Chapter 463: The Auction Begins
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
Zhang Xuan shook his head.
If this auction hall was operated by them, they would have been able to arrange a meeting between him and the buyer; his chances of getting the Soulless Metal Humanoid would've been much higher.
"Have you all appraised the Soulless Metal Humanoid? May I know the story behind it?"
Since the auction hadn't begun yet, Zhang Xuan asked about the Soulless Metal Humanoid.
After receiving the five thousand spirit stones reward, he'd repaid the loan he borrowed from Hall Master Sai and compensated him with an additional hundred spirit stones.
Thus, he had a total of 4800 spirit stones on hand at the moment. Even though Hall Master Sai was rather confident that it was sufficient for him to take away the Soulless Metal Humanoid, Zhang Xuan still felt that he should listen to the details to make a judgement himself.
Hall Master Sai nodded. "Around a month ago, an elder came to the Appraiser Hall and requested that I appraise an artifact. The artifact seems to have been forged out of gold, and it's shaped like a puppet. After much assessment and contemplation, I determined that it is the legendary Soulless Metal Humanoid. I sought Elder Lu and Elder Chen's opinions on the matter before coming to a final verdict!
"That metal humanoid is incomparably resilient, and most probably, it was crafted by having a human swallow metal while they were still alive before proceeding to use a special secret art to forge the puppet. Its body is wholesome, thus preventing the slightest bit of aura from leaking out. A formation is constructed within its body, and one can control it through spirit stones. In terms of strength, it possesses a might comparable to a Transcendent Mortal 3-dan expert."
"While they were alive... Was the Soulless Metal Humanoid crafted out of real human bodies?" Zhang Xuan was taken aback.
He had only heard about soul oracles from Pavilion Master Luo so he wasn't too sure about the details. When he heard about the Soulless Metal Humanoid, he thought that it would be a man-made object just like those puppets he met in the Master Teacher Pavilion when he was taking the master teacher examination. However, Sai Xiaoyu's words seemed to hint at something very different.
"Of course it isn't. Man-made puppets, just like other crafted tools, will gain spirit over time. As such, it's impossible for a human's soul to delve in it. Even if one managed to do it, one's control over the puppet would still be lacking. This is similar to weapons and armor; even though they are convenient to use, one still isn't able to manipulate it as easily as one's own limbs." Hall Master Sai said.
Zhang Xuan nodded.
No matter how adept one was in using tools, it could never match up to the level of control one had over one's own limbs. A man-made puppet followed the same rule as well. Even if one could drive it with one's soul, one wouldn't be able to move it as seamlessly as one's own body.
"However, the Soulless Metal Humanoid is different. It's crafted using the body of a living human coated with metal. Not only is its defensive and offensive capability impressive, more importantly... it can contain a soul perfectly, making it easy for a cultivator to drive it. Legend has it that even though soul oracles had outstanding control over their souls, their physical bodies were extremely weak. As such, they possessed such powerful physical bodies with their souls to grant them immense power, thus making them a subject of fear." Hall Master Sai explained.
Zhang Xuan finally came to a realization, and he was astounded.
To craft a living human into a puppet to protect oneself... This occupation sure was bizarre and vile.
"The reputation of soul oracles was put alongside poison masters in ancient times, they were the two most feared occupations. It is said that soul oracles, with their powerful souls, could forcibly extract a cultivator's soul from his body and forge a Soulless Metal Humanoid through their empty body. In fact, some of the more powerful soul oracles were even able to create a fearsome army of metal humanoids."
Hall Master Sai continued, "This was the reason why it was struck down by the other occupations. The Master Teacher Pavilion personally led the other occupations on a crusade against it and destroyed the soul oracles, thus terminating their heritage. I only learned of the existence of the Soulless Metal Humanoid by flipping through innumerable ancient books. Otherwise, I would have probably just thought of it as an ordinary puppet."
