"This place..." What Nik expected of an orthodox auction already turned out to be a strange but welcoming one. Instead of any employee greeting him, Nik found himself standing in a light grey room. Neatly adorned, suggesting a great taste of the host in charge of setting up the location of the Host. In front of him, a metallic, raised podium with the top of the podium showing various options. Not holographic, as Nik had been already used to, but the interface suggested interaction with the screen. Touch screen pad, in layman's term. Gazing at the welcoming screen, Nik touched the tab Next. The screen changed by the flowing blue background remained. What followed the welcome was an in-depth knowledge of the auction that clearly marked the moments where a host could interact with the auction to place items to sell.
'Hmm, that's quite... interesting. Items lower than purple grade are not allowed to be sold in public auctions. The first day is only allotted to the Public Auction, but what differentiates the qualifications to continue with the rest of the event is actually based on the seating I chose. The fact that I cannot accommodate others shows that everyone is probably on their own. Especially, the higher tier rooms that allow a host to join the barter auction and finally... the 'Invincible' arc of the auction...'
Looking at the seating arrangements, Nik smiled bitterly. He wouldn't have any use of the Spirit Origin after this event, probably, but as selfish he had been, losing wealth over something as meager as getting a better seat still pinched Nik's heart figuratively. But, the first part of the auction itself is to understand one's aim, and knowing that his goals can never be achieved by interacting with lower levels, Nik decided to choose the lowest qualified seat for the next events, too.
Price: 10,000 SO
Functions: Allows the Host to place a bid using the controls on the seat and provide concise information on the item to the host.
Number: 1925/20000 Left.]
Price: 100,000 SO
Functions: Aside from having a separate room, a view to public auction, and having the same function as a Public Seat, the Rank Room allows the host to enter the auction for the entirety of three days.
Number: 93/2000 Left.]
Price: 1,000,000 SO
Functions: With the benefits of all the previous rooms, the functions of the rooms and the eligibility to rent this room is starting from Rank 6.
Requirements not met.]
Brooding, Nik looked at his funds. A sum total of 296,153 SO. Snickering, Nik muttered to himself helplessly, "Their loss then... I would have easily spend a million SO..." Selecting the Rank Room, Nik finally saw a door appearing to the left wall of the door. Another set of words emerged on the screen directing that the door present within the room would bring him to the rented room. With nothing else worth noting within the room, Nik made his way to the door and placed his hand over the small box that replaced the knob. With a soft mechanical whirl, Nik's gaze was greeted by a small room. A covered window right in front of him, a large couch already making Nik comfortably was placed in the middle and the floor itself was covered with a soft, elegant brown mattress. As Nik stepped in, he realized that taking off his sandals might be a better option and so he did. Finally sighing in pleasure and comfort, Nik walked over to the sofa and jumped onto a sitting landing. His left leg already over his right thigh as he looked at the similar podium in front of him.
Various functions were already inlaid into the tab, but Nik could even input the function. Increasing the brightness of the room slightly and adding the function of making the interior of the room hidden from outsiders, Nik contacted his trusted allies... well, the infernal duo. He couldn't reach them, making him furrow his brows a little. 'Contacting them and coordinating our bids could have been far profitable... well, I guess, the host of the auction also knew the fact, barring any communication but being able to cut off the communication handled by the function of the Transmigration Paradise suggests that... the damn Paradise is involved itself. Damn, this is savage...' Nik commented internally. Taking off the covers, Nik could finally gaze at the mind-boggling size of the public auction. Instead of a large stage, there remained a raised, circular platform with all the seats surrounding it. Many of the seats already filled, but with the edges covered in darkness, Nik couldn't observe everything. Not to mention the form of misty energy that was actively blocking the benefits of heightened senses.
"Ray and Brian are nowhere to be found... at least, not by my vision. I can assume that they also selected the Rank Room..." muttering, Nik looked at the layer of Rank Rooms. Many already dark to the n.a.k.e.d eye but a few of the hosts presented themselves to the public. Well, from glaring beauties and quite intriguing creatures, Nik found nothing else worth his notice.
