A slender figure walked out from the crowd. He was a man with a feminine appearance. When he looked at that armored woman, his eyes flashed with an insatiable light and his grin carried a trace of lecherous intent: "I bid one thousand two hundred. Hong Gu, does your Mingyue Pavilion have an even higher price?"
The armored woman — Hong Gu's tender looks turned cold: "One thousand three hundred."
The feminine man said: "One thousand five hundred."
Hong Gu's pristine teeth clenched tightly.
She had directly shouted a price of a thousand contribution points to shock the others. As a result, Duanshui Hall's shameful attack appeared in order to forcefully bleed their wallets dry!
Hong Gu was Hua Yuerong's capable a.s.sistant. She knew full well the importance of this batch of wild wolves. It could be said that once they had these wolves, the original situation of them having fallen to an unfavorable position could now be reversed. However, if too many contribution points were squandered, they wouldn't be able to sustain their resources in the future. That turnaround point would've been wasted!
Now, whether Duanshui Hall raised its price to make them spend a lot, or they were powerless to compete and had the wild wolves s.n.a.t.c.hed by Duanshui Hall, the consequences for both scenarios were very grave!
Despicable Duanshui Hall! They were truly too malicious!
Yet, regardless of the resources, the wild wolves were even more pressing.
Hong Gu gave a deep sigh: "One thousand six hundred."
The complexion of the feminine man didn't change: "Two thousand."
Soon, the bidding would continue.
However, Gongyi Tianheng stated: "Is anyone else able to bid?"
Those powers gently sighed, but no one spoke a word.
Tianheng faintly smiled: "One thousand contribution points. The wild wolves are sold to Mingyue Pavilion's Senior Sect Sister Hong Gu."
The meaning of his statement was clear. The subsequent price of that feminine man was entirely invalid!
In the blink of an eye, the entire venue was filled with a clamor.
Unexpectedly, someone rejected the higher offer? Nowadays, for the situation of two sides in a bidding war, it was always advantageous to the seller no matter the outcome. The seller should've been the happiest one!
Without waiting for those spectators to start wagging their tongues, the feminine man was already opening his mouth angrily: "What's the meaning of this? Are you looking down on our Duanshui Hall?"
The eyes of that Hong Gu had a hint of cheer, but she was also puzzled: "This Junior Sect Brother, you…"
The feminine man looked at Hong Gu and thought he understood something. He suddenly let out a grim laugh: "I get it. You've taken a fancy to this lady? There are millions of women in this world. You shouldn't save a little just to lose a lot! Are you going to make things difficult for our Duanshui Hall just for the sake of this lady?!"
Hong Gu's shapely eyebrows slightly furrowed. Her mind had its suspicions, and she carefully looked at Gongyi Tianheng's appearance. Mingyue Pavilion's women had always been sought after by many Inner Sect disciples. Could it really be — Ah, but one couldn't tell from the other's expression.
The situation was developing too fast and Gu Zuo felt he couldn't quite keep up with it. Once he reacted, the corner of his mouth faintly twitched. This was a big misunderstanding… At the very least, he didn't notice any feelings of affection in his dear big brother for that Miss Hong Gu.
However, such misunderstandings were actually rare. Gu Zuo's heart moved and he felt it was a little interesting.
How would this big brother of his respond? What was his mood?
Gongyi Tianheng's smiling expression stiffened for a second. Although he always calculated with exacting detail, he didn't antic.i.p.ate this aspect to cause others to misread it. But he quickly and calmly stated: "If nothing else, it's only because an old friend had joined the Mingyue Pavilion. In addition, someone from Duanshui Hall once had a minor misunderstanding with this lowly disciple. That's all."
The spectating powers understood instantly.
This was due to a dispute! How foolish would it be to sell things to the person one was in a conflict with? As for the old friend and what not, it would be hard to distinguish truth from fiction, and there wasn't any need to ferret out the truth.
Over yonder, the expression of that feminine man changed: "What?" He composed himself and his tone switched, "Why should a minor misunderstanding be taken seriously? If my Junior Sect Brother has something he's unhappy about, the issue can be raised. My Duanshui Hall can compensate you. From now on, everyone can exchange their weapons of war for gifts of jade and silk, wouldn't that be ideal?"
