The auction sale wasn’t at all affected by the arrival of Han Shuo and Sophie. Under the most bewitching voice of the host, the bidding price for that magical staff climbed higher and higher.
Clamorous noise and never-ending sounds of discussions filled the entire hall. Some beautiful women wearing magnificent magical gowns, not in the least concealed their strong interests in that magical staff. This directly caused the auction sale to sink into a small scale chaos.
“What’s your opinion of that magical staff?” After the two sat down, Sophie could not help but ask Han Shuo.
“Nothing particularly great about it! Han Shuo’s lips pursed to the side. He then added, “Flashy on the outside but hollow on the inside!”
Against Han Shuo’s expectations, Sophie most agreed with Han Shuo’s evaluation. She said, “Yep, this magical staff is overly ostentatious. If I were a magus, I would never choose this kind of overly flashy magical staff.”
Looking at Sophie with a surprised expression, Han Shuo smilingly said, “I thought that you would be just like them, and only pursue beauty in all things.”
Sophie pouted and gently groaned, “I bought those small jewels from those booths purely to enjoy that kind of pleasure of shopping, not because I really particularly liked them.”
“Oh?” Han Shuo gave her a cheeky grin. He pointed at the crystal button on her chest, and mocked, “Well then, how do you explain yourself wearing this crystal button, and even acting as though it were very precious?”
Sophie dazed for a second before waving her small fist and somewhat wittily said, “That’s because I’m giving you face! You bought this for me. If I were to conveniently throw this aside, how impolite would that be!”
Han Shuo laughed involuntarily. Although he understood that Sophie was purely joking with those words, he nevertheless felt really happy in his heart. For Sophie would wear a coarsely made button which was worth only three gold coins, regardless of whether she really was being considerate, as the benefactor, Han Shuo definitely felt that he received the proper respect he deserved.
It had to be said that when chatting with Sophie, Han Shuo felt a most comfortable and relaxed sensation. It was just like conversing with a confidante with no restrictions whatsoever. This made Han Shuo feel very comfortable.
“Huh? Why is he here? Suddenly, Sophie let out a soft cry and immediately lowered her head. She even grabbed Han Shuo and made him do the same.
Han Shuo, being unexpectedly pulled by Sophie, nearly knocked his head against Sophie’s. Leaning closely together, an air of wonderful fragrance rushed into Han Shuo’s nose. The naturally refreshing fragrance caused Han Shuo to reminisce of a good time. Back then at the Dark Forest, the two had once leaned so closely together, encircled with the scent of each other’s.
A delegation walking at a steady pace gradually walked past Han Shuo and Sophie by the footpath on their left. With the servers respectfully welcoming them, they slowly ascended to the VIP room on the second floor.
One of the men leading the party had a cordial smile. He wore a pithy, clean warrior gown as white as snow. He had broad shoulders and thick hands, displaying an imposing demeanor. He was obviously an experienced swordsman or knight.
“Your father?” Han Shuo only took one glance, and through his consciousness, he sensed the energy contained in this person’s body. It was extremely difficult for one to sense this energy without first reaching a certain realm. “How, how did you know? You’ve seen my dad before?” Sophie was in slight disbelief.
Shaking his head, Han Shuo replied, “You two looked rather similar in appearance and so I made a guess. I didn’t think he would actually turn out to be your father.”
Appearance was merely one aspect. The most significant thing was that the fighting aura that Sophie cultivated was homologous with that of this person. An ordinary person wouldn’t have been able to sense it. But as Han Shuo possessed an extremely mighty consciousness, he could detect it after carefully probing it.
“He must have gone to the VIP room Braque is at. Humph! How could he, without asking for my consent, decide that on my behalf? I really hate him!” Sophie said furiously. It was apparent that Sophie held grievances towards Sulo.
Han Shuo wasn’t aware of the matter between Braque and Sophie. Therefore when he heard Sophie grumble so, his curiosity pushed him to ask, “What’s the matter about?”
“Not- nothing!” Sophie had turned somewhat flustered as she hastily replied.
Han Shuo could not make heads or tails of it, but he did not question any further. He pointed at the stage and said, “The next item is pretty good. I think it suits you quite well!”
After Han Shuo finished those words, Sophie sneakily took a glimpse ahead. When she found out that there was not a trace of his father Sulo within sight, she let out a sigh of relief, and gazed at the stage with great interest.
