Paragon of Sin

Chapter 653 - 648: Fate Of The Few

The value of the Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pill had reached heaven-shaking limits, especially for a Ninth-Grade Alchemical Product, even if it was a peak-tier pill. Due to this, the market price for the Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pill would certainly force a type of exclusively, a required limit on financial stability and connections.

However, the many spectators, especially the talented juniors, were unable to properly wrap their heads around why this was the case. Could the Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pill truly redefine the state of cultivation? Could it be that a divide will truly be born from this pill ’s existence? It wasn ’t a pill that exceeded the concept of Mortal Limits, so why was it fought over?

The words of Liu Fei, the Alchemic Sovereign of the Liu Clan, echoed throughout the minds of many. Did the many forces believe that this pill was only beneficial to cultivators of a certain realm, within a certain stage, that this product will decide the next ruler of an entire stellar region?

Their thoughts wild, curious, and invigorated by the possibility fed a desire to obtain this pill. Those prospective Chosen who were brought over to observe, those genuine Chosen that have already been selected, had eyes gleaming with want.

Ma Zheng understood that this pill isn ’t what ’s valuable. Even if one took away the effect, the intricate principles, the most valuable aspect was its creator. The priority rights for the pill was secondary, the pill itself was important, but letting the creator know the value they held to them, to this stellar region, was the core objective.

’Show me… ’ Ma Zheng recalled Wei Wuyin ’s succinct words. The question was never singular in its meaning. Two words, yet contained layers upon layers that could be peeled away continuously. Those keen and insightful would understand, those dim-witted and slow would find only ignorance and confusion.

Show me how capable you are.

Show me who values talent.

Show me who has the means to catch my interest.

Show me the threats…

Show me…

Show me…

This was why he understood that this bidding war had yet to end. He personally saw the arrival of the King of Everlore. The first thing the King of Everlore did was not establish his own factions, but grew a series of talented, loyal followers. His talent and skills soon paved an eventuality where the highest association for alchemy had kneeled to him in defeat, becoming his own despite their over ten thousand years of outstanding history.

While their manner of doing things were different, he felt a distinctive similarity between these two figures. When he investigated Wei Wuyin ’s background, he understood that he had achieved a series of acts very similar to what the King of Everlore had done here. While in the Everlore Starfield, the King of Everlore was less involved, but as he rose to newer heights, found his own, he elevated his tactics.

A strong foundational base; loyal, talented followers; conquering the head alchemist association; establishing his reputation far and wide with outrageously extraordinary, absolutely legendary feats.

”The Ascendant Emperor of Neo-Dawn… ” Ma Zheng muttered slowly to himself. Regardless if they were related, even if it was a mere coincidence, their path was both grand, with seemingly unstoppable momentum. However, that didn ’t mean others wouldn ’t try.

When he felt that the Everlore Association wouldn ’t make a move today, his aged gaze dimmed considerably. Perhaps…things wouldn ’t be so easy for Wei Wuyin.

His thoughts weren ’t unique. There were others speculating and contemplating the fate of the creator, not the pill itself. These included those grand figures that were readying themselves to enter the field as players. With the board set, there was bound to be chaos and inevitable shifts in power.

An hour passed.

The Imperial Clan ’s bid, made by Tian Guyan, held strong. No one thought a force would bid higher. That would be a direct challenge to the Imperial Clan. While it might sound domineering and overbearing, it was also the reality of the situation. The sacrificial bid rule stipulates loss by participation. As long as you ’re involved, if you ’re not the final winner, you ’re the inevitable loser.

There were only a few forces that might ’ve placed a maximum bid of this level, and they were limited to the World Sects and Mystic Associations. However, the Boundless Martial Sect has already been outbid. Clearly, they weren ’t as overly invested in this pill or its prospects, even if they sent an Earthly Saint.

The True Element Sect might ’ve had a chance, but their resources were too divided, their interests far too segregated. Furthermore, there were rumors that the alchemist in question could be linked to them. While the exact connection was speculation, the fact was there was a connection.

They might not need to bid to obtain the pill.

The Void Voyage Sect has always been a mysterious entity. They rarely ever made a move in the open. If they decide to act, it ’ll definitely be discreet.

That left the Godforge Association and the Everlore Association amongst the Aeternal Sky Starfield ’s participants. The former was unlikely to have invested much in their maximum bid, the latter might not see it as relevant. In their eyes, whoever bought the pill will likely bring it to them with a deal to reverse engineer it for the promise of more, and in steady supply, at a discounted cost. Their loftiness was warranted, however, backed by their skills.

There was no other competitor left.

Or so everyone thought.

”The Ninestar Sainthall bids five High-tier, Low-quality, Mystic-Earth grade Mystic-Will Convergence Pills. ”

”… ”

”… ”

”…! ”

The spectators gasped, turning towards the origin of that bid. They saw a woman, her appearance concealed by a layer of spiritual mist. They only assumed her gender due to the sound of her voice that was distinctively female.

