Eliza Morgandi, the noble lady of the Central District's Morgandi Family, raised the gilded invitation in her hand, her silver bracelet sliding down her fair arm. Although she had been married for decades, she still looked like a young lady.
Within the Central District, there were many legends around the Morgandi Family. For example, with regards to Eliza, it was always rumored that the lady of the house raised beautiful girls in her house and drank their blood to maintain her beauty.
With regards to this, Eliza had to clarify that—
These were no rumors. The truth was as such.
However, these beautiful girls of hers were obtained through 'legitimate means.' In the circle of aristocrats like themselves, such things weren't uncommon occurrences. Moreover, compared to others, the Morgandi Family had done relatively little.
Perhaps because they were slightly picky.
As a core aristocrat close to the heart of the Central District, it could perhaps be said that the Morgandi Family possessed some transcendent power. It was true that blood from beautiful girls could be refined into a secret recipe for beauty.
"This is my first time participating in such an auction." Eliza adjusted the mask that was used to conceal her identity and pouted like a young girl. She had gone through great difficulty to get her hands on a ticket to participate in this auction.
The land trading that the Morgandi Family did meant that they had the power and ability to come into contact with true transcendent beings, but the auction held by the Ji Family didn't have any other restrictions. It could be said that Eliza had exhausted all her connections in order to obtain the invitation to this auction.
Naturally, she wouldn't let go of things she wanted that easily.
Eliza sat very far back and looked around. She realized that many of the participants here hadn't assigned any subordinates but came in person. Moreover, there were many familiar faces and even a few big shots that would make most tremble in fear.
Such a high-end event... Eliza lamented.
Bright lights shone onto the stage's right, and a rather familiar person stepped out from the darkness and walked over to the auctioneer's position.
"Greetings, everyone." Ji Bonong stood on the stage and scanned the scattered audience. There weren't that many people, but those that could be considered to have a reputation within the Central District were here.
It wasn't just people that had attended the banquet from before, but there were also a few uninvited guests as well.
"I'm very happy that all of you honored our agreement and have gathered here," Ji Bonong said with a smile as he glanced at Ji Zhixiu, who was seated below.
"Since you've all come here, I won't hide the existence of the bookstore's reclusive entity, the source of power and the owner of all knowledge that I revere."
"Bookstore's reclusive entity..." Eliza frowned and couldn't help muttering, only to realize a young lady beside her expressing the same doubt.
She glanced at that young lady, and her face brightened. Then she found the latter's face familiar. Scouring through her memory, Eliza recalled that this young lady was from... the white magician family—Curtis Family's Franca?
"Hi?" Eliza raised her hand and waved at Franca as a hint of desire flickered across her eyes.
Haa, this young lady from a transcendent family is really pretty... And I've heard that she's practically a mixed-blood with half mortal lineage and has no transcendent ability?
"Hi, Mrs. Eliza," Franca responded brightly as if the two were deskmates whispering in class.
Search tinyurl.com/2p9emv8w for the original.
"Are you here to buy books too, Miss Franca?" Eliza lowered her head and asked in a hush voice.
She had faith in her own affinity. Regardless of gender, those that interacted with her would usually let their guard down against her innocent appearance.
"Mm, my servant, Mike, is very interested in one of those books," Franca replied somewhat sheepishly.
In truth, she was the one who was interested.
Back at Miss Ji's birthday banquet, one of the books titled One Thousand Classic Homedishes had caught her eye.
While she was the only daughter of an esteemed white magician family with thousands of years of history, Franca didn't have any transcendent talent. Even though her father comforted her and protected her in all sorts of ways, she couldn't help feeling a sense of guilt and inferiority.
But the guilt didn't diminish her interests, for example, in... domestic work.
Therefore, she needed to get her hands on One Thousand Classic Homedishes.
However, directly saying that she liked to cook was too downright embarrassing! Thus, she had to use Mike as a guise... Sorry Mike!
"I see…" Eliza glanced at Mike, who was standing behind Franca, her smile not faltering in the slightest.
The powerful hunter was like a wolf, staring fixedly at Ji Bonong on stage with a burning gaze but never looking at Franca.
