The Gemstone Chronicles – Book 2 – Chapter 11

 

 

Dale and Feng went back to their apartments till noon. Dale needed some time alone, to get his bearings. He sat in his room and stared as his hands, meditating, slowly calming down. He felt the energy in his veins move powerfully. He felt a deep sense of calm, and a huge sense of purpose.

 

Feng knocked on his still broken door, “Hey bud, how ya holding up?” he looked concernedly at Dale.

 

“I’m good now. It was just a shock. I haven’t forgotten, but I won’t be overwhelmed again.” Dale still looked rather somber.

 

“Why don’t we go to the Sarn Auction now? It starts in about an hour or two, but we can meet that Regis kid there and find out why he invited us!” Feng thought it would be good to distract Dale off what was on his mind. An exotic auction was perfect for that.

 

Dale looked up and nodded. The Sarn Auction did sound interesting, and he wanted to find out the reason behind Regis’ invitation. The boys changed into presentable clothing, and made their way to the southern gate.

 

The Morn Main School is located in the northern center of the Morn capital. The Morn capital is an absolutely massive monstrosity, stretching for miles. Inside of it, millions of people live. There are tons of weapon shops, Core shops, smithies, auction homes, gambling halls, and more! It was a paradise for those with money. Dale had never really taken the time to consider his wealth and equipment. Because Dale and Feng were on scholarships, they hadn’t had to worry about tuition fees, or covering any of their basic needs.

 

The continent of Chel used identical currency among the various duchies and kingdoms. There were 3 separate denominations. The cheapest denomination was in copper coins. The average family made approximately 1000 coppers a month. The next denomination was in steel coins. 100 copper coins could be traded in for 1 black steel coin. So, average families would make approximately 10 black steel coins a month. Black steel was also a highly useful crafting material, and could be used to make powerful weapons and armor, thus satisfying its permanent usefulness, and value. The last, and final, denomination was in gold. Gold was one of the most common standards of wealth in this world. For the continent of Chel, 100 steel coins was equivalent to 1 gold coin. Also in this Continent, several of the major banks operating together had formed something that was called, “Gem Crystal Cards.” A Gem Crystal Card would hold a unique signature that could only be used by the living owner. These cards could hold up to an infinite amount of wealth, and one could walk around holding tens of thousands of gold with no one the wiser. However, even owning one of these cards was an indication of the super wealthy, and very few could afford one.

 

Dale and Feng arrived at the southern gate to their school. From talking to their teachers and classmates, the boys knew that the current active Sarn Auction would be taking place in the Southern Grand Auction Hall. It was a decent walk from their school, however, so the boys set off early. They passed by several grand looking shops, and gazed about the streets in curiosity. Street vendors yelled their wares, while merchants worked on customers, the clang of metal sounded in smithies, and the smell of fresh bread was spread from bakeries.

 

A group of mercenaries, giving off a powerful aura, walked past Dale and Feng. Several of them were wounded, and they looked like they had just fought a fierce battle. Dale overheard some of what they were grumbling about.

 

“Damn Space Dragon hit another village, this one in the north sector.” said one grizzled merc, shaking his head.

 

“Them Fire Drakes have been getting more active. They haven’t destroyed anything, but several have been spotted in the skies recently.”

 

“It’s a bad sign, I say. Nothing good can come from more dragons.”

 

Dale strained to overhear more, but the group had walked past. He turned to Feng, his eyes shining!

 

“Dragons, Feng! Wouldn’t it be awesome to ride a dragon?” He had a childish delight in his eyes.

 

“Hmph. After that Ice Dragon in Neldor, I’ve had enough of Dragons, thank you very much.” Feng shook his head, a disgruntled expression appearing. Feng had decided, after visiting Neldor, that he did not like dragons. When his mother almost died in the Ice Dragon’s attack, Feng had developed a strong hatred of Drakes.

 

The boys continued on their way, and eventually arrived at the Southern Grand Auction Hall.

 

The Southern Grand Auction Hall is a massive building. It had a stadium-like image, with a stage set in the back, while tons of seats curled around in a half circle. There was a second level, filled with private booths for the super wealthy, above the thousands of seats for rich merchants and lesser nobles. Another thing unique to this hall was that everything was lined in precious metals. Black steel, Gold, Silver, and even rare gems lined the inside roof and back dropping. It was a glorious and wasteful display of wealth that let one know how wealthy the Sarn Auction House really is.

