System Nemesis Chapter 59: Three Months
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Three months went by and it was now the end of the year. Terra was as bustling as ever, with troves of travelers shopping, dining and visiting. It was a beautiful city, even though it was at the bottom in terms of prestige in the Krakow Empire.
Brigand was in his study, hard at work. While signing various documents, he remembered the meeting he had with the Official and shivered. It had been brief, but heavy. He was 'encouraged' to reveal the identity of the seller, but hadn't bent. After all, his reputation would be ruined if he acquiesced to their demand.
As such, the Official simply mentioned that he wanted to directly buy the products when they were delivered, bypassing the auction. Brigand froze on the spot at the request. This would make him, the middle-man, redundant. His soaring fame would come crashing down like a castle of cards if he couldn't sell any more of these weapons. He was a savvy businessman, and he realized the intent behind these words.
Even if it put him at risk, he had to counter-attack. If he lost this opportunity, he wouldn't be able to humiliate his treacherous family! As such, he offered a premium and permanent seat of the auction house and promised he would be the first party informed when the next batch of merchandise arrived. The merchant was banking on his reputation to make this proposal.
The Official only smiled in response, and agreed in the end. It surprised Brigand. It was unheard of for such an important figure to meddle in the affairs of nobles, but it made sense when it came to Derrick's equipment. Still, he couldn't help but feel that something was amiss, so he warned Derrick to stay away.
The latter had thanked him and gone silent since then. Brigand even thought that he fled, and he didn't blame him. An Official was someone that you couldn't mess with, no matter your status.
The trinket lit up in his pocket and the burly man nearly jumped in fright. He was on edge ever since that meeting because he knew he was under surveillance, which Alma later confirmed. He overworked himself relentlessly to forget about it.
"Hey, are you already senile? That was faster than expected!"
A laugh followed and Brigand's expression got better.
"It's been a long time Derrick. Glad to see you're still alive and well"
"How could I not!"
After exchanging a few pleasantries, the necromancer went to the crux of the matter.
"Remember that deal we had?"
Brigand was surprised that he brought it up. Did he want to extend the duration to meet the requirements? At this point, the merchant would do anything to keep his golden goose happy.
"Of course I remember it, is there anything new?"
"I've met the conditions and I'm ready to expand our relationship!"
Brigand's tongue was tied. This meant he had at least 15 000 people under him… This…
Derrick heard the silence on the other end and giggled. It was natural for someone to be incredulous at the notion of achieving a growth of more than ten times in a mere four months…
Brigand composed himself and ran through the possibilities in his head. If what he said was true, that meant there was an emerging market practically untapped. It was money lying on the floor, ready to be seized.
"What's your current headcount?"
If Derrick managed to achieve this ludicrous objective, it wasn't far-fetched to think that he even beat it.
Brigand abruptly stood up from his chair and almost yelled in the small device. WHAT THE FUCK… HOW? The man simply couldn't understand how one progressed this fast. He also didn't know how nobody seemed to be aware of such a development. A new city would be a big deal because they were supposed to be governed by Officials, not third-parties. Derrick was clearly an anomaly in the system.
After calming himself, the merchant once again sat down and spoke.
"What are you looking for?"
Derrick smiled. He now had his full attention.
"I want to open a giant market with imported goods. Everything you can get your hands on, I will take. I also want you to operate it. I'll charge a fee of 10% on every sale you make, but you won't have to pay for the location that'll be in the center of the city. You'll be the first, but definitely not the last. Interested?"
Derrick's proposal was concise and directly to the point, which Brigand appreciated. As for the offer, he was obviously going to take it. However, he needed more information.
"Can I send Alma? She's familiar with my methods and what I want to establish. She'll be my eyes. And I accept your offer. I'll set up a new branch in Akata but it'll take some time, as I'm still under surveillance"
"Sure, you can send her. I'm also sorry for the troubles I've caused, it wasn't my intention…"
Brigand scoffed at the apology, his pride refusing to accept it.
"You're way too young to worry about my problems! I'll send her in a day. Where do you want to meet up?"
"The edge of the forest, the one that is the buffer zone between the Empires"
The location shocked Brigand. Was he really located in the taboo zone that only received refugees and outcasts?
