Guild Wars - Chapter 150

Published at 21st of November 2020 10:16:45 PM

Chapter 150: 150
Soon enough, the core members of Umbra assembled within Draco's super mini small world room . They all gazed at the standalone small realm with awe, as they had never encountered something as magnificent as this .   

Super mini small worlds weren't like cabbage by the roadside . Draco had only 2 of them and they were present on the top floors of his Rank 7 buildings . It was clear that their value was not low at all .   

Therefore, the Etz Chaim Seedling was an especially great and welcome reward . It would allow him to grow his own super mini small world within his body that could evolve .   

Draco wasn't too sure about what it took the level up such small worlds though, so he would have to discover it on his own at that time . It would definitely be an uphill task, but for someone with his resources, it should be doable .   

Draco gazed at Boyd, Uno, Rina, Cobra, Kiran, Sublime Notion, Rambunctious Buttlover, Warm Spring, Slim Fatty, Dreary Traveler, Happy Saint, Silent Walker, Loving Aunt, Jada, Jade, Akainu and Sanji .   

Beside him were Riveting Night and Hikari too .   

In a relatively short time, Umbra had grown to possess a respectable top brass .   

While most of them were only known to be Umbra's core members, it was only a question of time before each one of them would leave behind their own legacy .   

Draco gave them a nod full of appreciation and they left the Guild Hall on foot, as he couldn't blink so many people at once .   

They did not walk through the streets . Not only would it take far too long to get to their destination, but it would also be foolish when considering Draco's reputation .   

He was a noble with high standing in the Sturgehaven Kingdom . He naturally had a top-grade carriage sent over to pick him and his people up .   

This carriage also had magical space within and Draco immediately knew that this was a feat of his new Tradeskill, Magical Engineering . Just because it was an Epic Tradeskill and as such especially rare, did not mean no one had it .   

The number might be abysmally low, but at least NPCs with it still existed . Draco was surprised to note that the inner workings of the caravan seemed to be vaguely comprehensible to him .   

Still, he didn't bother to activate the Magical Engineering Tradeskill at the moment . There was a better time and place for that . Today was already planned full with a much more important agenda .   

Soon enough, the carriage arrived at the Business District, where the largest building in the whole area stood out greatly .  

It was the Rank 7 Shop! 

Or it would more appropriate to call it a medieval mall . It was designed like a modern mall, just without any tech . It had been named Umbra Mall by Riveting Night not just for simplicity's sake, but also because the name 'Umbra' had already established itself as standing for the highest quality .   

The core members of Umbra gazed at the Rank 7 Shop with smiles on their faces . After all, they had long been introduced to this wondrous mall and had even browsed its wares .   

There was a terrifying amount of human traffic coming in and out of the mall . As had been explained earlier, Boundless was a game that was very, very expansive . The size of Stagnant Moss town was almost as great as a big city from Earth .   

As for the cities, they were slightly larger than provinces in the real world . The number of humans in this world easily exceeded those in the real world .  And this was not even accounting all the other kinds of sentient races, so even if everyone and their mother joined in, the Immortal Adventurers would never be able to outnumber NPCs .   

However, the difference between NPCs and Immortal Adventurers was that one group could die permanently while the other could respawn infinitely, assuming that they weren't hit with potent Destruction Energy .    

Draco walked through the crowds with his entourage . Even with their unique disposition and a great reputation, it took a while for the crowd to realize some big shots were passing through .   

The noisy area eventually died down as everyone gazed at the 20-man party with their notable emblems pinned to their chests . Many people made way without being asked when they passed through, giving them looks of reverence, worry or awe .   

Draco ignored them and surveyed the first floor of the mall . Soon enough, one of the players who had taken a serf quest to manage the properties of Umbra rushed up to Draco with excitement and fear .  

"I humbly welcome the Guildmaster, Vice-Guildmasters and the Core Members!" The short and slightly chubby girl greeted with a curtsy .   

