This burly man with black Qi swirling around him was none other than Xuan Wu Tyrant Sovereign, and the demon referred to as Li Huo by him was naturally none other than Wyrm Monarch Li Huo.
It came as quite a surprise to everyone that these two had appeared to announce the commencement of the auction.
After the sovereign and monarch walked off the platform, a white-robed elderly man took their place, and he was followed closely by two groups of children, each of whom was holding a platter in their hands.
The platters were all concealed completely under pieces of golden fabric, preventing anyone from being able to glean their contents.
"I am Heavenly Eye Disciple, and I'll be hosting this auction; please look after me, Fellow Daoists," the elderly man chuckled as he cupped his fist in a salute.
"Haha, all of us are very relieved to see that you'll be hosting the auction, Fellow Daoist Heavenly Eye."
"Indeed! Setting aside everything else, your ocular powers alone are vastly renowned among our two races."
The mid-Spatial Tempering Stage elderly man was clearly quite a popular and renowned figure.
Heavenly Eye Disciple's smile widened, and he extended another salute before cutting straight to the chase. "All of you have come from afar, so I'm sure you don't have any patience to listen to an old man like me. Hence, let the auction begin! Present the first auction item."
Heavenly Eye Disciple brandished a hand behind him as he spoke, and one of the children immediately stepped forward carefully before raising his platter above his head, offering it to the elderly man in a respectful manner.
Heavenly Eye Disciple swept an arm through the air to remove the golden cloth on the platter, revealing a shimmering silver crystal.
The crystal was only around the size of a human fist, but its surface was covered in a layer of naturally formed patterns. These patterns were shimmering with silver light, as if countless silver threads had fused into the crystal, presenting a very beautiful sight to behold.
"This is a Silverthread Crystal, which is an exceptional metal-attribute tool refinement material. This crystal can only be found in the Whiteface Canyon, which is situated in the easternmost region of the human territory, and the average yearly production of this material is less than half of this crystal presented here, so that's an indication of just how precious this material is. If a normal flying sword were to be infused with even a tiny amount of this material, its sharpness would immediately be increased dramatically. If this material were to be used to refine a treasure, there would be a very good chance of that treasure turning out as a spirit treasure. Hence, the starting price of this crystal is 3,000,000 spirit stones, and each bid must have a minimum increment of 100,000 spirit stones. You may now begin bidding!" Heavenly Eye Disciple announced after a brief introduction.
This Silverthread Crystal wasn't all that alluring to Body Integration cultivators, but it was clearly very much sought-after by Deity Transformation and Spatial Tempering cultivators.
After all, that Whiteface Canyon was under the direct control of Xuan Wu City, and the measly yearly production of Silverthread Crystal normally wasn't even enough to satisfy the needs of Xuan Wu City alone. As such, many people were naturally extremely interested in this large chunk being put up for auction.
The bids came in thick and fast, and in the end, the crystal was purchased for the lofty price of 7,300,000 spirit stones by an unidentifiable demonic being with long black fur all over their body, much to the dismay of many human cultivators present.
Everyone knew that the demon race wasn't that adept in tool refinement, so it came as quite a surprise to everyone that a demon would be willing to pay such a high price for this Silverthread Crystal.
Seeing as the first auction item was a tool refinement material, the string of subsequent auction items were naturally from the same category.
However, after nearly a dozen or so items had been sold, most of the people in the hall were starting to grow quite alarmed.
Eight of these tool refinement materials had all been purchased by that black-furred demonic being for incredibly high prices. It was as if he had unlimited wealth and was determined to secure these materials.
Aside from the demonic being's arms, his entire body had been concealed by a yellow hooded leather cloak, making it impossible to glean his true appearance.
Of course, that only applied to Deity Transformation and Spatial Tempering cultivators; a Body Integration cultivator like Han Li would still be able to bypass the concealment properties of the leather cloak by force using his spiritual sense.
"That's a Black Wolf Demon! He's only at the early-Spatial Tempering Stage; how does he possess so much wealth? Could it be that he's quite an important figure among the wolf race?" Han Li murmured to himself with furrowed brows as blue light flashed through his eyes.
Qi Lingzi and Hai Yuetian were able to hear what he was saying, but they still had no idea what was going on, so they naturally didn't dare to interject.
At this moment, a piece of fabric that was glowing with fiery crimson light was revealed on the platter being held by another child, and a stir immediately ran through the entire hall.
"That's a piece of fabric woven with Crystalline Flame Threads!"
Greedy expressions appeared on many people's faces at the sight of this piece of fabric, as if they wanted nothing better than to rush onto the platform and grab it for themselves.
"Master, what's this Crystalline Flame Thread? It seems like many people are interested in it," Hai Yuetian couldn't help but ask.
