Chapter 571: Chapter 571 – 0.01% Possibility
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
Broken Water Arrow sent the message, yet he did not get a reply even after a while. He could already tell that the situation might not be in their favor. The players evacuated from the Auction House almost instantaneously when the auction ended. Broken Water Arrow went against the flow of the crowd, squeezing his way to the auction panel and saw Ye Xiaowu standing there petrified, his eyes dully staring at the auction tab displayed.
All of a sudden, the man turned around and looked all around, giving a swift gesture when he saw Broken Water Arrow beside him, indicating for him to step away from the crowd with him.
“You didn’t get it?” Broken Water Arrow asked as he rushed right up to Ye Xiaowu.
The Priest nodded with a dark expression shrouding his face.
“Did something unexpected happen?” Broken Water Arrow asked.
“There’s no problem with my bid,” Ye Xiaowu firmly said. He had already gotten a good grasp to the rule and tempo of the auction system; his bid had always been the one shown on the auction tab, and since he had not received the system’s ‘bid failed’ prompt even once, that was the best evidence that he had been successful in his bid every time, including that last time.
“What happened, then?” Broken Water Arrow questioned.
“There’s only one possibility, and that during the final wave of bidding, someone increased the minimum bid.” Increasing the minimum bid meant that someone keyed in a bid higher than what everyone had bid. In such a situation, time no longer mattered as the system would directly choose the highest bid, and the other bids keyed in would not be judged as a failed bid, since it would be like someone placing a higher bid for the auction. This was precisely why Ye Xiaowu was certain that the final bid had not failed but that the rug got pulled under him by being outbid.
“That’s really unlucky!” Broken Water Arrow sighed.
“This hasn’t happened in all the previous refreshes, yet it happened in that final second before the auction ended. I find it hard to believe that it’s all a coincidence,” Ye Xiaowu refuted.
“What else could it be? Nobody knows when the auctioned item would end!” Broken Water Arrow said.
“Someone knows,” Ye Xiaowu replied.
Broken Water Arrow suddenly realized that, indeed, the seller would know the end of their item’s auction.
“Yes, so it’s possible that after she put it up for auction, but a friend of hers ended up wanting it, so she told this friend of hers the exact time and helped him or her successfully purchase the staff,” Broken Water Arrow suggested.
“What, by precisely timing the bid like this? If it’s not intentional, would anyone even pay attention to the time when they first placed the item on auction?” Ye Xiaowu asked.
“So, in other words… Just what’s going on here?” Broken Water Arrow was confused.
“I have no clue. Let’s watch!” Ye Xiaowu said even as he looked all around. At the moment, the Auction House looked like a movie theater that was being emptied out after the show; the players were all heading off in every direction. Ye Xiaowu wanted to head over to the item pick-up point to find out who had won the final bid for the magic staff, but there was already a horde of players gathered over there. Even though their emotions were not as complex as what Ye Xiaowu was feeling, it was hardly strange for them to be slightly curious as to the identity of this person.
Flame Singed Clothes and Glue were squeezing within this group, and they could not be more delighted with this situation. First, it made it difficult for them to be spotted in this crowd, and second, the player retrieving the magic staff would certainly be conspicuous appearing before everyone. If they had good luck, there was even a possibility that they could immediately inquire about the identity of this person straight from the crowd gathered.
In the end, layer after layer of men watched with great anticipation, yet they saw no one come over to retrieve the item. Occasionally, a few players would draw the people present into excitement, but they were just one’s average players retrieving their purchases; none of the items they retrieved was the Utopian Magic Staff. Instead, they did witness seeing the seller Vast Lushness appear, happily retrieving the big bag of gold coins she earned from the sale of her staff.
“Where’s this person? Why has no one appeared yet?” Flame Singed Clothes wondered. Everyone knew about the rule that an auctioned item could be held for safekeeping up to seven days, but for a top-grade magic staff that had been so intensely contested before its acquisition, logic dictated that the buyer would hardly be able to contain himself or herself and collect the staff immediately, right? However, this person had yet to show up even now, causing everyone to feel very distressed.
Dozens of minutes passed, and plenty of players no longer had the patience to wait and began to depart. Glue and Flame Singed Clothes watched as the cover around them slowly shrank, their eyes darting about more and more frantically as this happened.
“Where’s Thousand Miles Drunk? Is he still around?” Flame Singed Clothes asked even as he keenly checked the surroundings.
“I don’t see him.” Glue was also looking around.
The number of players in the Auction House reduced steadily, reaching the point where anyone would be able to take in the entire venue at a single glance. These two continued to keep a lookout, yet they never once caught a glimpse of Gu Fei. The two were unable to continue watching the man’s movement after he completed his ‘sale’ of his Moonlit Nightfalls, since there was a bustling crowd in the way. Just like how Gu Fei was unable to spot their presence, it was difficult for the two men to keep an eye on him.
“Don’t be negligent; Thousand Miles Drunk has shown his face here, so perhaps there’re some unknown players watching our every move,” Glue said.
Flame Singed Clothes nodded, vigilantly gazing about when he noticed something in a certain direction. He quickly tugged at Glue. “Look over there; those two men look to be staring at us.”
Glue swiftly turned his head back for a look and was stunned. He recognized those two men to be Ye Xiaowu and Broken Water Arrow.
Flame Singed Clothes had not met the two men before, but he was aware that they were the employers for their next big assignment. To be able to earn a tidy sum and vent their petty resentment to Thousand Miles Drunk, Flame Singed Clothes was of course absolutely in favor of this deal, so the moment Glue clued him in on their identities, he immediately waved to the two men eagerly.
Ye Xiaowu and Broken Water Arrow also recognized Glue from afar and made their way over.