His thoughts were very deep. If one didn't see the seething light in his eyes, it would make people think he really was broad-minded, and not bicker about those quarrels.
Gongyi Tianheng sighed: "Forgive me. It's really… Ai!" He faced that feminine man and cupped his hands before looking to Hong Gu, "Does this Senior Sect Sister want this wild wolf pack?"
Hong Gu also somewhat understood. This moment wasn't the time to get to the bottom of things. She only cupped her hands and said straightforwardly: "Then, on behalf of my Pavilion Master, many thanks to this Junior Sect Brother!"
That feminine man's face became gloomy and cold, but he didn't say anything else. He waved his hand and declared: "We're leaving!"
When he finished talking, a sizable retinue walked out of the crowd. His robes flapped behind him as they departed.
At this time, Duanshui Hall's plan ended in failure and it was impossible to make things difficult for Mingyue Pavilion here again. As Mingyue Pavilion obtained the wild wolf pack, its strength would greatly increase. After they returned, they needed to discuss a new plan!
Once Duanshui Hall's people left, Hong Gu said: "Junior Sect Brother, I'll transfer the contribution points to you first."
Tianheng took out his disciple token straight away.
Hong Gu tapped her own token against his, immediately spending a thousand contribution points. Then she took out a thick stack of golden banknotes. She offered it with both hands to show her appreciation.
After Gongyi Tianheng received everything, he smiled and said: "This iron cage and the wild wolf pack shall be handed over to this Senior Sect Sister. Only, they haven't been tamed yet. I will also have to ask this Senior Sect Sister to handle the matter of transportation on your own."
Hong Gu obtained the wild wolf pack and was very happy. She had a bright smile now and said: "It's no bother! I've brought people along, so my Junior Sect Brother doesn't need to worry!"
As for the matter of taming, every single martial artist in the Sect could go thumb through those beast taming methods by themselves. A trivial matter truly wasn't worth mentioning.
After that, many men and women of Mingyue Pavilion came walking out of the crowd and devised a way to move that iron cage. Quite a few of the other spectating powers lingered around, asking about clues on the capture of the wild wolf pack.
Gongyi Tianheng took a single step backward, while the eloquent Dragon Two stepped forward to explain to everyone and deal with the a.s.signment. Naturally, they wouldn't seriously talk about the matter of the Bewildering Beast Mist. He only used "luck" and "by mere chance" to gloss over the matter.
After the questions yielded no results, Gongyi Tianheng and the others still smoothly departed. As for those individuals who believed or not, those powers that wanted to make discreet inquiries, and those powers that intended to watch from the sidelines, that was all another matter.
Gu Zuo followed behind Tianheng, and returned to their valley.
Although the contribution points earned this round couldn't compare to that time he sold the Steadfast Heart Pill prescription, how could a wild wolf pack compare to one third the value of the Steadfast Heart Pill? Not to mention the cash flow of thirty million gold as well as a bit of reputation this time. And the ones who came seeking aid one after another, they were the hidden harvest.
Only, through this affair, Gongyi Tianheng had finally made his debut. The troublesome matters in the future certainly wouldn't be small.
As a matter of fact, not too long after returning, someone came knocking on their door.
Of course, it was also an expected acquaintance.
Gu Zuo was lifting trays out from the house and setting many meals onto the table — Naturally, these were all prepared based on Gongyi Tianheng's health. As for those people who had healthy meridians, it also wasn't bad for them to eat. In addition, there were also good wines, which had all been arranged.
There were three guests. Besides Fu Manduo, there was Liu Wuyan and Xun Suying.
Speaking of which, since entering the Inner Sect, because each person had their own matters to deal with, besides Fu Manduo sending someone to fetch Tianheng's goods, interactions were rare. Now they had seized the opportunity to rekindle their friendship.
Fu Manduo patted that stout belly of his, and his tone contained some grumbling: "Junior Sect Brother Gongyi, you rascal. You had this kind of good thing and didn't tell your big brother in advance? If I had known earlier, how could it have fallen into other people's hands?"
Liu Wuyan also said: "My Shuiqing Pavilion is also rather interested in the wild wolf pack."
