Truly speaking, Kenshin and Bastian were no longer slaves, but Bastian wanted the world to keep assuming they were. Bastian had some sort of grand plan but he was unwilling to share it with anyone else except Kenshin, whose silence showed that he also approved as well.
“Hello, sorry I’m late,” sad Bastian as he entered and took his seat,” Okay, let’s begin.”
“You! It is supposed to be the young master who dictates when the meeting begins!” bellowed Kai.
Bastian feigned an apologetic expression. “Oh sorry my bad. Anyway let’s start.”
“You bast-” before Kai could continue, Shasha raised his hand, cutting him off. Bastian always marveled whenever that happened. Sebastian had grown up in such a world and was used to seeing such things, but Bastian was always amused by how obedient people were to their masters in this world
“Don’t worry Bastian. You may continue. Besides, we all know you are the one in charge here…” Bastian pitied Shasha because he looked ashamed at admitting that he didn’t really have the power, but Bastian, quickly shifted gears because what was needed there wasn’t pity, it was ruthlessness.
“Alright then, Guy did you bring what I asked for?” Bastian looked toward Guy with expectation.
“Yes sir. Everything has been prepared.” Guy placed a bag on the table. Bastian got excited to the point where he stood up and ran to the other side of the table with the giddiness of a child.
In a flash he had opened the bag and had already put on one of the contents. A long white coat with long sleeves and a pocket on the left side of the chest. In that room, only Kenshin knew the significance of that lab coat to Bastian.
As soon as Bastian put it on, a wave of nostalgia hit him, bathing him in memories that had long since passed. On earth, Bastian was a man who loved lab coats severely. Even at his home, he would be wearing one. He even had his pajamas fashioned after a lab coat.
Up till then, he never had the means or time to get one made, but at that moment, he finally took the chance to wear it while he still had it. Bastian took a deep breath and raised both of his hands, basking in an ambiance that no one in the room except Kenshin understood.
“Right on to the next.” Bastian then reached for the next object he had asked for. It was a small ball that one could fully enclose with one hand. It was made from what seemed to be a brown material. It was elastic, and could contract when squeezed, reverting back to its original state when released. Bastian did that many times, to the point where everyone in the room felt awkward. No one really cared about a simple coat and an elastic ball, but Bastian was making things weird, to the point where even Guy, who had those things procured, was wondering if there were something important in what Bastian was doing.
“There is nothing special about the coat or the ball. Bastian is just acting foolish. You have my word.” Kenshin’s words washed away the unease within everyone’s hearts. They all knew that Bastian was an oddball, so they were quick to adjust. After finishing his ritual Bastian went back to his seat ready to commence the meeting, as if he had never done anything strange to begin with. However, ever since he had gripped the ball, he had never stopped squeezing it and letting go…
The meeting that day was to focus on what they knew so far, and whether or not it would be useful. So far, Tino had really impressed the others. Her information gathering capabilities had far exceeded their expectations. It was safe to say that, they knew the true face of Yani City. Although for Bastian, that still was not enough. Time was of the essence, so they had to make every second count.
“Our current dilemma is money. The Cole family will not work with us unless we have a significant standing within the city. It is unwise to reveal that who we really represent at this moment, so its best we create our own standing in this city.” Everyone in the room nodded at Bastian’s words.
“Guy has procured worthy men capable of acting as the backbone of our martial might. Tino and her sisters are very capable of being our ears and eyes. What we currently lack the most in this city is money.”
Once again everyone nodded at Bastian’s words. Money makes the world go round, and Yani City was no exception to this rule. Cultivation brings power, but one cannot cultivate without resources, and resources are expensive. It did not matter what kind of organization one wanted to create. At the end of the day, nothing could happen without money.
They were not handed any funds by the crown prince, thus they had to make their own money. Everyone there had a specialty, but no one in that room knew how to make money quickly.
“I can understand that we are in a bit of a bind. Which is why I have a proposition. One that allows us to make full use of our resources.”
“What do you propose?” questioned Shasha.
“I propose we create a mercenary army.”
A myriad of different sounds echoed throughout the room. It was not a bad idea to create a mercenary army, however creating a mercenary army and creating a profitable mercenary army were two very different things.
That was a risky business that could lead to bankruptcy. Especially in a stable region such as the Eastern Islands. Not to mention mercenaries risked their lives on a daily basis. There was no guarantee that they would be able to survive on their missions. Last but not least, for their business to be successful, they need an army. Recruiting soldiers was not an easy thing, it required quite the reputation and it also required money…which they didn’t have. It was an endless cycle leading to the same problem.
“Think of it this way. We can make money, and we can have a legitimate excuse for recruiting soldiers at the same time.” Everyone in the room finally realized the crucial point of that idea. They could recruit an army!
If one suddenly started recruiting for an army within the city, then people would become suspicious. Yet if it was a mercenary army, it could be a different story. Mercenaries were as numerous as the stars in the night sky on the Sovereign Continent. It was not abnormal to see a large mercenary army within a city.
Also due to the Information from Tino, the group knew that there were no strong mercenary armies in the city, thanks to suppression by the three aristocratic families.
If, however, they were to expand, with the support of the Cole family, it would be a different story.