"Elder, what if I had a solution for you? From the look of things, you're clearly not ready to give up on this business and you seem to love it"

The bent old man instantly straightened himself and his previously morose attitude changed into one of fervor. Of course he wasn't ready to let go! This was his entire life. He didn't work in pursuit of wealth, but because he loved it. That passion had been transmitted in his family from generation to generation, and he wasn't an exception.

However, he had to calm himself before inquiring about the offer. If that youth could really solve his problem, his identity might be shocking. He couldn't risk offending another party or it would really be his end.

Now that he had his attention, Derrick carefully thought of his next step. He couldn't seem desperate, and he had to be firm enough to not be seen as a pushover.

"Elder Kuro, what are your thoughts on moving your shop?"

Kuro nearly chocked when he heard what came next.

"How could I ever think of moving?! My entire lineage has always done business in this city, even throughout the wars. Our blood and sweat are the foundation of this establishment"

The old man was clearly annoyed at the question of Derrick and the latter now had to be a bit more forceful. He couldn't let such a chance go to waste.

"With all due respect, your shop has already been tarnished enough. Look at the state of this place.. It's deplorable.. I know it's not your fault, but you have to accept that your entire family's legacy will fall at this rate. Everything you've worked for will be for naught! Can you accept that?!"

The heavy words hammered the old man who nearly stumbled. He had never been spoken to like this before, and he wanted to beat Derrick to death with his cane, but reflected on what he just said.

His outraged expression slowly changed into one of sadness.. He was right. He tried mending the relationship with the person he offended only to be completely struck down. That was the greatest shame of his life.

Derrick left him a few moments before continuing.

"I want you to move to my town. Before you decline, here's what I'm offering : exclusivity to two mines, one of which is iron and the other copper. We are currently building roads to the iron deposit and will begin its exploitation momentarily. You will be the first Materials Shop in the town as well, which means you'll have a monopoly. Of course, I plan on including more shops, but not in the near future"

The old man was surprised by all the benefits. The costs of acquiring mines was astronomical, and his current shop was only relying on the scraps they left behind. On top of this, since the incident, he constantly struggled to meet ends. If what Derrick said was true, he had the obligation to consider it.

Kuro replied in a nonchalant tone, trying to mask his interest.

"How many citizens does your town have? And how will the future mining sites be awarded?"

Derrick couldn't help but smile. This old man truly was shrewd.

"We presently have 2200 citizens, but I haven't started our expansion just yet. I plan on increasing that number to 15 000 by the end of the year. As for the future mining sites, an auction system will award them. The companies will be capped to four sites to avoid creating monopolies"

Kuro was surprised that the necromancer thought so far. It appeared he was serious in his endeavor, which made the offer all the more attractive. The only downside was the population, but if his projections, which looked insane, were to come true.. He wouldn't have to worry about the survival of his shop anymore, and he could do what he loved!

It also favored Derrick as he was wondering about whom to put in charge of the mining sites. He could kill two birds with one stone.

After fainting a deep reflection, the old man sighed and shook his head.

"It appears I do not have a choice.. If I continue on this path, I will be forced to close in a month. I agree!"

He presented his wrinkled hand and Derrick firmly shook it, hiding his excitement. He had never considered that he would be able to bring a whole sector to his town. However, the only materials that would be replenished would be iron and copper, so he had to quickly find mines with different ores to diversify the alloys that would be available.

"Pack everything in your shop and meet me at the entrance. We're leaving at sundown tonight"

The old man nodded. It wouldn't be a big deal to put everything in a magical pouch.

Derrick left the shop with a gigantic smile. He hadn't spent a single coin, and he had already made his biggest acquisition so far.

He left the outskirts of the city and proceeded towards the center. It was time to buy machinery!

The luxurious shops looked amazing and Derrick felt his heart clench. May the God of Wealth have pity on him!

He finally stopped in front of a sign that read 'General Tools \u0026 Co'. The shop was sleek and clean, with its white marble shining with the rays of the sun.

It wasn't specialized, but Derrick had to buy equipment for construction, farming, mining and forging. He had to buy in bulks, and he hoped that would allow bargaining.

He entered and was welcomed by a mature woman that wore a tight black dress that exposed her voluptuous cleavage. This was clearly a tactic to boost her sales and Derrick wouldn't fall for it.

She eyed him from top to bottom and smirked. The man only wore a black cloak that was made of poor materials. He was clearly a country bumpkin that didn't know his place.

"Please leave the store. You do not have the means to afford our products"

The sheer arrogance in which she said these words made Derrick fume. However, he had to control himself. Staying anonymous was his top priority. With a condescending tone, he answered her.

"Bring me your catalogs on Farming, Construction, Mining and Forging. If you do not, I will ask another salesperson"

The woman froze. Was this man more important than what he appeared? No, there was no way! This was clearly a delusional moron.

"Please exit the store before I ask our guards to throw you out"

She had a vicious smile on her face and it appeared she wouldn't back out. The commotion attracted the gazes of various passerby and Derrick's emotions were starting to get rampant. This bitch was courting death!

"Fine, I'll go see someone else in your store"

"Didn't you hear me? Get out this instant!"

"What are you afraid of? I'm not threatening. If I'm truly as poor as you think, I will be thrown out either way"

The woman harrumphed and her ugly smile grew larger. It would indeed be entertaining to see, so she let it go. Any idea of bargain had already left the necromancer's mind. He wanted to humiliate her instead.

Derrick hurriedly separated from her and scanned the floor before finding another woman. She was younger and seemed more pleasant to discuss with.

He couldn't wait to see the look on that wench's face when he would pass his order...


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