129 Outrageous Rewards
A cascade of notifications rained down upon Draco as he watched the corpse of the Metal Dragon fade away. Ultimately, the Dark Knight was considered to be a player according to the system's standards, so his corpse could not be harvested for materials, not that Draco had any plans of doing so in the first place.
He sighed and chose to respawn Roma, who appeared right beside him like a heavenly angel ascending to heaven, but from the earth beside him. She stopped in mid-air and spent a few seconds there in a showy fashion before landing on her two feet.
It wasn't her decision to show off, as this was how all players came back to life.
Draco turned to her and smiled. "How does it feel to be immortal?"
Roma gazed at herself with disbelief. Although she had been told she would come back to life and she trusted Draco with all her being, some small part of her had still doubted this previously ironclad rule. Yet to go through such a miraculous event made waves go through her heart.
She gazed at Draco with so much love and desire to serve that the fellow laughed.
"As long as I may serve you for as long as you will have me, I shall claw my way back from the dead using any and all means."
Draco's laughter was cut off as he heard her solemn and severe vow. His heart couldn't help but shiver slightly, as her pledge to him was only slightly weaker than Eva's.
Riveting Night - who had since pulled back her hood as old habits die hard - heard Roma's words and, from the seriousness of her tone as well as the commitment in her gaze, was just as moved as Draco.
Fuck, any woman who was willing to serve her Draco with all their soul, was more than just a side girl to Riveting Night. Such a woman was worthy of being considered her own blood sister on the same level as Sublime Notion.
Tsk, this Riveting Night really had some issues up there… such logical reasoning would even floor Socrates and Pluto, much less any sane person from the current era.
Then again, she was insane, so there was that.
Riveting Night hugged Roma's shoulders gently, much to the caramel-skinned beauty's surprise. "Mrs. Eva… I…"
Riveting Night silenced Roma's words with a gentle shake. "Don't call me that. I insist you call me Eva or Eldest Sis from this point forward."
Roma was touched because she could tell that Draco's true wife had entirely accepted her, which made her happy to the point that she almost cried.
"Okay, Eldest Sis." Tears of joy ran down Roma's face as she gleefully addressed the other party properly.
Riveting Night nodded with satisfaction and turned to Draco, who was currently parsing through the various notifications that had popped up.
｢Event Zone Announcement
All surviving players, congratulations on completing: Dragon Slaying National Quest
Time elapsed: 00:45:21
200 reputation with the Sturgehaven Kingdom
300 reputation with all races
Everyone benefited from a sharp rise to their experience bars as they suddenly received ten levels worth of experience at once. Too bad, this bonus did not extend to players who had died, meaning that only the ten players were able to enjoy this boon.
Most of them had been around level 18-21, meaning that they either went to the late twenties or shot up straight into the thirties. Among the playerbase, they would now be the undisputed MVPs and, for the foreseeable future, dominate the leaderboards.
1000 gold at this stage was unbelievable.
Apart from abnormal existences like Draco and Riveting Night, this was more money than any one of these players dared to dream about having.
The kind of things they could do with this money would make one lose their mind, so they were excited to rush out and buy stuff.
However, this wasn't everything yet.
｢Event Zone Announcement
Guild Rankings have been calculated:
The list of rewards will be a privately shared with each Guildmaster accordingly｣
｢Event Zone Announcement
Individual Rankings have been calculated:
2. Riveting Night
3. Fitter Cleric
4. Slim Fatty
5. Loving Aunt
7. Panty King
8. Gentle Flower
9. Noble Soul
Rewards will be privately sent to each player accordingly｣
｢Event Zone Announcement
Last hit bonus awarded to:
Rewards will be privately sent to the player.｣
Each of the players read the announcements, and then suddenly, new screens popped up above the old ones, which were only visible to those they were meant for. On these screens were the listed rewards, and the player's eyes bulged as they saw the magnificence that was presented to them.
Draco and Riveting Night were the only ones capable of remaining calm in the face of their rewards. Sounds of joy, happiness, and glee surrounded them, yet even the Evil Duo could not help but feel their hearts thumping loudly, especially Draco.
｢System to Player Announcement
Player Riveting Night, congratulations on placing second on the individual rankings.
