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8 Dragons Breath Auction House

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    Open approach

    Difficulty: Extreme

    -Openly steal the slave deed and kill the merchant.

    -Survive the waves of guards.

    Time limit: 58 minutes and 23 seconds.

    (Requirements: rank 5 of martial cultivation or rank 4 of spiritual cultivation)

    Reward +200% (100/150 KP)

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    Stealthy approach

    Difficulty: Hard

    -Poison the merchant by injection when he comes out of the carriage.

    -Steal the property deed from the merchant's carriage during the commotion.

    Countdown: 56 minutes and 49 seconds.

    (Requirements: Poisoned needle)

    Reward +150% (112 KP)

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    Economic approach

    Difficulty: Easy

    -Purchase the slave deed at the auction that will be held in the Dragon's Breath Auction House (5 gold, 60 silver)

    -Pay for the merchant's assassination. (2500 gold)

    Cooldown: 2 hour, 36 minutes, 19 seconds.

    (Requirements: 2505 gold and 60 silver)

    Reward +50% (25/37 KP)

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    "None of these are doable!" Shouted Daniel in his mind.

    A snort resounded inside Daniel's head, then Sewah's voice could be heard saying "You are welcome to try whatever you want, the system randomly generates three different approaches that, if followed blindly, will ensure success."

    Daniel gritted his teeth in order to resist from cursing at Sewah, he then asked him "How does the system know so much about the merchant?.. Like where he will be at a certain hour, or what he will do..?" Daniel was genuinely curious about this. The timings were precise by the second. He could find hundreds of ways to kill the merchant, just by knowing the exact time he would leave the carriage.

    "Are you surprised? He he.. to be honest, I am not sure either. It just knows." Said Sewah, sounding slightly embarassed.

    Daniel kept thinking about the mysteries of the Karmic's system.. Then a question suddenly popped into hi mind "Can I see other people's karma?" he asked.

    Before Sewah could answer, above the head of every single person around him, a clear number appeared. "Is that their Karma?" Asked Daniel, then said "I assume that the numbers are equivalent to their points.. but what's the difference in colors?"

    "Red is for negative karma, while green is positive." Answered Sewah.

    While walking, Daniel noticed a family walking around.. Both parents had green numbers over their heads, while their newborn, which was being held in his father's arms, had a white 0 above his had.

    Daniel found his chance to sneak into the merchant's carriage an hour later, when the merchant's caravan had stopped in front of a smith shop. The merchant had left the carriage to deliver a large package, which had left a big empty hole in the orderly placed boxes inside the carriage.

    Daniel came out of his hiding place and approached the carriage. The slave girl, which had been chained to the carriage, was now looking at him. He looked back at her and said "I don't mean to steal anything, I just need to cross through the wall. I'll leave as soon as we reach the merchant district, I promise"

    The slave girl didn't look convinced. She thought that he would steal something, and that she would have taken the blame for it.

    Noticing the girl's doubts, he added "I know where he is taking you, he'll try to sell you at the Dragon's Breath Auction House.. If you keep it secret, I swear that i'll buy you and set you free."

    The slave girl's eyes opened wide, shining brighter than ever. She had been captured just a month ago, so she still longed to regain her freedom back. Being abused and raped by the fat merchant had been a taste of the life that awaited her, if she would have ended up being sold.. At least the merchant saw her as a good of some value, so he didn't treat her too roughly. She didn't want to think what would happen to her if she ended in the hands of someone that considered her no more than a disposable piece of meat.

    Daniel's promise had lit a spark of hope into the slave girl, which, with tears welling up in her eyes, nodded her head rapidly, and allowed him to jump into the carriage. She then covered him with the large sheet used to cover the goods during the journey.

    The Merchant came out just a few minutes later with a bright smile on his face. His eyes landed on the covered goods, then on the slave girl "AH! You are finally making yourself useful!" He exclaimed, then entered the carriage, and ordered the driver to go toward the market district's wall.

    After an hour, they had reached the massive gates that separated the commoner's section from the prosperous section, in the southeastern side of the city.

    Once crossed the gate, Daniel waited for 5 full minutes before slipping out of the carriage, and running into an alley.

    Daniel couldn't walk in the open with his tattered clothes, so he was forced to traverse the city by sneaking into its various dark alleys. He kept going until he found a marketplace. Nearby this marketplace, a man was unloading capes from the back of a carriage. Daniel was preparing himself to dash toward the carriage, grab a cape, and run away, when suddenly "I hope you are not thinking of stealing one of those capes. Stealing gives you bad karma.." He heard the voice of Sewah say in his mind.

    "What?! I'm a pickpocketer, how do I even have positive karma if my whole job is stealing money from people??" Barked Daniel at Sewah. That was a good point, how did he maintain a positive karma if all he did every day was find people to steal from?

    "That's because the people you stole from mostly had bad karma. Stealing from a person with bad karma won't make you lose any of your points." Answered Sewah patiently, before adding "Look at that man, his number is green".

    "Fine.. do you have any suggestion then?" Said Daniel dispiritedly.

