Chapter 393: Unforeseen Changes
On the crystal platform, the white-haired auctioneer's saliva was spitting everywhere as he introduced just how mysterious this ancient cloth fragment was. In summary, he had put in his all in order to raise the value of this old cloth fragment by even a little. Unfortunately, the effect did not seem to be great. This was because some people on the auction ground had already become impatient during his patient introduction. Some of those who were bad tempered directly cursed out loud.
Hearing that the people below did not have any enthusiastic responses, the white-haired auctioneer could only helplessly shake his head. He swallowed his saliva and moistened his dry throat before speaking with a bitter smile, "According to what we determined, the base price of this piece of cloth fragment is one hundred thousand. Now, the auction shall begin."
As the voice of the white haired auctioneer fell, the enormous auction ground immediately became completely quiet. Some of the gazes which were sweeping over the platform were like they were trying to find an idiot. Who would spend one hundred thousand gold coins to purchase a broken thing, which one did not even know if it is real or fake? Moreover, even if one had the money, one would not randomly spend it like this, no?
Under the black robe, Xiao Yan's gaze stared intently at that ancient cloth fragment. If it were not for his face being covered by the shadow of the Doupeng, it was likely that anyone could see just by looking at his face that he was filled with excitement. He inhaled a deep breath and forcefully suppressed the agitation in his heart. His reasoning told him that now was not the best opportunity to state a price. Should his action attract the doubt and attention of the very large factions up front, it was likely that the thing would end up landing in someone else's hand. At the very least, Xiao Yan clearly knew in his heart that it was impossible for him to contend against those faction with his current wealth.
TL: Doupeng - conical bamboo hat with a cloth attached to it to hide one's face
The white-haired auctioneer couldn't help but shake his head helplessly as he eyed the silent auction ground and the countless mocking gazes. In his heart, he repeatedly slandered those fellows who evaluated the price. Although this cloth piece was of an ancient origin, it was, after all, only in a fragmented state. Moreover, the information that was revealed on it was clearly insufficient to let someone identify exactly what it was hiding. Under this situation with numerous unknowns, even he himself did not have much confidence that it could successfully be auctioned off at the price of a hundred thousand.
The silence in the auction ground continued for five minutes when the auctioneer finally sighed. He was just about to announce that the auction time was up and had fallen through, when a voice sounded suddenly, causing him to heave a great sigh of relief.
"One hundred and ten thousand."
The faint voice broke the silence within the auction ground. Countless number of gazes moved toward the voice before finally stopping on the body of a black robed figure near the front row. Some muttering sounded.
"Is there something wrong with that fellow's mind? Spending one hundred and ten thousand to purchase a broken thing which has an unknown use?"
Not only the human crowd at the back, but also some of those factions at the front threw a somewhat strange gaze toward Xiao Yan, whose body was wrapped in the black robe.
The Junior Sect Leader of the Blood Sect tilted his head toward Xiao Yan. His brows involuntarily furrowed slightly. For some unknown reason, his heart kept having an extremely cautious feeling toward this mysterious person. Now that he saw him actually issuing a bid for the first time, it was difficult to say if there was any use for the ancient map fragment. A strange feeling shrouded his heart, one that could not be shaken off.
Fan Ling shook his head. He mused for a moment before narrowing his eyes. Those eyes of his flickered as he stared at the slightly swaying ancient cloth piece on the hands of the auctioneer.
The auctioneer on the crystal platform also quietly sighed when he heard someone finally placing a bid. He lifted his head and smiled as spoke in the direction where Xiao Yan was at, "This sir has bid one hundred and ten thousand. Is there anyone who wants to raise the price?"
Countless number of people rolled their eyes when they heard the auctioneer's words. Did he really think there were so many idiots in this world?
The auctioneer also clearly knew that this question was redundant. He smiled awkwardly for a while before smashing the auction hammer in his hand.
An ice-cold voice suddenly sounded, causing the auction hammer in the auctioneer hand to stiffen. An uncertain gaze followed the source of the voice and looked over, only to find that the Junior Sect Leader of the Blood Sect, Fan Ling, was slowly standing up. He was immediately startled as he smiled and said, "Junior Sect Leader, you are...?"
Fan Ling ignored him. Under everyone's gaze, he turned his body and used his dark and cold gaze to watch the black-robed person who sat in the chair without moving. Suddenly, he laughed and said, "Nothing. It is just that I am suddenly a little interested in this thing. One hundred and thirty thousand."
Under the black robe, the originally slightly excited gaze had suddenly become sharp. The fist under the robe was tightly clenched. The black robe trembled slightly as Xiao Yan's gaze passed through the hat and stared thickly at the pale-faced young man. A faint Dou Qi involuntarily began to surge forward within his Qi Paths just like a roaring lake.
"Do not be agitated. It would not benefit you to be in disarray now!" Just as the Dou Qi in his body was involuntarily about to gush out, Yao Lao's soft cry woke Xiao Yan from his fury just like a thunder during the spring season.
