Chapter 18 – Sold
Lin Ming’s last stop was the Red Maple auction house. Lin Ming did not entertain any ideas of success, and as he thought, the auction house’s beautiful auctioneer had come out herself to turn him down.
However this beautiful lady felt that Lin Ming had been treated a bit unfairly, so she gave him two suggestions. First, he should try the Inscription Association. Perhaps they would be interested in purchasing his symbol papers for collection or educative uses. Normally an apprentice level inscription symbol was relatively rare because of the low success ratio, but Lin Ming had four, so it was even more so. Secondly, he could try heading to the city square and peddling his goods there.
Lin Ming had not gone to the Inscription Association before. He did not have the credentials of a genuine inscription master, and even a top tier inscription master would be unable to see the mysteries behind Lin Ming’s inscriptions. The difference between Sky Fortune Kingdom’s inscription technique and those of the Realm of the Gods was simply too large.
The only thing Lin Ming could do was to go to the city square center, and hope to sell his symbol papers there. Unfortunately, it was impossible to get a decent price.
Although the city square was a lower tier trading center, it was still an official establishment propped up by the government. In here there were a variety of goods that could be sold on commission. The trading center would take in five percent, but the reputation of the center was well known, and there wasn’t a fear of being cheated, so many people chose to do that.
The quality threshold to enter the trading center was low; as long as it was genuine and not a knockoff, then any goods could be sold at reasonable prices. Lin Ming’s inscription symbols were naturally the real deal, this no one could deny, but it was just an apprentice’s work so the value was low.
After the trading center’s appraiser examined his goods, the fat man offered him a starting price of 100 gold taels.
Hearing this number, Lin Ming could only be stunned into silence. Your sister! What is this!
The materials for the inscription cost 7-800 gold taels, and the trading center offered 100 gold taels for one. If he sold it at 100 gold taels, Lin Ming would only receive 400 gold taels!
“So do you want to sell or not?”
Lin Ming clenched his teeth, “Yes, I will sell. I’ll sell two.”
Lin Ming had recently spent all his money. If it weren’t for the large salary and good conditions of the Great Clarity Pavilion, he would have been starving on the streets.
Even if it was selling at a loss, he could accept selling two. As for the other two he would just wait a period. His heart wasn’t willing to sell the last two at 100 taels of gold each.
“Leave your address behind” The fat appraiser said. The trading center was responsible for the sale of commission items only. Only when people have bought the item would they be paid. For Lin Ming, these two inscription symbols also didn’t have a certainty to sell.
“A low rental is one gold tael, a medium rental is three gold taels, and a high rental is five gold taels for a lease of one month. If after that time period the item is unable to sell, the item goes off the shelf and the money is not refunded.” The fat appraiser said.
F*ck! Even this required money, his luck was really dog sh*t. He turned his head and thought about it. The high rent was obviously the best, followed by the medium rent. The low rental was probably some shady corner where no one would see his items.
Lin Ming fished out five gold taels from his pockets, and slapped three gold taels on the able, “I’ll take the medium rent.”
To think that matters would come to this. The inscription was without a doubt no worse than a masters, but now it sold for 100 taels of gold only, and he also had to pay five percent taxes along with a rental fee! And it also depended on whether someone bought his items!
Lin Ming sighed. It really was difficult being unknown.
He placed the two gold taels back into his pocket and forced a smile. Let alone buying any rare medicines to cultivate his martial arts, he would be lucky if there was enough food to put on the table.
Without the medicines and without any other materials, Lin Ming did not feel right asking his good brother Lin Xiaodong to borrow money. Therefore he stayed in the Zhou Mountains and practiced the “True Primal Chaos Formula”. The days passed one by one like this.
Already seven days had gone.
The city square trading center had always been a bustling place. Some people with good judgment would come here and window shop for some rare goods that were misplaced at a lesser price. It was a rewarding feeling to find a hidden treasure!
However these people would not normally look at medicinal herbs or inscription symbols. It was just too difficult to see their quality, so they often skipped these items.
Because of this hundreds and thousands of customers had come, but Lin Ming’s inscription symbol calmly stayed on the shelf, as nobody asked for it.
But today, a tall, brawny man with a large upper body came strolling into the trading center. His whole body was wrapped with thick muscles and he had a rugged appearance. He was simply an intimidating man. He carried a four foot long sword on his back, and walked proudly like a tiger that was looking for trouble.
The person had cold eyes. His body was crisscrossed with scars; he was a man who had experienced countless life or death experiences. This man was a true killer; those little boys who trained at the Martial House simply could not compare with his presence.
Seeing this person, the fat appraiser shrank. This man was at the fifth level of body transformation! A powerhouse at the peak of bone forging!
This person was only a step away from the pulse condensation period. But this one step had too many people who were unable to cross over in their entire lives.
“What does the customer wish to buy?” The fat appraiser stood up and greeted.
The man did not say a single word and just looked around, so tactfully the appraiser also remained silent.
The man looked around the store and it didn’t seem like anything caught his interest, until suddenly, he pointed at two yellow slips of paper that were pressed between panes of glass. “This is the inscription symbol?”
