Translated By – DemonKiller
Checked and Edited By – DemonKiller
Proofread By – DemonKiller
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Chapter 1021: Is it a conspiracy?
Ning Cheng felt slightly disappointed; the Five-elements Primal Chaos Aura wasn’t the wood-attributed one he wanted. Even if he won the auction, it wouldn’t be useful to him.
“Since even a strand of Five-elements Primal Chaos Aura is so precious, why is it being auctioned at the Broken Spear Spirit City? Wouldn’t it be much more valuable if this person went to the Grand Essence Domain’s Heaven Essence Sacred City?” Ning Cheng asked. However, this wasn’t what he was thinking about; he wanted to ask who put up the strand of Five-elements Primal Chaos Aura for auction and where he got it.
The store assistant smiled and said, “I heard a rumour that the person who obtained that strand of earth-attributed Five-elements Primal Chaos Aura is the same one who leaked the news about it. It seems he knew he couldn’t keep that strand with him, so he decided to put it up for auction in the Broken Spear Spirit City. This place is at the edge of the Grand Essence Realm, with barely any powerful holy emperors. Thus, many people would naturally want to take their chances with it.”
Ning Cheng nodded. He agreed with this store assistant’s words. This place was the edge of the Grand Essence Realm. While the ten major forces and most of the Dao Fusion powerhouses lived too far away from here. Not to mention whether they could get the news, even if they knew about it, they might not be able to come to this place in time. Therefore, without the famous experts, ordinary holy emperors could take advantage of this opportunity.
“Then, why be so careless? Why would this person leak this information? Wouldn’t it cause everyone to speculate about where he got that thing from?” Ning Cheng immediately followed up; this was what he wanted to know the most.
The store assistant shook his head. “I only heard the rumour about this person leaking the information. I don’t know how true it is, and even if it was true, I’m not in a position to know why. I suggest you don’t try to look into it either. After all, inquiring about where things come from wouldn’t be good for anyone. Besides, the person who obtained that strand of Five-elements Primal Chaos Aura shouldn’t be a simpleton either.”
Ning Cheng simply smiled and cupped his fists to thank the fellow before leaving the merchant house.
The jade strip purchased from the store assistant had a lot of details; it contained information about most of the treasures up for auction and even some information about the auctioneer.
The auction would be hosted by a famous Chamber of Commerce in this border area, the Cheerful Treasure Chamber of Commerce. In fact, to show the importance of the auction, the Cheerful Treasure Chamber of Commerce even decided to hold the auction on the first floor of its headquarters, the Cheerful Treasure Mansion. A place usually reserved for the most important of auctions.
The jade strip also contained information about other upcoming auctions, but the only bit that caught Ning Cheng’s eye was the information about the Five-elements Primal Chaos Aura. However, Ning Cheng had no interest in attending the auction. After all, it was the same if he participated in it or not. What he wanted was the information about the location where this strand of Earth-Attributed Primal Chaos Aura originated.
The Cheerful Treasure Mansion’s momentum was only a level or two worse than the Pill Union’s Public Square in the Heaven Essence Sacred City. It even had a powerful defensive formation around it. The formation was powerful enough that even Ning Cheng’s most powerful formation would only be at par with it, if not worse.
“I have something to send for auction, and I want to find the head of this Chamber of Commerce.” Ning Cheng immediately stated his intention as he entered the Cheerful Treasure Mansion.
“Okay, but you will have to wait until the next auction in three months. The auction this time is already full of consigned items.” The person receiving Ning Cheng was a female cultivator working for the Cheerful Treasure Chamber of Commerce. Even so, she used the politest voice and manners to reject Ning Cheng.
Ning Cheng took out a jade box and put it on the table. “What I want to send for auction is a Dao Transformation Dao Fruit. If there is no way to send it to the auction in two weeks, I will look for another auction house.”
Hearing the words ‘dao fruit’, an old man with a yellow beard, sitting in the corner of the room, suddenly raised his head and immediately fixed his gaze on Ning Cheng.
Ning Cheng remained calm; he had already noticed that that yellow-bearded old man was a true master. After all, the female cultivator speaking with him was only a late-stage Eternal cultivator. While this yellow-bearded old man was a true late-stage Dao Transformation cultivator.
“Ming Ye, you should leave. I’ll handle it.” The old man stood up.
“Yes.” The female cultivator who rejected Ning Cheng quickly bowed and then carefully retreated.
Once the female cultivator left the room, the yellow-bearded old man walked up to Ning Cheng and pressed his hand down onto the jade box Ning Cheng had taken out. “Can I have a look?”
