In a room were a man sitting on a large throne and a soldier, discussing in the middle of the night.

"An Auction with an Armor of that caliber? That's interesting.."

The striking blue eyes of the man narrowed. This was indeed a tricky situation. As the Official of Terra, such matters had to be handled delicately, or they would reveal precious information. He spent a few minutes pondering, and finally turned his gaze back to the soldier who was still on one knee with his head down.

"What's the situation in the City? How far has the information spread?"

"My Lord, it has already spread everywhere. We couldn't silence these nobles without arousing suspicions, so we didn't want to act without your accord"

"Good.. We can't expose ourselves. Do you have any information on the seller?"

"So far, we have no information and it appears that the Auction House's owner is keeping it under wraps"

"Oh, who is it?"

"Brigand Lancaster. He is a very influential merchant that has built himself quite the reputation. He has never committed crimes and operates according to regulations"

"I understand the gist of it. Revealing the identity of such a fantastic source of revenue would set him back a lot.. Hmm..."

He pondered for a few more minutes before coming up with a plan.

"Invite this merchant here. We have much to discuss.."


After a night of festivities, Derrick groggily woke up. Even though his body didn't necessarily need sleep to maintain itself, it was a habit he didn't want to let go. He was a firm believer in the fact that a well-rested body always performed better.

The necromancer looked at the window and sighed. Dawn was barely rearing its head, which meant shops were opening their doors. This would be his last day in Terra, which meant that he would be extremely busy.

During their celebration, he asked Brigand to leave in a good word for him at the Slave Market. He didn't have much time, so he had to make the most of it. It would be his last stop of the day, as he couldn't simply bring his slaves shopping. He also arranged transportation to avoid unwanted looks.

On top of this, Brigand had already prepared his weapon's order and earnings, which Derrick promptly placed in his pouch. The man worked amazingly fast.

Derrick got off the bed and dressed himself. However, before leaving the room, he started listing everything he needed. He wouldn't come back for a while, so forgetting anything would be a major set-back.

First, materials. While he was building a road to mine ore, it wouldn't immediately translate to sufficient supply. He would have to provide a buffer period allowing the production to catch up to the demand that would be astronomical. After all, they were starting from scratch, which would require inhuman amounts of resources. He also needed to honor the promise he made to Fomamli, which required top-notch materials.

Second, machinery. Akata didn't have the expertise to manufacture their equipment, and until they did, they would have to rely on foreign aid. The fields he wanted to prioritize were forging, construction, farming and mining. To Derrick's knowledge, these were the four vital points of a new emerging town.

Third, transportation. With roads being built and materials being excavated, coaches and carriages would be needed. They only had a few shabby ones, and they were unsuitable going forward. He was unsure on how to bring the expertise back to Akata, but he had to try.

Fourth, expertise. His last trip of the day was to the Slave Market, and he hoped to find high potential seedlings that he could develop. He would also look at the lower levels now that he could evaluate the potential of everyone he came in contact with.

With his planning over, Derrick grimaced. He made a fortune, but he also needed a ton of things.. Did he really have enough?! He sighed once again and braced himself for disappointment.


He arrived in Brigand's study and found the man agitated. Derrick could only assume that last night's repercussions had already made their way to the merchant.

"What happened?"

"The Official summoned me. I must report in two days.. But I was prepared. Still, it doesn't feel good!"

The burly man awkwardly laughed and straightened his chic clothes.

"Anyway, are you ready to leave? Alma's been monitoring the entire night and the place is still crawling with spies"

Derrick felt a bit sad that he hadn't seen the elf. He wanted to tease her, but it seemed it would have to wait till his next visit.

"Yeah. I have some shopping to do before leaving tonight"

Derrick briefly paused before continuing.

"We won't see ourselves for a while. I don't want your heart to stop because you're under too much pressure haha"

The necromancer lightly laughed, trying to defuse the tense atmosphere. The burly man smiled in response, understanding the attempt. Even though their relation was mostly professional, it still felt good to be looked after.

"Don't worry about me! I've been through much worse"

Brigand reached out in his pocket and took out a small item before giving it to Derrick. It was a blue ball that had three silver rings revolving around it.

"It's a low-range teleportation device. Crush it and you'll be teleported in a dark alley at the outskirts of the city. There shouldn't be anyone near you, so you won't be bothered. It's a one-time use trinket, so you can dispose of it afterwards"

Derrick was in shock when he heard the description. Teleportation was actually a thing? He really underestimated the possibilities of magic. Wait.. That also meant there were more advanced type of teleportation devices.

Before his mind went crazy with possibilities, Brigand coughed, waiting for his guest to leave. He had a lot of work to do.

"I'm sorry.. I lost myself for a second. Farewell, Brigand"

"Can't wait for your next items"

Brigand's last word drifted in Derrick's ears as he crushed the sphere. Everything happened quickly, and he appeared in a dark, filthy alley. The merchant really understated the dirtiness of this place! No wonder why it was deserted..

He hurriedly left, scared that the awful smell would stick to his black cloak. After locating his position, he was happy to find out that he was near his first stop, the Resources Factory.

It took him a few minutes to arrive and when he did, his expression changed. The decrepit establishment looked even worse, with the sign barely holding on. It appeared that his last purchase hadn't managed to stave off the problems of the owner.

He entered and was met with an even poorer sight. The previously clean floor was a mess, with materials littering the ground.

He took in a breath and called out.

"Elder Kuro, are you here?"

It took a minute before the short old man appeared. He looked defeated, with his previous dignity shattered and his already deep wrinkles even deeper. Stress had taken a massive toll on his life.

The old man recognized Derrick, and a brief glint of joy appeared in his eyes. However, it was instantly replaced by regret.

"I'm sorry Young Man. I won't be able to help you today.. I will be closing soon and I do not want you to be associated with my problems"

Derrick could hear the sorrow in his voice. Kuro clearly wasn't resigned to his fate, but he had to accept it.

After a few seconds, Derrick's eyes narrowed and a smile appeared on his face. His new idea might just work...


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