“It’s 100 gold taels?” The man said with a hint of surprise. The usual inscription symbol cost more than a 1000 gold taels. 100 gold taels really was cheap.
The storekeeper said truthfully, “This is the product of an inscription apprentice. His cultivation level is only at the third level of body transformation. The increased strength it offers is probably only up to ten percent.”
“Ten percent…” The man frowned. This really was a low number. But alas, he could not afford to purchase inscription symbols worth more than 1000 gold taels.
This heroes name was Tie Feng. His background was common, and his salary was dependent on what the army provided for him. He had to provide for his elderly parents along with supplying his own medicine, so he could not spend any large amount of gold. Not even 1000 gold taels, but even 100 was a pretty hefty price.
One month ago, Tie Feng had accompanied the armed forces on an expedition and had taken the head of the enemy leader, who was also at the bone forging stage! He took his sword as the spoils of war. This sword was a treasure of the human-step!
The army’s rules were that treasures earned were one’s own. Like this, Tie Feng obtained a treasured sword. However, the sword had been damaged; the swords tip had broken off.
This incomplete treasure could only display a limited effect. When the martial artist concentrated his soul force in the weapon, because the sword was incomplete, the combat strength was also lowered.
Moreover, Tie Feng was also disappointed that the sword did not have an inscription symbol, so its strength as even lower by a level.
Tie Feng did not think of engraving an inscription on it, as he was unable to afford the high price, and also because the sword was damaged so one could say it was unworthy of something like an inscriptions symbol. But seeing this inscription symbol from an apprentice, he began to see the appeal of it.
Generally a symbol that increased the strength by 30% would take about 1500 gold taels. But this only increased a weapon by ten percent, so the price was only 100 gold taels. The ratio of effectiveness to cost was high, but more importantly, he could afford it!
Tomorrow was the third round of the army’s martial arts tournament. His next opponent was a pretty difficult one. If he could raise his sword strength by just a bit, then his chances of winning would be much higher.
The tournament was required by all martial artists within thirty years of age. If one had a great result, they would obtain great rewards, or even a promotion in military rank!
Tie Feng’s military exploits had already accumulated throughout the years. If he showed great results this time, he might even be raised to captain of ten thousand men. Moreover he wanted the rewards. Ten years ago his mother had picked herbal medicines so he could continue practicing his martial arts and had fallen off a cliff and broken both her legs. She had been confined to a bed since. Tie Feng swore to the heavens that he would buy the rare medicine Black Jade Paste for his mother. Black Jade Paste had the ability to heal broken bones if set properly. With it, he would be able to cure both his mother’s legs, and she would be able to walk again! But the price of this rare medicine was 5000 gold taels. To the him now, it was simply an unimaginable figure.
With this in mind, Tie Feng must grasp victory with his own hands! Tomorrow was the third day of the tournament, and even Marshal Qin Xiao would attend in person. He was the number one figure in the land! There was no way he could lose with so much on the line!
For his family, for his mother!
Tie Feng clenched his teeth and said to the storekeeper, “This inscription symbol, I’ll take it!”
“No way! Somehow, you managed to get back 95 taels of gold?” Lin Xiaodong looked at the banknote in Lin Mings hand and couldn’t believe it was real. He couldn’t say what he thought in his mind, that some pitiful fool and spent 95 gold taels to purchase a piece of toilet paper.
“It’s 92 gold taels.” Lin Ming said. The city squares trading center was very quick in terms of money. The next day after the purchase they had handed over Lin Ming his profit. It was originally 100 gold taels, and after taking out five percent, and three gold taels for the rent, there was 92 gold taels left.
An inscription symbol that should have had a minimum value of 1000 taels of gold only sold for 92. It really dumbfounded Lin Ming that the person who bought it profited so, but it was true that those who bought them took the risks.
90 taels of gold was not enough to buy any sort of rare medicine. It was only enough to buy the common kind that cured wounds. Lin Ming shrugged and went to the medicine shop to look for some materials.
What he didn’t know was that at this time in the armor grounds, there was a tournament of unmatched pomp and grand that was occurring, the grand assembly of martial artists!
At the Ten Mile grounds, wearing heavy iron armor under the blazing sun, ten thousand soldiers stood in a tight square formation. If one simply approached them they would feel the aura of war, as if they were drowning in some ancient battlefield as the god of death was galloping towards them. These were the Sky Fortune’s Kingdom’s most superb warriors. Even picking out one randomly, it wasn’t a joke to say that they could fight against ten other warriors!
Opposite of these soldiers were rows of seats. At the center of this sat a man wearing golden armor. Although the thick hairs at his temple were already greying, his expression was bright, and his eyes were sharp like a falcon. He gave a feeling of infinite power, a hero among heroes. This was the man whose strength had swept away the Eastern Sun Country 80 years ago, Marshal Qin Xiao!
His presence here showed how important this tournament was. The Qin family also came in attendance, including Qin Xingxuan and her master, Mister Muyi. Muyi was already 100 years old. His cultivation had reached the middle stage of houtian. He was also one of Sky Fortune highest masters, and was an inscription master. Even the King of Sky Fortune Kingdom had to treat him with respect.
Besides the Qin family, there were also thousands of other military officials.