Volume 8 Chapter 3 Part 7

Luke exposes the truth about The Holy Spear situation. So that’s it, huh? The Baradam family tried to bite more than they could chew, and now that they tried to outplay everyone, nobody is going to bid on it as a result, which means that the successful bid is going to be made at a low price to deny them the profit from the selling of it.

I already knew that brokers were nasty, but this is on a whole other level. Now I realize more than ever that it wouldn’t be good to make them angry at any circumstances.

Maybe it’s Luke’s way of giving me a warning what is going to happen to me if I do something selfish that I am going to ultimately regret.

「Then, the first lowest bid will be a successful bid.」

「That’s right. Or if the starting bid is going to be too high we might call everything off, but that is the worst-case scenario.」

Wow, they even think that far? But then, if they decide to do that, does that not mean that they’re going to lose the deposits that they made?

I have to say that I am intrigued with the Holy Spear, but if there is so many troubles surrounding it, then maybe it would be better if I didn’t go for it? Yes, it would definitely be bad if I ended up making enemies of the brokers, even if it would be by accident. That, and the bid price might jump up if there’s a bidding war with a guest that would want to obtain the Holy Spear for themselves.

「I won’t bid on it. I just want to watch the proceedings.」

I give Luke some reassurance. My open denial should put him at least a little bit at ease.

But, what if the story that they were refusing to bid was made up in order to throw the potential bidders off? If there is an item you want by any means possible you could simply spread rumors about refusing to bid so that would others changed their minds about bidding as well due to the fear of incurring the brokers wrath upon themselves like I just did. Such a manuever would then allow the brokers to get the item that they wanted at the cheapest price possible without having to do literally anything.

In a way, it would be the same as cheating. This is a narrow world where the collisions of interest are pretty much unavoidable.

Have stories come out about such things? No, probably not, because if they ever came to light then I imagine that it would be a pretty huge deal. Are they brokers who would willingly commit fraud like that?

「Okay. If that is the only thing that you want to do, then you can come to the auction hall and watch the auction. There is a registration fee that needs to be paid when you enter, though that is refunded if you participate in bidding. That being said however, I want to reiterate that you should not participate in the bidding for The Holy Spear. If you refrain from doing that, then I’ll be happy to show you around the venue.」

「So you’re saying that I can come?」

「Yes, that is indeed what I am saying.」

「In that case, I will gladly come. Thanks for doing this for me.」

「Don’t mention it.」

Prompted to do so by Luke, I decided to go to the auction hall with him so that we could check it out. This is going to be a good opportunity for me to appraise The Holy Spear with my own eyes, but also a good experience before the holiday’s slave auction.

「I think The Holy Spear should be exhibited in about twenty to thirty minutes.」

I still seem to have some time on my hands before The Holy Spear is going to be brought before the auctioneers. In that case, I decided to return home for a bit to inform Roxanne that I am going to see how the auction is performed and that I might come home late as a result. After that was taken care of, I turned around and went straight back to the Merchants Guild.

It only took a few seconds to travel because I was using 「Warp」. Once I was back inside, I climbed the stairs to the second floor of the Merchants Guild. A large conference room was located there, and it seems like it is a place where the auction is going to be held.

「Is it here?」

「Yes. Please, come inside.」

Luke leads me inside. As I suspected, it’s a considerably spacious room. There is a stage at the front, and rows of chairs that are facing it. Somehow, when I look at it, it reminds me of a small theater.

I sit down next to Luke. There aren’t that many people in the room. Including us, it’s maybe between twenty to fifty of them? If the entire venue was filled to the brim, then I guess it could house hundreds of bidders at the same time.

「Well then, now that everyone has gathered, allow me to start the auction. The first item today is the Pig Skill Crystal. Its authenticity has already been confirmed by the Merchants Guild.」

A man stood at the left side of the stage. Judging from his words, he’s going to be the one leading the entire auction. When he finished speaking, another man entered the room and put the Skill Crystal on the table at the center of the stage.

The Pig Skill Crystal, huh? He must be the seller.

「If it is cheap I will make a bid for it. You can do it too if you want. We will lose our registration fee if we don’t bid on anything, after all.」

Luke whispers in my ear.

「The starting bid is one thousand Nars.」

「 One thousand!」

As soon as the man on the left side of the stage indicated, someone called out the price at once.

「Eleven hundred!」

「Twelve hundred!」

「Thirteen hundred!」

The bidding increments are probably one hundred Nars because the starting price is less than ten thousand Nars.

「Since it’s the first item shown, it has one hundred Nars increments so a lot of people can participate and not get discouraged right from the beginning.」

「I see.」

That makes sense, since just like Luke said, if you don’t bid on anything at least once, you’re going to lose your registration fee, and that is something that people would like to avoid at all costs. That is also why it’s good that as many people are making bids right now. Thanks to them, I can see how the auctions work before I participate in one myself during the holiday.

In the case of the holiday auctions, the entry fee is paid in advance and deduced from the winning bid, but only if the auction is successful. That’s why there’s no point in participating in it just for the bidding itself.

「Fourteen hundred!」

「Fifteen hundred!」

The auction progresses. At one point…

「Sixteen hundred!」

I raised my voice boldly, making my bid.

「Seventeen hundred!」

Luke calls out next. Is he looking out for me?

A person in charge comes straight over, and passes a slip of paper to Luke and I. Upon closer look, it’s not a piece of paper, but rather a papyrus, and something is written on it.

「What’s this?」

「You can turn this in when you leave the hall as proof that you participated in the bidding and get your registration fee returned as a result.」

I see.  So it’s actually a proof of participation.

The bid price kept increasing by hundred Nars, but after reaching the twenty five hundred threshold, the speed of the bidding started to slow down.

「Twenty eight hundred. The current bid is twenty-eight hundred. Is there anyone who wishes to bid more?」

「Twenty nine hundred.」

「As I thought, it’s gotten a little higher.」

Luke mutters to himself and to me as he watches the auction.

「Three thousand.」

Someone calls out again, but then the venue goes quiet.

「Three thousand. The current price is three thousand Nars. Are there any more bids? … No, it doesn’t look like it… In that case, the winning bid is three thousand Nars. The seller and the bidder, please make the exchange in the back room and proceed to performing the confirmation on the item.」

And with that, the successful bidder has been decided. The seller who appeared on stage leaves with the Skill Crystal, and the bidder also leaves through a door at the front and to the right.

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