The storage was very big. It was as big as a five-storey building, and it was not just the height that was amazing, but also the width and the length.
There was not a small amount of people, but it was so wide that it appeared empty.
‘What an amazing atmosphere.’
He could see why Che MinYoung warned him to be careful. In fact, she knew Han JinHo was strong, because it was her first time since she started working as an informant that she was helplessly suppressed to that level.
And yet, she still warned him to be careful, and there was a reason for it.
The faces of the people here were abnormal. Actually, compared to this place, the secret auction he had went to prior to this, seemed like a name-only secret auction and more like an entertainment for high-class people.
In here, even the air he breathed in smelled dangerous. A reasonably skilled person would be stripped down to his bones before they even realise it.
There was practically no-one standing by themselves; it was mostly around two bodyguards standing next to a rich man.
‘It’s really amazing.’
He could sense refined mana, like how he could from Che MinYoung and Lee ChaBum, here and there.
To refine mana is to apply it to their body and use it.
The qi, which martial artists stored in their body, was also a type of refined mana. Mana’s attributes as well as how it should be used all depended on how it was refined.
And here, in the large storage, there were many people who could apply mana on their bodies.
That was why it was dangerous.
To these people, their bodies were pretty much a weapon – well, as long as they had remaining mana, that is.
While he was looking at the surrounding people, checking the attributes and maximum capacity of their mana, a music suddenly flowed out. A very familiar music, often used in primary schools as school bells.
As the music started, the people no longer made any noise. Everyone gazed at the inner parts of the storage, towards the ceiling.
Following their gazes, Han JinHo also looked up at the ceiling, and saw something descending from above.
All four sides had been blocked with iron bars; it was a cage with an open top. Inside, there was a man standing, wearing a neat suit. He too, was a skilled man with refined mana.
The descending cage stopped at an appropriate height, and suddenly a microphone dropped from the open ceiling.
Receiving the microphone in a natural manner, he pulled it towards his mouth.
“Thank you for participating in today’s event. Thanks to your burning support, we are now conducting our third auction already. Using this place, I would like to thank you all again.”
The man politely bowed by bending his back, facing the audience.
“Now, without further ado, let’s go straight into the real event. I introduce to you, our first item on the list!”
A transparent display stand, which was connected to the ceiling with strings, slowly came down. All the lights in the storage were focused on the stand, making it seem like the item inside was shining by itself.
It was a book which seemed very ancient.
“The first item is the secret arts of Three-fenced Heavenly King.”
When Han JinHo saw the ancient book inside the display stand, lights flickered in his eyes.
‘Is it an ancient book on martial arts or something?’
From the atmosphere, that seemed to be the case. He decided to see if there was any hidden power within the book.
Mana gathered in his eyes. He could see mana from all directions entangling up and he therefore saw a complex pattern. But even then, it wasn’t difficult to check whether there was mana within the book or not.
He had done it already at the previous secret auction, so he was much more skilled in sensing the mana inside items.
It was just a normal book. From what he saw using mana, it was made several hundred years ago.
The auction started with the starting bid at 10 million won.
And the price endlessly rose up. The problem, however, was that they didn’t even check whether that thing was real or fake.
‘There seems to be no chance for us to look at it from close up. Does the auctioning side appraise and guarantee the legitimacy of the items?’
The secret arts of Three-fenced Heavenly King was auctioned at 26 million.
Suddenly, the lights on the ceiling focused on one of the guests inside the storage.
“This person is the seller. If any issue comes up after this, please talk it out among yourselves.”
Han JinHo nodded after seeing that.
‘The people are to take care of things themselves, I see.
If it was like this, the commission fee was likely not that high. The host checked his smartphone for a bit before speaking up.
“I’ve confirmed the transfer of the exact amount. When all the procedures are dealt with, we will send the seller 24.7 million won after deducting 5% as the commission fee. Now, please send down the next item!”
As soon as the host’s voice resounded, the display stand of the book was pulled up and a different one slowly came down. It was likewise, a transparent display stand, and soon all the lights faced towards it.
Just like that, new items came forth and the auction continued. Most of the items were things that martial artists would want – someone’s book on secret arts, spirit stones and weapons.
Han JinHo considered the whole thing a new experience so he carefully inspected all of them. Secret arts were basically just old books, but the spirit stones and weapons were a bit different.
Spirit stones had a tremendous amount of mana condensed inside them. Actually, most didn’t have that much, but some had a surprisingly enormous amount.
Each spirit stone also had their own characteristic, and a few had a condensation of refined mana while some had normal mana in them.
It appeared that one could condense more refined mana than normal mana in those stones, but refined mana had its own attribute so not anyone could use them.
The user had to have a similar attributed magic to have an amplification of the effect. If the attributes of the user and the stone were different, it might clash against each other and become dangerous.
From the looks of things, everyone seemed to know these basic things.
Weapons were also different. Their styles were completely different to the relics he had seen up until now.
