The bright morning sun shined upon the eyes of William and the others the moment they got out to the surface. It was the morning sun of the next day. From the way Willian and the others were acting, it felt as if their eyes hadn’t registered it. It definitely wasn´t a refreshed expression they made once they saw the sun. They were still frightened.
It was only obvious they were scared. Death had been much closer than they thought all along. They trembling in their heart wouldn’t stop ever since they realized that.
“Don´t ever… don´t associate with them ever again. I can´t win against that thing.”
Kail said to Havella while making a sour face that was as if he had eaten a bug.
Havella nodded. Her face was expressionless, but seemed a bit pale.
“So they cordially left us a corpse to take care of, huh? How grateful I really am…”
There was a dead body of an assassin that had a similar uniform to Havella fallen by their feet. Perhaps they were telling William and the others to deal with the last dead body. Lifting the dead body onto his shoulder, William turned his head to Kail and Havella.
“Leave the rest to me. Havella, the situation might get problematic to you; Kail too even. That’s why you two should wait for the remaining heat to cool down. Just in case.”
William playfully winked to Kail. Kail made a wry smile.
“I will be taking some distance from you two for some time.”
Havella was about to object right as she heard that. Interrupting her, William said.
“Of course our bonds won’t change. Only, I am someone whose master is a centurion. Moreover, I also need to get my business plans started. I will be busy, and I will also be committing to risks. Perhaps, a somewhat of a harsh period of time has just come for me, and for you as well.”
William made a bitter smile. Havella, who would usually throw a tantrum at these times, didn’t say anything. There was no way she could. William and Kail fell into a big problem because of her own fault.
“It’s not like we will never meet ever again. We will just meet less frequently,. Besides, we will be able to meet often once I get time to spare.”
But would it ever come to be that William would get spare time?
“Be careful. If you are at risk of dying, you must do anything you can to live. If it ever comes to this, you can always count on me. I will go help you if you ever need my strength.”
Kail’s words gave William courage. Would there be any other words that were as reliable as those? The strongest person among the people he knew was his best friend.
“If there is anything I can do for you, I will do it.”
Havella was another one of William’s best friends. It was because of that that he had to take distance from them. William got himself involved too deeply into shaddy business this time. In order to not lose his precious friends, it was necessary for him to have them stay away from danger. William was basically a lump of danger to them. Beside him was somewhere he didn’t want them to be.
“So then, see you later.”
William turned away from them. This wasn’t going to be his last farewell, but he didn’t feel like meeting them again for some time. It wasn’t his wish to have them caught into his personal matters any further. The problem in question this time happened because they tried to take on William’s revenge. Hence, it was mostly William’s fault.
From now on, he would need to focus on the battlefield, in his business, on his revenge, and also on his relationship with the ruler of the night. Those were matters so important that required him every bit of his mental resources. All of these matters had danger following along. It was more than enough for him to shoulder those risks by himself.
But before he could work on accomplishing all those things, there was a place William needed to go.
“First I need to have this dealt with properly.”
It wasn’t necessary to have them hurt because of the path he was walking. The only ones to be hurt along the way are his enemies. It troubled William that his friends would get themselves involved for him and get hurt in result. He didn’t even want to imagine that happening. Is there any person that would wish to see their friends burn by the fault of one’s own deeds?
“Hou, medicine, is it? You laid your eyes over an interesting field.”
After having finished dealing with a few complications, it was only after a few days that William could go bring his business project to Louran.
Louran attentively looked at the project sheet William had written. William was waiting Louran to finish reading with his chest filled with pride. There was no need to be cowering in fear. It was impossible that Louran would barge into his affairs with the kingdom of the night. It was because William was confident about it that he awaited the next moment brazenly.
“Yes, we can work with this you wrote here.”
The conclusion: It went through, even if a bit too easily perhaps.
That was a great leap in the life of William Rivius.
The military was a place to earn status and honor. However, his goals weren’t something he could achieve with just that. William also needed assets; he needed money. Money is something that is good enough by itself just by having a lot of it. The more money, the more possibilities. Although he would be helpless if he had nothing but money, he wouldn’t be able to do anything at all if he didn’t have money. Both were necessary to rise to prominence.
“Thank you, my lord.”
William deeply bowed his head.
“I have two… three questions. Can I ask you them?”
“As you wish.”
It was the confirmation that came after the decision. There was no way he could give careless answers. However, all of the reasons for him to be tense were already settled just by Louran accepting the project. Although there was a certain [part] William needed to fool Louran about, he could come up with as many good excuses as he wished for that.
“First and foremost, you’ve really done well for getting such a good supplier. It seems you thoroughly investigated about the medicinal herbs all sorts of medicine are composed of, about poisonous herbs, and even rare herbs that are considered too rare to be circulating in the market. It should have been very difficult for you to get this sort of information, not to mention information from this business circle.”
Louran was indirectly asking William how he was able to find all that information. It wasn’t necessary for William to say any lies there.
