"My wonderfully patient Earth testees, it is now time for the thousandth and final item of the general auction!" Pheldorapod exclaimed.
Daz was paying extra attention to this item since Rose had said that he'd like it. He wasn't entirely sure if she was being sarcastic or serious, but regardless, he opened his ears and focused his eyes.
An android carted in a small trolley, which meant that whatever the last item was, it wasn't particularly large. The robot pulled off the silk sheet hiding the item to reveal an entirely transparent cube which was floating in the centre of a cylindrical glass case.
Apart from the fact that it was hovering in mid-air like that, nothing about this cube seemed particularly special at first glance. Its shape was odd, but without further inspection, normally one would assume it was just another stat enhancer.
"I can see your confusion, my good customers. However, please trust me! I made sure to leave the very best for last," Pheldorapod claimed as he gestured with most of his tentacles to the cube.
"What I have for you lovely folk right here, is a very rare item. In fact, only two hosts from your planet have earned this item before, making it amongst the top five rarest items on Earth!" Pheldorapod's attempt at hyping this mysterious cube up were clearly working.
The crowd was sitting on the edge of their seats. Well, a good majority were. The more powerful survivors just wanted to know what the damned thing was, Daz included. Using Higher Identification was impossible on the items of this place for whatever reason, and he didn't particularly feel like begging Rose for an answer.
Thankfully, Pheldorapod was more than aware that this item's true potential customers hardly cared much for his fanfare. "Ahem. Well then, fine citizens of Earth, allow me to explain. What we have here is a Class Upgrade Token."
Daz's eyes opened wide. "Really?" he mumbled aloud.
Maddy cocked her head as she sat on his lap and she gazed at his face curiously. A few milliseconds passed before she nodded her head. Yup. Daz's surprised face definitely looked nice. She tightened her hug around his neck and pressed up against him a bit closer.
Daz smiled at her cute actions and kissed her nose in response, eliciting a blush from the girl. He returned his attention to one of the suite's televisions and watched it intently.
"I'm sure many of you have guessed it already, but this little cube will give its owner the right to advance their class early! To put this into perspective, unless a testee performs a particularly magnificent and very specific thing, they won't have a chance to upgrade their class until the tests of their homeworld are finished." Pheldorapod's explanation garnered the curiosity of some people who personally had no interest in their classes.
The octopus was absolutely loving the control he had over such a large audience. Almost every single person in his auction hall was hanging off of his every word. That... that elated him to no foreseeable end.
"As an additional note, even if you were to consume this cube and upgrade your class, you will still be eligible for a further upgrade if and when the test on Earth is cleared! Isn't that fantastic? Not only will it grant you an early advantage on Earth, but it won't impede your future growth once the scale increases!" Pheldorapod exclaimed.
"The final thing I shall say about this item is that once your class had been upgraded, you will be given permission to pick another main weapon that is linked to your starting weapon. As an example, someone who started with... let's say, a textbook. That's a fairly common starter weapon. Well, you may get the option to include a wand, or perhaps a familiar - magic-based, of course. The options are truly limitless!" The business-oriented man's words had plenty of Earth's strongest excited now.
After giving the crowd a few more moments to think on if they should bid on the item or not, Pheldorapod finally opened the bidding room. "The starting bid is seven-hundred-and-fifty-thousand merit points! Truly a low price considering the rarity of this object!"
"System, connect me to the bidding room, please," Daz requested.
|Confirmed. Linking the host to the bidding room.|
|The current bid for the Class Upgrade Token: 750,000 merit point.|
Daz stayed silent and simply watched as the bid continued to increase and further increase.
Twenty minutes quickly passed and the bidding was starting to slow down. Before it ground to a halt, Daz had finally decided to make his bid. If someone was going to use a ticket to try to steal the item, then Daz wanted to make sure that he was the one being challenged.
|The current bid for the Class Upgrade Token: 4,425,000 merit point.|
"Bid five-million merit points," Daz said aloud.
Vanessa's eyes nearly popped out her skull. She had to wonder just how many points the man five years her senior actually held. Rose couldn't help but smirk at her new friend's overly innocent and pure reaction.
Meanwhile, several people still seemed to be eagerly bidding despite Daz's massive leap of over five-hundred-thousand points.
|The current bid for the Class Upgrade Token: 5,295,000 merit point.|
The young reaper frowned. "Increase my bid to six-million."
Finally, the bids started to slow down. Daz was keeping a very close eye on Pheldorapod. In regards to the tickets, it would seem that they could only be used when the octopus was about to announce the winner, so unless Daz held the winning bid, he wasn't willing to let the alien speak.
'If someone challenges me, I can get the item for free if I win, right? Unless it's a bronze ticket. Then I'll have to pay... Hmm... Fuck it. Let's make a gamble,' Daz decided.
"System, raise my bid to nine-million points, please," he requested.
At this point, Vanessa was proud that she wasn't foaming at the mouth. Maybe she was beginning to get used to the absurd common sense of these people?
At last, the bids froze. Since Daz had shown such a ridiculously huge amount of points, there were very few people who could actually compete with him. On top of that, almost every single one of those people had access to the other auctions and didn't want to throw their fortunes onto this one item.
