Chapter 20:

Chapter 16 – Price of a Person, Price of a Coin

Transmigration to the Otherworldly Heavens

A cold shiver run through me. A mortal covets one of my possessions? No, not possession. My Elfin!?

- She is not for sale.

- I advise you to sell her to me. You cannot possibly think of feeding and equipping her with the earnings of a lone A-ranker. Just quote a price.

- She will earn alongside me. There is no need for selling mu cute half-elf.

- It is only a matter of high enough price. I have savings so quote me a price and I will pay it.

I glanced at the half-elf. She caught my stare and looked back into my eyes. Why would she value her that much? I thought she was considered useless merchandise by anyone other than me. Since she would not relent I decided to prank her.

- Do you have a piece of paper?

- Here you go.

I wrote down the number and unit. I showed it to my slave and said with a grin:

- Do you think this an appropriate price for our parting?

- Ain’t that too much, master? It is not that I want us to part, but..

- I like you. So the price might be a tad little bit inflated, I guess.

I ruffled through her hair and handed my quote in.

- 8 675 309 medium gold coins?! – the clerk could not help but to shout out the price.

So much for handling it discreetly on paper.

- To be exact only medium gold coins. I will not accept any other kinds of nominals.

After all I did not want to estimate how much could be gathered in gems and other kinds of coinage. The secret to this number is that this is how many such coins exist on Thrope. Plus one extra coin, just for good measure. In other words, an unachievable sum. Top that, jerk. People not for sale are not for sale.

- I do not have that much.

- Then I am afraid buying my half-elf will remain naught, but a dream.

- Tsk.

- Hey, do not get angry now. If anyone should get angry it is her. Being treated like an item on the shelf in a store is not very nice.

After the lady clerk got over her anger she proceeded to explain the rank system.

The lowest rank was A, then B, followed by C, D, E and so on.

Apparently the ranks were called that after English alphabet letters. English, not Latin. There was certainly J in there! How queer!?

No one really knew where they came from (except me) or who first proposed such system (except me) nor what exactly those letters meant (except me) as probably no one alive in Ythall spoke English with enough fluency and basic language structure understanding (except me).

The ranks corresponded with the color of the guild card as well as the metal they represented. You could have metal dogtags made for a price corresponding to the used material. There was no meaning to them other than vanity and showing off your strength. Several nearby ranks shared the color and metal. It was too complicated for my taste.

- I wonder what rank could an archangel get? Or what letter would suffice for the God of Thrope? Capital G?

Of course no one would get why the G was for God. There was no such letter in Velish, heh.

- Please do not blaspheme.

Well, lady, I was really curious.

I guess in time I would find out at least how high I could get. Maybe an S rank? SS? SSS? There were no SS or SSS ranks though.

Also apparently anything higher than K was pretty much unheard of. Though the ranks themselves existed. Simply no one held such a rank right now in the country. The historical information was not readily available to a greenhorn A ranker like myself.

- I recommend you to check the guild’s library. Although it is not free of charge.

I marked the library on the map. Are those books in Heaven’s Library as well? Yup. Every one of them. I added them onto a virtual bookshelf to return to in free time.

- VIPs do not have to pay for libraries.

- I dare you to try that with our librarian. Just call for me first. It will be fun to watch.

- Anyway, about those quests you have mentioned. Do you have anything simple for a low-ranker like me available?

- The quest board is there. I recommend you to take those herb-gathering quests. Any non-dangerous material gathering quests can be taken by anyone regardless of rank. You do not even have to hand the requests in, unlike the other quests. Some rarely requested herbs might be found before you finish your own gathering. Keep that in mind.

- Do you have a list?

- I do, in fact. Do you have any idea about herb gathering and other materials acquisition methods?

- Not really.

- Your slave?

I stared meaningfully at Elfin. She shook her head.

- No, master.

- There are classes to supplement that, but they have already started.

- Everything is starting in the morning?

- Yes, mostly. Especially all beginner courses. The better the harvesting is, the better monetary reward and more guild points will be. The guild points allow rank increases.

She handed me a list of commonly requested materials names. It was quite long. I guess it would be okay to gather them with roots and all. At least until we learned a proper way of handling.

- These are the common requests.

- Thanks.

My mind was already searching through Earth Magic. I have quickly found the right spells. We would not even have to buy spade nor shovel.

- No chance of selling her?

- Whaa? Oh, no, I am not lowering the price.

We quickly bid goodbye and left the guild.

Outside we have again encountered that urchin, who guided us previously. He was being berated for offering his services as a porter.

He skipped towards us.

- Do you need a porter, sir?

- Not really, no. Sorry kid.

What a hard-working kid. Still the storage is more handy than a person of burden. Those systems, taking the jobs from the common man!

- I told you to scram! – some scrawny adventurer was yelling.

- Excuse me, dude, we are talking.

- They never learn if you do not beat them. Always begging for work and stealing.

I wanted to say some righteous shit like “I will be the judge of that” or tell Elfin to scare him off with a fire plume, but he simply spat in our general direction and left. I mean he does not have a single offence on his status. ‘Tis an honest kid, your honor.

