270 Abyssal Trove 2
Draco was suitably astounded. A system merchant? Such a thing existed? Wouldn't that mean…
Suddenly, Draco's breathing became rough and his body shook. He re-read the details of the World Merchant and suddenly understood exactly what this entity was.
Boundless was a hyper-realistic sandbox game with an ever-evolving world. As such, certain mechanics it possessed broke away from traditional RPGs of old.
The first was the market. Instead of selling to the system and buying anything from the system as long as one had the money, players had to trade with NPCs or other players in a realistic fashion.
You couldn't go to a random kiosk and buy a Legendary item even if you had the money. You would have to compete with others to find it and purchase it at a competitive price.
Two vendors might be right next to each other, but the item you could find in abundance in vendor A's shop would be drastically different from what was in vendor B's shop.
As such, it came down to the player to find the best shop which had the items they needed.
The second was infinite trading/money. Most RPGs in the old days had vendors who could buy everything and payout its price endlessly.
That was to say, one could bring sheer infinite 999 stacks of Aether Crystals and trade them all away to get a game breaking 100 trillion platinum, assuming Boundless was an RPG like that.
However, Boundless' vendors had a limited amount of funds they could use to buy your items. It varied with each vendor based on their own personal/financial life, just like in the real world.
The third was universal price/interest. In other words, a vendor in an area saturated with iron mines and a vendor in an area barren of them would buy iron ore at the same price in old RPGs.
The price was fixed at a flat amount, and would never change to suit demand and supply. Another part of this was the interest aspect.
Using the same example from before, a vendor near an iron mine would still want iron ore, despite the fact that he might be oversaturated with it. Most real vendors would shake their heads and say they weren't interested.
Boundless dealt with these three things in a real manner, so Draco, a reincarnator, had suffered for it. Because of the scarce ability to earn money from the system - in a bid for the system to keep the economy stable - one couldn't earn too much at once.
Once the maximum wealth was capped, it then fell down to the circular flow of income to keep the economy breathing and healthy.
However, this World Merchant was exactly that which had been described, a vendor of the system that acted like those vendors in those old RPGs that ran on an engine instead of the AI.
Draco first tested the World Merchant by taking out the 500 low-grade Aether Crystals he had earned from slaughtering Void monsters in the Ruined Plains of Deriam.
When he selected to sell one, the price for the trade was listed as 99 gold. Draco froze as he took this in with utter incomprehension. An Aether Crystal that cost less than 1 platinum?!
Was the system trying to rip him off or what?
"How are the prices calculated?" Draco asked the World Merchant, though there was no one inside.
A small pop-up from the World Merchant itself appeared, answering Draco's question prudently.
｢World Merchant System
The World Merchant is an entity of the old era, and only appears in prominent locations that existed during that period. As such, all prices are calculated by their values in the old era.｣
Draco slapped his forehead. Fuck, it all made sense now. He - like everyone in the crowd - assumed that the World Merchant had appeared here in response to his direct need for money.
Draco even went further to think that the AI was presenting him with an early dowry, but it seemed like he had thought too much of himself.
If the World Merchant appeared in important locations that were in the old era randomly, then it would - at most - have 4 or 5 places it cycled through.
One would definitely be the Ancestral City of Dragons, and maybe two other places that managed the survive the old era's catastrophe. As such, he had a 20% chance to encounter this World Merchant at any of these locations.
If he hadn't used the Abyssal Trove skill today, he would've missed this chance and it would have moved elsewhere. The World Merchant hadn't magically appeared because he wanted it to be here.
It had been here before he came, he just arrived to meet it. Had he not come, nothing would have changed, it would have continued its cycle endlessly.
Draco frowned deeply. This matter of using the old era's pricing was troublesome. Items that were to kill for in the present era, like Aether Crystals, were common as water back then.
Look at that huge Ancestral City of Dragons he went into during the Dragon King Class Up Procedure. How many Dragons had been alive then? With each of them producing a minimum 1 low-grade Aether Crystal per hour, how many could have been made overall?
As such, there had never been a scarcity for them like there was now. Dragons had no use for Aether Crystals, so they always traded them away cheaply due to high supply and their own pride.
The Ancestral City was the number one city in the world, so what did it need measly income from their magical poop for? Sometimes, they even gave crystals out for free!
Draco took out a medium-grade crystal and checked its price. It was 50 platinum for one!
Unbelievable… something that sold for 10,000 platinum now had only been 50 platinum back then. What tier of inflation even was this?
Draco tried a high grade one and saw that it went for 300 platinum, which was a respectable price when bought in high-quantities, but compared to the current 50,000 platinum price, it was a joke.
Draco gingerly brought out a top-grade Aether Crystal. When he saw its price, he was left speechless. It went for only 5,000 platinum!
