The Book Eating Magician - chapter-10
Dealings with a Black Market Trader #2
In any city, the outskirts were always more deserted than the center,
with fewer people walking around. The same was true for Bergen City. The
tall buildings were gradually decreased in height, and the clean roads
became covered in dirt. The nobles would automatically frown at the sight.
However, Theo just felt a strange nostalgia.
‘This area hasn’t changed at all.’
It was different from the main streets which were always changing. Most
of the hanging signs were difficult to read, worn out from the wind and
rain. It was also common for signs to fly away or to have no letters
written. If Theo stepped into the dark alleys, he would see the beggars
tossing and turning.
The scenery, which remained the same despite the three year gap, caused
Theo to think back on past memories.
‘Three years ago.’
Three years ago, he had just entered the second grade.
The Theodore Miller of those days hadn’t been cynical nor distant from
others. In the first year, the lessons had focused on theory rather than
practical skills, so he had been able to get better grades than everyone
Theo’s future prospects shone brightly enough for some noble children
to pay attention to him. He knew there was a black market trader in this
area because he had visited it with a friend at that time.
“Ha, what friend?”
Theo laughed coldly at the memory. As soon as his inferiority was
revealed, they all turned their backs on him. The one they’d regarded
as their friend was an ‘excellent magician’, not ‘Theodore
Miller.’ It was ridiculous that he hadn’t recognized their duplicity,
and their act of turning their backs on this relationship was disgusting.
He recalled up to here. Theo stopped walking as he arrived at his
destination. There were no errors in his memory.
“This place… is it open?”
However, Theo hesitated for a moment without turning the door knob. There
was no sign on the shabby shack. The windows showed no signs of being
cleaned, and the stairs creaked like they would fall apart at any minute.
If there wasn’t a sign saying ‘OPEN’ on the door, he might have
In the end, he turned the door knob.
The decrepit door opened with a strident sound, and as it opened, the
interior was revealed. In short, it was a general store. There were many
miscellaneous things piled up, of which the purpose of many of them was
impossible to guess. However, unlike a general store, the prices
One of the characteristics of a black market trader was that the prices
would fluctuate due to bargaining with the owner.
‘So, any naive or stupid person will have their nose cut off.’
Black market traders were still merchants. They were talented at
extracting money from the pockets of their customers. In fact, their main
source of income was selling things cheaply. So, when using a black
market trader, it was necessary to be accompanied by a person who
wouldn’t be easily shaken.
Theo recalled this fact and prepared his heart. It was at this moment
“What, a customer?” A flippant voice was heard from somewhere. Theo
turned toward the counter and realized one more thing.
‘…The black market dealer has changed.’
In the past, it had been a balding middle-aged man with a sturdy
physique, but the one who greeted him now was a slim young man. The arms
exposed under the sleeves were clearly trained, and a snake-like gaze was
staring out from between dropped eyelids which made him appear sleepy.
He wouldn’t be as easy to deal with as he seemed.
“Then please look around. Our store isn’t kind enough to explain
things, so you will have to choose on your own.”
It was a mess, but this was also a rule for a black market trader. They
wouldn’t explain anything about the goods they were selling. In the
case of defective products, they would lose the sale if they explained it.
Above all, the cost of cleansing cursed goods exceeded the price of
Sometimes, people would pay the price for an appraisal, but if such a
thing was common, then black market traders wouldn’t be able to sell
their goods. Rather, it was much easier to find fools sitting on the
street expecting to make money.
‘Now, I shall begin.’
Theo first looked at the products on display. The first thing was to
check whether or not the ‘abilities’ would be eaten. He carefully
picked up a dagger which was displayed on a shelf in the corner.
Then he muttered in a low voice, “Appraisal.” There was a slurp, and
Gluttony’s tongue licked the dagger.
[+1 Canine with a Lingering Attachment (Sword Type)]
[A common dagger made of steel. There is no magic treatment, but a deep
grudge is embedded in the blade. When cut by this dagger, ‘Open
Wounds’ will be applied to the injury.
* The grade of this dagger is ‘Normal.’