Glue had originally thought to ask just what they were here for, but when he saw how Ye Xiaowu was still paying attention to where the NPC in charge of the auction pick-up as he came forward, he instantly knew what their intentions were.
“Bro, you didn’t manage to get that magic staff?” Glue asked knowingly.
Ye Xiaowu shook his head.
“There’re plenty of bidders; it all boiled down to luck,” Glue consoled.
“Perhaps it’s luck or perhaps it’s the seller herself buying it back,” Ye Xiaowu replied.
“What do you mean by that?” Both Flame Singed Clothes and Glue’s complexion changed when they heard this.
“Given my technique, there shouldn’t be someone that would so coincidentally drop a bid higher than mine, unless the seller made the prior arrangement to take note of when the auction would end and was waiting for that very second to buy back the magic staff with an even increased bid,” Ye Xiaowu explained.
“Technique?” Glue and Flame Singed Clothes’ concentration was momentarily distracted, for they were entirely unaware that there was such a thing as technique to auctions in Parallel World.
Ye Xiaowu apparently had no wish to explain too much about this, so he continued to stare at the NPC in the distance. “I don’t see the buyer all this while…”
“Uhm…” Glue gingerly asked. “How likely do you think the seller herself buying the staff back?”
“99.99%.” Ye Xiaowu answered after a quick glance at Glue.
“That’s not 100%!” Flame Singed Clothes remarked.
“There’s always a chance that it’s merely a coincidence…” There was no way to logically explain something like luck, anyway.
Glue and Flame Singed Clothes did not neglect to pass quickly the unexpected information they had learned on to Southern Lone Blade. “Big South, we’ve met Fleeting Smile here, and he’s certain, with a 99.99% possibility, that the Utopian Magic Staff has been bought back by the seller!”
“Oh? What’s the basis for this assumption?” Southern Lone Blade hurriedly asked.
“He didn’t tell us in detail, but I don’t think that he’s making things up,” Glue replied.
“So, that means that this is really a trap!” Southern Lone Blade exclaimed.
“But there isn’t a trace of Thousand Miles Drunk or the others around,” Glue reported.
“Didn’t they appear before? That just proves that they’ve been here. Surely, this is a trap. Just leave!” Southern Lone Blade said.
“Should we stay on and look? Even if it’s a trap, we gotta at least make sure that we know whose hands it ended up in!” Glue said.
“Since we’ve already confirmed this to be a trap, the staff will still end up in Vast Lushness’s hands. We won’t go wrong if we keep watch over that woman,” Southern Lone Blade replied.
“That makes sense… but the two of us will still wait around here for a bit to see just what kind of stunt they are trying to pull. We’re totally safe here, anyway,” Glue insisted.
“That’s fine, too,” Southern Lone Blade agreed.
In order to more convincingly say that this was a trap, Glue asked Ye Xiaowu just how he was so certain that the seller had bought the magic staff herself.
Ye Xiaowu did not explain it in detail like what he did with Broken Water Arrow, merely elaborating on just how the successful and failed bids work when there were plenty of people. He further explained how his bidding had always been successful once he got a grasp of how this worked, up until that final bid before the auction ended, when he got buried by the highest bidder. That was the basis by which he found this single coincidence to be extremely suspicious.
Hearing this, Glue and Flame Singed Clothes judged that what Ye Xiaowu was saying was reliable. During that period when the auction was ending, no one bothered to increase the bid limit, yet that was exactly what had happened in the very last second. It was so outrageously coincidental that a 99.99% suspicion was hardly an exaggeration.
“Buying her auctioned item back, just what sort of result was she after?” Ye Xiaowu mulled over.
Glue and Flame Singed Clothes glanced at each other, not saying a word.
“That Thousand Miles Drunk ended up selling that sword of his, but he also got one of his comrades to buy it from him. What was that stunt all about, too?” Broken Water Arrow was pondering over this matter as well.
This was something neither Flame Singed Clothes nor Glue could make sense of either, so the four of them stood there with their wrinkled brows, contemplating over everything as best as they could. The two larcenists at least had half an idea about what was going, but what was the point of that stunt Gu Fei had pulled with his Moonlit Nightfalls? The two nearly had a migraine just thinking about this.
At this very moment, Gu Fei and the others were long gone from the Auction House. After Gu Fei leaped up to that raised platform to auction his sword and began to draw everybody’s attention over to him, Blue Ease had brought all his men away from the premise. They should not have even been in the Auction House to begin with, but the unexpected realization that they would be unable to get a spot anywhere near an auction panel had caused them to run over in their desperation. Once they saw that Gu Fei’s method was working, Blue Ease swiftly called his men to leave the Auction House, leaving just the Priest who was in charge of making the final bid.
“Miles’ method might have worked, but… his participation in this charade has exposed us as a result. Southern Lone Blade and his men might’ve been in that crowd, and they might’ve already realized that this is a trap we’ve set when they saw him appear like that.” Brother Assist worried over the matter.
“So very meddlesome!” Young Master Han’s displeasure was visible when he spat this with exasperation.
“But if he didn’t do what he did, there’s no way that we could get a spot at one of the auction panels…” Brother Assist said.
“Why would that matter?” Young Master Han asked.
Stunned, Brother Assist came to an abrupt halt.
Young Master Han turned back to look at the man, as Brother Assist slowly laid out. “I’ve been wondering… You’re someone who doesn’t let even the tiniest detail slip past your eyes; why would you be so careless like everyone else to actually overlook that there’d be a sea of players gathered at the Auction House that time…”
“Of course, it’s because I knew that that would happen.”
“So, you really wanted the charade to become reality; you actually wanted to use Vast Lushness’s magic staff as bait to lure Southern Lone Blade out of hiding.”
“Southern Lone Blade isn’t a fool. This is the only way that he’ll fall for it hook, line, and sinker,” Young Master Han replied.