Then, Xun Suying said: "Back then, we became aware of the news too late. We only knew about this matter when Senior Sect Brother Fu had mentioned it."
Gongyi Tianheng listened to their words, and promptly raised his cup to apologize: "I've let you all down, I'm sorry. It was only because this first time… I still needed a leg to stand on in the Inner Sect, so I thought of such an unorthodox method. Otherwise, how could I have forgotten my Senior Sect Brothers and Sister?"
Fu Manduo deserved to be called a profiteer. He immediately heard the implications in Tianheng's words: "First time? Junior Sect Brother Gongyi's meaning is that there's still a next time, and a time after that?"
Tianheng showed a smiling expression. He gathered his sleeves and pointed: "Senior Sect Brother Fu, please take a look."
Not only Fu Manduo, but Liu Wuyan and Xun Suying also followed his gesture and looked towards that direction.
With a glance, they discovered that there were several wild bears in that valley's field. Under a young man's guidance, they were slowly working — Those were wild bears that had been already tamed?
Fu Manduo abruptly turned his head back, his eyes alight: "So to say, Junior Sect Brother Gongyi really has a way to capture many wild beasts alive!"
Tianheng had a smile on his face as he nodded. Holding a wine pot, he poured a cup for him: "This matter originally should've been a secret, but Senior Sect Brother Fu has always taken good care of me. So I won't hide it."
This time, not only Fu Manduo held his breath, even Xun Suying and Liu Wuyan had their hearts greatly shaken.
They'd never once thought there'd really be such a method!
Gongyi Tianheng warmly said: "Speaking of which… This matter was really a coincidence." He sighed, "After obtaining this valley, I wanted to first plant some Scarlet Blood Rice, so the field was plowed. In order to plant medicinal herbs in the future, some preparations were made. But I never expected that the field was almost dead. At that moment, it really made me feel like I'd dropped into an icy hole. I only felt that this luck was really bad."
Fu Manduo and the others inwardly thought that if there was such a setback, it was certainly someone's scheme instead of bad luck! Most of all, Xun Suying and Liu Wuyan recalled the matter of when Tianheng entered the Inner Sect and was hindered by Duanshui Hall. At once, their minds understood even more clearly. Fu Manduo also remembered. This moment, he felt that it wasn't any wonder why Junior Sect Brother Gongyi hadn't given Duanshui Hall the tiniest bit of face. As it turned out, it was the aggravation of deep-seated animosity.
Tianheng continued: "I was at a loss, but I couldn't just leave the land here empty. After that, I had no better option than to plant Scarlet Blood Rice, thinking that this thing wasn't too finicky. It wasn't known if planting a couple times could revive the field. Yet, from beginning to end, nothing was willing to sprout from that earth. Truly…I had already given up all hope.
"Just as I was about to abandon that field as useless, I didn't expect the Scarlet Blood Rice to suddenly send out shoots after a dozen or so days had pa.s.sed. Also, it had matured in just a brief one or two days!"
At this moment, Fu Manduo and the others had already guessed that perhaps that matter of capturing the wild beasts alive had something to do with the Scarlet Blood Rice.
Sure enough, Gongyi Tianheng finished his previous recounting: "The matured Scarlet Blood Rice then was extremely strange, like it had undergone a transformation. We carefully harvested it, and found that it had developed a mutually restraining antidote and poison. Most of all, so long as that poison was released, it would be toxic to humans and would knock wild beasts unconscious… That antidote precisely resolved the toxicity of this thing."
When he spoke up to here, he smiled self-deprecatingly: "At that time, we let our guards down and nearly died to it. If it wasn't for Ah Zuo's keen awareness, recalling the principle of mutual restraint and plucking the antidote, I'm afraid that we all would've dropped dead!"
"After that, Ah Zuo took the poison and carefully a.n.a.lyzed it. He also asked a few pharmacists and did some tests. Finally, he regarded it as an odd treasure that could knock out wild beasts."
Tianheng sighed again: "It's only a pity that the amount of mutated Scarlet Blood Rice is limited. Previously, that time's harvest had already been stored for use. Now the next batch of crops have been planted, but I don't know whether it can mutate… But I think the mutation of the Scarlet Blood Rice certainly has something to do with some of the junk in the dead ground. As it had already been absorbed, the next round won't be so easy."
