This was Guo Shier's first time to see a female Grandmaster. He turned to Luo Jie and curiously asked, "Master, what’s her profession?"
Luo Jie couldn't help but laugh. "She's a Beast Smith Grandmaster. She's a celebrity from the West Rune Sect—a Beast Smith Grandmaster who's no older than 40 years old. After advancing, she morphed into a 20 year old. She's very famous around here."
"But she’s not combat-class," added Qi Nanshan. "She's no big deal. Shier is much stronger than her."
Qi Nanshan's standard was based on a person's ability to fight. For him, any occupation that cannot be fight was rubbish.
Still, Guo Shier's curiosity grew bigger. "What is her name?"
"She's from the Wu clan, called Wu Yanyan," said Luo Jie.
"Holy shit, her name is more vulgar than mine!" exclaimed Guo Shier.
Note: The characters 'Wu' and 'Yan' mean 'stunning' and 'alluring.'
Wu Yanyan's appearance was truly outstanding—a real knockout. Skin as white as snow, small red lips, and flowing black hair. She was wearing a big red satin ribbon brocade, which is a South Rune Sect specialty. In the northwest region, not many rich families can afford such a precious gown.
"Number plate 1, please come up with the items you want to trade," she said. She was working as the host in this event.
The person holding that plate came up. "I want to forfeit my rights to trade," he requested.
Wu Yanyan laughed. "You're forfeiting? Well, fine. Then may the Grandmaster with number plate 2 come up for trading."
This time, a very old man stood up, unsteady. Two little girls were supporting him on each side. They helped him slowly walk to the center of the venue.
Guo Shier's jaw dropped. "This… this man is also a Grandmaster? He's almost out of breath!"
"No, he should have a few more good years to live," Luo Jie sighed.
The man introduced himself to the crowd. "I'm an old man from the West Rune Sect, Beast Caster Grandmaster, Zhao Quan."
Very slowly, he then took three things out: a stone, a bone and a foot-long beast hide.
"Green shrimp jade, ancient Rune Bone, a foot of Earth Dragon skin. Please verify the items," he said.
Wu Yanyan and another middle-aged man stepped forward to examine the goods.
"Green shrimp jade, excellent quality. Ancient Rune Bone, there's a complete natural Ancient Rune. Earth Dragon skin, product quality is intact and the skin belongs to the very rare Earth Dragon family," Wu Yanyan announced to the crowd.
"I hope to be able to exchange for beast Spirit Glyphs. I will prioritize attack-type Glyphs," the old man said.
Wu Yanyan turned to the crowd. "Interested people can examine the items on stage."
As expected, only a few people stood up.
Guo Shier stepped closer to his master. "These items are very generic, master," he whispered.
Luo Jie smiled. "Not everyone has your good luck. These items are actually pretty good. However, they're not enough to get a beast Spirit Glyph."
Wu Yanyan then asked, "Is anyone going to trade?"
No one responded.
She repeated the question three times, yet no one responded.
"Old timer Zhao, do you have any intention to auction these items?" she asked the old man.
Zhao Quan was confused. Why was no one interested?
After some thought, he finally relented. "Okay, I’ll let you take the items for auction."
He handed the three items to Wu Yanyan. An Inner Gate disciple went forward to receive the items, which will be sent to another smaller venue. There, more than a dozen big businessmen will be competing for these items in an auction.
Guo Shier realized what was going on. "Oh, so they would be exchanged for money and not precious materials?"
Luo Jie nodded. "He probably understood that he won't be able to exchange them for a Glyph, so he just took this opportunity to exchange them for money. It would fetch a high price in the auction. He's preparing for future generations."
The event went on as usual.
One by one, the Grandmasters appeared on stage, each one hoping to exchange things they own for things they need.
"Number plate 18, kindly come up on stage," said Wu Yanyan.
The man introduced himself. "West Rune Sect Beast Artificer Grandmaster, Chen Zhizhong," he said.
Guo Shier knew this person.
Wu Yanyan motioned for the grandmaster to take out the items that he wanted to exchange. He took out a curved Rune engraved dagger.
