247 The First Player Auction 2
When the players attending the auction inspected the item, their hearts leapt up to their throats. Putting aside its effect, just the fact that the spear was a Semi-Legendary item was enough to shatter their minds.
Only the top 0.1% had the chance to acquire Epic items and more than 99.9% of this 0.1% were all members of Umbra. Of course, there were a few among the 95 million players that had struck gold through dogshit luck, but it wouldn't be more than 5 people at most.
Even Rare items were regarded as something for the experts (equates to Major Rank) and legends (equates to Colonel Rank), a sign of skill and prestige. The ones who wore it were almost always top guild leaders like Gentle Flower, Noble Soul, Joker, Happy Scholar, etc.
Uncommon stuff was the domain of pros (equates to Lieutenant Rank) and elites (equates to Captain Rank), but thanks to Draco pawning a lot of the stuff through the Intermediary Trade Center, some trash rich kids were wearing them proudly, despite not having the skill to effectively use them.
And as for Common, everyone else used that. Even when some would start to reach Rank 2, they would still use mostly Common equipment/skills and the like, with only one or two Uncommons.
So, what was a Semi-Legendary to them? Well, to put it this way, it was like putting a real catgirl in a room full of otakus, yet not allowing them to come closer.
However, when those who could look past the Rank of the item without blacking out saw the effects, their hearts fell. This item was a growth one!
If they could work like a dog for more than 3 years - an assumption by them which was far too generous - they would have a real Legendary item!
A Legendary item ah! No matter what, such an item would never not have a market. No Hidden Power would decline getting more Legendaries, and no player even dared to dream of one.
This, of course, was further worsened but the other two skills, which made the spear a monster even at its Rank. It already didn't pale compared to a real legendary item, much less when it was actually upgraded.
While the players could only clench their fists and lament in pain, the hearts and minds of the various NPCs were shaken slightly.
Everyone had seen the announcement of Draco creating new things, but they had always brushed it off. On the surface they would exclaim, praise or curse Draco, but deep down, a little voice always held a hint of doubt.
Just what at all could this fellow who was fresh from the World of the Gods make to warrant this attention? Sure, it might be Epic, but with enough money, one could source such a thing.
However, not even the Rank 7 powers could claim that they were fully equipped in Legendary items.
As for Divine, forget it. Even the strongest entities on the main plane, the Titled Gods, could only produce wisps of Divine Energy.
One could take it that the highest a person could get was Legendary, and this was reserved for Rank 7 powers to devour. Next was Epic where Rank 3-6 persons shared and prized.
As for Rank 1 or 2 fellows, they should be happy with Semi-Epic or Rare. One should cut their coat according to their cloth after all.
So, what did it meant to get an item that wasn't Legendary - so therefore could not be priced like one - but could become Legendary with enough effort?
It meant an increase in power and potential. With this, clearing the Rank up procedures for Rank 6 to 7 would be easier for many powers, and naturally this also included the lower tiers.
Of course, this was what got most of the NPCs here. The Tradeskill masters in the crowd, and the pinnacle powers in the VIP rooms, were the ones who were most confused.
After all, they knew there was no such ranking as Semi-Legendary officially. Yet if there was an unofficial ranking out there that was still recognized by the system, that meant it had to do with the Immortal Adventurers!
In other words, within 4 months of entering this world, an Immortal Adventurer was able to create an item that hovered between Epic and Legendary, with the possibility to grow further…
And there was only one Immortal Adventurer who could do such a thing in the eyes of the NPC powers… it was Draco!
Putting aside the quality of the item, which was already bordering on Legendary, the fact that it could even be made was what they could not understand.
To put it into perspective, it was like seeing the news on the internet, which read that a 4-month-old baby was solving equations within quantum physics. How shocked would you be?
That was precisely how these NPCs felt.
Zaine didn't even bother to introduce the item to the crowd. After all, with the currency the auction was accepting, more than 80% of attendants here were just filler.
Only 20% would take part in the actual bidding, and they were people who could judge the objectively quality of something without having to be led by the nose.
As such, she just stated the price right off the bat. "This first item of our auction is starting at 20 low-grade Aether Crystals. Each bid increment must be 1 low-grade Aether Crystal."
When the people heard this, they were pleasantly surprised. They had expected a heart-wrenching price that would make them spit blood, but this… this was really reasonable!
After all, one low-grade Aether Crystal was sold at 1,000 platinum. It could also be sourced with enough effort, and it wasn't as scarce as the higher grades.
In a given month, there could be a maximum of 10,000 low-grade Aether Crystals produced from mines or acquired through other means.
Of course, Aether Crystals had many uses, so the chances that someone would hold onto their crystals weren't too high. Magical Engineers for example, needed it for their craft.
