Chapter 457: Why Don't We Make a Bet Then?
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
Seeing the other party insist on it, Sai Xiaoyu relented, "If you really wish to attempt it, I can bring you over!"
Even though the young man before him was able to see through a problem that he couldn't discern, deep in his heart, he still thought that it was impossible for the other party to pass the trial. Thus, he didn't pay much heed to Zhang Xuan's declaration of paying him back multiple folds. Truthfully, he had already regarded the hundred spirit stones as a gift.
After putting away the items that he had bought, the group walked out of the First Class Pavilion and headed up the stairs.
The bottom two floors of the Appraiser Hall were markets while the floors beyond that made up their official guild. Walking into the lounge, they saw dozens of people lining up in two neat columns with all kinds of treasures in their hands.
These artifacts weren't too valuable; they were most probably ordinary goods that could be bought for just several spirit stones on the first floor.
There were two young men at the very front of the queue examining each of the customers' artifacts carefully. After assessing it closely, they would leave a mark on it and write an appraisal document.
Some of those who had their artifacts appraised left overjoyed whereas some left depressed.
Both fake and authentic goods were mixed up with one another in the market on the first floor; if one chose correctly, one could make a huge profit. Otherwise, one could only concede to their misfortune. Looking at the expression of the crowd, it was clear that a larger proportion of the people belonged to the latter group.
"There are some who feel worried even after buying their goods so they would come over here and have their items appraised. The ones conducting the appraisal on this floor are 1-star appraisers who have just passed their examination!" Sai Xiaoyu said.
"Un!" Zhang Xuan nodded.
He had also seen the single shining golden star on the emblem pinned in front of the two young men's chests.
1-star appraisers were already capable of identifying some of the more common and simpler treasures, and the artifacts sent here were mostly of this tier as well.
"The Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets is in front, let's proceed on!"
The group didn't dawdle in the main lounge for too long. Under Sai Xiaoyu's lead, it didn't take long for them to arrive at a room.
"Hall Master Sai!"
Upon walking into a room, several elders immediately came forward and greeted Sai Xiaoyu respectfully.
As the hall master, Sai Xiaoyu wielded immense prestige in the Appraiser Hall. There were many 3-star appraisers who were his students, and they were indebted to him for his guidance.
Taking a glance in the room, there were only around six to seven people here. Puzzled, Zhao Feiwu asked, "How many appraisers are there in the Appraiser Hall in total?"
Upon hearing the question, a bitter smile appeared on Sai Xiaoyu's face as he shook his head, "Even though the Appraiser Hall sounds impressive, including me, there is only a total of three 4-star and eight 3-star appraisers. The others are all 2-star and 1-star appraisers!"
"So few people?" The crowd was taken aback.
Seeing the grandness of the Appraiser Hall, they thought that there would be at least a dozen of 4-star appraisers here. Yet, contrary to their expectations, there were only three of them.
It was no wonder why people said that it was hard to qualify as an appraiser. From the looks of it now, that didn't seem like just a rumor.
"Indeed!" Sai Xiaoyu shook his head. Changing the topic, he turned to the two 3-star appraisers and said, "Call Elder Chen and Elder Lu over. Tell them that someone is interested in challenging the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets!"
"Challenging the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets?"
The duo was taken aback. They hurriedly turned around and left.
As 3-star appraisers, they were well aware of the difficulty of the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets. It had been many years already, but still, not a single person had succeeded. To think that someone would still be interested in attempting it even now, he must be blinded by the immense reward.
Not too long later, two white-bearded elders walked over. Before they even reached the room, a rough voice had already sounded, "Hall Master Sai, someone intends to challenge the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets? Is it Old Hu or Old Du? Those two fellows haven't given up yet?"
The Old Hu and Old Du that he spoke of were 4-star appraisers from other branches.
They had visited Honghai City several times in hopes of clearing the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets, but to date, they hadn't succeeded yet.
