Nie Yan carefully inspected his surroundings, making sure not to overlook even a single inch. His movements were extremely cautious. He didn’t dare to make the slightest sound, for fear that he might alert the Fire Elemental sleeping in the depths.
Eventually, his search led him to a hidden crevice. There, past volcanic fumes and smoke that obscured his vision, he found a small shabby chest tucked tightly behind a boulder.
The chest was made of wooden plank. Through the passing of centuries, the wood had long decomposed and become riddled with holes. Yet the fact it hadn’t broken down entirely in this harsh environment was the most surprising. It appeared rather ordinary, lacking the elegant designs of its silver and gold counterparts. The only feature worth paying particular attention to was the fire immunity rune engraved on the wood.
Although the ancient character appeared simple, it was exactly such an inconspicuous rune that isolated the chest from the fire elements in this cavern and ensured its integrity.
If my guess is correct… this should be it! Nie Yan knelt down and then opened the chest. He fished around for a while and eventually pulled out a ring.
Crawler Ring: Unidentified
The Crawler Ring! Alongside the Silk Spinner Ring1, these two rings were essential for any player who wanted to be considered top-tier!
Nie Yan used Transcendent Insight to appraise the Crawler Ring’s properties.
|Crawler Ring (Bronze): Unique Accessory
Requirements: Level 0
Properties: Enables the user to stick to walls and similar surfaces for ten minutes. (Cooldown: 1 hour)
Weight: 0.05 lb
Restrictions: Can be equipped by all factions.
The Crawler Ring, similar to the Silk Spinner Ring, was a unique accessory that aided the player in traversing difficult obstacles. Why had he risked life and death by passing through a Level 30 zone and sneaking into the Gaia Monitor’s nest?
It was precisely for the sake of obtaining this ring!
Now that Nie Yan had both rings, there were no longer any obstacles that could hinder his path!
Filled with expectations, he equipped the Crawler Ring.
After obtaining the item he desired, he thought for a moment. He could simply teleport out of here with a Return Scroll, but awakening the Fire Elemental wasn’t a risk he was willing to take. The effects of the scroll’s activation might alert the Fire Elemental of his presence.
As he retraced his steps, he was able to hear a rather rhythmic snoring coming from the depths of the cavern, sending forth a wave of hot air with every breath.
He quietly arrived back at the cavern’s entrance. There, he activated the Crawler Ring’s ability and immediately felt a strange suction force coming from his palms. Both hands stuck firmly to the surface of the rock as he began to descend the cliff.
If one were to spot him from afar, he would resemble a spider as he clung closely to the rock face. He was able to move quickly and easily as if he were treading on level ground.
For him, these steep, perilous cliffs were no longer a problem!
While searching for a suitable stopping point as he made his descent, he eventually came across a ledge he could stand on. There, he would be able to free up both his hands to use a Return Scroll.
Hmmm… The bottom seems like a Level 20-ish zone. There are quite a few Leader-class monsters there as well! Nie Yan stared at the monsters in the valley below, then glanced back at the Thunderbolt Blaze Scroll in his bag before having an inkling of an idea…
Considering his level and gear, it was too difficult, bordering on nigh impossible, for him to deal with even a single Level 20 monster, but that wasn’t the case with the Thunderbolt Blaze Scroll!
As the rare intermediate scroll had the ability to kill monsters over Level 20!
Unfortunately, Nie Yan didn’t possess sufficient Intelligence to cast the spell, but that could be easily remedied by finding a couple pieces of equipment in the marketplace! Thus, he set aside the thought for now and activated the Return Scroll. The scroll flashed, and a teleportation circle appeared beneath his feet.
Twenty seconds later, the circle pulsed with a brilliant light and he was teleported back to Calore.
After exiting the transfer area, he walked along Calore’s main street. He saw players everywhere, advertising that they were purchasing Black Phenol for twenty-five copper a bottle, though it was evident no one was willing to sell. At present, the bottles of Black Phenol were like hot cakes. All the guilds were fighting for them, so who would be willing to sell to these middlemen?
