“Three thousand and one hundred gold moores!”
“Three thousand and two hundred gold moores!”
“Three thousand and four hundred gold moores!”
In the end, Locke won the froststeel armour with four thousand gold moores. The armour offered decent protection and was enchanted with magic, so why was it sold off at a cheap price? The truth was it had something to do with the materials.
True to its name, the temperature froststeel maintained was extremely low. Its ore could only be found beneath ice sheets or frozen soil. It was said that the only ones that could utilize it well were the savages of the north. Normally, only knights using fire and ice impetus would pick this armour. For the former, their fire impetus would be counteracted by the armour’s frost, so it made for a good training tool. Ice impetus users, on the other hand, could use the frost to their advantage. However, there were few noble attendees that used those impetus types.
Aside from the nobles' purchasing power, Locke felt that the wind magic engravings also factored into the final price. Magically enhanced suits of armour were categorized as magic armour. Sadly, Featherweight wasn’t all that useful, being a beginner wind spell at best and providing limited effects to its user. If the armour was enchanted with Warmth instead, its value would be doubled as it would help offset the froststeel armour’s inherent lower temperature.
However, it was obvious that the armourer wasn’t sufficiently skilled. Warmth was a fire spell, and with ice and fire being polar opposites, attempting to fuse the two could trigger explosions from the slightest mistake. An explosion of clashing spells could cause significant damage, which was why Angelina had insisted on getting a sturdy alchemy bench. Without reasonable toughness, it wouldn’t be strong enough to withstand explosions caused by experimental failures.
Locke wanted the armour for his own training; he’d be forced to resist the lower temperature constantly as he used impetus. Not to mention, the armour’s defensive capabilities were also rather impressive, being comparable to normal light and heavy armour. Though the Featherweight enchantment wasn’t too helpful, it was still a slight bonus.
Billie could understand Locke’s rationale. Usually, she would advise Locke against the purchase. But now that he possessed blood essence, the armour’s characteristic cool temperature wasn’t an issue anymore. One gram of blood essence was enough to last Locke through a day against the cold. Plus, the froststeel armour’s temperature also helped accelerate Locke’s absorption of blood essence. As for the remaining auction items, Locke passed on them as he didn’t have money for more.
“This is a spatial ring named Spatial Heart. It has an internal volume of thirty cubic metres.” It was about as good as Angelina’s black pearl. The spatial rings owned by Locke, Glace and the others were only one-seventh of the Spatial Heart’s capacity. In the end, the ring was sold at thirty thousand gold moores to a noblewoman dressed in a black lace dress with a matching hat that hid her features from Locke.
The next item was the Orb of Annihilation, a one-use spell wand containing a single charge of high-level dark magic, was sold to a middle-aged nobleman with a beer belly for ten thousand gold moores. Thinking back to the fireball wand created by Angelina’s master, Locke found the closing price ridiculous. Locke had spent less on a wand that could destroy an entire gang of thieves.
“Next, we have the White Album, painted by the great Da Benzi hundreds of years ago.” The closing price for this was twenty-eight thousand gold moores, which was almost equivalent to the cost of the spatial ring.
The finale of the auction turned out to be a high-level major monster, or rather, the egg of a flaming turtle. The egg of a high-rank major monster was nothing special in and of itself, but the host specified that the egg carried two embryos, something which multiple high-ranked casters verified. Almost immediately, the atmosphere boiled over. Typical eggs only had one yolk but this had two!
When forming a contract with familiars, weaker casters would usually opt for juvenile monsters. In the case of hatched monsters, it was best to form a contract while they were still in their eggs. Contracts formed during their incubation period would ensure the highest compatibility and loyalty to the caster. Angelina’s scorpiondrake was a prime example.
In the case of this egg, if a caster could form a successful contract, they would get two familiars at once. Possessing two high-ranked flaming turtle familiars was something that could ensure the might of families for generations. That was something even money couldn't buy--a sentiment echoed by all the nobles there.
“Ten thousand gold moores!”
“Fifteen thousand gold moores!”
Before long, it reached a record price that surpassed Spatial Heart’s closing bid. But this was just the beginning.
The nobles were frenzied.
“Sixty-eight thousand! Anyone else? We’re at sixty-eight thousand now!”
The ridiculous growth of the bid had subdued their enthusiasm.
The host exclaimed, “Sold!” With that, the auction reached its climax.
Despite everything, Locke wasn’t the least bit infected by the crowd’s excitement. He nudged Billie, who had been similarly calm. “Why didn’t you place a bid?” Locke whispered, though there was no need for such caution. The surrounding chatter easily drowned their voices out.
“Why would I need it?” Billie smiled. This wasn’t quite the reaction to expect from a caster.
“Isn’t the major monster egg rather precious?” Locke continued to question.
“Yeah, indeed.” Billie nodded, dainty fingers supporting her chin.
“Then why didn’t you buy it?” Locke had a feeling that Billie’s family wouldn’t be too pleased to learn that she spent seventy-two thousand gold moores on an egg. The sheer price was enough to bankrupt a baron’s family.
Billie’s eyes turned into smiling crescents. “They’re too fixated on its surface value but failed to consider what it carries.”
Locke was puzzled. “Isn’t it a high-rank major monster egg?”
“Haha!” Billie burst out in laughter, pearly whites in full view. A hint of teasing could be heard in her laughter, but Locke wasn’t annoyed by it. He waited for her explanation patiently.
Billie moved closer and whispered into his ear, “Flaming turtles only reach adulthood after three hundred years!”
Locke blushed as the warm puffs of air caressed his ear. He couldn’t believe he was getting teased by a girl.