Being a center of trade and transportation meant that all money flowed through the region. If those goods were transported by water, controlling those waterways was sure to bring an insurmountable amount of money and power to its owners.
There were four incredibly powerful individuals in Port City whom even the mayor looked at in fear. There were Zeroman of the south, Rodney of the east, Niske of the west, and Harold of the north.
These four each owned the rights to one of the four canals which led out of Port City in their respective regions. And these canals have brought them wealth beyond measure simply by existing.
The Seven Grand Merchant Guilds have stopped them until now in forming their own merchant guild, but if they were to succeed, they could threaten the existence of the Seven Grand Merchant Guilds using their control over the canals. This was the reason why the Seven Grand Merchant Guilds blocked its inception with all their might, while it was the fours’ lifetime goal to make it happen.
They’ve spent incredible sums of money on lobbying the government and bribes to high-ranking officials to the point where just remembering how much it had cost would make them gasp in horror. But despite their efforts, there had been very little progress thanks to the lobbying and connections from the Seven Grand Merchant Guilds. It seemed like the money had gone to waste, until the Milros Family approached them as their shining beacon of light.
“Did they really say that they will give a hand on making our merchant guild if we help them eliminate that brat Isaac?”
“Count Milros told us himself. This entire plot was constructed by them.”
“I can only say that fortune is on our side. With the strength of Milros Family on our back, our dream may have yet see fruition.”
“But we will have to give them a considerable number of shares.”
“It will still be profitable for us. With their help, we will be able to fight back against the government and the Seven Grand Merchant Guild to some degree.”
“And the Milros Family will be able to use Rondart Family to step foot into the business world. It’s an excellent opportunity for them as well.”
“And thanks to that we can finally see some progress on this ambition of ours.”
“How likely is it to succeed?”
“How can we possibly fail? Even if he has the power of a Lord, what could he possibly do to make New Port City prosper?”
“What you say is true. Funny how we haven’t been able to do anything against him because of that College title of his, but now it has shackled him to his own death.”
“Huhu. And we get to shatter that insufferable pride and honour of College as a bonus. How many times have they tried to change New Port City? All they ever achieved was failure anyway.”
“It seems the Seven Grand Merchant Guild has reached their end too. To think they’d hand out one million Giga to that brat.”
“Haha, they must be incredibly desperate to do so.”
“Now! Let us toast! To what will become the greatest Merchant Guild within the Empire!”
Strength, money, and manpower.
Just acquiring one of the three is a long and difficult process. But once you gain one of the three, the remaining two cease to be a challenge.
Everyone expected Isaac to take aggressive actions when they heard the rumours of Isaac’s heightened authority as Lord and the investment of one million Giga from Seven Grand Merchant Guilds, but Isaac simply continued his leisurely behaviour like nothing changed.
Nothing was confirmed yet – not even the investment. If Isaac were to make an ambitious move now, he could end up getting backstabbed with a letter saying ‘I’m sorry, but let’s make that investment we talked about void.’ It was very unlikely to happen, but Isaac wasn’t foolish enough to play with money he didn’t have yet.
The criminal syndicates were troubled by the sudden turn of events and worried about what Isaac would do. They sighed in relief when they saw that nothing had changed, but they continued to be on guard.
The first group to find him was Goldman and seven employees who were chosen as representatives of each guild in the Seven Grand Merchant Guilds.
“Haha, it doesn’t even seem that long ago that we’ve seen each other face to face thanks to that Communicator.”
Isaac was casually smoking a choyu leaf at the plaza when Goldman visited him. Isaac got on his feet and politely greeted Goldman.
“I didn’t think you would come personally. But who are they?”
The group of men and women who followed Goldman seemed to be regretting their decision to come when they saw the state New Port City was in. They’d only heard about it in rumours, but seeing it with their own eyes made them realise that what they imagined in their heads wasn’t even close to the situation at hand.
“Haha. They are here to help you with your work. We have selected the brightest individuals in all our guilds.”
‘They are here to watch me. I guess there’s no way they’d simply hand out that million Giga with no strings attached.’
A million Giga had been invested, yet they had no idea what this money was going to be used on. If it weren’t for the special situation they were in, no other guild would have made such a dangerous investment.
