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Chapter 154: Trouble
How much was 400 Nine Gates points? Ye Chong was ignorant, but Wei Xi understood clearly. The value of 400 Nine Gates points was the highest initial capital she had ever encountered! More importantly, this was a sign of recognition from the Sanctuary. Three mechs amounting to 400 Nine Gates points meant that each mech was equivalent to about more than a hundred Nine Gates points. Wei Xi did not keep up well with the Nine Gates market situation, but even she knew that some master level products could only reach this value.
If it was an elderly person, Wei Xi would not be so surprised, but the Mr Ye before her was definitely below 20 years of age.
"His occupation must be very special!" thought Wei Xi.
She remembered Ye Chong telling her about him being a skeleton carver. "Hmm, it must be because of that strange occupation of his!" Wei Xi consoled herself. As a non-combatant, she also had her own expertise, but hers was in pharmacy.
What a huge disparity! Even though she was recognized as an elite by her teachers, she understood that her pharmaceutical products would never fetch a price higher than 10 Nine Gates points.
The reality staring in her face had delivered a heavy blow to her! She smiled wryly to herself. "So there are real geniuses out there!"
Ye Chong was not aware of Wei Xi’s inner turmoil. Wei Xi gathered herself and taught Ye Chong how to use his travel bracelet, how to check his Nine Gates points and so on. Fortunately, Ye Chong had good memory and picked up the necessary skills quickly, which was a relief for Wei Xi.
After teaching the basics, Wei Xi then introduced some basic information about Nine Gates city before leaving Ye Chong.
Ye Chong finally got a better sense of Nine Gates.
In Nine Gates, there were only two types of residents - one were the people who passed the Level Three Trial but not the Level Five Trial, and the other was the Sanctuary’s people. As the storekeeper of the Blue Sandstone had told him, most of the young people here were from the Sanctuary, and Ye Chong guessed that they were probably students or something similar.
Ye Chong was now browsing through market products through his photon processor, since his materials would have to come from there. Unlike the old style found in other places of the Orbits, Nine Gates had its own virtual net, and the market trading system formed part of this virtual world. Ye Chong asked whether Mu could hack the system, but when Mu told him that the probability of being discovered was over 50 percent, Ye Chong immediately dismissed the idea. Of course, he was already surprised by the Sanctuary’s solid abilities.
He had thought that Nine Gates was only a city, and their products in the market should not be too varied, but the photon processor’s market item lists and product introductions were extensive, and Ye Chong could not help but grew interested as he scrolled through the products.
Ye Chong could not find any skeletons in the market for the moment, but he was not in a hurry. He clicked into a random list of items.
These were mineral ores, many of which Ye Chong did not recognize. He knew next to nothing in ore mineralogy and metallurgy. Fortunately, he had advice from the huge database that was Mu.
"Dual energy ore!" Mu’s flat voice suddenly turned up a notch and surprised Ye Chong. However, Ye Chong immediately realized that this was no average material.
Maltese browsed through the mineral ore section enthusiastically, to see if he could get his hands on anything interesting. As a Nine Gates Sanctuary’s mech pilot student minoring in metallurgy, he had stumbled upon an improvement in an alloy material’s formula. The Sanctuary had granted him substantial award points. Hence, he was trying to find something interesting in the market.

He scrolled through the items on the photon processor lazily. While the ores offered were not bad, and some were even rare, they were still what the Sanctuary could provide for him, and not worth his points. He shook his head in a sigh. Why wasn’t there anything that was worth his attention?
These mineral ores were mostly dug up by some detainees of good quality. However, their education system was far inferior to the internal information of the Sanctuary. Nonetheless, their rich experience allowed them to classify the ores with great accuracy. There were many ores that they had not seen before, but experience and instinct would urge them to keep the ores and sell them at a higher price. Maltese was looking for ores like these. Of course, some of the vendors were only selling because they were in urgent need of the points.
No matter the circumstances, it was rare to find ores like these. Maltese had only succeeded in finding a treasure like this once, which turned out to be a fist-sized core mineral. His success in improving the alloy formula was mainly due to the core mineral. This was what encouraged Maltese in his "quest" for such hidden treasures. The process was one that tested his patience, but Maltese believed he did not lack that particular quality.
Suddenly, Maltese’s eyes glowed brightly. An inconspicuous looking gray mineral ore came into his line of sight. Maltese’s right hand trembled. Heavens! Was that not a dual energy ore? This was probably one of the top 100 rare minerals in the known universe! Maltese’s brain nearly short circuited. Even with the Sanctuary’s huge strength and influence, he had never seen a dual energy ore! After a deep breath, Maltese forced himself to calm down, but the effort was largely wasted.
