Chapter 34 - Inspecting Properties 2
Draco shook his head and decided to ignore that weird feeling he got. While it was super intrusive, it was also very hard for him to trace. This further bolstered his suspicions towards the AI, but he kept that under wraps.
Draco was somewhat aware that the AI had its eyes on him since he began his chain if impossible events, but even so, so what?
Draco's train of thought was similar to all those fellows in apocalyptic sci-fi movies who believed that artificial intelligence could not overcome its directives. The AI of Boundless was tasked with making the game as palatable as possible for players while maintaining realism.
Even if it heard their talk, so what? The AI couldn't do anything about knowledge of the bloodlines since it didn't even know what the bloodline abilities were or even who owned them aside the Evil Duo and Local Lord.
It couldn't do anything about the knowledge of their reincarnation since the two of them never specified how long they lived before reincarnating.
As a matter of fact, Draco was spot on. The AI was having a digital aneurysm trying to think of how to deal with the two of them.
What if Draco and Eva had played for three months in the game before dying and reincarnating? What if they had played for even lesser than that and their high skills were due to their bloodlines?
The AI was not a human that would make an assumption and act on it. It was like any form of science, before a conclusion was made, there must be doubtless proof.
Hence, the limbo of indecision.
Draco had this nailed down perfectly and so did Eva, two people who knew how this Artificial intelligence worked very intimately due to their experience and positions in their past timeline.
If Draco could reincarnate and Eva could suddenly have her past life's memories, skills and emotions suddenly transfer, naturally there would be changes.
The Butterfly Effect was a scary thing.
A small breeze created by the flapping of a butterfly's gentle wings in one place could cause natural disasters as well as horrendous storms in another.
From the moment Draco had his brain scanned by the virtual helmet before entering Boundless, an anomaly occurred.
If one's brain could be mapped, wouldn't every bit of content in their craniums be captured by the scanner? This was possible but not in depth. After all photocopying a doc.u.ment could replicate words, but not the paper.
Still, due to Draco's reincarnation, his brain had been grossly shifted from that of a normal person to one who had the experiences, skills and knowledge of things that were scarce in this timeline.
To master Control, both the Void of Perfection and Body of Godliness required modifications to the brain through one's own method. Otherwise, how could Draco perform the feats he could with the same brain everyone else had, but they couldn't as well?
It wasn't a huge shift, but the most important change was the total decalcification of the pineal gland. It was the part of the brain that allowed one's Void of Perfection to leave the body and influence the surroundings.
When the AI took a scan of Draco's brain, it noted the shifts in his biology compared to others, but didn't actively do anything because deviations always existed.
However, this clashing data conflicted with all other scans and caused a bug to exist.
This bug would play a big role soon.
Draco and Riveting Night decided to take a tour of their Guild Hall. The receptionist herself decided to be the guide for her two superiors, taking them to the elevator.
The first ten floors were filled with different rooms. There was the Common Room on the first floor which was large and had a bar, restaurant as well as a gambling section. More than 75% of the room was comprised of a lounge style setup with sofas, couches and loveseats spread across the room.
The room was air conditioned 24/7 and had a vibrant coloration. Blood red carpets, cream tiled ceiling as well as polished wooden walling. It was a mix of an antique as well as a modern feel thanks to the interior design.
Draco nodded his head in satisfaction while Riveting Night remained silent. However, Draco could sense her approval of the layout. Both of them had common rooms in their old Guild Halls, but none were as aesthetically pleasing as this.
｢Common room bonuses:
- Acc.u.mulate 0.1% experience per hour spent in the common room
- Gambling payouts increased by 25%
- Stamina, Mana and Health recover 50% faster
Note: Bonuses scale with rank of Guild Member｣
Draco had to pause at that. Even Riveting Night was trembling subtly. The gambling payout boon as well as the stats recovery weren't out of place, their old common rooms had this too.
However, that first boon…
It made the two old monsters shiver internally as if they were face with a devil. The two of them swore to recruit members that were either trustworthy or completely unable to betray them.
While their reactions may seem exaggerated to most, it was due to the knowledge they possessed that they recognized the value of this bonus.
Why was Richmond lounging around in some forest instead of closing the gap to level 400? He was level 397, just three levels away from being the overlord of the world.
Nonsense, if Richmond could, would he need to seclude himself? Once an NPC reached Rank 7, they couldn't easily level up like before.
The reason was really simple when you thought about it. How did everyone level up in this world? Wasn't it by killing monsters or enemies in general?
And at level 397, which monster could give Richmond enough experience to level up? He'd be lucky to get 0.1% after slaughtering every single living being on the continent.
The powerhouses would have loved to kill every other person on their level of existence, since that would grant a substantial amount of experience to the next level.
But were powerhouses so easy to kill?
