There is a saying that says that birds of the same feather flock together. If he is going to use someone like Parison, I can pretty much anticipate Humbley’s character as well.
But not enough to change my decision. He is still better than someone like Bandark.
Bandark is someone who has been the greatest in the merchant world since a long time ago. But he’s still so blinded by greed that he is sucking the citizens dry as a high interest loan shark.
Compared to Bandark, Parison would be considered cute.
“I guess Humbley is a merchant in the end. All merchants are that way.’
It is unreasonable to expect a merchant to have the moral of a benevolent adult.
It might even be for the better that I know. No matter how much Humbley pretends to be a good person, I won’t easily be tricked now. I can actually use him without feeling bad.
First I need to see his face.
“Do you think there would be a way for me to meet Humbley through Parison?”
“Ay. You think a colossus like him would meet people like us?”
“He should still be able to at least deliver a letter right?”
“I would think Parison would do that much. But why Humbley?”
“I have something I need to tell him. Can you prepare a time for me to first meet with Parison?”
“He’s already going to come to Titan Valley to trade the minerals from the Batoom Mines. Was it four days later? You can meet him with me at that time.”
“If it is four days later, it is the last day with Kaicher.
My calculations were perfect.
I need to meet with Deputy Mayor Donstar soon too. Not because he wants to meet, but because I want to meet. In order to create a jackpot trade, I need to lay out the bait properly.
What I should do is meet Parison and Donstar on the same day before saying goodbye to Kaicher.
Four days later.
I headed toward Titan Valley City Hall in the late afternoon.
Batoom and Jose came with me. As well as Kaicher.
But I was the only one to go into the Deputy Mayor’s office.
“What is your relationship with the Warrior of Light, Kaicher?”
As expected, Donstar wanted to confirm my relationship with Kaicher first. Unlike the miners, he knows about Kaicher’s fame.
I’m sure he feels anxious just from the fact that Kaicher came with me.
“Kaicher does not like others talking about him. I can’t make Kaicher wait a long time so please briefly tell me what you need.”
Briefly state your request.
It is not something a mere miner can say to Donstar. If I came alone, I’m sure he would have thrown a fit.
But since Kaicher is part of my party right now, it went by without a problem.
It feels like I’m abusing his prestige for my benefit.
“Aren’t you the hero who managed to successfully clear the Northern Mines? I really wanted to meet you. Not as the Deputy Mayor but as a fellow citizen, I applaud you.”
Clap clap clap.
You detestable bastard.
Image is really important for people. He is clapping and pretending to show me respect, but all I see is a dirty person with a lot of greed.
It isn’t only because of the incident at the Volcanus Temple.
Rather, the memories of the things he did to me in the game are more vivid.
In the game, Donstar was part of the party that developed the Northern Mines. No, Donstar requested the party. And just for that reason, he stole complete ownership of the Northern Mines.
That is why I twisted the story during the successor competition. I didn’t want to suffer the same thing again.
I pushed back my disgust as a lightly bowed my head.
“You know, the Northern Mines is now the mine representing Titan Valley. It is not proper for a person to own it. Won’t you pass the ownership to the government? Of course I will give you plenty of rewards.”
I knew that was what he wanted. I expected it.
I plan on returning the ownership of the Northern Mines to Donstar anyways. That is the only way to bring back the twisted story.
But I will not return it nicely.
Just watch. See how I eat you up. I will scrape you dry and leave you penniless.
“Then give me 500,000,000,000 won.”
I confidently said an amount as if I was throwing a light jab.
But to Donstar, it wasn’t a light jab. Seeing his eyes and mouth get big at the same time, he must be extremely surprised.
“Wha, what? 500,000,000,000 won? Are you crazy? How could you say such unbelievable amount?”
Is it really? Since I knew that is how he would come at me, I even brought the report of the daily totals.
