Chapter 3: How Could You Tell?
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“Uhm… Appraiser Zhang, we have more faith in you so I think there’s no need for Appraiser Lin to take a look.”
The clients all spoke in unison, terrified of causing a ruckus.
Zhang He feared that Lin Jin would back out, so he hurriedly whispered to them: “There won’t be any problems, just let him take a look. Don’t worry, it won’t affect you guys, I know Lin Jin’s capabilities well. Even if he examined them, he wouldn’t be able to see much.”
Zhang He’s previous reactions were partially fake. While the anger was genuine, most of it was just to lure Lin Jin into his trap. Who knew that he was this gullible to fall right into it.
‘After your previous mishap and your loss to me today, an official to an apprentice, even if you’re shameless enough to stay, Lin Jin, the association would definitely revoke your qualifications.’
As Zhang He mused, he shot an eye-signal to a fellow apprentice beast appraiser nearby, signaling him to spread the news immediately. Soon, many people gathered to watch and the crowd kept on growing.
There were apprentice beast appraisers and clients from the association of beast evaluations.
“It’s a beast evaluation competition to see who’s more accurate and detailed in their evaluation, testing their knowledge and experience.”
“Isn’t that Lin Jin? But he’s a certified…”
“His reputation is false. In a recent assessment, he had worse scores than a few higher ranked apprentices, yet he still has the nerve to occupy an official’s position. If I were him, I would’ve shamefully left.”
“Right, if Lin Jin leaves, who would suitable to be his replacement? Zhang He has grown rapidly recently, does he have a chance?”
“Although Zhang He’s not bad, he’s still not the best. It would most likely be Jia Qian who came out first in the apprentice assessment. Everyone knows that.”
“But I heard that Jia Qian has an unusual relationship with our Chief…”
“Shh, you can’t simply discuss this here. Let’s just watch the drama. Look, Zhang He is beginning his evaluation.”
As an apprentice beast appraiser, Zhang He was the first to evaluate. Of course, he was just doing it for show. He had already studied the conditions of these two pet beasts long ago.
To prevent plagiarism, appraisers usually wrote their evaluations on paper in competitions like this. After that, they would present it at the same time. This way, the outcome would be obvious for everyone to see.
Lin Jin knew that in beast appraisal, his predecessor had some skills, but frankly speaking, like Zhang He said, those were average skills.
Through his memories, it really was luck that helped his predecessor pass his qualifications. The competitors in his team had either suffered diarrhea, had a bad day, or suddenly came down with some serious disease and voluntarily gave up. The exam questions had also coincidentally been what he had reviewed prior to the exam.
It was like hitting the jackpot in an examination, and needless to say, that was how his predecessor became a certified appraiser.
Although luck was the main factor, basic foundation was also required.
Lin Jin was different from his predecessor. He knew nothing about beast appraisals. Had he truly relied on his skills, he was destined to lose. The only reason why he agreed to the competition was because he had the Museum of Deadly Beasts.
Since this museum could unveil the deepest details of Xiao Hua, it must be able to do the same for other beasts.
While putting on an act, Lin Jin tentatively chose a pet beast and put his hand on its forehead. Just as he expected, the Museum of Deadly Beasts presented him with an exact specimen of this creature on the stone tablet beside it, introducing the animal.
“Level one pet beast. Wind Spirit Fox. Juvenile. No blood contract. Wind attribute, most suited to sign a blood contract with a human of the same wind attribute, followed by fire, wood, and water. Attributes to avoid include earth and gold.”
“In a mildly hungered state.”
“Potential Rate: 1. There is room for potential growth. There are twelve methods to increase its potential which are…”
It really came out.
Lin Jin’s confidence immediately grew. Before he had been worried he might be disconnected from the museum, but now he was optimistic.
Just then, someone commented, “What’s Lin Jin doing? He’s not using a beast talisman, how is he evaluating the beast? He’s not using the method to test the attributes either.”
Zhang He smirked cheekily as he watched, as if he had already won. The man was composed, standing tall and looking smug.
Lin Jin remained unfazed. He touched the other pet beast.
“Level one pet beast. Rock Lizard. Semi-adult. No blood contract. Earth attribute, most suited to sign a blood contract with a human of fire or gold attribute, followed by wind. Attributes to avoid include wood and water.”
“In a satiated state.”
“Potential Rate: 2. There is room for potential growth. There are six methods to increase its potential which are…”
“Contains bloodline from a Golden Dragon and currently inactivated. The three activation methods include… After the bloodline has been activated, it will grow into two attributes with gold as its main and earth as the sub.”
Lin Jin had fully grasped the conditions of both pet beasts. He also realized that the creatures he had touched, be it on their heads or their fur, their information would be embedded into the museum to be retrieved and read at any time.
