Chapter 998: Confidence
Translator: Hellscythe_ Editor: FluffyGoblyn
Chapter 998 – Confidence
“Cheap?” A hint of doubt flashed in Aqua Rose’s eyes.
Although players could earn more money now, their daily expenditures were increasing just as fast as was their reliance on various tools when grinding monsters. After all, nobody wanted to die, wasting several days of effort, in the fields.
Ordinary players would have to save for quite some time before they could afford a bottle of Mana Mixture. The Cast Steel Armor Kits, which cost 1 Gold and 50 Silver, were simply a luxury item. Only fairly powerful teams, independent experts, or those who bought Coins with Credits could afford the kit.
“What is their sales volume?” Shi Feng simply chuckled at Aqua Rose’s confusion, not bothering to explain.
Both the Mana Mixture and the Cast Steel Armor Kits were considerably good items at this stage of the game. They were also player creations, so they could be mass-produced. However, how could such valuable items not have drawbacks?
If one pointed out these items’ greatest drawback, it would have to be the items’ required crafting materials. There were also the low production success rates to consider.
In the past, although Heaven’s Burial had opened the market using the Cast Steel Armor Kits and Mana Mixtures, due to the items’ low production volume, the Guild hadn’t been able to dominate Star-Moon Kingdom’s market completely. Based on Shi Feng’s understanding, both items required rare materials. With the few materials available in Star-Moon Kingdom, it was impossible to produce large quantities of these items. In addition, based on the rumors of the past, it seemed that even Advanced Forgers only had a 20% success rate with the Cast Steel Armor Kit. The Mana Mixture’s production success rate was roughly the same.
To outsiders, a 20% success rate might seem high, but the Lifestyle players involved in producing the items knew how low the success rate really was. With a 20% success rate, they would only have a chance of succeeding once out of ten tries. Most of the time, they failed to produce anything at all.
With Lifestyle players’ current standards, Blackwater and Heaven’s Burial wouldn’t even come close to covering the production costs if they sold the Cast Steel Armor Kits and Mana Mixtures at such a low price. In fact, for every item they sold, the firms took a major loss.
“I’ve already sent people to investigate. Currently, they’re selling roughly ten Cast Steel Armor Kits in minor cities, while there are roughly 30-40 kits available in each major city. It’s the same case for the Manna Mixture.” Aqua Rose gave Shi Feng a run down of the situation after glancing through the investigation reports she had received. Based on these numbers, it was obvious that these two items were not easy to produce. Either that, or the Guilds had very few people who could produce them.
“Since they want a price war, we’ll play along. Reduce the price on everything except for the Light Stones. Lower our prices to match theirs.” Shi Feng chuckled.
Although the Candlelight Trading Firm had earned plenty from the Basic Strengthened Armor Kits and Mana Armor Kits, the Light Stones, which were essential items that could be produced in large quantities, were the main reason for Candlelight’s position as Star-Moon Kingdom’s number one trading firm. The total profits from their other items was just slightly more than what the firm earned from the Light Stones.
Meanwhile, the designs for Light Stones mainly dropped around the Level 50 large-scale Team Dungeon, the Towers of Death. Current Guild players had not reached that area yet, so no one else had gotten their hands on the Light Stone Forging Designs.
Due to its affordability, the Light Stones had a competitive edge. Unless the two trading firms got their hands on the Light Stone Forging Design or an exclusive product that they could mass-produce, Candlelight’s position would be hard to shake.
Furthermore, the Candlelight Trading Firm was no longer Zero Wing’s main revenue source. Now, the Guild relied on the teleportations houses leading to the Twin Towers Kingdom. Due to the Monster Repellent Scroll, monsters tried to invade Raven’s town more frequently, now invading the town once per day. In two short days, Zero Wing had earned a total of 12,000 Magic Crystals. With the teleportation houses, these Magic Crystals easily transformed into a mountain of shiny Gold Coins. Even after deducting the cost of the Magic Crystals, they earned close to 6,000 Gold every day.
The Candlelight Trading Firm’s current income was nowhere near to catching up with the teleportation houses’.
“I understand. Also, Guild Leader, when will you be returning? I’ve already found several companies who wish to meet with you to discuss our cooperation. After all, you are asking for a large investment. They could easily establish their own Guilds or invest into multiple large Guilds with that kind of money.
“They’re also not very optimistic about Star-Moon Kingdom’s current state of affairs. Now that Stone Forest Town’s protection period has ended, other Guilds could attack and capture it at any time. They have expressed their concerns, and they hope that you can provide some assurance. At the moment, they are only willing to consider your offer until they have a clearer view of the situation.”