If Isaac was to simply take the money and run, betraying his declaration to make Port City fall, it would turn the Seven Grand Merchant Guilds into the laughing stocks of the Empire.
Even Milros Family would have second thoughts if Isaac were to try negotiating with that million Giga of his. The Seven Grand Merchant Guilds obviously didn’t trust Isaac, and they couldn’t be blamed for thinking that Isaac was trying to steal their money using Port City as an excuse. So they’ve sent their employees to watch and figure out exactly what their money was going to be used on.
“Well, it’s a given that you’d want to watch how your money is being spent. I happened to need some hands anyway, so it’s good for both of us.”
Goldman flinched when Isaac immediately discerned their intentions, but he quickly regained his posture and changed the topic of the conversation as if he hadn’t heard Isaac’s words.
“So are we the first to arrive?”
“Yes. Personally, I thought the investment would arrive last. I guess the Seven Grand Merchant Guilds work on a different time schedule compared to the rest of the world.”
“A merchant needs to be quick when opportunity arises. One million Giga may be a large sum of money, but it isn’t so difficult if we share the burden. And the biggest reason for this investment is that this is insurance.”
Even if the burden was shared among the Seven Grand Merchant Guilds, each guild was essentially required to pay around 150 thousand Giga in the investment. This 150 thousand Giga investment was a significant deposit, considering that the average income of one of the guilds is about 600 to 700 thousand Giga every year.
Isaac kept the question in his head for now and replied.
“Insurance. You want to distract Port City with that million Giga.”
“Yes! You really are easy to talk with. Young ones these days aren’t as sharp as you. Ah! If it weren’t for the College, I would have hired you without a second thought. As long as you don’t really abuse the funds, the Seven Grand Merchant Guild won’t say anything against what you do.”
“But you want to know exactly what the money is being used on?”
“We can’t make too many concessions. No merchant would treat money like it grows on trees. So how long will you make us stand here?”
“You’re going to stay here too?”
“No. I must go soon, but these guys are your subordinates now, are they not?”
Isaac spoke to the group with an annoyed expression when Goldman asked his question.
“Go back to Port City and stay in a hotel there until I call you guys.”
The group looked at Isaac in confusion. They expected at least some form of a brief introduction and at least a notification of future projects to come. But telling them to stand by was an order they could not understand.
“Hm? Does this city not have a hotel of its own? It will be much easier for them to get to work if they can stay here, since it’ll make their analysis much easier.”
Goldman asked the question in place of everyone. Isaac snickered.
“You’re going to sleep in New Port City? Shall we make a bet how many of those faces will still be alive by tomorrow?”
Everyone’s faces turned pale. They had heard about the notoriety of New Port City from rumours, but hearing it firsthand from its Administrator who was now a Lord’s Representative had slammed them with the cold reality of this place.
Once Goldman left, the group of seven who were selected from each guild of the Seven Grand Merchant Guilds situated themselves in Port City. It seemed Goldman wasn’t lying when he said they were the most capable employees of each guild. They began working on their own after resting for one or two days.
They looked through every detail of New Port City’s financial and administrative system. Once they were done, they could only wail despair. The city had been in a state of bankruptcy for a long time.
First of all, they received no funds from the provincial governing body. What’s more is that the city doesn’t have an administration body of its own. All of the basic documents required to be sent to the Capital were done by Port City. Responsibilities like surveys, taxes, education, medical care, residential and infrastructure, which are mandatory for a city to operate, were owned and run by the criminal syndicates.
This meant that taxes wouldn’t be collected properly, and educational, medical and residential works were obviously in shambles. They didn’t know where to start from.
But since they completed their investigation, they had to report on it; but, nobody wanted to enter New Port City again. They pushed the duty to one another, and Cordnell was eventually selected since he was from Rivolden Merchant Guild, which had some relation to Isaac.
“Huh? You actually came here on your volition?”
Cordnell could only sigh at Isaac’s surprised reaction. It seemed Isaac was astonished that he came willingly when he was clearly ordered to quietly stay in Port City. Cordnell felt the effects of New Port City’s notoriety once more when he looked for a bodyguard, but even the mercenary he hired refused to do the job alone, forcing Cordnell to hire multiple mercenaries just to get here.
