“Holy shit! This place is really fucking nice! Hell, it’s practically a shopping center! There’s a grocery-store over there, a goddamn clothing shop, some kinda alchemical liquor-store, Chinese restaurants, a magical weapons and armor emporium… To be completely honest, I wasn’t really expecting this much from a bunch of nudists. Actually, if you have shit to wear, why the hell are you guys always naked?” Michael and the others walked out into a huge open space and gazed around at the myriad of relatively large stores.
It wasn’t quite as massive or technologically advanced as the malls in The Dwarven Republic, so Jasmine wasn’t very impressed. Aeris Village had similar structures as well, which made Talia a bit jaded. However, for Alice, Elina and Sarah, it was their first time encountering such extravagant and amazing architecture.
Hu Mei giggled, pulling the Nephilim’s right hand and leading him towards the ‘General Goods’ store. She was the manager of the entire building, so one of the other fox-girls was in charge of that particular shop. Yet, she still led them inside, explaining “Long ago, back when the Grand Matriarch was just a kit, this place used to be packed with people from all around the continent! Hehe~, but back then Huxian was still around… He was the original owner of this whole mountain. Unfortunately, one day, he supposedly surpassed rank-SSS and ‘ascended’ to the stars. After that, there was a time when we needed to hide ourselves in this shrine and were nearly hunted to extinction by those evil barbarians, but then the Wood-Elves appeared.
“They’re pretty arrogant and violent, but at least they don’t treat us like animals! Ah~, I don’t know why I’m getting so upset about it though… All this stuff happened centuries before I was even born! So~, what exactly were you looking to sell?”
That ‘General Store’ was similar to a pawn-shop, but it was essentially the main supplier for all the other stores within that particular shopping center. Even though ‘most’ people wouldn’t dare to enter into the Shrine of Huxian without permission, it didn’t mean that they never received customers.
In fact, the Elders, Patriarchs and Protectors of the various Sects in the zone would often come by with large amounts of Disciples, in order to spend huge quantities of gold, silver and copper. They also sold all kinds of magical items, treasures that they discovered, and absurd amounts of mana-cores. There was also a thriving entertainment industry in that ‘hidden’ village of shapeshifting foxes.
Since most of the Sects and Clans were on bad terms with each-other, their main source of trade involved the Shrine of Huxian. The reason why the entire town came to greet or confront Michael and his Companions, was because they weren’t Wood-Elves, each of them was considerably dangerous, and Inari was really loud.
Within the ‘General Store’ were many shelves, display cases filled with antiques and mysterious objects, there were large glass jars filled with various types of mana-cores, and the entire place was fairly spacious. Unfortunately, it wasn’t nearly large enough for Michael to pull out a thirty-meter long ‘Lesser Water Drake’.
He held both of his hands out and a huge, two-thousand pound treasure chest appeared out of thin air. It was made out of solid gold and if he didn’t have such an absurd amount of ‘Strength’, he probably would have gotten a hernia or dislocated his shoulders.
Michael carefully set it down on a very sturdy counter, made out of ironwood and black-mithril. Jasmine yelled “No~! You can’t sell our candy~! Nyah~, bad Mikey~!”
After a few seconds, he opened the chest and revealed that it was completely empty. Then he turned to the dark-skinned and blue-furred fox-girl, “This thing has ta be worth something, right? Hell, it’s actually an Epic item that can store a fuck-ton of shit inside. It’s practically indestructible, but kinda inefficient from my perspective. I mean, it’s probably pretty good if you’re ridiculously strong and ya don’t have access to normal extra-dimensional techniques.”
Hu Mei was grinning happily as her tail uncontrollably wagged around; there were actually many similar items in the ‘General Store’, but they were all considered nearly priceless treasures. It was the type of ‘artifact’ which couldn’t be produced and she certainly would never dare to sell it for mere currency.
She asked “Are you really willing to let me buy this with gold? Are you sure you wouldn’t rather trade it for something else? I don’t want you to think that I’m cheating you…”
“Meh, Alice, Talia, Elina, ugh Jasmine, if you guys see anything you want, then let me know. You can go into other shops too, but please, don’t buy shit without talking to me first! Be responsible for fuck’s sake! And don’t break anything! Also, Sarah, stop stealing shit! We finally found a place to do business after all this time, so don’t screw everything up!” After telling them that, the dragoness immediately headed over to the drug-store, the Huntress went to look at clothing, while the two cat-girls were attracted by the scent of grilled fish. The Nephilim sighed dramatically, muttering “So stereotypical…”
The little girl, wearing her ‘Shadowy Temptress’ gear, put down the ornate, obsidian shortsword and complained “Who the fuck would even wanna steal this shit? I might not have that damn ‘Scan’ spell, but I can tell that most of this junk isn’t worth taking. Oi, tell this bitch that we don’t wanna trade!”
Michael smiled wryly, and the fox-girl frowned, asking “Then… how much are you willing to sell it for?”
He groaned, looking around at the random items and grumbling “Ugh, why the hell don’t ya keep price-tags on any of this stuff? Hmm~, listen kid, I’ve got a lot more stuff to sell besides this stupid-ass treasure-chest. I honestly have no idea how much something like this is even worth, so just give me what is, in you opinion, a reasonable price. Then we can move onto other things… Actually, all I really have on me right now is a level-nineteen, rank-F Water Drake, and a ton of mana-cores.”
Hu Mei nervously asked “Would you be willing to part with it for… five-hundred gold?” It was an absurdly low price, but she knew that he either didn’t understand the value of money, or simply didn’t care about such a trivial sum.
Michael snickered, nodding in confirmation and making a pitch-black, level-ten, rank-F mana-core appear in the palm of his right hand. After ‘Scanning’ it, she was slightly impressed that it came from a Human king, but the fact that it didn’t have an Elemental Affinity made the value drop significantly.
She shook her head while frowning, “It’s not ‘bad’, but it also isn’t worth much to me. It would be difficult to sell, so it would likely just be used to concoct some Alchemical potions, elixirs or pills… I’ll buy it for fifty silver coins.” That was essentially enough for him to purchase a pair of two-story, stone houses in Luxiana, but the value of currency was different everywhere. Some people would be interested in buying mana-cores from royalty for absurd amounts of gold, but in ‘Chu Xu Forest’, Humans weren’t worth much.
The Nephilim sucked it back into his palm and brought out one-hundred crimson beads, which seemed to throb with an eerie glow. Hu Mei gulped unconsciously, and her facial features started to warp, until she looked more like a fox than a human woman. Bright-blue fur instantly covered her entire body and her legs appeared canine. She barked and yipped a few times, before forcing herself to change back into a brown-skinned humanoid fox-girl.
“So~, I’m guessing that these are worth a bit more, right? Hehehe~, they’re rank-F, level-ten, Demonic Boar mana-cores. I was planning on using them for something, but whatever, I’ve got plenty more at home anyway.” Michael was certain that if she had been at rank-E, then she wouldn’t have been able to resist the urge to devour them all.
There was a decent amount of red, coloring her relatively dark cheeks, “Two… no, I’ll buy them for three gold a piece!”
Thus, the Nephilim had managed to swiftly obtain a small fortune from the surprisingly rich fox-girl merchant.