Isaac believed there were three mandatory requirements to become a ruler.
Strength, money, and manpower.
Strength is the physical embodiment of authority; essentially, authority that has lost its strength has already met its end. All powerful dictators have strength firmly in their grasps. There are plenty of examples that exhibit the quick and miserable fall from power once they’ve lost their strength.
If strength is a tool to protect power, money is the force that maintains it. If there is no money, one cannot maintain strength. Without strength, power crumbles. Power becomes stronger the more you collect and dole out money.
Manpower is the limb that act for power. One cannot do everything alone. The reason why dictators place inept but loyal subjects instead of capable ones is because that at least makes their lives easier. That is why nations ruled by dictatorships are always corrupt and cannot escape from their deplorable conditions.
There is a reason why the inner circle of a dictatorship clings on even as the dictators’ power wanes. They know too well that they will die with the dictator as they have survived feeding off what the dictator had given to them, which is why they become desperate to maintain power. The problem is that Isaac had none of the three.
“I should sort out money first. Oi.”
The operator who has already sinned against Isaac froze in place when Isaac spoke to him. He couldn’t even breathe properly as he stiffly replied to Isaac.
“Yes! Just say your word!”
“Connect me to Rivolden Merchant Guild’s Headquarters.”
No matter how sudden this Communicator presented itself into the world, there was no way the Seven Grand Merchant Guilds wouldn’t have a few of these revolutionary inventions already in hand.
-Hello. This is Rivolden Merchant Guild Headquarters. How may I help you?
As expected of one of the Seven Grand Merchant Guilds, the operator for Rivolden Merchant Guild was also a beauty that could match Amy from the Department of Supplies.
“I want to talk with Mr. Goldman.”
-Do you mean Guild Master Goldman?
-I’m sorry to ask, but on whose name is this message from?
“Just tell him it’s New Port City’s Administrator Isaac.”
-I’ll send the message now.
While the operator in the screen restlessly got to work, the operators around Isaac looked at each other as if they couldn’t believe what’s happening once more. How does Isaac know not just the Vice Commissioner of Department of Supplies, but also the Guildmaster of Rivolden Merchant Guild?
Mazelan is very far-fetched but still plausible if you consider their Sunbae-Hubae relationship from the College, but how can he know the Guild Master of a Merchant Guild he should never have had an opportunity to be in touch with? The operators began to see Isaac in a new light, realising that perhaps he wasn’t as secluded from the world as it first seemed.
-Oh! Isaac, it’s been a while! How have you been?
Goldman warmly greeted Isaac with his handsome gentlemanlike appearance. He had the ability to ease everyone around him with his smile and aura, but in truth he was nicknamed ‘greenhorn hunter’: a man who had practiced manipulating those who recently joined in the business world to the point of enlightenment.
“It’s been a while. I assume everything’s fine?”
-Hahaha. Other than that one time I almost died, there hasn’t been much.
“I would have assumed that with your skills, you wouldn’t have simply settled on seeing off the North Bear Tribe but formed another trade deal with them.”
-Hm? You already knew?
“Reisha told me about it.”
-Huhu, I didn’t mean the North Bear Tribe. Well, that was also quite problematic, but the real life-threatening situation was when that girl Kunette came here and destroyed this place, condemning me for giving away her honey.
“Huh? Kunette went there too? I’m surprised you’re still alive.”
-Hahaha! A true merchant always prepares for his future. I have already managed to procure elven honey through painstaking endeavours.
Goldman continued to tell his story like an epic. How Kunette, who barged into the office for its destruction, was appeased by a single bottle of elven honey and how he even managed to pet her head afterwards. Once the story was finished, Goldman shifted the conversation to the real topic of this call.
-So what is it? I assume you are planning to make an interesting offer if you’ve contacted me personally.
Goldman’s eyes were twinkling as he questioned Isaac, yet Isaac spoke back with detached look.
“Why don’t you invest in New Port City?”
-Hahaha, Isaac. I’m sorry to say, but investments are decided by the guild as a whole. No matter how close we are, I cannot decide on such topics on my own. Please understand.
Isaac wondered what close ties Goldman was even on about. The only time they’d even seen each other was when he was invited by Krent for a meal after graduation.
