Chapter 513: Demon Beasts of the Depths
"Well if it isn't Fellow Daoist Xu? I heard you wanted to return to Heavenly Star City, but I suppose the transportation formation is still unusable?" The woman's voice was soft and alluring, bringing forth a sense of comfort to those that heard it.
Han Li unconsciously frowned and bitterly laughed in his mind. It seemed a majority of the female cultivators that he met cultivated some sort of secret bewitchment technique. Although this woman's bewitchment techniques were far inferior to Fairy Violet Spirit's and Yuan Yao's, it was more than enough to easily capture the minds of a few low grade male cultivators.
With that thought, Han Li swept his gaze across the party of cultivators. Yi Jing and Xu Yun were able to keep their expressions straight, but the other male cultivators had unnatural expressions. Their gazes unconsciously wandered across the woman's body.
"These cultivators are new arrivals. I've brought them along to take a look," Xu Yun then said with a resentful tone, "As for returning to Heavenly Star City, I'm afraid that won't be happening for a while. I didn't expect the news to be true; a battle is about to occur."
With luminous eyes, the woman enchantingly covered her smile and said, "It's still good that you will remain here. If you were to leave, I'd be losing a dear customer." The woman's mature charm had fully captured the vulnerable men of the party, leaving the two women among them flushed red with anger.
Annoyed at the woman's use of her bewitchment technique, Xu Yun called out to her, "Lady Ming, they are my guests. A badge, please."
"Hehe, alright. But it seems that these Fellow Daoists should have no problem on this island; their cultivation isn't inferior to yours." Lady Ming chuckled and then glanced at Han Li and Yi Jing before erasing her bewitchment technique, returning her appearance to that of an ordinary woman. The change occurred quickly, causing the others to pause for a moment before revealing embarrassment.
The woman then clapped her hands, summoning a young mortal woman from behind the curtain.
Lady Ming coldly spoke to the mortal woman, "Bring Master Xu down to the auction. It should be starting soon!" Then with a wave of her hand, she passed a green jade badge to Xu Yun.
Xu Yun received the badge and followed the mortal woman to the side door without ever looking at her. Of course, Han Li and the others closely followed after them.
In the instant he entered the door, Han Li felt a slight spiritual Qi fluctuation as if he had entered some sort of restriction. His expression momentarily changed before returning to normal.
The party's gaze brightened as they saw the enchanting scenery that laid behind the screen.
There was a long pathway about six meters wide that led to two expansive halls. The left hall was spacious and bright, and apart from a few tall black stone pillars, there were no other obstructions in sight. In addition, it was currently bustling with activity with about thirty cultivators waiting there, all in a single file line. Regardless of whether these cultivators were male or female, they were each accompanied by a young mortal woman. Although a few of the male cultivators were lecherously sizing up the scantily clad women, there were only a few teasing words spoken at most; they restrained themselves as if they were fearful of the consequences.
At the end of the line, there was a small room that had a door shining with white light. When the cultivators in line pressed their jade badge against the door, it opened and allowed only one person inside.
As for the large hall on the right, it was covered in a barrier of faint blue light, blocking it entirely from sight.
"This place is called the Bright Gem Pavilion. It is specialized in selling off harvests from the outer seas. Particularly valuable items may also be auctioned off here after being appropriately appraised. There are several similar businesses that operate in the city but they are ran by differing powers, each backed by a Nascent Soul cultivator. Of course, at least that much is required to be doing business in a place as untamed as the outer seas."
When Lady Liu heard this, she took in a cold breath of air and muttered, "So many Nascent Soul cultivators! Could they be from the Four Elements Merchant Union?"
Xu Yun calmly said, "The Four Elements Merchant Union? They have no power here. While they hold dominance over the other demon beast islands, Wondrous Depths Island is the sole island where multiple factions joined hands to control it. While these powers alone cannot compete with the Four Elements Merchant Union in the Inner Star Seas, when joined together here, even the Star Palace dare not treat them lightly. However, this is only limited to Wondrous Depths Island."
"From Brother Xu's tone, there seems to be something unique about Wondrous Depths Island? For what reason would so many powers dare to oppose the Four Elements Merchant Union?" As Yi Jing was a shrewd and cunning sort, he heard something amiss from his words.
