“With a starting bid of 50 gold, here is the Dragon Gods Overwhelming Aura Art!”
The room was silent for a moment, then exploded into sighs and chatter. No one bid for the Art. This wasn’t as strange as it may at first seem. Among the 8 natures: Fire, Ice, Sky, Earth, Life, Time, Space, and Aura, Aura is the most mysterious. Very few people practice it, and it is often seen as the weakest. Therefore, an incomplete Aura Art, even a Godly 108 Art, was not very exciting. However, that was for regular people. When Dale heard the name of this Art, his heart skipped a beat, and he started, staring at the auctioneer.
Dale desperately checked his pockets, knowing he didn’t have enough. Regis and Feng noticed his behavior. Regis said, “You want this Art? That’s right, I heard you practice an Aura technique as well as your time one.”
“I can’t possibly impose.” Dale said, while on the inside, secretly dying to have said yes.
“Don’t worry about it! It’s super cheap! I’ll get you it as a gift among new friends!” Regis called out a number, “50 gold!” Several auction goers turned to see who bought the rather worthless, if rare, incomplete art.
“It came from the Sarn booth.”
“I bet they bought it just so someone would buy it!”
“It really is a worthless Art, if the auction house itself has to buy it.”
People generally agreed that the Art wasn’t worth much, and decided that the Sarn Auction House was buying it back to save face.
“Other bids? No? Sold! Moving on to our next item…” the auctioneer continued his job, moving on to other various exotic items. However, Dale had eyes only for the scroll that was being passed to one of the auctioneer’s assistants. Dale turned to Regis and said, “I can’t thank you enough, Regis! One day I will pay you back, I promise!” Dale’s opinion of Regis had gone up a great deal. He decided that he really did want to be friends with him.
Regis smiled, “Haha, whatever you say! Maybe you can introduce me to some of the attractive women in your class, eh? Eh?” he laughed.
The auction quickly moved on, selling one exotic item after another. Powerful merchant unions bought up several cores, while rich nobles took powerful weapons and expensive items. However, the nobles in the VIP booths bought very little. Suddenly, the lights dimmed, and the auctioneer assumed a somber and rather dramatic look. The people in the VIP booths perked up, focusing on the auctioneer.
“Ladies and gentleman, now that we have finished our initial items; it is time for the main auction.” The auctioneer gestured to the side, and several boxes were moved onto the stage.
“With an initial bid price of 5,000 gold, our first item for auction is this!” he dramatically whipped off the top of the box, revealing a golden, shining orb. The orb gave off a powerful feeling of strength and pulsated out, spreading energy. It seemed faintly reptilian.
“A Golden Metal Core from a Lizard Scaled Tiger! Found in the depths of the Deadlands by the 108th Expedition Force, this Lizard Scaled Tiger Core is in excellent condition, ready to be absorbed, or crafted into powerful weapons or armor.”
Immediately, a frenzy overtook the VIP members. This was the reason many of them had come. Monster Cores were not uncommon, per se. But, the high level Cores were extremely rare, and powerful. To be able to even purchase them was a rare event, and Sarn Auctions were a common ground to find such valuable materials. Each major power in the city would want their hands on powerful Monster Cores. Even if they did not use it for personal use, they could quickly strengthen their warriors, or successors, and ensure the success of their business.
“5,000 gold!” cried one VIP member, to the side.
“5,500 gold!” cried a rich merchant, down below, hoping for a steal.
The bidding continued, eventually settling around a price of 23,500 gold. The auctioneer took down the box containing the Gold Core, and moved on to the next one. Feng and Dale looked at each other in shock.
“23,500 gold?!” Feng exclaimed, his eyes becoming round saucers, “That’s enough to buy a huge amount of food! I could eat for a lifetime! In luxury! The dream!” Dale knocked him on the head.
“Think of the armor and weapons we could acquire! We could buy legendary gear! Full Silver armor, or a Gold weapon!” The boys dreamed of wealth and power. Regis glanced at them, amused. 23,500 gold was not a small amount to him, but neither was it a large one.
He smiled, saying, “If you join a powerful expedition force, and take down enough monsters, you can easily make double, nay, triple that!”
The boys rapidly began to talk about potential Expedition Forces, especially the future Expedition Force that Dale and Feng were members of, and things they would buy. As the boys dreamed of wealth and adventure, a creature far, far away from them dreamed of freedom and carnage.
Somewhere underground in the Theldon continent
A huge force collided with a cave wall, causing no discernible impact. The cave has a roughly 25 feet (8m~) long radius, and is shaped like a circle. The floor is covered with mysterious symbols, shaped into a confusing and odd pattern. The floor gives off a faint, blue light. Inside this circular cage, lies a man shaped creature. This creature has limbs that are pure black, and is covered in rippling muscles. It gives off waves and strength, crackling through the air.
Abruptly, the man seemed to breath and his body rapidly expanded, causing his muscles to expand to massive sizes. Rapidly, his body condensed, and the feeling of power and strength tripled. The man shaped creature threw out another titanic punch, smashing into the cave wall. Again, though there was a huge impact, the wall showed no result. Suddenly, so faintly a normal human would not have discerned it, a tiny portion of the diagram below the man flickered. It was a faint flicker, one that barely affected the light in the tunnel. It lasted maybe .1 seconds before disappearing. However, the human shaped creature noticed.
For the first time in over a thousand years, the being that had been locked away in a circular cave a thousand meters below the surface began to laugh.