Chapter 227 Going onto the Stage
“This first daughter of Tang Chong, the founding general, is of 16. She is a virgin, stunningly beautiful, highly gifted in martial art. She used to be a golden flower among all the aristocrats in Qin City and had innumerable pursuers…” The auctioneer did his utmost to glorify this ‘object’ and then announced, “The starting price is 200,000 gold ingots, and the price markup each is not less than 20,000!”
Upon hearing this quoted price, the entire Liufang Street of the Musical House was drowned by an unrestrained outburst of exclamations.
That was the true sky-high price!
At least most of the guests at the medium distinguished area had no such fortune to place a bid this time.
At this point of the auction, it was practically the game time exclusively of the top distinguished guests.
Two strong women servant put on a ferocious look and used all the disgracing means to fiddle with Tang Tang, who was fastened to the herringbone steel rack, compelling her to take various arousing postures. Through that thin layer of gauze, those men could almost see clearly her fair and smooth body, since she was basically naked. It was undoubtedly a huge insult for any innocent woman.
In Room No. 18, a look of sympathy passed over the features of Shangguan Yuting.
Nonetheless, she quite thoughtfully did not join in the bidding.
For one thing, the price for Tang Mi was really too high; for another, she could tell that the auction of this first daughter of the founding general was already connected to the political fight, so if she tried to bid, she might bring trouble to Li Mu… Well, on no account would Shangguan Yuting participate in anything that would cause Li Mu trouble.
However, Li Mu slightly knitted his brows at this moment.
The way the Musical House adopted in the auction was outrageous. It was plain that they were doing this to humiliate Tang Tang. For this unmarried girl, since she was physically manipulated like this in the public, her chastity was ruined no matter whether she was auctioned or not.
“I’ll be back in a minute.”
Li Mu put on the silver smiley-ghost mask and a hooded cape and grabbed another loose-fitting robe before leaving the room.
“260,000! Good, the guest in Room No. 15 offers 260,000!”
The hand of that auctioneer brandishing the hammer was trembling out of excitement. Such a price had broken the record of all the previous auctions the Musical House held. A new record was about to be set by his hand!
As if playing a doll, the two wicked women servants were still tossing and bending Tang Tang, whose limbs were all fixed on the herringbone steel rack, into an array of alluring poses to let those placing the bids have a clear view.
The eyes of the girl being harassed were brimming with tears of mortification and wrath to kill. However, it was of no use.
“Don’t give me that look. It’s your darn fate to blame.” One of the woman servants told Tang Tang in a hushed voice. She leered horribly by Tang Tang’s ears and then raised part of her thin gauze on purpose, revealing the girl’s compact belly and round belly button underneath.
“Uh-oh, ahhhh…” Tang Tang struggled with all her might, but the piece of white cloth stuffed in her mouth prevented her from uttering a word.
All of a sudden, gasps of horror were heard from the audience.
The crowds on Liufang Street appeared to have seen something really creepy.
That ugly woman servant faced round to see a figure with a spooky silver mask in the shape of a smiley ghost was already standing behind her without her noticing. Two chilling rays of light were shooting out from the two holes on the mask for his eyes, which were as piercing as two sharp broadswords.
But before the woman servant could finish her remark, she felt blind for a moment, and the next second, she was thrown up to the sky.
The man wearing the silvery smiley-ghost mask raised another hand and slapped the other woman servant, who was in a daze, to midair. No one saw where she landed at last.
The throngs of people around the stage let loose another fit of uncontainable cries in alarm.
At first, they reckoned the sudden appearance of this man with the silver smiley-ghost mask was an extra entertaining show arranged by the Musical House. But not, they all knew it was not like that— someone was upsetting the event.
Being frightened, the auctioneer of the Musical House backed off in vigilance while yelling, “Who are you? How dare you disrupt the auction!”
The man hiding behind the silver smiley-ghost mask did not answer him. Instead, in the dead silence, he cast a large robe upon the mortified Tang Tang, which covered her nearly naked chaste body. Then, he reached out and helped her organize her long hair that was fanning in a mess.
