28 Linlang Pavilion
The three great clans of Mohe City, the Xiao Clan, Zhang Clan, and Tang Clan, all had large amounts of real estate and shops. However, the most profitable place was the auction hall, but the three great clans had never ventured into this market.
This is because of the existing auction hall—Linlang Pavilion.
Linlang Pavilion was the largest auction hall within the Great Qin Nation. There were branches in all of the 36 counties in the nine prefectures, and their backer was none other than the emperor's son-in-law, Nangong Lie. Being the relative of the emperor, as well as having the tremendous influence of the Nangong Clan behind him, naturally, no one would dare to offend him when he had such a background.
Maybe in some of the larger prefecture cities or the imperial capital, there might be some powers that were able to go against the Nangong Clan and be daring enough to open auction houses. However, in this insignificant Mohe City, no one would dare to slight them by opening a second auction house.
Linlang Pavilion was Xiao Chen's current destination. If he wanted to earn some quick wads of cash without exposing his identity as an alchemist to the Xiao Clan or selling the Moonstones in his room, he could only rely on the Fasting Pills he had refined in his room the previous night.
After he adjusted the cloak on his body and saw the lavish signboard of Linlang Pavilion, a smile played at Xiao Chen's lips under the shadow of his cowl as he slowly walked into Linlang Pavilion.
Due to the fact that there were fewer people here, Mohe City's Linlang Pavilion would only hold a small-scale auction once every month, a medium-scale auction every three months, and a large-scale auction once a year. When the time came for the large-scale auction, Mohe City would enter its most busy, bustling state.
Looking at the calendar, it was almost the end of the month. There were a lot of people looking at the goods in the great hall on the first floor. Undoubtedly, these people were not of high status in Mohe City. Amongst them, there were many from the three great clans. Xiao Chen noticed many familiar people from the Xiao Clan, but this was not the time to fraternize with kin.
Xiao Chen suddenly sensed danger incoming from behind him, and a palm strike struck out towards him shortly after. Reacting quickly and stepping forward, Xiao Chen turned around almost instantly and made his move.
With a deft hand, he grabbed the wrist of some unfamiliar stranger. Xiao Chen applied some force to his wrist, causing the individual to wince in pain. With a stern expression, the assailant shouted: "You bastard! Let me go!"
This person was dressed in martial robes with alternating colors of blue and white, seeming to be about twenty-seven or twenty-eight years old, and his cultivation realm appeared to be in the Medial Grade Martial Disciple. There was a yellow daisy embroidered on his collar. When Xiao Chen saw it, he immediately understood that this person should be a guard of Linlang Pavilion. However, despite this, he did not have any intentions of letting go.
He instead increased the strength in his hand and asked coldly: "Why did you make a move against me?"
The person in question shouted out in pain once again and scolded, "You Bastard! Let go quickly or forget about walking out of this Linlang Pavilion!"
The sound of these two people attracted a crowd of people, most beholding Xiao Chen with a certain amount of ridicule in their gazes. It was obvious to these people that his cultivation was only in the Inferior Grade Martial Disciple realm. Merely an insignificant Inferior Grade Martial Disciple and he dares to come and cause trouble at Linlang Pavilion. How reckless.
Very soon, a large group of people wearing similar blue and white robes came running over, each and every one of them with a yellow daisy embroidered on their collar. Under the command of a Martial Master, they surrounded Xiao Chen.
The Martial Master among them had thick eyebrows and big eyes, and his body was robust and sturdy. The expression on his face now was incomparably cautious. He did not look angry or irritable. After looking at Xiao Chen, he frowned slightly, looked at the man restrained by Xiao Chen, and asked in a cold voice, "Gao Long, what's going on?"
Gao Long, who was restrained by Xiao Chen, had an expression of incomparable pain on his face. There were currents of electricity continuously flowing from Xiao Chen's hand into his body. This caused him to be unable to gather his Essence. When his Essence encountered this electrical current, it would immediately disperse without a trace, resulting in him being unable to release himself from Xiao Chen's grip.