Fu Manduo and the others heard this, and their expressions turned odd.
They didn't think that Gongyi Tianheng was deliberately trying to deceive them. After all, if he didn't want to talk about it, wouldn't the matter of secrecy be to blame? At this moment, it sounded like the person scheming against Tianheng had outplayed themselves. On the contrary, they had given him a big profit.
Only Gu Zuo didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
Alright. His con-artist big brother, who he hadn't seen in a long time, had appeared again — Ah, that's not right. What his big brother said was basically all true, but why did it seem so fishy hearing it? It was probably a problem with his oratory skills?
He silently grimaced and lowered his head. He didn't dare let anyone see.
Okay, okay. There was a good show to stage afterwards…
While Gongyi Tianheng spoke, Dragon One, who was working alongside the wild bears, was quietly sprinkling some water into the soil. The water didn't look special, but it was actually the Growth Hastening Decoction. Nowadays, during harvest time, it wouldn't take long after sprinkling it that the next crop of Scarlet Blood Rice would mature.
— This was undoubtedly one part of the plan.
Gu Zuo cleared his throat and decided to add fuel to the fire. Just as his psychic power sensed the unusual conditions of the Scarlet Blood Rice, he promptly cried out in surprise: "Young master—"
Tianheng restrained his smile and turned his head: "Ah Zuo, what's wrong?"
Gu Zuo seemed very nervous as he said: "The, the Scarlet Blood Rice has sprouted!"
Fu Manduo and the others were also startled, and they all went to look.
Hence, within everyone's line of sight, they saw the Scarlet Blood Rice, whose stalks were originally barren, suddenly sprout long ears of rice. The abundantly heavy Scarlet Blood Rice bent those stalks. Unexpectedly, a sight of "heavily-ladened fruit" had appeared!
Fu Manduo truly felt that it was extremely bizarre. He jumped out of his seat: "How did this happen?!"
Although he hadn't eaten too much of that meal, he didn't have any thoughts of eating right now.
Gongyi Tianheng similarly stood up, and showed a smiling expression: "This is indeed a coincidence. Of course, it wasn't known when the next crop of Scarlet Blood Rice would mature. I never thought it'd be today. If everyone's interested, there's no harm in going to take a look together."
Xun Suying naturally answered in a sharp and clear voice: "Let's go!"
Liu Wuyan's face also had a hint of emotion.
No matter how cool-headed they were, they couldn't help their curiosity breaking out at this moment.
Hence, under Tianheng's lead, a group of people grandiosely walked in the direction of the field.
Gu Zuo caught up with a light jog. Actually, he was also curious whether this next crop could sprout mutated Scarlet Blood Rice — This thing was completely out of his control!
They quickly reached the edge of that rice field. Gu Zuo looked up to see that dense thicket of Scarlet Blood Rice. The majority were already in a normal state. About twenty to thirty percent were still the mutated Scarlet Blood Rice with multi-colored, black, and gray grains.
Fu Manduo wasn't interested in the clearly normal ones. He only pointed at a strange ear of rice as his voice shivered with excitement: "Junior Sect Brother Gongyi, could it, could it be this one?"
Tianheng nodded his head: "Inside the multi-colored ones is the toxin, while the black and gray ones are the antidotes. Senior Sect Brother Fu, if you think it's interesting, you can pick an ear for yourself. However, you mustn't casually cut it open. Otherwise, even if you only smell the odor of the poison inside, you'll be infected… At that time, it was because of the strangeness that I cut it open, which led to that kind of consequence."
Unexpectedly, Fu Manduo, who was already extending a hand to pluck one, withdrew it and didn't continue: "No need, no need. This thing is for my Junior Sect Brother to use. If I waste an ear just for momentary curiosity, then it'd be truly unnecessary!"
He said this, but Gu Zuo couldn't help eyeing him some more. Could it be that this Fu Manduo didn't want to research the mutated Scarlet Blood Rice and try to breed it?
The following matter made things clear. Gu Zuo was still too simple and pure.
