Chapter 651: Chapter 651 – Going Back and Forth
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
Eternal Dominion actually conscientiously did his calculations for his daily expenses, even including the potential cost he would incur when visiting relatives and friends during holidays and festivals. Five Nights was starting to get a little annoyed at this, feeling as if the two were trying to make a fool out of him, but when he saw the earnest look on Eternal Dominion’s face, he slowly began to mutter to himself, No way. Is this kid really taking this so seriously?
That was when Eternal Dominion lifted his head to ask Gu Fei, “What’s the interest rate in banks right now?”
“How would I know…” Gu Fei rolled his eyes.
Five Nights could not help but offer. “Current saving accounts offer a 0.36% interest rate per annum.”
“That’s really low…” Eternal Dominion mumbled.
“Fixed deposit is a little higher,” Five Nights said.
“Oh? How much?”
“That depends on which sort. Lump sum is much higher, and something like a five-year fixed deposit is around 3.6%. A fixed deposit by installment is slightly lesser, and a five-year period is probably around 2.52%, but it’s substantially more than a current savings account,” Five Nights explained.
“Must it really be five years long?”
“The duration isn’t fixed, but the longer the period, the more interest you can expect of it. The shortest for fixed deposit is about three months, and the interest for that should be at 1.71%.” Five Nights was rather knowledgeable when it came to banks, seemingly very familiar with the accounts they offered, and garnered quite a lot of admiration from Eternal Dominion. Gu Fei could not help but interject. “In these times, why are there still people who place their money on banks and earn interest? Everyone’s either investing into stocks or hedge funds.
“Isn’t that risky?
“At the speed inflation is rising, putting money in bank is no longer the way to let money grow, since it will only devalue over time,” Gu Fei said. Anyone could tell, just from how the two men viewed money, that there were good reasons why Gu Fei’s family was still rich while Eternal Dominion’s family had fallen into destitute.
“I still think it’s a lot safer to just leave the money in the bank,” Eternal Dominion said.
“Look.” Gu Fei had no choice but to patiently help his fellow martial artist analyze the situation. “Right now, you spend about 10,000 RMB a month, but what about ten years later? Will 10,000 RMB a month still be enough to keep you afloat? Remember ten years back, or even twenty years back, just how little your family’s income was!”
“Ten years ago… seems to be about the same, but twenty years…” Eternal Dominion’s expression changed. The comparison for ten years felt that there was a natural progression, but a twenty-year period was far more shocking.
“You’re right! I can’t calculate it like that!” Eternal Dominion said.
“That’s what I’ve been telling you!”
“I should calculate it as 50,000 RMB a month; I need to consider 20 years later!” Eternal Dominion began to furiously write down on that piece of paper before him, doing his calculations all over again.
“D*MN!” Gu Fei did not expect the man to still stick to his idea of accruing the bank’s interest, so he had no choice but to grimace at Five Nights helplessly.
At this point, Five Nights truly believed that Eternal Dominion was seriously intent on getting a passive income by collecting the bank’s interest off that 50,000-RMB monthly calculation. He had no idea which interest rate would Eternal Dominion choose, so Five Nights took a peek and discovered that the man was actually using the pitiful 0.36% rate for the current savings account. Five Nights felt as if his vision had gone dark for a bit. A monthly 50,000-RMB income came up to about 600,000 RMB a year, and with a 0.36% interest rate, that would come up to be—
“Hmm… I’ll need 166,666,666 RMB, repeating…” Eternal Dominion happened to have finished his long division on that paper at this point of time.
Pride Sovereign and Overgrown Foliage’s account had been stolen by their superior, and their expressions made it apparent that they were not passionate about the matter anymore, so the moment they heard that large sum Eternal Dominion quoted, the two were already secretly sniggering in a corner, wondering just how Five Nights would attempt to negotiate with this person.
“Uh… That’s if I’m using the current savings account. I should do the math for the fixed deposit,” Eternal Dominion said.
“Is there even a need to calculate? A fixed deposit of five years nets you a 3.6%-interest rate; move a zero and that means all you need is 16,666,666,” Gu Fei said.
“But I’ll still need money for my day to day; I can’t just throw it all into fixed deposit. Hmm… I’ll need to recalculate.”
“What’s there to recalculate? Setting 16 million as the fixed deposit and using the leftover 666,666 for your daily expenses until the interest comes in will do,” Gu Fei said.
Using hundreds of thousands for your daily expenses… what a statement! Five Nights was somewhat at a loss for words at this point. He had not said a word when that man was calculating his daily expenses, but for monthly expenses only needing 10,000 RMB, just what sort of daily lifestyle would that be? Are they really trying to fool me so nakedly? Five Nights was quite angry just thinking about this, but what he did not realize was that Eternal Dominion was actually being very honest. The daily expenses of martial artists were really that spartan, and this 10,000 RMB was actually the number someone as poor as Eternal Dominion had wished for. Were this Gu Fei, adding the cost of private physicians, masseuse, dietitian, and other such expenses, even ten times that amount would not be enough for him.
