Numerous figures crowded around the flame rock gambling area as if it was a parcel wrapped with extra layers, making the place appear exceptionally lively.
Gaze after gaze looked towards Zhou Yuan and Su Duan, who were walking about inside the arena, as whispers stealthily spread.
“Isn’t that Cangxuan Sect disciple a little too stupid. Can’t believe he dares to compete with Su Duan in flame rock gambling. Hasn’t he heard of the Flame Cauldron Sect’s biggest business?”
“Yeah, one can say that Su Duan has been exposed to all kinds of flame rock related affairs since he was little, and is extremely experienced. In fact, he is not the least bit inferior to any of the acclaimed masters of this field.”
“Hehe, does this Cangxuan Sect disciple really believe that everyone will give in to him because of his status?”
“He’s young and rash after all.”
As similar whispers continued to spread, they naturally landed in Su Duan’s ears. A confident smile arose on his face, a look of disdain appearing in his gaze as he swept at glance at Zhou Yuan’s figure from the corner of his eye.
A mere fourth layer Alpha-Origin stage country bumpkin. If he was not from the Cangxuan Sect, did he really think that he had the qualifications to gamble on flame rocks with the junior sect master of the Flame Cauldron Sect?
“I’ll ensure that you’re thoroughly humiliated this time, and let you know that even if a country bumpkin that manages to climb up on the branch that is the Cangxuan Sect, he is still only a country bumpkin!”
Su Duan icily chuckled, before his gaze began to carefully examine the numerous flame rocks that were on display. His hands also moved to feel the heat they gave off and the complicated patterns on their surface.
A serious expression soon rose on his face. The bystanders were right,. As someone who had dabbled in flame rocks for so many years, his experience did not lose to any of the masters in his sect.
What appeared to others as extremely complex and chaotic patterns were in his eyes hints that would clue him to the age of the essence flame within.
Of course, he was definitely also prone to mistakes, since the flame essence within the rocks may be damaged due to other reasons. However, Su Duan was confident that his experience would reduce such errors to the minimum.
Thus, under the numerous watching gazes, Su Duan earnestly scrutinized every rock before him, often taking several minutes before he moved to the next one.
From his serious appearance, no one would that he had the skills. At the same time, it also made everyone feel that there was no way he would lose.
In contrast, Zhou Yuan somewhat resembled a country bumpkin walking into a city for the first time. He curiously gazed at the rocks, reaching his hand out to touch them.
His movements appeared amatuer in comparison to Su Duan, even using his finger to tap the rocks.
Several of the onlookers with some experience in flame rock gambling frowned at this sight. Zhou Yuan’s actions were completely unlike those of someone with proficiency in this field.
Zhou Yuan naturally ignored these gazes, his hand sweeping past numerous flame rocks in a pile, before randomly picking one up and dusting it off a little, before throwing it into a basket by the side.
“He chose one just like that?”
Several people could not help but laugh. Su Duan was still carefully inspecting and feeling the patterns on the rocks, while Zhou Yuan had already made his choice. From his casual attitude, it was as if he were buying vegetables in the market.
“He’s going to lose for sure.”
Most of the crowd were already shaking their heads, certain that this young disciple from the Cangxuan Sect was going to end up humiliating himself today.
Even Zuoqiu Qingyu red lips twitched slightly at this sight, as her hands clenched tightly.
“Don’t tell me he’s really just messing around? I don’t want to go on a date with that scoundrel!”
Although the surroundings were noisy, Su Duan had blocked off all distractions, completely immersed in the world of flame rock patterns. As time flowed, he slowly began to choose rock after rock, placing them into the basket at his side.
Su Duan blinked his eyes a few times after awakening from his state of full concentration, five carefully selected flame rocks already present in the basket beside him.
The corners of his mouth lifted into a confident smile.
He raised his head, only to find Zhou Yuan yawning boredly nearby. Ten flame rocks had already been neatly placed on the stone table beside him.
“I’ve been waiting all day.” Zhou Yuan was indeed quite bored. He did not find any fun in this rock gambling, and yet this Su Duan just had to be so serious about it.
“You do not understand the art of rock gambling.” Su Duan looked disdainfully at Zhou Yuan. It was likely the first time this country bumpkin from some remote continent had come into contact with flame rock gambling. But that made sense, a precious Genesis resource like flame essence was not something a remote continent like his could possibly possess.
