Book 2, Chapter 94

Background(2)

And thus, Richard started to manufacture the goods he wanted to sell. He wanted to craft two strength runes that worked with magic crystals, the design even simpler than the one he gave Stormhammer while the amplification was controlled to 15%. They took up four hours of his time, costing roughly 2000 coins total. A single magic crystal could activate these runes ten times.

It was a particularly busy night for Olar as well. The elven bard was busy embedding two magic boxes with rubies. Elves were famed for their aesthetic ability, and Olar was no different. 

Although embedding more rubies into the box wouldn’t enhance the runes within in any way, Richard had still made him embed more than a thousand gold’s worth of rubies into the boxes. The bard was initially confused about this, but once Richard explained the purpose of these rubies that turned into intense adoration.

Since runecrafting hadn’t been discovered before in Faelor, Richard believed that they lacked an impartial standard for how much a single rune would cost. The stronger and closer to their limit a person was, the more valuable runes became. The magical boxes were actually for the sake of the buyers, who’d never seen a rune before. If even the boxes used to store these runes were worth over a thousand coins, whatever was within would definitely be worth much more.

Early morning the next day, Amon sent someone over with a letter inviting Richard to lunch. It was at a venue not far from the hotel, known for its unique dishes and tribal flavours.

Outside of Amon, the rest of the shopkeepers from the street were attending as well. There was also an obese, sly-looking businessman called Devon and an old man named Kellac who Richard had never met before.

Devon introduced himself as the leader of the Golden Warflag’s contingent in Bluewater Oasis, and a member of the Bluewater Council. Of everyone present here, he had the highest rank. Kellac was a high-ranking member of the Demon Hunting Spears, a group of adventurers, slavers, and mercenaries. Even though they were only a few hundred strong, each was extremely skilled in battle. Since they weren’t a large group, they were swift and flexible, a group that the larger merchant groups did not wish to offend. Others hired them for jobs they didn’t want to make public, like exterminating a rival.

Everyone greeted each other once they entered the meeting, exchanging compliments and sounding each other out. Of course, Richard didn’t manage to get any new information, but that was the same for everyone else. Everyone here, young or old, was a cautious and sly fox. Perhaps Richard’s age made him less mature than the rest, but his caution did not lose out. He kept certain matters extremely well-hidden as he spoke, not allowing any information about his background to leak.

However, who amongst those present was ordinary? Without Richard needing to mention it, his bearing, knowledge, age, level, and following already indicated what sort of person he was. Had he been thirty years old he would not be worthy of everyone’s time, but at the age of sixteen or seventeen any smart person wouldn’t be willing to provoke him senselessly. Everyone present had many thoughts in their hearts, some even guessing that Richard had the backing of both a Marquess-level family and someone of legendary might.

Their guesses were quite close to the truth, except for two things— His background was far greater than even their boldest imaginations, and his legendary backer wasn’t even from this plane.

Once the pleasantries were done with, everyone got down to business. Kellac was the first to express interest in buying the scrolls; he wanted every scroll on offer. He would pay ten gold for a grade 1 scroll, 30 for a grade 2, and tripling again with every next grade. This was a fair price as long as one talked about the more common scrolls that were grade 5 or below. Any grade 6 scroll could easily cost more than 10,000 gold, while anything above couldn’t be bought even if money was not an issue.

These tainted scrolls were priced much higher than normal ones. Even though they came with a cost in life force, anyone could use them. On the other hand, normal scrolls could only be used by the clergy, limiting their usage greatly. Where was one to find a priest or cleric to activate these scrolls in the Bloodstained Lands? Even if there were some, they still had to take care not to overstep the bounds of their faith.

As such, be it robbers or mercenaries, once someone got hurt in battle they could only rely on holy water or other herbal medicine to recover. They had to depend on their sturdy physiques to live through the ordeal, as these medicines paled in comparison to healing spells. Besides, since they were the only choice they didn’t come cheap.

This was when the value of the scrolls Flowsand had taken shone through. Flowsand could cast grade 5 spells herself, so scribing grade 3 scrolls wasn’t impossible for her. However, she could only scribe one such scroll a day with her divine power. On the other hand, the divine power from the Church of Valour’s scrolls allowed her to manufacture upto three grade 4 scrolls a day.

And that ignored these tainted scrolls that sacrificed the user’s life force. These were even easier to make, and Flowsand could modify five of them in a day. She said that this was because most of the might came from the God of Valour, not requiring much of her own mana. Besides that, she’d also hinted that producing these scrolls actually helped her grow her mana pool, not taking away.

And now that he heard Kellac’s offer, Flowsand’s image had warped in Richard’s heart. She was now a gold mint, able to create more than a thousand coins in a day. His interest in the various churches increased as well— there were virtually countless such scrolls in those places. Even though they had carted away two boxes with over a hundred scrolls on their attack back in Forza’s territory, that was less than a third of what the church there had!

Devon was greatly interested in these tainted scrolls as well, but only in the grade 4 ones with greater heals. He offered 300 coins a scroll, wanting twenty of them.

Richard could roughly guess what use Devon had for the scrolls. A strong fighter armed with one technically had another life in battle. Besides, a powerful business group like his naturally had a slaving group he could call his own. If he armed the battle slaves with these scrolls, the team’s capabilities would shoot up and allow them to attack stronger groups and catch more valuable slaves.

Thinking it over for a while, Richard was pleased with the offered prices. He would sell twenty grade 4 scrolls to Devon, and thirty grade 3 scrolls and ten grade 4 ones to Kellac. This was nine days of work for Flowsand, and made for the entirety of stock she had. This transaction alone would make him more than 10,000 coins.

Once this deal was closed, the relationships amongst those present grew more cordial. Even the greediest fellow who saw these tainted scrolls realised that Richard had his ways to keep his assets in control. There was a simple reason behind this. The offer of only a few scrolls could mean that Richard had bought them somewhere else. However, the magnitude of this deal and his openness to another one later only meant that he had a powerful group or family backing him.

The presence of these tainted scrolls indicated great strength, and promised frightening repercussions if Richard was ever provoked. Sometimes, there was no need for death and destruction if a deal could be reached for gold.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA