Chapter 393 - Market
[Book 3: The South]
The market in Guilin City was bustling, and many different food vendors were peddling their cooking.
"Mutant Pig Meat Skewers! Delicious Mutant Pig Meat Skewers! Each stick is 2 meal ticket! It's absolutely delicious, and worth the buy!!"
"Authentic Ning County snacks! They're mouth watering, come and have a taste people!!"
Along the streets, there were many stalls run by food vendors, and countless passersby would be drawn by the aroma, as they pulled out food tickets to exchange for different foods to try.
In Guilin City, with the governance of a 2-factions cabinet, as well as the soldiers of Du Shanxiong who patrolled the surroundings of Guilin City to maintain peace and security, it gave the city the chance to slowly grow.
Along the way, Yue Zhong realised that the 40 jin worth of food tickets could exchange for about 400 RMB prior to the apocalypse. In a world where the economy had almost collapsed, such a sum was considered huge.
Yue Zhong followed the paths and weaved in and out of streets until he came to the busiest street Xinyang Street, to discover that there were stalls set up everywhere, displaying all sorts of Mutant Plants and Mutant Beast meat and bones. Even the hides and anything to do with mutant lifeforms were sold here.
These items were brought by powerful lone warriors, or the small squads that were assembled to scavenge for items on the outside. As long as even ordinary humans made preparations, using simple melee tools were enough to hunt a huge Mutant Beast. This intelligence and craftiness was the reason why the human race had been oppressing everything else before the apocalypse.
"How are you selling this?" Yue Zhong walked to a stall, and picked up a nuclei with properties unknown and asked the vendor. He had seen with a single glance that this nuclei was most likely obtained from a Mutant Beast of above Level 40. So far, the only usage that Yue Zhong had discovered of such nuclei was that they could be used to power up other Mutant Beasts, giving them room to grow and evolve.
The stall vendor glanced at Yue Zhong, and shook out of his stupor, opening a price with excitement: "5-jin ticket!!"
At first, everyone had thought that these nuclei from Mutant Beasts were some treasures, however with the passing of time, no one discovered a use for them. They were soon reduced to ornaments and decorations. There were even cases of squads directly throwing them away when hunting Mutant Beasts.
Yue Zhong frowned as he rejected the offer: "Such an item just looks nice! How can you open with such a high price? These are just used for decor after all, 1-liang ticket, will you sell?"
The vendor started employing all his tactics to try and promote his goods: "Boss, while these items are useless, and are just for looks, see how pretty it is! It may not have any use now, but who knows, after things are stabilized, it might be even more valuable than a bloodstone!! Invest in it now, after the prices shoot up, you're sure to make a fortune! If it wasn't for the fact that I'm in dire straits, I wouldn't sell them!! Since you are interested in them, I'm willing to give you a discount for it. 2-jin ticket!"
Yue Zhong seemed to hesitate, before he pulled out a 10-jin ticket and handed it to the vendor: "Alright! 2-jin ticket it is!"
"Fool! In this world, these pretty stones would be at most worth 1-liang or 2. This young idiot!" The stall vendor received the payment with glee and celebrated silently as he mocked Yue Zhong in his heart.
The vendor handed the nuclei and 8-jin ticket to Yue Zhong before asking warmly: "Oh yes!! Boss!! Do you want more of them? If you do, I can help you get some more!! If you want 10 and more, I can give you 80% discount on them!!"
In this market, everyone knew the selling price for a nuclei was at most a few liangs, and it was rare to find an unsuspecting sheep to fleece. He had thus become excited. In this Guilin City, there were many survivors who had managed to escape to this place, and they understood the suffering of insufficient rations. Under these circumstances, many would stoop low to earn more tickets for themselves.
Yue Zhong pretended to consider, before nodding: "En! Ok, I'll take 20 then! Having more wouldn't make a difference!"
"20!! Please wait!" The vendor beamed, and responded with a single sentence, as he abandoned his worthless stand, asking someone to man it for him, while he ran through the crowd of the market.