Xiao Yan inhaled a deep breath of air. In the eyes of a countless number of people, Xiao Yan appeared to be lazily leaning against the soft back of the chair. His voice was indifferent, as though he was carelessly fighting with someone because he was piqued, "One hundred and fifty thousand."
Xiao Yan's increased price caused Fan Ling to lift his brow. Within this auction ground, other than those people who similarly had a strong faction behind them, Xiao Yan was the first lone ranger who dared to openly compete with him.
"Two hundred thousand." This Junior Sect Leader of the Blood Sect stared at Xiao Yan for a long while before waving his hand. He added another fifty thousand to the price.
"Junior Sect Leader." Seeing Fan Ling's action, the old man beside him could not resist standing up. Earlier, it was still understandable if they spent a large amount of money during the auction for the Flying Dou Technique. However, now Fan Ling was spending some unnecessary money to fight with someone. This really did not match Fan Ling's old character.
"Sit down!" Fan Ling's expression became cold. He coldly cried out at the old man and the hostility which flashed across his face caused the old man to feel a chill in his heart. He could only shrink back.
A bidding competition, which had appeared in a baffling manner, immediately caused the gazes in the entire auction house to become stunned. None of them knew just what craziness this Junior Sect Leader was displaying. He had actually suddenly used his money to fight with a random stranger. This kind of thing, which hurt others without benefiting oneself, was really quite exotic.
Of course, other than these people who were totally confused in the auction ground, the auctioneer on the crystal platform parted his mouth and smiled. He did not expect that this thing, which had been thought of having not much use, had actually caused two people to compete for it. Moreover, one of them was the rich and powerful Junior Sect Leader of the Blood Sect.
Xiao Yan's hand gently trembled in his sleeves. He tried his best to regain his composure.
"Don't continue competing with him. If we continue in this manner, the other factions might end up seeing some clues. Currently, this Fan Ling should be raising the price to probe you because of some doubts. However, if you persist in continuing to fight with him, you might expose some of the value of the mysterious map fragment. When that time comes, it will be very difficult to be certain that the other factions would not join in. With your current financial ability, you cannot contend with those who have been accumulating their wealth over many years." Yao Lao's deep voice suddenly sounded just as Xiao Yan's unresigned heart had planned to once again increase the price.
"Then what do we do? Don't tell me we should allow this map fragment to slip away right in front of my eyes?" Xiao Yan ground his teeth as he replied.
"We must definitely obtain the 'Purifying Lotus Demon Flame'. Therefore, we must completely gather these maps. However, we cannot reveal even a little of anything related to the 'Purifying Lotus Demon Flame'. Therefore, it is best not to let this map fragment draw too much attention in public. Otherwise, one cannot be certain that it would not be recognized by a very knowledgeable and experienced person. Even though there is only half of the drawing on the map. If it reaches that point, there would really be big trouble." Yao Lao slowly said.
"Teacher, you mean that we should let Fan Ling take the map away?" Xiao Yan said with a frown.
"Since he wants it, let's temporarily give it to him. However, I have also said that the thing must definitely be ours." Yao Lao's voice was somewhat icily cold.
"Teacher is thinking of taking action after the auction to snatch it?" A dense understanding flashed across those black pupils as Xiao Yan whispered in his heart.
"It is just as you have said. We must obtain that map fragment at all cost. Even though he is the so called Junior Sect Leader of the Blood Sect, we also don't need to have any hesitation." Yao Lao laughed coldly, "Since this fellow wants it, let's give it to him first. Do not appear to pay too much attention over this thing in order to avoid incurring other people's suspicion."
Xiao Yan slowly exhaled. He quietly nodded and forcefully suppressed the rolling and surging thoughts in his heart. The dark and dense gaze under the Doupeng glanced at Fan Ling while his body shrunk into his chair. He did not open his mouth again.
Seeing this action of Xiao Yan, Fan Ling's brows furrowed immediately. Did he sense wrongly? This fellow acted randomly when he bid on this item?
As this thought ran through his mind, Fan Ling's expression also became somewhat ugly. Those surrounding gazes, which were shooting at him like they were watching an idiotic lunatic, caused the corner of his mouth to twitch a little. He snorted coldly, turned around and sat back in his chair. His face was so gloomy that it was frightening.
"Ke ke, Junior Sect Leader Fan Ling has bid two hundred thousand gold coins for this map fragment. Is there anyone who wants to raise the bid?" The auctioneer smiled as he asked the crowd. However, there was no one who replied him. Therefore, he readily and hurriedly hammered the auction hammer down.
Xiao Yan's body quietly sat on the chair. A few groups of auctioned items were changed on the stage. However, none of the attracted Xiao Yan's gaze. His gaze was partially focused on Fan Ling's back. A dense, savage smile on his face, under the black robe, was gradually becoming bigger.
That Fan Ling had thought that by randomly bidding, he would be able to obtain a treasure map of great value. Unfortunately, even though he finally obtained the treasure map, he had also obtained a death pass along with it.
Xiao Yan must obtain that map fragment, regardless of any means! No matter where Fan Ling ran to after this, he would receive a fatal attack hidden within the darkness!