Chapter 191: The Official Opening
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Lin Feng sat upright in his seat as he quietly absorbed the countless psychic senses and interactions around him.
Most of these interactions were between independent cultivators and were messy and disorganized. He had to rely on the radiance of the small asteroid within the holy abode of the Pavilion of Heavenly Trade, which masks the characteristics of individuals' mana when used to search, to cover his identity and mastery.
Dealing and display were not person-to-person affairs but myriad psychic senses intertwined together to convey what each individual wished to buy. Many people's interests would be concentrated on a particular item, be it magic treasures and items or abhijna and mantra.
The concentration of psychic senses formed a small circle of projected consciousness.
Lin Feng was unable to identify every single source of the psychic senses unless somebody made a sound, or because of the small asteroid's radiance.
He was content and in a good mood as he had no interest in murdering someone for their goods in the first place. He picked a circle of consciousness with the greatest number of psychic senses and entered within.
A white patch of intense brilliance appeared and within it was a rock with a deep crater on its surface, and within the crater was a statue of Buddha.
The statue of Buddha sat on lotus flowers and a full moon wheel; its throne was supported by eight peacocks. On his right hand was a lotus and a bell was on his left, and its expression was stoic as its whole body was radiating brilliance. The statue was intimidating and possessed great power and influence.
A thought flashed across Lin Feng's head. "Is this the Forever-Bright Tathagata?"
At this moment, an elderly voice spoke from within the small circle of projected consciousness. "This was the Buddha Statue which originated from the Great Thunderclap Temple of old. It embodies the true Dharma of the Forever-Bright Tathagata. It's a pity I am not fated with Buddha and thus I am unable to seek enlightenment on the mysteries within."
"I brought it out today not for auction but for a buy-out price of eighty yellow talisman-dollars. If anybody likes it and can pay up, he can have it. If there's more than one interested party, the person that can resonate with the statue will take it."
Someone in the audience said, "We can detect traces of Buddhism from the statue, but that is all. There is no Dharma, and neither is there any power of the Buddha within the statue. The price of eighty yellow talisman-dollars is too high."
The elderly voiced replied plainly, "I will not haggle with eighty yellow talisman-dollars. If nobody wants it, I will just continue keeping it for myself."
Lin Feng was silently observing the Buddha statue and shook his head after a long while. There was indeed a pure Buddhist incense emanating from the statue, thus it probably was an authentic item from the Great Thunderclap Temple. However, the statue did not contain any mana or movement of spiritual energy.
In that case, there would naturally not be any mantra or abhijna left within the statue.
Yet Lin Feng felt a bit restless as he peered at the Buddha statue.
The seller of the statue was a stubborn one as he refused to lower the selling price and this caused many potential buyers to back out.
Many of them did not harbour high hopes at this auction as the participants were mostly independent cultivators making private deals amongst themselves. Put bluntly, they were here to pick up the pieces and scavenge.
Even though this description did not include the Aurous Core stage cultivators, eighty yellow talisman-dollars were still considered a hefty sum for them.
Talisman-dollars were the same as talismans. Lower level talismans were easier, but cultivators who were producing talismans at their own level had to expend an immense amount of effort and time. Furthermore, the purchase of the talismanic paper and ink already required expenditure.
Lin Feng contemplated as he watched the independent cultivators bargain and haggle.
The backgrounds of bigger sects were revealed by small details.
For example, the Mount Shu Sword Sect, the Yu Family, the Heavenly Master Sword Sect had their attention focused on the latter part of the auction.
To them, eighty yellow talismans were nothing.
The disciples of these sects were nothing like the independent cultivators. The independent cultivators went through thick and thin to obtain cheap deals and pick up the pieces, or they sold magic items in exchange for talismans or for resources for cultivation.
The disciples of these bigger sects just had to sit within the cave and cultivate peacefully. The holy abodes of the bigger sects were considered cultivators' paradise as they were ample with spiritual energy and had no lack of elixir and booster providence. It was no doubt more than enough for them.
On the other hand, the independent cultivators who were messing around here were all old fritters with only dozens of years of cultivation experience. Even though some of them may have had some form of savings and accumulation, they spent their days moving around outside to try and find resources for cultivation and this wasted precious time; cultivation would thus be much less effective than otherwise.
There was no lack of strong and resilient individuals among the independent cultivators; there even cultivators of the immortal soul stage who travelled the world. However, for independent cultivators to live a comfortable life they had to have to be at least at the level of the Miao Shihao. If independent cultivators with levels of mastery did not have a good master, their days would be hard.
"My sect still has a long way to go." Lin Feng thought to himself.
At this point in time, the Buddha Statue found a buyer and the deal ended. An unnamed independent cultivator finally made the hard decision to spend eighty yellow talisman-dollars to purchase the Buddha statue.
A huge red hand reached out from within the circle of projected consciousness and grabbed the Buddha Statue from inside the rock and subsequently disappeared in an instant.
As the Buddha Statue had a buyer, the circle of consciousness dissipated.
Lin Feng's consciousness withdrew as well. He thought to himself, "Why do I feel as if I missed something?"
He frowned as he extended his consciousness to the Avatar of Ares. "Wait by the door and see if anybody emerges from the holy abode of the Pavilion of Heavenly Trade."
The Avatar of Ares paused as it received Lin Feng's transmission and looked at the holy abode in front of him as he telepathically communicated to Miao Shihao using his mana, "Wait for a while."