Relaxing on his couch, Nik pulled the list of items sold, "The first half of the public auction is actually the part where the items collected by the Infallible and the Absolute is sold... damn, these are some nice weapons... shields too... well, Lilith, Asmodeus, and the Type-series guns covers most of my requirements. Even the healing items barely hold any advantage over Life Energy Manipulation and Cure... could it be that... I am actually... rich?" While questioning himself, Nik heard Asmodeus snorting.
"Oh? You realize that I can protect you? Why didn't you bring me in the fight with Lucifer"
"Come on," Nik scoffed, a little amused, "Lilith is better than all of us. Even Sky... I have learned to accept it. Asmodeus... if you had Absolute Defence, then sure, I would have used you in a moment's notice. But no... in that battle, only Lilith is worth wielding. At the very least, until we all get strong enough to counter the 'Absolute' effect..."
"Hehe, hear that, S.l.u.t?" Asmodeus chimed, "I am better!"
"Oh, shut up," Asmodeus snorted, clearly unsatisfied, but Lilith's ability clearly gave her a better edge, so much so, that even Sky kept her silence. "And," Nik continued, "I think, the remaining three of you are worth keeping as the final trump card... nobody knows that I have a suit of armor, a bat that can probably tear a person apart by incorrectly warping them, and a bird"
"Phoenix!" Pure muttered in a correction.
"... right, a phoenix who breathes eternal glaciers. All we need is a little time to acc.u.mulate strength..."
"Gah... I hate waiting!" Asmodeus groaned, making Nik shrug, "Don't we all..."
As Nik and the spirits continued to banter, Nik gazed through the list of items and when he gazed at the two items he was slightly interested in, considering the recent rewards, Nik decided that it would be better if he started investing his skill points in his skills starting from the less-leveled and technical skills. Gazing at the long list of skills, out of which, Nik had already started to detest the [Battle Arts], creating an irony for Nik actually liked the skill before knowing the conspiracy hidden within it, the apostle finally decided to keep the investment in his skills simple. He would simply raise the ones that are closer to getting their another boost. The first one being [Pheromone Illusion: Lvl 29]. Spending 41 skill points out of a total of 1051, Nik felt his mind and consciousness buzz. The leveling of the skill and the boost gave him a minor headache as he closed his eyes and actively understood and absorbed every ounce of additional knowledge.
As Nik enjoyed the multiple methods to fine-tune his pheromones that made the elusive aspect more formidable but also provided actual benefits to his body, the auction had finally begun. The first item already causing minor havoc within the public seating as the silent bids grew astronomical, at least, to the eyes of the beginners or hosts unlucky enough to not encounter truly good items or simply unable to possess them due to giving them away to their leaders or team members.
For whatever reason it may be, the middle-aged man in a warrior's tunic while a giant broadsword slung on his back continued to present items upon items. Not a single one actually capable of causing problems for, despite the rules of the auction that the System made sure the hosts adhered to, the bulky warrior himself held a mighty reputation of his own.
Bulkmungas, a privileged Rank 6 host. Of course, the man introduced himself rather rowdily. Being a decorated member of the giant team the Infallible had become gave him the right to simply suppress all the hosts in the public auction by his title just due to a fact that the rank 9 host Infallible Diety is the backbone of the team.
Beside Brian in the Rank room, another figure, an actual demon with horns and tail stood silently. His expression somber. "Master..." the devil whispered, his blood-red body still shivering as Brian nodded with a helpless shrug, "Yeah, Khooni is definitely here..."
His gaze lingered over the layer of Rank Rooms, severely wishing that Ray and Nik also chose one of these rooms. Not out of fear, of course. But excitement. Ancestors! If Khooni is here, there remained a chance that the other two are also here... he really wanted to meet the root cause of all his problems... well, at least, a major portion of his troubles face-to-face. And if Brian knew Nik well enough, and the stories and tales he had heard of the apostle, the Temporal Fiend was sure that Nik would want the same thing.
The same thing happened with Ray as he looked around with a gloomy expression. If he could see Mirage, the first thing he would point out that she wasn't the most beautiful woman he had seen... Jojo is.
With everyone already immersed in their thoughts and ideas, the auction began with a feisty start. All the products already well-received by the crowd.