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Chapter 268 - The Unknown and the Defective

'Essence of the Sand Orchid, 40 million for one piece? Tiger-soul Ice Stripes Egg, 66 million for one piece? What, there's even the demon core of a Heavenly Thunder Wolf? Modifying the Hellfire-Lightnings with that can improve their power by dozens of times. But its price is insane, too. 250 million for one!'

Li Yao browsed through the inventory greedily.

As a magical equipment maniac, he was dazzled by the rare Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures in the inventory and was of half a mind to buy all of them.

But looking at his pocket, he noticed, sadly, that there were only twenty soul-marked cards inside, which were not even enough to buy five different kinds of the materials.



Li Yao seemed to have gone back to the day when he was staring at the roasted duck worthy of a few hundred bulks through the shop window hungrily with only a few coins in his pocket.

'Cultivation is indeed a money-burning job!

'I used to do refining with ordinary materials and didn't understand it. But now that I want to refine some strong magical equipment based on Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures, I finally know that money is indeed a precious thing!

'Based on the secret refining techniques from Ou Yezi's memory pieces, I can refine some magical equipment that is suitable for me and can significantly improve my combat ability. But according to this inventory, the raw materials alone would cost me one billion!

'And that was not counting the cost of the Fiend Start Refining Workshop.

'Even if I buy a world fragment with a mortgage, I'll still have to make a 30% down payment. Considering that I'm only a Refinement Stage Cultivator and a college student with no stable income, the banks might not agree to the down payment rate. If they ask for a higher rate, the money that I need to pay will greatly increase!

'Besides, there's still the cost of the modification of the world fragment.

'Since I'm going to build my personal refining workshop, naturally, everything should be done according to the highest standards, which will presumably cost me several hundred million.

'These expenses, counted together, almost reach two billion.

'Besides, I still want to wrestle with this shark, Qiu Guanyu, of the Zephyr Guild.

'Which means I need another three to five hundred million.'

Li Yao was gritting his teeth without him knowing.

He wasn't a man who was willing to bend his knee to the powerful. Besides, Guan Xiong of the Mountain Sea Sect had saved his life before.

The Zephyr Guild browbeat the Mountain Sea Guild into surrendering the Demon Beast Detector by foul play, which had truly infuriated Li Yao.

As a refiner, he treated the magical equipment refined by him as his children.

Now that the Zephyr Guild had been slandering his 'children', he was ready to make a serious comeback.

'Should I sell some more materials?'

Li Yao couldn't make up his mind.

The materials left in the Cosmos Ring had been carefully selected by him. They hadn't been affected by the explosion and were all in good condition.

He was preparing to refine them into magical equipment. That way, he would gain a much bigger profit.

Seeing through his hesitation, Mr. Lin brought out a second inventory of materials without saying anything.

Materials on the second inventory were much cheaper than those on the previous one. Most of their prices were at the level of millions. Some of the materials were even only a few hundred thousand a piece.

However, after a quick glance, Li Yao discovered that he barely knew any stuff on the inventory, and the few Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures that he knew were much cheaper than the market price.

Li Yao looked at Mr. Lin in suspicion.

Mr. Lin explained, "They're all unknown materials and defective materials, which is why their price is lower than normal."

The cosmos was so enormous that there were many materials that the Cultivators of the Heaven's Origin Sector never saw, never knew, and failed to perceive their characteristics when they found one.

Some of the materials were retrieved from world fragments; some were brought to the Heaven's Origin Sector by falling stars; some were discovered in the deep underground of the Heaven's Origin Sector.

Since their backgrounds and attributes were obscure, it was difficult to refine them into magical equipment. Therefore, their prices were relatively low.

However, if someone was smart enough to see the value of an unknown material and its possible usage, he would be able to buy a real bargain.

As for the defective materials, they were like the forbidden scales that Li Yao brought, only hundreds of times more seriously damaged, bordering on the irreparable. Therefore, their prices were much lower than their normal counterparts. Sometimes it was only one tenth of the original price.

If a refiner had a secret technique to fix the materials, or simply chose to use them for auxiliary purposes, it would be a good bargain, too, to buy some of the defective materials back.

Li Yao's eyes were glaring in delight.

There were some secret techniques in the Hundred Smelting Clan to fix the defective materials. Although it was impossible to entirely renew the materials, the utility rate of them could be considerably improved.

Now that he was not rich enough to buy the first-class materials, he might as well buy some defective ones.

"How can I buy the unknown materials and the defective materials?"

Mr. Lin smiled.

"The trading procedure for unknown materials and defective materials is different from that for ordinary materials.