Because Gongyi Tianheng plucked an ear by himself and shoved it into Fu Manduo's hand: "Senior Sect Brother Fu said those words, but are you looking down on me? It's only an insignificant, single ear of rice. Even if my Senior Sect Brother only took it to play around with, how could this be counted as a waste? I'm only hoping that Senior Sect Brother Fu doesn't blame me for the prior matter. I would be perfectly content."
Gu Zuo shuddered.
This way of speaking…
Fu Manduo declined Gongyi Tianheng again.
Gongyi Tianheng shoved it back to him again.
Back and forth. Back and forth.
Finally, Fu Manduo sighed and said: "Junior Sect Brother has such magnificent hospitality. This, this… It would be impolite for this big brother to refuse."
Tianheng smiled and said: "Senior Sect Brother Fu is seeing eye to eye with me." As he spoke, he continued to pluck two more ears and gave one each to Xun Suying and Liu Wuyan, demonstrating a feeling of equal favorability.
Gu Zuo silently wiped his face.
So that was all just a show! As he said, how willing was Fu Manduo, this profiteer, to miss such an opportunity to make money?!
Afterwards, under Tianheng's "showmanship", a multi-colored grain of Scarlet Blood Rice was cut open, followed by the antidote-acting black and gray grains. This adequately displayed that this thing really was toxic, and that the toxicity wasn't ordinary. However, because these people's realms were relatively high, the toxicity's effects on their bodies weren't that severe. After they understood that this thing wasn't bad at knocking out wild beasts, they didn't think it was that mysterious anymore. It was just that while they chatted, they still wanted to sigh with how good Gongyi Tianheng's luck was.
Following which, everyone sat back down to eat. One could say that the host and guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Fu Manduo finally said: "If there's any interesting work in the future, I hope my Junior Sect Brother doesn't forget to keep this big brother in mind. Hahahaha!"
Gongyi Tianheng naturally cupped his hands: "Certainly, certainly."
And before Liu Wuyan and Xun Suying left, they placed an order. They only said that if Tianheng got a hold of another large group of wild beasts, they hoped he would keep them for their Shuiqing Pavilion. They would certainly pay a high price to buy them.
Tianheng agreed again and again.
At this point, these people were willing to say their goodbyes and leave.
Once they departed, Gu Zuo couldn't help asking: "Big brother, is it okay to tell them all this?"
Gongyi Tianheng clasped his hands behind his back and said: "Might as well. At that time, even you, Ah Zuo, weren't able to determine the impurities in the soil. Could Fu Manduo and the others be able to do the same? Even if he found the person who did this, the matter of the mutation isn't something that can be easily controlled with manpower. Even if he has excellent capabilities, it would take a great deal of time to find a way. Besides, he lacks the Spirit Jade Vitality Decoction and the Growth Hastening Decoction. It's impossible to s.n.a.t.c.h our business."
Gu Zuo thought about it, and it really was such a case.
After informing Fu Manduo and the others, Fu Manduo's many channels and extensive network could more or less act as their shield. Since Fu Manduo believed them, many people should also believe. In addition, the amount of mutated Scarlet Blood Rice they stored here could be seen with the naked eye. People could only seek them, and they wouldn't become fatty meat to be drooled over.
It was the right choice to treat them to this meal.
After getting a clear understanding, Gu Zuo didn't take this matter to heart anymore.
Nevertheless, there were many other things that kept him busy.
At the same time, there was another matter that was taking place.
There was a pavilion of white jade. It was over thirty meters tall, and an astonishing object hung from its summit. It seemed like a bright moon, where it casted down rays of clear splendor.
This place was Mingyue Pavilion's headquarters.
Hong Gu, whose body was donned with armor, energetically entered the building. Behind her were several trusted aides who had cheerful looks across their faces. All of them were in high spirits.
Once they entered the pavilion, a group of people arrived at the top floor. They only felt a refreshing qi energy flutter across their faces. In a split second, those fervent moods calmed somewhat.
At this moment, a woman's cold yet euphonic voice echoed from within: "Hong Gu, what's made you so happy?"
This voice was like a mountain spring flowing between the rocks, quietly and peacefully, until it trickled into their hearts.
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