Some weapons were just well-made without any mana, while some had mana embedded in them. Weapons similarly had refined mana within them, and thus had different attributes like spirit stones.
People needed weapons that suited them.
Han JinHo had learnt a lot of new information from this auction. He was amazed by the fact that there were this many people with mana, and how all their mana were refined was another surprising factor.
Still, he was the only person he knew, who could store normal mana.
After a while, the auction had entered the second-half of its phase. Sometimes the host would mention how many items were left so it was possible to estimate how far he was in the auction.
“Here’s the next item. It’s a Lightning Bomb!”
The words ‘Lightning Bomb’ gathered the audience’s curious eyes onto the transparent display stand. Inside, there was a metal ball with a few rough spikes on it.
It was slightly bigger than an adult’s fist.
“Yes, it’s not that much – just a bomb. But it’s a very old bomb and has a great historical value. It’s said to be made at a place called Lightning Door in Jeonrado, near Buan.”
The host eagerly explained it, but in fact, the item was just a low performance bomb, which might explode if one didn’t treat it with care.
It also might malfunction due to the long years of deterioration.
The bomb attracted their eyes but couldn’t attract their interest. If the people here so desired, they could obtain the latest weapons with small trouble.
Therefore, there was no reason for them to be interested in an old bomb. Moreover, the people here weren’t interested a single bit in antiques or things like historical goods. What they wanted was practical power.
The host might have sensed the atmosphere, he had somewhat given up regarding this item. In truth, the thing about Lightning Door was mostly nonsense he had made up.
“Then… we will start at 1 million won.”
He arranged the price while reading the mood but as soon as the price came out, everyone’s eyes turned indifferent. It was outside of their interest.
Han JinHo who saw that raised his hand.
“Oh! The stunning gentleman there called 1 million! Is there anyone going 1.1 million?”
There was no way there would be one. Finally, the Lightning Bomb was won by Han JinHo at 1 million won.
The lights fell on the seller, fully displaying his slightly disdainful smile. Seeing that, the people thought it was good that they didn’t participate.
However, Han JinHo was more than satisfied, as he saw that the Lightning Bomb was something worth investigating. Within the core of the bomb there was an incredible amount of condensed mana, and around the condensation of mana, there were complex magic circles spread around.
Examining that had an exceptional worth to it – at least to him, that was the case.
‘He said Buan, right?’
The Lightning Door was at Buan. From viewing the host’s attitude, the story about the door appeared to be fake, but the story about the source of the bomb being Buan seemed to be true.
‘It is worth visiting at least once.’
If he was lucky, he might be able to find the ruin related to the Lightning Bomb. Judging from how only one appeared in the auction, it was highly likely that they had yet to properly locate the ruin.
The auction continued, until the final item came out which also attracted his interest.
“It’s the Hidden Box.”
It was a box purely made with jade. It wasn’t that big and could maybe hold a watermelon if it was pushed in with force. However, it didn’t have a seam. In other words, it was an enclosed box without a lid to open.
And thus, the name, ‘Hidden Box’.
“According to the legend, it has the best martial art of history hidden inside it.”
Naturally, half of what he said was false. It was indeed said to have a martial art inside it, but no-one knew if it was the best one throughout history or not.
“Look at this pattern. Some people with good eyes should be able to see, it’s the crest of Thousand Sword Clan. Everyone knows the Thousand Sword Rain Clan, right?”
Most of the people nodded their heads after hearing him.
Han JinHo didn’t know what kind of clan Thousand Sword Clan was, but from observing the reactions of the surrounding people, it appeared to be a remarkable clan.
And seeing that their clan’s item came out in an auction, it also meant that the clan no longer existed in the world.
In any case, the auction started and the starting bid was at 50 million. Many people raised their hands, and the price also rose very quickly.
He waited for a while till the atmosphere cooled down a little. It was now impossible to buy it cheap, but he was still going to buy it. That jade box was worth buying even if he had to pay billions for it.
The shape was a bit altered but fundamentally, it was the same kind of item as the Shining Crystal. I.e. some kind of information was stored inside the jade box.
He didn’t know what kind of info was stored in it, but using magic to engrave information wasn’t a simple task itself. As such, the stored information had to be important.
At the very least, all the crystals he had seen so far were like that.
‘Will there be anyone other than me who could properly use that?’
Such a thought suddenly popped up. Can the people trying to buy the jade box right now solve its mysteries?
While he was having those thoughts, one by one, the bidders of the auction dropped out.
When the price exceeded 600 million, others all dropped out. That was when Han JinHo came in.
It was indeed worth using money when he had to – it deterred other people. The effects of raising it at one go came out.
They now started to objectively ponder. In the first place, can they solve the mysteries of that item? This made them hesitate even further.
“We have 1 billion here! 1 billion! Anyone who wants to bid higher?”
The host screamed with an excited voice. He also spoke some instigating words after that but the mood was cold and no-one bid anymore.
As a result, the Hidden Box became Han JinHo’s.
Proofreader : Uptime