Jake had left the chamber with the Sword Saint enlightened as to the path of a true swordsman. He even learned that Reika also knew and could feel her blade, just like her great grandfather. Jake had to admit it made him feel a bit inadequate.

Once he was out, the rabble was still there, and Jake just ignored them as he walked past. He had stayed in there for a good forty-five minutes, and while the start was serious, it eventually divulged into something far more casual, and Jake quickly got a feeling that the political arena of the Noboru clan was quite an annoying one.

He was glad he avoided all that shit by just having Miranda handle everything. At worst, she could tell him if someone needed a good smacking, and if she really needed him to do something, she would at least tell him how to.

Making his way back to the booth, he found everyone besides Sultan, Miranda, and Sylphie already back, with some likely not having left. One such person was the man standing at what looked like a half-broken massive steel bullet with a book in one hand and a tablet in the other.

Jake identified the weird metal thing that was nearly five meters long and a meter tall.

[Damaged Transportation Pod (Rare)] – A pod created to transport individuals over a-

“Hey Arnold, didn’t know you were the one to buy it,” Jake said as he walked over with interest.

“Mm,” he answered, not looking up as he kept staring at the tablet.

“Think you can fix it?”


“Think it can block a full-strength Powershot?” Jake finally asked, getting the man’s attention as he looked up.

“In its current state? Doubtful, your arcane affinity is rather destructive. But I believe it shall be fixable with the right materials,” Arnold answered.

“It was quite expensive too,” Jake noted. “Didn’t know you were such a mogul to splurge on a garage project like this.”

Arnold did not have to answer as Sultan appeared behind Jake, having teleported in. “Arnold is easily in a position to afford it.”

“Oh, he’s rich?” Jake asked, a bit confused. The man never left his damn workshop, so Jake didn’t even know how he would earn anything.

“While I will not divulge the assets of my client, I can share that he made substantial gains from the system store, and I believe he is the third richest in Haven, behind you and me,” Sultan explained, also making Jake aware that Sultan had been selling for Arnold all along.

Now that he thought about it, he had learned that Arnold bought a lot from the store earlier. With how immersed he was in his work, it made sense he outsourced everything non-tinker related. It was a bit like how Jake had outsourced for to Lillian to get him things like new glass bottles and herbs.

Arnold himself just nodded at the words. “Many creations prove ultimately useless or are merely middle-step demos. No reason not to sell them to procure more funds.”

“Makes sense,” Jake agreed, turning to Sultan – Arnold already looking like he was back in his own world. “So, how did it go with the potions? Sold any?”

Sultan just shook his head as he smiled. “Sold out within the first fifteen minutes, and that was only because I refused to make any transactions before I had a good feeling for the price.”


“Two hundred and eight mana potions sold with your share being a total of 11,231,522,” Sultan began as Jake nodded. Fifty-four thousand or so per potion was pretty damn good. “As for the health potions… one hundred and twenty-two sold for a total of 16,653,931 Credits.”

“Damn… that’s pretty damn good for six hours or so of work,” Jake said, tallying it up to a bit below twenty-seven million in total. “People seriously buy health potions for like a hundred and thirty-five thousand each? That is as much as one of the better rare weapons.”

Sultan shook his head again. “The value of these potions is only this high due to scarcity. If you sold just a thousand of each, the price would drop substantially. It was primarily bought by Valhal, the Holy Church, and independent factions to give to their most talented fighters, with a few also going to solo parties or individuals. A good health potion can mean the difference between life and death, and yours are the best available currently. Giving the best is also a show of faith and a commitment towards their talents, giving them symbolic meaning.”

“I see. Makes sense,” Jake said, nodding along. “Anything else I should know?”

“Nothing much, but is there any progress on the Altar and Coffins?” Sultan asked. “I know you had a meeting with the Patriarch of the Noboru Clan.”

“Oh yeah,” Jake said. “Let’s wait for Miranda to be back; I want to ask for her opinion. But do you even think they will sell, considering how niche they are and the fact there are so many of them?”

“Hm, I do think their value will be below many other ancient rarity listings. However, the materials alone will hold substantial value, and I do think factions can find a use for the items themselves. The coffins especially could prove useful if one wishes to research temporal magic due to the peculiar effect of the enchantments.”

“I guess,” Jake said as he waited for Miranda to get back - a wait that was short as Miranda popped into the booth only a dozen or so seconds later.

Seeing they were pressed for time, Jake quickly summoned one of each. “Quick, Miranda, keep or sell? Want any? Got eight of each!”

