Abel knew how perfect his ruby was. His Horadric Cube was literally incapable of crafting something flawed. It didn’t matter if the gemstone was only worth 3 gold coins before. The price was now increased to one hundred times worth of that. If someone else knew about Horadric Cube, it would surely bring a lot of trouble to Abel.
Edmund’s boutique shop was a pretty trustworthy business brand. Plus, the price Yvette just offered was very pleasing from Abel’s perspective, so he decided to take out the second gemstone from his bag.
Abel passed over the ruby as he folded his bag in half, indicating that he only had two in total, “I have another one. Please,I will sell it at any price you offer.”
“Red and Passionate,” Yvette exclaimed in a tone that could be heard from a noble, “Now there’s two of them, and they are just as perfect as each other.”
“I need some supplement for my knight’s training. Is there anything you recommend?”
Zach used supplements for his training every month. He liked to drink a special potion that would increase the flow of his qi before exercise. If Abel remembered correctly, the name of the potion was called a ‘qi condensing potion.’ He wasn’t sure about it, though. No one bothered explaining it to a child like him.
“The Edmund’s boutique shop can provide you with the lesser qi condensing potion. It is priced at 10 gold coins per bottle,” Yvette smiled, then paused for a sip of her coffee, “Telling you this may be bad for business, but there are a lot of unclean residues in the lesser potions and the side effects Usually, if you take the potion for a month, you’d have to spend another month before your body can recover.”
“How effective is the lesser potion?” Abel asked. From his perspective, what mattered was that the potion could do what it was made to do.
While Abel was a complete amateur in the use of potions, Yvette knew every detail there was to it,“The best way to take the lesser potion is to have five bottles every month. With training, course. The five bottles can essentially double your performance results, which means that a month’s training will be the same as that of two. After that, you will have to take a month off before you can repeat the whole process all over again.”
“If there is a lesser version of this potion, there must also be a greater version.”
“Of course. If you take the greater potion, you’ll only need to take two weeks off after every five bottles. Five bottles of the greater potion are worth about four months of training. If you want something better, there is also what we call the ‘greatest potion,’ and the monthly dosage can produce the same results as that of five months’ worth of training. You can take it without any break because of how pure it is, but they only come at three bottles per month for one person.”
Abel had his eyes wide open this entire time he was listening to the explanation. Yvette didn’t want to appear rude, but the boy sitting across her was simply being way too cute.
“Sorry for the inconvenience,” Yvette chuckled, “but if you’re looking for the qi condensing pill, the best ones we have in this store are just the greater potions. We sell them at 50 gold coins per bottle. If you’re looking for the greatest potion, you’ll have to visit our main headquarter.”
Abel wasn’t going to pay for a potion that was 50 gold coins per bottle. He wasn’t even going to ask how much the greatest potions were. To his knowledge, there weren’t a lot of rich people in Fort Lee. Most would’ve had to sell their homes to afford a bottle of the greater potion.
Out of a mysterious affection for the boy in front of her, Yvette leaned in to share some secrets with Abel.
“A lot of people don’t know about this,” Yvette softly whispered near Abel’s ear, “According to the potion master in our main headquarter, if a novice knight decides to take the qi condensing potion, it will actually be harder for him to advance his ways to become an official knight. It doesn’t matter if the potion is lesser, greater, or greatest. The more you take these supplements, the more residues you will have inside your body, and that’s going to counteract with your breakthrough process when you try to become an official knight.”
Abel didn’t know why Yvette would be so kind to him, but he did realize how lucky he was to have her teach him so much about training with potions. All in their first meeting, too, so not only was he feeling very grateful, but he also began to develop more respect towards this very goodhearted girl.
“Thank you for your reminder, Miss Yvette,” Abel spoke in an even more formal tone, “What you just told me will be very crucial to me. If you don’t mind answering to this, is there any potion that doesn’t produce a side effect?”
“Why, there is, of course,” Yvette nodded her head, “Sometimes when they are in the mood for it, the potion masters would make something called the ‘master’s qi condensing potion.’ There is no guarantee on the number of these master’s potions, but one potion master is said to be able to produce ten bottles of it every single year. Once the potions are ready, they are either given off as gifts for friends and families, or they are bought off by the rich and powerful.”
Yvette continued in an admiring and proud tone, “In our annual auction event, our own potion master would put up five bottles of the master’s qi condensing potion for sale. They are priced at more than 1000 gold coins per bottle, and one bottle is enough for a novice knight to skip an entire year of training.”
If he didn’t have his own Horadric Cube, Abel would’ve never considered taking potions for his training. Based on his previous performances, his talent looked more promising than both his father and brother. He was a genius, and it didn’t matter if he was only twelve years old. With enough time and effort, he could easily become an official knight.
Still, the idea of using a master’s qi condensing potion sounded very attractive to Abel. A year worth of training without any side effects and all it would take was some money? It was the perfect job his Horadric Cube!
Having come to a decision, Abel raised his head to make his purchase, “I’ll take 54 bottles of the lesser qi condensing potion. Actually, with the money that’s left, can I also get a small crossbow? Maybe something I can hold with just one hand?”
Abel knew how dangerous this world was. He could be ambushed by a starving beast just by walking on an open path. It was true that he was smart enough to kill that shadow panther back then, but it was best not to rely on luck in every single fight. That being said, it was always good to carry some gears with him while going to places.
Abel wanted a sword and some armors, too, but his budget was way too low for that. Actually, even if he had more money with him, he probably still wouldn’t use it here. He was nowhere good enough to hide his own secrets (his cube) yet. If he was going to spend money on equipment, he’d like it to be something that people couldn’t see.
By this logic, a small crossbow seemed like a decent option. Just like that dagger Zach gave him, Abel could easily hide a weapon like this somewhere on him. Come to think of it, it would be nice to be able to perform sneak attacks both within close range and long-range.
“How about this small crossbow? It was crafted by the dwarves,” Yvette went and placed a grey crossbow on the table, along with the potions Abel had ordered.
Abel tried lifting the crossbow with just one arm. It was a very delicate piece of work, with a little less than a kilogram in weight. He didn’t quite like its appearance, though, since every part of it was just painted in plain grey. Besides, there were some very ugly holes that were punched through the handle.
“This is a second-hand item,” Yvette explained in a bemused way as Abel had a very questionable look on his face, “I know what you are thinking, but the dwarves did a pretty good job when they first crafted this. Usually, a brand-new crossbow with this kind of craftsmanship would’ve cost more than 500 gold coins.There were supposed to be some gems on the handle, but someone else decided to chip them off to make extra profit. Besides, no one liked this color. No wonder it would be in the store for this long.”
“I’ll take it,” Abel stated. He knew Yvette was being good to him. He wasn’t sure why she was willing to go so far to help him, but he knew she wasn’t the type to lie.
“Be careful when you take these lesser potions. You have a long road ahead of you,” Yvette said as she placed the qi condensing potion in a box. She also grabbed some ammunition for Abel’s crossbow.
“Thank you, Miss Yvette. I’ll make sure that I take these potions with caution,” Abel responded with sincerity. He wanted to appear reliable in front of Yvette.
Once Abel had gotten out of the store, he had 54 bottles of the lesser qi condensing pill, one small crossbow, and 5 crossbow arrows. Yvette, on the other hand, was sitting next to the window on the boutique shop’s second floor. While watching as Abel slowly made his way back, she couldn’t help but think about her little brother who had left the family for two years by now. If she could see him now, he would probably be just as big as Abel.