Body City was big. Its walls were made of solid metal and had a height of about 20 meters, and as Gravis stood before the city, he felt like a gigantic wall was splitting the world in two. The walls extended several kilometers to either side, and Gravis could not estimate the city's size behind them. This was an impressive fortress that no one in the Body Tempering Stage could damage.
Gravis walked to the city entrance, where he could see a queue forming. Obviously, it would take a while to get into the city. Gravis simply stood at the back of the line and waited for his turn. It took nearly two hours until he could enter.
"One silver entrance fee," a guard told him with a bored expression.
Gravis fumbled around in his pockets until he found one silver. It was surprisingly hard for him to find one silver since all his bags were full of gold coins. After a while, he found it and threw it to the guard.
"Alright, you can enter," the guard continued narrating boringly.
Gravis was a little surprised since he was still carrying his saber. "Weapons are allowed in the city?" he asked in surprise.
The guard let out a snort like he heard something amusing. "Weapons don't matter. Every city guard has tempered muscles, and our City Lord has a fully tempered body. The only people that can act out of line in Body City are people in the Magic Gathering Realm. And what would someone in the Magic Gathering Realm want from our city? Now, go in!" the guard explained and then shooed Gravis to enter.
'Magic Gathering Realm? This seems to be the name for the Energy Gathering Realm in this lower world. I wonder why they call it magic,' Gravis thought.
Gravis didn't wait any longer and just went into the city. A city really was different from a town. All the guards had tempered muscles, which meant that, theoretically, Gravis couldn't do whatever he wanted in the city. In Wilderness Town, there was no one with his strength, but here, every guard was able to put up an intense fight.
Gravis felt happy because all this pressure of constant weaklings attacking him was vanishing. Now, there were enough people at his level in the city. If someone wanted to fight him, they surely wouldn't be weaklings that he could just ignore. Just thinking about all the potential opponents made Gravis' blood boil.
As Gravis walked down the busy main street, he looked around the city. Every single building was made of stone and had at least two floors. Many shops, guilds, and even arenas littered the side of the main street. Though, what he didn't see, were stalls on the streets. It seemed like the city forbade stalls from opening in the streets.
"Come here, come all! Anyone able to take on Big Barry? 15 wins with no defeats! You only need to pay ten silver to fight a strong opponent! Where else could you find such a good deal?" one man shouted from beside one of the arenas. Apparently, fighting in arenas was also a way to make money.
Gravis ignored the arena and continued. He was excited for potential enemies, but that did not mean that every fight could help him. A battle in the arena was, obviously, not a fight to the death. It was more like a sparring match. Sparring from time to time was okay, but if he sparred a lot, his will and his feeling for danger would weaken. This was one of the reasons why Jeros had become stagnant.
Sparring was entertainment and learning. Fights for life and death were tempering. In Gravis' current position, sparring with someone might help him learn a little, but it was not worthwhile. He had learned a lot from Jeros, and before Gravis had consolidated his newfound knowledge with martial arts, he did not intend to spar. His killing intent had to remain sharp.
Gravis quickly arrived at a big plaza. He was quite surprised by the sheer size. It was a square plaza, and it was over a kilometer wide. In comparison, the central plaza of Wilderness Town was only some hundred meters wide. On top of that, in contrast to Wilderness Town, there was not a single stall to be seen.
Gravis found a familiar building in red that had a big sign above its entrance. It was another Medicinal Pavilion. Apparently, this kind of shop existed in multiple towns and cities. Gravis quickly walked to the pavilion. He had a lot of money, and he intended to buy something to temper his bones.
If he managed to temper his bones, then only the muscles would be left, and due to his incredible foundation of tempering everything else first, his muscles would become unfathomably strong.
Gravis entered the store and was immediately assaulted by a variety of smells ranging from herbs to pills. Just by the smell, Gravis could tell that this Medicinal Pavilion was superior to the one in Wilderness Town. Many customers roamed around the store, talking with different employees. Gravis didn't care and walked to a free counter, where a middle-aged man stood.
"Hello, young man, how can I help you?" asked the middle-aged man with a smile.
"Hello, I have an Origin Melon that I would like to sell," Gravis said. He first had to see how much money he had exactly, so he could estimate how much he could spend.
"Oh," the man said in slight surprise. "Would you mind showing me? We need to estimate the quality of the melon," he asked.
"Doesn't every Origin Melon temper a skin completely? Why is the quality relevant?" Even though Gravis asked that, he had already taken out the melon and placed it on the counter.
"Even though the tempering will be successful, the advantages of tempering the body with a natural treasure, compared to pills, is that children can also successfully refine them. That's where the quality of the natural treasure comes into play. The higher the quality, the earlier it can be refined, and the more its worth," the man explained, while he inspected the melon.
After a while, the man finished his inspection. "Alright, the melon has around 80% natural quality. That's not bad. Sadly, it seemed to have been thrown around in your bag recently, which damaged it a little. Looks like you had a good fight while that was in your bag," he explained while laughing a little.
Gravis sighed. He was moving around erratically and with his full power when he was fighting Jeros. He had totally forgotten about the Origin Melon in his bag. "So, how much for the melon?" Gravis asked.
"With the added damage, the inherent quality gets reduced to 70%. This means that a seven-year-old child could refine it. That's still pretty good. We sell Origin Melons on that level for around 25 gold," the old man explained and laughed lightly. "Though we have to make a profit. So, how does 20 gold sound?" he asked.
Gravis was surprised since that was way more gold than he had anticipated. He had thought he would maybe get ten gold. One Skin-Pill in Wilderness Town was worth 7.5 Gold, and not everyone needed two of them. Ten gold seemed like a fair price, yet they were selling for 25 gold in this city.
"How come Origin Melons are worth so much? I only expected it to be worth around ten gold," Gravis asked.
The man continued smiling as he had already expected the question. "If we only consider the tempering, then the melon would only sell for 7.5 gold since one Skin-Pill costs five gold. Yet, many strong families, who are afraid of their enemies and want to give their heirs a good start in life, are ready to spend a fortune to temper the skin of their young heirs. A 100% natural quality Origin Melon even goes for 50 gold."
Gravis was surprised due to multiple reasons. First of all, the amount of money that families were willing to spend on their children, even though they could just wait for them to grow older and take a Skin-Pill. The second reason was the price for the Skin-Pills, the man had quoted. He had said five gold. In Wilderness Town, a Skin-Pill went for 7.5 gold. Gravis had thought that the prices would increase with the city's size, but it decreased instead.
"Alright, deal!" Gravis said.
The man took the melon and wrapped it in some kind of paper. Then, he smacked his table twice, and a young girl quickly ran over and took the melon. "5, 19, 7, 70," the man spoke. Gravis was confused about what the man said, but the girl nodded and ran to the back of the store with the melon. The man took out a bag of gold and counted. When he had finished, he laid the bag before Gravis.
"Anything else I can help you with?" he asked with a smile.
Gravis looked over his finances. He had around 135 gold in total.
"How much for a natural treasure that tempers bone?"