They chose a spacious open space and Lu Ren drew out his sword.
Although Jing Yue recognized ten thousand swords in the sword pavilion of Nine Heaven Academy, he was not capable of knowing all the swords of the world at a glance. But his keenness towards swords was far better than before and he could see the characteristics of Lu Ren's long sword at a glance—speed!
This was a fast sword. In terms of all martial arts techniques, speed was the most difficult to overcome. Jing Yue had experienced the basic swordsmanship style of Sword Inscription Sect and the power would be multiplied when paired with a fast sword.
Jing Yue then took out his mini Canglan Sword and said in his heart, ‘Since you want to be fast, I won’t let you!’
At the moment he made a move, Jing Yue found that his control over basic swordsmanship was more mellow and natural. This was all thanks to his practice over the past few months, which made his body act instinctively, every movement fluid and just right.
As expected, Lu Ren's moves were very fast, like a torrential rain full of ferocity, with the intensity of a bird of prey stalking a rabbit. As soon as he made his move, Jing Yue was forced to retreat steadily.
But Jing Yue was already familiar with the basic swordsmanship of Frostcloud Sect, and being a single water spiritual root, he could perform the moves like endless waves without any breaks.
No matter how fast Lu Ren was, Jing Yue could still control the rhythm, pitting slow against fast, every move counteracted the beat in transition. This made Lu Ren very uncomfortable and wanted to speed up and get rid of this entanglement.
In the eyes of most outsiders, Jing Yue was being dominated by Lu Ren at this time, and they couldn’t help saying, “As expected, Jing-laozu is still not good enough. If this is a match in the art of Dao, even if Lu Ren is two levels higher, he may not be able to defeat him. After all, the technique he comprehended can invoke a lightning tribulation. But when it comes to sword Dao, he is still at a disadvantage.”
“Frostclod Sect is never known for swordsmanship, so how can he win against Sword Inscription Sect in a battle of swordplay? It's just a matter of course.”
“Lu-daoyou is still taking the upper hand…”
No one underestimated Jing Yue because of this match. They already made a judgment in their hearts. Most people were inclined to Lu Ren's victory and this scene just confirmed their guess.
However, as Jing Yue’s opponent, only Lu Ren knew how annoyed he was! No matter how he increased his speed, it was like being trapped by a huge spider web, and he couldn't escape the opponent's control no matter what.
He had been practicing with a sword for many years and was also considered outstanding among the disciples of the same generation. Unexpectedly, he was stumped by a magic practitioner today, and the other party’s base was even lower than him by two levels.
Lu Ren urged the sword styles frantically and the two swords burst into sparks in one collision one after another. Towards the end, he totally forgot to suppress his cultivation level, and the urgency of wanting to beat Jing Yue made his sword move so fast that there was only a white light left.
Just at this moment, he suddenly discovered that Jing Yue’s movement paused, while his trapped body became light, like a butterfly escaping from the web. As long as he gently flapped his wings, he could set off a violent wind and tear the big net that bound him to pieces!
He was overjoyed and was about to take advantage of the situation to achieve victory. But for some inexplicable reason, in the next moment, Jing Yue’s long sword was already nestled on his neck, and there was a smile in the other party's eyes. “Lu-daoyou, thank you for your concession.”
It was quiet all around, only the sound of wind rustling the leaves.
After a while, someone said, “Uh, what’s going on?”
“Did Lu-daoyou give way to Jing-laozu?”
“How is that possible? He didn’t even suppress his realm towards the end! What's more, even if he did during this match, he’s older than Jing-laozu by a century. In terms of combat experience and familiarity with sword styles, he has a major advantage! Who is giving way to whom?”
“Then what happened? Just now, Jing-laozu obviously couldn’t withstand it. How did he win in the blink of an eye?”
Lu Ren was also dumbfounded. He didn’t know either! How did he lose? He clearly found the flaw! Also, could this blue-feathered chicken stop flying around his head? When in front of him, it kept showing him its butt too!
Not far away, a golden core zhenren from Sword Inscription Sect smiled at Wu Chen-zhenren and said, “Jing-laozu is really amazing. I'm afraid Lu Ren doesn’t even know how he lost.”