"Crystalline Flame Threads are a type of spirit material that can only be found in the territory of the Black Phoenix Race. I've heard that these threads are produced by a type of fire insect that dwells within lava. However, these fire insects can only produce a single thread in their lifetime, and they can only be found in a certain lava realm owned by the Black Phoenix Race, so they're even rarer than Silverthread Crystals. If such a material were to be used to refine a fire-attribute treasure, a cultivator using fire-attribute cultivation arts would enjoy a slight boost in their rate of cultivation just by carrying the treasure around at all times. On top of that, the treasure would also possess powerful fire-attribute abilities, so this material is naturally extremely sought-after among those using fire-attribute cultivation arts," Han Li explained with a smile.
"I see. That certainly explains their reactions," Qi Lingzi chuckled.
At this point, Heavenly Eye Disciple had already announced the starting price for this piece of fabric, and the bids came flying in even faster than they did for the previous few auction items.
The starting price was doubled in virtually the blink of an eye, and had reached an astronomical sum.
As a result, the frenetic bidding finally died down a little, and there were only five or six people still trading blows, one of which was none other than the black-furred demonic being.
To no one's surprise, the Black Wolf Demon once again came out on top, securing the piece of fabric for a staggering sum. As a result, he attracted even more attention, and many beings from both the human and demon races were casting frequent glances toward him, and the looks in their eyes certainly didn't reflect any friendly intentions.
However, everyone's attention was then drawn to Heavenly Eye Disciple after hearing what he had to say next.
"Hehe, many of you have attended the Myriad Treasure Convention in the past, so I'm sure you know that the sequence of this auction is different from that of most other auctions. We won't be saving all of the best auction items for the end. Instead, we'll be dispersing them through various points in the auction, and one of them is about to be brought out right now; I'm sure it won't disappoint."
He suddenly clapped his hands twice as he spoke, and a stunning young female servant strode onto the platform with a green wooden box that was around half a foot in size in her hands.
She made her way over to Heavenly Eye Disciple with a captivating smile on her face, and a serious look appeared in the elderly man's eyes for the first time as he carefully accepted the wooden box from the servant before turning to the face everyone again.
"I'm sure that some of you would've heard of Weeping Spirit Blood Wood, but how many of you have seen it? There is a small section of this spirit material in this box, and it has a vast array of uses. It can act as a material to assist one in unleashing several types of powerful abilities, and it can also be refined into a second clone or a puppet that can take one's place during tribulation transcendence. It's also the main material required to refine the vastly renowned Weeping Blood Spirit Bead," Heavenly Eye Disciple announced in a solemn manner.
Most people were quite befuddled to hear this, and only a minority of auction-goers displayed ecstatic reactions upon hearing this.
"Weeping Blood Spirit Wood? Isn't this viewed as a sacred artifact among the Spirit Race? How could something like this appear on an auction for humans and demons?"
The cultivators who were aware of what this item was were astonished, and Han Li's expression also changed slightly. At the same time, he could sense many bursts of spiritual sense fluctuations emanating from the cabins on the third floor, clearly indicating that many of the Body Integration Stage beings were also very interested in this item.
"Hehe, I'm naturally not sure of where this material was secured from, but I can assure all of you of its authenticity." He removed the lid of the box as he spoke, and the pungent odor of blood and gore immediately erupted forth, forming a cloud of dense blood mist that twisted and writhed in mid-air like a crimson python.
Heavenly Eye Disciple took a deep breath as golden light flashed through his eyes, and spread his fingers before abruptly reaching into the box with one hand.
In the next instant, a reddish-black section of wood appeared before everyone. The piece of wood was around half a foot in length and as thick as a human thumb. It was completely dull and devoid of luster, but wisps of crimson mist were being emitted by it relentlessly.
The crimson mist surged and intertwined incessantly before rising straight up into the air as if it were a living being.
Han Li's eyes narrowed slightly upon seeing this.
He had heard of this Weeping Spirit Blood Wood in the past, and they were actually the remains of certain types of mutated wood-attribute beings of the Spirit Race, and they were indeed extremely rare, even in the Spirit Race itself.
Second clones and Weeping Blood Spirit Beads were all vastly renowned, but what truly tempted him was naturally the tribulation transcendence substitution puppet.
Even though he could refine Spiritform Talismans that could also serve the same purpose, as he became more and more powerful, the talismans became less and less efficacious for him. Even if he were to nurture it for a very long time, it wouldn't be able to assist him much in his tribulation transcendence.
The tribulation transcendence substitution puppet was a treasure that had been vastly renowned in the human race for a long time, and it was effective even for Body Integration Stage beings. However, these puppets were disposable items that could only be used once, and one had to use it at the correct time. Otherwise, activating it too early or too late would both result in the puppet being wasted for nothing.