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Melancholic Smile and Youlan went to work the moment Shi Feng gave the command. In Zero Wing’s name, they announced their intent to purchase the Dark Night Empire’s specialty materials at a high price and sell common goods at a low price.
The post caused a commotion throughout the empire the moment it went public. The Dark Night Empire’s players found the situation unbelievable.
“Insane! Zero Wing has gone insane!”
“What?! Is Zero Wing really starting a price war against Starlink!?”
Practically everyone in the Dark Night Empire knew of Zero Wing by this point. The Guild had, after all, helped the Hundred Flowers Palace resist Starlink’s assault.
It was no secret that Starlink had begun to use its financial prowess to suppress Zero Wing shortly after the Auction Arena had ended.
However, no one had expected Zero Wing to pull a move like this in the Dark Night Empire so soon after Starlink’s actions in Star-Moon Kingdom. Clearly, Zero Wing was retaliating.
The news reached the empire’s various powers at lightspeed, and they all found Zero Wing’s actions utterly astonishing.
“What are Zero Wing’s people thinking? Are they unaware that Starlink has already secured Dark Night City’s Auction House?” Crimson Heart, the Hundred Flowers Palace’s First Vice Guild Leader, said, flabbergasted.
Starlink had already solidified its position as the empire’s overlord, and not even Unyielding Soul or Crimson Emperor would dare engage the superpower in a financial war.
Moreover, Starlink had secured two other NPC Auction Houses. Its new financial strength was unimaginable.
“I’ve heard that Zero Wing’s members have become jittery due to Starlink’s suppression. Maybe Zero Wing is trying to raise morale and unite its members,” Cleansed Rue commented.
In her opinion, this was Zero Wing’s only option. A Guild’s morale and unity were extremely important. If the Guild were fractured, it would only be a matter of time before it crumbled.
“Even so, this is just playing with fire. This has basically announced Zero Wing’s intentions to fight Starlink. If Zero Wing loses this financial war, it will only suffer more,” Crimson Heart said. “Moreover, economic warfare is very taxing on a Guild. This isn’t a field battle; it is a pure competition of wealth and resources. War weapons are useless here.”
Cleansed Rue fell silent after listening to Crimson Heart’s reasoning.
As Crimson Heart had said, fighting a price war would hinder a Guild’s operations, and the consequences of losing a war like this were far worse than losing a field war. While a Guild could endure multiple defeats in a field war, a single loss in a financial war could force a Guild to the brink of disbandment. Even worse, a Guild would still suffer severe losses even if it won. To put it simply, there were no winners in an economic war.
The Hundred Flowers Palace wasn’t the only Guild in the Dark Night Empire that Zero Wing’s actions had confused. Unyielding Soul also discussed the situation.
“Zero Wing has gone too far this time.” Mu Cheng could not help but sigh as he read the discussions on the Dark Night Empire’s official forums.
“Grandpa, Zero Wing has a goldmine like Zero Wing City, as well as White River City’s Auction House. Overall, it still has frightening financial strength. Starlink won’t come out unscathed from a financial war with Zero Wing, either,” Mu Lingsha said.
Other Guilds might not recognize Zero Wing City’s value, but as a superpower, Unyielding Soul was very aware of it.
Aside from the daily entry fees, the teleportation services the city offered to players who wanted to visit the Otherworld Gate generated astonishing profits. The Otherworld gate had many precious treasures to offer players, and the leveling speed in the area was incredible. Even players from Star-Moon Kingdom’s neighbors had begun to head toward the Otherworld Gate to level, not to mention the kingdom’s players.
The city’s teleportation services likely earned Zero Wing as much money as White River City’s Auction House.
_You_re severely underestimating Starlink. Don’t forget that Starlink has taken control of Dark Nigh^
House. In other words, it holds the city’s economic lifeline in its palm,” Mu Cheng said, shaking his head. “A single word from Starlink is enough to determine who can enter the Auction House and who cannot. Furthermore, Starlink controls three total NPC Auction Houses. Even if one of the Auction Houses stops generating income, Starlink won’t suffer for it. Starlink’s influence over the empire’s players is leaps and bounds beyond Zero Wing’s. Do you think that everyone would risk provoking Starlink for a little extra profit?”
