Chapter 704 - Frantic Market
When the prices of medicinal plants reached a breaking point, those selling them wouldn’t want to anymore. They would start holding onto their stock in anticipation of even higher prices. Those speculating on the market would follow in Nie Yan’s track. They would acquire medicinal plants and sit on them while they appreciated. The medicinal plants would rise higher and higher in value. So, Nie Yan didn’t need to pour in any more gold.
With a big stir occuring in the medicinal plants market, Qin Han immediately figured out the culprit. For the sake of interfering with Asskickers United, he mobilized the guilds under his rule to collect medicinal plants as well as dump all their existing stock into the market. His tactic did deal a blow to Nie Yan’s plans, causing the prices to fall back to normal for a time. However, after Nie Yan spent another 9,000,000 gold to gobble them all up, the prices rose back up. Seeing the prices of medicinal plants bouncing up and down, market analysts also got involved in acquiring the medicinal plants.
Seeing the situation wasn’t good, Qin Han could only helplessly follow the crowd. The prices of medicinal plants were soaring frantically. The players were in a frenzy. As the prices rose higher, more and more players tried to get their piece of the pie. Soon, there were practically no traces of medicinal plants on the market, and the few listed were ludicrously expensive.
Nie Yan didn’t expect it to escalate this far. All of a sudden, all the potion shops apart from the Starry Night Potion Shop became dumbstruck. They had no way of doing business. The medicinal plants on the market were expensive beyond belief while the potions being sold by the Starry Night Potion Shop were on par with the material costs, sometimes even below. If they continued buying medicinal plants from the market and turning them into potions, they would either be making zero profit or worse, even losing money. They had already burned through their previous stock. Their warehouses were empty. Their shelves were out of goods and they had no way of replenishing them. As a result, the various potion shops in cities and towns became cold and empty.
Nie Yan had people on standby at all the auction houses across both empires. Every time the prices of medicinal plants slightly recovered, they would immediately swoop in to keep the prices high. This was an incredibly expensive tactic. 6,000,000 gold wasn’t enough. However, more gold came in than he could spend. Before long, the 6,000,000 turned into 10,000,000.
Nie Yan checked the reports. In a short time, the income of the Starry Night Potion Shop exploded, earning 7,000,000 gold every day. Their profit margins had shot up to an average of 70%. If it was before, a profit margin of 20% would already be amazing. A 70% profit margin was an extremely frightening number. The reason for this increase was pretty simple. There was only one potion shop with stock, the Starry Night Potion Shop. Whether it was high level players or large guilds, all of them needed potions for levelling and running dungeons. Without potions, they couldn’t make any progress. They could only go to the Starry Night Potion Shop to purchase potions.
At present, the Intermediate and Advanced potions on the market were too expensive. Many players could only tighten their belts and reduce their usage. However, some situations absolutely required the consumption of potions. There were also wealthy players who didn’t care about a few more gold. Even if the prices were high, they would still buy. Like this, the Starry Night Potion Shop was flourishing.
At this time, anyone could tell Asskickers United was the culprit behind this incident. Bubbles like this weren’t uncommon. Scrolls, gems, equipment, all sorts of items had been inflated before, causing their prices to multiply severalfold or even several dozenfold. This was the market. Even though this bubble was started by Asskickers United, many people had joined in. When everybody was taking part in keeping the prices high, no one could really be blamed.
Asskickers United’s Alchemists pumped out potions like crazy. The Starry Night Potion Shop’s shelves and warehouses were packed to the brim. Nie Yan ran a preliminary assessment. The Starry Night Potion Shop would generate 7,000,000 gold in revenue every day with the current state of affairs. Their stock of potions could last them for at least half a month. That totalled to almost 100,000,000 gold. This meant Nie Yan would get a more than 300% return on the 30,000,000 gold invested!
A portion of the gold would be used to pay back the players of Asskickers United and the other guilds. Another portion would be used to maintain the prices of medicinal plants. The remaining would be kept on hand in case of any unexpected circumstances.
Nie Yan estimated the competitors of the Starry Night Potion Shop would go bankrupt in a few weeks at most. On one side, they had no business, and on the other side, they still had to pay the salaries of the Alchemists working under them. Not to mention they couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. They had no idea when, or if at all the prices of medicinal plants would return to normal. So long as Nie Yan wished, he could use his immense capital to maintain prices at this level.
As most shops couldn’t fill their shelves, their Alchemists couldn’t fill their food bowls. At this time, Nie Yan spread word that the Starry Night Potion Shop Alchemists were getting a huge raise. Most of them were having their salaries increased by 50% or more, far more than the market average. At the same time, they were also recruiting new Alchemists on a large scale.