"Since the quality and performance of the ordinary materials are relatively stable, the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion guarantee that all of them are exactly fit to their descriptions on the inventory. Our customers can buy whatever they want by shopping through the inventory. If they are not satisfied at their purchase when it is delivered, whatever they've bought can be refunded or replaced at their will.

"But the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion cannot confirm the value of the unknown materials and defective materials. For some materials, we don't even know what they are. Therefore, the customers are allowed to examine the materials in person before placing an order.

"Such materials are indeed cheap. But they cannot be returned once they're purchased. So, let's get one thing straight. The Bountiful Treasures Pavilion does not endorse any of the materials. Chances are that one might spend a few million on what one thought to be precious, only to find out that it is a bizarre stone in the end. The Bountiful Treasures Pavilion will not take any responsibility in such cases."

Mr. Lin paused and said, "This is not a rule invented by the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion, but a common practice of all the material exchange centers in and beyond Serpent City."

Mr. Lin smiled and continued, "It is indeed risky to buy unknown materials and defective materials. But the yield can be amazing too, if you've picked the right stuff. Somebody became a magnate overnight, yet somebody was so addicted to the activity that they paid a few billion for loads of garbage. It is interesting that many Cultivators call buying unknown materials and defective materials 'treasure gambling', which is even more attractive to them than purchasing ordinary materials.

"It just so happens—"

Mr. Lin took out an emerald card made of green jade from his pocket and said, "If Mr. Fang wishes to buy unknown materials and defective materials, I can take you to the warehouse right now. However, a new batch of materials will be delivered tomorrow, which is said to contain several unknown materials from other worlds. Many Cultivators have expressed their interest. Therefore, the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion is going to hold a large trade fair for unknown materials and defective materials in two days' time. Since Mr. Fang apparently is an expert of the business, I assume you are interested too. This is a VIP invitation card for you. Please keep it. If you're not occupied in two days, feel free to drop by."

Li Yao was instantly attracted. Unknown materials from other worlds?

It was going to be an eye-opener!

There were other affairs that he needed to attend to in the Serpent City, which would cost him another two days anyway. Therefore, he accepted the card and replied without hesitation, "Sure. I'll be at the trade fair in two days."

After thinking for a moment, he asked, "Mr. Lin, I'm looking for a powerful Cryptohacker. Do you have any idea whom I can turn to?"

Mr. Lin answered, "There are several skilled, experienced Cryptohackers within the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion. Please wait a moment, Mr. Fang."

He typed fast on the keyboard for a while and exclaimed in joy, "Master Qin is free at present. I've made an appointment. I'll show you the way, Mr. Fang."

Master Qin was an obese, bald, middle-aged man who probably weighed more than 150 kilograms.
His office was brimming with crystal processor components. Crystal wires were everywhere, like a thickly dotted spider net.

Dozens of mini crystal processors were flying among the crystal wires, humming like the busy bees in flowers.

"Impressive!"

Li Yao was also a crystal processor fan. He immediately recognized that this Master Qin had assembled a super crystal processor of insane computation ability by dismantling seven different kinds of mainframe crystal processors and modifying them.

The room was the shell of the crystal processor. They were standing inside it right now.

Of course, Li Yao was smart enough not to give him the Cosmos Ring directly.

He had parsed the double encryption in the Cosmos Ring and input it into a mini crystal processor.

As long as the Cryptohacker showed him how to resolve it, he would be able to take care of the rest of the stuff.

Li Yao handed over the mini crystal processor

Master Qin did not pay much attention to it at the beginning. He kept cramming dry fruits and cakes in front of him into his mouth, while a few crystal wires connected the mini crystal processor to the super crystal processer automatically.

"Shua!"

Four light beams appeared in front him. Rows of data poured down like a green storm.

Half a minute later, Master Qin stopped eating snacks. Greasy sweat was flowing down his forehead.

A minute later, Master Qin sat up straight. Eight light beams were blinking in front of him. His thick and short fingers were crushing the virtual keyboard.

Two minutes later, Master Qin's eyes were beaming in crimson. Oinking noises were coming from his throat, showing that he was taking it more seriously than ever. There were more than fifty crystal wires connected to the mini crystal processor, and twelve light beams were floating in front of Master Qin.

Five minutes later, Master Qin stopped all actions. His facial muscles were wrinkled together as he was thinking hard.

Ten minutes later, after a long sigh, Master Qin collapsed like a rice bag that had just been emptied.

"This double encryption is very weird and does not seem to come from one person. Rather, there seem to be a gap of hundreds of years between the two encryptions.

"Also, the two encryptions are both in odd styles. The first one is eccentric, the second one ruthless and aggressive. If I crack it by brute force, chances are that my crystal processor will be set off!"

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