Ethereal City was a large city with trees shading the streets. The population was huge as well, probably numbering more than a hundred million. Countless flying vessels travelling across the city, and there were many cars shuttling back and forth on the ground.
As for the dense horde of passers-by inside the city, all of them appeared to be in a rush, as though they were very busy.
Thankfully, Wang Baole's voice transmission ring had a map and location functionality. Furthermore, he had plenty of time. He headed toward the auction house according to the directions.
Along the way, he engaged in sightseeing. He looked at the buildings and stores that lined the streets and experienced the bustle that was different from his hometown, Phoenix City. Although there was nothing new that surprised him, there were many things that caught his eye.
For instance, he was looking at a building not far from him as he unwittingly exhaled in awe.
The building looked like an ancient Roman Colosseum, but it was massive, more than ten soccer fields large. If one looked at it from the sky, the entire building looked like a giant fist!
And high in the sky, there were roaring disturbances as though many battles were taking place simultaneously.
This is probably the legendary fight club where free-style fighting is employed, right? Wang Baole took another few glances. He had read an introduction of the place before on the news. When he looked at the club's entrance, there were quite a number of strongmen dressed in black uniforms standing outside. They were Blood Qi realm experts, each looking quite threatening simply by standing there.
I'll be heading to the auction house today, so I'll have to come back another time. Although Wang Baole was usually wise beyond his years, he was still a youth. He was nevertheless very interested in such hot-blooded combat fighting.
Filled with anticipation, Wang Baole took another few more glances before leaving. He marveled at his surroundings until noon, finally arriving at his destination—Cloud Hawk Auction House!
As one of the four biggest auction houses in Ethereal City, Cloud Hawk Auction House might not have been as magnificent as Ethereal Auction House, but it was still a grand sight. From afar, it looked like a male hawk with its wings spread. It was erected in the northern region of Ethereal City, spanning more than fifteen kilometers.
Tall walls split off from its periphery, and it was swarming with guards. As for the auction venue's interior, it was even more luxurious. It was enough to host ten auctions simultaneously, each holding ten thousand people.
That was especially so for the large venue in the middle, the Cloud Hawk Auction House's premier venue. Any auction that happened there would be able to stir up Ethereal City.
The auction that was being held this time was not qualified to be held in the main venue. Instead, it was held at Auction Hall No. 3 in the right wing. Wang Baole did not have an invitation, but he had long learned of the rules. He had reserved a spot through the Spirit Internet with his status as Ethereal Dao College's specially-recruited student.
With his identity jade token in hand, Wang Baole was checked by the guards at the door. He successfully entered the venue, and as he was relatively early, there were not many people present. He was guided by beautiful attendants into Auction Hall No. 3.
Although it was numbered third, it was able to seat ten thousand people. Each seat had autonomous functions. Not only was it comfortable, it also provided Ice Spirit Water as well as snacks. One could see the surroundings clearly from that spot as well as the high platforms ahead.
This place is way too extravagant. Wang Baole drank the Ice Spirit Water and ate the snacks. He felt that the entrance fee of one Spirit Stone was worth it.
As he enjoyed the service happily, more people entered. The auction hall slowly became lively. Many people knew each other and sat together, chatting and laughing in the process.
There was no lack of Ethereal Dao College students. They came in groups, but most of them were senior students. Occasionally, there were freshmen. They discussed the auction with excitement and wonder.
Wang Baole, who was drinking the Ice Spirit Water, even saw Zhuo Yifan among them. As for Zhuo Yifan, he also noticed him. Immediately, his smiling face turned cold.
The setback that Wang Baole had caused him was just too intense. Wang Baole was an extremely sore sight for him. With a snort, he turned around and began chatting with a few newly acquainted senior students.
What's his deal? Thinking how great he is and all. Wang Baole snorted as well, finishing the Ice Spirit Water in one gulp before opening a second bottle. After a long wait, a rousing musical tune boomed throughout the venue when the auction hall reached an adequate number of people. Everyone turned silent as a bright beam appeared on the stage in front of them.
Beneath the beam was a decently-dressed, middle-aged man. He slowly walked out and, with a smile, bowed to the audience.
"Everyone, welcome to Cloud Hawk Auction House. I'm Li Jingtao, your auctioneer for today. Alright, without further ado, let the auction begin!" The middle-aged man's voice was loud and clear, reaching every corner of the hall. He waved his right hand, and immediately, a projection appeared behind him. In it was a huge bone.
The bone was purple in color, emanating a lustrous glimmer. A ferocious feeling could be felt through the projection, causing many people to feel shaken.
"Lightning Bird, an extremely savage creature that lives in Electromagnetic Storms. Upon maturing, it will grow a lightning bone. This bone is extremely beneficial when it comes to the refinement of pills or Dharmic Armaments, or even the cultivation of warriors.
"Although it's an ordinary adult Lightning Bird, the difficulty of obtaining this lightning bone is equally difficult. The starting price is… 20 Spirit Stones!"
After the middle-aged man spoke, there was a temporary silence in the auction hall. Wang Baole widened his eyes, too. Although he knew of the beast war and knew how powerful ferocious beasts were, this was the first time he was seeing the lightning bone of a Lightning Bird. He could not help but take a few more glances at it.
