Chapter 1558: 3-star Merchant
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
Chapter 1558 – 3-star Merchant
The City Lord’s Mansion in Zero Wing City was located in the heart of the city. Though, the building resembled more of a mountain, rather than a mansion. Tall walls surrounded the mansion. The structure was also further protected by a powerful magic array, which only allowed entry through the front entrance.
Level 50, Tier 2 NPC guards were stationed the City Lord’s Mansion’s entrance. The mansion’s magic array also reinforced these NPC guards’ strength. At this stage of the game, it wouldn’t matter how many players tried to break into the City Lord’s Mansion; these NPC guards would slaughter every one of them without fail.
When Shi Feng and Youlan reached the City Lord’s Mansion’s first-floor hall, they were greeted by the sight of hundreds of loitering NPC merchants.
Youlan was stunned by the scene.
Although she did not have a very clear understanding of NPC merchants, she knew that these NPCs were similar wandering merchants who visited Guild Towns. Only, these NPC merchants were more stable and wouldn’t abruptly appear one day and disappear the next. They allowed players to obtain a steady supply of rare items.
Normally, a town was considered impressive if 20 or 30 wandering merchants visited it at a single time. Meanwhile, the important towns Underworld developed only had around 40 wandering merchants present in them at any one time.
Yet, Zero Wing City had hundreds of these NPCs…
However, what Youlan did not know was that the NPC merchants present were only a small portion of those who had come to discuss business with Zero Wing City. Before this, Aqua Rose had rejected all 1-star NPC Merchants and sent them on their way. Now, the merchants in the City Lord’s Mansion were only 2- and 3-star NPC Merchants.
“Guild Leader, you’re finally here.” Aqua Rose could not help but breathe a sigh of relief when she saw Shi Feng enter the hall. “If you came any later, the two 3-star NPC Merchants would’ve left already.”
“What are their conditions to conduct business in the city?” Shi Feng asked.
Every NPC merchant planning to do business in a Guild City had their own conditions. They would not set up their businesses in the city for nothing. Whether a Guild could keep these NPC Merchants or not would depend on a Guild’s capabilities to fulfill these NPCs demands.
“One of them wants full tax exemption and their Shop to be located on the same street as the City Lord’s Mansion. The other one has requested a Large Warehouse. This NPC has also asked for his Shop to be located on the same street as the City Lord’s Mansion,” Aqua Rose reported.
“Their asking price sure is ruthless.” Shi Feng could not help his frown.
The City Lord’s Mansion was in the heart of the city. The amount of land available in the area was extremely limited. Meanwhile, NPC merchants’ Shops took up a lot of space, and the land sold to these merchants couldn’t be reclaimed. This meant that he would have to give away two valuable plots of land for free, permanently.
As for taxes, they were an important source of income for the city. NPC merchants needed to play these fees to the Guild every month, and the amount was based on the Shop’s rank. It was simply absurd to ask for full tax exemption.
There was even less need to mention the Warehouse. Constructing a Small Warehouse would already cost 3,000 Gold. A Large Warehouse would cost at least 10,000 Gold. However, the cost of construction was not the main issue. The crucial point was the amount of land the Warehouse would take up. Moreover, the Warehouse couldn’t be constructed too far from the Shop, which meant that the Warehouse would also have to occupy the same area as the City Lord’s Mansion.
He had to admit that the two 3-star NPC Merchants’ asking prices were fraudulent.
“Is there no room for negotiation?” Shi Feng asked.
In God’s Domain, NPCs with higher statuses would have higher intellects. Fortunately, it wasn’t entirely impossible to convince NPC merchants to change their conditions.
“I’ve tried talking to them multiple times, but both NPCs are dead set on their requirements.” Aqua Rose felt helpless about this situation. She had tried her best to negotiate for better conditions, but the NPC merchants were quite determined and had remained unfazed.
Suddenly, Youlan asked, “Can you let me give it a try?”
“You?” Aqua Rose glanced at the cloaked woman beside Shi Feng. The woman had felt familiar, and upon closer inspection, she recognized Youlan. Curiously, she asked, “Aren’t you the manager for Underworld’s trading firms? Why are you here?”
As far as she could remember, Youlan had always been a very capable woman. Not only had she managed Overwhelming Smile’s trading firm until it nearly rivaled the Candlelight Trading Firm, but she also wielded considerable combat power.
“I invited her here. Youlan is now a member of our Guild,” Shi Feng explained.
The corners of Aqua Rose’s mouth twitched slightly as she turned to Shi Feng with an incredulous gaze.
Youlan had been close to becoming one of Underworld’s upper echelons. Underworld, which was an extraordinary organization that had more strength and growth potential than most first-rate Guilds. The organization also had ample funding. As long as the organization nurtured enough experts, it could definitely rival super-first-rate Guilds in the future.
