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Chapter 412 - Shared Resemblance
The grand staircase within the ancient castle had been completely torn down, leaving an open s.p.a.ce like a small-sized a.s.sembly hall. In the frontmost position was a small auction platform, with two organized rows of decoratively-carved thrones on the left and right. Arranged behind these carved thrones were many eight-seated, old-fashioned square tables and countless wooden stools.
Sitting upon the decoratively-carved thrones were the headmasters and leaders of various sects and schools, and at those eight-seated square tables were the disciples of those inst.i.tutions. In addition, an elderly-looking person was keeping watch at every table.
Generally speaking, the scene was comparatively solemn.
Of course, apart from Gu Zuo, the other ancient martial artists were conversing with each other in low voices, and none of them were paying attention to the venue itself.
Ancient martial artists didn’t gather together often, but once they did, it was always in relatively concealed places — Sometimes, the venues were detached courtyards, ranches, or other places that only members could enter. Sometimes, the sites were located deep in the mountains and ancient forests. This time around, the Tian Family had invited many people. The Qi Generating Pills were also of great importance. After looking here and there, they finally settled on this long-established ancient castle, which was sufficiently large and well-concealed. As for the interior renovations, because the ancient castle had been left to ruin long ago, and ancient martial artists held old cultures in high regard, they made the proper preparations as the time drew near.
As far as the ancient martial artists were concerned, this was enough.
They didn’t pay attention to anything else except for the main purpose tonight.
When Gu Zuo and his group came in, the venue, which was originally still a little noisy, turned silent all of a sudden.
Countless lines of sight turned to look at the entrance. Most of all were those prestigious ancient martial artists sitting atop the decorative thrones. Their gazes were like icy lightning, carrying an extremely swift and fierce aura.
Gongyi Tianheng was calm and composed.
He took a single step forward, and those innumerable streaks of imposing aura were like drops of water falling on a branding iron, dissipating in a flash. It was basically impossible to negatively affect anyone behind him.
Those prestigious fellows were startled. At once, they took measure of Tianheng. Then, they discovered that, no matter what methods they used, they couldn’t see through Tianheng’s strength. The shock in their hearts became even more intense.
After that, their gazes finally shifted to Gu Zuo — Every ancient martial artist who looked at Gu Zuo for the first time felt doubts, but regardless of their suspicions, none of them acted blindly without thinking.
While Gu Zuo was being sized up by others, he was doing the same to them.
Indeed. The highest realms here were at the Transformed Energy Stage. There wasn’t a single person who had reached the equivalent of Xiantian. He didn’t even see anyone at half-step Xiantian.
He didn’t think this world didn’t have anyone who was able to pierce through the mysteries of the Xiantian Realm. It was just that this type of person probably wouldn’t be interested in attending small gatherings.
As the person in charge who wasn’t an ancient martial artist, Tian Mu directly led Gu Zuo, Tianheng, and the others to the left side’s seat of honor. As for the one at the right side’s seat of honor, it was the leader of the Ancient Martial Artists a.s.sociation. His appearance was aged and the top of his head was shiny and smooth. Unexpectedly, he was a martial artist from the Buddhist faction.
Gu Zuo sat on the decoratively-carved throne. Behind him was a table where Tianheng, Gu Qi, and the Zhang Family’s grandfather and grandson were seated.
Gu Qi was an ordinary person, but his courage wasn’t small. He also didn’t have any stage fright. On the contrary, he was incredibly cool-headed. At this time, he didn’t deliberately go wandering around to observe. This was to avoid causing unnecessary trouble.
The Zhang Family’s leaders were even more prudent — If they offended anyone at this moment, it might cause great harm to the Zhang Family.
Once everyone sat down, Gu Zuo understood that his group was the last to arrive, but he didn’t receive any th.o.r.n.y looks or barbed glances. This wasn’t like what he had watched on television. He only came bearing good things. Naturally, there wouldn’t be any stupid fellows who relied on seniority to look down on others and stuck their necks out first.
The members of the Tian Family didn’t take any seats. Rather, they stood on both sides of the auction platform. In addition, Tian Hang immediately followed Tianheng and the others, and sat down behind Gu Zuo.
