Release that Witch Chapter 649
"Thank you. I'll call on you again tonight."
Yorko's jaw dropped. His eyes flitted across the two people in dismay. It appeared something was wrong here. They had just ignored him, who was the real Ambassador of Graycastle!
After Otto took his leave, Yorko could not wait to start his questioning. All his complaining, however, caught in his throat when Hill said, "This is also what His Majesty wants."
Yorko put his hand on his forehead. "Are you sure? I represent the Kingdom of Graycastle. If the King of Dawn knows I'm transporting a witch, the relations between the two nations will again deteriorate and all the work we've done will be in vain. What should we do then?"
"Appen Moya won't focus on these trivial matters. Even if he does notice it, witches are far more important than the alliance." Hill affirmed. "As a matter of fact, my men have already checked whether there were witches hidden among refugees when they did the screening."
"None." Hill shook his head. "There are two possibilities. One is that there are no witches among refugees at all. The other is that they disguise themselves pretty well and have completely blended in. Anyway, if you can bring a witch to His Majesty, he will surely shower you with rewards. You know how much His Majesty treasure them."
Aware that it was his old friend's request, Yorko had no choice but to acquiesce sullenly.
He tried to sooth his resentment by convincing himself that the exhibition was just another way of exploring this country. Yorko was indeed curious about what kind of slaves would be sold on an exhibition that even Denise was not eligible to attend.
Otto arrived at the entrance of the mansion punctually in the evening.
Yorko climbed into a splendid coach bearing no emblem. Furnished with thick fur rug, the wagon was also equipped with two chains hanging down from the ceiling. Yorko did not need to ask what they were for.
"I didn't expect you have such a peculiar taste." Yorko whistled.
Otto blushed. "Ahem... it isn't my wagon. This kind of carriage comes in handy when you need to lock someone up while at the same time avoiding curious eyes."
"You don't have to explain. I understand." Yorko stroked the cuffs at the end of the chains and asked, "Can I borrow the wagon for a few days after the business is over?"
"Naturally. 50 silver royals per day and the lease includes the service of a coachman." Otto picked a comfortable spot and lay down after telling the coachman their destination. "It'll take a while. You may take a rest here."
"Around an hour. It's in the suburb of City of Glow."
Yorko gasped. "Then we won't be able to return to the king's city tonight! After the sun sets, the city gate will be closed, won't it?"
"'Black Money' will provide accommodations and food. In fact, they'll provide everything you can get from the city of Glow."
"Sounds like a marketplace."
"Pretty much. The only difference is it's underground." Otto explained, "I went but once, so I don't know if there have been any changes in the procedure of the auction. But I think there shouldn't be a problem as long as you follow the guide. After you win the bid, you don't need to wait until the auction ends but just directly take the witch from the backstage. A servant will lead you to your room..."
"Hang on..." Yorko stared at Otto in surprise. "Aren't you coming with me?"
"There's only one invitation card."
"What about the payment?"
Otto smiled. "The black letter represents money. It's a pass issued by the Chamber of Commerce. With the letter, you can directly place your bid."
"Without a limit?" Yorko's eye bulged.
"Of course there is... but it's way higher than what the cost of a witch is supposed to be. As far as my knowledge goes, it cost about 1,000 gold royals to purchase a witch several years ago. As King Appen has ordered to eradicate witches, the current final bidding price should be a little lower."
"1,000 gold royals!" Yorko smacked his lips. "Those upper nobles just like throwing their money away, don't they?" Yorko knew even all the brothels in the king's city altogether would not cost that much! Could he be too outdated to understand what real extravagance was?
"Also... in order to win her trust, you'd better not touch her." Otto coughed. "She isn't a real slave after all, otherwise it'll cause unwanted trouble on the way."
"I certainly comprehend." Yorko breathed out a sigh. She's His Majesty's woman, whom he would not have the guts to lay a single finger upon.
"In any event, put a mask on her when you get out. I'll meet you tomorrow."
The carriage conveyed them to the west after it passed through the city gate. It did not slow down until darkness closed in and swallowed the last drop of the sun rays. Like Otto had said, they arrived at the destination in an hour.
The venue of the exhibition looked no different from any other ordinary residences at the first glance. There was an empty yard lined with jagged fences, at the center of which stood a house made of mud and straw. Behind the yard lay bare farmlands where wheat had been harvested. The fields were dappled with piles of wheat-straw that looked like lumps of bumps bulging from the ground.
The only thing that stood out was numerous torches on the farmlands, a sign that indicated somebody was guarding this place.
Normally, nobody would guard the yard of a civilian's residence.
After the guard checked the invitation card, Otto and his men all remained in the yard, whereas Yorko entered the mud house with a guide. After going down a wooden staircase and passing through a man-made narrow tunnel, he found himself in a natural limestone cave.
The cave was about half the size of the square in the king's city. By the flickering torchlight, Yorko could see numberless small caves on either side, all pitch-dark, leading to somewhere only Gods knew.
The ground at the bottom of the cave had been polished and tiled. It was so lavishly furnished that only the stalactites overhung above his head showed what kind of place it originally was. The hall had been crowded with people waiting for the commencement of the exhibition.
Yorko now understood what Otto meant by "not that formal". Based on what he saw, the assembling was quite similar to one of the Rats' meeting.
"Sir, this way." The guide ushered him to the seat marked on the black letter and sat next to him. "I'll be at your service during the whole exhibition. Please feel free to ask me if you have any questions regarding our products." With these words, the guide placed Yorko's arm on her soft bosom. In the dismal light, Yorko could see a pointy chin and plumped lips underneath the mask.
"Is this also a part of your service?" Yorko fumbled her breasts as a matter of course. "What's your name?"
"Of course, sir. You can call me No. 76." Her breath was heavy with fragrance, but her reply was not breathless in the least.
Yorko had to admit his previous assumption had been wrong. Rats could never hire such well-trained servant girls. If every attendant was accompanied by such a guide, the cost just for hiring these girls would be tremendous.
"Is it always so dark here?" Yorko stroked the soft arm while raising his eyebrows. "I can't see the products on the stage clearly with this poor lighting."
"You'll see soon." The girl chuckled.
No. 76's words were soon verified by the metal scraping sound from above. In a second, several iron cables were dropped off the ceiling, each of which was attached to a weird stone at the end. The glow emanated from those stones was several times brighter than that the torchlight. All of sudden, Yorko could see the stage at the front perfectly.
The murmuring across the cave instantly died away.
The torchlight appeared to be even fainter compared with the soft, bright illumination of the stones. The whole cave had slipped into darkness, except the stage, upon which everybody rested their eyes.
A man in a tuxedo walked on the stage and bowed to the audience.
"Thank you for waiting. Now I announce that the 'Black Money' exhibition officially begins!"