One could bet on the qualifiers. The bet was very simple: the number of people who could pass the qualifiers. One could bet on an absolute number, or whether it would be an odd or even number of people who qualified. The returns were a few multiples, and varied depending on the selections.
The qualifiers were being held right now. Creating soul tools wasn't as quick as a fight, so the soul engineers were given three days for the first round. The future rounds in the tournament would also be elimination rounds, but the topic for each round would change.
The three black markets even specially invited a member of the imperial family, a powerful Class 9 soul engineer, to be the chief referee. Twelve Class 7 and above soul engineers were also chosen to be the referee committee in this tournament, so as to ensure the fairness of the tournament and betting system.
The things they had to do were simple. They wanted to draw in the ordinary citizens, nobles, and wealthy individuals who wanted to gamble by exploiting the hype of the Continental Elite Youth Soul Master Tournament. Their aim was to make as much profit as possible.
So far, they had been very successful in this aspect. More than a hundred thousand people had bet in their tournament already, and the amount of money involved was undoubtedly very great.
To draw sufficient numbers of outstanding soul engineers to compete, the rewards of the tournament were all rare metals.
From the first round, those who qualified for the next round would be rewarded. This even applied to the qualifiers. As the rounds progressed, the rewards would increase.
Soul engineers could ignore money, but they had to have rare metals. They could create soul tools to earn money, but rare metals might not be available even if one had money. This was especially true in this tournament, since the rare metals were all being used as rewards for the competitors.
There was even competition between the three black markets. That was why there were three competing venues for the tournament. The winners in each venue would compete against one another. When that happened, the wager between the three black markets would also involve rare metals.
All this was why Na Na couldn't obtain any rare metals even though she was willing to offer a high price.
After listening to Na Na, Huo Yuhao sank deep into thought. He asked, "Na Na, are there any requirements to register for this tournament?"
Na Na shook her head and said, "It's very simple. One cannot be above thirty years old, and must be confident in competing in the qualifiers. Finally, there's a registration fee of a hundred gold soul coins."
Wang Dong'er's expression changed, and she said, "Yuhao, don't tell me you're thinking of competing. No, it's too dangerous! This is Radiant City! There are also many powerful soul engineers there."
Huo Yuhao smiled and said, "Won't it be a pity if I don't compete since the rewards are so good? Don't worry, I won't take any risks. I'm sure it's safe since they dare to organize such a tournament. The competitors are all soul engineers, the group of people with the greatest authority in the Sun Moon Empire. If they dare to do anything in the tournament, will the soul engineers tolerate such behavior? Definitely not! That's why we don't have to worry about the safety aspect. Furthermore, I won't compete using my true identity. Your disguise and my Imitation will make it easy for me to scam everyone, won't it?"
Wang Dong'er furrowed her brow. "But we still have the tournament!"
Huo Yuhao said, "The underground tournament is mainly held at night. It won't affect anything. Dong'er, I must compete in this tournament for the development of the sect. Gambling is a good opportunity for us, but I won't be assured if I'm placing a bet on someone else. I'm a soul engineer, and this is a good opportunity to test my abilities. At the same time, I can learn a lot of things from others in the same line. I'll get second senior to follow me."
He paused for a moment and turned very serious, "Dong'er, the official tournament will help to build the Tang Sect's reputation, while the underground tournament will help to build the Tang Sect's future. They are both important!"
Wang Dong'er thought for a moment before saying, "You can go if you want, but on two conditions. First, you must seek eldest senior's approval. Second, I must follow you. However, are you really going to compete? Hasn't it begun already?"
Huo Yuhao said, "Na Na mentioned that there's still one day left in the qualifiers. It's not too late. I agree to your conditions. Let's go and find eldest senior before registering for this tournament!"
At such a time, he was very quick and decisive. Purchasing rare metals was one of his most important goals for coming here. It took on a significant meaning for the Tang Sect's future development and his own improvement in his soul engineering abilities.
Huo Yuhao asked Wang Dong'er to push him to He Caitou's room before they went to Bei Bei's room.
An hour later...
The sky had already turned dark. Perhaps everyone's energy was depleted because of the tournament in the day, but the night seemed very quiet. There were very few people roaming the streets, and most people had already retired to bed.
At a street corner around three hundred meters from the Ming Yue Hotel, the light seemed to distort at a pitch-black corner. Following this, four figures surfaced.
