Book 3-1.2

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Book 3-1.2 Funding the Ships (II)

Edwin Papent.

The third son of Viscount Papent. Having two older brothers above him, this young man threw away any thoughts of succeeding the Viscount title a long time ago.

He discovered his skills in business at an early age and joined the Serubil Merchant Guild, one of the sturdiest merchant guilds in the Inama Kingdom.

It didn’t look good for the son of a noble to work in a merchant guild, and Viscount Papent even tried to stop his youngest son’s actions, but Edwin was not used to the life of a noble. Rather than becoming a leech to the family in the future, he firmly decided that he would find his own path and explained this to his brothers and the Viscount with sincerity. Sadly, all it did was make them shake their heads.

The owner of the Serubil Merchant Guild, Von Serubil, cherished this odd son of a noble very much.

Edwin had a natural talent for business that others did not have. Any businesses he invested in absolutely succeeded, and he kept any promises he made. Thanks to that, the credibility of the Serubil Merchant Guild went up as well.

Since he really was what you would call a golden egg laying young merchant, there was no reason not to like him. That was why Serubil had given him quite a bit of authority in the guild.

However, even Serubil had one issue with Edwin. It was the fact that Edwin had no restrictions when it came to forming friendships.

This habit, in some aspects, was really good, but it was to the point that Edwin was making friends with criminals wanted by the kingdom. That made things complicated.

If something happens and he gets wrongfully accused — although it is true — of hiding fugitives, not only the Serubil Merchant Guild, but even the reputation and connections Edwin has made would all crumble in an instant.

Serubil said something to Edwin, as it looked like he was heading out to meet with that criminal brigade again.

“Isn’t it time to stop?”

Edwin perked his ear and responded back.

“Stop what?”

“That food supply.”

At Serubil’s answer, Edwin looked toward him with an extremely amazed expression.

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Do you not want to make money?”

“Who said I don’t want to make money?”

“Then why is it that you are complaining when I am trading rare and extremely expensive high quality Monster’s Souls for cheap as dirt food and clothing? Do you know how much money I make every time I make a trip down?”

You could clearly tell they were merchants as they were talking business even while raising their tones.

“But isn’t it dangerous? If the nobles that put bounties on their heads find out, they will not sit still.”

“Hmm, should I tell everyone that their punk of a son raped the precious younger sister of another family and made the older brother beat him to death? Should I tell the world the truth about why the bounty was placed? Or how about the scrooge who has a storage full of money that kidnapped someone’s daughter because they were short a few coins when paying their taxes forcing the girl’s family to burn his house to the ground and run away with his daughter? Should I let the world know about that as well?”

At Edwin’s words, Serubil tapped his head once before answering.

“We can’t do anything about those kinds of things.”

“My father and brothers are not like that.”

“That is why your family is respected. It was also the reason I took you in like this. Plus, it is not just our kingdom that is like this. Other than the Rojini Kingdom in the East, the majority of kingdoms live like this. Sigh, the nobles are the problem.”

“What is the reason we cannot become like the Rojini Kingdom? Look at them. Haven’t they become stronger once the royal family put out a law mandating that the tax rate cannot be greater than twenty percent? The nobles there can apparently rake in money while just sitting on their asses. Since the civilians pay low amounts in taxes, it has led to them working as hard as they can to make more money. But our Inama Kingdom digs out over fifty percent of the people’s money in taxes, so how can they ever take a break? If we continue like this, there will be big trouble.”

Serubil was extremely shocked as he held onto Edwin’s shoulders and started to speak.

“Shh. Be quiet. What will you do if someone hears you?”

“Leader, you should work hard to make a lot of money. We can run away from this dirty kingdom together. As soon as I hit my target goal, I will convince my entire family to leave to a different kingdom.”

“Your father, Viscount Papent. Like hell he would go with you.”

“Father is not like how he used to be. His upright character is making a lot of the other nobles hate him. Those damn bastards get scared by a single Viscount.”

Serubil shook his head at Edwin’s temper and started to speak.

“Take good care. Always be careful. If what you are doing is discovered, there will be big issues for your family as well.”

“Do not worry so much. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this. Just make sure you sweet talk the magicians so that we can get a good price for the Monster’s Souls.”

“I understand.”

Once Serubil left, Edwin took another look at the supply items he had and verified whether he had missed anything. Once he verified everything was good, he ordered the cart to head out.

The passage to the Red Desert was extremely dangerous. Since there were not many cities on the northern end of the desert, there were not many roads and the terrain was dangerous as well. Just pulling the supply cart through was troublesome.

But since it was a trip Edwin made two times a year, Edwin’s crew had to push forward without falling off pace. They could not miss the scheduled meeting time.

At the border of the Inama Kingdom, or in other words, at the entrance to the Red Desert, there was always a shabby looking border patrol officer.

“Have you been well, Officer Samaru?”

Edwin waved his hand toward Nate Samaru, the leader of the 13th Southern Border Defense Force, as he greeted the man.

