Chapter 221 - Kelat Auction House (4)
It was the mysterious merchant who Yeon-woo had frequently made deals with in the Tutorial.
He hadn’t even told Yeon-woo his name, only introducing himself as A. Yeon-woo couldn’t have imagined that he would meet him here.
Even though Yeon-woo couldn’t see his face because of his robe, he could tell right away from the merchant’s ridiculous speech and mannerisms.
Of course, since he was hiding his identity right now, he couldn’t act like he knew him.
However, Yeon-woo was thinking that it worked out nicely. He already knew the merchant’s personality, so he could deal with him easily.
The merchant was probably happy thinking that a pushover had come.
Trying not to reveal how he felt, Yeon-woo nervously adjusted his duffel and headed towards the guy.
The merchant Atran was someone that was pretty high up in the West Wind Union.
Other than the head boss, the ‘boss’ position was definitely the next highest.
And after he had gotten several Magic Stone mines at that time and sold them at high prices to different clans, he received a generous amount of profit.
However, because of his rude speech patterns and his ill-tempered personality, he frequently clashed with his higher-ups.
That was why he had pretty much been kicked out into this lower-level dealing area of the Kelat Auction House—because he had smacked the head of the rude head boss.
And obviously, there wasn’t much to do in this lower-level dealing area.
Even if there was business, it was just selling and snatching up the items that players brought in at a cheap price. For someone who had once controlled the Magic Stones market, this kind of money seemed like mere pennies.
“Thank you for choosing us. We love you. Fool, I mean, customer, I hope you choose to use Merchant A next time too.”
But work was still work, so he was getting ready to butter up the next customer—
‘Ugh. Another pushover is here.’
The door opened, and another player entered.
The player with a naive face was holding a single duffel bag, looking around. The merchant didn’t feel any particular aura from him.
Just with a single glance, he could tell that the player was the perfect pushover, no, prey.
He looked like a newbie merchant who wanted to sell what he had collected so far. Those kinds of guys were the easiest to rip off.
Even if they were dealing within the Auction House, the merchants could rip off the players if they were able to.
And if it was a novice who was just starting out? Even better.
But letting your thoughts be read was something that only stupid people did. It wasn’t something that a veteran like him would do.
“What are you here for, push…..I mean, sir?”
When Atran spoke to him, the player even flinched. Atran didn’t know how the guy had mustered the courage to become a player.
It suddenly occurred to him that the newbie seller might be putting on an act, but he quickly shook those thoughts away, since there was no need for acting in a lower-level dealing area like this.
“I, I want to sell something.”
“I see, so you’re here to sell? Is this your first time with us?”
“Yes. That’s right.”
“Ooh. Then you’ve found the right place. Our West Wind Union is the most conscientious and honest out of all the merchant unions.”
“Is that so?”
Then, the player beamed like it was a relief. It was a dowdy smile.
“We have to examine the object, so would you mind putting it up here?”
The player awkwardly set his duffel bag down.
Atran was only thinking of how to rip him off and send him away.
But the moment he saw the item inside the duffel bag, Atran was quite surprised.
‘Where did someone like that get something like this?’
The items he brought were weapons like swords or spears. They were all sturdy and sharp. They definitely weren’t something that a newbie merchant like him should have.
“Aren’t these pretty nice? Haha.”
Like the player knew that his inventory was nice, he smiled.
‘So he’s a Crow.’
Atran instantly knew what kind of person this player was. They were called Crows.
It was slang for players that went around old battlefields and ‘farmed’ items from corpses.
The world of the Tower was vast, and there were always battles even where players couldn’t see.
It seemed like he had gathered a decent amount.
There were traces of wear and tear, but they didn’t affect how usable the items were, so they could probably be sold at a high price.
Of course, Atran couldn’t let his thoughts show, and so he set a low price range.
“Yes. They’re all good quality. Good. Very. And a few of them are high-class artifacts that have magic.”
“Then, will the price be…..?!”
“However, it’s a bit of a shame.”
“W, What are you talking about?”
“Look here. As you can see, the rune letters on the blade are destroyed beyond the point of recognition, and it’s very worn. For items like these, the price will drop to ¼ of its original amount. And for something like this…..”
Because of the management of the Bureau, he couldn’t painfully rip him off, but he could rip him off a little.
Even within the West Wind, Atran’s speaking skills were renowned. As he continued to speak, the bumpkin’s face paled.
Of course it would, since he had come here with high hopes, only to have them crushed.
Atran decided to stop there. He knew that if he dropped the price too much, the deal might completely collapse. If the player took his swords to another dealing area, all his efforts would go to waste.
“…..But even if the care is a bit regretful, a pearl won’t lose its value just because it was under sand for a long time. If they’re repaired just a bit, you can sell it at a fine price.”
Color returned to his depressed face.
Atran realized that the player had completely fallen for the bait and pretended to punch some numbers into a calculator, pushing it towards him.
