Chapter 16: Black Market
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Lin Li was more or less surprised when he came out of the reception room.
Ever since the Leviathan Gorilla incident, Ina had never given Cromwell any pleasant looks. Lin Li knew then that the warm-hearted mage had been enthusiastic for nothing.
But he had not expected Cromwell would vent his frustration of not winning Ina’s heart on him.
Lin Li felt quite wronged, it was as if he had been bitten by a mad dog for no particular reason. He hadn’t cared much for Ina from the beginning, but he was still targeted by the mad dog Cromwell.
He dares to bite me? Then he’d better be prepared to be beaten! The more Lin Li thought about it, the more aggrieved he felt.
Just as he was feeling aggrieved, he heard footsteps shuffling from behind.
“Felic, are you free?” Kevin advanced with a smile and greeted Lin Li. “If there’s nothing to do, can you accompany me to town? I have some things to buy.”
Lin Li thought over it carefully and realized he had nothing to do indeed. He had taken down the spells from the library and the procedures for joining the Guild of Magic had been completed. Moreover, Kevin had been running around these days, giving him much help. It wouldn’t seem kind of him to reject such a small request.
“Sure! I wanted to take a look around Jarrosus City too.”
The two guys left the Emerald Tower after informing Gerian. They walked along a deserted street towards Jarrosus City.
The streets outside Emerald Tower were unusually quiet. There were occasionally a few passers-by, but most appeared to be in a hurry.
Kevin was not much older than Lin Li, and was one of the first few people he knew in the Emerald Tower. After being in contact for a while, they had become pretty familiar with each other. The two had a chat as they walked along the street. As they were both level-eight mages, the topic of their conversation would naturally be about magic.
Of course, Kevin’s level-eight was different from Lin Li’s level-eight.
After all, one had just been exposed to magic for a few months, while the other had already spent over 20 years on it.
Lin Li could not be compared to Kevin on general magic knowledge. So, most of the conversation was Lin Li asking common sense questions and Kevin answering them.
The way one questioned and another answered had kept the journey away from boredom.
After walking for over ten minutes, the streets gradually became more lively.
Not far ahead was the Adventurers Guild Lin Li had once visited.
This was probably the most flourishing place in the whole Jarrosus City. A large number of stores was scattered around; numerous adventurers would come and go every day, bringing forth huge demand and supply. Adventurers could buy a variety of equipment from the nearby stores, or sell the materials they’d acquired on quests to these stores. The course of contact had brought great prosperity to the street.
After taking a look around the street, they walked into a magic store called Gilded Rose.
At least half of the magic stores in Jarrosus City were called Gilded Rose. According to Kevin, they all belonged to a mage family called Mannes. Like the Merlin Family, this family was one of the most prominent families in the Felan Kingdom, only that one had entered politics, while the other did business.
Since the Dark Ages, the Mannes Family had been running magic business. Over the past 1300 years, a huge amount of wealth was accumulated by them. Gilded Rose Magic Store was located in every corner of the Felan Kingdom; even in the most remote countryside, you could still find the signboard of Gilded Rose.
The decoration of Gilded Rose was full of mysterious aura. As he walked into the hall, Lin Li could easily feel the unusual magical wave in the surroundings caused by the large number of magical items that repelled and interfered with each other.
As soon as he walked into the hall, Lin Li was blinded by the dazzling array of magical equipment. It was indeed the largest magic store in the Felan Kingdom. From what Lin Li saw, every mage robe and magic staff here was decent stuff.
Lin Li was browsing before the counter for a while before a female attendant in uniform came to greet him.
“Greetings to you, Mr. Mage. Is there anything I can help you with?”
“…” Lin Li was about to open his mouth when he suddenly stopped short, for it was not until then that he had remembered something important—he had no money, not even a penny!
From when Andoine had brought him into the cabin till he had joined the Guild of Magic, a whole three months had passed and Lin Li had not spent a penny. As a poor transmigrator, he had no need to use money, and therefore did not think of earning it. It was only on this day when he walked into the Gilded Rose that Lin Li suddenly found himself without even a penny on him.
