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Translator: Silavin & Danny
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
“Shopkeeper Tong!” A voice reached Shopkeeper Tong, who turned his head to look. He smiled slightly and cupped his fist in return when he recognized it was an acquaintance, “Shopkeeper Jin!”
Shopkeeper Jin was also an elderly man. Both he and Shopkeeper Tong were Second-Order Open Heaven Realm Masters, and were both unfortunate cultivators. They had always been at the bottom of the 3,000 Worlds, struggling and striving for every small profit, exerting themselves for a mere dozen Open Heaven Pills.
But now, both of them looked radiant, beaming and buoyant in spirits. If Shopkeeper Tong could see the bright future of Void Star City, how could Shopkeeper Jin not see it too? Now, all they needed to do was wait for the popularity of Void Star City to rise before getting back to work.
“What is it, Shopkeeper Jin?” Shopkeeper Tong asked while wondering, [This old fox always only appears when there is something that could benefit him.]
Both of them had been doing business in the Star City and were fond of each other’s character after having dealt with each other on numerous occasions.
Shopkeeper Jin chuckled, “This Jin is here to congratulate Shopkeeper Tong.”
Shopkeeper Tong snickered in response, “What is there to congratulate?”
Shopkeeper Jin replied, “Void Land’s doing something big and the Star City is going to be promising in the future. As part of the group who stayed behind, we will naturally be the first to reap the benefits. Isn’t this something worth congratulating?”
“Congratulations to you too then. Didn’t Shopkeeper Jin stay behind as well?”
Shopkeeper Jin sighed, “En, I was forced to stay, but I didn’t expect it to be a blessing in disguise. When Shopkeeper Sun and the others find out, they will probably rot in regret.”
The mentioned Shopkeeper Sun was one of the shopkeepers who escaped from the Star City as soon as the situation in Void Land deteriorated. It was truly expected that such a drastic change in circumstances would happen in Void Territory.
“What’s meant to be will be, it can’t be forced if it’s not.” Shopkeeper Tong chuckled.
Shopkeeper Jin pointed to the bustling construction activity in the Star City in front of them, “Shopkeeper Tong, this Jin probed Senior Chen earlier. The remaining shopkeepers like you and I can get a new shop lot at our original site. On top of that, we’re not required to pay rent. In other words, the shops will be yours and mine in the future, and no one can take them away.”
Shopkeeper Tong was overjoyed when he heard this, “Is this really true?”
Shopkeeper Jin nodded, “It’s absolutely true. This is what Sir Chen Tian Fei said.”
“That’s really great,” Shopkeeper Tong clenched his fists tightly. Although he managed to open a shop here before, he was only renting the space and didn’t own it. Now that Void Land had rewarded them all with new stores, stores that belonged to them, it was indeed great news. Whether they would operate the shops themselves or simply rent out the space, it was guaranteed to make a profit.
After pondering for a while, Shopkeeper Tong asked, “What about Shopkeeper Sun and the others?”
Shopkeeper Jin sneered, “Shopkeeper Sun and the others left the moment the Star City fell into troubled times. Do you think they’ll have a share of the shops even if they come back?”
Shopkeeper Tong nodded when he heard the words, “Void True Monarch is indeed fair with rewards and punishments.”
Regardless of whether they stayed back intentionally or were simply forced to, they stayed in the Star City and maintained its remaining population, that was why Void Land was willing to give them a new store. As for those who abandoned them, why would Void Land care about their interests?
Shopkeeper Jin added, “Now, Void Star City has expanded to more than five times its original size, with plentiful shops and grand architecture, as well as immaculate organization. It can be imagined that the Star City will definitely be very popular in the future, and every inch of this place will definitely be worth a fortune!”
“Shopkeeper Jin is right,” Shopkeeper Tong nodded in agreement.
Shopkeeper Jin turned his head to look at him, “Shopkeeper Tong, you and I are both people without any backing. Back then, all I could do was some small business. It’s rare to have an opportunity like this, so doesn’t Shopkeeper Tong want to do something big?”
Shopkeeper Tong frowned slightly, “Both of us have no connections nor any backing, how do we do something big?”
Shopkeeper Jin balled up his fist, “As long as we have capital, we can naturally do something big! Just with the funds you and I have on hand, even if we occupy a store, it’s hard to be too ambitious. We’ll probably just continue dealing in small trades.”
Shopkeeper Tong frowned and sighed, “What Brother Jin said is exactly what this old man has been worried about these days. Whatever plan it is, capital is still the problem!”
Shopkeeper Jin’s eyes blazed, “It’s easy to get the capital, it just depends if Brother Tong is willing to take a gamble with me.”
Shopkeeper Tong’s eyes lit up, “Does Brother Jin mean…”
“Tomorrow will be the first auction of Void Star City. Void True Monarch said it himself that they will be auctioning a Heavenly Yuan Seal Stabilizing Pill. This is our chance!” After Shopkeeper Jin finished speaking, he gave Shopkeeper Tong a meaningful look, “Brother Tong, I know you’ve been selling your entire inventory over the past two days at any cost. Don’t tell me that you have no plans for the Heavenly Yuan Seal Stabilizing Pill?”
“Hmm…” Shopkeeper Tong silently cursed the cunning old fox. He was able to catch a clue as soon as a move was made. It was pointless to deny it now, so Shopkeeper Tong simply nodded and admitted, “Yes, this Tong does have some plans for the Heavenly Yuan Seal Stabilizing Pill, but this pill is precious, and this Tong is low on funds, so I’m just doing my best and leaving the rest to destiny.”
