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10 Public Enemy

    "139 gold coins."

    The whole crowd turned to look at Daniel, as the sparkle of conversation was lit once in the hall.

    "145 gold coins!" Said the old man.

    "146 gold goins" Retorted Daniel right away..

    "..Young man.. You are risking it!.." Said the old man angrily. "150!" He then said.

    Daniel raised his voice to bid once more. "151 gold coins"

    "ENOUGH!!" Shouted the old man angrily, while punching the wooden table next to his chair, and turning it into splinters. "I AM WARNING YOU BRAT! 165!" He then said through a face contorted by rage.

    ____________________________

    *No Rest for the Wicked"

    Objective  completion 5,88%

    Karma points +10

    ____________________________

    The moment the window appeared in Daniel's mind, he immediately understood that the old man had reached his limit.

    Daniel was not too worried about offending people at this auction house, as this auction hadn't announced any particular items, most of the people present were merchants and low level cultivators.

    Only a few powerful cultivators and rich men, like the scarred old man, were present, which considering the fact that they had waited for certain items to show up to start bidding, one could assume that they were here, not for the auction, but for those few specific items.

    Needless to say that nobody would expect him to go back to the slums, right after the end of this auction, especially after bidding hundreds of gold coins.

    The scarred old man felt irritated by Daniel, so much so that, in his mind, he started thinking of ways to teach him a lesson. His final decision was to outbid him whenever an item he was interested in would appear.

    For the people of Phyrri wealth was everything. Strength allowed to control the weak, but at the end of the day, no matter if it was strength, power or influence, all was related to money.

    This had been the reason for the division of the population into distinct social classes. For the scarred old man, being tricked by a youngster dressed in servant's clothes that couldn't even afford a private booth, was unacceptable.

    During the auction of every single item after that, when the bidding seemed to have reached an end, Daniel would regularly start a bidding war with the final bidder, increasing the item's price by impressive amounts, and only stopping after the system would update his quest.

    ____________________________

    *No Rest for the Wicked"

    Objective  completion 94,12%

    Karma points +10

    ____________________________

    At the sixteenth auctioned item, Daniel had already made a small army of enemies for himself. Various people had started to outbid any of his bids, although only increasing the prices for other bidders.

    From an external point of view, Daniel seemed to be interested in every single one of the items.. but what made the group of people irritated the most, was that this damn brat seemed to be able to read their minds. In fact, whenever they felt happy with the increase in price, and waited the young man to overpay for the item, he would instead give up on it, making them pay for an item they didn't wanted to begin with, or force other people to purchase the item instead.

    The total number of auctioned items comprised by the quest was, including the leather armor, 17. The seventeenth and last item for the day, was Daniel's beast core.

    Daniel was waiting for this moment. The new quest had not only given him a chance to obtain more Karma points by swindling other bidders, but also the possibility to obtain more money from the auction of his item.

    Feigning disappointment, he looked towards his main enemies hatefully, before once more directing his eyes on the stage.

    When the last auctioned item was uncovered, Daniel jumped up on his feet. His expression an elated one, and his fists shut tight, as if he had seen a long lost brother.

    His actions had caught the eyes of every single person in the hall, especially his enemies. A series of malicious smirks grew on various faces within the crowd.

    "The next item is one you rarely see put up for auction.. A peak rank 3 beast core! I have no need to remind you all of the importance a peak rank 3 beast core has to increase one's cultivation past the third rank. The starting bid is 5 gold coins and every increase has to be no less than 10 silver coi-"

    "5 gold and 50 silver coins!" Shouted Daniel animatedly.

    .."6 gold coins!" Said a man in the crowd.

    .. "Here, 7 gold and 50 silver"

    Many had noticed the enthusiasm in Daniel's voice, but while some weren't naive enough to fall for his act, some others, blinded by the outrage of being played by a mere servant, couldn't help but become his victims once again.

    After a couple of long minutes, the item had reached the price estimated by the auction house of 15 gold coins, however, the bidding war was still far from over.

    "See if I don't put you in your place this time, brat.. 20 gold coins!" Said the scarred old man.

    Daniel hadn't reached any message from the karmic system, so he was sure that someone in the crowd was willing to offer a higher price, therefore he kept going "21 gold coins!"

    "Your master should have teached you how to respect those above you, servant" Said disdainfully a beautiful woman which was occupying the booth directly opposite to the scarred old man's. This woman was wearing the attire of an elder from a known medium sized women only martial art school, situated in the merchant district. She wore a purple kimono, with the yellow and green pattern of a crane soaring through the skies sewed on it.

    The first time Daniel noticed this woman was when she had bidded for the slave girl. What made Daniel curious about this woman, was that her number had decreased the moment she had placed her bid.