“Let’s prepare to open the rocks.”
Under the watching eyes of the crowd, Su Duan walked to the other stone table and placed his five pitch-black flame rocks onto it.
He then retrieved a specialized tool from the table; a small sharp knife. Its blade gently sliced along the veins of a flame rock as a faint sound was heard.
With a quick turn of the little knife, the flame rock slowly split open.
Every gaze looked over with rapt attention. Even those from the second floor contained a little interest, evident curious about the outcome.
Red light spread from the opened flame rock.
Everyone saw a red flame rise up, red liquid flowing within it. A surge of heat spread, filled with pure fire-type Genesis Qi.
“From its lustre, it should be a fifty year essence flame.” There was no lack of experts in the crowd, as gasps of surprise quickly followed.
Although a fifty year essence flame was not that high, its value had already far surpassed a single flame rock. Anyone who managed to obtain one would have made a nice little sum for oneself.
Su Duan’s expression exuded calm and confidence, because this was only the appetizer.
His gaze turned towards the second flame rock as his sharp little knife began its work.
As such, Su Duan began to open the remaining four rocks in the next few minutes.
The outcome he achieved were waves of cheers, each louder and more excited than the one before.
The second flame rock contained a hundred year essence flame.
The third rock, a two hundred year essence flame.
The fourth, was a dud.
However, no one ridiculed him, because everyone knew that even the experienced master would make mistakes sometimes. After all, there were times when the signs on the outside could not accurate detect the situation on the inside.
Despite the slip-up, the confidence on Su Duan’s face remained unshaken. When he opened the final flame stone, the entire place exploded into a thunderous uproar.
A red flame abruptly rose from the stone, reaching a height of half a foot!
This was a five hundred year essence flame!
If sold, it would fetch a price of at least a million Genesis crystals, while the cost of every flame rock was only ten thousand...
Winning such a huge sum with such a comparatively small investment made the eyes of several people turn red with excitement.
“As expected of the junior sect master of the Flame Cauldron Sect. Such insight and experience is truly worthy of admiration.” Many people could not help but sigh in amazement, their eyes filled with admiration when they looked towards Su Duan.
Of the five rocks he had selected, only one had been a dud, while the other four were profit. The five hundred year essence flame in particular was a rare find indeed.
From this, one could see how accomplished Su Duan was in this field.
In response to the cheering crowd, Su Duan revealed a modest smile. He brushed off his hands, before turning towards Zuoqiu Qingyu with a confident smile. “I hope that I haven’t been too unsightly.”
Zuoqiu Qingyu had no choice but to admit that he had indeed been both skilled and entertaining.
Hence, she could not help but become a little worried when she looked towards Zhou Yuan.
At this moment, Su Duan’s gaze turned towards the seemingly stunned Zhou Yuan with a hint of playful mockery as he smiled and jokingly said, “Is brother Zhou planning on admitting defeat?”
It seemed to be a joke, but it was actually forcing Zhou Yuan to continue.
Zhou Yuan paid no heed to Su Duan’s little tricks. Instead, he glanced at the essence flames in front of the latter as a thoughtful look appeared in his eyes.
“Turns out that a five hundred year essence flame is actually quite small…”
He mumbled to himself, before turning to face the countless watching gazes. He did not use any tools, and instead clenched his fist under the numerous dumbstruck eyes of the onlookers, before sending out sharp punch after punch.
His fist swiftly descended as the ten flame rocks were barbarically smashed apart.
“How… crude!” His actions caused several onlookers to huff at their beards in anger.
Su Duan also shook his head as the disdainful smile on his lips grew even wider. From the looks of it, Zhou Yuan had never played flame rock gambling before. A country bumpkin was just a country bumpkin after all!
However, the jeers only lasted for a few breaths.
Because in the next instant, red flames ferociously spouted out from the shattered rocks like pillars of fire, instantly raising the temperature in the entire fair.
Red pillars of fire were reflected in countless eyes.
Face after face gradually turned rigid at this moment, appearing extremely comical under the flickering fire light.
A mumbling like noise began to rise in the heats of several individuals.
“My god… are you freaking… setting off fireworks?”