[Yalsten Altar of the Damned (Ancient)] – An altar created by an extremely skilled crafter from the long-perished world of Yalsten, using a single unbroken piece of an unknown metal. The metal of the altar itself makes it near-indestructible for any being below A-grade. This altar has absorbed vast amounts of blood to empower it further, as countless sacrifices have been made upon it. It has been enchanted further to increase the effectiveness of all rituals made using it as a catalyst. The effect of all sacrificial rituals increased further. Faint Records and echoes of old rituals remain imprinted upon the altar, making it passively infuse anyone lying upon it with the life energy of those once sacrificed upon it.
Requirements: N/A

[Yalsten Coffin of Eternal Slumber (Ancient)] – A coffin created by an extremely skilled crafter from the long-perished world of Yalsten from an unknown metal that has been left untouched by the ages, slowly soaking in the Records of history and the concept of time. The metal of the coffin itself makes it near-indestructible for any being below A-grade. The runes on the coffin allow any who slumber within to be preserved longer, as time is distorted while inside the coffin. Once inside, enter a special type of meditation that will keep all resources fully replenished and allow you to enter deep sleep, making time pass unnoticed while lessening aging significantly. All effects are amplified for vampires, especially when used with Vampiric Slumber.
Requirements: N/A

Miranda was put on the spot as she quickly looked at both. “I can use five of the altars to set up a pentagram formation with them as corner catalysts. As for the coffin, I have no comments, but probably keep one for further research. However, it will also be perfectly fine to just se-”

Jake quickly nodded as he cut her off by tossing out two more altars and six more coffins for the merchant. “Take these and put them up for the auction,” Jake said to Sultan, the man happily taking them.

As it happened, the rest of the people from Haven also arrived, Sylphie naturally landing on his head again, with him wondering where she had gone. They had returned just in time as the system message popped up, and it was officially epic item time.

System Announcement:

The second phase of the Auction has now begun, where all epic 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 2,451 listings of epic items for sale during this second phase of the Auction. These items will be posted one at a time in five-second 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 item will be posted in two minutes.

Jake quickly skimmed it, did the quick maths, and calculated this phase would last two hundred and four minutes and fifteen seconds. With the extra hour, that added up to four hours and twenty-four minutes of auctioning. There were also substantially fewer items in this phase than the last, which made sense as epic items got a lot rarer.

He considered if he would do alchemy this time around but decided to keep an eye out. Because during this Auction as a whole, he did have one plan – get a full set of equipment, or at least upgrade where he could.

He did a quick check of money and saw it had grown by around fifty million since the last time he checked. Credits Available: 291,258,840

It wasn’t a lot, but one had to remember rare items only sold for like a hundred thousand on the high end, and he sold two hundred and something. Shit, he actually got more from the potions than all of his rare items… which was a bit sad.

Either way, the two minutes passed, and Jake sat ready as the first item appeared before him.

[Staff of-]

Five seconds of his life… wasted.

[Sandals of-]

Ignoring the question of who the hell makes epic-rarity sandals… wasted.

This kept on, as Jake saw item after item he had no interest in. Time slowly ticked by as Jake began to notice the overabundance of staves and robes on the market. He ignored all headwear, footwear, gloves, rings, necklaces and did not look much out for anything other than chest armor and bracers, and even then, he was hesitant to buy anything epic if he could potentially get ancient rarity by waiting a few hours. Thus he decided to only buy anything if it was dirt cheap.

As for why he was a bit more open to buying chest armor and bracers? Well, because his current ones were shit. Especially his bracers:

[Leather Bracers of Peerless Deflection (Rare)] - Bracers made from tempered leather from a powerful E-grade beast. Produced by an even more powerful craftsman. Borrowing from the Records of the beast it is made from, these bracers have the ability to deflect range attacks when infused with mana. Enchantments: Self-Repair. +25 Agility, + 15 Endurance.
Requirements: Lvl 40+ in any humanoid race

It was one of his oldest pieces of equipment, and he had gotten it the same time as the Scimitar of Cursed Hunger. The difference was, the Scimitar was a Soulbound cursed weapon that grew the more vital energy it absorbed, while the bracers just kept being shit. The enchantment to deflect attacks had also been utterly useless and far too weak to do anything against anything he fought.

The second item in the “I got shit and need new” category was his chestpiece. While it wasn’t that long since Jake got an upgrade, the upgrade he got was still bad.

