"The only new thing I have to report is that after finishing the book that he bought, he didn't hesitate to burn it. It was very peculiar as he seemed overjoyed afterwards"

Brigand looked pensive, going through various scenarios in his head.

"Interest in necromancy... I have to say that he has a mysterious aura, but he doesn't emanate death like what was written in the records. It might be a weird hobby of his? Anyway, we've already determined that he doesn't have ill intentions, so I'm determined to go through with this meeting"

"As you wish Master..."


It had been a fruitful discussion and Derrick finally left his room to go to his meeting. The creepy feeling of being watched had also stopped, which calmed the turmoil that had formed in his heart.

Escorted by James, the ever so Stoic butler, he went down many hallways before reaching a secluded area. The general eccentricity of the edifice had been toned down and there was a large central fireplace. Placed next to it were buttoned leather chairs and small tables made of red oak.

Brigand was, of course, sitting there and in his right hand was a glass. He was sipping his wine and talked to the elf maid that Derrick had seen before. When his head finally turned to Derrick, he got up and was all smiles.

"You're here! I have to say that I wasn't able to sleep well because I looked forward to this meeting!"

Derrick also broke into smiles. Brigand really knew how to make people feel comfortable.

"Oh, you also wanted to meet the person that spied on you right? Here she is! My personal body guard. Her name's Alma Aubree"

The gorgeous elf courteously bowed and advanced, meeting Derrick's gaze head on. Derrick's eyes also narrowed, looking at the foe he hadn't been able to fight. That's why he had felt something the first time they had met. Neither of them wanted to look away and tensions started rising.

Suddenly, Derrick chuckled and broke their stalemate, sitting down in a chair opposed to Brigand.

"Such a fierce servant. She's quite skilled as well, you're lucky to have her"

Hearing Derrick call her a servant, Alma's face twisted in anger, before coldly harrumphing and going back to her previous position. She was wearing a tight dress that emphasized her generous curves, causing Derrick's heart to misfire.

"Such a reaction is normal when two powerful entities meet. You should have seen her when we first met... She was so fierce I feared that I would be devoured whole!"

Brigand followed with a hearty laugh and Alma slightly blushed. She couldn't refute the man, as she really was a viper that didn't let anyone get close to her. After calming down, a serious expression materialized on his face.

"Enough idle chat, what business would you like to discuss?"

After absorbing Alma's beauty for a while, Derrick came back to his senses. It was time to get to the crux of the matter.

"Are you affiliated to the Krakow Empire in a permanent way?"

Brigand was immediately taken aback. The question had been so unexpected that he almost spilled his precious wine. He pondered for a moment before giving an honest answer.

"My businesses currently are, but my loyalty lies where the money goes"

Since his merchant 'baptism', Brigand's ideals had always been ruthless. The world of economics was the law of the jungle, where the strong preyed on the weak. If your product was inferior to another, it would be replaced. This cycle's beauty laid in its simplicity.

Thus, Derrick wasn't surprised by his reply. Which merchant would refuse an opportunity to grow richer elsewhere because they were currently tied down? It was fundamentally against their nature.

"What if I told you that there's an opportunity to support something that'll become... bigger?"


Brigand, and Alma to a certain extent, didn't know what to say. Derrick didn't leave them hanging and elaborated further.

"I'm the ruler of a relatively small area, but I've already expanded a bit and I don't intend to stop. My aspirations are quite lofty, and I don't know if you can answer my demands..."

Madness. That was what flashed through Derrick's eyes right now. His entire demeanor had changed from one of relaxation to one of oppression and death. His very existence seemed to frighten the world around him.

Brigand and Alma were stifled and glued to their spots, to the point that sweat started trickling down their foreheads. After his little display of force, Derrick was satisfied and reigned in his aura. From what he had learned so far, establishing dominance was a must in negotiations.

What he didn't expect was that once he did, Alma pounced on him without warning. She instantly conjured a small blue knife and aimed for his heart.

