The Thousand Gold Market Bone was the largest trade center in all of Run Province, maybe even in the Cangwu Star Field.
Unlike marketplaces, the Thousand Gold Pavilion conducted their sales by highest bidder. This was slightly similar to the auction system that Chen Mo was all too acquainted with, and in truth, this was indeed the case.
Every evening the Thousand Gold Pavilion would hold a small auction. At the end of the month, there would be a large auction, and all items would be precious items that would be difficult to purchase at market squares.
Many Star Generals and cultivator sects would fight tooth and nail for the items on auction. Sometimes, even rare treasures like Purple Rose Grade Astral Treasures or Imitation Heavenly Books would appear in the Thousand Gold Pavilion. These times would attract a storm of blood.
One might ask, since the Thousand Gold Pavilion was able to possess treasures that even top-notch Star Generals would drool over, then would not the items of Thousand Gold Pavilion be vied for, could it be that even cultivators and Star Generals auctioning off these treasures not be tempted themselves. This is where the behind the scenes operations of the Thousand Gold Pavilion should be explained.
In truth, no one was fully aware of what happened behind the scenes in the Thousand Gold Pavilion, but everyone knew that the force operating a business like the Thousand Gold Pavilion was one of Star World’s Hundred Schools – the “Currency School,”1 for in ancient times, 貝 meant “currency.” This Currency School could be said to be a merchant enterprise while the Money School was engaged in the field of commerce.
Its founder was “Sage Of Business” Fan Li,2 who was famous in Star World. She was also one of the people who managed the property of the Purple Rose Star Emperor’s “Su Clan Legion” back then simultaneously alongside Noble Star Little Whirlwind. But the Noble Star managed internal business while Fan Li managed external. That the Purple Rose Star Emperor was able to unify Star World, Fan Li’s contributions could not go unstated.
Under this kind of historical background, the Thousand Gold pavilion was established. It could be said to be another channel of the Central Star Field, after all, this “Sage Of Business” was one of the Purple Rose Star Emperor’s people. Thus, all across the Inner and Central Star Fields, the Thousand Gold Pavilion towered proudly and possessed high prestige. Many cultivators and Star Generals who obtained treasures were willing to come to the Thousand Gold Pavilion to barter.
After hearing Mi Fu’s explanation, the three of them had already arrived in front of the Thousand Gold Market Bone.
The exterior of the Thousand Gold Market Bone was a classic Song dynasty style building. It was beautiful, gorgeous, full of variations, colored glass and glazed tiles, aquatic flowers and partitions, as well as pavilions and terraces of every kind of complex shape; the structure was exquisite beyond compare.
Countless men and women dressed in magnificent clothes entered and left the pavilion, very bustling.
“They say the Central Star Field’s Thousand Gold Pavilion even once auctioned off an ‘Imitation Heavenly Book,’ causing quite the sensation, which is why the Thousand Gold Pavilion is so famous right now. There are also many Sisters willing to come trade.” Mi Ji looked at the golden characters on the signboard and sighed.
“Imitation Heavenly Books” were knockoffs of the Xuannü of the Nine Heavens’ “Heavenly Books.” Legend said they were able to create Heaven Ranks and that Star Warriors were also able to use them, so Star World was astounded whenever one was put up for auction, attracting the competition of the Ten Great Sects. Although a Star Warrior was able to cultivate Star Energy, creating Heaven, Earth, Dark, and Yellow Techniques was very difficult, especially the Heaven Rank. It was practically the dream of a lifetime.
The three of them reached the Thousand Gold Market Bone, and a maid welcomed them.
“Sister Ji, you’ve finally arrived.”
“Last night I gave my friends a welcome party. How are things?” Mi Fu asked.
“A set of items arrived at the shop. One of them is a True Work of Wang Xizhi, the Orchid Pavilion Preface. The Pavilion Master would like you to go verify its authenticity.”
“How can it be the Orchid Pavilion Preface, it’s likely a fake.” Mi Fu did not hesitate to render her judgment.
“The Pavilion Master wants you to examine it.”
“Very well. Right, Little Yun, help me arrange seats for these two, look after my friends.” Mi Ji instructed.
“Yuezhuo, Chen Mo, I need to go for now, but I’ll be back later. Look through the auction first. If they’re selling ‘Five Qi Origin Return Powder,’ buy it at all costs.”
The Five Qi Origin Return Powder was a medicine for condensing a Primordial Spirit. For Human Immortals who wanted to quickly condense their Divine Soul into a Primordial Spirit, the Five Qi Origin Return Powder was the fastest method. However, since this was a medicine to condense a Primordial Spirit, it was naturally in great deman. Let alone Star World’s Human Immortals who filled the place, Primordial Spirit Realm Earthly Immortals were also very few in number. In the Ten Great Houses, those whose Realm reached Primordial Spirit were all at least among the sect’s inner Law Protectors, or even Elder-level existences.
“This must be very expensive.” Jiang Yuezhuo was a bit uneasy with the estimate. Scholars were always very poor.
“I live in Run Province, and I’m always helping the Thousand Gold Pavilion appraise inscriptions, paintings, and calligraphy. I’ve got a lot of money, so don’t worry.”
“How can we let you waste your money like this.” Chen Mo objected.
“How’s this a waste. As the Currency School says, this is an investment. After you reach Earthly Immortal, I’ll naturally get a greater payoff.” Mi Ji shrewdly smiled.
Chen Mo was unable to refute her.
“Please follow me, you two.” Little Yun smiled.
Entering the Thousand Gold Market Bone, the interior was a very large hall. The design was a spiral staircase, and encircled in the center was an immense platform of white jade, packed to the brim with interesting and appealing decorations.