Isaac emotionlessly looked at Goldman as he spoke.
“If you’re trying to test me, then I am quite sad to hear those words. But if this is because you are truly oblivious, then I’m very disappointed in the Rivolden Merchant Guild’s information network.”
Goldman laughed loudly at Isaac’s words but soon wiped the smile off his face and replied back with a serious look.
-I think you misunderstand what I mean. I’m talking about the value in investing as a whole. No matter how much I try to look favourably, New Port City has nothing worth making an investment in.
“You are aware that Count Milros’s Family has joined hands with Port City for their merchant guild right?”
-Hmm, I do admit; that issue has been trouble for us lately.
“I’ll solve your problem in three years. As you know, I also have a reason to screw them over. Don’t you think that’s enough for an investment?”
-Hm. And your method?
“It’s a secret. There are too many people watching. But, if it goes well, I will destroy Port City.”
The operators were astonished at Isaac’s words. Here he was, blatantly announcing that he would destroy Port City while he’s in the Port City’s Communicator room.
-Hm, I think I will need a meeting first. This isn’t just a problem for Rivolden Merchant Guild. So how much investment do you want?
“1 million Giga.”
-1 million. I guess it could be possible to convince some of the guilds for that much. We now have extra funds to use, since we don’t need to spend on lobbying anymore.
A monthly wage for a middle class family is 70 to 80 Giga. The operators were surprised at Goldman, who nodded nonchalantly at the sound of 1 million, but they also found it amazing that Isaac had the guts to demand 1 million out of thin air.
-I will send someone to you later, so send me the plans as to how you’re going to use the money.
“If it ever leaks out, the plan will fail. I want you to invest in me with no questions asked”
-Hm, it will be difficult to convince the shareholders that way…
“You just told me that the funds that were used to prevent Port City’s attempts are leftovers now. If I fail, Port City will have a merchant guild in 3 years, so just think of it as using your lobbying funds on investment instead.”
-I guess some of the guilds would take the gamble and invest in you.
“Then I would like to hear from you soon.”
After the connection ended, Isaac pulled out a cigarette and got out of his chair.
“Now that money is sorted out, I need manpower and strength. How will I solve this?”
As he left the City Hall with the blank look from the operators behind him, Reisha approached Isaac with food held in both of her hands.
“You took longer than I thought.”
Reisha felt the nostalgic feeling through her spine as Isaac silently looked at her. The feeling was the same as back then, and she stuttered backwards at the approaching omen.
“Hm, maybe there’s an unexpected way of solving this manpower issue.”
Isaac brought Reisha to the renowned restaurant in Port City. The waiter immediately ran toward Isaac to greet him when he appeared, since they had no choice. But the waiter couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw Reisha standing next to him.
It wasn’t because she was an elf that surprised him. Port City is a well-known tourist destination; although not common, they do see some non-humans from time to time. What surprised the waiter was that the elf was following Isaac.
“Can I really eat anything I want?”
“Yes. Go right ahead.”
“Wow! What’s happened to you? Buying me a meal like this?”
“Ah, don’t worry about it.”
‘It’s not like I’m paying for this anyway.’
Isaac muttered those words as he handed the menu to her with a facade of generosity.
The Egrino Merchant Guild that owned this restaurant was preparing to take Isaac’s incident to the court after what had happened. Instead, Isaac offered them a deal: allow him to use the restaurant for free, and he wouldn’t press charges. The Egrino Merchant Guild accepted, thinking that it wasn’t much of a price compared to how much the lawsuit would cost. So no matter how much Reisha ate, it had no impact on Isaac.
“Give me this too. Ah! This looks tasty as well!”
Reisha looked through the menu, ordering anything she had not seen before or looked tasty. It seemed the waiter was well aware of the elves’ voracious appetite as the waiter kept calmly taking down the order.
“So what’s the question you want to ask for you to buy me a meal like this?”
“It’s nothing. I just need to do some work but I’m going to need some help for it.”
“Huh? What work?”
Reisha quickly asked Isaac. Everything Isaac had been involved in was fun. Just the fact that she managed to sell goods to students in Campus made her famous within the elven society. Already there were families and relatives who had gathered at her home to listen to her adventures. If Isaac was planning something fun again, she was going to join in no matter what.
