The next afternoon found Anakin and Obi-Wan on the other side of Coruscant. Obi-Wan was disguised as a wealthy slave trader, but Anakin wore coarse leggings and a chain and collar around his neck. No tunic covered his bare chest, and the padawan braid he was so proud of had been cut off.
"I can't believe I'm doing this," Anakin muttered as they neared the slave market. "I can't believe I'm doing this."
He turned to Obi-Wan. "Master, I can't do this."
"Be quiet, slave!" Obi-Wan hissed. Anakin was hurt for a moment, but then he noticed a group of aliens nearby, openly staring at the two. He nodded and hung his head in a submissive gesture. "Sorry, Master."
Obi-Wan smirked. True, he felt sorry for Anakin; but he was hoping this mission would also teach his padawan some humility. Anakin was far ahead of his class in Jedi training, and lately he had taken to the habit of acting proud. He grunted and pulled Anakin's chain, trying to blend in with the crowd.
Anakin sighed. He could already tell that this mission was going to be harder than he thought, especially when he felt Obi-Wan jerk his chain. "Come on, boy! Get moving!" He was beginning to think that his Master was actually enjoying his role when he heard Obi-Wan whisper, "Sorry."
"No problem," Anakin whispered back. "It's for the mission, right?"
A Zygerrian slave trader suddenly cut them off. "That's a fine slave you have there," he said to Obi-Wan. "Would you be interested in selling?"
Obi-Wan frowned. "Well, I don't know," he replied, pretending to think the matter over. "Are you sure we shouldn't just wait until the auction?"
The Zygerrian moved in close, as if he and Obi-Wan were old friends. "I'll give you ten thousand credits," he whispered, his breath tickling Obi-Wan's ear.
"Ten thousand?" Obi-Wan raised his eyebrows. "You have a deal- partner."
The Zygerrian pulled out a pouch of credits and reluctantly handed it over, then snatched Anakin's chain as if afraid that Obi-Wan would change his mind.
Obi-Wan fingered the pouch, pretending to count the credits.
"It's all there," the Zygerrian assured him.
"Then it's settled," Obi-Wan said with finality, turning and stalking away with the arrogant air of a real slave trader. But he couldn't help glancing back to take one last glance at Anakin.
The boy nodded, and Obi-Wan slowly walked away.