“This is the report we’ve made after analysing the situation.”
“Hm? I told you guys to rest, but you guys were working instead?”
“If you want to run this city, then you need to stabilise the administration of this city as soon as possible.”
“It’s fine. Don’t worry about that stuff.”
“How could we not care about it?”
“That’s not what you guys are here for.”
“Huh? Then what are you going to make us do…?”
“You will know when the time comes. Well, if you’re that bored, I can give you work. Go find me experts on law, city planning and construction.”
“Expert on law?”
A construction expert was easy enough to find. It was expected that construction was going to be a part of Isaac’s project with that million Giga, so the Headstone Merchant Guild had sent a construction specialist as one of the supervisors. But needing an expert on law wasn’t something they foresaw.
“I just have a few questions. Try bringing me one who specialises on the Empire’s Law and laws regarding lordship.”
Cordnell has come here with the promise of promotion and an incredible sum in his retirement fund if he managed to hold on for three years. No man would have been crazy enough to come here without such rewards on the line, but Cordnell had volunteered, believing this to be his life-changing opportunity. So all he had to do was follow the orders, no matter how little sense it made.
Just hang on for 3 years. Just hang on for 3 years.
It had just been over 2 days, yet Cordnell was repeating those words like a mantra to preserve his sanity.
The whole Empire was in turmoil when the rumour of the guilds’ one million Giga investment into Isaac was confirmed to be true. Some praised Isaac for his ability to make one million Giga with his tongue alone, while others both praised and insulted the Seven Grand Merchant Guilds. Some admired the guilds’ ability to make such a risky investment, while the rest reacted to this event as a sign that they had finally gone mad.
This news piqued the curiosity of those who were still oblivious about Isaac, and they sought to figure out the reason why the Seven Grand Merchant Guild decided to make such a large investment on him. This curiosity was answered by the words from recent Campus graduates, and the whole Empire soon knew who Isaac was.
All of the backstories about Isaac had been revealed. From the reason why the Department of Administration made a decision that was unheard of in history to the reason for the investments and even Isaac’s birth and all the turmoil he had been through due to the complicated relationship between the Rondart and Milros Families. The majority of the public sided with Isaac, while the Rondart and Milros Families were looked upon as the antagonists. People also began to focus on what Isaac was scheming with the million-Giga investment, but their expectations were quickly betrayed by Isaac’s deplorable behaviour.
“Hooh! I see they are having good business.”
New Port City was the final destination for ships that transported goods. That meant this was the place the sailors got their pay and also the place to quell their desires. One of the main attractions directed at these sailors were the gambling dens.
A mob of drunk, rough grunts sit together on a table and bet their money. On one side you hear cheers and laughter while screams and despair fill the other side. Some laugh out loud in joy, some throw one insult after another as they are dragged out of the den, and some shake on the spot as they hesitated on what to do. This was the place to see men who have been consumed by greed express every emotions known to man. And in between them walk women with their revealing clothes, seducing the men to earn some tips.
‘I expected a smoke-filled gambling den, but this is more of a casino.’
From the classic roulettes to card games and dice, this place had many games that were both new and familiar to Isaac. It piqued his interest, and he began prowling the area.
“Hm, maybe I’ll play this?”
Isaac walked toward the roulette table, which only needed you to bet money thanks to its simple rules.
The manager of this gambling den who was watching Isaac ever since he entered quickly left the den to report this to his superiors while the dealers and employees of this den looked to each other, unsure of how they would deal with this situation.
“What? The bastard’s in the gambling den?”
Soland, who have finally started making money after much effort, stood up thundering when he received report. Why the man who had shut himself in the City Hall has come out was unknown, but his mere existence was a problem to Soland.
“So? What is he doing?!”
“He’s playing trumble.”
“Why did he have to pick that out of everything?!”
Trumble was the game Isaac thought was similar to roulette. In fact, the game was very similar to roulette. The numbers ranged from 1 to 40, and there were hundreds of ways to make a bet; the earnings ranged from double to forty times the bet, making it a favourite for those who aimed for a large earning. Plus, the game didn’t have a maximum bet, so you could instantly become penniless if you played carelessly.
