Han Li had naturally heard of this Glazed Heavenly Flame Liquid, and it had been quite a sought-after treasure to him for a long time.
This liquid was something that was refined from an extremely rare type of heavenly flame, and compared to other spirit items of the same caliber, it was even rarer and harder to find.
After doing some research on the spirit liquid, Han Li had thought that it would be the most difficult to find among the list of materials that Qing Yuanzi had given him, but who would've thought that it would appear on this auction with such an incredibly low starting price?
Glazed Heavenly Flame Liquid was so rare and precious that it could easily be the auction item that was reserved for the finale.
18,000,000 spirit stones was not a small sum, but compared to the value of this spirit liquid, it was cheap beyond belief.
With that in mind, Han Li had a feeling that Xiao Buyi was definitely going to be providing an explanation regarding why the starting price was so low.
Han Li was not the only one in the auction hall waiting for an explanation. Many other people were also looking at Xiao Buyi with astonishment intermingled with a hint of anticipation in their eyes, awaiting further elaboration on the situation.
As expected, a faint smile appeared on Xiao Buyi's face as he continued, "I know that that the starting price for this Glazed Heavenly Flame Liquid comes as quite a surprise to everyone, but there's naturally a reason for this. This spirit liquid was refined from a heavenly flame, but something went wrong during the refinement process, so it's technically a flawed item compared to true Glazed Heavenly Flame Liquid. However, I can guarantee that it possesses all of the main functions of normal Glazed Heavenly Flame Liquid, it's just that its efficacy will be severely hampered in comparison."
"A flawed item?" The rowdy crowd immediately fell silent, and many people furrowed their brows with indecision.
There had been precedents of flawed spirit medicines and even flawed treasures that had been sold during auctions, but it was said that all of these items were very lackluster and couldn't hold a candle to their perfect counterparts. After all, both pill and tool refinement required extremely strict regulation of the materials, as well as the refinement methods and processes used. Even the slightest mistake or discrepancy could result in a complete failure.
Thus, the frenzied crowd suddenly calmed down as if a massive bucket of cold water had been poured over everyone's heads.
"I'd thought that 18,000,000 spirit stones was a ridiculously low starting price, but seeing as this is a flawed item, I now feel that it's far too high," a man in one of the cabins on the upper level chuckled coldly.
Xiao Buyi turned to a certain cabin on the upper level, and replied, "There's no point in trying to barter with me, Fellow Daoist Lie; the starting prices of the auction items were all set by the auction house. Come to think of it, wouldn't this Glazed Heavenly Flame Liquid be perfect for your flame spirit body?"
"If it were a perfect item, then I would naturally try to purchase it at all costs, but if it's flawed, then it's next to useless to me, so why should I be interested in it?" the man who had spoken countered in a cold voice.
Xiao Buyi merely smiled in response, but didn't say anything in reply on this occasion. Instead, he waved a sleeve over the lid of the vial in his hand, and azure light flashed as the lid flew off of its own accord.
A pillar of crimson flames immediately shot forth out of the vial's opening, following which a small ball of red liquid slowly emerged from within.
The ball of liquid was translucent and shimmering with red light.
Xiao Buyi focused his gaze on it, and white light flashed in one of his hands as he summoned a flying sword that was around a foot in length.
This was an antiquated sword that was flashing with a cold light, and it was quite apparent even from a single glance that this was a weapon of quite a high caliber.
Xiao Buyi flicked his wrist, and the flying sword instantly shot forth as a swath of cold light that hurtled directly toward the ball of red liquid.
An astonishing scene then ensued.
In the instant that the cold light came into contact with the ball of liquid, a loud sizzling sound rang out as a plume of white smoke wafted through the air. Immediately thereafter, the entire flying sword turned bright red and began to melt, completely disappearing after just a few flashes.
That demonstration was sufficient to display the spirit liquid's fearsome might!
Xiao Buyi could sense everyone's hesitation, and he explained, "I hope everyone saw that clearly. Even though this spirit liquid is flawed, it still possesses the ability to melt metal and rocks, so it'll be very useful for tool refinement."
After that, he opened his mouth to expel a ball of azure spiritual Qi that immediately enshrouded the ball of red liquid within.
The liquid began to burn in a frenzy like a phoenix rising from the ashes, transforming into a head-sized fireball amid a dull thump.
A burst of scorching heat proliferated from the stage, quickly surging into the distance in all directions.
All of a sudden, the air temperature in the entire hall was raised significantly, and the foreign beings sitting on the front few rows closest to the stage felt as if they'd been plunged into a sea of lava.
All of the beings in the hall were high-grade cultivators, so they naturally wouldn't be injured by this level of heat, but many of them were still quite stunned by what they saw.
Everyone could see that Xiao Buyi had only expelled a ball of pure spiritual Qi as a catalyst to draw forth that wave of scorching heat, so this was entirely a display of the spirit liquid's power alone.
It came as quite a surprise to everyone that even a flawed ball of Glazed Heavenly Flame Liquid could possess such staggering power.
Thus, quiet chattering rang out within the silent hall again, and the yearning in everyone's eyes was rekindled as they stared at the ball of fiery liquid.
