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Guild Wars Book 2 Chapter 153

Volume 2: Update 1 Chapter 153 Upgrading Vita Settlement


Draco and Riveting Night reached the plains surrounding the Vita Settlement with the core members of Umbra in tow. After receiving Epic items for free, they had behaved no differently than docile kittens in the grip of their mother.  

Around the Vita Settlement stood almost 3500 people, with a majority being combat members of Umbra while the minority were Tradeskill members. The remainder were the slaves Riveting Night purchased who were managing the settlement.  

Every eye fell on the core members and the three Guildmasters with excitement and anticipation. The members of Umbra knew exactly what was about to happen, so they were looking forward to it.  

As for the slaves, they were NPCs, so they had no access to the Guild Text Chat or Voice Chat. In fact, they couldn't join the guild at all! 

The majority of them were the caretakers, guards or other misc. occupations needed for a settlement of a sapient race to function. The minority were the scantily clad big booty assemblage of females from different races who were supposed to…'assist'… Draco. 

They had been ogled by the various males here in passing, wondering just who these girls were for. However, none had dared to touch, because those who could pass Umbra's tests and Riveting Night's scrutiny were those who weren't interested in forcing themselves on others. 

When the core members arrived, these girls and women locked their eyes on Draco. As slaves, they had been brutally trained by Riveting Night on how to most effectively please Draco, yet so far, they had only ever seen him once before when he came for Hikari. 

After seeing him, all their reservations had vanished. They were also NPCs, so it was natural that they had been informed about Draco's achievements through the system announcements, not to mention that the fellow was extremely s.e.x.u.a.lly attractive. 

Even if they had not been forced to, they would've felt their ovaries twitch at the sight of Draco, so their current extreme interest and loyalty was due to their growing desire.  

However, they were still being forced to do it, and that wouldn't change just because they happened to want it now.  

Draco gazed at his guild members with a smile and stood at an elevation to address them all with Vita Settlement behind him. He decided he should inform them about the consequences of what he was about to do to before he began the upgrade process.  

"After fighting that Metal Dragon, where almost every other guild was wiped out and we only had 10 players remaining, we got awarded some exemplary boons." 

Draco smiled when he saw that the expert members were almost all fully geared with a full set of Rare equipment. It was only the advanced and basic members who were still wearing Uncommon stuff.  

Still, at this point in time when the majority of guilds could be happy with their basic members not being equipped with Trash-tier items, this was an accomplishment worthy of the number one guild. 

"I can see that some of you are wearing those rewards proudly. As members of the Umbra Guild, you deserve to."  

A wave of cheers erupted. 

"However, this is not enough. We own the only Rank 7 Guild Hall and Rank 7 Shop in the entirety of Boundless. The former grants us unlimited growth potential while the latter grants us unlimited funding."  

"We've gained five property tokens that can turn 5 buildings to Rank 7 as long as we have the money for it. It waives the need to provide building resources, manpower and having the proper Rank as a settlement or city. I assume you can imagine what this means for Umbra as a whole and you as players..."  

The crowd started getting a bit unruly and whispered amongst themselves. 

Draco smiled at this kind of behavior. "But we'll get to that later." 

"For now, we are going to focus on bringing the settlement up to the rank of a Capital City in one shot. That is why I've called you all here to both witness this growth and also benefit from it." 

The members of Umbra shared weird looks. They understood that they were here to witness a moment of historical proportions and were looking forward to it for sure, but how exactly would it be benefiting them directly? 

"If you do not understand, let me explain. The City Upgrade Token allows us to send the settlement straight to a Capital City." 

"Naturally a Captial City can't remain at the size of this small Settlement, so this means that it will greatly expand our territory to mimic the size of Cario City… only 1.5 times bigger than that." 

The members of Umbra were astounded. Such a large area! They would be able to develop quickly and gain their own properties for sure on that land! 

Wait a minute… C-Could it be…? 

Draco smiled turned even wider. "That's right. Some of you seem to be on the right track. Let me bring the rest of you up to speed." 