Lin Jin asked the clients a few questions. After understanding their background, he went back, took his pen, and began writing down the results of his evaluation.
By then, Zhang He was done.
“Have you finished?”
Lin Jin nodded and stacked his papers nicely and advised out of concern, “Zhang He, it’s not too late for you to back out now…”
Zhang He laughed sarcastically. “You don’t have to worry about me, Appraiser Lin. Instead, you should think of how to excuse yourself after losing to me in public.”
Both evaluation results were ready. After handing them to the client, the client read it out loud.
“Zhang He recommends the rock lizard. Lin Jin recommends the wind spirit fox.”
When the results were announced, everyone wore different expressions.
“I know this client is a merchant in the city and seemed to be of the wind attribute. Between the two pet beasts, while the rock lizard isn’t bad, but its attribute clashes with the client. The wind spirit fox is of the wind attribute and their attributes match. It should be the most suitable.”
“Seems that way, but Zhang He looks confident so he must have something up his sleeve.”
And it was true. The client continued reading.
“The reason for recommending the rock lizard. Although the attributes clash, this rock lizard carries an earth dragon’s bloodline so it has higher potential. When the bloodline is activated, it can level up. Whereas the wind spirit fox only has average potential, hence, it’s not recommended.”
An earth dragon’s bloodline!
It actually had a hidden bloodline.
The crowd was shocked. If the pet beast had an ancient heavenly beast’s bloodline, its value would be different. Although the attribute clash was a problem, the benefits reaped from an earth dragon’s bloodline was worth so much more.
The client looked surprised as well. He had bought two of these pet beasts, but who knew that he had found a hidden treasure. The bloodline of an earth dragon! Once activated, it could at least evolve into a level three pet beast.
Just the thought of it excited him.
“Being able to tell a hidden bloodline is quite a feat.”
“I heard that after Zhang He has been personally guided by the Chief, his appraisal skills had developed quite a bit. He’s truly amazing. To think he could tell such a hidden bloodline. He’ll surely win this round.”
Based on the current situation, Zhang He must be the winner. Lin Jin had recommended the wind spirit fox. Up till this point, they could tell that he hadn’t noticed the rock lizard’s hidden bloodline so his skills were inferior.
Zhang He was pleased with himself. His recent hard work had paid off and he had won against Lin Jin in front of everyone. From now on, Lin Jin would be trampled under his feet with zero chance of redemption. The Chief would value him even more and he would rise to success after obtaining his beast appraisal certification.
Just as he was feeling pleased, Lin Jin coughed gently and said, “Are you sure you’ve won?”
Zhang He proudly placed his hand behind his back, too prideful to even face Lin Jin directly. “How could I not? You couldn’t even tell that the rock lizard had a hidden bloodline. A so-called certified beast appraiser with a fake reputation. Did you think you have a chance to win against me?”
Having said that, Zhang He roared with laughter.
Without waiting for Lin Jin to speak, the client stared at the evaluation results as his expression turned peculiar. He said, “Uhm… Appraiser Zhang, I haven’t finished reading this.”
Zhang He turned and frowned, annoyed. He thought to himself: ‘So what if you haven’t finished reading? Does he even have a chance to turn the tables? Even a blind person could tell that Lin Jin was recommending a wind spirit fox. So the attributes match, but he overlooked the key point that was this hidden bloodline. Even if his report was beautifully written, what’s the use?’
This was just unnecessary. What a waste of time.
However, Zhang He didn’t lash out but said patiently, “then continue reading so it will be a convincing loss for him.”
The onlookers looked curious as well, thinking that the client was behaving excessively. The winner was crystal clear so why was there a need to finish reading the evaluation contents?
The client wanted to say something, but after some thought, he read Lin Jin’s report as it was. “The reason for recommending the wind spirit fox is because it matches the client’s attributes and has a potential rate of two. After leveling up, its usage would increase. As for the rock lizard, although it has the bloodline of an earth dragon, its earth attribute is incompatible with a wind attribute. Based on this fact alone, the rock lizard has an upper-hand, but because the earth dragon bloodline of this rock lizard is from a Golden Dragon, after bloodline activation, its main attribute would be gold while its sub would be earth. Both attributes clash with the wind to a massive extent. Hence, it’s not recommended…”
The crowd gasped in shock.
Zhang He’s cheeky expression immediately froze.
Not only he managed to tell that the rock lizard had an earth dragon bloodline, he could tell the attribute of its hidden bloodline. But, such a thing was extremely difficult to tell in the first place. Forget him, even Chief Wang Ji might not be able to tell.
Only a level two beast appraiser could evaluate such detail. Zhang He was only an apprentice and hadn’t even reached level one. Being unable to tell was expected of him.
But the thing was, how could Lin Jin tell?