Chapter 258: Dreaming to be an Alchemist
Translator: WQL Editor: EbonyFrost
None of the guests sitting downstairs had noticed that since the first product of a master alchemist was displayed, the red-robe muling of them Sun Dynasty and the general of the Norman Empire expressions had became increasingly grim. It seemed that they were becoming a bit nervous and paying more attention to the following items being auctioned today, especially to that product from a master alchemist.
Not only the people in the chartered rooms, even many guests downstairs were startled. For some reason, the number of products from master alchemists seemed to be a bit more than usual today. They knew that the products of master alchemists were rarely seen in the auction house in the past years. What happened this year? Who was that generous?
Zhang Tie skimmed through the brochure and found that introductions on the products of a master alchemist were the simplest.
--There were several more products of master alchemists to be auctioned today. At the request of the client, we have to keep these items a secret before the official procedures start. Therefore we won't tell you the details here. Thank you for your attention.
After the sun-stone necklace, there were some more products of a master alchemist to be auctioned.
The second product of a master alchemist was a Pato-stone ring which was used to make people calm and more quick-witted. As the favorite of all the field commanders and other professions concerning intelligence, this ring was fixed at the final price of 49,000 gold coins.
The third product of a master alchemist was a pair of earrings made of nickel-iron meteorite, which were used to increase focus and rapidly enter a meditative state. This product could reduce one's chance to be affected by a devil when in meditation by 50%. Therefore, it was also a treasure of cultivators and was finally taken away at the price of 52,600 gold coins.
The fourth product of a master alchemist was a forehead ornament made of lazurite. Its effect was to nourish and mobilize one's spiritual energy as well as increase one's perception. Therefore, it broke a new record--62,800 gold coins.
When the lazurite forehead ornament was displayed, the atmosphere in the house became heated as nobody would have imagined that four pieces of a master alchemist would appear in this annual Sauls winter auction. In the past, there were only one or two pieces. What happened today? What was even stranger was that all the patterns of these items were for women. They seemed to be one set of ornaments for a woman.
'That's impossible! Even the queen of the Norman Empire would not be that exaggerating by having such set of priceless ornaments made by a master alchemist' Many attendees mumbled inside.
Even if Zhang Tie had felt something wrong with this auction as a hidden flow and restlessness was silently in an upsurge. As a result, when they heard that there was another product from a master alchemist, many people were shocked as they sprung up from their seats. At the same time, the sound of someone taking a deep breath had drifted throughout the auction house.
"The following item also comes from a master alchemist. It's a pair of bracelets made of garnet with its special properties completely activated. It is definitely the favorite of all the women as it could maintain one's beauty and keep one's youth. Additionally, it could improve one's skin, increase one's vitality of qi and blood as well as the health of the organs that are concerned with the female reproductive system..."
Zhang Tie's eyes then fixed on the projection wall behind the auction block with the auctioneer's gesture. The photo of that pair of garnet bracelets had been enlarged by many times, allowing people to see its details.
In Zhang Tie's eyes, it was not a pair of average garnet bracelets. It looked purple among the garnet red, making it completely like the average ones. However, what was weird was that on the surface of the garnet were some mysterious fine grains that penetrated from the inside. Zhang Tie had not seen the same grains on other average garnets. If this pair of bracelets were not large enough, those mysterious, fine grains could almost not be noticed by Zhang Tie from his position.
Could it be the mark left by the master alchemist after tapping and activating the abilities of the stones? This seemed to be the only difference between them and those average garnet bracelets which could be bought at the price of 10-odd silver coins besides that this pair of garnet bracelets looked more brilliant than average ones.
He was right.
"As you can see, these three stone flowers have been activated by the master alchemist on the pair of garnet bracelets, which represents that the three special properties and abilities of the garnet stones had been activated. As the first lot that has three attributes in this auction, it could not help you fight or cultivate; but it could make a woman more beautiful and healthier. Therefore, the starting price of this pair of bracelets was 38000 gold coins. Each mark-up should not be lower than..."
Before the auctioneer finished talking, a person on the 2nd row in front of Zhang Tie couldn't wait to open his mouth, "50,000 gold coins!"
"You'd like to take away this pair of bracelets with only 50,000 gold coins!"
"56,000 gold coins!"
"58,000 gold coins..."
"60,000 gold coins..."
In a short while, the price of that pair of garnet bracelets had surged over 70,000 gold coins, which price had scared off many people who had offered at the beginning. But there were still some rich and powerful guests were bidding for that.
