158 Negotiations 3
Draco was currently seated opposite Inventor Doug, who still looked at him like a hawk who found his prey. Draco was incomparably uncomfortable, but the thing was, Doug hadn't so much as touched him.
Draco coughed lightly. "How can this junior help Brother Doug?"
Doug smiled lightly. "Do you remember when you first made the Dragorugio Semi-Epic set?"
Draco thought back and recalled the time he had made the set with the help of the Dragon Soul. Because his Tradeskill level had been low, he had wasted so much Orichalcum.
It wasn't like now where he could easily handle most metals within a reasonable range. Before, he was too low level to even try to maneuver anything, and had to rely on the Fire of War for everything.
Now, he could barely handle Epic materials as long as Hikari was around to heal him.
Draco shook himself and got rid of his distracted thoughts. "I remember. Did Brother Doug notice something during that time?"
Doug grinned widely. "Nothing much. Just that I realized we had an affinity. The cave you made that item in was where I used to craft a lot while I was journeying for enlightenment."
Draco understood. "So, Brother Doug wants my help to break through the bottleneck of Grandmaster?"
Doug gazed at Draco with respect as he nodded lightly. "That's right. I'm sure you understand the problems I'm facing, right?"
Draco did. Since he had majored in the trinity of Blacksmithing, Enchanting and Alchemy in his previous life, he knew all too well about the bottleneck between the Master Rank and the Grandmaster rank.
It wasn't as simple as just raising the Tradeskill level anymore. It required one to complete their own Legendary item design, as well as a few other things, within the maxims of that Tradeskill.
Now, designing items and crafting items were two different things. Draco hadn't bothered to use recipes or designs when practicing Blacksmithing or Alchemy because he already knew almost all of the mainstream ones, as well as his own unique recipes from the previous timeline.
Therefore, when he crafted, he made unique things only. As someone who had almost reached the pinnacle of the Master Rank - which allowed him to make Epic items 100% of the time and even craft his masterpiece, the Pseudo-Legendary Mana Sword - he already had all the fundamental knowledge.
The only thing he had no experience making were items above Pseudo-Legendary, but he would get there in time for sure.
Draco had shockingly jumped to Grandmaster in Enchanting, but then again, Enchanting was a very niche Tradeskill. It wasn't a given that every blacksmith was also an enchanter.
What normally happened, was that a blacksmith would finish an item and pass it over to an enchanter to place an enchantment on it. Very few actually dared to do both simultaneously among NPCs given their fixed lifespans. It was more of a thing you could find among the members of long-living races.
On the other hand, anyone who was a gamer that had played an MMORPG knew that blacksmithing and enchanting always went together.
Draco's enchantments were Legendary Rank now, meaning that should he reach Master Rank in Blacksmithing, he could create Pseudo-Legendary items easily and Semi-Legendary stuff with some difficulty.
There was also a small chance to make Legendary items, which was the most thrilling.
Doug had probably been stuck at the Master Rank for a long time, just like all the players from the old timeline.
10 Grandmasters, 5 Gods, and 1 Primogenitor.
With only 10 slots and the more than 500 Master Rank blacksmiths in just the human race, how could it be easy to become a Grandmaster?
At least common Tradeskills like Blacksmithing and Alchemy had a few Grandmasters and even one or two Gods hidden somewhere. Enchanting had only him during this era and Tactics or Magical Engineering probably capped people at the Elite Rank.
As such, Draco took out something he got from the creation of the Chaotic Blades set, which was the Sunfire Mystic Flame.
｢Sunfire – Fusion item
Passive 1 – Genius of the Craft: The success rate of creating designs for all items is raised by 10% regardless of rank.
Active 1 – Explosion: Send out a wave of explosive energy from one's position that does 3x*1n damage, where x is intelligence and n is total magical damage. Cooldown: 30 minutes.
