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Chrysalis

Anthony has been reborn! Placed into the remarkable game-like world of Pangera. However, something seems a little off. What's with these skills? Bite? Dig? Wait.... I've been reborn as a WHAT?! Follow Anthony as he attempts to adjust to his new life, to survive and grow in his new Dungeon home!

RinoZ · Fantasy
Not enough ratings
1257 Chs

Chapter 1325 - Anthony On Tour - The Ants Go Shopping

Given the bustling streets and crowded storefronts, it was sometimes difficult for the two ants to move freely down Silver street. It was only thanks to the presence of their guide that they were able to travel freely and not be attacked by the many monster hunters searching for weapons and armour.

Eventually, they managed to make their way into a store and start poking around.

"What do you think?" Cobalt asked as she ran her eyes over the merchandise.

"I can tell that the materials used are rare. The mana running through the metal is very dense, and flowing smoothly, but there doesn't seem to be anything super impressive about it?"

"Hmmm. These swords match your description. They're extremely well made, and of good quality metals, but we've seen such things elsewhere. Perhaps we were expecting too much?"

[What are you thinking about, you two?]

They explained their thoughts to Irisod, and she examined the blades herself before shrugging.

[I'm hardly an expert. Let me grab a store clerk.]

[Are they a smith?]

[Perhaps?]

[If they aren't a smith, I don't really want to talk to them,] Smithant said flatly.

[I'll ask.]

As it turned out, all of the staff were proficient to some degree in the smithing arts, which satisfied the fussy ant's requirements. She asked Irisod to explain to them the best qualities of the store's work, and he quickly caught on to what they were getting at.

[He says that his store is famed for its durable and long lasting arms and armour. There was a fair bit of praise for your fine and discerning eye thrown in as well.]

The clerk stepped forward and began pointing to various parts of the swords and armour sets, explaining their qualities.

[The cores are embedded and folded into the metal, and all the enchanting is done on a separate layer, then encased. This helps keep the mana channels from being damaged, even under heavy use. They'll even survive a reforging of the outer layer.]

"That's so clever," Smithant muttered as she reached out with an antenna to run over one of the blades again. "Why didn't I think of that? And it makes sense that they feel like such straightforward implements, anything too complex wouldn't fit in the internal layer, which would compromise the whole point of the design."

"Long lasting durability, ease of repair, reliable performance," Cobalt agreed. "These are indeed well designed."

They turned to Irisod.

[We want two swords, two spears and two full sets of armour. What would be a fair price?]

The mage rolled her eyes.

[That's a complex question that isn't easy for me to answer! I don't shop here much, I don't know what the going rates are for just about anything in this city.]

[What would you pay in the Conglomerate?]

[That's not how this works,] the mage exhaled a little in frustration. [Give me a minute,] she said.

She turned back to the store representative and began to speak rapidly while the two ants stood perfectly still, watching the exchange. After five full minutes, she again spoke to the ants over the mind bridge.

[I've haggled as best I can, but the price is still prohibitively expensive. To know if this is indeed the market rate, you are going to have to do something you have thus far been reluctant to do.]

[What's that?] Cobalt asked warily.

[Shop around!] Irisod declared, eyes gleaming brightly. [We go to the competitors of this store and work out what their bottom price is. If it's cheaper, we come back and use that number to knock down the price here. Then we do the whole thing again!]

Both ants slumped.

[That sounds like such a pain,] Smithant groaned.

[You want to visit other forges anyway, right?] Irisod reminded them.

[Yes but I don't want to backtrack endlessly haggling just so we don't end up paying more than we should. It's inefficient!]

[In time, yes, but not in money!]

[Time is much more valuable than money.]

Irisod gasped as if Smithant had just committed heresy. The smith glared at her.

[Can you buy time?] she demanded.

[No,] Irisod replied reluctantly, [it's not that I don't agree with you, it's just that some things are simply not said around a brathian.]

[I apologise.]

[Not at all.]

Thus began their exhausting day of running backwards and forwards across the district. They inspected ingots in one forge, carefully selected a range of specimens, allowed Irisod to haggle over the price, then left to another forge and did the exact same thing. Then again. Then again. Then they returned to the first forge, some more haggling ensued, and finally they made a purchase.

It was nonsense!

As they rushed from place to place, Irisod gleefully engaging in vigorous negotiations in each, the extraordinary capabilities of the local smiths revealed themselves. No matter what someone needed, it was found here. The most delicate and refined metal furniture. Weapons and armour of every size, shape, mana affinity and purpose. Wire. Ingots. Even custom-designed anvils! If it was made of metal, or even could be made of metal, it was for sale. Some places were small, with only a single smith, while others were large, with a dozen forges and teams of workers putting metal to the flame and selling to customers.

It was the differing philosophies of metalworking that caught Smithant's attention the most. Some, like the first place they visited, concentrated on durability, while others focused on pure performance. Lighter metals, more conductive to mana, in one store, would be replaced with heavier metals, greater rigidity and less emphasis on enchanting, in another.

Some armour was designed to crumple, others to hold firm.

Then the sheer variety of techniques. Of the dozens and dozens of different types of metal, each was handled a dozen different ways across the many different forges, each method emphasising a different property of the base material.

It was almost overwhelming, and Smithant wanted to buy everything in sight, but knew they couldn't afford it.

When they finally left the market, the two ants were weighed down with over a ton of metal goods between them, having spent almost their entire reserve of cores.

[Now that's how it's done,] Irisod beamed with satisfaction. [Do you understand the appeal of haggling now?]

The two ants looked at each other.

[No.]

[Not even a little bit.]