The enthusiasm of the wandering cultivators present was slowly roused. The number of registrants climbed steadily, passion running so high that the registration time had to be lengthened from one hour to two.
The heavyweights sitting in the honored guest area inwardly marveled at young lord Zhen when they noted how eager the wandering cultivators were. They had to admit that the young lord had the ability to turn stone into gold. One had to know that that it was very difficult to interact with the world of wandering cultivators. It was exceedingly difficult to get them to wholeheartedly participate in anything.
Yet young lord Zhen had done it.
This treasure identification segment wasn't a particularly stunning part, but the young lord had managed to inject new life into trite entertainment. He'd coaxed the wandering cultivators to let go of the doubts in their minds and join in with full enthusiasm.
There were still some wandering cultivators who wanted to sign up after two hours were up, but time was up.
"Everyone, I'm immensely touched by your support," Jiang Chen announced. "But we're bound by the rules and have already increased the time limit. I can only apologize to those who didn't register in time. However, the doors of Veluriyam Capital are forever open to you!"
Those who didn't put their name down in time were awash with regret. Why hadn't they made their move earlier? If they hadn't dragged their feet, they would've made it in time!
The count of offered treasures was swiftly tallied. There were more than 3,600 items in total!
This number was quite shocking. It would seem that the young lord had underestimated everyone's enthusiasm in the end. He'd originally anticipated selecting one or two items for a few hundred or a thousand. But with these numbers, it was much more likely for real treasure to appear in this segment. Jiang Chen looked forward to the proceedings with great anticipation.
"Everyone, the treasures have been gathered. I must reemphasize that 'The Perceptive Eye' will be conducted with utmost impartiality. There will be no exaggeration or purposeful markdowns. We will accurately reflect the true worth of these treasures.
"Of course, it wouldn't be realistic to thoroughly evaluate each item here. We'll be grouping them into five grades. First grade is the highest and will have twenty items at most. Second grade will be capped at a hundred, third grade at two hundred, and I'll have to offer my apologies again to the fourth and fifth grade items."
There was definitely treasure to be found in the wandering cultivator world, but it wasn't possible that everyone possessed it. Even though it seemed that more than three thousand had been collected this time, what could truly be hailed as treasure was undoubtedly a few small number. Maybe only one in a thousand would be worthy of that title.
"Would the four of you like to say anything?" Jiang Chen turned the floor over to the four heavyweights.
Emperor Wellspring smiled faintly. "Then allow me.
"Everyone, I'm sure everyone's heard of young lord Zhen's reputation over the past couple of days. I'm Jing Zhonghui and am honored to be raised as one of the six titans in the wandering cultivator world. I just want to tell you that since I'm participating in this segment, I will be the very definition of fairness. I'll do my best for all of you so that your treasures are excavated and appraised with their true worth. With my knowledge of young lord Zhen, I have firm trust in his abilities and character. I'm sure he can help all of your treasures shine with their rightful value!"
Emperor Wellspring's popularity in the wandering cultivator world was immense, even greater than Emperor Peerless'. His words instantly won him a standing ovation.
"I'm the sect head of the Great Yu Skysword Sect and am old friends with the young lord. I don't represent anyone today, just my sect. I will conduct this segment fairly and transparently, intermixed with no personal desires at all. May the heavens and people abandon me if I let any selfish motives color my actions!" Han Qianzhan knew that this was supposed to be a show of support for the young lord and that he couldn't eclipse his host. Therefore, he kept his words short and sweet.
Su Huanzhen also piped in. "I admire only two in Veluriyam Capital: Emperor Peafowl and young lord Zhen. I admire Emperor Peafowl's character and breadth of mind while young lord Zhen's character and fathomless knowledge draws me. Therefore, I trust him hosting this event and am very willing to participate."
"This humble monk is Dong Ye of the Sublime Chord Temple. In the name of Buddha, I will be fair and objective with no pursuit of personal gain at all."
The judges' declaration further put the wandering cultivators' minds at ease. They were wholly looking forward to the identification now.
Of course, many knew that their items would be hard pressed to be a first grade treasure. Being a second grade treasure would be fantastic enough.
"Let us begin." Jiang Chen announced with a smile.