“Currently, each person is making an average of 3,000,000 won a day and we can hire a maximum of 300 people. I get 20% of that. Then in one day, it is 180,000,000 won. If we say it last just 10 years, it is 650,000,000,000 won. But this is a mine that will be able to easily last 50 years. Shouldn’t I receive at least that much? I even cut the price down to give you some face.”
Donstar let out a fake laugh. He lifted up his tea cup and wet his lips as if he was clearing the thoughts in his head before lifting his head back up to look at me.
“Have you heard of the saying ‘penny wise, pound foolish? There is nothing more important in the world than your life.”
Penny wise, pound foolish huh? It is the perfect saying for Donstar.
He has lived for hundreds of years using the immortality potion and hoarded everything in Titan Valley. He obviously made quite a huge amount of wealth.
With that much already, shouldn’t he let go of his greed by now?
But instead, he was even eyeing the Northern Mines. He doesn’t know that his greed will be what pushes him down the pit to his demise.
“Are you threatening me?”
“Of course not. You just don’t know the legend of the Northern Mines. If you are too greedy, the ghost of the mine will find you and kill you before even the rats and the birds know. So stop being greedy and take only about 2 years worth of profit.”
I’m sure Deputy Mayor Donstar will be the person to send the ghost. Even an idiot would understand that much”
“Think hard about it. Since you said you are busy, you may leave.”
I said everything I need to say as well. This much is enough to set the atmosphere.
Now I just need to find the right time to put the noose around Donstar’s neck.
I headed outside.
I could see Kaicher. Jose and Batoom were next to Kaicher as well.
But the government workers at the City Hall must only be able to see Kaicher. They were fawning over Kaicher. Almost as if getting his attention was the highest honor or something.
“Would you like some fruit?”
“I brought a chair for you. Please sit here and rest.”
“Do you like black tea?”
Kaicher showed no response. He just sat there in his characteristic stiff position and prayed like a stone Buddha.
“Tunnel supervisor-nim, you’re out?”
“Oh, you’re back?”
Kaicher finally opened his eyes after Batoom and Jose greeted me.
“Let us go.”
We left the City Hall together. The City Hall workers looked at Kaicher’s back with disappointed expressions.
“Why didn’t you take anything they offered you?”
This dude’s ignoring me again.
Everything is good about Kaicher except this. Although that is part of what makes him so charming.
Titan Square is less than 300m away from City Hall. We quickly arrived at the meeting spot. Of course this was the meeting spot with Parison, one of Humbley’s people.
We drank some tea as we waited.
But why is he so late?
We’ve been waiting for over an hour already but Parison did not seem like he was going to show up.
But Batoom did not seem to care. It was almost like it was normal to wait this long to meet Parison.
It meant that he always did this. In other words, Parison was ‘gap’ and Batoom was ‘ool’. 
“Does Parison make more than the market value for the minerals?”
“Of course. He’s done a lot for me for a long time. Even now. Someday, I will need to return the favor.”
He really is an innocent person. Maybe it is because he has only been swinging the pickaxe for his whole life, but he’s just playing around on the merchant’s palm.
I already sent Jose to find out the price of minerals in Avanguarde. I had him carefully figure out the retail price as well as the wholesale price.
Parison purchases the minerals at higher than market value?
He doesn’t know what he is talking about. He is actually getting 10% less than market value.
Of course Parison had a justification to do that.
It was the unique nature of the area called the Titan Valley.
It is deep in the mountains, and you have to pass a large plateau to get here, making transportation fees quite large.
Parison used that as the reason to drop the value of the minerals. The simple-minded Batoom fell for whatever Parison said.
But now, the route is pretty well developed. It takes a while to transport things, but the cost itself should not be as high anymore.
Realistically speaking, if you were to pay less for transport, it would make sense to cut about 4%.
Plus, the mineral from Titan Valley are high quality. That needs to be taken into consideration as well.
If you do that, it would be normal to trade it at a higher cost than other areas.
