The auctioneer declared: “5,000,000! Going once! Does anyone want to bid higher?”
At this time, no one else wanted to bid. Although this cauldron was very amazing, this was a price as high as the heavens, a price that very few people could afford. It was not worth it to utilize all of their wealth just for one cauldron.
Huangfu Hao was relieved to see no one else bidding. With this cauldron, he could earn some favor with the Alchemist Kingdom.
However, before he could finish heaving his sigh of relief, a voice came along: “10,000,000.”
The bidder was Li Qiye, sitting leisurely on his balcony. His calm demeanor rendered others into disbelief; it was hard to imagine that this huge number came out of his mouth.
After naming such a price, Shi Hao and Bai Weng both shivered and felt their knees giving way.
Huangfu Hao wanted to vomit blood from anger. It was a struggle to convince Jian Wushuang to show mercy, but now another troublemaker came out of nowhere. What was even more frustrating was that this trouble maker doubled the price! 1
“This… is crazy!” The crowd gasped and was rendered silly. This price was insane! One cauldron was not worth this much.
The buyers, including the big characters on the balconies and the ancestors hiding in the dark, all stared at Li Qiye. Someone who could easily take out 10,000,000 refined jades of this grade must have an earth-shattering background.
At this time, Shi Hao couldn’t help but try to convince Li Qiye: “Big Brother, this is… not worth it.” With such a monstrous price, he wouldn’t dare to accept it even if Li Qiye bought it for him.
Li Qiye dismissively replied: “It’s not a matter of whether it’s worth or not. Although I can find another cauldron for you, my time is limited. It is better to buy this one instead of wasting time finding another.”
Items like refined jades were nothing to the current Li Qiye. He had entered the forbidden grounds so his wealth was extremely rich. It could even be said that refined jades were nothing more than a number to him. Only supreme immortal treasures or jewels across the epochs would be able to tempt him.
Huangfu Hao suddenly had the impulse to kill Li Qiye. After struggling to deal with Jian Wushuang, Li Qiye doubling the price made him go crazy.
Huangfu Hao took a deep breath and lowered his tone to declare: “11,000,000!”
At this point, all the buyers present held their breaths and felt that the whole matter was too outrageous. If this cauldron had refined imperial or immortal pills, then it would be worth it. However, legend states that after becoming an Alchemy Emperor, Hundred-grass changed his cauldron. Some even speculated that he had changed it way before his ascension, so it was hard to say whether it had refined imperial pills or not. However, one thing was certain — it had never refined immortal pills.
If a cauldron had refined pills of this level before, then its value would be completely different since its medicinal trove would have incredible changes.
Therefore, in the current situation where it was hard to determine the past level of this cauldron’s refinement, bidding such a high price was a huge gamble.
Li Qiye still smiled and spoke nonchalantly as if he was just stating a mere number: “15,000,000.”
At this point, Shi Hao and Bei Weng could no longer stand as sweat ran down their backs. This price had completely stunned them.
An experienced alchemist couldn’t help but speculate: “This is too crazy. Does he have too much money with no place to spend it or something? In my opinion, I think that if this cauldron had refined imperial pills before, then it would be worth 20,000,000 at best; no one would pay much more. The Hundred-grass Alchemy Emperor swapped out this cauldron early on or very shortly after becoming an emperor. Let’s take a step back and pretend that this cauldron had refined imperial pills. Even then, the number of pills would still be very limited — one or two batches at best.”
Everyone knew that although Alchemy Emperors were capable of refining imperial pills, it was still very difficult to find the materials, so the imperial pills they refined throughout their lives were limited. To be able to refine eight to ten batches in the generation of a single Immortal Emperor was already not bad.
As for the cauldrons, the more it refines these types of pills, the better. If it was only one batch, then its potential was also much more limited.
One Demon King from a great power murmured: “Using millions to gamble… Truly insane.”
Even if they went bankrupt in the process, a few great powers wouldn’t be able to procure so many Virtuous Paragon Refined Jades. Those who were able to do so were extremely rich great powers, and only imperial lineages would be able to easily part with such an amount.
It wasn’t just the buyers, even the auctioneer on the platform was drenched with cold sweat. This price had exceeded his imagination.
“You!” Huangfu Hao angrily glared at Li Qiye. 10,000,000 refined jades had already exceeded his budget. Although the Huangfu Clan was very rich, he needed the support of the ancestors to be able to spend so much. Since his intent was to use this cauldron to befriend the Alchemy Kingdom, the ancestors would surely support him. However, the issue was that the price had risen to 15,000,000. Even with the ancestors’ support, he himself would have to spend everything.
