Chapter 291 “The holy maiden” (Part two)
As Du Wei was thinking all this, that Dupont once again snuck some more glances at him; however, those only lasted for a brief moment when he noticed he’s been caught. Quickly turning away his eyes in a panic, that master Dupont didn’t look back.
Displeased by this cowardly act, Du Wei openly glared at the guy and refuses to turn away, sending bolts of discomfort at that stiff looking young master.
As this awkward standoff went on for a while, a gradual impatience overtook that Dupont’s eye. Knowing this won’t do, the steward behind this young man stepped in and made a very friendly and respectful bowing gesture at Du Wei.
Precisely at this moment, Zack that was down at the main stage for the auction went up to the pedestal, indicating the beginning of the event.
Changing into black formal attire, this steward of Du Wei’s appeared much more solemn today. With a small gold hammer in hand, he coughed a couple of times to clear his throat, thus attracting the audience’s attention: “Thank you everyone for coming to this month’s auction. We will now begin the event, please keep your voices down.”
As he finished, Zack then bowed at the audience before turning to one of the tables behind him.
In the past when the auction house was first established, Zack would personally preside over the auctioning bids. But following that, he became lazy and left it to the professional staffs in which he trained for the job. However, today’s different. He can’t entrust the job to anyone else while something so major was happening.
Nowadays, Zack was a rather well-known figure among the elite circle of the capital for he’s the representative of the Tulip household while Du Wei’s away. Seeing Zack’s announcement, those noisy conversations immediately disappeared.
“Everyone,” Zack coughed then made a stern face: “Today’s auction will officially begin. First off, I like to welcome everyone for coming to our Tulip auction house. Without further ado, the first item for today is….”
Zack began with the introduction of several goods, all of which were expensive jewelry, or valuable products manufactured from parts of a magic beast. The most expensive among them were but the “Saint Knight Armor”, appraised around a hundred fifty thousand gold.
Naturally all of these things would be popular in the past, but today, Du Wei can see the crowd below didn’t hold much interest. There were exceptions of course. Among the couple of female guests present, these noble ladies exposed a deep longing for some of the finely crafted jewels exhibited today.
Then when Zack’s introduction got to the scroll containing the decree from the Pope, the entire audience practically came alive. Straightening their neck, the crowds all had a serious look in their eyes.
With that out of the way, the auction was truly starting.
The goods in the front didn’t make much waves and went by very smoothly. Perhaps it’s because of the special circumstance of today’s event, there were little interest and caused the selling price to be very low. Watching this outcome, Du Wei can’t resist being a little sad because the one losing out was him. If the auction house earns less, it means he will earn less.
Before long, the early items on the listing were gone within a meal’s worth of time. This pace was much faster than usual and didn’t look well for Du Wei’s business.
At the end when the Pope’s decree finally came up, Zack had to first wipe the sweat from his forehead due to his own nervousness. Clearing his throat he began: “Ladies and gents, we are going to carry out the last piece of today’s….” He wanted to say “goods” but found the wording disrespectful towards something like the Pope’s personal promise. Unable to come up with the proper wording, he can only vaguely let this sentence slide and continue: “Everyone knows, the Pope is kind and compassionate. For the victims of the south, his majesty will donate all the proceeds earned today to those affected by this year’s disaster. First let us thank the Pope for his gracious heart and may the glory of the goddess bless upon his majesty.”
Not falling behind, everyone hurries to make a solemn and sacred face.
Pausing at this part, Zack lets the audience have a moment of silence before continuing: “Well then… I hereby declare, under the commission of the Temple of Light, this decree signed by the Pope himself shall have no ceiling price and is open to all whom wishes to bid. Please go ahead now.”
When this last sentence came out, the whole audience fell into a deadly silence instead of making a commotion.
Even after a good while, the dozens of dignitaries present only looked at each, attempting to figure out their peers’ intention.
Taking this in, Du Wei can’t resist sighing at the sight.
For those who are loyal to the royal family, there’s no doubt they won’t have the courage to bid for this. As for those siding with the Temple, these people are without a doubt here to stir up trouble,
“Five hundred thousand.”
The first person to call was a man sitting in one of the back rows on the first floor. Tall and thin with lavish looking clothes, Du Wei can tell this man hailed from the south.
Winking at the attendant next to him to come over, this servant began whispering the details into Du Wei’s ear: “Duke… I’ve never seen this man before. It’s strange; there are a lot of unfamiliar faces today.”
Making a mmhmm sound, Du Wei said: “Are strangers also allowed into the auction house?”
This attendant lowered his voice again: “Umm, half the seats are usually fixed, but there are some that are openly sold to the public. Our auction is only conducted on a monthly basis so the tickets are always sold within weeks before the scheduled date. And in the black market, some of our tickets are being resold for ridiculously high prices. I’m speculating these new faces came in through that channel.”
Nodding, Du Wei didn’t say more.
Following the start of the bidding, the price quickly soared to a million after the first offer.
Du Wei was utterly surprised by this…. Are these people not afraid of dying? To coax the price of this thing would be akin to fighting the royal family! Are these people messed up in the head?
But Du Wei did manage to find some peculiarity. These people calling the prices are all unfamiliar faces while those rich and powerful aristocrats living in the capital remained silent on the side.
When the price reached the million mark, the voices started to die down. Struck with a thought, Du Wei understands now. These unfamiliar faces are clearly sent by the Temple, especially the few calling with a southern accent, they are extremely suspicious.
Hesitating for a moment, Du Wei was just about to make his own call when a voice came from the corner: “A million and two hundred.”
Peering over, Du Wei saw that the man responsible was a typical wealthy businessman of the capital.
As soon as this man called the price, another person with a southern accent raised it to one and a half million.