“Well, in that case, I feel that 20 million should be enough,” Eternal Dominion said.
That was when Gu Fei demonstrated his wealthy upbringing by commenting, “10,000 is for a very austere daily living. If you want to improve yourself, you simply can’t do without having a solid money-backing.”
Finally, Five Nights could not bear this any longer as he feebly contributed, “Bro, what he said isn’t 10,000 per month; it’s 50,000 RMB.”
“What’s 50,000 now is just 10,000 in ten or twenty years’ time. With our physique, the cost of maintaining our constitution will increase the older we get. Just look at my dad; do you really think that that’s the result of eating the barest dietary requirements? We’re talking about recommended nutrient intake here, so if you do pay attention to it while young, the condition of your body will be severely affected after a few years of unhealthy diet. Even the daily expenses my dad incurs these days well surpasses mine.”
“Aren’t you a school teacher? How are you able to be particular with what you eat?” Eternal Dominion asked.
“I have a diet prescribed by a dietitian, so of course I’ll keep to the recipes I’m given; do you really think I’ll casually eat off street stalls?” Gu Fei asked.
Eternal Dominion felt extremely ashamed when he heard this. When he logged off before, he indeed ate a bowl of random, knife-sliced noodles off the street, so he immediately asked, “Mind if you let me take a peek at the recipes you’ve got?”
“It’s fine having a look, but don’t just eat whatever is listed on it. What I’ve been given is tailored for my consumption, and it’s not just recipes. It’ll change in accordance to physical needs through my regular physical checkups,” Gu Fei added.
Five Nights was stunned when he heard this, completely unable to tell just what sort of background Gu Fei came from. It even made him feel that this man was someone very important; an endangered animal of sorts that was under the country’s protection, like a panda or something.
Eternal Dominion was rather despondent when he heard all this; he was a martial arts practitioner as well, yet their disparity was huge. I can’t even compete in terms of my innate endowment against Gu Fei. Adding that he has a dietitian’s aid on his end while I’m just eating knife-sliced noodles from roadside stalls. Only adding a bit of meat when I’m in the mood, how can I even compete? It’s perfectly justified why I can’t beat him.
However, Eternal Dominion felt a little discouraged when Gu Fei had set such high expectations for himself. Looking over that page of paper before him, he sighed. “So based on what you’ve just said, that bit of money I calculated is no better than a drop in a bucket.”
This was when Gu Fei realized that he had gone overboard by saying what he had said. All he originally wanted was for Eternal Dominion to earn some money so that he could focus on training his kung fu and not have to be a bodyguard instructor just to support himself; how did they end up using Gu Fei as a reference? Thus, he quickly corrected himself. “Well, all that comes later. Earn this sum of money first; at least, you won’t have to run off and be a bodyguard and whatnot, right?”
“Yeah, you’re right!” Eternal Dominion perked up as he exclaimed once more, patting that paper before him. “Then, 20 million’s the sum. Think it’s doable?”
“Of course!” Gu Fei nodded. This time, he decided not to be mouthy for fear of lowering Eternal Dominion’s spirits any further again.
These two men were directly deciding the price right in front of the person that they were negotiating with, making Five Nights wonder if there was even any room for negotiation. Five Nights was quiet even as the two men made the decision and sat there staring at him.
“What?” Five Nights saw them staring and actually asked this.
Gu Fei wondered, “Didn’t you ask us to give an opening offer? We’ve discussed it now. 20 million.”
“Gentlemen…” Five Nights sighed. He felt as if neither man had paid heed to the grievances he had poured out before. The two did not even give him face, either, simply throwing out the price without any reservations. Five Nights was thinking this as he shook his head. “I’ve been listening to you guys doing your calculation all this while, but I feel that you two are mistaken about something. Brother, how much you need to live your life actually has nothing to do with whether our deal here can support you or not. If you wish to do calculations, we should at least calculate how much money you can make in the first place, right?”
“He’s already done the calculation!” Eternal Dominion pointed to Overgrown Foliage. “128 million.”
Five Nights chuckled. It was evident that Overgrown Foliage had already informed him of these things and was mentally prepared to field the question as he unhurriedly answered, “That’s only a very rough estimate. As it is not basing off any scientific assessment or analysis, we can only use that as a reference. Actually, what we’re afraid of is the level of risk this business entails. Currently, we have no idea what the game company’s stance toward your efficient monster grinding routines. Think about it; what if we’re halfway through our plan, and the game company proceeds to conduct a massive push to put an end to the efficient monster grinding routines from being used; must we refund everyone fully when that happens?”