Unlike Daz, not everyone was so confident in their money-making skills. There was also the fact that some of the richest people on Earth didn't want to offend whoever was willing to throw so many points at a single item. Even if they were to win the item, their identity would be revealed. Despite the fact that the item was a bound one, it wasn't out of the realms of reason that whoever had made a bid of nine-million points might seek revenge on them.
Yes, this was a petty thought, but the world had changed. The richest people of Earth didn't just fall into their wealth of merit points. No, they had fought hard and schemed greater than anyone else to earn their points.
"It would seem that we might have a win-"
At the exact moment that Pheldorapod had started to announce Daz as the winner, the reaper's lifeline had shown up.
A rival host has used a silver ticket to challenge you.
Should you accept and win, the item [Class Upgrade Token] shall be awarded to you free of charge and the challenging host shall be forced to pay you your highest bid as compensation. Should you lose, nothing will happen.
Should you decline, you will be refunded your bid and the item will be awarded to the challenging host.
Warning: the auction master has the right to say anything about either party should a challenge take place to build up the crowd's excitement. This can be used as a good opportunity to advertise the host.
Do you accept the challenge? Y/N.
Daz grinned from ear to ear. "Thank fuck. I accept." With that said, his body was warped away.
Rose clicked her tongue. "It would have been better if he lost all of his points. Well, this isn't too bad. His opponent isn't a pushover like Aila was. Maybe that'll curb his arrogance a little," she whispered to herself.
Once again, Daz found himself to be on the auction hall's stage. He was in Aila's previous spot - the spot of the challenged.
Opposite of him - where he once stood - was a middle-aged man with a decent-looking face. He was missing an eye and his head was clean-shaven, but he had a sharp jawline and a chiselled profile. His dress code was very similar to Crusher's in that he was wearing a tank top, a pair of camo army pants, and lastly, his feet were covered by his large black steel-capped boots.
What was most curious, however, was that this muscular man was holding, of all things, a yoyo. Also, he gave Daz the distinct feeling that should he try to use Higher Identification on him, then he'd be able to detect it and possibly block it. That's what Daz's instincts told him anyway.
"Well, well, well! It would seem that we have yet another silver ticket challenge on our hands, good people of Earth!" Pheldorapod exclaimed with his usual theatrical attitude.
Murmurs spread throughout the crowd as people recognised Daz. "As many of you can see, the challenged in this case is the ruler of Waterford and the lord of Fort Skip, Daz! He is quite wealthy to be throwing nine-million points around so easily. Obviously, his deal with the Midechhe Travelling Bank has lead him to possess quite the fortune!"
Daz appreciated the false-advertisement. The wily octopus was definitely aware of where Daz's merit points had come from. Or at the very least, he was aware of the three-million that he'd obtaining during his fight with his ex-fiancée. The young reaper was all too willing to let this seemingly important person connected to the system curry favour with him.
"I trust everyone recalls such a magnificent person's achievements, so I shall just summarise them for you all," Pheldorapod said.
He listed Daz's four system-acknowledged achievements once again before he gestured to the middle-aged man. "Our challenger this time is quite the man! He has received two achievements by the standards of the system!"
The middle-aged man spat on the floor of the stage and he wore an angry face. "Can we start this shit already? I'd rather you didn't describe my life to the world. I just wanna kick this kid's ass and leave with my token."
Daz crossed his arms and looked at the man with interest. He wasn't particularly upset at being underestimated. If anything, he was curious about where this man's confidence came from. He certainly felt strong, but not enough to dismiss him like beating him would be an easy fight. 'Hmm... I'll go all out from the start. I can't afford to be careless,' Daz decided.
Pheldorapod's innards turned black and he shifted his body to face the man. He removed all of the power and all of the playfulness from his voice, revealing a cold and deadly tone. "You stand in my auction hall. You will respect it, or you will die. Do not force me to have such a good bud be snipped before it even has a chance to bloom. To ensure that you don't take this threat lightly, you are now banned from the following auctions today. Do something like this again, and I will ban you from the real auctions as well should you live through Earth's tests. A third time, and I'll have your head."
The middle-aged man's face fell, but he could feel the seriousness from Pheldorapod's words and he saw a system message mere seconds later telling him that he was now barred from entering the rest of today's auctions, so he held his tongue.
Daz was trying his best to hold back a smile. 'So this guy is a champion and a ruler? He had access to the other auctions, but he doesn't anymore. Yup. Going all out is the right call.' He was always happy to get useful info for free.
"Ahem. Anyway, to list this person's achievements: He rules five cities and he has cleared over one-hundred wild events. His name is Larry Billard." Phedorapod's distaste towards Larry was as clear as day. The poor man's description had taken the octopus less than ten seconds to state.
"My best wishes to the strongest host. Start whenever you are ready, Daz, Larry." He said the first half while staring at Daz and while he was giving him several thumbs up with his tentacles. The alien clearly had no intentions of hiding his favouritism.
Support "Shovels In Spades"
- The Scottish Slothy Sloth
Bio: Hey there, nice to see you. I'm just an ordinary man who enjoys writing, which is great since it's my full-time job now thanks to the support from you guys over on Patreon! I hope you enjoy my novels if you read them, and if not, I hope you enjoy looking at my profile.