Chapter 62: Home of Hunters [Volume 2 - Bloom of the Other Shore Flower]
Qianye immediately felt as if a parade of mammoths had just trampled over his heart. He didn’t know what to say. Wasn’t that old man a gun seller? Why had he suddenly come to Home of Hunters?
Qianye decided to leave then and there. As for claiming justice, it was something that never even crossed his mind. The idea of claiming justice from a local boss who opened a weapons store at a place like Darkblood City was as stupid as it gets. Plus, he hadn’t been fooled too badly overall. If that Ambusher was fixed, it would still be worth around fifty gold coins.
However, Qianye had only just turned around when the old man at the counter suddenly lifted his head and stared at him.
Qianye shuddered and immediately became frozen in place. One of his feet stayed suspended in the air and could land on the ground no longer!
Of course, Qianye’s movements weren’t restricted in anyway, but at this moment, forget his weapons, he didn’t dare to move even a toe. The blade-like aura behind him had completely locked him down, and any movement might invite a fatal attack that was akin to a thunderstorm.
If he focused his mind, calmed his breathing, waited for his opponent to act and sought out an opening on his opponent’s aura, then he might just yet have a slight chance of survival. This was the combat instinct he had honed through countless life-and-death battles since he was seven years old.
The deadlock lasted for a few second before the sharp aura suddenly disappeared. It was only then that Qianye put his foot on the ground and slowly turned around.
All three big men within the hall looked towards Qianye with praise in their eyes.
Meanwhile, the old man stood up and said, “Little guy, judging from your expression just now, you must have gone to A1 Firearms before.”
Staring at the old man, Qianye finally noticed some slight differences.
The old man at the gun shop looked like a enigmatic expert, but he had slightly more wrinkles than the old man before him. Moreover, now that he thought back, there were glimpses of cunning flashing though the other old man’s eyes, whereas this old man only had a small scar on his face. Although it was incredibly unremarkable, this little difference was very eye-catching to someone like Qianye, who was trained to recognize people’s faces.
The old man then said, “The boss at A1 Firearms is my twin brother. He’s called A1, and I’m called A2. Everyone here calls me Old 2.”
Qianye thought that his face must look very colorful right now. He wasn’t sure what to say.
“Do you want to become a hunter?” Old 2 asked.
“... Yes.” Qianye answered. He thought that this Old 2 didn’t look like a cheat, but his experience at A1 Firearms kept rewinding itself in his head.
There were no swindlers who looked like a swindler.
Old 2 lowered his head and fiddled inside the counter for a moment. He then took out a hexagonal bronze token and tossed it to him, “You’ve passed the test. You are now a hunter, a one star hunter.”
Qianye subconsciously accepted the bronze token and asked a little blankly, “Test?”
“Yep. I looked at you once just now, didn’t I? That was the test. Your performance was pretty good, so you are now a member of Home of Hunters. Keep that thing well. It is your token and your Hunter’s qualification ID.” Old 2 continued to speak indifferently.
Qianye looked at the bronze token in his hand. The item was polished until it was shining, but it was obvious that it had been around for some time, and even time could not conceal its rough craftsmanship. Forget that the star at the center was of uneven height, even the shape itself was crooked and distorted. It looked like a mold done by a child.
“Alright. As a… one star hunter, what exactly can I do?” Qianye finally accepted reality. If he did not need to submit an entry fee later on, then he would not mind participating in this Home of Hunters.
While he was thinking this, Old 2 said, “Please submit a full season’s fee first. It costs a gold coin every month.”
Old 2 had said it indifferently, but Qianye’s heartbeat suddenly spiked.
“What will be my rights then?”
Old 2 pointed at a worn out book hung on the wall and said, “It’s all written down there.”
Qianye opened the book and saw that there were many rules written inside. The book might be worn out, but the writing was clean and elegant. Every word seemed to emanate an unspeakable energy that shook Qianye’s mind, and he had to channel the origin power in his body before being able to stand firmly again.
The rules were actually pretty simple. The amount of fee a hunter submitted was the main determinant of their star rank, whereas star ranks determined what kind of rights a hunter possessed.
A hunter’s main rights included the right to sell the proof of having killed a dark race warrior in exchange for a bounty. Moreover, they could also buy some special armors and weapons from Home of Hunters as well as some special ingredients. If the items provided by Home of Hunters were not up to satisfaction, the Home of Hunters could represent the hunter and contact certain craftsmen to tailor make them.
The bounty alone was worth the member fee. Of course, this was assuming that the hunter could hunt a sufficient amount of dark race warriors in the first place. Star ranks determined the upper limit of the bounties as well. For example, a one star hunter could acquire a total bounty of 10 gold coins per month, whereas a two star hunter could acquire 20 gold coins. Every increase in star rank would double the upper limit.
However, right now, Qianye’s eyes were filled with the amazing power hidden inside those words!
It took him quite a bit of effort to calm down and ask, “Can I see what kind of weapons and armor can be exchanged?”
“Of course. Little Mi, take him to the one star warehouse to have a look.”