As a classical Chinese allusion went--touch a stone and turn it into gold. Only immortal beings in the the Chinese myths and legends could make that. However, at this moment, seeing the average-looking garnet stone turning into an item which was tens of thousands more expensive than the gold of the same weight, Zhang Tie felt it was never too exaggerating to describe it using the above classical Chinese allusion.
Sitting on his own seat, Zhang Tie kept trembling at each mark-up. It was not because of fright, but because of his own excitement.
"100,000 gold coins!" A person sitting on the first row of the auction house abruptly stoop up. After this offer, that person moved away her cloak and hood. Meanwhile, she took off the brass mask on her face. When she turned back, everybody saw a 40-odd woman's face who looked still enchanting. She had rosy cheeks, bending and long eyes. Beside this, she also looked sharp and had a killing intent. She glared at all the guests behind her and aggressively said with a smile, "This mother will have this pair of bracelets. Who dares to grab it from me?"
"Black widow!" Some guests behind him took a breath of air while someone mumbled.
The auction soon restored quiet.
Although Zhang Tie didn't know her true status, judging from her look, it seemed that many people knew her status. Additionally, this woman seemed also terrifying. At least nobody wished to offer more than 100,000 gold coins to buy a pair of bracelets at the cost of offending this woman.
Seeing nobody else uttering any voice, the woman turned back and fixed her eyes on the auctioneer without saying anything more. Taking the small hammer, the auctioneer forcefully swallowed her saliva, "Someone offers 100,000 gold coins. Is there any higher offer? No? 3, 2, 1, sold!"
As the small hammer smashed down, that woman called black widow took a seat again. By then, the auctioneer's forehead had been covered in drops of sweat.
"The next item is the last product of a master alchemist in this auction..."
Hearing the auctioneer's words, all the guests became startled, causing an uproar.
"What? One more product from a master alchemist? Is this Sauls winter auction the exclusive one for master alchemists?"
"That's impossible. It's been the 6th one. Even in greater auctions, people could also hardly see so many products from master alchemists in one auction!'
"If we were notified earlier that so many products from master alchemists would be auctioned this time, we would have been more prepared. The Sauls auction house should notify us at least 1 month in advance so that we could have prepared an appropriate amount of funds. What's your purpose of not notifying us before the auction?" Many people started to complain about the Sauls auction house.
"If I was notified one month in advance, I would never have given up that pair of Pato-stone rings!"
"The Sauls auction house has to give a proper accounting!"
"We need justice!"
Zhang Tie looked around the auction house in an interested way. Even the two people beside him became so excited as they stood up and loudly complained. These people were blaming the Sauls Auction House for not having fulfilled its obligation to provide them with accurate details. As each of the product from the master alchemist would cost tens of thousands gold coins, even 100, 000 gold coins. It was not a small amount of money for anyone at present. For some people at the present, if they didn't have it prepared well in advance, it would be hard for them to even afford one product.
The auctioneer in the stage became pretty embarrassed as she could not respond to so many complaints at the same time. When the crowd became increasingly more furious, causing the auction to be unable to continue, a 60-odd man abruptly appeared in the stage.
When the old man appeared, the auctioneer hurriedly retreated to the backstage. Meanwhile, Zhang Tie also noticed that even though the auction became a bit disorder, from the beginning, the representatives of the Sun Dynasty and the Norman Empire sitting in the chartered rooms upstairs hadn't make any expressions at all.
"May I have your attention please..." The old man looked around the house. Hearing his words, the furious and complaining crowd instantly became quiet. Many people seemed knowing the status of this old man, "As the director of Sauls Business Group, I'm very regretful about your troubles in this auction. But I have to honestly tell you that as the sponsor of this auction, we were only made aware that a batch of alchemical products would be auctioned here one day ago. Therefore, we didn't have time to share that information with all of you. Additionally, until 10 minutes before the start of this auction when this batch of alchemical products were escorted to this auction house did we didn't know what they were. We're also shocked by them. However, we cannot refuse the owner's request for keeping these alchemical products a secret.
"Who?" A low voice drifted from a brass mask, "Who's the commissioned auctioneer of this batch of alchemical products? Such a request and attitude was rude for Sauls auction house. We want to know whose request is it that the Sauls Business Group could not refuse!"
Standing in the stage, the old man took a deep breath, "It's the Selindor Clan which entrusted the Sauls auction house to auction the former alchemical products, including the final pair of alchemical products!"
