13-27. The Third Auction Day (2)
Satou's here. I like Hollywood movies. I can't get enough of the characters escaping dangers one after another without even having the chance to breath. However, I think calm and quiet are better in reality.
The auction has begun.
Around 300 people are sitting on the college hall-like mortar-shaped hall.
The noble seats area that we are located at sticks out on the inside of the hall like a balcony, and there are several of it.
Looks like there are around 30 of it in total.
According to the pamphlet as the substitute of the usherette, the orb auction is after the very first one, so it looks like I'll be bored for an hour.
『Everyone! This [Farsight Scope] was excavated from a treasure chest in the 1-3 area of Selbira's Labyrinth--』
The host is explaining the exhibited item while holding a mic in one hand.
There was no explanation who the exhibitor is.
The bid began before long, but--
『10 gold coins』
『10 gold coins and two silver coins』
『10 gold coins and four silver coins』
『11 gold coins』
And such, the bidding amounts are very tight.
The auction hall is slightly dim, spotlights are highlighting the host and the bidders who raise their notes.
Looks like the light will highlight the bidder who raises their notes, so they'll know the one who raises their notes immediately.
In case there are several people who raise their notes, they'll highlight them from the fastest one in turn.
『14 gold coins』
『....Since no one bids anymore, it's a successful bid. The winner of [Farsight Scope] is number 921!』
Rounds of applause are echoing in the hall once the host declared a successful bid.
The sound don't match the moving hands, so it's probably sound effects from some magic tool.
It seems they don't announce the bidder's name but their number.
Rather than for avoiding needless confusion, it's for hiding the bidder's identity no doubt.
By the way, my bidder number is number three. It's probably because I'm here as a delegate of Duke Mitsukuni house.
Still, I don't know whether it's because the bidders are mainly lower nobles or military men, but the winning bids are all only at 30% of the market price.
The people in this hall are probably aiming for the [Blessing Orbs].
Looks like I have a lot of rivals.
There were some interesting magic tools that were exhibited, but I wait for the [Blessing Orbs] auction without attempting an affair.
"Kuro-sama, please calm down. You don't have to be so worried, we will absolutely win the bid."
The manager who's sitting beside me persuades me while warmly gazing like a kind mother.
So I really shouldn't have let out, "Gununu" sound, or maybe staring hard at the noble seat restraint restlessly was bad... no, it has to be because I'm unconsciously tapping my foot....
I cough once, and then reply the manager with a voice full of dignity.
"There is no need to worry. I am calm."
"Yes, of course."
The manager nods and then presents me with a glass of carbonated fruit water.
I'm bothered with her kind mother-like expression, but this is just right as I feel thirsty.
I gulp it and then refreshing sensation slides down my throat.
"Another glass please."
After drinking the second glass, I feel calmed down.
Looks like I was a bit too eager.
I have to calm down until the real thing.
And then, the long-awaited [Blessing Orbs]'s turn came.
This time there are eight orbs that are going to be displayed, they are our [Water Magic], [Paralyze Resistance], Jeril's [Light Magic], [Chant] and other people's [Transport], [Great Sword], [Arithmetic], and [Horticulture].
The plan should have been that the less interesting items are to be exhibited first, but it seems the management side are worried the bids would be sombre.
They feature the highlight, [Light Magic] right from the outset.
It seems they're right on the money--.
『150 gold coins!』
『153 gold coins!』
『160 gold coins!』
--The price rises rapidly.
"The rise is worse than I thought...."
The manager beside me tilts her head in puzzlement.
That reminds me, I've heard from the guildmaster and Jeril in Labyrinth City that, "It was bid for 3000 gold coins 200 years ago.", so this might be lacking.
『930 gold coins!』
The price gradually rises, but the end isn't quite in sight yet.
The competition from people from distinguished military families and upper nobles are fierce, maybe because possessing [Light Magic] skill is one of the requirements for entering Holy Knight.
I feel strong-will wanting to win no matter what.
I've also employed a proxy as Satou, but he was dropped off quickly since the upper limit was 500 gold coins.
Leaving that aside, if this keeps up--.
"It's getting prolonged more than we thought isn't it. If this keeps up, it'd be the break time before all the orbs are finished being exhibited."
That's bad...but if I intervened here, there might be other nobles who went after the important [Chant Orb] instead. I want to prevent that from happening.
After about 45 minutes, the [Light Magic] was finally sold for 1096 gold coins.
The man is wearing a mask but that's probably Duke Oyugock.
After that, it was quick.
--[Great Sword], 12 gold coins.
--[Arithmetic], 31 gold coins.
--[Horticulture], 7 gold coins.
--[Transport], 5 gold coins.
It seems orbs that have weak demands are cheap.
And the remainders are [Chant], [Water Magic], and [Paralyze Resistance].
『Then continuing on, after a fierce fight between the [Floormaster, Flame Snake] of the labyrinth's middle layer and the corps led by the Mithril explorer party, [Lion's Roar]--』
The prologue is too long!
Shut up and let me bid already!
The manager puts her white hands on top of mine and whispers.
Not good, not good. I have to be cool.
『--Then let the bid begin.』
I quickly raise my note, however the spotlight isn't highlighting me, but a lower noble in the hall.
There are more than six notes raised when I look around the hall.
Looks like [Chant Orb] is really popular.
It seems there are a lot of people who are stumped at that impossibly hard spell chanting.
The usherette tells me that I'm the fifth.
Apparently, in case of simultaneous note-raises like this, the spotlight will highlight the notes in turn.
Now then, leaving that apart.
The first lower noble announces with tension in his voice.
『10 gold coins!』
--I wait and see.
The spotlight highlights the proxies of the lower nobles one after another.