Yet, rather than remain as an upper echelon in a future super-first-rate Guild, Youlan had actually joined Zero Wing, which was currently besieged by numerous powerful enemies.
Aqua Rose had no idea what method Shi Feng had used to lure Youlan to Zero Wing.
Following which, Shi Feng approved Youlan’s suggestion. “Alright, I’ll leave this matter to you.”
In any case, there was no harm in trying.
Currently, Zero Wing City’s background was minimal. Attracting two 3-star NPC Merchants had been enough of a surprise already. It was only natural that these NPC merchants would have significant demands.
“Mhm. I’ll try my best.” Youlan nodded. She then turned to Aqua Rose and asked, “May I borrow the information you have on Zero Wing City?”
“This…” Aqua Rose hesitated at Youlan’s request.
Zero Wing City’s information was top secret in the Guild. Others shouldn’t so easily be given access.
“It’s fine; let her see it. In any case, she is already a core member of the Guild. Also, this information can’t be kept a secret forever,” Shi Feng said.
Now that Zero Wing City was complete, it was only a matter of time before information leaked to the public. It wouldn’t really matter if Youlan knew the city’s details.
Since Shi Feng had agreed, Aqua Rose then sent Youlan the information she had on Zero Wing City.
After reading the information for some time, Youlan closed the display, took a deep breath, and entered the reception room where the two 3-star NPC Merchants sat to negotiate.
Meanwhile, Shi Feng began to select the 2-star NPC Merchants that the city needed.
NPC merchants sold a large variety of items, and some NPCs were bound to sell similar items. In that case, he had to choose the NPC merchant with the lower conditions and disregard the NPC merchants with higher conditions that sold the same items. After all, Zero Wing City had limited space. A large amount of land was still needed to build other Advanced Constructions. He could not waste too much land on these NPC merchants.
After ten minutes of reading through the list, Shi Feng selected 63 2-star NPC Merchants. Not only did these NPC merchants sell unique items with very few similarities, but their demands were also fairly reasonable. They were also willing to set their Shops up in various parts of the city, which helped to alleviate the issue of too many crowds in a single area.
After Shi Feng and Aqua Rose decided the Shop locations for every 2-star NPC Merchant, Youlan emerged from the reception room.
“Guild Leader, here are the two NPCs’ conditions,” Youlan said. She then handed Shi Feng two contracts.
“What? They actually…” When Aqua Rose saw the new conditions on the contracts, she was astonished.
She could not believe that the two stubborn NPCs, who had refused to budge no matter how she had tried to persuade them, had actually given in.
Moreover, their conditions had loosened quite a bit. Although their demands regarding the location of their Shops hadn’t changed, the NPC that had demanded full tax exemption now only wanted a 50% tax break, whereas the NPC that originally wanted a Large Warehouse had now settled for a Small Warehouse.
“I’ve tried to convince them to lower their conditions as much as possible, but both of these merchants think that Zero Wing City lacks a competitive edge, so they refuse to relent fully,” Youlan said in embarrassment.
“Youlan, do you have the merchant subclass?” Aqua Rose suddenly realized a possibility. If Youlan were a merchant, she might have the ability to obtain these results. In that case, though, Youlan would have to be a relatively high-ranked merchant as the 1-star Merchant players she had asked for help previously had failed.
“Mhm. I just got promoted to a 3-star Merchant.” Youlan nodded.
“A 3-star Merchant?” Youlan’s reply astounded Aqua Rose. Now, she was even more confused as to how Shi Feng had roped Youlan into Zero Wing.
Even the strongest merchant in Zero Wing was still some ways away from becoming a 2-star Merchant. Only Super Guilds likely had 2-star Merchants at this stage of the game. Meanwhile, the higher a merchant players’ star-rank was, the stronger their negotiation ability would be with NPCs. With a high-rank merchant player, a Guild could reduce prices when paying the system management fees for Shops. Whether it was the development of a Guild or a trading firm, a high-rank merchant would be a powerful asset.
“Guild Leader, you really are amazing. You actually poached a 3-star Merchant from Underworld. If Underworld finds out about this, they would definitely fight us for her,” Aqua Rose whispered to Shi Feng.
But what Aqua Rose didn’t know was that Underworld wouldn’t be the only ones looking for trouble. Even the Blackwater Corporation, which currently backed Underworld, would be enraged.
Just as Shi Feng was about to sign the contract for the two 3-star NPC Merchants, the sound of a system announcement reached his ears.
Star-Moon Kingdom Region System Announcement: Congratulations to Heaven’s Burial for successfully capturing the Orc Empire’s Ancient Rock City! Rewarding 50,000 Guild Popularity, 100,000 Guild Honor Points, and 150 Guild Influence in Star-Moon Kingdom.