For Batoom, we can say it is because he is simple-minded.
‘Parison, you scammer. You’re pretty much stealing in the open, aren’t you?’
Isn’t he pretty much a gangster vendor than a businessman?
It’s the same reason I devalued Humbley to the wholesale level now.
Humbley is either the same type of scammer, or really lacking in controlling his minions. Wouldn’t it be one or the other?
The longer I had to wait for Parison, the more my disappointment in Humbley continued to grow.
‘If I meet him and decide this won’t work, I just have to throw him away.’
There was nothing for me to be disappointed about. I didn’t need to trade with Humbley.
Bandark is fine, and the 3rd ranked merchant is fine too. No matter who it is, I will make a deal with the person who will give me the greatest gain.
Then that person will succeed while their competitiors will crash.
“I guess I should remove myself. There is no good that will come out from my being here.”
Kaicher stood up from his seat.
“Is there some kind of problem?”
“I don’t want to influence your deal.”
That ‘influence’ will not only be negative to me, but also be positive. Which means, he didn’t want the trade partner to shrink in fear because Kaicher was with me.
I had no desire to escort him out. Of course I will use him as much as I can, but that is for later, when Kaicher is one of my people.
“I will wait outside.”
Saying that, Kaicher stepped outside.
Parison didn’t show up for another 30 minutes.
Was he in his mid-40s? He looked decent and had a friendly expression, but maybe it is because of the things I’ve heard, but he looked really grumpy.
“What is it? I am busy so please just quickly state your business.”
There isn’t even a sorry for being late.
There’s a lot of arrogance in the way he is sitting as well. Definitely the attitude of a ‘gap’ dealing with an ‘ool.’
Batoom quickly directed the attention to me.
“I wanted to introduce this person to you Mr. Parison. His name is Kang Hwi Ram. He cleared Tunnel 99 of the Batoom Mines and this time, he cleared the Northern Mines. He is Titan Valley’s hero.”
“Oh, you are Mr. Kang Hwi Ram. I’ve heard the rumors. You completed quite a feat at such a young age.”
Parison showed interest in me.
I should start nicely too. Until I make a final decision, everyone needs to be on my side.
“I was just lucky. I heard a lot about you from Senior Batoom. He said you’ve done quite a lot of things for him.”
“Ay, it wasn’t much. Just helping each other when things are tough. Haha.”
Completely shameless. Very much like a merchant. But not the type to become a really successful businessman.
“The reason I asked to meet Mr. Parison today was to pay you back for everything you did for Mr. Batoom in his stead.”
“Oh, pay me back? How so?”
Parison was curious. It was like watching a hyena salivating in front of a prey.
I handed a letter I prepared beforehand to Parison. The outside was sealed, so he could not verify the contents.
Parison tilted his head once he received the letter.
“What is this?”
“Please give it to Humbley-nim. Then he will praise you very much. He might even give you a reward.”
He will definitely deliver it. If he doesn’t, neither Humbley nor Parison will be able to avoid large damages.
“But I need to know the content …… Humbley-nim is very busy so I have to deliver this in person.”
“Someone like Humbley-nim will definitely read it once he sees the envelope.”
If he doesn’t even have that much insight, he won’t have the qualifications to read the letter. You have to have good character to be one of my people, but you also need to have good abilities as well.
Parison looked at the envelope.
There was only a short message on the envelope.
[The trends of the Jeppi and your future.]
If you think about it, it is news at the level of a divine message. It talks about the future of the continent.
But I don’t know if a minor merchant like Parison will be able to understand the meaning of it.
 This is from an old Korean method of counting dates. ‘Gap’ is the pronunciation of the first month and ‘Ool’ is the pronunciation of the second. Long story short, it means Parison is superior, but I thought I’d keep the phrase in there.
Last chapter for the week.
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Translator : Miraclerifle
Proofreader : Miraclerifle