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Chapter 157 – Negotiations 2
The Hidden Powers seemed to have lost their patience, as many released their auras to stifle Draco. Waves of a strange ripple-like energy cascaded towards Draco, but he simply smirked.
The golden aura that had surrounded him thanks to the Seal of Camelot blasted out and pushed those offending ripples away as it bore down on all those who had dared to send their auras towards him in the first place.
This directly suppressed them, trying to force them to go on their knees before the King. However, at the end of the day, these were still Rank 7 ent.i.ties. The suppression effected lasted barely a second.
The kind of aura produced by a Rank 1 Draco was extremely potent, but it wasn’t enough, not even with the help of the Seal of Camelot. Draco would have to reach the higher ranks if he wished to effectively suppress them.
As such, there was a tense stalemate where the offending Hidden Powers were poised to attack, while Draco began to summon the Destruction Energy in his Eyes of Caelo to cast Omega.
Before both sides could erupt though, one person coughed lightly.
This sound was quite low in terms of volume, yet it resounded in the hearts and minds of everyone gathered here.
Stepping forward from the crowd was a familiar face. An old woman who had her grey hair tied into a bun, her body clothed in a white robe and her expression genial and pure.
“h.e.l.lo, Draco. How are you?” She greeted gently.
Madam Carrie was the only one who could talk to Draco like an elder because he genuinely respected her for what she had done for him. He had long since discovered her among the crowd, therefore he had been very specific about who he attacked with his aura.
“I’ve been well, Madam Carrie. Please come forth and take a seat.” Draco replied with an amiable smile.
Vitae read Draco’s emotions and sp.a.w.ned 7 chairs in close proximity to the throne, with a long table in front of them. Then, he turned to the 7 Hidden powers who had shown no hostility to Draco since they had entered.
“Would seniors please come forward and take a seat so we may negotiate?” Vitae asked gently.
The seven were startled, but they smiled and stepped forth to seat themselves. They couldn’t help but think that doing good would oftentimes reward one with good things as well, while they sat down.
The excluded Hidden powers became even colder and more irritated by this and some – especially the monster races – couldn’t take it anymore.
“What is the meaning of this? Young boy, do you have no respect for your elders?” A grizzled Orc who looked like a battlefield champion shouted out while gripping his axes.
“No respects! Such a vile lads!” A Rank 7 Goblin added with a vicious expression.
Draco just casually gazed at them and replied: “Respect is given where it’s due. Treat me with respect and you will get treated with respect in turn. Do you really need a junior to teach you something this basic? So far, I’ve only reciprocated how I was treated and spoken to, so if you don’t like it, you should question the source.”
Before these fellows could go off again, Madam Carrie cleared her throat again and began to speak.
“I do not speak for anyone other than the Church of Light. Our objective in coming here was to purchase some land to set up a subsidiary branch of the Church in Vita Capital City, as it is a very precious area.”
“We do not need it to be private land for extensive housing. We’ll be satisfied as long as you allow us something that may include housing for our priests, ministers, and bishops. We would also like to set up a portal from this branch to our headquarters, since the benefits of doing so will be great for both sides.”
“I have heard your complaints Draco, and I agree. Since I have the power to decide all financial matters of the Church of Light, I can confidently promise you that you can name any price that the Church specifically has to pay.”
“I will personally see it paid to you. What do you think?”
Madam Carrie spoke seriously and honestly. She didn’t use any auras or mention any names. She didn’t speak ambiguously or try to use sophistry.
She just explained why the Church of Light sent her here, what she wanted and what she was willing to do to get it. Very straightforward and very clean.
Draco smiled. “The Church of Light shall always be welcome in Vita Capital City. I’m willing to sell a permanent plot of land within the central area of the Church for a temple to be built there.”
“In exchange, I would like for the Church to allow three people I send forth to take the Test of Holiness. Would that be reasonable?”
Everyone froze when they heard Draco’s asking price. Putting aside the circ.u.mstances of it, how did he even know about the Church of Light’s Test of Holiness?
Was this Immortal Adventurer really fresh from the World of the G.o.ds? Why did it feel like he was an old monster who had lived with them for years upon years the more they interacted with him?
Madam Carrie was also quite surprised, but not negatively. The Church of Light weren’t exactly trying to keep the Test of Holiness a secret, but it had faded into obscurity since so many had failed before.
Any new candidate was extremely welcome, as many had long since given up hope to succeed. The reason why it hadn’t been advertised to Immortal Adventurers was that they were too weak.
If even the natives failed, how could they – who moved around like b.u.mbling idiots – succeed?
However, the people that a prodigy such as Draco would recommend definitely would not be simple. Madam Carrie saw that this deal was a bit of a loss to Draco and she gazed at him with admiration.
“The Church will never forget your kindness today, Draco.”
｢System to Player Announcement
Your reputation with the Church of Light has risen by 1000 points.｣
Draco smiled deeply. Reputation with the Church of Light was almost as precious as ten Aether Mines with top-grade Crystals.
After all, they were the last organic source of Divine items and Divine Energy.