The Intermediate and Advanced Alchemists who were out of work because of the high prices of medicinal plants had two choices before them. One was to keep on enduring in destituation. The other was to sign a contract with the Starry Night Potion Shop. The salary offered was especially enticing. Before it was already 20% higher than at their current employer, but now it was even 50% higher! In addition, the Starry Night Potion Shop offered an unlimited supply of medicinal plants, allowing its Alchemists to concoct potions to their heart’s content. Last but not least, if they managed to advance to Master or Grandmaster Alchemists, they would only be treated better.
Under the allure of generous salaries, the jobless Alchemists started flocking to the Starry Night Potion Shop. Every day an enormous number of Alchemists signed with the Starry Night Potion Shop. All of a sudden, the other major guilds realized the severity of this development. They all adopted various measures, such as offering even more generous terms to attract Alchemists.
They did manage to attract some Alchemists. However, a serious problem arose. If they gave the new Alchemists such generous treatment, they also had to raise the salaries of their currently contracted Alchemists. If they followed suit with the Starry Night Potion Shop and raised the salaries of all their Alchemists, they would go bankrupt. After all, their in-house Alchemists weren’t meant for turning a profit. For example, a guild like Angel Corps had to pay 200,000–300,000 gold to their Alchemists every day. Meanwhile, their daily profits were only about half that of Asskickers United, which was about 600,000–700,000 gold. Paying their Alchemists shaved away about a third of that. This was definitely difficult to bear.
All the major guilds watched on helplessly as Nie Yan turned the Starry Night Potion Shop into a commercial empire. There was nothing they could do because their financial resources weren't on the same level as his. Even though a guild like Angel Corps was extremely wealthy, with all the assets of the guild already surpassing 200,000,000 gold, their liquid assets amounted to only about 1,000,000 gold; this amount wouldn’t allow them to do anything. On the other hand, at this moment, Nie Yan had 10,000,000 gold on hand. On top of that, he would also rake in 8,000,000 gold every day. With such frightening financial ability, no matter what he did in the market, it would create huge waves. With the little amount of gold they had, if they tried to compete, they would undoubtedly be swallowed.
Nie Yan’s commercial empire was slowly taking shape. As long as the Starry Night Potion Shop existed, he would never run out of gold!
Nie Yan glanced at his bag. He had so much gold piled up, it would drive anyone mad with greed. He cracked a faint smile. Now he could head to the Abernathy Great Grasslands and start developing his territory.
As long as Nie Yan had this continuous stream of gross profits, building a powerful NPC army was only a matter of time! This army was different from the troops he could mobilize with his authority as a Great Prophet. This was his own personal army, which he could direct to attack any guild or stronghold he so desired. His plan was to use the gold from the Starry Night Potion Shop to develop his territory. When his territory would start making a profit, that would in turn be used to fund a powerful army. He hoped that one day he could sweep through all the enemies in his path with a powerful army of players and NPCs!
Having already gotten through the biggest hurdle, which was a lack of funds, Nie Yan felt achieving this dream wasn’t all that far off.
God Executioner Sword guild headquarters. Discovering that the Starry Night Potion Shop was the only business on the market still selling potions, Qin Han gloomily cursed. This new landscape was already set in stone. There was nothing he could do to change it. Previously, in order to stop Asskickers United, he had dumped all the medicinal plants in his possession into the market. However, all of it had been gobbled up by Nie Yan. If he calculated based on the current price, he made a net loss of 4,000,000 gold. This was a substantial blow to the Monet Financial Group.
“Boss, we’re running low on potions. Penumbra Empire and Divine Protectors also sent word that they’re almost out.” Matchless Divine Sword carefully gazed at Qin Han.
Qin Han’s face darkened. His mind started racing. He had previously offloaded the stock of medicinal plants of all three guilds into the market. Even though he had gotten some of them back, what they had left right now didn’t even amount to 10% of what they had before. There was no way it could satisfy the demands of his guilds. At this point, they could only procure their potions from the Starry Night Potion Shop. But they'd have to buy the potions in bulk at a high price, and do it secretly too. If Nie Yan found out, he might stop selling to them. Things really couldn’t get any worse than this.
Seeing Qin Han not answering for a long time, Matchless Divine Sword wanted to quietly withdraw several times. However, he still couldn’t help but ask, “Boss, are we going to buy potions from the Starry Night Potion Shop? They’re the only ones left selling potions…”
“Go and buy from them, but don’t let anyone find out,” Qin Han said. Not buying potions wasn’t an option. But if people knew the Monet Financial Group was buying potions from the Starry Night Potion Shop, he would lose all face!