The battle over the Thundernote Fruit was especially fierce. The entrance of Emperor Petalpluck's faction into the fray only intensified the conflict.
The wandering cultivators who'd had their treasures eliminated yesterday were thoroughly convinced by now. As young lord Zhen had said, there was an undeniable gap between the treasures chosen for auction and their own. To put the latter with the former would be out of place. Every item on sale today was far more excellent than theirs could ever be.
The Thundernote Fruit was the twelfth item, the last of the standard treasures. The remaining four were amazing enough to be classified as supreme rank, which meant their values far outpaced the Fruit's.
Because of this, many slowly backed off from the fight for the Fruit as the price rose steadily.
Over by the wandering cultivators, Emperor Reliance sighed prettily. "These people are rich beyond words. Old Brother Hui, it seems that we wandering cultivator heavyweights can't compare at all to those sect-affiliated guys."
Emperor Wellspring was in the upper half of the six wandering cultivator titans. He was widely considered to be quite wealthy among his wanderer peers. Compared to these sect giants however, he couldn't do much more than lament. He wasn't able to spend stones nearly as readily as a sect member at the same level.
"I'm beginning to understand why Brother Peerless joined up with Sacred Peafowl Mountain." The emperor laughed self-deprecatingly.
Emperors Reliance and Inferno both glanced at Emperor Peerless, only to see the man in question the very image of serenity. He looked upon the bustling auction with a cool smile, as if he was some far-off impartial observer.
It gave off the impression that the emperor wasn't particularly interested in anything on auction today. No one from Sacred Peafowl Mountain was participating, after all. The comparison made the two onlooking wandering cultivator emperors feel a bit lost. Weren't they supposed to be on the same level, since they were equally famous and strong?
The Thundernote Fruit's current bid now exceeded three hundred million saint spirit stones.
Jiang Chen found the frenzied proceedings somewhat laughable. The Thundernote Fruit was rather precious, but the bid for it had exceeded its fair market value a while ago. These people were letting temper cloud their judgments.
In the end, three factions remained in the bidding war. One was the Heavenly Dragon Sect, one was the Great Yu Skysword Sect, and the last, Emperor Petalpluck's faction. All three parties were intent on nabbing the Fruit.
Jiang Chen didn't quite know why Emperor Petalpluck was so set on buying the fruit. In his opinion, any price higher than two hundred million was excessive. There was no reason whatsoever for the emperor to participate when the current bid was over three hundred.
"Cloudsoar," The young lord messaged the nearby monarch. "Go tell Emperor Petalpluck that the Thundernote Fruit isn't worth bidding on at a price of over three hundred million. It's high time to withdraw."
Cloudsoar Monarch walked toward Emperor Petalpluck, muttering a few phrases in the latter's ear. The kindly emperor looked thoughtful for a few moments, but dejectedly yielded in the end. There was no reason for him not to believe what Jiang Chen had said.
The monarch also looked at Han Qiansui half-deliberately, the Great Yu Skysword Sect head's brother. Han Qiansui had been paying attention to outside activity for quite a while.
Cloudsoar Monarch's meaningful glance made Han Qiansui thoughtful. "Big brother, that's enough," he muttered to Han Qianzhan beside him.
Han Qianzhan chuckled. "I bid three hundred fifty thousand."
"Bid, three hundred sixty thousand." The Heavenly Dragon Sect's Long Baxiang retorted thoughtlessly.
"Three hundred seventy."
"Three hundred eighty." Long Baxiang's eyes reddened.
"Alright, then. It's yours." Han Qianzhan suddenly changed the topic, ignoring any opportunities for further bids. The audience was collectively shocked.
Han Qianzhan had made several rapid-fire bids in a row. Why had he stopped so suddenly? Wasn't he determined to get it?
Long Baxiang adopted a proud expression. "Sect Head Han," he laughed, "Your Skysword Sect seems to be a bit… lacking in the end. Like I said earlier, no one will take this item from me."
Han Qianzhan shrugged. "I haven't wanted the fruit since after the two hundred million mark. I stuck around because I wanted to see how much extra money you had to burn, hahaha!"
Long Baxiang's disdainful expression froze. It was as if someone had choked his throat in the middle of a laugh. He felt like he'd been duped.
"Three hundred eighty million, going once, going twice… three times!" Jiang Chen's tone was highly pretentious. "Congratulations, Emperor Dragontyrant. The Thundernote Fruit is yours."
As the auctioneer, he desperately wanted to deride Long Baxiang right at that moment. Thankfully, he managed to suppress his urges successfully in the end.
Each lingering glance at Jiang Chen's odd smile made Long Baxiang's distaste stronger. He intuited that something was off somehow and he'd been played for a fool. It was as if he'd just swallowed a large fly.
