Chapter 53 – Frate’s Festival (6)
“You were quite bold in your actions, customer!”
It was Anywhere company’s veteran merchant Mycenae. It had been awhile, since they had met outside of a Dungeon. Mycenae slapped a file against her knee as she yelled out in agitation.
“I had no choice.”
“You had no choice? Bullshit!”
She was wearing an artifact that hindered recognition, so she looked a bit indinstict. However, Artpe and Mycenae knew each other very well, so they acted very familiar with each other.
The auction house also kept the identities of the participants a secret, so each of them were wearing a mask that also hindered recognition.
However, all they did was affect the outer appearances, so if one wanted to know the other’s identity, it could be discerned.
The auction, by its nature, couldn’t publicly reveal the identities of its participants. So everyone kept their eyes down as they participated with this unspoken understanding.
Artpe grinned as he asked her a question.
“So did you withdraw your items?”
“There is no way I could have pulled all of it out!…. Fortunately, I was able to take off the ones that were going to be entered under my name beforehand.”
She called him a swindler and other bad names, but in the end, she obediently followed Artpe’s words. It was pretty cute.
When Artpe had a broad smile on his face, Mycenae pounded her chest as if she was about to suffocate from the frustration she felt. Soon, her eyes turned sharp as she made calculations.
“Didn’t you say you needed my items? Will you be purchasing my helm and halberd?”
“Nope? I don’t need it anymore.”
“I knew it’ll be like this! How did I end up in an exclusive contract with such a customer!”
Mycenae felt so indignant that she threw a tantrum in her seat. Her ears fluttered fiercely. He ignored Mycenae as he raised his head. The sun was setting, and the moon was starting to peek out. He caught the sight of a cloud that changed its outer appearance as the ownership of the sky exchanged hands. It was a really splendid sight.
However, when he brought his gaze down, he caught sight of the stage of the auction house. He saw the numerous people surrounding the stage.
They were hiding their outer appearance with artifacts, and their faces were covered with masks However, they couldn’t hide their greed and madness.
He could see them so clearly that it was as if Artpe could grasp them with his hands. The curses looked like something that would detonate by itself. The fuse wouldn’t have to be lit. In his past life, Artpe had always been surrounded by such twisted beings.
They were disgusting and pitiful.
“You…. Ah, you’ve probably seen this sight quite often.”
“You are being shameless by changing the topic like this…. Yes, I’ve seen it so much that I’m sick of it. Still, I’m one of them. I’m just able to hide my greed a little bit better than them.”
“I like your honesty. Truthfully, I’m the same.”
They were currently sitting in the upper seats where only the VIPs amongst the participants could enter.
Artpe was invited here, because he had been instrumental in restoring the auction house. Before he knew it, Mycenae came and sat besides him. He had thought she had been exaggerating with her words about being a veteran merchant, but it seemed she held a pretty high position.
For a long time, Artpe checked the seats around him. Mycenae tilted her head in puzzlement as she asked him a question.
“Where are the other two…..?”
“I don’t know where they went.”
It was a lie. He knew where they were. He had worried they would go outside to fight a life or death battle. Fortunately, they had hidden themselves as they returned to the inn. They were probably resting right now.
Yes, their mission had ended. It was now Artpe’s stage.
······well, if he needed something from them, he just had to call them back.
“Hoo-hooht. That means I’ll have you to myself tonight.”
“Yes, it really is a great place for a date.”
Mycenae put on her business smile, and Artpe responded with a rotten smile. Mycenae laughed as if she knew meaning behind his words. Artpe looked behind her, and he caught sight of a woman sitting not too far away.
She wore a very fancy red butterfly mask. It could not hide her bewitching beauty······.
It was the sight of Etna Carlyfate Mirecard, who was fully charged with anger.
She had taken a big risk in giving him a warning. Instead of leaving the city, he was being shameless by coming to the most dangerous location within the city. Moreover, he was laughing it up besides a woman, so of course, she was angry!
“Uh, this might be dangerous. Someone might die.”
“Did you suddenly catch a fatal disease, customer?”
“I’m not talking about myself. I’m talking about ajumma.”
Artpe quickly looked away from Etna, but he knew her gaze hadn’t faltered. He could feel her gaze on him. Soon, Mycenae picked up on the eyes upon them.
“You really are talented in picking up women…. You really outdid yourself by getting such an amazing beauty.”
“If someone else hears you, they’ll be under the wrong impression.”
Of course, the most messed up part was that her words weren’t a mischaracterization of this situation.
No, he knew she loved Artpe in her past life, but even if he looked mature for his age, he was only a 14 year old brat! He was well aware that she had lived over several hundred years at the very least, yet she had her heart stolen by a 14 year old brat! Was that woman really of sound mind!
“What are the guards doing? They should be arresting such a woman.”
“Even at a glance, she looks really strong. Is she perhaps stronger than you?”
“Yes, a thousand of me could attack her at once, and we won’t be able to win against her.”
“If she is that strong, guards…no even a nation would be unable to detain her. …..huh?”
At his words, Mycenae’s eyes turned round.
“Does that mean that woman is a D…..”
“It is great that you are quick on the uptake, but you shouldn’t say it out loud.”
“My god. Does this mean this auction has Dem-ah-ooop-oop!”
As expected of a veteran merchant, Mycenae had quickly assessed the situation, and she expressed her shock. Artpe quickly put a hand over her mouth. If someone heard her, the timeline of the chaos that would erupt here would be accelerated.!
“Are you going to be quiet?”
Mycenae desperately nodded her head, so he took his hand away from her mouth. She immediately grabbed his arm, and he yelled out in a small voice.
“We have to run away immediately, customer!”
“Why the hell would I run away? The Quest is already in progress. I can’t run away.”
