Chapter 566: Chapter 566 – Auctioning the Magic Staff
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
The tavern instantly became quiet once more. The more quick-witted players realized that from the moment Young Master Han mentioned ‘toss the magic staff to someone’, this ‘someone’ really meant ‘anyone’; there was no particular person he was referring to.
In the end, they were the ones who had assumed that Young Master Han was talking about giving it to Gu Fei, whom Southern Lone Blade was afraid of, for safekeeping. As a result, Gu Fei also believed it to be the truth and thought that that was what Young Master Han meant. Now that Young Master Han had explained it more plainly, sure enough, it really did not matter who ended up completing the final transaction and becoming the final owner of the staff, but it could never be either Gu Fei or Svelte Dancer. That was because Southern Lone Blade would easily recognize either of them and would connect them to Vast Lushness. How would Southern Lone Blade’s team not suspect that something was afoot if they saw them run to the Auction House to purchase Vast Lushness’s magic staff? That was why it would be better for an unfamiliar face to participate in the transaction.
Previously, players who could recognize Southern Lone Blade would be considered as a talent; however, in the blink of an eye, those who could recognize him were all rendered useless. Instead, it was those who were unfamiliar with the team of seven that emerged as the talents this time round. That was why it was said: ‘ There must be a purpose for my abilities since heaven made me! 1 ‘
Everyone could not speak for a moment, as they deliberated over the feasibility of this plan. Ultimately, it was the holder of the magic staff, Vast Lushness, who spoke up. “It’s worth a shot.”
Young Master Han nodded. “Randomly find someone whom you can trust afterward and get everyone to pool a large sum in his care to buy the staff from you.”
Vast Lushness nodded. Finding someone whom she could trust to do this sort of thing was not particularly difficult. Among the men with Blue Ease, quite a number were the comrades she once had when Past Deeds was still dominating Yueye City. Even though everyone had parted ways after everything fell apart, their friendship had remained intact. Finding a Priest from within this crowd to accomplish this task was more than appropriate.
“There’s no rush in picking out the person to do the deed; the first thing we need to do is put the magic staff up for auction! Once that is done, you can have everyone that isn’t busy to visit taverns and similar gathering spots to spread the news. Information about any piece of top-grade equipment would always spread quickly,” Young Master Han said.
“Yes!” Plenty of people nodded, ready to go about the work that they were tasked with. Blue Ease was utterly crushed when he saw this, brooding over how this reprobate had no reservations to act like he was one of them as he ordered his brothers-in-arms so impudently. What made it all the more infuriating was how his men had actually gone along with it so readily. Blue Ease had never seen them so well-behaved before.
“Then, I’ll go and put my staff up for auction now,” Vast Lushness got up and said.
She was still in danger of being ambushed by Southern Lone Blade if she went and did this alone, so she left for the Auction House under the escort of another pack of players. Vast Lushness was somewhat at a loss as to whether she should laugh or cry, for this was as extravagant as back when she was in Yueye City, where she used to have a whole host of players tagging along just for a shopping trip down the street!
Over at the Auction House, Vast Lushness placed her Utopian Magic Staff up for auction. She set the starting bid at 1800 gold coins – 200 gold coins lower than the 2000 gold coins Brother Assist and those veteran experts had evaluated – to give off this idea that she was in a hurry to get it off her hands. However, if she was in a hurry to get rid of it, she should still set a cap for it as well; directly putting the item at the buyout price of 1800 gold coins would make the transaction appear to be far more straightforward, but she did not dare to do so, for she was afraid that someone else would buy it off, instead. She was unwilling to set the cap to be higher as well, because given how large the world was, there was bound to be a lot of idiots out there with money to spare.
In the end, the final impression she gave off was of someone who urgently wanted to get rid of the staff yet was somewhat unwilling to part with it.
“It’s done.” Vast Lushness turned back and told the lot of players behind her after she was done with using the auction panel.
“24 hours, right?” Young Master Han asked.
