Derrick dropped off Alma near the edge of Terra and returned to Akata right away. He didn't have any business in the city, and he simply had to wait for further details concerning the future transaction and what Brigand wanted to achieve.

With 200 soldiers leaving on diplomatic missions, he now had to wait for the aftermath. He was sure there would be issues arising, as these were all groups of refugees, and he could only guess that their distrust towards any type of organization was sky-high.

He had given the green light to Eloise to do as she saw fit, as he wasn't really well versed in negotiations of this nature. Derrick also wanted her to gain experience, as this situation was way more forgiving than one happening on a battlefield.

With everything under way, he was left with.. nothing to do! This feeling disturbed Derrick, and he figured it was time to find more mines. What he wanted more than anything was gold, to the point of skipping silver and copper mines. Of course, he wasn't abandoning their exploitation, he was simply delaying them. If he managed to excavate a gold vein, he would be able to kick start the second phase of Akata's economy and free up a lot of iron that was currently being melted into coins.

With his goal in mind, he summoned Io and went at the edge of his territory. He had already tried to find one near it, but he hadn't had any luck. He took out a gold coin from his pouch and held it firmly in his hand.

"Discovery Spell : Gold"

[Searching... No Deposits Found]

Another dud. He sighed, but it was only natural. If gold was this easily found, everybody would be rich. However, he remained hopeful. This was an unexplored region, which meant there was gold, and he just had to find out where. He kept going and a few hours later, luck finally smiled upon him.

[Searching... 1 deposit found. Size of the deposit : Medium. Located 15 kilometers north of Akata]

A map appeared in his mind, and he immediately ordered his mount to go to its location. When they arrived, they discovered a river, but what he saw made him speechless. On its bed were yellow shining stones of every size, going from some as big as grains of sand to some the size of his thumb. This was all.. gold!


He had heard of such things before, but he never expected his first site to be like this! This would save a ton in costs, and its collection would be super fast. On top of this, the iron's melting point was higher than the gold one, which meant that the furnaces they were currently using could be used to melt gold into coins as well.

These good news would also please the Elder Kuro, who had to adjust all his prices with the new currency. He would finally be able to rely on something he knew and was familiar with.

However, Derrick still faced a major problem. How was he supposed to introduce such valuable currency?

As if someone above heard his request, his communication trinket lit up and a voice resounded.

"Sir Derrick?"

The necromancer thanked his lucky stars.

"Brigand! Have you finalized the details?"

"He he, you're going straight to the point! I have and Alma's report exceeded my wildest expectations"

The raucous voice of the burly man couldn't hide his excitement. This was indeed a once in a lifetime opportunity and only a fool wouldn't recognize it.

"Here's what I'm ready to send you :

- A ton in fine clothes, worth 5000 gold coins (500 gold coins in taxes)

- Half a ton in high-tier quality food, worth 2000 gold coins (200 gold coins in taxes)

- 25 cases, containing 50 bottles each, of wine. They are worth 1250 gold coins (125 gold coins in taxes)

- Half a ton in various spices, worth 2500 gold coins (250 gold coins)

- Half a ton in luxurious porcelain plates and cutlery, worth 7000 gold coins (700 gold coins in taxes)

- Jewelry, worth 2000 gold coins (200 gold coins)

This is all I could get my hands on right now. In total, it should net you 1975 gold coins should everything be sold"

The investment staggered Derrick, who couldn't believe his ears. This was not merely testing the waters. The merchant was betting his future on this venture, sure that he would succeed.

"I'll make sure to repay the confidence you're placing in me"

Brigand heartily laughed at the comment. It seemed that his counterpart realized the importance of this insane plunge.

"One more thing, how would you introduce gold coins in an emerging market?"

The question took the burly man by surprise, making him straighten up in his chair. Such a question was surely related to Akata, which meant it would also influence his business. And for him to mention gold.. Brigand was one of the most impressive genius of his time, so connecting the dots was mere child's play.

"It seems you've found something that'll propel Akata to new heights.. As for how you need to introduce it, there is an interesting method that we, merchants, use. When we think a business has a high chance of success but lacks the capital, we loan it to them for a percentage of their future earnings. Of course, it's a risky gambit and those who usually loan take huge chunks of the businesses they invest in to alleviate it. Another method is to create specialists that will earn a high salary, which will slowly introduce the new currency in the market. Finally, the last method, and probably the most ambitious, is a direct injection right in the pockets of your populace. How they use it will be up to them, but it'll surely make the economy go up and running right away. However, this method will ultimately fail without a proper ecosystem because the gold will stagnate at the top, and won't ever come back down"

Derrick was amazed by Brigand's proposals. These were all viable options that he could enact, and all he needed to do was start exploiting the mine.

"Thanks for your advice! When will the products arrive? I assume Alma will deliver them?"

"Yes, as I'm still under surveillance. We can't be too careful. As for their arrival, you should expect them in 4 days"

They concluded the transaction and Derrick stored the trinket away, still ecstatic about this development. It seemed like more institutions were needed to achieve these methods.

The only issue remaining was that this location still wasn't cleared, and he didn't want to take away workers from the wall. That project was too important to be delayed. On top of this, he had to find workers trustworthy enough to not pocket the gold that literally just laid around.

After a few minutes of reflection, he facepalmed. How could he forget that he had orcs! He simply had to move them here, build a few huts, and they would be ready to work. The iron mine produced enough ore, even if they were removed. Derrick also wanted to see their progression and how their moods had evolved. He wanted to see if buying slaves at the lower levels was a worthwhile investment that could, in the end, pay off.

Just the thought of acquiring an army of orcs doing his bidding made him dumbly grin..

He left and arrived at the iron mine shortly after.

The person in charge of the site was immediately notified of his arrival and came to greet him. It was a middle-aged man in his thirties that seemed to really enjoy his job, which pleased Derrick. After all, Kuro was the one who hired him, and he was happy that the old man didn't fail him. He led Derrick through the site and all the soldiers stationed bowed and saluted him when he passed.

Another minute passed before they arrived at the encampment of the orcs. Since they weren't able to communicate with humans, they had been placed together to avoid any unfortunate misunderstandings. With their physical prowess, crushing a human was simply too easy.

He took out the stone that controlled them and summoned them all. It was time to see if the experiment had worked.


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