(Bonus Chapters remaining: 1)
“The Donden Auction House?” Dale’s asked aloud, remembering some of what he learned from Scholar Shen. According to the Scholar, one of the Seven Great Powers, and the power that held the most sway in the Great Inner Sea was the Donden Merchant Company. For an Auction House to share the same name, there must be some relation.
“Yes!” Lei Bao said, nodding enthusiastically, “That is where we usually sell the Profound Cores and hides we gain, as well as whatever materials we find. Because our village isn’t located near a mine, we can’t mine any ores and all the rare herb spawns are controlled by the Emblazoned Wing Sect, indirectly through the Great Lake City. Thus, we have always sold Profound Cores and hides/materials to sustain ourselves. The Auction House is the most convenient place to sell these.”
Dale nodded. What Lei Bao said made sense. He snapped the lid of the large chest he had opened, closing off sight of the goods within. After a few minutes of talking with Lei Bao, Dale came to know a bit more about the Donden Auction House.
It was located near the center of the city, in a large building shaped like a sphere. It was made of white stone that had been strengthened with rare ores, and was strong enough to withstand the attacks of even a 4 Star Profound Beast. The insides of the auction house was built like a giant theater, with hundreds of chairs for people to sit at. Several private balconies were built into the second floor of the house, looking down directly on the stage. These were reserved for esteemed guests and the wealthy. The stage itself was wide, easily fifty meters large, and was filled with various goods. A Profound Cultivator that was able to enhance his voice would display each good, explaining its functions, and then offer it for sale. Eventually, a number would be reached, and the good would be sold.
It was a very efficient way to find a buyer for a seller, and a seller for a buyer. The Donden Auction House took a 5% cut of things sold, covering their overhead. The rest of the 95% went directly to the seller. The Donden Auction House was also directly controlled by the Donden Merchant Company, and had them as their background. Very few people would make trouble in a Donden Auction House, as their parent company was known to react extremely harshly at the lightest altercation. Entire Sects had been wiped out for daring to cause trouble.
Thus, Dale and the other villagers that brought goods with them went to the Donden Auction House to register their materials to be sold. Dale adopted a sling made out of beast skin to cover his arm, making it look like it had been barely reattached. It would draw too much attention if he let everyone know he could regenerate an arm merely minutes after losing it, though it wasn’t something that worried him too much. Word of his strength would get out eventually.
Soon, they arrived outside the large auction house and moved inside, heading over to an area set up with several large tables. People were currently taking goods to be inspected on these tables, where they would then be added to lots in the auction.
The villagers registration of their goods was quite mundane, the auction overseer at their table nodding familiarly and passing through their goods with barely a glance. At first, the overseer gave Dale the same glance he gave the other villagers, looking down upon him slightly. It made sense, Dale thought, considering the powerful aura he could sense this overseer giving off. The man was at least a 2 Star or 3 Star cultivator. When Dale unstrapped his chest and opened it up, however, the overseer paused, glancing back inside Dale’s chest with surprise.
This overseer was a pudgy, elderly man wearing a brown shirt and grey pants. He had on a pair of spectacles that he adjusted as he spoke aloud,
“This is… The Medicinal Horn from a Crystal Bamboo Bull? And this is the hide to it as well?” Surprise was evident in his tone as he spoke, “Now that’s a rare find.”
The pudgy overseer paused for a moment. Dale could sense a small amount of cultivation energy flow through the man as he inspected the hide.
“It’s damaged? That will lower its value slightly.” The overseer nodded as checked the hide over, tugging at it. The man tutted at the material as if he was measuring it.
Dale shrugged, “It was hard enough for me to take it down, killing it without damaging it would be a bit too much.”
The overseer did a double-take, staring at Dale with wide eyes. His expression immediately turned into one of respect, his entire demeanor changing.
“I see, well, that is to be expected. I’ll put it in the Auction right away. As well, the Donden Auction House has a policy of placing minimum buy values on certain items. Both of these materials are on that list.” The pudgy overseer went on to explain.
“The hide and skin of a Crystal Bamboo Bull has a minimum buy of 25,000 Energy Shards. The medicinal horn has a minimum buy of 150,000 Energy Shards. As such, you will be able to made bids using these values before your materials sell, as a sign of good faith.”
Dale blinked. On the inside, however, he was jumping up and down in delight. The hides and medicinal horns from the Golden Bamboo Cattle had only sold for around 7,700 Energy Shards. For this Crystal Bamboo Bull to be worth so much more, it was truly an unexpected surprise. After all, 100 Energy Shards was equivalent to a 1 Star Profound Core. 175,000 Energy Shards, this meant Dale had gained wealth equivalent to 1,750 1 Star Profound Cores. Even though they were only at the 1 Star level, Dale should still be able to make use of them for a while. Wealth at a level like this was enough to drive most of the pre 4 Star Cultivators wild.
The reason the defensively powerful wool, and the medicinal horn, sold for such an extreme price was because of their unique properties.
In the Floating Island Universe, there were many strong people. Strength, after all, was honored and revered, and every young cultivator dreamed of one day reaching the peak of power, and challenging Ascension, to rise up to the Immortal Streams and live forever. If you had strength, you could do as you pleased.
As such, there were many strong people in this world. Often times, strong people would get into altercations with strong people, injuring each other. From large scale territorial wars to small assassinations, to simple infighting or betrayal, life was a bloody path one had to walk. Thus, in order to preserve one’s life, it was extremely important to have three things.
