It is a starry night.
Kaede and I are on our way to a mansion.
According to what we have heard, the auction is held there.
This is a members-only event, so outsiders are not normally allowed to attend.
However, if you meet certain conditions, you may participate.
One such condition is a recommendation from a member.
I have already received a recommendation from the Count, so participation itself is not a problem.
If there is a problem, you can hide your identity. Although the organizer will know exactly who you are.
Several participants have come to this place with their faces, names and identities hidden.
In addition, it is strictly forbidden to pry. It seems to be a measure to avoid unnecessary problems.
That's why we also wear masks to hide our faces.
There were strong soldiers guarding the gate.
They stare at us.
"I have a letter of recommendation."
"Excuse me, sir. Please come in."
I lightly showed the envelope the Count had given me and went through the door.
In the spacious grounds, there was a magnificent garden.
"It's a big mansion, but whose house is it?"
"It appears to be the villa of the duke of the capital. That would explain a lot, besides the guards and the reasons why everyone comes with their identities hidden."
It doesn't matter who the organizer of the auction is.
I'm sure everyone here feels that way.
You should be full of thoughts about when you will get what you want and how much you can bid for it.
A large white building comes into view.
In front of the entrance, there were participants talking, each with a drink in their hands.
They are probably killing time as it is still early.
Once inside the building, an elderly man bows to us.
"Thank you very much for coming tonight. It looks like this is your first time participating in this event, may I see your letter of recommendation?"
"Here it is."
The old man looks at the envelope and smiles.
"I'm sure it's genuine. So, once again, welcome to the auction. We have a wonderful selection of items for you to choose from tonight. If there is something that interests you, please bid on it."
"By the way, what should I call the people here?"
"The representative receives a tag with a number on it, and it is customary to call them sir or madam by naming the number."
The one I was given was "number 31".
I placed the paper on my chest.
Tonight I will be Mr. 31.
I have to be careful not to accidentally leak my name.
Heading to the back of the building, there was a huge room.
Inside the room was a crescent-shaped stage with countless chairs lined up.
There were already people in some of the chairs.
We sat in the seats at the end of the stage.
We are pretty far away, but both Kaede and I have good eyesight, so we can see well.
"Why did you choose to sit in the back?"
"I don't know how all this works, so I decided to keep some distance."
The closer I am, the more attention I get. I don't like to stand out at all.
"Sir, may I offer you a drink?"
A young man brings me two glasses.
It looks like champagne.
"Don't go out."
Panda left the seal without permission.
He was peering through the glass, curious about what was going on.
Then she settles into Kaede's arms and closes his eye happily.
Unlike Rosuke, Panda leaves the seal at will.
I worry that he will jump out of nowhere at an important moment and surprise everyone.
A large number of people begin to enter the room, and a person who appears to be the master of ceremonies takes his place on the stage.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to start the auction. The rules are pretty simple, all you have to do is get the item being offered at a higher price than any other. Now, let's get started."
The first item displayed was a very large, fist-sized piece of jewelry.
It was illuminated by the light reflecting off it and emits a dazzling glow.
The price went up and up. Ten minutes later, the jewel was sold for 330 million.
I break out in a cold sweat at this ridiculous spectacle.
Wow, this place is even more outrageous than I imagined.
Hundreds of millions being spent in just a few minutes.
The people who come here are incredibly wealthy.
I have 1.2 billion on hand, but I'm starting to feel insecure about this amount.
The upper class is scary.
After that, one valuable item after another was put up, and the auction continued.
"From here, even more valuable items will appear! First up, one of tonight's highlights, the Skill Sealing Scroll. The bidding starts with a million."
This is where the auction had my full attention for the first time all night.
The scroll is one of the relics left by an ancient race.
Its manufacturing method is still unknown today, but instead of being disposable, it activates high-level power.
And the Skill Sealing Scroll is an extremely powerful trump card in a battle against a powerful enemy, rendering the target's abilities completely useless.
If you are a fighter, this is a valuable item to have.
