Chapter 714 Slave Market
Maybe it was the influence of Billis' conspicuous black garb.
A handsome and dark-skinned youth ran up to Billis and bowed as he said, "Lord Adept, where is it that you wish to go? Bill is willing to serve you!"
Billis looked at the youth with his green eyes and asked in the oddly accented Faen tongue, "How did you know I am an adept?"
It wasn't odd that he was suspicious. There were many other people like him in the lively market, cloaking themselves in thick robes or traveler's hoods and not revealing even an inch of their skin as they snuck about.
The fact that a weak native youth could identify him as an adept under such circumstances was clearly beyond Billis' expectations.
The native youth was momentarily shocked before bowing and explaining with a weird look on his face, "My Lord, we mortals who have been permitted entry into the tower are all required to wear this."
Billis followed the youth's eyes and found an odd brooch pinned to the collar of the boy's shirt. Billis lifted his eyes and looked around to see that everyone was wearing a similar brooch on their chest.
When he closed his eyes, he could vaguely sense the weak magical flux radiating from the brooches.
So that's how it is!
This security measure laid down for foreign mortals was probably something only the adepts were excused from. That was why…
"I want to go to the Pale Witches' slave market. Bring me there!"
"Please, my lord!"
As the owners of the tower, the Pale Witches' slave market was located at the most prominent location of the third floor. The area took up was also half of the entire floor.
All the slaves caught by the witches were imprisoned here, awaiting the day the portal was opened to be sent back to the World of Adepts. However, considering the 'ticket' that passing through the planar door required, not all slaves would be brought back.
Of the four hundred elves that the Dark Witches had abducted from Garan, there were many seniors and children. In fact, these elves formed a large percentage of the population. Regardless of their strength, the base price for passing through the planar portal was a hundred magical crystals.
Yet an ordinary elf could not sell more than two or three dozen magical crystals when sold at the market price in the World of Adepts. Meanwhile, the costs of elves with unique talents or those who were fighters were easily several times that of ordinary elves.
As such, no one would be willing to spend that kind of money to transport a bunch of loss-generating goods back to the World of Adepts unless necessary!
The Crimson Clan had also managed to abduct a total of six hundred forest elves over their six months in Garan. If they were to bring all the elves back to the World of Adepts, not only would they not be able to compensate for the travel fare, they would even suffer losses.
That was why ordinary elves and sick or disabled elven fighters would be eliminated and sold to Faen natives through the Pale Witches' slave market. Only specially selected exceptional goods were worth the investment to bring back.
As a reward from his clan, Billis could choose fifteen elves from the group as part of his personal collection. Whether he decided to auction them or use them as experiment material, all the profits belonged to the adept themselves.
It was Greem's generosity that made the clan adepts so willing to bear enormous risk to fight with him in a different world.
Billis walked into the shop opened by the Pale Witches, and the first things he saw were the old wooden cages placed in a row along the stone wall. Some people were standing in the wooden cages, while others were sitting or even lying down, but all of them were otherworldly slaves.
The wooden cages weren't big. They were only ten square meters large, but every one of them was packed to the brim with slaves of different species, races, and genders. Among them were highland dwarves who excelled at mining and smelting, kobolds who were proficient at digging and tunneling, ogre magi with two heads and who stood at five meters tall, flametail lions with bright yellow fires on their tails…
Of course, there were plenty of forest elves abducted from Garan as well!
A group of young and passionate teenagers surrounded Billis upon seeing him enter. They spoke in their non-fluent adept's tongue and diligently served this mysterious adept hiding under this black robe.
The native youth that led Billis here had been awkwardly shoved aside.
Now that they were here, there wasn't much he could say.
"I'm here to claim the rewards of my clan. This is the claim number!" Billis took out a bronze plate and tossed it about in his hand.
"This is the plate of the Crimson Clan. Their prisoners are being kept in wooden cages twenty-five to forty-one in Area One. Luna, bring him there!" The old witch clasping and slowly reading a book behind the wooden table only raised an eye to glance at Billis before returning to her own business.
A young teenage girl immediately stood forth and did as she was told.
Area One was located at the center of this enormous market. It was clear that an unusually large number of slavers and merchant representatives had assembled here, for the sounds of their arguing and haggling was deafening and intense. If it weren't for fighting being forbidden in the market, some of the more passionate fellows would not have been able to hold back.