The reason Draco hadn’t asked for a Divine Treasure Chest was because he was scared. Asking for that in front of all these Hidden Powers… wouldn’t that be the epitome of foolishness?
Not only that, but it would be a waste. Fitter Cleric was the same Rank as Draco, so he could – more often than not – be on the side of luck when opening Legendary and lower Treasure Chests.
However, Divine Chests were a whole different ball game altogether. Draco had used all the saved up Divine Energy in the Church of Light’s Divine Chamber to open the one he got in exchange for the Dragon’s Blessing potions.
The Divine Chamber had stored Divine Energy for hundreds of years before Draco came, so the purity in there was extremely high. It usually couldn’t be used to do anything, so it just gathered there.
The Treasure Chest had swallowed it all and managed to summon the Divine Eyes of Caelo down, which was the topmost tier Divine item belonging to an Origin G.o.d that was at the apex.
If it wasn’t for his low Rank and the suppression of the material realm, the Eyes of Caelo would easily be able to generate Divine Energy, and perhaps even some Origin Energy.
Since he had the necessary reputation, he could get some Divine Chests later, either when Fitter was a higher Rank or he found a source of Divine Energy.
Draco turned to the other 6 Hidden Powers who had shown pleasant dispositions all this while.
Draco stood up from his Throne, followed by Riveting Night and Hikari, who copied the behavior of the other two.
“Draco greets n.o.ble seniors. Might I please know your names?” Draco asked respectfully as he bowed slightly.
“Eva greets n.o.ble seniors.” Riveting Night added with her own bow.
“Hikari greets n.o.ble seniors.” The dragoness said while mimicking Draco and Riveting Night.
The 6 benevolent Hidden powers also stood up and bowed to Draco slightly.
“Your Majesty has given us too much face. We will introduce ourselves from left to right. Might I call upon my colleagues to begin?” One of the 6 suggested genially.
The one on the leftmost seat smiled and nodded. It was a young man who was very handsome. His body was fresh and clean, his skin tone slightly dark.
“My name is David, and I represent the Merchant’s a.s.sociation.”
Next to him was a young beauty who was the polar opposite of David in terms of skin tone and demeanor. One could tell she was usually cold and arrogant, but she still greeted Draco with the utmost respect.
“My name is Kiara and I represent the Mages a.s.sociation.”
Next to Kaira was a middle-aged man who was suave and very tidy. He looked genial and very sociable.
“My name is Davian and I represent the Cario Continental Council.”
Beside Davian was Madam Carrie, who just smiled lightly.
Next to Madam Carrie was an old man who was quite well built despite his age and the wrinkles on his face. Draco also vaguely remembered him.
“My name is Reman and I represent the Adventurer’s Guild. We might have met before, Your Majesty.”
Draco remembered him. When he had paid a visit to the Adventurer’s Guild after turning in the Subjugating the Paradise Lands Death Quest, he was received by the elders of the Adventurer’s Guild.
Reman was one of the top elders, so his presence here showed how much the Adventurer’s Guild valued Draco.
Next to Reman was another old man who was a little bit scruffy, but looked a bit crazed as he gazed at Draco.
“My name is Doug and I represent the Tradeskill a.s.sociation.”
Draco s.h.i.+vered as the way Doug looked at him made it seem like he wanted to dissect him.
The last person, who was the one to suggest that they all introduce themselves from left to right, smiled. It was another young woman who was a quite beautiful in a wild way.
Kiara was pretty in a prudish and n.o.ble way, like the kind of girl you would find in a library who always placed her studies first. She was the type to invoke an urge to s.h.i.+ft her haughty expression into one that begged for lewd things to be done to her.
This girl though, was the type who made one’s testosterone boil, as she was like an amazon with her tanned skin, her dark brown eyes, her short black hair and her attire which was extremely form-fitting while crafted for battle.
Even the way she smiled, which was like a tiger baring its teeth, made one feel her untamed aura.
However, she was quite placid in this scenario.
“My name is Myrine, and I represent the War Maniac Pavilion.”
Myrine smiled at Draco, her eyes flas.h.i.+ng. She truly did find him quite handsome, and his talent was much appreciated.
Draco began to realize a pattern here. It seemed the warrior women of the War Maniac Pavilion were all wild and untameable, who would chase after what they wanted without caring about social norms or perceptions.
It was just that – more often than not – they hardly found someone of interest. Draco ticked quite a few boxes for them, so they naturally would court him in their own direct and blunt way.
Draco nodded to them all. “I can safely a.s.sume that you all want something similar to Madam Carrie, right? A plot of land to situate your organizations or guilds in order to propagate business first and whatever else after?”
“That should be right,” Myrine replied. It seemed the others deferred to her, as she represented the world’s number one military power.
“Then that is not a problem. Let me state what I want in exchange.”
Draco faced David. “From the Merchant a.s.sociation, I want 20 Aether Crystals and the chance to have three of my people take the Money is Power Quest.”
David pondered for a bit before nodding. “This seems reasonably fair.”
Draco then looked at Kiara. “From the Mage’s a.s.sociation, I want a fully set up Portal Center constructed in this Capital City as well as for you to allow three people to study the Tablet of Magic for two months.”