At this moment, with the auctioneer’s guidance and light cast on it, an armour, deep green in colour, slowly descended from the dropped ceiling above. The deep green armour was glossy smooth and shiny. It sparkled brightly under the stage lighting.
“This piece of knight armour is a craftwork of a dwarf master artisan. Although there’s no clue as to which dwarf artisan it actually came from, from the luster of the armour, ”… after the armour was revealed, the auctioneer began his enthusiastic promotion again.
“This piece of armour is very beautiful indeed. But is really as sturdy as he makes it out to be?” Sophie was somewhat unconvinced, and said to Han Shuo while observing the armour from afar.
“It should be passable. There are a few kinds of rare ores mixed into it, which includes black iron, black gold, and mithril. Those forged by the dwarves shouldn’t be anything poor. You can consider getting this,” Han Shuo explained.
“Forget about it. My father is in the VIP room. Although we can’t see him from here, he could see us from high up above. I have once used this face to prank him, and even still he could recognize me. If by any chance he catches me red-handed, I’m done for!” Sophie adorably stuck out her tongue like a dead cow. But shortly after, as though she were afraid that Sulo would spot her from above, she lowered her head again.
“20 thousand gold coins! Young master Braque bids 20 thousand gold coins!” before the auctioneer even finished banging the drum for the armour, a loud voice called out from the crowd.
Sophie lightly groaned, and uttered in disdain, “Pff, scoundrel, I will not be grateful for that!”
Although Sophie lowered her voice, Han Shuo could still hear her words clearly. Raising his head to gaze upstairs, in a surprised tone Han Shuo said, “Who is this Braque? He threw out such a hefty price before the host even completed his speech!”
“He’s Braque Pillon. You are in Kasi Empire, don’t tell me that you don’t even know who he is?” Sophie was somewhat startled, and asked Han Shuo with a strange look.
Shrugging, Han Shuo frankly said, “I really don’t. Is he famous?”
Sophie made a defeated expression, and only then did she osternly explain, “In Kasi Empire, although the Shrine of Ice has great power, it is still the Pillon royal family that maintains absolute control of Kasi Empire. Braque is the son of Prince Bradley. He is not a benevolent type of person. It’s troublesome enough for you to offend the Shrine of Ice, so by all means, don’t offend this family clan.”
“Thanks for the reminder!” Though Han Shuo wore a smile on his face, he didn't exactly take the advice to heart. On the Profound Continent, there weren't many who could threaten Han Shuo’s life. This so-called royal family was nothing in his eyes.
“Bradley? Bradley Pillon of Cesar City?” Suddenly, Han Shuo seemed to have recalled something and questioned further.
“Yep! In the whole of Kasi Empire, there is only one Bradley Pillon.” Sophie creased her brows and added, “You are already in Kasi Empire, how could you still be so unfamiliar with it?”
The reason Trunks was currently painstakingly expanding and strengthening the Valley of Sunshine all that while was to get to this Bradley Pillon. Han Shuo realized that this was because Annie, a girl that Trunks regarded as her very own sister, had suffered an unthinkable tragedy, with one of the perpetrators being Bradley.
Florida and Gustav both died in Trunks’ hand during the struggle for authority over the Valley of Sunshine. Now, all that was left in Trunks’ hitlist was Bradley who was enjoying overwhelming power in Kasi Empire. When Sophie mentioned this Bradley, Han Shuo couldn’t help but sneer.
Since Trunks had set his mind on this person, Han Shuo would rather not take matters into his own hands. However, if Bradley dared provoke Han Shuo, it would nonetheless still be an enjoyable thing for Han Shuo to teach him an unforgettable lifelong lesson.
“20 thousand! Can I get a 21 thousand, 21 thousand…?” the auctioneer continued, but the reaction below the stage was cold.
“In Kasi Empire, the House of Pillon wields the true power. No ordinary person would purposely make life difficult for any member of the family,” Sophie explained to Han Shuo, sighing.
When Sophie uttered those words, she felt truly helpless about her own future. It was precisely because she clearly understood the influences of the House of Pillon in Kasi Empire that she would feel so powerless about her marriage to Braque. Suddenly, a sense of dispiritment filled her heart. Sophie suddenly thought to herself that even though she possessed extraordinary strength, she could hardly oppose those politically powerful. So what was the use?
