Having paid the employment fees, Nie Yan noticed a crippled old man slowly walking in his direction.
The moment this old man entered his vision, he heaved a sigh of relief as this was indeed him!
“Milord, I am Insei Rais. My family and I would like to express our deepest gratitude for employing my humble self.” Wrinkles covered his face, and his skin was as withered as an old tree bark. In addition to his crippled leg, it was quite difficult to praise him in any way.
Insei Rais has family members? Hmm, now that I think about it… that actually makes sense.
“This is the store I’ll be handing over to you. I’ll also inform you on how to manage this business.” Nie Yan greeted Insei Rais with a small nod, while he contemplated on how to get the most out of this cripple’s Diplomacy Skill. For now, I’ll just have him look after the shop. It’s not like I would have to worry about him stealing merchandise or embezzling money with his thirty-seven Trust… After all, an employee’s loyalty is almost guaranteed when their Trust is thirty or over.
While preparing the store for business, Nie Yan instructed Bird to bring the completed Black Phenol over so that it could be sold. He also made a recruitment poster which read: “Hiring Alchemists! Those interested contact XXX.” If he wanted the shop to prosper, relying on the future Alchemy King alone was insufficient. He would only be satisfied when he had a large number of Alchemists under his command.
Hmm, what should I name this store…? I’ll just call it Starry Night Potion Shop. Nothing too special, while fairly easy to remember.
He instructed Insei Rais to sell the Black Phenol, the recipes, and the raw materials. In addition, to prevent his identity from being known, he hid his name as the shop’s owner.
The price of a portion of raw materials was set to twenty coppers, a single bottle of Black Phenol was set to sixty coppers, and a single Black Phenol Recipe was set to thirty silvers. These prices were far above the market price, especially the price of the recipe, which he made ridiculously expensive. Nie Yan planned to start off with these absurd prices, giving the large guilds an opportunity to be the first to buy them. Of course, if they felt that these prices were too high, they were free to go elsewhere. The price of Black Phenol was not going to drop anytime soon, and considering the necessity of this item to progress in the game, there were bound to be people who would buy them. As such, he planned to rob as many people of their money as possible, while the demand still far exceeded the supply, before he would slowly lower the price when the market began to stabilize. Obviously, even at this lower price, he would still make a decent profit.
With everything set up, he inspected the shop. It’s still pretty empty, huh. I really need more goods to fill the place up for it to become a genuine business.
The quality of the average Alchemist in Conviction was simply too low at present. Even if he hired a few, they mostly likely wouldn’t meet his standards. Therefore, there was no need to hastily start a large-scale recruitment campaign since other shops were likely in the same predicament. Having such thoughts going through his mind, he prepared to leave the shop.
“Eh? Since when was there a potion shop here?” Three players discovered Nie Yan’s shop as they passed by the area. After all, how could they not notice it when such a fine, brand-new building suddenly emerged within these slums?
“Let’s go have a look.”
The three players headed over to the store, and at the same moment, they noticed Nie Yan walking out.
“Hey! When did this shop open up?” The person who greeted him was a Warrior named Dauntless. He was a very strapping young man who stood at six foot three and had quite a terrifyingly loud and coarse voice.
Nie Yan glanced at Dauntless and said with a faint smile, “I just happened to pass by as well and went in for a look. I have no idea when it opened.”
“I see, thanks anyway. Tuo Ba, let’s take a look inside and see if they have any health or mana potions for sale.”
“It doesn’t look like there’s any,” Nie Yan said quite straightforwardly. After all, the shop had barely opened.
“I doubt a new shop would have many things in stock,” another voice rang out, though this one sounded a bit lethargic.
Nie Yan glimpsed at the youth behind Dauntless—a Paladin. The word handsome could be used to describe him, but there was just a tinge of inattentiveness to his appearance and even a bit of laziness. Tuo Ba… this name sounds a bit familiar. However, Nie Yan failed to recognize him and thus walked away, brushing past their shoulders on his way out.
“There aren’t even any basic potions? Why even open a potion store then, not to mention at such a remote place! I’m guessing business must be very poor,” the Arcane Mage noted.
Nevertheless, Dauntless and the other two walked into the store.
“Shit, they’re selling Black Phenol and even the recipe too!”
“The hell? What a rip-off! These prices are absolutely ridiculous!”
Dauntless’ coarse voice erupted behind Nie Yan the moment he had stepped out onto the street. None of them could have ever imagined a place like this would be selling Black Phenol and even its recipe. Items that were selling like hotcakes—items that every single guild yearned for. From this alone, they understood that this shop wasn’t owned by some simpleton.
Nie Yan stopped dead in his tracks when that coarse voice burst into his ears, but after making a faint smile, he walked wherever his feet led him. Since this shop had already been discovered, it was inevitable that this news would spread far and wide. When the guilds that thirsted for Black Phenol learned of this information, they were certain to head over and check it out for themselves. If they were in urgent need of Black Phenol, perhaps they would even buy a few in spite of the outrageous prices.
Black Phenol was already an extreme rarity in the marketplace, let alone the recipe. There was an undeniable truth that many were interested in those two things alone.
「Nie Yan, where are you right now?」Tang Yao messaged Nie Yan.
「I’m in Calore. How’s the levelling going with Yu Lan (Blue Feather) and the rest?」
「I’m Level 6, 56%, more than halfway to Level 7! How is it? Pretty impressive, eh?」Tang Yao proudly told him. His skill in casting spells was getting increasingly proficient, and in addition to the fact that Nie Yan provided them with several coordinates, representing places suitable for grinding in the early stages of the game, their levels were rising at quite a fast rate.
