"The next product for the auction is a bottle of blood essence of a Red Tailed Macaque Monkey. It is a Xian Tian level ominous beast. Its a rare material for making magic charms. The base-price of this product is one-hundred low-grade spirit stones. Also, each subsequent bid should be higher than the previous bid by at least twenty spirit stones."
Shi Mu sat up with his back straight when he heard these words. The trace of an exhilarated look also flashed through his eyes.
He then saw that the middle-aged Confucian scholar who was in the center of the hall held-up a yellow calabash-like vial in his hand. He then started to showcase it in all directions.
Shi Mu restrained his excitement deep in his heart. But, he didnt come up with his bid in an impatient manner. He rather decided to be a spectator in the beginning.
The extracted blood of apes and monkeys-class Xian Tian ominous beast was considered very scarce. Therefore, there were many people in the hall who knew about it and its importance. Consequently, people started to make their bids one-after-another.
Soon, the quoted price rose to two-hundred-and-sixty low-grade spirit stones. Eventually, nobody came forward to raise the bidding price any further.
"Two-hundred-and-eighty spirit stones," Shi Mu opened his mouth and said.
"Three-hundred spirit stones," the voice that had been scrambling over this item rang out again.
"Three-hundred-and-twenty spirit stones," Shi Mu countered.
The voice that had been competing so far finally turned silent, and subsequently gave up.
"There are no further bids So, the extracted blood essence of this Xian Tian Red-Tailed Macaque Monkey ultimately turns over to this friend who quoted the final price," the middle-aged Confucian scholar said.
Shi Mus face gleamed with the trace of a blissful smile. It was apparent that he could ascend a step further in the Art of Breeding a Strong Evil Ape now.
"I put forth three-hundred-and-forty spirit stones," suddenly, a voice resounded in the hall; it seemed somewhat familiar to Shi Mu.
Shi Mu turned his head and looked towards the source of the voice. He saw a familiar figure in the front row. He was dressed in blue clothes. He was Shentu Guang, and he belonged to an influential family. Moreover, he was the same man who had been pestering Zhong Xiu before.
Shentu Guang also turned around. It seemed as if had felt Shi Mus stare. He then flashed a mild smile to Shi Mu. There was a touch of a provocative expression in his eyes.
"Four-hundred spirit stones," Shi Mu countered.
Many people in the hall issued a loud shout in excitement. The extracted blood essence of a Xian Tian level ominous beast was quite a rare and precious thing. However, the current bid-price was slightly on the higher side.
Therefore, many surrounding people began to talk about it.
"Four-hundred-and-twenty spirit stones," Shentu Guang spoke-up at a moderate pace.
"Five-hundred spirit stones," Shi Mu said after a little hesitation.
"Five-hundred-and-twenty spirit stones," Shentu Guang countered.
The droning sound of peoples discussion increased as this happened. Some people looked into Shi Mus eyes, and noticed that a thoughtful expression was floating therein.
Shi Mus complexion sank. He didnt spring up to speak anything in response.
This price was already the bottom line that he could bear.
"Shi Mu, I am infuriated now. The spirit stones are indeed incredible!" Cai squatted on Shi Mus shoulder. He then whispered while staring at Shentu Guang.
"Is there anyone who wants to bid again?" the middle-aged Confucian scholar looked at Shi Mu as he asked.
Shentu Guang also turned his head and looked into Shi Mu's eyes in a ridiculing manner.
A moment passed, but no new offer was made.
"Well, I would request this Young Master to come over here. This Red-Tailed Macaques blood belongs to you now," the middle-aged Confucian scholar said.
Shentu Guang shot a glance at Shi Mu in a contemptuous manner. Then, an air of complacency surrounded him as he walked over in front of the middle-aged Confucian scholar. He threw a small bag of spirit stones, and received the yellow vial. After that, a ray of light flashed in his hand, and the vial vanished into thin air.
The auction picked up its pace as usual after this small interlude. And, the subsequent products of auction also grew increasingly rare with the lapse of time. And, the atmosphere of the hall gradually became fervent to its maximum limit.
Moreover, often the subsequent items for auction had to go through a very intense competition before the dust would eventually settle.
