The Devil, The Witch, and The Wicked World of Delirith
Somewhere in the exiled world of Delirith, somewhere in the arid sands of Kaandur, somewhere in the town of Honorbound, a huge auction fest was being held at the town square. Many participants, locals and outsiders alike, hung around the festive grounds awaiting the announcement for its first programme. Three of the participants being the protagonists of our story; Mako the Little Witch, Fyra the One-Horned Devil, and their new partner, Sir Copperhead the- yeah I’m not writing all of his titles.
“Alright, so according to the official schedule, there will be four separate auctions held throughout this fest,” Sir Copperhead explained, holding in his hand the timetable for the auction fest’s programmes. “Three tents are placed within the festive grounds; tent A, tent B, and tent C. The first auction will be held in tent A, where items such as bots, gadgets, turrets or anything that correlates with weaponry will be dealt.”
“I suppose you two will be looking forward the most for this one-” Copper folded the timetable and stuffed it back into his vest pocket- “that said, it will begin in less than five minutes, so I propose we move our butts to tent A right now.”
“Aye aye sir!” Mako and Fyra saluted simultaneously. Copperhead handed them their number ticket which turned out to be #49 for Mako and #50 for Fyra. The half-robot-faced gentleman himself registered under the number #51. With that settled, they went on to enter tent A.
Inside the tent, both Mako and Fyra were surprised by how jam-packed the place had become with participants of various races, size, and prosthetics. Long wooden benches were arranged in rows of three, and it seemed the front row seats were all but full. Despite that, it didn’t stop our protagonists from pulling some tricks up their sleeves.
“ *sniff* *sniff* Hey buddy, ya smoking cig or something?” A man at the front row seat asked the guy beside him.
“Yeah. You got a problem with that?” the other guy turned, revealing a cuban cigar bitten between his lips.
“I wouldn’t have if not for it’s shitty smell!”
“You calling my cigar shit buddy!?”
“Hell yeah I do!”
Both the man and the smoker got up from their seats as their argument grew more heated. It wasn’t long till the first punch was thrown which quickly escalated to a violent fight. Everyone on the frontmost row got up and tried to pull the two men away from each other, but a missed punch to one of them triggered a chain reaction which led to an all out brawl among the front row seaters.
The front row crowd dragged their fight outside leaving behind a lot of empty space for our protagonists and the other participants.
“Dang. I haven’t even placed my stinkbomb yet,” Mako commented, bomb in hand with its trigger unpulled.
As things conveniently sorted out without any intervention from our protagonists, the trio took their seats as the auction began. From behind the curtains of the front stage, a dashingly clothed white-haired blue-skinned man appeared.
“Testing, testing- *fuh!* *fuh!* ” The blue man blew the dust off his mic-
“Good morning ladies, gentlemen, and scums alike! I, Zed Leppelin, will be your official host and auctioneer throughout this fest!”
[ ZED LEPPELIN, AUCTIONEER OF THE FEST ]
As blue and charming as the sea!
“I suppose we all know why we’re gathered here today, so without a further ado, let’s bring in our first item for the day!”
A huge robot emerged from the curtains, pushing a trolley with an item covered by a sheet to the center stage. Once arrived, Zed pulled the sheet off revealing the item for everyone to behold.
“Behold!” Zed proudly proclaimed, revealing nothing present on the trolley. The whole crowd grew silent and confused by it.
Despite that, Zed maintained his smile and grabbed ‘nothing’. He motioned his hand as if flapping a piece of cloth, which unveiled the ‘nothing’ to be an-
“Invisibility cape, ladies and bandits! Behold the peak of optical technology as this cloak manipulates light to its will!” Zed wore the cape and suddenly disappeared from sight, earning some ‘ooh!’ and ‘aah!’ from the audience.
“Starting bid of 20 scraps, lycans and scums! You may bid for it now!” Zed reappeared into sight as he took off the cape from his clothing.
And so, the bidding process began as the participants started to raise and shout their numbers every time Zed increased the price by five scraps.