* When consumed, a very small amount of magic power will be absorbed.
* When consumed, your understanding of ‘Open Wounds’ magic will
* When consumed, the digestion time is 5 minutes and 11 seconds.]
‘Okay, let’s go!’
Theo grabbed his right hand unconsciously. The result was more than
he’d expected. Not only did it reveal the effect hidden in the dagger,
but he could obtain something other than magic power from it.
Furthermore, magic such as ‘Open Wounds’ wasn’t easy to learn
because it could be used for bad purposes. This was hard to find in the
academy’s library, where all types of magic books were scattered.
Theo paused for a moment before searching through the other objects
‘This dagger is usable. This leather armour… Ack, magic to keep it
dirty? And who is the idiot who put a haste spell on an hourglass? There
are a many useless items as well.’
Well, it didn’t really matter whether the items had value or not.
Theo stared at the information windows which popped up and picked things
out without hesitation. He picked anything which would increase his magic
power after Gluttony ate it. Useless things were the same. The black
market shop filled with useless things was literally a golden hunting
ground for Theo.
20 minutes later, Theo headed to the counter with a basket of items.
The black market trader looked at him with interest.
“Customer, isn’t this at least a month’s worth of sales for our
store? Even with a discount, it will be at least two gold.”
“Let’s see? I don’t think so.”
Theo boldly rejected the black market trader’s offer. Two gold was
ridiculous. The only things he put in his basket were defective products.
It would be lucky if they were sold for 20 silver, and the seller would
still be receiving a profit.
However, the black market trader didn’t know that Theo had all this
information. Unsurprisingly, the black market trader laughed lightly.
“Hey, Young Master. Don’t you know that will be a bargain if a
genuine item appears? Who knows what will come out from something that
has a flaw in it?”
“Well, that is normally the case.”
The black market trader’s expression changed at Theo’s blase attitude.
“Normally? What does Young Master mean?”
Instead of answering, Theo lifted his index finger. Then he pointed to an
object on the counter. It was a necklace which was falling apart at the
ends. It was a necklace which couldn’t be used as an accessory.
Furthermore, according to Gluttony’s abilities, “That necklace, it
will tighten around the wearer’s neck. The material is too cheap, so it
will break. How can I pay so much for such a defective product?”
“These gloves are even more rubbish. It is difficult to grab anything
because the fingers have the ‘Grease’ magic on them. And this…”
The trader’s eyes became blank as he kept on describing the items.
However, after a moment, the black market trader quickly realized what
the descriptions meant. There was only one possibility if a person could
speak such genuine information.
Of course, Theo might be lying. but there was another way to check it.
“Young Master, are you an appraiser?”
It referred to users of ‘appraisal’ magic, which was a type of magic
that could only be learned by magicians with special qualities. They were
welcomed in many places due to their small number and their usefulness.
Even the king, royal families and nobles wouldn’t hesitate to pay a
high price for an appraiser.
“Well, I suppose so,” Theo said brazenly with no shame.
Thanks to Gluttony, Theo could pretend to be an appraiser. It was the
result of Appraisal, but he wasn’t actually an appraiser. However, it
was necessary to conceal its existence from the Tower of Magic. If they
noticed Gluttony’s presence, then they would try to cut off
“…How interesting. It has been a while since I’ve been so
The black market dealer got up and changed the signboard on the door to
‘CLOSED’. He determined that it would be more beneficial to talk to
Theo for a while. After he closed the door and covered the windows with
curtains, he was now ready to talk.
“I’m sorry for my previous words. I never expected for an appraiser
to come to a black market trader.”
“I think so as well.”
Theo didn’t deny the black market trader’s words. Right now, Theodore
was an ‘appraiser’. He’d stumbled onto a weak spot and had to play
this role. Therefore, he waited for the opponent’s words instead of
making demands. As long as his position was superior, it was the other
person who would become hasty.
Soon, the curious black market trader took the bait.
“Yes, Young Appraiser. Why have you come to this humble place?”
The real bargaining would start now. The first part of his plan to
increase his magic power through the black market trader began.