V53C5P3 – Arpen Development Strategy
Thansk to all proofreaders who helped on this part: Armada, PuszekSE, evilsanta1423, Idzuwan, Theurgiclinkman & Arvin 🙂
An Item auction site.
A strange phenomenon occurred on each site which posted items related to the Royal Road.
At first, the real value of gold increased to over double the original rate.
“This is crazy. What is going on?”
At every auction site, gold was being sold the instant that it was put up for bids.
“I need to sell at times like this!”
“I can sell at a high price!”
The users sold all the gold in their possession. Gold was a necessity in the daily life of Royal Road and was essential for use in stores. Unless it involved activities such as purchasing homes, travelling luxuriously, or building ships, there was no insufficiency of gold if one hunted diligently and proceeded with quests.
“What? The price went up while I was gone?”
The market price for gold on auction sites had tripled in the short period of time. It was a shocking sequence of events, and as the day turned into night the market price continued to sky-rocket.
“This is because of the Arpen Empire’s lord recruitment!”
The users came to a realization.
The wealthy individuals all over the world were scraping away all the available gold on auction sites in order to apply for lord positions.
– Title : Selling a million gold.
‘I have placed an auction. Buyers please proceed with your bids. Deadline is 30 minutes from now.’
Users utilized the auction system in order to get a higher return, and the price increased at an irrational speed. Someone would write up a higher bid than the market value, but the following user would bid double. The rich folks abroad, in China, the Middle-East, the US, and Europe’s orthodox billionaires are active in participation. They had accepted Royal Road as being beyond just simple leisure, as a space of its own within their lives. They thought there would be no better opportunity for a lord position.
The value of money was relative; to those who can gladly spend billions on leisure activities, the lord positions in the Arpen Empire were taken for granted.
‘It means that I get to be a king over a certain area?’
The Arpen Empire was known for its minimal interference with the lords in the northern continent. They were lenient and generous, as long as the taxes were paid on a regular basis. For the rich that were searching for new experiences, it was a suitable opportunity.
“Buy out all the gold.”
“The price doesn’t matter.”
“10 billion? 20 billion? That’s barely worth a single building. Nothing I can’t afford.”
“Purchase more than anyone else. I can invest the remaining gold into city development.”
“Reach out to the powerful users or guilds. There are many ways. Forge the gold if you can’t find them.”
It was not as if every billionaire in the world had participated. This was only a fraction of them.
Even so, the competition among them pushed the price up 30 times and the users sold their gold unconditionally. The common users estimated that after the termination of lord recruitment in the Arpen empire, the value of gold would return to its original price.
They could not let an opportunity like this slip by, where gold could be sold at ridiculous prices. In an instant, fortunes worth over 10 billion gold had gone under transaction at the auction sites.
Many users bustled through this place, as it was the royal palace of the Arpen Empire.
“Now. We will commence the appointment of the Arpen Empire provincial lords.”
Hwaryeong took up the announcer, laying out the map of Versailles Continent on the wall.
The northern and central continent.
All locations except for the 10 restricted areas and the Haven territories were subjects of the appointment.
Arpen empire had succeeded in swift expansion of its territories.
There was a lot of controversy about the lord appointment being decided by the auction system among the users including the Grass Porridge Cult.
“Isn’t he just selling these positions for money?”
“Seems to be a public stunt for his own fair share. For whom did we fight?”
“Nothing is being distributed to the people who fought for Arpen, and how do you justify taking money from those who are trying to become provincial lords?”
There was a huge drawback and criticism by the users. Conversely, many were still on the side of Weed.
“I hated being under the Haven Empire, so we made our own conscious decision to fight. Expecting a share is a thief’s mindset. We all received accomplishment points. In fair honesty, we only contributed so much as a whole but if we assess individually, no one has performed as well as Weed-nim.”
“If Weed-nim hadn’t been there, our lives would have continued to be exploited under the Haven empire, and no one could do anything about it. These folks are sure ungrateful for all that has been granted.”
“Those who have been among us from when Morata was established to now could not criticize him the same way. He had invested all his earnings until now, and accomplished this much with his own hands…”
“Wow… People are now even talking ill about the lord appointment. So, should he just not bother with the lord appointments and leave all these lands vacant? The monsters are about to invade, and who’s gonna take responsibility?”
“Without money, how does one govern such a vast empire? It turns out that even the money from the Puhol Waterpark cottage sales were invested into the internal affairs…”
“You mean all of it?”
“Yes. It seems that they were all invested. I cursed at him selling cottages in the midst of the war, but it turned out that he was making investments for our sake.”
There was some backlash within the Grass Porridge Cult as well, but the majority of opinions were to trust and observe things for the time being.
Thus, the lord appointment commenced!
“First of all, we will begin the lord appointment with the peak of public interest, the Britten Region.”
