“I never thought I would see a store so big that only sell liquor,” Ina said with a smile as we got out of the carriage.
As she said, the whole nine-story building only sells liquor.
I looked at the bluestone building before entering inside through the large glass doors. On the other side is an enormous lobby, which leads to the different sections of the store.
I couldn’t help but get enamored by it; especially ten bottles of different types of liquors in fortified glass. These ten bottles belong to the top ten and all of them are five hundred years old.
They are very expensive, and money alone isn’t enough to buy them.
I wanted to browse this magnificent store, but I have not come here for that; my purpose is bigger.
I walked toward the reception and stopped in front of a beautiful elf with light green hair.
“Hello, I would like to meet the owner of the store, please,” I said. The receptionist is quite good. There is barely any change appears on her face upon hearing my words.
“Certainly sir, but before that, can I know your name?” she asked with a small, professional smile on her face.
Of course, they will not let anybody meet the owner unless of course it is needed to be someone important and even then, one would need to make an appointment. It is only polite.
An immediate meeting like this, requires a cause.
“Remus Silver; adviser to Lord Lancel Wilstein,” I said, and placed my merchant badge in front of her, which is the first thing that surprised her.
It might not be an Empire, but the badges still work to show the importance.
“Your purpose, sir?” she asked. This time with a little brighter smile and more polite tone.
“To return things, your store had lost,” I said, and she looked me in question. I smile and place a dirty book with grass stains on it; it looks like someone had stomped on it.
I did, for little effect.
Her eyes were curious, before suddenly flashing in surprise. She took the book in her hand and turn the few pages and the surprise in her eyes become bigger before her expression turned normal.
“Do you have all the books, sir?” she asked as she placed the book down. “I don’t know,” I replied.
She looked at me in question, but I just smiled.
She stared at me for a couple of seconds before putting a smile back on her face. “Please wait; someone higher up will meet you in a few minutes,” she said and led us to the private waiting room, before going back to her place
“What is that book?” Ina asked as the receptionist left. “Accounts,” I replied. I could tell she wanted to ask more, but she remained quiet.
Soon, a staff came offering refreshments; I took water while Ina took a tea, as we waited.
We did not have to wait for long less than ten minutes. The elf walked inside with a smile on her face.
“Mr. Havel will see you, Mr. Silver,” she said.
I smile and get up and walked out of the room with Ida. Soon, we stepped into the elevator, which took us to the top floor.
We stepped out of the elevator and walked to the left end.
There is a huge office with glass walls and in front of it; two secretaries. One is human, while the other is a half-elf.
“Mr. Havel is waiting for you. Mr. Silver,” said the human secretary. I nodded and walked toward the door, before opening it and entering inside.
The first thing I saw is the size of the office; it is huge. One of the biggest offices I have seen. The size of the office is not everything. My grandfather’s office is smaller than it, and he is one of the richest merchants in the empire.
In the near center is a huge desk, and behind him sits a short stocky man with thick brown hair. He is Jasper Havel, the head proprietor of the store.
He also had some dwarf blood in him, likely from his grandparent or great-grandparent. Those features are quite visible.
“Mr. Silver, welcome. I heard you have things we had lost,” he greeted and motioned to sit in front of him. “Remus, please, and yes, I have found a few things that belong to you,” I said and begin to take out the books.
“Apologies for their state; they were in this condition when I found them,” I said as I placed them on the table.
His expression remained unchanged, but I could see the hint of relief flashing in his eyes.
Usually, the business has at least two copies of such important records, but losing one set is also bad. As it gives people the chance to manipulate the records.
Not to mention, in the wrong hands, it could cause huge trouble.
He took the book and check each one of them, before turning to me.
“If you don’t mind me asking, where do you find them?” he asked, with his face serious. “Sorry, I can’t tell you that,” I said, and a frown appeared on his face.
“Mister Silver, it is very important. As you can understand, our important staff had been kidnapped.” “We have to find who did this; the more information we have, the easier it would be for us to find the perpetrators,” he said.
“I am quite confident it is not kidnapping unless your person had disappeared from the city,” I said, and he opened his mouth before suddenly stopping.
A spark lit in his eyes as if he had understood something, and he turned to me.
“You have found it there right; in the underground temple?” he asked, and I smiled. I will not talk about it. It is a forbidden topic; the less I speak about it, the better it would be.
“Have you seen Faris?” he asked after a few seconds of silence. “I don’t know; I found the books on the ground, with other things. There was no person nearby.” I replied.
“Could you describe me, how he looked?” I said a moment later.