Suppressing his anxiety, Zhang Xuan asked, "I heard that this occupation... possesses the ability to wake dormant souls. May I know if it's true?"
Even though Luo Qianhong was a 3-star master teacher, his knowledge of this subject was definitely inferior to Hall Master Sai. Thus, Hall Master Sai's evaluation was likely to be much more accurate.
"The soul is a very complicated and profound subject. Only 7-star master teachers would begin to dabble in the subject. Otherwise, no matter how strong one was, even if one were a Transcendent Mortal 9-dan pinnacle expert, one wouldn't dare to touch in this field. The only exception to this rule are the soul oracles! Those of this occupation could even extract the soul from a living body, so waking a dormant soul should be a simple feat to them." Hall Master Sai replied with a grim expression.
Upon hearing the other party confirm the matter, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.
"Alright, the auction is starting!"
While the duo was speaking, a commotion had sounded below. Turning around to take a look, the host was already on the stage.
Taking a closer look, the host was no other than Elder Chen.
As a 4-star appraiser, an elder of the Appraiser Hall, his words felt more credible and persuasive, and in such auctions, trust was an important factor to hiking up the prices.
"The items on auction today cover weapons, armors, antiques, paintings, celestial treasures, the ancient Soulless Metal Humanoid, and such, totaling up to a number of 35 artifacts. Every single one of them has been approved by the Appraiser Hall, and we can guarantee their authenticity."
Elder Chen's gaze swept across the crowd with majesty.
As soon as he reached the stage, he turned into that indomitable 4-star appraiser. Not a hint of that fellow who was forced to a corner by Sun Qiang and ended up spurting blood about remained.
"35 artifacts? So many?"
"Of course, the auction of the Appraiser Hall is only conducted once a year. As such, all of the artifacts put up for sale are invaluable treasures!"
"I've prepared a very long time for this auction, there are some things among the 35 artifacts that I'm determined to get..."
After hearing the introduction, the crowd fell into a commotion.
The auction was around the size of an ordinary sparring field. People of Hall Master Sai's standing were allocated a suite whereas ordinary customers were seated below.
Some of these people were itinerant cultivators, and some of them were guests of prestigious clans as well. In any case, all of them had prepared a long time for this auction, determined to obtain the object of their desire.
Looking through the window, Hall Master Sai commented, "It seems like the allure of the Soulless Metal Humanoid is great. There are many experts here!"
"Indeed!" Jin Conghai nodded in agreement.
He was a Transcendent Mortal 4-dan expert, and he had followed the alliance head for quite a period of time. As such, he knew most of the reputable experts in the alliance.
Even though this auction was conducted in Honghai City, scanning across the room, he could see many experts whose strength was on par with him, some exceeding him even.
It was impossible for so many powerful experts to be gathered in an ordinary auction. Most likely, they were all here for the Soulless Metal Humanoid.
"I'm afraid that three thousand spirit stones might be insufficient to take down the Soulless Metal Humanoid!"
Hall Master Sai smiled bitterly after scanning the room.
His previous judgement was that the metal humanoid should be only worth around 1500 spirit stones. Even if the price doubles due to the heated atmosphere in an auction, it'll only cost around 3000 spirit stones. However, considering the number of experts that were here for it, it probably wouldn't be easy to win the bid at that price.
"Let's wait and see then! If I really don't have sufficient money, I'll be depending on Hall Master Sai to loan me some then!" Zhang Xuan chuckled.
"Ah..." Hall Master Sai rolled his eyes. To think this fellow hadn't forgotten that matter yet.
"Everyone, please remain silent. The auction will be starting now. I'll be bringing up the first item now!"
After allowing everyone to vent their astonishment, Elder Chen smiled in delight and gestured grandly.
A stone pedestal below slowly rose up, revealing a narrow and long jade box.
Opening the jade box, a transparent plant appeared before everyone's eyes. It exuded a bone-chilling frost that seemed to reach straight into one's soul. Even when looking at it from afar, the crowd couldn't help but feel as though they were about to be reduced into pillars of ice.
