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Chapter 241: Astonishing Discovery

    Chapter 241: Astonishing Discovery

    Translator: Novel Saga  Editor: Novel Saga

    "Master, who is this?" the royally-dressed lady asked.

    Five well-dressed bodyguards also stood behind this royally-dressed maiden in addition to the two young maids. One of these five men was more or less a forty-year-old man. He seemed to be heading this group. His complexion was dark, and a look of experience could be seen on his face. His eyes were often hovering towards the surrounding.

    "Princess, this is my close friend Shi Mu. And, this is Princess Yue Ni of the Lu Shan Kingdom," Liu An introduced them to each other.

    "It's my pleasure to meet Her Royal Highness Princess Yue Ni," Shi Mu didn't reveal an unbelievable expression on his face. He walked over at a moderate pace, and greeted her.

    "You don't have to be over-courteous. Your Excellency seems to be a close friend of Master Liu. Are you also a big expert in the field of precious mirrors?" Princess Yue Ni's elegant eyes swept over Shi Mu and Cai who sat on his shoulder as she asked.

    "Brother Shi isn't an expert in the field of precious mirror. However, he has some unique insights into the martial arts. Oh, that's right... I happen to have some crucial matters that I wanted to consult Brother Shi over. So, is it alright to walk together?" Liu An didn't wait for Shi Mu to give a reply as he opened his mouth and said.

    "Oh, Master can do as he pleases," Princess Yue Ni lost her interest and turned her eyes away when she heard these words.

    Shi Mu's brows creased slightly. He was about to say something. But, Liu An's voice resounded near his ear before he could do anything.

    Shi Mu was dumbfounded. He threw his gaze towards the garret's door, and didn't speak anything.

    Princess Yue Ni had already turned around by this time. She crossed the long queue, and walked directly to the entrance of the Sparkling Gem Pavilion. The maids and the escorts followed behind her.

    Shi Mu and Liu An also followed them while having a casual discussion. So, these two men also appeared like Princess Yue Ni's bodyguards.

    One of the escorts showed an order token at the entrance of the Sparkling Gem Pavilion. After that, the security guards and the disciples of the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult allowed them to pass through.

    Shi Mu also followed after Princess Yue Ni's group, and walked straight into the Sparkling Gem Pavilion.

    However, he also noticed something before he walked in. He saw that everyone had to pay five low-grade spirit stones as an 'admission fee' to enter the Sparkling Gem Pavilion's Auction.

    The admission fee was almost equivalent to two-lakhs in silver. So, this fee was sufficient to keep many people out of the door.

    He estimated that there were at least ten-thousand people who had entered the Sparkling Gem Pavilion today. Many of them had obviously gathered here to enrich their knowledge and experience only. However, this admission fee was enough to collect several thousands in spirit stones in a day.

    A magnificently decorated and considerably spacious hall appeared in front of Shi Mu as he stepped into the first floor of the Sparkling Gem Pavilion. The hall was expansive enough to accommodate nearly ten-thousand people at a time. It was resplendent in its glowing-golden and green ambience. Also, it had an extraordinary style to its design.

    It was still early morning. So, there were barely five or six hundred people in the hall at this time; they were either standing or sitting. Most of them had formed groups of three or five, and were chatting in a casual manner. The stream of people - that was gushing-in from the four entrances - was mostly going to the next floor through the stairs on both sides.

    Shi Mu learned something from the discussion he had just had with Liu An. He was informed that the Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce would set-up a large number of shops every time before the beginning of the Ascension to Immortality Auction. These shops were arranged in the Sparkling Gem Pavilion from the third floor to the eighth floor. They precisely rent-out these shops to gather many Chambers of Commerce and Sects in one place. Moreover, they charged a considerable amount of money in rent. However, it was still quite difficult to find a shop here.

    The reason was very simple. The people who had the confidence to participate in the Ascension to Immortality Auction were obviously very wealthy people and families. But, there were also a large number of people who wanted to participate in this auction in order to enhance their experience. And, these people clearly knew that they could never afford to bid for the precious treasures of the auction. Therefore, they would often choose to settle for the next-best thing. And, they would normally end up purchasing some other stuff from these shops before the auction would begin.

    So, it was only obvious why the business of these shops would soar to the sky.

    "This Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce really knows how to make money," Shi Mu thought.

    Princess Yue Ni and her group didn't stop here. They went to a private room on the second floor through the side door's corridor. This room seemed to be reserved for some high-status people.

    Shi Mu bid farewell to Liu An, and stayed alone in the first floor's hall.

    Shi Mu gazed at the receding silhouette of these people as they gradually disappeared into the end of the corridor. Then, he walked toward the other side of the staircase.

