Chapter 337: Time Consignment Store Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Situated southwest of the Breezy Plains, Roland City, also known as the City of Abundance, enjoyed a widespread reputation for having fertile land and hundreds of farms. The crops produced here far exceeded what was needed by the whole Breezy Plains. Every autumn, long lines of carriages would line up outside Roland City to barter for crops. They hailed from many smaller human kingdoms nearby; even the Elves and Dwarfs, the two big races, would secretly dispatch middlemen to obtain supplies.
As the carriages with food left the city, large amounts of wealth and other resources flowed endlessly into the City of Abundance. Ever since the Dark Ages ended 1,300 years ago, perhaps n.o.body knew exactly how much wealth the City of Abundance had acc.u.mulated.
Arathor ascended the position of castellan at the age of 24, and it had now been over 20 years since that moment. With his intelligence, Arathor had managed the City of Abundance in a highly organized manner in the last 20 years, which was seen as a nearly impossible feat to many. When he took over as castellan, the City of Abundance was trapped in chaos. When the previous castellan, the old Arathor had pa.s.sed on, his men were scrambling for power, and the City of Abundance was as good as scattered sand. Powerful forces around the city were also eyeing this fertile piece of land like hungry beasts.
Almost everyone was waiting to see Arathor become a laughingstock. The castellans of nearby cities were even betting with each other to see if he could last a month as castellan. Perhaps n.o.body had known that not only would he last more than a month, he would do so spectacularly. After becoming the castellan, the first thing Arathor did was to open the city's doors and welcome a powerful Elven Army which had dealt with the chaos in Roland City within 10 days. Not only that, for the next 20 years, they served as a powerful deterrence for any nearby forces who threatened to make a move.
n.o.body knew where the Elven Army came from, and n.o.body knew how Arathor was able to control them. Anyway, Arathor had managed to secure his position as castellan thanks to this army even though everybody had thought he would fail. For the next two decades, he also held the power over the City of Abundance tightly in his hands.
All of this was something Sienna had told Lin Li along the way…
The over dozen carriages entered the city easily, and headed straight to the base of the mercenary corps. Only then did Lin Li realize that Sienna's mercenary corps had been established barely two weeks ago, and did not even have a proper name, much less a proper base. They only had a few houses in the southwestern district of Roland City; the most s.p.a.cious one was turned into a meeting room, also doubling as a waiting room, while the other two on the side were turned into living quarters. Of course, it was guaranteed to be crowded; one would be lucky to be allocated a room with only four to five people, and even the leader Sienna had to live with others.
However, Sienna was sure that it would not be long before they found an escape to this…
This was because when they entered the place, Sienna clearly heard the young mage tell him, "Sienna, if you're free this afternoon, find some time to send the twins back to the Castellan Mansion. Remember, do this in the name of your mercenary corps; you can decide what to ask for as a reward, but remember to get me one million gold coins' worth of food. I need to use it to exchange for something else."
When he heard this, Sienna's first reaction was… Am I hearing things?
How was that possible…
As a person from Roland City, how could Sienna not know what Castellan Arathor's rewards meant? They meant that it didn't matter what you wanted—be it money or authority, anything you want—Arathor could satisfy you! Sienna could not believe that anybody in the world would give up such a great opportunity. It was something everybody dreamt of; n.o.body in their right mind would reject it…
However, Sienna had clearly heard the young mage say that he would give him this chance, only asking for one million gold coins' worth of food. That was no big deal to Sienna—he did save the castellan's son. Roland City was also known as the City of Abundance, and was well-known for producing ample crops—one million gold coins' worth of food would merely fill up a thousand carriages, equaling about a year's produce of a dozen farms. There were hundreds of such farms everywhere in Roland City!
When Sienna heard what Lin Li said, he was dazed and had a blank look on his face as though he had been possessed, yet he was strangely excited at the same time. He felt as though he was a beggar who got a windfall and was worried about losing his wealth while racking his brains over how he should spend it.