...I thought this item was going to cause a stir in the room. But all was quiet.
The moderator is confused.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the bidding has begun."
I was surprised at what was happening, but then I understood. Upper class people have no interest in fighting.
It's a waste of money for them to bid on such items, to be honest.
I raised my hand.
" .....Anyone else?"
No one seems to raise their hand.
Two minutes later I got the right to buy the scroll.
"Why did you raise your hand?"
"In case of emergency, skill sealing is valuable and only works once against any opponent. Whether it's a demon king or a hero."
"It's a great tool, but why was it ignored?"
"I guess they weren't interested and would rather save their money. There are still many more items left to auction."
But I was wrong. The battle will be fierce from here on.
Many of the participants in the room begin to get restless.
Some changed seats and moved to the front.
"The following item is extremely valuable! With this item you can no longer be afraid of being killed, an elixir that prolongs the years of life, it can protect the owner from death just once! Bidding starts at 2 million!"
It seems that this was the object they were looking for.
The price rose at a tremendous rate.
The price of the winning bid is 850 million.
The people here are crazy.
"Now I'm going to introduce you to some slaves of extreme rarity! They're all from races that hardly exist anymore, and they have abilities that can't be found on the market! The first one is an Elf!"
The beautiful woman they brought in was covered with a thin cloth and you could see the lines of her body.
She is not as beautiful as Kaede, but her beauty was breathtaking.
As she stared at her, Kaede let out an "hmmm" of dissatisfaction.
Naturally, the Elf's appearance intensely stimulates male customers and she is sold at a very high price.
It's crazy to buy and sell people.
I know I'm in no position to say this, but it's still not something that makes me feel good.
"Now, the next one is from a race that is rare in the world! The fairy tribe!"
The place was overflowing with screams and excitement.
Fairies are a race often spoken of in legends, and said to live in the depths of the great forests where man cannot enter.
They are small and cute in appearance, but their true value lies in their wings.
You can fly thanks to "fairy dust", a special type of powder produced by the scales on their wings.
The person who comes into contact with the powder is able to fly freely for several hours.
For those in power, threats to their lives are a daily occurrence.
It's natural for them to want things like this to keep them safe.
It is a power that can be used in extremely desperate situations.
Rarity, appearance, efficiency.
She must be an attractive slave to those in power.
"Bidding starts at five million."
A girl with wings was brought forth in a small basket.
She was frightened and trembling in a corner.
"Please help me."
I heard a voice...
Whose voice is it?
"Great Race, please rescue this Frau from here."
The voice continues.
"Fairies are faithful servants of the Great Race. Please help this poor Frau."
It was the voice of Hada's prayer.
I look around, but no one seems to be listening.
The price kept going up and up.
I raised my hand and in a loud voice said
"Two hundred million!"
"Wow, a pretty hefty price tag has suddenly appeared."
From this point on, the rest of the people bid small amounts.
I'm the only one who can hear the voice of the fairy calling for help. I can't turn a blind eye to something like this.
That little fairy prays hard to be saved.
Not everyone in this world is a shitty person, I'll show you.
"Three hundred million!"
"Another incredibly high bid!"
Surprisingly, few people continued to bid.
They all lowered their hands one by one.
However, there were still three people who did not want to give up.
To get them off my back, I'm going to raise the price even more.
"Four hundred and fifty million!"
"Four hundred and sixty million!"
"Four hundred and sixty-five million."
"Four hundred and seventy-one million."
I don't want to keep bidding with people like you!
"Six hundred million!"
"Six hundred and ten million!"
Two are eliminated, and the remaining one, the chubbiest, continues to show interest.
"Oh little fairy, I'm going to have fun with you every day until you break."
"Eight hundred million!"
The man is amazed at the amount I offer.
But even so, he didn't hesitate for a second.
He is persistent, how much money does he have to bid?
Well, then I'll get serious.
The man lowered the hand he was trying to raise.
He admitted to losing.
"This slave is sold for a sum of 1.1 billion!"
The participants stood up and applauded in unison at the heated bidding war.