As night fell, the winds swept across the prairie and brightly-lit lanterns signified the start of the Eagle City's Flash Auction. As an auction that strictly limited the number of participants and their identities, the Eagle City's Flash Auction was set up in dark, gloomy coloration. Just like the world has its own day and night, the Flash Auction had its own black and white sides and anything could be sold and purchased here. The main items would mainly consist of treasures, armor, and magical equipment that mercenary groups or guilds had obtained during their adventures. Sometimes, there would be rare gems, materials, Magic Herbs, or even humans for sale. However, these transactions were extremely confidential and the auction would disallow them unless it was being sold by their trusted partners.
The Flash Auction was located in the busy east district of Eagle City, far from the Battle Angel Army encampment. It seemed like the organizers were aware that although the Battle Angels weren't interested in getting involved with these shady matters, they weren't dumb enough to provoke them by setting this event under their watch.
The main streets were bustling because it was time for people to return home from their daily errands. However, it was quiet and solemn around the auction house with fully armored guards blocking the roads to provide the attendees a peaceful, quiet, and safe environment. Several noble celebrities donned in their rich attires had arrived at the venue in their chariots, chatting cheerfully and wittily. After all, most of the attendees knew one another due to the strict rule of the Flash Auction. But without a doubt, there would always be new faces that would steal the show.
As Rhode and his group exited the chariot, many nobles turned their gazes towards them. It wasn't just due to their unfamiliar faces, but also their oddly charming appearance that attracted their attention.
Rhode led the group with his trim black, formal attire with a brown wooden cane in his hand. His shoulder-length hair flowed smoothly while his dark eyes squinted slightly. Although Rhode was donned in an undoubtedly male attire, everyone who witnessed his fine, beautiful oval face couldn't help but mistake him as a female. However, there was an undeniable faint, ice-cold aura emitting from his expression that warned everyone just how dangerous he was.
If Rhode could be said as an untouchable, beautiful ice sculpture, Gillian would be the alluring cocktail. The bright red off-shoulder dress outlined Gillian's seductive curves and ample chest ingeniously. Her long pink hair fell softly on her fair, tender shoulders, letting off an elegant charisma while her fluffy tail and ears heightened her loveliness. A glance at her was as though downing a cocktail, leaving one burning and yearning for more.
Anne was equally dazzling.
Anne didn't dress up as Rhode and Gillian did. Instead, she was clad in her usual white leather while carrying her large, heavy shield on her back. However, this was exactly the touch of difference that the well-dressed nobles felt from her. Furthermore, this young lady had a vibrant, youthful smile which left them a favorable impression.
Of course, it wasn't purely due to their outstanding appearances that made them the center of attention. As a matter of fact, although this was the first time that these nobles had met Rhode, they had heard of his name for a long time. Thanks to the Midsummer Festival, Rhode had received practical benefits and left a deep, favorable impression in many of the nobles' hearts. Many nobles favored him for his mightiness and furthermore, they suspected that his mysterious background might actually be very powerful. After the Midsummer Festival, many of them felt that perhaps a new force would rise in this country soon.
Because of this, many nobles weren't surprised to see Rhode's group in this auction. Instead, some of them were considering if they should use this opportunity to gain a closer relationship with him. Even though Rhode's powers were in Paphield and not here, he had Marlene and Lize, two powerful political backings. Perhaps the nobles might even stand a chance to work with the Senia Family and the King's Party, which would definitely be worthwhile.
However, this was only an auction venue and not a drinking party. It wouldn't be well-mannered of them to greet directly.
"Mr. Rhode. Miss Gillian. Miss Anne." Natasha lifted the ends of her skirt lightly while approaching the group. Meanwhile, Grendy was clad in his armor and following closely behind her. The young swordsman was astounded as soon as he witnessed Rhode's group. He lowered his head shyly and bowed to the three of them.
"Miss Natasha. Mr. Grendy. I'm glad to see you two here." Rhode greeted them and observed the surroundings as he could sense that there were many people in the crowd sizing them up with gazes filled with curiosity, excitement, unfamiliarity, and alertness. However, this was a normal reaction to expect since this was a small venue and Rhode's group was indeed filled with outsiders. But Rhode was here for the auction only and he had no intention of mingling with the crowd. Natasha led the group towards the auction venue.
"I've spoken to my father and you can use our private compartment today. Please be assured, Mr. Rhode. With us here, we believe that the item that you want won't be snatched by others," Natasha spoke with a friendly smile and with a hint of pride in the expression. It seemed that this young lady was proud of her family and she seemed to have her own views on matters now. That torture must have affected her a lot, and it developed for the better. But...
Rhode suddenly felt a sinister stare from the crowd. However, it lasted for only a second.
"What's wrong, Mr. Rhode?" Natasha asked curiously as Rhode stopped his movement and observed the surroundings. After exchanging glances with Gillian, Rhode shook his head.
"No, it's nothing. Let's go." Rhode lifted his head and entered the auction venue.
The entire auction venue wasn't huge in scale. It was similar to a circular theater, with trapezoidal rows of seats before the stage. The luxuriously decorated private compartments were located in the comfortable, open areas by the walls beside the 'stage' and the observers inside had a panoramic view of the entire auction. At this moment, the private compartments were fully occupied and the compartments were covered with red velvet curtains supported by brass brackets in order to prove the guests with a quiet, comfortable space.
As the city owner of the Eagle City, the treatment was clearly better. Not only were there soft, comfortable sofas, there were even delicious wine, fruits, cakes, and food. There was a list of auction items on the mahogany table before them and Rhode spotted his target quickly. The keys to access the underground maze was ridiculously named on the list as a 'Magical Adornment'. However, this wasn't much of a surprise because, after all, this key didn't look like a key at all. Instead, it looked like a slate puzzle.
Soon, everyone sat in their seats and Rhode naturally was seated with Gillian and Anne while Natasha and Grendy were beside them, whispering into each other's ears excitedly regarding the auction. An old man in a butler uniform stood quietly by the side, ready to serve everyone.
"Have you sensed it, Master?" As Rhode flipped through the list, Gillian leaned to his ears sneakily and whispered.
"Of course. But, let's wait and see." As the two of them spoke, the bells tinkled crisply and the magical radiance revolving around the theatre faded dramatically. Within a few seconds, the bustling venue restored its peace gradually. All the distinguished guests in the private compartments and the ordinary guests by the seats sat straight and shifted their attention to the stage before them.
An auctioneer in a tuxedo stepped onto the stage.
The auction had officially began.