The first was a powerful set of defensive gear. Whether it was a rare, enhanced metal armor, a crafted armor from the hide or skin of a Profound Beast, a mix of the two, or something else, defensive gear was extremely important. It was very rare for a cultivator to have a body as tough as Dale’s for instance, especially when he used his Inborn Divine Ability, and became incomparably tough. Dale could be considered an anomaly.
The pure looking cultivator wielded a pure white and gold robe that was incredibly powerful, defensively. Dale’s full powered attack was a blow that should have badly wounded the cultivator, yet it barely bruised the fighter. The difference in one’s defensive gear could change the outcome of a fight.
The second thing a cultivator absolutely needs was a method to escape. Travel through the Floating Island Universe was bound by a few rules, the first of which being: don’t fall. Falling into the Void leads to death, and only death. There has never been a case of person falling into the Void and later reappearing. Therefore, some sort of technique or treasure that assisted in fast escape through the various floating islands was a must. The Continental Islands, as well as a few of the Major Islands in the Great Inner Sea, were a notable exception, as one could flee a far distance and still remain on land. Even then, however, one still needed a fast escape technique.
The third thing a cultivator needed was a way to heal themselves. The Crystal Bamboo Bull medicinal horn was an incredibly useful ingredient that could be used to refine many types of healing medicines and pills, most renowned for the legendary Crystal Bamboo Pill, a healing medicine so potent one could physically watch flesh regenerate. This specific Pill, named after its use of the namesake rare Crystal Bamboo medicinal horn, could regenerate entire limbs that had been lost.
While very few people had a body that was as tough as Dale’s, the people that had the ability to regenerate anywhere near Dale’s level could be counted on a single hand. Dale’s regenerative ability, when he combined his Will and Divine Ability together, was something extremely powerful. Thanks to this, he could fight freely and with no worries, relying upon his body to heal.
However, what Dale lacked the ability to do was cultivate. Cultivation was considered the basic backbone of strength in the Floating Islands Universe, and the way one could go stronger. Only through reaching the peak of cultivation could one challenge Ascension. Dale could technically cultivate, but the speed at which he cultivated was truly too slow.
“That sounds fine.” Dale quickly finished talking to the overseer and had his goods checked into the auction. He then made his way inside the building, moving towards the regular seating rows with the rest of the villagers. Lei Fan, Lei Bao, and the rest of them walked a head of Dale and sat down. Cloud settled in atop Lei Fan’s head, resting comfortably. Dale hadn’t let Cloud rest on his head while he was carrying the heavy chest, and the parrot was currently sulking, and sending glares Dale’s way. If a parrot could be said to glare.
Just as Dale was about to sit down near them, a loud voice called out.
“Ah, you there, hold!” Dale turned around in surprise, feeling the voice was directed at him.
Standing at the entrance of the auditorium like area of the Auction House was the barbaric looking cultivator that had been fighting against the pure looking cultivator. The man was currently wearing a different outfit, a long skin that seemed to be made out of pure blue scales. The ridiculously large great axe was nowhere to be seen on this cultivator, and he looked slightly smaller because of it. He was still freakishly tall, however, standing at least two feet taller than Dale.
“Can I help you?” Dale had a good impression of the barbaric cultivator. The fighter had, after all, stepped in and tried to fight against the pure looking cultivator, and blocked an attack that surely could have meant Dale’s end, or at least injured Lei Fan. Dale walked forward till he was a few feet from him. All around him, various people filed into the Auction House, giving the duo odd stares. From travelling merchants to Profound Beast Hunters, wealthy citizens to Sect cultivators, all kinds of people walked in.
“I am Gorgth.” The cultivator said, sticking out a large hand. Dale stuck his out in return, giving him a nod.
“The other day I wanted to thank you. Tian Shou is someone I have had a bone to pick with for a while, and if it wasn’t for you and your friend, I wouldn’t have had a chance to exchange blows with him.” Gorgth gave Dale a deep bow, making the people filing in around them all turn and stare. After all, Gorgth was more than 7 feet tall. For him to bow to a kid who looked like he was not yet 6 feet, it was an odd sight.
“It wasn’t a problem. I should be the one thanking you!” Dale replied warmly, bowing himself. He would show kindness to those that showed kindness to him, this was his motto. His impression of the barbaric looking cultivator grew.
“Are you and your friends sitting down here in the common area?” The barbaric looking cultivator’s eyes quickly swept through the trade room, picking out Lei Fan, Lei Bao, and the other villagers from the crowd. Cloud was rather noticeable, after all, and it wasn’t like the villagers were hiding.
“Why don’t ya’ll come and sit upstairs with me in the private booth I was given? It will be my treat for helping me achieve one of my goals in coming to the Great Inner Sea!” Gorgth donned a hearty smile as he smacked Dale on the back, nearly dislodging him from the floor.
After talking for a few moments more, Dale agreed. After all, he was here to see the auction, and a private booth on the second floor would make things easier. Any purchases he made would be assumed to be Gorgth’s, and he could spend his money freely, without worry of people trying to harass the villagers or him for it. He didn’t fear being attacked, but for those around him, he couldn’t guarantee their safety.
Like that, Dale and the rest of the villagers from Raymen Village filed upstairs into the private booth Gorgth owned. Dale and Gorgth talked and traded stories, talking about past battles and practice. Gorgth seemed very interested in how Dale had regrown his arm, noting that it was in a swing, as well as in how strong Dale’s physically body was. In turn, Dale was interested in the strange fire energy Gorgth controlled, wondering if it could be of use in cultivating a Seed for his practice in Law.
In total, there were four separate private booths, long spacious places that stretched a few dozen meters. In Gorgth’s booth, only Dale, Gorgth, and the villagers that had come with him were present, as well as Cloud.
A few minutes after Dale and them arrived, the auction officially began.