The black market was an underground mall in the alley behind the high street. Different from the commercial streets, the black market was dim and cluttered with various kinds of materials, which made it look like a night fair for selling staple goods on earth.
Players definitely had to be patient to shop for their targeted goods slowly in the black market. Fortunately, senior brother Qi knew here well and took Xie Mingzhe and Sisi to a large stall soon. The owner of the stall, a fat middle-aged man, greeted them warmly, "What do you want to buy?"
"Is there any Nebula paper?" Senior brother Qi asked directly.
The owner said with his eyes crinkled, "Yes. I have the Nebula papers of different grades." Then he took out five stacks of Nebula papers in succession and placed the Nebula papers of grade 1-5 from left to right in order. The higher the grade of the Nebula paper was, the better gloss it had.
"Is the high star-rated card? made of high-grade paper?" Xie Mingzhe asked.
"No. The original cards made by players are all one-star cards, at level 1. The card made of high-grade paper has relatively better data, compared with that made of low-grade paper, but the creator's talent serves as the key determinant of the card's data. In other words, a gifted creator can use a piece of low-grade paper to make a card with fine data, but a creator with ordinary Inner Spirit can only make worthless cards with high-grade papers. If you want to try and make an original card, I suggest that you buy the paper of grade one. The higher grade of the paper is, the higher price it has." Senior brother Qi said.
"Then I will buy several pieces of the cheapest paper and have a try." Xie Mingzhe looked back at the owner, saying, "How much is a piece of Nebula paper of grade one?"
"Ten gold coins for a piece of paper."
"Can its price be lower?"
"It is sold at the lowest price."
"Can I buy ten pieces of paper for seventy gold coins? I'm a newbie who doesn't have much money."
Xie Mingzhe was adept in bargaining and he was willing to do it. He had learned from senior brother Qi that haggling was allowed in the black market.
The owner had an odd look on his face when he knew Xie Mingzhe wanted to buy the paper at a 30% discount, saying, "No matter how poor a newbie is, he has at least 100 gold coins, hasn't he?"
Xie Mingzhe said seriously, "I bought cards just then and only have 70 gold coins left. Could I buy 10 pieces of paper with these gold coins?"
The owner had no choice but to sell him 10 pieces of paper, saying, "OK. Cut it a deal."
Xie Mingzhe said with a smile, "Thanks!"
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Senior brother Qi was speechless. He decided to take Xie Mingzhe with him when he went to the black market as Xie Mingzhe was a budget-conscious man.
After buying the Nebula paper, senior brother Qi led them to the stalls selling cards, where they bought three suitable battle cards that were three-star evolution cards.
Skill: Firefly Glow (To illuminate the surrounding area within a 10-meter radius of the card for 5 minutes.)
Skill: Air Attack (Targets with 10 meters round will receive 100% damage of Thunder attribute.)
Skill: Deceleration (To apply a debuff of deceleration to the targets with 10 meters round for 3 seconds.)
The [Firefly] card was sold for 150 gold coins and each of the other two cards was sold at a price of 200 gold coins. They were much cheaper than the cards sold in the auction house. Senior brother Qi bought all these three cards. He gave the [Firefly] card to Sisi and the [Black Crow] card to Xie Mingzhe and he kept the [Water Spirit] card.
Xie Mingzhe was somewhat confused, saying, "Both of the two battle cards have AOE attack and control skills, why are they so cheap?"
Senior brother Qi answered, "Because their skill scope is small and their skill Increase is low. An excellent AOE card has a skill scope of more than 20 meters."
"Will the skill scope be expanded when the card levels up?"
“The AOE range increases only 1 meter every time cards upgrade 10 levels, so the AOE range of the card can increase 7 meters at most by 70 levels. Tang Muzhou's [Tuberose] is so expensive because its AOE ranges of both Crowd control skills are 30 meters – the maximum AOE range of Crowd control skills designated by the official.”
“So it is.” Xie Mingzhe learned it and nodded. Xie Mingzhe considered senior brother Qi an “encyclopedia of the game” that knew anything. It was a really wise choice to join the couple's team at the beginning – in a short period, he gained lots of knowledge about the game.
To gain more experience, senior brother Qi took them to the “Dark Cave” located at the southernmost part of Egret star. In the “Dark Cave”, it was completely dark, so they could see nothing. The scene of the holographic game was too lifelike. Although Sisi was terribly afraid of darkness, she kept calm seemingly and quickly summoned the [Firefly], illuminating the surrounding within 10 meters.
As soon as the fireflies emit light, a shrill cry rang out. Sisi was frightened and bolted back. At the same time, senior brother Qi stretched his hand to protect her, saying, “Go to the corner and turn off the game sound. You just need to light up the surrounding, Uncle Chubby and I will clean these mobs.”
Sisi nodded and withdrew to the corner fast, using the [Firefly] card as a lamp.
Senior brother Qi turned around and looked at Xie Mingzhe, saying “This dark cave is a good place for sp.a.w.ning mobs, which would gather together automatically when they see the light. We could pull more mobs and then kill all of them at one go."
Xie Mingzhe nodded and thought it was really convenient to sp.a.w.n mobs with old plays, who knew the more effective method to do so.
An hour later, all their characters reached level 15, and the materials for cards evolution were also completely collected.
Senior brother Qi said, “I'm ready to eat and then continue to level up.”
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Sisi said, “My mother also urges me to eat, and I have to leave now.” She opened the s.p.a.ce portal and walked over, but when she was at the door, she turned around and asked “Right! Uncle Chubby, will you be online in the evening? If so, we could continue to level up together, to level up to 35 tonight!”
Xie Mingzhe nodded, “I will.”
Sisi became very happy, “Uncle Chubby, see you tonight!”
Xie Mingzhe waved farewell to them and said, “Goodbye.”
After the two people left, Xie Mingzhe returned to his apartment and took out the paper that he just bought from the black market, trying to create his original cards.
When he put one Nebula paper on the card platform, the system prompted, “Do you want to make a card?”
Xie Mingzhe pressed the YES b.u.t.ton.
The system, “Please focus all the attention, and then picture the card image shaped in your mind on the Nebula paper…”
Xie Mingzhe began to imagine – he found with surprise that when his Inner Spirit power was connected with the Nebula paper, whatever he thought would appear on the paper.
Subconsciously, he remembered the scene of drinking with his roommates in his previous life on Earth. Due to the fuzzy ideas in his mind, the image that was presented on the Nebula paper was also very chaotic, with only one wine bottle shaped clearly on the paper.
Xie Mingzhe was stunned and immediately stop imagining.
System: “To create the card failed. Nebula paper has been shredded, do you want to start anew?”
This time, Xie Mingzhe pressed the No b.u.t.ton.
He had wasted a piece of Nebulae paper. Now he had to calm down and rethink the process, rather than to have another attempt so rashly.
At this time, he realized that it was quite hard to create cards.