Chapter 180 Auction (Part I)
"It's useless." Ferdinand shook his head and said, "This idiotic Bruno has already released news that he's aiming for the bone. Although this got many other competitors to come out earlier...
"It also made many people think that the rumor that Governor Devitt will be choosing his disciple is true.
"Even if we can stop Bruno from attending this auction, there would be tough competition in the auction anyway.
"When I previously estimated the price at twenty thousand gold, I hadn't expected this happen."
Having said this, a hint of comprehension flashed in Ferdinand's eyes. "It's no wonder that when I was spreading the news, I sensed some other power helping to spread the rumors. I did not understand this at the beginning, but thinking of it now, it's those people who are auctioning the six hours who were helping to push out the news.
"They also want to fetch a high price."
Fang Xingjian nodded. He was bent on getting the bones, and even though the auction had yet to start, the upper limits of the cost had already been raised again and again. The money he had with him now was a tremendous sum of money in any other situation, but it was not enough for him to win the bid in this auction.
They continued discussing, continuously brainstorming for ideas and then rejecting them. It went on until daybreak, but they were still unable to come up with a solution.
Anthony leaned back on the sofa and dejectedly said, "Why don't we just snatch Bruno, take his money and use it in the auction?"
Ferdinand pouted and said, "If you want to offend a Conferred Knight, a high official in the Empire, then go do it yourself. I won't risk my life together with you guys."
"Pass off as Bruno?" Fang Xingjian thought and said as he turned toward the window where sunlight was gradually shining down on the earth.
"Impossible." Ferdinand said, "If we were to restrain Bruno, considering his grandfather's powers, it would be very troublesome if they decide to pursue and investigate the case.
"We must hide our identity in front of him, and do the same when facing the auctioneers.
"We need to hide from both sides and snatch Bruno's money. He also has experts under him, given to him by his grandfather. Who knows what kind of Remains Divine Weapons they have?
"It would be trouble if our identities were revealed."
"No." Fang Xingjian shook his head and suddenly smiled, "We might really be able to do it."
He turned toward Ferdinand and asked, "Has Bruno come into contact with a Conferred Knight's head bone before?"
"He shouldn't have. There's only a total of five thousand Conferred Knights in the Empire, with at most twenty dying each year due to accidents, war casualties and old age, at most five of them being level 25 or higher.
Some of them are kept by their clans, some by the royal family, but most of them are split up and given to the various Regional Royal Academies. Almost 80% of the parietal bones are kept in Regional Royal Academies to nurture the next generation of Conferred Knights.
"Being able to come into contact with this thing isn't a matter of money. If not for the temptation of the upcoming Regional Selection being too great, Northern Ice Region's academy would not put out this offer.
"And with Bruno's flamboyant nature, if he had used parietal bones before, he would have already announced it long ago."
Fang Xingjian nodded. "That's good, then. Since he's never come into contact with parietal bones before, then we have a way of dealing with this."
Ferdinand curiously asked, "What way?"
Fang Xingjian smiled, "Have two auctions."
Ferdinand felt stunned for a moment. However, quick-witted as he was, he immediately reacted, "Two?"
Fang Xingjian explained, "Leaving the parietal bones in their own academy and not handing them over to the Regional Academy does not fit the rules to begin with, right? This is why their auction is conducted in secret, and why they won't dare to openly advertise it."
Ferdinand stood up, pacing left and right, his brain working at a very quick speed, as he continued to mumble unceasingly.
"If it's the location, there should be no problem.
"If it's people, we can just use the trained Warriors from our clan...
"No, if we can earn a sum of money while we're at it, we can actually invite and hire a few people.
"The other party shouldn't have met Bruno before either.
"It's doable, it's actually doable."
Ferdinand's eyes got increasingly brighter while Robert and Anthony were both puzzled, "What's going on?"
"Ferdinand, what are you thinking about?"