Soland struggled to think of a way out of this predicament when another subordinate came to shout him the news.
“Boss, the Administrator already lost 100 thousand Giga.”
Soland’s legs collapsed and his face went pale.
“… How can that bastard lose 100 thousand in less than 30 minutes?”
“Well he started slow at first, but now he’s betting a thousand Giga each on twenty numbers and said that winning was 50/50.”
Soland facepalmed when he heard those words. He was betting twenty thousand Giga per round. Even if he were to bet on the winning number, he would only receive 40 thousand Giga. He would also need to exclude the 19 thousand bet, so basically his winning would only double his investment. If he’d already lost 100 thousand, even ten wins in a row wouldn’t even make up for his loss, and it wasn’t even counting the inevitability that he would also lose some rounds so as continued playing. Isaac would only lose more money.
“Tell the dealer to play as the situation calls for it!”
One of the reasons why gambling dens liked Trumble was because an experienced dealer could rig the game according to his needs. It’s not to a point where they can make any number they want to win, but it was enough to make the ball fall in the general target area.
“Well… most of the dealers have given up.”
“Sigh. Let’s just go there now.”
Soland moaned as he ordered his subordinate. The gambling den was aimed at the sailors. Having just a thousand Giga placed in a single bet made it an enormous game, and it was understandable that the dealers couldn’t remain calm when a single game had 20 thousand Giga moving around.
He had to go there and settle the situation.
The thought of taking all of Isaac’s million Giga investment crossed Soland’s mind briefly, but if word of such a loss were to spread, there was no telling what the Seven Grand Merchant Guild was going to do.
Plus, gambling was illegal and Isaac was a Lord’s Representative. The fact that a Lord was playing in an illegal gambling den was laughable enough as it was, but what Soland truly feared was what Isaac would do if he went mad after losing all of his money.
“T, the number is 36.”
“Huh! Missed by a single number is it?”
The dealer’s hand trembled as he took all of the chips placed on the board. All of the other games in the den were on hold as everyone’s eyes were on Isaac’s table. Where else could they see a game where 20 thousand Giga changed hands at once?
This was going to be a great story for the pubs no matter how it ended.
“Y, you’ve already lost 150 thousand Giga. May you should stop…”
“Huh? Do you know who I am?”
“I do, but…”
“I’ve got money.”
“I know that, but…”
This isn’t the place you should be spending that million Giga!
The manager despaired as he looked to the roof. The dens only kicked out people who cheated or someone who lost all of his money. There wasn’t a single den who told someone who has lost a game to stop playing.
Not to mention the news of Isaac’s investment was confirmed so they couldn’t even refuse him with the excuse that his credit wasn’t reliable. While the manager pranced around the den hopelessly, Isaac let out words that turned the situation for the worse.
“Shall we make the game more interesting? Let’s bet 10 thousand per number.”
The guests in the den cheered and shouted in response, but the workers of the den could only scream in terror. They might be able to manage up to a thousand Giga, but 10 thousand? That was a problem whether Isaac won or not.
The winning ratio may be the same, but the difference was astronomical. If Isaac were to win now, Isaac would take 200 thousand Giga from the gambling den. The den’s annual earnings for this gambling den were 70 to 80 thousand Giga. This was way beyond what they could cope with.
Just as the manager was about to beg to Isaac to leave the den with all of his losses paid for, the door suddenly opened and a group of police officers barged in.
“Don’t move! You’re all under arrest for illegal gambling.”
While Isaac looked at the situation dumbfounded, the other guests quickly retaliated with insults and picked up the chairs they were sitting on, threatening to use them as weapons. It seemed that their aggressive nature as sailors were in full swing, and blood was bound to be shed at this point.
Soland quickly entered the situation in this moment and smiled as he spoke to the officers.
“Hahaha. I think there was a misunderstanding. This lodge only provides entertainment that simulates gambling. There is no illegal transfer of money in this place.”
“Is that so? Hm… Fine. I’ll look over it this time. But, if I were to see illegal gambling taking place, I won’t let you run free.”
“Yes, I understand.”
Like a horrible movie, Soland’s horrendous act had sent the officers out of the den, and Soland began talking to the guests.
