Four tall and stout Human Immortals from Indestructible Sect were seen walking up to the platform, together carrying a box made from yellow jade, three feet in both its width and length. They were breathing heavily, and with every step, their bodies shivered. These cultivators from Indestructible Sect were cultivating Earth element techniques; the techniques that used specifically to temper their corporeal bodies. Among all thirteen Immortal Dao Sects, they excelled in the strength of their muscles. Every single Human Immortal of Indestructible Sect had a muscle strength that was at least one hundred times stronger than any other ordinary Human Immortal. Usually, with every swing of their arms, they could unleash over one hundred thousand kilograms of pure muscle strength.
But now, with four Human Immortals from Indestructible Sect carrying such a small yellow jade box, why did it seem like they were struggling strenuously in moving it up to the platform?
Rustling whispers of discussion could be heard coming from the surrounding abodes. Many people were curious about the contents of the box, as some even asked the question with loud voices. The old man who hosted the auction gave a few loud laughs, creating a mysterious vibe by standing beside the box, and boasting how tough it was for them to obtain the treasure in the box, and how the two largest merchants in the alliance sacrificed over one thousand men just to get it out from an abyss in the underground.
Amidst the impatient urging calls that kept coming out from the surrounding abodes, the old man slowly lifted the cover of the box, revealing the contents inside of it. The object looked like a ball of misty fog, or maybe sand and dirt, wheeling at a high-speed around a tiny bright yellow speck. Deep, muffled sounds of objects piercing through the air were generated when the hazy yellowish fog was whirling and dancing at high speed, as if countless meteorites were falling down from the sky.
Wu Qi rose to his feet, trying his best to stop himself from thrusting out and robbing the precious treasure.
"What a bunch of fools! Though you have eyes but you failed to see the true nature of this treasure! Since you can recognize Acquired Pearl of Earth Element, why couldn't you identify this Innate Spirit Item?" thought Wu Qi inwardly. As a matter of fact, the object was not a treasure that had taken its final shape, but a clump of Innate Earth Element Energies that was still in the stage of breeding. And supposedly, the tiny bright speck in the middle of this energies ball was some Innate Spirit Item in its breeding stage, or maybe the embryo of an Innate Creature. Those misty fog wheeling around the tiny speck were the purest and flawless essence of Innate Earth element energy.
An essence of Innate Earth element energy the size of dust could weigh more than five hundred kilograms. Thus, this fist-sized ball of Innate Earth element energies could weigh at least a few million kilograms! No wonder four Human Immortals from Indestructible Sect were required to lift up the box.
The old man sighed rather helplessly and said, "This object is as heavy as a mountain. No fire or water can penetrate it, and we failed to see the inside of it with divine sense as well. It seems the object does not have any useful function except for its immense weight. We've tried controlling it with magic power, and tried destroying it with magic spells. Yet, none of that had any effect. We have no idea what this object is. The floor price for this object is one copper coin. Those who know this treasure, please bid your price."
It was very quiet in the surrounding. No one was saying anything, as everyone was pondering at what exactly the object was.
Wu Qi coldly looked at the many hosts standing on the platform. He was sneering deep in his mind. The floor price for it was just one copper coin? Although such a price seemed humble enough, they had lost over one thousand men in the process of getting this ball of Acquired Earth element energies. Thus, the real cost of it should worth more than. It was a pity that just like Nie Yaonu and her son, these men could only recognize Acquired treasures but not Innate treasures.
In order to refine this essence of Earth element, one would need to use Innate energies. On top of that, as there was already an embryo breeding inside it, the difficulty of refining it had become even tougher. Without the help from some Innate Flame such as Divine Flame of Order, it would require at least the cultivation base of Gold Immortal and above, only then one could refine this Innate energy which had given birth to its sentience, and begin the breeding of a Spirit Embryo.
Wu Qi casually called out his bid for the first time, one hundred gold coins.
The surroundings remained in a brief moment of silence, then the price slowly went up to two hundred gold coins. For these influential and wealthy members of Great Yan Dynasty, it was pretty rare to see them behave in such a prudent and hesitant manner in the Rare Treasures Conference. Wu Qi kept quiet for a brief while, then pressed the black button and told the old man on the platform that he increased the bid to 250 gold coins.
After that, the price went up steadily to 300, 350, 400, 500, 800 gold coins...
