There was still one day left before the duel resumed between Xuanyuan and the Sage King, but Cheng Men was already completely full.
Everyone present in the source stone was of a high status, and possessed considerable strength, and all those who were weaker or had lower status were cleared out. None of them dared to complain. However, the source stone district was still packed to the brim with all the talented people from the Northern Dynasty.
Xunayun glanced at Yin Zhenluo and thought, “It appears that master has managed to break through to the xian realm. Her aura is far sharper than the last time I met her.”
Xunayuan gave no indication that he knew Yin Zhenluo, preferring to keep the relationship secret.
Cheng Men was home to several massive source stones. These source stones stood as tall as normal human, and were streaked with colours and striations left over time. Each stone gave off a different energy.
Xuanyuan continued to stand atop the golden chessboard giving off a feeling of complete unity with the heavens and the earth.
“That kid has managed to reach such a high level!” One of the five xians from the Immortal exclaimed.
“At such a young age he has already completely integrated himself with the Qi of the heavens and earth. If he continues to hone himself, his future is limitless.”
The Sage King frowned. He realised that while he himself may not have showcased his full strength during their last battle, the same was true of Xuanyuan.
Now Xuanyuan held the momentum, and he intended to use this to overwhelm the Sage King. All he could do was watch and hope that Xunayuan got overwhelmed by unluckiness. He hoped that Xuanyuan would finally stop succeeding so much during his gambles.
Otherwise, Xuanyuan’s momentum would continue to gather and rise, and more people would worship Xuanyuan. The pressure on the Sage King at that time would be unimaginable.
“That’s true, I still don’t know what his constitution is. Such synergy with the Qi of the heavens and the earth from one so young, this is a feat that even we can’t achieve.” The Sage King sighed, he could only pray for the day to pass by quickly.
What he didn’t realise was that Xuanyuan was the one the most rejected by the heavens and the earth. After all, his Body of All Creation seeked to devour everything, which led the Heavens and the earth to reject him at every possible turn. The only reason he could integrate so fluidly with the Qi of the heavens and the earth was due to his knowledge.
Seeing Xuanyuan in the Northern Dynasty made Yin Zhenluo feel complicated.
“Why is he here?”
She had come to the capital to cooperate with Cheng Yang and find a cure for Xuanyuan. But the man himself had come to the Northern Dynasty, and she didn’t know what he wanted to do here.
She realised that Xuanyuan was incognito at the moment, disguising himself as a youngster of the Ji family. As such, she couldn’t act as if she knew him; she’d have to wait until everything was resolved to ask him what he intended to do.
It seemed that Xuanyuan attracted attention no matter where he went. It was the same the last time he went to the capital of the Eastern Dynasty. He had used the power of the Nightmare Ghost to cause unimaginable damage to the Hai family, such that they didn’t dare move against him.
Now that he was here, he had gambled against the Sage King, and awed the entire country with his storm refinement technique. He had managed to attract all sorts of talents, from the elderly masters, to the younger generation of rising talents.
Yin Zhenluo sighed; the young boy she had trained so many years ago had now become a dragon that could rival the greatest talents within the world.
The pool in the center of the source stone district was surrounded by large source stones. Each stone was extremely valuable. Xuanyuan expanded his senses to analyse all the source stone hills, and realised that the stones with the highest value were right beside the pool. He intended to check these stones now, and see if he could experience that mysterious force once more.
Xuanyuan was still not convinced that he had made a mistake in the first round. As per his calculations, the Tai Mountain source he had unearthed weighed around 500 pounds lesser than he calculated. No one could be comfortable with losing like that.
“Haha, I never thought I’d see the day when elder brother’s gambling house would face such an opponent. Gambling is half skill, and half courage. It’s this young man’s ability that allows him to win so many rounds.” Cheng Yang laughed innocently.
“How could you laugh? After all, isn’t this the gambling house of the elder brother you respect so much? Aren’t you afraid he’ll bankrupt Cheng Men?”
“Haha, if it fails, it fails. There’s nothing to be done. Don’t worry about it. After all, sometimes one wins and sometimes they lose. If you feel extremely unhappy after losing it, doesn’t it make it twice as painful?” Cheng Yang’s bright smile was infectious. It warmed the hearts of everyone around him. His words were soft and gentle, and his demeanour was warm despite his status. It was no wonder that he was well-liked.