He reached out with his trembling right hand and made to purchase, but that dual energy ore suddenly vanished from the item list!
Maltese froze, and his face abruptly twisted. He searched through the item list like a mad person, but the dual energy ore was gone without a trace!
For a whole half hour, Maltese searched for the vanished dual energy ore. He had browsed through all the mineral ores, but still could not find it! Maltese finally sagged into his seat, his heart filled with great regret. Why did he not act faster? If he had acted just a little faster, just a little, that dual energy ore would be his!
Just as Maltese was nearly going crazy from his depression, Ye Chong was counting his remaining points. That dual energy ore had cost him an unexpected 200 points! In the blink of an eye, his points had halved in amount.
The miner of the dual energy ore had found that the ore emitted strong energy waves, but did not recognize it. After consulting various experts among the detainees, none of them knew about the ore. He realized that the ore was a rare mineral, but had to sell it since he was in desperate need of points. He priced it at a high 200 points, thinking that if he could not sell it, he would then keep it for his own research. If he could sell it, then he would also earn a good sum.
200 points was equivalent to about 40 Eden mechs! Even though Ye Chong knew the ore was valuable, he was still pained by the large expense!
Mu hastened Ye Chong to quickly scroll through the item list as he explained, "Dual energy ores can be mixed into alloys, resulting in an alloy with enhanced resistance against energy based weapons like laser beams! They’re a must for building excellent mech shields. However, they are very rare, and is one of the most valuable minerals in the universe."
Mu’s explanation was a great relief to Ye Chong!
"Stop, Ye!" Mu spoke again.
Maltese may had minored in metallurgy, but he was an outstanding mech pilot, and had good control over his emotions, in which he quickly ended his emotional agitation. He consoled himself, gathered his emotions and restarted his long "quest" for hidden treasures. The item list was constantly refreshing, and new products could always surface at any moment.
Monocrystalline aluminite? Maltese brightened up. Could this be Heaven’s way of compensating for his earlier missed opportunity with the dual energy ore? Monocrystalline aluminite may not be as precious as dual energy ore, but it was still a very rare mineral. However, Maltese had seen it before in the Sanctuary’s mineral museum. It was a small, clear piece of crystal, much like jewellery.
This particular piece of monocrystalline aluminite looked blemished on the outside, with only a small corner uncovered in transparent crystalline form. Maltese grew excited. Being proficient in mineralogy, he knew that the outside surface was only an associated mineral. Once the mineral layer on the surface was removed, the inside would be clear as crystal. Based on the mass, this piece was at least ten times larger than the one on display in the school mineral museum!
This was an extremely rare piece of large monocrystalline aluminite!
Maltese’s eyes shone brightly, overjoyed, and could not help but laugh out loud, "Surely no one will act before me …"
Before he could finish the sentence, the monocrystalline aluminite on the photon processor suddenly vanished! Maltese’s laughter was cut short abruptly. His eyes bulged out and the veins around his temples throbbed. His expression froze, and he finally gave up, falling backwards in outrage, blood spraying out of his mouth!
Twice he was robbed, and twice he had lost such precious mineral ores. Even if Maltese had good mental endurance, he could no longer suppress the fiery rage in his heart. After vomiting that mouthful of blood, he fell down backwards like a rod.
At the same time, the oblivious Ye Chong was taking in information from Mu. "Monocrystalline aluminite is also a precious mineral, and can enhance an alloy’s resilience, improving its physical properties. The most special part about it is that it could enhance an alloy’s performance under high temperatures, and so it’s a good material for mech engines!"
Ye Chong and Mu conversed as usual, oblivious to the person whom they had exasperated until he fainted! Even if Ye Chong knew, he would not feel guilty, but instead remind himself that he must always act fast! This person would be a living example for not following that rule!
Under Mu’s guidance, Ye Chong bought a few more mineral ores. While they were not as precious as the earlier one, they were still rare minerals!
However, Ye Chong quickly realized a very serious problem. His and Mu’s lavish spending had quickly exhausted all 400 points! Ye Chong even suspected that Mu had calculated his points and picked the minerals accordingly. He now had no points left, his account as barren as it had been when he first landed in Nine Gates!
Even if he could find any skeletons, he could no longer afford to buy them now!

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