Chapter 597 - Metal Market Pricing Differences

Chapter 597 - Metal Market Pricing Differences

Compared to the metals he brought, the metal Tang Wulin had inspected seemed much duller than before. 

“Jade silver?” the clerk said, voice wavering. A few quick steps before he reached Tang Wulin’s side, picked up the assay hammer, and gave the jade silver a light tap. A crisp bell-like sound rang with melodious echos. The clerk’s face flushed red with excitement. “It’s really jade silver! Y-you really want to sell it?” 

Tang Wulin shook his head. “Not selling. Trading. That would be a lot simpler. What’s your evaluation?”

“Please give me a moment,” said the clerk, his breathing a bit rough. He disappeared through the metal door again, and a couple minutes later, returned with a short, middle-aged man. 

While the man was certainly on the shorter side, he possessed a rugged build and a pair of muscular arms. Upon laying sight on the jade silver, he rushed over to it and placed a tool down on the table. Glancing at Tang Wulin, he asked, “Can I test them?”

“Of course.” Knowing the harmony rate of a spirit alloy was essential in evaluating it. As such,  testing alloys was standard procedure. 

Shortly after, the man audibly gulped. He turned to Tang Wulin, his expression serious. “Young man, this piece of jade silver has an eighty-one percent harmony rate. Does your family know that you’re trying to sell it?” 

Tang Wulin stared blankly at the clerk while Gu Yue snickered in the background. After a moment of silence, Tang Wulin coughed, clearing his throat. “Of course they know. I’m here to obtain some metal for my family, but they were concerned that bringing money would be too inconvenient. That’s why they gave me this spirit alloy to trade instead. You can rest assured. I know just how valuable jade silver is. I’m sure you’ll give me a fair price.” 

“We’ll definitely give you a fair price. The market value of such alloys are public anyway. Since it has an eighty-one percent harmony rate, I can offer you—” The clerk whispered something into the man’s ear. Immediately, his tone changed. “We can offer you one hundred chunks of any of the metals you observed previously.” 

A hundred? This was beyond Tang Wulin’s expectations. He had forged this piece of jade silver back when he was still a fifth-rank blacksmith after all, and it was only thousand refined as well. If they were on Douluo, he would only be able to sell it for about sixty chunks of similar quality metal. Since he was offered one hundred chunks, that meant that metals were much more valuable on Star Luo than Douluo.

Tang Wulin’s eyes shone with the gleam of his capitalist dreams. This was an opportunity to get rich! After a brief hesitation, he said, “Hmm. Can’t you raise the offer a bit?”

The middle-aged man smiled bitterly. “Our offer is very generous as it is. If you have a piece with a higher harmony rate or can exchange in bulk, then I can give you a better rate per unit.” 

“Alright. But do you have enough of a supply of those metals I observed? I’m sure you’re aware that for blacksmiths, there’s an extremely low chance of success for spirit alloys and spirit refinings, so it’s crucial to have quality metals.”

“Of course we have the supply. You don’t have to worry about the quantity or quality of our metals,” the man said confidently. “We had to pass stringent examinations in order to open this store on Star Luo Avenue. We have no problem supplying you as long as your demands are within reason. If your demand is excessive though, I’ll need some time to prepare the stock.” 

Tang Wulin nodded. “Alright, let’s get a contract signed first then. We’ll start with this piece of alloy for one hundred chunks of gold crystal. It’ll be a good start. After that, prepare plenty of gold crystal, flux silver, and star copper while I return to have my father evaluate the gold crystal. If he approves, I may be back to buy much more.”

“No problem at all. The more alloy the better,” said the man, a smile blooming on his lips once more.

Tang Wulin chatted a bit longer, subtly probing the reason behind the stark contrast in metal prices between Star Luo and Douluo. Although the exchange rate between Star Luo stels and Federation credits were still a mystery to him, he had managed to gain a rough idea from metal exchange rates. Spirit refined metals were about equal in value on both continents, but spirit alloys were significantly more expensive in Star Luo. It seemed Star Luo lacked blacksmiths capable of forging spirit alloys. 

