Chapter 257: Underground Trade

Chapter 257: Underground Trade [Volume 4 – Perpetual Conflict]  

Most wild beasts would stay away once Viscount Brahm’s aura was released, and its uses weren’t limited to this.

In the hands of an expert in concealment and assassinations, a strand of special aura could also be used for deceit and disguise. For instance, it could be used together with a blinding technique to pretend one was a powerful arachne and confuse the perception of dark race enemies, allowing one to sneak into certain sensitive areas.

William only glared at Qianye once but didn’t reveal any of this.

His gaze swept across the werewolves strewn across the building and shouted, “Get up, all of you, and clean this place up immediately! You have one hour!”

The werewolves clambered up in succession. They endured the pain and began to work without any resistance.

Only at this moment did Qianye see William’s tyrannical side. Qianye felt quite odd because this extremely dignified dark race count before him was too different from the glutton who loved eating roast meat despite being a werewolf.

Afterwards, William and Qianye continued on their path which had been interrupted previously, walking through two doors and entering a small empty hall. There wasn’t any furniture there, only a single path downwards. At the end of the spiral flight of steps was a strictly guarded door, through which they entered and arrived at a maze-like underground space. 

This was a natural underground cave. There were actually a number of shops within, but they hung no sign boards and their customers seemed few and far between. However, Qianye was shaken to find that none of the humans or dark race members moving about here were below rank seven. 

The underground cave was very quiet. People were conversing in hushed tones and seemed as if they were whispering to each other. Occasionally, one could see a number of people leaving hurriedly with trunks of goods in tow. Qianye also noticed that the path out wasn’t just limited to the one they had entered from.

William also softened his volume and said to Qianye, “There are some fine goods in this place, and it’ll be easier for you to sell the stuff in your hands here. There’ll be relatively fewer after-effects as well. I’m off to handle the business regarding the White Claw Tribe. You can look around on your own for now. Go back along this tunnel when you’re done. Just inform the guards and they’ll let you through. You’ll get back as long as you follow this tunnel.”  

A thought flashed through Qianye’s mind. “Do you need my help?”

The matter above ground likely wouldn’t end just like that. The fuss about vampire weapons and aura from before was just an unintelligent excuse—it was common knowledge that weapons seized from vampires would retain their clan’s aura unless it was erased with special equipment or methods. 

Qianye’s current Concealed Bloodline ability no longer needed to be activated and was already a part of his normal status. He didn’t believe that the mediocre werewolf youngster would have been able to see through anything. This whole business was basically the White Claw Tribe trying to make William lose face for some reason.

William laughed out loud as a cold gleam flashed through the depths of his eyes. “No need. If I can’t even take care of a mere White Claw tribe elder, then I’d rather mingle with you from now on!”

Qianye nodded. William probably didn’t want to expose too much of his tribe’s internal conflicts in front of Qianye either. After he left, Qianye swept his eyes over the shops in front of him and went in a random direction.

This natural trading hall was used both for setting up storefronts and as a warehouse. There were a total of six moderately-sized stores, and among them, the vampires, werewolves, arachne, and demonkin owned one store each. Humans, on the other hand, owned two.

After observing the set up here, Qianye understood that this wasn’t just a coincidence—they were arranged according to the distribution of major powers in the Tulip Bazaar. The reason there were two human stores was because they were the other party in trade and not because they were more powerful than the other races.

The clerks in the stores appeared lazy and indifferent. The items upon the racks weren’t too impressive either. The demonkin’s shop was even empty. There wasn’t a single item upon the shelves—only two iron ammunition boxes lay in one corner. They were covered in dust and it seemed as if they’d been left untouched for quite some time.

Qianye browsed through every store and chatted with the clerks briefly until only the demonkin store was left. What surprised Qianye was that among the two human stores, one of them belonged to an agent of the Zhao clan while the other was backed by the rebel army.

The Zhao clan and the rebel army had been fighting bitterly on the Western Continent for decades. But within this grey city’s trading hall, agents from both parties were sitting side by side in harmony, doing their best to collect rare resources for their respective masters.

The six shops had their own ways of running their business. Dark race goods would normally fetch a better price in human stores while imperial goods had to be sold to one of the four dark race stores.

As such, Qianye returned to the Zhao clan store and asked, “Do you buy vampire armaments?”

The person behind the counter was a fair-looking young lady. She glanced coldly at Qianye and said, “You don’t need to bring out any origin guns below grade four or melee weapons below grade three.”

Qianye produced the Thorned Lariat and placed it upon the counter.

The young lady’s eyes suddenly went round. She picked up the Thorned Lariat and observed it carefully for quite some time before carefully placing it back down. She then turned towards Qianye with a gaze so passionate that it could melt steel. 

She smiled charmingly and said with a gentle voice, “I need to have someone appraise this. Can you wait a moment?”

“Fine.” Qianye nodded.

Immediately, the young woman asked Qianye to sit down with all due politeness. She then brought out a teatray from god knows where with fragrant tea and attractive desserts upon it. Only after that did she hurriedly leave for the back of the store.

Moments later, a short and fat old man walked out. He was also somewhat startled after seeing the handgun on the table. Then he brought out his equipment with a solemn expression and began to appraise the item in detail.

Qianye only sat quietly without touching the tea or snacks.

