Chapter 130 - Kargas' Underground Auction (3)
"The current bid is 80 gold! A bid by guest No.107!"
Beneath the surface of the host's calm facade, he was completely bewildered. It was because he had never experienced such a fight for an original book.
He didn't know about the past when there had been no duplication magic, but now that copies were scattered all over the world, the value of the original books was forced to fall. Only the wealthy wanted original books to decorate their libraries. However, that wasn't enough for the bidding war between the two participants to go so high.
The price of 80 gold, which was more expensive than jewellery, made the agent of the Information Guild hesitate. However, Akan gripped the sign and looked at Theodore, who nodded without hesitation. It was an expression that showed his determination to acquire the item without caring about profit or loss.
Akan closed his eyes and spread out all 10 fingers.
"Yes, 100 gold! 100 gold! Guest No. 381 has bid 100 gold, and the countdown will start again! 10 seconds remaining!"
The host and the audience, who initially had no interest in original books, were now excited about the sudden prosperity.
To put it bluntly, the northern auction houses were smaller than the ones in the other areas. So, the limitations of miscellaneous goods such as jewellery were clear when compared to weapons which could be traded at high prices. Rare artifacts might appear occasionally, but most of them were usually shown at the auction on the last day. For that reason, it had been a long time since the auction houses in the north had competed with bids over 100 gold.
Theodore glanced at the old gentleman sitting far away. 'Will you follow? It has already passed 100 gold... Will you offer more than this just to read a book?'
To be honest, Theo was skeptical. If he just wanted to read the book, there were many copies on the market. It was strange that a scholar, not a magician, would spend 80 gold on this book. Theo didn't know the old man's purpose, but it seemed like the old man had a strange commitment to original books.
Unsurprisingly, the old man hesitated for a moment before lifting his sign. However, the bidding amount was different from before. It wasn't 20 gold but 10 gold, half his other bid amounts.
"No. 107! 110 gold, this time the bid has increased by 50%! I am really curious about this sale now that it has already exceeded today's maximum bid price!"
The reactions of those watching the host were divided in two. There were those sorry about the fact that the 100% bidding hadn't continued, while the others were interested in Theodore's group. Theodore's eyebrows twitched faintly as eyes gathered on him. No, it wasn't because of them. It was because of the look in the eyes of the old man, Heinrich, as he looked at Theo.
What would he do now? Those eyes seemed to be asking.
"Yes, No. 381!"
Theodore's 10 fingers were spread wide open as he held up the sign.
"Once again, a 100% bid! It is now 130 gold! An original book has never sold for this much before! I can assure you that it hasn't happened in the last 10 years!" The host's mouth expressed his excitement.
A bid of 130 gold was uncommon in the eastern or southern auction houses. He was certain that they would fall short of this amount. With excitement in his eyes, the host looked at No. 107, Heinrich. Even if it stopped here, it had already exceeded his expectations. However, a person's greed was endless.
Unfortunately, the overflowing greed couldn't be rewarded. Heinrich bowed to Theodore before placing the No. 107 sign on his lap. It meant he wouldn't bid anymore. The host swallowed his regret as he saw this and counted down. Understandably, there were no more participants who bid over the 130 gold.
"The winning bid! The original book, [Introduction to Elemental Magic II], written by Myrdal Herseim has been awarded to Guest No. 381 for 130 gold!"
There was a small round of applause in response to the loud voice. The sound was partly out of gratitude for the entertainment provided, as well as mocking Theodore for spending 130 gold. However, Theodore didn't respond. No, it would be more accurate to say he couldn't respond. The joy of obtaining the book he wanted crushed all of weak vibes of unpleasantness.
[Introduction to Elemental Magic II] had finally entered his hands.
[Introduction to Elemental Magic II]
[This book describes the four elementals in more detail than any other book. It is a book written about the relationship between a magician and elemental, as well as how to manipulate the power of the elemental. The author, Myrdal, has been called the greatest elementalist of the century. He is the only one who has succeeded in calling an elemental ruler.
* Your understanding is high. (87.5%)
* This magic book is rated 'Precious.'
* When consumed, the proficiency of 'elemental magic' will increase.
* This is the original copy which was personally written by the author. When consumed, the elemental affinity which suits you will be opened. There is a low chance that you may form a contract with an elemental.
