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MCIF – Chapter 39.2

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39.2: Magic Scrolls Transaction

Nian Bing looked at the plain-clothed Ka Luo with suspicion. He said, “When it comes to price, I definitely won’t back off.”

Ka Luo naturally understood what he meant. With a smile, he replied, “You can relax about that. I spoke quite arrogantly. Although our mercenary association is a low-tier, without the backing of any country,when it comes to money, we might have more than the nobles association or the warrior association. We don’t extract much commission, but the Ice Moon Empire currently has over thirty thousand mercenaries. Even if every person only paid a single copper coin as a processing fee, we would still be able to collect quite a lot of money.”

Nian Bing’s heart stopped when he realized the flaw in his thinking. That’s right! The mercenary association may not be held in esteem by others, but they are one of the largest associations. All the mercenaries in this country belonged to them. Whether it be resources or information, they definitely could not be belittled. Probably, if he wanted to learn about something, he could rely on them. Thinking about this, the smile on his face became more amiable. “President Ka Luo, please do not be mistaken. I didn’t have any other meaning, it’s just that I wanted to remind you that what I need isn’t money, or I should say, isn’t entirely money.”

Ka Luo smiled and said, “Please state your request first, sir mage. Whatever item or price, I will definitely use my utmost ability to satisfy your request.”

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Nian Bing knew that that it was time to talk business. “Right now, I have a variety  of magic scrolls. I have four rank 4 scrolls, three rank 5, and two rank 6. I also have some special types of scrolls. I need you to exchange these scrolls for the best blank scrolls you have.”

Upon hearing Nian Bing’s request to exchange for blank scrolls, Ka Luo immediately smiled. “This is too simple. With our association’s networks, I definitely can fulfill your request. These ordinary magic scrolls are extremely popular in Ice Orchid City. However, I would like to hear what sort of exchange rate you have prepared? If you’re selling this many, I can buy them from you at twenty percent higher than the market price. How about that? I want all of these scrolls.”

Nian Bing said, “I want to hear the particulars of your price.” He exchanged with the other without anxiety. After all, although he had some understanding of the price of scrolls, he wasn’t completely certain. Naturally, responding calmly was the way to get the best profits.

Ka Luo wasn’t worried about quoting his price. Standing up, he offered a cup of water to Nian Bing. “Sir Mage, first drink some water. According to market value, a rank 4 scroll is different depending on what spell it is. The price could be from five purple-gold to fifteen purple-gold coins. Rank 5 scrolls are from twenty to fifty purple-gold coins. Rank 6 scrolls vary in price from about two hundred purple-gold coins to five hundred purple-gold coins. Relax, I will give you a fair price for each scroll. Generally speaking, attack-type scrolls have comparatively higher prices. You should be able to understand this.”

Nian Bing smiled and replied, “That is good. I will also quote a price to you. For the rank 4 scrolls, two hundred purple-gold coins, rank 5 scrolls at fifty purple-gold coins each and for a rank 6 scroll four hundred purple-gold coins. I think that these prices are fair.”

When he heard Nian Bing’s quotes, Ka Luo immediately wrinkled his brow. “Sir Mage, I understand the price for your rank 5 and rank 6 scrolls, but why is the price so high for your rank 4 scrolls?”

Nian Bing simply smiled and replied, “It’s easy. It’s because these rank 4 scrolls are definitely not bought  anywhere else. These scrolls are what my master, Magister Long Zhi, researched: Trigger magic scrolls. Currently, only the experiments with rank 4 scrolls have been a success.” The last sentence was true. Due to the fact that trigger magic scrolls were extremely difficult to create, at present Nian Bing could only add a trigger to rank 4 scrolls. Moreover, the cost of the materials were ten purple-gold coins, the most expensive blank scrolls.

Ka Luo’s heart jumped, “Trigger magic scrolls, Sir Mage, could I ask you to explain it more clearly?”

Nian Bing said, “It doesn’t require any further explanation as it’s very simple. Anyone can keep a trigger magic scroll with them. If they encounter an attack, the scroll will automatically attack the assailant. These four trigger scrolls are all Fire Wall spells. The rank 4 Fire Wall spell is not that strong, but it’s enough to save a of anyone in possession of the scroll.”

