Chapter 615: Austin’s Gift
As the musicians started to play, the party officially began. The guests all had their own goals. They split into twos and threes and headed to more private areas to discuss business.
Heber took a few guests up the stairs. Not far away, the Klent high ranking official also went upstairs with a few others.
Seeing this, Han Xiao squinted and pondered.
The Tyrant and the Klents are allies. He has already secretly joined the Crimson Dynasty’s side, so maybe the Klents have become the Crimson Dynasty’s friend, probably even earlier than Tyrant. After all, the Crimson Dynasty wants to rope in the Shattered Star Ring’s organizations, so their priority should be the Star Cluster Civilizations. The Klents got persuaded first, then recommended Bloodshed Land as an ally. The reason Heber introduced the envoy to the Dragon Emperor and Magus might be because the Klents asked him to negotiate with the Beyond Grade A Supers…
This would mean that in the seven Star Cluster Civilizations of Shattered Star Ring, Klent Kingdom might have already joined the Crimson Dynasty’s side.
Connecting to the storyline of his previous life, the main storyline of Version 3.0 [Crimson Tide] was the Crimson Dynasty’s expansion stirring up all the Star Fields, including the Shattered Star Ring. However, most of that chaos were not directly caused by the Crimson Dynasty but the organizations of these Star Fields themselves.
Back then, the players did not have access to any inside knowledge. After Han Xiao connected these two things… the Crimson Dynasty might have been behind all the organizations that caused trouble during [Crimson Tide]. They pulled strings and made the structure of the universe unstable.
Heber did not introduce Zoel to all the guests, probably because the Crimson Dynasty did not want to be too high profile. They might have only invited some representatives of the stronger organizations to private meetings, like the Beyond Grade A meeting a day ago.
So, the storm is already brewing…
Han Xiao shook his head. According to his calculations, the effect brought by the Crimson Dynasty’s actions would not appear in Version 2.0. The most likely scenario would be these effects gradually appearing over the ten or so years during the version update after Version 2.0, which would then turn into the Version 3.0, [Crimson Tide].
Currently, it was only the early stage of Version 2.0. Other than the Planet Aquamarine players, the players on other novice planets were still playing with mud. There were still a few more years till the next version update. During this period, the likelihood of something huge erupting was very low.
Planet Aquamarine’s original main storyline was the conflict between DarkStar and Godora. However, DarkStar was gone, so his Black Star Army had become the players’ new main storyline. The storyline was now semi free exploration, so the players would not face something huge in Version 2.0.
This was the best time for his faction to grow.
As the Great Mechanic Han was contemplating, Rossozzi approached.
“Black Star, I have some things I want to speak to you about.”
Han Xiao stopped his train of thought, smiled, and nodded. “Mr. Rossozzi, what is it?”
Rossozzi rubbed the messy tentacles on his chin and said, “I want to invest in Floating Dragon Island and your Black Star Army. Maybe we should discuss the detailed terms and conditions.”
Han Xiao’s eyes sparkled. Lucky, another one here to give me money!
He turned around and looked at Ames. Ames did not disapprove and let Han Xiao fully handle it. Han Xiao pulled Rossozzi aside, and the two of them discussed the details.
Not long after, the two of them quickly decided on the investment plan. Similar to the terms and conditions of the Noriosse Financial Group, Rossozzi’s group would also provide resources to the Black Star Army and Floating Dragon Island in exchange for returns in other aspects.
Investing in military organizations had always been important to large financial groups; Rossozzi’s was no exception. After finalizing the details, he left satisfied and content.
The official contract and terms would be sent over after the party ended. Han Xiao was rather glad. The Black Star Army had obtained one more investor, which was very helpful to the development of the faction.
Someone else called out to him.
Han Xiao turned and looked. To his surprise, it was Austin. He brought along a group of Forbidden Sorcerers and came before Han Xiao.
“Your Excellency Magus, what is it?” Facing a Beyond Grade A, Han Xiao was formal.
Austin did not reply. He smiled and opened his palm. A dark blue light appeared in his hand. It turned into a vortex, and the light quickly disappeared. Then, a small gray orb appeared.
Han Xiao looked closely. This small orb was not solid but was made of flowing gray fog. It was compressed by a certain power and kept its shape of a small ball.
“This is…” Han Xiao was confused and did not understand Austin’s intentions.
Austin played with the small gray fog ball and slowly said, “Once upon a time, my spiritual body travelled to a phantom secondary dimension and met a strangely strong Void Lord. It almost eroded my spiritual body but was defeated by me in the end. This is the core essence that the Void Lord left behind after dissipating. I want to give it to you.”
