Chapter 60: Encountering an Expert [Volume 2 - Bloom of the Other Shore Flower]
After reaching an indistinctive, small shop, Qianye stopped walking and lifted his head to read the signboard, “A1 Firearms.”
When Qianye was with the Red Scorpions, he had heard of a chain weapon store in the Empire called “A1 Firearms”, which was famous for manufacturing high-grade origin guns. However, based on the furnishing and display, this “A1 Firearms” was obviously unrelated to the chain store in the Empire. Maybe the shopkeeper had heard of this name and copied it onto his signboard.
Qianye walked in.
The store wasn’t large. All different types of firearms were hanging from the walls on both sides, completely filling them. Their appearances were dazzling, each one glittering. They all looked valiant.
However, Qianye was experienced. After glancing at them just once, he could see that most of them were roughly constructed and could only serve to assist the user. Some of them might not have been able to even create an origin bullet. In this aspect, even Light of Daybreak was many times better than them.
However, Qianye did not lose hope. This was the standard that small shops had in Darkblood City. If one wanted better guns, then one would have to go to an imperially licensed weapons store or buy one from an auction.
Only, the licensed weapons stores all had backing of the expeditionary army, so Qianye did not want to go there without a good reason. As for auctions, even if a chaotic city such as this auctioned good items, one without sufficient strength may not even have the ability to stay alive after buying such item.
Inside the display case were two actual origin guns. Too bad they still couldn’t even compare to Light of Daybreak. In other words, they couldn’t even be counted as grade one guns.
Behind the display case sat a half-bald, skinny old man with far-sighted glasses on. He was focused on wiping gun parts and wore an expression of indifference.
Qianye walked in front of the display case and knocked on it.
The old man didn’t even raise his head and said, “The stuff is already in front of you, look at it yourself!”
“Take out the real goods and let me see them. Don’t try to use this trash to trick me.” Qianye said with a slightly lazy tone.
The old man finally glanced at Qianye over his glasses, and in a moment, a flashing light appeared in his previously turbid eyes. Qianye was momentarily stunned, but when he concentrated on the old man, he discovered that the initial turbidity was an illusion.
The old man finally spoke, his voice calm, “What type do you want, sniper rifles, pistols, assault rifles, or something else?”
Qianye finally felt somewhat pleasantly surprised. He had long heard that Darkblood City had many hidden experts, and that many inconspicuous, small stores might have high-quality black market wares, but he never expected that the first small store he entered would have such a rich supply.
This luck was too good wasn’t it? Qianye couldn’t resist before asking, “What grade?”
If he were able to gather a set of grade ones, that would be pretty good. This was Qianye’s expectation.
He never would have thought that the old man would roll his eyes, glare at him and say with slight disdain, “Of course they’re grade twos. If you want something better, I do have them, but you’d have to wait for little.”
Grade two! Qianye was no longer just somewhat pleasantly surprised.
In reality, with his power as a rank three fighter, rank two and rank three firearms were all very fitting, but using a rank four Scorpion Needle was very taxing. If his origin power hadn’t been especially dense and vigorous, then he really would have been unable to keep up.
“Great! Take out the stuff and let me see them! Take out an assault rifle and a sawed-off shotgun first. A pistol is fine as well, but its power needs to be strong. Firing speed and range aren’t very important.” Qianye stated his requirements.
The old man didn’t move, and only pushed down his glasses. He looked towards Qianye and inspected him, then said, “Simple, direct, explosive, has a military style. Not simple huh, boy!”
Qianye’s heart chilled a little. Even though his appearance had changed, certain things that were embedded in his bones would never change. As soon as one saw him take action, whether it be a long or short distance battle, coming up with this conclusion wouldn’t be weird. However, this old man could judge accurately based just on his selection of weapons. This meant that his understanding of origin power and origin guns had already reached the level of a master. An equipment master in the Red Scorpion Corps only had a similar level.
Qianye was filled with respect.
The old man let out a light smile while saying, “Go close the door.”
Qianye obeyed and closed the door, his hope rising quickly.
The old man slowly stood up and walked to the back. A moment later, he returned with a canvas bag that had begun to lose its color from overwashing, and placed it on the display case. Judging from the size of the bag, it should be a rifle-type origin gun.
Qianye opened the canvas bag and took out an origin gun that already had its butt removed. With one look, he identified it as an “assault” type rifle.
This model was standard equipment for the imperial expeditionary army, a rank two origin gun. Because it was a standard rifle, it had the general characteristics of a military gun: stable, powerful, easy to maintain, and not easy to damage. Relatively speaking, Qianye still preferred various types of military guns.
The assault rifle seemed to have been maintained pretty well. It was sixty percent new, very satisfactory for Qianye. Although the gun couldn’t be counted as a hugely lucky grab, it was still a very good choice. Many people used weapons from the imperial expeditionary army within Darkblood City. Many quartermasters within the army would report half-new guns as trash and then take them out to secretly sell them. This had already become commonplace.
“I’ll take it! Do you have a pistol or a shotgun?” Qianye asked.
“Do you have money?” The old man responded with a question.
Qianye was stunned for a moment, then asked, “How much does this assault rifle cost?”
“One hundred imperial gold coins.” The old man gave the price emotionlessly.
Quite frankly, Qianye was genuinely surprised by this price.