“It’s just an auction. Why humiliate her like this? She is, after all, the offspring of the founding general. General Tang was a renowned general who made great contributions to our Western Qin Empire. His descendants shouldn’t be insulted like this.”
A slightly hoarse voice fluttered out from under the silver smiley-ghost mask.
It was not very loud, but it spread through the entire Liufang Street.
The crowds remained silent.
That auctioneer then came to his senses and hollered with both shock and rage, “You… you’re here to ruin this event? How audacious! You should have the guts to mess up the business of the Musical House… Guards! Guards! Come here…” He started screaming at the top of his voice.
In fact, he did not have to yell, because with several swishes multiple figures already darted onto the main stage like flashes of lightning. They surrounded closely around the man wearing the silver smiley-ghost mask.
They were the elite group consisted of superb experts in the Master Realm the Musical House hired to maintain the order of this event tonight.
Once hearing the clear-cut order, the dozen superb experts in the Master Realm did not hesitate but launched their attacks simultaneously.
Airflow raged. Overwhelming pressure caused by their internal qi seemed ready to tear up the man wearing the silver smiley-ghost mask in an instant.
“Haw-haw, haw-haw…” A fit of icy cackles that resembles the hoot of night owls was heard. The man with the silver smiley-ghost mask took a step forward. One of the Zongshi Masters hired by the Musical House only saw a blur in front of his eyes and felt his wrist gave a shudder, and then found his long broadsword in his hand had been taken away already.
A flash of the white blade swept at the Master like a piece of billowing white silk.
All the experts in the Master Realm working for the Musical House felt a clatter in their chest and a torrent of peerless fierce broadsword energy advanced upon them, sending them flying backward. When they crashed onto the land and took a look down at their chest, they saw their armor completely shatter but no physical injury was made.
“If you insist to stop me, then, don’t blame my broadsword for being ruthless.”
The man with the silver smiley-ghost mask was standing by Tang Tang, grasping a broadsword. His voice sounded like the demon who came in the middle of the night to reap the souls of living people. It was so cold that it was blood-curdling.
A tinge of weird meandering broadsword energy was glinting on the blade.
“A Natural Expert?”
The experts employed by the Musical House all turned pale.
That tinge of blade light was the substantiated form of the Natural qi.
Doubtlessly, this man with the silver smiley-ghost mask was a matchless master who had entered the Natural Realm.
With that realization, the morale of all the experts in the Master Realm of the Musical House instantly melted. Although in the eyes of the ordinary men they were experts top-of-the-range, when they crossed path with a Natural Expert, they were doomed to be slaughtered regardless of the number of their team.
“Oh? Who is he?”
Inside Room No. 10, a jubilant look emerged on Wang Chen’s face.
Qin Zhen, the princess, also cast a look mingled with a trace of gratitude at that man with the silver smiley-ghost mask. She, of course, was clear what that kind of humiliation meant for a girl. She was also dying to help Tang Tang, to swing a coat around her shoulders to cover her body just like the man wearing the silver smiley-ghost mask did. But sadly, she could not.
If she acted impulsively, then, to rescue Mrs. Tang would be much more difficult.
Hence, facing the two options—saving people or dignity—she had to choose the former.
But the man with the silver smiley-ghost mask appeared. That was absolute good news for her.
“Who could be the expert in the Natural Realm specialized in Dao-using methods?”
“If he truly means to help, or he is a chivalrous man who always sticks up for the weak against injustice, my plan to rescue Tang Chong’s wife and daughters will have much larger odds!”
“From where did such a Natural Expert on Dao-using methods pop out?”
In Room No. 15, Bai Yuan, Han Feiran, and the others exchanged confounded looks in silence.
For men with high status like them, normal experts in martial arts could not pose them any threat. Yet, needless to say, they had to be a little more scrupulous in front of such a powerful Natural Expert.
