It was an ape that was entirely dark red. There was madness on its face. There was a chain tightly wound around its neck, and there was pus on the skin underneath the chain. Some of its flesh had even fused with the chain itself.
That chain was stretched taut due to the ape’s charge, and it cut into the animal’s neck to the point that the ape had difficulty breathing, but it still continued struggling madly to break free of the chains.
Its dark red fur did not seem like the ape’s original color but was because it had not cleaned itself for a very long time. If it could clean itself up properly, then its fur would surely turn into a fiery red shade, judging from the red hue at the very end of its fur!
It was not big and was only about the size of a child around three to four years of age. At that moment, it had all four of its limbs on the ground and was howling at the people around him. Hidden in its eyes were terror and hate, and as it looked around it, it trembled.
Su Ming shuddered. He stared at the fire-red ape before him and a boom reverberated in his head. He had already forgotten where he was. All he could see was the picture that was hidden deep within his memories.
In that picture, he saw a boy in beast skins laughing happily as he jumped around in the forest. On the boy’s shoulders was a small monkey with fire-red fur. It held the boy’s hair in a tight grip with one claw, and in its other claw it held a piece of fruit, gnawing at it while occasionally letting out delighted squeals.
"This is a new type of fire ape! This ape likes fire and it’s impossible for it to live in the land of Freezing Sky. We’ve never seen a fire ape like this in Western Sea Clan territory before either!
"I’ve even checked through some ancient scrolls before and found that the climate and environment in the entire Land of South Morning isn’t suitable for this type of fire ape to live, that’s why I call this ape a new type!
"It’s incredibly rare, and I don’t know whether it’s the only one of its kind in the world, but over the years, I’ve only ever seen this one." The boy smiled and cast a glance at the fire ape before he spoke slowly.
"It’s just a monkey and you brought it here to be auctioned? You’re overestimating its value," a sharp voice stated from the crowd sitting by either side of the room. The body of the person was entirely blurred out and his face could not be seen clearly.
"This is not a normal ape. It’s so quick that even I have some degree of difficulty trying to chase after it… Also, the monkey’s blood is good for your health and can lengthen your lifespan. If you continuously drink its blood, your power will also increase.
"But that’s not the main value of this creature. Due to the rareness of this monkey, that’s why if you take out its soul and put it into an enchanted Vessel, then the power of fire in that enchanted Vessel will reach astonishing heights!
"Also, this ape’s physical strength is so great that it could compete against those in the Bone Sacrifice Realm! You can also use it to guard your cave abode, and that is discounting the possibility of it undergoing transformation," the boy said leisurely.
Perhaps no one else noticed Su Ming trembling, but Tian Lan Meng, who was sitting beside him, could tell with just one glance. She looked calm, but questions had already appeared in her heart.
She looked at the ape, then at Su Ming, and found herself not being able to understand what made Su Ming behave this way.
Su Ming did not hear what the other people were saying and only stared at the ape. After a very long time, he closed his eyes.
"It’s a pity that this ape is too wild. I’ve tried everything that I can, but I still can’t tame it completely. I’ve even subjected it to bear the weight of mountains, but the monkey has showed no signs of submitting to me…
"I wouldn’t have been willing to sell it otherwise," the boy lamented. Once he finished introducing the ape, he brought out another few more items and explained their uses.
Each of the items he took out would have caused a stir if he had brought them out in the auction during the day, but it did not incite much if a reaction among the people in the room. He only managed to draw a few pairs of eyes to the items at most.
After all, the people who could join this small auction were all highly calculative people. Their faces were also blurred out and no one could see their expressions. Even if they could see them, they would not be able to see any clues there.
All those who could reach the later stage of the Bone Sacrifice Realm or even the Berserker Soul Realm had definitely gone through multiple life and death situations. Anyone who could survive through these ordeals was definitely not any ordinary person.
Those who lacked in intelligence would not be able to survive so easily!
Su Ming did not hear the descriptions of the items the boy brought out later. He closed his eyes and quelled the vicious surge of emotions in his heart. The very first item that was brought out in the small auction had completely caught him off guard.
Its sudden appearance had caused Su Ming’s heart to feel as if there were waves moving backwards and crashing against his heart. Before he even had time to accept the truth, the truth was forcefully brought right before his eyes.
Su Ming’s thoughts quivered and echoed in his heart as his memories in Dark Mountain surfaced in his mind. Xiao Hong was like family to him. It had been beside him since he was young and had shouldered through all his moments of happiness, anger, and sadness with him.
The memory of him getting to know Xiao Hong, the memories of him playing with it, the memories of him talking to Xiao Hong when he was lonely… all these memories appeared in Su Ming’s mind uncontrollably.
His childhood memories were filled with beautiful and happy moments. In those moments, there was always a fire-red monkey that stayed with him as he grew up, went with him when he went to search for Bai Ling, joined him as he went to steal Dark Dragon’s Saliva…
There were also moments where Xiao Hong was the only listener when Su Ming started talking to himself, even though Xiao Hong would be holding onto a piece of fruit in its claw every single time and would throw away the core secretly as it listened to him. These moments were the ones that occupied his memories with Xiao Hong the most.
