Published at 2nd of April 2024 01:23:15 PM

Chapter 66

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By the time the players returned to the academy and Victor was about to enter his office, he was greeted by a blue holographic notification hovering in his path.

[Mission Accomplished!]

[Congratulations on passing the mission. You and your players have built a working smithy.]

[The reward (10 progression value points) has been issued.]

Finally, after a few days of being prioritized by the players, the smithy was completed. With this, there were a total of seventy progression value points; the moment when the academy would level up was just around the corner.

“Master! I’ve good news to report to you about!” Lizbeth popped up out of nowhere and startled Victor a tad bit, but he had grown used to it at this point.

“Ho? What might that be?” Victor raised his eyebrows, curious. “Does it have something to do with the crowdfunding initiative I told you to create?”

Lizbeth’s eyes twinkled with excitement. “Even better! We’ve received an investment offer. Someone is actually willing to help us financially; they must have seen the recent promotional video.” She smiled mischievously; there was definitely more to the story than what met the eye.

Just the previous day, Victor had instructed Lizbeth to create a crowdfunding page aiming to attract wealthy but gullible individuals from Earth to finance his fictitious company. If he couldn’t rely on his leeks (players), who were mostly middle class or lower, then he had to seek a bigger fish himself or at least find enough people to support his cause.

Of course, it wasn’t that none of his players had the financial means for such an investment. However, that certain someone had his own special circumstances that rendered it unsuitable for Victor to approach him with such a request.

“But…” Lizbeth continued, “this person is quite… How should I say it… eccentric? They’re interested in acquiring the whole company or at least purchasing a majority stake, which means 51 percent of the shares, thus effectively taking control!”

“Huh? Just who’s this moneybag?” I mean, just how eccentric could this person be to be called so by someone like Lizbeth?

Victor could already imagine a scenario where a billionaire who often appeared in Forbes stumbled upon a fledgling company and decided to invest heavily, similar to Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus Rift, now part of the Metaverse. But such high-profile investors wouldn’t be interested in something as shady as his game, especially one that had only been in the public for less than a month.

This was the case even when there was a promotional video; after all, a promotional video almost never represented the real experience of the game. Or maybe this was a scam all along. A scammer getting scammed, just how rare was this kind of situation?

Lizbeth hesitated momentarily before revealing something: “I looked them up on the internet. There is almost no information about this individual, like their name or gender, but the company behind them is legit and known for making unconventional business moves. Furthermore, they also have a solid reputation for philanthropy, supporting charities and orphanages.”

Everyone knew that they couldn’t trust everything they saw on the internet; too-good-to-be-true scenarios often concealed ulterior motives. Maybe it was only a cover to trick the unseeing eyes and lubricate their reputation among the masses. Nevertheless, anyone who would fall into the trick of this whole fiasco would either be someone who had too much money or simply too bored with their life. Either way, this worked well for him.

But of course, he had to contemplate the implications of such a partnership. Although an investor with deep pockets and a penchant for unconventional approaches could help his plan on having a million high-end computers, at what cost?

He didn’t really care about parting with profits from a company that didn’t truly exist, but losing control in the process was not a wise decision. In his eyes, maintaining a firm grip on the operation was crucial, and any arrangement that threatened this control required cautious evaluation. This wasn’t truly a game, after all.

“Well, there’s no knowing anything if I don’t talk with them first,” Victor mused and turned his head at Lizbeth. “Liz, can you connect me with the person in question or someone who can represent their side?”

Direct meeting was impossible since he couldn’t go there, so communication and agreement could only be conducted online.

“Sure can! The eccentric person I mentioned earlier is actually a top executive and can speak for the company. Here’s their contact info,” Lizbeth replied, her holographic screen flickering as she transferred the details to Victor.

It wasn’t long before Victor located a suitable platform for their conversation as he sat on his chair with Lizbeth on his shoulder. Curiously, the investor had a Discord account and was open to a discussion there. How intriguing.

Upon sending the opening message, he almost immediately got a reply.

MissRichLadyAuralise: “I heard you’re looking for an investor? Before we get anything far, however, I have a condition: I want access to the game. Give me five slots— No, at least ten slots!”

Victor frowned as he read the message from MissRichLadyAuralise. From the username alone, it was quite obvious that they were female or she in this case. Still, why did this kind of response strike him as oddly familiar, like he had seen it elsewhere?

Cyber Warlock: “Gaining alpha tester status isn’t a matter of simply asking for it. Registration is required, and there’s a waiting process, just like for everyone else. We appreciate your interest in verifying the game’s credibility, but we can only offer one slot for testing.”

MissRichLadyAuralise: “How much do you want? One hundred thousand? A million? I can pay for early access to the game.”

Reading the whole line caused Victor to jerk his head and freeze in shock for a moment. This person must be incredibly rich! Victor was tempted to say yes and give her a qualification right then and there, but there were a few things he had to verify first.

Cyber Warlock: “This isn’t a matter of money. We encourage you to fill out the necessary details on the Registration page to be considered for the closed-alpha phase. We assess all applications thoroughly to ensure suitability for alpha testing. We are committed to maintaining the integrity of our company and our testing process.”

