The Primal Hunter



Chapter 361 - The Auction (Read: Alchemy) Begins!


A note from Zogarth

I saw there may be an "out of order" awarning on your followling list for the novel. This is due to me removing old chapters and inserting a "moved to Amazon" message, so have no fear.

Also, really fun to get more 0.5-stars within a day than I have gotten in months...

System Announcement:

The initial phase of the Auction has concluded. A brief intermission of fifteen minutes will be held before the true Auction begins, starting with all rare rarity items. The central hall will now unlock, and anyone present during an ongoing auction will be able to participate and bid through a provided interface.

Based on performance, certain individuals will have private booths available.

Time remaining: 14:59

As Jake, Miranda, Sultan, and Sylphie left the side room, the message appeared. They were soon joined by the others from Haven, who had also split up to enter other rooms, as they all walked straight across the hallway and into the central chamber.

Most of them didn’t have any items to put up for sale, as Jake came to learn. Not because they didn’t have anything, but because during the week Jake had spent traveling and with family, Sultan had meticulously sought out every D-grade in Haven he considered worth approaching to act as a middle-man.

Entering the central chamber, Jake quickly surveyed it. It was massive as expected, with a small podium in the middle. Around it was countless chairs at increasingly elevated levels, making it look more like a congressional hall.

Even higher up than any of the normal seating were the aforementioned booths, with Jake seeing a total of seventeen of them. They were all fairly large and looked like the entire front of them was a glass panel to give a full view of the whole hall. The weird thing was that Jake saw no way to get into them. No doors or openings of any kind.

Jake wondered which one was his and how to get in as another message appeared before him:

Congratulations, you have earned a private booth due to your performance in the Treasure Hunt. Simply will for yourself to enter it any time you are within the central chamber, and you will be teleported. You may also invite others to join you within the private booth and choose to kick them out if you so choose.

Well, that seems easy enough, Jake thought. But, before he even went, Sylphie disappeared from atop his head, with Jake becoming completely unable to feel her presence anywhere. Jake swiftly willed himself to go to the booth and appeared within it, having a small hawk land on his head less than a second later.

The booth was incredibly spacious and far larger inside than outside, no doubt due to spatial expansion. There were a few hundred chairs and dozens of comfortable sofas within, with the huge window at the front allowing one to get a panoramic view of the central chamber. If Jake had to guess, then the booth could probably hold a few thousand people without any issues. Not that Jake wanted that many.

“Now, who should we invite,” Jake muttered as he naturally sent one to Miranda and Sultan both, considering one was Miranda and the other was his acting merchant.

Within a second, they both appeared, and Jake thought a bit more as he also invited Neil with his entire party, as well as Arnold. All of them accepted near-instantly, with Neil and his party offering thanks and Arnold just giving him a nod as he found a chair to sit in off to the side, pulling out a small weird orb he began tinkering with.

Jake went to the window and saw people mull into the hall. He saw Casper enter and instantly disappear as he no-doubt also went to a booth. The same was true for others, including Eron, and even people from the Holy Church, despite their not-so-good end to the Treasure Hunt.

His brother also had his own booth, with even a few independents he saw disappear as they had apparently done well enough to earn themselves a booth. Carmen, with the people from Valhal, also naturally had one.

Then he spotted a few people making way as the crowd split to reveal two figures. Reika walked along with an old man using a cane as he took small steps. Jake narrowed his eyes as he saw the backlash of the Transcendent skill so clearly. The Saint looked and felt weak, but at the same time, his gaze was as sharp if not sharper than ever before, and even as he walked with a cane, he gave off an aura making no one dare try to start something.

He had barely entered the hall as he also disappeared to his own private booth along with Reika and a slew of other people he assumed were from his clan. Yet before he disappeared, Jake spotted the small mark on the side of his head just above his left ear - a small scar left by Jake’s arrow during the final moments.

