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386 Netherworld Exchange, The Helping Hand of An Enemy?

 'Interesting... This Spirit Voucher acts as a form of currency for the Netherworld Exchange. I wonder what kind of items I'll be able to exchange for it. Since it was a reward for an S-ranked quest, the items shouldn't be too bad.'

Izroth located the Netherworld Exchange in his system interface. It was a symbol in the shape of a strange purple crest with three black lines running across its surface area. Lurking behind the three black lines was the image of an unusual beast with the head of a roc and the body of a biped land dragon. Without wasting any time, Izroth touched the purple crest as a sizable viewing screen appeared in front of him.

Anyone around Izroth would be unable to see this viewing screen as it was only visible to his eyes. The viewing screen itself was similar to that of the one in auction houses that were placed on the walls. The only difference was that its size was not as grand and it was a mystic purplish color. The text on the viewing screen was crimson red in color and emitted a faint red hue.

〈System Alert: Welcome to the «Netherworld Exchange», Player Izroth!〉

〈System Alert: Since you are the first player to unlock the «Netherworld Exchange», you have received x1 «Restricted Supreme Spirit Voucher»!〉

〈System Alert: Would you like to undergo the basic tutorial regarding the «Netherworld Exchange»?〉

'Restricted Supreme Spirit Voucher? It must be a more valuable form of the normal Spirit Voucher. However, why is it restricted?'

"Yes." Izroth confirmed with the system as it began to walk him through how to use the Netherworld Exchange. It even explained how he could earn additional Spirit Vouchers! As Izroth listened intently to the system's explanation, he started to understand just how valuable this Netherworld Exchange truly was.

To put it in simple terms, it was like a portable auction house. The main difference was that the items listed on the Netherworld Exchange were all items provided by a group referred to as, to quote the system's exact explanation, "the highest level of authority in the Netherworld".

This meant that, undoubtedly, the Netherworld Exchange was directly linked to the Netherworld Monarch! According to the system, one could trade for anything on the Netherworld Exchange as long as they had the Spirit Vouchers to do so. The Nether Realm was not like the Mortal Realm where there were a great number of markets due to the numerous kingdoms that existed.

In the Nether Realm, the Netherworld was the absolute dominant force. In other words, every item that existed in the Nether Realm could be said to be owned by the Netherworld. Therefore, the only way to purchase anything in the Nether Realm was through the Netherworld Exchange using Spirit Vouchers. No one else dared to compete with the Netherworld Monarch and the powers underneath him in the Nether Realm!

'Though it seems I won't be able to earn Spirit Vouchers through normal methods.'

There were only two ways that were given by the system to earn Spirit Vouchers. The first was to complete a mission given by the Netherworld. Needless to say, Izroth already had irreconcilable differences with the Netherworld after severing the arm of their envoy, therefore, this was out of the question.

The second was to exchange goods or items one owned, however, the exchange rate was ridiculous! Izroth wanted to see how much something like his Sword of The Storm would fetch him if he tried to turn it into Spirit Vouchers, however, it came out to only 1 Spirit Voucher! This was a level 40 epic quality weapon!

Though this was not necessarily a bad thing. This just went on to show that a single Spirit Voucher must be incredibly valuable if even something like his Sword of The Storm could only be exchanged for one. Izroth currently had 8 Spirit Vouchers in his possession! Though, he knew that there was a difference between buying and selling items. Still, 8 Spirit Vouchers should be enough to get him something decent, right?

'It didn't mention anything about earning Spirit Vouchers from completing quests given by the Curse of the Netherworld. Could this be the sole method for me to currently earn Spirit Vouchers? Then, does this mean I just have to wait until they show up? How inefficient...'

Another thing that caught Izroth's attention was the rating system in place within the Netherworld Exchange. It used something called the Moon Rating System. The more valuable or useful an item was, the higher its moon rating. The lowest rating was 1 moon while the highest rating was 10 moons.

As for how the items would be delivered, it would be instantly placed into one's inventory upon purchase and was completely anonymous. Therefore, Izroth did not have to worry about being discovered by any prying eyes in the Netherworld.

After the tutorial concluded, Izroth browsed through the items listed on the Netherworld Exchange. But, he could not help but shake his head and release an inward sigh when he saw the prices that were listed.

For an item with the lowest 1 moon ranking, it cost a minimum of 5 Spirit Vouchers! This was practically every Spirit Voucher in his possession. However, Izroth was impressed with the quality of the items on the Netherworld Exchange. Even the items that were only ranked 1 moon were all rare quality items.

But, the real issue came when Izroth's eyes fell on the prices of the items that held a ranking of 2 moons. The cheapest 2 moons item listed cost 25 Spirit Vouchers! That was more than five times than that of a 1 moon item. Out of pure curiosity, Izroth decided to look ahead and see how much an item with a 10 moons ranking went for and it left him halfway speechless.

'10 million Spirit Vouchers for the cheapest 10 moons item... This is... Doesn't that mean I'd have to kill creatures like Nekynigos more than 1 million times over?'