Gu Fei was laughing when he heard this, however. “That’s impossible. Unless the game company gets actual people to act out in their place, we’ll definitely find a way to contend with those monsters and develop a routine accordingly.” Gu Fei was not actually taking things for granted when he said this. When he first discovered the efficient monster grinding style, he did further research and experimentation toward it, and it was not just from a kung-fu perspective; he even thought of helping the company by considering how they could prevent this phenomenon. This was all because he wished that the monsters would become more life-like, able to come up with unpredictable attack patterns. This way, would Gu Fei ever need to continue PK-ing? He could have fun sticking to just fighting such monsters, instead!
In the end, after going through quite a lot of data, and consulting talents in the relevant fields, he realized that the current technology was still unable to completely replicate humans in this aspect, though it was possible for them to design a more complex attack patterns. However, the problem with MMOs was the necessity to consider issues like server capacity and the transmission volume of the data network. If they did plan on upgrading the limit of every monster, they would have to deal with a large batch of complex calculations, and it could cause the strange situation where it would not be the players who experience lagging but the monsters themselves, instead.
The standard for either simulation technology and network technology were not sufficient to achieve this, which meant that this was the limit at which monsters could be in MMOs. They could be made stronger if this were a single-player game, but there was a limit to its strength. For a machine to be completely human, the person whom Gu Fei had inquired after confidently assured him: “This isn’t something you can hope to see in your lifetime.”
Five Nights was surprised when he heard how certain he was saying this, but because he was unable to refute the claim, all he could say was, “That will of course be for the best, but what I’ve actually said before is an issue of the game company’s vision. If the game company feels that the efficient monster grinding routines conflicted with their vision, then it would honestly be better if a workshop of our size avoid participating in this matter entirely. Thus, we’re actually tip-toeing on a razor’s edge for this business; With either sides being sharp, we may very well cut ourselves if we aren’t too careful. The danger here is rather huge.”
Gu Fei scratched his head. “So, after saying all that, is 20 million something you can do or not?”
“It’s too much.” Five Nights shook his head.
“Then, name your price,” Gu Fei said.
Five Nights gritted his teeth. “2 million, and that’s final. Even if we can’t go through with it in the end, our workshop can still pay you the 2 million.”
Pride Sovereign and Overgrown Foliage could not help but be impressed with their superior; the man had slashed the price by an entire zero! How could that not be bold and thick-skinned? This is what it means to be a businessman; all that matters are profit. What has face got to do with anything? One will only end up with the short end of the stick if they want face!
Eternal Dominion was someone who valued face a lot, so when he heard how earnest the other party sounded when he talked about how this business held the possibility of failing, and yet was still willing to pull out 2 million from their own pockets, he almost wanted to nod his head in a moment’s impulse. Thankfully, Gu Fei was right beside him and stepped in to stop him from saying another word as he gave a mirthless laugh to Five Nights. “2 million? Are you kidding me? Just that single White Mill map netted us 2 million already. Aren’t you saying that you can promote this throughout the grinding maps in the game? How could all that be only worth 2 million?”
Five Nights’ expression did not change, nor did his heart skip a beat as he skeptically probed, “Our men did an investigation regarding the White Mill, and you guys split your students into four waves, with each wave had about 10,000 players, making it 40,000 players in total. With each one being charged 99 gold coins, even if you managed to collect from every single one of them, that would only amount to 4,000,000 gold coins. When you said 2 million, you meant in-game gold coins, right?”
Seeing that the other person was quick-witted and was not confused by his words, Gu Fei nodded his head. “It’s gold coins, but according to that exchange rate you mentioned for Remarkable Flair, it should come up to about 600,000 RMB, and that’s from one grinding map. You’re asking for 2 million for every single grinding map in Parallel World; how many maps are there in this game? I don’t have too much of an understanding toward games, but I feel that there should be over a thousand in the very least. If we count that many, 20 million should be a lowball request. 2 million?”
Five Nights did not even feel a bit embarrassed as he laughed it off. “While that is indeed the case on paper, we can’t possibly calculate it that way, can we?”
“I think we can,” Gu Fei answered. “We’re no more than a handful of men, yet we’ve already managed to tutor an entire grinding map of players to such a scale. Considering what your workshop can do, are you saying that you guys can’t even match us?”
“Brother, don’t you understand what I’m trying to get at? Our workshop is properly registered in this game, and there’s no way we could enjoy the same degree of freedom like you individual players. In the event that the game company really steps forward and prevents us from doing this business, there’s really nothing we can do about it but go along and shut things down. However, if we start a business like this, we would be expected to devote the necessary wages for the manpower required, and if everything halts halfway, don’t we still have to pay? Furthermore, let me be frank with you; this efficient monster grinding routine… There’s a very huge chance that the game company will find a way to restrict you guys from continuing it. Were it not for the fact that there’s potentially huge profits in this business that could be unearthed, we wouldn’t even touch this with a ten-foot pole!”
