Episode 9
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In the dimly lighted room, besides the steams floating from the tea and bright light from the smartphone, the room was quiet, duke expressions have turned sour, his fist has turned sour due to his raged upon witnessing the proved of his trusted aide betrayal.

"Is this real?...". (Duke Merrica)

"It is,…..we weren't lying, right now, we even have the baron together with the 2 bandit leader alive in the other room…you can confirm all this by yourself, if you want to...but…". (Elijah)

Hearing that the bloody traitor Duke shoots up from his chair and rushes to the door, but Mina was there, obstructing him by holding the doorknob. Duke turned to Elijah with a rage expression, yet the other parties seem completely unfazed by his threatening looks.

"Before you do...there's something you need to realize, we weren't doing this for free…..and this degree of occurrence deserves to be compensated….Please read on to this and sign it….after that, you are free to do what you want to that thrash in the next room..". (Elijah)

Duke picks up the agreement and carefully inspecting the content of the agreement. In the agreement, there are only 2 demands, 1. The ownerships of the Keep and the lands around it (5 kilometers radius) shall become the Black Keep Company territory, Duke Merrica and Kingdom Hallerus shall acknowledge the land ownership and views it as an independent land. 2. Any trades are done by Black Keep Company inside Duke Territory, Black Keep Company will only pay half of the tax normally imposed to other businesses. In return, the Black keep company shall prioritize and provide special deals, especially for the duke, not the Kingdom of Hallerus. Although it wasn't much, the agreement surely offends Duke as it looks fairly one-sided, he felt that it was outrageous for the other parties to demands such things.

"....this….is, isn't this just too much?.....you're asking too much!....this Keep and its land was mine!...also, acknowledging that this land was an independent land and paying only half tax in doing business in my territory!!..... this is!!...". (Duke Merrica)

"KNEEL..".

As the table was split into two, a single word shook the entire room, the voice carries a dignified aura and intense killing aura, that broke duke into a cold sweat and made him kneeled on the floor in instant. Right at the end of the room, there's a man (?) sitting comfortably on a chair staring straight at duke. Right at this moment duke could barely keep his consciousness every single second passed, he felt like a reaper scythe coming closer to his neck.

"What a joke…..overbearing?...too much?...what I offered you was a considerably fair...1, this keep and its land never belonged to you or your nation, it's a rogue territory…..all I ask for you to acknowledge that it was mine, I never asked for it to become part of your country or ask for its protection…2, you should be grateful, I'm only ask for half tax, with me on this region your trade route were already protected from any bandit's in the area….instead of me asking for half tax, maybe I should rob every caravan that comes through from your nations…". (Elijah translated).

The man still unmoved, while Elijah translated every word he said for the duke. But under the man calmness, duke can sense that he just insulted the man, because his last words were definitely a threat. Still, his pride as a duke, to never let him be undermined easily, he tries to raise a counter-argument, but the other parties started to speak once again.

"Like I said this agreement is my offer to you, you of all people have no right to make a deal….. I just saved you and your knights lives, exposed the conspiracy in your noble ranks, and killed EVERY SINGLE BANDITS IN THIS KEEP...and you think the one who should be thankful for all that was me?... Are you stupid?.....Is Human Noble were always this ungrateful?.....how about you take a good look outside…and tell me, if I should add some more bodies to that pile….". (Elijah Translated)

Duke who still holding on to his noble pride, slowly take a look at the window and look at the courtyard. What he saw was a small hill of naked bodies which previously was the bandits, which he and his knight were defeated by. By then a sudden thought slapped him, a few weeks ago he came with 150 knights yet were massacred, and this man comes with his handful of Dame and killed every single man, then leave 2 of the bandit leaders alive while he and his half-dead knights still stuck in the basement. In sense, he wasn't in a place to make any offer or deal, instead, he now should be rewarding and compensating the man. Also, he's already gone from his territory for almost a month but no one has sent any reinforcement or search party to find his whereabouts.
The man and his dame hold the fate of his life in their hands, the man can take his life at any time and no one will know. Yet this man decided to offer him a deal which wasn't really impossible for him to fulfills. Suddenly a discussion snaps him from his daze.

