Although Zi Ying spoke with a smile, her tone clearly contained some blame.
Xiao Chen smiled and said, “A name is but a symbol. Miss Zi Ying can address me however you want. Speaking of which, why is Miss Zi Ying in Cloud Treasure City?”
“It is all thanks to you. I can now strike out on my own. The manager of the Nine Cauldron Merchant Association in Ten Thousand Treasure City is my father. Now, I alone manage the Nine Cauldron Merchant Association in Cloud Treasure City. At the same time, I am responsible for all the businesses in the entire Northern Sea.”
Xiao Chen took a sip of tea and said, “It looks like I can count on Miss Zi Ying to give me a discount for this transaction.”
“Dealing with you is really a headache. The discount is no problem. I just hope that you don’t do something like last time, causing problems like kidnapping the Lunar Palace’s Holy Daughter. I really can’t deal with that again.”
Zi Ying smiled helplessly. If not for the problems that Xiao Chen caused, she might have advanced even further on the contribution of the nine Profound Martial Techniques, directly entering the headquarters and influencing the core operations of the Nine Cauldron Merchant Association.
However, she did not hold any hatred for Xiao Chen. If not for him, she would still be in Ten Thousand Treasure City, unable to act independently.
However, it could not be said that Zi Ying was fond of him, either. She somewhat could not stand Xiao Chen. His uninhibited character was a headache for her.
“I took a look at your list. There are so many types of divine materials, and you need fifty tons of each. This is not a small number.”
Xiao Chen said calmly, “Money is not a problem. You know how wealthy I am. As long as you have the goods, I can pay for them.”
“Haha! Talking business with Young Master Xiao is really straightforward. Divine materials are one of the most traded natural treasures. The Nine Cauldron Merchant Association can bring out most of the items on the list. We will require three days to gather all of them. However, there is one item that my Nine Cauldron Merchant Association does not have. I believe that the other merchant associations do not have fifty tons of it, either.”
Xiao Chen was not surprised. He knew his list very clearly. The divine material that was lacking was the Black Patterned Gold.
Black Patterned Gold was an all-purpose divine material. Regardless of the Secret Treasure, as long as one added Black Patterned Gold, its quality would increase significantly.
Xiao Chen once saw the production site of Black Patterned Gold in one of the Martial God Palace’s resource stars. So he was very clear on the preciousness of such divine material.
Five hundred tons of ore could produce only five hundred kilograms of Black Patterned Gold.
The scarce supply and strong demand were a complete mismatch. Hence, Black Patterned Gold was always short in stock.
Regular Secret Treasures only needed some Black Patterned Gold powder added for their quality to increase greatly.
Despite that, Xiao Chen wanted fifty tons. No merchant association would be able to obtain so much in one go.
“How much can your Nine Cauldron Merchant Association sell me?”
“We have our own stock of Black Patterned Gold, in addition to some special channels. Twenty-five tons is our limit already.”
Xiao Chen thought for a moment. Twenty-five tons barely met his needs. That would be enough.
Zi Ying smiled and said, “I will hand the goods to you in three days. May I be a little nosy and ask what kind of Secret Treasure you are refining with so much Black Patterned Gold?”
An Emperor Grade Secret Treasure? Clearly, that was impossible. Zi Ying did not believe that Xiao Chen was capable of such.
However, aside from that, what Secret Treasure required so much Black Patterned Gold?
Secret Treasures of different grades would be able to take in different amounts of Black Patterned Gold.
If it was not an Emperor Grade Secret Treasure, once the amount reached the limit, no matter much much Black Patterned Gold was added, it would just be a waste.
Xiao Chen smiled and said, “I can’t tell you.”
“I knew that you would say that. I was originally going to share with you some news. It looks like there is no need to tell it to you, then?”
Xiao Chen’s expression changed slightly. After thinking for a while, he said, “I am planning to refine two ancient dragon-seeking Secret Treasures. I hope that Miss Zi Ying will keep this a secret.”
Shock flashed in Zi Ying’s eyes. She exclaimed with great surprise, “You are a Geomaster?”
Xiao Chen did not reply to that.
Zi Ying responded to this; she knew that she had said too much already. She quickly apologized, “I’m sorry. I guarantee that I will not speak of it. Tonight, the Cloud Treasure City’s Treasure Master’s residence is holding an internal auction.
“The treasures that will be sold in the auction are from the Treasure Master’s personal collection. It is not open to the public and invitations are sent to only a few honored guests of the Northern Sea’s Treasure Master’s residence.”
After pausing for a while, Zi Ying continued, “The items for auction include fifty kilograms of Divine Grade Black Patterned Gold. That more than equals fifty tons of Black Patterned Gold.”
“Can you get me an invitation?”
The Dragon Revealing Mirror and Dragon Subduing Platform held great significance in the Paradise Secret Canon. Since Xiao Chen had an opportunity to raise the quality of these two items to the peak, he naturally would not miss it.
Zi Ying smiled and said, “Since I mentioned it, of course I am confident of obtaining an invitation for you.”
“There’s no need to thank me. After giving me so much business, this is what I should do.”
Night soon arrived. The sky filled with flickering stars.
Xiao Chen went to the Treasure Master’s residence with Zi Ying. After they handed over the invitation, they successfully entered the residence.
There was someone to lead the way. After making many turns, passing through many small corridors and gardens, they arrived at a large, exquisite pavilion.