“Now! I think we will have to call it a day with this sudden visit. We will give back all of the money you’ve lost, so please head to the changing booth. Our lodge records exactly how much our guests have spent, so I hope there won’t be any accidents for trying to trick my employees.”
With that, a group of syndicate members entered the den as enforcers. They corralled the guests into a line, and without a choice, the guests quietly left the den, albeit with some grumbling.
Once all of the guests left, there was only silence. In the room were Isaac, Soland, and the employees. Soland approached Isaac, who sat with a smoke in his mouth, clearly entertained.
“You should have told me you were coming today. I would have shown you around. Did you enjoy our service?”
“No, not really. I think gambling is fun only when the money is really on the line. Knowing that I won’t lose any money makes the entire thing a bore.”
“Haha, but you still shouldn’t gamble.”
Soland smiled on the outside, but in his mind, his teeth were grinding.
‘As expected, he never intended to pay for his losses.’
Soland realised while he was on the way that even if Isaac were to lose all of one million Giga, there was no way for him to take the money from Isaac. Even debt collection should be done while keeping in consideration who is owes the debt; doing it to a Lord’s Representative is like asking to have your head chopped. So as his final method, Soland decided to void the fact that Isaac ever gambled here.
“Well, it was fun at the end. I didn’t think you’d use the police force. I admit, it was very creative.”
Isaac pat Soland’s shoulder as he walked past him, and Soland could only ease his anger by gripping his fists.
“… Thank you.”
Soland successfully protected Isaac’s money, but at what cost? The gambling dens are one of major business run by the syndicates because people could come and go without a worry despite being illegal.
Once the rumour that police investigated this place spread, it was bound to reduce the number of guests who come here. It was especially important since the sailors, who were the main target of this business, would instantly become unemployed if they were arrested and missed the departure date. Even before all that, Soland had to make a significant deposit to gather the pathetic police force for this. Just a moment ago, he was happy that he was out of the red, but now he landed right back into it.
The news of Isaac’s gambling spree spread quickly across the Empire as the sailors travelled the water, spicing up the story as they went on. The Seven Grand Merchant Guild quickly contemplated whether they should take back the investment and also began demanding results from the employees they’ve sent as watches while Port City belittled Isaac as they expected nothing less.
After two or so more visits to the gambling den, it seemed Isaac’s curiosity had disappeared, making the lives of the Guild employees easier. But soon after, Isaac started visiting the brothels.
“Big sis, he said he doesn’t like her too!”
Milena tried to hold her trembling anger as her little madam complained to her.
“So what’s the problem this time?”
“It’s because of a spot on her shoulder…”
“I ought to rip his balls off and shove it in his eye sockets as I make a sausage out of his entrails!”
Milena ended up destroying the flower garden she had been carefully growing as she let loose the insults she had learnt throughout her life in the brothels.
It had only been moments after laughing at the news of Soland that Isaac appeared in front of the brothels. But Milena was confident. No man hates women. Milena’s belief was that all men, even in death, desired women, with the exception of certain preferences. This desire was simply camouflaged by their pride.
So Milena sent in her most beautiful girls when news of Isaac’s arrival reached her. But Isaac made a commotion with each and every one of the girls after splurging on alcohol and having a few chats with them. With him constantly making a scene every single day, their business started to suffer.
Milena decided to take the challenge head on and started sending in a range of girls appealing to specific niches. From mature women to girls that would bring the FBI at the doors if this was the old world, she sent in every single girl she could manage. Yet, Isaac sent them all back with excuses like how their feet were too pretty, how her breasts were too nice, how their eyes were too beautiful. It wasn’t certain if Isaac was trying to find the woman of his dreams here, but with him constantly complaining about their charming points, not one of the girls managed to succeed.
Out of desperation, Milena sent in a boy, but when that happened, Milena was immediately called over and Isaac proceeded to cut her hair with scissors so that her appearance fit her name as crazy bitch, destroying her pride.
Even so, Milena found dealing with Isaac to be a higher priority than regaining her reputation or pride, so she began buying girls from other brothels at a mind-boggling prices.
It seemed this new girl was holding on quite some time, but just as it had always been, she was rejected.
