Chapter 130 – Collaboration
When Nie Yan levelled in Black Gold Mines in his past life, he had required the cooperation of at least three other Level 10 or higher players, including both a tank and healer, to be able to bring down a single Zombie Foreman.
This time around, he hadn’t only come here to level, but also to try his luck at finding some decent Silver-grade equipment. Generally, Level 10 Silver-grade equipment would be slightly worse off in terms of stats to Level 5 Gold-grade equipment. If he were able to snag a piece of Level 10 Gold-grade equipment, then it would be even better. In addition, if equipment for other classes dropped, he would be able to sell each piece in the auction house for a sizable profit.
After three hours or so of exploring the wide open rocky terrain of the mines, he managed to kill sixteen Zombie Foremen. From them, he was able to obtain a few decent items: several gems that he could sell for a good price and the fairly uncommon Berserk Pill Recipe. While moving around this area, he had also encountered two groups of players training in the area, both of which he took a long detour around since he couldn’t be bothered to deal with the hassle if a conflict were to arise.
As he sat down to recover his stamina, he opened up the notification window for his shop. After a quick glance, he could tell the shop was gradually going on the right track while under Bird’s supervision. Over the past few hours, he managed to hire over thirty Alchemists, who one after the other began producing goods. In this fashion, the variety of goods for sale in the shop gradually grew, so much so that even the Junior Magic Resonance Potion was already available for purchase.
While managing a potion shop, simply lowering the price of goods didn’t necessarily mean customers would flock over. Common consumables, for instance, Anti-Paralysis Potions, Antidotes, and so on, wouldn’t earn the shop much money. Since these items were readily available everywhere, it was hard to sell them for a good profit, and a business couldn’t simply raise their prices and expect players to still purchase from them. As for the comparatively uncommon items such as Magic Resonance Potions, Berserk Pills, etc… since their recipes were fairly hard to find, as long as the shop produced high-quality products while other shops couldn’t keep up in quantity, they would be able to see money flow in. Even if the prices of these items were set a little high, as long as they could afford it, players would nevertheless come to the shop to buy them.
The tactic of lowering your own prices to undercut the competition so you can attract customers was a foolish business practice. You would be purposefully lowering your own profits! In Conviction, the only way for a business to stand out was to procure and sell goods that weren’t available in other shops! That way, as long as these items were readily available, even if you didn’t want your shop’s popularity to explode, it would do so anyways.
Nie Yan examined a breakdown of the shop’s sales. For now, Black Phenol and Black Phenol Recipes were still the best selling items. In the last few hours that he hadn’t checked up on it, the shop even managed to earn yet another twenty-five gold. Unfortunately, this sort of momentum would soon come to an abrupt halt because of his quickly dwindling stock. However, with the new potions and pills as a base, attracting a great amount of player attention, there was nevertheless still quite a bit of money to be made in the days to come.
Since the shop seemed to be doing fine on its own, Nie Yan stood up and continued seeking out Zombie Foremen.
During the time spent exploring the area, what seemed to puzzle him most was that he had yet to encounter a Sub-Elite Zombie. Although there was no guarantee, there was at least a good chance of him bringing one down.
And so, he spent the whole day training in the mines. By the time he went offline, he had filled up his experience bar by 57%, and his bag was filled with all sorts of items.
Back in the real world, Nie Yan spent the whole day at home studying and tempering his body. He was able to bring out his potential as a shut-in to its absolute peak. However, this was all for the sake of breaking out into prominence in the future while the foundations he laid in the game slowly grew.
While looking at the calendar, he recalled that this should be around the time when his parents would return. Just the thought of being able to see their faces once more made him feel quite sentimental.
As all the tragedies of the past involuntarily flooded his mind, he was overtaken by a mini panic attack. These memories were simply too much, and it took him a long while before he was finally able to calm down. Focus on the more important matters at hand, then deal with the rest later… he calmly reminded himself.
Time seemed to quickly fly by as he spent two days hunting Zombie Foremen in Black Gold Mines. On the third day, he finally hit Level 11.
“It’s about time I head back,” Nie Yan muttered as he looked in his bag. It was now filled to the brim with pieces of equipment. Almost all of them were Silver-grade save for one, a piece of Gold-grade Warrior equipment. He also saw the large quantity of ores, gems, and other miscellaneous items. At present, these ores and gems would fetch a good price on the marketplace, but if he waited for the playerbase to rise in level, then they would gradually diminish in value. Last but not least, he also found three recipes, two Berserk Pill Recipes and an Intermediate Health Potion Recipe.
Intermediate Health Potions were still quite rare as they had yet to appear on the marketplace. If he were to offer them up for sale in his shop, he imagined the players would probably go frantic over them.
Two days ago, Medusa’s Lair finally opened, and the demand for Anti-Petrify Potions rose accordingly, causing their price to skyrocket before finally stabilising at five times its original price. Under Nie Yan’s guidance, Bird placed all of their Anti-Petrify Potions up for sale. Even though the demand wasn’t as explosive as the Black Phenol had been at its peak, they would still be able to make a considerable profit.
According to Bird, business was booming. Every day, an endless stream of players would flood into the shop to purchase potions, pills, and other goods. The shop was doing very well, so much so that its employees couldn’t keep up with all the customers, leading Bird to hire an additional two clerks to help with the influx, with Nie Yan’s permission of course.
