Chapter 52 - The Head Of Ataraxia (1)

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The Demonic Human Association’s threat was that they could use their power to make life tough for him.

No, it wasn’t just a threat. It was definitely within their abilities to do it.

Jin-hyuk bit his lip.

‘Are you trying to pressure me into it?’

Things weren’t looking good now.

Even with 30 million dollars in his bags, it was difficult to feel secure.

But.

“These people don’t look like much. Why are they trying to act all mean to you?”

Elise tilted her head and spoke without much thought, making Cadrick’s face distort.

Because Jin-hyuk was there, he was holding on to his temper. It was the first time he’s seen this girl.

“What do you mean by not looking like much?”

“I am saying it literally. Why is a human who thinks he has everything in the world with just a handful of gold dust talking carelessly to my contractor?”

…so strong.

Then again, there was no such thing as winning against Elise using words.

Of course, not even this old man seemed able to do that.

“Haha. This is absurd. I don’t know where you got this kid from, but she sure knows how to talk down to people.”

And he added in a word he shouldn’t have. The impact was enormous and immediate.

“Ki…d?”

Elise clearly thought for a moment to make sure she heard correctly. Very slowly, sparks appeared in her eyes.

“Kid?!”

Until a moment ago, she had thought of them as nothing but annoying bugs, but now she realized they were vermin that had to be trampled.

“Adults are talking here, so do not intervene. There is a limit to how much leeway I give to kids.”

“Kid…”

Just as Elise was getting ready to use her hands.

“Ladies and gentlemen! Thank you for being patient. Now, let’s start the 175th Black Market auction! “

The announcer’s voice was amplified throughout the venue.

“Ohh!”

“Finally, it is starting!”

The guests, who had waited in anticipation, applauded the announcement. Thanks to it, the fight between Elise and Cadrick was halted.

“Player Kang Jin-hyuk. Well, let us meet later. Of course, you will have to beg me to hand over the item.”

After a short bow, Cadrick returned to his seat as the auction began.

“Before introducing the items, in addition to the auction list distributed with the invitation, there are five additional items prepared, so please manage your money appropriately.”

Five undisclosed items!

The bow-tie-wearing host was making the audience excited.

“Then the first item was a meteorite which fell in Arizona, USA. Not only has it been well preserved, but it can also be forged into a weapon or armor due to the magic from the Tower of Trials. Starting price is one million!”

From the very first item, things that had magic were already appearing.

Weapons and armor, weren’t those the most popular keywords these days?

“1.5 million!”

“2 million!”

“2.5 million!”

“This is mine! 5 million!”

The value of the bids kept soaring, naturally making the atmosphere between the bidders more heated.

‘Stupid people.’

Jin-hyuk, who watched the scene unfold, just clicked his tongue. A meteorite infused with magic was useless without the right smelting technology. Buying it for 5 million? Maybe if you had a hobby of collecting trash.

If not, you’re just wasting money.

‘At the very least, there are no blacksmiths capable of handling meteorites right now.’

However, Jin-hyuk lightly placed a bid.

“6 million.”

A price that broke the previous highest bid.

Elise immediately asked.

“You want to buy it?”

At first glance, she, too, seemed to realize that the item was useless.

“Keep watching. I am not buying it.”

Jin-hyuk smiled. If he acted like he would spend money on this, then…

“6.5 million.”

Cadrick raised the amount.

As expected.

‘He doesn’t know what I am trying to buy, so all he can do is put up a higher bet on what I bid on.’

No matter how much money he had, there was a limit. If he exhausted their reserves with amounts like this, he would have an advantage when the item he wanted finally appeared.

“7 million!”

“7.5 million!”

As Jin-hyuk raised the price again, so did Cedrick, who was going after him. He wasn’t willing to give up.

“Won by the bidder with 7.5 million!”

Cadrick frowned at this. He had probably realized what Jin-hyuk’s intentions were, but it was already too late.

He had already bought the item for 7.5 million dollars. Besides, unless he knew what the opponent was aiming for, there was no way but to go for everything Jin-hyuk was bidding on.

‘I hope you have a thick wallet.’

Jin-hyuk smiled at Cardrick.

“The next thing is also an amazing item. This is a log from Columbus’ first voyage to America!!”

The rarest and most valuable historical relics were coming out of the black market. A mysterious Bessel with unknown age, a rafflesia flower with magic, a torture device used in the middle ages, and so on and so forth.

Jin-hyuk would throw a bait each time an item appeared that had magic or looked remotely unique. They were clear baits too.