What type of person bids for a lower-ranked product with a higher-ranked product?! Were they crazy?!

Ma Sujiang ’s eyes flitted with the light of surprise. She was momentarily startled, but she remained collected as she proceeded to announce the pills ’ value. ”The value of each high-tier, mystic-earth grade Mystic-Will Convergence Pill is estimated at 300 mystic-stones each, for a total value of 1,500 mystic stones. The bid is currently at 1,500 mystic stones. ”

Unlike Mortal-Rank alchemical products, Mystic-Tier Products were divided into four grades, from lowest to highest: Mystic-Earth, Mystic-World, Mystic-Heaven, and Mystic-Soul. Each divided into three tiers: Low, High, and Peak. These were divided into five qualities: Impure, Low, High, Peak, and Transcendent.

The last quality, transcendent, was also recognized officially by the Mortal-Rank within the Grand Cyclic Stellar Region. These particular products contained certain uniquely designed features, pushed beyond their limits of possibility by infusing other sources of power.

For the Mortal-Rank, it was the perfect melding of Mortal and Mystic. For Mystic-Rank, it was the perfect melding of Mystic and Immortal. It was once said that only those who ’ve touched these realms could concoct these products.

That being said, the grading system for Mystic-Rank Alchemical Products was not as simple as the Mortal-Rank. For example, the first, second, and third-grade products were suitable for Non-Cultivators and Foundation Establishment Realm Cultivators; the fourth, fifth, and sixth-grade products were suitable for Qi Condensation Cultivators, from the lower, middle, and upper phases respectively.

The fourth-grade for the Qi Creation Phase, External Flow Phase, and Elemental Birth Phase. The fifth-grade for Yin Form Phase, Yang Growth Phase, and False Reality Phase. The sixth-grade for Sublime Qi Phase, Infused Spirituality Phase, Qi Essence Phase.

The seventh, eighth, and ninth-grade products were for Astral Core Realm cultivators by the same principle, with the same structure. As for the concept of high-tier and peak-tier, it is related to difficulty and functionality. The higher the tier for the pill, typically, the more beneficial it is for that particular cultivator phase, and if a higher-graded product, such as the Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pill, was extremely beneficial to lower ranks, it ’ll be classified as peak-tier.

It was this very reason why the Everlore Ascension Pill, despite its grade, the majority of its usefulness existed in the Ninth-Stage of Qi Condensation to the First Stage of the Astral Core Realm boundary, was rated as Low-tier. There was also the level of resources used and difficulty to factor, but usefulness contributed to roughly 40% of its tier.

However, it was slightly different for the Mystic-Rank Grading System. The Mystic-Earth grade was suitable for second through fourth stages of the Mystic Ascendant Realm, while Mystic-World grade was suitable for fourth through eighth stages. The Mystic-Heaven and Mystic-Soul exceeded the limits of the Mystic Ascendant Realm. As for the first and ninth stages, this was deliberately excluded due to their peculiar states. The former often had ninth-grade listed as their suitable product, while the latter wasn ’t understood enough.

Tian Guyan deeply frowned. His imposing gaze shifted to the concealed figure. The Mystic-Will Convergence Pill was a product used to converge Mystic Intent around yourself, increasing the ease at which one could comprehend it. It was useful for Ascended and non-Ascended alike.

It was this very pill that allowed him to reach the Demi-Mortal Lord Phase, after consuming two of these products. He knew their worth, and they were outrageously valuable. Even Earthly Saints would fight for those products.

The value of alchemical products, however, were outrageously inflated due to their scarcity. This problem held true even in the Everlore Starfield. Even if the materials for a seventh-grade product was worth a few hundred qi essence stones to concoct, the value of the seventh-grade product would still exceed an astral stone, roughly a million qi essence stones.

This was why alchemists were all absurdly rich, at least for their levels.

He didn ’t bid further. It wasn ’t because his maximum bid was reached, but the concealed figure had sent him a spiritual transmission of her maximum bid potential. It was too ridiculous. He didn ’t find her words to be deliberately meant to scare him off either, knowing that alchemists were all like this.

Defeated, he looked away with a carefree gaze. The only ones that could reclaim the face of the Aeternal Sky Starfield were the two associations. If the Imperial Clan had prepared more, if their wealth was more centralized, not divided and tied into certain political figures ’ pockets and continuing conflicts, they could certainly outbid any force.

Unfortunately, their investment into the maximum bid just wasn ’t enough. Well, as long as Tian Yinwu didn ’t get it or that half-sister of his, Tian Guyan was sitting very relaxed. As a Demi-Mortal Lord, this pill offered him no use.

Many expected the Everlore Association to enter the war, bidding to uproot the Ninestar Sainthall ’s bid, but shockingly, there was nothing but silence. A few even tried to find their representative, but they couldn ’t. Were they not present? Or were they hiding and stating a stance?

Thinking about it, there ’s a possibility that the Everlore Association might ’ve already started researching a way to create a similar product. This invigorated people ’s interest, igniting the hope in their hearts that they might be able to afford one. Their faith in the Everlore Association was unfaltering.