Many guilds were trying to one-up their competition by offering even higher prices for Black Phenol. Though, in the end, players were still unwilling to sell, leaving these guilds wide-eyed and shocked.
Some guilds would simply station their members at the auction house for the day. Occasionally, Alchemists who could create Black Phenol would toss a few bottles up for auction, instantly spurring those guild members into a frenzy as they fought over it. The most a bottle had sold for in the auction house was fifty copper.
In this timeline, the Black Phenol shortage had arrived sooner, was much fiercer, and was even more terrifying. The overwhelming majority of the guilds were all temporarily at a loss as to how to cope with these circumstances.
With the prices of Black Phenol skyrocketing to such a degree, the profits these guilds were able to earn from running Sosil Valley was minimal. Despite this, it was necessary that they continue running the dungeon, since a list of all the equipment that could be obtained from Sosil Valley as well as their drop rates had already been released on Conviction’s official website. Obtaining the Warrior equipment that dropped from the Werewolves was absolutely essential for the growth of their teams. The experience earned from killing the mobs was high as well. The only problem was that it was just too hard. There had already been several dozen attempts at the dungeon, yet no team was even close to beating it. At this rate, just how many bottles of Black Phenol would be consumed in the end?
Perhaps, at this time, the only guild that was able to run Sosil Valley without encountering such issues was Holy Empire. Thanks to Nie Yan providing their guild with so many supplies, they had enough Black Phenol to freely run the dungeon for some time to come.
When Nie Yan saw that the marketplace’s Black Phenol shortage had become so fierce and the prices had catapulted so much in such a short period of time, even he felt considerably taken aback. He believed the players would at least have a little in stock and that the guilds would dispatch their members to gather materials. Yet in the span of a few hours, just as the shortage was only beginning, the price of Black Phenol had already risen to such a terrifying state.
Nevertheless, Nie Yan also understood that this price was also probably the limit. Any higher and those guilds would be losing money every time they ran the dungeon. Of course, who in their right mind would be willing to do that?
I guess it’s about time for me to dump my stock into the marketplace!
Nie Yan placed ten bottles of Black Phenol on the auction house, whereupon a fervor of bidding immediately started on them. The bids continuously rose until they all gradually stopped at around fifty copper. With all ten bottles sold, his earnings were rather decent. Afterwards, he listed another ten bottles up for sale. Sure enough, they were all fought over until there were none left.
He proceeded to dump small batches of Black Phenol into the auction house in an unbroken cycle of selling which persisted for quite a while.
News of Black Phenol being dumped into the marketplace quickly travelled to the leaders of the various guilds and caused all of them to assemble at the auction house.
Nie Yan walked along the auction house’s main auditorium and eventually settled in a seat in the furthest row back. His eyes scanned across the entire place. There were several very familiar faces, all of them belonging to the top brass of the various major guilds. It was obvious the Black Phenol shortage had been an unceasing headache for them.
Sitting not far from him were two other players discussing a topic quietly, though it was still within earshot for him.
“It seems the entire playerbase is concerned about Black Phenol right now. Say, who do you think still has so many bottles to sell? That person consistently puts up batches of ten as soon as their last one is sold. It seems they aren’t planning to dump all of their supply at once. They sure are crafty. Selling all of them at once probably won’t net as much of a profit. Only by selling it slowly and whetting the appetites of those large guilds can they sell at such a high price.”
“One bottle for fifty coppers, such a price is bordering on a scam. They’re earning money like crazy. Too bad the person hid their name when listing the Black Phenol up for auction. No one knows who they are.”
When Nie Yan heard these whispering murmurs, his mouth curved into a faint smile. This was the time for him to earn big!
Due to the fact that he really had too much Black Phenol in his storage, if he didn’t get rid of it quickly and allowed the guilds to gather their own steady supply, his own stock might end up going to waste.