After a marathon of insults and curses, Milena spoke to her subordinate who had to suffer through it all.
“Where is that bastard now?”
“Well, he said he’ll be back tomorrow after receiving our apology fund and headed to the gambling den.”
“Ha, is this how he’s going to strangle us to death?”
Isaac’s recent activity was to patrol between the gambling dens and the brothels. These visits however, didn’t use a single cent of his money.
Because of Isaac’s continuous visits to the gambling den, one of the managers gave him an envelope of bribes for him to go somewhere else, and Isaac took the money without hesitation and moved on. Ever since then, it became mandatory to pay Isaac when he visited.
This wasn’t the first time these gambling dens did this, but it was supposed to be corrupt police officers collecting ‘protection fees’, not the Administrator and the Lord’s Representative of the city. Even these criminals began to wonder how a scum like Isaac managed to become their superior.
And so, Isaac would visit the gambling den to collect money to use in the brothels and vice versa. His nights were an endless loop of extravagance and pleasure, enjoying the darkest parts of the city like the boss of a criminal syndicate. People frowned and insulted Isaac for his actions, but it didn’t deter Isaac in the slightest.
While Isaac lived like a hopeless son of a rich noble, Reisha visited Isaac, bringing thirty or so elves with her.
“Greetings. I am Lanburton from the Mist Elf Tribe.”
The elf had aged gracefully, still maintaining his handsome figure. Isaac, who was suffering from a hangover from last night, couldn’t even think as he blankly looked at the elf. He was so surprised at this visit that he even forgot about the cigarette he was smoking.
“Can I ask what your previous occupation was?”
“I represented the Mist Elves in the Elder Council of the Elves.”
“Ah! Did you come here because you were worried that I would hire the elves to be used in illegal means?”
“No. I volunteered after hearing that you will give me an experience never seen or heard.”
Isaac wanted to have a word with Reisha, but all he could do was sigh when his eyes saw that innocently stupid smile of hers.
In the elven society, each tribe of elves picked an elder who then represented the tribe in the Elder Council and acted as their leader. Therefore, Lanburton was a very important individual within the elven world. The fact that Isaac was supposed to treat him as his subordinate was laughable. Just thinking about that fact worsened his hangover.
“Haha. I understand what you’re worried about, but elves don’t care much about status unlike humans. Well, we may use our status as a weapon when our expectation is not met, but a man whom Reisha recommended so highly of would never disappoint us like that, right?”
And a casual blackmail as a bonus too.
Isaac grasped his aching head. Everyone who mentioned the elves drilled the image of a bunch of lunatics into Isaac’s head, but Isaac could never fathom it, perhaps because of the image he had of elves back in the old world. But after seeing this group of elves, he realised that controlling them was going to be a problem.
Already these elves wandered throughout the plaza, some of them entering the brothels in the area out of curiosity.
“Sigh. So you are all here to work under me?”
“That is correct.”
With those words from Lanburton, Isaac relaxed and pulled out a cigarette as he spoke.
“Then I will now treat you lot as employees who are working under me.”
Despite the sudden shift of tone in Isaac’s words, Lanburton flawlessly shifted his attitude accordingly, and this really put pressure on Isaac. His actions oozed with experience, which seemed to have been built throughout his long lifespan. It seemed like manipulating him like how he used Reisha was going to be a difficult task.
No, Isaac was sure Lanburton’s experience would have easily discerned how Reisha had been used by him; he was most likely there in order to prevent the other elves from being used like how Reisha had been.
‘Observers from all sides. Shit. Not one person actually believes in me. I guess only a fool would believe in me, considering I wouldn’t trust myself if I was in their situation.’
“So when do we begin work?”
“There’s a lot to learn, so it will take time. So just stay in Port City and enjoy yourselves. It’s a famous tourist spot so there’s entertainment in both scenery and food. If you need money, just ask one of the employees who were sent here from Seven Grand Merchant Guild for however much you need. Make sure you regularly visit the restaurant run by Egrino Merchant Guild, since you will get to eat for free as long as you mention my name.”
“We have come here to work, not to play.”
Lanburton’s resolute answer forced Isaac back for a moment, and then he spoke again.
