Chapter 78: What Are They Talking About?
People on the auction floor immediately got excited upon hearing Qian Song's announcement.
The only ones who didn't care were the Inner Sect disciples whose cultivation bases were above the eighth level of Qi Condensation, who began to chat among themselves about other topics, or simply closed their eyes to rest.
"Please take a moment to examine the pill first," Qian Song said with a dry cough. "Afterward, I will reveal the price." It was at this point that a pretty young woman emerged from the glowing door, holding a wooden box in her hands.
Excitement built as everyone craned their necks to try to get a look at exactly what type of Violet Qi Spirit Ascension Pill this was that would cause such a strange expression to appear on Qian Song's face.
Bai Xiaochun was getting more and more nervous, and began to breathe heavily as he looked over at the auction stage. A moment later, the pretty young woman lifted the lid off the box and pulled out a dark violet pill.
The medicinal pill was especially conspicuous considering the fairness of her skin. It glowed with a soft light, and the three designs on its surface were especially noticeable. Also visible... was the little turtle etched next to the spirit designs.
At first, silence prevailed. But then, a huge commotion broke out.
"A threefold spirit enhancement! Heavens! Are my eyes deceiving me?!"
"That's insane! It's actually a tier-2 spirit medicine with a threefold spirit enhancement! I can't believe somebody succeeded in doing such a thing!!"
"This is crazy! A spirit enhanced Violet Qi Spirit Ascension Pill!!"
The voices of the flabbergasted Outer Sect disciples rose up into a cacophony that filled the entire auction floor.
"Dammit! Who actually did something like that? What a waste!"
"A threefold spirit enhancement like that? What psycho had the inclination to do such a thing!?!?"
Even the Inner Sect disciples who had been ignoring things up to this point looked over in surprise. When they saw the spirit designs running across the surface of the medicinal pill, their eyes went wide, and they gasped. Many of them even shot to their feet.
It must be stated that the success rate of spirit enhancement was not very high. A onefold enhancement was difficult enough, and a twofold enhancement was even harder. As for a threefold enhancement... it all depended on luck. Even grandmasters wouldn't dare to claim the ability to succeed at a threefold enhancement.
In the Spirit Stream Sect, far too many people had destroyed magical items in the process of attempting threefold spirit enhancements, much to their heartache. Because of that, most people had a love-hate relationship with spirit enhancement; whenever people did manage to succeed, they would arouse the envy of their contemporaries.
For a magical item to successfully receive a threefold spirit enhancement would make it more powerful to a shocking degree, and would make many people desire to acquire it. But now... everyone was astonished to find themselves looking at a medicinal pill which had received a threefold spirit enhancement!
Furthermore, it was a tier-2 medicinal pill!
If a gorgeous pattern were to develop on the wings of a butterfly, everyone would marvel at the spectacular beauty. But if such a design were to appear on the back of a pig... it could only be described as a huge waste!!
Mixed emotions could be seen on the faces of the onlookers as numerous thoughts ran through their minds. Many of them even clenched their fists into balls, causing veins to bulge out on their hands and faces. The Inner Sect disciples from Violet Cauldron Peak were especially pained, considering that they studied spirit enhancement as part of their cultivation.
"What luck! Somebody actually managed to perform a spirit enhancement on a medicinal pill, and then brought it here to sell. Dammit! If I were that lucky, I would definitely have a spirit enhanced treasure!!"
Even the Foundation Establishment cultivators on the second floor were looking at the medicinal pill in front of them in shock.
Bai Xiaochun sat on the balcony watching all of this happening, somewhat surprised. He looked blankly at the enraged crowd below, some of whom were turning red in the face. He suddenly had the feeling... that he might have gone too far.... He immediately put a look of righteous indignation onto his face and then pointed at the medicinal pill angrily.
"Loser!" he shouted furiously. "What loser made that pill?!"
Off in the distance, Sun Chen was smiling wryly. When he first saw the medicinal pill, he had experienced the same feeling most people in the audience were feeling right now. But then he saw the way Bai Xiaochun was acting off in the distance, and his jaw dropped. A little bit of sweat even dripped down the side of his face.
However, it was at this point that someone in the crowd with sharp eyes happened to notice the little turtle etched into the side of the pill.
"Eee? Why does that little turtle seem so familiar...?" Almost as soon as the words left his mouth, others in the crowd began to look more closely at the pill. At first, they had all been so surprised by the three spirit designs that they didn't look at anything else. But now they all noticed the turtle etching.
"That little turtle.... Hey, I remember! Back on Fragrant Cloud Peak, the first place spot on all of the stone steles at the 10,000 Medicines Pavilion is occupied by a little turtle!!"
"This turtle looks just like that one. The style is exactly the same. That... was etched by a person!"
"The person who concocted that pill, and then went to the insane length of performing a threefold spirit enhancement, was none other than the mysterious and unfathomable Chosen of Fragrant Cloud Peak, the little turtle!"
Cries of excitement rang up. After all, many disciples in the audience were from Fragrant Cloud Peak, and once they saw the little turtle, they were struck with astonishment.
More and more people caught sight of the turtle, and gasps rang out. People even began to rise to their feet. Although not much news about Fragrant Cloud Peak's little turtle had spread lately, he was incredibly famous. Everyone in the sect knew about him, and many people continued to speculate all the time about who exactly he was.