    "How did this person suddenly become the Princess's staff?" Cai crooked his head as he asked.

    "Who knows...! Don't think about other people's business. Let's go," Shi Mu replied.

    Shi Mu had drawn a lot of middle-grade magic charms in this past month. He had retained a little amount of these magic charms for his personal use, but he had exchanged most of them for spirit stones. So, he now had five middle-grade spirit stones, and one-hundred-twenty or so low-grade spirit stones. But, they were still considered a very trivial number of magic charms.

    Therefore, Shi Mu's plan was to go upstairs and stroll around first. He wanted to see whether there was an appropriate thing for him over there.

    Shi Mu appeared at the entrance of the third floor's hall after some time.

    This was an open-style hall. It was two-thousand feet or so in size; it appeared quite spacious. There were many shops inside this hall, and they were arranged in a neat and uniform manner. The hall was bustling with a large number of people. So, each shop had a lot of people.

    Shi Mu drifted with the stream of people for a few moments. Then, he squeezed into a shop which was selling magic tools.

    ...

    An hour passed. Shi Mu walked out from a big 'specialist store' that sold pills; it was set-up on the sixth floor. A hint of excitement could be seen across his face at this moment.

    The fact was Shi Mu had unexpectedly discovered that this shop also had All Yang Pills on sale.

    All Yang Pill was also used to practice Yang-attributes cultivation arts or magic art. It was comparatively more expensive than the Amassing Yang Dan. In fact, one low-grade spirit stone was needed in-exchange for a pill. However, its effect was also far better than the Amassing Yang Dan.

    Shi Mu had calculated for a moment. And, he had considered the potential price of the evil ape's blood essence at the auction that would follow. After that, he spent twenty low-grade spirit stones to purchase twenty All Yang Pills.

    He could start the practice of the Art of Breeding a Strong Evil Ape's sixth stage if he succeeded in taking hold of the evil ape's blood essence in the auction.

    Half an hour later... Shi Mu stood in an ancient bookshop on the seventh floor.

    There were books and jade slips of some common magic charms, magic arts, and cultivation arts in that store. In addition, there were also numerous maps and other stuff that contained the introduction and details of the Eastern Continent.

    Shi Mu rummaged through them for some time. After that, he spent twenty or more low-grade spirit stones to buy a map of the Eastern continent, and the book of a fire-attribute Magic cultivation art - "Fundamental Book of Fire."

    This cultivation art contained a few common methods of practicing and refining magic power. In addition, it also contained a number of fire-attribute magic techniques.

    Shi Mu was about to leave. But then, his eyes fell on a dusty and old animal skin. It had a design on it. However, it was kept in the corner of a shelf. A few words 'Western Continent' could be vaguely seen on it.

    His heart thumped when he saw it. So, he walked over.

    ...

    Shi Mu returned to the first floor's auction hall after half an hour.

    The auction was about to start soon. Almost ten-thousand people had gathered in the hall. So, the hall was almost packed. The first few rows were bustling with noise and excitement; they looked very lively.

    Shi Mu found an empty seat somewhere in the last rows, and sat down. Then, he turned his hand and took out that old animal-skin drawing in order to examine it. He then started to study it with great interest.

    It was the topographical map of the Western Continent. Shi Mu had found this in the corner of the shop.

    This map's illustration appeared a little rough. It had roughly outlined the contours of the Western Continent. In addition, it only portrayed a few other places.

    He had bought this map entirely out of curiosity. He only wanted to confirm whether this continent genuinely existed or not.

    Suddenly, his eyes drew towards a mountain peak marked in the center of the map.

    This map's description made it seem as if this peak was extremely lofty. The topography of the mountain was quite steep. In fact, it seemed as if a smooth stone pillar would be soaring straight into the sky. This mountain was known as "Rising to the Heaven Peak".

    Shi Mu's heart thumped.

    This description reminded him of something. He had recently had the dream of the white ape when he had slept in front of that small mountain-peak. He had seen the white ape sitting on a peak then. Moreover, that peak from his dreamland bore a resemblance to the peak that was marked on this map.

    Shi Mu wanted to study it again. But then, a burst of crisp sound of a copper-bell reverberated in the entire hall.

    Shi Mu raised his head and looked forward. He found that a considerably large purplish-red table was already placed on the high and round platform at the centre of the hall. In addition, a middle-aged Confucian scholar stood behind this wooden table; he had a long and black beard.

    There was a very profound aura around this man. He was surprisingly an Earth-ranked powerhouse!

