Guild Wars

Chapter 626 - Rest Day

Chapter 626 – Rest Day

The entire stadium was coursing with energy at the thought of the final event. However, their enthusiasm was soon doused thoroughly by the next words of Amber.

"And this brings an end to the fifth day of the competition! Tomorrow will be a rest day. Feel free to either return to the real world to finish some of your long-term duties or stay here to casually browse around the rest area and shop as you like!" Amber announced with a smile.

Many of those in the crowd groaned, especially the players. Just when things were hot and about to reach their climax, she wanted them to go and play around?

Were she and her game studio serious about their work at all?

Suddenly Amber grinned toothily. "I have something of interest to announce though. For the next 24 hours in this game's time, a unique entity will be visiting that has only been accessed by the number 1 player of the game, Draco!"

Amber waved her hands, making a screen appear in the center square of the rest area where a kiosk-like wagon was neatly parked.

"Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the World Merchant, a normally elusive entity from the game's old era that will allow you to buy anything at all in the game… provided you have enough game currency!"

Many eyes gleamed with shock and surprise, until someone used their visor's loudspeaker function to ask: "Does that mean we can buy the stuff that makes them have such power?"

He was pointing to the core members, specifically Kiran and Essence who had demonstrated power beyond the capacity of any game they had ever played.

Amber smiled mischievously. "As long as you have the funds, you can gain power even beyond that level."

Many hearts in the crowd thumped. They had just been served the biggest temptation of their lives, and many had already lost their reason and ability to see that trap they had been caught up in.

"How do we get in-game currency then?" Another excited, yet sober fellow asked.

This captured the attention of the now near 1 billion spectators in the crowd – almost doubling the 590 million that had attended the first day of the competition – and they all listened with rapt attention.

Amber waved her hand and the display on the screen changed to a building that stood proud near the market district. "If you don't want to grind, you can always visit the Intermediately Trade Center to buy currency from your fellow players at the highest bid."

"As a special courtesy, we have enabled access to this menu without going there for the next 24 hours. Right now the building is only for show. The menu will list the steps necessary to link your purchasing account, allowing you to buy as much as you can afford from what is being sold and head over to the World Merchant. As long as you're within the safe zone you can access its wares through another menu and buy what you want."

Amber clapped her hands. "Have a great session and make sure to be smart about how you spend your money. With today's events over and tomorrow being a rest as well as a lifestyle day, I'll see you all for the final event."

The players were ejected from the stadium like this and everyone began filing out since Amber had left. There was no stampede and rush – though there should have been one – because the floor had literally turned to lava.

Unless one walked slowly and smartly, they would take a nice plunge down and cook for a bit. It was disgustingly effective in dousing the arrogance and animal-like nature of people in situations like this.

Many took a look around the rest zone, but a lot of the spectators logged out as they had business outside. There was no rush to change their money or buy anything just yet.

Those who left did so with the intention of gathering or even borrowing money as they had long since decided to invest in this game, while those who stayed did so to relax without the intention to spend.

They might have wanted to do the same as their peers, but they were aware that they had pressing bills waiting for them back in reality to afford such extravagance, after all even buying these helmets had cost them a lot.

They were the ones who mostly planned to use Boundless to make extra money, not lose it. They had heard about how that Helen chick had made huge bank from a harassment case in the game, and how many fellows who were part of Umbra were now in Forbes' top list of earners in their various countries.

There were also those who were curious, and so checked the Intermediary Trade Center and World Merchant right away to assess the prices, to gauge what to do next or what to report upwards to their bosses/masters.

What they saw stunned them, then they cursed. That Amber woman had made it seem so easy, and in terms of mechanics and accessibility, it was easy, no hassle whatsoever!

However, the issue of the prices were no joke!

Some of this stuff could buy their lives over and over!

That Amber woman had made it sound like anyone could make their dreams come true if they had enough money, but that was where the trap had been hidden!

Just to get the currency alone in sufficient amounts to buy anything worthwhile required one to be part of the 1%!

For example, the going price of a single bronze coin had risen from the previous $3 to $5 as a result of the changes in the timeline. Sure, there were more players, but the number of things players could buy and the ceiling of their information was far greater, so they had higher wants as well as a greater need for money.

Now, the World Merchant used old era prices. In certain regards, the prices of things in the old era were far cheaper than the current one due to technological and financial superiority.

But it was a double-edged sword as the current era prices were optimized for the situation there, while the old era had too many things one could buy that there would never be enough money to satisfy greed.

For example, Common Items on the Main Plane went for about 50 Bronze, Uncommon for 50 Silver, Rare for 50 gold, Epic for 300 platinum, and Legendary Items for 10,000 platinum minimum.

A lot of this had to do with Draco providing items and resources through the Rank 7 Shop and auctions, as well as the fact that Umbra made money by selling items and not currency, meaning they sold all their Uncommon and Rare Items through the Intermediary Trade Center.

Otherwise, the price of Uncommon Items would be closer to the previous timeline, meaning the minimum would be 1 gold, Rare Items would go for 1 platinum, and Epic items at 2,500 platinum minimum.