“I want to know more about elves and North Bear Tribes.”
“Hm? What do you want to know about us?”
“Nothing. Things like their likes, dislikes, personality. That sort of stuff.”
“Doesn’t everyone already know about it?”
“It’s different to listening from the person directly.”
Reisha tilted her head but began explaining to Isaac about non-humans in detail.
Despite the world being ruled by humans, non-humans were treated as equals to humans. They didn’t leave their reservations much, but they weren’t restricted from doing so either.
They simply don’t leave because there is no need to. They actively interact with humans when they have to, and races who sell their specialties travel across the continent and live in harmony with the humans.
However, dwarves, dragons, elves and beastmen, who are considered the main prominent types of non-humans, had personalities greatly differing from what Isaac had thought.
According to Reisha’s heavily biased explanation, dragons are shut-ins, dwarves are boring old coots and the beastmen are perhaps the most likable of the non-humans to become friends with. And Reisha continued to depict elves as adventurous race that loves to make friends and doesn’t shy away from experiencing new things, who loves humour and are very pleasant to be with. Isaac wasn’t sure if he should be taking all of this with a grain of salt, but there was one thing which he found useful.
“You guys take experiencing different things as a hobby?”
“Rather than different, we prefer experiencing something which no one else has done before.”
Remembering Reisha’s actions back in Campus seemed to back this statement. She was so keen on performing the trade in Isaac’s place when she was asked to, but the moment Rivelia stopped her from doing so with her tea parties, she tried to pull out from the whole thing immediately. Isaac thought it was just Reisha who was different, but if she says all the elves are like that, he’ll have to trust it no matter how dubious this statement was considering her extremely biased explanation of every other race.
“So why do you guys want to experience things that no one ever has?”
Isaac thought whether elves ever had such strong personalities in reality. If it was according to the imagination from the old world, elves were beautiful race that lived in the forest and were expert archers, who were very guarded and didn’t venture out into the human world.
“Having just one job throughout our long lives would be so boring. Having multiple jobs to experience new things is usually the case for us.”
Isaac guessed that explains why they willingly let themselves be caught by the police.
Isaac’s impression was that elves didn’t just seek out new experiences but also found them as something they could boast about. It’s just that Reisha is a tad more special than the rest of the elves. Well, it was a good thing for Isaac.
“So why don’t you guys leave the Reservation?”
“Because we can experience most of the things offered by the human world back in our Reservation. There’s no need for us to tire ourselves by leaving,”
“So you are free to move about in the Empire? It’s not because there’s a rule or dangers regarding leaving your Reservation?”
“Huh? Why would they stop us when we decide when to leave ourselves? And this is the first time I’m hearing that non-humans are vulnerable in human world.”
According to Reisha’s explanation, the Empire’s law’s policy regarding the non-humans were equivalent to ‘just look over it because they were drunk,’ except ‘just look over it because they are non-humans.’
Plus if a human were to perform a crime against a non-human, the laws from the Empire and the Reservation would be weighted. There was a case of a very unlucky individual who got caught in the act of trying to pickpocket a non-human. According to Empire’s laws, it was a crime which deserved 1 year of labour, but because of the Reservation’s laws, his hand was cut off. Unless they held a significant grudge, no criminal had the heart to touch non-humans.
“So I can get a flock of volunteers as long as it’s an experience you can’t have in the Reservation?”
“What are you planning? Whatever it is, let me in!”
Reisha realised that Isaac was planning something by using the elves. There was no way she was going to be left out of this one.
“I think you should graduate first.”
“Hing. I hate studying…”
“If you graduate fast enough, I’ll give you an experience that’d make you the envy of all elves.”
“Really? You promised!”
“Sure! It’s something so great that no other elf will ever be able to experience it.”
Reisha was too absorbed in having something to boast to her tribe to notice Isaac’s muttering and calculating stare.
Isaac sent Reisha back to her Reservation after a lot of sweet talk. Then, he quickly headed to look for a Communicator for use. He didn’t want to go back to City Hall again, so he decided to use the public Communicator instead. It seemed the rumours had spread already and people began noticing Isaac. They looked to him as they muttered to themselves and created a path for him. Isaac didn’t even have to wait before his turn for the Communicator.