Shi Mus heart fluttered with excitement several times during this period. But, he didnt have enough spirit stones in his bag to make his bids.
Suddenly, he raised his head and looked over his head.
He clearly felt a faint fluctuation in the space. It was very weak. However, it seemed as if air was rippling over the surrounding peoples head in this hall.
The fluctuations in space couldnt be sensed by those who didnt have spatial-element induction-force. In fact, it was difficult to sense even for those whose own strength and the potency of this spirit sense was quite formidable.
Shi Mu swept his vision around the hall, and felt as if only he could sense the strangeness that prevailed in the hall.
"What happened? Shi Tou?" Cai asked since he had noticed that Shi Mus expression had changed.
Shi Mu shook his head, but didnt speak anything.
Then, Shi Mus pupils suddenly congealed, and he saw a persons silhouette walking out of Princess Yue Nis private room that was on the second floor of the hall. This individual had long red hair This person was Liu An!
Liu An then glanced at the clamorous crowd around him, and a strange look emerged in his eyes. But, it only stayed there for a fleeting moment before it faded away. Then, he walked towards the exit of the hall with an expressionless face.
That trace of strange look had stayed in Liu Ans eyes for a split second only. But, it was still captured by Shi Mu.
A faint golden gleam flashed in Shi Mus eyes as he watched Liu Ans silhouette fade into the exit door. An idea rolled through his mind the next moment.
He pondered for a moment. Then, he stood up and walked over to the other exit.
"Shi Tou, are we heading back?" Cai asked.
Shi Mu let out a groan in a gentle manner. Then, he sped-up his footsteps.
A sense of inexplicable palpitation was faintly lingering in his heart.
Shi Mu was about to step out of the halls exit. But then, a few figures suddenly appeared in front of him and blocked his path. The leader of this small group was a blue-dressed man; he was actually Shentu Guang!
"What's the matter with you people?" Shi Mu enquired.
"This thing Mr. Shi seems to want it very badly," Shentu Guang waved his hand and a yellow vial appeared in his hand. It was the same bottle of blood essence of an ominous ape that had been auctioned a while ago.
However, Shi Mu didnt speak anything. He only gazed at Shentu Guang.
"This thing is useless to me. But, Your Excellency wants it badly. So, we can talk about it," Shentu Guang spoke-up with a broad smile.
"It looks like Mr. Shentu has a proposition. It would be better if you get right to the point and speak out instead of following the roundabout method," Shi Mu replied.
"Well, I wont beat about the bush since it turns out that Mr. Shi is also a straightforward man. I bought this bottle of blood essence only because I wanted to exchange it for Your Excellencys parrot. What do you say?" Shentu Guang stated.
Shi Mu was struck dumb for a moment as he heard his words. He then glanced at Cai on his shoulder, and a silhouette flashed through his mind. He immediately understood the crux of this matter.
"Well, I earnestly wish for this too! And, there is no benefit in following this sinister man, Shi Tou. He doesnt even give me delicious food to eat. But, this new Young Master seems to be an outstanding man. Also, his family has tons of wealth. So, I presume that he wont treat me like Shi Tou does" Cai didnt wait for Shi Mu to open his mouth. He quickly jumped-in and shouted.
"Ha ha, I will surround you with loads of delicious foods!" Shentu Guang was exhilarated as he heard this. He then looked at Shi Mu in a mocking manner, and said with a loud laughter.
Shentu Gunags companions also burst into a loud laughter.
Shi Mus complexion turned red and blue out of anger. He then shot a furious look at the parrot.
"Fine, I agree," Shi Mu spat out these words from the gap between his teeth.
Cai shot a contemptuous glance at Shi Mu. Then, he spread its wings and flew over to Shentu Guangs shoulder in a cheerful manner.
"Mr. Shi, please receive this thing then. I will get this good bird a nice tree-house, and lots of good food. I will keep you very happy." A smile gleamed across Shentu Guangs face as he tossed the yellow bottle gourd towards Shi Mu. After that, he patted Cai in a gentle manner.
Shi Mus complexion turned unsightly. He resentfully looked at Shentu Guang and his companions once. Then, he strode toward the exit.
