Now, the first problem he faced was actually about money. He knew next to nothing about ways to make more money. If it was just him alone, he would have acted with less worries; however, with so many with him, it was just not feasible to use more extreme methods.
Ye Chong turned to Sang Fan and asked, "Any lavagold weapons?"
Sang Fan immediately responded, "Only a lavagold dagger."
"Hand it over." Ye Chong reached out his hand, and Sang Fan quickly released the dagger secured on his thigh and placed it in Ye Chong’s hand. Sang Fan’s dagger was made by him, the sheathe made out of tough steelbat skin, simple and practical.
Hai Lian looked at the inconspicuous weapon with interest. Lavahold dagger? What a curious name.
Ye Chong took the dagger and headed towards one of the traditional weapons stores. The others quickly adjusted their formation accordingly, keeping Ye Chong at the center as he walked towards the store.
The discipline showed by the small group gathered a few interested glances, some of them with fear.
As Ye Chong entered the traditional weapons store, the storekeeper noticed the large group and greeted them warmly, anticipating good business.
The storekeeper smiled widely at Ye Chong as he said, "How can I help you, sir? Please have a look around, if you see anything of interest, feel free to give them a try. If you need any special weapons, our store offers custom build services. Our main weapons craftsmith is Duo Lanmen, with the title Strange. He’s well suited for making more unique weapons."
Hai Lian could not help but be surprised. He never imagined that a small store like this would have a weapons craftsmith with the Strange title. A weapons craftsmith with a title was much coveted by any powerful organization. The title denoted the specialization in their work. Duo Lanmen, for example, with the title Strange, would be specialized in unique weapons.
Hai Lian’s surprise pleased the storekeeper. Duo Lanmen was his store’s main star. He would make the same introduction to every new customer, and their look of surprise was something he enjoyed very much.
However, seeing the rest of the group unmoved, the storekeeper guessed that they must have been seasoned veterans who would not be impressed by the normal things he had on display. On the other hand, he also knew that this kind of customers were usually the ones who would spend more. Perhaps he had a huge opportunity here. Just when he was about to show them the best products from his store, the leader spoke.
"Do you buy weapons here?" The calm voice came from Ye Chong.
The storekeeper paused. They were not here to purchase anything. He was heavily disappointed, but kept the smile on his face as he said, "Of course we do, what would you be selling, sir? Please give me a moment, for your reassurance, all authentication and valuation in this store is carried out by the weapons craftsmith Duo Lanmen himself. Will this be agreeable to you?"
The group seemed dodgy to him. Best if he let Duo Lanmen to inspect whatever they had to sell, since no one would actually doubt the decision of a weapons craftsmith with a title.
Ye Chong nodded and said, "Alright." He then turned his attention to the weapons on display in the store.
They were all unpopular or traditional weapons, and came in all types and shapes. It was definitely an eye-opener for him. Sang Fan and the rest were even more impressed. However, even in this store, they still kept their vigilance, with their formation unbroken. Their lives in Archipelago had taught them to never let their
A while later, a middle-aged man came out from a deeper part of the store. He was simply dressed and looked gaunt, with a thin face. However, his eyes sparkled with life, and his hands were broad and powerful, covered with calluses.
The storekeeper introduced, "This is the craftsmith, Duo Lanmen. Old Duo, this customer wants to sell a weapon, please have a look."
Duo Lanmen nodded, and turned to Ye Chong. "Oh, what would you like to sell, young man?"
Ye Chong nodded in greeting and pulled out the lavagold dagger in his hand. "This one."
Duo Lanmen took the dagger, but did not unsheathe it immediately. Instead, he studied the sheath closely, and after a long moment, asked in confusion, "What is this sheath made of, I wonder?"
Ye Chong replied, "The skin of a kind of bird, called steelbat."
Duo Lanmen rubbed the sheath with his right hand and praised, "Tough but resilient, dark and practical. Excellent." The storekeeper immediately felt much happier. Just by the dagger’s sheath made of animal hide that Duo Lanmen had never even seen before, the weapon was gold. Old Duo had high standards, and would rarely compliment.
