Upon entering Virul, a group of people who recognized Zaran came swarming towards him, which caused Zaran to quickly command Kirin to use her aura to keep them away. He instantly noticed how powerful this aura was as the swarm of people instantly found themselves unable to advance any further. Anyone within a two meter radius around Zaran quickly ran out of that area soon after. This effect did cause more people to look over and recognize Zaran as a four meter wide circle in Virul's bustling streets was a rare thing to be seen. Yet no one could move too close to Zaran right now, so he wasn't that bothered by the additional onlookers.
"Thanks Kirin." Zaran said as he gently pat her before turning towards the crowd, warmly smiling while saying "I hope all of you can respect my privacy and won't follow me around everywhere. I would answer your questions but there are simply far too many of you and if I answer one question I will have to answer all of you and I simply do not have the time for that. So please, do not follow me as I will not be answering your questions, nor will I join your guild or party."
Having said this he started heading towards the auction house whilst ignoring the plethora of questions people were throwing at him regardless of his previous request. To this Zaran could only sigh as he walked along. He felt quite bad about having to utilize Kirin's aura to move out and about in the city and inconveniencing people because of it. Still not using it was impossible as he would not be able to get anything done and thus he could only hope that in time people would forget about him and that he could become a nobody again.
Zaran walked along Virul's wide streets towards the market district and soon happened upon the real money auction house. Unlike the square, ordinary Chinese pavilions which compromised the majority of buildings in the city, the auction house was a large circular building much reminding Zaran of a Colosseum and built with the most exquisite materials available. This caused it to be especially eye catching and many people would stop for a few minutes to admire it's sight.
Ten lion men stood guard at the entrance of the auction house, five each to the side of two skillfully carved stone lions who gave of a feeling as if they were alive. Two large metal doors sealed the inside of the auction house from the inside but even despite the enormous size of the doors, loud chattering could still be heard.
After admiring the scenery for a moment Zaran stepped forward, intent on entering the auction house. Seeing the shabbily clothed Zaran move forward, intent on entering the auction house, one of the lion men stepped forward and rudely asked. "On what purpose do you wish to enter our esteemed auction house?"
"I am here to sell two tomes. Is there a problem?" Zaran asked, unaware of why the guard was so rude towards him.
"We don't..." Shock suddenly filled the lion men's eyes as he realized that the shabbily clothed Zuno in front of him had said "Two tomes". Luckily he had realized this mid sentence as he was planning to say that they don't accept business from someone like Zaran. The lion man quickly regained his bearings, changed his attitude to Zaran 180 degrees and politely continued his sentence as if nothing happened at all. "... have any problem with you entering!"
Seeing the deadpan look on Zaran's face the lion man smiled wryly and said "Just a routine check! Yes just a routine check! Uhm please follow me sir!"
Zaran rolled his eyes and followed the lion men who knocked upon the steel doors. A small door viewer opened and another lion man guard grumbled "What's up?".
The first lion man quietly and quickly whispered. "Please send mistress Iza over this instant! There's a very important customer here and I might or might not have upset him!"
"Geez Murlock! Fine I'll go get her! You owe me!" Moments later the steel doors opened and a slender black-haired Valkyrie walked out. Her face was barely above average and her body wasn't anything special either however she still exuded an air of nobility and elegance, causing her to be particularly charming in her own way.
She looked at Zaran and then shot a venomous glance towards the lion man who had knocked on the door. She walked over to him and angrily whispered. "You want THIS bum to enter?"
The guard gave an apologetic look, cupped his hands and politely and respectively said. "Mistress Iza, this esteemed gentleman wishes to sell two tomes."
Mistress Iza sighed and nodded towards the guard and then turned towards Zaran, greeting him with her most entrancing smile. "Most esteemed customer, how may I be of aid to you today?"
"I have recently acquired two tomes I wish to sell." Zaran swiftly took out the tomes for an instant before immediately retracting them again. A glance would be enough to know it's a tome.
"Perfect! Now before I can allow you entrance, could mister please change your attire in something more... refined?" Iza said in a polite and gentle tone.