“This Quest has no reward. Let’s abandon it! You should run away quickly with me!”
“What do you mean by there is no reward?”
Artpe tilted his head in puzzlement over that portion of her words. Mycenea’s expression turned blank when he answered her. Even at this moment, countless artifacts filled deceit and evil was gathering here. Then there were the energy from humans and the Demons he was aiming for. It would all be his. He had a satisfied smile on his face.
“They are all mine.”
If it was all for Artpe, what would happen to the people gathered here to participate in the auction?
She was sure Artpe didn’t have that much money. Moreover, he couldn’t just steal the items through brute force. She had no idea what he was thinking, but Mycenae suddenly remembered the brutal act of destruction he engineered not too long ago.
“Customer······ I still haven’t heard the reason why you destroyed the auction house.”
“The one that destroyed the place was Maetel and Sienna. I know nothing.”
Artpe easily ignored Mycenae’s eyes, which was filled with suspicion, as he whistled to himself. He was being so impudent that she wanted to bit him hard. It was time for Artpe to persuade her to his side.
“I’m confident my obsession with money is on par with any merchant here, but I value my life over all else. Even if you possess a Unique skill and great talent in magic, you won’t be able to contend with the Demon race. That is why you should give up on the idea of acquiring those items and run away…..”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll protect you.”
“Even if you drop such a cool line, it doesn’t mean that scary woman is going anywhere!”
While Mycenae and Artpe spoke in an intimate manner, the participants of auction continued to stream in. There were the nobles of the Diaz kingdom, and the movers and shakers of the market. Then there were the nobles and merchants from other countries, who had diplomatic ties to Diaz.
If everyone in this auction house was killed, it would cause mass confusion. The confusion that was sowed when the Diaz kingdom exchanged hands one year ago wouldn’t be able to hold a candle to what would erupt. If the worst case scenario occurred, Frate’s Festival would never be held again in the future.
“This way, master.”
“I’ll be the one serving you today, your excellency.”
“I’m looking forward to this.”
Of course, these people were well aware of their own importance. This was why they traveled with guards that were around mid-100s in terms of level.
The problem was the fact that every single one of them had the seed of a curse hiding within their body. When the curses were triggered, they would basically become excellent steeds that could be used by the Demon King’s army. No one here would be able to escape.
So what would happen if Artpe stepped forward and said, ‘This festival should be canceled’?
Would the people retreat?
He would tell them the Demon King’s army is aiming for the human world, and they should disperse.
Would they retreat while saying, ‘Ah. Is that so! It took us two months to get here, but since it is the Demon king’s army, we’ll go wash our feet and sleep in our home!’?
Would they really go back to their home?
Artpe would be fortunate if the people don’t accuse him of being a minion of the Demon King’s army. Then there was a chance that these curses were planted over a long period of time, and if he caused a ruckus, it might act as a catalyst in stimulating the curse. It might set off the curses for sure.
This was why he chose to overturn the board. He would act as if he was dancing to their tune, and at the last most crucial moment, he would completely reverse the cause and effect.!
“Are the two other customers going to bust up this place again…..?”
“I don’t use such lowbrow methods. Actually, that is the worst way to go about doing things.”
Artpe answered Mycenae’s words with a snort.
Mycenae wondered what Artpe was aiming for. She kept thinking about it, but she had no idea what it could be. She groaned as she moved her head into gear.
“It has something to do with the reconstruction of the auction house.”
“I’ll give you 60 points for that answer.”
“That’s a failing grade······ You are strict.”
On the other hand, Etna’s gaze continued to be planted squarely on Artpe. Mycenae and Artpe (from the outside) looked as if they were sharing an intimate conversation. The sight made her anger boil.
At first, she had been worried and nervous about Artpe, who had come here by ignoring her words. However, such docile emotions continued to erode away as she watched him play with another woman. Her anger grew!
She was being like this even though Artpe wasn’t her man!
At first, Artpe thought she was inserted into the field to put down anyone that tried to interfere with the plan. However, her attention was marked solely on Artpe, so this didn’t seem likely.
Or maybe she was staring at Artpe, because she decided he was the most dangerous person here…..······ Anyways, it seemed she wouldn’t get anything done today.
‘It is unfortunate that she is staring at me, but she won’t be able to stop my plan. I am the puppet master today.’
Even as Artpe smirked, he felt his inner heart become a little bit heavier.
If Artpe hadn’t been here, the plan of the Demon King’s army would have proceeded without a hitch. Since she was at the heart of the site where the plan would be carried out, she would witness all the atrocities…..
She had an unusually weak heart, so she would become wounded by this event. It happened quite often in his past life.
She never had the time to recover. She continuously became wounded, and as her level climbed, her soul rotted away to a point that there was no way to recover it.
‘She really is the type of woman that would do well living in the countryside while feeding cows.’
In fact, the problem was with god, who gave them such twisted destinies. It would be great if Maetel and Sienna grew up fast, so they could kill god!
“However, today will be different.”
“Yes, customer? What did you just say?”
“Thank you for waiting so long!”
Mycenae seemed to have picked up the meaning behind the words Artpe had mumbled to himself. She was about to question him when the auctioneer appeared on stage with exquisite timing. The greed of all the humans gathered in the auction house was focused on the auctioneer.
All the artifacts had been gathered inside the auction house. The Demons didn’t enter the auction house. They were spread all of the city and port. They smiled as if they were waiting for something. As if it was blessing the hell’s banquet that was about to start, the moon let out a bleak light.
It was a very faint heartbeat that could be heard by Artpe. Artpe was sure he caught the sound, so he let out a laugh. The auctioneer, who hadn’t heard the sound unlike him, let out a sonorous shout.
“The auction will start now!”
The curtain rose on the stage.