"Your excellency….there's no need to ask this ungrateful man for anything….just kill all of them, and take everything…..it's even simpler that way…". (Bina Murook)

"I agree, humans are a greedy race…..we save him and his men from getting killed, they owe us their very lives…..even a little kid knows when you owe someone, you need to pay them….it's not like we ask for money or anything…..we were the one who conquered the keep, of course, it belongs to us.. ". (Mina)

"Silence! Both of you….Mind your manners…only His Excellency can decide on this matter….". (Elijah)

Bina Murook, who suddenly appeared in the room, starts to look irritated the same look appeared on Mina; both of them weren't hiding their hostility to the duke. Elijah on the other side was still waiting for the man to speak; Duke, on the other hand, starts to break out another cold sweat.
The man still hasn't spoken but suddenly he reached for the agreement paper and before he even touched it, Duke burst out and starts kneeling on the floor and spoke out.

"Sire!!...no...Your excellency, please pardon my previous remarks and unsightly attitudes….. I should never, behave in such manners….to repay kindness with poisons was unbecoming of me…..to atone for it, I shall comply and signed the agreements, and make sure that your excellency company will be excluded from paying any taxes as long as your company doing business in all of Hallerus....umm....i will also pay a handsome price on those three prisoners….. a...And….. I will personally make sure that all Hallerus knows the true heroes of this incident.....um… ". (Duke Merrica)

Duke folded, shriveled in fear. The man said nothing but instead point his finger on the paper, telling him to sign it, duke hastily signs the paper, and hand it back to the man.

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"Isn't better to just sign it the first time, rather than pointlessly fighting for it?..." (Elijah)

"That's how human is, they were greedy and foolish, that's why we need to put up this drama ….either way, now we already have him and this territory in our hands…. now we can start building our lives freely in this place…".

"But….is it fine to leave the information's about the Principality of Light schemes from him?.....in 3 years the Kingdom of Hallerus might be in war..".(Elijah)

"It doesn't matter….it's not my business, I don't even care....who knows we might gain something if that happens….besides, seeing that he can't even see the betrayal of his own aide shows how incompetent he is…..sometimes being nice wasn't really a good thing….".

I decided to not show the full video to duke just now; I edited the video last night to purposely cut out the part about the Principality of light and the betraying nobles (Aside from Baron Larson ). I don't really care if war is about to erupt, although it may affect me, still, It will be an opportunity for me to benefits from all of this if I play my hand right.

"Duke, sit down…".

"Ah?....yes...".

Elijah as usual starts to translate my words on the spot, I already decided to dismiss my courtesy to him, and he can't even complain now if I decided to call him by name, still, let's just give him some face.

"I supposed now that you have signed the agreement you now have the qualification to know who am I truly….Have you heard about Black Keep Empire and Sai Clan of High Humans?.....".

"The legendary superpower that fought against all races in the world, even break the entire world into continents and ended the first world civilizations by the end of their times….of course, I know about it….there's probably not a single life in the world who doesn't know about them…..although they were marked as the destroyer of the world, they were also known to be the giver of knowledge's…they practically shape this world….. I remember studying about them back in the academy...it a good time back then…..but what about it?..".(Duke Merrica)

"Impressive….but actually Black Keep Empire never really lost, even more, the Sai Clan...they just decided…ummm…make a tactical retreat….either way, they were still in this world…".

At this time I'm just making up stories about the high human as I go, I don't really know much about the Black Keep Empire and Sai clan aside from what T.A.S told me. But for the sake of making me and my company's existence more believable, I decided to make use of the long-gone famous empire to my advantage, since nobody can prove that I'm lying. Even when they do, I have the Ring of Power to disapprove them.

"What?... Tactical retreat?.....!!!!..wait a minute!….. Black Keep Empire…Black Keep Company!...". (Duke Merrica)

"Yes….it took you long enough to realize it….Congratulation Duke Merrica, after 100 000 years….you are the first human to meet a High Human…..My name is Sai Mies, Current Emperor of Black Keep Empire and Genuine High Human Of Royal Sai Clan….".

I flash the Ring of power and show its brilliant radiance, which cost me 1% of mana charge, the ring just shows a bright shine and gave out a majestic aura, it practically does nothing other than to shows off.

"….A real High Human...…Dear gods...!!!...YOUR EXCELLENCY! I DUKE MERRICA MURR GREET HIS EMPEROR SAI MIES OF THE HONORABLE HIGH HUMAN!!!...". (Duke Merrica)

Duke immediately prostrate on the floor, his attitude turned 360 degrees than before. The snob and proud dignity were useless in front of sheer power (Which is fake BTW).

