Chapter 30 – I Choose You (Fin)

Its outer appearance was terrible. It wasn’t even colorful like the other eggs. The pale coloring itself served to prove that its Magic Power was poor. Magic Power measured the level of an existence, which was why the Magic Power possessed by other living creatures was incomparable to the majority of dragons.

Deeper colors in the eggs often lead to them being regarded as higher quality, where they would then receive further support using powerful equipment. This was considered common sense, and I too would have been extremely disappointed if I didn’t have my skill.

“‘Shotel Arcrasa’-nim has won the fire dragon egg for 64,000 points! Congratulations!”

Shotel Arcrasa. He was of a demon race with outer armor like a turtle and green skin, and his face looked like a dragon’s. His appearance resembled the black turtle of the four holy beasts, rather than a dragon, but I could what his general preference was like just from look at how his entourage entirely consisted of either the dragon race or creatures related to them.

Laila additionally explained.

“Shotel Arcrasa is a peculiar Demon Lord. It is said that his goal is to collect all dragons, and that there are 20 kinds of dragons residing in his castle.”

From thereon she continued to brief me on those I needed to know about from now on, or those that it wouldn’t hurt to keep in mind. She seemed to have a personal criterion. She unhesitatingly dismissed the other demon lords as ‘false kings’, but she seemed to be be able to view all things with an objective and analytical eye whenever it came to ensuring my victory. It was strange seeing this side of her.

Once upon a time, the ‘queen of terror and slaughter’ used to make the world tremble in fear. It’s only now that I confess my feelings, but defeating her was much more difficult than defeating a demon lord. She dedicated everything into waging war, casually sacrificing her limbs in pursuit of victory. Looking at her then, she was definitely an extremely determined zealot. The side she showed only to Uriel Diablo changed 180 degrees in battle. So great was her beauty and bravery that even Aletheia and a few mentally-loose individuals sent her generous support.

“…Next up is what everyone should have been anticipating, the item holding the most expectations: the dark dragon egg! Would you believe it if I were to say that this is a child of the ‘Black-eyed Gradia’ who use to rule the underworld?”

“Gradia!”

“Isn’t that the ancient wrym, the one which no one has seen and survived to tell the tale?”

Dragons that have survived the longest even among dragons and have gained wisdom and power are beings that are called as ‘ancient wyrms’. I had also heard of this Gradia.

‘Apparently, two castles in China went up in flames in the blink of an eye right after it made its appearance.’

I hadn’t seen it personally, because Gradia, who had statistically murdered a hundred million people, had once again returned to its purple ‘Gate’. I remembered it only because there were hardly any instances of the prior mentioned incident. According to the survivors of that incident, it was said that it was their first time ever witnessing such ‘rage’; a rage so intense that it shook the very world itself and causing darkness to fall upon everything nearby…and to think, this dark dragon egg is the child of that being?

I became curious as to how they got their hands on that egg.

“Laila. Where, and how to those merchants find items of that level?”

“According to their words, they ‘trade’ for them fair and square. Nothing else further is known.”

Trade, was it…but I had witnessed the scene of Al Araxar being dragged into the ‘purple Gate’. At the time, Al Araxar had said that over time, he would lose his sanity according to the ‘will of the Great Star’. If all the monsters within the purple Gates had gone through such a process, would that mean even Gradia had simply lost its sanity and went berserk according to that ‘will’?

Perhaps the ‘trade’ which the dark merchants speak of is actually plundering, because the dark merchants are under the protection of the Great Star.

I mulled over it as I rubbed my chin, but it only served to further my suspicions.

“The starting price shall be set at 50,000. Now then…”

As if he’d been waiting for this moment, Carpediem opened his mouth even before the auctioneer’s words ended.

“70,000.”

“Carpediem of Destruction-nim!”

“90,000.”

“Ohoho, Shotel Arcrasa-nim!”

The bid increased in increments of 20,000.

The bidding had started out strong right from the beginning, so those two were the only participants; Carpediem, and Arcrasa. The dark dragon egg’s fair price from what I saw was ‘110,00’. The bidding quickly exceeded that number, however.

“200,000.”

Carpediem let out a presumptuous laugh, as if he’d already won the bid. It appeared that Shotel Arcrasa couldn’t afford any further expenses, since it had only been moments before that he had bought the fire and thunder dragon. Carpediem’s smile grew deeper as he looked at Arcrasa biting his lower lip tightly, and then turned to look at me to speak blatantly.

“I look forward to the days ahead. Gradia’s child would indeed have the right to be called the most powerful of dragons. I just can’t wait until it can take flight and wreak havoc.”

