Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Those in the crowd below all held their breaths and looked anxiously at the auctioneer, whose expression had made them curious. Some malcontents couldn’t help but scold, “Come on, what are you selling? You’re driving me nuts!”
Some were also so into it they couldn’t hide their anticipation.
The auctioneer kept them up in the air as he lightly returned the piece of paper to the box. “Don’t be anxious, everyone. I can tell you in all responsibility that there will be a miracle this evening.” Some of the more circumspect people were stunned when they heard the auctioneer’s voice shaky with repressed excitement.
The crowd’s curiosity had already reached its peak.
They had seen the previous six cards, which could also be considered miraculous, but they knew this one might actually be more powerful!
Those who had come to that conclusion were all waiting eagerly, though they also knew the rules. Prior to the auction, there would be a card artisan who came specifically to demonstrate the card’s various qualities. Those who had been able to come weren’t just ordinary people. They all patiently waited for the demonstration to begin.
The layout of the hall was rather peculiar compared to other auction houses. There was a 200-meter diameter demonstration area, inside of which were placed all sorts of devices and targets. It was covered by a transparent layer of energy cloaking to divide it off. All around the huge demonstration area were five levels of high observation platforms, which could seat 500 people.
Those participating in the auction could see the demonstration with their own eyes, and if they didn’t like the separation of the energy cloak or couldn’t see clearly, they could use the instruments above their seats. From those, they could observe every detail of the demonstration from any angle.
Those in the arena were seated according to their number at purchase, and quite a few couldn’t wait to open the screens above their seats.
The demonstration official began once the crowd was seated.
Having activated the energy cloak, a thick layer of crystal-clear energy cloaking tightly covered the field. On the one hand, that was to prevent any injury from the energy bodies emitted during the demonstration; on the other, it would ensure the safety of the item being auctioned.
No one was on the field, though many who weren’t there for the first time were sitting quite still.
A small hole grew in the middle of the demonstration field, from which a man gradually rose up. There was commotion in the stands as quite a few people stood up, unable to sit still.
“Jiao Si! It’s Jiao Si!
“Holy cow, it really is Jiao Si! He actually came to do the demonstration himself!”
“Awesome! The boss of this auction house must really have some good tricks to be able to invite Jiao Si to demonstrate. That’s not a simple matter. Not simple at all!”
Jiao Si was the former head of the Origins Academy and was currently the head of the division of card artisans. The Origins Academy was among the top 50 in the federation and was the largest and most famous academy in the Ming Zheng District. It wasn’t in Pomelo, but it was in another commercial center called Amedal. In general, apart from the Big Six, the presidents of ordinary academies were good at administration; Jiao Si, however, was a high-grade card artisan.
He had been famous for more than ten years.
Ten years before, which was when he had only just stood out, he had become famous for resisting wild beasts from the jungle who were attacking the city. He had been so brilliant that even the Big Six all threw out their olive branches. But he unexpectedly rebuffed the Big Six and came to his alma mater to become the youngest president in history of the not-so-well-known Origins Academy.
The Origins Academy quickly advanced under him, not only jumping into the biggest spot among Ming Zheng academies, but becoming one of the top 50 academies of the Heavenly Federation. Forty among the top 50 academies were in the five flourishing districts or the capital, while the Origins Academy was among the remaining ten.
Jiao Si had left the presidency five years before, retiring to the second tier to become the dean of the card artisan division.
What was talked about most enthusiastically about Jiao Si wasn’t his outstanding achievements as the president of Origins Academy, but rather his brilliant military accomplishments as dean of the division of card artisans. The 40-year-old Jiao Si was in his prime, with his power having reached heights never before achieved.
To be the dean of the division of card artisans, not only did he have to cultivate many young but powerful card artisans, but he had also received quite a few challenges himself. He told himself they wanted to sharpen his own skills that way. During those five years when he was dean, he received as many as 300 challenges, large and small, averaging one every six days.
Among those 300 challenges, there were 290 victories and seven draws. No matter who it was, such an impressive battle record was dazzling. The three he lost to were Tang Hanpei, Liang Qiu, and Fang Shi.
Of course, nothing needed to be said about Tang Hanpei, who was a genius from the Federation Comprehensive Academy. He held the record for the fastest accomplishment of level-four perception and was then the dean of the Federation Comprehensive Academy’s division of card artisans.