Description: This is a flame that was birthed due to the presence of the sun, a legendary Mystic Flame born from the energy of the sun during the formation of the world. Ranked number 5 out of the Great Ten Mystic Flames.｣
Draco could only have one Mystic Flame at a time because their effects didn't stack. He had tried before in his past life... and he never wished to experience that feeling of nearly exploding again. All it had done was nearly kill him, and the stronger Mystic Flame got wasted.
As such, Sunfire had sat in his inventory. It was one of the items he planned to sell during the First Auction of the Rank 7 Shop. Yet now it seemed like there might be a great opportunity to get some tangible benefits literally sitting in front of him.
He showed it to Doug, whose eyes became like a ravenous wolf's as he gazed at it. No matter where or how Draco shifted the flame about, Doug's eyes would follow like a predator.
Draco smiled and placed it back into his inventory.
Doug took a deep breath and spoke deeply. "What do you want in exchange?"
Draco raised two fingers. "Your choice, you can send me 5 top-grade Aether Crystals."
"Or sign a contract with me that states you will craft 10 items of any rank above Legendary after achieving Grandmaster Rank or higher. You will just need to craft the items and leave the enchantments to me."
Draco placed his knuckle under his chin and smirked. "How does that sound?"
Doug was breathing heavily, like a bull that had just run 10 kilometers. His eyes were bloodshot and his gaze was piercing.
Doug had seen it when Draco had negotiated with all the Hidden Powers, but this fellow was like a hippo with his large mouth which tried to swallow all the water in the world.
After some serious internal battle, Doug finally spoke. "I will send over 5 top-grade Crystals by tomorrow."
Draco was startled. He hadn't expected Doug to actually have any of those.
Again, this offer was just meant to sound unreasonable and make the second option appear like the lesser evil, which was what he was really hoping for.
But Doug had greatly surprised him by agreeing to hand over 5 top-grade crystals right off the bat. Where did a disgraced blacksmith, who couldn't even become a Grandmaster, get such wealth?
Draco felt very uncomfortable.
First, he had underestimated the Hidden Powers, but everything worked out because his accumulations in this life were great enough to cause a stalemate.
Now, he had underestimated Doug, but it was fine since he would soon enough become a Grandmaster of Blacksmithing himself, or even higher.
Still, it was valuable information that Mystic Flames were so sought after by the Grand Elders of the Tradeskill Association. If he ever got another one, he might try to directly negotiate with either Smithson or Johnson for even more.
However, Draco was forced to reconsider his view of the world. As a Rank 6 power in the old timeline, he had interacted with many pinnacle existences, but the things he had seen while still at Rank 1 surpassed everything he encountered at Rank 6.
'I need to calm down and accumulate an even stronger foundation so that all future obstacles will be relatively easy to overcome.'
Draco thought inwardly, but outwardly, he continued to smile at Doug.
"When you send them over, I'll have someone deliver the Sunfire to you. Is that okay?"
Doug nodded and stood up. "That would be perfect. I thank Brother Draco for this beneficial trade. If you have any requests for me in the future, please feel free to approach me."
Draco nodded and saw Doug out. He was the last Hidden Power in the Vital Capital City. The others had already left to gather resources and craftsmen for their estates.
Draco smiled as he gazed into the Guild Warehouse. There were so many materials and resources in there that he could train up more than a few crafters with ease.
Afterward, it would be up to those to train the generation coming after. Draco might still give out a public lesson every now and again, but he would prefer to not waste more time than necessary with it.
However, the saga concerning the Vita Capital City wasn't over, not by a long shot. The Hidden Powers had come to stake their claim, and they had failed their task successfully.
Naturally, the various kingdoms and empires also wanted a piece of Vita Capital City, and they had sent over many envoys to meet Draco. Draco met with each of them and listened to their terms.
It seemed as if some kingdoms had heard about what the Hidden Powers went through, so their terms were very beneficial and their behaviors were good.
Most of the others were ignorant and haughty, especially those hailing from mighty empires, who felt that it was Draco's greatest blessing over 10,000 generations to even be in their presence.