There was an unknown person who kept outbidding Wu Qi, and amidst this battle, the price of the Innate Earth element energies skyrocketed. In a blink of an eye, it had reached ten million gold coins. When Wu Qi called out the price of ten million gold coins, he could not help but look to the surrounding shockingly. Apart from him, could there be someone else here that recognized this Innate Spirit Item?
Sooner than everyone expected, the person who competed with Wu Qi had bid a different price, from ten million gold coins to ten million gold coins plus twenty thousand pieces of middle-grade energy stones.
Upon looking at the bid price of twenty thousand middle-grade energy stones, Wu Qi's heart sunk. Without even asking, that person must have recognized this Innate Spirit Item, and he or she must be a cultivator. If it were an ordinary human, how could he or she willing to spend so many gold coins and energy stones on an auction item, which no one seemed to know the exact function of?
He gave a cold laugh, pressed the black button once again, and told the old man that he wanted to top up the bid with one city.
The person did not call out his bid this time, as if he were startled by Wu Qi's bid of one city. The host of the auction raised both hands up excitedly and cried, "One city, ten million gold coins, and twenty thousand middle-grade energy stones! Are there anyone who wish to call for a higher price?" After asking the same question for the third time, making sure that no one else was calling their bid, the host let out a joyful laugh and said, "It is sold then! The man who bid this unknown treasure is the Duke of Tianyun, Duke Wu Qi. Let us welcome Duke Wu Qi to the platform, and listen to his explanation of what exactly this treasure is!"
Princess Zhang Le smiled. She grabbed Wu Qi's arm and stepped onto her dark cloud, flying out from the balcony together with many thunderbolts behind her, and gracefully landing on the platform. She triumphantly raised her head high up in the air, like a little Phoenix showing off her beautiful long feathers. She felt really proud, as out of so many people here, none of them could recognize the treasure, yet Wu Qi had still spent a whopping price and bought it over. Obviously, he knew what exactly this treasure was. That also meant that Wu Qi's knowledge was much more extensive than those who participated in this event, and Princess Zhang Le felt she had shared the honor together!
Upon seeing the arrival of Princess Zhang Le, whose back was emanating five colored divine rays, the whole body enshrouded in tiny electric arcs, and stepping on a rocking dark cloud, the people on the platform frowned. They followed the rules and bowed to her while taking a few steps back. That included Lord Heavenly Spirit, who hated Wu Qi to the bone, as he too frowned on looking at Princess Zhang Le, and even had a twisted expression on his face. It seemed that Princess Zhang Le's despotic power in Ji City had reached the stage that made even Gods and Ghosts flee in all directions.
She triumphantly walked to the side of the yellow jade box with her head held high up. Princess Zhang Le threw a glance over at the essence of Innate Earth element energies, then smilingly turned to Wu Qi and said, "Wu Qi, quickly tell us what exactly this object is? I've never seen something so strange before, and I haven’t found anything similar in the Imperial Treasury too! Although there is a myriad array of rare treasures in the Imperial Treasury, there is not a single one like this, which I can't even penetrate with my divine sense!"
Wu Qi smiled and walked beside the yellow jade box, stretched his arm out and casually placed the ball of Innate Earth element energy essence into his storage ring. Only then could he calm his mind down and patted his chest, cupped his fist and bowed slightly to the surrounding abodes while saying, "Everybody, please do not laugh at my explanation. Although this clump of object does not have a significant appearance, it is actually an extraordinary treasure of Acquired Earth element - the 'Earth Core Essence', a product from highly concentrated Acquired Earth element energies. Compared to Acquired Pearl of Earth Element, it is at least one hundred times denser."
He took a deep breath, kept the same composure and continued uttering out nonsense, "Once a magical treasure is fused with this Earth Core Essence, it can unleash a force equal to the weight of a great mountain upon wielding it. Even a Nascent Soul senior would have his body ripped apart by a single strike from it. If it is crafted into an armor, it will also impart an amazing defensive ability." He paused, gazed at his own storage ring as he felt slightly guilty for what he said. Although the look of both Earth Core Essence and Innate Earth element energies was almost identical, there was a vast difference between the value of the two!
The host of the auction asked hurriedly, "So, it indeed is a rare and extraordinary treasure. But, what is the correct method to refine it? We've hired a group of eighteen grandmasters in craftsmanship, all of which are the best we can find in Great Yan Dynasty. Yet, none of them could do anything to it. With its extremely tough characteristic, how are we going to refine it?"
