Jiang Chen obviously disagreed. His understanding of the Radiant Celestial Grass was deeper than Pill King Blue Phoenix. It didn't take long before someone brought the spirit herb to Jiang Chen. He generously handed over 400 million saint spirit stones to the Temple. For this auction, money was to paid immediately after the bid was won. The transaction was incredibly straightforward and direct, which caught the eye of many.
A 400 million bid for the first item wasn't something one could see everyday. In fact, it was the first time it had ever happened throughout the Temple's history. Jiang Chen tended to the plant and placed it in a spirit container for safekeeping before storing it in his storage ring. He smiled as though he'd received an extremely good deal. Emperor Peerless couldn't help but wonder why.
"Little brother, the Radiant Celestial Grass is a spirit herb meant for refining the Sage Smile Pill. The biggest yield from this amount is at most fifty pills. Even if you sold it for ten million saint spirit stones per pill, you'd only get back 500 million! You'll also have to consider the price of the remaining ingredients and this is before considering the cost for your time, energy, and expertise spent! This is bad deal no matter how I look at it. Pill King Blue Phoenix's estimations should be correct. Is there something we're missing?"
The emperor was intrigued. The pill king was also staring at Jiang Chen suspiciously. Jiang Chen quickly realized that they'd never put the matter to rest if he didn't spill the beans.
"I was fortunate enough to have received a lecture about the Radiant Celestial Grass from my esteemed master. It has a hidden attribute that not many know of."
"Hidden attribute?" Pill King Blue Phoenix was stunned. "What hidden attribute?"
Wang Xuetong stretched his neck closer to hear what it was all about. The four of them squeezed together like a rice ball.
Jiang Chen laughed. "Well it's not like I can't tell any of you. The herb won't be as valuable anymore if the secret is exposed, so please keep it a secret."
Pill King Blue Phoenix immediately swore a vow. "I swear upon my inner demons to never reveal the secret to anyone else!"
Wang Xuetong immediately followed. "I, too, swear upon my inner demons to never reveal the secret! Well… as a formation master, I know nothing about your herbs and pills!"
Emperor Peerless laughed. "Very well, I shan't be an exception. I swear upon my inner demons to never divulge the secret."
They weren't the sort to let their curiosity get the better of them, but Jiang Chen's actions had truly bewildered them. They simply couldn't understand his reasoning behind the purchase!
Jiang Chen smiled and spoke mysteriously. "Come to think of it, the hidden attribute is truly a well hidden secret. Indeed, the Radiant Celestial Grass is an ingredient for refining the Sage Smile Pill, but it possesses another very unique attribute. It's capable of regrowth."
"Regrowth? What do you mean?" The pill king was puzzled. "Can a spirit herb regrow?"
"I don't mean reincarnation, but like the common chive. If you cut it in half, it'll regrow from its cuttings."
Many plants had a similar attribute. It was how they bloomed and wilted with the change of the seasons. However, spirit herbs didn't share this attribute. Most of them were only meant for one time use. There were some that could be used more than once, and even a few that could last for thousands of years without degrading. However, in the world of pill dao, the Radiant Celestial Grass had always been known as a herb with only one use. It was a consumable item, not to be reused over and over again.
Pill King Blue Phoenix immediately disagreed. "It's widely known that the Radiant Celestial Grass is not capable of regrowth in the pill dao world. Are you perhaps… mistaken?"
"Indeed, that's the case. But just because it's widely known doesn't mean it's true. There are a few conditions that must be fulfilled for it to regrow. Without extensive research, one can never unearth these conditions."
"What are the conditions?" Pill King Blue Phoenix's curiosity was piqued.
"First of all, one must never pluck more than a quarter of the plant or else risk harming its ability to grow back. Secondly, it takes at least three years for the plant to grow back, and in rare cases it might even take five. Thirdly, to stimulate its regrowth, one must apply an ample amount of spirit fertilizer. This is the most critical step. The spirit fertilizer must fully complement the attributes of the plant and its growth rate. Only by meeting all three conditions will the plant regrow. This process can be done in endless succession until the plant reaches the state of decline, which can take at least two thousand years."
The pill king was utterly baffled. Emperor Peerless and Wang Xuetong had awe written all over their faces. The emperor smiled wryly. "are you going to say that your master has coincidentally lectured you on this too?"
He chalks it up on luck whenever he does something extraordinary. If this is also luck, then he must be the luckiest person ever to walk the realm.