    Above this woman's head a small red 62, which originally was 82, could be seen floating. The first time Daniel had noticed the woman's karma, Sewah had commented into his head "That woman must be very nice to her students.. but slightly more brutal to her enemies. He he he"

    Daniel didn't know what her reasons for bidding for the slave girl were, however, he was convinced that they couldn't have been too bad, if just by bidding for her, the woman's negative karma had decreased. Unfortunately her intentions weren't enough, since according to the karmic system, the girl would be sold for a higher price than the one she had bid, leading to her being killed within 6 days by her new owner.

    The woman had a bone to pick with Daniel, which had made the price of the rank 4 fan that she wanted to buy, increase to almost double the original amount.

    "24 gold coins" Said the woman.

    Once more, to Daniel's elation, the message didn't appear. "25!" He shouted.

    "25 gold coins and 50 silver" Said a middle aged man with a clean shaved beard who was sitting amongst the crowd of the first floor.

    "26 gold coins!" Daniel bids were fast and showed impatience. Of course, this was all an act. He wanted the other bidders to believe that he wanted the item at all costs.

    "28 gold coins.." Said the scarred old man while acting enraged, and yet showing a hint of anxiousness.

    At this point of the auction, most participants were simply trying to bloat the beast core's price in order to have Daniel buy it with a huge loss. They all acted like they needed the object desperately, and yet they were approaching their limits. Some of them even pretended to argue amongst themselves.

    The scarred old man had placed his ultimate bid. He wanted Daniel to buy the item at almost double its worth. "Come on brat.. it's all yours.. He he he" Muttered the scarred old man quietly. Unfortunately, what he expected to happen didn't actually happen. His covered grin turned into a hideous one, as he noticed the wide smile that had appeared on Daniel's face.

    Inside Daniel's mind, a series of small windows had appeared.

    ____________________________

    *No Rest for the Wicked*

    Objective  completion 100%

    Karma points +10

    ____________________________

    *No Rest for the Wicked*

    First objective complete.

    Reward: 170 Karma Points / Dragon's Breath Auction House reputation +25%

    ____________________________

    "The current highest bid is 28 gold coins. Is there anyone who wants to offer more?.." The auctioneer said before observing the room. He then looked at the menacing looks of the various participant of the auction.. before finally looking at Daniel.

    When the auctioneer's eyes landed on Daniel, he looked away, showing an expression completely devoid of interest.

    "Going once, going twice.. Sold to the booth number 028.." Said the auctioneer dispiritedly. He then continued "This is all for today's auction. As always, you can approach the counter to collect your purchases. The Dragon's Breath Auction House hopes that you have enjoyed today's event, and wishes you a safe travel back." He then bowed deeply, and left the stage from the side.

    The moment those last few words were spoken, Daniel was already halfway through the door. He didn't want to give the others any time to trap him inside the auction house, so since the beginning, he had intended to leave the auction house first.

    When he reached the counter, he found the woman that had offered him the credit waiting for him at the counter. When she saw him, she smiled at him brightly, and said "You really do know how to make enemies." she then handed him a small bag "In here are 20 gold coins, we've rounded them up for you.."

    Daniel had no reaction to this. He knew that the woman didn't consider him a naive young man anymore. And for a good reason. He had asked for 5 gold and 60 silver coins, and that was exactly what he had spent. Not counting how much he had managed to increase the bids for the item he had put up for auction.

    The woman then grabbed a bell from behind the counter, and ringed it three times. After a few seconds, the girl that Daniel had originally seen behind the counter, appeared from behind a door. Next to her was a girl in ragged clothes. Her ankles and wrists had been chained, making escape impossible for her. That girl, was the slave girl that Daniel had bought with the intention of freeing.

    Daniel took the slave deed and key out of the girl's hands and unlocked the slave girl's binds right away. He then ripped the deed into shreds.

    The slave girl was too surprised by Daniel's decisive actions. She rubbed her sore wrists and cheeks, and as she was about to thank him, Daniel grabbed her wrist and started heading towards the exit of the building.

    As the woman noticed Daniel's sudden actions "You are welcome to come back whenever you want, have a safe travel back!" she said while slightly increasing the volume of her voice as each of her words came out of her mouth.

    "I wouldn't hold my breath" muttered Daniel as he left the auction house. Going back to this auction house was out of the question for Daniel. The woman had tried to scheme against him from the very beginning, and even after he had made the auction house gain a much larger amount of money in commissions, by increasing bids and making many enemies for himself, they still tried to invite him back to repeat this, despite the dangers he faced. Daniel had no good opinions about the Dragon's Breath Auction House.

    Without giving her a moment to speak, Daniel dragged the girl between alleys, only stopping after reaching a particularly dark one, just a few hundred meters away from the auction house. He then let go of the girl's hand, and said to her "You are free now, do you have someplace to go?"

    The girl shook her head gently.. her eyes reddening.

    Daniel took pity on her.. he had imagined his sister being in her shoes, and the idea that she would wander the streets until she would be made a slave again, was unacceptable to him. "Okay, you can stay with me and my sister for a bit. We currently live in the slums, but we will move soon.."
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