“It’s now 7:37 PM. Everyone should meet up at 6:30 PM tomorrow to make the necessary arrangements,” Young Master Han announced.
“Yes!” Everybody nodded.
“Now, let’s quickly go around and spread the news! Don’t appear to be too deliberate.” Young Master Han waved his hand to the crowd.
Half the people present departed, and Blue Ease felt despondent for a moment. He planned to hammer a proper ideology lesson into this bunch of rascals once this was over, so they would be deeply aware just who their boss was.
Blue Ease’s bunch of impatient comrades were very efficient when it came to executing their tasks, as the news of a top-grade magic staff for Priest winding up in the Auction House slowly began to travel around Baishi City. When it came to disseminating such information, all that was needed was to get it started, and further proliferation would occur through the professional gossipmongers that loved to spread such tidbits. Soon, quite a few Priests heard the news and ran over to the Auction House to take a gander.
The Utopian Magic Staff was of course no white elephant. Its stats were just a little bit stronger than the magic staff most of the Priest were currently using, and then there was that inlaid skill ‘Mana Sacrifice’, which could be seen as a method of recovering mana if anyone were to put it plainly. Priests were only able to recover HP right now, so with that magic staff at hand, not only would they be able to help their allies recover HP, they could even provide mana. How cool would that be? It was a well established fact that running out of mana during crucial moments would be as good as a death sentence for most job classes.
The 1800-gold-coin price tag was enough to stop the more average players in their tracks, but those who were attuned to such business knew that the staff was already considered as a steal at that price. They would definitely earn themselves a tidy profit if they managed to purchase the item at that price, but upon seeing how many other Priests were gathered here at the Auction House for it, everyone could more or less guess their reason for being here. Thus, those that did not have sufficient funds could only salivate as they stared at the magic staff, whereas those that had the money in their pockets were in no rush to begin bidding after they saw how many potential competitors were present. Since there was no price cap for this item, placing their bids right now would be utterly meaningless. It was better to wait out the 24 hours until it got to the final 10 minutes, or even the final minute, for that would be when the competition would be the most intense. Players who understood this made note of the time and turned to leave. Rather than wasting their time standing around here, it made more sense to gather the funds they needed during this time. Looking at the speed at which this matter escalated, perhaps even 3000 gold coins might not be sufficient to secure the staff.
“No, it could even reach 4000… 5000…” Those Priests that had walked out the Auction House could feel their pessimism set in as they watched other Priests come running to the establishment from every corner of the street.
This was the true value of a piece of top-grade equipment. Everyone would be able to assess an item’s market price going by the stats and traits an item hold, but the key characteristic of a top-grade equipment was in its rarity, and the resulting bidding war that it would create. There was no way anybody could predict the final price such an item would end up being sold for.
The same Utopian Magic Staff could perhaps be sold for 3000 gold coins this time, but it might well be 5000 gold coins the next time around. Because there were so few of them, the scarcity made it such that it was impossible for it to form any fixed market of supply and demand. It could be considered as a new market every time a new Utopian Magic Staff appeared, so what sort of market price could there really be for it? ‘Market price’ was really no more than just a term players used, and it would mean something different for different things. To a common piece of equipment, the market price would be understood as the highest price for the said item, but to an actual piece of top-grade equipment like the Utopian Magic Staff, the market price would represent the lowest starting price it could be bought at.
At the moment, there were plenty of Priests heading to the Auction House to take a look at this equipment; some lingered about after they saw it, while others hurried to begin raising the coins they needed for the purchase. The players that were consequently impacted by this were those teams grinding levels in the wild, discovering a dearth of available Priests that night. Over at the city gates, where most teams would usually be gathering their party members before they headed out into the wild to grind, the players of such parties were all left dumbfounded. All of them were unable to set off to do their level-grinding as they suddenly found their parties without their Priests.
“What’s going on?” The leaders of these grinding parties inquired after this phenomenon, naturally contributing to yet another round of information circulation.
