Chapter 314: Dragonfruit
In just three small lines of dialogue, Tang Jing immediately kicked off the auction.
It was befitting nonetheless. For soul cultivators, auctions didn't require all the long primers one might expect from one run by commoners. So if Tang Jing were to say anything longer for this one, the entire audience would find it extremely inappropriate.
As soon as he announced the start of the auction, Tang JIng walked off the podium and returned to his own seat.
A thirty-year-old man came up to the podium next and bowed to the audience. "Ladies and gentleman, I am Lu Fan, your host for today's auction. While I'm sure that everyone here is accustomed to how this auction works, there are a few first-timers here. So please allow me to give a refresher on the rules and regulations."
Up on the podium, Lu Fan wasn't speaking so loudly that he was screaming, but it was loud enough for the entire audience to hear him. His voice was deep but clear, and the amount of soulforce coming out from his body clearly marked him as a very strong soul cultivator.
"Please allow me to first say that the items that will be auctioned today are not from the Tang. The house of Tang are only the organizers of this auction and were only entrusted with protecting and allowing the items to be sold here today.
"There will be, of course, a reward for them.
"The currencies that'll be used for today's auction will be primal stones. Primal stones of every element are accepted provided that they are of low quality, and guests are allowed to use soul armament, soul crystals, and other items similar to them as barter. We, the house, will accept and trade in those items for primal stones.
"If the master of the auction house is willing to trade and 'convert' items for primal stones, there won't be a need for the Tang to do the conversion.
"The bidding will take place as per norms; if there are no higher bids within a minute, then the item will go to the final bidder at that price.
"After the bidding is complete, you may trade in your primal stones for your item, or you may continue bidding for other items. We will wait until the auction is over for you to make the transaction if needed."
"That will be all. Your host has nothing more to say, so...allow me to present the very first item!"
After a brief introduction of the rules, Lu Fan immediately waved his hand to signal to the people to the side of the stage. Shortly afterwards, a beautiful young woman came walking onto the podium with a expertly-crafted wooden box about half a meter squared in length.
Despite the box being closed, everyone could sense a faint red glow emanating from within the box. From that, everyone could guess that it was an item with an affinity for fire.
"The very first item is a very magical type of herb." Lu Fan announced to the audience. Brandishing his right hand, he opened the box and retrieved the item inside.
"It's...a three-thousand year-old dragonfruit!"
As soon as the box was opened up, a brilliant gleam of red light jumped into the sky. The farther it got away from the source, the fainter the red light became, but there was enough of it to fill the entire auction house, and the temperature in the area seemed to go up several degrees as well.
The dragonfruit was completely red and shined a brilliant shade of red. Even despite it being as big as someone's fist, the dragonfruit shined brightly like a ball of fire to everyone else.
No sooner did the dragonfruit appear did the entire auction house devolve into a buzz of discussion. No one imagined that the very first item to be auctioned would be such a priceless herb.
Dragonfruits were extremely rare types of magical herb ingredients. Ones that were a thousand years old in age were already considered priceless, but this one was somehow three-thousand years old!!
It'd be no exaggeration to say that the consumption of the dragonfruit would equal to a Soul Ancestor training for several years!
Back when Bai Yunfei was tryin to form a second essence fireseed, he was lucky enough to have a dragonfruit on hand. It was only a thousand-years olds, but even then, it was squandered on him. The amount of drugs used that day was used up at great speeds and without much absorption.
It was only because of Zi Jin's adamant nature to help Bai Yunfei that he was able to use the drugs since Huangfu Nan was extremely heartbroken to see all those resources used up.
The chaotic fluctuation of soulforce coming from behind Bai Yunfei startled him. Turning around, he could see Zhong Liyan's eyes lighting up in joy as he honed in onto the dragonfruit with them.
"That dragonfruit is....mine!!"
He was extremely determined to obtain it.
Up on the podium, Lu Fan could tell just how excited the audience was getting. "I presume I don't need to explain to everyone how precious this dragonfruit is.
"So now, this three-thousand year old dragonfruit will have a starting price of a thousand primal stones. Let the bidding begin!"
"A thousand primal stones!" Bai Yunfei grew alarmed. He knew that the dragonfruit would surely net a considerable sum of money, but a starting price of a thousand was completely unexpected. It'd be a different story if the currency being used was gold pieces, but primal stones meant that this item was extremely more valuable. Low-grade primal stones like the one being used as currency right now weren't worth much, but a thousand of them was definitely a considerable sum of money.
To further drive this point home, students of the Crafting School were only allowed an allowance of thirty low-grade primal stones per month. The only way to increase their allowance was to contribute to the school and be rewarded for it in primal stones.
There was a standardized conversation rate from between primal stones. A hundred low-grade primal stones was equivalent to a single mid-grade primal stone, and a hundred mid-grade primal stones was worth a single high-grade primal stone. But even though the amount of energy contained in a hundred high-grade primal stones was equivalent to a single top-grade primal stone, only an idiot would make the trade.
While the conversation rate seemed fair, only a few people would be willing to trade a higher quality primal stone for any number of inferior quality ones.
"A thousand one hundred!"
No sooner did Lu Fan announce the start when someone from the left called out his bid. The middle-aged man in question wore a dark-red robe and stared intently at the dragonfruit in anticipation.
"A thousand two hundred!"
From the middle, another person called out his bid.
"A thousand three hundred!"
"A thousand five hundred!"
Under the bewildered expression of Bai Yunfei, the people of the audience started to increase the price one after another. In a short minute, the price had gone from a thousand primal stones to two thousand five hundred.
But by this point, the amount of bidders was far fewer than before. And soon enough, only the first bidder and another old man was left bidding for it.
When the old man announced his bid for two thousand five hundred, the other middle-aged man was clearly starting to hesitate as he debated whether it was worth bidding for.
On the podium, Lu Fan only gave a small smile at the bidder. He didn't urge the man, and neither did he bother to try and encourage him. The bidders weren't the main characters of the auction, so in his perspective, there wasn't a need to do anything.
After the dragonfruit was finally sold, the auction could continue onwards. The items after it were rare beyond rare, but none were as awe-shocking as the dragonfruit. It would appear that the dragonfruit was meant to be an item to help make the auction have a strong start.
Seated in his corner of the room, Bai Yunfei continued to watch each item be brought in and bidded for with excitement. Whenever someone started to bid on the items, his heart started to beat with increasing tempo.
After half the day went by, Bai Yunfei was starting to feel that these primal stones may as well be like small pebbles with how abundant they were in numbers here.