    "Friends from all corners of the country... our Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce is pleased to welcome our chief guest - Elder Ouyang Lun. We are honored to have the privilege of him presiding over this years' Ascension to Immortality Auction," the middle-aged Confucian scholar spoke-up. After that, he cupped his hands across his chest, and bowed towards the audience as a part of the ritual.

    His voice couldn't be considered very loud. But, it reached everyone's ears very clearly. Consequently, it made the entire hall quite-down.

    "As you all know... the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult's Ascension to Immortality Ceremony is conducted once in every thirty years. And, our Chamber of Commerce's Ascension to Immortality Auction is also held after the same interval. This is the fiftieth time we are conducting this auction. We have never disappointed our friends who come from distant places. And, this time won't be an exception either. We will proceed as per the convention, and I'll first showcase the last treasure of this auction since I believe that many of my friends would have come here for this treasure alone." The middle-aged scholar tried to lighten the atmosphere of the hall. He had only said a few words, but this had drawn everyone's vision towards him.

    The middle-aged scholar's voice had barely faded when a ray of light flashed in his hand. Then, a palm-sized golden-colored small brocade box appeared in his hand.

    He slowly opened the box, and revealed a fingernail-sized fiery-red-colored stone that lay quietly in the box.

    A fine dark-red line could be vaguely seen on the surface of the stone. It was flickering slightly, and it seemed as if it was alive.

    Shi Mu's heart couldn't endure but skip a beat as he saw this thing in that small brocade box.

    Wasn't this the same the mysterious stone that Shi Mu had obtained in the relics of the Portal of the Brave Warrior in those days? Moreover, the stone that he had obtained was almost fist-sized. In fact, it was far bigger than the stone in this small box.

    "Many of my friends have already spoken out its name. That's right... this thing is the Star Stone. It's an ancient spirit stone that has the ability to stabilize the space channels. It has an endlessly incredible usage. However, I'll keep the initial bidding-price a secret for the time being," the middle-aged Confucian scholar twirled his long beard in his fingers as he said with a smile.

    His voice had barely faded, but it had already sparked uproar in the entire hall. And, the people's voices grew louder with each passing second. Some of the surrounding people knew about this stone. Hence, they began to boast around. But, there were some people who were totally unaware of it. So, they started to ask-around to gather details.

    "Well, let's move to the next stuff. It's the first product of this auction," The middle-aged Confucian scholar looked pretty satisfied with the current mood of the people. He then opened his mouth and said again.

    He closed the small brocade box, and kept it on the table. Then, a beam of light again gleamed in his hand, and a section of purple-colored withered wood appeared. The wood was as thick as an adult's calf.

    "It's a hundred-year-ago purple fragrant wood. It has been grown in the depths of Mount Pan in the southern continent where various kinds of poisonous insects reside. It can accommodate a massive amount of spiritual energy. It's a good material for refining high-quality magic brush. It can even enhance the success rate of drawing magic charms by at least ten percent. The price of this wood is sixty low-grade spirit stones. Also, each subsequent bid should be higher than the previous bid by at least ten spirit stones," the middle-aged Confucian scholar announced in an unhurried and patient manner.

    Magic charms were considered one of the most commonly used methods to confront an enemy. This piece of wood could enhance one's success-rate only by only ten-percent. Even so, it piqued the interest of many people.

    "Seventy spirit stones!"

    "Ninety!"

    "I quote one hundred!"

    ...

    The price continued to rise seven or eight times in a row. Eventually, it was bought by a school-uniformed man at a price of one-hundred-and-ninety spirit stones.

    The final bidder had quoted the price that was thrice the initial price of the product. And, the atmosphere of the hall had turned quite fervent after this.

    The auction proceeded. The majority of the things displayed here were rare things from the outside world.

    Shi Mu saw that another product of the auction was also taken away by another person. Shi Mu looked tranquil on the surface. But, he was dumbstruck deep in his heart.

    He had realized a wondrous usage of spirit stones.

    A person could purchase anything at this auction - whether it was a high-grade magic tool, or some rare pills, or some ancient books of cultivation arts - as long as he possessed enough spirit stones.

    In addition, he also found that things related to magicians were often sold at considerably high prices.

    He then saw a blue gemstone necklace that had the ability to increase the water-attribute element-induction force of the user by twice. It was bided for more than ten-times in a row. Then, it was eventually bagged by Princess Yue Ni at an astonishing price of two-thousand-three-hundred spirit stones.

    However, this was an auction of an ordinary product. The final product of this auction was the Star Stone. Wouldn't the bidding price of the Star Stone be far higher?

    Shi Mu's heart fluttered with a fit of inexplicable excitement as he thought of the fist-sized Star Stone he possessed in his storage ring.
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