Not just Duke, but everyone in the room was prostrating on the floor. Elijah tried to follow them but I stopped her by grabbing her shoulder since she was the one who's been translating for me, she should be a figure that knows about my origin. I guess I should probably share the fact that I'm going to use the Black Keep Empire and Sai clan as my backstory with her and the others before dumping it on them just now.

"Ehem!...Be at ease….all of you…..Duke, Have a seat, relax….there's nothing to get nervous for…".

"But?!...".(Duke Merrica)

"Sir Duke, His Excellency still have more to discuss with you…..it's better to just follow his words, His Excellency doesn't like to repeat himself….". (Elijah)

"Ah…y…yes…then please excuse me…". (Duke Merrica)
Struggling, Duke adjusts himself and sits on the chair while showing his awkward smiles.

"Anyway….now that the introductions are out of the way since you have signed the Agreements…you now are bound to fulfill your part, and I expect it to be done....offending a High Human wasn't a good idea just so you know….".

"…..Y..yes your excellency, these humble humans know…. I will personally make sure it be done as soon as possible…..". (Duke Merrica)

"Good….I'm not a bad man, or have any ill intentions towards you or your nations…..besides, just think about it…you now have a high human on your side, trading with you, there's no downside in doing business with me….do you see this paper?...the tea you just drink?...and the body outside?...all of this shows the merits of doing business with me and my company...Sai clans have no interest to interfere with today's world affairs, we practically don't care….we only interested in business now, we already have our fill of wars and powers….rest assured we won't be actively interfering with anyone…unless, we were threatened….then that will be a whole different story...".

Indeed, I won't be interfering with any of their wars, directly. But if they hired me, I have no choice but to work with them, after all, I'm a businessman.

"It was definitely reassuring to hear that, but may I ask why me?...of all nations why Hallerus?..". (Duke Merrica)

"Because Hallerus is stable….and you..you are different from other nobles, you care for your people…to the point you foolishly decided to attack the largest bandit group with only 150 knights….I like guys like you, honest and straightforward....but, mainly because you and your nations just happen to be close to where I am…haha..".

"hahaha….Is that so….".(Duke Merrica)

His laugh was definitely forced, but the reason I gave should be sufficient for now. He already knows that my main reasons to be here was to doing business and not to harm him, whether he fully trust it or not, it's up to me to show him later.

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"I will give all 3 of the man in the next room to you….consider it a gift for our first meeting, Also I prefer that you take the credits for this matter….just say that you receive assistance from my company, just that is sufficient for me….Also, Please refrains from saying anything about my origins… as I said, we high human doesn't like to be dragged around into your affairs…".

It's not like I want to hide it, but being a High Human which already extinct from the world will definitely attract some unnecessary attention.

"Thank you, Your Excellency...I will definitely do say you advise…".(Duke Merrica)

"I supposed that all, for now, I will personally send you and your knight back to you town tomorrow….so, for now, get rested, I will have my Maidens to send foods and medications for you and your men…".

"Thank you once again, Your Excellency,….then I shall take my leave then..". (Duke Merrica)

Duke leaves the room together with Bina Murook, since I have no place to accommodate him and his men I guess they should be able to stay in the basement for 1 more night.

"Your Excellency….you're an Emperor?, Furthermore a Sai Clan royal family?...". (Elijah)

"Hnn?...yes I am….well, technically yes, after all, I'm the last of my kind…..as for the 'We' part…it's just a lie…but aren't we just started to build our own state?...then, probably in the near future it's not gonna be a lie anymore…..Why?...it's too late to back out now, remember you already bound to me…".

"I Never regret choosing to follow you, my lord,... I know from the start that you're different, I saw the way you act…how you treated us, slaves, despite our looks and status you treat us even better than those nobles…..rather than regrets, I am forever grateful and honored to be able to serve you…". (Elijah)

I supposed that's true, but mostly because I was a modern man and dealing with slavery wasn't my best forte, I was quite thankful to them for willingly wanting to follow me. Although the [Loyalty] Parameters do the entire job mostly, either way, if all this end nicely, it's good enough for me. As the sun sets on the horizon, all three of us in the room peacefully enjoying our tea time, it's been a long time since I can relax leisurely and most definitely for Elijah and Mina.

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