Duo Lanmen suddenly unsheathed the dagger, with a flash of gold from the lavagold blade.
"Lavagold!" Duo Lanmen’s astonished declaration came in a trembling voice.
Lavagold’s beauty was apparent no matter where it was. The dagger was entirely covered in gold, shining like molten gold.
"What a pity …" Duo Lanmen muttered expressively.
"What?" The storekeeper could not help but ask, and everyone directed their attention to Duo Lanmen.
Duo Lanmen explained plainly, "I don’t know which prodigal son did this, such a waste of material. The dagger’s design is unremarkable, entirely unsuited to be made with lavagold. More importantly, he’d used so much lavagold to make such an uninteresting dagger. What a prodigal son, what a truly wasteful heir! This is impossible, if that man is my student, hmph …" Duo Lanmen grew angrier as he spoke. The storekeeper quickly took the lavagold dagger from him, the precious weapon.
Sang Fan was now blushing like a cherry, but Duo Lanmen and the storekeeper did not notice him. The rest of the Sang family members looked at Sang Fan helplessly, while Sang Ling hid a smile behind her hands. For the moment, Sang Fan was in an incredibly awkward position.
Ye Chong asked, "Then how much do you think this dagger is worth, sir?"
Duo Lanmen replied, "At least 30 thousand credits."
The storekeeper was startled, and nearly dropped the dagger. "Old Duo, you think it’s worth 30 thousand credits?" The storekeeper was troubled. Even Hai Lian was speechless, gaping at the value. How could a dagger be worth 30 thousand credits? Heavens, what was this lavagold, to be worth so much?
"Yes. 30 thousand credits is for the lavagold and the dagger’s sheath. The dagger itself is worthless," Duo Lanmen explained in all seriousness.
From their reactions, Ye Chong thought that the price was appropriate. However, he had no idea what 30 thousand credits were actually worth.
"Alright, 30 thousand credits then," Ye Chong said.
As they exited the weapons store, Hai Lian thought he was still in a dream. That dagger had been sold for 30 thousand credits! Had the world gone mad? He was now feeling a little distracted, like in a dream. In that short exchange, he had suddenly added 30 thousand credits to his account. Ye Chong and the rest had no cards, so the 30 thousand credits were all added into his card.
"How much is 30 thousand credits?" Ye Chong suddenly turned to ask him.
"How much is 30 thousand credits?" Hai Lian answered reflexively, "30 thousand credits is the price of my Moonlight." Hai Lian had always worked hard, and alone. As a freelance hunter, his income was not much. It took a few years for him to save enough to buy Moonlight. Now that he saw a mere dagger sold at 30 thousand credits, how could he still remain calm?
Ye Chong noticed Hai Lian’s mood, and knew that he was not fit to answer anything clearly. He turned to the rest and asked, "Any of you have lavagold weapons too?"
The rest shook their heads. Most of the lavagold weapons were left behind in the Sang Family Village, since they needed to fly Collision. It seemed that selling lavagold was not an option.
With the money they have, Ye Chong and the group entered a mech parts store. Sang Mu was still guarding the mechs. If he could first solve the problem of dimension keystones for at least this group, then they would be safer when facing any danger.
In the mech parts store, Ye Chong noted at the prices of the mech parts and realized that the 30 thousand credits were actually not worth a lot. A brainwave controlled dimension keystone cost at least two thousand credits, and could go up to 10 thousand credits.
The group was stunned.
"Why are they so expensive?" Sang Ling gasped. Women were more naturally inclined to be sensitive to prices. The rest of them nodded in agreement.
Hai Lian had recovered himself then, and gave them an odd look as he replied plainly, "Of course they are. Are mechs never expensive? How can you compare a mech with a traditional weapon?"
His explanation made sense to the group. To them, mechs were the pinnacle of technological achievement. How could they not be expensive?
