Welcome to [The Grand System Auction]'s waiting room. You have five minutes to prepare a mask and other various concealment items if you wish to hide your identity. All of these items will protect your true identity as system-bought or earned skills, items and traits will not see through them.
Once you are ready, please step through the door which you would prefer and which you have permission to enter.
Rose was just staring at her new laptop's centre-screen while Daz took a moment to scan their surroundings.
They were in a fairly small room. It had a flatscreen television mounted on the red-painted walls and a luxurious-looking leather sofa was opposite it. Apart from that, the room was devoid of furnishing.
There were three doors behind the two and six in front of them. The three at their backs each had a plaque above them. In order, they read; 'Masks', 'Concealment items', 'Bodies'. Sitting just above the middle door was an additional sign that said, 'All changes and items are only usable in [The grand System Auction]'.
The six doors just ahead of them were labelled; 'Champion Auction [Locked For 6 More Hours]', 'Champion Amusement Centre and Gambling Ring', 'Ruler Auction [Locked for 4 More Hours]', 'Ruler Amusement Centre and Gambling Ring', 'General Auction [Locked for 2 More Hours]', 'General Amusement Centre and Gambling Ring'.
Rose saved her game and looked up at her brother's thoughtful face. "Constipated?"
Daz chuckled and ruffled her hair lightly. "I'm just wondering which door to go through. My instincts are telling me that any of the amusement centres are fine and that it won't make any difference."
Rose blushed as her hair got messed up. "It won't. They're all the same. It's just an exclusivity thing. The auctions are the real difference. There will be a difference eventually as far as winning merit points go, but it won't be enough to make a fuss over."
"Thought so. Well, general it is then, I guess. I need more citizens, so it might be good to show off in there," Daz suggested.
Rose shrugged. "Not putting on a mask this time like when you were all leathery?"
"Nope," he replied. "I want people to recognise me. If I'm gonna rule Earth one day, I need people to trust me. A mask or hiding my identity won't help with that."
"Even if it ends up making enemies for you?" Rose asked.
Daz laughed as he began pushing her wheelchair in the direction of the General Amusement Centre and Gambling Ring's door. "I don't really have a choice, do I? it's not like everyone from Fort Skip is gonna hide who they are, so it'll get out eventually. Better to be proud about who I am than to hide it."
'Sounds exactly like what Dad would do...' Rose nodded. "So you can use your brain. I'm impressed."
Daz just sighed and leaned over before kissing Rose's head. "Any more sass, and it's your lips next. I'm sure Maddy will forgive me if it fixes your attitude."
Rose dipped her head down and restarted her game to distract herself from her reddening face.
Daz reached out and opened the door. Immediately, he was met with a system message.
|The host has been granted the skill [All Language Comprehension]. The skill's effects shall only apply in [The Grand System Auction].|
"Oh, that's handy," Rose muttered. "Hey, Daz."
"Hmm?" He responded absentmindedly as he gawked at the thousands of people he could see eagerly walking around.
They had entered what appeared to be some sort of massive corridor which was littered with doorways. They each seemed to lead to a different game or gambling area.
What was even more interesting was that each room seemed to have a different time flow. As an example, the room labelled 'Bouncy Castle of Doom Parkour' has an additional plaque saying that one hour in the real world equated to six hours inside of the game. It also noted that death wasn't perpetual and that the system would revive you with no strings attached should you die.
"Feel free to do whatever you want. I think I can make this skill permanent for myself and maybe others. I need to fiddle about with the database a bit and analyse it, so I'd appreciate it if you entered a room with a good time ratio," Rose requested as politely as she was physically able to.
Daz smiled. "Sure. Any suggestions?"
Rose tapped her keyboard a few times off-tab from her game and then said, "Seventy-two doors down. On the left. There's a fighting ring where you can bet merit points. It already has twenty people inside and more are entering as we speak. Go there, get me a soda at the bar, then fight. You're a junkie for punching things like an idiot, so you should like that, right?"
Daz held his chin. "Do I kiss you now, or afterwards?"
Rose paled and a light tremor coursed through her body. "S-Sorry..."
"Hahaha, hearing you stutter out an apology was worth it." He affectionately rubbed her hair despite the odd looks the pair were getting from the people around them. "The fighting ring it is."
Rose just sunk into her wheelchair further and tried her best to focus on cracking the skill while playing her game on another one of the laptop's screens.
Upon entering the fighting ring that had a time ratio of twelve hours to every one real hour, Daz and Rose were greeted by what looked like some sort of android in a fancy suit.
It put its right hand across its waist and bowed deeply. "It's my pleasure to welcome you to the fighting ring. How may I help you?"
Daz looked around a bit before he answered, "Just here for a drink right now."
"Of course." The android straightened his posture and gestured to the bar area. "Please, Sir, Madam, help yourselves to any beverage or light meal your heart might desire. It's all free of charge. Just tell the bartender what you'd like."
He then gestured to the massive overhead screens that surrounded the room. "Please entertain yourselves with the shows. Or, if you'd prefer, simply challenge another host and duel them should they accept."
Daz nodded. "Will do." He then pushed Rose to the bar.
Just as they were getting comfortable with drinks in hand - before Daz even had a second to further inspect this place and consider what to do - someone approached them. A group of four men.
"Oi, what the hell is a cripple doing here?" one of the four men asked as he held back a laugh.
