Chapter 10 - Auction House.
The announcer turned towards the guards, signalling them with his eyes. They immediately ran over and restrained Janam before escorting him off the stage, they also patted down the flames on Flesc’s body before carrying him of as well.
As soon as they were off the stage the announcer slowly bowed towards the crowd, lowering his head,
“Forgive my incompetence, this will not happen again. Bloody Janam is the victor of the match due to a foolish dog’s actions. Please stay tuned to even more exciting matches!”
The crowd responded by jeering and cursing,
“Get on with it!”
“What the hell was that!”
Zilan on the other hand just surveyed the arena, watching all of the people.
“Why do humans take such pleasure in seeing fellow humans suffer? Even I must confess to having this same demon within me but why is that?” wondered Zilan as he decided to put this thought away.
On the outside Zilan seemed fine however there are wounds that will never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that could cause bleeding.
He didn’t know why but strangely he felt that the death of Flesc would not be the end of their connection. It was a strange feeling but at the same time, one that was welcomed. Normally, he would feel constant pain like a knife was stirring his heart around digging deeper and deeper making him unable to think straight.
“Maybe I’m finally getting used to seeing the ones I love perish”, was a thought that crossed his mind and caused even more sadness.
The next matches began soon after with most of them involving prisoners fighting against soldiers or other members of the flaming shade sect, and only one other beast participated. In the end, none gained their freedom much to the delight of the blood thirsty spectators.
Zilan stayed and watched every single match and only when people started to clear from the arena did he follow suit.
As he was leaving, he remembered that he had to meet up with Hula at the auction house. Honestly speaking, he was emotionally drained and simply wished to go back home and rest but alas there was her father to worry about later if he failed to appear and that wasn’t a problem Zilan was prepared to deal with.
As Zilan made his way through the sea of people heading towards the auction house, he managed to catch a glimpse of the hooded guards from the arena carrying what looked like a body carefully wrapped in a white cloth.
“Could it be!?” Zilan thought, as he tried to pursue them but unfortunately the wave of people that constantly flooded the area kept him from doing so. Luckily, from the direction they were heading in it looked like they were going to the auction house.
Zilan gave up on pushing his way through and instead went to where he was supposed to meet Hula.
The auction house was the largest of all buildings and also the most heavily guarded. At every entrance there was an entire squadron of guards comprised of both the Governor’s soldiers and some sect members of the Flaming Shade Sect.
No one was allowed entry unless they had a card showing that they were worthy of going inside. The card itself held no value as it was made of plastic however; its true importance was that it distinguished the poor from the rich as only the wealthy could afford the items being auctioned off.
After standing in line for a few minutes, Zilan finally arrived before the guards checking for cards. He presented the golden card that Hula had given him which caused quite the uproar among the bystanders. The guards’ attitude quickly changed, even personally escorting Zilan into the premises, much to the envy of the people waiting in line.
“Must be the son of someone influential!” they thought.
The cards that were given out were not all the same, as they varied in colour. There were three in total, Silver which was allowed access to the common seats, Gold to the VIP boxes and Platinum to the royal booths.
Naturally, Zilan was aware of this as this was not the first time he had come here but it was the first time that he was going to be seated in a VIP box.
The guard who was escorting Zilan eyed him from top to bottom and although he knew Zilan was in possession of the Gold card, he couldn’t help but think that the young man before him looked nothing like a noble.
Aside from his abnormally dazzling hair, there was probably nothing special about him. He did not hold the air of nobility, matter of fact, Zilan didn’t have any qualities that truly set him apart from a commoner, at least in the eyes of the guard.
He decided that his thoughts were best not to be uttered after all, the fact that Zilan was in possession of the golden card was a fact.
It wasn’t long before the two of them arrived at the entrance to the VIP box and unexpectedly Hula was there waiting for Zilan. She was the first to spot Zilan and moved to welcome him.
“Where’ve you been?” she asked slightly upset.
She had already waited for Zilan for at least an hour and it was safe to say that things weren’t going as well as she planned.
The guard quickly slipped away as soon as Hula arrived before them.
Zilan half-heartedly apologised to Hula as he just didn’t have it in him to do much more. Hula noticed this and decided to let the matter go, this was not the first time she had witnessed Zilan’s mood swings.
The two walked side by side through the entrance to the VIP area. Once inside Zilan could see tens of box suites lined up facing the platform below, there were also hundreds of single seats on the floor below them that were almost all filled. Above Zilan was a floor that had only two fairly large booths, one with the insignia of the Governor’s Mansion and the other with that of the Flaming Shade Sect. Those were the royal booths!
Hula then led Zilan towards their box. Once inside, even Zilan was shocked as not only were the seats much larger and looked much more comfortable than those of the commoners but the box itself seemed to be the real jewel. From the outside you could see nothing of what was inside but from within, you could see everything that was going on outside.
Hula snickered before explaining that the box was actually a mid-level spirit tool.
There were also some female servants within the box holding trays filled with fruits and various drinks.
Zilan quickly took a seat in the middle of the large sectional sofa and to his surprise Hula sat right beside him, elbow to elbow.
“Press that button over there when you see something you like. The booth will light up and your bid will be recorded, but don’t bid on something too expensive.” explained Hula as she pointed towards an opening in the chair.
Zilan nodded and almost immediately after, the lights in the auction house dimmed and a spot light shone on the giant platform below.
A beautiful lady dressed in a long black dress that dragged on the floor as she walked to the centre of the platform appeared. She had short red hair, curves that would put snake dancers to shame and narrow black eyes that seemed to see through anyone that dared look into them, her face was unusually pale and expression bone piercingly cold. Her beauty never the less still captured the hearts of the majority of men in attendance.
“Ladies and Gentlemen in attendance, it is my honour to preside over tonight’s auction. I will do my utmost to uphold the values of this auction house.” The entire auction house was completely silent as she spoke, only when she was done did an eruption of cheers begin.
“Sobiar! I came here today only to see you, please look at me!”
“No! Look at me, I spent my entire salary just to come see you.”
Similar cheers could be heard through out the arena until suddenly a loud shout sounded out,
A large bare-chested man with strange tattoos all over his body walked out from the shadows, his appearance could be described only as a “collection of muscle”.
“The auction will now commence, silence will be maintained till the end.” he said. His voice travelling to every corner of the large building.
Hula turned to stare at Zilan and saw him narrow his eyes as he stared at the female auctioneer, completely focused and absorbed.
“Hmph! What so good about that Sobiar? I’m a hundred times better than her.”
She then pushed herself subtly onto Zilan, now completely leaning against him.
No response whatsoever came from him and this infuriated Hula as she glared at the platform below.