Only those two fellows had attempted the trial in the past few years. Most of the appraisers didn't bother trying, knowing the difficulty of the trial. Thus, as soon as the two elders heard that someone intended to challenge the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets, they immediately thought of them.
"Hmm? Where are they?"
Looking around the room but not seeing the familiar figures he expected to see, the rough-voiced elder asked in bewilderment.
"Elder Chen, the challenger this time isn't one of them. It's this little brother here, Zhang Xuan!"
Seeing Elder Chen looking around in bewilderment, Sai Xiaoyu shook his head and stopped the latter.
Not only were the two elders stunned, the other appraisers in the room also had a confused expression on their face.
They thought that the one challenging the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets would be some incredible appraiser, but to think that it would still be an immature fellow who wasn't even twenty yet.
Ignoring the crowd's reaction, Sai Xiaoyu introduced, "Brother Zhang, this is Elder Chen Yu. The one next to him is Elder Lu Xi. They are the other two 4-star appraisers of the guild!"
Zhang Xuan nodded.
Even if Sai Xiaoyu hadn't introduced them, Zhang Xuan had also guessed as much. Even though the two elders weren't dressed in the appraiser robe, their aura was incredibly profound and heavy. With just a look, it was clear that they possessed incredible cultivation that was on par with Jin Conghai.
Judging from their strength and their casual attitude before Sai Xiaoyu, it was clear that they were the two remaining 4-star appraisers.
"Hall master, what did you call him? Brother?"
Elder Chen was the first to notice Sai Xiaoyu's bizarre way of addressing Zhang Xuan, and he was puzzled by it.
As the head of the Appraiser Hall, his standing was so high that everyone, with the exception of them two, had to address him as 'teacher'. Yet, he actually addressed a young fellow as 'brother'... What could that young fellow's background be?
"Un, even though Brother Zhang is young, his expertise in appraising is in no way inferior to me!" Sai Xiaoyu chuckled.
"In no way inferior to you... Aren't you exaggerating it a little too much?" Elder Chen shook his head in disbelief. The other appraisers in the room shared his thoughts as well.
Rather than talent, appraising was more about experience and knowledge.
Knowledge formed the basis of an appraiser's evaluation, and only with boundless knowledge would one be able to reach great heights in the path of an appraiser.
Judging from this fellow's appearance, he seemed to be only eighteen or nineteen this year. Even if he had started studying from his mother's womb, at maximum, he only had twenty years to accrue knowledge. How could he possibly compete with Hall Master Sai, a 4-star appraiser who had devoted his entire life to appraising?
"It's true. A problem has occurred with the Verdant Bamboo that teacher appraised previously..." Seeing the doubt in the eyes of the crowd, Liu Chang quickly explained the happenings from earlier.
"You mean that... with just a look, he noticed the lethal poison contained with the Verdant Bamboo and determined that it wasn't suitable for the forging of pills?"
"This doesn't seem like the means of an appraiser, doesn't it?"
After hearing Liu Chang's story, not only were the crowd unimpressed, their bewilderment only deepened.
An appraiser would have to examine the bamboo carefully, perhaps taking some samples and experimenting with them even before coming to such a conclusion. Yet, to be able to determine so much with just a single glance... Why did he feel like a fortune teller instead?
"Alright, Brother Zhang, we'll open the chamber to the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets for you right now. You'll have to enter alone, and there'll be a total of ten treasures within. As long as you appraise a single one of them accurately, you will be considered to have passed the trial!"
Disregarding the doubtful looks from the crowd, Sai Xiaoyu waved his hands.
"Un!" Zhang Xuan replied.
It didn't seem difficult since he only had to identify one of the artifacts correctly.
Sai Xiaoyu beckoned for Elder Chen and Elder Lu to the wall, and each of them took out a key and placed it into an aperture in the wall.
The wall parted, revealing a door within,
The artifacts within the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets were incredible treasures. Thus, for security purposes, only when the three keys were gathered could it be opened.