"The Capital City will be large... but it'll only provide us with a skeleton framework. None of the buildings currently in the settlement will increase in level or change in style. 

"Apart from the maximized land and the new Rank, nothing within will change." 

"This means that more than 97% of the new land will be free lots." 

How could the members of Umbra not understand after all this set-up?  

They began to breathe and hyperventilate like V12 Engines running at maximum capacity. After all, the land would be free for claiming! 

This meant a great many things.  

The first was that they could select land for their own private properties. Previously, only the core members of Umbra had the right to own some properties in the Settlement, but they would now be getting that chance too!  

Even though they would have to construct it themselves with their own efforts and money, that was even better! Buying a house was definitely nice, but building your own house with your own preferences was a whole different feeling! 

Furthermore, the second thing was that they could own their own shops or commercial business in the soon to come business district. The first point allowed them to own private property which served as a home, while this would allow them to own businesses. 

They could make heaps of money outside of slaving for Umbra - which they had begun to enjoy - and use that money to spend on Umbra! 

Ah? What? 

You thought these guild members planned to only take from Umbra without giving anything back to the guild apart from their basic labor?  

Haha, how dare you look down upon them.  

When you are young, your parents take care of you and do their best to ensure you're happy. They give you pocket money and buy you the toys/tech you want every now and then.  

As such, when you grow old and start earning your own money, the first thing that comes to mind is how to spoil your parents for all they did for you when you were young.  

Umbra wasn't a parent to these players, but it was where their hearts lay. They were tied to its success and failures, and so far, they had grown much more than they could have ever expected. 

Just take a look at the expert members.  

Being topped out in Epic items would only have been possible after around a decade in the previous timeline, when players started to become Masters and even then, this was something only core members would get to enjoy for another year or two to come. 

This created the notion to give back what was given to them.  

The third thing that made this scenario mind-blowing was that Tradeskill players who took the Construction Tradeskill would be given so much work to do that their levels would inevitably rise.  

This was like being gifted a free work contract where resources were provided. You just had to do the manual labor and reap the rewards. 

The fourth point was the most important. When the Settlement was upgraded to a Capital City, it would be big enough to become a city-state.  

As a city-state, it would have its own government, legal system, social system and economic system that would be unique to itself.  

This meant political positions would be open!  

Apart from being rulers like the Guildmasters or ministers like the core members, they could become various officials in the newborn city-state! 

However, the members of Umbra sobered up when they recalled that once one took an official position, they would change class to a Politician and be unable to fight or craft. 

This had been taught to them by Riveting Night, so they knew it wasn't false.  

Still, there was a smaller benefit that was still good, and this was the fact that they would all become nobles of this city-state! Their private homes would become noble residences and they could gain extremely unique and potent powers. 

Draco laughed. "Now that you have understood what I mean, let us begin the upgrade process. First things first, we need to come closer together so that the expanded city doesn't crush us." 

Everyone came closer to Draco and Riveting Night, standing right behind them in a sort of unintentional formation.  

All of their eyes gleamed when they saw Draco pull out a strange token with a carving of a city on it. He twirled it in his hands idly as he brought up the overview screen.  

「Settlement Name: Vita Settlement 

Tier: 0 

Loyalty/Upset: 100/0 

Gold: 1,000,000 

Worldly energy: 6% 

Tax rate: 5% 

Population: 645 

Personnel: 600 

Food: 12467 

Lumber: 10082 

Stone: 7630 

Metal: 3429 

Prestige: 1000」 

It seemed like the settlement had been growing quite well in the time he was away. The resources had greatly grown and the population - while extremely lacking - was great for the stage they were at.  

Draco noticed that the Worldly Energy Concentration had doubled. This excited him greatly, as more Worldly Energy meant that whether it was for daily life, crafting or combat training, the residents would be better off than anywhere else.  

A normal settlement had less than 1% concentration at best. Even Sturgehaven Kingdom had a concentration of 35% at its best state. Most empires would be capped at 70% and only a handful came close to this bottleneck.  