Still, for every rule there were exceptions. Many people had hoards of them stashed away for a rainy day. Some would buy them at the stock price and wait for a deficit to appear before reselling for a higher profit.
So, in essence, this Semi-Legendary spear was going for 20,000 platinum! This was a Semi-Legendary item with skills equal to the entry-level of the Legendary Rank, meaning that it was almost as good as one!
It also had the ability to grow into an actual Legendary item, and have its current skills upgraded while having the eternal growth swapped out for something relevant.
For scale, the average price for a Legendary item was at about 50,000 platinum minimum, while an Epic one cost at least 10,000 platinum. 20,000 for one was even below what an actual Semi-Legendary item should be priced at.
However, this was balanced by the fact that Aether Crystals were far more valuable than money. The platinum cost was only to stabilize the market, but if it could, it would be priced even higher.
Were it not for many powers having mines that could stably produce a few every month, it would never be so cheap to buy a low-grade crystal.
"Now that the starting price has been announced, I would like to proceed with the commence of the bidding for the first item of the day. Please begin!" Zaine stated calmly and in a refined manner.
She wasn't like Shizura who acted immature in order to create a cozy feeling. She was straight to the point and businesslike, which was a stark difference compared to the Divine Auction.
However, no matter the auction, there was one solid rule. If the items were good, the bids would be fierce.
"21 low-grade Aether Crystals!"
"23 low-grade Aether Crystals!"
"25 low-grade Aether Crystals!"
"27 low-grade Aether Crystals!"
Most of the bidders were those in the stands. After all, the ones in the VIP rooms didn't come here for these items. As pinnacle powers, the things they had in their treasuries/warehouses was not something even the current Draco could match within the first 3 Ranks.
These people were waiting for the last few items before they would show off their true prowess. The first-bid items were for the people amongst the crowd to fight for, so that they too could say that they got something out of this.
As for the players, they could only sit there awkwardly, not knowing what to do. The majority had no clue what Aether Crystals were or their value, so they couldn't even bid although a Semi-Legendary item was before them.
Of course, the members of Umbra, Kamisuo, Desecrators, and Meiren were silently watching with smiles on their faces. They were just spectators to this event, not here to participate.
What was the golden rule? A dealer never consumes his own stash or whatever.
The bidding greatly intensified over the next few minutes, and this spear was eventually sold to a woman in medium armor. She had won the bid with 31 low-grade Aether Crystals for it, which when converted to platinum was still a bargain price!
Zaine smiled when she saw the woman's joy since it was easy to read her thoughts. This was one facet of Zaine's plan when she had proposed this back during the Divine Auction.
One should know, not everyone who bought Aether Crystals had a use for them. Aether Crystals had many uses, in Tradeskills, in combat, and in everyday life, but not everyone specifically needed them.
As stated before, certain professions like Magical Engineers needed Aether Crystals to craft and there was no escaping that. However, someone trying to power a rune array did not need an Aether Crystal, Worldly Energy would do.
However, supplying such a rune array with a low-grade Aether Crystal would see its power and longevity grow exponentially.
Not to mention that in all of this, Zaine's key target for the early part of the auction was not those who needed Aether Crystals, but those who didn't.
Some might buy the crystals to save for later to resell, and such people would likely splurge in this auction, which was what she had aimed for.
First things first, one had to understand that the value of an item was relative. There was the objective value and subjective value.
The objective value was the monetary price of the item. This value was controlled by the economical law of demand and supply, being subject to change only based on this law.
The subjective value though, had nothing to with price, but rather perception. In other words, how valuable a specific individual perceived an item to be fell here.
Subjective value did not necessarily need to be labeled in monetary values, but using such measurements gave a reasonable point of inference for onlookers.
To put it simply, it was a case of 'one man's trash is another man's treasure'. A person who had no use for an Aether Crystal but to resell would value it subjectively at the objective value. This was obvious.
A person who needed it for work, play, etc would value it much higher. A Magical Engineer might subjectively value it at 3,000 platinum per crystal, because of how crucial it was to him.
With one low-grade Aether Crystal and one Epic Rank Void Stone, he could make the Basic Spatial Enlargement Device for example. Such an item would sell for more than 100,000 platinum, so spending 3,000 on a crystal was even too small.
In essence, this woman was a combat-focused person who used the spear. With Draco's evolvable spear in hand, she could now wield a Legendary weapon of her taste.
This would triple her prowess in battle, and might even allow her to punch above her Rank. To her, the subjective value of this spear was far greater than 31 low-grade Aether Crystals, and as a nice bonus, the objective value was also in agreement.
While a Magical Engineer would disagree, it was what it was.
