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As I trail behind Kervin, we reach the double doors making up the entrance to Silver Herd’s Drey branch. Both doors are made from thick slabs of wood with no seams, indicating the doors were cut from a huge tree. Carved into the doors are etchings of bivol pulling wagons.

 

The bivol in the design is inlaid with a silvery metal that I haven't seen before. Sense Mana tells me the metal isn't silver itself, but I wouldn't put it past the person who designed this building to use precious metals to make a statement.

 

Once we’re a few feet from the doors, they swing open. With Sense Mana, I watch two figures hidden out of sight on the inside pull open the doors. I wonder what skill they used to know when people are approaching the door?

 

We enter a large reception area that further shows off the company's wealth, polished wooden flooring instead of stone, smooth plaster walls, all lit up with a magical chandelier overhead. Cushioned chairs are tastefully set aside for when people need to wait around, accented by potted plants that look tropical. Each feature seems to be designed to capture the eye… and draw your attention away from the guards watching your every move.

 

Two, five, six, and the two men who opened the door are armed as well. All of them are decked-out from head to toe in clean, black hide armor. I’m tempted to look at their levels.

 

“Welcome to Silver Herd Trading Company’s Drey branch. How may I help you?” A bubbly female voice pulls my attention away from the hired muscle and to the front of the room.

 

I see three women behind a reception desk, the one in the middle has stood up to address us while the other two continue to work. All three receptionists are wearing tailored dresses, and I notice they all have small amounts of makeup.

 

The receptionist who greeted us looks like she's about to say her next prerecorded line, but she stops when she gets a better look at Kervin. "Oh, if it isn't Kervin. Back again to talk to Mr. Grey? And who is this young lady?”

 

Her trained smile shifts from Kervin to me, so naturally, you'd think I was her target all along. Her smooth voice gives off a feeling of warmth that makes you want to talk to her. I've never encountered skills like this before, to think that they could be used in such a way.

 

"Yes, I have an appointment with Mr. Grey. I was told he was expecting us." I can tell Kervin activated a few of his skills, giving the receptionist his practiced smile, bringing her attention back to him.

 

“I think we did receive a note about that.” Her eyes dart down to her desk for a split second before focusing back at Kervin. “Oh yes, Mr. Grey cleared his schedule to meet with you. Your guards and… I’m sorry you didn’t tell me who this lovely lady is.”

 

The receptionist once again focuses on me, and I see something hidden in her eyes, the gaze of a calculating monster ready to devour its prey.

 

Poor Kervin wasn’t prepared for the conversation to move back to me again so soon and freezes in place.

 

I don't know what this woman is after, but she won't get the better of me. I take a step forward, standing next to Kervin, and introduce myself. "Hello, I'm Aaliyah. Sorry for not introducing myself, uncle Kervin told me I should stay back and watch what he does." I use Acting and Charm to sell my lie further.

 

“He’s your uncle?” The receptionist asks me with a surprised look on her face.

 

I answer her before she turns her attention back to Kervin. “Yep, I was thinking about becoming a merchant, and uncle Kervin offered to take me with him to see how it's done." I do my best to imitate excitement.

 

"But why would you want to be a merchant like your uncle when you can be a receptionist like me. You already have the smile for it." I can't tell if she's sincere or if she's saying she sees through my facade. "While your uncle talks to Mr. Grey, you can wait here in the lobby with his bodyguards, and I'll show you who really runs this branch.”

 

Crap, she backed me into a corner. What do I do now?

 

“I already informed Mr. Grey that Kervin’s niece was with him. He said it was fine for her to join them.” Reel cuts in with the gracefulness of a politician.

 

“That’s disappointing,” the receptionist pouts. “Maybe next time then.” She switches her attention back to Kervin. “You remember the way to his office, right?”

 

“I can manage. Let’s go, Aaliyah.” Kervin quickly beckons me to follow him to a nearby hallway, desperate to leave the woman behind.

 

“Come back and see me again, sweety.” I shudder as I hear the receptionist call out to me once more before I’m out of sight.

 

“That woman’s scary,” I mumble under my breath. She perfectly directed the flow of the conversation even when I tried to throw a curveball in.

 

Kervin is close enough to hear me. "All of Silver Herd's lead receptionists are. They're the company's face, and each has to be recognized by all the branch offices and Giovanni himself before being given the position. She’s in charge just as much as Regional Director Grey is.”