“I have one million Giga. Who wants to experience an extravagant lifestyle using all the money in the world?”
Not just Reisha, but all of the elves who were scattered around the plaza heard those words with their long sharp ears quickly gathered as they raised their hands.
Even Lanburton coughed softly as he slowly raised his hands.
Isaac learned of a new way to deal with the elves.
A swarm of elves. They may be easy on the eyes, but the disasters they bring with them proved their crazy reputation. Like a bomb, the elves swept through Port City causing utter chaos, and city officials were in shambles as they struggled to deal with them.
Just this act was enough to convince the Seven Grand Merchant Guilds, who saw that their insurance had fulfilled its purpose flawlessly, to drop the idea of taking back the investment from Isaac for his continued abuse of the funds in gambling dens and brothels.
The situation was so bad for Port City that one of Vice Administrators from Port City personally visited Isaac begging him to take the elves back, but Isaac refused saying that he wasn’t prepared yet. Meanwhile, the employees sent from Seven Grand Merchant Guilds didn’t stay idle unlike the elves.
“What is this?”
Isaac, who was once again suffering from hangover, looked at the pile of documents Cordnell brought as he sipped on a soup to ease his burning stomach.
“These are the plans for redevelopment of New Port City.”
Cordnell, who was voted unofficially to become Isaac’s secretary, spoke with confidence as he demanded approval. This was a plan the seven of them had made after a long and arduous process. There had been many attempts to change New Port City in the past. The employees analysed each and every attempt and combined the advantages of each attempt into this plan. They were confident that this plan would succeed, but Isaac simply laughed after having a quick glimpse through the documents.
“Huh?! Why! This plan would most definitely bring New Port City to new heights!”
This was the report he had poured his life and soul into through many sleepless nights. Cordnell didn’t hesitate to show his displeasure at the sight of Isaac’s immediate rejection. Isaac replied with an annoyed face.
“What, are you annoyed that I, someone you look down on, belittled the report you have so much confidence in?”
Cordnell flinched; those words hit right on the mark.
“You’ve got a million Giga for funds, and the only superior you have seems like a pushover. I understand that you guys want to change New Port City on your own for the fame and riches it would bring, but my life is on the line for this job. I have no interest in being swayed by your desires to gain fame, so shut up, don’t act out, and do as you’re told.”
“So are you going to continue this deplorable lifestyle of yours?! I will not accept it! We will proceed with this plan on our own if it comes down to it!”
Isaac’s eyes turned cold as Cordnell spoke those words.
“I guess you’re taking New Port City lightly because you can enter this place without mercenaries anymore. They aren’t leaving you alone because the police force is doing their job here. They’re leaving you alone because they know dealing with me would only end in their loss. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have even made it here on the first day. Shall we see what happens if I stated that your life is meaningless to me?”
Cordnell’s face went pale. Just as Isaac had said, Cordnell made a ruckus on the first day trying to hire as many mercenaries he could, but there weren’t any threats he had to deal with as he continued to enter and leave New Port City. Now he entered without any mercenaries and began to think New Port City wasn’t as bad as he first thought, but those words from Isaac made him see New Port City in its true form.
“Then give us an order!”
“I’ve given you one already. Play.”
“How is that an order?!”
Isaac briefly looked at Cordnell who shouted at him, then elbowed Cordnell’s sides while sporting a cheesy smile.
“Hey, you should have spoken to me sooner. You’re just jealous that I’m going out to play on my own right?”
“Man. Why don’t we go out together and have the best night of our lives? You haven’t been to the brothels in New Port City yet right? Haha, I will show you heaven tonight. But don’t you get too deep into it.”
Cordnell tried to argue against Isaac, when his voice was buried by the thundering shout from the streets.
Cordnell turned to see where the shout came from, and there was a small shadow charging toward them on the main path that connected Port and New Port City.
“A teddy bear?”
It had an appearance of a teddy bear, but the expression it was making was rather threatening. Its sharp fangs were exposed every time it growled in anger, while its small arms swung in circles as if showing how much of a beating it was going to hand out. But the momentum behind those actions seemed so tremendous that Cordnell quickly got back as he quietly screamed.
“Tsk. Too bad.”
