Chapter 462: Celestial Designer's Mechanical Container
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
From Sun Qiang's explanation, it didn't take long before Zhang Xuan understood the happenings of the entire incident.
"Not bad, you did well. The only thing pitiable is that the number of spirit stones at stake were too few. No matter what, it should be at least ten thousand!"
Not expecting for Sun Qiang to perform so excellently, earning so many spirit stones for him through a wager, Zhang Xuan looked at him in commendation.
Elder Chen's lips twitched once more.
Six thousand was sufficient to leave him so frustrated that he felt like committing suicide already. If the debt was truly ten thousand, he would have already run away.
"Since I've the wager, I won't refuse to pay up. However..." Stepping forward, Elder Chen gritted his teeth and said, "My total fortune only adds up to around three thousand spirit stones. As for the rest... Can you allow me to repay it back in a year's time?"
"A year's time? A year later, it would be useless even if you were to give me twenty thousand spirit stones!"
Zhang Xuan shook his head.
It had only been two to three months since his journey started in Tianxuan Kingdom. A year later... He could foresee that three thousand spirit stones would just be an insignificant sum to him.
Elder Chen's face flushed red.
As a Transcendent Mortal 3-dan expert and a 4-star appraiser, he was a respectable figure. If he were to refuse to pay up after losing a wager, even if the other party didn't do anything at all, he would die from the humiliation.
Besides, if his trustworthiness was brought into question, his career as an appraiser might come to an end.
Thus, after hesitating for a moment, he clenched his jaws and said, "Even though I don't have many liquid assets, as a 4-star appraiser, I do have some treasures in my possession... How about this, I'll allow you to pick any item among my treasure as compensation for the three thousand spirit stones!"
Appraisers were very similar to antique collectors. Even though they might not have many liquid assets, they had quite a valuable inventory in their home.
These items were treasures that he had slowly accumulated over the course of his life. If not for being forced into a corner, he would never bear to take them out.
"Treasure? Let me take a look. If it's suitable, I can strike off your entire debt of six thousand spirit stones for it!"
Knowing that this person would surely have some valuable possessions having dealt in artifacts his entire life, Zhang Xuan nodded in agreement.
Knowing that it was impossible to avoid this anymore, Elder Chen flicked his wrist.
Before long, a pile of treasures appeared before the crowd.
There were antiques, paintings, weapons, sets of armor, as well as some bizarre clay molds.
There were all kinds of treasures within Elder Chen's collection, and astonishingly, its total value seemed to exceed even that of the shops on the second floor.
"I only have these, feel free to choose..."
Elder Chen forcefully put on a generous front and gestured.
These were his prized possession, and he couldn't bear to part with any single one of them. However, what else could he do having lost the wager?
It simply wasn't worth shattering the reputation that he'd built up over the course of so many years due to a wager.
"Let me take a look!"
Activating the Eye of Insight, Zhang Xuan began browsing through the various artifacts on the ground.
A moment later, he shook his head in disappointment.
Most of these items were rare and valuable but to Zhang Xuan, they didn't hold much meaning.
In contrast to these items, spirit stones were much more practical to him.
Zhang Xuan turned to look at Elder Chen helplessly and said, "You only collected these few useless toys over the course of your entire life?"
"I..." Elder Chen's face flushed in embarrassment. Knowing that the other party was a grandmaster appraiser and his eye for things exceeded even that of the hall master, he couldn't protest at all.
He had treasured these possessions as though they were his own children, yet the other party viewed them as nothing but useless toys. He couldn't help but feel slightly awkward.
"Elder Chen, why don't you take out that object that you obtained just a while ago? If... Zhang shi likes it, he might even trade it for six thousand spirit stones."
Just when Elder Chen was at a loss, he heard Elder Lu's telepathic message.
Recalling something, Elder Chen hesitated for a moment before nodding his head. Turning to Zhang Xuan, he said, "Zhang shi, please hold on for a moment. I have an object that I've been unable to identify ever since I received it. I'll bring it over now. If even that doesn't interest you, then I've nothing else to offer you anymore!"
Hearing that the other party still had another treasure, Zhang Xuan nodded in agreement.
He wasn't in a hurry anyway.
Elder Chen turned around to leave, and around half an hour later, he returned, and with a flick of his wrist, a black object appeared before him.
It was a fist-sized black sphere, and no matter how one looked at it, it seemed to be nothing more than an ordinary ball of lead.
"You call this a treasure?"
Sun Qiang took a glance at it and protested, "Elder Chen, aren't you trying to take advantage of us if you wish to use this to call off the entire debt?"
"I..." Elder Chen's face flushed.
"You're misunderstanding Elder Chen!" Hall Master Sai said. "This object was dug up from an ancient tomb ten years ago, and even though it doesn't seem like anything much, it's invulnerable. We've tried quenching, burning, slashing, and smashing but nothing could leave a mark on it. We've studied it innumerable times but we weren't able to determine what it is."
"Since you don't know what it is, how can you say that it's a treasure?" Sun Qiang refuted.
"You can't really put it that way. It could be possible that it is an ore that no one has ever seen before. If one used it to craft a weapon, one would surely be able to forge a top-notch weapon," Hall Master Sai said.
"Use it to forge a weapon? Putting aside whether it's possible or it, it'll surely be a troublesome and lengthy process..." Sun Qiang harrumphed.
"Enough. Allow me to take a look at it first!"
Interrupting Butler Sun's words, Zhang Xuan stepped forward.
He had tried to examine the metal ball with the Eye of Insight, but to his astonishment, he realized that he was unable to see anything about it.
