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Author's corner: A short chapter today. 

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Upon exiting the auction house Zaran found a secluded spot and logged out. He left the pod and rushed to his room. He set his clock to wake him up in four hours so he would still have some spare to time to get himself a shower and some breakfast. As soon as his head hit the pillow a wave of exhaustion washed over him and he fell asleep almost instantly.


BEEp BEEP BEEP BEEP!

ugh! Zaran moaned as he shut down the alarm and got up. After a quick shower and some breakfast he got in the pod again and the bustling streets of Virul greeted him seconds later.

He made his way to the auction house and Iza soon led Zaran around the auction house again.

"The auction is nearly coming to an end and you will be pleased to know that the prices have reached nearly thirty thousand for the necromancy tome and ten thousand for the demon summoning tome."

Zaran's mind went numb upon hearing the number. With the current exchange rate of 1.3 gold to 1 euro this meant that the three of them would already get 10.000 each! Adding Zaran's and Sylphie's amount together would be enough to let them live for about eight months. What sort of madness was this?!? Just one lucky drop could feed a family for months! Then again the exchange rate was going to lower by a large amount over time and it would become far harder to make money of the game. On top of that with about 100 euro average as subscription fee a month for vrmmorpg's the game was not cheap to play at all. If it were not for money making options the majority of people would not even dare to play it as it simply cost far too much money for them.

It was precisely for this reason that the converting option to real life currency existed and why grinding was such an important aspect of VRMMORPG's. The wealthy did not have any issue with spending money on a game if it allowed them to save a few hours of their time that would otherwise be spent grinding, while those who weren't off as well were content with grinding if it could earn them money. This caused a rather peculiar situation to take place in games. The more wealthy people played a game, the higher the amount people who were not as well off. Thus if the amount of wealthy people started to dwindle the other party would leave as well or if the less well off started to leave the game the prices would start to soar which caused the wealthy to disappear. There were even some extremely wealthy people and companies who had created a company with their only purpose being hiring people to grind items in the game.

Thus it became of paramount importance to guard the balance in drops vs time spent, resources vs time spent and experience vs time spent! On top of that there had to be ways for the wealthy to buy shortcuts experience wise that the others would not be able to access as there had to be ways for them to keep up with the normal players level wise. These shortcuts also could absolutely not be available to people with a lot of time or time equal to the average user. Thus only the users who spent the lowest amount of time daily could use these shortcuts. On top of all those rules there was still the most important one that had to be guarded and that was that everything still had to feel completely immersive. One can only imagine how hard all of this was and the amount of extra coding that was required for this alone.

Zaran was one of the people who was neither poor nor wealthy and could spend almost all of his time on the game so it wouldn't be all too weird for him to start making money from the game and he had already expected that he would eventually make some money. What he never had expected though, was that his first time making money with the game would be such a large amount of money.

Zaran tried his hardest to not show his utter surprise on his face. "That is very nice to hear, it is even more than I expected."

"Oh these are just average prices for tomes though, if I am not mistaken the prices should at least double by the end of the auction." Iza whispered to Zaran.  Pertaining the matter as to whom was the seller of these tomes she knew that she had to be very careful as to not let people find out. She had already started off on the wrong foot with Zaran the other day and the last thing she wanted was to create more problems for him.

"D-Double?!?" Zaran stammered, unable to control his calm expression any longer.

Iza warmly smiled. "I forgot it was mister's first time selling or acquiring something in an auction house. While the auction officially started 47 hours ago, the 'real' part of the auction only starts when there is about half an hour to an hour left. It is only at that time that people will start making their serious bids as to prevent prices from going too high and it is only at this point that they might be able to get a good deal. It has even occured that no bids have been made on a particularly interesting item until there are is only one minute left."

"I see, but still doubling the price... is that not a lot of gold for a tome?" Zaran asked, still in disbelief that he got so lucky.

"Not at all! You see while tomes are only really useful to one person, the one person who gets the full knowledge of the tome can still share the knowledge he has gained with others! While a large amount of knowledge will be lost upon transferring it to other people there is still a lot to be gained even from second hand knowledge. The sword stances from the three major sword schools all stem from knowledge gained from one and the same tome for example! And these sword schools have been around for hundreds of years!" Iza said excitedly as she looked at Zaran, who's expression turned pensive midway through her explanation.

Could it be that Zaran had sold the tomes without knowing about all this? Ayee! She might have made a mistake! "Sir, I hope I have not offended you by not telling you about this earlier!"

Zaran calmly smiled and shook his head. "No need to worry, your story just made me think of something. Whether or not I knew about this before, my decision to sell would have remained."

Zaran and Iza wen to the middle of the auction house and sat down on one of the sparse free seats. The items on display were solely the two tomes and the auctioneer was rambling the new prices of the items, continuously accepting information from a few attendants who were running back and forth from the transmitting room.

Half an hour passed while Zaran and Iza chatted, occasionally looking at the new price.

As the auction came to a close the auctioneer's voice rang out throughout the room.

"Five!"
"Four!"
"Three!"
"Two!"
"One!"

"Time's up! I would like to thank you for your bids! We will announce the winning bid in a few minutes after gathering the information from all the other locations!"

A few minutes more passed and the auctioneer ran up to the platform again and announced the results of the auction. "Necromancy tome! Final bid of 62100 gold coins, made by the buyer with the nickname 'DeathGod'! Congratulations to the winner! Demon summoning tome! Final bid of 15300, made by the buyer 'Fourth Butterfly's Intent'!"

Zaran frowned deeply upon this last name.

"Is something the matter sir?" Iza asked, noticing the change in Zaran's expression.

"Hmm, is there a way to contact the buyer of the Demon summoning tome?"

"There is, but only if they agree to it. Shall I request to set up a meeting?" Iza said with her usual warm smile.

Zaran nodded. "Please do. In the meantime I will go convert some coin and wander over to the skill tome section to buy me one of the metamorphosis tomes."

"I will look for you at the item tome section then sir." Iza said before she walked off, quickly trying to arrange a meeting with the buyer.

Zaran quickly exchanged 75000 gold to euros and kept the rest as spending money. As it was early in the game there was not a lot of gold to be made or to be exchanged to real currency, because of this the demand was far higher than the supply which caused the prices to be so terribly high. It was due to this that Zaran could make such a huge amount of money, so easily. With the passage of time more gold would become available and prices would continue to dwindle. 

After sending Sylphie 38.500 euros and Irina 19250 euros, Zaran went over to the skill tome section and easily acquired a metamorphosis scroll for a thousand gold through sniping an auction that was about to end. Seeing Iza had not come back again Zaran opened the scroll and started reading with great interest.

Half an hour later Iza wandered over. Seeing Zaran focused on reading the scroll, a mischievous smile appeared on her face. She slowly walked up behind him and brought her face close to Zaran's ear...
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NianKaraz

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