Ten minutes later, someone finally made the minimum bid of three thousand Experience Fragments.
It was stingy but to be expected. As long as no one else noticed the auction, the bidder would walk away with minimized expenses. Cheng Yang chuckled at that mindset, and the next ten minutes bashed the first bidder’s hope.
When the auction finished, the final price was nine thousand seventy-seven Experience Fragments.
Stones of Return were consumables in the first place, so Cheng Yang was more than pleased to get eight times returns. Since it was still useful as a life-saving trump card, several cowardly leaders around the world wanted it.
Of course, if they knew the price Cheng Yang bought it at, the Stone of Return would be treated like the other overpriced items in the Auction House.
A moment later, the boy from earlier brought Cheng Yang a card that increased his Experience Fragment balance by eight thousand points.
After buying a bag of stones, Cheng Yang had less than twenty thousand Experience Fragments. Even if he sold each one for half the value of the first, he’d have nearly half a million Experience Fragments. Then, he could buy the other hundred from the Grocery and do it all again.
Cheng Yang listed a second stone of return on the forum. This time, however, he added a “buy it now” price of ten thousand Experience Fragments. He wanted to see if there were any rich bastards in this new world.
Unlike the first listing, this one got bids as soon as it was posted. Its relatively low price for the auction house and usefulness had attracted a lot of attention from leaders around the world.
Five minutes in, the stone was bought. Someone must have been infuriated by losing the first stone and paid the high price to guarantee it fell into their hands.
Satisfied with the efficiency of earning money using the Stones of Return, Cheng Yang prepared to leave the Tavern. He had never planned to sit here and sell each one individually since it would be too time-consuming. Luckily, there was a way to sell items in bulk.
The first was to list them as a whole. The other was to set up each item to list after someone bought the current one.
The boy from before retrieved the whole bag of stones from Cheng Yang before he left the Tavern. Once he did, Cheng Yang visited the Grocery. He wanted to reserve all of the Stones of Return for himself and asked the manager not to sell them to the public.
Since Cheng Yang was the Lord, and it didn’t matter as long as someone bought the items, the manager agreed. He could only keep two hundred in the store at a time, so the more he sold each day, the better.
It was now four in the afternoon, so Cheng Yang decided to go hunt monsters.
Although it was no longer profitable in terms of Experience Fragments, Cheng Yang knew the importance of honing his skills. Every battle, big or small, would allow him to take another step forwards.
Cheng Yang hadn’t planned to finish his God Quest until tomorrow morning, so he had arranged for Liu Wei to train under the supervision of Xue Yu. The members of the Imperial Guard were absolutely loyal to Cheng Yang, so they were the only people he trusted not to leak Liu Wei’s skills and importance.
Now that Cheng Yang planned to hunt monsters at a leisurely pace, he wanted to bring Liu Wei to accompany him. Xue Yu couldn’t leave the territory’s boundaries, so any battle were low intensity and one-on-two. As such, Cheng Yang wanted to bring her deeper into the forest for stricter training.
Cheng Yang found the duo while they were looking for monsters.
After over a week of constant fighting and hiking, Liu Wei’s previous fragile appearance was disappearing. Although it wouldn’t affect your stats, the exercise would still improve your physique. Her legs were filling out with muscle, and she had visibly more energy than before. In addition, her previously long hair had been cut short with a sword, leaving it choppy and asymmetrical. She now looked more similar to the seasoned warrior Xue Yu than the idols of the old world.
Liu Wei had long since learned that beauty without strength was a sin in this world. She had learned that lesson the hard way, and now that Cheng Yang gave her a chance to change her fate, she would do everything in her power to do so.
Seeing this, Cheng Yang couldn’t help but smile. Even with a bare face and hairy legs, this Liu Wei was infinitely more beautiful to him than the old one since her skills were enough even to make him envious.
“Hey.” Cheng Yang called out to Liu Wei with a smile. “I finished my work early today and thought we could go hunting together.”
“I’d love to.” Liu Wei visibly lit up when she saw Cheng Yang. “Tell me how your quest went.”
Cheng Yang dismissed Xue Yu and spent the next half hour chatting with Liu Wei on their way to better hunting grounds. Along the way, Cheng Yang shared his plan for the Stones of Return with Liu Wei and showed her how his Experience Fragments total would skyrocket every few minutes.
Unfortunately, the good times didn’t last forever. After over a dozen Stones of Return were bought for the price of ten thousand Experience Stones, people caught on to the high supply. As such, the price stabilized around six thousand Experience Fragments. For Cheng Yang, even that was good since it was five times returns.
“You seem to be in a good mood.” Liu Wei said with a light laugh. “Those auctions you set up must be doing well.”
“How could I not be happy when a cash cow like that falls into my lap? With these funds, I’ll have enough money to do anything I want.” Cheng Yang boasted. “In fact, I’ll even start paying for your training costs, so Old Lee doesn’t have to.”
Liu Wei’s eyes flashed with surprise. Then she furiously shook her head. “There’s no need to do that, Cheng Yang. I kill plenty of monsters when we travel together, and I’ve been paying for it myself these last few days. I’m confident that I could pay to train at the next level of training speed if you wanted me to.”
Cheng Yang rolled his eyes. “Do you think it would be so cheap? Do you know how many Experience Fragments it would even take to unlock the next stage?”
“Well, if the pattern doesn’t change, I think its a million?”
“Yep, a million. So the training costs will be nearing the ten thousand mark.”
“Well, once you unlock the next level of training speed for me, I’ll need to work hard.” Liu Wei said with a charming lilt as she stuck out her tongue.
Cheng Yang groaned at that cheeky response. Even if she could make enough to pay the nightly costs, it would be a long time before Cheng Yang accumulated the Experience Fragments needed to unlock 64-times training speed. To do so would require the equivalent of killing a million Low-Grade monsters. It was a daunting feat.
While Cheng Yang was fretting over how to spend his influx of Experience Fragments, leaders around the world were wracked with anxiety.
Ever since that earthquake signaled the end of the world, the global political power balance had been in the process of reshuffling. Prominent political organizations of the past were pushed aside in favor of more militant ones.
In Cheng Yang’s previous life, a full three-fifths of the safe zones on the world were controlled by former military commanders. Even in safe zones where that wasn’t the case, military personnel were able to influence the direction of that safe zone’s leadership.
In addition to military forces, there were safe zones controlled by militarized police forces, corporate entities, and criminal syndicates.
Many of these new leaders fancied themselves the rulers of modern empires and desired a return to the imperial age. Today, however, that had changed. At the end of the week, no less than a sixth of the world’s leaders would be permanently banished from their safe zones and left to die.
As for the rest, most of them only stayed in power because their subordinates were worse than they were and acted as a shield.
After this incident, the leaders and public officials of safe zones would begin to restrain themselves. Some even stooped to distributing Experience Fragments in massive public campaigns in the hopes that the populace would spare them.
Thus, although the safe zones weren’t peaceful, a tenuous order was created since there were no longer despotic leaders in charge.