This yearning gaze could be seen on the faces of many participants of the auction, as if everyone desired those books greatly.
However, to Eliza, this auction was the most boring one she had ever participated in. Auctions she usually went to had lots which included slaves, jewelry, antiques, and rare beasts. Such grand events were filled with people, singing and dancing.
On the contrary, at the current event, it seemed like everyone only had one goal, and that was to obtain those books.
This was simply torture for Eliza, and she would have been bored to death if she hadn't met Young Miss Franca.
"What about you, Mrs. Eliza? Do you want to get a book too?" Franca asked.
"Me? I came to see that bookstore owner. Did you know?" Eliza got gossipy and inched closer to Franca. "Even his assistant is a saintess of the Sun's Faith."
Franca was quite surprised as she recalled catching a glimpse of that bookstore owner at Miss Ji Zhixiu's birthday banquet. That bookstore owner was really quite… hmm, ordinary?
The two of them originally wanted to continue chatting, but Ji Bonong knocked the gavel on the table, and loud crisp sound echoed throughout the entire venue.
Ji Bonong looked around and exchanged glances with Ji Zhixiu, who was now backstage. The latter gestured to her subordinates, and an exquisite box was presented and gently placed on the lonesome table in the middle of the stage.
The box was embedded with four noble emeralds that contained the power to suppress and seal. Just two of these emeralds alone was more than enough to purchase a house in the Central District.
However, these were mere complimentary gifts for purchasing the books.
Ji Bonong gazed at the box. The books given by Boss Lin were just a trial to increase his believers and those he favored. At the same time, it was also an opportunity for Rolle Resource. If they did well this time, Rolle Resource would become the sole distributor of such books in the future.
Becoming the chain connecting Boss Lin and his believers was a great opportunity for Rolle Resource, and they needed to firmly convey Boss Lin's will.
He walked to the center of the stage and gently opened the delicate box.
"What everyone is seeing is the first book of tonight's auction. Considering that some people can't directly look at such powerful knowledge, I'll say the name of this book—R'lyeh Text!"
It seemed as if the words Ji Bonong spoke were from another world. Those murmurs that contained terrifying syllables instantly shocked everyone present. He had indeed underestimated the transcendent beings present as most of them could see the title. However, the price was an unimaginable nauseating sensation and a swelling pain in their heads.
Now, the venue had started to become chaotic.
Yet, Ji Bonong could actually read out the title of this book. Had he already reached such a level of strength?
The language he spoke seemed to turn into some sort of incantation and murmur which mangled the sight and hearing of those transcendent beings present.
"Huh?" Franca tilted her head. Limited by her mortal sight, she picked up the monocular and aimed it at the stage. She saw the title of the book. Isn't that The Old Man and the Sea?
She was rather surprised. Could she be mistaken?
Wasn’t this book titled The Old Man and the Sea? Why did he say that the title was R'lyeh Text? Could it be... that she couldn't read?
Franca began to doubt herself. She had always been an ordinary person with no transcendent talent, leading an ordinary life where she was usually very careful. Now, she was in a dilemma.
Perhaps... perhaps I'm the only one who can't understand this mysterious book?
Besides, President Ji also said that some people aren't able to directly look at these books. Ah, luckily I didn't say it out loud. Otherwise, I would have been the only fool at this venue and become the laughingstock of the family... Franca was slightly relieved.
Wait, Mrs. Eliza doesn't seem to be a transcendent being either. Is that possible she also… Franca quickly turned toward Mrs. Eliza, who was still smiling happily. Then, Franca's eyes widened in horror.
The young and beautiful Mrs. Eliza's face was aging rapidly, becoming wrinkled and loose like the skin of an old woman. Her eyes were almost open to their limits that they were practically on the verge of bleeding.
However, Eliza seemed oblivious, staring intently at the book on the stage, her carefully maintained nails making deep scratches on the table.
The noblewoman muttered incomprehensible words as her voice became that of another person's, old and frightening. Resentful faces of beautiful girls kept appearing beneath her loose skin, making her appear like a tattered leather pouch filled with souls.
Ji Bonong's voice echoed from the stage. "This book, just like the tip of an iceberg, can reveal the truth behind certain things..."