Ferdinand shook his head, "There's still some crucial information I need to verify. If there's no problem, we can set up two auctions, but that still leaves the crucial point."
He turned toward Fang Xingjian and asked, "How do you plan on tricking Bruno?"
Fang Xingjian calmly replied, "In my hometown, there was a similar situation before. I plan to try that out."
Fang Xingjian replied, "Give me five hundred gold and I'll make a trip to Netherworld Valley myself. I'll leave the rest to you."
Seeing that Fang Xingjian and Ferdinand seemed to be speaking in riddles, Anthony finally could not hold it in anymore and once again asked, "What's the situation now? What's the actual plan?"
Ferdinand smiled, "You'll find out tonight."
On the day of the auction, in a building known as Black Saloon, Kirst.
Due to its vast interior, the cylindrical-shaped two-storey building had always been treated as the best gathering location. Therefore, he rented both levels for the day.
It was because an auction known only to Kirst's aristocrats and members of the upper echelon would be conducted here.
Of course, to Fang Xingjian and the others, there were going to be two concurrent auctions.
A team of people dressed in black robes alighted from the horse carriage and headed toward the Black Saloon's backdoor.
A man in a tuxedo lowered his head and walked over to the black-robed man leading the pack. He bowed and said, "Welcome."
The man in black robes coldly asked, "Where is Bennett?"
"Lord Bennett is in the hall attending to guests. We heard that you do not wish to divulge your identities and thus I've arranged for the horse carriage to stop at the back door."
The man in tuxedo lifted his head, revealing his face. It was Ferdinand.
He smiled and asked the man in black robes, "Sir, are you satisfied with the arrangements?"
The man in black robes leading the pack kept silent for a moment and a stifling aura gushed out. Just as Ferdinand's temples and forehead were unceasingly perspiring and he felt as if he was going to be forced to his knees by the pressure, the man in black robes finally spoke.
Ferdinand nodded with a slightly pale countenance, "Yes, please follow me.
"We've invited the most powerful buyers in Kirst this time around. You will definitely not be disappointed in the auction today.
"We've also followed your instructions to make it a secret auction and will definitely not reveal your identities to anyone."
The man in black robes did not say anything. Ferdinand turned, his eyes flashing with excitement as he led the group of black robed people toward the Black Saloon's first level.
On the other side, at the Black Saloon's main entrance.
Under the lead of an attendant dressed in black, the buyers who had arrived at the Black Saloon's main entrance were led toward the second level of Black Saloon.
Most of these buyers also covered their faces with robes so as not to reveal their identities. One reason was because this was the requirement of this auction, and the other reason was because they did not wish to reveal their financial ability. Furthermore, if they were to win the bid for the parietal bones, they would not wish to be known all the more.
However, there were also people who did not care about all these. A man wearing a golden-colored mask bawled loudly without any restraint as he walked toward Black Saloon's second level.
"Haha! Everyone! This time, I'm bent on winning the bid. The parietal bones are really very important to me, so I'll have to trouble everyone to give in to me a little."
Just like that, under Ferdinand's special arrangements, all the buyers headed up to level two, while the sellers stayed on level one. The two auctions on both levels would start at the same time.
On the first storey, the black-robed man in the lead had just taken his seat, when he suddenly frowned and asked, "Why is it so noisy outside?"
Ferdinand's heart sank. 'How sharp is this guy's hearing? This hall is almost soundproof, yet he can hear the sounds outside?' Ferdinand smiled and tried to cover up, "It's nothing much. There's just some construction works for one of the corridors."
The black-robed man ignored Ferdinand and told one of his subordinates, "Go take a look outside."
Ferdinand smiled and blocked his way, "There's no need to be so wary. Today, we've already reserved the entire Black Saloon. There definitely won't be any problems."
The black robed man laughed coldly, saying again, "Go take a look."
The subordinate, also dressed in a black robe, passed by Ferdinand and headed toward the door of the first storey's hall.