Although the arrival of Saionji Tsunekatsu didn't alarm the other buyers at all, Li Yundong subconsciously had a bad feeling about it.
He seemed to have sensed something, but these things were quite vague in the depths of his mind. He couldn't tell what the problem was exactly.
"These two fellows... are they here for the Medicine King Tripod?" Li Yundong knit his brows and asked in a deep voice.
Ao Wushuang sneered and said, "Would there be anything else that could have attracted them here?"
Su Chan asked, "How did they find out about it though?"
Zi Yuan looked warily at Saionji Tsunekatsu and Tobaku, saying softly, "Maybe it's from the news. The Medicine King Tripod is a famous powerful magical weapon in the Cultivation World. It's normal for Japanese cultivators to also want to take possession of them."
Zhou Qin and Su Chan said angrily at the same time, "Damn it!"
Zhou Qin said angrily, "Can't these wretches do anything good?"
Su Chan also spat angrily, "How can our national treasures be owned by those from beyond the East Sea? Yundong, you must..."
As the girl was talking, she suddenly saw a hand reaching out from behind, followed by a surprised voice saying, "Hello, Miss Su, nice to see you again!"
Su Chan blanked for a moment. She looked at the hand beside her and couldn't help but look back to see a middle-aged man smiling at her in surprise.
Su Chan thought the person was very familiar. She seemed to have seen him somewhere before but couldn't clearly recall where.
At this time, Li Yundong also turned his head and looked at the middle-aged man in front of him. Wasn't the middle-aged man Rong Guofa, who had tried to bribe Su Chan with money at the entrance of the amusement park?
Su Chan didn't remember him at all, but Li Yundong remembered him clearly in his heart.
He was stunned for a moment. At this time, Rong Guofa was also looking at him. Both of them couldn't help but inadvertently blurt out, "It's you?"
If it had been in the past, maybe Li Yundong would have taken the initiative to humiliate Rong Guofa, but now Li Yundong was no longer the kid he had once been. He just smiled, nodded to Rong Shi, and said meaningfully, "Small world, huh?"
As soon as Rong Guofa saw Li Yundong, he remembered what Su Chan had once said to him: "You must remember his name. His name is Li Yundong, and he is my partner. Although he is a nobody now, I assure you that his name will be known throughout the world in less than two years' time! When that happens, he'll do what you can with no effort, but you'll never be able to do what he can!"
"This man named Li Yundong? Has he become famous now?"
Rong Guofa looked Li Yundong up and down. There was nothing special about his clothes, but the women around him were really beautiful. Each of them was extremely enchanting, and their temperaments were different. For a time, Rong Guofa was dazzled by them.
Seeing that Li Yundong had greeted him politely, Rong Guofa nodded to him in a reserved manner. He smiled, but in his heart, he thought, "This poor boy is really lucky! What on earth is he capable of? Humph!"
Rong Guofa hadn't expected to meet Su Chan again. He didn't even care that he had a female companion with him and had taken the initiative to say to Su Chan, "Miss Su, I wasn't expecting to see you here. It's really an unusual chance for us to meet in this life!"
At this time, Su Chan had also remembered who Rong Guofa was. She looked at him with disgust in her eyes, snorted, and said, "Yes, this world is so small!"
Rong Guofa was delighted and said with a slimy grin, "Yes, it's really fate!"
Seeing that this guy wasn't quitting, Su Chan continued to argue with him. She pulled a face at him and said, "If you go anywhere next time, you must warn me in advance!"
When Rong Guofa heard this, he was so happy that his body became a few pounds lighter. He said in an ecstatic tone of voice, "Okay, okay, next time I want to go out, I will inform you first!" As he said this, he glanced at Li Yundong, provocation and complacency filling his eyes.
Su Chan said with a serious face, "Yes, if I know where you are, I'll know to avoid the area!"
The smile on Rong Guofa's face froze. Next to them, Kris and Zhou Qin couldn't help but burst into laughter.
Li Yundong patted Su Chan on her shoulder and said with a smile, "Okay, don't make trouble. Sit down. The auction is about to begin."
Rong Guofa's girlfriend, who was next to him, couldn't stand it anymore. She secretly pinched his arm and whispered, "Am I invisible to you?"
