After sending off Old Lee, Cheng Yang visited the Mission Hall to turn in his God Quest.
Once he did, a strange light twirled down from the screen and enveloped Cheng Yang.
“Congratulations, mortal Lord. Your bravery has astounded the gods, and they’ve seen fit to reward you most generously. For their enjoyment, continue to struggle and suffer. It pleases them greatly.”
As the light swirled around Cheng Yang, the messenger of the gods whispered in his ear. It was an odd sensation since the voice was usually booming, but it wasn’t an unpleasant one. However, Cheng Yang couldn’t help but feel spooked by the messenger’s words. Nothing good could come from the gods’ attention.
A moment later, the light condensed into a circular token which landed in Cheng Yang’s hand.
Stone of Return Business License
This license, granted by the gods, allows the sale of the specialty item “Stone of Return” by the Phoenix Village Grocery at a sales tax rate of twenty percent.
Stone of Return: Teleports you to a previously visited territory or safe zone
When Cheng Yang read the item’s system pane, his heart fell into his stomach. The Stone of Return was far too practical. It was a must-have for anyone, even if it was less useful than it appeared to be from the description. Not to mention, since there was no way the Stone of Return would be cheap, the territory would benefit immensely from the taxes on the item.
Although the gods gave this to him for now, Cheng Yang was confident it would eventually spread to other territories since other specialty products earned in his previous life did. However, if he handled this properly, he could become a very wealthy man before it did.
Cheng Yang immediately sprinted towards the Grocery. Once he arrived, he handed the license to the manager without a word.
“My Lord, you… How did you get this?” The manager asked with an excited and reverent voice. To be able to sell a specialty item was the dream of any merchant, so how could he not be excited.
“It’s just a new product.” Cheng Yang smugly. “With me here, you’ll be seeing tokens like this a lot.”
“I will? If it’s you, then maybe. Together we can turn this into the best Grocery on this planet!” The manager said with confidence.
“Now hurry up and get permission to start selling.”
The manager swiftly ducked into a back room and returned a few minutes later.
“My Lord, I’ve received the first shipment of goods along with some fantastic news!” The manager said with a smile bursting at the seams. “Since we’re the first territory to start selling a specialty product, they increased my sales authority to tier two! Now I can sell two hundred Stones of Return instead of a hundred. Normally I’d need to sell them for a few weeks to get my sales authority increased!”
“Good. Give me all of them.” Cheng Yang said with the air of a wealthy man.
The manager’s mood fell instantly, and an awkward expression bloomed on his face. “My Lord, this product is a little expensive, so I’m not sure-“
“How much are they? Are you worried I can’t pay?” Cheng Yang asked, annoyed by the manager’s shift in attitude.
“My Lord, I highly value your patronage and dedication to my store, but each Stone of Return cost a thousand Experience Fragments, so you lack the financial capability to purchase two hundred.” The manager explained carefully. “I want to let you use credit, but until your citizens spend more at my store, I’m afraid I can’t.”
“Fine. Give me a hundred stones for now.” Cheng Yang said with a sigh.
This time, the manager didn’t hesitate. He immediately pulled a box down from a shelf behind the counter and started to move quail egg sized stones into a bag. They were covered entirely in mysterious engravings that pulsated with light blue energy.
“That will be a hundred thousand Experience Fragments, my Lord.” The manager said with dollar signs in his eyes.
As much as it hurt Cheng Yang to do, he transferred his life savings over to the manager. Then, he took the bag and left the Grocery.
When he checked the system pane for a Stone of Return, he was pleased to see it was worth the price.
Stone of Return
These stones were crafted by Dwarven smiths then perfected by the ancient Orcish mages before they lost access to magic. Now they are used by those who struggle in the countless planes for a second chance at life.
Effect: Teleports the user to a previously visited territory or safe zone
Restriction: Unusable if a skill was used in the past three minutes
Cast Time: Three seconds
Cooldown: 24 hours
Uses Remaining: Three
Cheng Yang didn’t go far after leaving. He walked over to the Tavern and ordered an expensive meal with a drink.
There were only a few other non-NPCs in the building. Since the army had strict administration, there was almost no one who spent time here.
Cheng Yang found a place to sit down and then opened the Auction House. To his surprise, there were already several hundred items listed. Each and every one of them was something weird and powerful. It appeared as if people listed anything they didn’t understand how to use.
What kinds of items were people unaware of at this point? Anything related to Lordship and territories. They couldn’t be used in the safe zones, so even if someone found one, there wasn’t anything they could do with it.
Of course, even if they were confused, they could still read the items system pane. As such, most of the items were listed at very high prices. Not one of them cost less than fifty-thousand Experience Fragments, and some were in the millions.
Some of the items must have been found in the ruins of a city like the Imperial Guard Pavilion blueprints while the rest were rewards from getting the first clear of an instance dungeon. As long as you entered with fifty Standard-Grade Apprentices, it was possible to clear the Easy Difficulty of a Team-Size instance dungeon. By now, a large number of elites have entered the Standard-Grade, and several safe zones had dozens. As long as the population was high enough and the leaders ambitious enough, it was an easily achievable feat.
While the percentage of safe zones capable of forming a force that can clear in instance dungeon was in the single digits, there were thousands of safe zones globally.
Cheng Yang was curious, so he scrolled through the Auction House and found a few items of interest.
Divine Phoenix Garden Blueprints
These blueprints allow the construction of several Divine Phoenix Gardens.
This walled garden increases the efficiency of the meditation skill by 120% for up to five people.
The Divine Phoenix Garden was the same type of building as the Meditation Hall, but it was far better. It was even better than the expensive villas in the safe zone, which only doubled meditation efficiency. However, the owner had listed it at five million Experience Fragments. It was unfortunate, but there was no way for Cheng Yang to purchase it.
As disappointed as he was, Cheng Yang had to admit it was a fair price. The monthly rent for the best villa in the safe zones was a hundred thousand Experience Fragments, so, for a replicable, permanent structure, five million was the absolute minimum.
Even if he had the money, however, Cheng Yang wouldn’t waste it on those blueprints. For that amount, hundreds of soldiers could unlock eight-times training speed, so it wasn’t worth it unless he had so much money he didn’t know what to do with it.
There was also a statuette that unlocked a new secondary class listed for two million Experience Fragments. Naturally, Cheng Yang wouldn’t buy it.
Cheng Yang could only sigh. Did these fools think anyone would buy those? They had to understand the value Experience Fragments held, right? Couldn’t they make it a bit cheaper so he could snatch all the good things up?
Dispirited by the high prices, stopped browsing the Auction House.
Cheng Yang opened up a new listing and had the terminal scan one of his Stones of Return. Its description was copied into the listing, and then Cheng Yang set a base bidding price of three thousand Experience Fragments. Finally, he set a time limit of thirty minutes.
Cheng Yang’s idea was simple, list all of the Stones of Return he bought on the Auction House and reap massive profits. Since everyone else was being greedy, Cheng Yang figured he should milk as much out of his specialty product as he can. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be worth it.
As soon as the listing was posted, a waiter visited the table and retrieved the Stone of Return.
After the waiter took the stone into the back of the Tavern, Cheng Yang ate his meal while staring at the auction listing.
Ten minutes later, there were no changes.
Cheng Yang wasn’t in a hurry. People wouldn’t want to buy something as soon as they saw it, and the listing time was reasonably short, so he wasn’t expecting much. Once the timer was close to finished, people would start bidding.