"This is a five-hundred-year-old Glacier Spirit Grass, and it has exceptional effects for those who cultivating ice attribute cultivation techniques. If one were to forge it into a pill, one's cultivation would surely rise immensely. The minimum bid is 220 spirit stones, and every increment must be no lower than 20 spirit stones!"
"Glacier Spirit Grass? This is the main ingredient for the grade-4 Ice Soul Pill! Not only is it useful for those cultivating ice attribute cultivation technique, it is also extremely useful to Transcendent Mortal 3-dan Yin-Yang realm cultivators!"
"Indeed, this is truly a treasure! As expected of the auction conducted once a year by the Appraiser Hall. Even the first item is exceptional!"
"I'll be taking this Ice Spirit Grass, 240 spriit stones!"
"You think you can buy a five-hundred-year-old Spirit herb with just that bit of money? Dream on, 260 spirit stones!"
"Hah, it's mine! 300 spirit stones..."
Even though the first artifact was only a Spirit herb, it immediately heated up the atmosphere.
The Glacier Spirit Grass was an extremely herb in itself, needless to say, one that had reached a maturity of five hundred years. In the end, the hammer price was 540 spirit stones!
"As expected of an auction conducted in the Appraiser Hall, it sure is lively..."
Upon seeing this sight, Zhang Xuan was impressed.
Based on his estimations, this Glacier Spirit Grass was only worth 300 spirit stones at maximum. Yet, it was hiked up to a whole 540 spirit stones. That was almost a single fold of his estimated price. Just like Hall Master Sai had said, it probably wouldn't be easy for him to take down the Soulless Metal Humanoid.
After which, the second item was brought out. It was a unique mineral which raised the enhanced the durability and sharpness of a weapon greatly if a sliver of it was added during the crafting process.
As soon as the mineral appeared, the atmosphere immediately became even more elevated than when the Glacier Spirit Grass appeared.
What that accompanied cultivators through their days were weapons. The stronger their weapons, the greater their ability to protect themselves. As such, who would be willing to miss such a good item?
It didn't take long for the price to exceed 600 spirit stones, and eventually, a middle-aged man claimed it at a price of 720 spirit stones.
"The third object is a long sword known as [Cold Yin]. It was crafted by a 4-star pinnacle Blacksmith, Jiu Muzi. He gathered a total of 37 minerals, one of which is the extremely valuable Cold Yin Rock, before managing to forge the weapon. It contains an extremely strong yin attribute within, and if a cold attribute cultivator were to wield it, its might would be increased by several folds, allowing one to bring out fighting prowess far exceeding their limits!"
Elder Chen slowly drew the sword from its sheath, and an incredibly cold gleam immediately escaped into the room, leaving shivers down the spine of whoever it shines upon.
"This is a Spirit intermediate-tier weapon, and it can cut through metal as easily as though mud. The minimum bid is 500 spirit stones, and every increment must be no lower than 50 spirit stones
"Cold Yin sword? I heard that it's an extremely powerful sword suited for females!"
"A Spirit intermediate-tier weapon is more than sufficient for the usage of a Transcendent Mortal 4-dan expert. Given that, 500 spirit stone isn't too expensive. I want it!"
"Don't even dream of competing with me, I'll be taking this sword down for my companion. 550 spirit stones..."
The cold gleam of the sword brought heat to everyone's gazes.
Zhang Xuan's eyes also lit up upon seeing it. Thus, he turned to Zhao Ya and asked, "That weapon is indeed not bad. Zhao Ya, do you want it?"
Zhao Ya possessed the Pure Yin Body, and this sword happened to complement her constitution. If she were to wield it, her battle prowess would surely leap greatly.
"Teacher, I think you should save the money to purchase the Soulless Metal Humanoid instead to save Lu Chong. I... don't need it!"
Zhao Ya shook her head, but her eyes were filled with desire.
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 463
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