Now, the Auction
Aside from the Manager, the others in the waiting room were all elderly men and women. Of course, these weren’t ordinary people either. They looked sophisticated. Probably nobles.
There were plenty of chairs and everyone sat where they liked and talked freely. At least here, it seemed like people were just generally seen as sellers, and there were no strict aristocratic rules.
“You three. Take a seat over here.”
Daniela sat down to her left. Lemon didn’t hesitate to take the other seat next to Daniela, which meant I was forced to sit on the right side of the Manager.
“By the way, I don’t believe we’ve spoken before. Uh, Lemonfrost, was it?”
“Uh, ye-yes! I am Lemonfrost Grasilf.”
“Yes, I’ve seen you with Asagi on multiple occasions.”
I had felt that someone was staring at me a number of times once I arrived in the capital. So it was her. She had been watching me from the shadows.
Lemon and the Manager seemed to get along after that. Daniela would occasionally mutter something and the overall mood was congenial. As for me, I stared dazedly at the ceiling. I was bored… If only something interesting would happen…
“Hmm? What is it?”
The Manager turned away from Daniela to look at me. There was something that I had been wondering and it seemed like a good time to ask about it.
“Manager. Why do you go by Kapricorn Shteiner?”
“Ah, that. What took you so long to ask?”
“I had a lot on my mind and forgot.”
Her real name was Rindo Kizugawa.
“Look at this place. Do you think I would just use my real name?”
“Uh, I didn’t have a second thought about using mine.”
“You have no sense of danger… In any case, I did. Besides, I was pretending to have amnesia.”
“Right… So, why that name?”
“Because I’m a Capricorn.”
That was simple.
“It sounded cool.
“Well, I told them that I got my memories back. I even had my status card remade the other day. So it’s back to Rindo Kizugawa from now on.”
And that was it. Daniela had an idea about what we were talking about, so she just nodded. Lemon was looking at us blankly.
“Uh, she’s an old friend of mine. She was a manager at a general store.”
“Oh, I see.”
“Yes. We were separated due to circumstances. And we just happened to reunite at the tournament.”
“It all makes sense now!”
Lemon said with a brightened expression. It was just then that there was a knock on the door. Everyone’s heads turned as it was opened.
“I’m sorry to keep you waiting. Preparations have been made. Please follow me.”
Finally. I was getting tired of staring at the ceiling…
Everyone got up noisily and started to shuffle out of the room. I hadn’t counted earlier, but there seemed to be about twenty of us in all. That was a lot. It kind of felt oppressive.
On the way, Daniela and Lemon were led through a different hallway, as they weren’t sellers. Still, they would apparently be seated near the front. Lemon seemed to have pretty good luck when it came to seats.
□ □ □ □
“Now, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for gathering here today. We were quite anxious once we heard that the tournament had been delayed. And yet, so many of you have shown your faces here today. I am full of gratitude. Thank you, thank you.”
There was a round of applause from the guests. Us sellers were seated up on the stage. Ten to the right and ten to the left. The magic lights were practically blinding and painful. In fact, I could hardly see the audience at all.
“Please forgive me, I have not introduced myself yet. I am your host for the day, Mericareed Yafina. At your service.”
He gave a gentlemanly bow.
“Now, let us get to business. Here is the first item of the day!”
He suddenly seemed to be very excited. The audience reacted with cheers and whistles. Apparently, it was always like this. Even now, I still had images of secret auctions and slave auctions in my head, so it was a good way to be brought back to reality. I had been wondering if I should put on a mask.