She was quite plump and had round, rosy cheeks . She seemed to be a member of the mage class if her robes were anything to go, but she naturally did not have a staff or wand out as she was doing commercial work .   

Draco smiled lightly at her and nodded . "Nice to meet you . Please update us on the situation on the first floor of the shop . Are you the overseer?" 

"No sir, that would be Forest Water . He is one of the few core serf players of the guild . " She answered carefully .   

Draco pondered for a bit before shaking his head . "No need to summon him, unless you do not have all the answers I seek . Do you?" 

"I do, sir! Please follow me while I show you the state of the first floor!" She replied with excitement .   

Of course, she was excited . If she put on a good performance, she might get promoted to a better rank . Like every serf player, she had naively believed this game would be fair to everyone and try to pander or please every player who bought the expensive Virtua Helmet .   

How was she supposed to know, that the developers and AI didn't give a rat's ass about how they felt? Whoever designed it knew that with the way the game was structured, many would flock to it no matter the hardsh . i . p . s and difficulties which awaited them .   

What, you don't want to work yourself to the bone? No problem, send in the next guy who will!  

Still, she was smitten by the game and its realism . There was also the fact that the laws and customs she had to be wary of and observe in the real world meant dogshit here, so she felt free and unconstrained .   

Naturally, the downside was that others felt the same way too, so unscrupulous acts were being committed every day in the hundreds .   

"The first floor has a 100 available shop rooms of which everyone has been rented out . 25 of them are reserved for Umbra at all times, and we have some expert rank serf players managing them . "  

"Items below the Rare rank acquired by the guild members during their quests as well as some of the creations of the Guild's Tradeskill players are sold here . " 

"25 of the other shops were rented by the other guilds .  5 of them belong to Kamisuo, while another 5 were rented by Desecrators . 3 were taken by Lorebinders and 2 belong to Myriad Cards .  The remainder were rented out to notable guilds in Sturgehaven Kingdom and the other two neighboring Kingdoms, Fallenyer and Koriam . " 

"The last 50 were rented out to the highest bidding NPC merchants, who form the basis of our income . The player guilds did not have enough to pay upfront . As such, we took deposits and had them sign a binding contract to pay the rest after their rental term was over . " 

Draco listened to this and wasn't surprised . The divisions they had worked out were exactly how he expected them to be with how meticulous Sublime Notion and Riveting Night were . They wouldn't make mistakes at all .  

"Cancel the payment requirement with Kamisuo and Desecrators and free up their shops for rent to other paying guilds .  Assign those two guilds shops on the third or fourth floor, whichever they prefer . As for Lorebinders and Myriad Cards, nullify the contracts and kick them out . They are our enemies . There is no need to be scrupulous with them . " 

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Draco's words were like a divine decree and the chubby girl couldn't help but feel her breath hike . Being able to decide the commercial fates of entire guilds, especially those Legendary-tier ones, like that was truly moving .   

After all, the benefits of selling in a Rank 7 Shop were immeasurable . The building alone provided so many quality, pricing and advertis . e . m . e . nt benefits to shops within, that it had become the hottest cake among players and NPCs .   

Half of the reason why Kamisuo, Myriad Cards, Desecrators, and Lorebinders could afford to manage so many members this early in the game was due to the funds generated by their shops here .   

To cut off the flow was no different from strangling their necks . Likewise, to send Kamisuo and Desecrators up would boost their income so much that they would be making thousands of gold per week! 

"Of course, sir . I'm going to inform my overseer about your orders . " The serf player said . She bowed once again before scurrying off .  

Draco shook his head and nodded to the silent core members .  They mostly knew everything about the shop since they had helped it grow or had been briefed extensively when they joined .  

It was Draco - who had been away - that knew only bits and pieces from what Riveting Night shared with him .  

The overseer of the first floor had been private messaged by the chubby serf girl of Draco's words, so he decided to let her handle it . He also promised her a promotion and raise within her job rank, so that was why she scurried off so happily .   