"Rune engraved dagger, hehe!" he declared. "This is a dagger made from the teeth of an ancient Marked Beast. The markings are natural Ancient Runes. It is exceptionally sharp. General defensive Runes are no match for this dagger—they can't stop it from puncturing. I would like to exchange this for Rare Grade materials. Only Rare Grade materials."
Guo Shier's eyes widened. He was very interested in the dagger. He himself owned a pure steel Rune-engraved dagger but was not very satisfied with it.
"Master," he whispered to Lou Jie. "I’ll go up and see."
Many Marked Warrior Grandmasters were also interested. Guo Shier stood up and went up the stage to join them.
His appearance attracted everyone’s attention.
"Child, please get off the stage," Wu Yanyan said. "This is for Grandmasters only." She then turned to the crowd and said, "Please, Grandmasters, manage your own followers. Don’t let them come up at random."
Chen Zhizhong couldn’t help but laugh. He was very amused to see Guo Shier being belittled.
Guo Shier smiled sweetly. "Sister," she said to Wu Yanyan. "With what eyes can you see that I'm not a Grandmaster?"
Wu Yanyan's jaw dropped. "You're a Grandmaster?"
This could not be possible, she thought. "Hey, this kid…" she said, looking for words. "Who can prove that you're a Grandmaster, huh?"
Before she even finished speaking, Luo Jie, Qi Nanshan, Ying Mo, Luo Zhan, Xiao Feng and Luo Jing six Grandmasters stood up together, and shouted, "We can prove it."
Wu Yanyan was startled and took a step back.
Chen Zhizhong got worried. He didn't want a fuss and may cause disgrace to the West Rune Sect.
"Yanyan, stop it," he hurriedly said. "His name is Guo Shier. He's the youngest Artificer Grandmaster from the North Rune Sect."
All the other Grandmasters present were shocked. Guo Shier was clearly a child—yet he has already advanced to Grandmaster Level. And not just any Grandmaster—he was an Artificer Grandmaster. This kid managed to reach the highest levels of the the most difficult class to advance in.
For a few minutes, the audience was in an uproar.
"Grandpa Chen, Is this true?" Wu Yanyan asked in disbelief.
Chen Zhizhong nodded. "Yes. I don’t need to talk nonsense."
Wu Yanyan suddenly squat down and hugged Guo Shier.
This confused him.
"My God! You're a very young Grandmaster!" Wu Yanyan exclaimed. "I simply can't believe it. Younger brother, tell elder sister. How old are you?"
In this realm, Guo Shier appeared adorable to older people. His little face has become white and rosy ever since eating the blood essence of an Earth Dragon Variant. His eyes were sparkling black. For adult women, his boyish charm can provoke maternal love.
Not waiting for Guo Shier to answer, Wu Yanyan kissed his face.
This stunned Guo Shier. His heart softened like tofu.
He struggled to get out of Wu Yanyan’s hug. Who knew this woman could be so strong?
(Note: I think Guo Shier is being squeezed to death because he is a cutie pie J)
Wu Yanyan held on. "Don’t be afraid," she said. "Tell elder sister, how old are you?"
I'm afraid of nothing. But ugh, this woman has enormous strength. Guo Shier thought to to himself.
"Ten years old!" he finally blurted out.
He suddenly thought of a way to escape from her hug. "Granny Wu," he addressed her. "Let me go."
"Did you just call me Granny?" Wu Yanyan said. Her face suddenly turned green. "Call me elder sister! Am I that old?" she exclaimed angrily.
The whole audience roared with laughter.
Wu Yanyan was thick skinned enough and kept hugging him. "Call me elder sister, or I won’t let you go!" she demanded.
Guo Shier's color was changing.
(Note: Guo Shier may be turning purple from being hugged too tight or just the lack of air.)
"Well, is elder sister married?" he asked, his voice crisp and loud.
"Married? Who's married?" said Wu Yanyan puzzled.
Guo Shier said with a smile, "Well, you're not married? Do you want to marry me?"
