Library of Heaven is Path
449 Appraiser Hall 2in1
The cities that Zhang Xuan visited previously didn't have an appraiser guild, so he didn't expect to see an Appraiser Hall here in Honghai City. Since that was the case, they should conduct appraiser examinations here as well.
With this, Zhang Xuan could consider taking the examination so that he could conduct appraisals as a source of income.
Otherwise, even if he knew that the Soulless Metal Humanoid was here, he would have no money to buy it.
If anyone else were to know of his thoughts, they would definitely fall speechless.
Even though appraisers weren't part of the Upper Nine Paths, their examination was publicly known for its difficulty. Every appraiser would have to spend decades of their lives dedicated to the study of treasures before they could gain an in-depth understanding of the subject required to pass the examination.
Yet, this fellow wanted to take the examination just because he was short of money. If anyone else were to hear his words, they would definitely find themselves speechless.
"Let's go to the Appraiser Hall!"
With a plan in mind, Zhang Xuan immediately asked around for its location before heading over with the group.
The Appraiser Hall was grand and imposing. On top of being a guild for appraisers, it was also a massive trading market. All kinds of goods were placed on the counters, and a huge crowd walked in and out of the halls. Even before arriving at the location itself, Zhang Xuan already found himself awed by the bustle before him.
"This is a market managed by the Appraiser Hall. Most of the goods in here are authentic, having been verified by the Appraiser Hall, thus paving way for it to become the largest trading market in the Myriad Kingdom Alliance!"
Seeing the astonished expression on the face of this incredible genius, Zhao Feiwu couldn't help but feel slightly gleeful.
Due to the unique nature of the occupation, the Appraiser Hall had become a symbol of trust among the population. Most of the objects that the Appraiser Hall dealt in were expensive before the appraisal, and thus, most people were willing to fork out an additional sum to ensure the authenticity of the goods bought. As such, the business conducted by the guild grew steadily over time.
This was precisely the reason why even though appraiser wasn't a member of the Upper Nine Paths, it was one of the most lucrative occupations.
Most master teachers preferred to take on this occupation as their supporting occupation.
However, appraising required one to have a deep understanding of the artifacts' history, background, purpose, material, origin... Only when one was able to apply such vast knowledge in appraising would one be able to achieve some accomplishments in the art. Even so, the further one climbed, the harder the examinations became.
Thus, even though there were many people who dreamed of taking the appraiser examination, there were very few who had managed to achieve a rank of 3-star and above. In fact, the number was even far beneath that of master teachers.
This was the main reason why there were very few Appraiser Halls on the continent, such that even a place like Tianwu Kingdom didn't have an Appraiser Hall. This was also why an impersonator like Mo Yang was able to win the admiration of so many people easily.
"Can appraisers ensure that their appraisals are accurate?"
Sun Qiang couldn't help but ask.
He had once operated a shop in a market, and thus, he knew a thing or two about imitations. So what if one was an appraiser? There was no one who could ensure that their judgement would be hundred percent correct all of the time!
After all, it was normal for a mortal to err.
Just like how it was impossible for one to tread along the riverside often and avoid getting wet, formidable appraisers couldn't possibly ensure that they wouldn't make a mistake in their entire life either.
"Appraisers are limited by their discernment ability and rank, so it is indeed impossible for them to guarantee that all of their appraisals are accurate. Under such circumstances, they would invite other appraisers to appraise it together, and if the invited ones are unable to give a concrete answer as well, they would simply give the client their evaluation on the artifact to serve as a basis for consideration." Zhao Feiwu said.
"But that's no different from giving no answer at all!" Sun Qiang shook his head.
"An appraiser is only allowed to make three judgmental errors throughout his life. Once they exceed this limit, they'll be stripped of their license. Thus, when stumbling across something they're unsure of, they won't give their judgement easily!" Jin Conghai interjected.