Liang Qiu was the commander of the twelfth corps and was the only commander who had been born in an ordinary district. The extent of his own martial power certainly placed him among the best three of the 12 corps.
Fang Shi was probably the most famous and least obvious one of the three, and he was the most mysterious ace among them. He was like a shooting star, cutting across the sky and disappearing.
Having been able to battle them himself made Jiao Si one of the top aces in the federation. His battle style was extremely robust, and he wasn’t afraid to die. Under his influence, the card artisans who came out from the Origins Academy all fought boldly and had outstanding reputations in the world of card artisans.
For such a heavyweight card artisan to appear on the demonstration field would surprise anyone.
Those who had been paying attention to the auction immediately eliminated any further thoughts. To be able to invite such an ace as Jiao Si was enough to clarify how huge the hidden power was. Moreover, to see the Buddha in place of the monk, who would dare to cause ruckus with Jiao Si standing there?
By that time, the hole on the field had been closed, and Jiao Si was slowly walking onto the it.
He stood 1.8 meters tall and had large, rough hands with a plain and simple appearance. If everyone wasn’t so familiar with him, it would have been hard to believe such an unprepossessing person could actually be a top ace in the federation.
He didn’t look outside, but he directly activated his apparatus without paying any attention.
In the instant the apparatus was activated, Jiao Si’s manner abruptly changed as though he’d become a different person. If one were to say he had just been like an ordinary citizen, then he was now like a sword taken out of its scabbard as he presented himself aggressively.
Jie Yanbai was staring hotly at the field, his hands slightly trembling.
“Don’t be anxious, Yanbai; I am acquainted with Jiao Si. I’ll take you over to the Origins Academy after a while and ask him to tutor you. I think it will provide you with some benefit,” Madam Zhi Lian said, smiling. She really appreciated how hard it would be for such a talented and diligent student who wasn’t yet outstanding to restrain himself. She wasn’t reluctant to lend a hand at the right time.
Jie Yanbai rectified his appearance and respectfully bowed toward Madam Zhi Lian. “Yanbai is grateful to Madam. If something ever were to happen to you, I would never leave you alone!”
“Ha ha, let’s first watch the demonstration. I’m curious about what sort of card this really is, too, to be able to get Jiao Si here to demonstrate it!” Madam Zhi Lian said with a laugh.
As though he had just realized something, Jie Yanbai said, “Could the boss of the auction house have some deep relationship with Mr. Jiao?”
Madam Zhi Lian mildly shook her head and smiled. “You’ve seen Mr. Jiao, and you can understand what kind of person he is. If there weren’t something special about this card, I’m afraid Jiao Si would never have made an appearance.”
Jie Yanbai’s curiosity was suddenly extremely aroused.
On the field, Jiao Si didn’t immediately demonstrate but closed his eyes under low eyebrows. He was as calm as a mountain as he stood there, casually spreading his transfixing manner all around.
The faces of Jie Yanbai, Zu Ning, and Hugo all transformed as they felt the power of Jiao Si on the field surging. Without using any external power, to be able to freely control his power had given him the means of steady victory.
Jiao Si opened his eyes!
Snap! There was an easily overlooked sound like a cracking egg shell.
Afterward, there appeared countless round energy bodies the size of a thumb all around Jiao Si, divided into two pure black and pure white colors. They were scattered about and calmly floated all around him.
Jiao Si remained calm, as though he were a javelin, standing among those black and white energy balls.
The energy balls then neatly arranged themselves, forming into a spherical matrix. There was a white ball beside every black ball, and there seemed to be some kind of special magnetic field inside of the black and white energy sphere.
Jie Yanbai’s white face kept changing! A cold sweat was sticking to his spine and flowing down as a chill arose in him! He had clearly felt Jiao Si’s power on the field spike in that instant.
Madam Zhi Lian suddenly opened her mouth. “Count how many energy balls there are, Yanbai.”
Jie Yanbai was stunned, and his mind was spinning. He couldn’t help but feel secretly ashamed; he’d been nearly terrified by the power of that person. Having calmed, Jie Yanbo calculated in the blink of an eye. “There are 60, Madam!”
“Sixty!” Madam Zhi Lian could no longer remain calm, and she suddenly stood up.