"Ok, she'll be waiting there. We'll discuss further details when I have a complete picture. Farewell!"
"Take care of yourself"
The communication link severed and Brigand leaned in his chair, still reeling from all the information. This was a major development and it seemed that a seed had taken root in a blind spot of both the Serichi and Krakow Empires. Such blazing actions would usually be immediately crushed, and he wondered how long Derrick would stay hidden. Sooner or later, he would have to show himself to the world.
Derrick stored the trinket and turned around, facing the new bustling city.
"Show my stats and Akata's"
[Derrick Tarlin, 16 years old (Body), 37 years old (Soul)]
[Class : Necromancer]
[Strength : 17]
[Agility : 14]
[Endurance : 16]
[Vitality : 12]
[Magic Power : 30]
[Spells : Banshee's Cry, Reaper's Blade, Veil of Darkness]
[Enslaved Subordinates : Eloise Tornomi (General - Human), William Enceworth (Scholar - Human), Fomamli Trollfall (Blacksmith - Dwarf), Merlin Trotz (Researcher - Human), Reyna Grandtree (Enchantress - High-Elf), Ylx (Researcher - Goblin)]
[Traits : ???, Enhanced Body, Enhanced Vision, Death's Valet, Gluttony, Aphrodite's Blessing, Language Guru (Language Database)]
[Skills : Superior Appraisal, Potentus, Contract (3/3), Summoning (3/3), Master Craftsman, Submission, Death Warrior (100/100), Empire Professionals (6/10) *Concerns the Scholars (1/2), Blacksmiths (1/2), Researchers (2/2), Generals (1/2) and Ministers (1/2)*]
[Level : 4]
[Population : 30 000]
[Soldiers : 1500]
[Funds : 60 000 iron coins, 892 gold coins]
[Tax : 5% on sales (Income : 2000 iron coins / day)]
[Businesses : Iron Mine (Production : 1 ton / week), Resources Factory]
[Institutions : Forge, Military Quarters, School]
[Mood : 88/12]
A lot had happened in these three months, to the point where Derrick barely had any time to sleep.
First, he assigned titles to his two researchers, granting them a researching speed bonus. Their work was primordial and they immediately got to it. Jack had built two rudimentary laboratories and was in charge of supplying the materials they needed.
Merlin produced early results, creating a relatively cheap carriage that could transport ores. They weren't anywhere near the quality of the ones Derrick purchased, but it was a humble start.
Ylx, on the other hand, was still hard at work, with some progress to be shown. He was in the early stages of creating a device that was on par with the one Brigand gave Derrick. It still gave Derrick a lot of hope. Gaining ground in the field of teleportation was of the utmost importance.
Second, he set up the iron mine, unveiling the new equipment for everyone to see. People were amazed and a lot of them applied for the job. The lands had been cleared and roads had been built. Luckily, no one had died in their construction. The mine was, like the Discovery spell detected, huge. He asked Jack to build shacks and set up the orcs to get to work. Their conditions were horrendous before, so he promised them food and shelter if they worked valiantly. Their reactions were meek, but Derrick expected it. They clearly didn't think that their new owner would be any better than the last.
He also distributed the farming tools to the farmers, who cried in joy. They never imagined owning these tools, as they were only available to nobility. With them, their yields would greatly increase, and they would be able to cultivate more acres of land.
Next came Kuro's shop. The elder had been awed when he arrived in the new blooming town. It was still small, but he didn't mind. He could see its potential. However, he nearly murdered Derrick when the latter told him there was no economy implemented yet. How the hell was he supposed to sell his stuff?!
That was the next thing Derrick tackled. He tried finding a gold mine, but there were none in the area, so he improvised. With Fomamli's help, they minted a unique coin that would be used as Akata's main currency. With the new forging equipment, the process was simple and easy. The various fields, which were operating on the initial decree of Derrick, were now transitioning with the currency and people quickly embraced it. They were proud to have their personal coin.
With the new equipment came an extension to the Forge. This was the new workplace of his enchantress, Reyna. He wanted her to work in tandem with Fomamli. The relation was bumpy at first, but it quickly improved, and they found that their jobs were easier if they worked together. Their rate of production was beyond Derrick's expectation, and his top soldiers were soon equipped with top of the line equipment.
That was when he finally enacted his expansion plans.
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