One had to admit that war was the best shortcut to getting rich!
Opportunities for obtaining unique products from Garan were few and far between for the nobles of the Faen Continent. Though large fleets of slaver ships always snuck to Garan on an annual basis, the storms of the sea, the raids of the seafolk, and the existence of the elven patrols made it challenging to abduct any elves. The number of kidnapped elves was so small that they could be counted with both hands.
Meanwhile, the debaucherous and extravagant manners of the human nobles made them excessively obsessed with the exotic and beautiful forest elves. That was why the price of forest elves, be they male or female, was always exorbitantly expensive on Faen Continent!
The price of a powerful intermediate First Grade ogre might not even compare to that of a beautiful apprentice-level elf.
When the young girl brought Billis to a row of wooden cages, the bug adept saw the emblem of the Crimson Clan upon the thick and old pillar of the pens– a giant flaming hand.
The cage interiors were packed full of forest elves whose eyes burned with fury.
Not a single weakling or senior was among them. All of them were young elves with excellent figures and pretty faces. Without exception, a magical circular brand had been placed on both of their shoulders, cutting them off from all elementium power. The effect of Weakness further compounded the fatigue of the elves. They were no longer as light and agile as they used to be when scaling the hundred-meter trees of Fantasy Forest.
Billis' arrival also drew the attention of the merchants gathered near the cages.
The more clever ones of the lot quickly moved away when they saw Billis' odd garb, giving way to the best spots in front of the wooden cages.
Billis walked around the Crimson Clan's cages and realized that he couldn't find too many ordinary elves inside.
There were six hundred First Grade elven combatants. That was quite the loss for the elven kingdom!
He didn't see any Second Grade elves.
Of course, this was only natural.
An elf as valuable as a Second Grade couldn't possibly be imprisoned in such a crude and harsh environment. They had to be concentrated at a higher-class facility. There were agile and tattooed war dancers among these First Grade elves, along with flexible and fast elven archers.
Those who had special abilities–such as elven casters, druids, or beastmasters–were specially selected and enclosed together in a neighboring cage.
In all honesty, if it weren't for the fact that he wouldn't be able to bring the entirety of his insect army back to the World of Adepts, Billis would probably have chosen to stay on Garan and slowly devour all of the forest elves, bit by bit.
As a bug adept, his individual strength was still too lacking; he didn't have too many powerful spells he could use. His swarm and insect soldiers were the deciding factor in almost all of his battles. That allowed him to overwhelm opponents stronger than himself, forcefully wearing away powerful creatures that were far superior to him. However, his insects were not beneficial to his personal strength.
As such, Billis had to find a balance between the improvement of his swarm and the enhancement of his abilities.
His grandest and wildest dream was to own a resource-rich material plane of his own and to transform all the creatures within into his swarm, hoarding all of the resources for himself.
When that happened, he would be the master of the swarm and the one who reigned over tens of thousands of planes. He would be the great bug adept revered by all adepts!
Sadly, he had been taught a cruel lesson of reality after experiencing multiple planar wars. It was no more than a fantasy for him to achieve this dream as a mere First Grade. That was why, for the sake of his future development, he had given up on the hundred thousand-strong insect army he had so painfully raised in Garan. Billis instead chose to bring part of the elites back with him to the World of Adepts.
At this moment, what fifteen elves he should pick became a question he needed to ponder.
Ordinary elven fighters could only be used to hatch swarm insects; only elves who also possessed elementium powers could be used to raise insect soldiers. As such, Billis paid most of his attention to the elven casters and the druids.
Just as he was brooding with indecision, a crass head slaver found the courage to move to his side.
"My Lord, were you willing to give your elf claims to us? We are willing to purchase them at a high price. Moreover," The slaver head lowered his voice and said, "we can get you things that you might be interested in."
"Things I might be interested in?" Billis snickered with his hoarse voice and said, "What things could you mortals possibly have that could satisfy me, hmph."
"My lord, this is a list of our inventory at this time. Why don't you give it a look?"
The head slaver carefully took out an ancient parchment and opened it in front of Billis.
Billis glanced at the piece of parchment, and his bug's face beneath the hood's shadow couldn't help but betray a trace of shock.
Hm? Why would they have this?
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