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Chapter 554 – The Thousand Schemes Of Black-hearted Princess

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Author: Mad Flower Original Source: SFACG
Translator: Keissen English Source: Re:Library

“Ma-Magic crystal. We have an exceptionally rare and precious [Black Magic Crystal] here!” A surprised expression crossed the face of a slim appraiser in his mid-thirties with closely cropped hair. Yet, his tone carried a subtle note of exaggeration. It was almost as though he was putting on a performance.

Yaeger shot the appraiser a meaningful glance before turning her attention to the case. Inside lay ten black crystals, varying in size from as large as hen’s eggs to as small as quail eggs and even fingernails. Secured at the case’s base, each crystal faintly radiated a pure magical essence.

“Indeed, these are genuine black magic crystals!” exclaimed another appraiser after a thorough ten-second examination.

“Yes, I never anticipated something of this value!” chimed in a nearby appraiser.

“Has anyone actually seen these before?” questioned the appraiser next to Yaeger, skepticism in his voice.

“I haven’t,” one replied.
“Neither have I,” echoed another, both responses synchronous.

“Then how can you be sure these are Black Magic Crystals?” he pressed further.

“It’s all down to expertise. We’re seasoned professionals; we recognize such things instantly.”
“Exactly, exactly.”

Their tones were filled with pride, a testament to their confidence in their appraisal skills.

“I’ve encountered Black Magic Crystals before,” declared the thin appraiser, extracting a crystal from the case and examining it with closed eyes. “The essence of this magic is both pure and intense—undeniable! I stake my decade of experience on it!”

“What nonsense. Why would I bother auctioning them if they weren’t genuine Black Magic Crystals?” countered the obese middle-aged man with indifference.

“Oh, that’s not what we meant. It’s simply force of habit,” stammered the thin appraiser.

“Forget it. Try to auction these off tonight—I need the money urgently!” The man crossed his arms, his impatience evident in his tone.

“Absolutely, without fail!” promised the thin appraiser eagerly. At that moment, beads of sweat formed on his forehead.

“Let’s each take a turn appraising this! Once verified, we’ll put it up for auction by noon!” Upon hearing this, each person stepped forward to meticulously examine the crystals.

Meanwhile, the obese middle-aged man crossed his arms and tapped his foot rhythmically, his expression one of evident impatience.

Minutes ticked by slowly.

“All clear!”
“Definitely authentic.”
“The magic essence is rich and pure—undeniably genuine.”

The appraisers unanimously confirmed the authenticity.

“In that case, I’ll begin…” The thin appraiser quickly interjected, visibly relieved.

He was cut off before he could complete his sentence.

“Hold on a moment.” Yaeger swiftly picked up an egg-sized black crystal from the table. “I need to verify this myself.”

“Who are you?” demanded the obese middle-aged man, his eyebrows knitting together in suspicion.

“I’m an executive of this auction house. You can refer to me as… Flower.” Yaeger quickly invented a name on the spot.

“Miss Flower, then? Please make it quick; I don’t have all day,” the man said impatiently.

Yaeger nodded, grasped the black crystal in her hand, and closed her eyes as if deeply sensing the magic essence it contained. Unnoticed by the onlookers, a tiny green flame flickered briefly in her hand before it seeped into the crystal.

Time seemed to slow down. Within moments, Yaeger opened her eyes and stated calmly.

“Do you think I’m a fool? I’m the scammer here; no one scams me.”

At her words, the room fell into stunned silence. Yet, two individuals wore odd expressions amidst the confusion.

The pupils of the obese middle-aged man narrowed as he clenched and shook his fists. Sweat drenched the thin appraiser; his face turned pale, his eyes trembled, and his legs quivered like the strings of an instrument.

“What… What do you mean?” he stammered.

“Are you asserting that these are genuine Black Magic Crystals?” Yaeger’s piercing gaze made the thin appraiser visibly shudder. It felt as though a sharp blade had pierced his heart, causing such agony that it seemed his brain might burst.

“Why would you say such a thing, Miss Flower?” interjected the obese middle-aged man.

“Is this crystal truly rare and valuable?” Yaeger ignored him, her stare intensifying as she questioned the thin appraiser.

“Yes, it is indeed a Black Magic Crystal—very rare and valuable!” he confirmed, avoiding Yaeger’s gaze.

“Very well. There will be consequences for this,” said Yaeger, her expression turning grim.

“Miss Flower, what is the problem?” The obese man asked, feeling a surge of anxiety and a bad premonition.

As he spoke, it was as if a battering ram had slammed into his stomach. He was hurled across the room, crashing into a sturdy wall, then slid down, rendered unconscious.

Yaeger drew back her leg and fixed her gaze on the thin appraiser attempting to flee. “Kneel,” she commanded. Her voice wasn’t loud, yet it thundered in his ears, shaking him to his very core.

With a thud, he dropped to his knees.

“Please, spare me!”

The other appraisers at the scene were bewildered, unsure of what was unfolding.

“Who put you up to this?” Yaeger asked emotionlessly.

