"The competition is really fierce, who knows who the final winner will be."
"I have been standing here for just fifteen minutes and have already seen over ten Gu Masters putting quotes in the counter."
"Ah, this is a game for the rich. People like us don’t even qualify to compete."
In the second floor of the treehouse, Gu Masters were surrounding the central counter; discussing and sighing.
As night approached, the competition for the red steel Relic Gu had reached its peak. Many Rank two Gu Masters who were observing in the dark started putting their quotes in this final hour.
Some Gu Masters even made several bids.
"The final winner for this struggle should be either Mo Yan or Chi Shan," someone guessed.
"That’s possible. Mo Yan and Chi Shan are both at Rank two upper stage. With this Relic Gu, they can advance to peak stage and be at the same level as Qing Shu."
"In recent years, Gu Yue Qing Shu has been hanging over their heads. I don’t believe these two don’t have any thoughts about it."
"We can’t say for sure. It is not only us Rank two Gu Masters, there are even some Rank three elders who have made bids. Just this morning, someone saw Lord Yao Ji casting her bid."
"Right, I also heard that. Lord Yao Ji’s granddaughter Gu Yue Yao Le is taking part in the coming Awakening Ceremony; Lord Yao Ji should be preparing ahead and paving the way for her granddaughter."
"Ah, how good would it be if I had such a doting senior!"
Fang Yuan was among the crowd, his gaze tranquil as he listened to the discussions.
No one had mentioned his name. In the people’s eyes, Fang Yuan was only a lucky kid who had just inherited the family assets. In their minds, Fang Yuan was still not at the level of people like Chi Shan, Mo Yan and Qing Shu.
"Great. The less attention on me, the more smoothly can I get this red steel Relic Gu. But with these repeated purchases, I should have attracted his attention."
Fang Yuan was ninety-nine percent sure of getting this Relic Gu; he began to think of another problem.
If the following events develop according to his expectations, then there would be a perfect ending to his several days of effort.
It was time.
The leaves and branches on the counter suddenly grew and wrapped firmly around the Relic Gu. The green leaves blocked the people’s sight and when these leaves again unfolded, the red steel Relic Gu was not there anymore and was replaced by a Revert Gu.
The Revert Gu looked like a flat, oval, palm-sized stone. Its surface was slightly bulging and smooth, forming an eye pattern. The base of the stone was flat and felt rough to the touch.
The stone was black whereas the eye’s pattern was covered with white lines.
About every two seconds, the eye would blink once and the white lines that portrayed the eyeball would swivel, giving the feeling that this stone was rolling its eyes.
Revert Gu had a special function.
It decomposed Rank two Gu worm to Rank one.
For example, if the Revert Gu was used on Fang Yuan’s White Jade Gu, the White Jade Gu would again change back to White Boar Gu and Jade Skin Gu.
This process was called reverse-refining.
Fang Yuan glanced at it and immediately lost his interest. He didn’t need the Revert Gu.
The surrounding Gu Masters began arguing. Revert Gu couldn’t become everyone’s focal point like the red steel Relic Gu.
Everyone was very curious on who the red steel Relic Gu went to.
Some people looked for the floor’s caravan Gu Master and some people waited at the main desk.
The crowd slowly thinned out, but Fang Yuan didn’t move away.
"Young master Fang Yuan, please come to the third floor. Our lord Jia Fu would like to have a chat with you." A voice suddenly entered Fang Yuan’s ears.
Fang Yuan wasn’t surprised; there were many types of secret sound-transmission Gu worms in this world.
He followed the directions given by the voice and walked to a wall in the third floor.
Branches and leaves stacked together and covered the wooden wall.
The branches and leaves automatically parted to the sides and revealed a concealed door.
Fang Yuan pushed open the door and saw an exquisite whirling staircase that moved up.
He walked along the stairs and came to a small study room.
In the study room, Jia Fu was handling some accounts, his hand writing away speedily.
He raised his head when he heard Fang Yuan’s footsteps, revealing the scar on his face. He gave a gentle smile, "We meet again, little brother Fang Yuan."
"Respects to Lord Jia Fu." Fang Yuan clasped his hands and saluted.
"Come, sit here." Jia Fu pointed at a nearest desk.
After Fang Yuan sat, his left hand pushed a bamboo paper on the desk towards Fang Yuan.
Fang Yuan took a glance and immediately recognized that this bamboo paper held all his quotes that he had made in the recent days. Under every quote was his signature.
He was inwardly happy, it had gone according to his expectations. But on the surface, he wore a doubtful expression as he asked, "I am not sure what Lord Jia Fu wants to show me?"
Jia Fu’s smile slightly decreased, his eyes flashing as he looked at Fang Yuan, "These are your quotes you made along with the quote you gave for the red steel Relic Gu. I will be honest, I am amazed at your business talent. Do you know, every one of your bids was very close to the final sale price."
"Although you only succeeded in buying a Black Boar Gu, a Liquor worm and the red steel Relic Gu, your quotes for other Gu worms only lacked by ten or so primeval stones. Brother, do you have any interest in working for me?" Jia Fu tried to recruit Fang Yuan.
