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Chapter 652: His Majesty Poseidon

    Chapter 652: His Majesty Poseidon

    Metatron was calm. What was money? Those faithful to the Pontiff's Citadel demanded supremacy over their darker counterparts. Of course, lately the Pontiff and his men had been less than successful in their other endeavors. The loss of their assets in the Shattered Starfields was particularly damaging. But who could they blame? Skyfire Avenue? If they wanted vengeance, they would need to meet the Eastern organization's strength. Beyond that, alien fiends had moved into the territory. Archangel Gabriel had witnessed it all, and shared the information with his superiors. When the Pontiff heard the news, he nearly spit blood. Metatron could still remember the rage in his master's face and the tempest of protogenia that had surrounded him. Without Metatron's vociferous protests, Gabriel would likely be a corpse.

    The auction was of particular interest to the Pontiff's Citadel, largely because their leader was getting on in years himself. Metatron had spent precious years of his life trying to break through, but as of yet had been unsuccessful. Constantine had a better shot, but since he'd used the fantascia genetica decoction in his youth, breaking through would be a herculean task. As a result, making sure their single Paragon lived for as long as possible was of paramount importance to their Citadel.

    A cold air surrounded Lan Jue, his arms were folding before his chest. Whenever the light in his eyes flickered, reality seemed to shiver ever so slightly. He could sense the tension from Metatron and Lucifer behind him. He loved it. This was the way to make sure they stayed under the East's thumb.

    "Three dreadnaughts and an expedition ship!" After a deep breath, Lucifer raised the bid. It was a stupendous price. Interstellar fleets typically boasted one Capital ship and four dreadnaughts. Especially doughty navies had more. By the looks of things, this one stone was on track to win the East at least that many.

    "Four dreadnaughts!" Even before Lucifer could settle back in his chair, the bid was raised. Muffled gasps flitted through the crowd.

    It was the mysterious stranger.

    "If you keep raising the price, aren't you worried humanity will make you pay for it?!" The Western delegate seethed.

    Mysterious Stranger Number Three finally turned his head. A wave of terrifying power swept through the auction house - not strong, but suffocating. Like being steeped in an ocean of water. A pale blue light like a clear sky tinted everything around them, strange and beautiful.

    Protogenia? Domain!

    The buyers were learned and experienced people. They knew what this feeling meant. The Western government official gaped at Mysterious Number Three. Domain.... He... he's a Paragon? He'd just threatened a Paragon? However, this Domain didn't belong to any of the known superhumans.

    Mysterious Number Three lifted his hands and slowly pulled down his cowl. Long, ocean-blue hair tumbled free and with it a strange aura. He turned around fully so everyone could see his face.

    Delicate yet heroic features were so perfect they hardly seemed human. Sparkling blue eyes as deep and alluring as the ocean where pools of protogenic energy. His Domain collapsed, and the stifling sensation subsided. However, it was those eyes that left the most lasting impression.

    "Poseidon..." A few shocked murmurs rippled through the museum.

    Seated nearly in the first row, Lan Jue smiled. Yes! It was the perfect time to reveal who he really was. Who would dare oppose the leaders of the West and North other than the head of humanity's richest family? The youngest of the Divine Monarchs, and Lan Jue's brother - Hua Li!

    Poseidon represented his family and business in this auction. Now everyone understood why he had so much wealth to throw around. The Poseidon group had more means than any other organization, including their very own planet. It wasn't even worth trying to guess how much money Poseidon had.

    But, when did Poseidon rise to Paragon? It wasn't long ago he'd shown the universe his power, and it wasn't even the peak of ninth level! His sudden breakthrough was even more of a shock to these representatives than Lan Qing's.

    "Should I assume that's a declaration of war against the Poseidon group? Are you permitted to make these sorts of decisions on behalf of your Alliance?" Hua Li asked the question in a calm, even voice. Every syllable was a perfect note that rang in the ear. Even compared to his spectacular concert at the Great Adept Tournament, it bore a strange and irresistible charm.