Huo Yuhao was still in his wheelchair, but his wheelchair was covered by a black cloth, and his appearance had changed greatly. Compared to before, he was much more handsome, and there were many changes to small details. Even if there were familiar faces around him, they wouldn't be able to recognize him unless they could deduce his identity using the wheelchair he was in.
Wang Dong'er was still dressed like a man. Her appearance was very cold and tough, and she also looked much more ordinary. On the whole, she seemed like an extremely normal and aloof young man.
The greatest change in He Caitou was his hair. He was wearing a brown wig that helped to cover his bright and shiny bald head. His wig reached his shoulders, and there was a black mask on his face. His complexion was also paler. Along with a thick, black robe, he seemed very mysterious.
Na Na's transformation was the simplest. She put on makeup to look like a maid. Her simple transformation made her look very pitiful. She stood beside Huo Yuhao's wheelchair, her deference towards him didn't need to be faked.
He Caitou was impressed. "Junior, your Imitation is getting stronger and stronger. We were completely unrecognizable just now as we left the hotel. No one will suspect us."
Huo Yuhao smiled and said, "Second senior, let's refer to ourselves differently from now on. I'm in a wheelchair, so I'll have no choice but to take advantage of all of you. We are brothers now, and I'll call you big brother. You can call me second brother. Dong'er and Na Na are my servants. They'll call me Master. I'll call the two of them Little Dong and Little Na."
Wang Dong'er snapped and said, "You are intentionally taking advantage of us!"
Huo Yuhao chortled, "No! Isn't that just logical? Call me Master."
Wang Dong'er pursed her lips as she saw his sly look. She snorted, and her voice turned very manly as she said softly, "Mas… Master…"
Huo Yuhao chuckled, "Be more natural. Come on, one more time."
"You…" Wang Dong'er lifted her hands, as if she wanted to do something. However, she couldn't bear to lay her hands on him seeing that he was in a wheelchair. She turned her head and ignored him.
"Let's go. It isn't early anymore. Let's follow the plan."
Wang Dong'er was pushing his wheelchair while Na Na followed to one side, He Caitou walked on the other. The four of them proceeded towards the center of the city as they took advantage of the darkness.
There was an underground world everywhere. Whether it was the Heavenly Soul, Dou Ling, Star Luo or Sun Moon Empire, it was all the same. There were many types of underground worlds. The lowest level involved sex, murder, and human trafficking. The higher-class ones involved arms trafficking, underground political trades, and the sale of rare resources. Whether it was the lowest level underground worlds or the higher-class ones, they were all controlled by powerful figures. Otherwise, there wouldn't be any way for them to survive.
In Radiant City's Underground World, there were three main organizations. They were the Duskwater Alliance, the Common Alliance, and the Alto Chamber of Commerce.
The Common Alliance controlled the sex industry in Radiant City, and was probably the shallowest underground power. The Alto Chamber of Commerce controlled assassin and thieves' associations, as well as some evil powers. They made a living by collecting protection fees and committing murders and theft, as well as through other illegal means.
The Duskwater Alliance was more advanced. They sold the most profitable medicines and arms, and trafficked people.
The Common Alliance and Alto Chamber of Commerce shared a very close relationship, teaming up together to oppose the Duskwater Alliance. However, they weren't as well-backed as the Duskwater Alliance. They weren't very interactive either, and only ensured a peaceful working relationship through agreements between their backers.
All three underground organizations were involved in the sale of rare metals. After all, it was a very profitable trade. As long as they were given access to mining channels, they could obtain rare metals at a low cost. However, these rare metals were in very high demand, and helped them make the most profits.
For example, there was a rare metal called Soulforging Silver. It could fuse with any type of metal and increase its affinity towards a soul master's soul power. At the same time, it increased the tensile strength and hardness of the metals it was fused with. It was used in almost all advanced soul tools.
It was only produced in the Sun Moon Empire, and was produced in average quantities. Around five hundred gold soul coins were needed to mine one kilo of it, but on the market, it was worth around a hundred gold soul coins per hundred grams. This was a two hundred percent profit if it was sold! How could anyone not go crazy over it? Even with the great exploitation of the mining channels, the profits were still very great.
The profits that could be reaped from Soulforging Silver were only considered average among rare metals. The prices of rarer metals were even more unbelievable!