The Final Battle
“My apologies for keeping you waiting. The next item is what you are all here for.”
Mericareed made the signal, and then my Automata was brought out on a fancy table. People immediately began to stand in order to get a better look. Others cheered and there was a round of applause. I knew that it was something special. Something rare. And so it felt good to see their reaction.
“An Automata that was excavated from a preserved ruin. Not only that, but it has four extra cores. It will all be sold as a single set, starting at one thousand pieces of gold!”
Oh, he was being aggressive… But if no one bought it, we would have to wait for the next auction. And I didn’t know if there would even be one. I might just have to stuff the thing in my bag again…
As I nervously watched and perked up my ears, I started to hear the bids come in. My wish was for it to at least cover the one thousand and eight hundred I had spent on the armor…
The crowd buzzed at this. Even I was shocked. Things were going well!
“Two thousand and one hundred!”
Another voice shouted. A finely dressed man. He was quite plump and looked like a nobleman.
For a while, it was him and the first guy who were competing. I could see quite a few people sighing. It was more than most were able to spend. Yes, the fact that it had exceeded two thousand was quite shocking.
“Three thousand and five hundred!”
Came the shout from some mysterious woman. She had joined the fight with a ridiculous number. The two men fell silent as if to consult their wallets.
“We have three thousand and five hundred! Anyone else?”
Mericareed called provacatively and the two men frantically raised their hands.
“Three thousand and eight hundred!”
They looked flustered but then turned to the noblewoman to see if she would give up. But she was strong.
There were audible gasps. Then the Automata was sold for five thousand pieces of gold.
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“Mister Asagi. Here are the five thousand pieces of gold. As we take a twenty percent commission, that leaves you with four thousand. Any questions?”
“No. Thank you.”
Mericareed gave me leather pouches that were filled the coins, and so I stuffed them into the hollow bag. He had guessed that it would be sold for five thousand in the beginning. And even after paying the one thousand, there was a lot left. Yes, we could live quite well with this.
I left the building after that. Manager, Daniela, and Lemon seemed to be enjoying a conversation. The sun was starting to set and the west sky had hints of red in it.
“Ah, there you are.”
“Sorry to keep you waiting.”
“Daniela suggested we go out to eat tonight. Since you made so much.”
“Why not? Will you come too, Lemon?”
“Of course, I will.”
If there was one day to indulge ourselves extravagantly, it was today. Well, maybe not too much, since there was a fight tomorrow. But today was special. We should enjoy it.
It was obvious what was going to happen once Daniela stepped out to take the lead. ‘Meat, Meat, Meat, Meat,’ read the sign. Haven’t we come here enough?
“Now, let us eat.”
“This is a nice place.”
“Ah, meat! Meat!”
The three of them got very excited when the meat was placed on the table. And hey, I didn’t hate the stuff myself. However, it wasn’t good for you to eat it and nothing else. And so I ordered plates of vegetables too. But Daniela was quick to cover the grill in meat first. I wasn’t completely defeated though, and soon found a small corner with low heat, where I could leave a few pieces to sizzle.
“Go to a vegetable store if you wish to eat that!”
“Shut up. Just let me eat my vegetables in peace!”
“What did you say…?”
“Asagi, Daniela is right.”
“Exactly, Mister Asagi.”
“Are you kidding me…”
The loud, yet entertaining battle continued over the grill until we were all so stuffed that we decided to call it a night and disperse. Lemon returned to her fancy inn. Manager went to her room in a tavern. It wasn’t a nice place, but she had been suffering from a gold deficiency during her arrival in the city. Daniela and I started to walk back to the military lodging facility.
The sky was getting dark, but the city was very much awake. We watched the glimmering lights as we dragged our heavy bodies through the streets. Here in the capital, it seemed like people were determined to party and drink until the morning, regardless of what was happening the next day.
As I watched the sight before us, Daniela turned to me.
“Asagi. About the fight tomorrow…”
“Yeah, I know. We really are going to end up fighting each other, after all.”
“Yes. But I was quite sure this was going to happen.”
“And so, Asagi. I want you to come at me without holding back.”
She sounded so serious that I couldn’t help but stop in my tracks and look at her. Her expression only served to enhance the gravity in her tone.
“Can’t we just playfight and get it over with?”
“No. I want to fight you for real.”
“You do not want to hurt me, is that it?”
“Yeah. I’m not being conceited here. But I know that I’m capable of causing you harm.”
We’ve been fighting together for so long now. I was able to analyze my own abilities.
“Indeed. And I am capable of hurting you as well. But still, I want it to be a real fight.”
“But why? Why is it so important?”
I picked up a sword to defend myself, and after that, to earn a living. It wasn’t something I did just to hurt people.