Hearing his reply, the whole house became quiet. The Selindor Clan was also the famous Iron-Gate Clan, the ruling clan of Kalur City. The development of the entire Kalur region greatly benefited from the painstaking effort of the whole Iron-Gate Clan for many generations. Zhang Tie remembered that when they attended the survival training, the "Iron-Gate T21" crossbow carried by Fatty Barley was produced by the Selindor Clan. Magnificently situated in Kalur City, this clan was also the most powerful military supplier and machines manufacturer in the former Andaman Alliance. Compared to this clan, the Gregory Clan in Blackhot City was just a rural nouveau riche.
For some reason, Zhang Tie faintly felt that something big would happen in this auction today.
"If you have no more questions, we'll come to the last alchemical product today. Because this alchemical product is very special and has not been auctioned in the history of Sauls auction house, perhaps you have not really seen such an alchemical product from such a short distance, therefore, when it is displayed after a while, please keep calm and not attempt to move closer to watch or touch it in case of unnecessary troubles and dangers. For this, we will take steps, sorry for that!" After saying this, the old man clapped. Instantly, a team of full-armored soldiers walked out from the backstage as they surrounded the stage and basically isolating the auction block from the guests.
After this team of soldiers formed a perimeter, two people in white gloves lifting one silver metal suitcase respectively walked onto the stage from backstage. After that, they carefully put the suitcases onto the display case of the auction block. They then opened the suitcases and adjusted the items in the suitcases from a horizontal position to a vertical position for convenience so that everyone could see them clearly. Meanwhile, the projector on the auction block had magnified the two items' images in a clearer way.
Given from the look, the two items were like two huge "ostrich eggs" made of special material. Their hulls were covered with black and white spiral grains. Nobody knew what they were. At least Zhang Tie became completely muddle-headed when he saw the two "ostrich eggs". He wondered what precious items they were that could arise the auction house's attention so much.
Among them, only the two military officers of the Sun Dynasty and the Norman Empire in the chartered rooms upstairs changed their faces at the sight of the two "ostrich eggs". They then lowered heads to talk with their own general or red-robe muling.
"You should have heard about the two items. Especially in recent days, the Sun Dynasty and the Norman Empire respectively threw 1 or 2 of these items into the opposite cities!" The old man obscurely explained. After a short quiet, the house suddenly became noisy.
"What? You mean they were alchemical bombs--the only thermal weapon in the Black Iron Age?"
A high-pitched voice sounded while everyone else was shocked. Even Zhang Tie eyes popped out of their sockets.
"Right, the two items are alchemical bombs--the only thermal weapon in the Black Iron Age, also the last alchemical items today. By now, the explosive equivalent of the most powerful alchemical bombs made by alchemists in the Sun Dynasty and the Norman Empire were respectively 350 kgs 500 kgs of TNT. However, the explosive equivalent of each of the two alchemical bombs you can see here are 1 ton of TNT."
Saying this, the director of Sauls Business Group in the stage forced a bitter smile as he stretched out his hand, "Don't ask me what does it mean by explosive equivalent and TNT as I don't know them either. These words were technical terms used by alchemists to measure the power of alchemical bombs. They came from the age before the catastrophe which were strictly regulated. I'm just echoing what the books say. I asked a professional about the power of a 1 ton TNT explosive equivalent before I was here. I was told that such a bomb could destroy the whole auction house, the Sauls hotel above it and all the people inside!"
Hearing such an explanation, everybody including Zhang Tie were shocked.
After looking around, the director of Sauls Business Group continued, "The starting price of each bomb is 1 gold coin. Two persons' bidding are available at the same time . Bidding starts now..."
1 gold coin for 1 alchemical bomb with terrifying power?
Are you kidding me? You might not be able to buy such terrifying weapons at the price of 100,000 gold coins. Because all bombs are strategical weapons in the hands of the country and big powers. Nobody would actually sell them at all, let alone buying one at the price of 1 gold coin. Alchemists were both terrifying and awesome because in this age only they could produce this kind of terrifying killing weapons that almost didn't belong to this age.
None of those at the present were idiots, almost in a split second, they understood why they could see the representatives of the Norman Empire and the Sun Dynasty here and why two alchemical bombs to be auctioned at once?
"1 gold coin!"
"1 gold coin!"