The signboard had three words—Cloud Treasure Pavilion. After the guards at the doors verified the identities of the two, they entered.
“Please have a rest here first. There is another hour before the auction formally begins.”
The attendant led the two into a booth before taking his leave.
Formations were laid in the booth. There was a screen of light before the window, allowing the two to see the situation of the auction platform clearly.
On both sides of the seats were specially manufactured Bidding Stones. When one called out a bid through a Bidding Stone, all the booths could hear it.
Without activating a Bidding Stone, the conversations in the booth would not leak out, guaranteeing the privacy of the customers.
While the two waited, Xiao Chen took a look at the simple auction manifest—there were only twenty auction items.
In regard to numbers, it could not compare with other auctions. However, the quality left Xiao Chen completely speechless.
Every one of these items was a treasure worth cities. The Divine Grade Black Patterned Gold that Xiao Chen was interested in did not stand out among them at all.
There were at least five auction items more valuable than the Black Patterned Gold. This showed how grand the scale of this auction was.
“The Treasure Master is really mysterious. To think that all these treasures are from his personal collection, yet he can casually pick some out to conduct an auction!”
Xiao Chen believed that the Treasure Master did not actually care about the Black Astral Coins. He probably did this for only one reason: to maintain his reputation.
Zi Ying nodded and said, “In the outside world, there is a saying that the Treasure Master is the hidden seventh Holy Master of the Heavenly Starry Ocean. The power and wealth that he holds are no weaker than those of any one of the Holy Lands.
“When it comes to wealth, the Treasure Master should rank first in the Heavenly Starry Ocean. No one can compare to him. This small amount of treasures is a mere trifle to him.”
“That incredible?” This surpassed Xiao Chen’s expectations. It looked like this Treasure Master was much more mysterious than he imagined.
Zi Ying said, “That was what my father told me. So it should be correct. However, we are not at the level where we can enter the Treasure Master’s circle, so there is no point in dwelling on it.”
Xiao Chen, can you help me buy the Azure Underworld Fruit that is used for nourishing the mind?
Just at this moment, Ao Jiao suddenly spoke up from the Immortal Spirit Ring.
Xiao Chen stopped chatting idly with Zi Ying and quickly replied mentally, You want to use it?
Yes, it is very useful to me. I did not expect to see such a rare natural treasure here today.
In that case, I will buy it for you, no matter the cost!
You did not even ask me what I will use it for.
As long as you like it, even if you just want it as a snack, I will get it for you.
Haha! In that case, I really will eat it as a snack, Ao Jiao said mischievously from the Immortal Spirit Ring.
This snack was rather expensive. Just the starting price was one million Black Astral Coins. Nevertheless, it was still as he said: as long as Ao Jiao liked it, the cost did not matter. He did not need a reason.
Natural treasures for nourishing the mind were not commonly used, so it was not that valuable.
Only the rare people who cultivated special Cultivation Techniques or those who had injured their mind would require it.
Regular cultivators would rarely spend a lot of money to buy such a thing. Hence, there should not be much competition for it.
“It is starting,” Zi Ying said.
Xiao Chen looked up and saw an old man appear on the auction platform through the screen of light before their window. The auction was about to begin.
When the yellow-clad old man got onto the platform, he first bowed to indicate his respect.
“Everyone here is an old customer of our treasure city. This old man will not say any more. I believe everyone here knows the rules. We will begin auctioning the first item.”
After a pause, the old man pulled off a red cloth. He smiled and said, “This is a treasure sword of the Sub-Divine Weapon grade. It is fire-attributed, and the starting bid is one million Black Astral Coins. Each raise has to be more than ten thousand Black Astral Coins.
“Friends, if you have a need for it, you can start calling out your bids!”
The old man did not show much expression on his face; it was like he was unconcerned about this matter, appearing very indifferent.
It seemed like this old man did not care about how high the final price would go.
Xiao Chen rather liked such an atmosphere. In public auctions, the auctioneers were very experienced and skilled.
When those auctioneers introduced the treasures, they would end up speaking a lot. When calling out bids, they dragged things out, repeating the same thing several times before letting it go.
Just by looking at the condition of the item, one could tell that this fire-attributed Sub-Divine Weapon was no ordinary Sub-Divine Weapon. Its quality reached the very highest standard.
Even though Xiao Chen did not use the sword, he still paid close attention to the bidding for this item, to gauge the wealth of the other honored guests.
This was so that when he competed for the Divine Grade Black Patterned Gold, he could bid a reasonable price but still crush his competitors.
The bids climbed quickly, soon reaching more than double the starting bid, and closed at two million and three hundred thousand Black Astral Coins.
The winner of the bid was the guest in booth seventy-five. The booth had formations that blocked Spiritual Sense and Mental Energy. No one knew who the winner was, guaranteeing their privacy.
There was only a total of twenty auction items. The yellow-robed old man proceeded quickly, decisive in banging down the auction mallet. Soon after, it was time for the Azure Underworld Fruit’s auction.
“This is a rare mutated fruit that can be used to nourish the mind and treat mental injuries. Most of the time, it is not useful. However, when one truly needs it, it can’t be found anywhere. The starting bid is one million Black Astral Coins.”
The yellow-clad old man was very familiar with the items on auction. When he introduced them, he spoke precisely without dragging things out at all.
The bidding started. The pavilion fell quiet. Clearly, most people did not feel the need to spend one million Black Astral Coins to buy a treasure that was nonessential, just to prepare for a peril that might or might not happen.
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