The yellow-bearded old man had a strange tingling in his eyes. Ning Cheng was only a Dao Sculpting cultivator and seemed like a rogue cultivator. Yet, such a cultivator had taken out a Dao Transformation Dao Fruit for auction. Reasonably speaking, such cultivators would be more careful with treasures, yet Ning Cheng showed no caution. In fact, Ning Cheng looked calm to the point he felt that Ning Cheng had everything in his palm.
Ning Cheng showed a faint smile, “Be my guest.”
Just a Dao Transformation Holy Emperor, he naturally wouldn’t feel afraid of such a character. If it came to a fight, Ning Cheng had full confidence in finishing off the yellow-bearded old man in front of him, so he had nothing to fear.
As for the yellow-bearded old man, he opened the jade box before immediately closing it. Although he still showed a calm expression, he felt utterly shocked in his heart.
Ning Cheng only seemed to be a late-stage Dao Sculpting Holy Emperor. So it was a truly shocking moment for him when Ning Cheng took out a Grand Amplification Spirit Fruit, a dao fruit that helps evolve a Dao Transformation Holy Emperor’s law-related spirit techniques. Although not considered a top-grade Dao Transformation Dao Fruit, it was not too far off and classified as a middle-grade Dao Transformation Dao Fruit. But more importantly, the one thing he lacked right now was precisely a Grand Amplification Spirit Fruit.
“I’m Cheerful Treasure Auction House’s Steward Ni Jing. May I ask this fellow daoist if you want to auction this dao fruit through us?” Ni Jing reluctantly put the jade box down and asked with cupped fists. He didn’t dare to ask about Ning Cheng’s origins. Some customers didn’t like people prying into their backgrounds, and as the steward of this auction house, he naturally knew about this very well.
Ning Cheng kept a faint smile as he said, “I don’t necessarily want to put this dao fruit for auction. But if the price is right, I can sell this dao fruit to the Cheerful Treasure Merchant House, and you can take it to auction whenever you want. However, I have a condition for selling this dao fruit.”
Ni Jing nodded. He would have been suspicious if Ning Cheng didn’t discuss conditions when speaking about selling their Cheerful Treasure Merchant House a Grand Amplification Spirit Fruit. In any case, everyone understood that selling such an item directly would get you a different price than if it was put up for auction, usually lower than an auction.
Ni Jing didn’t say anything and waited for Ning Cheng to state the conditions.
Ning Cheng knocked on the Grand Amplification Spirit Fruit as if reminding Ni Jing that what he was knocking on was a Dao Transformation Dao Fruit.
After knocking on it for a while, Ning Cheng finally spoke up, “I heard that this time your Cheerful Treasure Merchant House is putting up a strand of Five-elements Primal Chaos Aura for sale?”
Ni Jing replied with a calm expression, “According to the customer who came to consign it for auction, it is indeed a strand of Five Element Primal Chaos Aura. However, I have not touched this item, only seeing it through the restriction covering it and sensing the aura. The customer also wasn’t joking around with it and also not talking nonsense. As long as my senses weren’t deceiving me, it was indeed a strand of Five-elements Primal Chaos Aura.”
“You didn’t check it thoroughly?” Ning Cheng asked in surprise.
Ni Jing smiled, “This guest, you must be joking. It’s not a good idea to open and check such an item.”
Ning Cheng didn’t ask any more questions; he guessed it should be because Cheerful Treasure Merchant House couldn’t restore the restriction or re-conceal the aura if they opened it.
“Then, can I ask from where this fellow obtained that strand of earth-attributed Five-elements Primal Chaos Aura? Consider it as the condition for selling the dao fruit.” Ning Cheng stated it directly. Facing an old fellow like Ni Jing, no matter how he spun his words, the other party would know what he wanted. Better to just ask about it openly.
A faint smile appeared on Ni Jing’s face; apparently, he had already expected Ning Cheng’s question. “This fellow daoist, in anticipation of many people asking about this matter, the customer who brought the strand of Five-elements Primal Chaos Aura also made a jade strip containing the location from where he obtained it. It’s also one of the items he consigned for the auction.”
Ning Cheng thought, “Sure enough, other people also thought of the same thing.”
“Steward Ni, can you do this? Sell me that jade strip, and I can give you the dao fruit as payment. I believe that even if you put it up for auction, there won’t be anyone bidding higher for it than this.” Learning that the location was also up for auction, Ning Cheng no longer planned to take back the Grand Amplification Spirit Fruit.