Miao Shihao just greeted the owner of the Pavilion of Heavenly Trade, Song Fu, who was standing by the entrance. A sparkle flashed across his eyes as he received the projection, and he immediately stopped in his tracks and began to engage Song Fu in idle chatter. At the same time, he replied with another voice-projection, "What crazy idea are you thinking of now?"
''It's too early to say what we can gain from it. Wait and see," The Avatar of Ares replied.
Song Fu seemingly unintentionally glanced at the Avatar of Ares and continued chatting with Miao Shihao as if nothing happened.
The Avatar of Ares returned to its original state of heavy armour. It covered itself tightly, and it even put on the helmet that it took off initially.
Its attention was not focused on the entrance to the holy abode. Song Fu stood there to welcome incoming guests, but besides that, there were also independent cultivators who were making private deals exiting the holy abode.
"Oh? It should be him." A thought flashed across the Avatar of Ares' mind as it began to stare at an elderly individual exiting the holy abode.
This elderly individual was floating and his mana was fluctuating. He was a cultivator that recently entered the Aurous Core stage.
As he exited the holy abode, he carelessly tossed out a small rock.
As it happened, this rock fell in front of Zhu Yi and continued to drop. Zhu Yi extended his consciousness and mana to catch the falling rock.
The Avatar of Ares peered towards Zhu Yi. Zhu Yi observed the rock for a moment and subsequently passed it to the Avatar of Ares, and said, "Master, there is something weird with the hole in the centre of this rock."
"It is tainted by the aura of the Buddha statue." The Avatar of Ares shared Lin Feng's mind and consciousness but not his physical body. Their thoughts and minds were connected and it could immediately tell that this rock was the one just used to display the Forever-Bright Tathagata statue.
The hole in the centre of the rock was indeed used to display the Buddha statue.
The Buddha statue had been taken away by the buyer, leaving a deep crater in the middle. The Avatar of Ares scrutinized the surface of the deep crater and discovered thin grooves and lines, seemingly formed due to the length of time the Buddha statue spent sitting in the crater.
"There is something weird about these lines." The Avatar of Ares remained expressionless as it turned to look at Zhu Yi. "I'm afraid there's something fishy going on here."
The auction was about to begin. The Avatar of Ares wasted no more time as it brought Xiao Yan, Zhu Yi and Miao Shihao into the holy abode together.
Miao Shihao had his old seat within the Pavilion of Heavenly Trade, while the Avatar of Ares brought Xiao Yan and Zhu Yi to another seat nearby.
Lin Feng had already obtained information about the whole process from the Avatar of Ares, and thought to himself, "Zhu Yi's good fortune certainly wasn't a bluff. He was tripped by a rock as he exited the entrance - there is definitely something about this rock."
Just as he was deep in thought, the auction had officially begun. The Pavilion of Heavenly Trade controlled the holy abode, shut the entrance and completely descended into the void.
The centre of the holy abode resembled a dark cave, but suddenly lit up as countless lights began to appear and surround it; it became a huge sphere of light, something like a shooting star.
A shadow emerged slowly from within the sphere of light. It was one of the owners of the Pavilion of Heavenly Trade, nascent soul stage cultivator Song Fu.
"Everyone, today is the auction hosted annually by the Pavilion of Heavenly Trade, the grandest one there is. Thank you, my friends, for showing up to support us." As Song Fu spoke, he clapped his hands softly and a small blue pearl drifted out from the sphere of light behind him.
Rich water-type spiritual energy emanated from within as if it were of the ocean with the never-ending horizon.
However, the spiritual energy within carried an essence of violence and brutality. The waves of mana more closely resembled demonic power rather than that of Heaven and Earth or that of cultivators of the human race.
Song Fu introduced the item. "This is the Red-Eyed Azure Hydra's demonic core, and it has already attained the level of the pinnacle of demonic commanders. These kinds of water-type demons have extremely short tempers and will fight their enemies to the death for no reason at all. Obtaining the demonic core was no easy task."
"This demonic core's water-type spiritual energy is dense and pure. Most importantly, the product is complete and perfect and is devoid of any blemishes or defects. This is hard to come by."
Many buyers atop their own shining rocks within the void nodded their heads. The Red-Eyed Azure Hydra who had reached the pinnacle of the demonic commanders and about to form his demon soul was a force to be reckoned with as the situation could get ugly even if they were hunted and killed.
To maintain a perfect and undamaged demonic core was a difficult thing to do. Nascent soul stage grandmasters would have had no trouble obliterating the demons but could not guarantee that the demonic core would not be damaged.
The product was excellent; hence the price must naturally also be good. This demonic core's starting bid was eighty green talisman-dollars.
This price was exactly ten times compared to that of the Buddha statue dealt privately by independent cultivators. Furthermore, this was only the starting bid. The final price would be another multiple of the original bid, and if buyers compete and overbid, the final price would be even more outrageous.
Lin Feng had no interest in this demonic core as it was of no use to him nor to most of his disciples.
Compared to the demonic core, Lin Feng was much more interested in investigating the small rock used to display the Forever-Bright Tathagata statue.
He was extremely interested in the grooves and lines within the crater inside the rock.
Lin Feng's thoughts related to the Avatar of Ares, and he extended his consciousness deep into the lines of the rock.
Lin Feng focused and meticulously studied the patterns of the lines and faintly recognized that the patterns formed a painting or picture of some sort.
Within the painting was a Buddha sitting within a void with innumerable suns, moons and stars all around it, as if it focused all of the world's radiance and light upon the body of the Buddha.