Derrick arrived at Akata's town hall and summoned Lacha. As an ex-noblewoman from the Empire, she surely had insight into the new institution he wanted to establish.

The woman arrived a few minutes later, and she was stunning, to the point of unsettling the necromancer. She was wearing a short, yellow dress that married the curves of her body, displaying her charm and sex appeal. Her silky black hair were loose and undulated behind her like a welcoming ocean. Her piercing blue eyes, freckles, plentiful lips.. Everything about her evoked a strong reaction from Derrick.

Seeing the reaction from her 'husband', Lacha blushed and giggled, shaming the man into averting his gaze. This was a woman he had forced into his fold, and yet, she hadn't even tried to take revenge. Even though his heart and soul had changed fundamentally, he still felt guilty of his actions. He needed to get stronger.. Strong enough to not feel these emotions because he would be the pinnacle, the summit that everyone aspired to reach. Only then would he be able to enact his revenge and enjoy everything life had to offer.

After straightening out his thoughts, he invited her to the central table.

"What will we talk about?"

"Do you remember any institution that loaned capital in the Empire? I'm sorry if it invokes bad memories"

She smiled when she heard his concern. It had been a while since they had been together, and seeing him being considerate warmed her heart.

"It's alright, just let me think.. This was from a long time ago"

After a few seconds, Lacha's eyes shone.

"Yes! There was something like that. I recall there was an organization that my family used to borrow gold. Its name was.. Capital Union? Yes, this is it"

"Do you remember how it operated?"

"I vaguely remember.. I think we used it to borrow on short and long term. It also had different interest rates depending on the duration of the loan. I'm sorry that's all I can remember.."

"It's plenty! I'm clueless when it comes to these things, so you've helped me a lot"

The information matched with what Brigand told him. He simply needed confirmation that the concept could be achieved on a bigger scale.

"Why do you need this information?"

"I'm planning on opening an institution like that. We've come across a gold mine, and I intend to use that gold to accelerate the growth of Akata"

Lacha was surprised, but happy about this news. This meant the citizens of Akata would see their environment improve once again. She also thought about something and told Derrick.

"You should summon Kuro and ask him about what rate would be decent for businesses. It would give you an idea on what you should impose"

The necromancer instantly agreed and sent a guard to the elder's shop.

He arrived shortly after, cursing the younger generation's whims.


Derrick and Lacha looked at each other before laughing. This old man truly didn't place anyone in his eyes.

"I think you'll want to sit for this. It concerns the future of every business in Akata"

The elder stopped complaining and took a seat, curious.

"I want to open a lending institution that can support every type of business, be it small or big"

Kuro's old eyes opened as large as they possibly could. This was indeed a major development, and it would ultimately open up the door to competition against him in the mining field.

"What do you want to know?"

"I want to know what type of rates would be reasonable for small, medium and big businesses"

The old man thought long before answering.

"I think 5%, 6% and 7% of the net profits, every month of the duration of the loan. I don't know how to classify their sizes, so you should decide that yourself"

Derrick pondered and thought it made sense. This would encourage newcomers and it wouldn??t penalize bigger players too much.

"Can you get a parchment and quill Lacha?"

She stood up and fetched the items.

"Lacha, you'll be in charge of this institution. Its name will be Akata Loans"

She was stunned and wanted to object, but was cut short by Derrick's reasoning.

"I know it's a lot to take on, but I believe you're the most qualified. I trust you and you know how to read and count, which are rare skills right now. You're the only person I can entrust with this position"

She had to agree. Even though the school was a major success, it would still take time to see concrete results, so literate people were a rarity. Once she was convinced, Derrick continued.

"Here's what I want you to write in addition to the rates said by Kuro :

Businesses will be considered small if they make 100 000 iron coins (or the equivalent in any other currency) or less in a month, medium if they made 500 000 iron coins (or the equivalent in any other currency) or less in a month, and big if they make over 500 000 iron coins (or the equivalent in any other currency) in a month.

The size of the loan will be determined by the institution's supervisor, and it can only go up to 25% of the total income of the company. The loan's duration will also be determined by the supervisor. Extensions to the deadline can be negotiated as well.

To qualify for said loan, they will be obligated to present a book tracking their sales. Any trafficking of said book will result in the termination of the business and the seizure of all its assets. It will also result in the arrest of the responsible party, with repercussions going up to the death penalty"

The penalties shocked both Lacha and Kuro, but they realized it was a necessity. Greed was a powerful force, and people would most-likely try to steal the money and run. With consequences that severe, the majority wouldn't consider doing this.

They were also amazed by how detailed Derrick's plan was. Even though he wasn't a merchant, it seemed he had invested a lot of thought into how this would all work.

"Of course, these are general guidelines that we'll keep updating as we go along, but I figured this was good enough to start. What do you think?"

Lacha and Kuro nodded.

"Good. We'll open it in 2 weeks, which should give us enough time to prepare. If you need workers, go to the school. I'm sure there are promising seedlings there, and even though they might not be ready, you can form them to the task. As for the location, we'll have to open it here for the time being. I don't want to divert any workers from the wall. Ask Eloise for soldiers to secure it. Finally, post an announcement downtown so that everyone knows what's coming. I'm sure we'll see new sectors bloom everywhere. This meeting is dismissed"

Lacha and Kuro stood up and bowed before leaving. With everything in place, Derrick leaned in his chair. He wondered how Moira's group faired as they probably arrived at their location.


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