Kiara froze, but clenched her teeth and agreed. “I will get it done.”
Draco knew that he had really inconvenienced the Mage’s a.s.sociation, so he planned to give them some other benefits later.
Draco faced Davian and stated his demands. “From the Cario Continental Council, I want representation on the Council as well as three votes.”
Forget Davian, even the whole room paused for a second.
This fellow… his appet.i.te was really enormous! To swallow three votes on top of representation when he only had a City State was like a whale sucking in seawater.
Davian rubbed his chin thoughtfully before saying anything: “I agree. With your bright future, this is bound to come in time anyway. Accelerating this process should not be a problem.”
Draco was surprised. He had only wanted to start from a high position as he expected to bargain it down to representation and two votes at best.
To get his request immediately approved must’ve been due to his extremely high reputation with the human race as well as Vita Capital City’s outrageous benefits.
Draco then faced Reman. “From the Adventurer’s Guild, I want the rights to the Paradise Lands.”
Reman took in a deep breath. Draco really was an insatiable beast. To ask for the whole Paradise Lands which the guild had been struggling to conquer was truly…
“We can cede the Paradise Lands to your Majesty.”
Reman’s face looked like he had just given away his first child and Draco sympathized. However, doing so would indirectly benefit the Adventurer’s Guild, so the decision was easier to make.
Draco then turned to Doug, who had been watching him silently with red eyes. After swallowing down the strange feeling he felt from this, he finally spoke.
“From the Tradeskill a.s.sociation, I want 200 Aether Crystals and one of the Grand Elders to take three people I send as their apprentices.”
Doug laughed loudly. “Done!”
Then, his crazed eyes fixed upon Draco. “However, after this, I would like to share some… insights… with Brother Draco. Is that okay?”
Draco smiled weakly. “That should be doable… ha… haha…”
Draco quickly faced Myrine, who was smilingly smugly at him. “From the War Maniac Pavilion, I want 1000 Aether Crystals or the chance to send three people to the Battle Realm.”
Mryine’s smirk froze and her lips began to twitch. So attractive, yet so greedy. What a wicked fellow.
“We should be able to provide you with 500 Aether Crystals and the chance to send two people to the Battle Realm. I wouldn’t mind making an exception if you came in as the third person, though, Your Majesty.”
Draco smiled and nodded. “That too is fine.”
Draco then looked at all seven people. “Our business is done, but you don’t have to leave yet. You can follow Vitae as he shows you around the fledgling city in order to select your future lots.”
“We will do just that. Since our fates are now tied with yours, you can expect us to support you in all future matters, Draco.” Madam Carrie said with a tricky smile.
The other 6 caught on to what she meant and smiled, giving similar a.s.sertions that weren’t just for show. It was the actual truth, but exaggerated a little bit.
How could Draco and the other Hidden Powers not understand?
Draco smiled brightly while the remaining two hundred plus Hidden powers began to sweat under their garments. While they weren’t scared of their peers, they were in the same boat as Draco.
They had come here to hustle for spots for their descendants and clans, not for themselves. Just like how Draco did not fear them, but was worried about Vita Capital City and Umbra, they were worried about their descendants and their uncertain future.
If it was just Draco alone or even with Richmond, there were enough of them present that they could pressure him a bit.
However, with those 7 top powers behind him, they would have to tread carefully, especially the monster and neutral races.
After all, their descendants were lacking compared to those subordinates those superpowers could bring forth, especially the Church of Light and the War Maniac Pavilion.
As such, they were left in a very awkward situation with Draco who was gazing at them with a slight smirk.
“Shall we discuss terms then?”
With that line, the Hidden powers were subjected to horrors as they were forced to pay nearly 500% the cost to rent land for a short term of one year. In the very outskirts of the Capital City.
Not only were they fleeced of their money, Draco made it explicitly clear in the contract that should he wish to terminate, they would have to vacate the land in under 6 hours and demolish their buildings.
In other words, with this Damascus sword hanging above them, they would have to make sure not to antagonize him too much in the future…
It was extremely outrageous and unfair, but the situation was extremely unfavorable. At least the human powerhouses had been spared a little. The neutral races and the monster races especially felt the pain of the transaction.
After this was done, Draco laughed heartily. “I don’t want to keep fellow friends any longer. You can leave at your own leisure and return when you are ready to start your leases.”
The Hidden Powers could only grit their teeth as their eyes became red. Unlike the 7 before who were personally shown about and promised lodging until they wanted to leave, this fellow was politely sacking them.
This was a slight to their pride and stature!
Many of them gazed at Draco coldly, dangerous smiles playing on their lips. While he may have won this round, things were far from over. Just because they themselves couldn’t act didn’t mean their descendants couldn’t.
As such, they all left harboring evil intentions.
Draco sneered at them and laughed inwardly.
He had feared life would be too boring with no one to apply pressure to him or Umbra except for rare cases like the Metal Dragon.
If they were willing to send their descendants – who only had one life – as grindstones for him and Umbra, why should Draco refuse?
As long as it wasn’t another Rank 7 ent.i.ty, Draco wasn’t bothered in the least. For now, though…
He had a Guild War to think about.
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