16 Too Big
"Come now, the auction will start soon. Let's go." Weihao lightly tugged Yuxi's hand with a strained smile on his face.
Tilting her head in confusion, Yuxi chose to not comment on his shift of emotions.
Scanning her surroundings, Yuxi takes in her environment. There was a few wooden benches lined around a fenced-open area. Judging by the uplifted soil, there must've been many horses that had been sold prior to this auction.
There was a stable to the far end of the ring, and a few workers were guiding a few horses into a line.
With Yuxi in hand, and eyes observing his surroundings, Weihao guided Yuxi to the second row. Just before they sat down, Rufen spoke up.
"My lady, please wait." Rufen said with a handkerchief in hand. She opened the light blue cloth and placed it on the wooden benches.
"As for Young Master Weihao, this is yours-" Rufen yelped when Weihao suddenly took her hand.
"It's okay, I can do it myself." He said with a friendly smile. He took the handkerchief from the surprised Rufen and laid the black cloth onto the bench.
"You don't have one...?" Yuxi asked in confusion when Rufen stood by her side.
"A servant can't sit on the same row or bench level as her master. I will stand." Rufen softly said, as she stood besides Yuxi with her head bend low and hands tucked in front of her.
"Nonsense. Here, sit next to me. This handkerchief is big enough to fit both of us." Yuxi said as she scooted over.
Rufen politely shook her head. "No, it's alright-"
"Sit. The auction will begin soon. If you stand when everyone sits, they'll think you're buying everything." Weihao said with a smile.
"I can stand where the servants-" Rufen doesn't finish her sentence when Weihao suddenly stood up.
Settling a hand on her shoulder, he lightly pushed her onto the seat next to Yuxi.
And before she could protest, a man walked into the center of the arena.
"Look, Rufen! The auction is starting now!" Yuxi excitedly claimed to Rufen who shared the same excitement.
"Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome to our annual auction! Today, we'll start off with the star of the show!" The announcer spoke with a mask on the first half of his face.
Yuxi's eyes followed his hand and soon, a black horse strolled into the arena. It was rippled with muscles and a very luscious mane.
"He's the strongest and fastest horse our auction has ever seen! Bred from two rare and exceptional families, this horse will be perfect for any occasion! Hunting, pulling carriages, racing, and anything you can think of! The prices for this amazing creature will start off with 1,000 silver coins or 10 gold coins!"
One glance at its thundering thighs that looked like it could trample a man alive, the people began to shout their prices.
"Mei-mei, do you want that horse?" Weihao asked Yuxi. He wanted the best of the best for her, and if she wanted the expensive horse, he'll spend his entire fortune just to get it for her.
Staring at the magnificent beast, Yuxi shook her head. The horse was too big and violent. One slight kick and he'd be able to throw her off. Biting her bottom lips at the sight of the long, thundering legs, she knew the horse had the capability of effortlessly trampling over her weak and tiny frame.
"I prefer a smaller horse...The current one is too big and powerful." Yuxi said, as she turned towards Weihao. He was staring intently at her with a carefree smile on his face.
Upon seeing he wasn't unhappy with her words, Yuxi offered a small smile. Her eyes wandered to the arena and then towards the small stable at the back of the ring.
She noticed there was still a very long line of horses, and this chaos was only the beginning.
"It seems like the competitors are dying off." Weihao commented, an amused smirk on his face.
He wasn't lying. The voices were more quiet, thoughtful, and hesitant now. There were only three bidders left, and every one of them seemed like influential people.
Ever so often, a familiar voice would ring out in the field. But Yuxi couldn't plan an exact finger on who the voice belonged to.
"100 gold coins!" Yuxi felt her eyes go wide. 100 gold coins were worth 10,000 silver coins!
"200!" Another voice called out. Yuxi turned her eyes to see a man dressed in a servants uniform.
"500!" A muscular man called out. His muscles were ripping, as if he could break an entire skull with only his pinky.
"1,000!" The servant replied, each time, doubling the amount stated by his opponent. The muscular man was greatly defeated. Though he was dressed in fancy robes, the man couldn't afford such a high price.
"1,000 gold coins, going once, twice-"
"3,000 gold." A silent voice spoke up. The owner of the voice had been watching Yuxi's curious gaze. Mistaking her gaze as longing for the horse, he was adamant on buying it.
"3500..." The servant nervously replied, his eyes going back and fourth to the horse and his master.
"7000." The silent voice countered. 3,000 gold coins didn't even dent his wallet, and the boy was willing to spend more.
The servant who was bidding for his master was too shock ridden to speak. As a matter of fact, even the crowd and announcer were taken back by surprise. 7,000 gold coins had the same worth as 700,000 silver coins! That amount alone could keep a family thriving for centuries to come.
It was the first time a horse was even worth this much money. Not even the Emperor or Crown Prince had a horse this expensive.
"That brat. What is he doing here?" Weihao muttered under his breath, knowing the owner of the voice before he even saw the face of the boy.