The man wearing a frog mask flinched in his seat. The woman sitting next to him seemed to have deduced his identity based on his visible physical features.
“What? The alchemy genius?”
“Did you say Damon Salvatore?”
“Gasp, then is that real?”
Suddenly, the auction hall caught on fire.
“1.1 billion gold!”
“1.2 billion gold!”
“1.2 billion, 5000 gold!”
“1.2 billion, 7000 gold!”
“Dammit, 1.3 billion gold!”
The number of people participating in the bidding skyrocketed. The name ‘Damon Salvatore’ coming from the woman’s mouth seemed to have amplified their confidence in the philosopher’s stone.
“Ah, that’s why I said you should at least wear a wig…”
“These stupid morons…! 1.5 billion gold!”
The man in a frog mask grit his teeth and raised the bidding price.
“2 billion gold.”
But someone in front called out an even larger amount. The man in a frog mask jumped out of his seat in a frenzy.
“Hey, you idiots! That’s not the philosopher stone!”
“Then why’re you trying to win! 2 billion, 5000 gold!”
“Right…! You’re trying to deceive us to win! 2 billion, 6000 gold!”
A forced laugh spilled from my lips.
Normally, I would have also joined the fight by now and tried to win the item but I felt no inclination to do so. Ever since the host took off the red cloth, my eyes had be transfixed to the item revealed underneath.
That thing inside a glass box.
A crude mineral that looked like a slightly large piece of stone.
I knew what this thing was.
As the man in a frog mask, sub male-lead Damon Salvatore said, that thing wasn’t the philosopher’s stone.
It was what was injected countless times into the body of test subjects, myself included, at the research institute. That thing was none other than a ruin’s fragment.
“2.5 billion gold…!”
Finally, I rose from my seat. And under the commotion in the hall, I stretched my hand upwards.
Thread shot from my hand smashing through the alchemized ceiling lights, one by one. The auction house went dark in an instant. Taking that chance, I sent a thread to the stage this time.
I’ve decided. Today, I’m a righteous thief.
“Wha, what the! Security…!”
“Protect the philosopher’s stone!”
The people of the auction house, including the host, kicked up a fuss but the ruin’s fragment had already been skewered by my thread and left the stage.
Oops, I guess my aim was a little off.
The object flying to me hit the head of someone sitting in front. I inwardly apologized to whoever it was. After it finally arrived in my hand, I hid the palm-sized box in my cloak and slipped out the auction door.
“The philosopher’s stone is gone!”
“How is that possible!”
“Block the entrance now…!”
The area behind me brightened up like a light switch was turned on. Although they discovered the item was missing relatively fast, it was already too late.
I sensed the presence of incoming security guards and shot out a thread. Using it as a support, I flung myself out the hallway’s glass window and landed outside.
* * *
“Wow, what is happening?”
Snow couldn’t stop the surprised laughter that burst out of his mouth. Here he was thinking that something was triggering his interest for a change, then out of the blue, chaos ensued.
The face under a deer mask tilted to the side. His eyes were scanning the rowdy auction house.
This was a secret auction attended only by nobles and wealthy people. Normally, he was the Snow who wandered the streets in a sloppy appearance but actually, he had more than enough qualification to come to this auction.
Moreover, because he was now dressed smartly to attend this auction, he seemed like a completely different person from the one who went to the coffeehouse, looking shabby. Most of all, the current Snow didn’t have the bushy brown hair that covered half of his face.
Behind the deer mask, his neatly trimmed blood-red hair swayed softly, glistening under the lighting.
“I said! It’s not! The philosopher stone! You frustrating bastards…!”
Snow turned to where the shout was coming from.
Damon Salvatore, whose true identity was already revealed, ran to the front and had thrown his frog mask on the floor.
“Sir! It’s difficult for us if you cause a disturbance here…!”
“Difficult? Difficult? Do you want to me to show you what difficult is? You scamming fuckers!”
Alchemist Damon Salvatore.