"Actually, I have a suggestion. I wonder if you would like to hear it…"
"Huh?" The sound scared Sienna. When he raised his head to see who had been speaking to him, he sheepishly nodded when he realized it was the person who had given him the fortune. "If you have any instructions for me, Mage Felic, of course I will listen to it…"
"No, no, no, this is not any instruction for you, merely a suggestion. Actually, I think you should not ask for any monetary rewards. While funds are important for Adventurers, and can help you build up your mercenary corps, it is merely a single important factor, and does not determine your success as a mercenary corps. If you can, ask for special privileges… maybe the privilege to hire Adventurers from retired veterans, or having the army's help in completing missions. You could also have the castellan send army instructors to help train your subordinates. Anyway, you're going to want to build up the ability of your mercenary corps…"
Sienna listened quietly as Lin Li spoke, and did not hurry to flatter Lin Li as he usually did.
"This is going to sound bad, but after the trip to Syer Town, I realized your men are really bad, and are not capable of dealing with any real danger at all. If you really ask for great wealth from the castellan, then you're not far from a crisis yourself, because you're unable to fend off those who will covet your wealth. It is a mercenary world in the Breezy Plains, and you only command respect if you are strong and powerful. Take Jason for example. It would not be too much to say that he can live happily in Doland City even if he doesn't have a penny on him, and why is that? That's because he has the capability—with his companions, they are one of the most outstanding group of Adventurers in the whole Doland City, and n.o.body would dare belittle them, not even the castellan of Doland City himself. Don't you want to enjoy the same status as Jason, Leader Sienna?"
"I think I understand what you mean, Mage Felic…" Sienna froze for a minute before he slowly raised his head and looked at Lin Li with sincerity. "Thank you for your advice."
"Haha, that is no advice, merely a suggestion. As for what you should do, it is ultimately up to you to decide." Lin Li seemed to have forgotten about this whole issue after he said that, and never mentioned it again.
Of course, Lin Li could do that, but Sienna dared not.
The young mage's words. .h.i.t close to his heart. Before this, he had indeed decided to ask for great wealth or some kind of authority, but he had never thought of how he would be able to defend what he would receive. This was the Breezy Plains, after all, and if Arathor's father, the previous castellan, could die in his own house for some reason, how did he know he would not meet the same fate?
Lin Li looked at Sienna, who seemed to be deep in thought, and smiled satisfactorily. He had already shown him the path; now, it was up to his fate to finish it.
This was only a few words to him, after all. Even if Sienna chose not to follow this path, it would do Lin Li no harm, but if he did, and managed to build a strong mercenary corps, he would be of great help in the future. There were many things the Guild of Magic could not intervene personally in; hence, nearly every Guild of Magic would maintain good relations with a mercenary corps. The Guild of Magic in Jarrosus did so, and so the one in Alanna. They had to be on good terms with a mercenary corps—the friendlier, the better…
Lin Li knew Sienna and his men well. Unfortunately, they were terrible in terms of ability, and would not be able to fend for themselves, much less complete tasks for him. Lin Li thought about it, and decided to give this opportunity to them as there was not really anything he wanted besides the food. Whatever he wanted, the castellan could not give him, and whatever the castellan could produce, Lin Li had no interest in. Why not give this chance to Sienna as a casual favor, giving him a chance to become powerful while also getting in his good books? Then, if Lin Li had any favors to ask of Sienna in the future, could the latter refuse him?
This was a win-win situation, especially to Sienna—it was a G.o.dsend for him. After getting Lin Li's approval, Sienna was grinning from ear to ear, and was in a terribly good mood the whole afternoon, giving everybody he met a suspiciously warm smile. Lin Li could not continue watching him like this, so he coughed dryly after lunch, and said, "Hey, Leader Sienna, is there something you should be doing now?"