Yin Zhenluo smiled back and said no more. Suddenly, a hearty laugh came from the side.
“Second brother, you’ve stood by him for all these years. I’ve come back to see how hapless our elder brother is today. Haha, this is so unexpected.”
The one who had laughed just now was the seventh Prince of the Northern Dynasty, Cheng Xu. He shirked all the royal responsibilities and the power that came along with it, and was content to just roam the world. His reputation was also extremely high amongst the people of the Northern Dynasty. He had no ambition other than to roam the world freely. As a result, he attracted both praise and criticism.
“Haha, elder brother has definitely been unlucky as of late. Haven’t you felt as if he’s too lucky?”
“That’s true, he’s definitely due for some bad luck. After all, I have seldom seen him in dire straits.”
All the spectators were speechless as they heard the two brothers casually talk.
“This man is truly extraordinary. His Qi is attuned to the heavens and the earth. Despite his strength, he doesn’t look arrogant or impatient. If it were an ordinary person, his concentration would definitely have fluctuated. Clearly, his mind and heart are unbothered by those around him.” The Saintess of the Bingleng Sect said. Despite her cold tone, a flash of heat ran through her eyes.
“Oh, the Saintess who seldom praises others has actually praised this young man? He must really be someone extraordinary.” The young saint of the Wugui Sect laughed loudly, sounding like a rumbling mountain.
“I heard that he has a 90% chance of cutting out a pure energy source from the outer ring, and an 80% chance when cutting from stones in the inner ring. I think his success rate will drop even more now that he’s at the center.”
Xuanyuan’s strength was undeniable. Even the young man of the Wugui Sect had to admit that he was a genius.
“Haha, let’s wait and see how much better the younger generation of the Central Dynasty is compared to ours.” The Lady of the Nine Heavens smiled, her voice both soft and harsh at the same time.
“Hmph, while I admit defeat in terms of technique when it comes to stone refinement, I’m certain I can kill him with just a single slap.” The saint of the Wugui Sect sneered, his voice assailing those weaker than him, as if a hail of stones were hitting them.
Since ancient times, people gambled on source stones, and this craze had been passed on from generation to generation. Hearing the Saint of the Wugui Sect talk so dismissively hurt their ambitions, but they couldn’t say anything.
“Ignorant child…” Xuanyuan scoffed at the Saint.
His face immediately changed as he glared at Xuanyuan.
Xuanyuan continued, “Gambling is not all about technique. It’s also about how in tune you are with the world. The art of stone refinement contains mysteries that the likes of you can’t even comprehend.”
“Both gambling and men have one thing in common; they both have their own tendencies, If one can clearly see the world and understand the tendencies of the earth, they will be able to go wherever they wish. However, those who oppose the natural trend will fail and get crushed. Not everyone can see the truth of the matter; a large number of people improperly determine the trend and end up getting deceived. Only those who can accurately determine the trend can be said to be wise. If you can’t understand something so basic, you should go back and train for another decade to understand the heavens and the earth. What use is it to declare yourself as the Saint of the Wuui Sect when you don’t understand something so basic. Come talk about gambling after you understand.” Xuanyuan had a deep understanding of stone refinement techniques, and he couldn’t bear seeing someone casually dismiss them like this.
Each and every word of his was filled with the truth of the matter. While some of it was his own understanding, some of it was from the Book of Acquisitions.
Those who were hidden in the darkness, and the higher ups of the Northern Dynasty found what he said interesting. They slowly ruminated on what he said, and couldn’t help but nod appreciatively.
“This kid is extremely bright. Just from learning the art of stone refinement, he has managed to glean the truth of the world. This is something several so-called ‘experts’ are unaware of.”
“Understanding stones is like understanding people, huh. Such a simple thing, yet it’s so complex. I didn’t expect such a young kid to have such a high level of understanding.”
“Hmm, what he said has helped me understand the truth of the matter.”
The Grand Preceptor and several other high-ranking officials of the Northern Dynasty discussed Xuanyuan’s words, while several others mulled it over by themselves.
The Saint’s eyes widened with rage. He took a deep breath, calmed down, and laughed.
“Master Ji, go ahead and cut the stone. I want to see how good you are.”