Tian Mu got onto the platform. To the numerous ancient martial artists, he cupped his fist, and said: “Ladies and gentlemen, all of you have come from afar. The Tian Family respectfully welcomes you!”
In the crowd of ancient martial artists, those of the younger generation gave face, and cupped their fists in return.
— It was reminiscent of the brave and chivalrous style of some figures of the rivers and lakes of antiquity.
Gu Zuo cupped his hands as well. From beginning to end, his expression was affixed with a slight smile. It made him appear easy to get along with, but he also wasn’t that feeble or easily bullied.
Tian Mu said: “The purpose of everyone coming here is precisely for the rumored Qi Generating Pill’s miraculous effects. As the saying goes, ‘Believe what one sees, not what one hears.’ If we only rely on word of mouth, everyone certainly won’t be convinced.”
Soon after, he waved a hand, and called two middle-aged men onto the stage: “For these two gentlemen, one comes from the School of Fist Intent and the other comes from the School of the Great Saber. Back then, they were promising, young talents in those schools, but after spending lots of time improving their inner powers, they were always at the peak of Hidden Energy, but never advanced to Transformed Energy. However, the two have been immersed in the Hidden Energy Stage for many years, and the distance to the Transformed Energy Stage is just water on the millstone to hone their inner powers. Now, I’m inviting these two to take a Qi Generating Pill to let everyone see the medicinal effects.”
After he finished speaking, the two members of the Schools of Fist Intent and the Great Saber cupped their fists, and saluted the numerous ancient martial artists.
Most of those present weren’t from those kinds of reclusive sects. They were considered to have traversed the rivers and lakes of ancient martial arts. Likewise, the people within the rivers and lakes were naturally familiar with these two people.
Right away, some people recognized them:
“Tyrant Saber, He Youfeng!”
“Carefree Fist, Xin Yue!”
“Indeed, the two of them have been famous elders of the schools and sects for a long time.”
“I heard that they have been stuck at a bottleneck for four or five years…”
Gu Zuo knew that these two were the night-watchers sent by the schools two days ago. He didn’t expect that, during the small gathering of ancient martial artists, they would also act as “product testers” to give a demonstration for the crowd.
There was happiness in the eyes of He Youfeng and Xin Yue.
Yes. When all was said and done, the Qi Generating Pills obtained by the schools weren’t many. The various uses had long been planned out. Although they were senior elders who should’ve received a pill, the future wasn’t set in stone. One could never guarantee that accidents wouldn’t happen. But now, it was different. They were going to test the medicine in front of everyone. In fact, this was a reward given to them by the schools!
At once, without the slightest hesitation, the two spread out their palms. The pure-white pill on their hands were placed into their mouths. Following this, before they could even make any swallowing motions, the medicinal power had already gone down their throats!
Under the scrutiny of everyone, across the bodies of these two school elders, their qi energies surged and their qi emissions livened. Not long after, the feelings these two gave others underwent a change. In the blink of an eye, they broke through from Hidden Energy to Transformed Energy!
At this moment, many people cried out in low voices:
“That’s right. This really is Transformed Energy!”
“Two more people have joined our ranks.”
“This Qi Generating Pill can save us ten years of hard work!”
“A good thing! The Tian Family really hasn’t fooled us!”
At this time, all of the ancient martial artists at the venue were convinced of the information’s authenticity. When they looked at Gu Zuo again, their gazes had become scorching hot.
Having experienced similar matters several times in the past, Gu Zuo was calm and unperturbed. He felt no pressure whatsoever.
He Youfeng and Xin Yue wore ecstatic expressions as they returned to their own schools.
At this time, Tian Mu cleared his throat. Amid the impatient looks of numerous ancient martial artists, he declared this time’s sales method: “After years of painstaking research, Mister Gu refined the Qi Generating Pills for the benefit of our generations. However, it required many precious medicinal ingredients. During the refinement process, there were also many failures, and a lot was wasted. Thus, the price can’t be too low.”
Speaking up to here, he paused: “Four million yuan per pill. Anyone interested in making purchases can register with my Tian Family. Mister Gu will decide on the quant.i.ty based on the number of people who need it.”