    Sewah hummed slightly and then responded "He doesn't look like a bad person, you might ask him to buy his cheapest coat, and hope that he won't report you"

    Daniel looked at the number above the man's head.. it was a light green 632. After thinking for a bit, he realized that he had no alternatives. Instead of wandering the entire merchant district in hope to find a distracted and deserving person to steal from, he might as well give it a shot.

    "Very well.." Said Daniel. He rapidly approached the man and said to him "Excuse me Sir, I would like to purchase your cheapest cape, how much is it?" he said all in one breath.

    "W-What in the world happened to you?? How did you end up like this?!" Asked the man, slightly shocked by Daniel's appearance.

    Daniel had a very embarassed expression on his face.. He wouldn't dare to tell him that he just came from the slums, and that his attire had never been a worry to him compared to food.

    The man noticed Daniel's expression and smiled slightly. He then started to rummage into the back of his carriage and picked some pants, a shirt, a pair of shoes, and a large coat. Then he threw them at him.

    "Sir I can't afford all of the..." Before he could finish, the man interrupted him saying "Don't worry about it kiddo, i'm not doing so badly here, just take the clothes"

    Daniel's heart tightened as he tried to record every detail of the face of the man. He then thanked the man deeply, and disappeared into an alley. Before leaving, he noticed that the number floating above the man's head, had increased from 632 to 652.

    While changing his clothes, Daniel understood that what his Karmic system could be useful for the most, was to see through the nature of people. If one could see through the intention of the people around them, they could avoid trouble, or know who is deserving of being helped.

    The man had a stall at the marketplace, he sold clothes for servants and slaves, which house owners would buy in blocks. So for him, separating from a set of clothes wasn't a big deal. Plus, he had always felt bad about earning his livelyhood by selling clothes for slaves.

    Daniel had been given a set of servant's clothes. Which included a shirt and a pair of pants made of jute linen, a pair of leather boots, and a dark cape which was large enough to cover their entire body.

    The clothes fitted Daniel perfectly, which showed how good of an eye the man had for guessing sizes.

    After changing his clothes, Daniel started walking towards the section fo the merchant district which housed most high end shops and auction houses.

    As ten more minutes passed, Daniel started to feel worried. He knew that the time he had to save the slave girl, had been 2 hours and 36 minutes. Unfortunately, it took 2 hours and 15 minutes for him to reach this place since the moment the countdown started. Only 21 minutes were left now, and the auction had probably already started.

    After asking around for a few minutes, he managed to find the Dragon's Breath Auction House.

    The building that appeared in front of Daniel's eyes was huge. It was round shaped, and at least two hundred meters wide. Despite it's size, the building was fairly short, standing at not more than twenty meters of height. It could be seen from the two rows of balconies which were carved inside the walls, that it had no more than three stories. Nevertheless, each floor was separated from the previous fairly distantly.

    All around the building, huge white columns had been erected. Each column had been elegantly carved with scenes of dragons and men, and they reached from the ground, all the way up to the large ceiling they were holding. Inbetween the columns, large red banners were hung to a golden rope, and draped down to halfway the entire building's height. Clearly depicted in black on each banner, the outline of a dragon's head with smoke coming out of its nostrils.

    A large golden door with dragon's heads carved on it, stood impressively at the top of a short set of stairs, and on each side of it, two guards in plate armor were standing silently. Both of them were heavily armed, with a sword hanging from their leather belts, and spears on their hands. Above the door, a large wooden sign had "Dragon's Breath Auction House" carved in gold.

    Daniel approached the door, and as he was about to push it open.. "Halt! The auction has started already. Entry is denied." he heard one of the guards say vigorously.

    "I have been sent here by my master, to add a last minute object to the auction, let me through" Daniel had prepared this lie on his way to the auction house. Nobody would believe that a fourteen something years old at the second rank would be able to slay a peak rank 3 beast, so he decided to pretend to have been sent by a more powerful practitioner. Powerful enough to not bother with auctioning a peak rank 3 core himself.

    The guard looked at Daniel and asked "What is the item that you wish to auction?" his tone less rigid.

    Daniel removed bundle, which contained the beast core, from his belt, unwrapped it, and showed its content to the guards.

    Both guards looked intently at the orb that Daniel was holding, and each of them internally cursed the fact that they didn't meet this kid in a more secluded place.

    One had to know that both of these guards were at the third rank, and absorbing a peak rank 3 core would help their cultivation greatly, so it wasn't unexpected for them to have thoughts of stealing it.

    If Daniel could hear either of these guard's thoughts, he wouldn't be surprised, as both of them had a red number which steadily floated right above their heads.

    Daniel didn't want any problem, so he decided to remove any ill thought from the their heads by saying "My master will come to withdraw his money before the auction ends, as usual."

    The guards sighed lightly inside their helms, giving up on the object. One of them looked at Daniel and said "Enter."

    As Daniel entered the building through the door, he immediately noticed three things. A large set of stairs on his left, a second set of doors in front of him from which loud noises could be heard, and a counter behind which a young woman was standing patiently.

    Daniel approached the counter and said "I would like to add this beast core to the auction as a last minute item." The young woman had been surpised by the sudden appearence of the young man, and before she could respond, Daniel added "I'll also need credit for a purchase.. not much, just 5 gold and 60 silver."
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