In the end, Gai Zonglin made the final decision to auction off Master Mu. The highest bidder would win. Although they risked offending some factions by doing this, the Star Harvesters knew very well that they were going to offend someone no matter what their choices were.
They knew that it was almost impossible to offend no one in this endeavor because no matter what happened, there was still only one genius with an innate wood constitution of high order in stock. Someone would be offended no matter who they sold Master Mu to, and chances were some were going to be more offended than the rest. But if the Star Harvesters auctioned off Master Mu, then they could at least limit the damage. After all, they could hardly be blamed for their bidders' inability to afford a product.
The Temple's Bounty Arena this time was of incredibly high standards, and it attracted a lot of eyeballs as well. Its popularity indirectly boosted the auction's popularity, and the Temple took the opportunity to strongly promote the key arena lords who were participating in today's auction. All of this contributed to the auction's popularity.
Jiang Chen had transformed from a nobody to a person of much greater status and importance thanks to his feats in the Bounty Arena. His qualifications had been questioned when he first registered, but now he was an arena lord who stood on an equal footing with the three great seniors.
His identity and the halo behind said identity had proven that he was no one to be underestimated. This was without mentioning the sheer amount of money he'd earned from the Bounty Arena. It automatically made him one of the most welcomed VIPs of the auction. There was no need to verify his buying power and wealth anymore. As of now, there were only a handful of wealthy locals who could compete against him after he'd earned more than two billion saint spirit stones from the Bounty Arena. That was why Jiang Chen received VIP seating along with the three great seniors.
There were twenty to thirty seats in the VIP area, but unlike last time, the place was packed full of people. Moreover, it looked like they might have to add seats to accommodate more guests. Thankfully, the VIP area was very spacious, and the Temple was ready to deal with any kind of situation.
Lin Yanyu had also participated in the auction, but he was only qualified to sit in the common area. Every person who sat in the VIP area had to go through a series of strict evaluations. No one who hadn't reached a certain level of importance were allowed to sit here.
Although there were some complaints in the back that Jiang Chen shouldn't be seated alongside the three great seniors, no one dared voice them out loud, especially considering how highly the three seniors regarded the young man. The rumor was that Emperor Peerless admired him so much that the great emperor had offended a couple of Pillfire City factions for his sake.
According to the rumors, a lot of factions had tried to recruit the young man, but he had turned them all down. Some factions had tried to use both carrot and stick, as well as some other more shameful methods to force the young man to comply, but they had all been taken out by Emperor Peerless without mercy.
Although these were just rumors, there wouldn't be smoke without fire. No one knew why Emperor Peerless would regard the young man so highly, but judging from the way he was talking and laughing animatedly with the young man, there had to be some truth behind the rumors.
"Brother Shao, do you realize that you're more popular than me right now?" Wang Xuetong joked laughingly.
Pill King Blue Phoenix deeply agreed with this sentiment. "I too feel like some Pillfire City's powers are just itching to carry you off right now. I must admit that I'm feeling a little envious."
Although the pill king's tone was a little exaggerated, there were some truth behind his words.
Jiang Chen smiled wryly. "Maybe they're just eyeing what I earned during the Bounty Arena."
"There's no need to be humble, kid. There is a reason why Pillfire City is the heart of the Upper Eight Regions. Their thirst for talent is something you cannot possibly imagine. Your wealth possess may be very attractive, but those top rate factions care far more about your talent." Emperor Peerless smiled.
Pill King Blue Phoenix agreed with him. "Emperor Peerless is absolutely right. Maybe they're acting so hasty because there hasn't been an outstanding young man in Pillfire City in far too long."
Wang Xuetong chuckled. "Brother Shao, if you wish to stay indefinitely in the human domain, I believe that Pillfire City may be your best choice."
Formation Master Wang Xuetong was a denizen of Pillfire City. Unlike Emperor Peerless, he felt a deep sense of belonging to his homeland. That was why he spoke up on behalf of Pillfire City. But before Jiang Chen could say anything, Pill King Blue Phoenix shook his head. "I think Brother Shao will shine wherever he goes. It is true that Pillfire City is the heart of the human domain, but that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be Brother Shao's final destination."
Emperor Peerless praised him. "You're right, Blue Phoenix. Pillfire City may be great, but it's absolutely not going to be Brother Shao's final destination."
The quartet chatted cheerfully with each other. Occasionally, a bigwig or two would show up and greet them courteously. Emperor Peerless maintained an almost emotionless mask on his face. He wasn't unapproachable, but he wasn't too friendly either. Formation Master Wang Xuetong was a lot more courteous than Emperor Peerless. He was willing to hold a conversation no matter who approached him.
As for Pill King Blue Phoenix, he was infamous for his hot temper and straightforwardness. He obviously didn't want to be disturbed by anyone right now, so his response to the greetings was even cooler than Emperor Peerless'. That being said, he had the right to put on airs just like Emperor Peerless.