Inside the army, a completely new, second rank origin gun would never sell for over 100 gold. An assault rifle was very average within the grade twos and usually sold for around 90 gold. Something like this sixty percent new rifle would sell for a maximum of 50 gold. Qianye hadn’t foreseen that the old man would directly price it at a new gun’s pricing.
Seeing Qianye’s expression, the old man did not ridicule him, but spoke lightly, “Brat, you’ve never come to Black Copper Street have you? If you want this kind of stuff, you obviously can’t get it from a random source. If you want, you can ask the other shops, doesn’t matter.”
Qianye thought carefully. What the old man said did make sense. While on a mission, he once came in contact with a store that sold guns on the black market, and the prices were completely different from prices in army.
It was just that if prices were this high, then Qianye’s original plan completely fell through. He clenched his teeth and asked, “Do you accept guns?”
A moment later, the transaction was made.
Qianye sold Hornet, a rank one rifle, and Light of Daybreak, and then added on another 10 gold to finally exchange for this assault rifle. To balance out the trade, the old man gave him three blank origin bullets that could be filled with origin power.
Qianye packed up the items. The rucksack holding the assault rifle was very satisfactory. It was half new, but most importantly, it was constructed of a semi-hard material. Thus, it didn’t reveal the shape of what was inside, taking into account what adventurers might need.
The closed shop door was opened again. Qianye saw a youth who still had blemishes on his forehead standing outside analyzing the shop’s signboard.
He was very young, about as old as Qianye. He was dressed like a hunter and actually had the strength of a rank one Fighter.
Seeing Qianye walk out, the youth walked through the door.
Qianye only walked out a few steps then suddenly heard the faint sound of the old man’s voice, “Simple, direct, explosive, has a military style. Not bad huh, boy!”
Not knowing why, Qianye suddenly felt his heart drop.
He quickly returned to the hotel and opened the rucksack. He took out the assault rifle, completely took it apart and inspected it closely. When he opened the inside, Qianye almost scolded out loud.
Many of the smaller parts within the origin gun had been eroded quite heavily. Only the exterior pieces looked polished and well-maintained, so the entire thing seemed much newer.
This rifle wasn’t sixty percent new at all, but was only forty percent new! There were even a few smaller components that had to be replaced due to their serious damages.
The only thing that slightly soothed Qianye was that all parts related to the origin power array were somewhat well maintained at around fifty percent new. In addition, the core parts had indications of having been adjusted and optimized. Overall, the power should be stronger than it originally was. After testing, Qianye found that the origin power conversion rate was around 33%, which wasn’t bad at all.
However, regardless of what anyone said, this rifle definitely wasn’t worth 100 gold. Even by black market prices, selling it for 60 gold was already very high.
That old man wasn’t a firearms master, but an acting master. From the very beginning, he had built an image of an expert who couldn’t be seen through and had used a phrase about military style to finish him.
Qianye coincidentally came from the army, so after being stunned, he was inclined to trust the old man’s seemingly deep comments. If it weren’t for his good hearing, overhearing what the old man said to the youth, he never would have known that “military style” was used to flatter people.
Hunters, adventurers and mercenaries probably liked to hear “military style” used to praise them the more rookie they were. Qianye was unlucky and was coincidentally tricked.
Darkblood City truly did have many hidden experts. No one really knew how many experts there were, but obviously, there were a lot more con artists.
When Qianye looked back, there really had been a moment where he suspected that this shop had some hidden relationship with the “A1 Firearms” chain from the Empire’s upper continents. When he thought of that moment, he could only laugh bitterly.
As for going back to A1 Firearms to rescind this transaction, Qianye didn’t even think about it. Even though the old man’s store was small, every con artist rooted in Black Copper Street wasn’t simple. As a loner from the outside, Qianye couldn’t fight these local bullies and could only sigh in defeat.
Qianye inspected the loose parts that filled the table and shook his head with hopelessness.
These cheating methods that gave the gun its new look were actually very well researched. Even if Qianye had opened the barrel at the place and looked it over, he would have only seen the relatively new parts in the interior. He would only discover the problem after taking out each of the parts and inspecting them.
These methods could already be considered high-leveled. Making these efforts to create new guns would probably be almost just as lucrative. Thus, Qianye became calm but also found his situation extremely humorous, thinking that being tricked like this wasn’t too unjust.
These days, nothing was easy. People still had to put in a lot of effort.
Qianye slowly reconstructed the assault rifle, and then left to find a parts shop that sold tools and base material.
After returning to his room, he began adjusting the assault rifle again and began treating its surface to age. An hour later, the assault rifle that had originally had a polished look became rusty junk, belonging to the kind that should have long been thrown into a garbage dump.
Qianye took out the small parts that had problems, lined up his repair tools, and used two whole hours to fix the repairable parts. He had to go out and buy replacements for two irreparable parts.
When Qianye finished this entire process, it was already past dinnertime. However, after this assault rifle was fixed, its overall level recovered. It was now at least fifty percent new and could be used for a while.
Looking at the assault rifle, Qianye was quite satisfied. He then took out the blank origin bullets to examine them.
There was sudden knocking on the door. A hotel maid’s voice sounded outside the door, “Handsome boy, do you need service?”
Qianye immediately opened the door and said, “Yes!”