Not long after, the vendor came running back with a huge bag, revealing an assorted group of nuclei: "Boss!! There's a total of 36! Please double check!"
Yue Zhong pretended to be shocked: "Didn't I ask for just 20. Why did you bring 36?"
The vendor cajoled Yue Zhong: "Boss! You're a businessman, how can 20 be enough? The 36 in here is the entire amount of this street. Once you buy them over, you're the monopoly of the nuclei business! By then, when the prices rise, you can call the price!! Even if you were to sell each for 20jin, no one would dispute!! If you can do such a business, your family will also look up to you!"
Yue Zhong put on a face as though he was won over, and handed the 40 jin ticket to him: "Makes sense!! Alright, I'll buy them all!"
The vendor took the 40 jin tickets and had an ugly expression: "This... this doesn't seem to be enough!"
"Is this enough then?" Yue Zhong chuckled and pulled out a pouch of Chinese tobacco and handed it to the vendor.
The vendor immediately grabbed it and responded hastily: "Enough!! Enough!! They're all yours!!"
In Guilin City, as the manufacturing of tobacco had stopped, tobacco was considered a luxury good, and only the upper echelons of society got to enjoy them. If the vendor brought this Chinese tobacco to the government to exchange, it would be worth at least 100 jin. Just gaining this was a huge profit for the vendor already.
Yue Zhong looked at the vendor: "Since you've accepted my tobacco, then my ration tickets...."
The vendor grinned in happiness as he gripped the tobacco tightly, passing the ration tickets back to Yue Zhong: "Take it back!! Take it all back!!"
Yue Zhong laughed and took the bag as well as his tickets. With the bag of nuclei, he could rear another Type 2 Mutant Beast. However, they were harder to control, he could only choose to push Lightning into a Type 3 Mutant Beast, before evolving one of the little brothers of Lightning.
Right at this time, the soft yet bright voice of a young girl rang out, as Yue Zhong turned to the source of the voice, he saw a teenage girl of about 17 or 18, with exceptional looks and her long hair in a ponytail. Her lithe body was wrapped in black Mutant Beast hide, and she had a Dark Magic Blade hanging by her waist. Her eyes were full of spirit, and she exuded a heroic aura. She was currently flanked by 6 other males as she came over.
Yue Zhong looked at the young beauty and arched his brows as he asked: "What's the matter?"
Chen Qianhong had a domineering tone as she spoke to Yue Zhong: "The nuclei in your hands! I will buy them all! Don't worry, I, Chen Qianhong, will not let you get the short end of the stick! Whatever you used to buy it, I'll buy it from you at 3 times the price!"
"3 times!! Damn it!! Damn it!! Why did I sell so fast! If only I was a little slower! 3 times!! Ah!!!" The vendor was currently full of regret as he muttered to himself.
Yue Zhong looked coldly at Chen Qianhong and declined: "Not selling!"
A suave young man beside her who was decked in designer clothes, with a slightly pale face, frowned as he shouted at Yue Zhong: "What gall!! Do you know who this lady is?"
Yue Zhong's brows arched, and challenged the pale-face young man: "I don't know and I don't care! This is something I bought! Don't tell me you guys want to rob? Or that in Guilin City has no regards for rules and regulations? We can do whatever we want to, is that it?"
"You...." The pale-faced man became speechless upon Yue Zhong's retort, feeling that he lost face and could not help wanting to threaten Yue Zhong.
"Dan Yu!! Don't be rash! He's right! The goods are his! It's his right not to sell! We can't force him!" Chen Qianhong waved her hand as she blocked the path of the brash young man with obvious ill intent. She casted a deep look at Yue Zhong and scoffed: "Brat! If you don't want to sell then it's fine! It's not like you can eat them anyway! Also! Guilin City is a place of law and order, don't spout nonsense! Let's go!"
Chen Qianhong reprimanded Yue Zhong in a self-righteous tone, shooting him a dirty look, before turning around in a proud manner and left with her 6 lackeys.