An obvious taunt, implying that he is easily capable of handling a dragon like this. He was arrogantly trying to intimidate me, while his behaviour also made fun of the fact that I hadn’t participated in any bids until now.

‘How trivial.’

What mattered to me was victory. Something of real worth. Not honor, pride or the like. In the end, a formidable amount of time went into hatching and raising a dragon. Even if that time was reduced through Mana Infusion, it would require several years at least, and that accounted for the time it took to completely develop a dragon to its full capability.

But from how I saw it, Carpediem had no patience. It would be correct to say that it wasn’t likely that he would wait until that dragon fully grew up before attacking my territory. But seeing as he did spend a large sum of 200,000 points…

On the contrary, this was a good result for me, and I didn’t have to do a thing. Judging from the reaction of the other demon lords, 200,000 points were enough to be considered a ‘huge amount of money’ even by their standards.

The dark dragon egg has been successfully bidded by Carpediem-nim for 200,000 points!”

The auctioneer clapped exaggeratedly, the silver helmet on his head clanking noisily. With this, all 9 eggs had been sold. All the eggs apart from two were successfully bidded by demon lords. A pure-blood vampire and succubus queen had each taken an egg, but Laila had told me that they were both supreme rulers of their respective cities. I took a good look at them before I turned away again.

“Finally…this is a golden dragon egg. I am still in a bind whether to auction this or not.”

The auctioneer himself didn’t seem hold much expectation for it, even though he was in the seller’s position; because it was regarded as a defective good.

“The starting price shall be 10,000 points.”

“Isn’t it too expensive when it’s going to be disposed of anyway?”

“Our company policy is to sell everything our customer wants, however…officially, we do not needlessly sell products that may end up causing a problem. Please think of the 10,000 points as a ‘liability fee’.”

Meaning, take it only if you can take responsibility.

Naturally, there wasn’t anyone in a hurry to raise their hands for it. While 200,000 points were a huge sum of money, 10,000 couldn’t be casually spent either. Of course, matters would be different if there were anyone who could see the ‘truth’ hidden within the egg.

‘Mind’s Eye.’

I examined it once more to confirm whether or not what I’d seen was accurate. Once again, I was amazed by the information which popped up.

Name: None (Value – 210,000)
Race: Golden Dragon
Stats:
Str 1a
Agi 1a
Con 1b
Int 1s
Mag 1ss
Potential(5/485)
Special Note: Two cores exist. They are currently in ‘resonance’ however, it is absorbs all the nearby magic power due to its constitution of ‘Magic Absorption’.
※ Magic Absorption: A constitution which endlessly absorbs magic power. Roughly hundreds of times more potent than normal. (All dragons are born with a constitution which absorbs magic power to a certain extent)

Name: None (Value – 230,000)
Race: White Dragon
Stats:
Str 1ss
Agi 1s
Con 1s
Int 1a
Mag 1c
Potential(5/485)
Special Note: In an attempt to survive the magic absorption phenomenon, it has ‘mutated’ by itself and as a result, evolved towards maximizing physical abilities instead of magic power.

Two cores within a single egg. They were twins, however, one was a golden dragon while the other was a white dragon. The type of magic power among the dragon race varied respectively by color, and the golden dragon shined with a golden brilliance precisely because of its overflowing golden magic power. The other dragon had most of its magic power absorbed so it was impossible for it to have any color at all.

‘Perhaps that’s why it’s a white dragon.’

A white dragon of all things. It was my first time knowing such a dragon existed. Maybe because it had evolved in an extreme direction, the potential growth of all three of its physical stats were evaluated as ‘S’. No, its Strength was SS in fact, meaning that it had a possibility of surmounting the ‘wall of magic’ with pure stats that went over 100. On the contrary, the golden dragon’s magic power was evaluated as SS perhaps due to its magic absorption constitution. It would be most appropriate to say that they were in a whole different league compared to the norm.

‘How incredible.’

It was a miracle of probability. Before this I hadn’t twins were even possible for dragons, and yet the both of them even possessed special constitutions. I could only hear one heart beating as well. No…it was only that I was hearing the hearts beat as one.

‘Resonance.’

The two were in resonance. It was similar to the telepathy possessed by twins. I never expected their heart beats and presence to overlap as well. In any case, the two were the same, but at the same time different. Maybe this was why even the dark merchants hadn’t noticed, or perhaps they did know but simply pretended ignorance.

‘Did they deliberately put on an act so they wouldn’t have to sell it?’

My expression momentarily froze.