When the whole house became so quiet that even a needle dropped onto the ground could be heard, two voices drifted from the two chartered rooms upstairs. Besides, nobody else dared to bid. Even those people who had complained loudly that they had not prepared enough money and missed the possibility to buy an alchemical product also became as quiet as a stone. They seemed not having seen the "great bargain" at all.
"1 gold coin, 1 gold coin, two people had bidden. Is there any higher offer? No? Well, that's the deal!"
The hammer hit down, making a sound that was more crispy than any time before like a lonely applause after a performer finished a lonely performance on the stage of the theater.
At this time, the people inside the chartered room upstairs had already walked downstairs, "We need to check the item" The red-robe muling who was holding his gold mace in a distant expression just now looked as black as charcoal. Observant people could even see that red-robe muling was holding his gold mace for forcefully that his finger even looked white.
"Sure!" The director of Sauls Business Group nodded while the soldiers left a path for him.
Seeing one military officer of the Sun Dynasty walking over there, the general of the Norman Empire also nodded to that military officer beside him. Therefore, the military officer of Norman Empire also arrived there in a short moment.
Under the gaze of the crowd, the two military officers started to check the items in the silver suitcases. In less than half a minute, the two military officers in solemn expressions nodded to the red-robe muling of the Sun Dynasty and the general of the Norman Empire respectively. After leaving 1 gold coin respectively, they arranged well the bombs and left the auction block with suitcases.
After that, the representatives of the Sun Dynasty and the Norman Empire left.
At this time, all the guests cast their eyes onto the director of Sauls Business Group. Even Zhang Tie understood that this auction was just a tool that the Selindor Clan used to send a message and demonstrate its strength.
It was not a simple auction, but a big event that could influence the situation of the Kalur region and the process of the war between the Sun Dynasty and the Norman Empire. There were two key information points on this big event: first, the Selindor Clan had gained the support of a master alchemist, whose ability was far greater than that of the top alchemists in Norman Empire and Sun Dynasty.
Everybody was watching that person on the auction block and waiting for him to say something. Even as a silent prop and a witness, they all had the right to know something.
As was expected, under their expecting eyes, the director of the Sauls Business Group finally revealed a message.
"The Iron-Gate Clan will announce today that their next clan head is -- Alexia Selindor. Alexia Selindor had married a master alchemist when she was learning in the Oriental Continent. Everything of Iron-Gate Clan including Kalur City would be under the protection of that master alchemist. Those alchemical products auctioned today were small gifts sent from that master alchemist to the Iron-Gate Clan"
The whole auction house became silent once again.
After a long while, someone among the guests sighed, "Then, the war between the Sun Dynasty and the Norman Empire on Kalur would almost come to an end!
At this moment, that voice and that aspiration in Zhang Tie's mind became clearer than ever.
This was a dream that Zhang Tie had been striving for since he was born for the first time, a dream that made Zhang Tie's blood boil.
In the dream, Zhang Tie was greater than having the Midas touch which could tun stone to gold.
He could save the whole city...
He could change a war...
He could be the largest reliance and honor of everybody beside him...
The auction continued. Finally, Zhang Tie ring of energy was sold at the fixed price of 21600 gold coins, making Zhang Tie's purse bulging once again.
Soon after Zhang Tie's ring was sold, a line appeared in Zhang Tie's mind.
--The space spiritual being of Castle of Black Iron has formed into being. The management panel of Castle of Black Iron has completed the first intelligence upgradation. Spiritual connection and interaction between Castle Lord and the Castle of Black Iron through the space door has been established...
Soon after this line disappeared, Zhang Tie had felt that his spiritual energy in his mind was shocked as a great amount of spiritual energy started to pour into that strange arch door in his mind. At this moment, that arch door was completely like sponge, it constantly absorbed his spiritual energy inside. In less than 1 minute, there was only a wisp of spiritual energy left in Zhang Tie's mind.
When Zhang Tie's spiritual energy was almost completely dried, that marvelous arch door slightly trembled as its color suddenly became verdant and full of vitality.
It was not comfortable as his spiritual energy was drained in a fast way. In the past short minute, Zhang Tie had a splitting headache. He even felt frustrated. However, after that marvelous arc door changed its color, Zhang Tie felt that he had established a deeper and closer contact with the Castle of Black Iron.
Previously, he felt that he and the Castle of Black Iron were in two different worlds separated by the arch door. Only after he pushed open the door could he feel the inside of the Castle of Black Iron. However, now, that arch door seemed having disappeared as the entire Castle of Black Iron had integrated with him on the perceptions.