Chapter 223: Secret Store, Auction
When the Confucian scholar heard Han Li’s words, he stared blankly for a moment before immediately smiling. Then he joyfully said, “Senior, it is fortunate that you’ve told me this, else you would have gone on a trip in vain! Although the fame of the Heavenly Star Sect’s formation spells is quite renown, this does not apply to the Stardust Pavilion’s top formation flags and formation plates. Although there are many and various formation flags and formation plates inside the Stardust Pavilion, they are only common rubbish sold to small cultivator clans and rogue cultivators. Formation spell tools of true quality are not released by the Heavenly Star Sect. This is because if their finest spell formation items were released to outsiders, the gaps in their formation could be seen through. As they say, the gains do not make up for the losses!”
As the Confucian scholar was explaining off to the side, he stole a look at Han Li. However, the hood of Han Li’s cloak prevented his face from being seen, and so the scholar couldn’t make out the slightest of emotion, much to his great frustration.
“From your tone, it sounds as if you know where I can find the items I want!” Although Han Li was greatly surprised from the Confucian scholar’s words, he still maintained his flat, calm tone, completely hiding his inner shock.
When the Confucian scholar heard this, he first looked left and right several times. After there was no one around, he secretly whispered, “If Senior believes this Junior, he can introduce you to a secret store that very few know about. Although that location has a small issue about its past history, all of its goods are high quality and rarely seen! I believe that Senior will certainly be able to find satisfactory formation spell tools there.”
Although Han LI’s voice was still low, he was actually inwardly startled by the Confucian scholar’s words.
In the past several years, Han Li had heard rumors of a secret store once or twice. Han Li knew that if the Confucian scholar spoke truthfully, this would be a truly rare chance to broaden his horizons.
“It seems that Senior also know a bit about the secret store. Hehe! This is great. In that case, there’s no need for Junior to waste time explaining. There are probably still four to six hours left before the secret store’s monthly auction. If Senior wishes to go, please decide soon. I will be able to immediately show you the way!”
When the Confucian scholar saw Han Li display no disgust upon the mention of the secret store, he could not help but secretly rejoice. He knew that chasing after this client was most likely the correct course of action for him to take.
“It isn’t too far?” Han Li suddenly asked.
“It isn’t far. The secret store is within the market city. Does Senior approve?” The Confucian scholar grew a bit excited. By giving the secret store a potential customer, he was able to reap a significant percentage in spirit stones.
“Let’s go!” After he let out a relaxed breath, Han Li’s tone was no longer cold.
“This one will lead the way!” The Confucian scholar had a happy expression and took the initiative to lead.
After the Confucian scholar turned seven corners, he brought Han Li in front of a small lodge. The door was secured, and there was no sign on the door. It seemed very unremarkable.
The Confucian scholar lightly knocked on the door with a certain rhythm.In response, the door opened. A woman about thirty years old walked out. This woman’s looks were average, and her cultivation was only at the sixth or seventh layer of Qi Condensation, truly unremarkable.
“Lady Zhang, this one brings a new customer. He also wishes to participate in the auction.” Wang Ziling did not wait for the woman to speak and hastily introduced Han Li with great energy.
After Lady Zhang heard Wang Ziling say he brought a customer, she did not show an expression of joy but scowled instead, as if she wasn’t in agreement. But after she took a clear look and saw that this customer was a Foundation Establishment cultivator, her expression changed to a slight smile.
“This time, you’ve brought a proper customer rather than the trash you previously brought! A Foundation Establishment Senior! Senior, please come in!” Although this woman’s cultivation was very low, she didn’t look at Han Li with any reverence. Instead, she seemed to consider Han Li an ordinary customer.
“Senior, this one can only bring you to this location. He will first take his leave!” Wang Ziling blushed from the woman’s words and hurried to say his farewell to Han Li.
After seeing the Confucian scholar’s figure disappear into the distance, the woman stepped to the side, signaling Han Li to enter.
After he entered, he saw that all sorts of shoddy materials for pill and tool refinement were arranged out for display like an ordinary raw materials shop.
Han Li carefully observed the woman, who closed the door and then respectfully said, “Please follow me, sir.”
