Chapter 61 Vending Machine

Chapter 61 of 100 chapters

"What is with this vending machine? It does not seem to be selling any juice or snack bars." Jin noticed the vending machine had a countertop and a screen at the far end of the vending machine. It seemed that if you bought something from it, the countertop would split into two in order for something to appear.

"Oh this!" Yun requested for Jin's phone and she entered into an app that had the words 'Supervisor mode' on it. She then returned the phone to him and asked him to try it.

"Yes, place your phone on the centre of the vending machine to start up the machine. For customers who use this vending machine, they can pay via e-wallet or credit cards."

"I assumed cash as well right? I saw a bill acceptor for notes and coins." Jin did what was instructed, the vending machine came to life, and they waited as the machine booted the screen up.

"Yes, and it accepts other cash currencies too. Do not worry about the conversion, we have decent exchange rates and the machine can give exact change for any currency available." Yun was equally excited for this.

When the screen finally booted up, a Panda was seen carrying a cardboard box and an animation was being played. The Panda was opening a box when another cardboard box dropped from the sky. It immediately ran to the second box and tried to open it but a third box popped up from the ground. Eventually, the whole screen was filled with boxes and it entrapped the panda with a number of boxes. The animation was on a play loop but in each animation loop, the panda was at a different location and so were the boxes when they appeared.

However, despite the animation looping continuously, there was always a large red box warning indicated at the bottom of the screen. It stated that it was at the customer's own risk to spend their money on this vending machine and all goods were non-refundable through real cash. The store was not liable if they were not satisfied with their goods.

"Loot Boxes?!" Jin was taken aback, since he finally discovered the true identity of the vending machine, the name 'Panda Crates' appeared on the countertop in black and white. It seemed that the countertop acted as a screen too.

"That screen is protected by glass as strong as the one we used for the basement glass door. It can withstand any amount of weight and it cannot be broken that easily." Yun punched the countertop hard and there was no effect at all.

"This is also an interactive screen for the customers to choose which type of loot box they wish to open," Yun asked Jin to place his phone at the centre again to activate the vending machine.

The vending machine had two screens on purpose to confirm the order of the loot box when a customer wished to buy it.

"How much per loot box and what do they contain?" Jin was in a little dilemma. While he knew that the selling of loot boxes was a good monetisation plan, it might be a pitfall for customers too. Especially if the loot was be a pay to win item instead of a purely cosmetic item which had no effect in the dungeon run at all.

Having pay to win items meant that the customers might be able to receive beneficial items, which would make the dungeon easier. That would definitely spoil the dungeon experience.

While this kind of monetisation plan was mostly used for software games, he knew of certain dungeon suppliers that did this too.

However, they were not well received by the public due to the criticism that most of the items were pay to win. Hence, quite a number of customers did not really patronise their stores except the really rich ones. Therefore, in recent years, only high end dungeon suppliers provide such service to their customers.

Even if so, most of these loot box service was a form of manual labour service where the customer paid the money and the employee would grab a random box from a storage room and gave it to the customer.

So it was the first time Jin encountered a loot box service in a vending machine which was quite practical and mysterious too. He wondered where the boxes would come from. Considering the size of the countertop, he expected a large box appearing right in front of him.

"100 Yuan for each loot box and it contains a chance to receive a digital pet, digital pet costumes, panda 'god' blessings and a ticket to enter a limited time dungeon instance," Yun replied to him

"What? What? What and WHAT?" Jin was surprised with each and every detail given by Yun.

"Seeing is Believing. Quick! Choose the currently available loot box." Yun was excited. As Jin looked at the selection screen, there was a background animation of the heavens and a bridge floating in the clouds with a silhouette of a couple wearing traditional Chinese clothing.

At the centre of it, all was the loot box waiting to be selected. Jin slowly realised that this animation in the background was the traditional legend of the Qixi Festival! Also known as the Double Seventh Festival or the Chinese Valentine's Day in the modern context.

"Are you saying that the loot box will drop a ticket to enter a dungeon instance with regards to Qixi Festival?!" Jin was totally in shock while Yun was impatient and pressed the loot box option on the screen at the countertop.

A confirmation screen came out asking "Are you sure you wish to buy this product?" Yun pressed 'Yes' and the screen on the countertop was turned off. After which, there was an animation being played at the top screen of the vending machine with Niu Lang and Zhi Nu, the characters in the legend of Qixi, running from the opposite sides of the bridge to meet up with each other.

The moment they met, a small box popped out of the countertop. "This looks like a ring box," Jin observed as he picked up the pink velvet ring box.

"Open it!" Yun seemed even more anxious than Jin and he opened to find a storage ring. The only difference from ordinary storage rings was that it was beautifully crafted and there was a small design of the Legend of Qixi inscribed on the ring.

"This is a rental storage ring given by the vending machine. After you are done opening the storage ring, the vending machine will ask for the ring and the ring box to be returned to the vending machine."

"But this is an amazing design, it would be a pity not to have it." Jin was admiring the intricate design of the ring.

"Exactly! Hence, another chance of selling an item! If you wish to keep the storage ring, the vending machine also gives the option to buy the a higher price of course! They will not be able to steal it too since I have installed these glass walls and door around the vending machines in order not to disturb the unconscious who are resting and to lock the culprit if he does not wish to pay for it." Yun grinned widely as she leaned on the glass wall separating the vending machines and the rest of the second floor.

"Wow! This is simply fantastic and quite also devious of the system." Jin was extremely satisfied with this new marketing gimmick.