“Now 35! Can I have a 40, anyone wanna bid 40? Thank you sir! Now 40, can I have a 45, anyone bidding 45-”
“Me! Me! Me! Over here!” Mako raised his arm up high, waving it excitedly to gain Zed’s attention.
“Alright, now 45! Now 45! Going for 50? anyone bidding for 50?”
The crowd grew silent. No one appeared to be raising their number.
“Going once, going twice, SOLD! Congratulations girl number 49!”
“HELL YEAH- wait, did he just call me a girl?”
“Congrats kid, you won your first bidding.” Copper congratulated the confused witch.
“So, when am I getting that invi-cape?”
“Once all of this is over. Don’t worry, there’ll be a half hour break between each auction for us to claim our purchased items,” Copper guaranteed, having been used to the customs of Delirith’s auction fest.
With that, the auction continued for the next item to be bade. This time, a small metallic cube was presented to the audience. Zed grabbed the cube and threw it to the air. The cube stuck itself to the tent’s canvas ceiling, where it suddenly rebuilt itself transforming into a two-barreled turret. It immediately shot a random participant, killing him on the spot.
“40 scraps starting bid! Now 40, now 40- thank you gentleman number 32!-” the bidding went on as usual as the crowd paid no heed to the murdered participant. Since it’s a portable turret, the participants were more aggressive at raising the price to get their hands on such good weaponry.
“65 scraps bid, now going 70! Will ya give me 70! Ah, hype as usual number 49-”
“Wait, you’re bidding for that?” Fyra looked at Mako, currently standing on the bench waving his number up high.
“Hell yeah I am! That turret’s gonna be a real good ‘familiar’ for a witch like me!”
“Will ya give me 95? Snakeman just got 95! Now going for a hundred, anyone wanna spend a hundred?”
“Oh shi- they’ve raised the price that high already?” Mako remarked, surprised. “But I wanna have that turret…”
Noticing his sullen face, Copper nudged Mako’s shoulder- “Hey Mako, want to see me pull off a trick I’ve learned after years of experience?”
“Just watch and learn-” Copper cracked his cyborg knuckles before raising his number up high- “400 SCRAPS BID!!”
Everyone in the tent turned their attention to Copper, surprised by the gentleman’s sudden announcement.
“Hoho! We’ve got someone putting their own price in the bid! So, does anyone want to challenge him? Going for 405, will ya give me 405?”
The crowd remained silent. Some of them were seen whispering to each other before shaking their heads in disapproval. In the end, no one wants to challenge Sir Copperhead’s price.
“Going once! Going twice! SOLD!”
“Wow! Didn’t know you could do that. That was cool of you Mr Copper!” Mako praised the gentleman, earning himself a pat to his head.
“Well technically, what I did just now is illegal in some places. But that's why we read the rules and guidelines first. There are no rules that are against putting your own price for this one.”
“Wait, but you’re the one purchasing the turret,” Fyra interrupted. “Unless you’re doing this for Mako- which meant you just spent 400 scraps for him-”
“And indeed that was my intention. No need to feel indebted to me, 400 scraps is but pocket change for an enterprise owner of my caliber.” Copper took this opportunity to boast his wealth, only to be ignored by the duo who looked forward to the next item for bidding.
For the next one hour and half, Zed and his robot ringman went on to present various strange and ludicrous weaponry. Some examples include:
an acid-infused rocket launcher
a ‘bulletless’ machine gun that shoots deadly compressed air
a metallic beehive with remote-command robot bees
a literal beehive
an invisible gun with visible bullets
a visible gun with invisible bullets
a visible gun with visible bullets
a masked midget selling himself as a personal bodyguard
a plasma katana once owned by a ‘God-Slasher’
a gatling gun that costed 400,000 dollars to fire the weapon- for 12 seconds
All of which were demonstrated live on living targets i.e. any unlucky participants aimed by the auctioneer for no good reason. None of the weapons sparked the interest of our trio-protagonists.
“Now ladies and bitches, with a total casualty of 15, we’ve come to our final item for our first auction-” Zed signaled his robot and on queue, the robot pushed a covered trolley to center stage.
Zed unveiled the sheet cover, revealing a rusty looking shin guard that caught Fyra’s attention. The shin guard had a similar motif to her powered bracer.
