The scale of the Bounty Arena had ballooned with each passing day. At the very beginning, the Temple only aimed to make it a once in a decade event. With the participation of the three great seniors, it became a once in every three centuries event. However, the insight provided by the three seniors and Jiang Chen had elevated it even further, making it a once in a millennia event.
That Jiang Chen was able to solve the Great Yu Skysword Sect's mission even though it had been unsolved for over 800 years caused a great sensation in Pillfire City.
Even though the great emperor factions didn't attend the Bounty Arena themselves, the Temple of Cleansing Fire made sure to report the daily affairs of the event to them. The arena lords' achievements were reported in full. The Temple didn't divulge Jiang Chen's identity as they'd sworn an oath, but his achievements were strongly highlighted by Assistant Temple Master Gao.
When the Skysword Sect's mission was completed, the assistant temple master immediately reported it to the various great emperor factions. Thus, all factions in the shadows were growing aware of the person named Shao Yuan.
Countless people in Pillfire City were astounded. What exactly was his background? How did he solve a mission that nobody else could in 800 years? Of course, those who didn't participate in the Bounty Arena knew nothing about the details of the mission. And there were some who knew, but they weren't allowed to divulge the contents. However, the fact that it had been unsolved for over 800 years was proof of its difficulty.
The name of Shao Yuan became the focus of the entire city. Pillfire City was a painfully pragmatic place. Since Shao Yuan was currently the hot topic in the city, many factions immediately attempted to rope him over to their side. Their attempts were all in vain. Many tried to borrow the Temple's influence to recruit him, but the Temple only responded with discouragement. They were certain Shao Yuan would never join any of these factions.
Pill King Blue Phoenix visited Jiang Chen immediately after the conclusion of the event. He wanted to know more about the Great Xia Skysword Sect's mission. The pill king smiled wryly after hearing Jiang Chen's affirmative response, as he was completely speechless. To think that he'd once thought that the youth before him was desecrating pill dao during the selection! His cheeks flushed red when he recalled the matter.
"Brother Shao, I'm truly ashamed. Today, I finally understand there is always someone better me, and that the sky's the limit. I was conceited and was way too proud of myself just because I was ranked thirty-sixth in the Hall of Millennial Legends. Compared to you, I'm but a worm." The pill king had an odd personality, but he always looked up to those that were better than him, and owned up to his mistakes.
"Pill King Blue Phoenix, you are too harsh on yourself. I only completed this mission due to sheer luck. My master once tested me on a similar topic. He and I have done extensive research on this pill recipe." Jiang Chen explained.
Blaming it all on luck might not seem very convincing, but it worked more often than not. He was too young after all. Nobody would believe his over-the-top words. Putting the blame on coincidence would ease the burden of their hearts. Just like many powerful pill kings in Veluriyam Capital, Pill King Blue Phoenix greatly revered this "master" that Jiang Chen so often spoke about.
Emperor Peerless walked over at this point and laughed joyfully. "Little junior, I heard that you're the bounty king of the event!"
Jiang Chen responded with a smile. "It's all just blind luck."
"It could be blind luck if it has only happened once or twice. But more than that? I'm afraid luck is no longer a suitable explanation." Emperor Peerless laughed.
"I agree. If it was blind luck, you could never have gotten first for both the pill dao and general zone. It's clear that these results are the fruit of your labor and talents." The pill king spoke with every ounce of seriousness.
Master Wang Xuetong soon arrived too. "Brother Shao, for a moment, I even considered becoming your disciple. I have too many confusions regarding formations. Won't you consider exchanging some pointers with me when you're free? We might learn a lot from each other!"
Emperor Peerless immediately poked fun of him. "You should give up you old fool, I've already reserved all of Brother Shao's free time."
Wang Xuetong protested. "Emperor Peerless, that's not fair! Sniff sniff… I'll soon fall ill if I don't clear up my confusions!"
"No use crying in front of me." The emperor smiled cunningly. He knew that Wang Xuetong was a seasoned actor.
Assistant Temple Master Gao arrived while they were in the middle of their jokes. "I apologize for the interruption. Will all of you be attending our auction tomorrow? We have collected many incredible items. It'll be our honor to have you as guests.