It was an abrupt thought, but the chances of it being true was quite likely. In reality, the auctioneer appeared reluctant to sell it after all, because the dark dragon was a league below those two. It was a waste for it to appear in an emergency auction. It was at a level worthy of appearing on a much bigger stage.

The egg wouldn’t have even been displayed if not for Carpediem mentioning it. It was supposedly planned to be disposed of, yet it was carried over the moment questions were asked about it. This must mean that it had remained in a place similar to the auction storage. It was normal for items to be disposed to be kept separately, or according to the attitudes of the dark merchants, defective goods should have been trashed on the spot. I believed the latter to be much more likely. It was probably that the dark merchants had planned to display that egg on a much bigger stage. The occurrence of this auction was sudden enough to be called an ‘emergency’, so perhaps they had barely realized the worth of the egg very recently.

‘I remember that there is an auction place that only demon lords were allowed to join.’

I recalled Laila’s words.

If regular eggs could be sold openly here, it was hard to imagine what would be auctioned there. But clearly, that egg overwhelmed the other eggs. Isn’t that why they mentioned something like a ‘liability fee’ in order to disencourage those with any ‘curious’ thoughts from buying it?

“If there are no bidders then we shall finish up here.”

He was trying to end it much faster compared to the other times.

I had already made my mind.

“3, 2…”

“10,000.”

“…Uriel Diablo-nim.”

He didn’t sound relieved at the bid.

But I was more cool-headed and focused than any other time before.

“Birds of a feather they say, it looks like you truly do feel something of a kinship! Kehaha!”

Carpediem burst out laughing as he applauded upon witnessing my bid.

But he was unaware it was thanks to him that I had profited big. Thanks to all his ridiculing comments, no one had even tried to bid this time because he had cemented the thought in everyone’s mind that buying that egg would be a ‘loss’. If I didn’t have the power to see through it, I may have also joined them in that thought.

Just then, the auctioneer turned to look at me.

“Uriel Diablo-nim. Do you truly mean to purchase this egg?”

“Is that a problem?”

“The problem, is the possibility of it becoming a problem. We do not hold any responsibility whatsoever.”

“Then there should be no problem.”

The auctioneer sighed. I tried to read the underlying thoughts from his movements.

“You may be able to have a brief experience of raising a dragon, I suppose. You may even be a gourmet intending to taste the egg of a dragon. To be honest I had never imagined anyone bidding for it…Laila Diablo, did your esteemed Lord have such hobbies?”

“It is my Lord’s decision.”

Laila was firm. At the very least, she respected my choice.

Besides…the auctioneer became talkative. If I didn’t know, then he really would have looked like he was trying his best to stop me from buying something ‘defective’. In reality, the Dark Company was highly trusted, however, that didn’t mean that they were ‘upright’. At least, I doubted everything about them. I didn’t think that they would go so far as to slip in a ghost bidder or the like to participate in the auction, but sill I kept my guards up and coolly observed my surroundings.

“…Understood. If there are no further bids, then the egg will be successfully won by Uriel Diablo-nim.”

Carpediem of Destruction. If it weren’t for him, one or two competitors may have appeared. Perhaps there may have been a gourmet who wanted to take this opportunity to have a taste of dragon egg. But as a result of his meddling and guiding the atmosphere, I ended up obtain freedom. Moreover…I became convinced that as long as I was careful, even a demon lord can be taken advantage of. They were definitely not a ‘higher species’ of humans. They were merely stronger, that’s all.

3, 2, 1. The auctioneer finished counting and nodded his head.

“You have won the bid. Congratulations, Uriel Diablo-nim.”

The auction ended, and my mind relaxed like never before.

..

I received the cracked egg of a dragon on the way back, and I even found a hidden memo on the egg. This was written on top of the small paper,

「As long as it is not hatched, we accept returns.」

I crushed it, and threw it away. At the same time I grew convinced.

‘There are no perfect existences.’

And that included the puppets of the Great Star.

Or perhaps…the emergency auction to sell the 10 eggs had been opened in light of my awakening, and the reason why one egg was cunningly hidden among the others was to test my ability?

Naturally there was almost none who knew that I was the ‘one with piercing sight’. I did consider that I was overthinking it, but still I remained wary. I, for one, wasn’t perfect. The enemies I would fight were numerous and powerful. That’s why starting a company, and obtaining a dragon egg was just the beginning.

The beginning. My grand first steps. Now I was barely moving on to the next step.

“Uriel Diablo! The next time we meet shall be on the battlefield. Keheheh!”

…It would have been a perfect ending if it weren’t for that bastard.

I slowly turned my head to see that his minions were holding up the dark dragon egg high in the air as if showing it off.


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