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Fighting God Chapter 8: City of Sinners
It has been an hour since they left the premises of the slave market. They’ve been walking east without any change in direction. By this time, Aldred had calmed down a bit. Although he was still furious at the slavers and his incompetence, he reasoned that he could not be rash. Kory’s death will be avenged…however, he needed to become stronger first. Charging towards those slavers with his measly abilities would only send him to his death like what had happened with Kris.
Aldred looked around and observed the other slaves who will be auctioned off along with him. There were a number of normal slaves and a number of abnormalities. There were slaves with weird markings on their bodies, young androgynous men and women, handsome men and voluptuous women, and of course children as well. Then, there were the abnormalities such as the man with three eyes, woman with a beard, brother and sister siblings with bits and pieces of metal growing from their bodies, and the incredible “tears to diamonds” girl. Most were crying while the rest could only accept their fate and stare into hopelessness.
After half an hour more, they finally arrived at the city where the underground auction would take place. Looking at the sign above the gate, Aldred read “City of Sinners”. Hmm…City of Sinners…according to the limited knowledge he had on this city from the books he read, this city was a nest of evil. Thieves, rapists, killers – you name it, they have it. This city was founded by the 8th generation Bandit King Yolek the Cannibal. It was initially meant to be a safe haven for his bandit army…but as time went on, new generations of Bandit Kings replaced the previous as owner of the city. And with each change in position of power, changes within the city occurred as well. After the 19th generation, the doors were opened to any and all criminals. After the 25th generation, the underground auction and the black market came into existence. The city started to associate with nobles as well as the wealthy. Currently, the 39th generation Bandit King Olar the Butcher runs the city allowing the city to see prosperity for some time now. It was truly a perfect place to host the underground auction.
After the slavers went through some identifications as well as examinations, they were allowed to enter the city. With whip in hand, the slavers thrashed at the slaves, urging them to hurry into the city. Once in the city, Aldred and the other slaves all ogled at the mixture of chaos and order. Although one can see people being actively killed or mugged, things like mass-killing, gang wars, basically anything large-scale were stopped or controlled by the bandits who acted like some form of security.
Naturally, as the slaves walked deeper to the heart of the city, there were some instances when a mugger tried to rob the slavers or when a killer slashed at a nearby slave. The bodyguards escorting the slavers would handle the muggers however, if a slave was killed before the bodyguards could do anything…well…that slave is dead and there’s nothing anyone could do about it. During the time it took to reach the underground auction from the city gates, the slave group had lost three slaves…thankfully, well according to the slavers that is, only the normal slaves were killed. After all, to them, abnormalities earn more money when they are sold to the auction.
“You, you, you, you, you, and you! Go with him. The rest, follow me.” One of the slaver said as he pointed at the normal slaves…wait…does that mean he was an abnormality too? That…is kind of insulting….
Anyways, the group was divided between the normals and the abnormalities…and Aldred. The normal slaves followed the other slaver who led them towards a host of the auction. It seems that those slaves will be auctioned off first…or not. Aldred and the other group followed their slaver towards another room where another host was on standby. Ah…there were two different auctions occurring – the auction of normal things and normal slaves for the less wealthy…and then the auction of rare treasures and abnormalities like them for the nobles and the extremely wealthy.
While the slaver was conversing with the host, Aldred picked up the words No-Affinity which was followed by a gasp of astonishment from the host. The host looked at Aldred and nodded his head. The host thought to himself Truly a rarity – to be so unblessed by the elements that you can see no sign of them around him.
“So, are you satisfied with today’s haul? Do we have a deal?” The slaver said.
“Haha, as expected from your slave market, truly wonderful to have even a No-Affinity. It is a deal. Here’s your payment.” The host chuckled as he threw a pouch full of gold coins at the slaver.
“I’ve brought you a No-Affinity. That’s extremely rare. Give me more or no deal.”
“Haha, don’t be so uptight. Here, have another pouch. Satisfied?”
The greedy bastard immediately snatched the bags up and placed them in his embrace…as if the bags would be stolen the moment they left his embrace. “That’s m-much better. W-well, I’ll be off then.”
Seeing the slaver leave, the host slightly turned his head backward and whispered, “No one talks to me like that. Hmph! That was a lot of money…steal it from him before he leaves the city.”
A slight muffled “yes” was heard before a shadow figure left the vicinity. Knowing what will happen, Aldred couldn’t help but feel a bit satisfied. A sneer appeared on his face. *WHAP!* A back hand slapped him across the head, causing him to see stars.
“Bitch! Don’t you dare sneer at me again or I’ll skin you alive!” The host roared as he thought Aldred’s sneer was directed towards him. “You’re lucky you’re a No-Affinity. If you had been something else, I would have killed you on the spot. Do I make myself clear?”
“Kuuu….yes” Aldred groaned as a throbbing pain danced on his head.
“Now, you lot follow me.” The host replied as he gestured the group of slaves to follow. The host led Aldred and the other slaves to a room where a couple of more slaves were residing in. “Stay here until you are called.”
As the door opens and Aldred and his group entered, the group inside trembled at first before they sighed in relief and turned their gazes towards Aldred’s group. Those were the stares of sadness, despair, reluctance, helplessness, and understanding. While they were being observed, Aldred was observing his surroundings as well. He saw that almost all of the slaves had weird and even disgusting abnormalities. There were two-headed humans, two-bodied humans, people that looked like trees, etc. And then there were the Dual-Affinities, the rare Unholy-Affinity, divine bodies, etc. The slaves all stood or sat. Family or friends would try to comfort each other though they know full well what will happen when the host comes for them. Strangers would just ignore each other…there was no room and no mood for social interactions.
Beastly roars could be heard in the next room. Aldred could partially understand the roaring sounds because of a skill – Language of the Beasts – one of the few skills he was able to bring across from his previous life. Though the demonic beasts of this world differ with the beasts of his previous world, there were still some similarities allowing Aldred to pick out a few words. The jarring roars and screeches were roughly translated to screams of help and anger, as well as torn separation. It seems that rare and unique beasts are also sold here. As time passed, the door opened again. Everyone held their breaths as they looked towards the opening with anticipation. When the host walked in with guards behind him, everyone starting sobbing whether its soft sniffling or straight up bawling.
“QUIET!” The host roared. He pointed at a few people, “You, you, you, and you two. Take them!”
The guards rushed in and dragged the reluctant slaves out the door, separating family and friends. Looking at who was dragged out, Aldred was able to conclude that slaves will be taken out by abnormality-type for instance the ones who left just now were slaves with special body protrusions. When the door closed shut, sounds of excitement could be heard. After half an hour, the host came back and threw back a slave.
“Hmph! It seems I wasted my gold buying this useless shit! Can’t even get sold. Guards, make sure to send him to the mines once this is over.” The host grunted. After that, he chose a few more slaves and dragged them out. This process continued, sometimes a slave is sent back because he or she couldn’t be sold and other times, a group of slaves were completely sold off. Finally, it was time….
The doors opened and the host walks in. He looked at a few slaves until he landed his eyes on Aldred. With a smirk, “You special affinities, get out here! It’s your turn.”