"Captain! This person is dressed in a suspicious manner. After he entered the great hall, he looked around in a shifty-eyed manner. I was afraid that he had some wicked motives, and wanted to detain him for questioning." Gao Long's voice trembled as he spoke.
He was a Medial Grade Martial Disciple, yet he got restrained by an Inferior Grade Martial Disciple. Even if he was in the right, he had lost the face of Linlang Pavilion. He would definitely not be able to escape the captain's punishment. Thinking of the inevitable punishment awaiting him, Gao Long could not help but tremble.
The Superior Grade Martial Master that was addressed as captain looked at Xiao Chen's attire and also felt suspicious in his heart. The people who entered their pavilion were typically either dressed in bright, colorful clothes or in top-notch satin clothes… just who would dress up as strangely as Xiao Chen did? Covered completely in the subterfuge of a cloak, he had the appearance of someone with secrets to keep.
"My friend, I am Jiang Qi, the commanding officer of the guard on the first floor of Linlang Pavilion. I wonder what business you have here? Are you here to purchase anything?" Although he had already formed his own opinion about Xiao Chen, Jiang Qi still maintained a cautious attitude and made his inquiries with sobriety.
"No." The cloak completely covered Xiao Chen's face in shadows, so what he looked like was a mystery.
When the restrained Gao Long heard this, his expression turned to one of joy. This man was not here to buy anything, which naturally meant that he must be here to cause trouble. Since that was the case, this fellow would not step out of here alive. He laughed sinisterly in his heart, and the pain from his hand began to feel less intense due to the solace he found in this statement.
"Then what is your purpose here? Visiting a friend?" Jiang Qi continued to ask patiently, but a killing intent previously kept under covers came billowing out without restraint. As long as Xiao Chen's answer was not satisfactory, he would immediately make a move. Anyone that was here to cause trouble in Linlang Pavilion only had one outcome—death!
Jiang Qi's Superior Grade Martial Master aura spread out into the surrounding area, his killing intent locking down onto Xiao Chen. The biting cold killing intent even caused the surrounding people to shiver. Their gazes as they looked at Xiao Chen was as though they were looking at a dead man.
Everyone around could feel the thick killing intent. Actually, this was a result of an insufficient cultivation base. The killing intent of a true expert could form into a string-like network, focusing all of their killing intent only on the target and leaving any irrelevant onlookers in their surroundings untouched.
Xiao Chen, who was now surrounded by the killing intent, did not display any fear and simply spoke casually, "I do not have any friends here."
Jiang Qi laughed coldly, "Forgive me for this offense then."
The surrounding air seemed to turn cold, and a thick, cold Qi gathered around his body. Ice covered his fist as he shouted out loudly and threw a punch at Xiao Chen.
Xiao Chen took a step back and spun Gao Long's body around in the air, ruthlessly throwing him towards Jiang Qi. He then unhurriedly took out the jade bottle containing the Fasting Pills and gently opened the bottle cap. A thick medicinal fragrance immediately spread out and pervaded the surroundings. Very soon, the entire great floor of the first floor was fully saturated in this fragrance.
"What pill is this—why is it so fragrant?"
"Could this fellow be an alchemist?"
"I think it is very likely. The behavior of those alchemists is usually very strange. He wouldn't be this calm if that wasn't the case."
The chatter of the crowd quickly filled the entire great hall, every conversation discussing this fragrance. These people were all people of some status and had encountered genuine pills before, but they had never come across a pill with such a rich and thick fragrance. Instantly, they viewed Xiao Chen as a mysterious alchemist of high rank.
The corners of Xiao Chen's mouth curved upwards under the cloak, "Is there no one that wants to do business here in such a big Linlang Pavilion?"
Jiang Qi, who had just caught Gao Long, casually threw away the young guard to the ground. When he heard Xiao Chen's words and saw the bottle of pills in Xiao Chen's hand, he knew that he might have gotten himself into some trouble. He hurriedly cusped his hands, "Senior, pardon me for my poor manners. My humble self is dumb, so please forgive me."