“Hey Fyra, that looks like something from your clan-”
“It is.” Fyra interrupted Mako’s statement.
“Due to the current state of this item, we will withhold any demonstrations for this item. That said though, you can see the small pipes on this shin guard which were used to blow streams of fire on anyone you wish to burn! So, let’s start our bid with 35-”
“100 SCRAPS!” Fyra shouted out of nowhere, raising her number for everyone to see.
Her action caused outrage and confusion among the participants, some even started to draw out their guns. However, they were quickly dealt with by Zed’s robot, who simply blasted them with a missile from its arm cannon.
“Now now gentle-bastards, there are no rules against placing your own price for this auction. Yes, her action seems like a dick move, but as long as no rules are broken, no one is killing no one in this fest but me. So if everyone could kindly put your guns down and battle this young boy properly through the art of bidding!-”
The angry crowd hesitated at first but quickly complied to Zed’s request as yet another participant was blown by the robot.
“Say, uhh- I know we could do this once in a while, but any reason for provoking everyone with that bid of yours?” Copper whispered his question to Fyra, who turned her cold-gaze straight to his eyes.
“Well, I guess everyone has their own reasons.”
“Alright, 100 scrap bid! Now going for 105! 105! Anyone want to challenge 105!?-”
“Two hundred and six-” a deep voice called out, surprising everyone, especially Fyra.
“Hoho! We got a new challenger here-” Zed pointed to a reptilian-looking man. His eyes are red as blood with horns all over his face and upper body.
Fyra stared at the reptile-man in anger before raising the price once more.
“THREE HUNDRED AND SEVEN!!”
“FIVE HUNDRED AND SIXTY!!”
“Five hundred and sixty, plus one-”
“You f***ing-” Fyra clenched her fist, cursing him under her breath- “ONE THOUSAND-”
Before she could finish her announcement, Fyra was pulled down by Copper while covering her mouth. She pushed away the gentleman and got back up.
“The hell!? What are you doing?-”
“No- What are YOU doing!? I know I’m spending for your behalf but a thousand? For that rusty thing!? We don’t even know if it could work properly.”
“Alright! 561 scraps bid! Now 567, now 567-”
“It’s not about if it works or not Copper. That thing, it means much more than that for me-” Fyra pointed at the shin guard aggressively.
“How much more, Fyra? You have yet to explain why you’re so hell-bent on getting that item.”
Fyra looked at the shin guard once more, “it’s my clan’s…- it’s- it’s very important to me! Please Copper! I need to have that thing!”
“Going once! Come on, don’t be shy now people! Going twice!-”
“Please Copper…” Fyra begged, her voice suddenly became weak. Copper looked at her and noticed tears coming from her eyes inside the devil’s helmet. The gentleman felt conflicted, but in the end gave in.
“Alright, fine. But you owe me a better explanation for this some time later. Now go and get ‘em!”
Fyra’s face turned into delight after hearing Copperhead’s permission. With that, she climbed up the bench, raised her arm up high whilst holding her number, and shouted-
“TWO THOUSAND SCRAPS FOR THAT GUARD!!”
Her voice echoed across the tent. Everyone, including the reptile-man, were speechless by her expensive price offer.
“2000 ladies and gents!! Contesting 2000 scraps bid! Going once! Going twice!-”
No one stood to challenge Fyra’s bid. The reptile-man simply smirked, and gave her a nod of respect.
“*Ring!* *Ring!* Come on! Come on! Claim your purchased items here winners! Or whatever they call you people,” a brute-looking orc called out outside tent A whilst ringing a cowbell to garner more attention.
Around a dozen or so people were seen queuing in front of the orc, three of them were our protagonists. The sold items were immediately claimed by the bidders and many went home soon after. Less than half stayed, which include our protagonists who went straight for tent B for the next auction event.
“Wow! This tent’s far bigger than the previous one!” Mako commented.
“It has to be, for the second auction this time will be dealing with cars and automobiles,” Copperhead explained. “We can have a look at all the vehicles at that display room over there.”
