The auction was a show and an advertisement for the Night Lotus House as much as a true auction. Her last comment had once again created another round of laughter from the crowd but this one didn’t last long as two assistants emerged from the darkness carrying a wooden case with a red sheet over it.
To maximize the spectacle, all the items that would be presented that night had remained secret, even for the potential buyers. This was another difference from common auctions.
“Ladies and gentlemen, here is our first item tonight.”
After a short pause for the suspense, Hou Xifeng pulled the red sheet off to reveal a blue, fist size gem. It was slightly glowing in the darkness which made for a bewitching sight. Some light gasps were heard in the silent crowd, waiting impatiently for the details.
The ones in the cabins were shown a close-up projection of the item. It was so realistic that some actually had doubts if the gem wasn’t placed at arm’s length.
Hou Xifeng didn’t leave the crowd hanging any further and began her presentation. “As some of you may have guessed, this is indeed a beast core. As you know, beast cores are only found in magical beasts at or above the 4th rank, making those beasts as powerful as core formation elders!”
This time, many more were shocked. Could this core be holding the power of a Core Formation Cultivator?
Hou Xifeng continued on, anticipating the questions. “I will have to disappoint you here. The remaining qi in the core is not comparable to that of a living 4th rank magic beast. That is because the story of how that core was discovered is quite special. This core wasn’t obtained by an elder killing a 4th rank magical beast. Our analysis shows that the beast that produced this core died of natural causes more than a century ago. Much later, this core was discovered by a mortal fisherman who brought it back to his village thinking it was some kind of rare gem. By that point, the majority of the qi had dissipated away. However, the core still radiated some trace amounts of spirituality. This caused villagers to experience dreams of a beast named a Chiwen, which looks like a hybrid between a dragon and a fish. Some also started having panic attacks. A rumor spread and eventually came to the ears of cultivators who picked up the gem while helping the villagers heal and by offering the fisherman all he wanted.
This highly valuable core only has an amount of qi left suitable for qi condensation disciples, but it would still provide a qi condensation cultivator with a huge boost in cultivation. However, there is an additional benefit. This magic beast should have a portion of the Chiwen’s bloodline, which itself has a distant link to mythical dragons. Absorbing it should enhance one’s spirit and could potentially help disciples deepen their comprehension of anything related to a dragon. In addition, the Chiwen characteristic coupled with the core staying in water for decades, results in a great water-oriented treasure. In consequence, the disciple absorbing it will gain better attunement to the water element as well.
To the qi condensation cultivators, this is an absolutely unique occasion to absorb the core and a portion of the comprehension of a magical beast at the 4th level! Any remaining impurities have been refined by our masters at the Night Lotus Auction House.
With short term and long-term benefits, that beast core will help you sore in the SCA rankings and pave the way for your future cultivation. The starting price is 200 000 crystals and every new bid must be in increments of 20 000 crystals!”
It was customary to start the auction with a bang, with a shocking item to hook the buyers.
The price in crystals referred to low grade qi crystals but many were already out of the competition from the starting bid.
Han Lingyun examined the core carefully. ‘It would definitely be useful, but for me, it isn’t worth the price. Other items would be more suitable.’
Among the spectators on the floor, Shen Lin was left mouth gaping at the price as Yang Haoyu murmured. “What in the world? I have never seen anything that expensive.”
Shen Lin shook himself up. “It’s a shame, with a price like that, there is no way that it gets bought, it would be much more price effective to use some pills or something. I don’t believe that there would be a single idiot to bid on the core.”
Yang Haoyu pointed at the bids that were getting updated in real time on the stage as the crowd around them was already cheering wildly. “I think you might be sorely mistaken here brother Lin, look here.”
Shen Lin’s mouth was agape. “What in the world? Surely the price will stop growing!”
By now, Shen Lin was shocked speechless. He looked somewhat ill.
The updates momentarily stopped when someone raised the price by 200 000 crystals straight to 500 000. Only a select few could keep bidding at that point.