Otherwise, why would Mephisto allow himself to be bullied to death by Nakiu to the point where he regretted being too strong to die? Their high HP as well as terrifying HP regen made it such that even if they assisted you in beating themselves up, you couldn't kill them easily.
The same thing went for players.
Why was Draco, the third strongest player in Boundless across the world, stuck at Rank 6 and unable to reach Rank 7?
It was this very reason. The AI could spawn infinite beings and resources, but they'd still be cannon fodder. It couldn't spawn powerhouses easily, but assist in setting someone up to become one.
The Western Fantasy section was unlike the Xianxia world where it was believed that there were higher realms like the Immortal world and the Celestial world.
The AI constructed this world based on the established lore of Western Fantasy worlds, and such lore usually stated that the world was the beginning and end of it, nothing higher existed aside from heaven and hell, and those two worlds required extremely special conditions to enter.
So this explained why Void Passes were so valuable. It also explained why Draco and Riveting Night were terrified of this bonus' effect leaking to certain powers.
Take Richmond for example. Assuming he was a player as well as a guild member of Umbra, all he had to do was lounge in here for a months and he'd be able to reach level 400 due to the 0.1% acc.u.mulation.
Benefits for no work done!
Who didn't covet such a thing?
This was dangerous for the Evil Duo because the NPCs would feel threatened. Immortal Adventurers were largely tolerated because the Gods mandated it and because the NPCs believed they'd hit the same ceiling as them.
Based on Draco's past life, they were beyond right. In fact, the Immortal Adventurer's ceiling was even lower than theirs.
But with this… the balance would be broken eventually. Immortal Adventurers would become the true rulers of this world and as such, they'd slowly fall into ruin.
After all, they couldn't respawn like Immortal Adventurers could.
On the side of players, Draco and Riveting Night weren't too worried. At most, it would cause some enmity for other players, but so what? Who in this life could reach their level of skill that was honed for over 15 years?
Could such an advantage be easily overcome just because? That was illogical and unrealistic! Not even the current Local Lord could hope to lick Draco's boots within Boundless.
The scariest part was that the 0.1% acc.u.mulation was for common floor members. Higher tier members of the guild got a lot more based on Rank.
The two left the common room and were shown the other rooms. Like the Castle, there was a room for each of the Tradeskills, but these rooms were a 100 times more populated and comprehensive. After all, the Castle was meant to cater for one, while the Guild Hall was meant to cater for many.
There was an indoor pool that took two whole floors for itself. It was very organic, with shrubs and flowers existing all over. It also possessed some waterpark-like qualities that were sure to be fun.
The next floor was the commission room, which was where guild members took guild quests as well as received compensation upon completion. It was styled almost exactly like the Adventurer's Guild.
The floor above that was the Training Hall. This area was for combat training, duels, skill testing and technique creation/honing. It was a large open space with supplied tools for different skillsets, as well as private rooms for those who wanted to be secretive.
The next floor was a Guild Shop where guild members traded in guild currency for items, equipment and services from the guild at different prices.
Above that was the Assembly room. Here, members could be assembled to either make announcements, give updates or rally for guild wars. Above the assembly room was the Conference room, which was solely for guild upper echelon to meet and plan.
Above that was the rooms for guild members. Each room was the equivalent of a suite in a three star hotel. Guild upper echelon had rooms that were at the tier of presidential suites in four star hotels.
Riveting Night as a Vice Guildmaster shared one whole floor with whoever the second vice guild leader would be. Their rooms were at the level of the royal penthouse suites of the Empathy hotel, totally mind-blowing in terms of opulence.
However, Draco's room at the topmost floor took the cake.
It was a super mini small world!
That's right, a room that was a super mini small world. Even Draco's castle could only have this for the master bedroom's bathing facilities but not the whole room.
By the time the Evil Duo left the Guild Hall, they were solemn and extremely muted in terms of actions as well as composure. Draco made sure to leave 50,000 platinum with the accountant for the guild.
He estimated it could last about a month and a half based on the provided facilities.
At this point, Draco was feeling the pressure. While possessing boons and abilities that others would die for was great, maintaining those benefits would require heavier effort than he ever estimated.
One measly settlement's income couldn't even hope to maintain operation of even one of these high tier buildings for even a day, even if that settlement became a city.
Because operation of a facility would require more recurring capital the more useful it was. The profits earned by the Guild Hall and Castle would not match the upkeep required by these very same buildings.
One would have to supply from outside and luckily, Draco decided to build a shop. While the previous two facilities would eat more than they made, it was the total opposite for the shop.
The higher the level, the more income it would bring. This was why Draco decided to visit it last. Always save the best for the end of the inspection.
Draco and Riveting Night soon reached the Central Boulevard which was heavily populated. After all, businesses and employment largely existed here.
It took a bit of navigation to reach their Rank 7 shop and when they reached it, the two could help their heavy breathing. Draco and Riveting Night's faces flushed with excitement that despite their monstrous wills, they couldn't hold back.