For the Vita Settlement to have 6% at this stage was extremely moving. Should Draco upgrade it right now, it would definitely multiply crazily. The final amount was something he was greatly looking forward to. 

As such, he opened the upgrade menu to see what he could do. 

「Detected a City Upgrade Token. 

Would the player like to upgrade the settlement? Y/N」 

Draco naturally selected yes.  

「Settlement has the following factors; 

- Level ground: -10% 

- High-quality construction: -20% 

- Abundant unclaimed land: -70% 

- Conflict heavy zone: +40% 

- Hi?/ep [ERROR] M3$e: +5000% 

- Sparse buildings: -40% 

Base construction cost (from Settlement to Capital City): 100,000 gold 

Discount: 140,000 gold 

Additions:  5,040,000 gold 

Final cost: 5,000,000 gold 

Build? Y/N」 

The final price came to 50,000 platinum, which was actually cheaper than he had expected. After all, the settlement would be jumping almost 7 tiers, and the costs of doing so were compiled into the base cost. 

Once again, the Aether Mine sent the value much higher than should be normal. Hellscape and Darkrow never had to pay so much to upgrade their settlements into Capital Cities when their costs back then were put together, even without the City Upgrade Token which gave only the skeleton framework. 

Which guild back then could have afforded to fork out 50,000 platinum for anything?  

What a joke! 

The total value of their assets back then was just over 100,000 platinum. Even then you would have had to sell every little thing they had painstakingly built up over the years to build up their Empires. 

Draco had more than enough to pay thanks to the cheat like Rank 7 Shop, as well as the 100,000 platinum he had earned from completing the Flora and Fauna quest.  

As such, he chose and pay and watched as the City Upgrade Token began to break down into a gold-colored light. This gold light absorbed all his platinum and seemed to bob forward.  

Everyone in the area went rock still as they watched that little golden light weave its way through the air as it headed into the Settlement.  

Once it touched the palisade walls of the Settlement, it seemed to merge with the whole place as one, since it began to glow in a blinding light.  

Next came what Draco expected.  

The Settlement began sucking in ambient Worldly Energy like crazy, enough to form a huge typhoon in the area. The players and sapient races weren't affected, but the rush of Worldly Energy felt bizarre.  

Even as they watched the usually inconspicuous energy coalesce in the greenish-blue miasmic form it took when it was concentrated, they still felt greatly uncomfortable.  

It was like being in a room and having all the oxygen slowly sucked out. Even though they weren't affected by the pulling force, their bodies naturally felt incomplete with all the ambient Worldly Energy rushing away. 

Draco's eyes flashed as he activated True Sight. He wanted to see the full process of how the upgrade came about. It was clear that the token possessed some magical power or consciousness, but how did that fit into the in-game lore? 

Draco's face turned sour when he realized that 'seeing' and 'seeing through' were both rebuffed. He would need to 'see beyond' and that was too hard to do at Rank 1.  

As such, he deactivated the Divine Eyes of Caelo and watched the upgrade process like the commoner he was.  

The Vita Settlement drained the area of Worldly Energy so rapidly that Hikari and Draco paled. With their Draconic Source Origins, they could feel Worldly Energy in a more intimate way than others.  

Heck, by just living, they transformed Worldly Energy into its higher form, Aetheric Energy.  

Draco suddenly noticed something strange that only the two Dragons could see. In fact, Hikari seemed to have noticed it long before Draco as her expression was one of shock.  

The Aether Mine below the settlement was crumbling! 

No, it wasn't crumbling, but it was breaking down systematically and… fusing with the Mayor's Hall! 

The Aether Crystals inside were broken down and the energy within was slowly dispersed into the Settlement! 

Hundreds of Aether Crystals immediately became fuel for the Settlement's upgrade! This fact terrified Draco greatly, but only shocked Hikari because she didn't value Aetheric Energy at all.  

When Draco noticed that the flow of Aetheric Energy was coming to an end, and the absorption of external Worldly Energy slow down, his face became maniacal.  

If we were going to do this, then we might as well go all in! 