1 Legendary Treasure Chest
2 Epic Treasure Chests
10 Rare Treasure Chests
50 Uncommon Treasure Chests
1000 Common Treasure Chests
｢System to Player Announcement
Player Draco, congratulations on placing first on the individual rankings.
2 Legendary Treasure Chest
5 Epic Treasure Chests
50 Rare Treasure Chests
100 Uncommon Treasure Chests
10000 Common Treasure Chests
Third place was the cut-off point where one received 1x Epic Chest; the rest had to make do with Rare Chests and below. Fortunately, these rewards were secret, so the players were already more than happy with what they got; otherwise, those placing lower surely would be fainting at seeing the discrepancy.
Comparisons were really odious!
And this was not even including the guild ranking rewards, which were displayed next.
｢System to Guild Announcement
Guild Umbra, congratulations on placing first on the Guild rankings.
5 Property Upgrade Token - Platinum
2 City Upgrade Token - Platinum
1 Kingdom Upgrade Token - Platinum
50 Settlement Resource Pack
100 Aether Crystals
When Draco and Eva saw this, they barely kept themselves from screaming with joy and madness. This… this was too good!
Their bodies shivered intensely as each had mini-orgasms. One could not blame them for this, though, as they understood just what heavenly rewards the AI had bestowed upon them.
As we had seen with the Settlement Building Token, players could earn certain rights and property titles without having to put in the bureaucratic legwork, as well as meet the system required criteria before obtaining something of this nature.
For example, to build a Settlement, one needed to have a Tier 3 Guild, a certain amount of reputation with the owner of the land you were building on, as well as provide the resources and payment yourself in full.
With the Settlement Building Token, Draco had only needed to possess the reputation and provide the payment.
The same thing was true for the Property Upgrade Token. It allowed a guild to Upgrade any of its listed properties in a Guild Settlement by one Rank, depending on the grade of the Token itself.
There were Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum Tokens. Bronze tokens allowed the guild to upgrade Rank 1 and Rank 2 buildings; Silver was for increasing Rank 3, and Rank 4 and Gold could increase Rank 5 and Rank 6 by one Rank for each Token used.
For all of the above, the relevant costs of upgrading would still have to be paid. This would cost thousands of platinum but was extremely worth it when one considered the corners they would be cutting!
However, a Platinum token was OP in the sense that it allowed one to upgrade to any Rank from any Rank.
In other words, one could upgrade a Rank 1 cottage into a Rank 7 Walking Castle directly, as long as they had the funds to pay for it.
That was one of the reasons why the Evil Duo were shaking so hard that it might look like they were vibrating. The benefits this could give the Vita Settlement were endless!
What did Umbra lack? Resources, manpower, and presence in multiple locales.
On the other hand, what was the one thing Umbra didn't lack? MONEY!
They could instantly turn five buildings in the Vita Settlement into their Rank 7 forms simply by putting their money into it, which was a perfect outcome for them. With this, the members who had suffered for this quest could be reimbursed in the best possible way, as they would have more avenues to develop themselves using these buildings.
Just look at what the Rank 7 Guild Hall and Shop had done for them. Now imagine five more of those.
The City Upgrade Tokens allowed Umbra to directly upgrade settlements into either a small town, a medium town, a big town, a small-tier city, a medium-tier city, a high-tier city, or a capital city.
The same rules for the Property Token applied here. By using the Platinum token, they could outright turn the Vita Settlement into Vita Capital City, as long as they had the money and the land necessary for it.
The Kingdom Upgrade Token was the most valuable but one that Draco and Riveting Night couldn't use at all yet.
It allowed one to upgrade a fledgling kingdom to a low-tier kingdom, middle-tier kingdom, a high-tier kingdom, a low-tier empire, a middle-tier empire, a high-tier empire, and divine empire.
The same rules for the City and Property Upgrade Tokens applied here.
With platinum - assuming they manually turned Vita Capital City to a Kingdom, as there were no shortcut tokens for that - they could turn Vita Kingdom into Vita Divine Empire.
The tokens had some weaknesses and limitations, the first being that the end result was only a skeleton framework. In other words, the settlement or buildings would have the functions and capabilities that any of their Rank had, but it would be up to Draco and Eva to outfit it or provide the 'meat.'
