Chapter 2109 - Changes in the Dark Night Empire

Star-Moon Kingdom, an Advanced Bar in White River City's business district:

All three floors of the bar had been rented out, but aside from NPCs, the first two floors were void of people. Players only occupied the top-floor VIP room. The several players in the room were all Level 65 or above and wore top-tier Level 60 equipment. The leader was an elderly man in blue, who stared through a window, admiring the prosperous view.

Suddenly, a Level 64, black-clad Assassin entered the room, looked at the elder, and said, "Elder Yi, we've just received news stating that Candlelight has started selling a large quantity of Exotic Stamina Potions in the Dark Night Empire. The trading firm has also begun to sell something called the Stamina Gemstone. Each Stamina Gemstone can increase players' Stamina recovery rate by 7%. Candlelight is only accepting the Dark Night Empire's specialty materials as payment, which has not only doubled the prices for these materials, but the various powers have also stopped selling any they have in stock."

"Stamina Gemstone?" The blue-clad elder was astonished when he heard this. "How many are they selling?"

"Based our investigations, Candlelight has prepared 60 Stamina Gemstones to sell in Dark Night City," the Assassin answered.

"Sixty? How generous!" The elder expressed his surprise at the Assassin's answer. "Has Zero Wing gone insane?"

Players who frequented neutral maps understood how valuable items like the Stamina Gemstones were. Moreover, the more Stamina Gemstones one had equipped, the more valuable they would become.

With 60 Stamina Gemstones, one could outfit a 20-man team that would then be able to operate in a neutral map without having to return to a city to recover Stamina. The profits one could gain from such a team would be frightening, especially when exploring a new neutral map. If Zero Wing organized such a team, it would gain a tremendous advantage over its competition.

Yet, Zero Wing willing sold the Stamina Gemstones, sacrificing such a wondrous opportunity. Only a lunatic would pull a stunt like this.

"It seems we still underestimate Zero Wing. Starlink will have a hard time preventing the Guild from affecting its economy. Prepare the necessary materials immediately. We're heading to Dark Night City," the blue-clad elder commanded as he stood from his seat.

He, like everyone else in God's Domain, had thought Zero Wing was simply making a fool of itself by challenging

Starlink in the Dark Night Empire, but now, it seemed that everyone had underestimated the Guild's determination and strength. Likely no one had thought that Zero Wing was willing and able to make such a move.

The Dark Night Empire's various major powers had taken a step back in respect of Starlink, but now that their future was on the line, no one would heed Starlink's warnings.


With how tempting the Stamina Gemstones were, the prices of the empire's specialty materials would rise astronomically.

Unlike the usual rare materials, specialty materials were unique to a specific country. Starlink used the Dark Night Empire's specialty materials as the Starlink Trading Finn's foundation in the competition with other kingdoms and empires' trading firms. If the prices of the Dark Night Empire's specialty materials reached absurd heights or supply were severed, Starlink's profits would plummet. After all, the various superpowers relied on their trading firms and wide connections as their main sources of income, and for Starlink, these relied on the empire's specialty materials as a foundation.

Without this foundation, Starlink would struggle to make money through its trading firm.

Meanwhile, a deathly silence reigned in the Guild Leader's office, which Lu Xingluo occupied, in Starlink's Dark Night City Residence. None of the Guild upper echelons present in the room dared to utter a single word.

In a short hour, Starlink had gone from able to purchase more than 10,000 specialty materials to only several hundred. Moreover, this number continued to fall as time passed. Not only had this situation severely impacted Starlink's ability to produce specialty merchandise, but it had also drastically increased production costs.

Ultimately, Starlink had three main income sources for Coins.

The first source was the Guild's trading firm.

The second was its money-farming teams and the Guild members completing Guild Quests.

The third source came from the Guild's Towns.

Although Starlink now had NPC Auction Houses as a fourth source of income, it had just taken these Auction Houses over,抓d it would still be some time before the Guild earned a significant amount of profits from this source.

A minor income decrease due to Zero Wing's interference would've been tolerable, but its impact wasn't minor at all. At this point, the Starlink Trading Firm generated 20% less profit than usual, and that percentage continued to increase. This predicament would severely impact the Guild's development. To make matters worse, this was happening as Starlink needed to migrate its Guild Towns to new locations. Relocating a Guild Town required a lot of funding, and a profit loss meant Starlink would have to delay the move...

"Zero! Wing!" Lu Xingluo's expression twisted into something gloomy as he read the report in his hands. He then turned toward Dawn Web and growled, "Notify our subordinates to increase the purchase price for Star-Moon Kingdom's specialty materials immediately!"

"How much shall we raise it by, Guild Leader?" Dawn Web asked.

"Raise it by 50%! I want to see which of us will last the longest!" Lu Xingluo said.

"What about the Stamina Gemstones?" Dawn Web asked. "If the other powers get their hands on them, they'll have a much easier time exploring the neutral maps around the Dark Night Empire."