Nie Yan spent his time like this in the auction house, just leisurely loitering around. For the time being, he didn’t kill monsters or try to level up. His mind was simply relaxing and being carefree.
In a market with such high demand, his supply of Black Phenol sold particularly well. The guilds that managed to purchase some already began resuming their exploration of Sosil Valley, leaving the ones who hadn’t feeling incredibly pressured. Granted, even though they knew they were being ripped off, progressing through the new dungeon still needed to happen, didn’t it?
Although the Black Phenol was only being sold in small batches, many guilds didn’t have Alchemists who could create it. For fear that the current batch might be the last, they couldn’t help but purchase a few just in case. Under the pressure of the market’s high demand, the price of Black Phenol consistently remained high.
The hysteria over Black Phenol caused money to pour in from all sides, as the funds in Nie Yan’s bag piled higher and higher.
After selling over five hundred bottles, he paused to calculate his earnings. He had earned roughly two and a half gold so far from Black Phenol alone. Alongside the profits from the raw materials, Flash Powder, Sheep Transformation Scrolls, and Web Scrolls, he now had a total of sixteen gold in his bag. In the next six or seven days, all of the earnings made by the several dozen guilds running Sosil Valley would end up falling into his pockets. In this early stage of the game, such a frightening sum of money would cause a person to sigh in admiration to no end. Not to mention, he still had three hundred more bottles of Black Phenol, two hundred and twenty recipes, and an enormous amount of raw materials to sell. It was the recipes that were the real moneymakers. The selling price of a single recipe had already skyrocketed to over twenty silver. Furthermore, it was still going in an upward trend. Nie Yan still didn’t need to be in a rush to get rid of his recipes. After selling all of the Black Phenol and raw materials first, he could decide then what he would sell the recipes for.
With his pockets being sixteen gold richer, he instantly became extravagantly rich. Even for those large guilds, they would at most have no more than three or four gold. Beginner players all required money. The average players didn’t even have enough money to use for themselves, so why would they donate it to their guild? After all, most of them were new recruits, so for the time being, they didn’t hold much loyalty or feel a strong sense of belonging to their guilds. Therefore, most guild leaders would be trying to wrack their brains over the problematic matter of raising funds. They could only ask their loyal members, those who had been members in other games, to draw up some funding. However, if they scraped the bottom of the barrel too hard and those subordinates silently grew resentful, this would also negatively influence the guild’s growth.
Now that he had money, Nie Yan couldn’t allow it to rot in his hands. He would turn his present capital into even more money! That was the sensible way of doing things. As soon as these thoughts ran through his mind, he recalled that he could buy property and land.
At this moment, the game company was already starting to sell the land in Calore. Some residences on the border streets of the city were torn down in order to make way for player constructed shops. Every important section of land on the main streets was currently up for sale. However, Chief Administrator Telus, the person in charge of selling the land, was actually quite free from any workload. The main hall in his building was practically empty, The reason he had no customers was because the price of a single plot of land was at least one gold, while the plots that were in relatively good areas for building shops were valued at several dozen gold. Namely, even those large guilds would be incapable of taking out such a large sum of money to purchase such a plot of land.
As for those cheap plots selling for one or two gold, they were located in less than preferable places that most players disliked, so no one was willing to purchase them, while land in relatively good locations, they couldn’t afford. Thus, most players who were rich enough to purchase land could only give up on the thought for the time being.
Though, in the near future, many of the large guilds would have much more capital to spend. The in-game economy would flourish even more, and every good plot of land would be fought over wildly by the various guilds! This was where the future was headed!
Every guild was unceasingly accumulating their finances in preparation to expand.
If a person bought a plot of land, it didn’t matter if they opened their own shop or leased it to others to collect rent, they were all decent options.
With so much money in his pockets, Nie Yan only had to leave one or two gold for his own personal use, and it would cover his daily expenses for quite a while. By using the remaining funds to purchase a plot of land, not only would he able to keep it, it would also rise in value. Who would have anything against that?
Virtual real-estate was the same as real-estate in the real world. They both possessed value!