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Chapter: 722

Grassroots Effect

"Haaa… haaa. Damn I'm tired." 

Kenny rose to his full height, wiping the sweat off his brow that had accumulated over the past few hours. He was an average-looking bloke with messy brown hair, brown eyes, and slightly tanned skin. 

Standing at 5 foot 9 and a slightly stocky build, he looked like your average shut-in gamer. He had a few blemishes on his skin from the days were he skipped a shower and some other marks from various actions throughout his life. 

Currently, he was wearing a set of Uncommon Miner's Garb which he had redeemed from the Umbra store earlier this month. 

「Miner's Garb – Undershirt 

Durability: 10,000/10,000 

Rank: Uncommon 

Def: 20 

Effect: Yield boost +10%.」 

「Miner's Garb – Overall 

Durability: 10,000/10,000 

Rank: Uncommon 

Def: 20 

Effect: Yield boost +10%.」 

「Miner's Garb – Gloves (2) 

Durability: 10,000/10,000 

Rank: Uncommon 

Def: 10 

Effect: Yield boost +5%.」 

「Miner's Garb – Boots (2) 

Durability: 10,000/10,000 

Rank: Uncommon 

Def: 10 

Effect: Yield boost +5%.」 

「Miner's Garb – Helmet 

Durability: 10,000/10,000 

Rank: Uncommon 

Def: 10 

Effect: Yield boost +5%.」 

「Miner's Garb – Set Equipment (5 piece) 

Rank: Uncommon 

Effect; 

- With 2 pieces equipped: +10% Yield Boost 

- With 3 pieces equipped: +5% Yield Quality 

- With 4 pieces equipped: +10% Set Durability 

- With 5 pieces equipped: +20% Stamina Cost Reduction.」 

This set was integral to his current lifestyle as a serf player of Umbra. Kenny had been given many choices by Umbra to be what he wanted to be, and he had unhesitatingly chosen to earn his keep as a miner. 

It was something he had enjoyed doing in older FIVR games, just swing your pickaxe and strike the wall, allowing your mind to focus on other things like his waste of a degree that had never gotten him anywhere, his parents who were pressuring him to make something out of his life, or his distinct lack of a romantic partner. 

At this moment, it was just the sound of him exerting himself to hit that rock, and the sound of the rock chipping under the weight of his blows. With enough time, that sound became rhythmic and hypnotic, allowing one to daydream during work. 

This kind of peace of mind was worth more than money could afford. Everyone had their own way of seeking peace of mind, and this was it for Kenny. Heck, he wasn't the only one, as he had two pals who did the same while gathering or farming respectively in Boundless. 

Kenny had finished gathering today's haul, and he inspected it with some measure of pride. 

「Iron – Material (x500) 

Rank: Common 

Use: Blacksmithing」 

「Black Iron – Material (x100) 

Rank: Uncommon 

Use: Blacksmithing」 

With this, he could make some good money today. Kenny pocketed his haul before opening the Umbra's guild menu to check the status of the recurring quest that was put up by the guild. 

「Iron Collection – Farming Quest 

Description: Deposit 500 iron ores in the Guild Treasury. 

Rewards: 0.3 Umbra Points」 

「Black Iron Collection – Farming Quest 

Description: Deposit 100 black iron ores in the Guild Treasury. 

Rewards: 0.6 Umbra Points」 

These two Quests used to pay out 3 whole Umbra Points back when Kenny had first joined the guild, before the Dragon Slaying Event. However, at that time, an Umbra Point had barely been equivalent to a gold coin. 

Now that 1 Umbra Point was worth 1 platinum, naturally, the guild had to scale back on how it was paid out in order to control finances. And yet, ever since the sea route had opened up, Umbra appeared to have stopped giving a fuck, instead seeking ways to spend all their cash. 

As such, Quest payouts became far more lucrative. 0.3 Umbra Points was worth 30 gold, which would have been a whopping $900,000 using the old average of $3 per bronze and now worth $1,800,000 using the new average of $6 per bronze coin. 

This was serious money that used to take Kenny about a week to make with nonstop effort. However, no serf of Umbra would use their precious UPs to trade for money. 

Umbra Points had far more uses than raw currency, especially when it came to redeeming special items from the Guild Shop made by the various talents, core members, much less the personal items crafted by their Guildmaster. 

If serfs wanted to better their outside lives, they'd rather use UPs to purchase rare items and materials from the Guild shop and sell it in the Equipment Exchange tab of the Intermediary Trade Center. 

As stated before, the only ones dumping cash in that currency exchange tab were Umbra, and they were the only ones 'foolish enough' to do so. 

Kenny made the material deposit and then claimed his rewards with a wide grin. After wiping his brow, he used a ortal scroll to teleport back to Vita Kingdom, specifically to his own his apartment in the outer section. 

There, he sighed with pleasure as the many buffs of Vita Kingdom landed on him, making him feel calm and relaxed. He then sat at his table, popped a beer, and began drinking while thinking to himself. 

A lot had happened since he had joined Umbra. In the past, he had been a headless fly just trying to seek his place in the world, now he was a basic serf player ranked in the top 10 out of almost 10 million. 

Ever since the population spike, many new serfs had joined Umbra, increasing the count from 1 million to almost 10 million serfs in total. Even with this, Umbra could still afford to pay them each so lavishly, much less their actual members who did important missions everyday. 