He already saw the signs. Jing Yue first disrupted Lu Ren's rhythm by pitting slow against fast, causing Lu Ren to increase his speed. When Lu Ren's sword speed was approaching its limit, Jing Yue deliberately exposed his flaws. This altercation caught Lu Ren off guard and he instinctively wanted to pursue it. He fell into a trap and lost, but it wasn’t unjust. The strategy was simple but it worked.
Wu Chen-zhenren said reservedly, “The courage of your sect’s disciple is commendable.”
The elder from Sword Inscription paused before smiling helplessly.
After the spar was over, Jing Yue was immediately dragged aside by Zheng Bai. The latter reverently said, “Laozu is really amazing. Lu Ren was considered very capable among Sword Inscription Sect's Foundation Establishment disciples, only a little weaker than Luo Binnan. Apparently, Qin-zhenjun happened to see him practicing with a sword once and praised that his swordplay is graceful like a swan but forceful like an eagle. That’s why outsiders call him the Eagle Sword Lu Ren. But after the match with Jing-laozu today, tsk, tsk…”
(TN: Ying Jian Lu Ren 鹰剑陆仁 = eagle sword Lu Ren can sound like Yin Jian Lu Ren 淫贱路人 = kinky passerby)
Jing Yue lamented. How could Lu Ren accept this nickname? The homophony was too indescribable!
However, no one seemed to think there was anything wrong with it. Maybe he was too dirty-minded. After thinking about it, it must be Ji-ji’s fault!
Blue phoenix, who was silently mocking Lu Ren, suddenly froze. It looked around vigilantly. There seemed to be no danger around?
Zheng Bai grinned and rubbed his hands again. “Laozu, several brothers came to me just now to ask if you have any invitations for tomorrow’s auction. Everyone wants to tag along, can they?” After speaking, he added in a low voice, “I didn't tell them that you are the talisman maker!”
Jing Yue was amused. “It doesn't matter if you told them. I’m not deliberately hiding it. People can easily find out if they tried to. Okay, let’s go together.”
Zheng Bai thanked him and ran back excitedly to inform everyone.
Early the next morning, Zheng Bai and a group of friends came to look for Jing Yue cheerfully, but they saw an unexpected person.
The middle-aged Daoist smiled and nodded. “I heard that Laozu is going to the auction so I’m tagging along.”
All the disciples looked miserable. The age gap between Jing Yue and them wasn’t that big and he had a good temper too. There was no pressure to get along with him. They originally thought they could let their hair down today, but unexpectedly, Wu Chen-zhenren came along.
It felt like a group of playboys going to the brothel with the prince, but the prince also brought an imperial court official along.
Everyone glanced reproachfully at the snickering Jing-laozu behind Wu Chen-zhenren and had no choice but to suffer in silence.
An hour later, a group of people walked across the forest and crossed the bridge to arrive at the Golden Pavilion in Emerald City.
The attendant greeting the guests at the door noticed Wu Chen-zhenren at first glance, the most obvious person exuding the aura of an expert. He stepped forward quickly but saw the master turn his head to look at another teenager with an outstanding appearance instead. The latter took out the invitation card. When the attendant took a look, his pupils constricted immediately—Private Room 1! The most important guest of this auction!
He bowed a little nervously and hurriedly invited everyone in.
The Golden Pavilion in Emerald City was much larger than the one in Credence City, with a total of three floors. The first and second floors were open to the public. The tables and chairs on the first floor were neatly arranged in the main hall, and the second floor was a semi-arc overhead floor with a much better view. Only the third floor was private rooms.
At this time, some guests were sitting scattered on the first and second floors. Some of them even wore masks. Some disciples whispered, “We should wear masks too. If we got something good at the auction, it’d be bad if someone caught sight of us.”
But he was mocked by another person, “Do you have money?”
When everyone entered the private room, they told the attendant to retreat. While looking at the situation in the hall through the transmission stone inlaid on the wall, they discussed the possible auction items for today.
After waiting for a quarter of an hour, the seats in the hall gradually filled up, and the auction officially started.
