Chapter 454 - Ignatius Fur Shop
About 10 minutes later, Nie Yan arrived in a rather remote corner of the Hilton Stronghold.
There were a few decrepit buildings scattered around, teetering on the verge of collapse. The streets and paths were extremely narrow, and the smell of sewage was pungent in the air. This area was clearly a slum.
As a gust of wind blew past, a foul odour capable of making people gag wafted up Nie Yan's nose. This was the smell of rotting corpses.
Nie Yan looked around and spotted several NPC residents in shabby clothing skinning piles of monster corpses outside their homes. They were covered in blood and grime.
Following Physician Blevins' map, Nie Yan passed through many narrow paths and alleyways before arriving outside an old run-down shack, with a shoddy sign board that read Ignatius Fur Shop.
It's here! Nie Yan cracked an excited smile.
Nie Yan checked his bag. He had more than 20,000 gold on hand, enough to purchase what he wanted for this trip.
Nie Yan strode into the shop. The interior was small and cramped, with monster hides strewn about everywhere, piled up high on the tables and racks and hung up on the walls. Dead ahead, at the center of the room, was a small open space with a wooden counter. The shopkeeper, a short old man in ashen leather armour, had a withered and haggard face resembling a gnarled oak. He glanced over at the new customer, his beady eyes flickering to life with a sharp light.
This old man was Ignatius!
"Strangers are not allowed here. Please leave," Ignatius greeted with an unfriendly glare.
Probably due to the influence of Nie Yan's titles, Ignatius only slightly raised his voice. Nie Yan had heard of people being cursed out of the shop in the previous timeline.
"Sir, I was introduced to this shop by Physician Blevins. Here's his referral letter," Nie Yan explained.
Ignatius expression eased up after glancing at the letter.
"I'd like to purchase some hides and Tailor Blueprints," Nie Yan added.
"Grand Scholar, was it you who used Great Prophecy just now?" Ignatius asked, ignoring Nie Yan's words.
"Correct." Nie Yan nodded. The pillar of light from his activation of Great Prophecy had attracted the attention of every NPC in the Hilton Stronghold.
"Then may I ask you what you divined?" Ignatius asked. As one of the most mysterious skills out there, Great Prophecy possessed unimaginable power.
"An approaching disaster," Nie Yan replied. He suddenly recalled Ignatius was friends with many of the Great Generals. Maybe he was also acquainted with the administrator of the Hilton Stronghold?
"Oh, Grand Scholar. Would you be so kind as to explain further?" Ignatius' tone became noticeably more polite. His eyes were filled with worry and doubt.
"The Hilton Stronghold is in danger of being destroyed. But that's beside the point, how about we move on? I don't think it's appropriate for us to linger on this subject," Nie Yan said, sensing the change in Ignatius' mood.
Most NPCs possessed merely basic intelligence, making them only capable of giving and receiving quests along with some simple dialogue. High level NPCs like Ignatius were a bit smarter. They could think for themselves to some extent, balancing pros and cons. However, they were still a far cry from a real human being.
"..." Ignatius was a bit stunned. He never expected Nie Yan to so abruptly end the discussion.
"Again, I'd like to purchase some monster hides and Tailor Blueprints," Nie Yan said. He looked around at the hides in the room.
"Alright..." Ignatius said in a listless manner. He still appeared to be troubled by Nie Yan's previous words.
Nie Yan didn't seem to care as he browsed the shop menu, leisurely scrolling through the list of hides and other crafting materials up for sale. Each item had a quality rating of seven or higher.
Hides were divided into different grades: Low, Middle, High, Super, and Legendary. High-grade hides and below were fairly abundant, Super-grade hides were much rarer, and Legendary-grade hides were basically impossible to find. Legendary hides could be used to craft equal-grade leather armour.
Of course not just anyone could handle the higher grade materials. Super-grade hides could only be worked by Master Tailors or above.
There were quite a view Advanced Tailors right now, but still no Master Tailors.
Nie Yan glanced at all the hides listed up for sale. All of them were High-grade or lower. He didn't see a single Super or Legendary-grade hide.
Nie Yan flipped to the back to check out the Tailor Blueprints. They were also nothing special, the highest being for Advanced Tailors. There were quite a few actually, more than several dozen. However, though rare, it wasn't like they were never available. At least five or six would be put up for auction in Calore every day.
It appeared Ignatius was holding out on him!
