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9 A New Ques

    After the young woman behind the desk saw the item that Daniel intended to put up for auction, she said "Wait here for a moment, please." She then left from a door on the other side of the counter. About two minutes later, she came out along with a slightly older woman.

    This second woman was in her early 30s, had attractive figures, and stood slightly taller than Daniel.  She was dressed in a tightly fitting red robe, with a brooch the shape of a dragon's head pinned right where her heart was. The dress did little to cover her curves, which Daniel guessed must have helped her just a few years back, in presenting the auctioned items to the public.

    "This item is a beast core of the peak rank 3, I can ensure that it will be sold for at least 15 gold coins. Once deducted the 10% owed to the auction house, as per rules, your profit should reach about 13 gold and 50 silver. I can offer a credit of the same amount." Said the woman all at once.

    The woman had good nose for business. She had heard of a young man asking for credit, and while staying within the limits of the money which, she knew the young man would earn from the sale, she increased his credit to the max. She was convinced that such a young man would not be able to control his spending impulse once entered the auction, so she gave him the means to spend all of his newly acquired money in the auction house. By doing this, she would appear generous, yet earn more.

    Daniel smiled brightly and played the part of the innocent young man, but internally, he laughed at the schemings of the woman. "Thank you very much!" He said. He had lived in complete poverty for the past four years of his life, so when it came to his money, he would never allow himself to lose control.

    The previous young woman looked at her superior admiringly for a few moments, then she turned towards Daniel and handed him a small token. "This is your seat number, please don't lose it, you'll require it to collect your purchases and earnings." On the token was a simple set of letters and numbers which indicated the row and seat "Enjoy the auction" She then added.

    Daniel nodded his head at both women, then he turned towards the large double door and entered.

    What Daniel saw after he opened the door left him in deep stupor. In front of him was an immense semi circular room, which seemed to be half of the reason for the round shape of the building.

    On the ground floor, rows after rows of occupied chairs covered the floor almost completely, numbering in the thousands. Five rows separated this mass of people evenly into four sections.

    Looking up to the first floor, Daniel noticed a row of what he guessed to be private boots. There were at least two hundred of them and only a few were occupied.

    On the second floor, only twenty private boots could be seen. Their sizes were as large as ten boots from the first floor, and encompassed the entire stage. Daniel could not guess the amount of wealth a person had to own, in order to reserve one of those boots.

    On the opposite side of the room was a large stage. On this stage, an elegantly dressed man was presenting an item to the public.

    Daniel had no interest in the item, so he quietly walked towards his seat and waited. "Sewah, how long until the girl gets sold?" he asked in his mind.

    "The girl will be sold in 9 minutes and 29 seconds." Answered Sewah.

    Daniel let out a breath of relief as he heard Sewah's words. The girl had yet to be put for auction, which meant that he wasn't too late.

    Time passed slowly as two more items of relative high value were auctioned. The first one, which was the item being presented the moment Daniel entered the auction hall, was a small cauldron. This cauldron emanated a powerful alchemical smell, which indicated that it had been used frequently to concoct elixirs and pills.

    Only a few people from the ground floor bid for this item, which in the end, was sold for 25 gold coins.

    The second item was a spear. This spear was about two meters long, and had a clear white shaft that seemed to have been made from a large, ranked beast's bones. The spear's blade had an elongated arrow head shape to it, and its wings were razor sharp.

    Behind the man, a large rectangular crate was resting on the ground. Its length just a bit longer than the spear, and its content was a set of spears identical to the one the man was holding.

    The set of throwing spears ended up being sold for 40 gold coins.

    Finally, from the side of the stage, a man appeared while holding a young woman on a leash. Daniel recognized her immediately, she was the slave girl owned by the merchant, which the system had required him to set free.

    The girl was sobbing uncontrollably, as newly added handprint-like marks decorated her face. The girl had clearly been hit before reaching the stage.

    Daniel gritted his teeth while listening to the man's presentation.

    "Ladies and Gentlemen, the next item is a good one." said the auctioneer while indicating at the girl's body. "This young slave will clean your house when you are away, she will carry your items for you, and warm your bed at night! Want to have a pleasant conversation? Wonderful, because she is also educated!"

    "..she doesn't seem used to being a slave.."

    "Whoever is going to buy her will have to tame her.."

    "That's true, it's a lot of work."

    The public began to discuss amongst each other.

    The auctioneer quietened for a moment as he noticed the unconvinced expressions of the people in the crowd. He decided to give up publicizing the girl, and went straight to the starting price.

    "The starting price for this slave is 3 gold coins. Every bid has to be no lower than 10 silver" Said the auctioneer

    "...3 gold and 20 silver, she is still worth that much"

    "...I agree. 3 gold and 40 silver"

    "The current price is 3 gold and 40 silver, does anyone have a higher offer?" Inquired the auctioneer calmly, reminding the interested parties to place their bid.

    "3 gold and 50 here!"

    "..3 gold and 65 silver!"