An example would be the City Upgrade Token. Should Draco and Eva send Vita Settlement straight to Vita Capital City, they would have to build all the new and required buildings, hire new guards to patrol their lands, attract the relevant population and set up whatever functioning ecosystem they intended to have themselves.
It would just provide the most basic things a Capital City would need to be called a Capital City.
Everything had a limit, after all.
Another limitation was that these tokens could only be used in guild owned settlements.
Draco had been able to build the Guild Hall and Shop at Rank 7 because of his Battle Maniac title, his funds, and his reputation with the human race and the Sturgehaven Kingdom, which was sent to the maximum thanks to Richmond's Heraldry.
Not everyone could get up and do what he did back then, even if they had the funds.
Even then, doing so in the Sturgehaven Kingdom was easy because the Kingdom met the requirements to have such buildings within them.
A Settlement, however, did not. It had to meet various requirements to be promoted at every Rank, which were painfully stringent.
They were so bad that many players had resorted to unspeakable evils like rape just to achieve it, which was enough of an indicator of how bad it would get.
As such, these tokens only applied to Settlements and not Kingdom-based buildings, which was disappointing on the one hand but still very useful on the other.
Another limitation was the rise in upkeep.
Just as the Rank 7 Guild Hall and Castle brought Draco many benefits, they also had outrageous management costs. The upkeep required was nightmare-inducing and would need to be maintained for five more buildings should Draco chose to use the Tokens.
Let's not even mention the upkeep needed for a Capital City, or some in the crowd might just die from shock.
The Settlement Resource Pack was self-explanatory. Once it was opened, the guilds would receive a random amount of building resources that were necessary for creating buildings and expanding territory. Draco and Riveting Night were thankful for it as it would soften the blow of upgrading their buildings. Letting Fitter Cleric open them was bound to result in a profitable yield.
What also made their breathing quicken were the Aether Crystals.
They had an Aether Mine hidden under Vita Settlement, but they didn't plan to mine it anytime soon since it would provide many unseen benefits for their budding empire. One could only look at the error such a thing had caused when they were first building the Settlement to understand how great it would be.
The only way such an error could occur was if the AI never factored in the chance that settlements would be built over Aether Mines, so whatever benefit it would bestow upon them would be unique as well.
Aether Crystals had a variety of uses like powering magic circles, acting as the best source of Worldly Energy for any purpose, including combat or as an upgrading reagent for any Tradeskill. In other words, they were extremely valuable. To compare, an Aether Crystal to the world of Boundless was about as valuable as Jadeite in the real world.
To receive 200 of them was more than just good; it was exceptionally great!
The other guilds present had also received something similar but in lower quantity and quality.
Kamisuo in second place benefitted from 3 Property Upgrade Tokens and 1 City Upgrade Token, each one Gold Rank, 20 Settlement Resource Packs, and 100 Aether Crystals.
Desecrators took third place and received 3 Property Upgrade Tokens that were of the Silver Rank, 10 Settlement Resource Packs, and 50 Aether Crystals.
Meiren came in fourth and obtained 1 Property Upgrade Token that was of the Bronze Rank, 5 Settlement Resource Packs, and 10 Aether Crystals.
All in all, the guilds had gained many benefits as individuals and as collective associations. This was obviously because the number of players remaining were so few that the quality of rewards shot up in value.
Had there been 100+ guilds, the rewards for being first or second would not be nearly as good. It would be even worse for the individual rankings.
Putting aside the fact that the rewards were so great for defeating the final boss, which was, after all, a true Dragon, the number of people remaining lead to the outrageous rewards.
But then again, it was understandable.
This event had an outrageous difficulty level, and it would not have been surprising if it ended in a global failure.
If Draco did not have his skills as a reincarnator, if he did not have the Tactics Tradeskill, if he did not have Qiong Qi or Roma or Eva, if he didn't have the Seal of Camelot, if he didn't have Aunt Fyre here, if he didn't have the Eyes of Caelo and if he didn't unlock his bloodline during this lifetime, he would have failed.
Any one of those things made him seemingly overpowered on their own, yet all of them pieced together barely ended with a win with only ten people left alive. Lacking just a single one of these criteria in this fight would have lead to an entirely different outcome.
There would have been a 0% success chance... a mind-boggling fact.