 

Dale and Feng made their way to the front entrance. There was a very long line out front, at least a hundred people long, with people waiting to buy passes and tickets into the hall. Dale glanced up at the sun, confirming that the Auction still had over an hour before it began.

 

“Should we go wait in line? We already have a pass, but I don’t see any other way..” Feng began, looking annoyed.

 

Abruptly, a man clad in wealthy looking garments walked by. He had a strong chin, and deep auburn colored hair. He gave off a cheerful and determined air. He pulled out a gold colored ticket, walking up to the clerk past the people waiting in line. The clerk passed from checking in the current merchant he was working with and checked the man’s golden ticket, passing him through. The clerk seemed to grant the noble a great deal of respect, bowing deeply as he walked by.

 

Dale and Feng, seeing this, decided to copy him and walked up to the clerk, past the people in line. Several of the adults in the line stopped and stared at the duo as they walked by, wondering what they were doing. When they saw the kids’ intent was towards the entrance, a few got annoyed and shouted ridicule.

 

“Get to the back of the line, kids!”

 

“Scram! You punks don’t belong in a place like this!”

 

Dale and Feng ignored them, and instead chose to study the various persons as they walked to the front. There were young looking noble’s sons, clad in rich clothes with large smiles, packed with overweight merchants, panting and wheezing in the noon heat. Authoritative looking figures stood next to wealthy, rich snobs, all waiting in line to get in to the legendary Sarn Auction House.

 

Dale and Feng arrived at the front, walking up to the clerk. The clerk, who was presently dealing with an arrogant looking young man, took one glance at the duo and yelled, “Scram! We don’t give away tickets here!”

 

He then completely ignored the two, giving them no face.

 

Dale started, “I believe there’s a misund-“

 

“Kids, why are you still here?” said the arrogant looking young man, “If you want to buy a ticket, which I highly doubt you have the wealth to do,” he sneered, “go to the back of the line like the rest of these peasants.” The clerk and noble went back to ignoring them.

 

Feng, eyes blazing, suddenly gave off a powerful copper aura, and let loose at the clerk and noble child.

 

“WHO DO YOU FUCKING THINK YOU ARE TO ORDER ME AROUND?” The air raged and began to burn, fire nearby flickered. The jaws of all the nearby merchants and nobles fell to the floor.

 

“What the fuck? A Fire Lord?!”

 

“He has a Fire Lords Bloodline! Wow!”

 

“Thank god I didn’t offend him! He’s a Fire Lord!”

 

The nearby wealthy patrons looked like they were about to faint in shock. The ones who had insulted the duo slowly left the line, hurrying off to get somewhere safe.

 

The clerk and noble young adult stared at Feng in amazement. Suddenly, the clerk hurriedly bowed forward, apologizing profusely.

 

“A thousand apologies, young master, I had no idea who you were, this clerk is truly shameless. Please forgive me.” The clerk apologized over and over, starting to sweat profusely. While Feng might not be extremely powerful now, he had a Fire Lords bloodline. There was bound to be some powerful backing behind him, and he was not an existence a mere clerk could offend.

 

The noble man looked disconcerted for a moment, before his arrogant manner returned to him, “Hmph. Even if you have a Fire Lords Bloodline, you can’t get into the Sarn Auction House for free. Come back when you have a ticket after properly waiting in line, brats.” The noble sniffed at them, disdainfully.

 

“Don’t have tickets, eh?” Dale said, a smile in his head. Dale withdrew his hand from his pockets, slamming down two golden colored tickets on the clerk’s desk. When the arrogant noble saw this, his face turned white. The clerk also looked shocked.

 

“Two VIP tickets?!” the clerk gasped, staring. Indeed, VIP tickets to Sarn Auctions were not handed out freely. Only the wealthiest and most powerful of patrons could have one and yet these kids, who looked to be barely 10 years old, had two!

 

“You, you must have stolen them!” The arrogant noble could not accept that two mere brats clad in regular clothing could be VIP members. He glared at the duo. The clerk stood for a moment, uncertain of what to do. Suddenly, a familiar voice called out.

 

“Dale! Feng! I’m glad you decided to come!” Regis’ ever smiling face appeared. He glanced at the clerk, “Is there a problem, Alfred?” he said, expectantly.

 

“No, young master, of course not.” He rapidly waved Dale and Feng through, his face nervously looking back and forth. Regis glanced at the arrogant noble, his eyes giving away nothing. The arrogant noble quickly bowed, his face white, and apologized, slowly backing off before fleeing in terror.

 

Dale and Feng quickly followed Regis into the auction house.

 

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