Chapter 126 - Life is Timing (2)
After hearing that, Theodore's hard expression loosened slightly. The form of the commission had changed somewhat, but the power of the Information Guild could be useful in any situation.
This was the case even if it was the underground auction, which was a hidden specialty of the Kargas Kingdom. It was lucky that Theodore had the qualifications to enter, but if he hadn't found this place, he might've missed the timing for it.
Above all, he liked Gibra's honesty.
'There was no need to talk about the auction, and he could've just accepted my commission. He could've made a lot of money, and I wouldn't have received anything.'
This was the morality of a merchant, whether they were in the shade or the sunshine. There were those who treated it as the fault of the person who was stupid enough to be deceived. Even if Gibra stabbed Theodore in the back, there would be no way to make him take responsibility. Additionally, if he overwhelmed Gibra with force, it would just create another enemy.
Moreover, Gibra had pointed out frankly that Theo's request wasn't appropriate and taught him about the auction. It was evidence that he wouldn't betray Theo for a few extra gold coins.
"First, I need to know about my employer's foundation," Gibra said.
Regardless of whether he knew Theodore's feelings, the story began in a much softer atmosphere.
"Budget. Timing is very important, but in the end, the most powerful hand at an auction is money. If you have a thick wallet, you will win."
"The budget..." Theodore thought for a moment before coming up with the answer. "Around 500 gold."
"5-500? If you had come at the right time, you could've swept up all the original books in this kingdom. But with this, we can obtain plenty of books."
"Then I'm glad."
Theodore's sense of money was a little strange, so he didn't feel it. However, 500 gold was tough for anyone who wasn't from a noble family to spend. Of course, 500 gold wasn't all he had. The amount of money that Theodore had accumulated over this year was tremendous. It was to the extent that he could spare this much.
Gibra knocked against the table with a thick finger and opened his mouth, "...Then the budget isn't the problem. Is there anything specific that you want? Or is it good as long as it is an original book?"
"That is good. You can exclude unnecessary items and secure as many original books as possible."
"You want quantity over quality. Now I understand your policy." Gibra nodded a few times before suddenly pulling out a map from the drawer.
The structure of Sipoto was revealed. Theodore hadn't looked around the city yet, but the map had such a sophisticated bird's eye view that he could know its structure in one glance. Gibra pointed to several places and explained, "The auction will take place in exactly three days, after sunset. And separate auctions are going to be held at each of the displayed places."
"Separate... So, there isn't just one auction house?"
"Yes. There are at least seven, and each auction house sells different goods. So, we have to know these things in advance."
According to Gibra, the auctions of Kargas were held by renting out whole buildings in the north, south, east, and west.
The east sold weapons, the west sold clothing, the south sold accessories, while the north mostly auctioned goods not traded in the three areas mentioned above. Theodore's original books belonged in the miscellaneous goods category.
This time, there were three auction houses being held in the north. The quality and value of the goods were lower than in the other auction houses, but the number of places increased due to the large number of goods.
Theodore's expression changed subtly, "Then am I forced to miss two auctions?"
"If you were participating alone, then yes. But we can help you there."
Since a large number of auctions were being held at similar times, the existence of agents was inevitable.
What if they had the plaque of one of the top three companies, Polonell? It meant that Theodore could cover all three northern auction houses without having to go personally. Moreover, the Information Guild's manpower meant they would be better informed than him.
However, that didn't mean he could act casually. Gibra calculated the cost for the three agents before confiding to Theo about the 'special auction' on the last day.
It was a large auction in the center, not the north, east, south, or west, which covered all types of goods! The auction on that day was the crown of the Kargas underground auctions.
Gibra was so eager when explaining this that he couldn't help spitting. "Agents can't be used for such a big auction. Only qualified people can enter it. It will be your fight alone, so please prepare your mind for it."
The informant of the guild gave advice to his young employer in a calm voice, "An underground auction... It will be a different experience."
Theodore gave an interested smile. Truth be told, he had no interest in it no matter how many big people participated in the auction.
Compared to Veronica's fists, the Seven Swords of the Empire, and the grimoires, the powers here were just small. As long as there were no masters, it was rare for anyone here to be capable of threatening him.
In the end, his attitude remained unchanged despite the information.
"I don't know if your attitude is bad or good... Well, okay. I have accepted the commission, so I will do my best. I will investigate the list of items that will be released the day after tomorrow as well as the competitors. If I see something we need to take care of, then I will point it out."
