The mere sight of the dragon eggs, each embroidered differently, was enough to draw attention. It was told that dragons would lay one egg every 10 years. There was even a rumour that occasionally, two eggs would be laid at a time and the first one to hatch would grow stronger by devouring the other egg that had yet to hatch. That was why they were rare, and why they were beautiful.
‘Even the color and appearances are different.’
The eggs were mottled in color. They were flawless in appearance, as if they were borne carefully. I’d seen the eggs of wyverns or thunder birds before, even for me it was a first seeing the unbroken eggs of a dragon.
The ones I had come across in the past were always the remnant shells of an already hatched egg. Even those shells were extremely rare, which were used to make ludicrously expensive equipments, and because they had the added effect of assisting in absorbing Magic Power, most heroes would find it hard to just leave them be.
And yet…there were 9 of these things. This was why I couldn’t help but go wide-eyed at the sight of it, and I naturally became curious. Would there be differences in potential, even among the overlords of magic known as dragons?
[‘Mind’s Eye(Lv9)’ has been activated.]
Name: None (Value – 38,000)
Race: Water Dragon(水龍)
Name: None (Value – 65,000)
Race: Thunder Dragon(雷龍)
Name: None (Value – 110,000)
Race: Dark Dragon(暗黑龍)
They indeed lived up to the name of the ultimate monsters called dragons. Their average potential were around 450, and even the lowest one was at 429. When I saw the last one, the dark dragon, I couldn’t take my eyes off it for a while. A value that reached 110,000 points even when it was still in an egg-state. The species value of a dragon as well as the individual value, surprised me to no end. Having a high potential wasn’t everything. According to tradition, dragons would come to learn the unique magic of their own race and the like just by growing up, realizing them as if by instinct. If they continued to develop from thereon, they would naturally come to build a nest and could even live like a ‘king’.
‘Two S evaluations.’
What’s more was that its growth potential was also surprising. Two S evaluations, right before my eyes…you could never see such ratings on a slime, at least. Most dragons would have a potential of S when it came to ‘Magic Power’. An S evaluation equaled a maximum growth up to 100 of that evaluated stat. The gap between a stat of 90 and 100 was literally like an ‘insurmountable wall’, because the higher the stat, the more evident the difference that even 1 point made.
The dark dragon had two of such S evaluated stats; Strength and Magic Power. This meant that it could possess an equal capacity in both physical and magic abilities.
I wanted it. But neither the dark mechants nor those gathered here were stupid. All you had to do was sniff at the Magic Power hanging in the air, and you would know the dark dragon egg was on a different level compared to the other ones. The Magic Power was, in one word, dense. To the point of tickling the tip of my nose. Many would be aiming for it.
Although it was valued at 110,000 points, it was possible that it would be sold for more than that. It was most likely going to be auctioned off at any rate. At best I would be able to get my hands on the water dragon egg. If I played my cards well using the rules of the auction, I just may be able to buy it even with the amount of points I had. It wasn’t bad, even if it was lacking compared to the other eggs. Even a weak dragon was still a dragon. Regardless of where it was made, the nest of a dragon(龍) would become a castle, and a small country in itself. Moreover, a water dragon was undefeatable in the oceans.
‘76% of Earth is made up of oceans.’
‘Gate’s didn’t only appear on the earth; it appeared in the oceans, and even in the skies. In particular, the biggest means of transportation would be lost if access to the oceans was cut off. Countries incapable of self-sufficiency would quickly fall into ruin. The majority of countries were like that. Korea was like that. That’s how Aletheia came to be. The difficulty of traversing the oceans contributed the birth of countless cults and violent gangs. Bound to eternal suffering with no way out.
If I had a water dragon…at the least, I would be able to delay such a situation from coming about. A water dragon may be better than a random dragon.
“How unusual, considering that only one or two eggs of a dragon would be found per year.”
Laila tilted her head, having seen all of the eggs. She appeared to have never seen this much eggs gathered in one place. But before long the look in her eyes changed. I could strongly feel her desire to have a dragon. Right now she was like a child who’d discovered a toy she was interested in.
“My Lord. Was there anything that caught your eyes, perhaps?”
Contrary to the look in her eyes, she showed a hint of hesitation. Laila knew that while buying a dragon egg was the right thing to do, if it could be afforded, she also knew that our situation didn’t allow for it. But I wasn’t concerned about it.
I nodded my head.
