Don’t you just love it when crazy old people decide to give you stuff for free? Well, I definitely do… Unless that was a euphemism, then I don’t really know how to feel about that question.
Anyway, there was a massive selection of random shit to pick from, but I apparently could only choose a single item. There were knives, swords, a spear, some rings, a belt, a few robes and all sorts of strange trinkets.
“Ugh, it’s so hard… and I don’t mean my penis.” I looked around and noticed that those five guards had already fucked off somewhere and Mei was totally enthralled by that stupid cutlass. It was a peak-level Rank-F weapon. If you’re wondering how I could tell… Well, on every item, there was a mystical symbol engraved on them somewhere. A cross-shaped rune meant that it was level-ten. For pills and stuff, it has to do with the aura that they exude. Of course, all of that shit can be faked and it was pretty common for people to rip each other off.
Honestly, he didn’t really have that much stuff altogether, but since I was only allowed to have one of them, I had to choose carefully. Most people probably would have went for the fancy golden sword or the giant purple spear. I mean, level-ten Rank-F weapons were super expensive and could allow someone at the beginning of the Apprentice Stage to compete with a person way stronger than them.
However, that all seemed kind of absurd from my perspective. Even an Expert could get killed by an Unranked piece of metal if it was traveling fast enough and they didn’t have any special defenses up.
There was a pair of cool looking silver gauntlets, but they were way to big to fit on my tiny hands. He had a decent longbow, yet there was still the issue of size. I was only about four feet tall and my arms were short, my options were sort of limited when it came to the weapons he had on display.
That old dude complained “Just pick something already! I’m leaving in thirty seconds, so hurry up!”
Xiaotong flew over and hovered over a dark-blue jade pendant, shaped like a crescent Moon. There was a thin silver chain with thousands of incredibly small black runes etched into the links. I reached out and grabbed it without hesitation and the mysterious elder whispered “Good choice…” Then his body vanished into thin air, along with the carpet and all those items.
Mei jumped up and yelped in surprise, turned to me and asked “L-Levi! Was that a Spirit?! Were we just talking to a ghost?! Ah, maybe this cutlass really is cursed?!”
“Nope, not a ghost, but maybe an Immortal? Actually, for all I know, he might have been a God or Goddess? He did kinda mention that we wouldn’t be able to return the favor until were Deities, so yeah, probably not a Mortal.” I looked around and realized that no one seemed to notice what happened. My girlfriend was shocked and confused, but Xiaotong was trying to play with the necklace in my right hand.
“How can you be so nonchalant about this?! You’re just a little kid and, and~ wah~, why aren’t you surprised?!” Mei was freaking out a bit, while I was trying to figure out what the hell that amulet could even do. I put the thing around my neck and nothing special happened, so I turned towards the angry woman.
“Calm your giant jiggling tits and tell me how to make this thingy work.” She pouted and dropped her cutlass into that magical luggage, before reaching out to touch the smooth azure jade. The moment that she channelled a bit of her Qi into the pendant, the air around the two of us suddenly cooled down. There was no other effect aside from lowering the temperature significantly. It wasn’t a weapon of any kind and definitely had no use in combat, but I still thought it was amazing. I smiled happily, yelling “Sweet! Now we won’t have to sweat our asses off all the time!”
However, Xiaotong immediately told me “No Levi, it isn’t that simple… This is an incredible treasure, not a simple Yang to Yin conversion tool. I’ve seen one of these necklaces before, I think… It’s hard to remember though. I just feel like, if I go inside of it, I’ll become more powerful. I’m afraid though, I know that if I do that, something really bad will happen.”
I snickered, “Well, there’s no point taking any unnecessary risks for the sake of curiosity. I’m satisfied with a Yin-Yang air-conditioner, so let’s just head over to the damn weapon shops and find something for me to play with!”
The first store we entered was relatively small and named ‘The Dao of Artillery’. Mei grumbled “Why did you pick this place? It smells gross and everything is way too expensive… Besides, only cowards would bring these stupid fire-sticks to battle!”
Yeah, so apparently guns did exist, they were just really neglected. A fat middle-aged man with thick round glasses, was sitting on a stool behind the main counter. The two of us were literally his only customers.
Now, most people from my era of Earth probably had no fucking clue what the difference between matchlock and flintlock was. Both probably would have just seemed like ‘ancient firearms’ that were totally irrelevant. Hell, I only knew about them because I played a videogame where you started out with rocks and eventually made your way up to futuristic weapons that didn’t exist yet. It was a pretty cool crafting game, where you had to literally create everything yourself.
The reason they were called ‘matchlock’ was because you needed to light a wick on the end of the little metal hammer and when you pulled the trigger, it would lower down into the bowl where some black powder would be ignited. Then that would act like a fuse and reach inside of the chamber. They were some of the most primitive tools that could still be considered ‘guns’ and it wasn’t surprising that they were unpopular in a world where people had magical powers and superhuman strength.
Matchlock pistols were possible to make, but there weren’t any in the store. They mainly had muskets and blunderbusses, which were equivalent to rifles and shotguns. All of them were considered ‘Unranked’, yet they were still being sold for fifty to a hundred CP. The main reason was that they were more like artwork than actual weapons of war. There were no ‘simple’ designs and everything seemed to be made out of silver, gold, ivory or there were extremely complicated carvings and engravings. The amount of time and effort put into every piece was definitely a waste of energy.
Although most of the population was made up of Novices, when it came to armies, practically everyone was at least an Apprentice. Only rich weaklings would use firearms, so they were disdained by Martial Artists. Even Mei was prejudiced against guns and she was a goddamn princess!
As for the flintlocks, they were all considered Rank-G weapons, yet their Inscriptions and Enchantments were much more subtle. There were quite a few smoothbore rifles and blunderbusses, but the most popular items were the pistols. I walked over to the main counter and peered into the display case, noticing the absurd price-tags on the five relatively large flintlock pistols.
“Seriously? Five-hundred Contribution Points? Motherfucker, why aren’t there any affordable guns in this shitty place? Ugh, even the black powder is way too expensive… I’d be better off making it myself or using other means.”
The bald and fat guy with glasses snorted, like he had a bunch of phlegm in his throat or something, then yelled “If you can’t afford it, then get the hell outta here! This is how much our stuff is worth! They’re top quality firearms! Besides, we have the only Gunsmith in the whole damn country!”
Xiaotong asked “Levi, are you just going to let him talk to you like that? Shouldn’t we kill him?”
Then Mei screamed “Ugly pig, don’t you dare talk to my son that way!” Her face turned grey and shark-like teeth appeared, then her hands were covered in scales and she was about to hop over the counter.
When he saw that, the middle-aged dude pulled a flintlock pistol out of his black robe and aimed it at her forehead. Fortunately, I was able to push her out of the way before he pulled the trigger. The shot missed and hit the side of a fancy silver cannon that was hanging on the wall. That tiny ball ricocheted and got stuck in the wooden floorboard next to my left foot.
I shouted “What the fuck is wrong with you people?!”