Book 1, Chapter 45A

Mountainsea

With that little episode done, it was almost time for the midsummer festival. The atmosphere both inside and outside the Deepblue grew extremely lively, with many people dressing in exaggerated bright clothing unique to their races. Some even had colourful wigs on, while others had drawn strange patterns on their faces. Large barrels of fine liquor made it to the Deepblue through horse carriage, but they emptied out at an astonishing rate. The Deepblue had been lit up once more, countless flames decorating the night skies into a diverse, dreamy world. There was bonfire, song, and the aroma of food everywhere; on this day, no worries existed in the world.

In the upper layers of the Deepblue’s main tower, the true bigwigs remained extremely clear-headed. This was where the true auction was to be held, the legendary mage’s personal collection revealed here in detail. It was a stunningly huge event, because the sheer amount of rare materials the legendary mage could bring out was far in excess of the last festival. It led the aristocrats to have a whole new understanding of Sharon’s strength.

The most striking detail was definitely the set of dragon bones placed at the centre of the hall. A few mages kept hovering around it, the way they drooled over it obviously exposing their identities. However, the most precious thing here wasn’t the dragon bones, but the heart of an ancient beast from the Wild Plains, half of the fingernail of an archdevil of the abyss, as well as the complete soft neckhide of a fire dragon, all arranged at the highest place. All were rare items that were estimated to have a value of millions of gold coins.

The rules for the auction were very simple. There was a card in front of each auction item, and people who wanted to buy them would write the price they were willing to pay and their identities there. If someone was going to bid higher, they would continue writing on the row above. This went on until the auction was over and nobody offered a higher price. Of course, if someone was in particular need of any item and could not wait for the auction to end, they could quote a price to the whole audience. If nobody fought for it, then this item would belong to the person. While the auction hall reached an astoundingly large area of 13 000 square metres, a mere rank 10 warrior could have his voice heard throughout the area. Even if the aristocrats that entered this auction lacked this amount of power, they definitely had hundreds and thousands of rank 10 warriors under them.

Those with territory weren’t as interested in magic materials like the bone and hide. They instead paid attention to the ores placed at the west of the hall in a four-tiered annular stand. To the practical nobles who forged their own equipment, the bones and hide were far less useful than tens or hundreds of kilograms of rare ore. The former could make for one or two precious tools, but with the latter they would be able to craft armour, heavy weapons, and magic arrows. Equipping them on suitable warriors would immediately bolster their armies.

Those with power were actually quite repulsed by individual might, but were extremely fond of creating large-scaled armies.

Large amounts of ores like this obviously could not be piled up in the exhibition hall, which was why there were only a few samples placed there. The Deepblue had always had a good reputation when it came to delivering goods be it in the auction or daily sales, so the shipments would have the same quality as these samples. The nobles gathered in front of the counter, studying the grade and the colour of the ore. Families with good relations would even whisper to each other while eyeing the representatives of families who were not their allies from the corner of their eyes. They would carefully read the captions of the items. Besides the quality, quantity was also one of the most important points. After careful calculation and rethinking, they would then carefully write each price.

The atmosphere in the hall was heated yet controlled. It was still far from dawn, and there were only undercurrents flowing right now. It was not yet time for anyone to make a loss yet. However, the quantity and quality of the auction items that had surpassed the expectations of everyone had seemed to ignite the gunpowder. The ores’ variety and quantity had been a lot greater than expected, and people could not help but wonder how many planes with rich mineral resources the legendary mage had occupied in the past few years.

Steven was not dazzled by the ample items on display in the hall. He maintained his elegant demeanor, exchanging conventional greetings with the representatives of a few allied families before he walked towards the exhibition area of dragon items with utmost confidence. Besides the warrior and cleric, following behind him were two appraisal experts that Duke Solam had sent over, as well as two high-ranked warriors above rank 16; there were hardly any saints here, those near rank 18.

Through pleasant conversation with Blackgold’s assistant over time, Steven had long since come up with a goal he had to meet. He needed that hide of the fire dragon!

Indeed, the legendary fire dragon, not a red dragon. It was no easy task to kill any dragon, but red dragons were considered above average amongst the chromatic dragons with the most powerful bodies. The fire dragons were technically a branch of the red dragons, but there were few of them. Each of them was very powerful, however— if a red dragon over a thousand years of age grew exceedingly powerful, it could evolve into a fire dragon by chance.

In terms of human power, a newly advanced legend like Solam would place his life in jeopardy to fight a mature fire dragon. The small group of rune knights Saint Klaus commanded would be wiped out right away, so it was near impossible for the Solam Family to use its own strength to obtain the complete neck-hide of a fire dragon. Saint Klaus had once formulated a rune for the competition based on the fire dragon’s hide, but even if it had the best effects it was also the first to be denied.

Steven stood by the card for a long time, seriously studying the caption full of little words and a few illustrations and not letting any word escape his attention. Just by gauging it visually, it appeared that the skin was better than before and much larger than regular Fire Dragons, and it was excellent and intact. This fire dragon was over a thousand years old, which meant the quality of its hide was far beyond that of a small red dragon that had lived a mere few centuries.

The caption on the card was lengthy, the first paragraph speaking of the valiance with which the legendary mage had battled the fire dragon. This sort of content was normally skipped, but multiple revisions by a historian, artist, and Blackgold had ensured that anyone trying to deduce Sharon’s abilities through this would definitely regret it.

The second paragraph was a lot more important, detailing the powers of the dragon itself. The Deepblue’s reputation ensured that these descriptions were accurate, just like the last paragraph that touched on the dragon’s habitat.

There were already two rows of tiny words on the auction records. The prices quoted were 1,000,000 and 1,050,000 coins respectively. The inscriptions with the names implied that these two had to be incredibly powerful— no matter how powerful an individual was, it was difficult for them to match up to noble families like the Solams without the support of an organisation in power or wealth. Of course, Sharon was an exception.

After listening to the appraisal specialists carefully, Steven tried to retain a calm look on his expression, but the corner of his eye could not help but twitch slightly. The skin on the neck of the fire dragon was far too important to him. With it Saint Klaus could create a powerful rank 2 rune, and the snow rabbit defeating the winter wolf wouldn’t be consigned to mere legend.

Seeing this skin, Steven felt like he could see the gates that led all the way to becoming a dragonblooded runemaster!

He muttered to himself and asked for a magic pen from his subordinates, preparing to write his first amount. After some deep thought, Steven chose to set the price at 1.3 million, and then add 200 thousand to it later. This would show strength and determination without being too much of a show off, just in case others saw through his anxiety and purposely participated in an attempt to raise the price further.

At this moment, the hall that was becoming more noisy suddenly went quiet, and practically all those over rank 18 turned back at the same time, gazing towards the entrance of the hall. An invisible but blazing gust surged into the hall and filled the hall in an instant. The temperature in the hall abruptly rose by quite a few degrees, and the air that had been warm and moist became dry and blazing-hot. A sombre aura of desolation filled the air, and many even heard the faint roars of beasts in their ears.

This was an extension of pure power. The change to the hall was slight, but the sheer range of it was huge while it had happened in an instant. The thought of the power this being possessed was terrifying in itself. However, while this aura had come fiercely, there was no killing intent or pressure. This meant the person hadn’t done this intentionally— this was just a byproduct of his power.

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