Even the brokest basic member of Umbra was worth about 70,000 UPs. Heck, let's not even forget that nowadays Umbra gave new core members a free 3,000 UPs sign up bonus to play with, no strings attached. 

Thinking like this, Kenny realized that Umbra had changed the life of many bottom feeders like him. It gave them the much-needed second chance. 

......... 

Now let's talk about the status of Umbra's Tradeskill players. 

During Umbra's first recruitment, they had taken in only combat players, and exactly 2,500 were collected in total. In Umbra's second recruitment, they went for only Tradeskill players and collected 500 of them which had formed Umbra's initial 3,000 members. 

In Umbra's third wave recruitment, they jumped to 10,000 players overall, with around 2,000 coming in for Tradeskills. After that, Umbra recruited endlessly until recently when it was closed for a while. 

As of now, Umbra had almost 5,000 Tradeskill players. It seemed like a such a small number, not enough to make any big waves among a playerbase of 600 million, much less the Main Plane with trillions upon trillions. 

However, these same Tradeskill players had been chosen from the pack using a very stringent method. 

Basic Tradeskill Players needed to be at the early Elite rank in their main Tradeskill to even qualify. Early Elite rank meant level 21-27 of their Tradeskill and it had to be achieved within a month of joining the game. 

Advanced Tradeskill Players needed to be at the early Elite rank in their main Tradeskill as well as reach the early Amateur rank in a secondary Tradeskills. Early Amateur rank meant level 1-7 of their Tradeskill. The required timeframe was the same as before. 

Expert Tradeskill Players needed to be, at least, at the middle Elite rank as well as the middle Amateur rank in two Tradeskills. Middle Elite Rank was levels 28-34 of a Tradeskill and the middle Amateur Rank was levels 8-14. The time requirement was the same. 

Core Tradeskill Players needed to possess, at the very least, two Tradeskills at the early Elite rank at the least in order to reach the pinnacle of power they dreamed of. They needed to achieve this in the same timeframe if they wanted to succeed. 

With such a tight requirement, it meant that these fellow who made up the 5,000 were all the best of the best among the millions playing. Their talent and potential were the top, and most of them had been names that even shook the previous timeline. 

By the time Draco had completed the Treasury Unique Quest, most of them were at the Expert Rank of their main Tradeskills at the least. Most of them were looking to breakthrough in about a year or two to become Masters. 

Then Draco returned from the Treasury with the Goddess Descendants. However, he didn't just come with these insane talents, he brought the resources and equipment that helped them hone this talent throughout the generations, but perhaps even more importantly he had brought with him the Tradeskill Altar and the Village Manors. 

The Tradeskill Altar had the function of increasing Tradeskill slots, removing useless Tradeskills in various ways as well as granting items in exchange for removed Tradeskills depending on quality. 

This allowed Tradeskill players to clear out the useless Tradeskills they had and make use of the experience gained from them, either to sell for more lotto chances or add it to another, more important Tradeskill. 

The Village Manors were even more exaggerated. They had an infinite number of Tradeskill books, allowing those who could only wallow in Common Tradeskills to actually learn Advanced, Epic, and even Legendary Tradeskills. 

That wasn't even the craziest bit. What was fucking crazy were the endless Tradeskill Techniques for each and every Tradeskill, separated into Epic and Legendary. 

Epic allowed those at the Expert Rank to break into the Master Rank with ease, while the Techniques at the Legendary Rank assisted one in gearing for the Grandmaster Rank as long as they fulfilled the other 4 requirements. 

So in the already 14 months since Draco had come back from the Treasury Quest, 98% of Tradeskill players had entered the Master Rank while 76% were already at the peak and making preparations to breakthrough. 

The last 2% who were still at the Expert Rank were so because they had above Advanced Tradeskills, so it took far more effort than others to grow. 

The first Grandmaster player aside from Draco would be born soon and this was a direct result of the tools left behind by Draco. Some of the Goddess Descendants even took some players as apprentices out of goodwill. 

So that was about 4900 Tradeskill players at the Master Rank. Just what kind of terrifying number was that?! 

Since they are all based in Vita Kingdom, they had a default 30% success rate which was boosted by 20% since all items used were refined by the Rank 7 Refinery, which also granted another 5% bonuses success rate because all proceed resources in Vita would be 50% better than the average. 

So as you could imagine, Vita Kingdom was spitting out top-tier Epic Items and Consumables now that their users had reached this stage. The pressure was no longer on Draco to produce Angel's Kiss Potions and the like, but shared by his guild. 

This was exactly what he was going for back then and he was glad that he had made the right choice. 

Ha, just imagine what ignoring these talents would have led to. Draco would have to be as retarded as a certain blackflame forger who did everything by himself whenever it was convenient. 

Soon, they would become Grandmasters who could carry the guild on their backs with ease. However, Draco would have already reached the God level as he had found a path to it, the most authentic path! 

Tradeskill wise, Umbra was set to flourish. Most of these things were tossed into the equipment tab of the Intermediary Trade Center and were sold out within minutes. 

Materials of high-quality being turned into finished goods of high quality did for their economy what a World War usually did for the Hidden Powers of the real world. 

Fattened their pockets! 

The system of Tradeskills in Umbra was complex, but this was enough to give anyone with room temperature IQ enough to understand how it worked. 

However, with an influx of new players, many were waiting patiently for Umbra to open their doors once more, so that they could be the first to rush in.

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