A beautiful cart rolled on the stage and arrived next to Jacqueline, who was all smile. Her seductive posture and her dress made the men gulp in desire, to the dismay of their wives.

Before the start of the auction, Brigand had told her that it would be a special event, and that she would get a nice bonus if her performance was adequate. What could be better than raising the temperature of the room with an alluring woman? After posturing for a few more seconds and sensing murderous gazes, she finally spoke.

"To kick off the event, we're presenting this item!"

With a delicate swoop, she removed the cloth and a large crystal the size of a fist came into view. It was crimson and its radiance was almost blinding. Its edges were rough, indicating that it hadn't been tampered with.

The audience, which had been captivated by the hostess, cried out in surprise at its sight. What an amazing opener. The eyes of many nobles shone with greed, ready to snatch it at all cost. After letting the tension build up a little more, Jacqueline continued.

"This is a Blood Ruby. As you may already know, the formation of such crystal requires immense bloodshed, with their sizes varying accordingly. This one was excavated under a battleground that saw 5000 lives perish. They are extremely rare and can be used to forge and enhance weapons. The starting bid is 100 Gold coins!"

The crowd was already at its limits and as soon as the price was announced, a furious bidding war unfolded.


"You poor bastard, crawl back in your hole! 250!"

"What did you say?! 300!"

The gallery, who had been inflamed by Jacqueline, exploded like a powder keg, with insults flying in every direction. The previously dignified nobles were now no less different from a bunch of rabid dogs.

However, the steep increases abruptly stopped when some realized that it was only the first item. They had clearly fallen into a stupid over bidding pattern, and they could only lower their heads in shame. In the end, it was sold to a VIP lounge for 430 Gold coins, making Derrick wince.

He wasn't interested in the item as he could find every material he needed, but the price was absurdly high for the first item shown. He had underestimated the resource's depth of those attending.

This time, the cart that arrived was huge and the cloth covering the item resembled more of a drape. Murmurs started like a wildfire and the anticipation quickly built up. The first item hadn't disappointed, and people couldn't wait to see the follow-up.

With another graceful movement, Jacqueline removed the fabric, revealing an egg. It was 60 centimeters high with a circumference of 70 centimeters. It was creamy white with black freckles randomly spread. These freckles seemed to have a different texture, similar to scales. Instead of excitement, confusion filled the room. What was this?

However, some folks held their breath, wondering if this was a hallucination or not. Why the hell would someone auction such a treasure!? Almost all the VIP rooms started emitting pressure, trying to dissuade each other from bidding. The lone holdout was Derrick, who didn't dare use Appraisal with these mysterious and powerful individuals present. He was as confused as the nobles below.

"I was shocked as well when the nature of the item was brought to my attention. For the first time in its existence, the Brigand Auction house is proud to present a DragonSnake Egg"

Gasps came out from everyone. This was an incredible development! So much so that people started discussing their financial ceiling, ready to cripple their near future to obtain it.

What was a DragonSnake? In one of his favorite books, Derrick had extensively learned about these fantastic monsters. Like its name suggests, it is a hybrid between a Dragon and a Snake. It's a creature that, when born, will associate itself with the first face it sees. It will then become its protector, classifying it as a Guardian Beast. Of course, its real value lies in the fact that it contains genes of a Dragon, a mythical creature so rare that some Scholars ruled them extinct.

Dragons apparently ruled over the continent when it was in its infancy, occupying the apex of the ecosystem. Legends say that they were so strong that a single breath of fire could wipe out dozens of kilometers of land. Terrifyingly huge remains of these beasts had been discovered, supporting these tales.

This was why everyone wanted it. Even if the DragonSnake bloodline only contained a trace of draconic gene, the investment would pay for itself. Its long-term benefits far outweighed its detriments.

Now that he knew what was at stake, Derrick's eyes couldn't move away from the cart. Even though he had creatures under his control, he wanted to study the egg with the System's help. With that thought in mind, he asked the most important question.

"System, can we isolate the two bloodlines and purify them?"

[Host's demand exceeds the System's current ability. Upgrades are needed to answer the query]

At that moment, adrenaline rushed into his bloodstream. His heart nearly jumped out of his chest, realizing the implication of the answer. The system hadn't refuted him.. Which meant that it was possible!

If everything went right, he would be able to hatch Dragons!

Derrick broke out into a sinister laughter, which caught the butler off guard. Pablo barely understood what was going on, but to suscitate such a reaction was something he hadn't seen before.

Jacqueline's voice brought Derrick back from insanity. Her next words poured a bucket of cold water on everyone in the room, himself included. There was always a catch to a deal this good.

"The Egg is 400 years old, and its last owners haven't been able to make it hatch. However, through various methods, they have been able to determine that its fetus is still viable, waiting for the proper stimuli. The price starts at 500 Gold coins!"

The nobles in the gallery below had already sat down, morose that the egg probably would never hatch. They wouldn't gamble their entire lives on a chance so slim that it barely qualified to exist. After all, the current owner was probably selling it to recoup some of his major losses.

The pressure emitted by the VIP lounges also decreased, with some of them having no interest in a decorative toy.

Derrick's resolve slightly wavered when he heard about the egg's condition, but he couldn't be deterred in the end. He had the System on his side and the possibility of hatching Dragons was simply too alluring.

He would get it no matter the cost.


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