Two hours.

Ma Sujiang announced, ”The Golden Auction has concluded! The winner of the Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pill and the priority purchasing rights for it is the Ninestar Sainthall! ”

”… ” There were still many that held ugly expressions. The force that didn ’t belong to their Aeternal Sky Starfield bought it? If what Liu Fei said was true, wasn ’t this giving them a head start to become the ruler of them all?

The dark thoughts of others were born. Enmity was born. Caution was born. All directed towards the open ambitions of the Ninestar Sainthall.

Ma Zheng frowned, realizing the dark expressions and dusky light in the eyes of those glancing at the concealed figure. ’The schemes never stop, huh? ’ Thinking back in hindsight, it now seemed strange that Liu Fei would make such an announcement.

The Liu Clan…

With a soft sigh, Ma Zheng placed such thoughts away. There was no need for an old man like him to integrate himself in such sinister plays any longer. His time was near. As for how the Ninestar Sainthall handles these matters, that was on them.

”Little Brother, better luck next time. ” Tian Guyan sneered as he directed his voice towards Tian Yinwu. His spiritual incarnation vanished.

There were a few figures that glanced at Tian Yinwu with pity, a hint of regret. If a genius like that had this type of product, wouldn ’t he grow wings? But Tian Yinwu kept a neutral expression, undisturbed by his half-brother ’s sniding comment.

Ma Sujiang ’s eyes carried a wisp of worry. She wondered if there was a way to obtain a Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pill. As a businesswoman, she could invest in Tian Yinwu. Right? This would pay dividends in the future…right?

Tian Yinwu lips arched upwards slightly, one infused with a feeling of triumph, before he dissipated. Ma Sujiang felt that her eyes were fooling her. Did he just smile?

With the curtain closing, the final winner being declared, the world went into an uproar after a series of news were released. Firstly, the final bid on the auction. It was stupendously high, reinforcing the already floating idea that this pill shall redefine the world ’s standards.

Secondly, the official sale price for the Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pill had been determined and announced. While the pill and its temporary priority rights sold for fifteen hundred mystic stones, each product was still reasonably priced at 880,000 astral stones.

While still outrageously high for a ninth-grade product, it was affordable. After all, some Gold-tier forces lacked a single mystic stone. Not just in terms of having one, but in liquid wealth overall as well. The value of an small-sized, astral-graded planet was worth over three mystic stones. You can ’t expect these forces who shared these types of planets with other forces to have such expendable wealth to begin with. But now they were still capable of affording it if they went all out.

Lastly, the stock minimum was announced. There ’ll be eight Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pills available every decade, after the priority period passes. Most would have to wait roughly three decades for one. That being said, it was a minimum, not the maximum. There could always be more.

This gave others hope.

—–

Several days later, Ma Zheng and Ma Sujiang sat at a bench. A relatively joyful park filled with kids was there. Their parents were cultivators, enjoying time socializing and gossiping about news. The two were extraordinary, but seemingly ignored as if they weren ’t there.

Ma Sujiang was dressed much more simply than before. She had many different flavors and wore them all well. Even now, she gives off a gentle feeling in her blue robes.

Ma Zheng remained the same, his aged face possessing a pair of eyes that reflected the vicissitudes of his lifetime and wisdom.

”The Main Branch…are you sure this is fine, father? ” Ma Sujiang asked, a hint of worry in her tone. The Main Branch of the Golden Life Pavilion kept troubling them for the concoction method for the Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pill, and to meet the creator of this recipe, but Ma Zheng refused both demands.

There were moves to reduce Ma Zheng ’s authority within the Golden Life Pavilion, even attempts to strip away power from their Ma Clan. All because of their refusal to share the concoction method or reveal the creator ’s location to them. She didn ’t expect their moves to be so vicious. There were also those other clans within the Third Branch that were readying to grasp their position.

There was already a plan being finalized to replace her former position as Assistant Manager with an avid competitor of theirs, someone within the Third Branch. With her father being at the edge of his lifespan, they were clearly demanding that he groom that person as his successor in the event of his death.

It was a blatant threat.

The opening that her removal presented them with an opportunity to reject her from taking over the Third Branch. She felt somewhat guilty. She wasn ’t foolish enough to think it was her father ’s decision that landed him in this position.

Ma Zheng remained entirely unconcerned. ”When he arrives, everything will be dust in the wind. Why waste time on these minor matters? ” After that, he coughed. With a few out, his breathing and complexion regained some normality.

Ma Sujiang ’s trimmed brows furrowed with indescribable worry. She could tell her father ’s condition was worsening.

Ma Zheng deeply inhaled, looking at the little kids playing with innocence in their eyes and joy in their movements. With a slow exhale, he smilingly said: ”My final sights aren ’t on the Third Branch. I think it ’s time for the Ma Clan to start regaining what was originally ours. ”

Ma Sujiang ’s eyes widened. She had never seen the light of ambition in her father ’s eyes before…it was unexpectedly….refreshing.

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