When the Sun and Moon Group had taken the lead, many major companies were desperate to cooperate with Zero Wing, even after hearing Shi Feng’s conditions. However, due to the Blackwater Corporation’s sudden appearance and Stone Forest Town’s protection period ending, these companies had become cowardly…
At this point, she could only name a few companies that were willing to work with Zero Wing. Moreover, this was only due to the revelation that the Sun and Moon Group had joined hands with the Guild, insinuating that there were profits to be gained. Otherwise, these companies would’ve long since ghosted them.
“They want assurance?” Shi Feng smiled disdainfully. Sternly, he commanded, “Tell them this: If you want me to reassure you, sure, but you must sign the cooperation agreement first. Otherwise, don’t bother!”
The Star-Moon Kingdom City Building Order was a core secret. Aside from himself, only Aqua Rose knew of its existence. If this information got out to the public, the consequences would be unimaginable.
Shi Feng had no doubts that even Super Guilds wouldn’t be able to sit idle if they learned of this matter, much less the Blackwater Corporation. They would try to eliminate Zero Wing at all costs. At that time, Zero Wing would be on a one-way trip to hell.
Currently, Zero Wing only dared to provoke Super Guilds because the latter had already deemed that dealing with the Guild was a waste of energy. Moreover, if they weakened themselves in the process of dealing with Zero Wing, other Super Guilds would have an opportunity to strike. However, the City Building Order was enough of a temptation for the Super Guilds to take the risk.
Whether it was in the real world or a virtual reality game, even an innocent man would find trouble with enough money.
Shi Feng still had much to prepare. He still needed to build his strength. Otherwise, he would’ve started the city’s construction long ago.
“This…” Shi Feng’s words left Aqua Rose dumbfounded. If she really relayed this to the company representatives, they would most likely explode with anger. But she also understood why they couldn’t reveal their trump card.
However, there were too few companies that were both trustworthy and capable of investing such a large sum. If they chased these people away, it would be very difficult to find other collaborators within a short time. After all, Star-Moon Kingdom’s situation had changed.
“Don’t worry about it. Just tell them,” Shi Feng said, shaking his head. If it didn’t work out, he’d find someone else to work with.
“Alright, then. I’ll contact them right away,” Aqua Rose said, sighing.
She had to admit that Blackwater’s timing was truly horrendous. Had the corporation established its Guild a few days later, Zero Wing would be in this predicament.
Following which, Aqua Rose contacted the representatives of the several major companies.
Inside a certain high-class restaurant’s VIP room:
“Miss Aqua, our companies understand your current predicament; hence we have thought of another method. If Zero Wing is willing to hand over 60% of its shares to our management, our companies will invest two billion Credits. What do you think?” a tall, thin man proposed.
The upper echelons of the other companies nodded their agreement.
With the Blackwater Corporation’s sudden appearance, Zero Wing wasn’t as attractive as it had been. Regardless, it was Star-Moon Kingdom’s number one Guild, so it still had some value.
Aqua Rose was stunned. She had not expected these companies to change their minds so quickly and try to strike at Zero Wing while the iron was hot.
Two billion Credits was a lot of money. It was enough to purchase prime corporate real estate in a major city’s center in the real world. One could even establish a large Guild with plenty to spare. However, Zero Wing was no ordinary large Guild. It was a large Guild capable of challenging Super Guilds. Currently, its foundations and number of Lands were only slightly inferior to first-rate Guilds. It was also the ruler of White River City, Star-Moon Kingdom’s most populated city, and controlled the strategic Stone Forest Town. Zero Wing was worth far more than two billion Credits. Including its potential, even an offer of 20 billion was an insult.
“I think you have misunderstood something. Zero Wing is not selling any of its shares. Here is our previous proposal. If you are not willing to sign it, Zero Wing won’t force you. If that is all, I’ll be taking my leave,” Aqua Rose said, smiling. After placing the agreement on the table, she turned and left the VIP room without hesitation.
Aqua Rose’s extraordinarily calm performance stupefied these company representatives.
The Blackwater Corporation had already allied with Heaven’s Burial to deal with Zero Wing. Just where did Zero Wing find the confidence to speak to them like this?
“Aqua Rose’s behavior is out of line! She dares to treat us like this!”
“Has she forgotten that she approached us, not the other way around?! Now, she isn’t even willing to offer any guarantees! Does she think Zero Wing is a Super Guild?!”
“Hmph! I want to see just how long Zero Wing will last! Once Zero Wing’s funds run out, it will come running back to us!”
“That’s right. We’re not in a rush. I refuse to believe that anyone other than fools or spendthrifts would be willing to work with Zero Wing. When the time comes, we only need to spend a little money to takeover Zero Wing.”
The several representatives sneered. In their opinions, Zero Wing only behaved as such because of its pride. Once the Blackwater Corporation gave Zero Wing a beating, the Guild would crawl back to them, begging for help.