All of those envoys were beheaded and those noggins were sent back to their kingdoms or empires with a simple message.
'Send someone more sensible.'
Draco didn't care about the various kingdoms and empires of the world.
Vita Capital City contained the descendants and interests of many Hidden Powers, so if any kingdom or empire dared to attack or wage war, they were courting deletion, not just death.
The few kingdoms with sensible envoys began to sweat and thanked the Gods that their masters were sharp. One of these included Sturgehaven Kingdom, which could be said to be Draco's home in Boundless.
In both his old life and this one, his fate had been tied to Sturgehaven from the start, so he treated it like his own country or hometown.
Naturally, the envoy of the Sturgehaven Kingdom was the most respectful and gave the most benefits. After all, Sturgehaven was - more than anyone else - clear about the potential and power of Draco as well as Umbra.
As such, Sturgehaven Kingdom was assigned an exclusive lot in the center of Vita Capital City, near the lots given to the Church of Light and the rest of the seven who had received good deals. The envoy was so thankful that he kowtowed multiple times to Draco before leaving.
The others were given lots close to the other Hidden Powers near the very outskirts of the Capital City.
They weren't bothered though, as the benefits of the Vita Capital City were the same no matter which part you resided at. It might be seen as a loss of face, but it was already considered lucky to even get some land, though it was only rented despite the exorbitant price.
Draco smiled and waited for the rebuffed kingdoms and empires to make a second attempt. This time, he was surprised to note that these kingdoms and empires sent their Princes or Princesses over to negotiate.
The ones sent weren't the arrogant and wasteful second generation, but the astute heirs who would be governing a whole country. As such, their behaviors and words were respectful and refined.
Draco also laid out his horrendous terms to them, and their faces paled. It was 50% higher than what he took from the respectful kingdoms that had approached him, for the same plot of land with even less favorable terms.
Nevertheless, they sucked it up and paid. The benefits of Vita Capital City were too good for NPCs to pass up. If they could move their Royal family here, the benefits would be endless for their bloodlines.
After the meetings with the envoys of the kingdoms and empires were done, the merchants arrived who wanted to acquire a commercial property.
They were all smiles, but Draco saw through the facade. A smiling merchant was an enemy who was hard to defeat, fortunately, Draco had enough skill and experience to do battle with them. Not to mention he had a hidden trump in the form of the Eyes of Caelo.
After almost a day of fighting, Draco was sweaty but victorious. He couldn't just get rid of these merchants like he could with the Hidden Powers or the various nations, as - after all - they would become the lifeblood of Vita Capital City's budding economy.
Draco had argued over land pricing, trade route development, economic policy, tax rates as well as reliefs, manufacturing guidelines and banking. Truly, he had developed more than 30% of Vita Capital City's executive policies in just one day.
The merchants opposite him were bathed in sweat, but their cheeks were ruddy. They couldn't help but laugh after going through such a hellish battle, but more than anything, they felt great.
Not only was Draco a good opponent to train one's mental muscles, but he was extremely competent and knowledgeable. It was almost as if he had managed a real Kingdom before, but that was impossible.
As such, he could only be a talented leader with a bright future.
Nothing excited merchants more than investing early in something that was guaranteed to have a grand future. That way, when everyone rushed in after the success, they would sit at the top of the food chain since they came earlier.
The merchants also left to develop their new lots, while Draco sat in his throne with a haggard expression.
Riveting Night had been busy making final preparations for the Guild War, and Hikari had gone off to try out the Aether Converter in this Aether Hall. As such, he had been left alone with the incoming guests.
Draco sighed and decided to make a checklist of his plans.
First, he would deal with the Guild War. At this point, he regarded it mostly as an exercise to gain some experience for his Tactics Tradeskill.
Second, he would re-open Umbra's recruitment and swallow up to 10,000 combat players and 2,000 Tradeskill players.
If the Guild War had any room left for failure after another expansion it would be extinguished fully.
He had amassed enough resources and capital to raise both groups with relative ease and there was no reason not to do so.