* You are immature as an elementalist. It is recommended that you increase your capabilities before consuming it.]
Theodore was delighted as he checked the information window. He had obtained a way to contact Myrdal in a place he'd never thought of. It might take a while until he could consume it, but it was only a matter of time.
The mysterious magician, Myrdal, who had contracted with an elemental ruler, was literally a living legend. 130 gold for an opportunity to contact him was really a pittance.
After putting it into his inventory, Theodore shifted his gaze.
'Thank you very much.' He looked at Heinrich and bowed respectfully.
According to Gibra's information, Heinrich's assets slightly surpassed Theodore's. A few generations ago, Heinrich's family had been a noble family in Kargas who built up their assets, unlike others who squandered it.
Nevertheless, the old man had nicely given up on this book. Had he seen something in Theodore's eyes, or did he not think it was worth 200 gold? The reason was unknown, but it was clear that Theodore had won [Introduction to Elemental Magic II] thanks to Heinrich taking a step back.
"Heh." Heinrich grinned and nodded.
Then Theodore had the thought that he wanted to be like that old man when he was older. As he gazed at the image of the undaunted elderly man, the auction continued.
Was he imagining it? The atmosphere of the auction house seemed lighter.
* * *
After gaining [Introduction to Elemental Magic II] on the first day, Theodore moved steadily through the auction houses.
The agents employed by the Information Guild could buy the books, but there was no guarantee there wouldn't be a special book like Introduction to Elemental Magic II. The auction experience was also more interesting than he'd thought it would be.
Of course, the profit from the first day didn't come again. Aside from that, it was mostly smooth. The number of original books being sold was fewer than it was supposed to be, but he still collected over 20 books from the three auction houses.
The vast majority of them were 'Common', but there were two 'Rare' ranked original books mixed in. It was a big jackpot considering it hadn't even been a month since he'd left Meltor.
'Well, I didn't buy all of them.'
The two competitors Theo met on the first day, Coulson and Heinrich, competed with him several more times at other auction houses. Although he conceded several unnecessary books to Heinrich, who had given him Introduction to Elemental Magic II on the first day, he always competed in a bidding war with the sleazy Coulson. It was money Theo had brought to use anyway, so he didn't hesitate to bid.
The result was that 23 original books were now in his inventory.
"Kuooh... Employer, what are you thinking about doing with them? It is a principle not to ask about the purpose of the commission, but I am curious."
"It is a secret."
"Uhh, I guess I'll have to do a follow up later..."
There were pros and cons of having Gibra and Akan watch him closely.
Theodore had calmly spent a few hundred gold at the auction houses. He had given up on a few items and suffered enormous damages on others. So, it was bound to make anyone who knew money curious.
The people of Meltor knew this clearly, but a magician's sense of money was different in many ways. Theodore couldn't free himself from this aspect of a traditional magician.
In the end, Gibra folded his arms and grumbled, "Nevermind, I don't know what else to say. Anyway, it looks like our request is roughly finished, so what do you think?"
"Isn't there still one day remaining?"
"I told you. On the last day of the underground auctions, a big auction will be held. There won't be any small sales of things like original books. Why bother attracting the eyes of those high up?"
If someone who knew the situation heard this, they would nod their heads. The information of the Information Guild's branch director was always accurate. The people participating in the big auction were the bigwigs in Sipoto, no, Kargas. They had the power to break someone if they were offended, and Theodore shouldn't attract their attention since he was concealing his identity.
Thus, it was the right choice to skip it. However, Theodore worried about it for a moment before shaking his head. He couldn't explain it logically, but his gut instincts were telling him that he shouldn't miss this auction.
"No, I will participate."
It was a type of sixth sense. After obtaining Umbra and the Ring of Muspelheim, Theodore's senses had already reached a high level. He had Alfred's sensory perception and an amplified sensitivity. So, his intuition was already like taking one step into the future. If his intuition said it was correct to do this, then it was most likely right.
Theodore asserted firmly to the still concerned Gibra, "You don't have to worry. There isn't anything I would buy from the big auction, and it is dangerous to scratch the nerves of the bigwigs."
* * *
The very next day, Theodore collided head-on with the Orcus Company.