Sure enough, Sir Arclight nearly screeched upon seeing Seran's guild card, "An S-rank Adventurer!? At 10 years old!? What the fuck is this!?" His right hand, the one holding the card, was shaking, like holding the card was a hard task.
"If you want to know the reason for my sudden visit to Skyhaven, just read through my titles. You should find 'Greenwood King' in there somewhere." Seran just had his usual smile on his face as he patiently waited for Sir Arclight to discover what he said.
Handing back the card delicately, despite his shaking hand, the large man wet his lips before speaking, "... I see. You're the Greenwood Demigod. Word about you from the Adventurers Guild Headquarters is traveling like wildfire now. I should've figured it was you. There's only one 10-year-old S-rank in the world, after all." He shook his head to clear it before continuing, "To be honest, it is against our regulations to allow a mid-flight addition, though exceptions have happened before. All of our seats have already been filled, too, as per usual for the Crane Transports. All I can do is let you stay up here, since most of the crew are downstairs anyway."
"That's more than enough for me. Savicche is a bit of a distance to fly from, and I really needed a place to rest. How much do I owe you? I'll triple the regular fare, since I am breaking your regulations."
Sir Arclight said neutrally, "Our regular fares increases depending on one's status or job grade. Third-grade jobs and under pay 10 gold coins. Fourth-grade to seventh-grade pay 15g. Eight-grade and up pay 1 continental gold coin. Nobility or foreign dignitaries pay an extra 15g per person, while imperial family members pay 25g per person. Of course, there is a high likelihood of anyone over seventh-grade to have access to Spirit Stones, so those are taken as trade as well."
The Spirit Stones are one of the various currencies in the world, one considered universal for nearly every transaction, even beyond that of the largest regular currency, the continental gold coin. From copper coins comes silver, then from silver comes gold. Continental gold thus follows, and is surpassed by spirit stones. As spirit stones can only be formed naturally by the world, and contain a great amount of energy depending on their grade, they are usually only used by the Three Empires on the continent, and even then, only in the major cities. According to William's data, and quite a number of reliable sources, the general conversion rate was rather solid:
100 copper coins (1c) = 1 silver coin (1s)
100 silver coins (100s) = 1 gold coin (1g)
100 gold coins (100g) = 1 continental gold coin (1cg)
1 Low-Grade Spirit Stone = 1cg
1 Mid-Grade Spirit Stone = 10 Low-Grade Spirit Stones
1 High-Grade Spirit Stone = 10 Mid-Grade Spirit Stones
1 King-Grade Spirit Stone = Auction only
1 Emperor-Grade Spirit Stone = Auction only
Now, it should be stressed that the higher the grade of spirit stone, the rarer it is. Low-grade spirit stones are the most common, and are often found in companies, clans and sects in the Three Empires, as are mid-grade spirit stones. As for high-grade spirit stones, only ancient clans, the imperial families and the Primeval Forest would have them. King-grade spirit stones are very rare, and have only been found a handful of times by explorers, who usually sold them at auctions for a fortune. As for Emperor-grade spirit stones, those were considered lost after the Abyss Invasion, as most of the defensive formations used to fight against the devils were powered by them, and almost all of those formations were broken.
One could only tell the grade of spirit stone by the purity and density of the energy within it. A low-grade spirit stone, if one sensed with their mind, would feel like a small flame, about the size of a candle. Mid-grade would be like a fireplace, while high-grade would be a bonfire. If King-grade spirit stones were to be considered wildfires, then the Emperor-grades would be like the sun. Emperor- and King-grade spirit stones have been put up for auction since time immemorial, and each one would sell for an astronomical amount of money. The cheapest one could manage to buy a King-grade spirit stone for would still be more than 100 high-grade spirit stones, while an Emperor-grade in the current society would be worth an astronomical amount. It was likely that only the Eridan Imperial Family and the Primeval Forest would be capable of affording such an item.
Seran, thinking through the payment amount, calculated how much he owed, "Okay, so, for me, it'd be 1cg and 15g. And, since I said I'd pay triple as an apology, that would make it 3cg and 45g" Using his inventory, the young demigod withdrew 45 thumb-sized gold coins and 3 large palm-sized gold coin. Putting the coins into a small coin purse, the white-haired boy handed it to the large man, "It's a good thing I got the rewards for those first two quests I did before I hopped onboard, otherwise I'd be dead broke! That was almost all of my continental gold coins there. Oh well, it's worth it to me." Seran shrugged and casually moved to sit in a nearby chair, perking his eyebrows, "Ooh, this is a good seat. Is it made by your company?"
Getting up and storing the coin purse in a large safe that was used for storing them, Sir Arclight nodded with a mix of pride and sincerity, "Of course. Everything in the Crane Transport here was made by the Cloud Palace Merchant Company, one of the top companies on the Western Continent. We may not be as wealthy or influential as the Mages Guild and its alchemists and enchanters, but for non-magical items, we are among the best. Some of the best craftsmen around make a lot of their income through us too. For example, the chair you are sitting in was made by the Geldry Group, a company known for having 3 people at Grandmaster level in their professions, and at least 15 Masters." With a businessman smile, the large man continued, "If you should ever wish to, you can always commission something from us, and we will send it to the appropriate people."
"Once I'm done with my business, I will certainly take your advice. I might just buy a house here, to make traveling back and forth much less strenuous." Seran began thinking about making a teleportation array in a house in Skyhaven, a thought that made him grin. "Just offhand, do you know the general price range for a house here, Sir Arclight?"
"Just call me Eric. I might be part of a noble clan, but that doesn't mean you need to treat me like one. I'm an oddity." Chuckling a little, the merchant said, "Well, depending on what you want, the cheapest house you could get in Skyhaven would be about 10g, and those would be on the outer edges of the city. Most of the ones closer to the center, where the Imperial Palace is, cost between 1cg and 100cg. As for the few available houses of noble stature, the cheapest of them is still worth about 250cg. While we do discounts for a number of things, housing is not one of them. We pride ourselves on reliability and honesty, so we don't play games with such things."
Nodding, Seran said, "Seems I'll need to make a trip to your company, then. When I do, I'll put in a good word for you, since you pointed the way for me."
The rest of the flight consisted of Seran getting information about Skyhaven, all of its famous clans and companies, and the numerous geniuses that filled the city. Needless to say, Seran was deeply interested, and Eric Arclight was more than happy to share his knowledge with the lad.