Although Xiao Chen's strength was only in the Inferior Grade Martial Disciple realm, it would be normal for Jiang Qi to address him as senior if he was capable of refining high-grade pills.
Gao Long laid on the ground, groaning in pain. Xiao Chen had used a great deal of force when he threw him towards Jiang Qi. Coupled with Jiang Qi casually tossing him away, his whole body was now in pain. After hearing Jiang Qi's words, Gao Long felt as though his whole body had been drenched in cold water. He was extremely unlucky today... he had actually treated an alchemist like a suspicious criminal and offended him.
Xiao Chen did not pay any attention to Jiang Qi's change in attitude, as all of it was within the scope of his expectations, and he did not find it strange at all. He dismissively replied, "Stop speaking rubbish, bring me to see your appraiser. I want to auction off these pills at this coming end-of-month auction."
Jiang Qi cusped his hands in gratitude once again and led Xiao Chen towards the inner areas. As they made their way in, Jiang Qi tried to fish for information about his origins. Of course, Xiao Chen was not fooled and spoke a bunch of half-truths to throw him off.
Looking at Xiao Chen's departing figure, the people in the quiet hall quickly turned to noisy discussion again after half a day. The sounds of people discussing rose and fell in succession.
"This alchemist is actually here to auction things away. Old Chen, do you remember when the Linlang pavilion last auctioned medicinal pills?"
"During the large-scale auction last year, there were some grade three pills."
"I think that this year's large-scale auction could be held in advance this year. These pills that the mysterious man have brought to the table are definitely superior to grade three pills."
"Nonsense, how could grade three pills be so fragrant? I have seen grade four pills before—and they can't hold a candle to that fragrance earlier" A person beside the man who spoke earlier refuted him immediately.
"How could it be? To refine a grade four pill, one must at least be a rank, four alchemists. Within the whole Luojie Prefecture, there are only a handful of rank four alchemists. Why would they come to our insignificant Mohe City?"
In a short moment, within the great hall, there were intense debates about what grade these mysterious pills could possibly be at.
At this moment, within the inner area, the pill appraiser, Hu Lao, had his forehead filled with sweat as he struggled to assess the grade of Xiao Chen's pills. Fasting Pill, after consuming one, an individual would not have any need to eat or drink for the duration of an entire month. What kind of inconceivable pill was this? It was totally unheard of in the Great Qin Nation.
The appraisers of Linlang pavilion were naturally not bad. They were all nurtured by the Linlang Pavilion itself. They had to go through many examinations before they could be assigned to a pavilion to officially work as an appraiser. Furthermore, the appraisers of Linlang Pavilion would start from the smallest locations first and then slowly move up.
Thus, even the appraiser of Mohe City's Linlang pavilion would be equivalent to any of the other appraisers from the auction houses of the larger prefecture cities.
Hu Lao looked carefully at the pill in his hand. He was sure that this pill was not just casually made by just anyone. When it came to its fragrance, its color, or its smoothness, they were all by no means something a regular person could accomplish. However, he was sure that he had never heard of any pill in this world called Fasting Pill. This rendered him having not the foggiest idea on how to evaluate it, which proved to be a massive headache for him as time trickled on.
Xiao Chen gently took a sip of the tea placed on the tea table beside him as he observed Hu Lao repeatedly attempting to make sense of the pill. He interjected in an impatient manner: "Hu Lao, after inspecting it for so long, can you give me a price already?"
Hu Lao wiped the sweat off his forehead and decided, in the end, to play it safe. With an apologetic tone, he said: "Would you be willing to please wait for a moment? I am unable to appraise this pill, so allow me to invite the pavilion master over."
Xiao Chen placed the teacup down and made a hand gesture that indicated for him to do as he pleased. After all, he was quite confident in Linlang Pavilion's ability to appraise this Fasting Pill.