Gu Fei could not help but chuckle after hearing all this. “Since you’re already taking such a risk like this, I can only imagine just how much profit you will end up making, so if you want us to be even quicker, we can do this for 30 million!”
“You—” Five Nights was really mad now, almost blurting out expletives at Gu Fei. In the end, he managed to forcefully hold his tongue as he lifted his head with a smile. “Bro, are you kidding me. You’re just putting the pressure on me at this rate! Burdening me with tens of millions in costs before the business can even begin, just how are we gonna come to a deal on this…” Five Nights said even as he glared at Pride Sovereign and Overgrown Foliage. These two had said that Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion were scrubs who knew nothing, so they could be easily bullied. Were they not clearly being very difficult right now?
Pride Sovereign and Overgrown Foliage could not make sense why the man had suddenly become so astute, either. Could he have been purposefully giving off that image to mislead them? That was the thought that the three men were contemplating when Gu Fei suddenly said, “Since 20 million is impossible, why don’t we do it like this? Let’s treat the 2 million as a deposit first, since you guys have the money to pay this anyway! Then, we’ll sign a shared agreement; once we earn the money, we’ll then proceed to split it accordingly. What do you think?”
Five Nights was slightly shocked when he heard this before furrowing his brows. “If we do that… That does seem to be a rather safe solution that we can do, except that I wonder just how much of a cut are you hoping to get?”
“Thir-Thirty percent…” Five Nights had a frightened look when he heard this. “Bro, we’ve got plenty of mouths to feed in our workshop. For you two to take away 30% of the profits like that, forget about getting my superior’s approval, even our subordinates will be unhappy and most likely tear me to shreds for even agreeing.”
“Is that so?” Gu Fei smiled. “Then, how much do you think is suitable? If you throw out such a disingenuous number like 2 million RMB again, I’ll just slay you where you stand,” Gu Fei said, proceeding to pull out his Moonlit Nightfalls. He originally did not have any particular goodwill toward these men; now that they were being so fussy with the details and things were going back and forth like this, even Eternal Dominion shared the same sentiment.
Five Nights was dumbfounded. They had discussed this deal for many rounds by this point. Even if killing another player in Parallel World was not a crime, he had never once seen someone pull out a weapon and threaten another person so directly. Death in the game was not a big deal, and the goal of their workshop was to earn money, so this was essentially an empty threat. Five Nights was utterly confused by Gu Fei at this point, and he could not make any sense of what the man was thinking. But seeing that the Mage did not seem to be joking and since being slain was nothing to him, this loss of decorum was probably a sign that meant any further cooperation would be rendered impossible. With such a thought in mind, Five Nights finally showed a bit of sincerity by extending out two fingers. “Let’s make it 20%, then! That’s already a lot. If we can reach that rough calculation Overgrown Foliage made of 140 million RMB, that means that you’ll get 28 million together, which is more than the 20 million you originally quoted! Of course, our goal is to make this as big as possible, and to us in Remarkable Flair, the sky’s the limit.”
Gu Fei nodded. “Well, shall we sign an official agreement contract for this?”
“But of course. This is a formal business deal between us, after all. Gentlemen, leave your preferred offline contact with us and I’ll get in contact with you two as soon as I can. Ha ha! With this game, it has indeed made the negotiation process much more convenient. Before Parallel World, any business that needed involved parties to speak face-to-face required us to go on a business trip or be prepared to receive another. It’s much better now as we can get everything done just by meeting in the game. ‘This deal, worth millions, was completed here at Remarkable Flair workshop’s barbecue joint in Parallel World’; it would make for a good story if it were ever spread!” Five Nights happily commented.
On his end, Eternal Dominion wrote down his real surname, as well as contact number, and passed it over to them. Five Nights took it in hand and looked over at Gu Fei, only for the man to chuckle. “Jus his signature will do. He’s the one who’s mainly going to do this.”
The internet was only aware that Thousand Miles Drunk’s workshop was the one doing all the efficient monster grinding routines, but in actual fact, not many were aware about the real identity of the developers of these routines. Five Nights did not really understand this either, and he did not say a word about it when he heard Gu Fei name Eternal Dominion as the man taking point on this, merely nodding his head. “Then, I’ll log out and prepare the contract. I’ll send it over to you as soon as it’s ready.”
“That’s great.” Eternal Dominion reached his hand out and shook Five Nights’, feeling rather happy with what had transpired.
Gu Fei felt his heart beat in trepidation involuntarily as he watched from the sidelines.