“Yikes, I’ve barely stepped foot through the door, yet you’re already throwing me curveballs! Hmm, let’s see… Of course there’s no point in joining a weak guild. That’s why I’ve been searching for a strong backer this whole time. When I found out about this shop, I was almost certain that it had a strong backer acting from behind the scenes, but I didn’t know exactly who. Perhaps a financial group or a major guild? I’m not sure which, but I’m certain it’s an entity with a terrifying amount of resources. It hasn’t been long since the servers opened, but you’ve already got a shop opened when even the major guilds don’t. That’s why I’m applying here, to see if my intuition was correct,” Quiet Nannan responded in a frank and very direct manner. He felt using flowery words to praise and flatter would have sounded insincere, so he chose to go with a more direct approach.
How many days had passed since the game’s release, probably half a month at most? Yet a Tier 2 shop had already sprung up in this region of the city. Even if it was located in the slums, how could such an event go unnoticed?
Bird nodded his head in approval, then said, “We offer a 10% cut to contracted Alchemists at your rank. Are you still willing to join?”
“So low? The other guilds offered at least 20% plus a base salary.” Quiet Nannan furrowed his brows. This offer was simply too stingy. He’d be much better off joining a small guild.
Even Nie Yan couldn’t help but be taken by surprise when he heard Bird’s offer. He had given Bird full authority in hiring Alchemists. As long as the cut was 30% or lower, Bird had full power in making the decision. Plus, for players like Quiet Nannan and Still Grieving, he was even allowed to offer a few additional benefits as incentives to get them to join. Never did he expect that Bird would open with such a low offer. Just what would he do to convince these Alchemists to stay? Nonetheless, Nie Yan held the firm belief of not suspecting those he employed and not employing those he felt were suspect. As such, he planned to stick through and observe how this scene would unfold.
Bird replied to Quiet Nannan in a calm and collected manner. “We don’t offer a base salary here because such a thing is negligible. What we do offer though is an inexhaustible supply of alchemy ingredients and a lucrative platform to sell your concoctions on. If you want to earn big, the floor above has just what you need: ingredients—enough to keep you busy from morning to sundown. Moreover, we have enough personal workshops to provide one to each new hire. To add to that, we’re also planning on expanding rapidly, Tier 3, Tier 4, Tier 5… Nothing is out of our reach. Alchemists will be flocking to our doorsteps every single day. We’ll become the largest potion shop in all of Calore. Hence, only after you’ve proven yourself, by making this establishment a decent profit, will we even consider raising your share up from 10%.”
Listening to Bird boast so wildly, Nie Yan was left speechless as he broke into a wry smile. Still, this method was indeed suitable. Since human nature was so fickle, if an offer was too generous, then the other party might not show a sense of appreciation, as they might feel such treatment was naturally deserved. With Bird’s method, however, not only was it persuasive, but he would also be able to secure their loyalty if he provided them with sufficient benefits in the future.
Seeing this performance, any prior misgivings that Nie Yan held were completely swept away. Bird had shown that he was fully up to the task. Even if he didn’t find success as an Alchemist, perhaps he would do quite well in management.
Perseverance, patience, and a focus on excellent character was the prerequisite for success. If someone possessed all of these traits, as long as they were provided with a good environment to grow, they would definitely flourish. As for those who had these traits yet didn’t succeed, it wasn’t because they lacked the ability but because they lacked a good platform to support their growth instead. So, as long as Nie Yan set up a decent stage, it was still possible for him to unearth many outstanding talents.
Therefore, if he wished to seek out good seedlings, he couldn’t only base his judgement off of those who had succeeded in his past life. Of course, those famous existences were much easier to find. Looking at it from this point of view, if they were readily available, then what reason did he have to ignore them?
Quiet Nannan contemplated for a brief moment before replying, “Can I take a look at the second floor?”
Bird covertly shot a glance at Nie Yan from the corner of his eye. Seeing the slight nod of approval, he said, “No problem, follow me.”
As the two began walking upstairs, Nie Yan sent Bird a whisper.「I’ll be taking my leave. The shop is in your hands. Just like you said earlier, we’ll be constantly expanding and recruiting more and more Alchemists. Several dozen is too few, and several hundreds won’t be enough either.」
「I understand, boss. Rest assured, you’re leaving the shop’s matters in good hands.」
Nie Yan possessed sufficient capital to invest. As for the question of whether a concoction would sell well in the future or if it would spike in value, he would always be able to put out an accurate judgement. Under his guidance, there would be absolutely no problems in the future business of the Starry Night Potion Shop.
Not only that, but he wished for the Starry Night Potion Shop to transform into a behemoth that all future Alchemists would aspire to work at!
Aside from purchasing from the auction house, he still required another stable source of alchemy ingredients and recipes. Otherwise, the shop would be completely subject to the fluctuation of the market. If an entity capable of rivaling the shop were to arise in the future, then the Starry Night Potion Shop’s inability to adapt would really start to show.
While pondering over this problem, Sleepy Fox popped into his mind. If he had Holy Empire as a supplier, then he would no longer need to worry about finding a steady source of alchemy ingredients and recipes. What’s more, he would also be able to secure a collaboration pact and gradually make their interests coincide.