“Hello. I am Albert, head of the Communicator Service. I’ll lead the way. “
Isaac spoke back to Albert, who maintained his professional attitude despite Isaac’s notoriety.
“Ah, I just want to send some documents.”
When they created Communicators for communications, they also created a system akin to fax to simplify document procedures.
“Come this way.”
Albert led Isaac to a room in the corner of the Communicator room with a small desk. It seemed all Isaac had to do was write down what he wanted to fax and hand it to the operators.
Isaac pondered for a moment then wrote down something on two sheets of paper and handed them to Albert.
“Send this to the Campus and the Elven Reservation. Ah! Wait.”
Isaac went back to thinking after finishing those words, and then he quietly muttered to himself ‘It’ll be worse if she gets angrier’ before creating another document.
“Is that all?”
“Yeah. Just send them over to their destinations. You don’t have to worry about who receives it.”
“My business is done here. Goodbye.”
“Yes. I’ll make sure to send these now.”
Isaac left the room without even bothering to see if Albert would send the documents properly.
Albert knew this wasn’t a job the head of the Communicators should be doing, but decided to do so because Isaac had come here personally due to his special situation. He read through the documents as he faxed them and couldn’t help himself from laughing at what was written.
“Now hiring? I can understand looking for employees but why are elves, beastmen and the Campus involved in this? Are any of them crazy enough to come there?”
The Elf Reservation was in quite a commotion when they received a single document from Port City.
Are you looking for a new experience? Do you want to experience something no one else has ever had? Come to New Port City. I will make sure you will have an experience you can boast about for the rest of your life.
Pay: Adjusted after negotiation.
Work: Begins after a few months of training. Guaranteed 3 years of occupation.
A debate was opened where theories on what this work will entail ran wild, but when Reisha arrived home and told them of all the adventures she had had thanks to Isaac and boasted that he had promised ‘something special just for me’, many curious young elves and middle-aged elves who were bored of their current life decided to have a trip to New Port City.
3 years of employment. Volunteers will have their pay decided after negotiation. Minimum 700 Giga monthly pay. Pay scaling with performance.
Work: Basic office work, can find work which will help gain experience for financing. Can be adjusted to fit your current studies.
Volunteers are to discuss with Sunbaes or professors who know of the current situation New Port City is in before volunteering.
I hope to see many skilled hubaes volunteer.
“Why would anyone from Campus come to New Port City to work? They must be insane to do so. But I must say that is quite a lot of pay.”
The 700 Giga monthly pay was indeed quite the great payroll; even Albert was tempted. Albert had risen to his current rank by climbing from the bottom of his merchant guild, and as a middle management his monthly pay was only 300 Giga. Even this pay was enough to say he had a successful life and lived on without any envy of others.
But a new employee receiving 700 Giga? Albert would have volunteered immediately, but this document was aimed at the Campus. He wondered if any of the students would be desperate enough to volunteer just for the pay when they would be receiving offers from all over the Empire and already have a decent life of their own.
But there was one thing Isaac knew and Albert didn’t: that the Campus has many commoner students from the poorest of families who study there.
Coming from their homes, they arrived at the Campus highly encouraged to study, but they soon realised they were just barely managing to pass or be average among the students of the Campus. Students like these have much less freedom when it came to looking for a job. But the 700 Giga pay and experience for their related subjects from Isaac was most definitely a great opportunity. Even just working as an office employee for 3 years would bring a small fortune. The only real problem was whether Isaac could pay the promised 700 Giga, but when word of the million-Giga investments from Seven Grand Merchant Guilds spread, all of the worries disappeared and the students immediately headed to New Port City after graduation in fear that there wouldn’t be enough spaces.
One pot of honey every day. One pot of elven honey awarded to best employee every half a year.
Work: Basic labour
However, volunteers must receive permission from Kunette.
“No! No! I’m going alone!”
All of Kunette’s families and tribesmen struggled to convince Kunette, who was still extremely mad at them, to give them permission. Kunette fought on however, thinking all of the elven honey would be hers if she went alone.