"Un. From the moment one becomes an appraiser, every artifact that one appraises will be documented and filed. If something goes wrong with the artifact, it'll be considered as an error. Once the number of errors exceed three times, regardless of the rank of the appraiser, he'll be stripped of his license!" Jin Conghai continued.
Throughout his years, he had seen many appraisers being stripped of their licenses just because of a careless mistake.
Some of them had accrued prestigious reputations throughout their lives, only to lose it all due to a few careless mistakes.
Everyone fell silent.
Even though many people craved to become an appraiser, it seemed like this occupation wasn't as easy as it seemed.
Once the number of mistakes one committed exceeded three, one's license could be revoked... But who could ensure one wouldn't make any mistakes at all?
"Actually, all occupations are the same. The rules governing master teachers are even stricter; one's reputation could potentially be destroyed completely if they were to make a single mistake in their guidance, resulting in a loss in trust in one!" Seeing how everyone was sympathizing with appraisers, Zhang Xuan shook his head.
Before he came to this world, his previous self also committed the same error. Due to misguidance, he caused a student's cultivation to go berserk, resulting in Zhang Xuan being unable to recruit even a single student after his arrival.
"Indeed, physicians are the same as well. A single error could possibly result in a death..." Zhao Feiwu nodded in agreement as she glanced at the youngster before her.
Even though he seemed to be around the same age as her, how was he able to solve the Innate Muscular Deficiency, that even 5-star physicians were helpless before, and treat her?
"So many things..."
Just as Zhao Feiwu was contemplating over how the latter managed to learn his medical skills, the excited voices of Yuan Tao and the others sounded from behind.
While she was deep in contemplation, the group had already walked into the grand hall. Everywhere that the eye could see were vendors selling their goods, and the variety of goods covered dozens of occupations.
Medicine, pills, cauldron, weapons, formation plates... As though stars in the skies, they densely filled the hall within, making it hard for one's mind to process everything.
The treasures which were impossible to see under normal circumstances gleamed all around them, stimulating their minds.
"Those who are passing by, come over and take a look. This is the newest [Treasure Discerning Mirror]. It has the ability of determining the value of an artifact automatically, giving you assurance when you're buying other goods. It's only going off at ten spirit stones now! If you don't buy it, you'll be making a huge loss and putting yourself at risk of scams!" a young man shouted.
"Treasure Discerning Mirror?"
Zhao Ya and the others blinked their eyes in interest, and they prepared to head over.
"It's just an ordinary mirror, it's a scam. If that were really a Treasure Discerning Mirror, he wouldn't be selling the mirror here for ten spirit stones!"
Zhang Xuan shook his head.
Even without using the Library of Heaven's Path, he could determine the value and background of some of the less potent artifacts via the Eye of Insight.
With just a single look, he could tell that the supposed Treasure Discerning Mirror in the young man's hand was a fake.
"A scam? Isn't everything in here authentic?" Zheng Yang couldn't help but glance doubtfully at Zhao Feiwu.
The other party had just said that the Appraiser Hall served as a guarantee for the authenticity of the goods here, so why would there be an imitation here?
"How many artifacts are there here?" Zhao Feiwu rolled her eyes as she gestured to the surroundings.
"There are at least several tens of millions of goods here, perhaps even a hundred million!"
Zheng Yang said, while taking a look around. "Furthermore, that is only as far as my eye can see. There are still some places beyond my view, so... there should be even more than that!"
There were nearly a hundred thousand booths scattered throughout the market, and innumerable treasures were placed neatly on each booth. Tallying up the numbers, there was indeed a frightening number of artifacts.
"Indeed. Given how many artifacts there are here, the appraisers would die of exhaustion before they appraised everything here! Besides, there is a huge flow of goods in and out of the Appraiser Hall daily — How could it be possible to keep track of all of them?"
Zhao Feiwu chuckled, "By authentic, I mean the goods labelled with the insignia of the Appraiser Hall. It would be best for one to not buy any goods without this label, otherwise one would be putting themselves at risk of a scam!"
The crowd nodded.