The assistant temple master had issued a blanket invite to everyone. Emperor Peerless was indifferent. If Jiang Chen was attending, then he would too. Otherwise, he'd rather bring Jiang Chen to the Tilted Moon Region as soon as possible. Pill King Blue Phoenix didn't seem interested. The amount of money he made from joining the Bounty Arena was beyond count, but Jiang Chen's heaven defying talent in pill dao had dealt a large blow to his confidence. It served as reminder to his inadequacy. All he wanted to do now was go home and enter closed cultivation.
Wang Xuetong looked at Jiang Chen with an odd smile. "I'll let Brother Shao decide. If he attends, then so shall I."
The assistant temple master was rather surprised. Since when did these eminent figures care so much about the opinions of this young man? All of their decisions revolved around him. He was impressed by Jiang Chen's charm. He knew from personal experience just how difficult it was to invite these figures. Doing so increased the prestige of the event greatly. Yet somehow, their attendance was dependant on this young man.
Jiang Chen didn't hide his intentions. "I will attend the auction."
Wang Xuetong's eyes glimmered. "Then I shall too! Don't want to miss out on the fun!"
Emperor Peerless laughed. "It's been years since I've attended an auction. Is there anything that might pique my interest?"
"Finding something that that might pique the interest of a great emperor is truly easier said than done." The assistant temple master smiled wryly.
Pill King Blue Phoenix had wanted to leave at first, but his interest was piqued when Jiang Chen agreed to attend. "If Brother Shao is going, then I shall too. I wonder what treasure will catch the eye of a genius as talented as him!"
The assistant temple master was ecstatic when all three eminent figures agreed to attend. "With all of you attending, the prestige of our auction will be brought up a notch again. You have my sincerest gratitude."
"Thank Brother Shao." Wang Xuetong laughed slyly. "We're only attending because of him."
Emperor Peerless smiled without saying anything, but it was clear he agreed with the sentiment.
Star Harvester Headquarters.
The boss of the Star Harvesters and his lieutenants were gathered in a meeting. An outlier stood out amongst them. It was Miss Keke, the shop assistant from the Star Mill.
"Keke, what have you learned from your past few visits?" Gai Zonglin, the boss of the Star Harvesters, looked at Miss Keke.
Keke's voice was crisp and clear. "He… he's still very much interested, but he seems very dissatisfied with on our price."
Gai Zonglin burst into an odd laughter. "You might not know this part, my newest intelligence will definitely shock you. That brat is called Shao Yuan. He has taken part in the Bounty Arena, earned two arena lord seats, and became the bounty king of the event. He even resolved a pill dao mission that nobody else could in 800 years. Almost all factions within Pillfire City are trying to recruit him."
Manager Xiao from the Star Mill sighed. "One should never judge others by looks alone. I've truly underestimated him."
Gai Zonglin waved his hands disparagingly. "There's no use saying all this. Master Mu must be taken off our hands in the coming auction. Many great factions are interested in Master Mu, but many of them want to acquire him without paying the appropriate price by forcing our hands. We, the Star Harvesters, will never settle for a loss! In the coming auction, he shall be sold to the highest bidder!"
"Mm. I hope Arena Lord Shao will attend the auction. He's gained a strong public following and is thus worthy of bidding against all the strong factions. It might not be a bad thing if he wins the bid. He's more generous than any of the factions in Pillfire City." Manager Xiao theorized.
Gai Zonglin agreed, but an elder didn't share the same sentiment. "Boss, we don't know if the auction is a blessing or a calamity in disguise. Many factions covet Master Mu. If he's sold to an outsider, we might be shunned by the society at large!" There were also a few others who agreed with this opinion.
Gai Zonglin frowned. "Our city runs by its own set of rules. If they're interested in Master Mu, they should show their sincerity! We must not be held hostage by their power!"
"Yes! We can't allow that to happen!"
"The auction is fair. Whoever bids the most gets the prize. Those without the power or strength deserve to lose." The crowd mostly agreed with Gai Zonglin.