The process was similar to the last auction in Credence City. A beauty in moon-white robes explained the auction item and bolstered the atmosphere.
The first two lots were not special, but there were so many people today so they sold for quite a good price.
Then, the woman said, “The next lot is a jade pendant made by a Heavenly Grotto-zhenren. He sealed a spiritual spring in this and ten acres of spiritual land, where you can plant spiritual plants and raise spiritual beasts.”
Simply put, it was a jade pendant with the same purpose as the Sumeru Ring, but with extra gimmicks. The cultivators were not very enthusiastic, but some people… no, some phoenixes got excited. “Jing-jing! Can you get that for Ji-ji please? This is the dimensional jade pendant that many protagonists have! In the novels, the spiritual spring can make ugly people beautiful and the spiritual land can be used to plant a lot of super expensive herbs, right! In an apocalyptic genre, the spiritual spring can even purify the corpse energy of zombies, also…”
Jing Yue, “If you shut up now, I’ll buy it for you.”
Blue phoenix quickly covered its mouth.
Jing Yue agreed to blue phoenix’s request because he also felt that this jade pendant was useless and would probably be very cheap, but when the woman reported the starting price of 8,000 spirit stones, someone next to him immediately shouted, “8,500!”
Jing Yue looked at the other party in surprise. Zheng Bai said excitedly, “I watched a movie a while ago. The story was about the spiritual energy of heaven and the earth drying up overnight and the demon world invades the human world. Once caught by a monster, people will be infected with the demonic spirit and become the living dead, mindless with only the thought of killing.”
“Oh, are you talking about ‘Carrying a Small Space Dimension During the Demon Apocalypse’? The MC was originally a useless five-element spiritual root cultivator. Later, he relied on the spiritual spring of the ancestral jade to reconstruct his meridians, planted many spiritual grass and grains, and raised many spiritual beasts to supplement spiritual energy for cultivators. Finally, he took in many followers and established his sect.”
“Yes! That's right! The heroine is Fairy Ai-ai!”
“It’s convenient for you to be in Bliss City. There’s no such movie on sale in the Evernorth Lu Region yet. We’ve only heard about it…”
Everyone discussed happily. Wu Chen-zhenren looked at them with a smile, but Jing Yue's eyes were dull and expressionless.
Blue phoenix couldn't help it anymore and said unhappily, “Huh! Ji-ji hasn't seen it before! I must make up for it when we return to Bliss City!”
Jing Yue, “…”
He suddenly felt that the disciples of Frostcloud Sect had to be reorganized again?
However, an innocent person like Zheng Bai was a minority after all. Seeing that he wanted to buy it, Jing Yue said, “A real spiritual spring wouldn’t have such functions, right? It’s nothing more than a gimmick to deceive the mortals. As cultivators, don't you understand?”
Zheng Bai, “Of course I know that, but this jade pendant can be used as a Sumeru Ring. Although the space is a bit smaller, it’s much cheaper than a Sumeru Ring.”
It made so much sense that Jing Yue was speechless.
Since Zheng Bai wanted it, Jing Yue certainly wouldn’t fight with him. He only reassured blue phoenix, “When I reach the Heavenly Grotto stage, I’ll refine one for you.”
Blue phoenix hung its head and said unwillingly, “Will there be spiritual springs and spiritual land inside?”
Jing Yue, “Both, and the space will be much bigger than this one.”
Blue phoenix’s eyes flashed with an expectant green light again. “Ji-ji will be waiting for you then! Jing-jing can’t forget this promise!”
Jing Yue, “…Mm.”
In the end, Zheng Bai took down the jade pendant without difficulties and couldn't keep his hands off it.
And blue phoenix stopped not far from him, looking at him jealously with slanted eyes, and saying inwardly, ‘Jing-jing said that mine will be bigger than yours! Super big!’
Since then, Golden Pavilion had successfully auctioned off several items, one or two of which even Wu Chen-zhenren was interested in, but unfortunately he couldn’t get it.
Seeing that there were only the last two items left, a woman slowly came forward with a tray, and there were only a few yellow talismans in the tray.
However, all the guests were eager and couldn't help but sit up straight, their expressions solemn.
