"What an odd woman."
Observed the system as Konrad walked out of the pavilion.
"When you think of it, it's nothing surprising. Those women are trapped in the palace for years without the chance to have a relationship or to even see a real man. Developing some odd fantasy is only natural. In any case, it's not like I haven't seen worse."
"To be roughly taken from behind every night by a man I yearn for, yet, can never see." That was her core fantasy. Needless to say, it didn't quite match the aloofness with which she usually portrayed herself.
"Women are natural dreamers. The more you try to restrain them, the more their thoughts wander."
"That aside, why didn't you use the purple bead on her? That would have made everything a lot easier for you. It's very likely that you could have even taken her on the spot."
To this, Konrad smiled with his usual touch of mischief.
"And miss out on such a fine challenge? It is not every day that I find worthy opponents. I should at least give her a chance to fight her way out of my clutches."
For three seconds, the system was rendered speechless, but afterward, it burst into laughter.
"Bwahaha! Did you think yourself cool and fancy?"
"You have less than three days, and you want a challenge?"
"Hehehe, you better believe that when the time comes for me to administrate punishment, you will have no chance to find your way out of my clutches."
Black lines crept on Konrad's forehead, and all his excitement went to the gutters.
"That aside, how do you plan to obtain the High-Grade True Spirit Restoration Pills."
High-grade True Spirit Restoration Pills were priced at "8000 exp" in the system. Konrad couldn't afford one, to say nothing of two.
While he could gain exp with intercourse, Faidra and Aliki were, on one hand standing too close to the Holy Consort and on the other hand, he wasn't about to go burst six nuts into them just to get the required exp.
All good things required some moderation, right?
"Naturally, I will go make money!"
The official currency of the Holy Flame Empire was crystals. One purple crystal was worth a thousand red crystals which were, in turn, each worth a thousand blue crystals.
The average commoner household's yearly income was one hundred blue crystals.
A True Spirit Restoring Pill was priced at one hundred red crystals. As for High-Grade True Spirit Restoring Pills, they were between seven and eight hundred red crystals.
Even imperial knights couldn't afford that.
Konrad first regained his real appearance and made his way back to his quarters. Once inside and sure of being far from prying eyes, he sat cross-legged and entered the system to look for the cheapest low-ranked True Spirit cultivation method he could find.
"Clear Heart Scripture: low-ranked True Spirit Cultivation method, 1000 exp."
He exchanged it for the "1000 exp" and exited the system. His exp count then dropped down to 4515.
The system made no distinction in prices between martial and spiritual cultivation methods, so their costs were similar. In the outside world, however, that was not the case. Spiritual cultivation methods were by far rarer than their martial counterparts and were thus priced much higher.
They were two reasons for that. The first was that for every ten martial cultivation methods, there was only one spiritual method. The second was that just like nobility monopolized martial cultivation methods, the Holy Flame Church monopolized the spiritual counterparts.
Placing the "Clear Heart Scripture" within a bag, Konrad exited his quarters and went back toward the kitchen were Alan and Ralph tended to their duties.
"Done with your task?"
They asked as they saw him sneak back inside.
"Not quite. Who among you is the most familiar with the auction department?"
"That would be me."
Ralph replied with soaring pride. And seeing Alan gritting his teeth but not contending, Konrad carried on.
"Do you have contacts known for their greed? The greedier, the better."
At first glance, one might worry about the trustworthiness of greedy business partners. But in some cases, they were the best option. Konrad needed someone with an eye for opportunity who would be willing to ignore the "odd" for the sake of profit. Greedy people were perfect for that.
Moreover, they always controlled much more wealth than their rank could usually afford.
"Yes, I have the perfect man. His name is Hans. Although he's just a mid-ranked eunuch, he has a lot of connections to the head eunuchs of the auction department. As long as there is a profit to be made, there is nothing he's not willing to do."
That was precisely what he needed.
"Lead the way!"