『11 gold coins!』
『12 gold coins!』
『12 gold coins and 1 silver coin!』
--They play around too much.
I receive the mic and pause a bit.
First, it's the skirmish.
I'll cut the mob, leaving only the serious opponents.
『100 gold coins』
I calmly said so, and turned my sight toward the one who's going to bid after me in the noble seats.
I wait for the noble of lineage, some Earl or something, to state his bid--.
He's having a long deliberation, perhaps for ascertaining my move.
Looks like he's quite capable.
He's not lacking as an opponent.
And then, voices come out of the hall's speaker.
『The winner of [Chant Orb] is number 3.』
I can hear the manager congratulating me and applauses in the hall.
No but, most of the 300.000 gold coins still remain though....
I feel somewhat downhearted, so I bid and won [Water Magic] and [Paralyze Resistance] for childish prices.
I remembered after having won it that the [Water Magic] and [Paralyze Resistance] orbs were the items we brought from the labyrinth.
"Kuro-sama, is there anything wrong?"
When we're walking to the place to get the items, it seems my dissatisfied mood leaks out, the manager asks worryingly.
"No, it's just that I thought the 『Chant Orb』 was too cheap considering the winning bid in the past.
"When you say it like that, certainly."
According to the history, [Chant Orb] was won at around 200-400 gold coins.
The answer to that is brought by the usherette who's guiding us.
"That's because of the note raised by your proxy."
She consented when I asked again.
If I'm not mistaken, the color of the note differs depending on the potential amount.
My upper limit was 10.000, so the other people who saw that probably pulled back.
We enter the place to get the item that's strictly protected by high level knights.
The proxy of Duke Oyugock has entered first, they're confirming the payment.
I'm guided to a different table, and then I take out a bag of gold coins for the payment.
--One of the luminous points disappears.
I promptly open the marker list on the map.
Looks like I unconsciously used [Coercion] skill, the surrounding people have solidified with blue faces.
"The orb has been stolen. I will chase the criminal. Manager, finish the winning bid procedure."
After confirming the manager's reply, I leave that place.
The one who steals the orb is a [Phantom Thief].
My [Chant Orb] is in the thief's Item Box. It seems the other orbs have all been stolen too.
At first I thought it was the same phantom thief from before, but it was an old man with a cute un-phantom-thief-like name, Pipin.
Still, he's fast.
Even though it hasn't even been 10 seconds since he got outside, he's already several hundreds meter away.
I understand the reason why he's strangely fast after chasing him with Flash Drive.
--It's a short-distance teleport.
That's a rare gift, but I won't let him escape!
I move in front of Pipin with Unit Arrangement.
"A pursuer huh!"
Pipin heads toward the downtown with short-distance teleport.
Apparently, he can jumps 300 meters in one go.
Pipin continues doing short-distance teleports even while panicking.
Pipin stops running away after five teleportations.
Looking at his remaining MP, he can only jump for one more.
We're standing on a four-story apartment building, but it seems the buildings around here are deserted, there isn't any common people here.
"What's the matter? Are we done playing tag?"
Hearing me speaking like I've cornered a rat, Pipin grins and laughs.
He's probably anticipating the red luminous lights lurking in the surrounding buildings and whatever that makes my [Trap Discovery] reacting since a while ago.
"--Yep, that's right, it's over."
Birdlime balls are raining toward [The place where I was] from the surrounding, and the pitfall and net trap are activated.
Unexpectedly, they're all non-lethal traps.
"Kukuku, there's no way you can escape unless you can teleport like me."
"That seems to be the case."
I agree with the triumphant phantom thief from behind him.
Pipin does the last teleport while getting surprised.
He's not giving up easily, but this is the last.
There are two figures of people at the place where I move with Unit Arrangement.
Beside Pipin who's standing with his back facing here, the other phantom thief who was disguising as Satou the other day, [Sharururuun], is also standing.
I see, so they were planning to meet here.
It'll be troublesome if they diverge.
Let's settle it quickly.
"W-wait! Please wait."
Sharururuun waved her hand in panic, stopping me when I was going to use Ground Shrink.
Pipin is keeping his silent.
Sharururuun throws a velvet bag to me.
The radar shows the luminous point of a marked item approaching me along with the bag's trajectory.
I take it and put it into the storage.
Now it'll be fine even if we talk carefreely.
Apparently, Pipin is unconscious.
"What are you planning?"
"What? Haven't you heard from Miss Elterina?"
To my question, Sharururuun looked puzzled and said an unknown name.
Ah, the manager's name huh.
When I look better, Sharururuun's affiliation is [Echigoya Firm].
"Right, you were the one who found my little brother right? Thank you. Thanks to you, I could cut my tie with those bastards."
Fumu, it's about the missing person that the manager asked recently huh.
"That's splendid. I'll leave it to you to take the man to the authority."
"Understood. By the way, what do you want me to do with the items inside his Item Box?"
"I'll entrust it to you."
"Then, I'll use 『Forced Storage Opening』 and give them to Echigoya Firm."
She tells me so, and then Sharururuun goes along the roof while shouldering Pipin.
I see, I was wondering how she could take out the [Orb] from the Item Box, but it seems there's a skill to forcefully open an Item Box. I'll ask her to teach me later.
After neutralizing Pipin's companions with [Remote Stuns], I fire three Firework magic to the sky in order to alert the guards.
I'll leave it to the guards to clean up the small fries.
I take out the [Chant Orb] from Storage.
I stare at that gallant figure while suppressing my laughter.
It finally comes into my hands.
I've confirmed with the manager using [Telephone] magic that the payment has been completed.
There is nothing that holds me back anymore.
Flooded with emotion, I hold the [Chant Orb] high toward the sky.
The orb glitters from the light of the sun.
Come now! With this I can freely use any magic!