|Author: Mad Flower||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 2277 characters|
|Translator: Keissen||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1278 words|
“I’m not sure about his exact return date. However, Jade City lacks a large teleportation array for military use. They must travel to another city to utilize its array to get to the northern fortress. Typically, a round-trip takes around four to five days. If any skirmish occurs, the duration becomes unpredictable,” Kastina informed.
“Four or five days?” Yaeger mused, nodding thoughtfully. The Emperor’s absence for a few days presented an opportune window for her actions.
With Alicia shielded by [Hidden Kill], Yaeger was at ease. All she needed was to await Alicia’s return. The looming question was whether Alicia, once recovered, could overpower Richard. Yaeger’s concerns deepened. Given the brevity of Alicia’s recovery period, coupled with her limited recent combat experience in contrast to Richard, uncertainty lingered. Nonetheless, the Inheritance Jewel in Alicia’s possession might bridge the experience gap.
Lost in contemplation, Yaeger heaved a sigh. She had naively assumed the uprising would be straightforward. Now, immersed in strategizing, the weight of the task dawned on her. The magnitude of Richard’s prowess remained an enigma. Was he significantly stronger than Lili? Uncertain. Did Richard have external allies? Unknown. Any clandestine strategies? Indeterminable. It was evident that depending solely on Alicia was a perilous gamble.
If something unexpected were to occur, defeat was likely imminent. Amid her contemplation, Yaeger was interrupted by Kastina’s voice.
“Lowly slave, you’ve been so silent. Trying to act deep?” Kastina teased.
In mild irritation, Yaeger responded, “Think whatever you like,” and momentarily smacked her forehead in exasperation.
“Ouch,” Kastina winced, albeit with a hint of pleasure. Internally, she delighted, ‘That sensation… It’s oddly satisfying. If only she’d do that more often.’ She secretly hoped Yaeger would give her a few more playful smacks.
Yet, instead of indulging her, Yaeger shifted the focus back to business, “Kastina, how much funds do we currently possess?”
Looking a tad disappointed, Kastina straightened up and replied, “Considering the continuous influx of funds and our robust product exports, I can’t provide an exact figure just yet. But, we should be looking at a clear profit of about two hundred million.”
Yaeger’s eyes gleamed. The figure exceeded her expectations.
“Lowly slave, let me tell you, those outsiders are loaded! Every day, they clear out the shelves. Do they all come from wealthy families?” Kastina exclaimed with wide eyes.
The sheer amount of gold coins and, frankly, fools she had encountered was astounding. Merely glancing at the ledger and the plethora of numbers made her head spin. In just a few days, they had amassed a profit of at least 200 million. The number was almost surreal.
“We can certainly capitalize on this even more. Kastina, when you’re back, mark up the prices of our products,” Yaeger suggested, her tone filled with anticipation.
From her perspective, it was evident that influential guilds and individuals like S.K.Y. and Taurus were already in action. But as for their exact plans and maneuvers? She wasn’t concerned. She was content as long as the money continued to flow in.
“Yes! I’ll make sure of it the moment I’m back!” Kastina said, getting ready to leave.
“Don’t be hasty. I have something else to discuss with you.” Yaeger motioned for her to stay seated.
“What else is there?” Kastina asked, a hint of impatience in her voice. Lately, she had been utterly engrossed in her newfound wealth. No, it was more apt to say she reveled in the thrill of swindling. After all, accumulating such a fortune had been almost too easy.
“I’d like you to purchase a property, under your name,” Yaeger directed.
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She wasn’t particularly anxious; after all, she still had around five days to amass more wealth. And as long as she could secure that piece of land, her financial endeavors would become even more straightforward.
“Where exactly?” Kastina inquired, puzzled.
“The Imperial Auction House,” Yaeger responded with conviction.
This left Kastina momentarily speechless. After regaining her composure, she questioned, “Lowly slave, are you certain? The Imperial Auction House has been in the red for years. It’s so debt-ridden that it’s been shut for ages!”
“Of course I’m certain,” Yaeger reassured with a nod.
“Are you feeling alright?” Kastina said, moving closer to touch Yaeger’s forehead. It was a warm touch, filled with genuine concern. “No fever… Did you perhaps hit your head?”
“It’s you who might’ve taken a tumble, not me!” Yaeger playfully swatted Kastina’s hand away.
“If you’re thinking clearly, then why would you want the Imperial Auction House? Are you planning to throw money away?”
Rather than respond immediately, Yaeger took a moment to sip her tea. “Just sit and hear me out.”
Kastina obeyed, her curiosity piqued.
“Have you observed how these outsiders are frivolously spending? As if money means nothing to them?”
“Yes, they certainly don’t seem to value gold coins like we do,” Kastina remarked, nodding in agreement.
“Have you noticed them selling items and equipment to local merchants?” Yaeger probed further.
After pondering for a moment, Kastina replied, “Actually, yes. My associates did mention something along those lines. These outsiders don’t fully trust our local merchants. They prefer trading amongst themselves. However, due to the lack of a proper system, disputes frequently arise. Recently, several outsiders were detained by the city for causing disturbances.”
Recognizing where Yaeger was headed with this, Kastina’s eyes gleamed with understanding. “You want the Imperial Auction House to…”
“Exactly,” Yaeger interjected with a smile. “The outsiders are hesitant to deal with our merchants, preferring peer-to-peer trades. But with no regulations in place, they’re at risk. Why don’t we facilitate a safer environment for them?”
The fact was, players weren’t trading with merchants not out of distrust, but because they were undervalued for their goods. Making a decent profit was nearly impossible. Additionally, the game lacked a proper trading system, so players had to rely on face-to-face barter, leading to a myriad of issues.
With the introduction of an auction house, players could trade freely without the associated risks.
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“Just think about it,” Yaeger mused, “There are tens of thousands of outsiders in Jade City, and that number is only growing. If even a fraction of them use the auction house, and we take a small commission… the earnings would be astronomical.”
Kastina’s mind whirred. Each word from Yaeger echoed in her ears like a thunderclap. The reality of the potential profits sent her into a reverie. In her mind’s eye, she saw a river – not of water, but of flowing gold coins, each gleaming and jingling merrily.
“I’m going to be rich!” She exclaimed, a wild glint in her eyes. Overwhelmed by the sheer scale of it all, she impulsively grabbed Yaeger’s shoulders and gave her a vigorous shake.
Reacting instantly, Yaeger gave her a light slap, bringing her back to the present. “Focus, Kastina. We haven’t acquired it yet. No daydreaming.”
Kastina pouted, rubbing her cheek with mock pain. “Ouch! That hurt!” she exclaimed, shooting a feigned glare at Yaeger.
“Once you return, prioritize buying the auction house. But be cautious with the spending; we don’t want undue attention,” Yaeger advised.
The Imperial Auction House had been non-operational for over six months due to a lack of funds. In such dire straits, even its signage was sold off by the employees to make up for unpaid salaries. As a result, most players remained oblivious to the auction house’s very existence in Jade City. And even if they did know, the daunting task of taking on its accumulated debt would deter many. Additionally, the acquisition wasn’t solely about money. A considerable amount of favor with the Empire was needed – something Yaeger lacked, but her representative had in abundance.