Ves mentally sighed in relief once the auctioneer finally sold all of the slaves.
He didn\'t know if he could take the sight of slaves being treated like cattle any further.
Too bad. Finlay muttered to his side.
I was hoping to buy the Journeyman Mech Designer so that we can complete the commission ourselves.
Sadly, there are a lot of pirate leaders who are even more desperate to retain their own Journeymen.
Ah, I mean no offense to you, Rho-Sigma.
It is fine. Ves nonchalantly waved his hand.
It is a given to pursue other solutions.
Free mech designers are reluctant to involve themselves in any design work related to taboo weapons.
That seems to be the case with most mech designers… except you.
I find it very curious that you have decided to stick around.
Does that mean you have accepted my commission
Let\'s not be too hasty.
So far, the auction has not impressed me very much.
Don\'t be in a hurry to leave.
The good stuff is just about to come.
As if to emphasize Finlay\'s words, the next batch of items that appeared consisted of rare and valuable materials!
Our first exotic here today is a 24.64 kilogram sample of raw diplo-exonite.
Rated as medium grade, raw diplo-exonite is an exotic that has never appeared in this star cluster other than the Nyxian Gap.
The only other method of obtaining diplo-exonite is to import its refined version from distant sources!
The raw diplo-exonite was a non-metallic exotic, so Ves wasn\'t very familiar with all of its properties.
Nonetheless, its value was undeniable!
When refined, diplo-exonite becomes an extremely potent substance that is very volatile unless utilized in special manners.
Its most notable use is to increase the efficiency of a power reactor.
While its current quantity is not enough to make a serious dent on large-scale power reactors providing power to entire cities or city districts, the sample here is very potent when used on power reactors utilized by mechs! The efficiency of a mech power reactor can be raised by as much as twenty percent with the inclusion of diplo-exonite!
This sounded similar to the Furnace of Regret gem that Lucky produced! Ves wondered if the two shared a connection.
What would happen if Ves fed the raw diplo-exonite to Lucky Would he produce a gem that was even more effective than the Furnace of Regret
Coming across the sample of raw diplo-exonite in this auction helped put them into perspective for Ves.
While the exotic sounded useful, Ves also possessed something with comparable effects.
Of course, both had their uses.
Exotics with potent effects were sometimes difficult to work with and took up valuable space and capacity in a mech design.
The upside to them was that depending on their supply, they weren\'t very hard to obtain.
In a way, many mech designers made use of exotics like Ves made use of Lucky\'s gems.
They selectively applied expensive materials with powerful effects to augment the functioning of a particular mech or mech design.
In contrast, Lucky\'s gems didn\'t require any accommodation to take effect on a mech.
Ves merely had to bury the gem in a random location in the mech for them to empower a mech with an esoteric effect.
Ves had no idea how they worked, but that did not mean he refrained from using them.
If Lucky wasn\'t so inconsistent in the production of gems, he would have made much more extensive use of them! At the very least, every mech of the Avatars of Myth deserved a gem!
As Ves contemplated sneaking laxatives in Lucky\'s diet, the auctioneer finally began the bidding round!
10 million firthals.
15 million firthals.
18 million firthals.
23 million firthals…
Ves only made a few lowball offers before he quickly gave up.
Raw diplo-exonite may be rare in the Komodo Star Sector, but Ves could list out several locally-available exotics that exhibited similar effects.
The only downside was that they were a bit less potent.
The number of bidders quickly reduced as the prize for the sample leveled off at around 55 million credits.
Ves guessed that only mech designers and those from a technical background competed over the raw diplo-exonite.
Sold for 63 million firthals to Number 10406!
That sounded like a fair price for the sample.
In fact, it was close to the market price for imported diplo-exonite, so the winner of the bid hadn\'t gained much of an advantage at all.
As a mech designer, you ought to be very familiar with the exotics that show up, right
Can you advise me if I\'m interested in bidding for some of the exotics
I can do that.
As more exotics appeared on stage, Ves did not bid on any of them as he had no pressing need for the benefits they brought.
Finlay was different.
Like a kid in a candy store, he pursued several exotics that appeared on the auction stage.
Unfortunately, the competition for the exotics, especially those that weren\'t native to the star sector, was very high.
120 million firthals!
Ves placed a hand against Finlay\'s suited shoulder.
Don\'t bid any further.
You can obtain the same thing by importing it from legitimate channels.
Ah, thank you.
I forgot myself.
Instances like this happened once or twice.
The lack of a galactic net connection along with the general ignorance of most of the auction goers meant that a significant amount of people paid a lot more than the exotic was actually worth on the open market!
What a scam!
Well, not exactly.
Ves did have to admit that some of the goods were very hard to come by.
Even at their current market prices, obtaining some of the rare exotics was easier said than done.
It was definitely worthwhile for some to pay extra at this occasion in order to obtain them immediately rather than wait for years for one to be shipped from a distant place.
When the next exotic appeared, Ves had to restrain his excitement.
One of the two objects he had been waiting for had appeared!
A rock the size of a human head appeared on stage.