At that time, it was only because Cao Xu held control over Victorious Return and four other guilds that he was able to secure his powerful position. If Nie Yan wished to gain a foothold, then he couldn’t rely solely on himself. However, at the same time, he couldn’t be entirely reliant on others!
Since he had returned to the past, every step that he took forward was incredibly firm. His strength, both personal and financial, was constantly growing. Even so, he was still well aware that his time was limited. When the game began merging with the real world economy, he would have no choice but to face up against numerous enemies. The path he would walk in the future was going to be incredibly rocky.
He had always felt a sense of urgency at the back of his mind, and it would only be pacified if he put in his greatest effort.
After withdrawing twenty-five gold from the shop, Nie Yan walked out and headed for the auction house to acquire more Anti-Petrify related items. While here, he also purchased a large quantity of recipes, ingredients, and other items that might rise in value in the future. He sent all the alchemy related items to the potion shop and deposited the equipment.
As soon as he finished his business in the auction house, Nie Yan checked his personal storage. Inside, items of all shapes and sizes were tightly packed together. In total, the value of everything inside his storage was roughly nine gold, and it was expected to rise by a significant margin in the future.
Even with everything settled, he still had sixteen gold remaining in his pockets. He headed over to the transfer point area to proceed with the next phase of his plan.
「System: Are you certain you wish to teleport to City of Jadeite, Hilderlocke. The cost of teleporting to another city is 1 gold.」
The transfer fee was this high because there was a considerable travel distance between the two cities. This was also why there tended to be less travel to other cities.
A few seconds later, a fascinating city, one that seemed to come out of a dream, emerged before Nie Yan’s eyes.
As a matter of fact, this city was erected right in the center of a forest. Numerous tall trees towered high into the sky, covering the entire city in their shade. The forest’s emerald green washed over the city’s pure white buildings, creating a breathtaking and harmonious spectacle. This, when combined with the mottled sunlight that shone down from the canopy above, made for a matchless scene of beauty.
Although there was a constant flow of players walking down the street, the bustle and liveliness here was much less than in Calore.
Hilderlocke was one of six major cities in the Viridian Empire. The real-estate here had the highest potential to rise in value because there were more high-level maps around the city. As such, the popularity of this place would progressively rise in the future. At the same time, Hilderlocke had the fewest properties for sale. In total, there were only about a dozen or so plots listed. At present, there wasn’t much attention on the city, but in the future, the land would become extremely expensive. The prosperous commerce in this city simply couldn’t be compared with Calore’s, but the prices were excessive beyond reason, at least several dozen times more expensive.
Nie Yan was currently eyeing the potential of the real-estate market here, which was his reason for coming. He definitely had to buy the most valuable property with the highest potential to appreciate. Only then would he get the most value out of his investment.
He headed for the administrator’s office located at the heart of the city. Upon arriving, he was greeted by the sight of a magnificent crystal palace flanked by courtyards on both sides. Each courtyard contained a fountain and a lush garden where various kinds of exceptionally beautiful flowers grew—all seemingly struggling over each other to stand out more.
“Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Administrator Kallan.”
He was Hilderlocke’s administrator, a slightly obese, middle-aged man with a robust stature and an amicable expression.
“Greetings, adventurer from Calore. You’ve come a long way. How may I help you?”
“I’d like to purchase some property in Hilderlocke.”
“I see. Then please follow me.” Administrator Kallan led Nie Yan inside.
After entering the office, he was presented with a holographic model of the city which listed all available properties.
“We have a total of twelve properties listed for sale distributed here, here, and furthermore, here… We offer excellent quality service to those who would like to do business in Hilderlocke. Not to mention, we also have laws to protect your interests. However, since you’re not from this city, we have a regulation that you must follow. If a resident from another city wishes to purchase a piece of property here, they will need to pay an additional 60% in fees. When reselling a property, there is also an additional exorbitant transfer fee,” Administrator Kallan explained.
Nie Yan examined the twelve properties. The cheapest was two gold, but since he wasn’t a resident of the city, it would cost 60% more. It would be best if he found a resident to help him purchase property in his place, but unfortunately, he didn’t have a trustworthy contact here.
He glanced over the model of the city and quickly found the property he wished to purchase. It was located in an intersection by the southern gate of the city. The price was about eight gold, and it was a considerably large property, perfect for a large auction house. Even if he had to pay 60% more, it would still be well worth the purchase.
In the future, the southern part of Hilderlocke would become its most bustling area. This was because players would have to pass through this city to reach many of the soon to be major dungeons such as City of Gold. Not only that, but the southern gate was also to become a hot spot for players forming teams to run nearby dungeons. One could well imagine the potential for development in the future.
“I want to purchase this property,” Nie Yan said as he pointed at the property near the southern gate.
“The price of this property is eight gold. Since you’re not a resident of the city, the total will come to twelve gold and eighty silver.”
After paying the money, he received the title deed for the property from Administrator Kallan without any problems. With this piece of paper in his hand, he suddenly felt much more confident. As someone who experienced firsthand what it was like to be miserable and destitute, he understood that owning a piece of property was the best form of reassurance.