"Let's go up . " 

After saying that, he led the core members of Umbra up to the next floor, where the overseer herself came to greet him . She had already been informed that the ones visiting were the most important members of Umbra, so she delegated all her other tasks to be able to meet them personally .   

This overseer was a bit tall and her facial features were a bit rough . She didn't have a very curvy body but she did have good proportions . She had a strong tan skin and wore a more formal attire in the form of an official's robe .   

This was different from the typical mage robes of course, due to its bagginess and intricate design .   

She also greeted the group with a bow, her voice sounding quite pleasant despite her rough visage . She proceeded to also give them the tour, showing Draco and co the progress of the second floor .   

"The second floor has 75 shop spaces that are slightly larger and classier than those below and have better benefits for customers, making them a better choice when they are available . All 75 shop spaces have been rented by non-players, as no player guild can afford to rent our spaces at this stage of the game . " 

She said this with a bit of pride, which was mirrored by the core members of Umbra . They wore the emblem proudly, and even the serf players were treated well by smaller guild's core members or guild leaders .   

"50 of the shops have been rented by Rank 5 NPC merchant powerhouses who paid for the full rental term upfront . They also waive all taxes to the Sturgehaven Kingdom, only paying 10% to us, 5% to the Cario Continental Council and 5% to the Merchant's Guild . " 

Draco's eyebrows rose . He wasn't too knowledgeable on the specific benefits of the different floors of the Rank 7 Shop apart from the general notion that the higher you go, the better .  

However… Lower taxes were enough of a benefit to make any merchant grovel at your feet and lick your boots .   

But if just the second floor had Rank 5 NPCs, then what about the upper ones? 

"The remaining 25 shops have been rented by the Sturgehaven Kingdom . Their products are selling like hotcakes among customers, whether NPC or players, because they sell everything at a 10% discount . " 

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Draco wasn't surprised by this either . If the Rank 7 Shop prevented the second floor from giving the nation any benefits, then the nation might as well hog as much of the floor as possible! 

Naturally, there were blacksmiths, merchants, alchemists and the like that were loyal to the royal family . They could easily make plenty of useful potions, equipment, etc to sell .   

Since the profits were already naturally higher when selling in this shop compared to any other they might own, they could easily add a discount . They'd still be making hefty amounts anyway, so why not get a good reputation while they were at it? 

This was something the other Rank 5 NPCs couldn't do, as they were retailers . In other words, they didn't manufacture their own goods, they purchased them from other sources and sold them in the mall .   

The difference between the power of a Kingdom and an individual was a wide gap, unless they had great backing behind them .   

Draco checked out the shops and found that the Sturgehaven Kingdom ones really were impressive . They had everything from Common to Rare tier on sale, whether it was potions, weapons or armors . Even misc . consumables and skillbooks were sold there .  He was even tempted to go and window shop a bit after he was done with his other tasks .  

Next, they went up to the third floor, where the overseer was already waiting for them with a servile bow .  He even had some refreshments prepared for those who wanted to partake in them .  

The fellow was an average looking bloke with messy brown hair, glasses and a long nose . He wore an attire similar to the overseer below, so Draco surmised that this had to be a sort of uniform for them .   

After exchanging greetings, they were once again led around on a short tour of the third floor . The floor itself was much more spacious than the one below and it was regulated with heat and cold runes that ensured the temperature was always perfect .    

Draco noticed that the shops here were a lot more like how supermarkets within a mall were in the real world in terms of size, and their staff alone outnumbered the entirety of Umbra's player managers or staff .   

"The third floor has 50 shop spaces and upgraded storage capacities for merchants .  Many can use them as micro-warehouses so that they don't have to store replacement goods outside when stock is cleared .  Starting from this floor we also offer the services of aides . " 

"Only 35 shops have been rented out . It cannot be helped, as the rental costs are quite high . Among those, 20 are owned by Rank 6 NPC merchants from across the globe . All 20 of them left their own headquarters to personally man these shops too . " 

The overseer said this with a strange tone . After all, knowing that at least 20 Rank 6 entities sat inside your establishment 24/7 was quite scary, yet Draco seemed non-plussed .   