“I… I’m not sure. I was just paid by him!” The thin appraiser nervously pointed at the unconscious obese man.

“Have any of you also taken bribes?” Yaeger’s penetrating gaze turned toward the other appraisers.

Upon hearing this, they quickly grasped the situation and vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

“So, you’re incompetent,” Yaeger remarked. “Fooled by something so elementary, it seems you’ve learned nothing over the years.”

At her words, a wave of embarrassment mixed with anger colored everyone’s faces. Even now, they were unable to discern the flaw in the crystals.

“Yet, it’s not entirely your fault,” Yaeger continued. “These counterfeit crystals are skillfully crafted, even containing a trace of the original’s aura—easy to mistake for the genuine article. Still, the Magic Essence in this crystal is obviously impure and contaminated. If you failed to detect that, I must wonder if your certifications were bought cheaply under some bridge.”

Silence fell over the appraisal room as everyone wore a bitter expression. The feeling of their expertise being dismissed was profoundly humiliating.

“Reflect on this mistake,” Yaeger instructed calmly. “Should it occur again, the consequences will be severe.”

With mixed emotions, everyone nodded in acknowledgment.

Yaeger, ignoring their reactions, hauled both the obese man and the paralyzed thin appraiser into the break room. She intended to extract information from them through interrogation.

Meanwhile, in the VIP lounge adjacent to the main lobby.

“Your Excellency, here is your Level Six VIP Amethyst-Gold Card. It entitles you to a nine percent discount on transactions.” A staff member respectfully presented the exquisitely crafted Amethyst-Gold Card.
“Thank you,” Taurus said, accepting the card with a nod.

“If there’s nothing more, I shall take my leave,” said the staff member.
“Of course.”

Once the staff member had departed, Taurus pocketed the card.

“Why does this remind me of a bank?” S.K.Y., breaking his silence, finally spoke up.

“What exactly do you mean?”

“It’s just that this VIP system seems akin to banks issuing credit cards,” S.K.Y. remarked, shaking his head.

“Now that you’ve mentioned it, there are similarities. However, it’s still quite beneficial. Just by spending five million, I’ve secured a nine percent discount. It’s a fantastic deal. Plus, it grants me free access to all regularly scheduled auctions.”

Normally, one would have to buy an entrance ticket to attend these auctions. Taurus added with a note of pride.

“Indeed,” S.K.Y. agreed, adjusting his imaginary gold-rimmed glasses. “Given our resource needs, any discount is beneficial.”

“Exactly. The savings allow us to procure even more resources. Moreover, once my spending reaches fifty million, I’ll upgrade to a level seven VIP, which bumps the discount up to twelve percent. That’s truly remarkable!”

Taurus, visibly excited, slapped his thigh as he spoke.

“Additionally, Young Master Zhang, the booklet states that loading one million onto the card permanently reserves a VIP seat in the auction house, ensuring you never miss an auction.” S.K.Y., examining the elegant VIP booklet in his hands, remarked.

“Let me take a look.”

“Of course.” S.K.Y. passed the booklet to him.

Taurus studied it carefully and noted, “Indeed, and it also grants us a monthly right of priority purchase.”

“Priority purchase rights?” S.K.Y. queried, puzzled.

“It means we can secure items we want by paying a reasonable amount before the auction officially starts.”

“I understand. That certainly is a significant privilege.”

“The issue is, I’m uncertain about the frequency of auctions each month. If they only occur once, investing a million might not be justified,” Taurus observed.

Though undoubtedly wealthy, Taurus was far from a spendthrift. He believed in investing every penny towards enhancing his competitiveness.

“I’ll find out,” declared S.K.Y., rising to leave the VIP lounge. Returning after two minutes, S.K.Y. sat back down and faced Taurus. “Young Master Zhang, I have the information. The Imperial Auction House conducts regular auctions three to four times a month, with impromptu auctions occurring sporadically every few days.”

“That’s an excellent deal!” exclaimed Taurus, slapping his thigh and deciding to top up the card with another million.

They were quite eager to make that expenditure. Indeed, they derived pleasure from it. Yet, should they discover that this was all a scheme orchestrated by the Black-hearted Princess, they might well be shocked to their core.

Similar scenarios were unfolding in other VIP lounges across the first floor. Groups of affluent individuals became VIPs, continually funneling money into the auction house.

In her third-floor office, Kastina lounged on a plush sofa, report in her left hand and a cup of tea in her right. As she sipped her tea, realization dawned, and she muttered, “That lowly slave certainly knows how to generate revenue.”

She genuinely admired Yaeger for this.

“At underground auctions, commission rates range from sixteen to twenty percent. Ours is only fifteen, clearly lower by comparison. With our VIP system, these rates will only decrease. Yet, paradoxically, we stand to earn more this way.”

Kastina, having devised numerous strategies, realized that less apparent income on paper translated to greater actual earnings—a remarkable outcome.

“My lowly slave is a born schemer.”

At that moment, the scheming [Princess] was preparing to interrogate the obese man.

“So, you’re awake.”


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