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Chapter 253 – Leaper Ring

It was generally agreed by the major guilds that the rewards for being the first to clear a map far exceeded those from regular grinding. It was simple to see why; the equipment drop rate was greatly increased, as was the chance of encountering gold chests. Even the rarer dark gold chests were a lot more common. Though the allure of Gold and Dark Gold equipment was great, the difficulty of being first was extremely high, which made many guilds think twice before taking such a risk.

The challenges of clearing a map for the first time lay in the increased number of Elites, and at times even Lords. Entire forces getting wiped out was not an unusual sight, and if such failures repeated themselves several times over, even top elites would degrade into no more than average players. The risk of getting set so far behind was a tall hurdle for most guilds, so only the best of the best would dare to organize a pioneering expedition. But even then, they only chose maps suited to their level. A single word described those who attempted higher-levelled maps—suicidal!

This meant the vast majority of dark gold chests landed in the hands of the powerful guilds, while everyday players and smaller guilds would find it tough to acquire even one. There were also tragedies that often occurred, like finding a dark gold chest and then discovering that your Lockpicking skill was insufficient to open it. You could do nothing but allow that wondrous opportunity to slip past your fingers.

Nie Yan rested his hand on the chest. He fortunately had a Lockpicking Specialist skill that could open chests beyond his level, though it was just barely enough.

“Looks like I’ll have to find a few more lower-leveled chests to train my Lockpicking skill,” Nie Yan thought. He bent down and began to unlock the chest. The progress bar inched ever so slowly forward; it appeared that this would take a bit of time.

Nie Yan pulled up the game’s website and browsed the ongoing property auctions. By now, there was an extremely high volume of bidders, and the bids for some properties was as high as 1,500 gold. What’s more, they were trending ever higher! He decided to hold off from bidding until near the end of the auction. By then, he could swoop in and snatch away whatever property caught his fancy.

Written in large and bright text, there was a piece of news listed on the website regarding credit conversation. The system of credit conversation would be set up similar to a financial exchange. For instance, if you wanted to sell a gold coin or a piece of equipment for credits, you could do so based on current rates on the exchange, or talk privately with the equipment holder and negotiate prices then. The buyer would be using real-life credits to purchase the seller’s in-game equipment or gold.

These exchanges were all monitored by federal regulatory commissions. Due to regulations, in-game currency was prohibited from directly purchasing goods in reality. To do so, a person would have to first convert in-game currency or equivalent to credits through official channels then purchase the goods. This was done to prevent in-game currency from replacing credits and disrupting the natural flow of the market.

The credit conversation system would be released as soon as the property auctions came to an end, and it would immediately introduce a surge of capital into Conviction. This surge would continue to push the prices of equipment and in-game currency upward as large investors built up their structure and strength.

It would also greatly stimulate the development of player businesses in the game, and this was clear from the recent performance of the Union of Assassins. Through the attention brought by Sleepy Fox, Kill Love, and Fa Lan, their numbers spiked. The number of professional players broke through 12,000 and the number of clients broke past 8,000. Every day, the union received over 500 requests and acted as the intermediary for several thousands of trades. More importantly, Nie Yan’s net income was over 300 gold coins a day.

Under Nie Yan’s control were two of the most profitable auction houses, numerous properties, the Starry Night Potion Shop and numerous branches located in most major cities, and of course, Asskickers United’s full strength. He’d be able to hold up his own even if Cao Xu came on over.

Nie Yan  had enough money on hand to purchase at least one property. He needed to make sure to get himself a stronghold before the credit conversation started up, so at least he’d have something to fight against Cao Xu’s vast wealth.

It had only been a month or so since the game first released, but Nie Yan had already set up a stable business by laying down each path with care and reached his current position. He was very satisfied with these results.

The dark gold chest clicked open, interrupting Nie Yan’s thoughts and prompting him to reach around the chest. He fished out two items.

Staff of Dark Rite (Dark Gold)Requirements: Level 40

Properties: Damage 332–338, Intelligence +20; Dark Bloom (Rank 5): 50% Increased damage against Undead or Machine types

Restrictions: Mage; can only be equipped by a member of the Righteous Guardians of Order.

The Staff of Dark Rite was one of the ideal weapons for a Mage as monsters spawning on the maps currently available were machine types. Dark Gold staves were quite rare as well, but unfortunately this had a level restriction of 40.

Nie Yan posted the stats into the guild chat and asked, “Anyone want this staff?”

“Boss, how many merit points?” asked Undying Scoundrel. It was a rule to purchase all equipment with merit points, and Nie Yan couldn’t be the one to pick who to give it to since that would complicate matters a bit. The fairest way was to set a price, and let the guild members decide among themselves.

“Level 40 Dark Gold—8,000 points; 20 Intelligence—6,000 points; Rank 5 Dark Bloom—10,000 points; Extra damage—10,000 points,” Nie Yan said. He based the price on the weapon’s properties.

“34,000! Let me see here… I don’t have enough. Any one of you want it?” Undying Scoundrel looked at his teammates. If there weren’t any other person who’d take it, then his team all together should have enough for it.

In the guild elite members were able to gather equipment and gold coins very quickly, and so they could exchange them for merit points by donating to the guild. Dark Gold equipment was rare, and Dark Gold equipment at their level was even rarer. Even now, they as elites only wore Gold equipment. And now, a Level 40 Dark Gold staff appeared right in front of them, so how could they let this opportunity pass by? Its properties were far too good, and they would soon reach the level requirement as well.

“I have enough here,” said Summer Bug. He hadn’t even touched his merit merit points and now collected a total of 51,000.

“Damn, what a guy. You’ve saved up so many points!” Undying Scoundrel flinched, glancing at Summer Bug’s points in the guild chat. Who could possibly compete against him? “Ahh, whatever. It’s all yours.”

Undying Scoundrel, Summer Bug, and Bladelight were one of the wealthiest players in the guild. Typical elites had over a thousand merit points, and that was on the high end already. A great number of guild members only had a few hundred in store and would only look for ways to gather more if they needed equipment. It was quite staggering to see people like them deal with merit points in the tens of thousands.

Such were the strong!

Since there didn’t seem to be any disagreements, Nie Yan left the chat and looked at the other piece of equipment. His eyes widened; it was another fantastic item!

Leaper Ring (Dark Gold)

Description: Reduce the player’s weight by 90%, allowing them to leap as far as 10 meters. Cannot be used in combat. Cooldown: 10 minutes

Restrictions: Can be equipped by any faction.

This was most certainly a rare and great item. Perhaps through the lense of a normal player it would seem not that useful, but in Nie Yan’s eyes it was superior to even something Sub Legendary.

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