It was rose-gold and resembled a giant fossilized grapefruit.
Though Ves deeply wished to extend his spiritual senses further, he was exceptionally wary about doing so in such a bustling venue.
Chances were high that agents or representatives of the Five Scrolls Compact kept an eye on the proceedings!
Ves only performed an extremely small and rapid targeted pulse that confirmed the rose-gold exotic reacted to his Spirituality.
This unknown exotic is of unknown providence.
The unreliable anecdotes gathered by its owner suggests that it has come from the inner regions of the Nyxian Gap.
Whether this is true or not, we cannot ascertain the truth.
A spec sheet projected into view, listing out a variety of basic parameters.
Item #613 exhibits a high density and feels warm to the touch.
It possesses decent energy levels, but despite extensive investigations, we have been unable to determine its exact effects.
Overall, the properties listed out by the auctioneer sounded relatively mundane.
The main point was that Item #613 exhibited a fair amount of energy activity.
This conclusively identified it as an exotic with potentially-significant effects.
However, Ves felt that the crowd didn\'t exhibit a lot of enthusiasm for it.
The nature of unknown exotics was that their effects could be anything, but whether they were useful or not remained to be seen.
Anyone bidding for an unidentified exotic would basically be engaging in a form of gambling.
They gambled that the value they could extract out of the exotic exceeded the money they spent.
Once the bidding started, not a lot of people started to bid.
10 million firthals.
12 million firthals.
16 million firthals.
30 million firthals.
35 million firthals.
36 million firthals.
40 million firthals...
Ves continued to input numbers into the bidding tool.
He outbid the highest number by 1 million firthals.
He had to win this bid!
The enthusiasm shown by Ves immediately attracted Finlay\'s attention.
Do you want my help I can obtain it for you immediately if I make a shocking bid.
No thanks, Finlay.
That will probably do more harm than good.
Perhaps some of the guests will believe that Item #613 possessed untapped value.
Does it You\'re very eager right now.
Who knows. Ves replied, unwilling to say more.
He found it regretful that the auction didn\'t allow anyone to walk up to the stage and inspect the exotic up close.
They had to judge the usefulness of the exotics on offer solely by their spec sheets and their magnified projections.
This made every bidder other than Ves reluctant to spend too much money on an unidentified exotic.
Since no one apparently recognized it or valued it too much, the bidding round quickly slowed down.
55.5 million firthals.
56 million firthals.
56.1 million firthals.
56.2 million firthals.
A short silence ensued as no further bids emerged.
The only other person participating in the bidding realized that Ves continued to place a counterbid, so quickly gave up any thoughts about obtaining the rose-gold exotic without committing too much money.
56.2 million firthals.
Sold to Number 6969!
A small weight lifted off his chest as Ves silently sighed in relief.
He obtained a rare, exciting new spiritually reactive exotic! Though Ves hadn\'t inspected it thoroughly, he already knew that its effects were different from that of P-stones and F-stones!
Perhaps Ves would soon be expanding his exotics catalog with a third lettered stone category!
A short chime sounded out from his bidding tool.
Instructions appeared, prompting Ves to put his data chip that contained his firthal account onto a slot on the tool.
Ves instantly lost 56.2 million firthals.
That meant he paid the equivalent of 1.348 billion bright credits for a new type of spiritually-reactive exotic.
What a bargain!
Sadly, Ves also expended a significant chunk of his budget.
It remained to be seen if he had enough of a warchest to compete over the bidding of the second-spiritually-reactive object.
The latter was fairly large.
It ought to be a lot more remarkable than Item #613.
Ves feared that its immensity and its other properties might attract a lot of interests from the auction goers.
He subtly eyed Finlay, whose real name and identity still remained obscured.
Though Ves had not even come close to figuring out Finlay\'s new identity, he gained a good impression of the noble.
At the very least, Finlay genuinely required the services of a Journeyman.
Though the nature of his commission was extremely problematic, as long as the Circle of Mota acted as guarantors for their deal, Ves objected less and less to the idea of accepting it.
Seeing how fair the Circle of Mota operated did wonders in reducing his paranoia of being \'silenced\' at the end of his job.
As Ves kept wavering about his decision, the next exotic appeared on the stage.
Synthra Umbra is a rare, high-grade exotic found in small quantities throughout the Komodo Star Sector.
Its special properties are related to interference.
When processed into a thin, flexible string, they can be weaved into a cloth or a garment that acts as powerful shielding against external scans and signals.
This instantly caused Ves to take note.
While Syntra Umbra did not seem to be spiritually reactive, its sensor-blocking properties sounded extremely interesting!
Synthra Umbra is perfect for the fashioning of passive sensor-blocking garments.
While jammers and other countermeasures against scanning can do the same, they affect a wide area and can interfere in the operation of numerous other devices in the vicinity.
An article of clothing weaved with Synthra Umbra is considerably less intrusive and can be worn in nearly any setting without attracting undue attention.
Best of all, it is effective even when weaved in a thin cloth!
Must buy! To someone like Ves, this exotic was a must buy!
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