“What?” Ka Luo cried out in surprise. He was experienced and knowledgeable. If he recalled correctly, this type of special trigger magic scroll should have been lost several years ago. If it really could save lives, two hundred gold coins were not expensive at all. In order to confirm his thoughts, he sent out a probing question, “Sir Mage, what you just spoke of, could it be that these trigger magic scroll are nicknamed ‘The Bane of Assassins’?”

Nian Bing nodded and said, “The truth trumps words. If you can pay two hundred purple-gold coins for the test, then you will know the answer. I only hope that you will not bargain any further. These scrolls sum up to 1,750 purple-gold coins. Please exchange them for 150 top-quality blank scrolls, and the remainder for 250 middle-ranked scrolls costing one purple-gold coin each.”

Ka Luo refocused, then said, “If your scrolls really do have such a mysterious aspect, then I will agree to all of your requests. But I hope that I can try out one of your rank 4 scrolls and see for myself. Let’s go somewhere else.”

In his heart, Nian Bing thought, The mercenary association president truly is rich and imposing. Two hundred purple-gold coins for a test….

Once they arrived at the garden, Nian Bing took out a scroll from his space ring and tossed it to Ka Luo. When Ka Luo saw the magic scroll made from a top-quality blank scroll, he started to believe it somewhat. After all, an ordinary fourth rank magic scroll wouldn’t have the same price as a high-quality blank scroll. Using it to make a rank 4 magic scroll would be the same price as the scroll.

Nian Bing said, “You can put this scroll anywhere on your person. Right now, I will attack you with a spell. You don’t have to do anything. Passionate flame elements, I request you, condense into a sphere of destruction. Explode flame, destroy everything before you – Exploding Flame Spell.” As he chanted, the fire element rapidly gathered at Nian Bing. In an instant, the rank 3 Exploding Flame spell had appeared floating in his hands. With a thought, the Exploding Flame spell rippled bright red and headed for Ka Luo. The heatwaves swept by, distorting the air around it.

Ka Luo widened his eyes. This was a two hundred purple-gold coin experiment after all. When the Exploding Flame spell was about attack his upper torso, he sensed something unusual happening. Ka Luo clearly felt a warm air cloak his entire body as the scroll he had stuffed in his chest made a soft shattering sound. A thick wall of flames appeared in front of him without forewarning. The rank 4 Fire Wall Spell naturally didn’t have any trouble against the rank 3 Exploding Flame spell. The Exploding Flame spell was completely engulfed by the Fire Wall. The thick Fire Wall only shrunk a little bit for a moment and then returned to its normal state.

The Fire Wall continued to burn as the scroll was imbued with enough magic power to support it for several attacks from an opponent. A light flashed, and Ka Luo who was wrapped in twinkling blue qi, went up to Nian Bing around the Fire Wall. He wasn’t bitter about losing the two hundred purple-gold coins; rather his old face was full of excitement. “It’s so mysterious, truly too mystical. Magister Long Zhi is no doubt the president of the empire’s mage association. Honorable Sir Mage, no matter what spells your scrolls have, I will definitely buy them all and fulfill your request accordingly.”

Nian Bing smiled and said, “That’s good. After you’ve prepared the blank scrolls, please come to the Orchid Fragrance Inn to find me. I will leave first.”

“Hold on.” Ka Luo called out to Nian Bing. “Honored Sir Mage, I have a presumptuous request that I hope you would agree to.”

Seeing Ka Luo’s sincere expression, Nian Bing said, “What is it, say it.”

Ka Luo sighed and said, “You may know that our mercenaries have always been the lowest of professions on this continent. We are said to be rich people’s bodyguards or hired thugs. Ultimately, the reason is because we are not strong enough. High-ranked warriors look down on our profession, so they naturally wouldn’t join. They don’t believe that mercenaries have any prospects. As the president of the Ice Moon Empire Mercenary Association, I, myself formed a mercenary group. We number about almost five thousand, founded on the long-standing cultivation of martial artists and we are the only first ranked mercenary group in the empire. If you could join our mercenary group then I think the strength of the group would increase immensely. I can offer you great rewards.”