Compared to the 'priceless' value it had in this era, this price was truly like buying bottled water. The Merchant Guild alone could buy more than 10,000 top-grade crystals with ease, which would be around 50 million platinum.
Yet, they had spent more than 70 million to buy 700 medium-grade crystals and 400 high-grade ones back then…
Draco swore to take this to his grave. If the Merchant Guild were to find out that they had overpaid so heavily, they might just duke it out with him to the death.
Seeing as selling crystals was not profitable, Draco pondered. What did he have that could sell well in the old era? He doubted anything he had would have been rare in the old era.
First, he checked the timer for the World Merchant. It was left with 22 hours and 10 minutes before it would shift to another location. Draco knew he had very little time left to perform tests and experiments.
He looked at the mounds of items behind him and gestured to it. "I want to sell all of this stuff. How much would it be?"
After all, nothing here was as valuable as his Divine Class. Even if there were Legendary items among them, he wouldn't lament the loss.
After all, he would soon be able to make them, and they would even be better than traditional legendary items. Not to mention you can't lament what you hadn't inspected yet.
The World Merchant responded.
｢World Merchant System
Calculating… please wait.｣
｢World Merchant System
The total value of all items amount to 300,000,000 platinum. Would you like to make the trade?
Draco shook his head, but selected yes. 300,000,000 platinum made him far richer than most people in the world in terms of spending money, but it was only 30% of the total amount he needed.
Draco opened his inventory and took out the only item he had on his person that was truly valuable regardless of the era. That's right, he took out his Advanced Spatial Creation Device!
When he placed it in the World Merchant to see how much it would sell for, he was astounded. The price tag was 5 million platinum for one!
In other words, to get the remaining 670 million platinum he needed to pay for the Divine Class, he would have to sell all 100 of his Advanced Spatial Creation Devices he had made plus another 30 or so of them.
With hesitation, Draco chose to do so. After selling the 100 he had in his inventory, he was blessed with 500 million platinum.
It may seem convenient, but the fact was that Draco was taking a serious loss here. In the First Player Auction, one device had sold for 4.5 billion low-grade Aether Crystals.
If one low-grade crystal was worth 1,000 platinum in the current era, he had earned 4.5 trillion platinum from just one device when converted! Compared to 5 million for one, just how much was he losing?
But could he afford to make a peep? No, Draco could not. He could only swallow it and convert it to cash as fast as possible. Once he got the Divine Class, he would teach the AI a lesson in retaliation.
Draco took out all the materials he had in his inventory. All the stuff Darnia had bought for him had been kept in his inventory, as well as hundreds of different Common and Uncommon materials that could be converted upwards with Pair Dadeni or Mjolnir.
After all, he planned to head into the Refinement God's Treasury right after he got the class. If he went there and he needed to make more devices or craft some items, how could he get raw materials?
Just like the Abyssal Trove, the Unique Quest prevented communications with those in the main plane, so he would be left with himself to acquire such materials.
Draco got down to work. With the amount of time left for the World Merchant to stay here, he could only make 132 more devices since his average craft time was 10 minutes for one of them.
He had an abundance of top-grade Aether Crystals, but the problem was that Void Stones weren't an infinite resource. The amount Draco held was around 70% of what had been in circulation.
He had used 80% of them already, and the rest were for emergencies. After all, the Advanced Spatial Creation Device had many uses that Draco planned to abuse thoroughly for his own benefit.
Draco made one device, two of them, three… ten, twenty… and finally 30 of them. He then crafted an extra 10, of which he added four to the 30 he made first.
He now had less than 5 whole Void Stones remaining, but Draco was unbothered. Riveting Nights words had reminded him of something he had lost sight of thanks to the Player Auction.
Materials were meant to be used, money was meant to be spent and items were meant to be consumed. Hoarding them for a rainy day was all fine and good, but not to the point where it stifled organic progress.
Draco ultimately acquired the 1 billion platinum he needed and felt his heart tremble with excitement. Even though he had given up all the great items in the Trove, as well as all of his most valuable creations, and the remainder of his funds, he was on the path to a Divine Class!
He then left the Trove and thanked the Unicorn fellow with a bright smile. The Unicorn smiled back awkwardly and made sure there was sufficient distance between himself and Draco.
As soon as he stepped out of the building, he re-appeared in the Training Hall, which was exactly where he had left from. With a startlingly calm expression, he called up the same old screens and rushed to the Class Up options.
He made sure to activate his General Aspect when the system scanned him, otherwise everything would have been a waste. Draco was now a proper broke bitch, but he felt rich at heart.
He chose the Abyssal Prime class immediately, and - once again - he was whisked away.