After the appearance of the golden seats and stage, the frightened and dissatisfied guests had their interest piqued the moment the hammer struck.
Since they were familiar with the rules and procedures, they really wanted to know what the item under the red cloth was.
In order to have an auspicious start, the first item of all the auctions they had been to would definitely be the most exquisite item of all. It might be second only to the last and most precious item.
As the guests raised their heads up for a good look, Kairi unveiled the red cloth.
"What is that?"
"Look at that! What is it?"
A series of heavy gasps later, shocks were heard in waves.
A golden dragon crown with jewels embedded on it was shining brilliantly under the spotlight.
If it was just gold and jewels, it wouldn't astonish the guests who themselves were high authority individuals. What shocked them was the crown itself.
"Is that Artitelgar's crown?"
"Seems so, but…"
"How could it be Artitelgar's crown?"
Discussions sounded in succession. Kairi on the stage knocked the hammer before the crowd went out of control.
Bang Bang Bang!
The unique sound of the wooden hammer silenced the whole venue immediately.
Kairi who was under the spotlight looked around and saw the doubts and disbelief on the faces of the guests; however, there was a slight sense of anticipation behind those questionable expressions and it made Kairi smile.
An unknown excitement rose in his heart when he saw the crowd's expressions.
Unlike him showing off his strength in the streets, the excitement now was denser and had more substance to it.
It was similar to waves of trembling aura that assaulted his nerves like a rampaging storm.
Kairi's face quickly blushed and the last bit of anxiety in his heart vanished at that very moment.
He became perfectly calm and collected, NO! More precisely, he became passionate.
"I am sure everyone is quite familiar with this crown as it is the legendary crown of Artitelgar. That's right, it really exists! I believe I don't have to tell you the legends of this crown right? After all, everyone here should have heard about the stories of His Majesty."
"I myself show utter respect for His Majesty so you need not worry about its origins or being chased after. It is completely logical and legal for the crown to be here and of course, in order to fit an item of this caliber, the price shouldn't insult His Majesty as well…"
"10 million! We will start with 10 million and every bid will be no less than 1 million!"
The speech was written by a pro whom Kairi sought out to aid him.
Unlike his usual dry and stuttering reading, his words were infectious as his heart was pumping with excitement at that particular moment.
Similar to cold water being poured into a boiling pot of oil, the venue exploded in an instant.
In the eyes of a common man, the bids were unimaginable astronomical figures and yet it came out of the guests' mouth like water.
Soon, the bidding wars grew fierce.
Kray who was backstage was overwhelmed by the scene.
Coming from the streets, Kray did see a lot of money earning businesses but the businesses that he thought was a lot of money in the past was a far cry from the numbers the guests uttered.
What was a few thousand to tens of millions?
"These people really… They are really crazy!" Kray's jaw dropped for a while before he uttered the only term he could think of to describe the guests.
"Kray, you think they are crazy? No, they are calmer than ever before. They are willing to bid at such a high price is because they understand that by getting their hands on the crown, they can get a lot more in return, returns that will exceed their imaginations," said Kieran with a laugh.
"This crown, is it that valuable?" Kray asked out of instinct.
The moment the question escaped his mouth, the muscle of the gang felt embarrassed.
Of course, the crown was valuable! If it wasn't, how could it produce such an effect on the guests?
"Why is it so valuable? Even if it is gold embedded with gemstones, it shouldn't be worth that much," Kray's heart was flooded with questions.
Unlike Kairi who had been following Kieran at his side and witnessed many special things, Kray had been busy the past two days expanding their territory so he wasn't clear on everything.
"Because it is Artitelgar's crown," Kieran replied quietly.
Kieran didn't elaborate, instead, he turned his eyes to the person beside him and said, "Am I right Zackary?"
"Of course! Artitelgar represents everything in Flame City, wealth, power, and even life!"
Zackary slowly walked out from the corner in his handsome suit while answering Kray's question but Kray didn't even listen because the moment Zackary spoke, Kray pointed his gun at him.
"Hey Kray, it's not the first meeting anymore, lower the tension will you?" said Zackary with his smug smile.
His unique temperament was very likable but it wasn't a reason for Kray to lower his gun.
On the contrary, Kray held his gun tighter. Many years of life and death battles on the streets honed Kray's instinct to its sharpest.
The man was dangerous!
Zackary didn't reveal his danger to Kray during the last meeting but this time, it was overflowing.
Kray's simple mind determined that he would never understand what caused the change but he knew what to do to erase the danger.
"Sir Ethan Hunt, shouldn't you explain the working relationship between us to your men? If we have to meet under such circumstances every time, I'm afraid that he might gun me down mistakenly one day. I would die a restless death should it happen."
Zackary shrugged with his hands open.
"Relax, you won't be killed mistakenly."
"Kray, put the gun away and bring Zackary a chair. Oh, and bring me a cigar."
Kieran told Kray.
"Yes, my lord."
Kray quickly moved to carry out Kieran's orders but before he left, he glared at Zackary, it was the threatening and warning kind.
"A decent subordinate, but a little weak."
Zackary commented on Kray after his absence.
"Weakness will grow into power one day. The most important thing is loyalty. Kray's simple thinking made him understand what must he do, that is why I keep him around me," said Kieran.
"What about the other one?" Zackary continued asking.
"Kairi? From a certain aspect, he is even more simple-minded. He might look smart but deep down, he is a straightforward man, unlike the big shots that received higher education, they learned to show reverence."
Kieran glanced deeply at Zackary as he spoke.
"Do you understand reverence?"
"I did before but… I don't want to in the future."
Zackary shrugged again before passing the box over.
"What time is it arranged at?"
"Of course, the most crucial time - dawn."
Kieran casually mentioned the timing.
"Dawn? No sun, no moon, nothing except gloomy darkness… Very nice timing."
Zackary nodded in satisfaction.
"I know, it is a very nice timing," Kieran nodded as well.