By far, one of the top geniuses even in the ‘Alchemist Tower’.
A corner of Snow’s lips curled upwards as he watched the alchemist lose his marbles, his nasty short fuse obviously still intact.
Actually, Snow was one of the people who acted like a decoy and raised the bidding price earlier. Of course, he wasn’t a crazy alchemist like Damon Salvatore, nor was he trying to actually win the thing called the philosopher stone.
It was just that Snow sensed earlier on that the man wearing a frog mask was Damon Salvatore so he thought of raising the price a little to provoke Damon.
Although things didn’t go the way he expected, he felt a little refreshed to see Damon Salvatore explode in anger while not getting what he wanted.
“You don’t know when to quit, Damon Salvatore.”
Damon was losing his temper at the auction house manager, then he stopped at the voice that flew in from the side.
“Don’t you think it’s time to learn the world doesn’t move as you wish and I don’t know, reduce the times you go insane?”
Cold, dark eyes skid in the direction of the voice.
And a man sitting in the front seat with his chin propped on his hand, came into sight.
The man was wearing a deer mask. Naturally, Damon couldn’t see his face but he could easily decipher the man’s identity from the voice he heard and the red hair he could see.
“Hah. No wonder I thought this auction management was a mess, considering it’s pretty well-known.”
Following that, Damon’s mouth was dripping arsenic.
“Their level is obvious, seeing as a bastard like you is here.”
“With you foolishly making a scene like this auction belongs to you, I think it’s just at your level, isn’t it?”
Lightning seemed to strike between the two for a second.
The people around instantly felt the temperature drop and trembled as they studied them.
Damon, who was glaring at Snow, looked away first as if saying Snow wasn’t even worth being his opponent, and coldly turned around.
“Why waste my time with an abandoned dog, all bark and no bite.”
Words filled with blatant ridicule arrived at Snow’s ears. Damon stepped on the frog mask on the floor, crushing it to pieces.
Snow picked his ears at the ridiculing words which didn’t even tickle him. Then he also got up from his seat. There was no reason to be in the auction house anymore. Although the management was blocking people’s exit because of the missing item at the auction, most of the people there were nobles, so they weren’t easy to control.
In that gap, Snow also took snuck out the door. As he walked through the quiet hallways, Snow tilted his head. In the end, he didn’t find Yuri inside there.
Perhaps the place she meets Damon Salvatore wasn’t here but somewhere?
Then again, when he thought about it, it didn’t make sense for an ordinary female employee of a coffeehouse to be attending a place like this auction house, even if there was something a little unusual about her.
Snow lifted his hand to touch the cracked top of his deer mask. It was the sign of him being hit by something flying in the air when the lights went off in the auction hall earlier.
‘That was definitely the thing on the stage.’
The flying piece of rock connected to something like a white thread still lingered before his eyes.
He didn’t know who it was but he felt they were a bold thief. Most of all, with just the fact that the thief destroyed Damon Salvatore’s expectations, Snow found himself liking the thief.
Although they did smack his head while stealing that item.
“Let’s enjoy the festival since I’m out anyways…”
He muttered to himself after standing and watching the streets for a few minutes after leaving the building.
Honestly, it had been a long time since he went to a place filled with so many people.
Knowing he wouldn’t merge into the crowd with his distinct attire, Snow covered himself with a cloak. And he bought one of the frog masks sold on the street, replacing the mask that was covering his face before.
Then he mingled into the crowd moving towards the square to see the upcoming firework.
For the first time in a long while, the night was noisy.
 Damn, I spent 30 mins refining this sentence. Not even kidding. And it still sounds terrible. A more accurate translation is: “With you making a scene like a reckless fool as if this auction belongs to you, I think it’s just at your level?” but that sounds crappy.
 You know that thing in manga, where there’s lightning crackling between two characters? I imagine something like that.
T/N: They’re already raising the price by a 100 million. Seems a bit silly to raise it by 5k, eh?