Rong Guofa smiled awkwardly at her. He finally sat back down and stopped pestering Su Chan, but his eyes kept rolling back and forth between her and Li Yundong, as if he was calculating something in his heart.
Li Yundong, Su Chan, and the others continued chatting in low voices. About ten minutes later, the auction, which had almost shocked the whole Cultivation World, finally officially began.
Li Yundong and Zi Yuan secretly counted that there were as many as twenty-three cultivation sects present at the auction. The scale of the auction was much larger even than that of the Taoist assembly!
Once the host had enthusiastically introduced the rules of the bidding and the items on offer, the first antique was displayed on the stage.
Li Yundong took a look and saw that it was a refined ivory carving with an Arhat's mansion-guarding pagoda. Although he was inspecting it from a distance, he could still see that there was a crystal-clear, round luster on the pagoda. Obviously, it was no ordinary object.
Soon, the host invited any bidders who wanted to identify it and take a closer look at the item to step up to the stage. Li Yundong saw that many people, including some cultivators, had left their seats and were going up to have a careful look.
Although Li Yundong had read all the classics in the Spirit Space, it was the first time he had participated in such an auction. He asked Zhou Qin curiously, "What are they doing?"
Zhou Qin explained to him in a low voice, "Before every item is auctioned, according to the rules, bidders may come forward and have a look to make sure whether it's real and in good condition."
Li Yundong suddenly understood, but he looked strangely at Du Fei, who was taking Wei Qing up to observe. He asked, "Does Zhenren Du also want to buy this ivory pagoda? Why is he going up for a look?"
Zhou Qin shook her head, "I don't know. Maybe he collects this kind of thing?"
Beside him, Su Chan asked curiously in a low voice, "Isn't he afraid that he won't have enough money to bid for the Medicine King Tripod?"
Li Yundong thought for a moment and shook his head. "I don't know. Maybe he has plenty of funds, or maybe he has other plans."
Li Yundong saw that Zi Yuan's eyes were fixed on the cultivators of the various sects who were watching the bidding, and she seemed to be lost in thought, as if she was thinking about something. He asked, "Zi Yuan, what are you thinking about?"
When Zi Yuan came to her senses, she hesitated for a moment and said, "In general, the information about these items should have been sent to every bidder long ago, and we also have it. Moreover, if they are really interested in the items, most of them will have come to the auction house and checked the goods in private. Therefore, the procedure at this time is actually just a farce for those who have no intention of bidding. Many people have gone through it. Even if they have seen it before, they'll go up to see it now and confirm that the item is real... Although it is impossible for the auction house to behave this way because of their reputation."
Li Yundong asked in surprise, "What are you trying to say?"
Zi Yuan thought for a moment and said, "Since most of us are here for the Medicine King Tripod, we won't waste our money on these items, so we don't need to see them, and we certainly won't buy them. But... why do these cultivators want to see them?"
Li Yundong thought for a moment and shook his head. "I don't know. By the way, do they want to take some other cultural relics back too?"
Zi Yuan couldn't help laughing and shook her head. She whispered, "Li Yundong, think about it. If a third party suddenly appeared when you and another sect were in full swing in the auction, what would you do?"
Li Yundong was taken aback. "You mean... there might also be cultivation sects secretly uniting together?"
Zi Yuan nodded. "Generally speaking, a buyer will have two psychological bottom lines. The first one is their psychological bottom line, which is decided by the working capital in their hands. When the bidding price exceeds the upper limit of the working capital that someone can gather in a short time, they will waver greatly. The buyer will start to think about whether or not they should continue to bid."
Zi Yuan looked at the auctioneer on the stage and said in a low voice, "According to the Scottish auction rules, once the auctioneer knocks the auction hammer three times, but the bidder hasn't come to a decision, no matter how rich they are, they will not be able to buy the goods! At that time, it will be too late for regret!"
Zhou Qin also listened carefully. At this time, she interrupted, "Yes, so the auction is not only about competing for wealth. Most of the time, it is also a contest of courage and intelligence. Sometimes, the bidders are determined to get it. They may even place some people in the auction house to cooperate with their own bidding."
Li Yundong asked curiously, "How do they cooperate?"
