The cycle of bids and silence continued for a while.
The bids resumed every time a new flower bloomed and released a higher power than before.
That magical plant seemed incredibly frail, but there was an innate resilience in its species since stems kept on growing even after so many flowers had withered.
Its struggles to find a stable form that could live for more than a few seconds were commendable, and they even inspired some of the weaker cultivators on the scene that were still discovering their individuality.
However, that sight began to trouble the elders of the Hive that had understood the entirety of the situation.
'Will it ever stop increasing its power? Can it make it to the sixth rank?'
Noah thought as he stared at the flowers blooming and withering periodically.
The continuous bidding could only benefit the Hive, but it would be a problem if the magical plant failed to find a balance right in the middle of the auction and stopped growing.
Elder Justin had to declare a winner before that to benefit from the situation.
As for the possibility of the magical plant reaching the sixth rank, the Hive couldn't really prepare a plan for that.
That event would involve the rank 6 powerhouses, which would render the pact useless since it was limited to rank 5 existences.
The fact that the flowers had already a power in the upper tier of the fifth rank was a clear sign to Elder Justin that pushed him to accelerate the end of the auction.
"Ten more rounds, and I'll decide a winner."
Elder Justin announced, and the three envoys didn't fail to understand the meaning behind his words.
However, they had already foreseen that outcome and accepted the risks when they signed the pact.
There was the monopoly over a rank 5 resource at stake, and risking something was the least that those nations could do.
The bidding rounds continued until the tenth, where the cultivators of the three big nations stopped making offers on their own.
The number of Credits had reached one hundred million, and both the Papral nation and the Empire had added techniques and spells to their bids.
The Obsidian Credits had lost a lot of value since the fall of the piece of Immortal Lands, so the three envoys had long stopped using them to try to win the auction.
Instead, they had begun to use inscription methods as a currency since the Hive was clearly interested in them.
Yet, they couldn't match the bids of the Elbas family, which kept on adding inscription methods every time the other nations increased their offers.
So, they could only use techniques and spells to make up for them.
Elder Justin exchanged a few mental messages with the elders back in the headquarters and quickly chose a winner after hearing their opinion.
"The Elbas family wins!"
The elder's announcement didn't surprise the cultivators on the scene, but there wasn't much that they could do.
No organization in the Mortal Lands could match the acc.u.mulation of inscription methods of the Elbas family, and the latter didn't even have to bid their most recent discoveries!
Nevertheless, they still had to bid methods that had been used in the last centuries, which made them second only to the new teachings created in the academy.
That was more than enough to bring Thirty-seven up to date, especially since most of those methods couldn't be purchased with Credits.
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Lady Edna happily neared Elder Justin, who laid the white tablet in front of her.
Cecil neared the ground while covering his figure with a peculiar cape that stopped the natural leaking of his aura.
Then, he took a transparent and rectangular box filled with inscriptions from his s.p.a.ce-ring.
Thaddeus and a few rank 4 cultivators flew behind him while deploying the same inscribed items.
A purple stem came out of the ground a few seconds after they finished their preparations, and Cecil's tried his best to hold back his mental waves from affecting its growth.
The stem rose in the air and gave birth to the usual black flower in the upper tier of the fifth rank.
That specimen began to wither too, but Cecil quickly plucked it and stored the plant inside the transparent box.
Cecil sealed the box by moving his finger on one of the s.h.i.+ning lines on its surface, and the withering process stopped when the item separated the flower from the outside world.
The cultivators behind him did the same as they used the inscribed items to gather the dusty remains of the plant that were dispersing in the air.
Their actions were smooth and precise, and the other groups could see the amount of experience that the Elbas family had in handling unknown materials.
Cecil and the others stored their boxes and took more of them from their s.p.a.ce-ring.
Their preparation was exceptional, especially since they had gathered all those items before the death of the third specimen!
The cultivators from the Elbas family continued to pick the flowers as soon as they began to wither, and the power of the magical plant soon reached the peak of the fifth rank.
Expectation mounted inside all the cultivators on the scene when the peak rank 5 flower died, and another purple stem quickly grew from that same spot.
A few words couldn't describe the emotions that they felt when they sensed the flower radiating an aura in the sixth rank.
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