Chapter 131 – The genesis of this project (2)

“As I explained earlier, this is not a request, but a directive. You have the right to refuse, but I want you to know that there will be all sorts of complications.”

Marcus said this with some irritation.

It is quite an intimidating attitude.

Apparently, they assume that there is no way I can say no.

But I was used to such intimidating attitudes.

The members of my former hero’ party were all like this.

And not only within the party, everyone I met at the time was like that.

Not only adventurers, but also aristocrats.

It is a common practice to avoid trouble by being intimidating and showing off one’s power.

I don’t think I would actively adopt it, but that doesn’t mean I am obligated to do it because I am intimidated by the other party.

And the reason why they avoid mentioning specifics, saying things like, “It’s a complicated,” is probably because they can’t do much after all.

After all, Guild President Marcus himself must be nothing more than a cog in the guild’s management.

“If it’s a directive, you need to be more detailed. If it’s just ‘go and get the materials right now,’ it’s not enough information.”

“Who do you think I am….!?”

“You must be the head of the West Continent Merchant Guild, Marcus. Of course I know who you are. I’m not underestimating you or anything, I’m just saying, ‘I need more information to take the job. This is business, isn’t it?”

“Kuh……”

“Marcus-sama, let’s go and look around. I’m afraid we’ll lose everything if M.r Albus bends over backwards at this point.”

Marcus, who was still trying to say something, was restrained by his hand, and Jahar, the secretary, began to speak.

Although his tone was a little awkward, he seemed to understand the conversation better than Marcus.

According to the story, it seems that the silver-grade merchants who used to trade with Poppo Village as their main business have started to engage in other businesses under the direction of the guild, and the specialty products of the northern villages have recently become difficult to find in Kilket.

It was believed that the best material for water attribute-related skilled armors in the western continent was the material of a unique monster called Todros, which lives off the coast of Poppo Village.

However, the supply is unstable at the moment due to the reasons I just mentioned, and I have been offered the job of stabilizing the distribution of these materials.

Specifically, the guild had asked me to “go to Poppo Village in the north and purchase materials for 80 Todros”.

According to the explanation of Jahar, the secretary of the guild, the West Continent Merchant Guild would lend me “500,000 mana for purchasing,” “four wagons,” and “six Ushama horses for traction” as materials for this purpose.

The materials I purchased with the mana were to be pooled in the guild’s vaults and then sold on the market, depending on the situation.

Also, as for the funds for purchasing, if there is a surplus, I am allowed to take it as it is.

The main materials that can be taken from a single Todoros carcass are skin, fangs, tail fins, dorsal fins, pectoral fins, and skeleton.

Incidentally, the meat is edible, but is not included in this request due to preservation issues.

The total price of those materials seen in Kilket before is probably about 5,000 mana per body.

Then, the amount needed to purchase materials for 80 bodies would be 400,000 mana in simple arithmetic, which means that 100,000 mana would be in the pocket normally.

In addition, it is said that a considerable amount of reward money will be paid out.

It takes two days each to travel to and from Poppo Village.

In other words, if there is an inventory of materials in Poppo Village, the work can be completed in as little as four days for the round trip.

Frankly speaking, it is quite tasty.

Is a request from a merchant guild really this lucrative? I was a little excited. ……

There were too many things that normally bother me.

“I get that, but why me?”

I repeated my earlier question again.

But even as I asked the question, I had an intuitive feeling that it was for reasons that I could not tell.

“You don’t have to worry about the details. Just go where you’re told and stock up on materials as you’re told.”

Again Marcus said this in frustration.

I don’t think I can do a proper job if I stop thinking like that, and I don’t think there’s any need to drag me, an outsider, all the way down here to do it.

All he has to do is to call on merchants who are already registered as black grade and who seem to be available at the right time.

It’s not as if there is a shortage of talent, and even if it’s not me, there are probably plenty of other merchants who would raise their hands under these conditions.

Even more puzzling was the fact that the head of the guild, Marcus, insisted that I be given a “bronze grade” position if I performed this job.

Bronze rank is a level at which one can interfere in the management of the guild, even if it is at the end of one’s career.

There are probably only about 50 members in this “Merchant Guild of the Western Continent”.

It is not like a merchant like me, who has no contribution to the guild at the moment, can suddenly be given this grade by doing a single stocking job.