MissRichLadyAuralise: “Nonsense! What kind of company doesn’t want money? ”

Right. Even as the one who wrote this, Victor also felt that this was illogical. Maintaining a façade of a legitimate and upright gaming company was one thing, but there was an elephant in the room that he had to take account of. A crowdfunding platform would have a wallet system for storing funds, but he had yet to figure out the solution of not having a bank account. Thus, where would he store the money even if he agreed with her request?

With that thought, Victor quickly typed his response: “In any case, while we appreciate your enthusiasm, we can only guarantee a maximum of two slots. Any additional participants wanting to join the closed-alpha test will need to follow the standard registration process. Remember, we are serious about developing this game and want our players to contribute to its development, so please don’t squander this chance. I hope you understand the importance of this policy.”

Even though he had committed to providing her two slots, that would only happen once all the dead players were revived — which should happen in the next two days — and a new update version was launched. In essence, it would take almost a week, give or take, before she joined the game if there was no accident.

MissRichLadyAuralise: “What a peculiar policy. Alright, two it shall be. Would two hundred thousand dollars suffice as an initial payment?”

This hedonist tycoon! Victor couldn’t help but shake his head and be slightly irked by her lavish attitude. In this world, Victor was by no means poor and came from a somewhat distinguishable Magus family, but even he didn’t squander money that recklessly.

Cyber Warlock: “Please hold onto your funds for now. We can discuss financial matters after you’ve had a chance to experience the game and find it to your liking. I’ll send you the link to the Registration page in a moment.”

After typing everything, Victor sent the URL link and closed the Discord app. As for whether she would be convinced to be an investor or not once she tried the game, that couldn’t even be considered a rhetorical question.

Now that this problem was taken care of, he opened the System shop to look for spell models that could be used to support the academy’s current projects. There were many choices there, but his attention was drawn to spell models that could aid in practical applications like wall construction and farming. Among the numerous options, he zeroed in on spells from the Geo and Dendro elements because of their potential to accelerate these projects.

For the Geo element, Victor went for {Earth Weaver}; it was one of the most generic choices and the most versatile one to boot — a perfect fit for various construction and terraforming tasks.

On the other hand, for the Dendro element, which was associated with plant-related magic, Victor selected {Verdant Surge}. Unlike most Dendro spells that summon transient, magical plants, this spell could be used to accelerate the growth of plants. He recalled that Magi of this element often used some kind of catalyst — usually an enchanted seed — to summon a magical plant and make it more long-lasting.

That aside, the Bio element was also useful in hastening the growth of plants, but players that had some affinity for it could only be counted on one hand, and they were better suited to become healers or supporters. With the opening of two pseudo dungeons on the horizon, their role was even more important. As such, Victor purchased a Bio-elemental spell specifically for defending against potential ailments attacks named {Bio Ward}. This was also to complement the previous spell — {Healing Touch} — that was focused on regenerating minor wounds and healing ailments.

In addition to these targeted acquisitions, Victor also purchased a different variety of four other spell models. These included spells for generating large quantities of water and other functional purposes that had been talked about by players on the forum, thus ensuring a well-rounded and versatile arsenal for the players and the academy’s diverse needs.

Overall, this whole expenditure on purchasing seven spell models amounted to a total of 80 AP, which finally brought his total AP down to 430. Even though most of these spells were on the cheaper side and there was still a lot at his disposal, using it all up in a single purchase would be beyond stupid.

While cracking his knuckles in a relaxed manner, Victor remarked, “Well, I suppose that wraps up all our spell-shopping needs.”

Still sitting on his shoulder, Lizbeth tilted her head as she looked at him with puzzled eyes. “Master, why don’t we consider requesting a supercomputer from the investor lady? Or at least, how about we get a premium subscription to that virtual machine platform?”

Victor, however, dismissed the idea. He explained that such a request would not only be odd but could also attract unwanted suspicion. Previously, he had discovered an online virtual machine platform where he could run the software for generating spell models, but the free version was excruciatingly slow. With it, completing a single Aleph-tier spell model could take more than a month, and the process was prone to interruptions; therefore, it wouldn’t help him at all.

The paid version of the platform was ten times faster and could reduce the time to complete a single spell model to just three days — it even had a free trial. Unfortunately, a prerequisite for signing up for the free trial of the paid version was having a debit or credit card, which ran down on having a bank account.

Victor let out a deep, exasperated sigh. “Why’s the problem of not having money so annoying?”

“Aw, would you like a gentle hair stroke to ease your worries?” offered Lizbeth in a playful attempt to console him as she began stroking his hair.

“What? No.” Victor quickly moved his head to the side while a bit amused. This mischievous fairy sure does have the strangest idea in her mind.


Just as Victor was about to activate his Shadowlink Mark again, the large window behind him suddenly flew open with a forceful gust of wind as wind hustled in along a black silhouette. It crashed against the unprepared Victor, and the impact almost knocked him down from his chair.


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