321 Evergreen Village 2
Draco, Clarent, and Qiong Qi were startled by Vishad's question. Asking if they were here for the inheritance of their ancestor? What was that? Who even was their supreme ancestor?
Draco's face became dark as his speculations were proving to be right. However, he still wanted to learn more before comprehending what this was all about.
"In a manner of sorts. I recently got admission to this small world from the outside and I am unclear about the laws and rules here. I would be very grateful if you could enlighten me." Draco requested humbly.
Vishad's eyes sharpened. "Interested in knowing our rules and laws, huh? I can safely inform you that looting the goods of vendors is definitely a crime deserving of punishment."
Hearing this, Draco and the two idiots wore awkward expressions. How could he bring this matter up? It was something they had done in the folly of their youth, and the memory of it had been pushed to the back of their minds.
Wasn't he being a bit too overdramatic mentioning this? Even the owners themselves had not stopped them, so it wasn't like it was a crime, right?
If Vishad could hear their thoughts, it was likely that he would just forgo all forms of decorum and beat them to death. Even in the face to criticism, they weren't thinking about how to make amends, but rather that he was too uptight.
"But that is a matter for another time. As for the rules here, the truth is… there are a few." Vishad said with a slight huff.
"There are 99 villages in the inner section of this small world, each autonomous from the others with its own ruler. Of course, we often correspond on many matters, so it isn't like there are any disputes between us."
Vishad paused here for a second before continuing. "However, there is great competition between us all. After all, each village is trying to nurture the candidate to pass the inheritance test in the core section!"
These words resounded in Draco's head. His expression became darker and darker as Vishad further tread upon a path he didn't want to hear but had to.
"The first village to do so would become the undisputed leader of all others, the true successor of our Supreme Ancestor, the Refinement God."
Draco interrupted him here. "So you are all blood descendants of the Refinement God? Or vassals he cultivated while he was alive?"
Vishad gazed into Draco's eyes and chuckled. "A bit of both really. Maybe when this world was still young, there were boundaries like that, but after centuries of inter-breeding, the lines have been blurred."
Draco nodded in agreement. Once two different species or races mated for a very long period, genetics would blend to the point where the distinction would be no longer possible to discern.
This was why nobles and royal lineages often resorted to in-breeding, as they feared their distinctive traits would be ruined or suppressed by inter-mixing with others.
"Every millennium, the gateway to the outside world is opened for a short period of 1 year. This allows an outsider or a group of them to enter and participate in the inheritance test." Vishad explained slowly.
Draco was stunned by this, hurriedly inquiring: "Wait, you mean to say that my presence here was not by fluke, but by intention?"
Vishad chuckled lightly. "But of course. It couldn't be that you thought this was a one-off chance, right?"
"This is a small world personally refined by a Semi-Origin God, with small specks of Origin Energy floating about. It can't be that you think an entrance would coincidentally open at such a time, right?"
"How could the most important small world of a Semi-Origin God be so easy to enter? If the Supreme Ancestor didn't want anyone to enter, no one below the Rank of Origin God would be able to even detect this world, much less enter it."
Draco calmed down as he followed and agreed with this train of logic. He had idly speculated that the Refinement God was a Semi-Origin God, and it turned out that he had been right.
Not only that, but the Refinement God wished to gain an inheritor for his legacy. That was understandable though. From what Draco had learned about the great conflict in the old era, many gods had perished like weeds.
A non-combat Semi-Origin God like the Refinement God must have known that he would soon enter the crossfire. As such, he had quickly constructed a realm to hold all his possessions as well as taking the time to set up a test.
Then, after placing his descendants and vassals in here to live in safety, he allowed the world he built to open periodically for outsiders to enter in order to broaden the scope of candidates.
After all, what the fuck was the point of leaving an inheritance test if there weren't enough candidates, which also meant no one would be able to succeed you?
Of course, this was all Draco's speculation based on the bits and pieces he knew, but he was 90% confident that this was the truth. Draco might not have been a Semi-Origin God, but he had once been a powerhouse.
When a person plateaued in their journey to the top, they began to look elsewhere for accomplishment, like successors, apprentices, family, and whatnot.
Draco had been too busy trying to kill Eva back then that neither of them had the time to do so, but the Five Generals plus the Three Pinnacles all had their own apprentices, and so did Gentle Flower as well as Noble Soul.
This was the basis for his guess.
"So, what is the test about?" Draco asked solemnly.
Vishad stopped to ponder before elaborating. "In truth, it is nothing complex. One must prove themselves to be a supreme entity in the field of Tradeskills!"
Draco's heart sunk to his stomach. Vishad had just given conformation to the speculation he held but feared to acknowledge.
