The bush next to the highway moved. At first, the bush that looked taller than a human moved as it was being swayed by a breeze, but its movements grew bigger and bigger.
A person came out of the bush. Grass stems in his hair made him appear very stupid. However, the person didn’t look concerned about his appearance at all and made a happy face as soon as he saw the highway. It seemed as if he had suffered a lot in the forest.
A bunch of people began to come out in rows behind him; there were four people in total. It was Zich and his companions. Besides Zich, everyone was extremely happy to see a trace of civilization. No matter how much training they went through, they could never get used to Zich’s hellish training through the mountains. Yet once they arrived at their destination, they were sure that they could soon enjoy the benefits of living in a civilized place.
Following his companions, Zich also slowly walked to the highway.
‘It seems like we have arrived properly.’
From far away, tall walls came into view. If his sense of direction was accurate, the city he was looking at was probably their destination.
Hans seemed to have spotted a distant city. He couldn’t hide his hope as he asked, “Is that place our destination, sir?”
“I think so.” Zich’s answer wasn’t certain, but it was enough to assure Hans.
‘Even if that is not our destination, we would be able to rest for a bit if it’s a city of that magnitude.’
Hans and Snoc’s footsteps became considerably lighter.
Lyla stood next to Zich and asked, “What kind of city is that?”
“Tungel. It’s a merchant city.”
Hearing this, Hans thought of the city, Porti; it was the place where they first met Lubella and the whole city almost became an offering to Bellu. However, Tungel was a bit different from Porti. It had a unique characteristic that was different from other business cities.
As if she recalled a bit of information about Tungel from her memories, Lyla muttered out loud, “Ah, the auction house.”
Tungel had the biggest auction house in the world. It was a city where all kinds of expensive, rare, and precious goods and money were gathered together. Even in the empire, the phrase, ‘If an item has world-class value, go to Tungel,’ was a famous line.
‘I’m pretty sure they traded some treasures from the elf clan here.’ An elf named Leona Pearl in Droud made a huge fuss to retrieve them.
‘I’m not sure if that event happened during this period.’
Even Zich’s memory wasn’t perfect. Moreover, this matter was related to the Hero Party, so Zich didn’t have detailed information about this event. He had simply picked up a bit of information here and there because of how famous the members in Glen Zenard’s party were. In the end, it didn’t matter to Zich if he really met Leona or not.
‘It’s actually funny how I’m looking for her.’ Zich thought it was ridiculous that he came all this way to look out for her just because he saw her in his dream.
‘Whatever. I don’t have anything to do for a while anyways.’
A Demon Person whom Zich remembered wouldn’t appear for a while, and at the same time, it didn’t seem bad to observe the auction house.
‘Even if I don’t find her, it’s fine.’ Zich took his companions and headed towards Tungel. Windur hung from his back, shook a bit, and thumped his back. It almost seemed like it was patting his back.
* * *
Zich and his companions went to their lodgings. Although Lyla had spent an enormous amount of their wealth at Westillbird by making artifacts, the reward they got from revealing Windpool’s schemes made the loss seem minuscule and increased their wealth by multiple folds. Thanks to that, they could stay at a considerably expensive lodging.
“Play for the time being.” Zich gave the command that Hans and Snoc had desperately been waiting for. After receiving a hefty allowance from Zich, they scattered to tour the attractions at Tungel.
“Aren’t you going?” Zich asked as Lyla didn’t move after receiving plenty of money like Hans and Snoc.
“What are you going to do?”
“I’m going to the auction house.”
Although he didn’t have high expectations that he would meet Leona Pearl in Droud there, it would be strange for him to not go there after coming all the way to Tungel.
“Is it because of a memory from the future?”
“Yeah, it is.”
“What is it?”
“Do you know Leona Pearl in Droud, one of Zenard’s party members?”
“Ah, that elf.” Lyla also knew her. “Huh? Wasn’t… she also Zich Brave’s companion?” Lyla pulled her hair and tilted her head. She seemed to be dragging out a scene from the insides of a faint memory box, but Zich couldn’t easily let the words she spat out slide.
“What did you just say?”
“Huh? W-Why?” Lyla was a bit taken aback as Zich had asked her with a hardened face. In the next moment, she stared at Zich in exasperation.
“Did your mood seriously sour because you heard that an elf who was part of the Hero Party’s members could also be your companion? How much do you hate the Hero’s existence?”
Zich became serious for a different reason, but the reason that Lyla mentioned also made him feel unpleasant. However, that was a different issue, and he had to make sure of something else.
“Did you say that Leona Pearl in Droud used to be Zich Brave’s companion?”
Even though Zich thought it could be one of his many possible futures, he strictly considered Zich Brave to be a separate entity from him. Lyla felt more exasperated that he felt this way, but she acknowledged it. “That’s probably the case.”
“What do you mean ‘probably’?”
“Well, you know. My memory is not perfect, and I only suddenly recalled this memory.” Zich thought back on his dream. Previously, he thought it was a shitty dream that his subconscious made after hearing about what Lyla said about Zich Brave. However, a detail in Zich’s dream perfectly matched one of the possible futures that Lyla remembered.