He had his eyes on a necklace and was about to ask the uniformed lady to show it to him when he had discovered this embarrassing fact upon touching his pockets. The smile on Lin Li’s face froze and after a long while he chuckled lamely. “I’ll have a look… We’ll see later…”
It was indeed embarrassing. Fortunately, Kevin came over to his rescue.
“Felic, are you free? Help me take a look at this magic staff. What do you think?”
Kevin held a staff of primitive simplicity in his hands. The body of the staff was covered in fine and delicate mageweath, and a red crystal was embedded at the top. Judging from the scorching aura of the magical crystal, it should be a staff for amplifying fire spells.
Apart from a slight deviation in the mageweath structure, this was a good enough staff. Lin Li nodded. “Nice staff. I wonder how much it costs.”
“It’s not too expensive, around three to four hundred gold coins. It’s hard to get a staff like this with this price nowadays.”
Watching the expression on Kevin’s face like he had snagged a bargain, Lin Li felt his scalp tingle. Three to four hundred gold coins was not considered expensive?
He thought of McGrenn and his daughter, who had risked their lives in the Sunset Mountains to kill a Manticore for a reward of mere fifty gold coins. For a staff like this, they’d have to kill almost ten Manticores before they could afford it…
“This is what being a mage is about, a lot of money is needed. You’ll get used to it in the future.” Kevin had probably guessed what was on Lin Li’s mind looking at his expression. He motioned for the uniformed lady to give him the bill as he explained in a low voice, “A staff like this would go for at least five hundred gold coins in other magic stores.”
After buying the staff with three hundred and fifty gold coins, Kevin went on to buy other items, spending over a thousand gold coins in all.
As Kevin was checking out, Lin Li suddenly felt that he should make some money too.
“Kevin, you’re familiar with Jarrosus. Do you know where the adventurers usually go to sell magic materials like the magical crystals they’ve gotten?”
“Magic materials? Usually, they’ll hand such things to magic stores like the Gilded Rose and entrust them with selling them, but part of the fee will be deducted after the transaction. You can also go behind the Adventurers Guild if you don’t want to pay the fee. There’s a black market there, you can trade small items like herbs for bigger items like magical crystals from magical beasts there.”
“Shall we go take a look?”
“I was just planning on buying some materials from there too…”
There was a deep, dark alley beside the Adventurers Guild. After the two guys came out of the Gilded Rose, they walked along the small lane. A few steps later, loud clamor reached their ears.
The black market behind the Adventurers Guild was an entirely different world from the mysterious and elegant Gilded Rose.
There were no rich magical auras or female attendants in uniform; all it had was a thick stench of sweat and endless arguments.
Walking into the black market was like walking into a Colosseum.
It was often a price difference of a few silver coins that made a group of people contend in furor.
“Come on! Are you blind? This is a damn authentic Thorned Beast fur and you find it expensive for a hundred silver coins? You can make a leather armor out of it and it’ll last you forever! What goddamn world we are in, a hundred silver coins for a life and it’s still not worth it…”
“You want to make a leather armor with this damn thing? Go back and make a diaper for your son with that. Stop talking rubbish with me, I’ll take it for 50 silver coins at most. If you’re unwilling, I’ll go to another store!”
“50 silver coins for a Thorned Beast fur? Are you still f*cking asleep? Forget it, I’ll take it that I’m doing a good deed and sell it to you for 80 silver coins, how’s that? If you don’t want it, scram. Don’t block my damn way to fortune!”
The fierce bargaining was an eye-opener for Lin Li. Had he not seen it with his own eyes, he’d have thought there was some deep hatred between the two men just listening to their voices.
“Felic… Felic!” It was a ruckus all around. Kevin had to shout into Lin Li’s ears for him to hear. “Squeeze to the front a little more!”
Kevin raised his voice higher and pointed his finger to the front. “I said! Squeeze! Forward!”
With all their strength, they finally squeezed out into a gap in the crowd.
“Here it is.” Kevin panted heavily. He stopped in front of a small hut.
Lin Li looked up. There was a sign outside the hut that looked like it was ready to fall off anytime. A few big words were written on the sign in dexterous calligraphy—Jarrosus Exchange.
“…” Lin Li almost choked in his breath. How could such a dilapidated house be associated with trade?