In the end, Rhode wasn't able to figure out what the new Talent Tree was about and he roughly guessed that it would be an ultimate talent. However, he had no idea why this talent didn't reveal any information at all. Could it be that this world was similar to the gaming world where the information had to be patched before it could be revealed fully?
Rhode felt that this was too improbable.
However, he didn't have the time to consider something which he couldn't figure out anymore because Gillian had returned to the inn and brought some bad news for Rhode. Rhode's group had been noticed by the Eagle City's internal officials and Gillian had also detected many people were observing them in the dark. Moreover, she faced some harassment, but these troubles were nothing for the Fire Elemental Lord. Even though a majority of Eagle City civilians weren't hostile to them, there might be accidents waiting to happen if this went on for long.
Other than this piece of news, Gillian also brought along some good news. She had received intelligence on the key for the underground maze. The four key fragments were currently in the safe of an auction house, waiting to be auctioned off as an ornament. If Rhode wished to get his hands on them, the only way would be to participate in the auction.
But the problem was...
\"This auction only permits the local noble celebrities of Eagle City to participate?\" Rhode frowned with a solemn expression as he gazed at the piece of paper in his hand.
Meanwhile, Gillian shrugged her shoulders and curled up on the sofa like a domestic cat. \"That's right, Master. I've tried bribing but it didn't work as only insiders could partake in it. Although this can't be considered as any shenanigans or conspiracy, the requirements are too difficult for people of our identity.\"
\"This is really troublesome...\" Rhode puckered his brows as this was a great opportunity. Furthermore, it would be for the best if he could obtain the key fragments through this auction. Otherwise, he might need to travel all over the place and retrieve them through dishonest methods. Although Rhode didn't have any mental conflicts using these methods, he was concerned that the messy situation in the Eagle City might bombard his reasons and objectives. Overall, it would be wise to obtain them legally and avoid any criticism.
But... Were there really no other ideas?
Rhode shifted his attention to the door and stood up. \"Gillian, look after Anne and make sure she doesn't get into any trouble. I'll be right back.\"
\"No problem, Master,\" Gillian was slightly astonished and the fox-eared young lady revealed a pensive smile while winking at Rhode. \"Aight, I wish you all the best~\"
As a matter of fact, Rhode's method was simple and direct. Since they had no right to enter the auction, the only way was to find someone who could and bring him along. Although Barter was qualified, Rhode had no intention of seeking his help since both of them were eventually competitors. Moreover, Barter was currently not in the Eagle City, so it wouldn't be easy to get his help on this.
However, this didn't mean that Rhode had no suitable candidate for this job.
\"Mr. Rhode.\" As soon as Rhode entered the parlor, Natasha greeted him with a wide smile and lifted the ends of her skirt slightly while scuttling towards him. This time, this rich daughter of the city owner was wearing her usual, exquisite dress, unlike the miserably tattered clothes while they were on the run. Furthermore, it seemed that she was much staunch and courageous after going through that tough period of time. On the other hand, Grendy followed Natasha closely as usual and it seemed that both of them were really close. \"I didn't expect you to visit me. If it weren't for you and your men, we definitely wouldn't have escaped from the hands of that Necromancer... I'm really sorry for not expressing our gratitude before.\"
Natasha's expression turned gloomy because when Natasha and Grendy arrived at Eagle City that night, they were brought back home by the city owner and Safety Officer immediately. Meanwhile, Rhode's group was led to the Battle Angel Army encampment to hand over the Bone List. As the situation was hectic, the city owner thanked Rhode's group and left briefly, leaving Natasha and Grendy without the chance to thank their benefactors. They felt unsettled because even though Rhode indeed wasn't concerned about their life or death when they first met, they had seen how Rhode did his utmost to protect them afterwards. If it weren't for him, perhaps neither of them would have made it back alive.
\"Don't worry about it, Miss Natasha; we weren't mindful of that. It's a perfect ending since everyone is well and alive.\" Rhode consoled the depressed young lady. \"To be frank, there is something that I hope Miss Natasha can help me with...\"
\"What is it?\" The young lady lifted her spirits and raised her head hurriedly to gaze at Rhode. \"If it is something that we can help with, I will definitely do my best, Mr Rhode.\"
\"Actually, it isn't that big of a deal,\" Rhode spread his arms apart and explained. \"It's like this, Miss Natasha. I want to take part in an auction that is going to be held here, in Eagle City. To be honest, something that I desire will be auctioned there. But I guess you are also aware that this auction is only opened to local noble celebrities and outsiders like me definitely can't get into the auction house. That thing is very important to me and if possible, I hope you can offer me some help to obtain the rights for us to participate in this auction...\"
\"Auction?\" Natasha was slightly taken aback as she didn't expect that Rhode would be here for this purpose. She had participated in the Eagle City auction and she was aware that there was such a prominent rule. However, rules were dead and humans were alive. It was possible to bring friends along, but the organizers must be informed beforehand. No matter what, the behind-the-scenes supporter of this event held high influence in this region and if one ever broke their rules without informing, they would definitely bear grudges.
Natasha didn't understand too much of the complex matters, however, she felt that she could give Rhode a hand on his favor. \"I don't think there's a problem, Mr. Rhode. Please wait here for a moment, I'll be right back.\"
Natasha turned around and left the parlor, leaving Rhode and Grendy. Rhode shrugged his shoulders and didn't speak a word as he lifted his teacup and savored the fragrant red tea, admiring the scenery curiously while awaiting Natasha's good news. Then, Rhode turned towards Grendy. The young swordsman stood straight up and revealed an awkward smile after detecting Rhode's gaze. \"Mr. Rhode, this...\"
\"I can see that you two are pretty close.\" Rhode nodded at Grendy. \"How are you two doing?\"
\"Thanks to Mr. Rhode, everything is fine,\" Grendy answered with a hesitant expression. He observed the surrounding for a brief moment before approaching Rhode and spoke in a soft tone. \"... Although I shouldn't say this, I heard from my father that Eagle City hasn't been too peaceful lately, so please be careful, Mr. Rhode. Also, I heard that someone is attempting to harm you.\"
\"Thanks for your reminder,\" Rhode nodded in acknowledgment slightly. As he had heard from Barter on this previously, he was mentally prepared for Grendy's reminder. However, did it mean that their actions would become apparent soon since even Grendy is aware of it?
At this moment, Rhode sensed a sinister, ice-cold stare from behind him.
However, he didn't turn around instantly. Instead, he placed the teacup on the table and shut his eyes, focusing his perception on that line of sight... But that person suddenly withdrew his stares and fled swiftly.
Who exactly is that?
Kacha. Soon after Rhode returned to his senses, the parlor door opened and Natasha entered, grinning from ear to ear.
\"No problem, Mr. Rhode, I've spoken to my father about it.\" Natasha handed three badges to Rhode. \"There won't be any problems as long as you, Gillian, and Anne enter the auction house and display these three badges before it starts... Grendy and I will be there too, so please be assured.\"
Although Rhode's mind was occupied with that line of sight, his expression didn't reveal his thoughts. Instead, Rhode stood up and accepted the three badges. \"Thanks for your help, Miss Natasha.\"