A burst of laughter resounded again from behind. It also had a touch of ridicule to it
Shentu Guang contemptuously watched Shi Mus silhouette step out of the hall. And, his heart overwhelmed with happiness when he remembered how he had been humiliated by Shi Mu twice-before.
"You are called Cai, right? Follow me from now on. You can get whatever you want to eat if you stay obedient to me," Shentu Guang said to Cai.
Cai nodded in a repetitive manner as if a chicken pecking rice grains.
"However, you have to do me a favor as well. You will have to make Miss Zhong Xiu fall in love with me," Shentu Guang spoke-up.
"No problem. Its a piece of cake for me. Just leave this matter to me," Cai patted his wings and replied while sticking his chest out.
Shentu Guangs brimmed with exultation as he heard his reply.
"However, let me tell you one thing straight. Im a noble parrot. And, I dont want to be closed in a cage," Cai added.
Shentu Guang nodded in agreement without thinking about this matter for a second.
"Brother Shentu, the auction is still going on. There is the possibility that they may continue to auction a lot of good things. Lets go back quickly," a yellow-robed man looked all fired-up as he said in an urging manner.
Shentu Guang was already in a blissful mood. So, he waved his hand and returned to the hall along with his group.
In fact, there were many things that he still wanted to buy at today's auction.
Shi Mu stood on a crowded street outside the auction hall. And, that street seemed like an endless stream of people. He let out a soft breath. The wisp of inexplicable palpitation had also disappeared from his heart by now.
He stood motionless on the street. It seemed as if he was waiting for something.
A shadow flew over from the third floor of the Sparkling Gem Pavilion after some time. It hovered in the air for a moment. Then, it flew toward Shi Mu; it was none other than Cai!
"Ha ha, that fool was too easy to swindle! I only executed our plan. Then, I came back," Cai landed on Shi Mus shoulder and laughed out loud.
Shi Mu flashed a mild smile.
"Shi Tou, you were lucky to have a quick-witted bird like me in this instance. You didnt spend a single spirit stone. Still, you grabbed that bottle of apes blood essence. How do you want to thank me?" Cai said.
These two had already communicated with each other to make a plan. They had then collaborated to play a cheap trick with Shentu Guang.
"Well, you indeed rendered a meritorious service this time..." Shi Mu smiled. He was about to say a couple of words to applaud Cai.
However, something strange happened all of a sudden.
A dazzling blood-light flashed from the Sparkling Gem Pavilion. The blood-light then shone from all four exit corridors of the meeting hall. It seemed as if a blood-red sun had appeared in the hall.
Moreover, it also seemed that the source of this glaring blood-light was the auction hall on the first floor.
The pedestrians on the street also began to stop one-after-another. They seemed awestruck as they looked towards the Sparkling Gem Pavilion. They started to point their fingers, and started to talk about it spiritedly.
They didnt know what had happened in the Sparkling Gem Pavilion. But, the blood-light was sufficient for them to conclude that it wasnt an auspicious sign.
Shi Mus complexion also changed as he looked at the scene in the front.
He sensed that the glaring blood-light was permeated with a kind of intense and dreadful murderous aura; in fact, it was very cold and gloomy.
Moreover, he also felt that this dreadful aura had the same unique feeling that he had felt in the Dead Spirit World.
"Is it possible that..."
The image of an assassin-like figure appeared in Shi Mus mind. It was actually Liu Ans silhouette!
The security guards and the disciples of the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult stood outside the four doors of the Sparkling Gem Pavilion. And, they also noticed this strange change. Consequently, their complexion changed very drastically in quick succession.
A young bodyguard attempted to burst into the meeting hall from the east exit. But, he was stopped by a nearby middle-aged security guard.
"Dont worry. Its the Sparkling Gem Pavilion. There are a few people inside who can handle everything properly if something has happened inside the building. We only need to do our duty, and that is - guard the exits," the middle-aged guard spoke-up.
The middle-aged guards voice had barely fallen when he heard a loud ear-piercing howl. And, he was thrown backwards the next moment.
A large and sharp bone-spear had pierced through the middle-aged guards chest. It had then nailed his body to the wall of the exit.