Release that Witch Chapter 650
"What's that?" Yorko stared at the illuminating object in surprise despite its dazzling light. "Is it also something you sell in the exhibition?"
"It has several names. For example, Sun Stone and Light Crystal... but we prefer to call it Magic Stone because it's said the stone comes from demons' lair." No. 76 explained in a low voice. "'Black Money' once sold them in an auction, and the final bidding price was around 2,000 to 3,000 gold royals. They're expensive and rare, so they won't be sold in every exhibition. At least, it's not included in the list of products for sale tonight." She paused for a second and asked, "Sir, is this your first time to come here?"
"Well... sort of." Yorko stroked his nose to conceal his uneasiness. If one stone cost that much, then all the magic stones used for illumination on the stage would be worth more than 10,000 gold royals. This was just such a lavish exhibition!
The guide seemed to perceive Yorko's uneasiness. She drew close to him and whispered in his ear like a perfect lover. "That's nothing, Sir. Every guest who attends the exhibition for the first time is shocked by the magic stones. This is also a means through which 'Black Money' showcases their power."
"You're also one of their means, aren't you?" Yorko had probably not presented himself in such a sumptuous exhibition as much as those great nobles had, but he knew how to talk to women. As his discomfort gradually faded away with the soft whisper of the guide, Yorko wrapped his arms around the girl's waist and drew her to his chest.
"Not until I get your approval."
"You've got my approval already. Well, after the exhibition..."
"I'll still be at your service, sir." She gently nodded.
Yorko started to slowly like this place.
By the time his eyes were back to the stage, he had missed two rounds of the auction. The products for sale were apparently not that appealing to the audience, for few people showed interest in them.
Just like the exhibitions he had attended with Denise, the first few rounds were nothing but the less savory aspect of the auction. The main course usually came at a later phase.
Otto reckoned the sale of the witch should not be too close to the end and estimated that the final bidding price would be no more than 700 to 800 gold royals. These merchants sought more thrills and stimulation than pure beauties.
The audience finally stirred a little bit when the first person up for auction was pushed to the stage.
It was a young woman, pretty plain overall except for her fair skin.
Yorko noticed the girl, unlike slaves sold in the slave market who were usually stark naked, were glamorously dressed in expensive garments only nobles could afford. In other words, she looked exactly like a highborn lady.
"What's that about?" Yorko pinched the waist of No. 76. "To dress up a slave as a noble so that you can sell her at a higher price?"
The guide corrected him with a smile. "Not a slave masquerading as a noble, but a noble slave."
"What's the difference... Hold on." Yorko's eyes widened. "What did you say?"
"She's a true noble." No. 76 gestured Yorko to tone down his voice. "Not a remote relative or a branch, but a noble lineage, the legal heir of a big family."
"Gentlemen, do you see this lady here?" The host announced in a loud voice. "Aphnie Tanfek, the daughter of the Earl of Rubble Woods from the Kingdom of Wolfheart. Since her father was unfortunately killed in the battle against the church, she's now legally the new Earl of Rubble Woods. The Tanfeks is a prominent family that can be dated back to 300 years ago. However, compared with their family history, I believe everybody is more impressed with the jade incident 20 years ago. This is a good chance to retaliate! The starting price is 300 gold royals. Please feel free to place your bid!"
"310!" Someone shouted immediately.
"350 gold royals!"
"You're... crazy!" As the bid went higher, Yorko commented in disbelief. "To sell a real noble as a slave? It's a capital offense no country will tolerate!"
There was an unwritten rule among nobles, which was to place noble blood above everything. Anyone who posed a threat to that rule would be considered as a mutual enemy of all aristocracies. That was also why ransom was commonly paid for the exchange of nobles in the event of defeat. As long as their bloodlines still existed, the family would eventually rise to power again. The rule had remained unchanged for several hundred years, and it held true especially for royal families.
This auction, nonetheless, was an open confrontation with the entire aristocratic class.
No. 76 spread out her hands. "It'll be fine if you don't advertise it. Nobody will attribute the end of the noble bloodline to 'Black Money', for the church was the real culprit."
"How will these nobles end up? The host just said 'retaliate', right?"
The guide burst into laughter. "The Tanfeks tried to lower the price of jades with some evil intentions 20 years ago. Many jade traders suffered a lot back then. So their retaliation will be... certainly cruel. But these nobles lost their chance to stage a comeback from the beginning, just like witches."
The next few products were all nobles from the Kingdom of Everwinter and the Kingdom of Wolfheart, men and women. The male nobles had a wider age range and were more popular than the female ones.
Compared with the heirs, the women merchants perhaps preferred nobles who experienced in managing the operation of the family more.
Yorko now understood why Otto had said the auction had to be underground. He also came to know the reason for their strict selection criteria. Apart from wealth and backgrounds, "Black Money" probably also attached great importance to whether a guest had a genuine intention to make a purchase. In other words, they would only accept people who were their potential buyers, people who were in the same boat.
The witch Yorko intended to bid was the 10th product.
It was undeniable that although in tight bondage, the witch was considerably more beautiful than any of the noble ladies previously presented. Her disheveled brunette hair tumbled unbound down her shoulders. Underneath the thin burlap garment, a few whip marks could be detected on her bare hands and feet. Evidently, she had been tortured a great deal since being caught. Despite her emaciated frame, she had enchanted facial features and possessed an ineffable charm.
The host exclaimed. "A nameless refugee witch from the Kingdom of Wolfheart. She can heal herself with demons' power. Thanks to the report of our kind citizens, we've got a real piece of treasure here. Think about it, a witch who can heal by herself. You can use her in any way you like! If you dread petting her, 'Black Money' can help you with that as well. Start from 500 gold royals. Please feel free to bid!"
Yorko did not place his bid immediately, for he knew he had to wait until the end when the biddings started to slow down. Only in this way could he possibly win the big ticket.
To his surprise, however, the bidding price soon exceeded 800 gold royals that Otto had formerly estimated. Presently, it went over 1,000. The bidding continued and there was no sign that it would stop anytime soon.
Yorko felt his palm started to sweat.