Everyone thought that this was reasonable. [It must've been difficult to find the raw materials to ferment such a high quality wine, right?]
[Yes. It's fair that there's only this one batch.]
"Since it will only be this one batch… how many bottles are there in total?" this question was asked by a person who wasn't necessarily an authority on wines. In fact, she hadn't even tasted the wine — for it was Princess Ling Meng.
Fatty Tang answered her question despite being astonished by it, "The total number of wine bottles on auction is: three thousand. And no matter the price — wine such as this 'Heavenly Wine' appears only briefly. Therefore, just drink it! Even if it means that this wine will get finished!"
"Three thousand bottles...!" People who were very fond of the wine exclaimed. Three thousand bottles was a lot; it would be considered a massive number. However, one had to remember that many people were invited for the auction, and at least a hundred people were participating in it. Therefore, each would be able to obtain only thirty bottles on an average.
However, the upper limit of purchase for each person was fifty bottles. Moreover, in the first row was the royal family, and behind them were all the great houses of the Kingdom. These people would certainly take initiative and spend money so as to not return empty handed. It was likely that they would take turns in procuring for their needs. On top of that, representatives from over a dozen such great families were present here. Their consumption would reach around eight hundred bottles of wine; at the very least.
Hence, the remaining eighty or so families would have to compete for twenty two hundred bottles. This made it clear that there would be many who wouldn't be getting any of this 'Heavenly Wine'.
If one was unable to bid successfully, it was possible that they would forever lose the opportunity to taste wine of such an extraordinary quality.
The competition between the merchants would invariably be unprecedented and bitter.
Many people secretly clenched their fists. They were ready to shout out the price once when the time came.
"Now we formally begin the auction. The first batch consists of fifty bottles! Only one person can win all of this," Tang Yuan's fat stomach shook as he smugly announced. He felt that the most important moment of his entire life was upon — holding the hammer, and making the final decision.
"I bid one million taels for these fifty bottles!" A man shouted. Surprisingly, the first person to bid… had actually doubled the price. Some people inwardly cursed the man after hearing this; [arrogant. Sir, this is just the first bid… don't treat it so much like game. Won't the prices become sky high when our turn comes because you shouted out like this?]
The person who had just called-out slowly stood up from his seat in the third row. He was wearing a blue gown. It looked as if the ocean was rippling undulated inside its in endless folds. In fact, it seemed to everyone that a thin layer of 'Blue Ocean' had suddenly appeared in front of them.
The man leisurely smiled and said, "I am Hai Chen Feng, the leader of Tian Xiang City's Jin Yang Gang. I have always loved wine. Therefore, I wish to covet the 'Heavenly Wine'. In fact, I don't think that one million silver taels is too large an amount for this wine. I ask anyone who I might have offended to forgive me."
Hai Chen Feng had naturally been brought in by Jun Mo Xie as a precaution against many eventualities. He needed someone he could "trust". True to the task, Hai Chen Feng had stood up to receive the first shelling of criticisms.
Naturally, there was another reason behind this action of Hai Chen Feng's. He had done this to announce that Tian Xiang City's number one underworld faction, the Jin Yang Gang, had undergone a change of leadership. Moreover, he had also demonstrated that 'Gang Leader Hai' was taking the Jin Yang gang to the upper echelons of the Tian Xiang City.
Hai Chen Feng's sudden appearance caused everyone's gaze to be immediately drawn to him; like pieces of metal being attracted to a magnet. Hai Chen Feng stood there motionless, but he looked a bit 'under the weather', for his complexion had turned somewhat pale. In fact, Jun Mo Xie, who was watching all this from upstairs, was left puzzled. [Don't tell me that he has sustained serious injuries in these two days? This is becoming too frequent, right? It seems that I will have to train him, and increase his strength at least once or twice. Otherwise things might get risky.]
Only the Young Master Jun could dare to think this this. …increasing a Sky Xuan expert's strength by two levels on a whim… who would believe that?!
The three princes and the members of all the great families payed very careful attention to him. They all knew that Jin Yang Gang had undergone a change of leadership. However, they hadn't expected that the mysterious new leader would turn out to be a Sky Xuan expert.
It was important to know that Spirit Xuan experts considered themselves above everyone else and rarely interfered in worldly quarrels. Just below the Spirit Xuan experts, were the Sky Xuan experts; they formed the backbone of the world's power houses. Taking the Tang Family as an example; it was one of the most powerful families in Tian Xiang City. However, even its most powerful member was a mere Earth Xuan expert. And now, there was a strong Sky Xuan expert who had unexpectedly become the head of a gang. Even if the Jin Yang Gang was supposedly the city's number-one gang, it still wasn't powerful enough to compete with the latter. Hence, everyone found this to be a bit too outrageous.
However, bearing this Sky Xuan expert to obtain these fifty bottles of extraordinary wine was acceptable. Hence, no one else participated in this bid; for a while.
As the dust settled, everyone saw a black clothed youngster leisurely standing up in the second row. Although his face was covered with a veil, his bearing was extremely graceful. Each and every movement of his' seemed to be comfortably executed. So much so, that it seemed as if he was a reservoir of all the elegance under the sun. Moreover, his conduct was a textbook example of paragon.
This black clothed youngster was the Li Family's Li You Ran.
Li You Ran was attending a public event after many years.
