Xuanyuan paid Cheng Yao no mind, knowing he was just trying to rile him up.
The Sage King was also a man of honour. While he had won according to the rules of their competition, he knew that he had lost under the official rules. Seeing Cheng Yao act so shamelessly made him want to slap the living daylights out of him, but he restrained himself because of the public present.
Xuanyuan frowned, puzzled at what just happened. He ahd clearly sensed the energy source to be around ten thousand pounds, but once he cut it out, it weighed only nine thousand pounds. It felt as if there was a force trying to interfere with the process. What it was, or why it did so could only be known after investigating it.
Although he had lost the first game, there were still the second and third rounds. Xuanyuan was unaffected; after all, this was just a game to him.
Despite all of the Sage King’s accomplishments in the field of stone refinement, Xuanyuan could compete against him. Were it not for that weird reason causing his loss just now, he would have won the first round. Xuanyuan once again wondered if something strange was going on.
“Go ahead boy, lose once more.” Cheng Yao laughed at Xuanyuan.
Ignoring Cheng Yao, Xuanyuan turned to the Sage King and said, “Sage King, how about we push the next two rounds to three days later? I’m still inexperienced and I wish to practice here for the next three days.” Xuanyuan wanted to investigate what exactly made him lose the first round.
The Sage King wanted to instantly refuse Xuanyaun’s request. After all, winning the first round puts a lot of psychological pressure on the opponent, and he wanted to push that advantage. However, that first win made him feel as if that win was a disgraced win. Everyone’s eyes were on the Sage King. As the elder here, he couldn’t refuse. After all, the last win may have been a win technically, but everyone knew that he would have lost in an official match. If the Sage King turned down Xuanyuan’s request, everyone would criticise him.
“Haha, you want to delay the match, just so you can run away. You fool, your loss is inevitable. There’s no way the match can be delayed for three days.” Cheng Yao laughed menacingly, acting like a third-rate villain. He couldn’t wait to see Xuanyuan lose. If Xuanyuan couldn’t pay back his losses, he would be in a world of trouble.
“Sage King, it’s not appropriate to bully the weak.” Ex-minister Yu slowly spoke up. Hearing this, the Sage King laughed and replied, “Of course. Since it’s a request from younger Brother Ji, I can’t refuse.”
“Father…” Cheng Yao hurriedly interjected.
“Shut up.” The Sage King raised his voice, and Cheng Yao immediately clammed up, satisfying himself by glaring at Xuanyuan. “I’ll let you remain arrogant for a few more days.”
The Sage King softly addressed Xuanyuan, “In that case, I shall take my leave now. I’ll return in three days.” Saying this, the Sage King immediately left with Cheng Yao.
Those who spectated the match were amazed.
“That was an amazing duel. I did not expect the Ji kid to do so well. With just another thousand pounds, the Sage King would have lost on all counts.”
“That’s right. If you consider the official rules, the Sage King lost that match.”
“That’s right. That’s what allowed the Ji kid to request for an extension. The Sage Kign couldn’t refuse, because his refusal would mean that he was scared. This would make him lose face.”
“Haha, I look forward to the next two rounds in three days.”
A lot of the people slowly trickled out after the Sage King left. Xuanyuan simply began appraising the source stones in the source stone district.
However, a fair number of them stayed back to look at Xuanyuan’s stone refinement skills. After all, such prowess at such a young age was unexpected. Such skills from an older member of the Ji family would not be surprising.
Xuanyuan began choosing stones from the mountain of source stones. Under his feet, the golden chessboard spread out, collecting information on all the stones present.
This was the Stone Steps of Acquisitions. By understanding the aura of the heavens and the earth itself, one could sense which stones had a spiritual presence within it.
Yuechang’s eyebrows furrowed; she felt uneasy.
“Xuanyuan is far too talented. At such a young age, he already has so many achievements. As he grows up, he will definitely pose a threat to the young master. However, I can’t harm him, for the Nightmare Ghost is protecting him. What do I do?”