‘I have nothing to lose. If what I have isn’t enough…I’ll use myself as collateral.’
The Dark Company bought and sold everything. There was debt yet to be paid, but I had still yet to put myself up as collateral. It was a very dangerous idea, but I was confident. Not to mention, that’s just how tempting the egg of a dragon was. Hadn’t Laila said it herself? At most two eggs of a dragon would be found per year.
To me, time was a precious commodity that couldn’t be exchanged for anything else. I didn’t have the luxury to wait once again to buy an egg. More than anything, whichever dragon I ‘dominated’ had the possibility of evolving as well.
The evolution of a dragon!
I hadn’t a clue as to what it would evolve into. At the very least, it would become something that transcended the dragon race, or perhaps the final form of the dragon race. As long as I could send it over to Earth, then that would be the icing on the cake. Thus, I became determined to buy one without fail.
“You have waited long! Thank you very much for the wait.”
Finally a dark merchant who wore a silver helmet appeared. He was the auctioneer.
“We have some rarely seen personages here today. Carpediem of Destruction-nim, Shotel Arcrasa-nim, Sollond of Moon-nim, and…Oho, isn’t this Uriel Diablo-nim?”
Everyone’s gazes fell on me.
There were three Demon Lords apart from me, but they soon returned their gazes to the auctioneer. They were obviously ignoring me. Carpediem once again let out that vulgar laugh. I took this opportunity to realize anew the way I was perceived.
‘The weakest Demon Lord.’
That’s what they probably thought, that I was a small fry among small fry that they didn’t need to pay much attention to.
“This is telling of how much interest this emergency auction has drawn! Well then, we shall begin right away.”
“Wait. Wasn’t it said that there were 10 dragon eggs? Why is there only 9?”
Carpediem raised forth a question.
Now that it’s mentioned, I remembered that it was ‘10 or so dragon eggs’ on the notice I had read, but there were only 9 on the platform.
The auctioneer scratched his head, and followed up with some words of explanation.
“The state of one egg wasn’t too good. To speak truthfully…the egg had ruptured in the process of infusing Magic Power. Even if were to hatch it, it would be premature, and it wouldn’t be long before its Magic Power went out of control and died.”
So it turns out that during the process called ‘Magic Infusion’, used to accelerate the hatching of a dragon, something went wrong with one of the eggs and it ruptured. Being unable to properly take in Magic Power meant being worthless as a dragon, and even if it were hatched it would end up dying in no time.
Defective goods wouldn’t be used as merchandise…a rather commendable merchant’s mindset.
Just then, Carpediem put in some additional words.
“I still want to have a look nonetheless. Who knows? Somebody just may feel a sense of kinship and buy that egg.”
At the same time, he once again looked at me with a gaze full of disdain.
Did mean to say that I was no better than a broken egg?
I looked at him, and saw the self-assurance of superiority on his face.
“How dare he…”
Laila’s eyes were blazing with flames. She looked just about ready to pounce on Carpdiem and twist his neck.
I lightly patted Laila on the back unperturbed, acting like I wouldn’t fall for a crude taunt of that level. If I played along with him, it would simply prove that I was just as crude.
“…I understand. If the customer wishes for it then I must certainly bring it over.”
The auctioneer had considered it for a moment before clapping once, and soon after some other dark merchants brought over the egg on a handcart. At first glance nothing appeared to be wrong with it. But upon looking closely, there was a few small cracks on the egg; perhaps that being the reason it didn’t draw much interest.
“Well then…let the auction begin. Shall we first take a look at the fire dragon?”
Fire dragon. It was dragon that could handle fire magic as naturally as breathing. It had a fierce temperament, but it couldn’t not be acknowledged when it came to its destructive power. It was evaluated at 70,000 points, so while it was lacking compared to the dark dragon, it should still be at a middle-high grade.
“The starting price is 30,000.”
“Carpediem of Destruction-nim!”
“This is…isn’t this the big hand of the vampire realm, Parvo-nim!”
I quietly observed the situation of the auction. No, I wasn’t even looking at the auctioning going on. I was simply looking at the egg. The egg which had made its appearance last, ridiculed by Carpediem. Even the other Demon Lords and monsters were ignoring it with their heads turned away.
‘So this was why.’
Everyone else ignored it, but not me. I could see differently than others. I could even find out why the infusion of Magic Power had gone wrong, and why it had ruptured.
I smiled internally.
‘I choose you.’