Su Ming would never forget any of these. He would forever remember one particular action from Xiao Hong, and that was it sniffing its right claw while putting on an intoxicated face. That expression would forever be etched into Su Ming’s memories.
Su Ming still remembered himself following Xiao Hong in secret, then witnessing Xiao Hong grabbing a bit of a bear’s fur… and everything else that happened.
When the change in Dark Mountain happened, when the void appeared and sucked Su Ming in it, when he opened his eyes once again, Dark Mountain was no longer there, his elder was no longer there, his tribe was no longer there… Xiao Hong… was also no longer there.
The sky was not that of the Alliance of the Western Region’s, and neither was the ground. Everything reeked of unfamiliarity, and it was so unfamiliar to him that he had to grow up quickly. He had to force himself to get used to being silent, force himself to use sinister methods to kill others… only when it was dark and quiet would he sit in the corner and look at the sky alone while bringing up memories to keep him company in his loneliness...
Su Ming opened his eyes. Tthe moment he did so, the silence around him quickly disappeared and everything in the room seemingly returned to normal in his eyes. He heard the Fire Ape’s screeches in his ears, heard the boy’s voice, and heard some voices of people negotiating over it.
In its continuous struggles, Su Ming saw the ape with the dark red fur beginning to suffocate, and it squatted down on the ground as if it gave up on the thought of escaping. Grief appeared in its eyes. Its gaze did not appear to be looking at anything in the room, and its soul also did not seem to be in its body any longer. It was as if its soul had gone to a place far away from here, and no one had any idea what it was thinking about.
Su Ming looked at it and felt a sharp stab of pain in his heart. That pain filled his entire body like a tidal wave that drowned him, even though he could tell that this ape was not Xiao Hong…
It possessed the same intelligence as Xiao Hong, had the same fur as Xiao Hong, had the same speed as Xiao Hong, but Su Ming had lived with Xiao Hong for many years. From the minor details, he could that tell that this was a Fire Ape, but it was not Xiao Hong.
It was just like the case with Bai Su. She was not Bai Ling…
As Su Ming stared at the ape, it noticed that there was one particular person among the dozen humans it hated and despised around it staring at it since the start. It was a gaze that was different from the people around it— it wasn’t filled with indifference but with a type of sorrow. The ape had seen these sort of gazes before, when it was caught. However, in its memories, there was almost always pity and compassion lying underneath those sorrowful gazes.
The ape did not need that kind of compassion…
However, this person’s gaze was slightly different. It squated down on its spot, and the highly intelligent ape turned its head around to look in the direction where that gaze came from.
The ape saw a blurred out person, saw the gaze that was looking towards it.
There was no pity in that gaze, no compassion, only pure sorrow. That sorrow made the ape shudder.
"I can’t exchange anything of mine for that ape alone. Its value is either too great, or too small for my items. How about this? I’ll use a ray of Starlight that I’ve been refining for nearly a hundred years to exchange for those two Sea Creation Stones of yours as well!"
"I may not have Starlight, but I obtained the skeleton of a sacred beast from the Shaman Tribe in the past and turned it into a puppet. This puppet’s price is worth much more than all the items you showed us. If you give me another ten drops of that Western Sea Clan’s Sea Marrow, then I’ll exchange the puppet with you!"
This was an auction Su Ming had never seen before. The bidders did not compete using stone coins but with items, and the idea of the item going to the highest bidder did not exist. The person who brought out the auctioned items would be the one who decided who he would be trading those items with based on what he was lacking. His will could determine the results for everything here.
"I can refine Starlight myself, though it might take some time… as for the puppet made using the skeleton of the Shaman Tribe’s sacred beast… If I spend some effort in this, I’ll be able to get it from the Shaman Tribe myself...
"I want rare items. If you don’t have them, then forget it."
The boy shook his head. There were four items floating before him. One of them was a jade bottle, while another one was a small umbrella, and the remaining two were two black stones.
Based on what the auctioneer said just now, the jade bottle contained Sea Marrow Liquid. While he might not have mentioned its uses, judging from the words from those around him, most of them seemed to know what it was.
The small umbrella was an enchanted Vessel embedded with some unique effects - It could make a person’s aura disappear completely. The remaining two black stones were naturally Sea Creation Stones.
Its effects were just like its name. It could create an ocean out of thin air, and it contained incredible power.
The Fire Ape was also part of the auctioned items along with those four items.
However, there were only few among the people sitting on either side of the room who were interested in the items the boy brought out. Only those two people named a price, but it was not enough to make the boy satisfied.
"Does no one have anything rare? If you don’t, then I’ll have to let the next person bring out their treasures."
The boy was rather disappointed. He let his gaze sweep past both sides of the room and was just about to retrieve his things when a glint appeared in Su Ming’s eyes and he spoke.
"I’ll exchange for it with Sky Pearls!"
Almost the moment Su Ming spoke, Tian Lan Meng’s also voice also came from beside him!
It could be said that the both of them spoke at the same time. When the boy heard it, his gaze immediately fell towards them, but the person he looked at first was not Su Ming. It was instead Tian Lan Meng, who was sitting beside him.
The boy looked at her and asked with a smile, "How many Sky Pearls?"