Book 9: Escape
Chapter 56.1: The Treasure Appreciation Auction
"The Treasure Appreciation Auction for the core disciples will commence tonight. Even though this Treasure Appreciation Auction of ours isn't as good as the inner courtyard's auction, I've heard that there are many good items there. For example, medicine pills, herbs and even custom-made soul rings! There are also soul tool-related items. In any case, all of the items there are all high quality goods. Are you going?"
Huo Yuhao let out a bitter laugh and said, "I'm not going. I barely have any money so what's the use in going? Since there are only going to be good items there, they're naturally going to be expensive. It would be okay if I didn't fancy anything, but just in case I do fancy something, wouldn't I just be bringing suffering upon myself?"
Wang Dong felt pleased as he replied, "I'm sure you don't know this, but didn't you mention a moment ago that not all of our seniors are rich? What meaning would this Treasure Appreciation Auction have then? The truth is that we can buy the items on credit. This is also the reason why the auction is not open to normal students."
His curiosity peaked, Huo Yuhao asked, "Buying on credit? Tell me more about this."
Wang Dong said, "Don't look down on our identity as core disciples. The probability of a core disciple from the outer courtyard graduating is above 95 percent. Moreover, each and every student capable of graduating from the outer courtyard is an outstanding talent in extreme demand, regardless of country or industry. That's because the main requirement in order to graduate from the outer courtyard is becoming a Soul Ancestor!"
"Therefore, what these businesses are doing is investing in us and our potential. They'll arrange a date for us to sign an agreement with them. We would then repay them in yearly installments. We can even defer repaying them till after we graduate, but in that case they'll collect a small amount of interest from us."
"I know you don't understand how they benefit from this, do you? First, since we are in their debt; if they have something to ask of you or if they encounter something problematic, how could you not help them? If they want to employ you, could you reject them? Taking a step back, there's no harm in forming a good relationship with a powerful Soul Ancestor is there? In any case, at the very least they can boost the chances of you shopping in their store. You may not have money now but that doesn't mean you'll always be poor in the future."
"These businesses are very shrewd and would never conduct transactions that would end in a loss for them. If we core disciples can enter the inner courtyard, the payment will increase further, and all the interest on the loan would be waived off. All we'd need to do is repay the capital within the deadline via one of the many repayment schemes."
After his thorough explanation, Huo Yuhao finally saw the light, "There are actually so many ways of doing things here. Then does that mean we can also buy things on credit?"
Wang Dong nodded and said, "But of course! We're core disciples, after all! Moreover, you're a core disciple of two departments. If they heard about this, I'm sure they'd give you an even greater discount."
Huo Yuhao shook his head and replied, "There's no need for that. I'd have to return the favor if I accepted their discounts. We'd better not do that unless we had no other choice."
Wang Dong was excited, "Of course! Despite being in the academy for so long have you been to Shrek City?"
Huo Yuhao naturally hadn't been to Shrek City. From his point of view, the biggest hurdle was his first year in the academy. During that time, he knew that he could be expelled at any time. Other than giving it his all in cultivating, how could he have the time and energy to go window shopping?
"You've never been out there, right? We're going to start lessons very soon. It's such a rare occurrence that we've got free time, so let's take a stroll. Even if we don't buy anything, we can increase our knowledge. We can't always ignore what's going on in the world outside even if we want to."
Huo Yuhao saw how excited he looked and couldn't bring himself to say no to him. He felt slightly helpless as he replied, "It's tonight, right? Then before we finish eating, you have to accompany me in cultivation. You're not allowed to slack off."
Wang Dong smiled as he replied, "Deal!"
They then spent the remaining hours cultivating. Huo Yuhao had originally been under the assumption that his soul power was increasing rapidly and that he had already caught up to most of the other students. However, he started to panic when he heard Teacher Wang Yan and Dean Yan mention that the speed at which a person with an Ultimate marital soul could cultivate would decrease after Rank 30. Moreover, he was different from the other students. As per the academy's instructions, he had to momentarily maintain his position as a core disciple of two departments. He had to multitask and study in both departments at the same time. This wasn't an easy feat. Hence, he didn't dare to relax for a single moment despite having already established himself in the academy. On the contrary, he had to work even harder.
Huo Yuhao also had his own opinions on the situation. His plan of singlehandedly seeking revenge on the Duke's Residence was a pipe dream. Even if he had the ability to do so in the future, how many years would he have to wait? Twenty, thirty, or maybe even fifty years? At that time, things would remain the same, yet people would've changed. What would be the point of seeking revenge anymore? The target he gave himself to complete his revenge in was twenty years. This required him to be even stronger and even more powerful than he was currently. Shrek Academy was undoubtedly the best place for him to take flight. Thus, he had to do his best and learn as much as he could so while he was here so he could become stronger.
Time always passed very quickly when cultivating. The sky was already darkening by the time the two finished cultivating. After they finished eating a top-notch, scrumptious meal, they took the invitation letter and quietly left the school.
Naturally, they weren't the only two to receive the invitation letter. The core disciples in the outer courtyard were spread across all year groups. For example, Dai Huabin, Zhu Lu, Zhou Enchen and Chao Jinxuan from their year had also received invitations. However they would all go at different times as they had been taking their exams for the past two days.
Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong set off considerably later than the others. As they walked out of the academy's gates, Huo Yuhao suddenly stopped in his tracks.
"What's wrong?" Wang Dong asked, puzzled.
Huo Yuhao answered, "Do you know how to get to the Treasure Assembly Pavilion? I've never been to Shrek City before. You've never been there either, right?"
Wang Dong raised his hand and knocked Huo Yuhao on his head. "Stupid, look at the back of your invitation letter."
As a core disciple, Huo Yuhao had naturally received his own invitation letter. He took it out and flipped it over. Sure enough, there was a detailed map stamped in gold which indicated the location of the Treasure Assembly Pavilion within Shrek City.
Although Shrek Academy was located within Shrek City, they weren't connected to one another. This also meant that there wasn't a back door connecting the academy to the city.
As a result of that, Huo Yuhao and Wang Dong had to walk out of the academy, head round to either the south or north gate of the city and then enter through that gate. The Treasure Appreciation Pavilion seemed to be closer to the north gate on the map, so they naturally headed to that gate.
Shrek City was very large so the duo started to run as soon as they left the academy. They only stepped through the north gate after running for close to an hour.
As one of the busiest cities and most integral cities on the Douluo Continent, Shrek City was the liveliest in the evening. Once they passed through the city gates, they were greeted by a noisy place that was bustling with activity. Huo Yuhao was shocked by what he saw since neither had he ever been to such a big city,nor had he seen so many people before in his life.