Through Konrad's commanding tone, the importance of this matter and its impact on future work and cooperation was made clear. That being the case, Ralph didn't dare delay and led the way toward the auction house.
"Two can cover for three, but how can one achieve that? Hopefully, they will soon be back."
Alan lamented while getting back to work.
The road toward the auction department was shortened by a succession of teleportation circles. The inner court's auction house was a massive golden mansion that screamed wealth and opulence for all to see. Ralph carried Konrad inside and then went to fetch his connection.
Soon, he returned alongside a short, pudgy, middle-aged eunuch whose prominent belly giggled with every step.
"Is this the "honored guest" you mentioned? Isn't that just another low-ranked eunuch? Ralph, are you wasting my precious time?"
The eunuch inquired with an increasingly threatening tone.
"Cut the crap. I don't have time for your bullshit. I give you one chance to buy this thing from my hands. What you do with it afterward is your problem."
He said while throwing the Clear Heart Scripture at Hans. Auctions took time to organize. Time Konrad didn't have. The best option was to use pressure to get the best deal possible from Hans.
At first, when he grabbed the manual, Hans was merely intrigued. But as he browsed through its content, his eyes widened in disbelief.
"T-rue…True Spirit Rank cultivation method?"
Treasure! True Treasure!
Ralph was horrified. But Konrad gave them no time to get over their emotions.
"I give you three seconds to give me a satisfying price. If I like it, it's yours. If I don't, I leave. No bargain, no bullshit."
The initiative was within his hands. There was no reason to hold back.
"Five purple stones!"
Konrad was stopped dead in his tracks. The market value of a low-grade True Spirit method was one purple stone. Was that eunuch led astray by the pressure? He didn't think so.
But a deal was a deal, so there was no reason for him to probe further. And hearing his approval, Hans exhaled a sigh of relief. In fact, he hadn't gone astray. The value of an auctioned True Spirit method for him was way beyond what he just gave up because those who would bid for it were mostly the pawns of the Holy Flame Church!
Adept Knights could live for fifteen decades so although Hans was already eighty years old, he still had many years ahead of him. However, there was no hope for him to break through the True Knight Rank in a lifetime…unless he obtained a True Flame Baptism from the church. It was something that money alone could not buy so he didn't hesitate to give up the result of decades of shrewd management in one purchase.
Was he a greedy hound? Certainly. But to be greedy across centuries, he first needed the matching lifespan.
It was totally worth it!
The exchange was made. Konrad received his five purple coins which he pocketed before exiting the auction house alongside a dazed Ralph.
A transaction of one purple stone was something he didn't believe he could witness in a lifetime. But now, five had exchanged hands right in front of him.
Some time was needed to adjust.
"Ha, you've returned. Quick, quick. The supervisor is about to make his round."
And the trio resumed their work for the rest of the day.
By the time they completed their tasks the moon hanged within the sky.
"You have served me well. What do you want? Money or cultivation methods?"
Konrad asked as they returned to their quarters. If they wanted cultivation methods, he would bring one out of the system. If they wanted money, he would take it out of his pocket. It was also an excellent opportunity to see what kind of people they really were.
"Money! Money! Money!"
They sang like a choir.
Men of low vision yearned for wealth. Men of high aspirations craved power. Konrad didn't need men of high aspirations; therefore, he was satisfied.
"Very well. This is your reward. Split it evenly."
He then tossed them a purple crystal and slipped into his bed. But the poor guys were left speechless. At first, they didn't know what to do and poked the purple crystal with their indexes as if to test its authenticity.
"Sis…I can now afford you a dowry…"
Ralph and Alan respectively said while staring at the purple crystal on the ground with trembling bodies.
They then turned to face one another with eyes set ablaze by the prospects brought by their newfound wealth and pulled each other in a warm, not so manly hug!
"We've made it!"
The average commoner household's yearly income was one hundred blue crystals.
They now had five hundred thousand each.
Their families' days of struggles were over.
They were rich!