The first to do in this segment was to weed out the fifth grade items. These weren't treasures. While it was overdoing it to say they were just to make up numbers, they weren't worth much at all.
The five randomly swept the items with their consciousness and picked out two thousand items. All of them made a complete sweep in the end to ensure nothing was overlooked.
They were in agreement. These two thousand could be eliminated. The concurrence of all five meant that there was no possible room for error.
Next were the fourth grade treasures. Another thousand items were quickly selected from the remaining. These were just a bit higher than the fifth grade items and worth just a little more, but it was still a stretch to label these as treasures.
After sifting through for fourth and fifth grade treasures, there were less than two hundred items remaining. Out of these, either the item was noticeably higher quality than the others, hadn't been fully identified, or the judges disagreed on how to categorize them.
Surprises abounded in the world. Not even these heavyweights could identify every piece of treasure. But even if they couldn't, they could still vaguely sense through their consciousness if the item in question was valuable.
And yes, there was still no absolutes in the world. Some exotic treasures appeared ordinarily common and was quite ambiguous to the consciousness. It was very difficult to pin a definition on them.
The unexperienced might ignore them, but those in the know would discover their value.
"Young lord Zhen, to think that there are quite a few treasures in the world of wandering cultivators." Han Qianzhan smiled as he cast his eye over the remaining.
"Haha, we'll have to ask Emperor Wellspring about this. He's a heavyweight in their world." Jiang Chen smiled.
Emperor Wellspring laughed heartily. "The treasures in our world pale in comparison to yours."
Jiang Chen nodded with a faint smile. "That's true, but what amazes me is that there are actually a few good things in here. There's actually some surprises as well."
"Oh?" The group's interest was piqued. They'd gone over the remaining 200 items multiple times. Although there were a few good items, wasn't it over the top to use the word 'amazement'?
It would seem that young lord Zhen is still a young man after all. He exaggerates a bit too much with his words.
Jiang Chen however, ignored everyone's thoughts about him. "Let's sort the items into the remaining three grades. I think there's around 150 third grade items."
"Give or take." Su Huanzhen nodded in agreement.
"What about second grade, young lord Zhen?" Master Dong Ye smiled politely at Jiang Chen, seeming to want to test the young man.
"If we look at it in terms of spirit herbs, second grade is the equivalent of earth rank and first grade equal to sky rank spirit herbs. There's about fifty second grade treasures."
"But that leaves around twenty for first grade." This took everyone by surprise. Young lord Zhen had said himself that there wouldn't be more than twenty for the first grade treasures. But now he seemed to be refuting his own words?
Jiang Chen offered a bland smile. "There's definitely twenty of them, but what's most delightful is that there's more than one treasure that exceeds first grade."
"Oh?" Master Dong Ye's eyes lit up. With his Warrior Buddha's Eye, he was confident that none of the others present had appraisal skill that was better than his. They might be stronger than his sect in terms of martial dao, but he was firmly certain that he outstripped them in their current arena.
Young lord Zhen however, was a slight enigma. The young man wasn't so easily seen through. He really did seem unfathomable.
"Young lord Zhen, there are indeed a lot of first grade treasures, but it's difficult to say for certain if there are any higher than first grade." Han Qianzhan couldn't resist a word of caution.
"What do you think, Emperor Wellspring?" Su Huanzhen decided to ask the wandering great emperor, who responded with a chuckle.
"My appraisal skills are probably the lowest out of all of us here. All of you are immensely talented. I'm just tagging along. Let's look to young lord Zhen to ease our confusion. I trust him."
Having received the Pinecrane Pill from Jiang Chen, the wandering cultivator still felt that he owed the young lord somehow. Though he'd helped in the fight against Emperor Shura, the late great emperor had already been a dead man under the circumstances. There was no way he would've escaped even if Emperor Wellspring hadn't made a move. Thus, the wandering great emperor supported Jiang Chen immensely.
"Let's choose the third grade treasures first." Jiang Chen smiled faintly.
This grade of treasure didn't cause much controversy. Though they were higher rank than the fourth and fifth rank treasures, it wasn't to the point where they couldn't be identified.
150 items were labelled as third grade, ushering in the selection of second grade treasures. Things were slightly more difficult here, but still didn't pose much of a difficulty to these heavyweights. They had their eyes on the first grade treasures.