Chapter 291 A Deal in the Night
The Outer Circle. Byron Clan's outpost.
Snorlax the Goblin passionately worked away at something in a small room away from the banquet.
A basic magical machine had put up a white screen in front of him. Duke Gazlowe, the one who hailed himself as the greatest inventor, engineer, and trans-planar merchant of the Goblin Empire, appeared on the screen. He wore a thick monocle lens and sprayed saliva all over the display as he shouted at Snorlax.
"No! Never… " Gazlowe waved his thick and hairy green arms about, "We won't talk unless the price is lower than seventeen magic crystals… I'll never let a vampire like you take advantage of me again. Not to mention, you haven't gotten me anything of value despite us knowing us each other for such a long time. You… You are not qualified to be a trans-planar merchant. The best you can hope for is to be a shitty goblin that goes around picking up trash… "
The opponent's insults had clearly provoked Snorlax as well. Anyone who attacked his dream of being a trans-planar merchant was inviting his utmost anger.
"You freaking coward that can do nothing but hide behind that screen of yours. This Transportation Tool you gave me is a shitty second-rate product and you have the guts to scold me? It can't transport anything more than five hundred grams worth of stuff, and an error happens every three or four transportations. Who knows which corner of the universe your shitty machine has sent all my treasures to? Am I supposed to be the one to bear the losses incurred by your machine?"
"Bastard. You uncultured swine of a goblin. You don't even understand what a terrifying amount of energy is required to pierce through plane barriers and send items across. You have no energy furnace, no reactor, and no energy source. You are a filthy excuse of a goblin with absolutely nothing. Do you want a large and stable passage with a few low-quality energy crystals? Not even the adept you are serving would have technology like that, much less the Goblin Empire!"
"What should we do then? We are always having this argument. Who will bear the losses incurred by using an unreliable machine such as this one?"
"If you can get me some useful adept tools or unique energy treasures, I will willingly bear the losses caused by space turbulence."
"Hmph! Don't think me a fool just because I'm a little ignorant. Your machine is way too unreliable. It is unsuitable for large-scale trans-planar trade. Moreover, all of the trade we have been doing so far only needs to be done once. You no longer need any more of the same material once you get the sample and analyze it. In comparison, I am only getting meager returns after spending so much effort searching for resources. I won't ever commit myself to such a fool's errand again!"
"Er… " Gazlowe adjusted the glasses on his faces, and for once, reassessed the goblin before him with a serious expression.
Who knew? Indeed, who knew? A little goblin living under the enslavement and trampling of the terrifying adepts could understand such a complex idea, despite having absolutely no technological knowledge. He couldn't help but look at Snorlax in a completely different light.
"Very well, little Snorlax! Since we both have something in our possession that the other needs, I suggest we show some sincerity to each other. I can raise the prices appropriately, and as for you… it's about time you start showing me some of the actually useful items!" An expression of true sincerity appeared on Gazlowe's wrinkled green face.
"My existence has value to you and the goblins?" Snorlax asked doubtfully.
"Of course!" Gazlowe pushed his glasses upwards again, "You should know that the World of Adepts you are in right now is an infamous, large-sized plane within the multiverse. It is a great deal larger than the Goblin Empire on my plane. I decided to throw the Transportation Tools into the space turbulence so that they might land in any corner of the multiverse as they followed the drifting currents of space. We in the Goblin Empire have no ability to make a new passage to the World of Adepts, even if you wanted me to do so. Not to mention the fact that we would never ever attempt to do so. After all, the adepts are said to be very horrifying and invasive lifeforms!"
"So, what you are saying is that we have to rely on this shitty machine to trade?"
"Fine. What do I need to make note of when I use this Transportation Tool?"
"Firstly, you need to find a powerful energy source if you wish for the Transportation Tool to function stably."
"An energy pool for example… "
"You think a small goblin such as myself can access the energy pool within the adept tower? Next… "
"Natural gathering spots for elementium. Such as the heart of a massive storm, or the bottom of a volcano."
"Are you actually being sincere about this? Wouldn't I just be killing myself if I went to those places you mentioned?"
"Or some high-grade energy crystals. They would have to be at least ten times stronger than the stuff you are using right now to ensure a stable connection."
"High-grade energy crystals? What's that? Can't you be a little more specific." Snorlax grumbled as he searched about his pouch in frustration. In the end, he got sick of the trouble and just poured everything out of the pouch, allowing it to spill all over the table.
"Hang on… hang on… " The frantic voice of Gazlowe rang out from the screen, "What's that silvery-white metal?"
"Mm?" Snorlax followed Gazlowe's descriptions and took out a heavy metal ball from within the pile of items.