“It is you. I expected you would show up around now. It’s nice to see you again.”

‘I’m sure you are not happy to see me but actually happy to see the bribes I give you.’

That was what Edwin was thinking inside, but he had a bright smile on the outside, one of the special abilities of all good merchants.

“I am also extremely happy to see Officer Samaru always welcoming me like this. Has everything been going okay lately?”

“You know how it is. Although we are called border patrol, there are no barbarians who would dare to invade from the desert, and there are no kingdoms that would cross the dangerous desert to invade us through here. So I have nothing to do. And sadly my pay is terrible since my job is like this as well. Huhuhu.”

‘He’s being real forward about asking me for it.’

Edwin frowned internally while taking out a leather pouch from his chest.

“I’m sorry that I cannot do much for you even though you welcome me like this every time. Please use this to treat your subordinates to a round of beer.”

“It is hard to always be in your debt like this. It is not like we are doing much.”

Nate Samaru quickly grabbed the pouch from Edwin’s hand as he said that. Edwin was smiling bitterly inside.

‘Well, at least it is easy to deal with you since you don’t beat around the bush. I guess you are better than the other border patrols.’

He was someone that Edwin will continue to deal with, and since Samaru was good about accepting difficult requests from time to time, Edwin just hoped that Samaru would never leave this post.

“As I said, it is just enough to treat them to a round of beer.”

At Edwin’s words, Samaru took a peek into the pouch and had a satisfied smile on his face.

“Thank you as usual. Is it the same items again?”

“Yes. It is always the same. It is not like I can cross the desert with expensive goods. Hahahaha.”

“Then I will trust you and not inspect it.”

“You have nothing to worry about, Officer Samaru.”

Samaru waved his hand toward the patrol members blocking the path of the merchants.

“Hey, let them through. Why are you blocking their path like that when we all know each other?”

The patrol members had also seen everything and smiled as they cleared the path. Edwin said goodbye to Samaru one more time as he started to move.

“Officer Samaru, I shall see you when I return.”

“Alright. Be careful out there.”

Edwin’s crew passed the border area like that and entered the desert.

The crew had to be more alert after entering the desert. This place was different than the continent. This was a place where many monsters and wild animals resided, so they were forced to always be on alert.

“Someone is coming this way.”

The lead mercenary protecting the cart shouted loudly and Edwin had an extremely nervous expression on his face.

They had never run into anybody on their trip out to the desert before.

“Is it a person of the desert? They said that not many desert folks come this way because of the many quicksands in the area.”

Edwin mumbled to himself as he asked.

“How many people does it seem to be?”

“Around 50 people.”

“The desert tribes do not accept bands of thieves. I’m sure they are not thieves and are one of the desert tribes, so please tell your people not to carelessly take out their weapons.”

At Edwin’s words, the lead mercenary moved his hand from the hilt of his sword and answered.

“Yes, I will caution them.”

Edwin stopped his crew and waited for the people to approach them.

Since they were not far from their destination, if needed, they could always ditch their stuff and ride the horses to run away to that location.

“Edwin.”

“Captain Thriger?”

He heard a familiar voice from the front of the approaching group, and Edwin had a happy expression as he ran forward.

“Edwin. You are exactly on time as always. I didn’t know how it would be, so I had been waiting since yesterday.”

As Thriger welcomed Edwin and he held his hand, Edwin thought it was odd and decided to ask.

“But what is going on? This is the first time you came to greet me like this.”

“Things ended up that way. There is someone I’d like to introduce you to as well.”

“Introduce?”

Thriger nodded his head as he continued.

“I can guarantee that it will be great news for you. Although the decision to invest will be up to you.”

Feeling that the smell of money was coming out of Thriger’s words, Edwin started to smile.

“If Captain-nim talks so highly of a person, I’m sure they must be amazing. After all, you were once an Admiral that dominated the oceans.”

Thriger loudly laughed at Edwin’s words and started to respond.

“Hahaha. It is all in the past. We do not need to go to our base. We docked the ship not too far away, so let us head there.”

“Did you move your base?”

“Rather than moving, we have found a permanent location. I have found someone to serve.”

“Someone that captain-nim is serving?”

Edwin was extremely shocked as he asked. What kind of individual was Thriger? Thriger used to be an Admiral for the Inama Kingdom, one of the strong kingdoms of the Eastern Continent.

Thriger was so upright that many nobles plotted against him and forced him to run away to the desert, and had even once told Edwin while he was drunk that he would never serve anyone ever again. For someone like that to make the decision to serve someone, it was absolutely certain that it was an amazing person.

“It ended up that way. I can tell you more as we head back. The Glow has been waiting a long time to meet you.”

“When you say Glow…”

Edwin was even more shocked as he had a decent knowledge of the titles in the desert.

“Let us go. I will tell you as we head over.”

Edwin motioned the crew to move as he started to wonder about the person he was about to meet.


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