Without the three keys, even a Transcendent Mortal 4-dan expert would be unable to enter.
With a flick of his wrist, Sai Xiaoyu took out a pile of spirit stones and placed it within a gray aperture on the wall. In an instant, it was as though a formation had been activated, and brilliant light shone from it.
"You can enter now!"
Sai Xiaoyu gestured.
Thus, Zhang Xuan began walking over. However, before he could walk through the door, Elder Chen stepped in front of him.
"Do you understand the difficulty of the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets?"
Even though Hall Master Sai had just praised the other party, he still didn't think too much of this young man.
If Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets was that simple, someone else would have succeeded long ago.
"I have no idea!" Zhang Xuan shook his head. "I have just heard about it, and it's said that as long as one clears the trial, one will be entitled to a reward of five thousand spirit stones. Thus, I decided to give it a try!"
"You dare to challenge it... right after hearing about it?"
Elder Chen felt his vision turning dark.
He thought that the other party might be genius who had prepared a long time for this since Hall Master Sai had brought him over. Yet, to think that he had come over right after hearing of it...
Also, what did he mean by five thousand spirit stones? It can't be that he was here for the reward, was he?
Elder Chen was furious.
The Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets wasn't a mere challenge. It was a trial for 5-star appraisers as well, and as such, only 4-star appraisers were qualified to attempt it. Yet, to wish to challenge it just for the prize money, wasn't the other party taking this way too lightly?
"Hall Master Sai, to allow a person to challenge the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets just for the prize money, isn't this infringing on the prestige of the Appraiser Hall?"
Unable to hold back his rage, Elder Chen turned to Sai Xiaoyu to protest.
To wish to attempt a 5-star appraiser examination test just for its monetary reward, the other party was underestimating the occupation a little way too much.
"Elder Chen, you're exaggerating the matter. Brother Zhang is... is... here for the spirit stones, but he has the capability to back it up!"
Sai Xiaoyu intended to speak up for Zhang Xuan, but after a moment of hesitation, he realized that this fellow... was indeed here for the spirit stones!
"Capability to back up his words? Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets was also known as Harmonious Stream of Flowing Leaves. Its meaning is simple; the challenger has to identify the type, name, origin, value, and various other properties of the artifact in the time that the artifact is flowing by... To challenge it just for the spirit stones, this..." Elder Chen protested furiously.
Interrupting the other party, Sai Xiaoyu said, "Enough, since the trial is already activated, let's just allow him to attempt it. Who knows, perhaps Brother Zhang might be able to induce a miracle?"
He didn't bear much hope for Zhang Xuan, but since he had agreed to give him a try, he decided to go through with it.
After all, the other party had done him such a huge favor. How could he face others if he couldn't even deliver what he had promised?
Seeing that Sai Xiaoyu had managed to keep Elder Chen in check, Zhang Xuan couldn't be bothered to say anything else. Thus, he stepped forward and entered the room.
As soon as he entered, the doors behind him closed.
"Nonsense! This is truly nonsense!"
Elder Chen flung his sleeves in displeasure.
"This elder over here, do you mean that our young master will fail the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets?"
Just as Elder Chen was displeased with Hall Master Sai's actions and was about to protest, a nonchalant voice sounded from behind. Turning around, Elder Chen saw a plump man whose fat was trembling standing not too far away.
"Indeed, the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets requires one to have a deep understanding of the art of appraising. Given how even Old Hu and Old Du weren't able to clear it, how can an eighteen or nineteen-year-old fellow like him clear the trial?"
Elder Chen harrumphed in displeasure.
"Since you're so certain of it, then... why don't we bet on it then?" the plump man said.
"Bet?" Elder Chen was taken aback.
"Indeed. I'll bet that our young master will surely be able to clear the trial while you'll bet for the opposite. As for the stakes... let's not make it too big. What do you think of three thousand spirit stones?"
The plump man stared at Elder Chen with a bright smile.
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 457
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