In everything, the AI was fair. Therefore it was natural that the rewards had to be outrageous as well. If you planted tomato seeds and cared for them intensively, you would get flawless tomatoes. Whatever effort you put into a task, you would reap an equivalent reward. You put in poor effort; you get a poor reward. You put in godly effort; you get godly rewards.
Draco smiled and turned to Gentle Flower and Noble Soul. "Thank you two for staying by our side to fight despite the tough situation. As I promised earlier, Umbra shall help you mitigate some of your losses by providing financial aid."
"In return, I would like to buy your Aether Crystals from you at a premium price of 100 platinum per piece. Is this agreeable?"
Gentle Flower and Noble Soul froze. Did their ears play tricks on them? Did he just say 100… 100 platinum per piece?!
Truth be told, they had no idea what these Aether Crystals could be used for or how great their true value actually was, but it was clear Draco did. Not only that, but he probably knew a way to utilize these items, and since he was willing to offer this much, it wouldn't be strange if their value was most likely even higher.
Gentle Flower and Noble Soul were no fools; no, in fact, they were incredibly sharp. Agreeing to sell to Draco without knowing the actual worth was likely to result in a loss for them in the long term. However, this was only speaking from a financial point of view, leaving out other aspects.
By agreeing to his offer, they could earn something far more valuable; something money couldn't buy... his trust and friendship, especially after sticking with him through the battle.
After all they had seen, they now understood that Draco was undoubtedly the King of the playerbase currently. He possessed abilities and knowledge no one else did, and his future was too bright to look at without sunglasses.
As such, Gentle Flower made the best decision she could.
"No thanks; I would like to gift these Aether Crystals to you and Madame Night as a token of friendship. Please do not reject my gesture."
She directly transferred the items to the Evil Duo without hesitation, making the two shake inwardly. Noble Soul followed suit with gritted teeth, placing all his faith in the intellect of Gentle Flower, who he knew to be incredibly astute.
Draco and Riveting Night also knew that she was too clever for her own good, which was why they didn't mind befriending her in this life and was also the reason why they had never picked a fight with her in their previous one either.
Draco accepted the crystals without hesitation and nodded to the duo. "From now on, you are my people. If anyone dares to put undue pressure on you, I will personally step in to destroy them. Don't be shy, total up all the losses your people have suffered in this event, and Umbra will replace everything and then some!"
Noble Soul and Gentle Flower likewise felt their hearts tremble as they received Draco's pledge. This was what they wanted and more, a direct promise from the powerhouse called Draco and his guild Umbra.
They both may have swallowed their pride, but with their intellect, they knew that their survival was all thanks to the two of them. It would have just taken a mere thought, and Eva could have excluded them from the light barrier, leaving them to the same fate as their subordinates.
With this, they could now move about with relative impunity in the game.
"Eh?? What about me?" Yui asked with a pout.
Riveting Night smiled and rubbed her head gently. "Silly girl, you are our family. Your situation is entirely different."
Not just Yui, but any member of the Amaterasu Lineage, as long as Eva approved of them, were no different from his closest family. This was how he felt, and this was how his bloodline felt.
As for the Lucifer Lineage, they should consider themselves lucky he hadn't gone over to clean the house; they shouldn't hope for him to treasure them in such a manner any time soon. It may be in their best interest to hope he would not meet them anytime soon.
Yui smiled and nodded, standing to the side of Riveting Night.
Then came the public announcements.
｢Sturgehaven Kingdom Regional Announcement
Players Draco, Riveting Night, Fitter Cleric, Slim Fatty, Loving Aunt, Kiran, Panty King, Gentle Flower, Noble Soul, and Yui have ranked in the top 10 of the Dragon Slaying Event!｣
｢Sturgehaven Kingdom Regional Announcement
Guilds Umbra, Kamisuo, Desecrators, and Meiren have ranked in the top 4 of the Dragon Slaying Event!｣
Draco smiled at this. Just as he was about to check what he received for getting the last hit on the Metal Dragon, a golden pop-up screen appeared in front of him a few seconds before he was made to see black.
｢Boundless System-wide Announcement
Enough data has been collected to increase the playability and effectiveness of the game world. As such, all players will be logged out for 24 hours in real-time in order to allow the AI to perform maintenance for Update 1.
Thank you all for playing so far!｣