As such, he took out all the Aether Crystals he had on him. This included what he had acc.u.mulated from his Aether Production skill as well as what he had collected from the mine earlier.  

He even threw in the top-grade crystals that Hikari created in the 3 days she had come out of the Aether Mine. 

BOOM! 

All these crystals shattered and turned into flows that entered the greedy settlement, as if it could never have enough. Draco watched all of them break with a pained expression, like someone was killing his children in front of him.  

However, he held back and waited.  

After settling its absorption and digesting the energy, the Settlement began to expand rapidly. It was like watching it grow to swallow the land like a parasite.  

The members of Umbra were silently watching this crazy and hair-raising scene with flabbergasted expressions, but they began to feel fear when they saw how quickly the Settlement was growing.  

Soon enough, it reached their position and swallowed them too, only that they weren't harmed in any way. The ground on which they stood transformed into an empty lot, as they turned around to see the expansion continue into the sunset. 

Since the Settlement still glowed brightly, they were safe to assume that the crazy expansion was still ongoing.  

They stood around aimlessly for almost 30 minutes before the bright glow died down. They had long lost sight of where the settlement had reached in just a few seconds, so lord knew how huge the land of the Capital City currently was.  

It was one thing to have in mind that it would be around the size of Cario City - but slightly larger- and another to actually see it.  

No new buildings had been added but the buildings that were still on the lot had changed greatly. Where before they looked standard and normal, they now glowed with a greenish-blue light.  

In fact, the very air with the settlement seemed to be ever so slightly visible in a way, as they could see the ambient Worldly Energy.  

It was even worse when the Settlement settled, as their pores opened up and the ambient Worldly Energy invigorated them with power and life. In fact, the system seemed to agree, as the system announcements landed.  

「Vita Capital City Regional Announcement 

The Vita Settlement has been upgraded to Vita Capital City by a City Upgrade Token! As a property of Umbra, the Guild is now considered to be the owner and ruler of this City-State!」 

「System to Guild Announcement 

Umbra has become the rulers of a City-State, as such, the guild will have to handle all political, social and economic aspects manually and without the help of the system. Good Luck!」 

「Vita Capital City Regional Announcement 

Due to the unique upgrade process, as well as the provision of the extremely rare Aetheric Energy, the Vita Capital City now possess some features and characteristics that are unique in the world! 

All members of Umbra gain the title 'Frontiersmen'!」 

「Frontiersmen – Special Rank (Umbra only)  

All locations encountered by the owner are added to the shared map of Umbra and can be conquered by your members without the need for reputation with the owner as long as a Settlement Building Token is present.」 

「Vita Capital City bonuses: 

- Bonus Exp modifier acc.u.mulates at 1% per hour spent in the settlement and is capped at 70% 

- Crafting success rates increased by 10% regardless of Tradeskill. 

- The life expectancy of citizens is boosted by a factor of 2 

- Citizens are immune to common diseases and are resistant to rare ailments 

- Technique creation success rates boosted by 10% within Training Halls of the city 

- Crafted items or created techniques are 20% better when completed. 

- Natural population growth is boosted by 500%」 

「Sturgehaven Kingdom Regional Announcement 

Guild Umbra has created the first player-owned Capital City, Vita. As a City State, it now possesses sovereignty with Umbra as the ruler. Reputation increased by 15000」 

「Cario Continent International Announcement 

Guild Umbra has created the first player-owned Capital City, Vita. As a City State, it now possesses sovereignty with Umbra as the ruler. Reputation increased by 15000」 

「Boundless System-wide Announcement 

Guild Umbra has created the first player-owned Capital City, Vita. As a City State, it now possesses sovereignty with Umbra as the ruler. Reputation increased by 15000」 

「System to Player Announcement 

Your Capital City has become a unique entity in this current era, a City of Aether. As such, its benefits have been greatly increased, but so has its upkeep. The former Aether Mine has merged with the Mayor's Hall to become an Aether Hall. Please enter the Aether Hall to claim ownership and understand its benefits.」 

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