However, no one had been able to solve the mystery. The little turtle was simply too mysterious, so mysterious that apparently no one knew his true identity. He liked to keep an extremely low profile, and was indifferent to the outside world, paying virtually no attention to it at all.
But all of a sudden... he had made another appearance!
Furthermore, he had chosen to completely shake the entire auction, and shock everyone who attended.
Zhou Xinqi was there in the crowd, her eyes shining brightly as she looked at the medicinal pill. Her chest heaved, and various emotions coursed through her.
"So, you finally show your face," she murmured to herself. "A Chosen like you cannot remain hidden forever within the sea of people. You may want to remain out of sight, but your incredible talents have doomed you to be revealed, no matter how much you try to hide. I will find out who you are, one day!" Zhou Xinqi had spent a lot of time secretly investigating the little turtle. For a time, she had suspected Bai Xiaochun, but soon decided that it couldn't be him, and made up her own version of who the little turtle was. He was a cold, proud man who would never taint his own name because of a desire to be famous.
Zhou Xinqi actually wasn't the only one who had come to such a conclusion. Most people felt the same, even Hou Xiaomei. Of course, much of that was because of how much Bai Xiaochun himself had propagated stories about the little turtle.
Many people had even analyzed why he used a turtle as his mark. The explanation was that he had a reserved personality, but also maintained lofty aspirations. Like turtles, his medicinal pills would survive for thousands of years into the future.
Hou Xiaomei stood not too far off in the distance, her eyes wide with adoration. Because of Bai Xiaochun's urgings, she worshiped the little turtle more than anyone else in the sect. In fact, she'd even found other disciples like herself, and had formed something of a club, which they called the Little Turtle League.
"What?! The little turtle!" Hou Xiaomei nearly jumped up into the air in excitement as she pointed at the auction stage.
The entire auction floor had devolved into chaos. Now, people no longer said even a single comment in anger or skepticism. Instead, profound expressions appeared on their faces.
"He definitely pursues excellence to the extreme!"
"A proud Chosen such as the little turtle would never perform a spirit enhancement on a medicinal pill just to sell it at auction. He seeks the quintessence of the Dao of medicine. He did it as a means of research, because of his incredible focus!"
Even the Inner Sect disciples who had been in such pain earlier were now heaving sighs and looking at each other in dismay. All of them had to admit they they were incapable of pulling off a threefold spirit enhancement.
"Now I understand what type of Chosen he is. He's not insane, nor is he showing off. He has grand aspirations. He's completely focused! He wants his medicinal pills to reach the ultimate pinnacle!"
"Incredible! Shocking! This level of focus, this level of willpower, this type of perfect pill... we can all strive to imitate him!"
"A threefold spirit enhancement can raise an object's quality by three grades. That means... that this medicinal pill was originally mid-grade. The little turtle's skill in medicine concocting has already far surpassed my own. He definitely deserves his reputation!"
"That medicinal pill should be kept as souvenir! I must have it!" The Inner Sect disciples' eyes shone with a bright light. Although the pill wasn't suitable for them to consume, it could fill them with inspiration.
Looking at a pill like that made them feel as if they were looking at a Chosen who cared not for fame or fortune, who was completely focused, who strove only after the Dao of medicine.
Seeing how quickly the conversation had changed, Bai Xiaochun, who had been joining along in the public outrage, suddenly stared around with wide eyes. After hearing what people were saying, his face began to turn red.
"What... what are they talking about...?" he thought, trembling. He had never before realized how superior he was. Now that he suddenly saw the light, he had the urge to yell at the top of his lungs, to tell everyone around him that he was the famous Lord Turtle!
However, it was at this point that Qian Song cleared his throat and smiled.
"As all of you can see, this pill has great symbolic meaning. Minimum bid, 500 spirit stones. Bid increment is a minimum of 50 spirit stones!"
Bai Xiaochun gasped when he heard the astronomical price. Most Outer Sect disciples couldn't even afford that many spirit stones.
"600 spirit stones!"
"700 spirit stones! That pill contains the essence of the Dao of medicine! I must acquire it!"
"800! Who dares to top me!?" The Inner Sect disciples immediately began to call out prices, and soon everyone was in an uproar.
Bids continued to be called out, and soon the price reached 1,500 spirit stones. Bai Xiaochun's throat was dry, and he was panting in disbelief.
"Crazy!" he mouthed in excitement. "They're all crazy.... Wait, let's get a bit more crazy, people.... Come on!! Everybody join in!"
"1,800 spirit stones." That bid came from Zhou Xinqi, causing numerous people to look over in her direction. Bai Xiaochun even began to cheer her on.
The price had already reached the limit of what was possible for Inner Sect disciples to afford. Although none of them wished to let the pill go, they had no choice but to sigh. After all, Zhou Xinqi was already a Chosen in the Dao of medicine. Since she wanted the pill, none of the other disciples were willing to compete with her.
Bai Xiaochun was very pleased with the price, and had to hold himself back from running over to Qian Song, grabbing the auction hammer, and banging it down to end the bidding. However, it was at this point that the stubborn and determined voice of young woman rang out, fiery as a pepper.
"I am Hou Xiaomei of the Hou Clan. I bid 3,000 spirit stones!"