It is fortunate I had not bought the iron dog tags because our equipment must have scared him off instead.

- So, another five monies for directing u towards the merchant’s guild?

- Shure, sireh!

It turned out to be a pretty long trek. I regretted it post factum.

Merchant guild itself turned out to be a massive building complex connected with several large warehouses. It had many wagon-sized entrances and a very decorated and meticulously carved entrance. However the most astonishing piece of architecture here were the many skywalks that connected buildings at various heights. The street themselves were riddled with carriages and wagons. The pedestrians probably were forced to use mostly those skywalks or risk getting run over.

The boy did not know anything about where we could sell those ancient coins.

Another farewell later we found ourselves in front of an information booth.

- You can use our guild’s auction house. The traders dealing with antiques can top the appraisal prices but not by much. There are Liesbeth at 23rd Longroad, Xavier Vanruf at Dice Plaza and Lefrere near the Dungeon.

I asked how do we go about auctioning items and was in return forwarded to another clerk.

The new lanky clerk carefully eyed my coins. He used a skill called Appraisal, which I never used despite it being a very useful skill. He made sure of the details with Identify. After such careful scrutiny he admitted suspecting fraud due to the sheer amount of coins and their almost pristine condition. Especially worse bronze alloys would corrode and silver would be covered in black silver sulfide over time and use. Removing such dirty films would wear the coin until no details would be preserved.

- Magic – I explained in the most bean-esque impression I could manage. Of course he did not get the joke.

Every detail was noted down on expensive parchment. The clerk looked exhausted. He explained that his mana was running out. I wonder why. It is not like he cast any spells?

Appraisal could be considered an offshoot of Identify skill and belonged to the Throne System Magic, though almost every mortal believed it to be simply Information Magic. The skill simply returned the median price range for an item either locally or globally.

And Throne System Magic never used any of my mana. They were skills, right? Why displaying information would ever use mana?

- You have quite a lot of them. I advise you to sell those cheaper examples immediately at individual traders and higher nominals at auctions over time. Otherwise you will break the market and the prices will drop by much.

- I am curious why the old bronze coins fetch less than younger silvers or guldens.

- It is quite complicated, but most money in the auction house comes from nobles. Nobles dislike “common” bronzes, despite there being a much smaller supply of antique bronze coins in such pristine conditions.

- So the nominal is simply below their dignity?

- Something like that. Wealthy merchants and other commoners appreciate all kinds of ancient coinage, but they make a minority of this vanity market.

- I see. So they are like my beloved slave. Unappreciated by the masses, but hiding a great value inside.

- I do not know anything about that, customer.

- Sorry, I was speaking to myself.

Elfin turned more red at my hasty comment. Was I rude? I never know with females.

We followed his advice and placed older and higher nominals, including 3 oldest bronzes in the auction house’s care. They would be sold during the following year or more depending on the demand. The earliest profit I could expect would be after about ten days.

Indeed the individual selling to those merchants mentioned would be very useful in securing short term liquidity for us. It would simply keep me afloat. After all my expenses were now for two people instead of one. I could not skip on inns and get my ass to Heaven’s Palace every night to sleep.

We spent the next few (earth) hours jumping around the city and finally got about half of the remaining portion sold.

Honestly that was the first money I have actually earned down here.

I was in black, my balance was positive. To remain liquid I still could not return everything back into Treasury. We had plenty of things to buy.

- Little one, what kind of weaponry would you like to wield?

Hmm, I need to change the way I address her. Should I call her higher one? It would imply my subservient position. Medium one? That would be alright with regard to her non-hunching height.

- I do not have preference, master. Just nothing that has to be wielded twohandedly – she said and giggled.

- Why not? You will get your arm back in the near future.

- Master. Is such recovery magic not rare? And expensive..

- We just made a small fortune.

- Yes, master earned a lot today.

- So, why are you worrying?

- It is still expensive. I can spew fire as I am now. Master need not spend so much on me.

- You do not want to get your right arm back?

- I..

She was so hesitant to answer that.

- I mean do you want to force me to continue washing you? Master washing a slave must be a novel concept and washing a cute girl is surprisingly pleasurable. Nevertheless is that not uncomfortable to you?

- I just wanted to advise master to spend money on his own equipment.

- Is my equipment that shabby? I appreciate the advice, but it is not like we are going to fight some terrifying creatures on our first few fights. Say no to dragons!

- Master’s equipment looks poor.

- Do not worry, it is quite sturdy. Also I will let you in on a trick to get expensive things. Simply learn how to do them yourself. If I am the one casting healing spells they are free.

- Master!

- Yes, dear?

That was probably the right word to use instead of her name. I was really glad I have finally found it.

- I recalled one of my friends saying that spells that heal missing limbs are only wielded by the Church. The alternative are the very rare elixirs. They are also expensive.

Does she know more about recovery magic than I do? Probably?

- Enough of that. You are being disrespectful towards my wishes! I want my half-elf to have both hands. How are you going to cast magic with gesture components without hands to perform them?

This was the very first time this girl had pissed me off, albeit only slightly.