"I bid one million and five hundred thousand silver taels," it seemed from Li You Ran's voice that he was smiling. His voice sounded like a cool breeze passing through a forest on an autumn day; it was clear, and there was no hint of anger in it. "This is the first round of auction for this Heavenly Wine. This is of great importance. This Young Master is also fascinated with this wine. Therefore, I must ask Gang Leader Hai to forgive me."
Li You Ran smiled as he looked at Hai Chen Feng; it seemed that his look was one of admiration.
However, he did not reveal his truest and innermost feelings.
It was just the evening of the day before yesterday when two of his seniors had been dispatched. But, they were forced to return after sustaining serious injuries. And their culprit was the man in front of his eyes; the new leader of the Jin Yang Gang. Although he had come to know that both sides had suffered injuries, how could he allow this auction to go as per Hai Chen Feng's wishes? Especially when his eldest brother-apprentice was sitting right behind him…
Li You Ran's main aim was simply to disrupt Hai Chen Feng's impetus, and test the financial capabilities of the Jin Yang Gang. After all, the commodity on sale would cost millions of silver taels. Hai Chen Feng would be a very brave man if he were to blindly increase the price. In that case, Li You Ran would back down at an opportune moment, and Hai Chen Feng and the Jin Yang Gang would suffer a crippling financial blow. This would also serve as revenge for his two injured senior brother disciples.
"So the Li Family's Young Master is also very fond of wines, huh?" Hai Chen Feng chuckled gently, "This, however, is not a problem. It is only natural that the price will go high. And since that is the case, I bid three million silver taels!"
Hai Chen Feng had never cared for money. Especially now when the Jin Yang Gang's purpose was to help Jun Mo Xie earn profit. Therefore, no matter what price Li You Ran would bid, Hai Chen Feng could surmount it.
However, this price wasn't enough for Li You Ran to consider withdrawing. Moreover, he was also worried that no one else would now dare to compete against Hai Chen Feng. Anyhow, such an opportunity didn't come to him very often. Therefore, he naturally wanted to add a little bit more; what he would add, would keep the price almost the same.
Everyone present on the scene was a powerful personality in their own merit. And although three million was not a small amount, it wasn't very high either. However, spending so much to buy fifty bottles of wine… sixty thousand per bottle was still quite extravagant. [These gangs will never change… money is dirt to them.]
"Gang leader Hai is very rich; as expected!" Li You Ran laughed calmly as his glance turned as intoxicating as a joyful river. "This Young Master bids three million silver taels… and one copper."
Three million silver taels… and one copper?!
Such a bid was clearly meant as a blatant insult.
Hai Chen Feng was infuriated, and a wave of outrage rose within him. He started breathing violently as he looked at Li You Ran in a cold manner. He said, "Young Master Li's family is truly great… adding just one copper to the three million. He he… However, my heart is untroubled in this regard, and I will not hesitate to spend ten thousand gold taels. Therefore, I bid five million!"
Hai Chen Feng was really mad at Li You Ran. [This boy is extremely annoying! You increase the price, but add only a single copper! This is too strange! Dammit!] He decided to end it with Li You Ran at that moment.
This matter had just become a question of dignity.
"Gang leader Hai, didn't you yourself say that 'it is only natural that the price will go high'? Then why are you getting so mad about this? Such behavior isn't good. He he," Li You Ran said lightly. "Every family here is a noble, and everyone's demeanor is in accordance to that status. This Young Master has merely added to the price without violating any rules. There aren't any stipulations regarding how much we can add. Also, my Li Family is a very small family. Therefore, we cannot afford to add a lot of money; kindly forgive me. However, since Gang Leader Hai feels this way… I will admit that I have sinned since I wish to avoid annoying him!"
Hai Chen Feng's face was pale but he was happy inside. [You try to add more to the price, and I will immediately stop. I will make you bear the burden of this black pot with your own pocket!]
Li You Ran paused for a moment, and then finally said with elegance, "I will bid five million silver taels… and two coppers!"
Hai Chen Feng flew into a rage! He jumped on top of his table, and let out a huge roar, "You, boy, you've gone too far… you… " Just then, he heard Young Master Jun's faint voice… right in his ear. It was similar to that of a housefly, "Let him have it."
Hai Chen Feng was stumped. He started looking around. In the Xuan Xuan Continent, there was no technique-known to send one's voice to others in such a manner. Hai Chen Feng had no idea how that voice entered his ear… [Why does it seem that no else heard that? This is too weird, right?]
"I am telling you to let him have it. Do not bid again; that's an order!" Jun Mo Xie's voice sounded inside Hai Chen Feng's ear once again.
The voice was very strict and commanding; even if it was faint. Hence, he could not disobey that command.
[Yes. I will obey your orders.]
Jun Mo Xie had taken note of Li You Ran the moment he had arrived. He had then searched through the previous Jun Mo Xie's memories, and had come to realize that this was the first time that he was seeing Li You Ran in person.
Jun Mo Xie had a sense of uneasiness the first time he laid eyes on this man. Li You Ran's bearing… whatever he said… or the movements he made — were too perfect!
He was just perfect… regardless of what was at hand.
However, [does such a perfect personality truly exist in this world?] Jun Mo Xie would never be convinced of that.
[The Heaven and the Earth aren't perfect; nothing is perfect in this entire world.]
[Such a perfect person does not exist anywhere in the world!]
Even if Li You Ran demonstrated a "perfect" behavior, Jun Mo Xie knew at a glance that he was actually a fake.
Fake to the core!