Wu Yanyan's mind went blank. She didn't understand what the little guy meant.
"Marry you?" she said. "That's impossible."
Guo Shier pretended to look around and said, "Impossible? Then why do you keep holding on to me?"
"Hey! This child!" Wu Yanyan exclaimed.
The audience once again laughed.
Chen Zhizhong wryly smiled, "Yanyan!"
Wu Yanyan let Guo Shier go.
She didn't get angry even though she knew she was being played by the little guy. No one would a take ten-year-old child seriously. Because Guo Shier was too young, everybody would think anything he said was funny.
"Do you want to marry me or do you want to wait for your hair to grow? Hee hee hee," she teased him back, touching his head.
(Note: Hair to grow? Are they talking about pubic hair?)
Guo Shier was suddenly speechless. This woman is ruthless! Ugh! She doesn't respect a child's human rights, he thought to himself.
Chen Zhizhong cleared his throat. "Well, please continue," he said to the crowd.
The audience finally calmed down.
On stage, Guo Shier picked up the dagger and inspected it carefully.
It was very beautiful—ivory in color, with naturally engraved Runes. The blade was flat and had a slight curve. It had a very sharp end instead of a blade edge. The grip was made of rare, toughened wood wrapped in a fine thread of spider silk.
Guo Shier got off the stage to go back to his seat. He was in awe this dagger. He could see why so many other people were also interested.
Back in his seat, Guo Shier whispered to his Master to discuss the item. Luo Jie understood how much his apprentice liked this dagger.
"No problem, I’ll barter this item for you," he said.
Luo Jie proceeded to use his negotiating skills to win the dagger. He traded several rare grade materials and some powerful Rune devices for it.
The other numbers were called and trading went on like usual.
Finally, it was Guo Shier's turn.
Wu Yanyan stood on the stage and called the next number. "Will the Grandmaster with number plate 37 please come up on stage to trade."
Guo Shier went up. "Hello, Granny Wu! It's me again," he teased
Wu Yanyan tried to laugh but couldn't hide her displeasure. "Call me elder sister! Otherwise… hmmp!"
Guo Shier felt his scalp go numb. He could sense that she was genuinely annoyed. He better stop his wise-ass jokes.
"Okay, elder sister," he relented, changing his tone.
Wu Yanyan faked a smile. "Well, it's your turn."
Guo Shier felt a cold chill in his heart. Her words were kind but felt…intimidating.
He stood in the center stage and started to introduce himself. "Grandmasters, ladies and gentlemen. Greetings everyone!"
He looked at the audience. "North Rune Sect Artificer Grandmaster Guo Shier. Ten years old this year," he declared proudly to get everyone's attention.
There were voices whispering in the field. Everyone already knew who he was as a result of the previous little skirmish with Wu Yanyan.
"Today, I brought three bottles, each with an ounce of blood. I would like to exchange them for a Spirit or Ancient Glyph," he continued.
Suddenly, there was a clamor. The Grandmasters grew curious, knowing that blood can be the cheapest or most valuable commodity for Artificers.
The use of blood on Runes in this world was like gasoline on cars in Guo Shier's previous world. Without all kinds of blood, an Artificer cannot be an Artificer.
Guo Shier leisurely took out three small crystal bottles.
He presented the first one.
"This is the blood of a Marked Bear after a sixteen-Rune Purification process. Not an ordinary Marked Bear from the grasslands, but a Marked Bear in the Secret Realm. There should be plenty of Grandmaster-level Rune Smiths who can discern the difference even though it's a small amount of blood," he said.
Guo Shier knew that while hunting Marked Bears within the Secret Realm can be difficult, some people manage to do it. This is why this small bottle of Marked Bear blood alone would not be very tempting, and exchanging it for a Spirit Glyph was almost impossible.
So he whipped out another bottle.
"This second bottle of blood is more precious. Hehehe! It's from an Earth Dragon Variant found in the Secret Realm. A predecessor pointed out that this is a Rank 7 Marked Beast Variant. The blood also received a sixteen-Rune Purification process," he explained.
Translator: Glasses TangGu