It was obvious that they were trying to get me to do something by dangling a bait in front of me.

→→→→→

Actually.

All along, I had one letter in my mind.

It was a letter from Gilbert, which I received a few days ago through a messenger.

There are disturbing movements in the merchants’ guild, so be careful. But in all things, it is you who will decide your own fate.

Such was the content of the letter.

At that point, I wondered why he was telling me such a story.

Perhaps I was about to become involved in some way in the “disturbing activities of the Merchants Guild”.

After all, I was certain of this from the fact that Marcus had again evasively dismissed my question.

However, this was a unique opportunity for me.

The rewards were too delicious.

The Merchants Guild of the Western Continent is undeniably a huge organization.

Only merchants who have been granted a position in the guild are able to perform such tasks as “supplying equipment to vigilantes” and “coordinating distribution using guild funds.

In fact, the “purchasing” jobs that are being offered at the moment are quite lucrative.

Besides, the copper grade position was definitely a plus for my future career as a merchant.

“So that’s the way it is. What do you think, Mister Albus?

Jahar asked, and behind him, Marcus was flustered with his arms folded.

Dacoras is still glaring at us.

The three of us were all like, “How could we refuse?” They were all in the same bullish attitude, “How could we say no?

The reward dangled in front of them was quite large.

In contrast, the work assigned to me seemed too easy at first glance.

Normally, there was no way I would have turned it down.

“I’m sorry, but I refuse.”

But I said, quietly.

“Wjat!”

“Do you even know what your words mean?”

Jahar and Marcus got up from their seats at the same time, and Marcus slammed his fist down on the desk.

“Mr. Marcus, please calm down. Mr. Albus, think again. This is a unique opportunity for you to make a name for yourself as a merchant.”

I knew that without needing to be told.

“Then I’d like you to double the bounty. If that’s the deal, I’ll take the request home and think about it for a night or so.”

“……”

Marcus and Jahal are silent for a moment.

But soon Marcus agreed with a wicked smile on his face, and I took deal home with me.

Marcus’s parting words were, “Why did you have to spend all night thinking about it? I think the answer you’re going to give is obvious.”

→→→→→

“I still think this deal smells pretty fishy.”

I muttered to Loloi and Clarice on the way back from the merchant guild.

Double the bounty means that under normal conditions, the same request can be made to two merchants.

The fact that they were willing to accept such ridiculous conditions so easily must mean that they wanted me to go to such lengths to head north.

“Shouldn’t I refuse such a dangerous request after all?”

Clarice looked at me with concern.

There’s more to this request than meets the eye.

There is also the corroboration of a letter from Gilbert, so that should be a done deal by now.

“We still have one night to make sure of that. We’re going to be a little busy now.”

It was still early afternoon.

First, there was Gandra and the Neighborhood Watchs, Ganz and Olette. Then the familiar merchants in the wagon peddling square. Gilbert, if possible.

I will now contact each of them and gather as much information as I can about the circumstances surrounding Marcus’s desire to send me to the northern village.

Depending on the outcome of that investigation, it may be necessary to really say no.

Of course, if they decided that accepting was riskier than refusing, they should have done so.

→→→→→

And the next day.

I announced to Marcus that I would accept the request and had him write a memorandum of understanding about its contents.

I also received a permit to visit the inside of the prison at the former site of the Totoi Temple.

Thus, I set out for the village of Poppo in the north.

By the way, as a result of various interviews, it seemed like a trap.

I didn’t understand why they would set such a thing up for me, but I decided to accept the request because I thought I could go for it.

When you want to accomplish something as a merchant, all you need is “mana” and “power”.

Although a position in a guild is never directly related to the strength of one’s power.

A merchant with a “bronze grade” certificate issued by the Merchant Guild of the Western Continent would be treated reasonably even if he went to the Central Continent, simply by showing his certificate.

In the end, it was decided that the return was greater than the expected risk.

When Burgess heard about the story..

“You’re a man who doesn’t know where his limits are. This way of yours is like you’re jumping into a demonic beast’s lair.”

He laughed as he said it.

That must be some kind of habit of thinking from his days as an adventurer.

It used to be my role to stop the party members from running amok. Somehow, the way of thinking of him has become ingrained in me.

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