With that said, the woman took a few steps to the corner of the room. She then pressed her hand against the ground.
Yellow light flashed from her hand, when all of a sudden a large hole opened from the ground. The woman called out to Han Li, indicating that he was to follow her lead.
After a moment of slight hesitation, Han Li walked into the tunnel and cautiously followed. However, the ever cautious Han Li naturally stayed on guard.
The tunnel was very short. After about thirty meters, there was a somewhat small stone door. Two black-clothed men stood in front of either side of the door, each wearing a devil’s mask.
After Han Li took a look at the two black-clothed men, his expression immediately grew heavy. They were actually Foundation Establishment cultivators like him! Furthermore, one of them was mid-stage Foundation Establishment. Han Li could not help but be wary of this store’s strength.
The woman pushed through the stone door as if she hadn’t seen the black-clothed men and brought Han Li inside. The two black-clothed men also turned a blind eye, neither speaking nor obstructing them.
After Han Li entered the room, he grew distracted. A large, majestic hall appeared before his eyes.
Vermillion fur rugs, snow-white jade walls, palace lanterns hanging from the ceiling... all of this gave off an appearance of the greatest wealth from the mortal world. It seemed the owner of this room was quite wondrous!
The large hall was shaped as an oval with a diameter of about a hundred meters. Seven or eight lines of chairs were arranged in the hall with several tens of uniquely dressed cultivators seated upon them. Across from them was a lone, empty table, not far from which were three sandlewood chairs.
Seeing Han Li and the woman enter, the people sitting could not help but look in their direction.
After those gazes swept past Han Li, he felt his body quiver with a cold sweat. His expression greatly changed. More than half of those people were cultivators in late-stage Foundation Establishment!
At this moment, Han Li realized why the woman at his side did not show any semblance of reverence toward him. At this place, he was but a common sight!
“Your esteemed self has come at a good time! The auction was about to start. This small woman will no longer accompany you; I must return upward to take care of a few matters!”
Han Li helplessly looked at the several cultivators in the hall and silently looked for a remote corner before sitting down.
At this moment, he already noticed that the cultivators here were concealing their faces like him, using cloaks to hide their true features. It seemed no one was so stupid enough to let others discover their identity.
Although the people in the hall weren’t few in number, no one was speaking. The incomparable silence caused the air to carry a trace of tension.
When Han LI saw this, he also remained extremely well-behaved. Aside from some malicious guesses of any acquaintances he would recognize here, he wholeheartedly paid attention to the wooden door directly behind the long table. It seemed that the owner should be preparing behind that door.
After Han Li sat there for five to six hours, the wooden door behind the table finally opened. Three people walked out one by one.
From their appearance, they seemed identical to the guards at the stone door. It was unable to see who was master and servant.
At this moment, they stood behind the long table. The person standing on the right first spoke with a low and hoarse voice, “Welcome to our trade fair, fellow Daoists of the cultivation world. Among our current customers, there are old and regular customers as well as newcomers. But this does not matter, as this store treats everyone equally!”
When the person on the right finished, the person on the left immediately started talking, “This trade fair is completely fair. When someone shouts out a price in spirit stones, everyone must use spirit stones to compete. If someone doesn’t have sufficient spirit stones, they will be able to use an item of equivalent value as collateral. As for its specific worth, all three of us will jointly evaluate it. In short, the highest price will acquire the item on sale.” This person’s voice was completely different. It was shrill and quiet, very much falsetto, causing those who heard it to feel at great unease.
“Finally, after all the items in the store have been sold, everyone is free to conduct business during this time. If there are any items you wish to sell or exchange, you will be able to step forward and present them at will and trade them independently. We will not mettle in the slightest and will only offer the place to conduct business. Alright, everything has been said. Let the trade fair begin!”
The middle person’s voice was actually simple and loud, resonating throughout the room.
Following these words, the three flashed to the side, appearing on the sandlewood seats behind the table. At this moment, a very tall and thin middle-aged man with a shrewd appearance walked out from the wooden door.
This man walked to the table and coughed several times before declaring, “This auction will be directed by me. The first item for auction will be the top-grade magic tool, Fire Cloud Sword. This item...”