Then the merchant of the capital closed his mouth and turned to glance at one of the box rooms on the second floor. Surprising Du Wei, the direction of the merchant’s eye was aimed at Taklanshan and Biliaibuer’s VIP box.
Du Wei was just frowning when a sudden knock came from the door behind him – it was a servant carrying a message from Biliaibuer. According to the servant’s word: This thing cannot be bought by an outsider. As courtiers of the regent, it’s only natural that we would help elevate his problems. We’ve contacted several other elites of the capital and have conjoined together to take down this thing. The decree cannot fall into the Temple’s hand and we cannot let them make news out of this event.”
Du Wei nodded. It seems the two didn’t know about the secret order from the Regent and the fact that the decree has already been taken away. For them to send a message over at this moment, it’s the same as stating their position. After all, Du Wei’s status right now was the highest among everyone so it’s only natural they would ask for his opinion.
Contemplating inside, Du Wei understands this was their way of showing loyalty to Prince Son, and also a way to show their position was with him on this.
Knowing this, Du Wei made a sigh and softly said: “Two million.”
This call from Du Wei may not be loud, but his words were as clear as day when it drifted down from the upper floor. Meanwhile, Earl Biliaibuer and Count Taklanshan were both gazing at him, their lips curling into a smile as they nodded.
Then Taklanshan also sent another person over, stating: “If Duke’s going to make a move then they will not butt in. If there’s any lack of fund, they be willing to lend their support if needed.”
What a good Taklanshan. From those words alone, Du Wei can deduce the fatty had figured out there’s a secret order from Prince Son.
At his own predicament, Du Wei can only sigh.
As soon as his two million call came out, another man with a southern accent immediately raised it to two and a half million.
At this point everyone in the hall was gasping. They know, the true bidding war was about to begin now!
Who doesn’t know Du Wei’s identity? If it was a simple auction of something, no one would want to continue the bidding war with him. It’s not a matter of wealth at that point, it’s a matter of giving the Duke some face.
But these southerners seem to have come prepared and showed no sign of giving Du Wei any face. At that, Du Wei was even more certain these southerners are the Temple’s people!
This play by the Temple sure was interesting. Have the Pope write up this order then have someone buy it back.
For them to do something so outlandish, the meaning can only be very deep.
After all, the Pope himself was presiding over the baptism and will serve as the intended child’s godfather. This would be tantamount to openly provoking the royal authority. And, this sort of commitment can’t be done so casually, thus the need for the excuse of raising funds for the disaster. What a high sound reasoning they are giving!
And the second step was the key, which person will be landed with this commitment?!
Let’s assume…… If, just if, this falls into an ambitious man with power, then this would mean this ambitious man would receive the same treatment as the royal family!
The most subtle part of this was, “the Pope’s personal baptism” has been regarded as the symbol of legitimacy for the throne! Without this sacred halo, you can’t be recognized as the ruler!!
If the Temple wishes to strike at the prestige of the royal family, then the most effective way would be to find ways to have their own people buy this thing back, and then deliberately arrange for a lowly vulgar rich man to accept the Pope’s baptism.
As a result, everyone will inevitably think: If a vulgar upstart can so casually receive the same treatment as the royal family, then the legitimacy of the throne will no longer seem so sublime.”
And if dug deeper… Let’s say a certain ambitious man receives this promise, like a feudal prince or Rugaard from the Northwest Army. If people like that get the Pope personal baptism, then it’s inevitable that others would think: wouldn’t they also have divine legitimacy for the throne?
Once opened, such association would be very dangerous!
Du Wei sighed …
In less than a tea’s cup worth of time, the calling price has shot up to five million. Du Wei’s heart would of course be aching in pain for his money didn’t fall out of the sky. Plus, he’s not getting any commission out of this because everything must be handed over to the Temple, that’s the deal!
When the price went up to eight million gold coins, the voices finally died down from the first floor.
This should’ve been good, but Du Wei’s heart felt uneasy for some reason… It’s this simple? Isn’t it too easy to destroy the Temple’s plan?
Sure enough! Du Wei’s thought didn’t even have time to process when a crisp and melodious voice of a woman came from the main doorway of the auction house.
“I’m sorry to have disturbed everyone. I know it’s very impolite to be late, so please forgive me.” The voice was delicate and pleasant to the ear. Oddly though, there’s a sense of sacredness to it that wasn’t quite right.
The voice didn’t even die down yet when the main doorway was pushed open. Walking in, a tall yet slim blonde haired woman sporting a long white dress of the Temple slowly strolled in through the door.
As she stood there at the doorway, all she needed to do was sweep through the audience with her gaze to attract everyone’s attention. The woman was young, with traces of purity only found in the followers of the faith, but unlike the usual clergies, she had an air of a nobleness only found in someone of high standing.
Du Wei didn’t need much to recognize who this was for that voice sounded very familiar.
This was the daughter of the late crown prince, the holy maiden of the Temple!
This holy maiden princess may have covered the bottom half of her face with a white veil, but her eyes were crisp and sharp. With every graceful step she took, her body exuded a powerful form of temptation and allure, yet at the same, an aura of pure sacredness enshrouded her entire being.
Seeing the arrival of this woman, Du Wei’s heart immediately sank, his lip falling into a heavy frown.
And at this time, Du Wei suddenly heard the young master from the Senna household issuing out a short low call from the box next to his. Turning his head at the source, Du Wei found this Dupont had a face full of surprise, but more importantly, those eyes radiated a furious flame of excitement as he stared at the princess.
As if meeting the call from this young master, the princess slightly raises her head to look at Dupont. Maybe it was prearranged or something, but this young master suddenly blushed and called out a astronomical number like he just got injected with a jolt of encouragement: “TEN MILLION!” He loudly calls this out without hiding.
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