Since business was so fiery, the Alchemists on the second floor were invigorated and exerted their uttermost effort in producing concoctions. For every concoction they produced and sold, they would be able to receive their share of the profits immediately. This form of encouragement proved to be extremely effective. They were practically producing concoctions non-stop as a steady flow of goods went down to the first floor. Since most of the items the shop sold were high-end potions, pills, and such, the earnings were equally astonishing. They were even making more than those Alchemists from the major guilds who received a twenty percent share.
Furthermore, following Nie Yan’s instructions, Bird spent an entire two gold to purchase several recipes for high-level concoctions along with the ingredients required to produce them. Thanks to this, the several Junior Alchemists under him were rapidly improving their Alchemy skill. Both Quiet Nannan and Still Grieving were close to advancing to Intermediate Alchemists while Bird had at long last achieved his dream of becoming a Junior Alchemist.
With such promising talents under him, his future prospects were limitless, not to mention the many more Alchemists that would be joining in the near future.
If he managed to get a hold of Calore’s market, Nie Yan planned to expand and open potion shops in other cities in the future as well. However, in order to do so, he would need to gain the support of at least one of the major figures in those cities. Otherwise, if someone pulled an underhanded trick, it would negatively influence his business. If not that, he would need to gain at least thirty points of Influence in the city he wished to expand to, because then, very few entities would be able to take action against him.
「Your friend’s business is doing pretty well,」Nie Yan suddenly received a message from Sleepy Fox.
「Yeah, the Starry Night Potion Shop took a step on the right track,」Nie Yan replied. Sleepy Fox finally took the initiative to contact him after all this time. With the shop’s popularity being as explosive as it was, it would be a real wonder if he managed to restrain himself any longer. He felt certain Sleepy Fox was seeking him out to find out some behind-the-scenes information about the shop. This was the perfect timing to raise the matter of collaboration.
「I’ve heard they hired many Junior Alchemists. I was wondering if they could secure me a batch of Flamescorch Potions. Can you help me ask?」Sleepy Fox asked.
「Flamescorch Potions? Don’t you have Alchemists over on your side? 」Nie Yan asked, sounding a bit puzzled. This was a little unexpected. Sleepy Fox was actually contacting him to purchase potions.
「Sigh… don’t bring that up. My guild only has twenty Alchemists, and only two of them have advanced to Junior Alchemists. Earlier, I was in contact with several Junior Alchemists and invited them to work for my guild, but they kept playing wait and see. Just when we were negotiating salary, their cut of the profits, and so on, the Starry Night Potion Shop started hiring, and they all ran off there instead. The few potions and pills my Alchemists make definitely aren’t enough to keep up with the demand…」Sleepy Fox bitterly explained.
Nie Yan never expected for such a situation to occur, though a moment later, he broke into a faint smile. This was also a good illustration of the Starry Night Potion Shop’s allure. While the benefits of joining a guild were obvious, it came at the cost of the Alchemist’s freedom. From then on, they would have to satisfy the requests of their guild members before they could freely concoct on their own. If a guild member wanted a certain potion or pill, then they would be forced to create it. Even after advancing to the more prestigious rank of Junior Alchemist, they would still be made to produce simple low-level concoctions. Hence, the free time of a guild Alchemist was extremely limited. Then came in the Starry Night Potion Shop, a revolutionary business that turned convention over its head and catered primarily to high-end players. It was a place where they would be able to rapidly improve their Alchemy skill, and although they wouldn’t receive as high of a cut, the quantity of goods they would produce and sell more than made up for this discrepancy, earning them much more than they would in a guild. Not to mention as an owner that would spend two gold to purchase high-quality ingredients for their subordinates to quickly improve, something which was rarely if ever seen, Nie Yan had effectively captured the hearts of all of Calore’s Alchemists in one fell swoop.
「My friend was wondering if you’d like to collaborate with him.」
「What kind of collaboration?」Sleepy Fox asked in surprise.
「The Starry Night Potion Shop will purchase Alchemy ingredients from you at market rate. In exchange, you can’t sell them to others. However, you’ll have priority over others when buying goods from them, and depending on how much you purchase, you’ll receive upwards of a 10% discount.」
「So it was like this…」Sleepy Fox suddenly understood. The Starry Night Potion Shop was looking for a supplier to provide them with raw materials and ingredients. This was to ensure stability so that they wouldn’t be subjected to the fluctuations of the auction house. As for what this deal entailed for him, there were really no downsides. Hence, he nodded and said,「Sounds good, I’m willing to collaborate…」
「Head over to the Starry Night Potion Shop and look for a player named Bird Leaves No Eggs. He’ll handle everything and explain the details of the collaboration with you. As for the Flamescorch Potions, just hand the ingredients for it over to Bird, and he’ll handle the rest,」Nie Yan replied.
Nie Yan hung up the call. Having settled this matter, his mind was free of one more worry.
「How are things on your side?」Nie Yan sent a message to Tang Yao.
「My Arcane Fairy reached Rank 3 two days ago. I think I’m going to stay here for another hour before heading back,」Tang Yao replied. Then he continued in an excited tone,「Levelling here really is amazing! All I have to do is cast magic nonstop, and I’ll see my experience bar fill up like crazy! I really want to stay here until I’m Level 11 or 12!」
「Hurry back when you hit Level 10. We still have some important things to do.」Nie Yan felt a sense of indescribable excitement in his heart. If they were able to complete the next quest together, then both of their levels and the quality of their gear would improve by a large margin again.
「What are we going to do?」Tang Yao asked in surprise.
「Sure!」Taking on a quest together with Nie Yan, that was what he had been looking forward to the most!