Since childhood, Brigand Lancaster had been fascinated by the concept of trades. He was a relatively tall child and his physique was on the greater side. His round brown eyes and straight nose gave him a certain charm that would make a few girls woo him from time to time.

Coming from a well off family in the Krakow Empire, he had been given a fair education and had been exposed to the world at a young age.

However, even while being encouraged to pursue academics, he had always been reprimanded by his teachers, caught in reveries that he seldom revealed.

In fact, it had been these reveries that had propelled him forward.

His classes had been given in a small room littered with windows, and he had been next to one of them. The school had also been located next to a small market that would sell various trinkets and products.

During his long days, his favorite pastime had been to watch merchants set up their stalls and pitch their products. Some had cunning looks, some had zeal in their eyes and some simply appeared to be bored by their situation.

But what Brigand really saw was... a bunch of complete buffoons. A circus of untalented fools that sullied the Merchant profession. How could people be swayed by such trash?!

After suffering another few years in class, Brigand had reached the age of 13, which allowed him to confront his parents. He told them that he would become a merchant and that it was his calling. When they had heard his passionate speech, his parents hadn't been surprised.

They could tell that their son had been waiting for a long and that he was ready to take the leap. With all their resources available, they supported his endeavor and, to their incredible surprise, struck it rich.

They realized that their child was a once-in-a-century genius of economics and that he could foresee trends and behaviors of different markets.

By the age of 15, Brigand had transformed the Lancaster family into a baronage that spanned across multiple cities and influenced various policies.

However, blinded by his own talent, Brigand had failed to notice the warning signs sent by other economic powerhouses. At first, they hadn't taken the young lad seriously, mostly attributing his success to luck, but as his power increased, they were forced to revise their plans.

After failing to poach him multiple times, they finally retaliated. After organizing a temporary alliance, they slowly bled out the Lancaster family into submission.

His parents, which had been exposed to extreme opulence, had transformed into greedy beings that only saw their son as a money machine. To appease the wrath they had been under, they decided to banish him and forbid him from ever coming back.

Brigands' parents had always been caring towards him, which made him think that this was only a misunderstanding. Only when he had seen their faces of disgust and derision did he realize that they had turned their backs on him. Money and power were frightening things.

This event had sent him in a cycle of depression and rage for the next few years, which had pulled him in the depths of poverty. Living like a beggar, he kept wallowing in self-pity and barely ate a meal every two days.

It wasn't until a few hellish years had passed by that he heard shocking news. Apparently, his family had even gone to the length of denying his existence, saying he was simply a beggar that they took pity on.

This had been the last straw. He was already 24, but his previously dead eyes were now shining with a dangerous glint. It was time to take his life back in his own hands and make them pay.

His first decision had been to move out of the province that could identify him. He knew full well that he couldn't grow here, and that it would only be once he was able to expand his empire that he would come back.

It had already been 6 years since that decision. He had moved to the border of the Empire and had built a robust network that made him one of the richest man in the region. He even wielded more influence than some rulers in certain towns.

What made him frustrated was that he couldn't take the next step. His products were the most in-demand locally, but he hadn't been able to pierce the other markets, which had these needs already fulfilled.

He was coming back from a business trip and waiting in line when something caught his eyes. A few meters away from him was a tall, robust man that was about to be scammed by guards...


Derrick slowly turned around and watched as the opulent man invited him in his carriage. After a little reluctance, he proceeded. He was in a new city, so declining help would be unwise.

"If you don't mind me asking, why are you helping me?"

Brigand couldn't help but grin. He had only caught a glimpse of the weapons, but it had been enough to make him realize that they were something special. That was how he always worked. Find something new, inquire about it. His curiosity was what propelled him forward.

"I'll be honest with you. I saw the weapons when you showed them to the guard and I became interested. My name is Brigand Lancaster. What's yours?"

Derrick was surprised by how straightforward the man was, but he liked it. He hated individuals that talked in a roundabout way.

"Derrick Tarlin"

Derrick decided to tell his real name as he needed someone to show him around the city. Relationships always required a little bit of trust. After a few seconds of silence, Brigand couldn't help himself and continued.

"Would you mind if I inspected them?"

"Go ahead. I came here to sell them anyway"

Not waiting for a second longer, Brigand took the spears and started inspecting them. As time went by, his eyes got bigger and bigger until they looked like saucers. Small gasps also kept coming out of his mouth involuntarily.

Only after a few minutes did his gaze turn back to Derrick, which was amused by his behavior. What he didn't know was that Brigand had finally found the white whale that would allow him to expand anywhere on the continent.

"You have to sell them using my auction house, or the others will fleece you"

This sentence sent Derrick reeling. What the hell?! This was sudden and quite startling.

"Why do you say that?"

"Frankly, it's the first time I've seen weapons of this quality in this region. The others won't know their true value. Also, who's the maker of these?"

Derrick pondered on whether to tell him or not, and he decided on not doing so. He had to evaluate this 'partner' for a while longer.

"It's someone secluded in the woods. What is the value of these weapons?"

The direct tone in which Derrick spoke made Brigand worry. He didn't want to lose this opportunity, and he was going to do everything in his power to succeed.

"First, do you know about the various currencies?"

"There are Copper, Silver and Gold. 100 coppers equal 1 silver, and 100 silvers equal 1 gold right?"

"Yes, these are the basic currencies, but there are also those above that we rarely see. Because Empires are humongous, they also introduced Platinum and Rhodium. They follow the same growth in value, meaning that 100 gold equal 1 platinum, and 100 platinum equal 1 rhodium"

Derrick was surprised about this, but he figured it was normal. After all, billions of people couldn't only use gold, as that would greatly restrict the amount of flowing currency.

"Only the rich use them, and you might soon be one of them!"

A gigantic smile appeared on Brigands' face. Not waiting for Derrick to answer, he continued.

"These weapons are game changers, and it wouldn't surprise me if they generated around 2-3 platinum each during the auction. Of course, as a measure of precaution, I would auction them at a base price of 100 gold"

Derrick was ecstatic. He never expected his craftsmanship to be so valuable. He had come here with 50 gold and was guaranteed to walk away with another 400. Of course, it would all be spent on his urgent need of specialists.

While trying his best to hide his facial expressions, Derrick faked a frown, causing Brigand to sweat bullets. After what seemed like an eternity, Derrick shrugged.

"I can sell the weapons at your auction house, but I'll need lodging and a guide. It's my first time in this city and I'd like to visit it"

From the expressions of the burly man, Derrick knew he had him at his mercy, so he didn't hesitate to shamelessly extirpate other boons, which were immediately agreed to. It was now time to fuel his coffers!


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