Not to mention, the reward for completing that S-ranked quest was only 8 Spirit Vouchers! However, Izroth understood the reason behind the astronomical price when he saw the items that were ranked 10 moons. They were all unique in quality! Unique items were one step above legendary items and one step below divine items! Even for legendary existences, unique items were extremely difficult to come by.

'Maybe this Restricted Supreme Spirit Voucher has some use.'

Izroth opened his inventory to see just how valuable this Restricted Supreme Spirit Voucher was when compared to a normal Spirit Voucher. However, to be truthful, Izroth was not expecting too much of a difference after seeing that it was a restricted item. But, it turned out that he could not be any further from the truth.

Item Name: Restricted Supreme Spirit Voucher(Soulbound)

Usage: This item is the restricted version of the Supreme Spirit Voucher. The user can exchange this voucher for one item in the Netherworld Exchange with a rating of 5 moons or less.

Special Note: This item cannot be destroyed. This item can only be traded or removed from the user's inventory after being used to exchange for an item from the Netherworld Exchange.

5 moons...? This single voucher could be used to exchange for any item 5 moons or less?! This meant that this Restricted Supreme Spirit Voucher was worth, at the very least, 3,000 Spirit Vouchers! It was truly worthy of being a reward for the first player to unlock the Netherworld Exchange.

'My luck isn't too bad. The gains this time around are not small and the effort was not that much.'

For the current Izroth, defeating Nekynigos was as simple as flipping the palm of his hand. If it had been any other player, then perhaps it would have been a life or death struggle, however, Izroth did not even unleash his full strength against Nekynigos. Therefore, it was almost as if this reward was practically a gift from the envoy of the Netherworld himself! Wasn't this a bit too generous of them?

Izroth, however, was in no hurry to use the Restricted Supreme Spirit Voucher. This was because the number of items listed in each moon ranking was massive. It would take him weeks to go through every last item of just the items of 5 moons or lower rankings if he had no idea what he was searching for. So, in the end, Izroth chose to take his time and go over the items listed so that he did not regret his choice later on.

Also, given how versatile the items were, Izroth believed that it was better if he put off using the Restricted Supreme Spirit Voucher until he really needed it. After all, there was no telling what the future may hold. For now, he would stick to using the 8 Spirit Vouchers he obtained. His main purpose, of course, was to test the delivery system of the Netherworld Exchange.

'I can only choose a 1 moon item with my current Spirit Vouchers, however, even if I'm just testing the delivery system I shouldn't choose randomly.'

There were all kinds of items available for exchange. Weapons, armor, talisman, enchantment stones, magic items, pills, potions - As long as one was able to name it, then there was a 99.99% chance that it could be found on the Netherworld Exchange! Luckily, the items could be searched by category and did not require one to scroll through them randomly.

'Although the equipment is rare quality, the level range of it is only 35-45. While this isn't necessarily bad, it would be a waste given my current equipment. As for feeding my living armor... It isn't worth it when I can do Difficult or Hardcore dungeons to obtain rare equipment. Not to mention, that Gu Chao should be capable of forging equipment with the correct materials. Pills and potions are also out of the question...'

Once he thought it over, Izroth ultimately decided to search for the magic item category since they were currently the most challenging items for players to get their hands on. After spending nearly fifteen minutes searching through the magic items category, Izroth finally saw something that grabbed his attention.

'Oh? Something like this is only 1 moon? Although it'll take all 8 Spirit Vouchers, it's well worth the price. Then, let's go with this one.'

〈System Alert: Are you sure you wish to exchange 8 Spirit Vouchers for the item «Twin Lasting Epoch Sentinels»? Please note that all purchases are final and refunds are unavailable!〉

"Exchange." Izroth responded without hesitation. The moment he did so, he watched as all 8 Spirit Vouchers disappeared from his inventory and in its place appeared a black box with the purple crest from the Netherworld Exchange at the front of it.

'It really is instant.'

〈System Alert: Congratulations, you have successfully purchased the item «Twin Lasting Epoch Sentinels»! The item has been delivered to your inventory!〉

...

Around one hour later...

'Is this the correct place? It looks completely deserted. The weather here is also a bit...'

Izroth had arrived before a small village located near the outskirts of Proximus. When he entered the village and walked the streets, he noticed that there were no players or NPCs roaming around the village and it appeared to be deserted. There was constantly clouds of dust and sand being blown around by the wind which made it difficult for one to see more than a few meters out in front of them.

'It can't be that I traveled to the wrong place.'

With his perfect memory, Izroth was positive that this was the village that was agreed upon. Although he had never personally been here before and only knew of its coordinates, he did not expect it to be so deserted. However, when he thought about it, it made sense Niflheim chose this area for him and his other party members to stay in before the location of the raid was disclosed. Since it was deserted, they would not run the chance of attracting any unwanted attention.

'I don't see or sense the others. Though I'm a bit earlier than planned, so the others may not have arrived yet. I suppose I'll just wait for now.'

A few moments later after that thought crossed Izroth's mind, he suddenly sensed a familiar presence approaching the village from the distance. He turned to face towards the direction they were coming from as a carefree smile found its way onto his face.

'I never expected that they'd be the first one to arrive right after me.'