Nian Bing smiled good-naturedly. “President Ka Luo, you are too polite. How can a mage be that great? An advanced mage would be hard-pressed to win against a swordmaster. Even if I agreed to join your mercenary group, it couldn’t make the strength of the mercenary group raise by that much, so why do you say so?”

Ka Luo shook his head and said, “No, you don’t understand. Although mages don’t necessarily hold an advantage when battling with martial artists, but they do have familiarity with magic element. There are  many tasks that would be difficult without the participation of a mage, especially exploration tasks. Your mystical magic could be of great assistance to the entire mercenary group by doing things that warriors cannot. To bring up an example, if we were in a pitch-black, moist cave carrying out a task, and you didn’t have anything on you to make a fire, what would you do? Fire-attributed qi cannot form real fire.”

Nian Bing smiled and shook his head and said, “You do not need to say anymore. I am already a member of the Ice Moon Empire Mage Association, so I cannot join your mercenary association. I am sorry, but please forgive me.”

Ka Luo’s eyes showed a hint of sorrow. “That’s right! Why would a noble mage acknowledge mercenaries like us?”

Nian Bing said, “No, if you think that’s it, that’s wrong. In my eyes, there never has been a division in social standings. President Ka Luo, I have many things that I need to do, so I cannot agree to your request. However, if you really want to have a mage join your mercenary group, then I can offer you a piece of advice.”

Ka Luo’s eyes sparkled. “What sort of advice?”

Nian Bing said, “For that, wait for when you give me the blank scrolls in exchange for the magic scrolls. I will give you a letter. As long as you are sincere, just bring this letter to the Ice and Snow City Mage Association and see my teacher. I think that he will probably help you.”

Ka Luo said with doubt, “Mage Association? Perhaps your teacher…”

Nian Bing cut off Ka luo and said, “Don’t decide things before you have tried them. I have never felt that mercenaries were a ragtag mob. Of course, you shouldn’t act like that outside. Just bring your sincerity to Ice and Snow City. I think that you will be able to gain something.” After speaking, Nian Bing did not linger and left the mercenary association.

When he returned to his room in the inn, Nian Bing lay languidly on his bed. It had gone much more smoothly than he had imagined. With the blank scrolls, he only needed to spend several days time to arm himself with scrolls. He hoped that he wouldn’t meet with a beast like the golden-backed land dragon. If not, he really wouldn’t be able to suffer the loss! After prepping the scrolls, he could immediately head to the Proud Orchid Empire.

Thinking about this, Nian Bing took out the map of the continent from his space ring and scrutinized it carefully. Although he was a chef — which was convenient during travel — he was not a god. If he didn’t have any ingredients, then all of his exquisite culinary skills would be of no use. From his previous experience on the road, he would definitely find a suitable road to the Proud Orchid Empire capital, Landise. The best was if he could find comfortable lodging everyday.

Slamming down the map, he directly pounded his head. Nian Bing said to himself, I’m really so muddle-minded! How come I didn’t ask President Ka Luo just now if there were any famous restaurants or signature foods in Proud Orchid City? I was only bothering with the scrolls. The city is big enough, and there are many businesses. They definitely would not lack any delicious dishes. While thinking about eating, he immediately perked up. On the road to Proud Orchid City, his top-level skills did not have any suitable ingredients. Every day, he could only find enough food to allay his hunger. His absolutely empty stomach had reminded him that it had been so difficult to come to this city, so how could he leave empty-handed?

Thinking this, Nian Bing put away the map and left the room. The Orchid Fragrance Inn he was was staying was an unremarkable small inn close to the North gate of Ice Orchid City. According to his calculations, there shouldn’t be many good things to eat here. At this time, it was already close to nightfall. Nian Bing entered the main hall in the inn, to ask the service staff if there were any famous restaurants nearby. But he was frightened by the scene that was laid before him.

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