Third, he would deal with the enemy Mafia group attack in the real world and expand his territory to cover his whole city's nightlife. After doing so, he could slowly expand to the rest of the country.
Fourth, he would need to get Loving Aunt and Riveting Night to train him in the ways of his Bloodline and Inheritances. Riveting Night could teach him how to manage his expenditure in general while Loving Aunt would teach him everything about the Serpent God Inheritance.
As for the Horned Demon and Dark Angel Inheritances, he would find trainers later. He was averse to interacting with the Lucifer Lineage members and didn't want them to know of his existence.
Draco originally suspected that his copulation with Eva would create some phenomenon, and it did. Fortunately, that phenomenon was limited to them, which was the recording from Lucifer and Amaterasu.
This meant that for the time being the Lineages remained unaware of them, and Draco intended to keep it that way. They would get to know about him at the right moment…
Fifth, Draco would need to craft like mad in order to make up for his reticence to auction lots in Vita Capital City as well as the Epic items he gave out to his core members.
He would reach Master Rank in Alchemy and Blacksmithing, being able to mass-produce Epic items like a dog. Then, he would raise Cooking, Taming, and Brewing - which he had yet to learn - to the Elite Rank at least.
He would also make some strides with Tactics and Magical Engineering, bringing them as high as he could before the auction.
Sixth, he would hold the first-ever Player Hosted Auction, which would be done in the Rank 7 Shop. His plan wasn't to sell for money, no.
The only acceptable currency during that auction would be Aether Crystals. Only those who had some would be eligible to take part. The rest would only watch helplessly and lust for what they couldn't have.
Seventh, Draco would enter a few unique dungeons and special fields zones that he knew off to farm experience and materials. The experience would be used to bring Pair Dadeni, Mjolnir, Dragonlance, and all the other upgradeable items to the next tier.
Everything should take him more than just a few months. By the time he would be done, the average playerbase should have reached level 45-50, with a few other enterprising players already entering Rank 2.
Draco would then challenge the class Rank up procedures. He would make sure to gather a lot of reserve experience that would be withheld when he reached the cap of Rank 1.
That would shoot him up through Rank 2 and surpass all current players once again. Since he wouldn't need to sacrifice experience for items anymore, he should also be able to level up in peace.
Seventh, after reaching Rank 2, Draco would begin the Refinement God Treasury unique quest. He had learned his lesson from the Flora and Fauna quest, and the Refinement God Treasury would probably be even harder.
If he didn't even reach Rank 2 with much stronger items, he should forget about it. It was extremely likely that a Divine item waited for him at the end of the quest.
To get it would naturally be quite the hurdle.
Draco didn't have any plans for after the Refinement Gods Treasury because he could not predict his state by then. Just like how the Dragon Soul and then the Eyes of Caelo had shifted about his plans, whatever he got from the Refinement God's Treasury would decide how he moved in the future.
As Draco pondered to himself, his inbox filled up with messages from other players. Many of them were leaders of Guilds or notable Alliances that wished to inquire as to how to get land in Vita Capital City.
They were unaware of the benefits or even the kind of world-shaking negotiations that had just occurred. They only knew that players could benefit from working in the City and hoped to buy land.
Draco's lips curled into a mocking smile.
He chose to mass reply to all those private messages and listed the price of a single lot in Vita Capital City right now.
This was even the rent price that was paid by the kingdoms who he was lenient with. Yet when the Guildmasters and player powerhouses saw the cost, they cursed and insulted Draco.
How could one person be so greedy? Just because he had an exemplary city didn't mean he could ask for their arms and legs. How did he expect anyone to pay for this?
Draco ignored all the hate mail that was sent to his inbox as he decided to check up on Hikari.
He went down to the lower floors and entered the anomaly realm to see Hikari in her full Draconic form. Her pure white scales and beautiful horn really attracted Draco, or the Draconic part of him.
However, he was quite surprised to see the quantity of Aetheric Energy she had managed to convert in just one day.