[Leather Chestguard of the Juvenile Bristleback (Uncommon)] - A chestplate made from the tough leather of a young Bristleback. Created by a talented leatherworker, the workmanship is simple but effective. Has been infused with a Beastcore, making this chestpiece even more durable and enhances the wearer’s resilience. Enchantments: +200 Toughness, +75 Endurance, +50 Vitality.
Requirements: Lvl 100+ in any humanoid race

Also, unless he bought something Soulbound, he could always find other uses or just have Sultan sell it elsewhere at another time. With all of that in mind, he waited patiently as the items flew by him one by one.



Neat, but no.

Looks downright painful to wear.

That one is just… hm...

[Bracers of Cursed Thorns (Epic)] – A pair of bracers formed from the vine of an unknown but highly toxic plant-like lifeform by a vampire from Yalsten long ago. Allows the user to infuse the bracers with mana, releasing highly toxic thorns that can be used in melee or ejected as projectiles. Due to the remnant connection with the main body during the crafting process of these bracers, a curse was placed upon them to release spikes that penetrate into the wearer’s body, injecting the highly toxic poison.
Enchantment: +250 Vitality, +150 Agility. Cursed Thorns.
Requirements: lvl 135+ in any humanoid race

Jake studied it a bit more, and when he focused, a mental image of what they looked like even appeared. They were entirely black and looked like someone had taken a rose stalk and wrapped it around an arm many times to form them and then done that twice to make a pair.

He also took notice of the surprisingly high level-requirement. Most other epic items were at 130 or below, and even if this one was only 135, it was still above average.

Lastly, one had to address the elephant in the room: they were bloody cursed. Jake observed as the price did go up a bit, soon reaching ninety thousand Credits, but out of all the items that had appeared so far, it was one of the ones with the lowest level of interest. Jake could totally get why; it had to suck to wear bracers that liked to stab you.

Suck for everyone besides Jake. Because what he saw was a fast and effective way to make himself bleed to attack with Blood of the Malefic Viper. Oh, highly toxic thorns would inject poison into him? What’s that, free bonus mana regen from Palate of the Malefic Viper? Sign me up!

Shit, if they turned out to still suck, he could just transmute them and mess with the curse a bit like his Scimitar of Cursed Hunger. After still drinking down some of that sweet poison for Palate first, naturally. Of course, the fact that they were damn cheap didn’t hurt either. He kept an eye on them for now as he placed a bid a thousand above the current one, bringing it to ninety-seven thousand.

Moving on, Jake kept watching as items appeared one after another every five seconds. The interface was highly adaptable, and Jake made it so the bracers were always ‘pinned’ so he could see them. For half an hour, no bid came until someone placed another thousand, making Jake decide to wait. He wanted to make it seem like there was little interest, after all. Just two people getting into a bidding war could lead to a terrible hike in price, and he wanted to avoid that, no matter how rich he was.

An hour into the bidding, Jake had only placed that single bid, even if a lot of interesting stuff had appeared. Honestly, a few chestpieces did pop up too. All of them were just straight-up better than what he had, but he couldn’t bring himself to bid on them. He still hoped something really good or special would pop up or something ancient rarity in the next phase. Yes, Jake was greedy.

Beginning to get bored, he considered doing something else. Yet a few minutes later, something else caught his eye.

[Unattuned Focusing Iris (Epic)] – An unattuned focusing iris that will amplify any unattuned mana channeled through it. The iris will become attuned if a substantial amount of mana of a specific affinity is channeled through it. Possesses a myriad of alchemical uses.

It was such a simple item, and when Jake focused on it, he saw it was nothing more than a small malleable glass marble that looked almost semi-liquid. Like one could form it just by using one’s hands. Then, as he was considering applications, he saw the price instantly reach two hundred thousand. Then three hundred. Five hundred. A million. Two million. Three.

Jake decided to just bail out there and then as he promptly moved on. Items kept popping up, and he kept skipping them. It was good Sultan handled all the alchemy buying, and he hoped the guy ignored stuff like that Iris, which had just reached six million in price.

Time slowly ticked by, and Jake did bid on a few things, but he could never bring himself to go very high, so he always found himself outbid. He also ignored all alchemy products as he feared he would just be bidding against himself with Sultan… and besides, he really had no idea what things were really worth. It was really a mixed bag from start to end, and he had a feeling many of the epic items sold were just stuff no one else wanted to use themselves due to something “wrong” with it.

In the end, the entire epic item rarity phase passed with Jake only watching the bracers like a hawk while playing with a hawk by making arcane hawks that battled with a green hawk’s summoned elemental hawks.

A note from Zogarth

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