"Oh, right, right…" After hearing Lin Li's words, the smiley Sienna suddenly came to his senses, and hurriedly changed his clothes before calling for a carriage and heading off to the Castellan Mansion with the twins.
Lin Li felt bored after Sienna left as there were only that many people in their base, and all of them were so afraid of him that they could not speak more than a few words to Lin Li before stuttering. Anybody would have thought that Lin Li had done something to them. The only person who dared speak to him was Jason, who was acting strangely too, annoying Lin Li greatly. After pacing around the base, he decided to call for Norfeller and Ujfalusi.
"If the both of you have nothing better to do, then go out for a walk with me."
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"Ok…" What could a couple of Undead creatures be doing? Whatever you say…
"We don't need the magical equipment for now, but my friend here is lacking a weapon…" Lin Li pointed at Norfeller who stood next to him. "I wonder if Mr Brook has anything to recommend?"
"Weapons? Of course… of course I do!" Brook's smile widened comically as he led the group in while rattling on. "We had a new s.h.i.+pment of weapons these few days. I'm sure you've heard of the Marathon's Forging Workshop? These weapons are masterpieces from them. Should I bring you to take a look?"
"Marathon Forging Workshop?" Lin Li stopped when he heard this, and his expression darkened. "Mr Brook, you're kidding me, right? The weapons from them might be good enough for city guards, but it will be a disgrace for my friend. They can cut open magical beasts, but are they good enough to s.h.i.+eld him against magical attacks?"
"Well…" The middle-aged man could not help being embarra.s.sed after Lin Li's remark, and realized he met people who knew their stuff. The Marathon Forging Workshop was well-known throughout the Felan Kingdom, but not many knew that the best of their weapons were for the Three Great Armies, and they usually sold inferior goods to others. While they were not merely good enough for city guards like Lin Li had said, they were definitely not enough for an Adventurer above level-10…
However, the middle-aged man was experienced, and while he knew he had been exposed, he did not panic, and merely smiled apologetically with a bit of sheepishness, intending to let this matter rest. Seeing as he had smiled an apology, Lin Li decided not to pursue the matter, and was waiting for him to explain himself when he heard a sarcastic voice from behind.
"The heck, which b.a.s.t.a.r.d dares to be so arrogant? Even the Marathon Forging Workshop's weapons are only good enough for city guards? I wonder what is good enough for you, why don't you enlighten me?"
"…" Lin Li froze for about 10 seconds as he found the situation amusing and ridiculous. He had been in Anril for about a year, and had made many enemies, but not once had he encountered somebody who spoke so haughtily without reason…
No… no, he had…
Lin Li turned around and realized he was wrong.
There was a young man around 20 standing behind him, short and fat, but he just had to wear a glittery silver armor too. His helmet was in his right hand, so he looked like a big dis...o...b..ll carrying a small dis...o...b..ll from afar…
"b.l.o.o.d.y h.e.l.l, so it's you, idiot!" Lin Li did not have the chance to speak before Lasorick had started shouting away. "Alright, no wonder I could not find you in Doland City, you're hiding away in Roland City now, aren't you? Why, you realized how powerful I am that you know to hide first, huh? I'll tell you what, there's no use hiding, you… you people over there, catch this b.a.s.t.a.r.d now!"
Lasorick shouted away at the top of his voice, but he secretly took a few steps back…
Unfortunately, his followers were not dumb, either. They had clearly heard Master Garza say that the black-cloaked fellow was a level-17. What a joke, you want us to die? Why don't you go ahead instead?
"d.a.m.n it, never mind, I'll let you go this time…" Lasorick had been shouting away, but none of his followers made a move. Even a fool would have realized that something was not right; hence, he could only yell away while taking back what he said about catching him…
"Shut up…" Lin Li gave him a glance and could not be bothered to deal with the glittery dis...o...b..ll any longer. He laughed and turned back to Brook, apologizing, "I'm sorry we were interrupted by that fool. Well, Mr Brook, any other recommendations for my friend?"
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