Another pointed at Daz's halo and grinned. "Hey, look at that cosmetic. What the fuck? What kind of pussy wears a fucking halo? I'm dying over here."
"Hey, leave the guy alone," the third said in an understanding tone. "She's a beauty, so he's probably porking her, right? Otherwise, why would she be alive right now?"
The fourth hit his fist onto his open palm and looked like he now got the picture. "Ah, that makes sense. Man, I'm so jealous. Why can't I have a babe sucking my knob for protection?"
The first man laughed. "'Cause you're not a pedo? She's like ten." He glanced at Daz and spat in his general direction, "Kiddie-fiddler."
Rose was smirking. "This should be fun." She leaned towards Daz and whispered into his ear, "By the way, you can challenge multiple people at once, also, champions can't be refused unless you're a champion yourself. Nice little secret rule there."
Daz just gazed at the four men coldly with his arms crossed. "Do you dead men want anything in particular, or what? I don't have time to waste on the dead."
"Dead men? 'The fuck you on about, Son?" The oldest and presumed leader - a middle-aged man with a scar on his bald head - asked with fire in his tone.
"With attitudes like yours," Daz said, "It's only a matter of time before you bite off more than you can chew. Like right now. Back off."
"Fuck you," the shortest, a slightly portly boy with freckles and red hair snorted with anger in his eyes.
"Confident, are we, Son?" the bald man said as he smiled maliciously. "Wanna put your money where your mouth is?"
[Benny Sanderson] has challenged you to a duel on the behalf of himself, [Scott Forsythe], [Alistair McCallen] and [Peter Lorde].
The wager is for [5,000] merit points per person. As you are by yourself, you will be required to pay this amount out to all four individuals upon defeat, however, upon victory, you will be awarded this amount from each opponent.
The condition for victory: Kill all of your opponents.
Do you accept? Y/N
"Are you fucking kidding me?" Daz said in a semi-distressed voice. 'Are these guys beggars or something? Only twenty-k in total? Really? What a waste of time.'
The fourth man, a lanky fellow with a bushy beard spread his lips from ear to ear. "Look at 'im. Scared shitless."
Daz held his forehead and stood up. "Fine, whatever. I accept. Let's get this over with."
Immediately, the five of them vanished and reappeared in a copy of the large open arena that Daz had seen on the overhead monitors. The four men grinned viciously and they each took out a knife. No one knife was the same as the other and they were clearly unique in some way.
Daz just stood there stoically.
Back in the bar Rose sucked on the straw connecting to her soda and held her chin as she watched the screen displaying her brother's fight. "How will you handle this, Big Bro?" she said to herself. Her eyes wandered to his coffee. "Isn't that gonna get cold?"
Back in the arena, the bald man, Benny, licked his dragon-etched knife and grinned from ear to ear. "So you've got twenty-thousand merit points, huh? Pretty big fish. I wonder how you got them with that fag-assed body of yours?"
Daz shrugged, not taking the insult towards his sexuality seriously. "Is twenty-k a lot? Maybe to guys like you."
"Tch," the ginger boy who was barely of age frowned. "I don't like how you keep looking down on us, Angel Boy."
"Do you guys even know each other outside of this auction?" Daz asked with genuine curiosity as he shoved his hands into his pockets and dismissed the overweight boy's words.
"What? Of course we do. He's not only a fucking pedo, but a retard too," the least talkative one - the only one who was even half-decent looking - said.
'So groups of non-affiliated survivors can enter together? What's the limit? Hmm...' Daz was thankful for the free information. "Well, come at me then, Dead Men. I won't use my hands. Consider it a gift from me to you as thanks for the info."
Admittedly, Daz was looking down on them. But that was only because he'd used Higher Identification on them and saw that they were even weaker than his average citizen. He could only chalk their survival so far up to luck. Or maybe they'd sponged off of others and only came in here together. Regardless, they were nothing but free merit points to him at this point.
The bald man creased his forehead and scowled. "Fucking chump. Doesn't know his place. Kill him, boys. After that, we'll challenge the kid and show her a 'good time' in here before we slit her throat too."
Daz smiled as he closed his eyes. "Trying to make me angry? Congrats. It worked." The next second, their heads were severed from their torsos as a lightning-fast flash of red left his right hand and then returned to it.
Congratulations! You won the duel.
Your prize: [20,000] merit points.
|The total merit balance of the host is now: 2,519,488 [+20,000].|
The five of them were transported back to Rose's table. Before the four men could figure out what had happened, a big system notification filled their visions.
[Daz] has challenged you to a duel on the behalf of himself. You cannot refuse.
The wager is for [500,000] merit points per person. As you do not possess this many merit points, [Daz] has decided to allow you to forfeit all of your currently held or stored merit points should you lose and he will still pay out the total amount to you and your companions should he lose.
The condition for victory: Kill your opponent.
Daz laughed loudly enough for everyone nearby to hear him. A few people had watched his fight since it looked like a case of bullying but they were confused as to how he had won, so they were eager to see what was going on with him and the group of men.
"You sorry lot don't even have half a million points? Christ. What a bunch of fucking losers," Daz mocked as the five of them were transported to an arena once again. "I'm gonna savour this. I hope you boys are accustomed to torture, because if you're not, you should try to adapt to it quickly."
Rose held her face in her hands as she heard her brother's corny line over the speakers. "Hah... Really... Well, at least I'm recording this so people who bring this up can know that he's being a dick 'cause they threatened to rape me, but seriously, he needs to control his temper..."
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