Ni Jing still shook his head, “I believe what fellow daoist just said, a jade strip is far from worth a Dao Transformation Dao Fruit. However, I must tell you that the customer made ten copies of that jade strip.”
Ning Cheng’s face turned a little hard to look at, “Steward Ni, you mean that even if I purchase the jade strip now, once the auction ends, there would be other people who would know about the location as well?”
Ni Jing spoke up with some embarrassment, “The latter part of what you said is correct, but not the former. You can’t buy this jade strip right now. It’s not that we don’t want to, but because we have made a vow with that customer that those ten jade strips would only be sold through the auction. Even if someone offered a higher price than what you offered, we would not sell it before the auction.”
Ning Cheng’s heart thumped in dejection. He had experienced too many blows in a short period. Why would someone use such a thing as an auction item? After all, most people consigned things to auction for the sole purpose of more spirit crystals or other suitable cultivation resources. In layman’s terms, it was to get a little more money.
But now, this fellow even put up a clause of only selling it at the auction no matter how high the price he could get for it if sold in advance. There was only one reason; this fellow had put these items up for a different reason. Ning Cheng wanted to know about the location from where this fellow obtained the earth-attributed Primal Chaos Aura, but this fellow’s purpose was most likely to spread the information to as many people as possible.
If the ten jade strips containing the location of the earth-attributed Primal Chaos Aura were auctioned off, its information would most likely disperse to thousands of people overnight. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the entire Broken Spear Spirit City might learn about it within the night.
The fellow who created the jade strips definitely did it intentionally. But what exactly did this person want to achieve with this?
Ni Jing didn’t speak. Since Ning Cheng could understand this point, he naturally understood it. However, he or the auction house wasn’t responsible for such things. They wouldn’t care about what happened afterwards as long as they get their commission through the auction.
Ning Cheng silently put away the Grand Amplification Spirit Fruit. Since it was clearly a conspiracy, was there any need for him to waste a Grand Amplification Spirit Fruit? Moreover, he knew that Ni Jing was only telling him this because he wanted the Grand Amplification Spirit Fruit; otherwise, Ni Jing wouldn’t have even spoken about it.
Seeing Ning Cheng put away the Grand Amplification Spirit Fruit, Ni Jing’s eyes finally showed a change. “This fellow daoist, if you don’t want to use the Grand Amplification Spirit Fruit for the trade, you can still put it up for auction. You would definitely get more cultivation resources suitable for your level; maybe you could even reach the Dao Raising Realm with them in a short amount of time.”
Ning Cheng again put the jade box back onto the table and said slowly. “Dao Friend Ni, if you can show me that jade strip, I will give you this dao fruit.”
Ni Jing didn’t expect Ning Cheng to be so courageous, still daring to purchase the jade slip even after knowing it might be a conspiracy.
He naturally also understood why Ning Cheng addressed him as ‘dao friend’ instead of ‘steward’ this time. It was to remind him that he was also a cultivator. There wasn’t anything wrong with this reminder. After all, he was a cultivator first before a steward for the Cheerful Treasure Chamber of Commerce, which means that he also had to look for cultivation resources.
At this moment, Ni Jing fell silent.
Seeing Ni Jing not speaking, Ning Cheng knew he was hesitating and going over the choices in his heart. So he simply gave him a slight ‘encouragement’, “Could it be that what Dao Friend Ni said before was a lie? That there is no such thing as those ten jade strips?”
Ni Jing angrily grabbed a jade strip and raised it, “How could I lie to you? Is this not the jade strip? But I absolutely can’t show it to you. My chamber of commerce is all about reputation; since we promised our customers something, we will never go back on our word.”
Ning Cheng’s spiritual consciousness instantly broke through the restrictions on the jade strip in Ni Jing’s hand and went over the contents in just a few breaths.
Then, he spoke coldly, “Since it won’t work, let’s forget about it. Goodbye.”
It wasn’t known whether Ning Cheng was too angry or if there was any other reason, but Ning Cheng didn’t take back the jade box containing the Grand Amplification Spirit Fruit as he left.
Ni Jing quickly walked to the place where Ning Cheng was standing, and with a slight roll of his sleeve, the jade box disappeared without a trace. Some things could be done without explicitly stating it, which everyone understood. However, in his heart, he felt secretly shocked at the strength of Ning Cheng’s spiritual consciousness, which had allowed Ning Cheng to read the contents in just a few breaths. Earlier, he had thought Ning Cheng would need at least a dozen breaths to do it and prepared to keep up the act for that long, yet Ning Cheng didn’t even take two full breaths.