"I was not aware that there was such a rule and as a result I did not prepare a suit." Zaran wryly smiled, finally realizing why the guard had not let him enter straight away.
The hostess smiled and beckoned Zaran to follow her. "Ah! It must be mister's first time going to the auction house! Please follow me inside, we always have a large collection of suits inside."
Iza quickly led Zaran inside the auction house and guided him towards a changing room. She stopped in front of the changing room and turned towards Zaran.
"Please wait here for a moment while I pick out a few suits for the mister to try on."
Zaran nodded and Iza elegantly walked off into the nearest by corridor. A few minutes later she returned with an assistant by her side, who could barely be seen under the mountain of suits, ties and shoe boxes he was carrying. With his arms packed, the assistant had no other choice but to open the door to the changing room with his feet. Being skillful in doing so, Zaran realized it certainly wasn't the first time the poor guy had had to carry such a large load.
After the assistant neatly unloaded the suits into the changing room Iza gave a warm smile "Feel free to try on any of the suits. If the esteemed mister wishes to take a bath first, please take the other door of the changing room and you will happen upon a bathing area. When the mister is done with changing, just come out of the door, I shall be waiting here for you."
Zaran opened his mouth to say something, but he reconsidered and closed it again, nodding towards Iza before entering the changing room. Inside the changing room he quickly took of his armour and stored them in his storage ring. The grim of the sewers had firmly taken root on it and he would soon dispose it regardless. He opened the door to the public bath. He quickly jumped in the bath and untied his hair which dropped to the middle of his back before vigorously scrubbing his body clean and thoroughly cleaning the filth from his hair.
A few minutes passed before Zaran tied his hair up again in a ponytail. Entering the changing room again, Zaran carefully checked the suits and although there was a large variety of colours to choose from he ended up choosing a dark grey suit, black shoes, a white shirt and grey-white checkered tie. Zaran looked at himself in the mirror and found himself to be quite handsome, although the attire was rather uncomfortable to move around in.
Zaran joined misstress Iza again who gave a nod of approval. "My my, you look absolutely dashing! Because sir wishes to sell two tomes we will provide this suit to you free of charge. Now if you could please follow me, we shall now go see a receptionist who will help you set up an account."
Iza warmly smiled as she led Zaran through the auction house to one of the receptionists. "This gentleman needs to open up an account with us."
The receptionist looked up from her paperwork, muttered an "Oh" and shoved a form towards Zaran before continuing on her paperwork. Iza sighed and turned towards Zaran. "You only need to fill in your credentials before we swiftly produce a card for you. Once you own a card to the bank of our auction house you can access your funds anywhere on the continent! Unlike the currency you currently have which you can only use in Liberiu, once you cross borders you'll find yourself unable to pay as the currency is not accepted there. Although there's not a lot of travel between countries due to the current political situation, you might find yourself in need of funds. As the biggest corporation in the continent the auction house took it upon themselves to issue a currency one can use wherever one goes. However to use it you obviously need a card issued by our auction house."
Zaran nodded and quickly filled in the form. He had heard before from Sylphie that once you have a card from the auction house you can both add real life currency on it and withdraw it rather easily. It's also able to easily transfer credits to other cards on the server.
Ten minutes after Zaran filled out the form the assistant returned and handed Zaran a black coloured card with white corners and a gold scales emblem in the middle of it.
Iza led Zaran towards the item registration booth. Zaran took out the two tomes and handed them over to the appraiser. The appraiser raised his eyebrows for a moment before regaining his normal calm expression again. "Hand over your auction house's issued card so I can register the items to your account."
Zaran handed over the card to the appraiser who quickly registered the items to it and gave the card back to him. "Your items are registered to be auctioned off within 48 hours. We will inform people that the items will be sold by that time after which buyers across the continent can start making bids on your goods. At the end of the auction the sum received from auctioning off your goods will be added to your account. Our auction house will then deduct 1% of the total as a transaction fee."
Having said all this the appraiser waved Zaran away and moved on to the next customer in line.
Iza wryly smiled. "With this the registration of your products is done. If you have any items in mind that you wish to see, I would be more than glad to help you out with that."