"Alright, that concludes the twelve sky rank treasures. The four supreme rank treasures are next, and the Pinecrane Pill will come after that."
"The first supreme rank treasure is a sky rank fire source. What's a sky rank fire? It's a fire with spirit energy born out of the natural essence between heaven and earth. In the heavenly planes, there are many flavors of sky rank fires. But in the human domain of the Divine Abyss Continent, sky rank fires are exceptionally difficult to find. This fire source isn't exactly one of the strongest among its same-rank brethren, but it's still quite rare. Named Rakshasa Fire, its natural ferocity makes it very compatible with fire dao cultivators. One note, however. It can only be used for killing, not refining pills. It's a fire that brings only death.
"As for the starting price… once again, three million."
Rakshasa Fire? Sky rank fire sources received their classification by public agreement. Any fire that burned with pure unbridled wrath was eligible to some extent, but such sources were rare in the world of martial dao. In the human domain especially, sky rank fires were severely scarce.
Many hermit pill emperors refined sky rank fires during their cultivation. They then possessed the fire sources within them, allowing them to dominate most top rank pill kings in pill-refining methodology. Oftentimes, the difference between a top rank pill king and a pill emperor was a single sky rank fire source.
Unfortunately, the Rakshasa Fire was appropriate only for martial cultivation. More accurately, it had an affinity for killing. Everyone knew how precious a sky rank fire source was. Thus, many people engaged in a frantic contest for the spark.
This time, Emperor Skysplitter was one of those people.
Long Baxiang was silent this time. His recent purchase of the Thundernote Fruit meant he wasn't about to race for this item. His amount of capital on hand wasn't so abundant that he could bid on everything. Without Long Baxiang's deep pockets in the mix, the Rakshasa Fire's auction remained mostly civil.
Surprisingly, Emperor Inferno won in the end. The emperor staked everything he had on the bidding war, employing positively suicidal tactics against multiple sects. He managed to secure the desired item at a final price of five hundred twenty million.
It was a sum tremendous enough to tear a huge chunk out of his wallet. But the Rakshasa Fire was an unmissable opportunity for a fire attribute wandering cultivator like him. It was highly unlikely he'd get another like it.
Emperor Inferno's purchase marked the first time a wandering cultivator great emperor was able to obtain anything of worth at an auction.
"Haha, congratulations, Daoist Inferno! It's quite possible that we six titans will need to re-rank ourselves in a few years," Emperor Reliance grinned.
"Compliments to you, Brother Inferno," Emperor Wellspring applauded as well.
"Many thanks." Emperor Inferno welcomed the goodwill. Internally, he was extremely excited, not to mention thankful that he'd come to the Dragon and Tiger Meet. If he had decided otherwise out of meaningless restraint, he would've missed out on such a magnificent prize! He knew better than anyone what sky rank fire sources meant for a cultivator like him.
"Congratulations to Emperor Inferno. The second supreme rank treasure is something everyone has heard of already: the Seven Star Convergence Talisman. I've gone over its effects before, too. It defends against attacks from seven different attributes, making it a perfect defensive treasure. It has multiple usages, is easy to carry and activate. The starting price is three hundred million saint spirit stones."
Though this price was identical to the price that the Rakshasa Fire had finished at, the bidders were far more delirious in their competition for the talisman. Though the fire was valuable, not everyone found it useful. The talisman on the other hand, was a superbly effective defensive treasure. Almost everyone could use it, and it was able to safeguard someone's life at a crucial moment.
"I'll buy it for three hundred thirty million."
"Three hundred sixty."
The bids' rate of increase was noticeably faster than that of the Rakshasa Fire's. The price soared above four hundred million in only a few short exchanges, with no hint of slowing down.
Jiang Chen shook his head to himself at the bidders' eagerness. It seems that many fear death. The Seven Star Convergence Talisman is only a protective charm, yet people are vying for it without regard for practicality or prudence.
As he thought, even the likes of Long Baxiang could not ignore the Seven Star Convergence Talisman. He joined the bidding without a second thought.
"Should we make some bids on your behalf, young lord?" The Jiao brothers messaged.
"No, that's alright. The talisman is very good, but there's no need to spend so many stones on it." Jiang Chen didn't see the point of the treasure. He admired the talisman's craftsmanship and potency, but at the rate things were going, it was unlikely to go for anything below six hundred million.
It was absolute madness in here.
He felt the actual value of the talisman was three to four hundred million at most. Though it defended against every attribute with a great emperor rank defense, no talisman was perfect.
If its user used the talisman to defend against the first attack, he would be helpless against the second or third without a method of escape. Of course, in the world of martial dao, there was often a hair's difference between life and death. The defense of a talisman could quite literally save someone's life.
Jiang Chen understood the reasons for it, but that didn't mean he was going to pay out such a meaningless sum. He didn't want to spend the spirit stones on something as trivial as this.