Once they had left the metal shop, Gu Yue softly asked, “Don’t you still have a bunch more spirit alloys? Why didn’t you exchange some more? It looked like they had a good selection.”

Tang Wulin snickered. “No need to rush. I have a lot of thousand refined alloys right now. With a bit more work, I can turn them into spirit refined alloys, or maybe even three-metal spirit alloys. Then their prices will soar! And the material costs won’t even be that high. That, my friend, is how to maximize profits! So don’t worry. We’ll make a killing the next time we visit.”

“You money-grubber,” Gu Yue said with a teasing smile. 

“The man of the house has to understand finances! Don’t you know how much money it costs for us soul masters to cultivate? Mechas cost money. Battle armor cost even more money. Spirit items cost money too. Everything costs money! How am I going to manage if I don’t make as much money as I can? The only person I can rely on is myself!” 

Gu Yue was taken aback, blinking blankly at Tang Wulin. “W-what if I supported you?”

The moment he heard those words, Tang Wulin nearly tripped. “What nonsense are you spouting?”

“It’s not nonsense.” Gu Yue said, her expression returning to her usual calm.

But Tang Wulin refused to let it slide. He grabbed her by the shoulder. “This is your last chance to take back your words, okay? No denying it after. You said you’d support me!”

Gu Yue just glanced back at him and smiled. “You know what, I don’t think I can support you after all. Your appetite is too big.” 

“What if I eat less then?” 

“Nope.” Gu Yue pushed his hand off her shoulder. “Now stop being so noisy. Let’s get going.”

Tang Wulin chuckled. “Speaking of eating, how about we find some lunch?” 

Gu Yue couldn’t help but roll her eyes at him. “We just ate breakfast not too long ago though. It’s still morning.”

“Okay. Just a snack then! There’s gotta be a ton of local delicacies to try here! Come on, aren’t you interested?”

As it turned out, Tang Wulin wasn’t the only one with a weakness for food. Ten minutes later, the two turned into a side street littered with small food shops serving all sorts of snacks and refreshments. They swept through the street like a storm, sampling anything that tempted them. 

“Those fish ball noodles were so good!” Gu Yue said in high spirits. 

Tang Wulin nodded happily. “Yeah! Sooooo good. I just wish there was more.”

“That wasn’t enough for you? You cleared them out of all the fish balls they were going to sell for the lunch rush! And that still wasn’t enough?”

At that moment, Tang Wulin felt more glad than ever that he had chosen to become a blacksmith. Earlier, he had liquidated one chunk of gold crystal, ending up with plenty of Star Luo stels to gorge themselves! After some rough calculations, he also discovered that stels were worth much less than Federation credits. Thanks to the skewed exchange rate, he could spend extravagantly.

By the time the sun reached its zenith, they finally left the side street. 

His gaze aimed at Gu Yue, Tang Wulin asked, “Where to now?”

Gu Yue thought for a moment. “I’m interested in visiting a local Spirit Pagoda branch to see what it’s like. You can just go do whatever you want.”

Spirit Pagoda? That’s right! There are Spirit Pagoda branches in Star Luo too! There’s also Tang Sect branches! Maybe I should go take a look at the local Tang Sect branch? If memory served him well, the Star Luo Tang Sect headquarters was based in Star Luo City. 

“Alright. I’ll go visit the local Tang Sect while you do your thing then. I better make a report in case they need any help.” 

“Okay.”

Once she bid goodbye, Gu Yue boarded a cab for the Spirit Pagoda. Left by himself, Tang Wulin hailed another cab and headed to the Star Luo Empire’s Tang Sect headquarters. 

The Tang Sect headquarters was not located at the city’s core, but rather in the suburbs. Upon arrival, he was astonished to discover that it was nothing like the small, discrete headquarter in Douluo. The local headquarters had a gigantic campus, a small city onto itself. 

Tang Wulin instantly understood this: the Tang Sect was regarded more highly in Star Luo than Douluo. 

No one stood guard at the gates. Passing through the gates, he found himself in a large temple hall. A sign hung from the ceiling, the words ‘Tang Sect’ etched upon its face. Pride and awe filled Tang Wulin as a Tang Sect disciple, and a small smile formed on his lips as he strode further into the hall. 

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