This was Zaine's first 'victim' for this stage of the event, so she laughed lightly and continued. "The second item is something similar, but not exactly the same. Let's take a look."
A new tray was brought out that was covered in the same manner as the one before. When the item was unveiled, the crowd rushed to inspect it.
｢Unnamed – Shield
Passive 1 – Eternal Growth: The user can sacrifice experience points to grow this item's rating.
Passive 2 – Bounce Back: Every attack on this shield is unable to cause the wielder to flinch or feel any force, instead pushing back the enemy with every strike onto it.
Active 1 – Fortification: Grant the \u003cFortified\u003e status to every ally within 3 miles, allowing them to resist 20% physical and magical damage for 30 seconds. Cooldown: 6 hours.
Further abilities can be unlocked by sacrificing experience points. 0% of 15,000% needed to upgrade to Legendary Rank｣
The tanks in the crowd began to pant and sweat like dogs, and everyone else shook. A shield like this was something that was built for the battlefield and for raids!
The passive skill was designed for larger enemies like giants, sub-draconic species, etc. The main tank using this would render the monster useless in a fight, so long as he could keep aggro, all thanks to the second passive.
Of course, the healers would need to work overtime to prevent him from dying as the damage was still the same, but the mitigation of force was more than enough to unbalance a foe.
The active skill would work in tandem with this, giving every ally within range some extra defense. This was perfect for when bosses used team wipe skills, and should the team be adept enough, lives could be saved!
This was arguably more valuable than the spear, but only just a little bit. Then again, items that could be used to save lives would always be more important than items that took lives.
"The starting price of this item is also set at 20 low-grade Aether Crystals, with only increments of 1 low-grade Aether Crystal allowed." Zaine announced after tapping the shield lightly.
"The bidding can begin at your leisure." She added, turning to inspect the shield as if the auction had nothing to do with her.
Of course, while she was bent over the shield in examination, her excessively round and thick rump was outlined by her dress.
There was only one thought in everyone's mind at the moment, which was 'god damn…'. Even Riveting Night had once been stunned by the beauty of Zaine's butt back then, much less everyone here.
The bids began furiously once again, yet no one was looking at the shield. Almost all the male bidders were looking at that peach as if they were fervently bidding for the rights to it.
As such, the bids for this shield climbed to 44 low-grade Aether Crystals before it calmed down. And this was only because Zaine didn't want it to go too high, so she straightened her body and focused on the crowd.
Like they were freed from a spell, the red-eyed bidders came to their senses and felt at a loss towards their actions. While they certainly wanted the shield, it wasn't to such an extent.
Thankfully, the item was bought by a staunch man with an honorable face and blonde, curly hair. He too had been 'slightly' beguiled by Zaine, so he was a bit regretful that he went so high, but he still made a profit.
That was why Zaine stopped. If they went above the price, many people would be dissatisfied. After all, this auction did not have the kind of reputation that the Divine Auction did, so there were certain things they could do and couldn't do.
In truth, Zaine hadn't used any succubus arts. Draco had always told her that he loved butts, and with his time spent with Rambunctious Buttlover in the previous timeline, giving out ratings had become second nature to this fellow. He told her that hers was the best he'd seen in his life so far, so Zaine was extremely happy about that.
She used to base her charms around her chest, which was also good, but it seemed to pale compared to her backside.
Zaine had no idea why men loved that place at all. Breasts she could still somewhat understand, but butts? Well, since she had the goods, and Draco loved them, she was fine.
It was also precisely because Zaine used no beguilement techniques that no one sought trouble with her. She had simply examined the shield and it wasn't like she bent over and shoved her ass in their faces.
It was only a slight bend, like a teacher checking their student's paper, but with her proportions it was hard not to be moved. Still, all they had to do was not look, so they could only swallow their shame.
After this item, Zaine unveiled four more Eternal growth items. Out of the nine Draco had made for selling purposes, he ended up selling 6 of them as the starting items of his Player Auction.
The first item of the auction had sold for 31 low-grade Aether Crystals. The second - due to Zaine's little tricks - sold for 44 low-grade Aether Crystals.
The third went for 27, the fourth for 29, the fifth for 34, and the recent sixth for 36. Zaine had not used any tricks after the second item, as overdoing it would lead to bad results.
After selling six of the nine Eternal Growth items, Zaine decided to switch it up. She brought out batches of potions in groups of 10, all of these made by Draco in order to sell here.
This included the Basic Dragon Transformation Potion, the Basic Phoenix Fire Potion as well as three other types, of which two were related to Pandaren and the final one which was a poison based on his seven deadly sins manipulation.
When the stats of the Basic Dragon Transformation Potion were presented to the public, many fellows cried out with surprise.
This was, unsurprisingly, going to be a hotcake item!