A quick-witted young man came out of nowhere and snapped a finger at Qianye, saying, “Come with me.”
Qianye followed the youth to a underground room and entered a storeroom.
Although this was just the warehouse for one star hunters, it contained an extremely rich amount of equipment. Qianye even saw the standard issue weapon of the imperial main corps on the upper continent, the Hellfire Origin Power Machine Gun! This was a grade three gun, and every single one that was there, was new!
However, this gun was stamped with a four-star mark, indicating that it was available for purchase only to a four star hunter. He wasn’t sure how it made its way to this storeroom. Besides that, there were all sorts of full sets of tactical armor, multifunction military knives, all-terrain sight and so on. This was literally a small scale arsenal.
After having seen this warehouse, Qianye finally dispelled all of his doubts and followed the youth back to the hall. He obediently paid the membership fee.
After the procedure was complete, Qianye couldn’t help but ask, “If there are hunters who plan to join but cannot pay the fee, what do you do?”
“They can hold payment. However, every month, a gold coin of interest will be charged.” Old 2 said lightly.
Qianye was surprised yet again. The season membership fee cost three gold coins in total, and a hunter who owed them would have to pay an extra gold coin of interest every month. This interest rate sure was scary.
As if noticing Qianye’s thoughts, a big guy interrupted, “If they could not earn enough money to pay the membership fee, then they might as well not be a hunter and just raise their kids back home!”
The big guy’s words did make sense.
That being said, Qianye did not wish to pay the fee so easily. He took out a small bag and dumped six vampire fangs from it. He had gotten these vampire fangs from the bloodsuckers that had traded with Qi Yue.
Qianye pushed the vampire fangs in front of Old 2 and asked, “These things can be used to exchange for bounty, right?”
According to the Home of Hunter’s exchange formula, a normal vampire warrior’s fang could be exchanged for one gold coin. This also meant that a hunter must kill at least one vampire of the lowest ranking per month to be able to qualify as a hunter in Home of Hunters.
After seeing this rule, Qianye understood why the Home of Hunters appeared so deserted. At the very least, one must be a rank two Fighter. This threshold was actually pretty high, almost as high as the Red Scorpion’s requirements for new recruits. Obviously, it wasn’t as if a rank one Fighter could not become a hunter, but it was just a lot more difficult for them.
These six fangs should be worth more than the membership fee, Qianye thought.
Old 2 suddenly let out a surprised ‘eh’ and picked up a fang. After examining it thoroughly, he said, “If I am not mistaken, this fang was probably taken from an official member of the Niederhill Family. This vampire family has raised a Count before, and it would be a problem if they developed a sufficient amount of descendants. Therefore, they are even more threatening than the usual rank four vampire, so this pair of fangs alone is worth ten gold coins.”
Qianye did not think that the old vampire he killed had such a prominent background. Originally, he had thought that a rank four vampire would be worth four gold coins at best. However, judging from his words, the bounty for this pair of fangs was now more than double his expectations.
Old 2 fiddled through his counter once more and took out ten gold coins and a handaxe. He pushed them to Qianye and said, “You’ve reached the upper limit of your bounty for this month, and I cannot give you more than that. However, I feel that this axe is rather suited for you. Just accept it as my personal gift.”
Qianye took the handaxe and weighted it in his hand. He then examined it closely.
The axe was incredibly small. It was only half a meter long, and the axehead itself was only about the size of a palm. It was heavy. Qianye wasn’t sure what it was made of, but it most definitely wasn’t metallic. He then tried a few ways of probing and detection, but was unable to draw any reaction from it. It would definitely be useful to have an axe that could not be detected by instruments or abilities during a field battle.
Qianye lightly swung it once, and it felt as smooth as an extension of his own hand. Then, he suddenly slashed the air with it several times, and when the axe’s blade cut through the air, it actually let out a faint and shrill howl!
Delight appeared on Qianye’s face. This handaxe was a lot more handy than his dagger. This was a weapon that truly suited him. As usual, it would appear that his combat style leaned towards the simple and direct.
He put the handaxe into his leather bag and hung it around his waist. Qianye then said, “This axe is great, I like it a lot. I shall be going out to hunt now, then.”
Old 2 narrowed his eyes and looked like he would doze off right away. He nodded slightly to indicate that he had heard Qianye, and bid him goodbye. It was as if the sharp glint that had flashed through his eyes when he saw the handaxe’s orbit never existed at all.
After Qianye had left, a big guy said, “That little fellow’s pretty good. He has potential.”
But the other person said coldly, “I dislike him. He has the stench of an imperial dog on him.”
The third person shrugged and said, “There is a difference between dogs as well. This little guy obviously came from a group of top class dogs.”
“A top class dog is still a dog!” The second person said again.
Old 2 pulled out an old-style pocket watch from somewhere and checked the time. He then said slowly, “This little guy is pretty suited for that mission though.”
The three big men suddenly shivered. When they looked at Qianye’s back again, their eyes were filled with a little bit of pity.