Umbra didn't often sell Epic Items, but since Draco priced his potions low the price of Epic Items had gone down to also be more affordable for his guild members.

Talk about a pampered guild!

According to old era standard, Common Items were 5 Bronze, Uncommon Items were 1 silver, Rare Items were 1 gold, and Epic Items went for 1 platinum coin. The cost of Legendary items were variable, but never below 1,000 platinum minimum.

As it could be seen, there was a great chance for the newer players to catch up to older ones immediately!

Instead of starting out with Trash-tier Items or Common ones, they could invest real-world currency to buy some Rare Items. As for those young masters, they could directly outfit themselves with Epic Items.

In fact, some other eyes gleamed as well. Those people did some research about the prices in the game, this included both business tycoons and newer players who had just joined for a few months before this event.

They saw a chance to make serious money by buying cheap here and then selling in bulk in the Main Plane at standard prices to make a great profit!

When the advanced players heard this, many blanched as their PTSD reared its head.

Mom, the AI is duping people again!!!

Seriously, how could it be that simple? If one remembered, when Draco had first entered the game, plenty of people had bought packages to enter the game. These packages were no longer sold, but they had come with some free resources that Draco knew would become greatly valuable later.

He had watched in horror as the other players had tried to sell their items for a quick buck in the game, all of them being given abhorrent bottom floor prices by the NPCs due to the fact that they were ignorant.

Back when he had done what these players who wanted to resell using the World Merchant tried to do, he had been looked at with ridicule. However, unlike them, he had the benefit of future knowledge as well as a starting capital of 3,000 gold thanks to killing Ratchet.

He then went to resell them at an optimal location which was the Adventurer's Guild's Outpost in what was now his Paradise Lands/Vita Kingdom. He had cleverly chosen a war-torn zone to sell at and even then, he had only made some small profit.

These fellows clearly knew none of that. If they were going to sell, they were probably going to do it in towns since they were new to the game, yet who in a town could pay for a Rare or Epic item?

Even then, if they held on till they reached one of the cities, they would be given very dirty prices for their items. That was not including various problems like actually keeping the item as they might be easily robbed by players or NPCs, or they might die while trying to level up and drop the item.

There were so many reasons why doing what they thought was smart was so ungodly stupid. One advanced player tried to calmly advise a newer player, but the fellow only sneered at him, telling him to scram.

After all, in the newer fellow's eyes, the older player was panicking, was trying to discourage him from taking this precious chance to surpass him!

The older player was stunned by this treatment, but smiled thinly and decided to shut up. Anyway, who had asked him to be nice? Look at how the other older players were watching from the side with knowing smiles, he should have left well enough alone.

In truth, he only did that because he wished that someone had been there for him, to advise him before he got cleaned out by the AI cruelly.

The advanced players though, were thinking of something different. Many of them realized that they had a choice to make. Either to invest in their growth by spending money or to secure their outside lives by keeping it.

They weren't threatened at all.

You see, the newbie players were undoubtedly stupid, or blinded by excitement to realize a simple logical fact. If they, the newbies, could buy items of all grades, why couldn't they?

Even if you spawned with an Epic Item, the difficulty of monsters and combat in Boundless was perfectly scaled. A level 1 player would suffer to kill a level 1 monster just as much as a level 100 player would do so for a level 100 monster.

The suffering transcended level and ranks. So even if the level 1 player had an Epic Item, it wouldn't change much if the level 100 player also had an Epic Item.

No, wait!!! That was not so!

The power of Epic and above items scaled with the user since they didn't have stats! So the Level 100 player would be able to display more relative power for his level compared to the level 1 player!

So this event favored older players more, because they were the ones who held the currency. If they decided against selling in the Intermediary Trade Center, who would these newbies even get anything to buy from unless they entered the game to grind?

That was why older players were torn. They knew investing in Boundless was better, but more than a few fellows had bills to pay in reality that were pressing. As such, most decided to look through the World Merchant's stock and buy what they needed before selling the rest of their money.

However, unlike the newbie players who had rushed out to get rich quick before someone else stole their 'brilliant ingenious plan', most of the oldies went to consult Umbra to know what their decision was, especially all the guilds above Rare tier.

After all, Umbra wasn't just the undisputed top-tier Guild, they were the spiritual leader of the players. The true Hegemons.

It was thanks to them that players had the ability to walk among NPCs without much hassle. In the previous timeline, part of the player's woes had come from the NPCs not taking them seriously and mistreating them.

That was part of the reason why the Great Rape had been particularly brutal for NPCs more so than players, because by that point most players had accumulated more than a substantial amount of power and had been holding a grudge.

Sublime Notion was seated in a high chair with Akainu and Money Lover to her sides as they seriously discussed this matter.

"This is the chance for us to fortify our foundation externally. We're undeniably strong in Boundless, but in reality, we are just swaying in the wind." Akainu remarked with a puff of his cigar that he had specifically paid the best Tradeskill masters in the Diad family to make for him.