Xiao Buyi knew that he had already achieved the intended effect at this point, so he casually swept a sleeve toward the fireball. A swath of light swept forth, and the scorching flames were snuffed out to reveal the ball of liquid again before it disappeared into the vial in a flash.
Xiao Buyi made a grabbing motion, and the vial was sealed shut again using its original lid. After that, the vial itself slowly descended onto the center of his palm.
"Bidding for the Glazed Heavenly Flame Liquid will now commence!" he announced without any further delay.
"30,000,000!" An astonishing bid was immediately made by someone from a certain corner of the auction hall. As opposed to matching the starting price, the bid was instantly upped the price by almost twofold.
Many people who were just about to make lower bids were quite stunned by this opening salvo, and they all turned to find that the bidder was a pale-faced man in a set of long black robes.
It was none other than Han Li!
After a brief internal struggle, many of the beings present finally decided against making further birds.
Glazed Heavenly Flame Liquid was indeed extremely precious, but the inescapable fact of the matter was that it was still a flawed item, and it simply wasn't worth such a lofty price to them.
Meanwhile, Han Li was merely sitting still on his chair. He wore a calm expression, but he was internally quite excited.
Even though this spirit liquid was flawed, thereby significantly hampering its efficacy, it was still Glazed Heavenly Flame Liquid, so it would most likely still be useful to Qing Yuanzi. If he were to give up on this opportunity, he most likely won't be able to obtain perfectly refined Glazed Heavenly Flame Liquid anyway, so he was determined to get his hands on this spirit liquid, even if it were flawed.
As such, he didn't hold back at all, and immediately bid the price up to a staggering height from the get-go.
He wasn't hoping to be able to actually secure the spirit liquid at this price, but at the very least, he was going to scare off most of his potential competitors.
If there were many people bidding for the same item, it was easy for them to get swept up in the heat of the moment, thereby bidding the price up to something that no one would be willing to pay had they retained their sense of logic.
It was quite clear that Han Li's plan had proven to be effective as the entire hall remained silent after that initial bid that he'd placed.
"This fellow Daoist has placed a bid of 30,000,000 spirit stones. Are there any other bidders? If not, this vial of spirit liquid will go to this fellow Daoist after a count of three," Xiao Buyi announced as he glanced at the corner that Han Li was sitting in.
Right at this moment, an elderly voice sounded. "32,000,000!"
Han Li's brows furrowed as he turned toward that direction to find that the bidder was a yellow-robed elderly man sitting at the center of the auction. The man had a head of straw-like hair, but his eyebrows were quite bushy, and his blue eyes were bright and piercing.
"It's Old Man Fu! Why is he interested in this spirit liquid?" Many people were quite surprised to see this new bidder, and they began to chat among themselves.
It appeared that this old man was quite a renowned figure in Cloud City.
Before Han Li had a chance to formulate his next bid, another bid was placed by someone on the upper level. To Han Li's surprise, the bidder had a pleasant female voice, so it clearly wasn't the man with the Lie surname who had spoken earlier.
As soon as that bid was made, a hesitant look appeared on Old Man Fu's face. He cast a glance up at the upper level and opened his mouth as if he were contemplating placing another bid, but shook his head and remained silent in the end.
"40,000,000 going once!"
"40,000,000 going twice!"
A faint smile appeared on Xiao Buyi's face as he quickly completed two counts. It was quite clear that this price was already higher than what was projected by the auction house, and he was also of the opinion that no one would dare to bid against a holy race being from the upper level.
However, just as he was about to complete the third and final count, Han Li placed another bid in an expressionless manner. "45,000,000!"
Everyone else in the auction hall, including even Xiao Buyi himself, couldn't help but cast their eyes toward Han Li with peculiar expressions on their faces.
It was not every day that they saw an upper race being who dared to bid against a holy race being.
"47,000,000!" The female holy race being on the upper level seemed to have been irked by Han Li's insolence, and her voice cooled significantly.
Han Li's eyelids twitched slightly upon hearing this new price, but he still immediately followed up with a bid of 50,000,000 without any hesitation.
This was basically the extent of the number of spirit stones he currently possessed, so if the price were to be raised any higher, he'd have no choice but to give up.
Thankfully, this price seemed to have also exceeded the limit of what the woman on the upper level was willing to pay, and she gave a cold harrumph before falling silent.
After completing a quick count of three, Xiao Buyi announced, "Alright, this half vial of Glazed Heavenly Flame Liquid goes to this fellow Daoist for 50,000,000 spirit stones. Please issue your payment right away."
Han Li heaved an internal sigh of relief before immediately rising to his feet and making his way onto the stage.
Upon reaching Xiao Buyi, Han Li brought out a bag of top-grade spirit stones that he'd prepared in advance from his within his storage bracelet.
Xiao Buyi swept his spiritual sense toward the bag before nodding with a faint smile and handing the small white vial over to Han Li.
Han Li removed the lid of the vial and took a quick glance inside, upon which a hint of elation appeared on his face. After extending a slight bow toward Xiao Buyi, he walked down from the stage in an unhurried manner before returning to his original seat.
During this process, Han Li naturally sensed many pairs of eyes fixated on him, and needless to say, most of them were not appraising him with benevolent expressions on their faces.