“Given his tone, he seems to be a crony of Tang Chong, doesn’t he?” Asked Liang Yifei while stroking his chin.
Han Feiran shook his head and answered, “No way. None of Tang Chong’s cronies in the Natural Realm is a nobody. They have long since been caught by the court, and there can’t be anyone escaped. Thus, this guy must be a so-called chivalrous man who hopes to speak for Tang Chong. Humph, he is truly courting death!”
Jin Xuan’s eyes reflected a surge of killing intent. He hissed, “Those I loathe the most are the so-called chivalrous men! They should be wiped out!”
“Let’s wait and see. If he dares vie for the older and younger beauties against us, we’ll send him to hell!” Liang Yifei leaped to his feet and whispered something to the ears of the guard by his side, who then went away to do some preparations.
Inside Room No. 1.
“What’s the matter?” The second prince got up and stared at the main stage. A hint of chill flitted across his slightly squinted eyes.
At the moment, cold sweat was oozing down Liu Chenglong’s brows.
“How come there are so many unexpected incidents tonight?”
“l send him down the path to the netherworld,” said one of the two zombie-like old men in livid robes who had a hawk nose before he stood up. Distinct white chilling air was swirling around him. He seemed quite ambitious, as though killing a Natural Expert was as easy as strangling a chicken.
The second prince shook his head and said, “Don’t alert the enemy… Chenglong, you go and sort it out.”
Liu Chenglong hastily took the order.
A short while later, the auction resumed.
This result came as a big surprise to many people.
Because they all thought a fierce battle was inevitable. But the man with the silver smiley-ghost mask cast his Chinese broadsword aside and stood quietly beside Tang Tang without taking any further action.
Liu Chenglong soon returned to Room No. 1 to report on completion of his task.
“That man merely forbids our Musical House from disgracing Tang Tang but has no intention to take her away. As long as Tang Tang has clothes on her, he won’t be difficult with us,” said Liu Chenglong.
He knew it was a fluke that he could fix this problem. But anyway, he was relieved to see the auction could finally proceed.
The second prince then questioned nonchalantly, “Did you recognize him?”
Liu Chenglong shook his head and said, “I do know all the Natural Experts in Chang’an, but he is not any of them. He is an expert in Dao-using methods… To my knowledge, Li Mu also majors in broadsword skills. However, Li Mu battles purely with the outburst of his physical power at all times. It seems that he has never demonstrated any Natural qi.” In truth, he was also undecided about whether that man was Li Mu.
The second prince nodded at his analysis. Then, he looked over his shoulder and told that hawk-nosed zombie-like old man in a livid robe, “Elder You, pay attention and follow this person, handle him for me later.” If it weren’t for the sake of avoiding the stunned snake, he would have solved the silver smiley-ghost mask man. How could he give in. Since this guy made the second prince unhappy, he should die.
The spooky old man with a hawk nose nodded and grunted, “Yes, sir.”
As the second prince had the conversation with his men, the bid for Tang Tang outside had already been driven up to five hundred thousand gold ingots. The competing bidders were in Room No. 10 and Room No. 15. Neither of them showed any signs of backing off. Apparently, they all believed they would win the girl over.
People on Liufang Street were seized by a frenzy of exhilaration.
Clearly, this wild scenario was rare to be witnessed in a century.
“550,000 gold ingots!” Bai Yuan uttered this number through gritted teeth from Room No. 15.
Wang Chen, who was in Room No. 10, opened his mouth to announce his bid. But at this precise moment, a knock on the door sounded.
A leader of the Musical House standing at the outside yelled with politeness, “Our honorable guest, I’m sorry to inform you that your bid has reached the up limit on the bill guaranteeing the contributable capital you’ve displayed to our Musical House. Only if you provide us with a new bill to prove that you have the capital to afford the expenses could you continue to place any bid…”
At those words, Wang Chen went stupefied.
“We’re out of money.”
“The worst scenario has occurred anyway.”