This looked like a round metal ball carved from platinum, but it didn't have the smooth feeling of platinum. The surface of the ball was uneven and filled with countless tiny patterns and carvings. Snorlax couldn't feel any energy radiating from the thing, but it was, in truth, a true mechanical heart.
A mechanical heart. A living alchemical heart that the Golem Masters used to forge high-grade puppets and statues. It was a crucial component in the creation of a magical golem. The strength of the Golem Knight wasn't just due to its tough shell made of precious metals. The mechanical heart was what turned the cold metallic creature into a living lifeform.
This mechanical heart's abilities had even improved significantly after Rouneau inserted the Second Grade knight's soul into it. As long as there was a complete metallic body for it to be installed into, another powerful metallic golem would easily come to life.
Such a powerful object shouldn't possibly be Snorlax's possession. It was the spoils of war his master Greem had obtained from the golem duel.
Greem had also thought of keeping the mechanical heart for himself when he uncovered its secret. With the heart, he could forge an indestructible soldier of steel. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to find out anything more about the golem talisman.
Without the golem talisman, Greem would have to drag the heavy metal item along with him as he traveled around the world. Magical puppets were indeed fairly strong, but the fact that they couldn't be carried around easily was enough to render them useless.
It might have been useful for Greem to have several of these to guard his base or adept tower in the future. However, right now… it was much better to have a few high-grade elementium golems with him!
Thus, Greem tossed it over to Snorlax and had him exchange the heart for several high-grade elementium cores. Snorlax wanted to become a goblin merchant anyway. He was the best person to send on these errands.
Right now, Snorlax held the mechanical heart in his hand as he looked curiously at the screen.
"This mechanical heart is useful for you?"
"Of course it's useful. If I'm not mistaken, it's a sort of magical mechanical core that the adepts created using magic. It's even one of those cores with high intelligence. We of the Goblin Empire developed a civilization revolving around magic-powered machines. Though we can create magical mechanical cores of our own, we never developed a means of inserting a living being's soul into the thing."
"So, it's worth a lot, isn't it?" Snorlax let out a wicked grin as he tossed the metal ball in his palm.
"Er… " Gazlowe went silent.
"Alright, say it. Tell it to me straight, how much are you willing to exchange for this mechanical heart. Don't try and use those low-quality things like rocket boots and parachutes to cheat me again. Also, this mechanical heart is way over the weight limit. You sure your Transportation Tool can send it over?"
Gazlowe seemed to have understood something important after a long period of silence. A fawning smile appeared on his green and oily face once more.
"My beloved Snorlax, I present to you the greatest war machine in the Goblin Empire– the Magic Mecha. You will no longer need to fear your enemies with this thing. It will become your greatest and most loyal soldier, obliterating every enemy in its sights! "
"Oh? Are you talking about those terrifying metallic things the size of a hill? I don't intend to start a construction company any time soon. What am I going to use this thing modified from your tree-cutting Goblin Shredders for? Just the metals and spare parts I would need to gather to construct it would take up a hundred years of my time. How is this thing useful to me?" Snorlax's intelligence had clearly gone through the roof today. He shouted angrily at the screen, no longer the naive and foolish goblin he used to be.
"Don't get angry, my beloved Snorlax. I'll introduce you to another ultra-scary weapon– the Magic Cannon. With this cannon, you can become undefeatable. No enemy would be able to defend a single blast from it!"
"Nope. Nope… I'm a pacifist goblin merchant. You can sell those violent weapons to some other guy! I only need high-grade elementium cores. These are things my master has ordered me to gather. The more the better… "
"Very well. Very well. Elementium cores it shall be. At what price do you intend to sell the heart for?"
"The blueprints for that Magic Mecha and a completed Magic Cannon, along with a hundred elementium cores above Second Grade!"
"Bullshit!" Gazlowe leaped three feet into the sky, "Why don't you just go and rob someone at that price? Your mechanical heart isn't even worth this much!"
"Then how much can you give in return?"
Gazlowe extended three fingers, but then hesitated for a moment, gritted his teeth and extended a fourth finger.
"Four Second Grade elementium cores. That's all you can get!"
“Liar… “ Now, it was Snorlax's turn to jump three feet into the sky, "This is daylight robbery… this is bankrupting my entire establishment. You are the greediest, most shameless, and stingiest goblin I have ever met. This price is complete highway robbery!”
The two goblins clearly had an unbelievable amount of stinginess and perversion carved into their very bones. Yet, at the same time, both of them were so greedy and shameless. The two goblins continued to point at each other, flinging every single insult they knew across the brilliant screen of light. After a few bouts of exchanged insults, the two would get together and start a round of actual negotiations.
And just like that, a bizarre interplanar trade was completed in the dead of night!