As the largest market in the Myriad Kingdom Alliance, there were too many vendors in the Appraiser Hall for them to take note of. Even if every single appraiser in the Myriad Kingdom Alliance were to be gathered here, it would be impossible for them to appraise everything here.
"But of course, if you find something suited for you, you can feel free to buy it. If you're worried, you can pay an exorbitant fee to have an appraiser upstairs appraise it. If it's authentic, then you're making a profit. Otherwise, you'll be making a loss!" Zhao Feiwu said.
Just like treasure speculation, buying something that hadn't been appraised was highly dependent on one's eye of discernment and luck. Without sufficient luck, all one could do was to lament over one's own misfortune.
"Appraiser sure is a lucrative occupation..."
Putting aside the commission fee from the market, the appraisal service they offer also made customers willingly part with their money in exchange for security. As expected of one of the most lucrative occupations in the world.
"Come and look, I have a [Water Continental Fish] here! As long as one holds this fish in one's mouth, one will be able to breathe freely underwater. It's definitely a treasure you must have!"
"Come and see this authentic [Antidote Grass]. It can cure one of the most commonly seen seventeen poisons. With just a low price, you can buy some assurance on your life!"
"I have the Celestial Stone here! It'll illuminate your path like the stars themselves in the night. Those passing by, please don't miss this ideal opportunity..."
Countless voices echoed in the bustling market. Treasures lay everywhere, and if one had come in alone and ignorant, it'll be impossible for one to determine the authentic from the fake!
Walking along the various booths, Zhang Xuan suddenly frowned and came to a stop.
On a booth not too far away, a gray-colored artifact, around the size of one's palm, appeared in his view.
Even though his Eye of Insight hadn't reached the highest level yet, and he was still a far way from matching up to the means of an advanced master teacher, he was still able to easily determine the origin and background of normal artifacts.
But for some reason, he was unable to assess anything about this piece of scale at all.
Zhang Xuan turned to examine it more thoroughly, but his eyebrows only furrowed deeper.
If he was unable to see through it, did it mean that it was an invaluable treasure? That it was far beyond his current analytical means?
"Friend, are you interested in my product? I can guarantee you that all of my goods here are authentic..."
Upon seeing that there was a customer, the vendor hurried forward and welcomed Zhang Xuan with a bright smile.
Zhang Xuan briefly looked through the other goods in the booth.
There were many goods in this booth, numbering up to at least several hundred thousand. Weapons, pills, armor... most of the things that one could think of were present here. While there were many authentic goods amidst them, there were plenty of fakes as well.
'All of my goods here are authentic'. Indeed, the words of a merchant couldn't be trusted.
Zhang Xuan browsed through the various goods around the booth as lines of insight rippled in his eyes.
He could see through the other objects easily, and there wasn't anything too valuable in its midst. Thus, his gaze didn't linger on them for too long before returning to the gray object. He immediately asked, "What is this?"
The vendor was taken aback for a moment before a smile returned to his face. "Friend, you sure have good eyes. This is the most valuable item on my stand, and I've obtained it from the hands of a grave robber. I'm not too sure what kind of artifact it is. I've tried burning it and quenching it with water, but it doesn't leave a mark at all. On top of that, it's incredibly resilient, so I'm sure that it's definitely a top-notch treasure..."
"The most valuable item? Who do you think you are fooling?" Seeing the other party bragging about his goods, Zhao Feiwu harrumphed in disdain.
All vendors would often use this line in an attempt to drive up their prices.
What most valuable or most precious, one would truly be a fool if one were to believe it.
"How could I dare try to fool you all? This item is indeed very valuable! I've once had a 2-star appraiser to appraise it, but even he's unable to make a judgement on it as well!" The vendor spoke indignantly.
"Alright, how much does it cost?" Unwilling to waste time arguing with the vendor over such insignificant matter, Zhang Xuan asked.
"Since you're interested in it, it only means that you're fated with it. Thus, I'll sell it to you at a discount then. A hundred spirit stones!"
