They stayed in the orphanage for the night since the children were crowding Theanore and Marinus. The two children didn’t see anything wrong with their room. They were used to sleeping in a cave, after all. But they had to admit that the beds they had in Crassus’ home were better. And the curtains weren’t as eaten up. They weren’t eaten up at all, actually.
The food was a step above the fish and nettle soup they used to have at the beginning of their life together, but just barely. A lot of children looked at Crassus longingly as he helped Theanore eat, but he had apologized and told them all that he was not going to be doing any adopting early on.
Crassus was on board with seeing these children healthy, clothed, and educated. But he already had Theanore and Marinus to look after. Plus, the worker elves and now that gremlin.
They left the next day and the seamstress of Mirstone came in and began to take measurements of the children. Food was delivered to the food warehouse of the orphanage. It cost no more than 500 gold coins to make the 300 children living there happy. But Crassus thought that the cost will pile up.
Another trip to the bank ensured and just so happens that the bank manager had a proposition for another investment. One in the bank itself. Seeing as the family had more money than most the proposition was for expanding the amount of money used from their account for loan giving.
“It is risky, Mister Crassus. I know that.” Said the bank manager as he dapped away sweat from his brow. “But with more loans, more families can start their own business here in Mirstone. The whole town and the nearby villages will profit. And we won’t give the loans to just anyone. Don’t worry.”
Crassus thought about it. Anyone could just take a loan and then be gone. No, he needed collateral.
“Give out loans only for property insurance. We won’t agree otherwise.”
Property insurance loans are just like the name says. If the person who takes the loan runs on the bank then all his property becomes property of the bank and is used to repay the original owners of the money. The bank had to make up the difference.
“But, Mister Crassus!” Said the bank manager but Crassus was unmoving.
“No. I have to think of the future of 302 children, Mister Linksy. Do we have an agreement or not?”
The children were getting restless next to him. They had even gone through the boring pamphlets on the desk of the bank manager. If Crassus didn’t wrap this up soon, they might go to sleep next to him.
“Of course, we do.” Said the bank manager through gritted teeth. “We would have been careful with your money regardless. How much would you like to invest?” Asked Mr. Linksy.
“Make sure there is always ten million in the account. The rest can be used for loans.” Said Crassus. Then he tipped his hat at Mr. Linksy. “Mister Linksy, it was a pleasure doing business with you.”
“Likewise, likewise. If you want, come by next week and I might have another investment opportunity. Ten million is a lot of money, my good man.” Said Mr. Linksy, sending the family of three away with stiff movements. He really hoped they didn’t come next week. This Crassus was not going to just hand them money as Linksy thought at first.
Outside the kids happily looked around. It was a lovely October day and the sun was shining on them. The rays were reflected in their hair and the two children stretched to work out the kinks from staying at one place for so long.
“Can we go home now?” Asked Marinus. And he could hardly still believe it. He had a home. He was not alone out in the sea. And he had a best friend too, he thought as he looked at Theanore.
“Sure, let us get to the teleporter.” Said Crassus and the three went to the teleportation building. The teleporter worked with mana crystals so they had some on them. Not that they couldn’t make more on the spot, but it was good to be prepared.
“I’ll need to make some trees grow. Do you think that the paper factory started cutting already?” Asked Theanore. Crassus smiled at her enthusiasm.
“It is still in construction, Thea. We will teleport to some rocky abandoned fields. Do you have the seed bag with you? The one with the tree seeds?” Asked Crassus. Theanore patted a large bag at her hip.
“Here, father. Do you think there are enough seeds here?”
“If there are not, we can get more. But what type of trees do you have?” Asked Marinus. He was ready to give mana crystals to Theanore so that she could make an entire forest today.
“I have pines, firs, spruces, hemlocks, and larch.” Said Theanore. She had asked the person who was overseeing the factory what type of trees they needed. She had been surprised that paper was not made from apple and peach trees.
“Ok, let us go and make a forest.” Said Marinus, raising his hand for a high five. Theanore completed the gesture and they all stepped into the teleporter. Three mana crystals later and they were in a large, open field.
Theanore was not about to waste her time planting the trees one by one. She had an ant with her, one of her own, hidden in a bag.
“Ant, line up.” She said and the ant pocked its head out of the bag.
“I’ll give you sugar syrup if you talk the other ants around here into planting the seeds from this bag.”
Theanore was going to give the syrup regardless since this was such a nice builder ant. The ant scurried to a nearby anthill and soon an army of normal ants began taking seeds from the bag Theanore had placed on the ground. Then Theanore got a message.
Territory expanded to the rocky fields. Would you like to expand existing barriers to the new territory? Yes/No?
Theanore clicked yes, thinking that Tania was speaking of Lena’s barrier. Back at Alerion grandpa Thinker felt his barrier stretch and he quickly gave it more mana. Ah, the first expansion of a Theanore’s territory. To be so young again.