Bitter 98

At least Britta now knew where to buy potions. Once she got some money, she would buy a small stash. As long as she avoided too many fights, ten potions should last her for ages.

She returned the menu card to the surly trader who took it back with a sarcastic smile. “Thank you for your interest.” He immediately went back to reading his paper.

Britta felt a bit offended at his assumption she wasn’t going to buy anything, even if he was right. He was also an NPC and not a real person, she reminded herself, so worrying about what he thought of her was stupid. Still, it wasn’t nice being looked down on, even if it was by pixels.

“If I craft my own potions, would you be interested in buying them from me?”

He lowered his newspaper and then looked from side to side in the most suspicious manner possible. He licked his lips. “You bring me a couple of cases and I’ll make it worth your while.”

She didn’t know how many bottles were in a case, and ‘worth your while’ was vague to the point of being totally useless as an indicator of what he’d pay her, but Britta slowly nodded and walked away. He wasn’t quite so snooty now.

The Auction House was a three storey building with large double doors that were wide open. Six flags flew from the roof, each with three colours splitting the flag in thirds. Two guards in polished armour, and holding halberds with similar tri-coloured banners hanging from them, stood either side of the doorway.

Inside, there were a lot of people but no players. It was a large hall with booths around the outside and one wall that was entirely covered by a screen that listed items, how much they cost and how much longer they’d be available for.

The screen looked a bit like her status screen but many times bigger. It was like looking up at the video screen in a train station listing arrivals and departures, a crystal clear display in high definition. It was completely out of place in a medieval world, but magic probably explained it away to anyone asking.

She spent the next fifteen minutes staring up at it, trying to make sense of the numbers. Each item had two prices. One was the latest bid and would often change as she watched. The other was a buyout price. If you didn’t want to compete with others for a bargain, you could pay the much higher fixed price and get it immediately. Anyone who had used eBay would be familiar with how that worked.

The items themselves were pretty straightforward. Weapons and armour and various bits of equipment. Some had strange titles like Axe of Ferriboth and were much more expensive. Other items had names she didn’t recognise but she was able to work out roughly what they were through the colour coding system. Weapons were all green, so a claymore was a weapon of some kind. Blue was armour, so you probably wore a cuirass.

Only the most recent listings were up on the big screen. The booths around the side had smaller screens you could interact with to search through the full list. There were hundreds of items available from camping gear to exotic animals.

And then there were potions. All different types, but healing and mana potions in vast amounts. Pages of them. Most sold in stacks of 99 and seemed ridiculously over-priced.

According to the potions traders pricings, 99 basic heals should be worth 495 copper pieces, which was about five silver. A stack of basic healing potions in the Auction House had a buyout price of 100 gold and a highest bid of zero.

You couldn’t buy 99 potions from the trader in one go, so it made sense to charge more, but 100 gold? Not surprising they weren’t selling, but she would have expected at least a few bids. Although, they were all very new listings so maybe they would eventually sell.

It looked like a lot of people had thought of making potions and oversaturated the market. She tried to find older listings to see what sort of price people were willing to pay, but there weren’t any older listings, which was odd.

And then the potions began disappearing from the screen. People weren’t bidding, they were buying them at full price. A few seconds later the screen was blank.

There were no old listings because the demand was super high and if you knew how to make potions, you could make a lot of money. Apparently, people were in dire need of health and mana. Was there a war going on she didn’t know about?

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