In general, this auction had reshaped Gu Yu's expectations for such events. There were no worthless pieces as he had anticipated, they were all objects of value—although not valuable enough to impress him.
Was that the power of the masses? One thing he could not figure out was where did these people get these things?
The mutated animals and plants were easier to explain. After all, they were free to be picked up by just about everyone and there must have been collusion behind the collecting process. However, how did they get their hands on orthodox objects such as talismans?
"A spiritual evil-dispelling talisman drawn by a genuine Taoist priest. Equip your home with it and your family is blessed with safety. However, we have been instructed by the priest not to reveal his or her name."
That was lot number five, which was apparently a yellow talisman. The host stuck it to the table, then someone walked onto the stage with a cage of snakes and rats.
The animals grew all the more panic-stricken as the cage moved closer to the talisman. In the end, the snakes and rats shivered and squeezed as tightly together as they could manage. As the cage moved away, they then went back to their normal state.
"Sorry about that, but we don't have a ghost to experiment with, nor do we have the ability to catch one. But it is clear that the talisman could indeed suppress such foul creatures… now, the price starts at five million!"
"Eight million once! Anyone else?"
The bidding was not as intense as the one for the green peafowl. These Tuhao were no fools. Had they really needed a talisman, they could find a priest to draw one for them instead of buying it here.
In the end, the talisman was sold at eight million; the buyer was sitting next to Gu Yu's booth. He glanced at the man deliberately, memorizing the face behind that mask—it was a man in his forties.
After that, three more pieces were sold and the auction was almost at its end.
"There are two more before we finish for tonight. Those who have not picked one, do seize the opportunity while you can. It's one in a lifetime and you will regret for the rest of your life if you miss this one. Now, let's welcome lot number nine…"
With that, a hostess came up stage with a tray. The host lifted the covering cloth, revealing a silver white stone about twice the size of a basketball. "What we have here is a legendary spiritual stone."
Xiaojin choked on her spit. Excuse me? You call that a spiritual stone?
She was all excited and wagging her imaginary tail as she said, "Finally! I've been waiting for this all night! This is the crap you should be selling! What's with all those high-end stuff? Hey, how many do we still have in… Brother-in-law?"
Gu Yu was frowning slightly and staring silently at the stone. Xiaojin paused a little, then asked in surprise, "Brother-in-law, that can't be a real spiritual stone, can it?"
"I'm not sure, but there is indeed a faint fluctuation from it."
"Are they making a wild guess, or fishing?" Xiaojin said, but answered the question herself almost as soon as she asked. "They must be guessing. They'd not show it for all the money in the world if they knew it was a real treasure."
"You've got a point." Gu Yu nodded.
"It is known to all that Diannan is where jade is found. This piece is actually a raw jade stone and an accidental discovery from a mountain at the Diannan-Myan border. To tell you the truth, we weren't able to identify its property, but it is truly a very special stone."
The host was shooting the breeze, trying all he could to sell the stone. "Now, I'd like to invite a guest up here to participate in a little experiment with me."
"Me, me, me! Pick me!" Xiaojin's hand shot into the air.
"Sure, this lady, please."
Hence, she ran happily up the stage and grabbed the stone before the host could say anything. She weighed it in her hand and said surprisingly, "Why, it's very light! It looked so heavy and it's so big! Why is it so light?"
If the host had not known better, he would really have thought the woman to be some confederate hired by his boss—she was an expert in exaggeration!
"Yes, this lady has pointed out its characteristic. The stone is very big but very light, but there's something even more remarkable about it. Bring it up!"
At his beckoning, two strong men carried a piece of glass the size of a door onto the stage and put it on a shelf about 40 cm from the floor.
"This is the hardest type of glass our country produced so far. I have a hammer here, let me try it first."
The host did not hesitate and struck the glass twice forcibly. The sound resonated in the hall and the glass remained unharmed.
"Now, please stand back here and smash down with this stone."
"How hard should I smash?" asked Xiaojin.
"As hard as you can."
Xiaojin blinked, estimated the strength of ordinary girls, raised the stone, and tossed down at the glass.
With a crisp splintering sound, the glass was smashed to pieces. The stone fell to the ground, and with the remaining momentum, it dented the floor.
The hall seemed to have shaken with it. The stone stood steady in the pit it created as if it weighed tons.
"As you have seen, despite is lightness, when an external force maks it collide into other objects, the impact will be extremely strong."
The host invited Xiaojin back to her booth and went on, "We have seen enough mutated animals and plants to know that this is obviously a mutated spiritual stone—and this is the only one we found. Its value is hard to estimate, but that's the point of our event—to discover the unknown and welcome new challenge… the price starts at two million!
There was an awkward silence when no one bid for it.
What the hell were they supposed to do with this thing? They couldn't walk around and smash other people with it, could they? After quite some time, someone finally said tentatively, "Three million!"
"Four million!" Gu Yu raised his placard.
That fellow hesitated for a second before giving a shrug and giving up.
"Ok, four million going once. Anyone else?"
"Four million going twice… four million… sold! That gentleman, please pick up your item after the auction."
Hence, Gu Yu won his first bid with a rather ambiguous satisfaction. Xiaojin asked curiously, "You want to go there and have a look?"
"This stone is so strange. If we can find more of it, I've got an idea."
"Yup. Ever heard of the 'Sky-turning Seal'?" He chuckled.
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Little Soap instantly turned into an emoji with wide-open eyes and an O-shaped mouth. That sounded awesome! AWESOME!
While they two were secretly delighted, so was the host. The non-governmental organizations were not fit for such research and they were happy to make it someone else's problem.
"If I could have your attention, please. Last but not least, our final treasure for tonight. Here we go!"
The host had warmed the atmosphere well enough so that everyone was eager to see this last piece. However, as the side curtain opened, a stocky man walked out.
He wore a long-sleeved shirt with buttons down the front, a traditional colorful sarong, and a piece of black cloth wrapping around his head. Diannan was bounded by three countries and people here saw enough foreigners on a daily basis to recognize a man of Myan at first sight.
"This is master Thant Tun! Some of us here might have known that there are three Tame Head gods in Myan. Master Thant Tun is the famous pupil of one of them!"
The host was in high spirit and spoke excitedly, but one could tell from his subtle moves that he was trying his best to keep a distance from the master as if he was afraid of the latter.
"Our final item tonight are three spells master Thant Tun will cast for you. The price starts at thirty million!"