Jake brought his hand up to the scar still on his own neck too. Scars after the system were not as before. They didn’t need to exist but could easily heal… but there were instances where they would remain anyway. If the one with the scar willed for them to stay, evolution and healing could not and would not remove them, but there were also circumstances where a scar held certain meaning or implications. In Jake’s case, it was a reminder, and he had a feeling it was for the old man too. Also, curses could cause them, but this was not one such case.

As he stood there, he noticed two people walk in he instantly recognized.

It was a large man in a robe walking with a familiar staff together with a lithe woman. It was the elemental mage Roman and the dual-wielding rogue from the Rubik’s Cube Vault – or Roman and Felicia if one was more a fan of names.

Jake was a bit surprised by seeing them together, and without really thinking much, he just sent them both an invitation making them both stop on the spot. They looked at each other and exchanged a few words as they both disappeared only to appear in the booth.

They were briefly disorientated before they both spotted him. Jake had already made his mask invisible by now, and even if he couldn’t remember if they had ever seen his face before, his aura was no doubt recognizable.

“Yo, long time no see!” Roman greeted happily as Felicia gave a more subtle greeting.

“It’s only been like two weeks,” Jake rightfully correctly him.

“Felt like an eternity to ma poor heart,” Roman joked as he went over, finally seeing the others in the room. “Oi, hey there, the name’s Roman, and this is my gal Felicia!”

Felicia shifted her legs a bit as he also introduced herself. “Pleasure to make your acquaintances.”

Miranda tossed Jake a look as he explained. “We met during a puzzle Vault and solved it together, to then get ambushed by those independent factions. Quite the bonding experience and we talked about them coming to Haven after too.”

“Ah,” Miranda said as she introduced herself. “Pleasure to meet you two; I am Miranda, the city leader of Haven, and on account of the city, you two would be more than welcome to come. We are always open to more powerful D-grades.”

Jake decided to identify them while they exchanged pleasantries, and he saw Roman had actually made some damn good progress.

[Human – lvl 125]

He then saw the staff the guy carried around as he put two and two together. Roman had just been able to use the staff and now carried it around like it was his child. He knew for a fact the guy had spatial storage. But, being kind, Jake chose to not tease him. At least not about that.

“So… you two?” Jake said teasingly to Roman.

“Aye!” he instantly agreed with not a single trace of shame or embarrassment. “Me an the lass worked together after that damn cube and been thick as thieves ever since!”

He put his arm around Felicia or at least tried to as a palm to the face held him back. Because while he was utterly shameless, Felicia was a bit more of the reserved type as she answered with her hand still on Roman’s chin: “We work well together…”

Jake just chuckled as he invited them to stay in the room as they talked a bit about how they spent the rest of the Hunt. Apparently, the two of them had gone on for a few more days, mainly just hunting things, until they finally came to a Vault with no one else around.

That Vault had proven to be a bit too far above their abilities and made them both leave the Hunt. Interestingly enough, they had been in physical contact with each other while leaving the Hunt, making them both end up in the same place once out. Afterward, they concluded this was likely due to them both not joining from any city, as the same didn’t seem true for others. They had also both gotten lucky as fuck and managed to hold on, so they left right at the time the Monarch was triggered, allowing them to keep all their stuff.

As they finished up their conversation, the timer slowly reached zero as the first phase of the Auction officially began.

System Announcement:

The first phase of the Auction has now begun, where all rare rarity items will be sold off. All items will be listed with a set minimum bidding price by the seller, as well as a potential buyout price, allowing anyone to instantly buy the item.

There are a total of 84,913 listings of rare items for sale during this first phase of the Auction. These items will be posted in batches of five hundred a time at two-minute intervals.

Once all items have been posted, there will be a period of one hour before all bidding ends. Items will be posted in order of minimum bets and buyout price. Any item not bought at the end of this phase will be returned to the original seller.

The first batch will be posted in two minutes.

Jake skimmed the message as he did some quick maths.

With five hundred items every two minutes, it would take approximately three hundred and forty minutes to post them all, and with the extra hour, it would be a total of around four hundred minutes. In easier terms, six hours and forty minutes or so with a constant barrage of rare items.

