zed 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.
Going once.
Going twice.
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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