The woman observed the expressions of the guests in the venue and smiled with satisfaction. She said softly, “I know why everyone is here today. The rumors on the outside world are not wrong. We are indeed auctioning an unprecedented talisman called Fetal Sculpting Talisman. As you have heard, this talisman can purify the main spiritual root and eliminate the miscellaneous spiritual roots.”
As soon as the voice fell, the scene fell into pin-drop silence. Many people's expressions changed suddenly and the air was filled with tension.
Since Golden Pavilion said so, it must be true, and it was guaranteed with thousands of years of credibility. There was no other need for them to doubt whether this matter was true or false. What they needed to do now was to try their best to get the fetal sculpting talisman!
Get the charm that would make all cultivators go crazy over it!
Everyone’s breathing became fast and their hearts thumped rapidly, but they heard the woman say, “However, we only have three, and the spiritual roots that can be purified by the three talismans are very limited.”
She spoke frankly but no one cared. Everyone had expected it somehow. If a few talismans could completely remove the miscellaneous spirit roots, it would be a heaven-defying item, so how could the heavens allow it? Anything against the heavens, be it human, plant, or beast, would inevitably invoke the Nine Heaven Lightning Tribulation.
But they were still eager for the fetal sculpting talisman. Even if the effect was only a little, and it might be impossible to completely pull out a miscellaneous root in a lifetime, but a little bit would still make a difference! Furthermore, if they got hold of one talisman, they had the opportunity to study and crack it. What if they succeeded?
“Stop talking nonsense and tell us the starting price!”
Someone couldn't help but stood up and urged, attracting many people to agree.
The woman was not annoyed, she still smiled and said, “The starting price is 5,000 spirit stones!”
“Pfft!” Zheng Bai spat a mouthful of tea and glanced at Jing Yue suspiciously. 5,000? He recalled that it was only being sold for 500 in Laozu’s shop, right? And this was only the starting price!
“The starting price is only 5,000? It's cheaper than I thought.”
“Apparently, the price is set by Ruyi Merchant.”
“Ruyi Merchant… does have a big heart, treating spirit stones like dung.”
The discussion in the private room was endless, and even Wu Chen-zhenren said, “This move by Ruyi Merchant is most likely for testing purposes. After all, this is a kind of talisman for continuous sale. It’s not possible to sell it at a higher price than today, so they needed to seek an optimum price.”
Upon hearing this, Zheng Bai was silent. He thought he shouldn’t ask Laozu about this, especially when he noticed that the calm and smiling Laozu actually had his fists clenched tightly…
Then, he patted his chest gleefully again. Fortunately, he had bought some from the Laozu a few days ago.
At this time, the bidding had started.
The group of people fought until their faces flushed. The more they shouted, the paler Jing Yue’s face became, and even blue phoenix wisely moved away from him.
Suddenly, there was a loud roar, “30,000!”
At this moment, everyone was stunned. Even the woman in moon-white robes who was accustomed to seeing the world was taken aback and subconsciously said, “30,000 spirit stones, going once!”
There was no sound in the field. She shouted twice more before saying, “Sold!”
Zheng Bai, “This is crazy, right? It's just a talisman. We can already buy a Xuan-grade technique or a spiritual tool with 30,000.”
Wu Chen-zhenren, who had recovered his senses, said with a hurt expression, “This person is too scheming. He directly bid a high price, temporarily shocking other bidders or those waiting to see the outcome. Alas… the price of the remaining two talismans will only be higher later.”
Wu Chen-zhenren got it right. The atmosphere in the arena became even more enthusiastic at the sale of the second talisman. The earlier person couldn’t continue after 50,000 spirit stones. Anything more than that would have exceeded his psychological expectations. After all, it was just a talisman.
In the end, a masked female cultivator got the second fetal sculpting talisman for 70,000 spirit stones.
With that, there was only the last talisman left. All those who still stood a chance geared up for it, while the people in the first private room knew they couldn’t get it, so they just relaxed and watched the excitement.
At this time, a male cultivator who also wore a mask stood up and said, “This talisman is of great use to me. I hope everyone can show me some face. You will be rewarded handsomely in the future.”