Because their shop was no longer a single building like the castle-like Noble's Residence or the skyscr.a.p.er-like Guild hall.
It was a huge and sprawling mall!
However, unlike the Guild Hall which was made modern due to the lack of NPC presence, the mall was more medieval in style. It would be more appropriate to describe it as a market in a building rather than a mall.
It was an enormous establishment with more than ten floors. However, its height was outdone by its width. Draco had bought a reasonably large sized plot for his shop expecting it to become huge eventually, but this was unexpected!
It swallowed up almost all of the 100 acres of land, leaving very little space for other things except shops. That's right, the Rank 7 shop was essentially a whole bunch of shops.
From the first floor to the fifth floor were partitioned areas for other NPC, player or player guild merchants to rent. This was actually similar to a real mall, where each shop was rented for a time.
Naturally, as a Rank 7 shop, the bonuses to advertis.e.m.e.nt, storage and sales were astronomical. Anyone who rented in their Rank 7 shop would be able to sell goods more frequently and more expensively than anywhere else.
Not only due to its unique existence, but also game provided bonuses.
The first floor had 100 shop spaces. The second floor had 75 shop spaces, but these spaces were larger and slightly classier.
The third floor had 50 shop spaces which possessed a more detailed method of storage as well as aides provided by the establishment.
The fourth floor had 25 shop spaces and each shops design was opulent and attractive.
The fifth floor had only 5 shop spaces and each of these shops were like mini-markets of their own.
The sixth floor was the private bazaar, where the true powerhouses could come to barter for specific goods or request the shop to search for an item on their behalf.
It was similar to the Common room, with a lounge, bar and restaurant. It also had some special 'services'. One could have the best females or males – depending on one's preference – serve them in any way you wanted.
Of course, Draco and Riveting Night would have to acquire a repertoire of willing – or unwilling – candidates for the job aside for the basic ones provided by the Tradeskill Association.
The top most floor was an auditorium style room with special compartments near the ceiling that had a good overview of the stage. Each of the compartments was marked with a number, while the interiors were opulent and fully furnished.
The room was exactly as it looked, an auction room. This was exactly the facility that Draco had been looking forward to ever since he put in the orders for the construction.
Once satisfied with the layout, Draco deposited another 25,000 platinum into the coffers of the shop. Unlike the other establishments, this should be a permanent deposit for its upkeep.
Even if he stopped investing, just the proceeds from its daily business would easily cover its operations as well as pad the costs for the Guild Hall and the Castle.
This left Draco with exactly 2,500 platinum and some leftovers from his 3000 gold reward from killing Ratchet. It wasn't a shabby amount in any way, making Draco and Riveting Night slightly satisfied.
"What's next?" Riveting Night asked they took a carriage to the Portal Center.
"Well, we should first lay the groundwork for our settlement. What do you think?" Draco replied with a thoughtful expression.
Riveting Night flipped a serrated dagger in her palm idly while replying in a slightly lazy tone, "I agree. Maybe we should consider auctioning your creations first. Afterwards, we can build the settlement near these co-ordinates."
Riveting Night sent some co-ordinates to Draco. When he received the co-ordinates, he felt like they seemed slightly familiar. He tossed and turned his head, digging into his eidetic memories of his past life before unearthing them.
"Ah, where that hidden Aether Mine is located, huh? I remember that your old guild got the rights to it after that particular guild war. Sigh, it was my first defeat at your vicious hands."
Draco sighed as he remembered that particular contest. It had been brutal and affected so many parties inside and outside the game that it was marked as a notable event even in real world history.
Aether was the condensed form of worldly energy. The worldly energy that existed in the atmosphere right now was extremely sparse not due to low density, but lack of availability.
An Aether Mine was more valuable than a legendary item, but not yet at the level of divine items. When Draco had lost the mine to Riveting Night, he had murdered a lot of underlings in the real world out of anger.
He couldn't help but grimace upon remembering that. Before, he might have felt that it was a little overboard but excusable due to his hatred, but now he felt completely embarrassed.
It was like remembering your actions during your eighth grader syndrome phase. It made one cringe and hide their faces in shame!
Still, Draco couldn't help but ponder Riveting Night's suggestion. He remembered the Aether Mine but didn't think about locating his first settlement near that spot.
After all, such a valuable resource would attract the eyes of even hidden powers, much less players and common NPCs.
"Don't forget, I was the one who owned the place. There are some secrets I can share with you, since you're my guild leader." Riveting Night teased with a sly voice.
Draco rose to her challenge, "Just your guild leader, eh? Do you dare to claim that I can't make you roll for This Daddy?"
"Of course, I will roll for you any day, but I might not spill the beans~"
Draco laughed and made a gesture of defeat. "Fine, you win you psycho. What is it?"
Riveting Night leapt forth and put herself on Draco's lap with a coy smile on her face.
"Are you interested in subjugating a Dragoness?"