“Play time’s over. It’s too bad you won’t get to see the brothels, but get ready to work.”
“Who said I was going there! B, but first you should avoid…”
Cordnell’s fear intensified as the small bear came closer and closer. Isaac watched the bear for a moment then pulled out a small pot from his pockets.
“I’ll hit you Isaac!”
The bear, which was now at Isaac’s side burning with fury, opened its jaws as if about to bite his leg. But when she caught the pot Isaac threw at her, she wilted and plopped onto the ground like an burnt wick, and all of her fury vanished.
“Have you been well?”
“… I’m angry.”
“Yes yes. I’m sorry. I’ll give you some more later.”
Cordnell realised that the bear Isaac was patting on the head was Kunette, who was famous within his guild. He watched in awe as Kunette quietly accepted Isaac’s hands.
‘It’s a good thing Reisha came first.’
Reisha teased Isaac during the scuffle to hand over the elven honey to Isaac, and Isaac retaliated by saying that Reisha was excluded from all the benefits elves were supposed to receive. After her pouts and tantrums, Isaac managed to snatch the honey from her.
Seeing how Kunette expressed her anger from afar, the entire act seemed like an empty threat and that she didn’t mean any of it, but even so, if Kunette arrived first, Isaac would have had much difficulty in dealing with her anger.
“So did you come alone?”
For Kunette, it seemed that even talking back was too much of an annoyance. She was savouring the scent of honey as she opened the pot very slightly and licked each drop that fell from the pot. She simply pointed up.
“Ho? Since when where they there?”
Isaac’s eyes met with one of the men who peered down from the rooftops.
“But you guys aren’t bears?”
“This is our usual selves. Just staying in our beast form eats away at our mana.”
A redheaded man with a gentle face approached Isaac after leaping off from the roof and answered Isaac’s question.
Isaac immediately looked at Kunette after those words, and the man smiled as he talked again.
“Why is Kunette always in beast form you ask? Because using mana at all times also means that you can suppress your own mana. Have you not seen Kunette’s true form yet? Wow! That’s a shame! You have no idea how…”
“Shut up, Rizzly.”
This was the first time Kunette spoke in such harsh way, but Isaac glossed over it without much thought.
Rizzly flinched at those words, but he soon noticed the pot she was holding on to.
“Is… is that an elven honey?”
“No! I won’t give you any!”
Kunette found Rizzly’s stare to be too intensive and quickly climbed up Isaac’s leg and sat on his lap.
“Kunette willingly sat on someone else’s lap? To a human, of all things?”
“What is that human?”
The men from North Bear Tribe spoke to each other, unable to believe Kunette’s action.
Isaac looked down at Kunette’s head as she sat on his lap, but brushed aside his interest as he spoke with a cigarette in his mouth.
“Now, you all know the conditions for working here right?”
Those words from Isaac triggered discontent in the men’s face as they looked to Kunette. Isaac was curious as to why they behaved that way, and Rizzly stepped up to complain to Isaac as to why.
“Well, all of us have made a deal with Kunette. We must donate half of our paid honey to her, and whoever gets elven honey must share it with her.”
Rizzly was clearing stating the unfairness of the deal and wanted something to be done on Kunette’s part with every word he spoke. Isaac could feel Kunette’s body freeze as she anticipated a scolding. Isaac smirked and patted Kunette once again.
“Yes. You’ve learnt well. Good job.”
Kunette nodded furiously at the praise from Isaac, while the tribesmen looked in despair as Isaac praised her instead of nullifying the deal.
“Now, why don’t I go and play with Kunette? It’s been a while right?”
Isaac lifted Kunette up by placing his hands under her armpits and placed her on the ground. The tribesmen’s jaws dropped watching this sight.
For Kunette to not refuse the hands of someone else! She was so hostile to even her father, the chief of the tribe, when he tried to approach her!
“…. What are you planning?”
“It’s nothing. There are just some people who keep bothering me.”
Kunette looked up to meet Isaac’s gaze.
“… Are you angry?”
“Angry? No, I’m just going to play with them.”
“…. Then that’s fine.”
Kunette nodded as if she was giving approval. The tribesmen watched on, spiraling deeper in confusion as they struggled to comprehend what just happened with Kunette.