Even if those merchants were aware of his visit, they wouldn't bother him during a time he was doing an inspection .   

If they wanted to maintain their golden goose which was the Rank 7 Shop, they wouldn't bother Draco while he was busy with his official duties .   

Besides, there was a much better time to work on their relationship . That was naturally when Draco was done .   

The Rank 5 NPCs also thought similarly .   

"The remaining 15 shop spaces have been rented out by external empires, as many kingdoms on the Cario Continent do not have the presence and funds to manage such high tier shop spaces . Only the two neighboring kingdoms of Fallenyer and Koriam have tried, but we are still in negotiations with them . " 

Draco pondered for a bit before waving his hand . "Reduce the costs for rental by half .  In exchange, stipulate that they will owe Umbra a favor . " 

The overseer was shocked as he heard this . To casually decide for two whole kingdoms to pay half price and a favor just for one shop space on the third floor seemed like a crazy concept, yet the Guildmaster could do so .   

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The overseer for the third floor bowed and went to contact these two Kingdom's envoys with the terms Draco had put forth .  

The 20-man party then went up another floor and beheld the magnificent fourth floor . The area had its own lighting and scenting, with intricate runes that catered the temperature to the wants of each customer .   

The shops spaces were huge too, about the size of a cinema in the real world . This wasn't referring to a single cinema room, but the whole cinema altogether .   

The overseer for this floor was a woman and she was actually quite okay looking . Her skin was dark and her lips were quite pink . She wore large earrings and seemed to be of average height and weight .  She had an exotic feel to her fitting in perfectly for this high-class floor .  

She also greeted everyone, and Draco was surprised to find out that she had an accent similar to Zaine's . A new floor meant a new tour, however no one complained with how interesting it was .   

"The fourth floor has 25 shop spaces each with their own mini-warehouses that can store about 1/3rd of the shop's prime stock at once . So far only 15 of these shops have been rented out, as the rental price is…" 

The overseer didn't need to elaborate much, as Draco understood very well what she was trying to say .   

"Of the 15 rented shops, 3 belong to the Merchant's association, 3 to the Adventurer's guild, 2 to the Assassin's guild, 2 to the Mage's Association and the rest shared among the five guilds of Thief's, Warrior's, Fighter's, Builder's and Transportation . "  

Draco nodded along .   

Of course, there were many powerful NPC guilds in Boundless World, but Draco hadn't interacted with many of them because he hadn't needed to yet .   

With almost all of them joining his overpowered money-making machine that was the Rank 7 Shop, it could be said that their interests were intertwined .   

Even though Draco didn't have the balls to mess with any of these guilds, they also wouldn't go out of their way to harm him .   

Unless of course, some great benefit was placed on their lap . Like when Richmond's deterrent came to an end in about two years' time .   

Draco ascertained from the overseer of the third floor and the fourth floor that the lower floor had a lowered tax rate that negated Sturgehaven Kingdom and Cario Continent's share .  It turned out merchants of the third floor only paid 10% to Umbra and 5% to the Merchant's guild .   

The merchants of the fourth floor only paid 10% to Umbra, as they no longer needed to pay the Merchant's guild . That might be why the Merchant guild was trying to swallow all the shop spaces, just like what Sturgehaven Kingdom had done to the second floor .  

Draco nodded to the overseer and climbed up to the fifth floor, which was the last one for shop spaces . As soon as he arrived, he was welcomed by yet another overseer from Umbra . Only this one was flanked by five other people, of which four were NPCs while the last one was a player .   

Draco recognized one of the fellows standing there as the Second Grand Elder of the Tradeskill Association, Smithson . Beside him were two women, one old and one young .   

The final fellow was a young man who seemed very distrustful .   

Then the last person was a player Draco knew about from his past life .   

It was the number one Merchant player of Sturgehaven Kingdom, Money Lover!