After all was said and done, Zero Wing was not a superpower. Ignoring background, there was a massive difference between the two Guilds in terms of the number of Auction Houses under their control. The main reason that Starlink dared to provoke Zero Wing in Star-Moon Kingdom was the fact that Zero Wing only controlled one NPC Auction House. If Zero Wing prohibited Starlink’s customers from using its Auction House, it would sever its own lifeline. However, the same couldn’t be said for Starlink.
This was the difference between these Guilds’ foundations!
It was extremely foolish for Zero Wing to think that it could use Starlink’s tactics against it. Trying to mimic the superpower’s suppression would only make Zero Wing’s death even more miserable!
“I’ll go and warn Zero Wing right away,” Mu Lingsha said.
“It’s too late,” Mu Cheng said, sighing. “Zero Wing has already announced its intentions in this war using its own name. Every player in the Dark Night Empire and Star-Moon Kingdom knows what’s happening. If Zero Wing gives up now, not only would the Guild appear weak, but its players’ unity would also shatter.”
Dark Night City, Starlink’s Residence:
“Guild Leader, everyone’s discussing Zero wing’s declaration of war. Should we take further actions against the Guild?” Dawn Web asked Lu Xingluo.
“Of course! Inform the public that whoever dares to sell the empire’s specialty materials to Zero Wing should give up any hope of setting foot in Dark Night City’s Auction House every again!” Laughing, Lu Xingluo continued, “I want to see just how Zero Wing plans to play this out!”
“Understood!” Dawn Web promptly bowed and left the room.
Dark Night City’s business district bustled with activity, and despite the late hour, players crowded the streets. As the Dark Night Empire’s imperial capital, the various adventurer teams and Guilds’ members gathered here. One could easily find Level 64 expert players with a casual glance, and there were quite a few experts in Level 60 Fine-Gold Equipment. The scene would be impossible to find in an ordinary NPC city.
However, the empire’s various powers hadn’t stationed their members in Dark Night City because it was the empire’s capital, but because it was a hub for the Dark Night Empire’s merchant players. This ensured that the city had more resources than anywhere else in the empire.
If the Dark Night Empire had something good to offer, it could be found in Dark Night City. Items that were nearly impossible to find in other NPC cities were commonplace here, and the majority of these items flowed through Dark Night City’s Auction House.
Many players had become famous or wealthy overnight because they had chanced upon treasures selling for far less than they were worth in the city’s Auction House.
Due to Starlink’s ban on Zero Wing, no one was in a rush to visit the Candlelight Trading Firm’s Shop in the business district. Very few players were willing to enter the Shop since everyone was afraid of being banned from the city’s Auction House as well.
Meanwhile, Melancholic Smile and Youlan were dumbfounded as they stood in Candlelight’s empty Shop.
They were purchasing materials at a 30% markup and selling commonly used goods for 30% less than market value, yet only a small number of players had visited Candlelight’s Shops in the empire since they had made their announcement over an hour ago.
Anxious, Melancholic Smile contacted Shi Feng and asked, “Guild Leader, what should we do? Because of Starlink’s ban, the players who visit Candlelight here only buy our low-priced goods. We’re losing money and gaining nothing. We won’t be able to affect Starlink’s economy at this rate.”
“Starlink has banned us?” Shi Feng laughed. “How quick of it!”
“Guild Leader, we’re losing money here, yet you can still laugh?” Melancholic Smile asked, exasperated.
“Now that Starlink has banned us, we can take action,” Shi Feng said. “Reveal the Exotic Stamina Potions and Stamina Gemstones. Any player that wants to buy the Exotic Stamina Potions can do so with the empire’s specialty materials. Auction off the Stamina Gemstones but only to players who sell us 1 Gold of specialty materials. Hopefully, Starlink keeps its word and goes through with the ban.”
“I’ll get it done!” Melancholic Smile said, a joyful smile lighting up her face.
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