    The Western representatives swallowed so hard the whole museum could hear it. The anger fled from his face as he rose, and when he spoke he did so with a sheepish tone. "I apologize. I did not know we had been blessed with his Majesty's presence. Please forgive my offensive remarks." Anyone who was here knew when it was time to take your losses.

    "Then let's continue with the auction." Hua Li didn't bother to debase him further. He settled back in his seat.

    Poseidon Group was represented, sitting in the first row! A place deserving of their wealth and status!

    When Hua Li sat back, for just a moment his eyes met Lan Jue's. The brothers shared a furtive smirk.

    When Lan Jue had returned to Skyfire Avenue he'd tried to contact Hua Li, and learned he'd intended to participate in the auction. Today he was here as a Paragon, and it was his spend-thrift approach that had in part made this auction such a success. To those who suspected he was a plant, would the Poseidon Group stoop to that? Certainly not!

    But he was! He and Lan Jue had agreed on a course of action long before the auction begun. The added cost didn't trouble Hua Li any, and he was as interested in these crystals as anyone. Privately, Lan Jue had also promised him more crystals for the trouble and expense.

    "For dreadnaughts. Any further bids?" The Wine Master's interjection came at just the right moment.

    "Four dreadnaughts and one expedition ships." The Western delegate didn't have any choice but to push the bid higher. He was going home with that crystal or he wasn't going home at all!

    "Four and two expedition ships." The Northern representative wasn't going to be left out. He, too, was hell-bent on obtaining this prize. Keeping it out of the hands of the West was also considered a victory. Spending resources could also be used to buy time. What's more, the energies in this crystal were unlike anything they'd seen. Surely it could be used a multitude of times to help them with discovering the secrets of the exuvium process.

    The Terminator had used protogenic trickery to speak with him. He promised the wealth of the Great Conclave to help the North in acquiring this vital crystal. Afterward they would share the crystal for their various needs. Thus the Northerner's uncharacteristic persistence.

    At this price, neither Lucifer nor Metatron could raise their voices. It was already questionable whether the Pontiff had the resources to continue when Lucifer made his bid, but now Metatron knew he could no longer participate. It was simply too much. At any rate, it was assured more of these aliens would be fought and killed. There would be more opportunity for vital crystals. This batch wasn't the last of them.

    "Five dreadnaughts." Hua Li was nonplussed. He was determined to have this crystal for himself.

    The Western delegate stared at him, then addressed the Paragon in respectful tones. "Your Majesty, this crystal is integral to my Alliance. We have a long history of mutual respect, I must ask that you consider this. Five dreadnaughts and one expedition cruiser."

    Hua Li's brows furrowed, as though in thought. He fell silent and didn't speak again.

    Indeed these crystals were very important for the West and North. They were in dire need of them to learn what they could about the exuvium process. In this regard, Hua Li and the group he represented were less needy. He'd already gathered a number of normal crystals for that purpose.

    "Five dreadnaughts, two expedition ships!" The Northern delegate took the opportunity.

    His Western counterpart had nothing to say to that. He could only swallow his curses and press on. "Five dreadnaughts, five expedition ships!"

    The two of them continued to try and outbid each other. Soon it was six dreadnaughts. With the Poseidon Group no longer in the running, the increase in price came in smaller increments.

    "Seven dreadnaughts!" When the Northerner called it out, the Western official's face fell. At last, it was more than he could afford. It was a single damn vital crystal!

    The North also knew the single crystal wasn't worth such a price. However, he also knew that slowing the West's progress was good for the future of the North. The East was already too far ahead to catch, and with the West's genetic expertise they had an advantage the North did not. Any chance the West could make a breakthrough was not in the North's best interest.

    "Seven dreadnaughts. Going once, going twice. Sold!"

    At last, the final vital crystal was purchased. Everyone breathed a little easier, especially the representative from the North. Seven dreadnaughts had stretched the limits of what he could offer. Any more and he wouldn't have dared to increase. In cost of production, they could have built a capital ship for what it cost to build seven dreadnaughts. The price the North had paid throughout the auction was a truly staggering sum.
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