Thank Villy for high stats, Jake thought, with everyone else no doubt thinking something similar. Five hundred items every two minutes, or more than four a second, did seem extreme, but honestly? It was manageable if you put your mind to it and focused only on going through them without any distractions. Jake for sure could do it, and he had a feeling merchants were especially suited for the task.

As for Sultan, he did not hesitate for a moment as he hurried over to a chair and took out his usual small black book as he sat down and closed his eyes to enter meditation. The others around him did the same as they found chairs or just sat on the floor, even the otherwise unserious Roman shifting his mood.

Jake himself also found a comfortable chair and moved it to the large window panel as he stared down at the massive hall where he saw tens of thousands in total. Even then, Jake was certain many factions had not brought everyone, or not everyone was in the hall. This is without mentioning the many people in the booths too.

As he sat there looking out, the first batch came. An interface appeared before him, looking straight out of a videogame auction system. But an improved VR version. He could even mentally categorize items, and just by thinking about what he wanted to see, they appeared.

Yet, just as they appeared, a few also began disappearing as they were bought out. The bidding numbers rapidly began climbing on nearly everything. He also pretty much confirmed that the information about an item was based on your ability to Identify them based on the descriptions.

But a few items also had small notes or descriptions left by the seller, and there were even a few bundles of items. Checking everything, he did not find much interesting but did begin to get an idea of the prices. They seemed to mainly be in the tens of thousands to a hundred thousand for rare items, but he did also see some reach over a million. These were primarily those auxiliary tools, and the most expensive of the rare items was going for over one million and two hundred thousand. Coincidentally, it was a cauldron.

Jake was a bit shocked at the high prices and decided to check his own Credit balance to see how much he actually had, and…

Credits Available: 239,777,158

Well… it was higher than expected? Jake had to admit he was more than a little surprised at having earned over a hundred million Credits since the last time he checked. Sure, he had sold a lot of stuff through Lillian on the System Store, including a buttload of potions, each one going for sometimes upwards of a hundred thou-

Oh, now it suddenly made a lot more sense. Sure, he had also spent a bit, but he was still way up since leaving the Tutorial. As he sat there, he even saw the number go up by around four hundred thousand as no doubt one of his many items was sold, with the contract immediately activating and Sultan giving him his funds.

A new batch soon appeared, and Jake quickly skimmed it and found nothing of interest there either. Well, besides the alchemy stuff. But most things could not be outright bought out but required one to bid, and quite frankly, Jake had no patience to sit and keep track of potentially thousands of items for over six hours.

He still kept up for two more batches as Jake just shook his head, not bothering anymore. Instead, he took out his cauldron and decided to make some money. No rules had said you can’t directly trade in between the bidding sessions, so why not grind out a mass of potions during this time?

He was joined by Sylphie, who didn’t bid on anything. Probably because she didn’t have any money. Jake sat close to the glass as he summoned his cauldron and got to work. Jake had not been crafting anything ever since before the Treasure Hunt, and even back then, he nearly exclusively made elixirs. Would elixirs potentially make him more money to make? Maybe, but Jake honestly had a feeling potions would sell better simply due to their high demand and consumption. Meanwhile, he doubted a lot of major factions would spend a lot on elixirs, as he was certain they already had other alchemists able to make them.

Even if Jake could make better elixirs giving five stats instead of three… it didn’t matter. No, better make potions where the numbers just went up based on how good he had gotten. Besides, there was a final reason he wanted to make potions.

Even before, Jake had begun integrating his own arcane mana to faster break down the ingredients in a fast yet quick and stable way, but now his skills had grown even more. Even ignoring his awakened Arcane Awakening, he had just improved his control in every way.

With that in mind, Jake decided to go all out as he began his first crafting session in a while, in the middle of a monumental auction event everyone else was deeply immersed in.

Well, besides Sylphie. She instead began doing some weird magic practice of her own, looking damn cute while doing it.

A note from Zogarth

Thanks for reading!

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