“There’s a top-grade Priest magic staff being auctioned in the Auction House called Utopian Magic Staff. It has an inlaid skill that replenishes mana.” This message quickly made its rounds in Baishi City.
“Utopian Magic Staff?” Ye Xiaowu and Broken Water Arrow were in a tavern when they heard this news.
“What?” Broken Water Arrow had no idea that Silver Moon had encouraged Ye Xiaowu to purchase this particular magic staff.
“This staff has the inlaid skill called ‘Mana Sacrifice’. It’s a skill that replenishes mana to a target player. Presently, such skill that replenishes mana is few and in between,” Ye Xiaowu explained.
“Sounds very useful,” Broken Water Arrow commented.
“Very much so,” Ye Xiaowu said.
“Should we go take a look?”
The two set off for the Auction House together. It had been three hours since Gu Fei logged off, and it was well in the deep of the night, yet there were still quite a number of Priests present in the Auction House. Priests already numbered in the tens of thousands in a city, and the unending series of players who received this information kept making their way over. Never had the Auction House here in Baishi City ever seen such a lively scene since the game’s inception.
There were plenty of Auction consoles in the building, yet not one of them was free for use at the moment, as each had a crowd of Priests surrounding them. Ye Xiaowu and Broken Water Arrow exchanged glances, picking out a console with fewer players around it as they did their best to squeeze their way in.
On the Auction panel, they saw the Utopian Magic Staff listed right on top. While a majority of the players were calmly waiting for the final moment tomorrow before they set their bids, there were many others who casually put their bid for it at the moment. As a result, the price had already leapt to 2217 gold, 58 silver, and 40 copper coins. There were rules to the bidding of auction items, and the lowest increment was at 10 copper coins per bid, without an upper cap to each bid. However, once someone bid over 10 copper coins, the lowest increment per bid would be refreshed accordingly. By the time Ye Xiaowu took note of the latest bid, he saw that the bids were already raised to 1 gold coin. It was in that moment that the price jumped once more, bringing the price for the Utopian Magic Staff to 2218 gold, 58 silver and 40 copper coins.
“Looks like this isn’t going to be easy.” Broken Water Arrow saw the throng mob of Priests around them and commented while wiping sweat off his forehead.
“Yeah. Seeing how this is going, it’s no longer just a question of having the funds, but a bit of luck will also be required,” Ye Xiaowu said.
“He he. Not necessarily. If you were to raise the bid by 10,000 right there, I’m sure no one else would seek to raise by another 10,000.” Broken Water Arrow chuckled.
“There’s no need for that,” Ye Xiaowu laughed as well. “I’ve already ordered one for 4000 gold coins.”
“Oh? Where from?” Broken Water Arrow asked.
“Silver Moon is helping me contact the seller,” Ye Xiaowu replied.
“Can we trust that scamp?”
“Why not? Can he even produce a fake item to fool me?” Ye Xiaowu laughed dismissively. “At most, he might be able to earn a few hundred gold coins being the middleman for this transaction. Still, look, even if he does benefit from this, 4000 gold coins can still be considered as cheap. If the bidding continues like this, do you doubt that it will go beyond 4000 gold coins?”
“There’s no doubt that it will.” Broken Water Arrow was about to say more, but his eyes caught sight of the seller’s name at this point, and he was immediately startled. “Vast Lushness… Isn’t that the wifey of Silver Moon back in the days?”
“Oh?” Ye Xiaowu immediately took note of the name and proceeded to mutter, “Could this be the person he is helping me contact?”
“I don’t think so. I heard that the two of them had quite an ugly break up. There’s no way that that lady is gonna sell that item to him!” Broken Water Arrow replied.
“Let me ask him.”
“How many of these staves are there in this game now?” Broken Water Arrow asked.
“How would I know the exact number,” Ye Xiaowu asked back even as he sent Silver Moon a message. “The Utopian Magic Staff that you’re helping me acquire… Does it belong to Vast Lushness?”