Upon hearing the other party asking about the price, the vendor's eyes lit up.
"What did you say?"
Zhang Xuan was taken aback, and he nearly spurted a mouthful of blood.
He thought that since it was a street side vendor, the goods should be cheap. At the very most, it should only cost one or two spirit stones, or perhaps even gold coins... Yet, to think that it was that expensive.
A hundred spirit stones...
Zhang Xuan had already used up the final few pieces he had on the way here. Even if he were to sell himself away, he wouldn't be able to rake up such a price!
As expected of the Myriad Kingdom Alliance. Even the prices they offered were equally frightening.
"Don't fall for it. Such vendors often offer a high price to hoodwink others!"
Seeing the other party's dumbfounded look, Zhao Feiwu chuckled and sent a telepathic message over.
"I'll haggle for you, just wait and see. I'll definitely get a low price for you!" Zhao Feiwu declared confidently.
"Alright!" Zhang Xuan nodded.
To him, a hundred spirit stones was an astronomical price; it was impossible for him to take out such a sum. Since Zhao Feiwu was offering to haggle for him, he was willing to allow her to give it a try.
"There's no need for you to give us this kind of nonsense, it's not like we've never bought from the Appraiser Hall before. A hundred spirit stones can already be exchanged for ten 3-star Tutelage Jade Token, do you think this lousy good of yours is worth this price? Why don't you rob a bank instead?"
Gesturing grandly, Zhao Feiwu put on the airs befitting of a veteran trader and glared at the merchant, "Give us an honest price!"
"Gongzi, you must be jesting with me. The price that I offered is an honest one. Even though this artifact may seem like nothing much, I spent a huge fortune to purchase it, and I even tried to recruit a blacksmith to work on it, just that it didn't work out in the end. Even though I can't say for sure what it is, one thing I'm certain of is that it's definitely a treasure..."
Laughing dryly, the vendor gritted his teeth and said, "However... since gongzi is a frequent customer, I'll make an exception then. How about this, I'll allow you to offer a price, and if it's suitable, you can take it away. Otherwise, let's just forget it!"
"This is more like it. Since that's the case, I'll offer you fifteen spirit stones then!"
Seeing that her 'old customer trick' was working, Zhao Feiwu gestured gleefully.
"Fifteen? Sigh, I guess this can be called fate as well. Alright then, I'll make a loss this time and sell it to you for fifteen!" The vendor said with a pained look.
"This works as well?"
Zhao Ya and the others staggered, and their eyes widened in shock.
Slashing the original price of a hundred to fifteen in an instant, they thought the vendor would surely fly into a rage. Yet, the other party agreed to it immediately...
This was way too incredible!
If they hadn't seen this for themselves, they would never believe it to be true.
"Un!" Seeing that the other party had agreed to it, Zhao Feiwu felt as though she had just won a war. She turned to look at Zhang Xuan gleefully and said, "Alright, you can pay up now!"
Zhang Xuan shook his head.
He would love to pay up as well, but... fifteen spirit stones was a huge sum to him as well. Even if he were to sell all of his properties, he wouldn't be able to gather so much money.
"I think that fifteen spirit stones is still too expensive!" Zhang Xuan turned to look at the vendor.
"Fifteen spirit stones is too expensive? Friend, you must be joking. This is already the lowest price I can offer you..." The vendor smiled bitterly.
"That... It's indeed a fair price already. If you're interested, you should just buy it down!" Seeing that the other party was still trying to haggle even though she had even slashed the price down to fifteen, Zhao Feiwu's eyebrows shot up.
You're here to buy the Soulless Metal Humanoid, right? Without several thousand or even ten thousand spirit stones, it's impossible for you to take it for yourself.
Even so, fifteen spirit stones for an object that interests you, and yet you still find it expensive?
"Is that so? Then, can you allow me to take a look so that I can get a clearer gauge on its price before we negotiate?" Zhang Xuan asked.
