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Chapter 514 - New Title!

Nie Yan followed Ignatius into the grand hall, where he saw a tall NPC in dark violet scale armour which sparkled brilliantly under the lighting of the room. A soaring dragon was carved on the left pauldron. 

Nie Yan's heart trembled. It was Legendary-grade dragon armour! 

Dragon armour was crafted from the scales of dragons. It boasted powerful defense with light weight for easy maneuverability. 

NPCs who could wear Legendary-grade dragon armour were all supreme existences. Nie Yan recalled hearing that the administrator of Calore was the most powerful out of all the adminstrators in the Viridian Empire. He was the king. The next most powerful was the administrator of the Hilton Stronghold. Out of the three grand dukes in the Viridian Empire, he held the most authority.

Nie Yan inspected the NPC with Transcendent Insight.

Administrator Kilfeather (???): Level ???
Titels: Grand Duke, Great General, Dragon Slayer

Transcendent Insight didn't reveal Kilfeather's level. However, Nie Yan could confirm he was at least a Level 180 Lord.

"It's nice to meet you, Grand Scholar. Thank you for everything you've done. If it weren't for your divination of the demon beast invasion, the Hilton Stronghold would've been completely destroyed, and many more lives lost. You're our saviour," Kilfeather said. A Grand Scholar that had successfully predicted a major event would be recognized as an existence closest to god, a quasi prophet. 

"As a fellow citizen of the Viridian Empire, it was only the natural thing to do," Nie Yan replied.

After Kilfeather recounted the events of the demon beast invasion, Nie Yan more-or-less understood the gist of the situation. Although 90% of the NPCs in the Hilton Stronghold were killed, most of the Generals and Great Generals had survived. If reinforcements from Calore hadn't arrived in time, the top brass would've likely been wiped out as well.

"Nevertheless, the fact remains you've saved the Hilton Stronghold. Here, this is a small token of our gratitude." 

Nie Yan's heart trembled. He was finally going to receive his reward!

Nie Yan heard two notification jingles ring in his ear.

You have received the Saint of the Hilton Stronghold title.

You have received Ygris' Bulwark Bracers.

The Saint of the Hilton Stronghold title was a high ranking title. It might not mean much in other cities, but inside the stronghold it made the holder only second in status to the administrator!

Nie Yan checked the bonuses of the title.

Saint of the Hilton Stronghold: Increase Influence in the Hilton Stronghold by 50. Receive a 70% discount from all NPC shops in the Hilton Stronghold. Any player that offends the holder of this title will be thrown in jail and become an enemy of all NPCs within the Hilton Stronghold.

Apart from the administrator, no other NPC in the Hilton Stronghold would dare to disrespect Nie Yan.

Nie Yan's status in the Hilton Stronghold had basically reached the peak. Any higher and he would be the administrator.

Aside from the title, Nie Yan also obtained quite a drool-worthy piece of equipment, the Legendary-grade Ygris' Bulwark Bracers.

The Ygris' Bulwark Bracers granted the wearer formidable protection. They were ashen-coloured, a rather ordinary look to them. Most Thief equipment was like this, generally consisting of colours which easily blended into the darkness such as gray or black. Function over form, these bracers fit this description perfectly. They were engraved with mysterious, ancient runes. On the sides of both bracers were jagged hook-like metal teeth which didn't obstruct the user's movements at all and could be used to parry attacks. 

Nie Yan examined the properties of Ygris' Bulwark Bracers.

Ygris' Bulwark Bracers (Legendary)

Requirements: Level 100

Description: A piece of equipment crafted by Ygris, the blacksmith of the Hilton Stronghold. It boasts excellent defense and can protect the user from receiving any damage.

Properties: Defense 720-768, Block Rate +20%, All Control Skills Level +1, All Freedom Skills Level +2

Restrictions: Thief

Although Ygris' Bulwark Bracers' defense stat was high, the real highlight was the Block Rate +20%. This property was generally only found on shields. It could block an opponent's attack and at the same time greatly reduce incoming damage.

The All Control Skills Level +1 and All Freedom Skills Level +2 were also fairly good. They were first-rate properties.