Zi Yuan smiled and said, "Didn't I just say that before? A carefully calculated buyer usually has two bottom lines in his heart. The first one is the upper limit of the working capital in his hand. Once this bottom line has been exceeded, it may bring a difficulty to his business and company's working capital. Therefore, he will hesitate for a moment when that happens.
"However, due to the success of the auction, a lot of money will be paid in installments, so the first psychological bottom line is relatively light. As long as they quickly calculate the distribution of their current funds and the proportion of the payment, they will be able to quickly make a decision: pursue at a high price, or give up!"
Li Yundong was lost in thought and asked again, "What about the second bottom line?"
Zi Yuan continued to say with confidence, "The bottom line of the second psychological limit is vague, but generally speaking, if the value of the item is far less than the auction price, the bottom line of the second psychological limit will be broken. In addition, if the auction price is far beyond the limit that the buyer can afford, then the bottom line will also be broken. The limit that can be afforded is different from person to person. Some businessmen are very powerful, and even if they buy items priced sky-high, they can still make a comeback by paying in installments."
Li Yundong was a little confused and asked, "But does the second psychological bottom line you mentioned have anything to do with the union of the sects and collusion of people?"
At this time, Zhou Qin laughed. She smiled softly and said, "Master, you don't know about this. Sometimes, the bidding can be decided in only an instant, so there is not much time for people to think. Think about it. If I arranged for someone to secretly attack you, you'd bid a price, and he would immediately bid following you and instantly shout out the price of your first bottom line. What would you think at that time?"
Li Yundong was stunned for a moment. "Then I would definitely be stunned subconsciously, and then I would turn to see who the bidder was."
Zhou Qin laughed and said, "That's right. If I bid again in-person at that time and the bid was the price of the second bottom line in your heart at that moment, what would you think?"
Li Yundong suddenly understood and said, "I see! Ordinary people can't accept such a huge price right away, so they end up greatly shocked. And they will be afraid of fighting, so they choose to give up."
Zhou Qin looked at Li Yundong with appreciation. "That's right! What's more, this kind of bidding method is very secretive. It's not easy to offend people with, because the one who gives up usually won't hate the one who will place the final bid, but the one who disrupted the bidding from the beginning!"
She sighed. "It is. In fact, similar to the tactics used in long-distance running. In the beginning, in order to deal with the strongest person on the opposite side, one arranges an opponent to drag someone and keep consuming their physical strength. The other contestant will just follow unhurriedly until the target has almost been exhausted by his companion. Then, he'll suddenly exert his strength, surpassing you, and running away."
Li Yundong looked at the cultivators from the other sects with a strange expression. He whispered, "Could it be that they have also placed a spy?"
Zi Yuan smiled and said, "We can join forces with Quanzhen Dragon Sect? Why can't they join forces with each other? The most important thing is... we all hope to exhaust the enemy, but no one is willing to make the first move because this bidding is like beating drums and spreading flowers. Everyone wants the flower to fall into the hands of others at the beginning and have their funds consumed. But the problem is... because they are not sure who the person secretly bidding is, they certainly don't dare to make a move easily. Otherwise, if they bid but no one else bids later, they will be forced to buy it, and a round of money will be consumed. That will be a big loss. Or maybe they'll bid a few rounds, and finally, the items will be bought by those who really want to buy them. That will also be meaningless."
Li Yundong nodded. He thought for a while before saying, "If we can mess up the situation enough to make these guys consume each other's energy, that'd be great..."
Zhou Qin smiled and said, "Easier said than done. They're not fools! If they're not sure about the identities, they won't make a move."
Su Chan, who had been listening to the conversation between Li Yundong, Zi Yuan, and Zhou Qin, suddenly had an idea. She quickly glanced at Rong Guofa, who was behind her, as if she had struck on something good. Her eyes suddenly darted around, and she whispered a few words to Zhou Qin.
Zhou Qin was stunned. At first, her face was full of suspicion, but the more she listened, the brighter her eyes became. She couldn't help but glance at Rong Guofa behind her. After Hearing Su Chan's whole speech, she gave her a thumbs-up in admiration and nodded slightly.
Being recognized by Zhou Qin, Su Chan laughed and her eyes narrowed into little slits. She shook her head and said proudly in her heart, "Humph, I came up with a brilliant idea. I'll muddy up this auction so that we can fish in troubled waters!"