As Yuechang was contemplating how to deal with Xuanyuan, she was suddenly broken out of her reverie by Xuanyuan’s voice.
“Master ji, you scared me.”
“A clear conscience makes one calm. What plagues you so?”
“I apologize. I was just worried for you, since you picked a fight against the royal family for me.” Yuechang was shocked that Xuanyuan sensed that she was uneasy, however she played it cool. Her soft voice seduced all those who heard it.
Xuanyuan looked at her delicate figure. Her soft body was curved at all the right places. Such an exquisite beauty was a rare sight. He sighed internally, and took out the king card which he had received and said, “Miss Yuechang, I’ll be continuously cutting stones from now on. Do not disturb me. You can deduct the cost from the card. Do you understand?”
“As you wish.” Yuechang smiled and took the card. Internally, she was ecstatic, as she thought, “You wish to drop money into the hands of Cheng Men? Be my guest, after all forty percent of the sources are empty. Out of the remaining, even we don’t know what it contains. You think you can make a killing here, when even the likes of the Sage King don’t dare to gamble here? Fool…”
Xuanyuan didn’t know what was running through her head. Greed suddenly spoke up, “Boy, don’t trust that woman. She’s in the second level of the xian realm already, unlike the others who are barely in the emperor realm. She’s shown up here with her own agenda. Be careful, after all women don’t just suddenly fall in love with you.”
Xuanyuan couldn’t sense her strength, but Greed could. Hearing his warning, Xuanyuan immediately became wary.
“Has my identity already been exposed, for someone to directly target me? What does she want?”
“How will I know? But it’s very likely, since you had the pig with you too. The two of you are very conspicuous. It’s no coincidence that the women who were serving you first suddenly disappeared.”
“You’re right. Yuechang must be plotting against me, even instigating me to fight against Cheng Yao. I just tried helping her because I thought she was pitiful, but taking advantage of me is not something I’m fond of… Well, she has to repay me for helping her right?” Xuanyuan sneered internally, but he didn’t immediately confront her. After all, Yuechang would not be far from him.
“Haha, women are a curse for you. But then again, you never lack women. You don’t even need to use a technique to attract women, they’re naturally drawn to you.” Greed laughed.
Xuanyuan ignored Greed, focusing on the workings of Cheng Men. In front of everyone, Xuanyuan summoned his golden chessboard. Going through the information he received, he frowned.
“Cheng Men is truly the devil’s den. Around 40% of all the stones have all been cut out and replaced. Those who are not skilled at stone refinement will surely fall into this pitfall.”
“That’s the nature of gambling. One is willing to try their luck, and swallow their losses, Nine out of ten are doomed to lose, such is the nature of gambling. Even if one sees through the forgeries, they have no choice but to blame themselves, instead of outing it.” Greed explained how it worked; after all he had experienced several things in his time.
“Haha, that explains the rapid rise of Cheng Men.” Upon completely analysing the entire mountain, he finally came to a conclusion. “40% of the stones are empty, while the remaining 40% have pure energy sources of differing qualities and sizes. Most of those stones have prices exceeding the value of the energy sources contained within them. The remaining 20% are an actual gamble; no one knows whether it contains anything or not. While they may be able to deceive other gamblers, it’s not so easy to cheat me.”
The Book of Acquisitions detailed several ways of making fake source stones, as well as emptying source stones. Those techniques were far superior to what Cheng Men used, to such an extent that the Book of Acquisitions did not even mention Cheng Men’s means; it was that low quality. After all, the Book of Acquisitions was the culmination of the Emperor of Acquisition’s experiences. Over his lifetime, the Emperor would have undoubtedly experienced methods of faking source stones. His own understanding was written into the book, which Xuanyuan now possessed.
Xuanyuan began choosing stones one after the other. His original goal was to make as much money as possible, and he could take this opportunity to hone his stone refinement technique.