The short and fat elder observed the gun for over ten minutes. Only afterwards did he exhale deeply and turned towards Qianye while wiping the sweat from his brows. “The Thorned Lariat, a premium product of the Byrne clan. This is a gun with a long story behind it and not something that would easily drift outside.”

Qianye replied indifferently without raising his head, “A gun is a gun and the stories are merely stories. As for other things…”—he smiled silently—“I thought the items in this trading hall had no history attached to them.” 

The old fat elder focused his gaze on Qianye and nodded. “You’re right. It’s just that guns with stories are more valuable. So, young master, what do you want?”

“Mithril, energy-grade black crystals, and Mithril Bullets of Exorcism.” 

Moments later, Qianye walked away with several pieces of mithril, a piece of energy-grade black crystal, and three Mithril Bullets of Exorcism.

He then walked towards the arachne store and directly poured out the Lone Ghost assassins’ equipment onto the table.

The arachne were very much interested in human equipment. Qianye didn’t understand why these gigantic and powerful arachne would want with such portable gear, but they had things he wanted and the price offered was quite good.

There was a small pouch of crystal silk in Qianye’s pocket when he left. The production rate of arachne crystal silk was extremely low, but it was one of the most resilient materials currently known. Even a high-grade origin gun would have a hard time blasting through a small sheet of cloth woven from crystal silk, making it one of the best materials for making inner armor.

Such things were considered tactical resources in the empire, but who knew they could be easily traded for in this place.

Finally, Qianye walked up to the demonkin store and knocked on the counter.

The demonkin behind the desk was focused on carving a sheet of crystal and asked without evening raising his head, “What do you want?”

Qianye glanced at the empty racks and asked, “What do you have?”

The demonkin still didn’t look up and replied, “We have everything.”

“Do you have Black Titanium Bullets of Annihilation?”

The demonkin finally raised his head and glanced at Qianye after hearing these words. “You actually want something like this? I have one in stock. Twenty blood crystals, no bargaining.”

Qianye was overwhelmed by this price. It wasn’t possible for such bullets to exist in ordinary markets in Evernight Continent and, as such, this was also the first time he had heard of its price. Twenty blood crystals were already enough to buy a second-hand rank-five origin gun.

However, Black Titanium Bullet of Annihilation was a rare tactical resource since the metal couldn’t be mined in the empire at all. As for how they arrived in the military resource stores, it was a special-grade secret and Qianye naturally wasn’t aware of it. The only way to buy one outside of the military was to purchase it from the dark races via underground channels.

Qianye gave it some thought but, in the end, he counted out twenty blood crystals from his backpack and placed them on the counter.

Only then did the demonkin stand up lazily. He picked up a piece, sniffed it, and said carelessly, “Monroe clan goods. The quality isn’t bad.” He swept the crystals off the table with a wave of his hand. Apparently, there was a certain mechanism underneath. 

Qianye’s heart skipped a bit. If William had obtained these crystals just recently, this indicated that the Monroe clan people were also in the Forgotten Mountain Range area. What were the vampires or perhaps the Evernight Council searching for? Could it be the Eye of Truth he had heard of from the voice in his dreams?

The demonkin turned a switch under the table, whereupon, the counter split open in the middle. A small lifting mechanism within dragged out an elaborately decorated palm-sized black bullet case.

Qianye sized up the ordinary-looking counter. He unexpectedly found that it was made of metal and that every joint in it was probably movable. It could be opened and closed mechanically to form a storage space within. No wonder there wasn’t anything on the shelves.

Qianye received the bullet case and only flipped it open for a quick glance before shutting it tight immediately. Black titanium metal itself possessed extreme destructive properties towards life. Ordinary humans would have most of their vitality destroyed and slowly die just by being close to it, let alone coming in direct contact.

Qianye was quite satisfied with the quality of the goods. With two Black Titanium Bullets of Annihilation in hand, he would have a good chance of gravely wounding his opponent even if he were to encounter a human champion. Since the Lone Ghost assassins had already appeared, it was obvious that the last leg of his journey towards the Zhao clan wouldn’t be peaceful.

His only regret was that he had no weapon in his hands capable of dealing significant damage to a dark race champion. The handmade “bullet” he got from the great master in Dog Claw Town was indeed quite powerful. Unfortunately, he had already used it on Zalen. He had bought the mithril and black crystal just now so that he could go and find that “great master” on his way back. He wanted to see if he could have that master make him another “bullet”.

Qianye went back along the passage and arrived at the werewolf base of operations.

The messy shop had been more or less cleaned within the short hour and even the hole in the wall had been repaired. The werewolf clerks and guards had also resumed their open-for-business status and weren’t hostile towards Qianye, at least on the surface. 

Qianye had just stepped through the door of that small hall when a werewolf met him and told him that William was waiting for him. 

He found William gazing silently at a map as he walked into a room on the west side of the second floor. 

Qianye shot a glance at the map and found the geography to be quite unfamiliar. He could discern neither the region nor the continent of the area displayed on the map. Additionally, he had never seen most of the symbols on the map, making it difficult to understand their meaning.

William’s brows were locked tightly in a frown. Apparently, he had encountered some trouble.

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-Legion-'s Thoughts

Chapter 1/6 of the week. Enjoy ^_^


TL: Legion 

ED: Darkling


Teaser Source: http://vapingunderground.com/threads/the-future-of-vaping-black-market.67740/