He continued to bid the highest on each item as if he was about to give up. This was an evil man’s action in a gentleman’s auction.

As a result, Cadrick had been forced to spend over 70 million dollars on the wackiest of items.


Grunt!

Cardick was grinding his teeth.

“This… he is like a loach!”

His face was red from both anger and shame at having to constantly fall into such obvious traps. All of this was because of money.

Seventy million dollars wasn’t a tiny amount of money and were already well beyond the budget allowed by the association.

But…

His anger rose because of the opponent’s absurd strategy.

“Teacher. Why don’t we give up once? Judging from the looks of it, he doesn’t seem to have a lot of money himself, but if we keep doing this, we’ll run out of our own money.”

If they won the bid, they had to pay.

“You idiot! But what if he ends up getting what he wants?”

“T-that…”

“You are like this because you didn’t do your work properly in the first place, so shut your mouth! We’ll lose money, but I will be the winner here.”

Right.

Doesn’t matter if it was seventy or a hundred million. In the end, the winner gets the last laugh.

And an auction was a game where the wealthiest person won. At that moment…

“The following is an item for maniacs. Introducing the ‘The First Chessboard!’”

The host introduced the next item, which was a clunky-looking chessboard.

“Hmm.”

“It doesn’t seem that good.”

“It doesn’t even include the chess pieces. I often take such things for a hobby, but it…”

“Who will? It’s not like it’s carved from some luxurious wood.”

“Well, the ‘Heart of Ichthyosaur’ will be out in a little while, so let’s save some money.”

“That’s right. Because that is the main point of the auction.”

The atmosphere changed.

The item on display right now was too dull compared to the treasures that had come out before. Oddly enough, the host didn’t say much either and had only described it as an item for maniacs.

Of course, it must be an appealing item for certain collectors, but most of the auction audience simply ignored it.

“Bidding starts at 50 dollars. If you’d like it, please place your bid.”

“100 dollars. I will put it in my bathroom.”

“Puahaha! I will call for 150 dollars. Just for the sake of my cat. I needed a wooden plank to sharpen Alexander’s claws.”

“200 dollars.”

“Absolutely, a mess. Nothing more than 200 dollars.”

Laughter came from the audience, save for one person.

Jin-hyuk clenched his fist to calm his beating heart.

Ba-dump!

‘Finally here!’

The essential item that he needed for the attack on the 3rd-floor boss. This was why he had participated in this auction.

Jin-hyuk was looking for this. Cadrick and Alex didn’t seem much interested in it either.

‘The reason he was doing this…’

There was only one way to know if his hard work so far would pay off.

“Five thousand.”

Jin-hyuk started his bid.

“What?”

“Five thousand?”

“Is he crazy?”

A flood of uncomprehending reactions came from his fellow auction attendees. What kind of idiot would spend five thousand dollars on such a thing?

But the laughter disappeared at the next bid.

“Ten thousand.”

Cadrick began to enter the bidding.

“Fifteen.”

“Fifty.”

Jin-hyuk immediately raised, and Cadrick followed without hesitation.

Cadrick’s face clearly looked like he was skeptical, but he wasn’t going to give up.

“One million.”

Jin-hyuk raised it again.

“Ten million.”

Cadrick raised it even higher this time. Even after the price had jumped up by this much, he was simply raising it to ensure that Jin-hyuk didn’t get it.

“Insane. What kind of idiot spends ten million on a chessboard?”

“Is there something we don’t know?”

“This is driving me crazy. I cannot keep up with this.”

The atmosphere turned again.

Suddenly, everyone began to focus on this bid.

“Fifteen million.”

Jin-hyuk spoke with a heavy voice. He had already reached half the amount of money he had.

And Cadrick continued.

“Thirty million”

At that value, Jin-hyuk could no longer match the bid. It was already reaching the amount of money he had.

“Uh. We have reached our limit.”

Cadrick began to fold his hands. The host, shocked for a second, held onto the mic.

“Thirty million! Any more bids?”

Because there was a 10% auction fee, three million dollars of this bid would go to the black market.

When he had first submitted the item, he considered that getting five thousand dollars for it would already be great, but this was a fantastic number!

There was no need to drag this on any longer.

There were no more bids.

“Then the 56th item, ‘The First Chessboard,’ sold for 30 million…”

But just as he was about to end it.

“One hundred million.”

A voice who hadn’t participated until now spoke up. The speaker was right next to Jin-hyuk.

“Elise?”

Jin-hyuk was shocked.

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