Hwaryeong began taking applications for the core of the empire, the major city and the industrial city of the Britten region.
“Alright, we have a thousand gold. The next person is…”
A man cloaked with a robe at the far back raised his hand.
“10 million gold!”
“10 million gold? Okay. We have 10 million gold.”
Hwa-Ryeong was startled in the proceedings, followed by an handsome man who shouted near the front.
“50 million gold!”
“50 million gold…”
“100 million gold!”
The value of the lord seat jumped at once.
The people were in shock, and several more individuals competed. A major city named Denem was sold for an amount of 323 million gold!
The following cities were sold on average of 200 to 300 million gold.
Some cities including the Free City of Somren had great influence to nearby areas and were to be maintained under government jurisdiction, but other cities serving as the core of trades were sold for as much as 400 million gold.
Renowned cities with especially beautiful scenery, lakes and rivers were charged extra. These cities were more popular than those with blacksmith forges and mines.
The lord appointment that began at midnight continued into the next day.
“This is sculptor Debs. What is your name and region?”
“My name is Dakoi and I’m from Pogma Village.”
“Okay. I got it.”
*Scribble, scribble, scribble*
Sculptor Debs personally engraved the lord appointment certificates into stones.
– Arpen Empire’s Lord
Swordsman Dakoi is hereby appointed as lord of Pogma Village.
Signed, Emperor Weed.
“That will be 118 gold and 80 silvers.”
“Excuse me? I thought this was free.”
“The appointment certificates are only engraved when you become a lord. You don’t have to if you don’t want it.”
“Ah. I will.”
Sculptor Debs was also earning his share with his side job.
Having to hunt the ever multiplying monsters, Weed could not participate at the Earth Palace. That was the reason for handing over the sculptural jobs to Debs.
– Weed : How many have you gone through?
“I have completed 80. I’m not even a quarter done.”
– Weed : Please continue.
The young Debs followed Weed as a role model. Ever since they became friends from sculpting the statue of Hestia, their relationship had been consistent.
Weed recommended him to tasks and at times gave him lessons about life.
– Who do you think decides the value of sculptures? Do you think someone is going to acknowledge you if you work hard and sell for cheap? It all depends on the sculptor’s abilities to sell his work for a high price.
– There is no fraudulence in lying if it makes the other person feel pleasant. We must ensure that even the customers who see through us are satisfied..
– You always have to save up money. You don’t necessarily become happy when you start spending.
– Always think about how you’re going to make someone elses’ money into yours. That is where ideas sprout.
– Never reveal the production costs. Emphasize the efforts put into the product. The things we make are always limited edition, even if we end up producing the same thing the very next day.
‘Hehe. Even if I offer 94 gold each to big bro, I will still have a ton left for myself.’
Debs smiled as he sculpted. Lords that received stone certificates were also led to the banquet. The appointed lords gathered in a sapphire hall and enjoyed their dinner filled with exquisite dishes.
Royal Road’s top chefs and fresh ingredients from all regions were supplied to this gathering of the lords.
“You are the lord of the Free City of Ladia? Haha! That is really close to my Fortress Gordon. I look forward to working with you.”
“The pleasure is all mine. Our merchants will be coming and going frequently.”
“I heard that long-swords are a renowned local speciality?”
“Yes. The swords crafted in the Free City of Ladia are 5 points higher in attack and have 20% higher durability. Which is due to the steel produced here.”
“I am envious. You have acquired an amazing location.”
The lords behaved with dignity, drinking their wine and enjoying the banquet.
They had used a tremendous fortune, but the lord positions did not turn their spendings into even the slightest of disappointments. In reality, an astronomic amount of money would not be enough to become mayor or president, but in the Arpen empire these positions would be maintained as long as it wasn’t self-forfeited.
“You are from the Conchern family?”
“That is so. Do you know of us?”
“My youngest son was accepted into the university established by your foundation.”
“Is that so? Haha.”
The wealthy folks worldwide gathered and exchanged congenial conversations.
Some were self-made, but most of them had lived their entire lives like noble aristocrats. With not a hint of what could unfold next, their thoughts were shallow as if grasping a fun toy within another realm.
Merchants of the Mapan association began walking around with wine in hand.
“These are special wine from Morata. The aromatic wine maker Elk produced them. The grapes used were personally grown by Miretas-nim.”
“Oh…! The scent is amazing!”
“A wine resembling the sunset. The taste is something I’ve never come across before.”
The lords each took a sip and were impressed. Such great wine was a first even for them.
“Give me another glass!”
“Quantity is limited. The first glass is free-of-service, but you must pay for more.”
“I need to pay? Then I will buy a whole bottle!”
The lords purchased the wine spontaneously. Morata’s special wine cost 50,000 gold each, but their pockets opened ever so easily.
(To be continued…)