"We don't have many materials left. Let those powers have them. In any case, the Candlelight Trading Firm only has 60 Stamina Gemstones for sale. Even if a power purchases all 60, it'll only have enough to equip a 20-man team. That won't be enough to upset the empire's power structure," Lu Xingluo said disdainfully. "Besides, how long can Zero Wing possibly afford to play around in Dark Night City? Turn your focus to Star-Moon Kingdom. Now that Zero Wing has lost the Secret Chamber of Commerce's connections, it can only strut about its own kingdom."

More than ten neutral maps neighbored the Dark Night Empire that were suitable for current players. No matter how powerful a 20-man team was, it could only explore one neutral map at most. The team wouldn't have the time to explore other neutral maps, let alone affect Starlink's exploration teams.

In contrast, as Starlink raised the prices for Star-Moon Kingdom's specialty products, Zero Wing's operation costs would rise, and its profit margins would suffer. Even if Zero Wing had White River City's Auction House, its development would stagnate.

As the various major powers continued to develop in neutral maps, stagnation would eventually eliminate Zero Wing from God's Domain altogether.

"Understood!" Dawn Web nodded.

Meanwhile, the Candlelight Trading Firm's Shop in Dark Night City was lively as practically every power in the empire gathered to view its products. Even representatives from other kingdoms and empires' powers had come to inspect the goods. Every player in the Shop had traded 1 Gold of specialty materials to qualify for the Stamina Gemstone's upcoming auction. None of them cared about Starlink's threat.

Unless Starlink wanted Dark Night City's Auction House to go out of business, it wouldn't dare follow through and ban everyone that did business with Candlelight.

"Everyone, the Stamina Gemstones will be sold in sets of three! The bids will start at 300 Gold of specialty materials! Each increment must no less than 10 Gold! If everyone is in agreement, let the auction begin!"

Everyone in the first-floor hall grew restless with Youlan's announcement.

Four hundred Gold!'

Four hundred and fifty Gold!"

"Six hundred Gold!"

One major power after another yelled out astronomical bids, but at the end of the day, none of them could outcompete the superpowers that secretly participated in the auction. The first set of Stamina Gemstones sold for 1,250 Gold, causing many of the participating Guilds and adventurer teams to sigh with disappointment.

With that kind of money, they could fully equip a player in top-tier equipment.

However, none of these players found the price unreasonable. Three Stamina Gemstones could enable an expert to roam neutral maps freely. If a superpower's peak experts had this freedom, they could easily earn back the cost of the Stamina Gemstones through the opportunities they found. It was definitely a worthwhile trade.

If the bidding currency hadn't been limited to specialty materials, the price would've likely gone higher.

The various superpowers continued to win Stamina Gemstones in the auction. In the end, the 20 sets had netted nearly 27,000 Gold in specialty materials for Zero Wing, which had even surpassed Shi Feng's expectations.

"Zero Wing has earned quite a stock of materials through this auction, but it's a pity that its success ends here." Mu Cheng, who wore a Black Cloak amidst the crowd, was a little disappointed to see the Stamina Gemstones out of stock.

While Zero Wing had indeed affected Starlink's operations by selling the Stamina Gemstones, the plan wasn't viable long-term. Once the auction ended, Dark Night City would return to normal, while Zero Wing had only gained specialty materials.

Naturally, Mu Cheng wasn't the only one with such thoughts. All of the various superpowers thought the same.

However, just as the crowd was about to leave, Melancholic Smile walked into the center of the hall. The Master Forger's Insignia she wore and her majestic aura attracted many of the players' attention. Even the various superpowers only had a handful of Lifestyle Masters, much less Master Forgers.

"Today's auction for the Stamina Gemstones has come to an end. The next auction will take place tomorrow at the same time! Customers who failed to win gemstones today may visit us then!" Melancholic Smile announced. "Any members of the Candlelight Trading Firm that spend more than 3 Gold in this city's Shop will be eligible for a lucky draw on the day of their transaction! We will select one winner every four hours who will be able to purchase one Stamina Gemstone for 200 Gold!"

As Melancholic Smile finished speaking, silence descended on the hall. After a brief moment, many players spoke up.

"Is this a joke?"

"Zero Wing has more Stamina Gemstones?"

Even the various superpowers stared at Melancholic Smile in shock, not to mention the many independent players. "How is this possible?" Elder Yi muttered, surprise coloring his tranquil features.

Selling 60 Stamina Gemstones was already amazing, yet by the looks of it, Zero Wing intended to continue selling the gemstones for a considerable period. Although he did not know how long Zero Wing could maintain this business, every additional day would affect Dark Night City.

Moreover, the impact the city felt would grow stronger with each day. Every auction was the equivalent of another 20- man team that could explore neutral maps without concern for their Stamina. If Zero Wing maintained these auctions for five or six days, it would likely change the power structure in the empire's neighboring neutral maps.

If that happened, the Dark Night Empire would likely find a new ruler!

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