Jiang Chen didn't panic or overreact. Instead, he responded with unabashed laughter. "This isn't a coincidence. The attribute of spirit herbs was part of my basic education when I was young. A lot of emphasis was placed on the study of earth and sky rank spirit herbs."
The pill king's eyes glimmered when he heard that. "Is that so? Brother Shao, does that mean you know earth and sky rank spirit herbs like the back of your hand?"
"Not quite, but I do know a lot about them."
Pill King Blue Phoenix was speechless. They were equally envious as they were jealous, but there was nothing they could do about it. It was the discrepancy between the Myriad Abyss Island and the human domain. The pill king was almost like an ant when compared to the upbringing and legacy shown by a genius from the Myriad Abyss Island. If a person of his age could be so monstrous, then the Myriad Abyss Island must be ten times stronger than the human domain at the very least!
The auction went on as usual in the midst of their discussion. The bid for the second item was nearing its end. It was a pill that was auctioned off at an astronomical price.
Jiang Chen had no interest in pills. Only a spirit herb as rare and precious as the Radiant Celestial Grass could catch his attention. Spirit herbs were created by nature, and thus remain untainted from the hands of other pill masters. Pills however, had to be refined by pill masters, and he wasn't interested in the work of others.
The third and fourth items quickly followed. Not a single item was of subpar quality. Every one of them caught as much attention from the crowd as the Radiant Celestial Grass. Unfortunately, none of them could catch Jiang Chen's eye. He truly desired the Radiant Celestial Grass, but the others were mere trash to him. He wondered if Mu Gaoqi was going to be put on auction. Were the Star Harvesters really telling the truth?
Out of eight items for auction, four were already sold.
"Next up is our fifth item. Every single item before this was incomparably precious, but our fifth item takes it to the next level! What we have next is an actual human! A living breathing human!" Madame Man smiled radiantly. "I believe various Pillfire City factions have already begun to move in anticipation. Yes it's true, our fifth item is Master Mu, a pill king with an innate wood constitution of high order, entrusted to us by the Star Harvesters!
"I'm sure everyone has heard of him, and is well aware of what he's capable of. An innate constitution isn't something you can see everyday and a wood innate constitution is as rare as a phoenix, but an innate wood constitution of high order? A constitution like his has never been seen within our city gates throughout our thirty thousand years of history! He's practically an uncut diamond! The Star Harvesters have put him up on auction before he's cut and polished so that his magnificence can be unearthed by a better candidate! Is everyone ready to place your bids?" Madame Man's crisp and stirring voice reverberated throughout the auction house.
"An innate wood constitution of high order?" Emperor Peerless was slightly taken aback. "Such a great seedling! The Star Harvesters are one of the strongest factions in the city, are they not? How can they be so foolish? They should've given him time to grow before selling him!"
Emperor Peerless wasn't aware of the situation in Pillfire City as he wasn't a citizen here. A person of his stature had no interest in such things.
Master Wang Xuetong laughed in response. "Emperor Peerless, you're aware of one thing, but not the other. The Star Harvesters are in a terrible spot. After all, it isn't presumptous to say that an innate wood constitution of high order is wasted in their hands. Many various factions have been giving them pressure lately. They're only putting Master Mu on auction because they have no other choice."
Pill King Blue Phoenix sighed. "It's a pity that Master Mu is a slave as one cannot free themselves from slavery. He'll have to live the rest of his life as a puppet pill king, never to fully realize his true potential. I must say, they've truly butchered a real talent."
The pill king had spoken the fair truth.
The emperor seemed a little sullen. "I can't help but wonder who invented slavery. They've single-handedly ruined so many talents. Master Mu, do you know of his background? Is Pillfire City so boneless that they can't even accommodate a pill dao talent of his caliber?"
Wang Xuetong sighed. "It's not that we can't. The main issue is that Master Mu's background remains uncertain. What if he was a spy sent by an enemy faction to trick us? He might become a huge threat if he regains control of his body and mind…"
The words wasn't pleasant to the ear, but it was the truth. It was the common consensus towards slaves. They'd rather waste talent than allow a slave freedom.
Madame Man's voice was heard yet again. "An innate wood constitution of high order is almost certain to become a pill emperor. His starting bid will be 300 million. Isn't that such a good deal for a seedling as excellent as him? That's right! We'll begin at 300 million, with minimum increases of ten million!"
The starting bid wasn't too exorbitant, but the ten million minimum bid was indeed a little over the top.