Shopkeeper Jin smiled slightly, “How about we work together?”
Shopkeeper Tong was moved when he heard the words, “How shall we cooperate?”
“Neither of us has a lot of funds, at least not enough to compete with the few big Shopkeepers still remaining in the Star City. If they participate in the auction, you and I may not be able to succeed. Since that’s the case, why don’t we pool all of our funds together and give it our all? It would be excellent if we succeeded, and we’ll just accept fate if we don’t! We’ll re-sell the Heavenly Yuan Seal Stabilizing Pill at the right time when the price is right, then split the profit equally between the two of us.”
Shopkeeper Tong frowned deeply, struggling with his thoughts.
Shopkeeper Jin stood by and waited quietly without interrupting. He knew that Shopkeeper Tong would not reject his proposal; after all, it was a decision that was beneficial to both parties, unless Shopkeeper Tong had enough money to triumph over other competitors without his aid.
Sure enough, after a while, Shopkeeper Tong looked up decisively, “Good, let’s do it together!”
After saying that, he raised his palm forward, and Shopkeeper Jin raised his own palm to meet his. After three shakes, the two old foxes grinned knowingly.
The auction was held as scheduled without any publicity or marketing campaign, the only participants being the few cultivators who were still stranded in the Star City. There were not many people, a few thousand at most, of which some forty to fifty were Low-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters, with only a handful being Third-Order and the rest all weaker.
The Void Auction House was still under construction, and Yang Kai’s requirements were not low. Yun Xing Hua was naturally not able to finish the construction within three days.
Therefore, the auction was held in the original auction house of the Star City.
Although Void Star City did have its own auction house, that didn’t mean other great forces didn’t have one. No one knew which great force owned this particular auction house, but it was already empty now, so Void Land did not need the consent of others to requisition it.
Although the number of people who attended the auction was small, it was extremely lively.
Void True Monarch had previously said that the auction item was a Heavenly Yuan Seal Stabilizing Pill, but no one had seen such a rare Spirit Pill before, so they all worried whether Void Land really had such a precious treasure.
And now was time to verify their doubts. Whether what Void True Monarch said was true or false would be revealed today.
Shopkeeper Jin and Shopkeeper Tong sat together, their heads leaning in together from time to time, while looking around silently observing potential opponents.
It did not take long before the auction stage lit up, the lights converging on a beautiful silhouette that was slowly making its way onto the platform.
The commotion in the audience suddenly died down as everyone turned their eyes to the stage, to see that the person who stepped on the platform was a slender woman with a beautiful face, looking no more than 30 years old, dressed in a light blue dress.
Many in the audience stiffened at the sight of this woman, not because of her beauty, but because of her shocking identity. Over the past few days, they had also come to be more familiar with the Masters of Void Land, so this woman was readily recognized as soon as she appeared.
She was an Elder of Void Land named Lu Xue, with a Fifth-Order Open Heaven Realm cultivation!
Those who participated in the auction were at best Third-Order Masters. In normal times, how would they dare stare at a Fifth-Order Open Heaven Realm Master so recklessly? However, now they were given a chance to look at one all they wished.
Lu Xue felt a little lightheaded, and her chest suddenly became tight.
She was forced to take up this task. Although she was a former Manager of Sword Pavilion, she had never hosted an auction before. Among all the Open Heaven Realm Masters in Void Land, the cultivators of Abundance City had never participated in an auction ever, and had no clue on the auctioning procedure at all. Chen Tian Fei, Yun Xing Hua, and the others who were good at administrative and public works were all swamped with their own tasks, so Lu Xue was the only suitable candidate to be the auctioneer. Fortunately, although she had never hosted an auction before, she had participated in many. Besides, there was no need to raise enthusiasm or rile up the crowd for this auction, so it was not a difficult task.
She took a deep breath and thought about how she could crush everyone in front of her with a snort, allowing her nerves to quickly calm down.
Lu Xue had a somewhat aloof personality, so she did not say much and just immediately started the auction.
Since it was an auction, they could not possibly be auctioning off just a single Heavenly Yuan Seal Stabilizing Pill. Void Land had also prepared some other items suitable for the cultivators in the audience. Void Land had harvested plenty of loot when the Hundred Sect Alliance was wiped out, so it was just right to take some small things out to meet some of the auctioning demands.
This was a unique auction, because all the items, regardless of their value, had a reserve price of 1 Open Heaven Pill. Many cultivators were ecstatic when they found this out and did not hesitate to increase the price.
However, the financial resources of the people here were limited, and no matter how much they increased the price, no item exceeded 1,000 Open Heaven Pills so far, with most selling for around 100 or so.
No matter how one looked at it, this auction was a big loss for Void Land, because the market value of every auctioned item was far more than it was auctioned off for.
However, everyone knew that Void Land was willing to take a temporary loss to reap a long-term gain. The objective today was to raise the Star City’s popularity, therefore, it was understandable to take a small financial loss.
Fortunately, since all the items were essentially a steal, even if Lu Xue did not say much, the crowd was incredibly fired up and the bidding audience was not mellow at all. For these people, no matter what they bid for, they were guaranteed to make a profit, all they needed to do was wait a little while before re-selling these items.