The bidding soon started, and to Wang Baole's astonishment, the lightning bone was eventually auctioned off at the high price of 60 Spirit Stones.
It's worth so much! Wang Baole touched the tiny bag he carried. His confidence dropped immediately. However, he turned confident once again when he thought of his 75% pure Spirit Stones. After all, the auction house used 50% pure Spirit Stones to settle the payment. Every 10% increase in purity increased the price manyfold.
As the auction proceeded, one item after another appeared through a projection. Things were constantly snapped up. Although some items failed to receive any bids, most of the items were bought by someone. Wang Baole felt his horizons broaden. Apart from the various materials from the different beasts, there were also pills, Dharmic artifacts, and even cultivation techniques. However, most of them were incomplete fragments.
There were a few times that Wang Baole was tempted by the items, but he endured the enticement, waiting for the Cleansing Pill's appearance.
Finally, the auctioneer smiled when the auction was halfway through. He waved, and a milky-white pill manifested behind him!
The pill was not crystalline, but it would give anyone who saw it an impulse to swallow it. It was as though it was an innate desire.
The moment the pill appeared, its herbal fragrance permeated the entire auction hall. Immediately, many people felt energetic, especially Zhuo Yifan and some of the senior students. Their eyes were bright.
Wang Baole sat straight up as well, his heart racing while his eyes stared intently at the pill.
"I won't go into detail about the Cleansing Pill. I believe many of you are here for this pill. The starting price is… 100 Spirit Stones!"
Instantly, bidding voices erupted in the auction hall. Zhuo Yifan had also bid, looking bent on obtaining it.
"I offer 150 Spirit Stones!"
Wang Baole turned anxious as he suddenly shouted, "160 Spirit Stones!"
"170!" Zhuo Yifan frowned as he grunted.
"180!" Wang Baole did not hesitate as he raised the price once again. The others gradually gave up, leaving only Wang Baole and Zhuo Yifan as the remaining bidders. The price went from a hundred plus to more than five hundred.
Such a price—even if the Cleansing Pill was something rare—made it overvalued. Everyone exchanged looks before looking at Wang Baole and Zhuo Yifan, whose faces were red.
Zhuo Yifan clenched his teeth as he stood up and said angrily, "Wang Baole, do you dare compete with me when it comes to Spirit Stones? My family is filthy rich. I bid 700!"
He was a scion with no lack of Spirit Stones, and due to the prior running and weight-lifting incidents, he found Wang Baole a very sore sight. Worst of all, he was in desperate need of the Cleansing Pill. Therefore, he bit the bullet and bid a stunning price.
"Screw you!" Wang Baole's breathing turned heavier. Although he had accumulated quite a number of Spirit Stones, he had about a thousand or so when converted to 50% purity. He stood up as well, staring angrily at Zhuo Yifan before shouting, "1,000 Spirit Stones!"
The moment this price was offered, there was a silence before an uproar broke out. They felt that the price was already ridiculous.
Zhuo Yifan was also shocked. His breathing heavy, his neck tensed, he shouted once more. He was from the Combat faculty and was just short of the Pulse Enrichment realm. In his agitation, his voice was extremely loud.
"1,100 Spirit Stones!"
Wang Baole widened his eyes. His ears hurt from the tumultuous voice. Hence, he took out the megaphone from his bag and pointed it at Zhuo Yifan, shouting, "1,500 Spirit Stones!"
The voice was so loud that, not only did it give Zhuo Yifan a fright, the surrounding crowd drew a gasp as well. Even the auctioneer's body faltered. He looked at Wang Baole with an odd expression.
If this was the end, one could only claim that Wang Baole's voice was loud. After his bellow, he did not wait for anyone to react. He took out an Empty Stone in front of everyone's watchful gazes. With it in hand, he began refining Spirit Stones!
As a large amount of Spirit Qi was condensed, the Empty Stone in his hand rapidly transformed, turning into a Spirit Stone at a discernible rate. This scene could be said to be an absolute blow to everyone present!
"You want to match the Spirit Stones I have? Screw you! I can create them on the spot. Come! Let's see who has more!" Wang Baole roared, staring at the dumbfounded Zhuo Yifan, his eyes filled with disparagement.
"He… He can actually refine on the spot?"
"I recall that he's from the Dharmic Armament faculty."
"Then what's there to compete over?"
While the crowd smiled bitterly, Zhuo Yifan nearly went mad. Even in his wildest dreams, he had never imagined that such a thing could happen at an auction. Although it was known that the Dharmic Armament faculty was well known for its Spirit Stone refinement, he had never witnessed it personally before.
But at that moment… Wang Baole's actions were like a critical strike on him. Although his family was rich, he also shrank back. After all, the number of Spirit Stones he had was limited, but… Wang Baole was practically printing money!
The feeling was identical to the running and weight-lifting incidents; it left Zhuo Yifan trembling. The senior student beside him, who he had just become acquainted with, looked at Zhuo Yifan pitifully as he shook his head with a sigh.
"This is the Dharmic Armament faculty.
"To think you attempted to compete with him. Did you not notice that all the senior students shut up once they noticed him? The Dharmic Armament faculty is known for being a walking money-printing machine. Who can compete with that?"
When the other senior students heard that, they sighed as well. Clearly, people from the Dharmic Armament faculty had left a deeply buried scar in each of these senior students.