“Going once! Going twice! Sold, to young master Braque!” the auctioneer rapped his gavel.
With Sophie in a downcast mood, she paid no attention to what was going on in the auction. Another four pieces of precious items were bidded off separately at high prices. Of the four items, two were magical robes with unusual functionalities, one was a magical scroll that could release a forbidden spell, and the last was a necklace encrusted with a hundred diamonds once wore by the empress of the former Verdun dynasty.
Han Shuo was not interested in those four items. The first three items were separately acquired by three different magi. The last necklace was bought by Braque.
Han Shuo observed for a moment, and saw that the more high and mighty Braque appeared in the limelight, the more gloomy Sophie became. This baffled Han Shuo somewhat, not knowing why would Sophie suddenly be in such melancholy.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the next item for bidding is rather extraordinary, even our experts could not determine what it is! However, this thing possesses a miraculous ability. When it is stuck on the ground, all the plants within a few kilometers around it grow healthier and taller,” the auctioneer on stage introduced.
Along with this introduction, a sheet of tender green leaf the size of his palm, stored on a crystal tray, was presented on stage. This leaf had a shiny surface and looked as though it was made with fine dark green jade. As soon as it was displayed, the polluted air in the entire auction hall was immediately purified.
It was as though they had all been teleported into the middle of a lush forest in an instant. Everyone’s body and mind seemed to suddenly loosen up.
Han Shuo, who had not been paying much attention suddenly jolted. Dazzling lights too bright to be stared into directly erupted from his eyes. Sophie, who was right beside Han Shuo, witnessed Han Shuo’s eyes widen dramatically. Her gloomy mood seemed to have been diluted by her curiosity. Doubtfully looking at Han Shuo, she asked in a low voice, “You want to get this?”
“That’s right!” Han Shuo replied in a deep voice. “What is this thing? I have never seen such a strange leaf before. Do you know what it is?” Sophie was somewhat surprised, and she questioned Han Shuo closely with her eyes fixed on him.
Nodding, Han Shuo explained, “It’s hard to explain to you. In short, this thing is very useful to me!”
“Then go and bid it! If you don’t have enough gold coins, I can lend you some, but you must repay me!” Sophie said gleamed at Han Shuo. Shortly after, she took a look at a VIP room above before saying to Han Shuo, “I’m going to keep my head down, lest I be noticed by my father when you are bidding.”
“It is rather inconvenient to say much about the origins of this piece of leaf. But still, I believe that those who are knowledgeable can feel how extraordinary it is. Alright, starting price is 10 thousand gold coins. May the best bidder win. The bidding starts now!” the auctioneer shouted.
“20 thousand!” “25 thousand!” “27 thousand!”
It seemed there were many who could tell a good buy when they saw one. Right after the auctioneer finished his words, the bidding price soared higher and higher.
Han Shuo wasn't at all in a hurry to show his hand, but observed the few contesters with his cold eyes. After a round of shouting and quarrelling, slowly, the price had inflated to 40 thousand gold coins. At this moment, many nobilities who were genuinely curious about the functionality of this treasure gradually no longer continued to participate.
There remained three people who were truly interested in the item. Of them, one was a hysterically rotund chap, another was an upper-class lady in bright-coloured clothing, and the last was none other than Braque of the Pillion family.
Among the three, Braque was the most excited. Perhaps it was because he discovered that there were people who actually dared compete against him, but he appeared very irritated. Han Shuo could even hear his constantly quickening heartbeat due to the excitement.
That big fatty seemed likely to be a wealthy, successful merchant based on his attire, perhaps hailing from Brut Merchant Alliance. No wonder he dared fight over an item against Braque. As for the graceful upper-class woman, although Han Shuo couldn’t tell her origins, he could tell that her financial resources was probably the least sufficient of the three as her face gradually grew more and more displeased. Han Shuo reckoned that the price of the item had exceeded what she could bear.
After observing for a while, when Han Shuo saw that the price had reached 50 thousand, he suddenly made a move. A string of digits suddenly came into appearance.
“A hundred… 100 thousand! Who, who is it?” the auctioneer shrieked and scanned his eyes through the crowd for the identifier number.
The whole auction house sank into turmoil!