As Kieran was sucked into the oil painting, he felt like hed been thrown into a washing machine. He kept spinning non stop.
When he came back to his senses, he found himself in a bright. well-lit corridor.
Kieran shook his head hard, trying to shake the dizziness off before he started to inspect his surroundings.
The corridor was only 10 meters in length, so it could hardly be considered long.
At the end of the corridor were two doors, one of them open.
Through the open door, Kieran could clearly see tons of people moving around, bumping against each others shoulders. Even though he was looking at them from afar as if observing wildlife, Kieran could tell that the atmosphere was very merry inside.
Was that the secret bazaar?
Surprised, he quickly walked forward with big steps.
He had already forgotten about the oil painting door in the face of this new discovery. He had completely hated the washing-machine feeling of going through the entrance, though.
Kieran stepped through the door like stepping into another world.
The noisy crowd and bargaining voices were loud around him. The place was even merrier than he had expected, far exceeding his initial expectations.
The room was not huge, but there were rows of shops lining up like fish scales and stalls connected to each other.
There were almost a hundred people walking around the bazaar, each of them picking up things, bargaining, and trading with each other.
The most eye-catching spot was the two-meter high platform that held the rare equipment. Players were surrounding the platform, having a bidding war.
"What do you think?" Lawlesss voice sounded next to him.
"Far better than I expected if I overlook the entrance method," Kieran said.
The secret bazaar had exceeded his initial expectations by a mile. Both the arrangement of the stalls and the people doing business were beyond his imagination.
Initially, Kieran had imagined a secluded room with lots of guards, and no more than a couple of dozens of attendees.
"You can make suggestions to that fellow, but he wont listen! That guy has an even worse taste than you can imagine, and hes very stubborn about it, too! The first time I came here I vomited, and that fellow was just standing there laughing his ass off!"
Obviously, Lawless was very dissatisfied with Brokers arrangement. As soon as Kieran broached the topic, he started ranting about his first time there.
"That was because there had been something in your mouth," a voice said.
It belonged to a young man in long black robes standing before them. Although his face was covered with a layer of blur, his voice made him sound quite young.
As the young man appeared, Lawless looked at him vigilantly.
"Stop looking at me like that, I told you Im straight! Wheres Blacksmith? I thought you were together? I was very much anticipating meeting her again!" The words that came out of the young mans mouth sounded ridiculing, but the young man opened his hands wide and shrugged.
"Ive told you before, dont drag her into this!" Lawless said in a serious tone, emphasizing each of his words.
Kieran looked at Lawless with a startled expression. Even he could tell that Lawless was feeling anxious throughout the exchange.
It was the first time he had seen Lawless act like that since theyd met. Even facing the half-dead had not worried him at all. The young man before them seemed to be Lawless arch nemesis.
Was it Monien the Broker?
It was not hard to guess his identity. Paying some attention to Lawless expression was enough to give away who the young man was.
Kieran inspected the young man in front of him curiously, even though he could not see his face clearly.
As Kieran was inspecting Monien, the man replied with a gaze of his own.
"2567?" he asked in a friendly tone. Before Kieran could reply, he continued. "My old client Starbeck speaks very highly of your service. I think we can establish a long-term business relationship!"
Monien seemed sure of Kierans identity as he spoke. He extended his right hand for a handshake and Kieran shook it out of courtesy.
It felt cold, as if it did not have any warmth in it. It was like shaking a piece of ice, not the palm of a human being.
The feeling made Kieran frown unconsciously as a sense of danger rose up in his heart.
When the handshake was over, Kieran quietly kept a small distance from Monien.
"Please to meet you!"
His attitude did not catch Moniens attention as the young man greeted Kieran passionately. Suddenly, another man in a black robe walked up to him and passed him a piece of paper. Monien peaked at the paper, and gave Kieran an apologetic smile.
"I have to take my leave to attend to some other matter. Again, very pleased to meet you, 2567! Ive given orders to my men, so any deals you make today will be free of any service charges!"
When Monien finished, he bowed and quickly disappeared among the crowd.
Kierans brows were still furrowed when he saw Moniens figure disappear.