The implications were already clear.
There was a burst of quiet discussions among the crowd of ancient martial artists. As far as they were concerned, they naturally wanted to obtain even more pills for themselves, but this kind of distribution method did save some trouble… Therefore, many headmasters and leaders promptly gestured at the people behind them, ordering those young and vigorous lads in their schools and sects to quickly register with the Tian Family.
This round of registrations took half an hour.
During this period, although some ancient martial artists intentionally approached Gu Zuo to get into his good graces, Gu Zuo kept sipping from his cup of tea the whole time. It was an obvious refusal to any attempts at communication right now — They had no choice but to tactfully drop the subject.
The final result of the count was that there were thirty-five ancient martial arts organizations.
This definitely didn’t include all the forces of the current age’s ancient martial artists. However, there was no need for doubts. Once they went back, they would certainly see the intense regrets of those who didn’t come today!
Some of the ancient martial arts schools that were mocked by hostile forces were secretly laughing and ridiculing in their hearts at this moment.
Gu Zuo heard the results announced by the Tian Family, and inwardly calculated. At the same time, he turned his head to face Tianheng. He intended to discuss things with his family’s big brother.
Yet, though he was originally looking at Tianheng, his vision was drawn to his dad, who had been silent all the while.
Right now, Gu Qi’s face carried a bit of hesitation. From time to time, his line of sight would fall onto a group of people.
Gu Zuo’s heart stirred.
— Could it be that dad discovered something?
But those who practiced martial arts had sharp ears and keen eyes. It wouldn’t be a good idea to ask while he was under the focused attention of so many people.
After slightly pondering, Gu Zuo transmitted to Tianheng.
[Big brother, I’m going to sell five pills per person. It will show that the pills are hard to come by. How about that?]
Tianheng faintly nodded his head.
Gu Zuo was used to discussing matters with his big brother. But in actuality, they had an extraordinary tacit understanding for a long time now, and there were few disagreements.
Hence, he nodded his head as usual. He took a package from Tianheng’s hand, and brought out a relatively large jade gourd. He said to Tian Mu: “There are so many people here. One person can obtain five pills for twenty million yuan.”
Gu Zuo’s voice was neither loud nor quiet, but his words entered the ears of all the ancient martial artists filling this hall.
It was just that…there were only five pills?
This amount was too small.
Tian Hang swiftly carried the jade gourd, and walked over to Tian Mu, who was next to the auction platform.
The discussions of the ancient martial artists became even more urgent. Meanwhile, Tian Mu cleared his throat again. He held a microphone, and stated in a loud voice: “Ladies and gentlemen, there’s no need to feel anxious. This is just the first round of sales, and every organization will be able to obtain some pills. The second round will be a private auction. At that time, apart from financial support, all of you will rely on luck to obtain…”
After these words were spoken, the many organizations calmed down.
Members of the Tian Family started to call out names. Tian Hang was in charge of receiving checks or bank cards with one hand, and handing out medicinal pills with the other. He was so busy that he broke out into a sweat. Every time a name was called, he could sense an organization’s powerhouse staring intently at him. Since he was under the constant pressure of imposing auras, he seemed to fall under the illusion that his bones were being crushed.
Taking advantage of this opportunity, Gu Zuo quietly moved to the back, and sat at the eight-seated square table a.s.signed to his group.
Gu Qi’s state of mind was still a little distracted. Gu Zuo leaned closer, and softly asked: “Dad, what’s wrong? Did you notice something?”
Right at this time, Gu Zuo also gave Tianheng a look.
Tianheng had a slight smile on his face. The qi emissions around his body poured out like a torrent of flowing water, and silently wrapped them up.
This was another utilization of qi energy. It could isolate those weaker than oneself from listening to their conversation.
Gu Qi composed himself. He looked at his son’s worried complexion, and shook his head: “I’m fine.” After that, his tone was hesitant, “Xiao Zuo, I think I saw someone…who resembles your father very much.”
Gu Zuo’s heart tensed: “Is it father?”
Gu Qi hurriedly replied: “No. It’s just that…his facial features are similar. But he definitely isn’t Zhao Ji.”
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