With an ordinary expression, Xu Yun explained, "Hehe! Brother Yi guessed correctly. The name Wondrous Depths is due to the nearby seas being unfathomably deep and filled with demon beasts. Rare high-grade demon beasts are often seen in those depths. It is said that demon beasts of even grade eight and higher appear there. It is for these high grade demon beasts that these various Nascent Soul experts stand in opposition against the Four Elements Merchant Union, forbidding them from gaining dominance of the island. It is said that when these depths were discovered, many battles erupted between the Four Elements Merchant Union and the various powers before the Star Palace later intervened to act as a mediator. After some unknown conditions were reached, the island was handed over to the various powers to jointly administer. It was at that time that it became forbidden to spread the truth of Profound Depths Island to the Inner Star Seas; otherwise, one would find themselves wanted dead by the joint powers."
Han Li was quite amazed at this. As for the others, they felt even more shocked.
"Demon beasts of grade eight or higher are existances equivalent to Nascent Soul cultivators. They truly exist here?" Yi Jing was unable to keep his calm.
"I'm not too sure. I've never personally seen them. However, there truly are people that hunt grade seven demon beasts! The Bright Gem Pavilion sells grade seven demon cores where Nascent Soul cultivators compete at extraordinary prices." Xu Yun then clicked his tongue in admiration.
Han Li, who had kept silent until now, frowned and asked, "Does Fellow Daoist Xu mean that demon beasts are easier to find in the depths?"
Xu Yun glanced at Han Li in surprised. After pausing in thought, he said, "Demon beasts are slightly easier to find in the depths. However, due to the frequent appearances of high grade demon beasts there, there are also countless cultivators that meet their end."
As Yi Jing's group had never previously visited another demon beast island, they were somewhat skeptical of these words. But Han Li managed to gain some understanding towards the depths. It seems that this was a place where danger came hand in hand with riches. So that's why this place was so odd!
The party grew silent before the mortal woman guiding them respectfully asked, "Masters, do you wish to first go to the Treasure Viewing Hall or the Treasure Wrest Hall?"
"There is nothing to see at the Treasure Viewing Hall. It is only some appraisal masters looking at unidentified items before offering to exchange them for spirit stones or put them up for auction. Let's go to the Treasure Wrest Hall instead. The items there will expand the perspective of all Fellow Daoists." Xu Yun was clearly familiar with this place. Without waiting for the mortal woman to lead the way, he walked to into the right hall.
When he approached the light barrier, he wordlessly pressed the jade badge against it, causing a circular opening to appear. He then beckoned to the rest of the party before walking in.
When Yi Jing and the others saw this, they simply entered in a line.
When Han Li saw this, he noticed the mortal woman respectfully waiting outside and curiously asked her, "You don't need to go inside?"
The mortal woman widely smiled at Han Li and explained, "Us mortals aren’t allowed to enter the Treasure Wrest Hall. This servant will be waiting for you outside."
Han Li nodded and walked through the blue light barrier without another word. The light barrier then closed by itself.
The interior was quite crude and simple. Apart from some wooden chairs, there was just a ten meter wide stage at the end of the hall. There was an old man standing at the back of the stage eloquently speaking into a shining blue stone that he was holding in his hand.
About thirty cultivators of varying grade stood below him, consisting of both Qi Condensation and Foundation Establishment cultivators. There were no Core Formation cultivators among them.
The old man respectfully said, "This blue light stone is a fire attribute magic tool refined from exceptional materials. Its owner is putting it up for bid starting at five hundred spirit stones. According to long established rules, each increasing bid must be at least thirty spirit stones more. Let us start the bid."
"Five hundred thirty spirit stones!"
"Five hundred seventy!"
After the old man finished, many cultivators began to shout out bids. Although the bids couldn't be said to be fiery, the final bid still managed to reach close to seven hundred spirit stones. A young Foundation Establishment cultivator then walked up and bought the magic tool using solely spirit stones before immediately taking it away.
"Next up, we have an earth attribute magic tool…" The old man continued to auction off the next item without any delay.
Han Li naturally had no interests in magic tools, and swept his gaze past the scene instead. He saw Xu Yun whispering to the rest of the party at a corner of the hall. Han Li then walked over with an unchanged expression.