Moniens polite manner had reminded him of Starbeck. He was the only other person Kieran had come across who could maintain such a polite attitude all the time. Something was different about the two of them, though. Kieran had strangely disliked Monien, even though both Starbeck and Monien had very good manners.
It was not just the sense of danger that had risen up in his heart. It was something else that could not be explained by words, a vibe coming from Moniens presence.
"Hes a really hateful guy, isnt he? Be careful not to fall into one of his traps!" Lawless warned Kieran.
"Yeah, he is..." Kieran nodded, his words becoming softer than ever.
"Lets go! Dont let that guy ruin our plans!" Lawless cut him off, not caring about what Kieran had to say. All he needed to know was that he would be vigilant around Monien.
Lawless took Kieran on a tour around the bazaar, waving his hand around.
It was exactly what Kieran had anticipated. The items at the bazaar were much more valuable than the ones on the forum.
Although he could not spot any [Tekken-II] like the ones he had sold, there were many sniper rifles around, with or without attributes.
There was also Magical Rank Equipment, which was something that Kieran could not find on the forum.
With Lawless as his guide, Kieran went through most stores and shops at the bazaar.
Suddenly, he saw a piece of Magical Equipment near the auction platform.
[Name: Flaming Dagger]
[Attributes: Additional 1-1 Burn Damage when you attack]
[Special Effects: None]
[Prerequisites: Sharp Weapon (Dagger) (Basic)]
[Remarks: This is the successful product of a disciple.]
The [Flaming Dagger] had been placed on a piece of goatskin, its attributes set to visible. It was priced at 4,500 Points and 3 Skill Points.
Quite a number of people had stopped by and taken a look at the dagger, but none of them had bought it.
Obviously, it was not worth its price.
Although Kieran was not sure of the exact value of the dagger, based on the other players reactions, its price must have been hiked up quite a lot.
"Lets go, theres nothing to see here. People are not idiots. If they have any quality goods to sell, they put them up for auction! Those who linger around the stalls for leftovers are fools!" Lawless said before pointing towards the two-meter high platform.
Kieran nodded in silence, not objecting to Lawless statement.
From his short tour around the bazaar, he had gotten a general idea of the business around there.
The stores and stalls had items that could not be found on the forum, but they lacked any quality goods worth the trouble.
Like Lawless had said, people were not idiots. If they really had any quality goods, theyd put them up for auction instead of displaying them in stores or stalls.
Kieran knew the benefits of auctioning very well, and so did the other players.
The queue beneath the auction platform proved that its benefits were worth it.
Many players were standing in line, getting numbers for the auction, but most of them were rejected by the registrar.
Only some of them were allowed to put their items up for auction, and no doubt they were really happy about it. Those who did not get the chance, on the other hand, looked gloomy.
However, they were still very well-behaved, none of them acting like idiots.
That was definitely not because of their character. It was actually because of the guards present around the auction platform. There were 10 robots surrounding it. Although they were a little smaller than Jensen, they all had the same weapons, the six-barrel machine gun and two shoulder cannons demonstrating their immense firepower.
There were also patrol guards around the stores and stalls making sure that everyone followed the rules of the bazaar.
Lawless and Kieran stood at the end of line, moving forward with the crowd.
"Registrar Zorl is one of Moniens best men! He has quite an eye for rating equipment, and of course he is also a master at appraising it. If the system gives you an item with a question mark on it, you can ask him to appraise it. It will cost you a sum of points, though!"
Lawless stood beside Kieran for the whole process, talking softly as the queue moved forward.
Most of the time, it was Lawless talking and Kieran listening. Fortunately, it was not a slow queue, and what Lawless spilled out was information that Kieran actually wanted to hear. Otherwise, Kieran would have had no way of escaping.
After 20 minutes, Kieran had finally reached the registrar.
Like everyone before him, Kieran did not talk much. He just placed the items that he wanted to auction off on the table. It was two [WK-22] light machine guns and four pieces of cracked [Soul Shard]s.
The two [WK-22]s did not even make the registrar raise his head. All he said was, "[WK-22], stronger attack, better rarity. Starting price 3,000 Points and 2 Skill Points. Accepted!"
However, when the registrar saw the four pieces of cracked [Soul Shard]s, he quickly stood up.
I wonder how powerful is Monien?