He said nothing, instead; he opened the drawer and took out the page, where the sketch of the person is drawn.
“He is dead,” I stated.
This time, there was an absolute surety in my voice, as I am the one who killed him, or rather, a zombie he had turned into.
“He was a talented person, impeccable in his work. It is such a loss to lose him.” Havel said and sighed sadness, before turning to me.
“Thank you, Remus, for bringing this to me. I am sure you understand how important they are to us,” He spoke. Implying, if I had gone to his competitors with it, I would have gotten quite money.
I could ask him for that money and seeing his expressions, he will not decline. If the amount is fair.
“I don’t want anything, Mr. Havel. I had only picked them because I had some extra space in my bag.” I said and got up to leave.
My reply surprised him, but a pleased smile appeared on his face a moment later.
“At least, take this bottle of wine as a sign of my thanks,” he said as the bottle of wine come flying in his hand from the wine shelf.
“A hundred-year-old, Talas; this I will not decline,” I said with a smile. I took the wine bottle. It is very expensive, not to mention rare; even with my connections, it is quite hard to get a hand on this bottle.
It is talas, a liquor ranked number fifth in the world.
“If you need any more wine, do shop in our store, Remus; I will even give you a good discount,” he said.
“I will,” I said and walked and walked out of his office with Ida. Soon, we walked out of the store and stepped inside the carriage.
“He was clearly willing to give you a lot of money for those books. Why don’t you ask for it?” she asked after a minute of silence.
She had been wanting to ask this question since we walked out of the office.
“The payment would have been great, but it would have been a one-time thing. Taking it would have been wasting this wonderful opportunity,” I replied.
“You want to create a relationship?” she asked after a few seconds. “Right. They are one of biggest liquor businesses in the whole Navr.”
“Seeing we earn most through the liquor; it is important we form a good relationship with them. It will help us tremendously in the future,” I explained.
She nodded in understanding.
I had brought her here to train. I need people to grow my business and I do not have years for them to slowly learn; I need to train them myself.
Thankfully, I have lucked out with capable and loyal people.
Ina is good with great people skills and political understanding. If one really converses with her, one will have a hard time believing she is a whore.
She was this from the beginning, before classes, before the establishment. The only she did not have was the ambition and drive, which is now burning in her heart.
There are a couple of more flaws, which came from the environment. She grew up and worked.
I am going to fix it all; show her the world and make her thrive in it, beyond her imagination.
From tomorrow, she will have to do the real things. It is very risky to have her do them and if she makes a mistake, it will cost me millions of crowns and damage in reputation, but I must take the risk.
She is worth taking the risk.
“Here, this is from you,” I said, and a shock appeared on her face. As she looked at the iles bag in my hand.
“I..I can’t take it; it is too precious. I might lose it, or someone might steal it,” she declined with a little stutter.
It is not surprising she is scared; the little bag's value is nearly equal to my establishment.
“I am going to be very busy in the next few days. I will need you to do things for me and this bag will help,” I said. She does not require the iles bag for those things, but it will help.
Most importantly, it is a sign of my trust in her.
She looked at me before her shaking hands, took the bag from my hand, and placed it in her bag.
It is standard like mine. They came in various shapes and sizes. Standard and stylized, some even change their colors, but those are a little expensive.
“Thank you,” she said. I only smile.
She usually has excellent control over her emotions, but today, I was able to make her cry twice.
“Tomorrow, you have to do a few things; some of which we had already discussed in the Greltheaven,” I said and took out the list from my bag.
Most of it is a shopping list; the things we need to buy and the price we are willing to pay.
It will be her job to buy those things in that range. There are places in them, she will need to visit and do the things I want.
“I will not disappoint you,” she said as wiped away the tears from her cheeks. “I know you will not,” I replied with a smile.
The rest of the carriage ride went with me, answering her questions. She seemed to know what I was trying to make her do. So, she is trying to get as much as information she wants from me.
I answered most of her questions, but not all.
Telling her everything will defeat the purpose. She needs to do it on her own, make mistakes and learn from them.
Soon, we reached the mansion, and we got out of the carriage. “You, go rest. You have a lot to do tomorrow.” I said. This time, she listened and walked toward her quarters.
A few minutes later, I reached for my suit. I changed into comfortable clothes and lay down on the bed.
I wanted to prepare for tomorrow, but I am so tired that I just want to sleep. The battle had tired me out and so has the healing. While I had slept for nearly four hours; it was not enough.
I need more sleep and within seconds of laying on the bed; I fell into a deep sleep.
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