Her speed was astonishing and if Derrick had been a simple necromancer, he would have died right here and now. However, right before she could close the distance, she saw something that sent shivers down her spine. Derrick was... smiling.

What came next was staggering and Alma couldn't believe it. She was restricted and couldn't move a single muscle! Heavy pressure also burdened her entire body.

"Human, what do you want to do with her?"

A loud and almighty voice echoed in the room, crushing the elf's remaining bravado. It was Drako. In fact, what had betrayed Alma was her shadow. As soon as she had reached Derrick's, her fate had been sealed.

"You're quite formidable in the shadows, but when you're out in the open like this, you're not my match"

Derrick sneered, to the dismay of Brigand who was on the verge of panic. Everything had happened too fast, and everything had gone out of control.

"Keep her like this. She needs to be taught a lesson"

Drako only responded with a low growl. He respected and hated that master of his. Respected him because of his strength, and hated him because he had disturbed his peaceful life.

"Don't worry Brigand, I have no intentions of harming either of you. I really came for business and what I previously mentioned is true. My small town is called Akata and it has 1500 inhabitants, counting 140 soldiers. That's why I bought these slaves and had a long list of demands"

Giving him time to take a breather, Derrick paused and watched as the burly man scrambled to get his mind straight. This whole situation was fucking crazy, but as a genius of his profession, he could see an untapped mine of wealth that would keep increasing with the strength Derrick had just displayed. Alma was someone he had nurtured, and if she could be beaten that easily, it meant that the person in front of him was a monster. After straightening himself up, he answered.

"Interesting... Although the current numbers are small, I can see potential. What is your growth projection by the end of the year?"

Betraying the Empire for an upstart was no small matter, so he had to make sure he wouldn't embark on an unrealizable venture. When Derrick heard the question, he couldn't help but awkwardly scratch his nose.

"I've been... away for some time. What's the date right now?"

That sentence came out of nowhere and made Brigand chuckle, which lightened the weird atmosphere where Alma still stood immobile like a statue.

"There are 4 months remaining"

In his mind, Derrick started analyzing the map that showed the villages surrounding Akata. If he maintained a certain pace...

"15 000, give or take"

What the fuck!? A growth of ten times your current population in 4 months? Brigand wanted to burst out laughing, but seeing his counterpart dead serious, he became solemn. After a few moments, he spoke.

"Right now, I'm ready to offer you a 5% fee on every major transaction, which start at 100 gold coins. If you reach your goal, I'll transform the fee into a fixed one. In exchange, I want exclusivity on the weapons you sell"

That was what he was after and Derrick knew it. The greed Brigand had shown when seeing their quality had bordered on psychotic. Derrick had no trade experience, but even an idiot could see that he had the upper hand in this battle.

"I agree to the fees, but you'll have to pay an exclusivity right, as I'm the craftsman"

The last words dropped like a bomb on Brigand and his eyes glowed. The young man in front of him was unfathomable! A hen that kept laying golden eggs! While trying to hide his excitement, he tried frowning at the demand.

Derrick smirked at the pathetic acting attempt and even Brigand finally gave in. It was the first time he had been excited in the last 15 years. After a bit of haggling, they came to a deal that paid Akata 500 gold every month for a year, after which they would renegotiate.

When Derrick was about to leave the room, Brigand stopped him.

"Here, take this as a token of our new partnership. It's storage bag, in which you can freely transport goods to your town"

Derrick was ecstatic. This thing solved the logistic issues. Before setting off once again, he suddenly turned to the still petrified elf.

"I almost forgot about you. You should be more careful in the future, because not everyone will be as merciful as I was..."

He caressed her soft cheek with the back of his hand and winked before turning around and leaving. Once he was out of reach, Alma felt all the pressure disappear before falling powerlessly to the ground. She let out a snarl of anger and swore to avenge this humiliation.


Welcome to this website