"There are some items I am interested in, but before that, I am curious as to how you relay the information about the items across the continent. It must not be easy to do so."
"Oh it used to be hard but with the !" Iza said with a gently smile. "We use magic recorders to take pictures of the items, copy the picture along with more information regarding the items on scrolls which we then teleport to all the auction houses on the continent. As for bids... we obviously can't teleport bids back and forth as that would take too much time and it would be too easy to 'snipe' goods. No, what we do is we let potential buyers note down their max bid, the minimum amount they wish to increase their bid by whenever someone else has a higher bid then theirs. We've had people protest against the system but in the long run people have been more than happy with the current system."
"I see, thanks for satisfying my curiosity. Now could you guide me to a currency converter?" Zaran politely said.
"Follow me." Iza said as she swiftly lead Zaran to the currency converter's booth. Zaran exchanged the little gold he had and was able to acquire 5 gold coins stamped with the auction house's sign. For a level 48 he had very little gold. He could have had more but he gave all the spoils of the sewers to the girls as he wasn't planing on making armour for them and with his shares of the spoils they would at least have a little more gold to spend on their own armour. He could make armour for the girls as well but to do that he would need their exact sizes and he would rather not get hands on with the girls... Well not with Sylphie for obvious reasons, as for Irina that was another story all together .
Having exchanged his gold Zaran had miss Iza lead him towards the center of the auction house. The center of the auction house was a huge round area surrounded by ten smaller circles, each of which was filled with a platform, a display crystal and benches, the auction chants of various auctioneers continuously ringing around the area. Unlike the smaller areas the center area did not have a currently running auction, however the display crystal did continuously show high-profile item after high-profile item which would soon be going on stage.
As Zaran was passing by the auctioneer on the main stage spoke out. "Ladies and gentleman please lend me your ears! Just a few moments ago I got noticed that our auction house has procured items which will most certainly pique your interest! Can we please have the items on display right now?"
The next second the display crystal flashed and changed to the two tomes Zaran had just brought in. Gasps immediately rang through the auction house! Two tomes at the same time! One tome on its would be more than enough to excite people but two at the same time. People began to excitedly whisper.
"A tome of necromancy and... demon summoning? Forbidden ranked tomes!" one man gasped loudly.
"I must acquire at least one of these two!" another man mumbled.
"The prices are going to skyrocket for either of them!" A woman excitedly whispered.
"Find the seller, quickly!" Another one of the men, commanding a few of his henchmen to spring into action.
Iza seductively whispered into Zaran's ear. "And that's all it takes for your tomes to get the best price. Now all you have to do is wait for the auction to end and find yourself a whole lot richer."
"Now good ladies and gentlemen, please be quick with your bids as these items will only be auctioned off in the next 48 hours!"
People instantly ran over to place their bids and the numbers next to the books flew up at a rapid rate. Zaran was astonished at how the price almost instantly soared to a thousand gold but decided that he should not dwindle for too long as time is the most precious commodity of them all and is not something that can be bought.
Zaran wandered to the auction stand which handled materials and bought enough materials to create two sets of level 45 gear. With that done Zaran went over to the skill book section. He quickly watched the various scrolls and soon found the type of books he was looking for. "skin changing, transformation, transfiguration, metamorphosis. so many different books for the same effect..." Zaran muttered.
"If I may offer you a suggestion... If you look for a skill that allows you to disguise yourself. While all of them may seem similar there's very big differences in their effects. If sir really wishes to be indistinguishable, you should pick up metamorphosis. At a thousand gold averagely, it is currently outside of your price range." Iza said with puckered lips.
Zaran wryly smiled. "I'll see about that when I sell the tomes then. I shall take my leave now miss Iza, I shall return in two days time just before the auction ends."
"Please let me lead you out then. I hope I have been of aid to you." Iza said with a warm smile.
"You've been most helpful, I really appreciate what you've done for me." Zaran said as he took Iza's hand and kissed it.
A minute later Zaran excited the Auction house and winked to lion guard who had not treated him very well earlier. The lion man grimaced and politely bowed to Zaran as he left.