"Sure!" The vendor handed the gray artifact over to Zhang Xuan.
Only upon taking a closer look was Zhang Xuan able to see clearly what it was.
It was around the size of a palm, and it took on a shade of dark brown. It was slightly arched, reminiscent of a giant piece of fish scale.
There were some unique inscriptions densely scribbled on the side that was bent in, and there were some parts that were blurred, making it impossible to discern what it was.
After taking a rough glance at its outer appearance, Zhang Xuan muttered silently.
Even though the Eye of Insight failed to work on it, the Library of Heaven's Path should be able to determine what the artifact was.
A book appeared in the Library of Heaven's Path. Casually taking a look at it, Zhang Xuan's eyes immediately widened and his breathing hastened.
"This is indeed a treasure..."
On the book was a detailed introduction on the artifact, recording its name and flaws.
"Dragon Scale Protective Amulet, crafted by 6-star Craftsman Bai Xi two thousand years ago. It's capable of warding off the offense from a Transcendent Mortal 9-dan expert three times. Flaws: ..."
Zhang Xuan clenched his fists tightly.
Putting everything aside, just its ability to ward off the offense of a Transcendent Mortal 9-dan expert three times already made it a fearsome tool.
If he had obtained this artifact earlier, Lu Chong wouldn't have gotten injured and fall into a coma.
"I definitely must get this!"
Initially, Zhang Xuan only came over out of curiosity. He didn't expect it to be so valuable. Suppressing his agitation to prevent it from appearing on his face, he was just about to agree to the deal when another voice echoed.
"Fifteen spirit stones, is it? I'll take it!"
Turning around, Zhang Xuan saw a middle-aged man looking over with gleaming eyes, staring fixedly at the Dragon Scale Protective Amulet in his hands.
"Grandmaster Appraiser Liu Chang!"
The vendor seemed to recognize the other party and he hurriedly spoke up, "I would have given it to you straight since you're interested in this item. However, this friend here has set his eyes on it first, so... how about you two negotiate over this matter?"
Upon hearing how the vendor addressed the other party, Zhang Xuan immediately started assessing the middle-aged man.
There was an emblem pinned on his chest, on which, there were two bright stars.
A 2-star appraiser.
Appraisers would also stroll around this area sometimes to browse through the different artifacts and purchase items that interest them. If they were to stumble by some valuable treasure, they could make a huge killing as well.
Appraiser Liu Chang frowned. He turned to Zhang Xuan and ordered, "I'm interested in this item so give up on it!"
"Pardon me but I'm interested in it as well. I've no intentions on giving it up!" Zhang Xuan shook his head.
You must be pulling my leg! If I didn't know what it was, I could have given it to you. However, now that I know how valuable this artifact is, I wouldn't give it up even if you were to beat me to death!
This artifact could potentially save my life three times, only a fool would give up on it.
"You refuse to give up on it?"
Appraiser Liu Chang harrumphed coldly. Ignoring Zhang Xuan, he immediately turned to the vendor and said, "Even though he has set his eyes on it, he hasn't paid up yet, right? It's only natural for the good to go to the highest bidder. How about this, I'll offer you fifty spirit stones so sell it to me!"
The vendor's eyes lit up.
He obtained this artifact unintentionally so he had no idea how much it was actually worth. In his view, it was definitely a good deal for him to sell it for fifty spirit stones.
Agitated, he quickly turned to the young man and said, "Friend, Grandmaster Liu has already made an offer, so... if you're not going to offer anything higher, I'll have to ask of you to return the object to me..."
Zhang Xuan turned to look at the vendor and said, "Since that's the case, I'll offer you a price too. If you find it appropriate, sell this item to me!"
"Alright!" The vendor nodded.
"Fifty gold coins!" Zhang Xuan declared.
"Fifty... gold coins?"
The vendor froze for a moment, and he nearly spurted a mouthful of blood.
The other party had offered fifty spirit stones, and yet you still dare to offer fifty gold coins? Brother, are you taking me for a fool?