In his time in the Appraiser Hall, he learned that the true treasures were among the objects that he couldn't see through with his Eye of Insight.
Thus, he grabbed the ball and muttered 'flaws' internally.
A book appeared in the library. Zhang Xuan quickly flipped it open.
"Celestial Designer's Mechanical Container, forged by the Celestial Designer Institute with complex mechanical systems. It can't be opened without knowing the specific sequences required to do so. It's likely that some important treasure is hidden within it. Flaws..."
After which were the various flaws of the object.
"There are only seventeen flaws?"
Even though the Library of Heaven's Path didn't label the value of the object and Zhang Xuan had never heard of the Celestial Designer Institute, he was still astounded by the number of flaws contained in the object.
The flaws that the Library of Heaven's Path could detect ranged from the material of the object to the technique used to craft it, covering nearly all fields possible.
Take the first artifact from the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets, the Copper Hammer, for example, even though the Eye of Insight couldn't determine any problem with it, the Library of Heaven's Path was still able to find a total of seventy-two flaws.
But of course, it didn't mean that the fewer flaws there were, the more valuable an artifact would be. It was also related to the complexity of the artifact.
The more complex an artifact was, the more likely it was that there would be flaws in it.
This object was known as the Celestial Designer's Mechanical Container, and based on its description, it was clear that there was a system far more complex than the Copper Hammer contained within it.
Yet, despite being more complex than the Copper Hammer, there were so few mistakes with it. Didn't that mean that the value of this object far surpassed that of the Copper Hammer?
This was definitely a treasure!
"Zhang shi, are you able to determine what this artifact is?"
Seeing that Zhang Xuan had examined the object for a long time already, Elder Chen couldn't help but ask out of curiosity.
Hall Master Sai and Elder Lu also turned over as well.
They had studied this artifact for many years, and they had utilized all means available to them to examine it. However, they were still unable to come to a conclusion. The fellow before him had such a great appraising ability that he could even earn the acknowledgement of the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets. Perhaps, he might really be able to see through it.
"I'm not able to tell what it is exactly as well so I might require some more time to examine it."
Understanding the logic of keeping one's wealth a secret, Zhang Xuan chose to hide the matter. After a moment of hesitation, he said, "Alright, even though I'm unable to determine what this artifact is, I think that there's something deeper to it as well. I'll trade this for six thousand spirit stones then. What do you think of it?"
Not expecting that this artifact could replace the six thousand spirit stones, Elder Chen heaved a long sigh of relief. At the same time, he secretly sneaked a glance at the plump servant.
The one that he wagered with was this fellow. Would he protest to such a decision?
As a master teacher, Zhang shi should still pay some consideration to his reputation. Even if this artifact wasn't worth the price, he wouldn't pursue the matter in the future. However, this servant was different.
He was afraid that the other party would continue arguing with him. If that was the case, he would be put in truly tight a spot.
However, after taking a glance, he saw the plump servant standing quietly at the side, not interfering in his young master's decisions at all.
"It seems like he respects his young master quite a lot!"
Seeing that the plump servant had decided to stay out of this matter, the tenseness finally left Elder Chen's body.
In truth, even though part of the reason why Sun Qiang didn't speak up was out of respect for Zhang Xuan, the main reason was because he knew that the young master was smarter than him and would never allow himself to be on the losing side of a deal. Since the young master was willing to purchase this ball for six thousand spirit stones, it could only mean that its value was way beyond that amount.
Since that was the case, why should he interfere in the matter?
"I've already sent some men to gather the books that you want. It'll probably take around three days!"
Seeing Zhang Xuan keep the ball into his ring, Hall Master Sai chuckled, "The auction is about to start. Shall we go over?"
All in all, the time they had spent here totaled up to nearly two hours. Judging from the time, it was indeed about time for the auction to start.
If they were to head over immediately, they would barely make it for the opening.
"Alright!" Zhang Xuan nodded.
The main goal of his journey here was the Soulless Metal Humanoid. It was imperative that he attended the auction so that he could obtain the item.
Thus, under Hall Master Sai's lead, the group hurriedly headed to the auction hall.
The auction hall was located on the second floor, not too far away from the First Class Pavilion. Before the group even reached the auction hall, they could already see a huge crowd gathering outside.
It seemed like the items offered in the auction were extremely attractive. There were many powerful and affluent individuals and powers here.
Activating the Eye of Insight, Zhang Xuan swept across the crowd and saw dozens of Transcendent Mortal experts. In fact, most of them had reached 2-dan and 3-dan.
As expected of the Myriad Kingdom Alliance. The number of experts were indeed incredible.
"Isn't the auction hall operated by the Appraiser Hall?"
Following behind Hall Master Sai, the group managed to enter the venue without any hiccups. Not too long later, they arrived at a relatively large suite. At this moment, Zhang Xuan couldn't help but raise a question.
They were in the Appraiser Hall, so logically speaking, the auction hall should belong to them as well. Yet, why did they require an invitation letter to enter the venue?
Could it be that the Appraiser Hall didn't have a stake in the auction hall?
"No, the auction hall isn't operated like us. It's similar to the First Class Pavilion; it's only in a working relationship with the Appraiser Hall. We're in charge of appraising their artifacts while they are responsible for finding buyers and customers to conduct the auction... After all, we don't have sufficient manpower and energy to manage all of these miscellaneous affairs!" Hall Master Sai answered.
The strength of an appraiser lay in appraising and determining the value of an artifact. As such, they might not be as adept at running a business.
Thus, it was much better to leave it to the veteran merchants instead.
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 462
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