Hou Xifeng wasn’t letting the atmosphere die down and kept on shouting the figures, apparently not needing to breathe. “We have a bid of 500 000! 500 000 for this incredibly lucky opportunity. Now 600 000, 600 000 it is now or never. This core could be the deciding factor next week, it could be the deciding factor for future breakthroughs.700 000, 900 000! Will this 4th grade beast core make it to 1 million? Yes 1 million, we have reached 1 million crystals.”
The crowd cheered once again at the impressive figure. For the average qi condensation disciple, it was hard to imagine.
Hou Xifeng kept on riling up crowd and buyers. “Who will be the lucky buyer? It isn’t too late, now is your chance to make your move, another jab might do the trick. Here! 1.5 million! 1.5 million crystals ladies and gentleman. Will this be enough, will this be enough to bring back home this incredible core?
1.5 million going once…. 1.6 million we have a 1.6 million, and 1.7 million! It seems we have a duel between two bidders! 1.7 million, is this enough? This might do the trick to bring back that core, its pure qi and comprehension!
Do we have a 1.8 million? It doesn’t seem so?
1.7 million going once, 1.7 million going twice, aaand…. SOLD for 1.7 million! Congratulations to our lucky winner! You have just won this unique core.”
Some in the audience clapped uproariously but others were completely dazed. To be fair, even Wang Yimo and Han Lingyun were a bit shocked by the final price.
‘Well, it does sound a lot less impressive if I convert the sum in high grade qi crystals, as it just equates to 170 of them, but that sum already represents a significant portion of an average core formation cultivator’s wealth.’
It was an inordinate price for a worn-down core bought for a qi condensation cultivator. More than 6 times the original price! Perhaps the buyer had other plans with it with a specific use in mind, because the final price was indeed outrageous, even for a first item at this grand auction.
The excitement hadn’t died down when Hou Xifeng presented the second item, the auction had debuted well, now was the time to capitalize on this start. A beautifully crafted glass bottle was unveiled, containing a translucent liquid.
“Our second item tonight is our famous Night Lotus Condensation Dew. Every drop has been carefully extracted from the leaves of our century old signature lotuses that bloom under Mount Dore. This unique and invaluable environment is known for its extraordinary ability to condense qi. This Dew is so rich in qi that it is essentially qi in liquid form. Drinking one bottle of pure and natural qi will provide a direct boost to your cultivation that could equate to half a year’s worth of a qi condensation disciple’s hard work. Additionally, it won’t bring any impurities like traditional pills and even wash out some of the impurities remaining in your body.
The best use we recommend is to drink a portion after eating a pill and spread out this process over several weeks or months. Due to this special occasion, today we are selling off 10 bottles Night Lotus Condensation Dew, each with its own round of bidding. The starting price is only 50 000 crystals and every new bid must be in increments of 5 000 crystals.”
This time, Han Lingyun’s interest was piqued. The 10 rounds of bidding should prevent the price from sky rocketing like the previous beast core. At least that was what he hoped for.
“Do you want to buy a bottle?” Wang Yimo nudged him.
Han Lingyun nodded as he examined the bottle while bids starting coming. “I’m really considering getting one of the bottles but if it’s too expensive, I won’t be able to buy anything else this evening.”
“How much do you have?” Wang Yimo placed a bid of 80 000 crystals.
“I was offered enough to buy this bottle but with the understanding that I would use this money intelligently; it isn’t really mine.”
Wang Yimo placed another bid at 120 000. “Are you not bidding then?”
Han Lingyun shook his head. “I won’t bid to avoid inflating the price of the first bottle, the final price tends to set a trend for the next lots. Plus, with 10 bottles, the price should be lower for the later ones.”
“But aren’t you afraid that the price would increase as the lots become less and less numerous?” Wang Yimo asked.
Han Lingyun just smiled. “It’s my little gamble then. But I am reasonably confident. Maybe you should wait for later lots as well.”