Han Xiao was stunned.
A Void Lord’s core essence was extremely rare. Almost only Mages could obtain such materials.
Entering a secondary dimension was an ability only high-level Mages possessed. They could often obtain all sorts of strange and weird items.
In terms of profiteering… ahem, production abilities, Mages and Mechanics stood at the peak among the five Super classes. In terms of collecting materials, Mages might be even better than Mechanics.
Mechanics were mostly in a bankrupt state all the time, completely the opposite of Mages. A class that could burn their mana bar to earn money with zero cost, via Enchanting, was basically everyone’s common enemy.
Han Xiao deeply understood the meaning behind the phrase ‘random acts of kindness only lead to either rape or robbery’. So, what is Austin’s intention behind suddenly giving me a gift? Don’t tell me he’s trying to win me over like Heber, but took a more subtle and gentle route?
“Why give it to me?”
“Because I feel you might need it more than me.” Austin winked.
Han Xiao was then reminded.
That’s right, when I used Observer’s Mark on Zoel yesterday, Austin noticed it.
Could this be the reason?
“You’re not a Mage, but you can control Void Energy. It seems like you’ve been eroded by Void Genes before. Most species turn into monsters after that, but you controlled it and turned it into your ability. You’re very lucky. Therefore, the Void Lord’s core essence can enhance this ability and give you stronger power…” Austin proved Han Xiao’s guess.
Austin had no idea that Han Xiao had the player interface. To him, the reason Han Xiao could use the Void Energy was because he had been eroded by Void Genes before. Plus, there were skeletons of Void Dragons buried within Floating Dragon Island, so he thought that he knew what had happened to Han Xiao. Hence, he wanted to help Ames’ officer.
Anyway, it was nothing to him.
Han Xiao could only cough and agree with Austin’s speculation with silence. Then, he started pondering.
His race was already a Void Race, and a Void Lord’s core essence could enhance the strength of his Void Genes and increase his attributes. Furthermore, during his next Race Evolution, there would be a chance that he would be able to skip the next stage in the evolution chain and jump to the stage after that, giving him even stronger void race options.
It was indeed very useful. Plus, it was extremely rare and almost unobtainable on the market.
“What do I need to give in exchange?” Han Xiao squinted. He was definitely tempted, but he knew not to take gifts without asking its price.
Austin had a huge amount of resources, and a Void Lord’s core essence was just a drop in the ocean, but Han Xiao did not think that Austin needed to give it to him.
Even if Austin was helping Ames’ officer because of Ames, Han Xiao was not willing to accept a gesture of kindness from a Beyond Grade A stranger.
The relationship between him and Austin was far from him being able to accept gifts so easily.
“This is a gift. You don’t have to… hmm…” Austin seemed to suddenly recall something. He then changed his words mid-sentence and said, “Maybe, one day in the future, I will need your help. Consider this a prepayment.”
“Sounds good, as long as it doesn’t go against my position and principles.”
Han Xiao nodded and accepted the Void Lord’s core. He gave it a close look.
[Void Lord’s Essence]: The core of an advanced Void being, contains high quality void energy, extremely precious. Many Mages are willing to pay a high price for it. You can also give it to certain special characters to trigger missions. You can even eat it, if you’re not afraid of it giving you a stomachache… oh, I mean not afraid of being eroded by Void Genes.
Han Xiao placed it into his pocket and bowed to Austin to express his gratitude.
Austin smiled with his adorable face before slowly saying, “Heber is reckless, and Ames is careless. I know your potential clearer than they do. One day, you might leave the Dragon Emperor and build your own name. It has been too long since a legend was born in this Star Field… I will be observing you. Don’t disappoint me.”
Before Han Xiao could reply, Austin took his Forbidden Sorcerers and left.
Han Xiao had a strange expression on his face.
Austin did not speak as if he was high and mighty; he was very friendly and gave Han Xiao a good impression, but those words made him feel like he was facing an elder…
The party went on. The people present all had their business to discuss. Occasionally, someone would approach Han Xiao to discuss some topics, but not often.
Other than Rossozzi and Austin, the others that went to chat with him mostly just had a casual conversation. Han Xiao was happy with not being busy. When he had no one to chat with, Han Xiao would enjoy the food and drinks in a corner with Ames and the sisters, chitchatting.
As time passed, the party gradually came to an end. The guests got most of the intelligence or partnerships they wanted. Han Xiao eavesdropped on some intelligence that was not really considered a secret but was unobtainable to regular people. After all, everyone there had high positions, so even the information they casually leaked was quite valuable.
In the private room upstairs, the Crimson Dynasty envoy, Zoel, had already privately met important people one after another.