Smiling calmly, Xuanyuan stepped out. The golden chessboard once again formed under his feet and encompassed the entire area. Each source stone had their own seductive energy, trying to draw Xuanyuan in, but he resisted.
Life was exactly like this. You face endless temptations, and some of them would lead to your doom. One needed courage and wisdom to avoid those temptations where the risk far outweigh the rewards.
By slowly sifting through the information, he could sort through the temptations, and accurately determine which source stones were the most valuable.
There was a strong Qi within all the stones, but it was not necessarily reflective of pure energy sources being within the stones. The formation of an energy source required luck and an appropriate terrain. After several centuries of condensation would an energy source be formed within the stones.
Xuanyan closed his eyes and slowly stroked a source stone with his hand. The techniques used to forge the larger stones were often more proficient than the ones before. It must have been done by an expert. Were it not for the knowledge from the Book of Acquisitions, Xuanyuan would have been taken in by the deception.
Xuanyuan continued to separate the fake stones and the stones that would make him incur losses from those with potential. Yuechang followed him, shocked that he was able to accurately distinguish between the source stones.
“His technique is far too terrifying. I never expected the situation to develop to this extent. Did he come to ruin Cheng Men to seek revenge for Shiguan? After all, young master had lured Shiguan with Xuanyuan’s name, so he must be out for revenge. While it’s not easy for him to bankrupt Cheng Men, his actions will definitely cause a massive hit. After all, the Northern Army has faced massive damage, and the other six armies are still fighting. They all require a considerable amount of money to maintain.”
Yuechang racked her brain, trying to figure out how to deal with Xuanyuan, when she suddenly had a bad premonition.
“The boy, he said that there’s a trend. Is he saying that he himself is the trend? Is he trying to make us bankrupt by encouraging other experts to rob us blind? Such an overt scheme, he is far too arrogant. I knew I should have stopped him at the beginning.”
Yuechang was filled with regret, it appeared that Cheng Men was doomed. However, things were not as simple as Yue Chang had imagined.
As she was lost in her thoughts, Xuanyuan suddenly broke her out of her reverie.
“I want this stone.”
He pointed to a dull, edgeless stone. Despite giving off a blunt feeling, it seemed to contain everything in the world. However, it also gave off a sense of an illusion, as if it were baiting the buyer.
Seeing this, Yuechang chuckled and said, “This stone costs 1.8 billion king coins.”
Xuanyuan expected the prices of the stones around the pool to be this high. Source stones under the cost of a 100 million king coins were generally all fakes. However, the more expensive ones seemed to be more likely to contain high quality pure energy source.
Cheng Men made sure to plant some heterogeneous killing sources into the more expensive stones. While they were not too heavy, the value of these sources were more or less equal to the cost of the stone, which ensured that people would remain hooked.
Had the Book of Acquisitions not detailed how to identify fake source stones, Xuanyuan would have definitely picked the wrong stones.
A fake source stone, when sensed, gave off a defective feeling. It felt as if something were missing. Thanks to this, Xuanyuan quickly eliminated all the fake source stones, and had picked the clumsy stone.
Nodding, Xuanyuan said, “You can charge the amount to the card.”
Seeing Xuanyuan pick the clumsy stone, people couldn’t help but frown. Everyone started discussing this, starting with the five earth masters.
“A clumsy stone huh? While this stone seems to give off a feeling of containing riches it’s usually an illusion. The chance of receiving an energy source from such a stone is only 30%. Out of all the stones he went through before, there were several more likely to contain a pure energy source. Why did he reject them all?”
“I don’t know, but this kid always defies expectations when he chooses stones. Even if all of us have cut countless stones, we can’t guarantee that all stones are similar. Each stone has their own unique feature. This stone seems to have been condensed in the earth for a long time.”
“The stone does give off a sense that it contains everything, but that is the characteristic of clumsy stones. It’s this characteristic that baits so many people.”
“To make a profit, he needs to cut out a pure energy source worth 1.8 billion kng coins. I’m afraid this is going to be difficult.”
“That’s right, it’s going to be very hard.”
Xuanyuan ignored the opinions of those spectating. He cleared his mind and swung the Devouring Sword. The only thing on his mind was to cleanly carve the stone.