Yue Zhong looked at the pompous and self-righteous figure leaving, and turned to ask the stall vendor: "Who is that Chen Qianhong? What an attitude!"
The vendor proceeded to explain to Yue Zhong patiently: "You haven't heard of her? She's the daughter of our Guilin City's mayor Chen Ying! Although she is really arrogant, she is still decent. Whenever she buys something, she would always pay fairly. But, that Dan Yu guy you offended beside her is not a good thing. His father is the District Head of Xinyang District, and he himself has some ties with the Green Bamboo Gang. Whoever in this street offends him, would be dragged away by people to be beaten up. You better leave quickly!!"
Yue Zhong had given the stall vendor good business, hence he wasn't stingy with his information.
"Green Bamboo Gang! Interesting!!" Yue Zhong laughed, and didn't seem to mind, before striding off. Even the Heaven Sect had fallen at his hands, a small gang allowed by the government to exist wouldn't pose a problem to him.
Dan Yu followed Chen Qianhong for a while, waiting for her to check out another stall before stepping to a side.
A man swiftly arrived in front of Dan Yu.
Dan Yu looked at the man and gave an order coldly: "Go get some men from Boss Zhao at the Green Bamboo Gang, and go teach that bastard a lesson! Get those nuclei from his hands also! Quickly!"
"Yes! Young master!" The servant responded quickly and left in a flash.
Dan Yu looked coldly at the direction which Yue Zhong had left, and snorted coldly: "Want to go against me? Looking to die!"
Yue Zhong walked about in Xinyang Street for quite a while, arriving at the 2nd Street, and noticed that there were stalls set up here as well. However, the crowd was noticeably lesser, with only about 100 stalls. In front of those stalls though, there were many people gathered.
Yue Zhong came to one of the stall, and noticed that the stall displayed only a [Shadow Steps] skillbook as well as a Tang Replica Sword.
"Level 2 Skill [Shadow Steps]! Exchanging for a Level 3 [Strength Consolidation]. Or a Level 3 Strength-type treasure! Level 1 Tang Replica Sword, exchanging for 50 tonnes of rations! Or a Level 2 Strength-based Equipment! Don't haggle, those who can't afford them, scram!"
On the table of that stall, there were those 2 System treasures, at the same time, there was a banner on top with those words.
"Isn't the price of the Tang Replica Sword too expensive! Can you lower the price?"
"How about I purchase the Skill Book with 10 tonnes of rations?"
As the people gathered around the stall, many tried to haggle. A number of them wanted to use rations and other similar items to exchange for the System equipment, especially the Tang Replica Sword, which was the key starting point for enhancement. They competed aggressively, before a middle-aged man used 50 tonnes of rations to purchase the Tang Replica Sword.
Although there were only about 100 stall vendors, they all took out precious System equipment for exchange with items they wanted.
In Guilin City, with close to 900,000 survivors, the number of Enhancers grew with the passing of time, and they grew stronger as well. Hence, there was a market of exchange amongst these Enhancers. The bulk of items traded in this Xinyang 2nd Street were God & Devil System Equipment, and although they were normal items, the scene caused Yue Zhong to be wide-eyed with surprise.
Yue Zhong continued walking and looking around, before he came to a stop and his eyes shone: "Ah! A decent treasure! Someone was actually willing to bring this equipment out!"
"Level 3 Treasure: Sapphire Ring, upon equipping, +1 to all attributes."
Although the Sapphire Ring gave +1 to all attributes, the drop rate of this Sapphire Ring was extremely low. Yue Zhong had hunted so many zombies, and Mutant Beasts, but had never come across it. Furthermore, its enhancements did not clash with other rings, and Yue Zhong immediately set his mind on buying it.
Right at this time, the familiar female voice that Yue Zhong heard earlier resounded beside him, as Chen Qianhong walked up to the stall in her black suit, her face icy-cold as she asked: "How much for this Sapphire Ring?"