Although Ygris' Bulwark Bracers didn't have any supplementary skills, it was entirely worthy of its status as a piece of Legendary-grade equipment. It could be equipped at Level 100 and serve as a good placeholder until Nie Yan could equip the Tyrant Abak Set at Level 180.

Nie Yan put the bracers away in his bag. He began wondering if he should ask Administrator Kilfeather about buying land in the Hilton Stronghold.

The properties in the Hilton Stronghold were highly coveted by all the guilds. It wasn't every day that Nie Yan got to meet Administrator Kilfeather. He couldn't let this opportunity slip by.

After explaining the general situation, Kilfeather expressed his desire for Nie Yan to stay in the Hilton Stronghold. The presence of a Grand Scholar would be a great boon to any city, especially since their Great Prophecy skill could help mitigate disasters.

"As the Administrator of the Hilton Stronghold, I hope that more people will migrate here and help fight off the demon beast hordes. As an incentive, those who've contributed greatly to its defense will receive rewards befitting their deeds. Grand Scholar, I'm gifting you a villa. It's about a minute's walk from here," Kilfeather said.

This villa was located in the busiest commerce zone of the Hilton Stronghold. Once you walked out the door, you would be greeted by streets bustling with activity. If a shop was established here, it would have huge appreciation potential. Yet this property was turned into a villa by the administrator. Nie Yan couldn't help but feel this was a huge waste.

However, Nie Yan had no reason to reject a free villa.

"Administrator Kilfeather, I'm wondering if I can buy some land in the Hilton Stronghold? I feel like an increase in commerce would incentivize more people to migrate here..." Nie Yan eagerly awaited Kilfeather's answer.

"Of course you can. The Hilton Stronghold still has roughly 230 properties up for sale, of which 60 are located in the trade district. We've set a rule that non-residents can buy up to six properties depending on their contribution. These properties are not transferable, and a commerce tax equal to 5% of the business' profits must be paid annually. If the property is no longer in use, the owner may sell it back to us at 80% of the current market value. As the saviour of the Hilton Stronghold, you may purchase six properties, and you will be exempt from paying taxes," Kilfeather replied.

Purchasing properties in the Hilton Stronghold was different from other cities. Nie Yan checked the rules. He could only purchase six properties. There was nothing to be done about it, such were the rules. The properties here would become incredibly valuable further down the line. Not to mention with the Saint of the Hilton Stronghold title, he didn't have to pay any taxes!

"These are all the stores waiting to be sold," Kilfeather said after pulling out a map depicting the Hilton Stronghold. There were a great many dots spread out all over the map.

Nie Yan gave a quick look over the 230 available properties on the map. Some properties were located in the center near the administrative hall. Others were located near the fringe. Their prices varied greatly, with the most expensive costing several hundred of thousands of gold and the cheapest costing only a few thousand. No player had come forward to buy properties yet, and the ones alloted to the Level 5 and higher guilds weren't that great. All 20 of the prime real estate locations from the previous timeline were still there.

With so many good properties in front of him, Nie Yan was having a hard time picking the best ones.

After doing a once over, Nie Yan finally settled on six properties he believed would have the best appreciation potential. All of them could be upgraded to Tier 16.

"Administrator Kilfeather, I've decided." Nie Yan pointed out the properties he wanted to buy on the map.

After signing all the necessary documents, Nie Yan paid 180,000 gold to Kilfeather. If not for the 70% discount from Saint of the Hilton Stronghold, he would've had to pay 600,000 gold!

After receiving the title deeds, the six properties officially belonged to Nie Yan.

Nie Yan had benefited greatly from this trip to the administrative hall.

Six properties were far from enough to meet Nie Yan's needs. However, he had no way of buying anymore himself. After thinking for a bit, he decided to have Bladelight, Smoke Stub, and the others quickly raise their contribution in the Hilton Stronghold. That way, they could purchase one or two properties before any other player. Right now, there were still prime real estate locations up for grabs. A few months down the line, however, even the cheapest most undesirable properties would be long gone..

There were many ways to raise contribution. One of them was to accept the demon beast subjection quests. Increasing contribution was a slow process. It couldn't be rushed.

After finishing up his business, Nie Yan bid Ignatius and Kilfeather farewell and left the administrative hall. He wanted to check out the villa he was gifted.

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