His voice was hoarse, harsh like a knife scraping on a stone, and he obviously lowered his tone deliberately, not wanting people to know his identity. However, the oppression he released when he spoke clearly displayed the cultivation base of an Amethyst Abode stage, and while his words were polite, it was plainly full of threat!
Some people inevitably retreated. If targeted by this person, even if they got it, they might not necessarily be able to keep it, and may even lose their life. But some people totally ignored it. A Golden Core zhenren fought with him, raised the price to 100,000 spirit stones, and finally forced the Amethyst Abode cultivator to give up.
Of course, an Amethyst Abode cultivator must have a net worth of more than 100,000, but he may not be willing to spend a larger price for a talisman.
The matter was finally concluded. Some people had regrets while others pondered, waiting for the last item to be auctioned by the way. Unexpectedly, there was a flurry in front of them, and the Amethyst Abode cultivator wearing a mask had appeared beside the Golden Core zhenren.
Everyone was shocked, but the Golden Core zhenren just stared, showing no fear at all.
Jing Yue said, “Who is that? How courageous!”
Wu Chen-zhenren replied, “Wang-zhenren from Genesis Sect. He was originally from a big family, rich and powerful, so he is naturally not afraid of an Amethyst Abode cultivator who dares not show his face.”
Jing Yue, “No wonder…”
Usually, the guests who wore masks were lonely rogue cultivators.
They saw Wang-zhenren scratching his neck and provoking the other party, “What are you looking at? What is there to look at?”
Everyone gasped and thought this was too astonishing! Was the Amethyst Abode cultivator going up against a Golden Core zhenren? Even the woman in moon-white robes took a step forward.
However, the Amethyst Abode cultivator only snorted coldly before leaving without paying any heed to the last item on auction.
Seeing the ease in the atmosphere, Jing Yue finally had the mood to calculate how much the talismans were sold for just now.
Hiss… 200,000 spirit stone!
It was… a painful yet pleasurable number.
“The last item today is a low-grade spiritual-level pill furnace.”
At this time, there was another woman's voice from the first floor.
Everyone was confused. A pill furnace of spiritual level was not bad, but it was only a low-grade. Why was it the finale?
However, when they saw this pill furnace, they were once again astounded into silence.
Five elements mutated fire!
Jing Yue's pupils shrank. He immediately made up his mind that he must get his hands on this thing!
There were five types of fire within the realms of heaven and earth, namely common fire, earth fire, five elements mutated fire, Yin essence fire, and Yang essence fire.
Most people used common fires, even earth fires were very rare. As far as one knew, only the Six Chasm Pavilion in Central continent had a special earth fire chamber that could be leased to outsiders, but every hour of usage would cost 1,000 spirit stones.
Since the earth fire was already so rare, not to mention the following three kinds of fire, each of which could be classified as a treasure of heaven and earth. Just a wisp of the five elements mutated fire would not be less than half a million spirit stones!
Sure enough, the woman continued, “I believe everyone has already noticed it. The pill furnace contained a five-element mutated fire, and I do not have to elaborate how rare that is. The starting price is 300,000 spirit stones.”
Jing Yue stood up abruptly and shouted, “400,000!”
The first bid soared by 100,000 and the first private room immediately received a lot of resentful eyes. But Jing Yue couldn't help it. He only had more than 800,000 spirit stones, so he could only imitate the trick of shouting high prices to frighten others.
Unfortunately, he was not lucky enough, and someone reacted quickly.
Jing Yue's heart sank and decisively said, “500,000!”
This time, no sound came from the first floor and the second floor, and the people in the first private room dared not disturb either.
But the next private room seemed to have had it with him, and added, “510,000.”
This price had surpassed the original value of the five elements mutated fire, but the opportunity was rare. Jing Yue gritted his teeth. “6…”
Suddenly, there was a scream in the hall, followed by mournful wails, “Master! Master! Who is it? Get out here!”
Jing Yue frowned. From the transmission stone, they saw Wang-zhenren, who got the third fetal sculpting talisman, lying on the ground at this time. The entire body was stiff, bleeding from the head, chest, and lower body.