The gentleman pointed to said room and soon enough, the trio found themselves inspecting and admiring the vehicles that were about to be auctioned for this event. Some of the vehicles seemed pretty advanced with its hover-engine, rocket-propelled thrusters and whatnot, while others looked like one of those modified vehicles driven by bandits or nomadic clans like the Sand Gang; with its over the top paint jobs and questionable spike placement.
And through it all there were the ‘combat’ vehicles; cars completely covered by bullet and rocket-proof plates, force-field shield, machine guns mounted here and there, and missile launchers because why not? Oh, and there were bicycles too, ready to be bade.
“Yeah, I’m just gonna stick with Silverbolt,” Mako concluded after taking a look at all the samples. “Don’t get me wrong, these things are cool! But it looks like too much effort to keep just one of ‘em...”
“That, and it’s because you don’t know how to drive any of them, ey Mako?” a smug grin beamed from Fyra’s face, earning herself a light punch to the shoulder by the witch.
“It’s okay if you don’t like it. To be frank here, while all vehicles have their own beauty of their own, none of the one’s in this room seem to spark any interest from me. I propose we just skip this event and waste our time back at my inn before we return for the next auction.”
They agreed with Copperhead’s plan and went back to his place. The second auction lasted nearly four hours, so the trio spent the whole time eating, chilling, testing out their items (which resulted in a near-fire accident thanks to Fyra’s new shin guard) and doing whatever they could to kill off time.
As for the author of this story, I could just do this-
Some time later…
“Alright, time for tent C!”
The trio entered the tent which turned out to be the smallest of the three. For the third auction, the items that will be bade were none other than works of art. Painting, sculptures, knick-knacks, and other stuff that gained no interest from Mako and Fyra. On the other hand, Sir Copperhead looked forward to this one the most. If anything, this third auction was the very reason he was so eager to join.
“Is it me or are there very few people here?” Mako questioned, noticing the many empty seats across all three rows of the wooden benches.
“Like I’ve said before Mako, not many people appreciate art on this planet. But a small niche is all the better for me as it means less competition!”
The trio took a seat at the empty frontmost row directly in front of the stage. There, they saw a spotlight illuminating a ragged piece of cloth placed on a white pedestal.
“Look at that. Just marvel the beauty of such an abstract work of art,” Copper commented.
Mako and Fyra were confused by the ‘art’, for all they saw was a dirty napkin shone under the spotlight for some reason.
“You two need to think like an artist to appreciate its beauty. The napkin, the dark stage, the spotlight. It is an allegory to this planet of ours, Delirith. The tainted napkin represents the wickedness, the wildness, yet the desolation of our beautiful planet, shone by the spotlight that is our Sun, in a dark yet empty universe…”
In the middle of Sir Copperhead’s art commentary, Zed showed up on stage, grabbed the napkin and blew his nose with it.
“Sorry for that folks. It seems I have misplaced my napkin here. Anyways, let's get on with our third auction!!”
And so, the auction went on as usual. Copper managed to obtain a lot of ‘splendid’ artwork (at least for his standard) while Mako and Fyra simply slept throughout the whole pretentious ordeal.
As the day came to an end and nightfall blanketed the sky, all that was left for the auction fest was the fourth and final event, which would take place in the central town hall of Honourbound. No one knew what gizmos and whatnots will be dealt in this final auction, but the grand premise must’ve indicated its great value. Regardless whatever that item was, it had attracted the attention of an unexpected individual.
Somewhere on a hill outside of Honourbound, a muscular crown-helmed man spied on the town hall with a half-broken binocular. He took out a handheld communication device in which he received a message from one of his subordinates inside there. A menacing grin was formed on his face, satisfied by his subordinate’s text.
“ALRIGHT SAND-BOIS, GET INTO POSITION! WE’RE CRASHING THIS PARTY TONIGHT!!” Anubrax shouted as his men hollered in delight.
They immediately got into an armoured bus while the Sandking jumped up to its roof, entering the bus through the roof hatchet. The bus charged onwards ramming its way through Honourbound, heading straight for the town hall along with two other buses tailing on its back.
~To Be Continued…~