In truth, Draco was able to guess this because of what he saw in the marketplace, as well as some other facts that merged with this.
First was the fact that the Refinement God was a non-combat type God, meaning that he focused on Tradeskills. That was why this small world was full of materials, but not any weapons or the like.
Why would the inheritance of such a person be about combat?
Second was the fact that there were no enemies for the people of this world. Naturally, the Refinement God was not going to artificially create nemeses for his Descendants and vassals.
Wouldn't it be a colossal joke if his heritage was wiped out by those enemies and this small world faded out of existence?
Third was the quality of materials. Why would they need to peddle raw materials among each other but not finished goods? When you went to the mall, did you go around buying each screw for your PS4 or did you buy the finished thing?
If materials were being sold, somebody had to have the skills to process it into a finished product ready for consumption. If these materials are being peddled on a large scale to average consumers, didn't this mean that those consumers had the skills to do so?
When Draco combined these three points, his heart had been chilled. As descendants of a Semi-Origin God of a Tradeskill or of all Tradeskills, how could he easily compete with the natives?
Not only that, but if the most basic Rank of material being sold about was the Epic Rank, didn't that mean that almost everyone here was at least Master Rank?
Along with that, there were so many Legendary materials being peddled, so there must be many Grandmasters here as well. Since the Divine materials were the consumable type, it was likely that no Progenitor of any Tradeskill existed.
Suddenly, Draco's expression changed as his mind reached another conclusion.
"How many Grandmasters can there be for one Tradeskill?" he asked hurriedly.
Vishad looked at him like he was gazing at an idiot. "Why should there be a limit on the number of Grandmasters for a Tradeskill?"
Draco's heart sank further, coiling into his intestines. He had almost forgotten a key fact when he was speculating the details of the inheritance competition, which was the fact that this was a Unique Quest!
What was special about Unique Quests? It was that they were one-off instanced quests that existed in a separate subroutine that did not even work with the original subroutine.
Or, one could say that Draco had entered a separate dimension or even a parallel timeline. Once he left, everything here would be destroyed and nothing would reflect on the main game minus what he took out.
Since this instance was removed from the main game, many limitations would be removed as well! For one, the number of Grandmasters was no longer limited by the system!
Well, this mechanic existed to create a watershed for Tradeskill crafters, and also limit the amount of top-level masters in the world. Why would such a mechanic be relevant in a one-off instance about Tradeskills?
Draco breathed out deeply. So, not only was almost every person in the inner section a skilled crafter, but even many of them had reached Grandmaster Rank in their Tradeskills.
The Refinement God's Treasury surely lived up to its name as a Divine Unique Quest. A Unique Quest was already hard enough, but this one was of the highest Rank the game possessed, meaning that this one would be of the highest difficulty as well.
Not only would a player need to have enough strength to clear three Area Zones full of Rank 2 monsters within 1 year, but with whatever time they had left, they must compete against a horde of Master Rank and Grandmaster Rank Tradeskill crafters for the inheritance.
Of course, there was no requirement to specifically clear those Area Zones. One could easily save time and bypass them, entering the inner section straightaway.
But the detriment would be that all those resources would be lost. All the fruits, herbs and livestock of the various Ranks would be left behind, and the player would only acquire the inheritance, assuming they even qualified for it.
Draco was thankful for having a Divine Class and Divine skills like Demon Form and Devil Form. Without them, the time it would have taken to clear all three zones wouldn't have been just 10 or so days, but far longer.
Draco leaned back into his seat and sighed deeply. He hadn't even started with the competition for the inheritance, yet he felt incomparably exhausted.
The Flora and Fauna Quest had been hard, but his luck was good. He had unlocked his bloodline, allowing him to skip the arduous part of the quest and jump straight to the end game after killing King when that fellow was still weak.
For this quest, Draco had no such luxuries. Nothing he possessed could help him suppress a huge group of Grandmasters when the competition began.
Pair Dadeni and Mjolnir only allowed him to cut away his cost of production, they didn't significantly increase his success rate or skill. Even though Draco had endless confidence in his own skill and talent, there was too big of a gap.
Sure, he had 15 years of experience from the previous timeline, but most of these fellows practiced Tradeskills right from when they could walk. The 15 years he had posed no advantage, maybe only evening the playing field.
What was even worse was the fact that the people here probably trained day and night to get the inheritance, and on top of that, it was likely that after centuries of trying, their techniques had surpassed the outside world.
One shouldn't forget, every millennium in the main plane heralded the Great War, meaning that many heritages and techniques would be lost.
Unlike the main plane, these descendants had all their heritages from the day they were put in here, and if Draco was correct, they might even have techniques from the old era intact.
How was he supposed to cope with this?