Little Yun brought Chen Mo and Jiang Yuezhuo to the third floor. The view was not bad, and the maid steeped their best tea, Phoenix Homeland. Although it could not compare to Secret Cloud Dragon, only the wealthiest and most respectable customers of the Thousand Gold Market Bone could enjoy that.
“You two are Elder Sister Mi Ji’s friends, this tea is specially brewed for you.” Little Yun spoke as she skillfully poured the tea.
The fragrance permeated their lungs, relaxing their minds.
Chen Mo knew that this tea was extraordinary from the first whiff.
This fragrance very quickly attracted the gazes of nearby tables.
“Little Yun, I’ve never seen these two before, where did these dear customers come from that you actually brewed Phoenix Homeland!”
“Won’t you introduce them?”
“They are friends of Elder Sister Mi Ji.” Little Yun warmly made introductions.
The cultivators sitting in the seat of honor cast enamored glances towards the beautiful Jiang Yuezhuo. However, they were somewhat skeptical of the Chen Mo beside her, and a few were even hostile. Mi Ji was a Star General, and she was considered a bit famous in Run Province. Her friends naturally be Star Generals, too, but what the hells was with that man appearing next to two beautiful Star Generals.
“Since these are friends of the Unknown Literati, nice to meet you. Your Servant is Nian Xuesong,3 Star Warrior, disciple of Elder Under The Pine.” A man in a long robe cupped his fist in salutation.
“Nice to meet you, Your Distinguished Self.” Jiang Yuezhuo warmly returned the compliment. Her counterpart wanted to surreptitiously learn her Star Name, but Jiang Yuezhuo was not that foolish.
Chen Mo rolled his eyes.
Elder Under The Pine, this name was quite odd.
At this time, there was a commotion in the hall.
A crowd of people walked into the Thousand Gold Pavilion.
These people wore uniform maple leaf yellow long robes and skirts. Their leader was a woman dressed in a light yellow deep garment. Coiled around her was a talisman-like belt of decorations. Her short hair was level with her ears, and a marking dotted her forehead.
The girl’s lips were thin, her figure ramrod straight with a heroic air.
Seeing these people appear, the noisy Thousand Gold Pavilion suddenly fell silent.
These men and women seemed to have come from the same sect. Each of their gazes were haughty, as if they were looking down from above. The woman coldly snorted and walked towards the upper floors, her pace like a tiger’s.
“Why is even she here?”
“Looks like tonight’s auction has a treasure that enticed the Spring And Autumn.”
Everyone whispered in succession.
“Even the Spring And Autumns’ people have come. Seems tonight’s battle will be very intense. This is bad. I hope they aren’t after Master’s target.” Nian Xuesong muttered.
The Lü Spring And Autumns’ sect disciples sat in the VIP seats of the third floor. The group sat perfectly straight, like green pine trees. That tiger-step Star General that the others called Lü Meng sat with her legs splayed out,6 haughtily sitting in her chair as she drank tea that a maid served.
“The Lü Clan Spring And Autumn?”
A thought flashed through Chen Mo’s mind.”
“What’s the background of this Spring And Autumn?” Chen Mo asked.
“Is Your Distinguished Self unaware?” Little Yun was very surprised. She glanced around, then quietly explained while pretending to serve him tea: “The Lü Clan Spring And Autumn is the Cangwu Star Field’s largest sect, and they’re also one of Star World’s Ten Great Houses. However, they’re unlike the others. The Spring And Autumn was established by the forefather of the Hundred Schools’ ‘Miscellaneous School,’ Lü Buwei,7 without outside help. They possess a blessed background that no other sect has.”
The current headmaster of the Lü Spring And Autumn was “Demonic Empress” Lü Zhi.8 Her ambitions were as unfathomable as her methods were callous. Reportedly, she wished to induct all Star Generals with the surname Lü into the Lü Clan Spring And Autumn.
The Ten Great Sects all had plenty of Star Generals, but not one of the sects expended as much effort as Lü Zhi did in roping Star Generals of the Lü surname into their sect. Furthermore, Lü Zhi had practically succeeded; there were several dozen Star Generals in her sect.
In the Cangwu Star Field, the Spring And Autumn was on the level of the government.
“That Lü Meng is one of the Spring And Autumn Sect’s ‘Three Great Generals.’ Her martial arts are outstanding, and she has some skill even when compared to the Great Generals of the Sixteen Star Marquis.”
Chen Mo nodded. He had heard of Lü Meng’s name before, probably from History of the Three Kingdoms.
The expression “General Lü Meng of the southern state of Wu” was also considerably famous.
And his achievement of crossing the river in civilian clothing to execute Guan Yu was even more astonishing.
But Chen Mo actually had no recollection whatsoever about Lü Xiang. Little Yun said that she was an expert in calligraphy and literature; she was a spiritual power Star General.
Although the Lü Spring And Autumn would also dispatch people to participate in the Thousand Gold Pavilion’s auctions, rarely would they make their Three Great Generals appear. Evidently, there was something very precious to the Spring And Autumn in this auction.
Little Yun handed the auction list to Chen Mo.
He perused this auction’s items.
The items were far beyond what he had anticipated.
A True Work inscription of the engraver Yan Zhenqing.
Openwork Jade Carving.
Purple Leek Jade Sprout Ointment.
Kalpa Heavenly Bottle.
Five Qi Origin Return Powder.
Some apparently very familiar secret books.
There was apparently nothing special.9
Wait a sec.
Chen Mo spotted a mystery item at the end.
“What is this mystery item?”
“This is one of the Thousand Gold Pavilion’s large auctions, so there will be unusual items for the finale. I’m not very clear about that.” Little Yun shook her head. “But I heard it’s related to the Connecting Valley.”
CHen Mo nodded, pensive.