Volume 8 Chapter 3 Part 3

「The auction for this season is going to be held in five days time.」

In five days? That is much sooner than I have expected. It should be more or less right after I will be done with selling the mirrors to the Duke.

「Because it’s my first time participating in such an auction, I don’t know about the proceedings or if there are any rules or customs that I should be following, so if its all right with you, then I want to learn about the basics of slave auctions.」

「I see. Now, before we begin let me ask you: exactly how much do you know about the  slave auctions?」

「Just some rumors I heard from here and there, but really nothing concrete.」

My only knowledge of the auctions and how they are carried out comes from the few charity auctions that I happened to see on TV or the internet auctions carried out on the online shopping sites. But when it comes to the actual participation, then no, I cannot say that I have ever participated in an auction myself, and there’s a possibility that the auctions of this world might be entirely different from what I have seen back in my old world.

「The proceedings start off with the seller setting the minimum bid for an item that’s being sold at the moment. In case of successful bid, it is mandatory for the seller to sell at the price of the bid, so the seller has certain expectations of the bid. In case if there is no successful bid, the deposit is required to be forfeited as penalty. For that reason, you can say that in a way, the minimum bid always becomes the actual price of the item.」

「So even things like that need to be taken into account, huh?」

「The first buyer has to bid the price that is not less than the minimum of the first bid. Subsequent buyers also have a protocol of rules to follow: any bid subsequent to the first bid shall not be less than the prevailing bid. The denomination of increment in the bid shall be: one hundred Nars in case the bid is less than ten thousand Nars; thousand Nars in case the bid is ten thousand Nars or more but less than one hundred thousand Nars; ten thousand Nars in case the bid is one hundred thousand Nars or more. If the denomination of increment in the bid is ten times the bid, it’s not against the rules but it’s against the etiquette.」

I was right to have asked him beforehand. If I went to the slave auction without even knowing such basic things, then I would’ve only made a fool out of myself in front of everyone else who would be participating.

So, if a bid of one million Nars was to suddenly pop up, it would be considered not as a violation of the auction’s rules, but the auction’s etiquette? In that case I must be very careful not to accidentally make too big of a bid that’s going to offend everyone. Other than that, it doesn’t seem to be any different from the auctions that I actually saw on TV, so I technically should be able to get by with my limited knowledge.

「Got it. Anything else that I should know before I attend?」

「I think you should be good if you know this much. Of course, what I talked about are not the only rules to the auctions, but you can wait with learning about the other ones until later, when you’ll understand it better when you witness it in person and start placing bids yourself.」

「By the way, I really feel bad that I wasn’t able to place any orders now, even though that is supposed to be your job on my behalf, but I really wanted to get to know the auctions a little bit better. Oh, and speaking about placing order, do you happen to know what is the best piece of equipment to fuse with the Kobold Skill Crystal when you want to strengthen the effects of the 「MP Absorption」Skill?」

Now that I have learned everything about the auctions that I wanted to know, I try to change the topic to something else.

「I have no idea about other people, but according to my information, when it comes to 「MP Absorption」, the best pieces of equipment to put it into would probably be either spears or wands.」

「Really?」

「Yes, that is what people are typically doing with that Skill Crystal, but there are also exceptions to the rule. Now that you mention it, last time you were talking about a family that ended up in financial crisis, correct?」

Now that the discussion about the auctions was over, Luke apparently decided to switch into light chatter mode.

「Yeah, I did bring that up. Did you manage to learn something more about it?」

「That’s right. That family in question was actually Baradam family. They are one of the more well-known and influential families among the community of the Wolfkin Tribe… or at least they were until recently.」

「Ah. Is that so?」

I knew it. So it was the Baradam family after all.  Thankfully, Luke doesn’t seem to know that Roxanne and I were involved in the decline of the Baradam family just yet, which is a little strange considering the nature of his job as a broker, but if he doesn’t know the specifics, then I am most definitely not going to talk about them with him. He’s definitely going to hear about the entire thing in detail from the Duke at some point, but until that moment, it’s going to be better for me to keep him blissfully ignorant about the role that I had to play in all of that.

「So, what else did you learn? Is the Baradam family going to be doing something during the auction?」

「Keep in mind that these are only the rumors, but multiple sources are claiming that they are going to be putting one of their most prized possessions: The Holy Spear in the coming auction in order to raise the funds for themselves to try and pick themselves up from their decline.」

「Can those speculations be trusted?」

「In this particular case, yes, they can, because when an individual or a family are in desperate need of money, they tend to resort to the tried and true strategy of the controlled information leaking, because that way, more of the potential buyers are going to catch wind of it and become willing to try and risk their money in order to obtain such a valuable item for themselves. And since they are really in desperate need of money, such a purchase might be exactly what they need in order to try and make a comeback.」

「Is that so?」

That actually makes a lot of sense. If an item like that were to be put on the auction quietly without anyone knowing about it, then there’s a possibility that no one would buy it or that it might have been sold for a dissapointingly small amount of money. But now that the Baradam family leaked out the information, the potential bidders are sure to gather, meaning that the sum of the winning bid is definitely sure to be raised accordingly.

In that sense, spreading the rumors and leaking information seems like a brilliant move on their part. And about that weapon that they want to sell, The Holy Spear… I heard from Sherry that it is a weapon that enhances the magic power of the one holding it, which means that it could actually become a very useful weapon for me to have up my arsenal. And since Luke mentioned it like that to me… this must mean that what we were having just now was not a friendly chatter after all, but him trying to gaslight me into competing for The Holy Spear. No wonder that Sherry shows such intense disdain and hostility towards the brokers. If I were any different, I would probably take great offense at someone deceiving me in such a way and stormed right out of the room, but for now I might as well play along.

「Do you think that the people who were winning the bids for the Kobold Skill Crystals and the Scissoresque Carnivorous Plant Skill crystals are also going to be participating in the bidding for The Holy Spear?」

「They are most definitely going to be aiming for it, just like you said. But if you intend to be using the 「MP Absorption」Skill, then my advice is that you should try going for it as well.」

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