Each cigar cost him 1 gold, yet he had hundreds of them. None of the core members of Umbra were poor, yet Sublime, Akainu, Sanji, and Money Lover had the MOST obscene wealth of them all due to their positions.

"I partially agree. While we do have the protective umbrella of Supernatural over us, that is solely based on the power of the Guildmaster and the Lady Boss. We need to accumulate a lot of wealth to make the Central Country government step back on many matters using our name alone, not the name of some third party." Money Lover calmly chipped in while dexterously playing with a platinum coin.

Sublime rubbed her face tiredly and asked: "So we should do what exactly?"

"Let's dump some platinum in the Intermediate Trade Center and raise the price. About 10,000 platinum should be enough to make the entire world go crazy and fight over it like dogs. Not enough for one party to easily afford Legendary Items or above, but enough for the new players to get something nice." Akainu suggested with a smile.

Sublime rolled her eyes. "The influx of new players is in the range of 700 million thanks to this event alone, yet you want them to split 10,000 platinum? 10,000,000,000 bronze coins split evenly would amount to a measly 14 bronze coins. What are they supposed to buy with that?"

"Hey, I just said they could get something nice, not something expensive." Akainu shrugged nonchalantly.

Money Lover smiled. "I agree with that, but we should use this chance to also achieve Draco's goal of empowering the playerbase at once."

Both Sublime and Akainu perked up at that. "What do you mean?"

"Well, let's split the benefits into two flows. For new players, we will sell currency enough for them to outfit themselves solidly so that their early days will not be as tough as ours and they will be able to accumulate more wealth."

"For older players, it would be more worthwhile to contract them. We'll loan a certain amount of gold or platinum on a per guild or per adventurer party basis, so that they can outfit their members. Then, we'll have them pay it back by working for Umbra on the battlefield."

Money Lover concluded this with a gesture of 'it's that simple'.

The brains of Sublime Notion and Akainu exploded. The former was effectively the actual leader of Umbra within the game while the latter was the highest authority for their companies outside the game, so they had a good grasp of its issues and the far-reaching effects of actions.

They had to say, Money Lover's idea was brilliant!

There were so many layers to it to describe how great it was that it even gave them a headache. If they tried to elaborate, they might end up taking hours to do so!

Instead, it was best to see how it would work in action rather than discuss it. Sublime called on the various guild leaders and shared Umbra's intentions.

Those fellows quickly agreed, as this was something they desperately needed. Even though they knew logically that the newbies could not threaten them, they were not feeling too good deep down.

A loan like this could allow them to accumulate great amounts of power for their top echelon and some of their important/true members. As for fighting for Umbra, the guild didn't even need to make such a condition.

Most of them were sitting on pins and needles wondering when the next time would be that Umbra would go to war to expand Vita Kingdom's borders, as such activities were incredibly profitable for everyone involved.

After taking their money, they skipped over to make some purchases. As for the newbies, they saw that most of the older players had retracted their bids and panicked, wanting to complain about their shamelessness.

However, before they could do that they found Umbra suddenly dump huge amounts of funds in bits and pieces for different demographics and they rejoiced. This was the number 1 guild for you, so magnanimous, even if it was foolish!

All of them solemnly swore that when they eventually surpassed them, that they wouldn't treat the guild too badly. After all, they had provided them with some entertainment during this event and showed some maturity, so there was that!

The free day passed with everyone having made their purchases and various adjustments using the World Merchant and the Intermediary Trade Center. That day, a great amount of wealth had shifted about in the world, causing economies all over to suddenly experience a new surge of life.

Today was the day of the final event, the Raid!

When the crowd eventually filed in and filled the stands up, there was a lot of noise as people excitedly chattered. They were a lot more invested in the game and the competition as a whole thanks to the previous day.

The 1,000 combat members of all the countries stood in the center of the field, with Amber hovering above them wearing shrine maiden robes that were a bit too skimpy to actually be legal.

"Greetings everyone, to the 7th and final day of the First Inter-Player International Competition. You all seem to have enjoyed yesterday as I can see many of you looking more dapper and handsome."

"I know that all of you must be eagerly waiting for the Raid to begin, but first I'll need to show you the actual Raid target and its various abilities, as well as its stages. Our dear contestants will be granted two hours to draw up a battle plan. Once revealed, I will explain the rest of the rules for the Raid!"

Amber clapped her hands as a portal opened in front of the players, its size large and filled with bleakness.

"Feast your eyes on the Raid Target for the First Inter-Player International Competition!" Amber gestured to them with a smile filled with infatuation.

When the core members saw what came out, their valiant expressions shattered as many paled then fell to their knees in horror and fear. Some of the core members directly crumbled and screamed like they were suffering from intense trauma, shocking the crowd.

Their reactions were not exaggerated. After all, they were facing the worst possible enemy anyone could at this stage!

「Name: Avatar (Draco) – General Rank King

Level: 100

HP: 10,000,000/10,000,000」

"Yo.." The Avatar greeted them with a wide smile, standing tall amidst the strongest fighters of the entire game who were kneeling in despair.

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