Wu Qi gave him an unfathomable smile, nodded and said, "The restriction of the five elements!"
The host nodded thoughtfully and said, "The Wood element will restrict Earth element! Could that mean we have to use Spirit Treasures of Acquired Wood Element to refine it?"
Wu Qi immediately replied praisingly, "You truly are the host for this Rare Treasures Conference. We just have to soak this Earth Core Essence in the Spirit Liquid formed by Acquire Wood element energies, then we will be able to transform its characteristics, turning it from hardened steel to the softest silk. With that, we will be able to refine it easily." After saying that, he quickly circulated his energy and blood, making his face turn slightly red. Then, he 'blushingly' cupped his fist and apologized to the few hosts of the auction while saying, "This is an extremely rare treasure, but in the end, Wu Qi obtained it by just spending such a small amount of price. I feel quite ashamed."
Wu Qi behaved like an honest youth who had gained an extra advantage, shy and ashamed. The few old men who hosted the auction quickly returned a salute and said, "Don't mention that! What Duke Wu Qi said had greatly enlightened us, and brought us extra knowledge. In the future, when we see similar treasures, we'll never let it go to waste. Thank you for solving the mystery for us, Duke Wu Qi!"
Wu Qi just kept smiling and did not say anything. Just like what these few old men said, it would be a waste by just holding those items which they did not know the function of, and it would be better to put them out for auction. Not only could that bring them some profits, it could also widen their knowledge, so when they saw some similar objects in the future, they would know what that was. The Rare Treasures Conference had been held since the beginning of Great Yan Dynasty. They were running a long-term business, and would never be bothered by a temporary loss of profits or one treasure.
Both parties laughed together. After Wu Qi paid them the price of the bid on the spot, the old man smiled again, cupped his fist and bowed at Wu Qi while saying, "We have one more question, can Duke Wu Qi let us know from where did you learn the origin of this treasure? Earth Core Essence, it is such an extraordinary treasure, yet none of us had heard it before!"
Wu Qi pondered for a brief moment, nodded and said, "When Wu Qi was cultivating with my Master in Meng Mountains, we found a stone tablet in a random barbarian village. In that tablet were recorded the characteristics and usages of several dozens of peculiar natural items."
He looked at the few old men, smiled and said, "I suppose, those are part of the legacy that is passed down by the ancestors of barbarian. If you are interested, Wu Qi could make a copy of this 'Record of Strange Items' and sell it to you!" In Scroll of Stealing, there were description of the characteristics, usages, and origin of several tens of thousands of rare and peculiar items in the world. He could just copy several dozens of them and compose it into a so-called 'Record of Strange Items' and throw it over to the Rare Treasures Conference. It would be best if he could extort some money from them.
The few old men had their eyes rolling about. Obviously, they were tempted by Wu Qi's offer. Right when they were discussing with Wu Qi about the price to this Record of Strange Items, a cold, mocking laugh suddenly came from one of the abodes. "You've eyes, but you failed to see, young man. It is an Innate Spirit Item, and you've mistaken it as an Acquired treasure. This is like throwing a bright pearl into darkness. It would be better to give the treasure to me!"
The surrounding ground shook slightly, and the natural energies stirred up. Then suddenly, there was a man standing before Wu Qi.
Not allowing Wu Qi to say a word, the man, fully covered in a black mantle, stretched his arm out and grabbed towards Wu Qi. When he struck, loud rumbles immediately rang out from the surrounding mountains and hills, while large sheets of yellowish gases burst out from those mountains. The grab of the man felt as if there were several dozens of great mountains smashing down from the sky, bringing together a tremendous magnetic force of the earth's core that came with a jarring noise. Instantly, the jade platform in the center of the lake collapsed, and the few old men who hosted the auction were crushed into meat paste by the frightful force.
Lord Heavenly Spirit, Sangha White Rays, and the other three Earth Immortals who were responsible for protecting the event cried out aloud together. Under the grabbing gesture of the man, they staggered back and forth like duckweeds amidst a strong wind. They lost control of their bodies and were thrown high up into the sky by the tremendous magnetic force.
Then from the abode just now came a hysteric cry, "Help! Somebody help! I don't know that guy. It is he who forced me to call out the bid just now..."
A commotion instantly broke out in the surrounding abodes, as bright beams were seen shooting out from the abodes occupied by thirteen Immortal Dao Sect one after another.