Silver Moon was currently grinding his level out in the wild all by himself. Every minute he stayed in Baishi City had him feeling frightened out of his wits, much less places like taverns where there were plenty of players around. That was why he had quickly run out into the wilds when nothing was happening. He specifically sought out the maps where barely anyone was at to arduously grind all by himself. He had no clue about the news of the magic staff going around the city.
Receiving Ye Xiaowu’s message so suddenly, Silver Moon felt his heart lurch, and the first thought he had was that Southern Lone Blade had utterly betrayed him, telling Fleeting Smile everything despite having promised not to. However, that was just a thought. Seeing this message, Silver Moon was not about to confess without being pressed as he gave his reply. “Huh?”
It was a single word with the appropriate punctuation, yet it was extremely vague. He did not directly admit to what Ye Xiaowu was asking, nor did he deny it outright. That one-word answer revealed a sense of cluelessness – a cue for the other party to continue.
“A Utopian Magic Staff has appeared in the Auction House, and the seller is Vast Lushness.” As expected, Ye Xiaowu indeed spilled out the whole story succinctly. He only suspected that Silver Moon was hoping to earn a commission worth about a few hundred gold coins when he persuaded him of acquiring the staff. Never would Ye Xiaowu guess that Silver Moon had actually found players to rob someone he had once been fairly close with.
“Ah, yes, that’s the one. Why did that woman go back on her word?! She clearly agreed to sell it to me!” Silver Moon faked his anger over the matter, forcing the blame onto Vast Lushness yet again. In that moment, he came up with a very fiendish idea once more.
In Silver Moon’s eyes, Ye Xiaowu was without a doubt a very wealthy player. Once he found out that this magic staff was the very same one, he should be more than capable of making the purchase of the item over by the Auction House.
Meanwhile, over by Southern Lone Blade’s end, even though the man had removed Silver Moon’s name from his friends list, Silver Moon had fortunately managed to add Glue as a friend along with the four others when they met yesterday. Upon contacting Glue afterward, Silver Moon found out that even though Southern Lone Blade had removed him from his friends list, his professionalism meant that he would still complete the assignment he had been tasked with; otherwise, the indemnity clause would kick in as per the conditions of their agreement.
Silver Moon was well aware of the rules Southern Lone Blade’s team went by; taking the deposit was as good as accepting the assignment, so if the employer wished to cancel the assignment, the deposit would not be refunded. But if it was Southern Lone Blade’s team that decided to cancel the assignment, they would have to refund double the deposit that they were given.
Now that the magic staff had been auctioned, it was not difficult to find out who the eventual buyer would be. Southern Lone Blade and the others would of course have to find out who this person was, and the moment they discovered the buyer to be Fleeting Smile…
He he. If he cancels the assignment, I’ll earn 2000 gold coins for nothing; if he continues the assignment… I don’t give a d*mn if they end up killing Ye Xiaowu as well. It was with such an idea in mind that Silver Moon admitted that the magic staff was one and the same.
“If that’s the case…” Ye Xiaowu answered, not saying anything further.
Silver Moon felt that there was no need for him to coax the man any further. The only thing he was afraid of was Southern Lone Blade’s team being unaware that the magic staff had been placed on auction, so he quickly reached out to Glue.
“Vast Lushness’s magic staff has been put up for bidding in the Auction House; do you know that?” Silver Moon asked.
“Is there such a thing? I have no idea!” Glue replied.
“Better keep your eye on it, then! Otherwise, things are gonna be troublesome if we have no idea who the item ends up with,” Silver Moon said.
“F*ck!” Just as he sent that message out, Silver Moon suddenly came to a realization and viciously slapped himself on the mouth. It would have been so much better if Southern Lone Blade and his team had no idea where the magic staff ended up! Since they would be unable to locate it at that time, they would of course be unable to complete the assignment; would that not mean that they would have to pay out twice the deposit as well? That was his goal from the very start, right? Why would he even care to remind them about it?
F*CK F*CK F*CK! Silver Moon slapped himself twice more after that.