“I became good friends with a smuggler, so I was able to learn from him with the condition that I would include him in our distribution channels. There is nothing better than to profit from your sales without holding high risks. It was because of that that allowing him to use the channels is stated in the plan.”
Louran looked at the project sheet. There was one point Louran was curious about.
“I see. The supplier is this person called [Martin], right? But that is quite the big budget. I have no complaints to his gross profit. As for what kind of person he is… Let’s not ask about that. Although the danger of letting him through our routes is a problem, we will make good money as long as we can properly go right [in between].”
The man named Martin. It was the merchant that would sell various kinds of “remedies” at the kingdom of the night. In order for William to start his business, he first needed to obtain the necessary [information]. The man that had the necessary information was Martin, a resident of the night.
Receiving permission from Nyx to act as he saw fit in their meeting, he exploited everything he could from Martin in less than one night. Because of that, he was able to get information that could literally be translated into money. This was who William’s “supplier” was.
“I understood the conditions of the supplier. Now my next question: There are many other companies that deal with products related to medicine. As for the bigger ones in that branch, there are major companies that have connections with the royalty. How are we supposed to win against them?”
The competition between companies. They obviously exist. But how to win against them? That was Louran’s question.
“I do not have the intention to contest against them for the time being. We will be dealing mainly with rare materials and dangerous goods; things they do not have the qualifications to deal with, much less the means for knowing about them. The price of those are considerably high, so even if they put considerable effort to try to compete with us, they will be fighting in a field they cannot contest.”
Louran nodded in satisfaction to William’s answer. You don’t fight opponents you can’t win. The method of fighting in business and in war are the same. Whether you are fighting with swords or with money: that’s how far the difference between the two go.
“I see. Then, one last thing… How will you deal with the labor force? You are often away from Arkas; there is no way possible that you would be able to manage the company by yourself all the time, is there?”
The question regarding the prerequisite for doing business. In either case, William’s project sheet had convincing power. That project was one that would definitely earn them money. There was no way Louran, a businessman, would refuse the offer.
“We will borrow some of the people from Frank´s and Ignats´ companies. Employees of companies under the Teirah family are not allowed to do their job poorly. Since they have experience in doing business, the amount of things we need to teach them will be less.”
“In that case, I can approve your project. I will be counting on you, chairman William.”
William received a firm handshake from Louran. The coldness of his hands or the heat of his eyes; it wasn’t necessary to think in order to realize which of those he needed to pay heed to.
“Please, leave it to me, my lord. I will not fail you.”
The foothold for William’s rise. Though yet lacking experience, William has finally obtained both a weapon and the control of a company.
“Ah, ga, aaah, ga.”
It was a underground room where water from the sewers were oozing out. There was a stinking smell wafting around. Inside this dark room that not the slightest ray of sunlight could get in, there was only one source light. Every time the fire trembled, the man raised his groaning voice.
“What, so you’ve become broken?”
The one that appeared at the room was a man wearing a cheaply made mask used for comedy plays and a red wig that one could see with one glance it was bought at a low price. That red haired man brought the fire closer to the groaning man. When he did that….
“Kuku, it’s because you wouldn’t open your mouth that you became like that. Since you were going to speak up at the end, you might as well had done so while you were still a human.”
The name of the man that ceased to be a human was Martin. It was very miserable how this was the end of the man that had built up to a high position in the kingdom of night. He was the authority that supervised all the smugglers of the guild of darkness. However, to the man the ruler of night fell in love at first sight, he was nothing more than a tool.
“Well, I must give you my thanks, my dear friend Martin. Your information has saved my life and the life of my friends. And so, I give you my gratitude. You should be grateful too… for having been chosen as my stepping stone.”
With his hand, he red haired man gently broke the neck of the thing that used to be Martin. It was such a quick death to the point that made one ponder whether the unceasing pain Martin had been given until now had any meaning.
“I will be counting on you to get rid of his body, Bai Long. Do me the favor to put the cost for the cleaning job on the tab.”
“Don’t think you can use me so leisurely. For once, I have a high rank here.”
“Kuku, I know that. Now then, give my best regards to the ruler of the night. Tell her for me: “Let’s both of us make profit together”.”
Without saying any words, Bai Long left the red haired man’s side. The cleaning was probably going to be done once the man left the place. With that being said, there was no way Bai Long would be the one doing it. To buy mochi, one goes to the mochi shop; the ones cleaning after dead bodies are probably going to be the ones that wo. Without holding any particular to the place, the man soon left.
“While I have new in business, but as for the battlefield, from now on I will be controlling a hundred-man squad. Ah, I’m iching to put it to test.”
The man took away the red wig and the funny-looking mask and threw them away. What appeared behind these costumes was a beautiful figure of a pure white hair and handsome build that would get even more so with the passing of the years. Showing a smile that would make one’s heart excited, the man looked as if he had returned to being a boy somehow.
With that, the man disappeared into the city of night.