“So normally, it’s this price, but you brought a lot of items, and to continue a good relationship with our customers, I’ll raise it to this. How’s that?”
“Y, Yes! Deal!”
It wasn’t as much as he had expected, but seeing the price increase from what was said at the beginning, the player gripped Atran’s hand.
Just then, after he looked around, he carefully pulled something from his chest pocket. Atran wondered what kind of item the guy would be taking such special care of, and it was something that he never would have expected.
It wasn’t an artifact or armor.
It was a tablet.
Most of the letters were hard to recognize, seemingly from the oldness of the object.
But the moment Atran activated his decoding skill, Atran forced a gasp back down.
Merchants had to know a little of everything since they came in contact with all kinds of items. Atran knew especially a bit more about alchemy.
But the information on the tablet wasn’t ordinary.
There was complex alchemy inscribed on it. And they were all foreign to him, as if proving how old it was.
The Tower was a place where people from all kinds of worlds came. There were a few players who entered the Tower after stealing treasures from their home worlds.
However, most of the players didn’t know how to understand the treasures, so they were thrown away in the end. These treasures were tossed around by people who didn’t know their value, and it was eventually given to someone who saw it for what it was worth.
This item was exactly like that.
It was regretful the ending was a bit cut off, but this was enough. The broken letters would be able to be found after some research.
‘I have to have this.’
Most merchants said, ‘Eureka!’ when they found items like this. Atran wanted to shout out ‘Eureka!’right then and there.
It suddenly occurred to him that with this, he could return to his former position.
His eyes shined under the robe.
‘Things went smoothly since he seemed to know its value.’
Yeon-woo lightly laughed as he left the dealing area. He had planned to make the rumors leak out after it was exchanged by several people, or create some rumors himself.
But it seemed like there wasn’t any need to do that.
To trick the mysterious merchant, he acted as a Crow, and he perfectly tricked him.
Since he had given the fake Emerald Tablet along with the weapons, he didn’t have to worry about being caught.
The seed was planted.
Now all he had to do was wait for it to grow.
Atran didn’t move right away after getting the tablet in his possession. Rather, his head was filled with thoughts of how he should take care of this.
‘I can’t just put it up for sale. I have to wrap it up nicely, and make rumors leak out.’
In the Auction House, it was most important to control public opinion.
It was because consumers felt more satisfied and content when they thought they had something that no one else had in their hands, and the price would rise astronomically.
To do that, he had to spread rumors so people would be filled with curiosity and expectation.
As he was thinking, he came up with a method and rang the bell on the table calling for his subordinate.
“Did you call for me?”
“Do you know a good scribe?”
“Wouldn’t there be some of them in the labor market?”
“Then bring 10 of them after asking around. As soon as possible!”
Atran made the scribes copy just 20% of the information on the tablet.
He was making a sample.
He wrapped it up with smooth silk, and sent the sample to his VIP list, along with a few words.
-May luck be with whoever receives this letter. I hope what’s in here can be that luck for you.
Most people who received the letter wouldn’t be interested.
Inside the fancy envelope, there would just be a few strange letters, and warrior-type players who didn’t see its worth would just toss it into the trash can.
However, apostles or magic-type players would realize its worth at once.
The Emerald Tablet!
The truth of alchemy, which was just considered a legend, was partly written on there.
Although it was only a small part, people who saw it exclaimed in astonishment. The research that they had been stuck on was solved right away, and the truth that they were missing was recreated.
Thanks to this, different groups within the Magic Tower, like the clans of alchemists, Walpurgisnacht, and a few other religions and sects started to contact the Kelat Auction House, asking what in the world this was.
They asked for where this was from, and if the rest of it was being released by the Kelat Auction House.
Each day, hundreds of people visited the West Wind, and thousands of letters arrived in front of Atran.
The response was larger than Atran expected, and Atran’s name was quickly spread amongst the rankers.
Even priests and monks who said they had realized the gods’ messages and stayed away from worldly life visited him.
Thanks to that, the Eight Large Clans began to take an interest.
Because of this, the West Wind had to ‘escort’ Atran back after kicking him out.
At first, they had tried to take it by force, but Atran had hidden it as soon as he made the sample, so there wasn’t anything else they could do.
They even gave him the position of a head boss and ordered him to carefully finish this big event of their union.
Atran didn’t let it go with just gaining this position, though.
He made another sample with 5% added on and sent it to even more people. People who realized the information was ‘real’ began to make a fuss.
In the end, even the Bureau had to observe what was going on with Atran and the tablet.
The greater the response, the more deals with other items could come, so they were going to raise the scale.
They gave the main auction house for him to use, which was the largest, at the peak time when there were the most customers.
Also, since they had advertised it in the name of the Kelat Auction House, countless players, from rankers, clans, business owners, to even spectators arrived on the day of the auction.