Nie Yan suddenly had a bright idea. "This is everything? Guess I came all the way here for nothing…" He let out a disappointed sigh and turned around to leave.
Ignatius was dumbstruck. Just as Nie Yan was about to walk out the door, he hurriedly called out, "Wait, sir! I forgot I still have many items stored away. I'm sure you'll want to take a look! Their quality will definitely suit your taste!"
"Oh? Really now?" Nie Yan halted his steps. He apathetically glanced back at Ignatius, seemingly with zero intention of coming back.
Ignatius rushed to the storeroom in the back and quickly returned holding a large pile of hides and blueprints in his arms, which he promptly dropped on the counter.
The shop menu suddenly refreshed. More than 30 Super-grade hides and even 2 Legendary-grade hides were added. The cheapest of these were priced at 3,000 gold, while the most expensive ones went for upwards of 20,000 gold. 60 new Tailor Blueprints were listed up for sale too. Most of them were Master-rank, but there were a few Grandmaster and even Great Sage-rank ones as well. Their prices also ranged in the several thousands.
These were things that normally couldn't be bought even if one had the money!
Nie Yan did a rough estimate in his head. If he wanted to snatch up everything, it would cost him at least 30,000 gold! He was short on funds!
However, this opportunity couldn't be passed up on! Even if he had to give up an arm and a leg, he had to buy everything!
"Sir Grand Scholar! If you're willing to tell me everything about the prophecy, from now on you'll receive a 50% discount on everything I sell in my shop!" Ignatius declared. Given his esteemed position, he could afford to be unreasonable. Apart from the Great Generals, everyone else was beneath him. However, Nie Yan held the fate of the Hilton Stronghold in his hands, leaving Ignatius with no choice but to bow his head. He had to know what sort of disaster was about to befall his home.
"I don't have the time to visit this place every day," Nie Yan said indifferently.
Seeing Nie Yan still wasn't budging, Ignatius added, "Anyone that comes here in your place can also receive a 50% discount!"
Nie Yan understood this was Ignatius' final offer. Pushing any further would be crossing the line. In any case, everything just so happened to work out in his favour. He would no longer have to plead Great General Breakspear to pass on his message.
All the goods suddenly became half price. He bought up everything for around 15,000 gold. He wasn't the slightest bit hesitant about snatching everything up. With these items, he could nurture at least one or maybe even two Grandmaster Tailors in a few months' time, as well as manufacture plenty of Sub Legendary and Legendary-grade leather armours.
Of course, doing all of this would take a long time.
"Ignatius, sir, are you acquainted with the administrator of the Hilton Stronghold?" Nie Yan asked.
"Indeed, I am." Ignatius nodded.
"Then can you promise me you'll take great care in passing on everything I'm about to tell you to him?" Nie Yan solemnly asked.
"Of course!" Ignatius replied with a resolute expression.
"You've noticed how Mt. Anfrit has recently started becoming active again, right? Well, it's about to erupt, which will force out countless monsters from their homes in the Underworld above to the surface. This will spell disaster for the inhabitants of the Hilton Stronghold. If these monsters aren't repelled, this place will likely fall into ruin," Nie Yan said.
"But Mt. Anfrit has erupted before, around 20 years ago. Back then, it only created a slight disturbance. You're exaggerating, surely," Ignatius said doubtfully.
"Are you questioning the results of my Great Prophecy?" Nie Yan asked in a stern tone.
"N-n-no, of course not! Sir, please forgive my ignorance!" Ignatius replied in fright. Great Prophecy was an ability that divined the future by directly communicating with the will of God! The last thing he wanted to do was commit blasphemy.
"The disaster will arrive in five days. An endless sea of monsters will surge out of the Underworld and submerge the Hilton Stronghold in chaos. This is the divination from my Great Prophecy. Whether you believe me or not, you'll find out in five days either way. However, by then it might already be too late," Nie Yan said. He had said all that needed to be said. What happened next was out of his control.
Ignatius' face paled at Nie Yan's ominous warning.
"Pass on my words to the administrator. I hope the Hilton Stronghold can survive this disaster," Nie Yan said in a subdued voice. Having finished his business, he headed for the door.
After walking out of the shop, Nie Yan started making his way towards the slave market.
Seeing Nie Yan's receding back, Ignatius stood still in absolute silence for a long time. Finally, he broke out in a sprint towards the administrator's office in the heart of the Hilton Stronghold.