"Here it comes!" Fang Yuan laughed inwardly. He had repeatedly made bids these days and had intentionally lost on most of them; his bids differing from the final price by only ten or so primeval stones. He had only successfully won Black Boar Gu, Liquor worm and red steel Relic Gu.
And just like he wished, Jia Fu was interested in the business talent he showed and took the initiative to recruit him.
However, in fact if Fang Yuan wished so, he had almost full guarantee of being able to purchase all the Gu worms.
"This…." Fang Yuan hesitated, then shook his head, "I am greatly honored to receive Lord Jia Fu’s kindness, but I don’t want to leave the clan."
"Oh, so it’s like that." Jia Fu’s gaze flashed, "Brother might have some misunderstandings towards me. A year ago, I indeed doubted you, but after using the Bamboo Gentleman, the suspicions on you have already been removed. Jia Jin Sheng was my brother, I hope you understand what my mood was like then. There is another piece of good news, I have already invited divine investigator Tie Xue Leng. There isn’t any case which he cannot solve. I believe he will definitely be able to investigate the truth and give justice to you."
"Divine investigator Tie Xue Leng….this is a problem." Fang Yuan thought over this name. This was not good news to him.
In this world, there were many magical places and also many amazing methods that could be used to investigate.
When Fang Yuan killed Jia Jin Sheng, he had only been at Rank one. Even if he knew a lot of methods, he couldn’t use them.
In his memories, Tie Xue Leng had a profound cultivation and wouldn’t even tolerate a bit of sand in his eyes. He followed the thought of punishing evil and rewarding the right throughout his whole life. He had an extremely rich sense of justice and his thoughts were meticulous. He was very good at finding subtle traces from any clues.
"Divine investigator has a high reputation, I have also heard of him. But when will this lord divine investigator arrive at Qing Mao Mountain?" Fang Yuan put on an anticipating look and directly asked.
"That….." Jia Fu awkwardly smiled, "Divine investigator is very busy. From his reply, it might only be the year after the next."
Fang Yuan immediately felt relieved, he had a lot of time to prepare.
"Brother, I think highly of you. I hope you can carefully consider my proposal." Jia Fu made attractive offers.
Fang Yuan tactfully refused; now was not the best time to leave Qing Mao Mountain.
If he went to a strange environment without enough strength, he was bound to be bullied and pushed aside. The caravan was also full of unwritten rules on bullying and pushing aside.
"That is really a pity for your talent. How about this, I will give you this token. If there comes a day where you want my help, this token will be the proof that I will always welcome you." Jia Fu had failed in recruiting Fang Yuan, but he didn’t feel surprised. He had a deep understanding towards this type of clan’s cohesiveness.
If he was to know now that Fang Yuan was Jia Jin Sheng’s murderer, who knows what his expression would be.
Fang Yuan apologised in shame as he received the token handed by Jia Fu along with the red steel Relic Gu.
He kept the two items close to him and backtracked his way out.
A young female Gu Master was caressing the leaves on the wall, when suddenly she cried out in shock. The branches and leaves suddenly parted and revealed a door.
The door was pushed open from inside and Fang Yuan walked out expressionlessly.
"You, you, you!" The young girl widened her eyes and blankly looked at Fang Yuan brushing past her.
Among the surrounding Gu Masters who saw this scene; some were familiar with this, some gave a knowing smile and some threw amazed looks.
Fang Yuan paid no heed to these gazes and walked down to the second floor. Some Gu Masters were still waiting there, excitedly discussing who the red steel Relic Gu went to.
Some people brazenly made guesses whereas some people gave some little news- "Mo Yan had a mysterious smile when she walked out of the treehouse," - "Chi Shan’s face was ashen," - and so on.
And to top it all, some people pledged that so and so had bought the Relic Gu, even making an oath.
Fang Yuan went past this bored group of people. No one knew that at this moment, the red steel Relic Gu was so close to them.
When Fang Yuan walked out of the treehouse, he bumped into Chi Shan.
His face indeed looked unsightly, and at his side, Chi Cheng was asking about the whereabouts of the red steel Relic Gu.
After seeing Fang Yuan, Chi Cheng snorted and turned his head, intentionally not looking at him. Chi Shan silently nodded his head towards Fang Yuan as a greeting.
Fang Yuan also nodded his head as a reply, his face carrying a wisp of smile.
The last of the sunshine shone on this young boy’s face; he was indeed happy.
With the red steel Relic Gu, his cultivation would instantly advance by a level.
And there was also the token.
A year ago, Fang Yuan wanted to build a friendship with Jia Jin Sheng and rely on him to take part in the future large-scale Gu fighting competition, reaping benefits in that period of upheaval.
Unfortunately, life was unpredictable, the final outcome made Fang Yuan not know whether to laugh or cry — unexpectedly, he ended up killing Jia Jin Sheng with his own hands.
No matter. Without Jia Jin Sheng, relying on Jia Fu also worked. This token was equivalent to the admission ticket to the future large-scale Gu fighting competition.