Though if Nie Yan were to tell Tang Yao that he was already Level 9, who knew how the latter would react.
「Not too bad,」Nie Yan said, nodding his head. This speed of levelling was already top-tier, outclassed only by the elite players killing Werewolves in Sosil Valley.
「I ran into Chen Bo again. That guy spat nothing but bullshit and even wanted to duel me! In the end, I one-shotted him with my Flame Explosion. Hmph, he was trying to convince Yu Lan and Yao Yao to kick me out of the team… That guy needs to take a good look in the mirror and see who the real loser is! Not a single person in the team paid any attention to him, and even Plain Boiled Water stood by my side. Eventually, Chen Bo couldn’t take the shame and left the team himself.」Nie Yan could feel the joy and happiness in Tang Yao’s words.
Without a doubt, Tang Yao definitely felt very smug about killing Chen Bo who subsequently left the team voluntarily.
Tang Yao’s Fire Chaser set increased all damage related to fire element magic. At present, Tang Yao’s damage surpassed most elite fire-spec Elementalists. Judging from the set of equipment Chen Bo wore, it was impossible that he could survive a single blast from Tang Yao’s Flame Explosion. As a Thief, Chen Bo was a complete failure for allowing a Mage to successfully cast Flame Explosion in a player versus player situation. If it were Nie Yan instead, Tang Yao would have had no chance of firing off any spells that had over a second of cast time.
「You should remain careful. Chen Bo’s the sort who remembers any and all grudges. I’m absolutely certain he’ll want to take revenge for this and mess with you in one way or the other.」The possibility of Chen Bo finding some people to deal with Tang Yao worried him. After all, he knew Chen Bo was not a particularly magnanimous person.
「You think I’m afraid of him? If he comes a few more times, then I’ll just beat him up a few more times!」Tang Yao was very confident in his current strength. He had always been someone who’d face matters like these directly. Even though Nie Yan had given him a reminder, it was unlikely that he would take this advice to heart.
Recalling the incident at the bar that one evening in the previous timeline, Nie Yan felt a lump rise into his throat. Brother, if there is anyone who dares to harm you in this life, I will have him pay twice—no, ten times the price! No matter the situation or location!
Nie Yan took a deep breath to calm himself down, and as he did so, he felt the lump in his throat slowly sink back down.
「It never hurts to be a bit more careful.」
「Yeah, yeah. Do you want to come and level with us? Even the beauties here already miss you!」
「I still need to get a few things done. Go on ahead without me. Besides, levelling with you guys is too slow for me anyway,」Nie Yan said nonchalantly.
「Eh… What level are you now?」Tang Yao was momentarily stunned; he recalled that he hadn’t asked about Nie Yan’s level in quite some time.
「I’m a bit past Level 9. Don’t tell anyone though, I don’t want to attract too much attention,」To Tang Yao, who he treated as a genuine brother, he didn’t feel the need to conceal the truth.
「Holy crap, already!? How did you level that fast!?」
「After I finish what I’m doing, I’ll take you out to level,」Nie Yan said. He still had to get his hands on that chapter from the Book of Order. Only after doing so would he bring Tang Yao with him. He knew of many ways for Mages to gain tons of experience, allowing Tang Yao’s level to soar up alongside his own.
「Then it’s decided!」Tang Yao said with a tone of clear excitement. I wonder how Nie Yan did it. That speed is insane!
They continued chatting a while longer before Nie Yan hung up. Meanwhile, he had prepared a few consumables and was now headed for the transfer point.
Carefully weighing the difficulties of acquiring the various chapters from the Book of Order as well as the properties and effects of each and every chapter, Nie Yan decided on one: the sixth chapter from the Book of Order, the Chapter of Freedom! When compared to the Chapter of Courage, the Chapter of Freedom was much more suitable for a Thief.
Nie Yan arrived at the transfer point and selected his destination.
「System: Are you certain you wish to teleport to Hems, Dead Field Gate. Since this is a special transfer, there will be an additional fee of 20 silver.」
Nie Yan pressed confirm, and when he reopened his eyes, what entered his vision was a vast field of desolation. The dark skies gloomed; the chilly winds whistled. This was a bleak place without even the most miniscule signs of life. Some destroyed remnants of war machinery were semi-buried within the sands, as though speaking of their distant past. This was a former battleground from the ancient era; however, any turmoil had long since been silenced, and now, this was an untouched field holding nothing but death.
On the map of the Atlanta continent, Hems was located to the north of the Viridian Empire, and it was rumoured that an entrance to an underground city was located there. On the side of the overworld, there were a group of large angels guarding the entrance. If one were to pass through that entrance and enter the underworld, there would be a group of demons awaiting them. They acted as the seals that separated the two worlds. Millions of lives had been lost on these battle-ridden fields during the Era of Shared Governance.
Hems, Dead Gate Field, was a place of legends. In his previous life, when the game developers announced the Chapter of Freedom was located in some place within Hems, the players went into an uproar. There was simply no end to the teams entering and simply no end to the player deaths that occurred. This place became a true field of death.
There were a total of six chapters in the first volume of the Book of Order. If players were unable to find them within the first three months after the game’s release, the game developers would announce their whereabouts. Information regarding the following volume would only be disclosed after all chapters of the first volume were found.
Due to this impending reveal, Nie Yan was forced to obtain all chapters within this three-month time period. If he were unable to collect them before the deadline, he’d have no choice but to compete with the other players over the remaining chapters of the Book of Order.
No matter what happens, I’ll decide after obtaining the Chapter of Freedom first, Nie Yan thought.