    "3 gold and 85 silver"

    The price kept increasing slowly, as only three people were bidding for the girl. Daniel noticed that all three of these people had a shockingly big, red number floating above tier heads. Their intentions for the girl had to be unspeakable.

    Bids after bids were offered, until..

    "She is not worth that much, here is my final offer, 5 gold coins" Said the first bidder, a middle aged man with a cleanly shaved beard, and long black hair. The number floating above his head was a dark red 905.

    "Since we are giving our last bids.. 5 gold and 20 silver." Retorted a fat man with elegant clothes. He had a long goatee and small eyes. His number was almost as high as the first bidder, reaching 882 points indicated in dark red. He was the second bidder.

    "I give up, it's not worth it anymore" Said the third and last bidder, a muscular looking man with a clean cut and tight fitting practitioner's robes. On his head, a shocking 1570 which shined of a blood-like red color could be seen.

    "Seems the little girl is mine then, He he" Said the fat man while chuckling.

    No other bid could be heard after the fat man's words. Nobody felt threatened by him, they simply didn't think the girl was worth that much.

    "The current bid is 5 gold and 20 silver, anybody wishes to bid higher?" Said the auctioneer. "5 gold and 20 silver going once, goi.."

    "5 gold and 40 silver." A young voice interrupted the auctioneer's voice.

    The three previous men, along with the auctioneer, turned to look at the direction from which the voice came. Its owner was a young man dressed in servant's clothes. That young man was none other than Daniel.

    The fat man felt slightly annoying by this young man, so he decided to teach him a lesson. "5 gold and 50 si.." But when he was about to announce his new bid, he was interrupted by the young man's voice.

    "5 gold and 60 silver." Said Daniel with a loud voice.

    The fat man's thin brows furrowed deeply. He thought that the young man was keen on buying this girl, so after muttering a few curses towards him, he decided to give up.

    "..and 60 silver going twice! 5 gold and 60 silver! Sold to the number 0635!"

    Daniel was extremely elated at this moment. He had obtained the proof that the karmic system's information were precise in every possible way, be it the time limit or the required money to win the auction, every detail was perfect.

    Aside from feeling happy about the usefulness of his newly acquired system, he also felt happy for helping the slave girl, not to say ruining any malicious plan which the fat man had for her. He hadn't forgotten that the quest also indicated the girl's time of death. He was sure that if the girl were to be sold to the fat man, she wouldn't have much longer to live.

    As he was thinking about the girl's fate, a window popped into his head.

    ____________________________

    *Primary Quest started: No Rest for the Wicked*

    -Description: Complicate the lives of individuals with bad karma.

    First objective set: Make people with bad karma outbid themselves

    Reward: Karma +10 per person / Dragon's Breath Auction House reputation +25%

    Failure: Karma -150

    ____________________________

    When Daniel read the description of his newly acquired quest, he became ecstatic. Not only the system allowed him to spend Karma points to increase his strengthening speed, but it was also able to find for him the various different ways to earn karma, and even increase his influence with other parties. The more he found out about the Karmic system, the more he understood how helpful it would be to him.

    Daniel had a clear idea of what the new mission required him to do, so with a wide grin on his face, he started listening to the presentation of the next item.

    "The next item is one of today's special pieces." Said the man while uncovering the next auctioned item.

    What he uncovered was a dummy. This dummy was dressed in a tightly fitting leather armor. The armor was of an even brown color, and the protective parts were made out of what looked like scales. The leather armor was composed of four pieces, a chest armor, vambraces, greaves and boots.

    "This armor has been forged from the scales of a rank 4 Soft Scaled Wyvern, by the hands of a master armorsmith. It has an impressive resistance to fire, and its advanced design prevents any kind of discomfort while wearing it." Explained the auctioneer while observing the crow's reaction. "The starting price is 60 gold coins, every increase has to be of at least 50 silver coins."

    The moment the description ended, a voice came from one of the private booths on the first floor. "62 gold coins.."

    Then another.. "65 gold coins.."

    The ground floor's crowd was completely quiet. Most of them knew that those who could afford to reserve a private booth, were not people to be messed with. The others simply couldn't afford to place a bet.

    The bids came one after the other, making the armor reach the astonishing price of 110 gold coins.

    Of the five booths that were competing for the rank 4 armor, only two remained. Daniel could see one of them thanks to his position. Unfortunately, he could not see the second one as the booth was right above his seat.

    The first bidder was a bald old man. On his face, a vicious scar started from underneath his eyes, and went all the way down towards his lips, splitting them diagonally into two sets. Above his head, the biggest number that Daniel had ever seen, shone of a dark red color. The number was 15.968.

    After a few more minutes, the bidding war seemed to slow down significantly, until the second party gave up on the item.

    The only remaining bidder was the scarred old man.

    Noticing the lack of competition, the auctioneer said "The current bid is 138 gold coins, going on-" but before he could finish, a familiar voice interrupted him once more.

    "139 gold coins."
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