"I understand. I accept."
"Hmm, where will you be waiting for the news? If you have a place to stay, then please tell me."
When Theo thought about it, he hadn't found a place to stay. Theodore pondered for a moment about where it was best to stay, before turning and asking Gilbra. The other person was the branch president of the information guild rooted across all of Sipoto and the central continent. There was no one more suitable to receive a recommendation from.
"Ah, then would you recommend me a good place to stay?"
It was natural that Gibra's face would distort at becoming a guide for a traveler.
* * *
For two days, Theodore wandered around the city without any intents, just enjoying the exotic scenery. Kargas might not have any unique specialties, but there was a value in being the trade kingdom. For Theodore, it was the first foreign land he had stepped on, aside from Elvenheim.
Theo often felt like a hillbilly. However, that didn't mean there were no results during the three days that Theodore waited for the auction to start.
"The branch manager told me to deliver this."
At midnight, exactly one day before the auction, a man in a mask came to Theo's window and gave him a box. According to his sight magic, it contained several books. The masked man left as soon as Theodore took the box, but he didn't care.
He could only respond to what was inside.
It was a possibility. Although the auction house was a good place to sell, not all items would be sold at a high price. So, it was possible to get original books from those who had no preference or who wanted to sell in a hurry.
If such things appeared, Gibra smiled and promised that he would surely get it. As such, he obtained the information in two days and sent the promised goods.
'[Gentle Breeze], [Understanding of Heat Magic], [Principles of Hardening Magic], and finally... [Canyon Summoning].' Theodore pulled out the books with tense hands and read the information in turn.
Among them, three of the books had information which was easy to understand for beginners, so they had the 'Common' rank despite being original books. According to the information, the authors of these original books fell behind the present Theodore. So, it would be strange if these original books were ranked higher than 'Common.'
However, the final book called [Canyon Summoning] was different.
[This book records the history and specifics of summoning substances or living organisms which don't exist in the physical world. The author, Satomer, refused to recognize that this summoning magic was banned and wrote this book in Marduk Canyon, a place which shakes due to an ominous force. Even so, he didn't succeed in summoning a senior ranked creature and died.
* Your understanding is very high. (95.6%)
* This magic book is rated 'Rare.'
* When consumed, your understanding of summoning magic will greatly increase.
* This is the original copy which was written directly by the author. There is a chance to contract with one of the Satomer's summons.]
It was a 'Rare' ranked book, but Theodore gazed at it with a strange look in his eyes.
He knew about summoning magic. In the myths regarding heroes, summoning magic often played a big role. However, in this era, summoning magic was mainly regarded as a remnant of old times without any use.
Summons like rock giants or ice dragons appeared in the stories, but even the best summoner on the continent in present times was limited to intermediate level summons.
Would it be useful to learn this summoning magic? He read [Canyon Summoning] several times because he was interested, but the conclusion didn't change. Theo didn't know why, but summoning magic had a limit.
'Hoo, if the situation wasn't like this, I would postpone it until later...'
It couldn't be helped. The deadline was approaching, so he had no right to grumble about the food. Theodore held out his left hand on top of the original books and named [Principles of Hardening Magic] and [Canyon Summoning] as today's prey.
The tongue moved and swallowed the two books at the same time.
['Principles of Hardening Magic' has been consumed. Your understanding is very high.]
[An original book has been consumed, but the fragment of soul contained inside is too weak for 'Synchro' and 'Transmission.' It will be absorbed into the user's soul.]
"Oh?" Theodore's eyes widened at the unexpected words. He didn't know this would happen because he had never eaten a 'Common' ranked original book.
In a sense, it was good news. If he went through Synchro or Transmission for every original book, it would waste too much time. In that case, if it was a 'Common' ranked original book, he could expand his vessel just by eating it.
The digestion sound of the main dish rang out one beat later.
['Canyon Summoning' has been consumed. Your understanding is very high.]
[Your understanding of summoning magic has greatly increased.]
[An original book has been consumed. Synchro rate will be checked with object name 'Satomer'... It is judged a normal rate. You will absorb a fraction of Satomer's proficiency. The duration of the episode is 40 minutes and 25 seconds.]
[Synchro is starting.]
Shortly afterwards, as always, Theodore's consciousness fell into darkness.