ed his mouth.
Even Ves inputted a bid worth 37 million firthals in his bidding tool before he left it.
Since he could easily make a non-rechargeable ultracompact battery by himself, there was no way he would waste his precious firthals on the batteries on offer.
”138 million firthals by Number 4454.
The auctioneer brought out a small gavel from his robe and struck the air.
Despite not hitting any surfaces, a loud banging sound rang throughout the main hall, signifying the end of the bidding round!
No one knew the identity of Number 4454.
Was he a pirate? A Sentinel? Did he sit on the ground floor, or was he sitting on the balcony? No one knew for sure, and that was exactly what the Circle of Mota wanted to see.
The more secure people felt in their identities, the more willing they bid on the items.
”Let us begin with the second battery.
25 million firthals.
45 million firthals.
75 million firthals… ”
Now that people gained a rough estimate of how much people were willing to bid, the auction of the second battery proceeded rapidly before concluding at a price of 142 million firthals, more than the previous one!
The subsequent batteries flew off the auction block in quick order, with prices ranging from 120 million firthals to 150 million firthals.
To Ves, the winning bids sounded somewhat high in relation to the specifications of the ultracompact batteries.
However, the batteries possessed a higher capacity than the cruder ones he was capable of making himself, so the winners did not overpay by too much.
It seemed that the cartel for ultracompact batteries held the market firmly in their grip for them to arouse this level of competitiveness among the bidders.
That made him feel better at the fact that he was capable of making them by himself.
The second item of the auction hovered in place of the demonstration battery.
This object was much larger.
”The second item on offer today is a monument from the extinct Eonxe race.
The Eonxe was a race of sentient aliens that ruled a large amount of territory in the Majestic Teal Star Sector.
They are now extinct and no living member of their race has survived. ”
The monument was a worn-out stone and alloy statue of some kind of upright lizard-like alien race holding aloft a weapon.
The craftsmanship of it was fairly exquisite to Ves ’ artistic senses.
The Eonxe had a flair for exaggerated sculpting.
Nonetheless, it was just a statue or monument.
It held no practical value and Ves did not even detect an inkling of a spiritual remnant inside the large object.
Nonetheless, its historical value alone interested a lot of bidders, because they immediately began to compete over the item with increasingly ludicrous-sounding sums!
1.2 million firthals.
4.6 million firthals.
16 million firthals.
16.7 million firthals.
40 million firthals! 40.6 million firthals. ”
An increasingly small but active amount of bidders offered up enough money to buy and outfit an entire mech company!
To Ves, to throw around this much money for a simple alien ornament sounded crazy!
However, he recognized that the people who competed over the statue desired it due to its rarity.
The Eonxe, just like thousands of other sentient alien races in the galaxy, had been wiped out by the relentless expansion of humanity during the Age of Conquest.
Righteousness, peace and respect for sentient life did not apply during those times.
Greedy human invasion forces kept encroaching and overpowering every alien civilization in their path.
Their stars became humanity
Their planet ’s became humanity ’s planet.
The human race demanded everything while the aliens were forced to fight to the death or flee with whatever remains they could carry.
Even then, a lot of human warfleets pursued the refugees and wiped them out in order to save themselves the trouble of a comeback.
Sometimes, a handful of aliens got away, but by and large their once-prosperous civilization had come to an end.
In order to make their newly-conquered territories their own and deprive their former owners of any claim of what they once possessed, the human race also erased every trace of alien occupation.
The human conquerors fanatically wiped out all of the buildings, monuments, space stations and even entire planetary ecosystems molded by their previous alien owners.
A monument as beautiful as the one put on auction ought to be very rare.
It would be a boon to the collection of distinguished persons.
Ves could easily guess that the most enthusiastic bidders consisted almost entirely of nobles.
”76.7 million firthals.
Someone paid the equivalent of almost 2 billion bright credits for an alien relic with absolutely no practical use.
Nonetheless, Ves understood the benefit of owning such a rare alien ornament.
Just like hunting trophies, these kinds of prizes increased the owner ’s prestige when used in the right way.
To some members of high society, spending 2 billion bright credits to gain an indeterminate amount of prestige was a worthwhile deal.
They had too much of the former and not enough of the latter.
Auction goods like the Eonxe monument were particularly good means of turning money into prestige.
The auction continued onwards as other goods started to show up.
Items such as medicines, gadgets, weapons and other practical objects showed up consecutively, giving the poorer bidders an opportunity to compete over the cheaper items appearing on the auction block.
The bids rarely surpassed 10 million firthals, reflecting the relatively mundane value of the gear and equipment.
While they still had their unique points that distinguished them from regular commodities, they were nothing worth getting excited over.
Once the auctioneer got rid of the garbage, he finally perked up a little as they presented a more remarkable item.
The next item emerged from the floor to reveal a transparent cage that contained a pissed-off human being.
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