Countless factions in Pillfire City had tried to recruit Pill King Blue Phoenix into their fold, but he never joined any of them even though so many years had passed. The heavyweights wisely stopped disturbing the group and went to their seats after noticing the cool indifference on Emperor Peerless and Pill King Blue Phoenix's faces. Not long after, Assistant Temple Master Gao of the Temple of Cleansing Fire announced that the auction had officially begun.
The professional auctioneer who was going to direct this auction was an absolutely tantalizing woman with an hourglass figure. Everyone in the Temple called her Madam Man. 
The atmosphere of the auction immediately heated up the second she stepped on stage. The participants at the common area grew noisy as they hooted continuously at the woman. Madam Man was obviously not a stranger to this scene at all. She was charming but not vulgar, and she graciously accepted the crowd's cheers.
"Honored guests, the kind of Bounty Arena that happens only once in a millennium has just ended not long ago. Thanks to this opportunity, we are likewise able to raise the quality of this auction by quite a bit. We are lucky to have invited many seniors, masters, and powerful tycoons of Pillfire City to this auction, and we will like for everyone to enjoy a beautiful night today." Madam Man had a crisp voice that was pleasant on the ears. It was a voice that seemed able to pierce one's heart and draw the listener towards her before they realized it.
"This woman is no ordinary person." Formation Master Wang Xuetong sighed quietly. Pill King Blue Phoenix still had no sentiments to offer. It was obvious that he wasn't very pleased with Madam Man's methods.
Emperor Peerless smiled faintly, but turned his head to ask Jiang Chen a question. "My young friend, is there something in particular that you wish to bid for?"
"Yes." Jiang Chen didn't try to hide his intentions.
Emperor Peerless gave the young man a smile after seeing his honesty and patted him suddenly on the shoulder. "Just ask if you need me for anything."
Jiang Chen didn't turn down the favor. Again, he nodded slightly.
Madam Man's voice rang once more. "The first item to be presented in our auction today is a sky rank spirit herb. This spirit herb is the Radiant Celestial Grass, also known as the main ingredient to refine the Sage Smile Pill."
The Radiant Celestial Grass? Everyone was startled to hear this. The auction had just started, and the value of the first auctioned item was a great surprise. A sky rank spirit herb was no ordinary item. Even a common sky rank spirit herb was auctioned at a starting price of several tens of millions, and this was assuming that the price wasn't raised beyond a reasonable level due to malicious bidding.
The Radiant Celestial Grass was even more extraordinary. It was a rare item even amongst sky rank spirit herbs, and it was at least several times more expensive than the common sky rank spirit herb. The Radiant Celestial Grass had incredible medicinal effects. A common shoot of it could be used to refine at least a few cauldrons of Sage Smile Pills.
And what was a Sage Smile Pill? It was a pill that could unconditionally increase the cultivation level of a sage realm expert by one. Origin realm cultivators had the Origin Doubling Pill, and sage realm experts had the Sage Smile Pill. Both pills had the same effect.
A pill like this wasn't sold in the markets at all. Even if there was a market, they would only ever be traded in private. It was impossible for anyone to buy a pill like this in public. The number of such pills was too little, not to mention it was the kind of pill that no one would sell. Even if the owner of the pill couldn't use it themselves, there were countless friends and families to give away too, so why would they ever sell such a precious pill?
That was why a Sage Smile Pill was almost impossible to buy no matter how rich one was. What was even better, the Sage Smile Pill's pill recipe wasn't lost to the world. It might still be rarer than staple goods, but there were a lot of pill dao factions who knew how to refine a Sage Smile Pill. The problem was that the ingredients to refine a Sage Smile Pill was difficult to find. They could only be chanced upon.
Out of all the ingredients that made up the Sage Smile Pill, its main ingredient, the Radiant Celestial Grass, was the most difficult to gather as it was hard to find. Therefore, the production of Sage Smile Pill decreased massively as a result. All of this led to the ultimate question: why was the Temple was able to auction off a blade of Radiant Celestial Grass?
When Madam Man saw that the crowd's reaction was cooler than expected, she understood immediately that they were still coming to terms with the fact that a Radiant Celestial Grass was being auctioned off. Logically speaking, no one in their right minds would ever auction a precious spirit herb like this.
"Everyone, you must be asking: why is the Temple of Cleansing Fire auctioning a Radian Celestial Grass? It's actually a funny story. First, it doesn't belong to us. It was consigned to us, and this seller is just an origin realm cultivator. He doesn't even know what this is, much less the value of this spirit herb. He simply thought that it looked extraordinary and decided to auction it through us."
1. Man is a Chinese surname, I realize the dichotomy is rather odd here.