Chapter 23 – The Beast Within
Calron felt immense awe while gazing upon this magnificent creature.
It was truly a beauty to behold.
The beast was like a large white cat with rippling muscles. Its fur glowed with a beauty that was difficult to describe in words, and Calron was certain that the fur would be extremely soft to the touch as well.
It had thin, aqua-blue stripes swirling around its paws and its eyes shone with the same hue. There was a gentle aura emanating from the beast that made Calron feel as if the beast was a peaceful creature in the wild.
To see such a beast caged and crudely presented in front of an audience, Calron felt only sorrow and bitterness. There was nothing Calron could do to relieve it of its suffering, as he had neither the money nor the power.
Just then, a wailing Fatty appeared next to Calron with footmarks all over his robe and face. The footprints varied in their size and shape, so much so that one could tell Fatty had been brutally kicked by a large amount of the crowd!
“Big brother, how could you do this to me? You know how sensitive my body is, and look at my face now! One of the old women stepped on me mercilessly as she thought I was stealing her purse. Big brother!”
Fatty continuously complained to him, while Calron paid no attention to his ranting.
“This is a rare first rank beast with a water element! Furthermore, it’s still young, so it can be tamed much more easily! Starting bid is at ten gold squares, so start placing your bids now!”
The crowd erupted into a chaos of shouts. It had to be understood that a single gold square was enough for a small family to survive for months, and this beast’s starting bid was ten times that amount!
Moreover, this auction was happening outside in the market with no rules or authority to manage it, so the scene was completely chaotic with everyone shouting their bids. The man auctioning the beast seemed to be a bit overwhelmed as he tried to hear some of the bids, but then someone from a different location would shout even louder than the previous voice!
“SILENCE! How dare you maggots cause a commotion in the market?”
A group of guards came marching, while their captain furiously roared at the crowd. The guards had the city Lord’s emblem on their chests, as they walked arrogantly towards the man on stage. Their emblem was a black bear’s head growling to the side.
“Hand over this beast right now! It is illegal to auction any property publicly without the city Lord’s approval!”
The captain stated loftily.
Hearing those words, the owner of the magical beast visibly crumpled. He had lost many brothers while obtaining this beast, and if the guards were to just take it away, then how will he take care of his dead brothers’ families?
“Sir, please forgive this lowly person! I will give you all the money I have, but please don’t take away the beast. My brothers fought against its mother and lost their lives trying to obtain that beast!”
The man knelt on the ground and begged the guards. If he had the money, then he would have directly gone to an auction house as opposed to selling the beast on the street. If he had paid the commission cost to the auction house, then he wouldn’t have much money remaining in the end. That was the reason he decided to take a chance and sell it publicly instead, but how could he have expected that the plan in return, would make him lose everything?
Seeing the man kneeling on the ground, the captain of the guards just raised his foot and stepped on the man’s neck.
“You think I have time to waste on you? Just hand it over, or else I will personally chop off both your hands for breaking the law.”
The captain coldly stated.
In truth, this was not a serious matter as there were many vendors who didn’t have permits, but the captain wanted that rare magical beast as a pet. Although it was only a first rank beast, it was still worth decent money, or it could be used to bribe an officer for a promotion. The beast was pleasing to the eye, so any officer’s child would definitely fancy it.
Faced with that threat, the man bitterly cried, as there was nothing he could do. The crowd of surrounding people had been watching the scene from the start, and yet not one person objected or intervened.
Calron felt his heart violently surge with anger as he saw the man kneeling in front of these pretentious guards. He was almost about to jump on the stage when he saw the captain step on the heartbroken man, but then he suddenly felt a steely grip on his arm.
“Big brother, you cannot get involved. Those guards have the backing of the city Lord and if anyone fights back, then not only the person involved will get killed, but his family and friends will be held accountable as well. Please endure for now, big brother.”
Hearing Fatty’s frosty voice, Calron was startled. Fatty’s face was burning in rage and even the air around him chilled to a great extent, as the nearby people subconsciously moved away from the cold. This was the same feeling Calron felt back when Felice had released her essence. He didn’t sense any essence from Fatty, but that bone-chilling aura was unmistakable!
Even Fatty’s vice-like grip on Calron arm contained a strength that belied his outer chubby appearance. Fatty’s arctic-blue eyes had a certain sharpness and intensity to it that Calron hadn’t noticed before. So far, he had always seen Fatty goofing around or chasing after food, but this was the first time he felt like he saw the true Fatty, no, Roran. He currently had the same noble aura as Felice, and Calron started to feel that there was a lot more to Fatty than the goofy attitude he showed to the world.
“Sigh…sorry Fatty, I should have known better than to rashly head into trouble. It still angers me that none of these people here tried to stop the guards.”
Knowing that Calron had calmed down, Fatty released his grip and even the aura around him returned back to normal.
“Big brother, don’t blame these people as they also have no choice in the matter. If they objected to the guards, then their lives would be at stake and who would be willing to sacrifice their life for a stranger? It’s the way humanity is, and only the strong can change their fates and that of those around them.”
Fatty sadly uttered to Calron.
Hearing the hint of anguish from Fatty’s voice, Calron was sure something must have happened to Fatty in the past, but he wanted to let Fatty reveal his life’s story by his own choice, rather than confronting him about it. He had learned after being with Elias that some secrets were meant to be in the dark.
“Sir, please don’t do this! The livelihoods of several families depend on the money from this beast’s sale!”
The beast’s owner continued to cry while the captain had his foot on his neck. Seeing the broken state of the man on stage, many of the gathered crowd felt pity in their hearts but none made a move to stop the guards.
“You filth! Look at what you did to my shoes! It’s dirty now, so obediently lick it clean!”
The captain insolently commanded the grief-stricken man, while the other guards behind him snickered quietly.
“Captain Gar has way too much fun these days, remember the old blacksmith a few days ago?”
“Oh, wasn’t captain interested in his daughter? Hehe.”
The guards shamelessly bantered, and since they were being openly loud, the rest of the crowd could hear them clearly as well.
Other than feeling disgusted by them, there was nothing else they could do but quietly watch.
“You! How d-“
Seeing that he was just being kicked around, the man finally started to realize that no matter how much he pleaded, the guards would still take away his beast. Felling both rage and humiliation, he started to get up and furiously released his essence.
Wisps of pale green essence coalesced around the man and a roaring gust of wind swirled around his fists.
As the man tried to free his neck under the captain’s foot, he felt a bloodthirsty aura above him.
“A trash like you dares to disobey me? I was giving you face till now, but instead you behave insolently with me!”
The captain savagely bellowed and unsheathed his sword. An extremely violent sword aura oppressed the trembling man on the ground.
Meanwhile both Calron and Fatty felt their anger soar, but they forcefully suppressed it down. They could only watch helplessly as the rest of the crowd.
They felt shame of not doing anything for the man and pity for his dead brothers’ families, but to whom else could they complain? These guards were supposed to be the law!
A trail of warm blood splattered across Calron’s and Fatty’s face.