Bloodlines of the Ancient Pantheons Chapter 144: CXLIV. The Bid
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After a few minutes, he went out again, heading towards his companions with a sack full of warm bread.
"It's snack time! I couldn't resist the call of this great smell. I don't know about you, but lately, I'm always hungry!" said Dag, taking a loaf of bread from the sack and handing the other two over to his companions, who appreciated the thought.
"I asked the baker if he knew where we could sell valuable goods in exchange for money and he told me we should ask a gentleman named Benjamin. He is said to be a collector of all kinds of artifacts" Dag continued, voraciously craving the bread he had in his hands.
After finishing the snack, the three adventurers easily reached the collector's home.
It was a masonry house, much larger and more robust than the surrounding ones.
After tying the horses, they approached the door and knocked politely.
A funny gentleman, elderly and scruffy-looking, greeted them: "Hello, welcome! You look like travelers! Take a seat, travelers are always welcome in my house".
Dag and the others, without asking too many questions, entered Benjamin's house, accepting his hospitality and removing the bags from the horses, to avoid leaving them unattended.
He was a strange little man: he had a curved back and a black, matted beard, which almost touched his belly. Because of his advanced age, he walked slowly, leaning on a large wooden stick.
"This way! Let's sit here, my legs are not such strong as they used to be!" chuckled Benjamin, sitting around an imposing round table, inviting his guests to do the same.
"Then... what brings you here in Frokost?" the old man asked, smiling at Dag.
"Hello, Benjamin and thank you for your hospitality. We are explorers of the Hammers Of Thor Clan and we are headed to Tyven, on a mission. We came across this village and wondered if anyone was interested in the valuable goods we carry" Dag said, introducing himself.
"Valuable goods? What kind of objects are they? Let me see" Benjamin replied, resting his hands on the table, ready to observe carefully.
Dag, Reidar, and Karl put on the table all the items they were willing to sell, excluding furs and other things that could come in handy more than money.
"Mmmh... interesting. Let's see, it looks like all valuable stuff, most of these objects are made of gold and silver" said the man, looking in detail at every object resting on the table.
After about ten minutes spent silently waiting for him to finish inspecting the goods, Dag said: "Then? Are you interested in something?"
"Mmh... no" rested the old man, looking at Dag with a smiling face.
Dag was astonished by that response, considering that the man had spent all that time carefully scrutinizing the objects.
"It's valuable merchandise, I recognize that. But I'm looking for another kind of value, I don't do anything with gold" Benjamin continued.
"What's more worth than gold?" asked Karl as he entered the conversation, as Reidar sat silently, trying to study the ambiguous personality of the man ahead of them.
"The story, my boy. History is worth more than gold. Look around you. I collect objects of all kinds, regardless of the material they are made of. My treasures have a history, have lived through battles, have seen great warriors die, or achieve fame. That makes them unique" Benjamin continued, pointing the wall behind the table to the three friends.
There were objects of all kinds and sizes: from very small objects, resting on many shelves on the wall, until statues and weapons of larger size. There was even a huge elephant skull, complete with tusks.
Excluding that wall, which was totally messy, with all those objects piled up, the rest of the house was perfect, arranged with manic order.
"Then the merchandise you just saw is perfect for your collection" Dag replied, turning back to the old man, who was surprised by his statement.
"They look like ordinary gold objects to me" he said.
"But you don't know their story. Now that I know you're interested in learning about that, I can tell you more. Traders are usually interested in gold and silver. I didn't realize I was dealing with a collector of your level" Dag continued, praising Benjamin for getting his attention.
Karl and Reidar looked at each other, in disbelief at the words that had just come out of Dag's mouth.
He began to talk about their journey, the FossilWood Forest, and the peasant village. He spoke of the bandit camp and their loot, leaving out some details concerning his powers and how they had managed to defeat all enemies, which in the new version of the story were no longer twenty, but ten fewer.
After a monologue that lasted about half an hour, Reidar and Karl were about to fall asleep on the table for boredom.
But old Benjamin broke the silence again: "This is incredible. Bandits who settle on our coast usually come from poor and distant regions. If you took these artifacts from them, it means that their story is even more complex than the one you just told me. As far as I know, they could come from the far north or other places even further afield... this increases their market value".
At these words, Karl and Reidar looked up again at the old man, realizing that perhaps he was about to make an offer.
"I guess you're in contact with other collectors, don't you? Imagine how much money these items could bring you. You could sell them at three times the price" Dag continued, holding up a gold box, with precious stones inked in the lid, continuing to convince the old man to raise the offer.
"100 gold coins. That's my offer" Benjamin said, crossing his arms.
"Mmmh... I think you're a smart man. You know I can never accept only 100 coins for all these items" Dag replied, looking at the goods on the table.
"Per person. I mean 100 gold coins apiece" Benjamin replied.
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