Noticing Huangfu Hao’s unfriendly glare, Bai Weng quietly reminded Li Qiye: “Young Noble, Huangfu Hao’s background is quite amazing. He is the oldest son of the Huangfu Clan and also its inheritor. This clan itself has a marriage pact with the Alchemy Kingdom that has been going on for several generations; it could be said that the clan has many relatives in the kingdom, and all of them are great characters in the imperial families. I heard that Huangfu Hao and the current main descendant of the Alchemy Kingdom are also relatives, so his backing is quite formidable.”
Bai Weng’s explanation was indeed on point. With the Alchemy Kingdom as their backing, the Huangfu Clan’s power was quite frightening. Outside of being the oldest and having high talents, another reason why Huangfu Hao was able to become the clan inheritor was due to him being a relative of the Alchemy Kingdom’s current main descendant.
Outsiders couldn’t conclude how close they were. Some said that they were very close while others said that they were quite distant. Nevertheless, this blood-tie was indeed real.
The kingdom had three Immortal Emperors and four Alchemy Emperors; to be backed by such a monstrous existence, who in the Stone Medicine World would dare to mess with them?
Bai Weng was reminding Li Qiye that it was best not to create animosity with Huangfu Hao.
Li Qiye sat on his balcony and nonchalantly asked: “What does all of that have to do with me?”
Bai Weng didn’t know what else to say. He wasn’t clear whether Li Qiye didn’t get the point or if he was just extremely confident. Very few in this world dared to not put the Huangfu Clan into their sight like this.
Bai Weng took a deep breath and whispered again: “Young Noble, Huangfu Hao himself is quite formidable as well. He is considered the fifth alchemy prodigy and has great talents. If he didn’t spend so much effort on cultivation, then perhaps he would be part of the four. I heard that he had reached the Heavenly King realm for some time, but the more dreadful part is that his golden stone gaze has the same power as his forefathers.”
Bai Weng was only a minor character. If he could take a step back to realize the immensity of the heaven and earth, he would do so, unlike Li Qiye’s more aggressive approach.
Just as he said, Huangfu Hao was indeed strong. He was a golem with an indescribable noble background and a flesh and blood body at birth. However, his eyes remained that of stone; this was a pair of invincible golden stone eyes that could be found from his forefathers — quite a rare occurrence.
Normally, Atavism would result in the body reverting to stone and becoming weaker. It was very rare that someone undergoing Atavism would inherit their forefathers’ strongest bloodline.
“And?” Li Qiye was still as calm as ever.
At this point, Bai Weng knew better and kept his mouth shut. Li Qiye was not a kid that was seeing the world for the first time. His nonchalant attitude regarding Huangfu Hao made Bai Weng think that Li Qiye was even stronger than what he had imagined and that he had underestimated him.
At this time, Huangfu Hao really wanted to kill Li Qiye. His glare towards Li Qiye contained a murderous glint. He took a deep breath and bit his teeth, deciding to risk it all: “16,000,000!”
“That won’t do.” Li Qiye said with a smile: “You have to understand that I am no longer bidding with the lowest grade of refined jades. I am bidding 16,000,000 jades of the Rising Era Paragon grade. If you are simply bidding jades of the conventional level, then you have to bid more than 30,000,000.”
When most people talked about Virtuous Paragon Refined Jades, they would refer to the lowest grade used by Early Era Paragons. Although both were Virtuous Paragon Refined Jades, one grade’s gap was the difference between heaven and earth. One Virtuous Paragon Refined Jade contained an unbelievable amount of worldly energy, so the difference of just a single grade had an unreachable gap.
Everyone present became dumbstruck after hearing this. One of the Demon Kings stood up and lost his voice: “Refined Jades meant for Rising Era Paragons…? What the hell?!”
Everyone felt that Li Qiye was messing around too much. Normally, people would use the lowest grade for any given level of refined jade unless further specified.
Huangfu Hao became red due to uncontrollable anger. Even if he had the support of the elders, 15,000,000 regular jades alone was pretty much all of his wealth. However, if they were of the Rising Era Paragon level, then even if the Golem Square allowed for him to trade and the buyers agreed to take his Early Era Paragon jades, he would have to spend at least 30,000,000… This was an amount that he simply couldn’t afford!
At this point, the auctioneer on the stage couldn’t help but wipe the sweat from his forehead. This number was simply too scary.
1. The raw for troublemaker was Cheng Yaojin, a general from the Tang Dynasty. I believe I’ve written this footnote before since authors use this expression a lot.