Ye Chong heard nothing from the conversation. His attention was completely focused on a mech part displayed on the holographic screen before him.
Ye Chong’s eyes widened. How was this possible? He nearly gasped out loud, unable to maintain his calm. The products listed on the holographic screen and the mech parts on display were too unreal for him to accept.
Nanowave guns, black gold alloy shields, Greenwood engines … These mech equipments were common here, and not too expensive.
Nanowave guns were standard weaponry for the MPA; black gold alloy shields were unique to Black Cove; Greenwood engines were only used by the Sanctuary. The top class mechs from the Five Galaxies were common goods around here.
What in the universe was He Yue galaxy? Why would they have goods from the Three Forces? Could the Three Forces actually have originated from this place?
On the other hand, Ye Chong also saw many mech parts found only in Mu’s and Shang’s database archives. All this while, Ye Chong had thought of the mech’s database as a collection of the most advanced technology in the world. His battle experience with Black Cove, MPA and the Sanctuary had suggested as much. However, Ye Chong found that he could buy their weapons here, if only at an expensive price. With money, he could buy anything. Some of the weapons were enough to make Ye Chong jealous.
Ye Chong quickly scrolled through the introductions for these mech parts on the holographic screen.
The nanowave guns were built by the Xue Lai clan; the black gold alloy shield by the Ye family; the Greenwood engine by the Xi Feng tribe.
"Xue Lai Clan, Ye Family, Xi Feng Tribe …" Ye Chong muttered to himself. Weren’t they the Three Aristocratic Families, as Hai Lian had told him? What was their relationship with the Three Forces?
Now that he thought of it, he was now enemies with the Three Forces. If they were related to the Three Aristocratic Families, then the chances of him having a peaceful conversation with the aristocrats would be nil. Ye Chong smiled wryly to himself. It seemed that he had just p*ssed off all three Aristocratic Families of the He Yue galaxy.
However, Ye Chong quickly calmed himself. So what if it was the aristocrats? Ye Chong was not afraid of them. After the initial shock, he regained his composure. The current Ye Chong was much stronger than ever before. Running away was no longer his only option against powerful adversaries.
The only thing that vexed him now was the problem of laying low, staying away from the Three Aristocratic Families at least for awhile. With their current numbers, they could only escape back to Archipelago if they were found out.
It was fortunate that they had Archipelago as a retreat point. As long as he stayed vigilant, even the combined effort of the Three Aristocratic Families would not bring him down so easily. Besides, Ye Chong was confident of the Sang family members. With their strength and readiness for war, as long as he armed them well, they would at least stand a chance.
For now, though, they were definitely not a match for the Three Aristocratic Families. They held no advantage at all.
Ye Chong asked Hai Lian suddenly, "How is the intel network of the Three Aristocratic Families? Do they have power in Foundation?"
Hai Lian was caught off guard, but replied, "The Three Aristocratic Families? Of course they’re good. No one could compete with them in terms of intel! They have people in every city, including Foundation city. Are you looking for the one of the aristocrats?"
Ye Chong was startled by his words, and quickly said to Hai Lian, "Buy eight brainwave-controlled dimension keystones, and use the remaining credits to buy paint, of any color. Quick!" While he was not exactly familiar with the intel network of the Three Aristocratic Families, he was however familiar with the intel network of the Three Forces. The Three Aristocratic Families would not fare worse! With his group standing out so much, surely they would be identified soon.
Seeing Ye Chong so nervous, the group knew that something must have happened. Sang Fan and the rest quickly raised their guard. The air around them chilled instantly, enough to scatter the other customers away from them. Some customers even quietly left the store.
Hai Lian did not dawdle, since he saw Sang Tie’s eyes fixed on his throat. He could feel a chill down his spine. He made the purchase at record time, pushing down his reluctance on spending so much credits in such a short time.
The automatic vendor system soon delivered the goods to the group.
"We leave the city now," Ye Chong announced coldly, and led the group out of the store.