Franca's eyes were wide open as she stared at Eliza.

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"Ah…ah…" Franca raised her hand and pointed at Eliza. "Mrs. E-E-E..."

"What's the matter?" Eliza suddenly turned toward Franca and asked, her voice hoarse like an old lady. "Why are you looking at me this way?!"

"I-I-I…" Franca gulped. Although she had almost no transcendent talent, as the only daughter and heir of a white magician family, she had more or less witnessed transcendent power, or at least had some sort of understanding regarding them.

Moreover, since she was a young girl, Franca's mother had imparted to her the philosophy of life—that power came at a price. Perhaps Mrs. Eliza had used some transcendent power that required her to pay a price...

"I-It's nothing." Franca forced a smile.

"Nothing?" Eliza's eyes were nearly popping out of their sockets as she grabbed Franca's wrist with her age-spotted hand, which was nauseating to look at. "Did you just think that I was ugly?"

"No, no!" Franca shook her head violently in fright.

"You are lying!" Eliza had a crazed look on her face. She suddenly let out a furious roar and shook off Franca's arms. Then, her own hands that were covered in blood from scratching the table reached toward Franca's fair and slender neck.

"Argh!" Franca screamed before she saw a cold gleam flash by—a knife flew past, slicing through Eliza's wrist as if it were tofu. Blood spurted out and splattered all over Franca's white muslin gown.

Franca fell backward awkwardly and landed on her butt.

Eliza released a monstrous shriek of pain as she fell to the ground, rolling in pain.

A graceful figure, like a shadow, appeared from backstage. All present could tell who the silhouette that had accurately thrown a dagger across the entire venue was—

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The uncrowned king of all hunter groups, the leader of the Spider organization—Ji Zhixiu.

Ji Zhixiu said coldly, "Anyone that disrupts the auction, dies."

All the participants at the auction were sobered up by the first instance of spilt blood as they struggled to wake up from R'lyeh Text's bewitchment.

"Those who can't withstand the arrival of the bookstore's reclusive existence and are corrupted by knowledge are free to leave," said Ji Bonong as he casually toyed with the gavel.

The entire hall fell into a strange silence the moment he said that. No one wanted to give up this great opportunity, but the immense power of R'lyeh Text before them wasn't something ordinary people could withstand.

Everyone present was at least a Pandemonium-rank transcendent being. Other than Eliza, who had somehow managed to sneak in, most of the others had already thoroughly assessed their own strength.

However, R'lyeh Text could surprise them. Deep down, all of them were clamoring to have it for themselves, but they too knew the price they would have to pay.

Eliza's body was quickly dragged away by the staff working behind the scenes. The blood on the ground was quickly cleaned up and there was even a fragrance in the air that covered the smell of blood, as if no one had died there at all.

Franca was helped to her feet by Mike. The hunter nodded at Ji Zhixiu across the venue to express his gratitude.

Although, in truth, had Ji Zhixiu been any later, Mike would have immediately snapped Eliza's neck.


The crisp sound of gavel smacking the table resounded throughout the hall, and the new round of auctions began once more.

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Everyone present was from a prestigious family, and money was the thing they lacked the least.

However, what Franca wasn't aware of was that everyone present was under an immense and invisible pressure. Not a single person even dared to raise the paddle with their number on it.

Ji Bonong gleefully observed the situation beneath the stage. It wasn't them choosing the book, but the book choosing the person.

How would they be qualified enough to buy the book? Naturally, that would only be Boss Lin's decision.

Sand in the hourglass on stage flowed softly, making a slight rustling sound. However, no one in the hall raised their hand.

Ah… Wouldn't Uncle Ji Bonong be embarrassed? Speaking of which, the price isn't very high, so why isn't anyone raising their hands? Should I give him some face and make a bid?

…Franca's mind that had been frayed from the scare that Eliza had given her previously was not starting to work again.

Just as she thought about it, a small paddle was raised.

Ji Bonong squinted. This person is... the Truth Union?

The scholar seated beneath the stage was a little terrified, but he held an emblem with many symbols inscribed on it. This emblem with gems inlaid on it had been personally issued to him by the Chairman of the Truth Union for the sake of retaining his rationality at crucial times.

In a certain sense, he was indeed representing the Truth Union's Chairman, Maria.

As it should be... thought Ji Zhixiu to herself. It was just like Boss Lin had said, R'lyeh Text was given to the Truth Union.

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It was said that the Truth Union's Chairman had reached Supreme-rank and that she was a decent person. Ji Zhixiu had originally thought the Truth Union wouldn't be participating in this auction, but they had actually sent personnel on the sly.

As expected of Boss Lin, he saw everything since the beginning... Zhixiu mused in silence.

Ji Bonong had the same line of thinking as Ji Zhixiu. He hit the gavel three times and the book was auctioned off to this Truth Union scholar.

The lid of the box was closed once more the moment the sale was finalized, and that immense sinister pressure looming over everyone was instantly removed. Many heaved sighs of relief, but the muttering in their ears and the realization of that massive gulf in power made them unable to think rationally.

"The next book—" Ji Bonong announced loud and clear, "Soul of Vengeance. This blazing flame comes from the deepest desire in human hearts, more than capable to reforge one's soul."

Ji Zhixiu beckoned to the servant beside her, and another exquisite box was brought out.

This time, there were four rare and lustrous amethyst crystals that sealed and suppressed this book.

Amethysts and emeralds had different types of sealing ability. Emeralds had a calming and soothing effect, while amethysts crystals had even rarer power of soul sealing as compared to emeralds.

Ji Bonong smiled and opened the box gently. A faint violet smoke was emitted from the book, and on it was written—

Soul of Vengeance.

Was this… the forging of a soul?

Mike, the hunter standing behind Franca and protecting her, was already on the verge of being corrupted. At this moment, he was sweating profusely as if he had just been struck by lightning and was experiencing the pain of his soul being stripped from his body.

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If the previous R'lyeh Text was unbound incantations and whispers of an evil god, then Soul of Vengeance was the pain of tearing the soul apart.

Previously, when Franca had been attacked and nearly killed, it wasn't because Mike didn't want to move. Rather, it had been because he couldn't move.

Previously, it had been an erosion of his body, but now, it was the refinement of his soul.


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Mike let out a suppressed growl, while those around him also revealed expressions of pain and infatuation. Things at the venue started to appear as though it was going out of control, and some people even shouted incomprehensible things.

All except for... Franca.

She anxiously wanted to consult Mike but was nervous and at a loss at the same time. Her nerves were so bad that she felt like crying.

W-what's going on?

Why am I seeing the title of the book differently! What's wrong with everyone?!

So is this book The Count of Monte Cristo or not? Ah, someone please tell me…

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