‘Thinking back on it, the dream also felt very real.’
“Do you know about Zich Brave’s other companions?”
He wondered if she knew the Saint, ill-tempered old man, or the shy large man, but Lyla shook her head. “No, I don’t know.”
He couldn’t be certain that his dream was a possible future, but Zich stowed away this suspicion into a corner of his heart.
‘My dream might not be just a nonsensical dream.’
Unlike Lyla who had information about the future, Zich was a regressor. There was no way he would have dreamt about a possible future like Lyla, but if his dream really was one of his possible futures…
Zich’s eyes darkened.
* * *
Zich headed for the Tungel’s auction house. Lyla followed him; she was also interested in Tungel’s famous auction house. As expected of a city known for its auction houses, there were many small and medium-sized auction houses. However, when people talked about an auction house in Tungel, they were all talking about one specific auction house—the Tyroul Auction House. It was run directly by the city, and it was the largest auction house in the world.
“…It’s enormous.” Lyla let out her admiration at the grand building.
Rather than an auction house, it looked like a luxurious theater or even a stadium. Lyla had to really bend her neck to barely see the top of the building.
“The auction is not happening in just one area. Moreover, there’s a lot of different services available to customers.”
Of course, all of the services cost money, and they were all expensive.
“The most important place here is the auction room in the center of this building.”
The auction room at the center made up more than 40% of the building it was in. It didn’t open easily, and when it did, extremely precious and valuable items lined the auctioning list. It was to the point that people said that if there was a place that sold dragons, it would definitely be the auction room in the center of Tyroul. Lyla’s eyes sparkled at Zich’s explanation.
“When is it going to open?”
“Well, we have to first check that. Even if we find out the date, we need to have the requirement to participate.”
“Do we need some kind of special status?”
“No. In Tyroul, to enter the center auction house, we don’t need anything else but one thing.” Zich bent his index finger and thumb to make a circle.
“What else do you need in an auction house?”
It was an extremely simple but strictly held rule in the auction house.
“Will we be able to at least watch the auction?”
“Well, with the money we have, we can pay for the admission fees. But only the two of us. If Hans and Snoc want to join, the price is going to climb even higher.”
“I told you. If you want to even go in, you need money. In the first place, there’s an admission fee to enter the auction house, and that amount is more than you can imagine. It’s the kind of money that commoners can only see in their dreams.”
“And business can still go on?”
“As you can clearly see.” Zich stretched out his arms in an exaggerated motion and pointed towards the auction house where people wearing expensive clothes were coming in and out.
“Most of the rarest items in the world come to this auction house to sell for a high price because of its reputation. So rich people from all over the world come here to buy rare items, thereby increasing the Tyroul auction house’s reputation and bringing in more rare items.”
This cycle continued to make the Tyroul auction house the most famous auction house in the world. Lyla stared at the auction house again, and the admiration in her eyes from before faded.
“Should we try going in?”
“Didn’t you just say that the admission fee was expensive?”
“That’s only for people who want to participate in the auctions. I’m pretty sure the lobby is open to the public.”
Curiosity filled Lyla’s eyes again. “How do you know so much about the auction house?”
Zich merely laughed at Lyla’s question. Even without clear memories about the future, Lyla could immediately deduce what his smile indicated.
“Zich Moore must have wreaked havoc here, right?”
“They looked down on me because I didn’t have money.”
For that reason, Zich gave the auction house a vast amount of money—from the money he robbed from the auction house. Lyla sent him a glance that she didn’t even have to hear what happened to know he did something outrageous. Then Zich asked Lyla again, “Are we going in or not?”
“I want to go in.”
Zich’s actions as Zich Moore and her curiosity were completely separate matters. Zich and Lyla moved towards the entrance. As Zich said, no one stopped them from entering the building. The lobby was spacious and luxurious—the white floor was so well kept that it almost looked as if people would be pierced by the light coming off them. The ceiling was in a dome shape and was painted with beautiful and colorful patterns. In a corner of the lobby, employees at the information desk were consulting people. However, what stood out the most in the lobby was a large, wooden plaque surrounded by a hoard of people.
“What is that?”
The wooden plaque covered an entire wall and several large pieces of paper were stuck on it.
“It’s the list of items that are going to be auctioned this time. After checking the items over there, people decide whether they want to participate or not. Want to check it out?”
“Yeah, I want to see it.” Lyla immediately nodded. Zich and Lyla crossed the lobby to move closer to the wooden plaque with the auctioning list.
It was at that moment.
“That’s a stolen item!”
Everyone’s attention turned towards the loud voice. Zich and Lyla also looked in that direction, and Zich’s gaze turned strange. It was definitely a voice he had heard before.
Zich came to Tyroul to see her, but he didn’t expect to actually meet her. However, Zich was extremely lucky and had arrived at the perfect time. He saw an elf shouting at an employee at the information desk.
The Sun Hero Glen Zenard’s comrade and the ‘Wind’s Arrow’—Leona Pearl in Droud—was standing in front of him.Previous Chapter Next Chapter