 

I won't soon forget that woman. Wait a minute. I turn to Kervin. "What was her name?" I ask him.

 

Kervin only shakes his head. "I've been here dozens of times, and I have no idea."

 

I silently follow behind Kervin.

 

What is up with this company?! Nameless receptionists, spies, secret positions, is this a merchant company or the fantasy version of the CIA!

 

As we are making our way through the building and climbing the third set of stairs, I work up the nerve to ask Kervin. "Is all this really necessary?"

 

“What do you mean?” he looks at me over his shoulder.

 

“The way this company is run, why is everything so clandestine?” We make our way through surprisingly empty halls.

 

"Silver Herd is a fast-growing company, and that makes powerful people take notice. Now that we’re working with such a prominent figure in the military, we'll be under even more scrutiny." Kervin says with a dark tone.

 

“You make it sound like your company is going to war.”

 

"We've been at war. I've just been promoted to a captain and have been given a chance to see the bigger picture." Kervin replies.

 

“You’re overexaggerating,” I roll my eyes at his melodrama. “If a company does good business, it grows, simple as that."

 

Kervin gives me a look like he’s pitying my innocence. “Maybe for the small businesses in the city that applies but not to a company of our size. The three big trading companies wouldn’t hesitate to end us if we gave them an opening.”

 

“And you think the kingdom would let them do that to you?”

 

Kervin stops walking and turns towards me. "The big three trading companies have been around since the kingdom was formed. In all that time, not one company has managed to reach their level. Many have come close, but all have been crushed under their boot. The families that run the big three all have noble titles. Short of them coming and killing everyone, they can get away with almost anything."

 

Kervin turns back around and continues to lead me forward. I’m reminded once again of the differences between this world and my old one. There's no Federal Trade Commission here, no trademarks; everything is up for grabs for those who take it.

 

That's why Silver Herd is trying so hard to rope me in; results are the only thing that matters to them. And by the sound of it, these other companies will likely find out about me too just by my association with Silver Herd.

 

We walk up one more flight of stairs and turn down a hallway that’s covered in paintings. Some of the works are so detailed I’d swear they were from a printer.

 

At the end of the hallway lies a door with the same etchings as those on the building's front door. A plaque on the door reads 'Regional Director Lennard Grey.'

 

Kervin walks up to the door and gently knocks four times.

 

"Come in, come in. I've been waiting for you!" I hear a man shout through the door.

 

Kervin opens the door, and we walk inside a decently sized office. Sitting at a desk on the far side of the room is a man who only looks a few years older than Kervin, but he's glowing with Vitality, so for all I know, he's in his fifties. Grey has light brown hair cut short with a well-trimmed beard. He only looks at Kervin for a moment before he focuses on me with his sharp green eyes.

 

Surrounding his desk and walls are crates with samples of ore and metals resting on top of them. I want to start picking them up and inspecting them, but Grey starts greeting us.

 

“Miss Aaliyah, I’m so happy to have you here with us. Can I offer you some tea? I guarantee it will help with the fatigue from your travels. Would you like a cup, Max?”

 

Who’s…

 

“I’m fine,” a voice answers from behind me.

 

I twist around and move to draw my sword.

 

With his back to the wall, a man in full metal armor is standing in a corner. I slowly move my hand away from my sword, remembering Lurte’s warning from earlier.

 

That was stupid of me; I curse in my head. I lost my focus and stopped using Sense Mana when I was talking to Kervin. I should've scanned the room before I ever entered.

 

I immediately reactivate my skill and scan my surroundings while Grey starts pouring tea. If everyone in the room wasn’t secretly watching me, I would kick myself.

 

Grey has two magical signatures on his person, one already activated. He’s wearing a pendant that masks the magic around him, much like Reel’s ring. Grey also has a magic ring that doesn’t appear activated.

 

Grey's bodyguard has three different magic items on his person. His chest piece and sheathed sword are both magic items, and he's also wearing a pendant that's supposed to hide the mana around his body.

 

I also see two enchantments hidden in the wall behind Grey's desk; one is inert while the other is heating the room.

 

On top of Grey's desk are a variety of small magic tools. I see a firebox which he was using to heat his tea kettle. There's a pen looking magical tool, and Grey has a metal cube that’s linked to the ball of light hovering underneath the ceiling.

 

The last magical signatures in the room are inside Grey’s desk. What drew my attention to the desk is that a part of it was obscured from my senses. I focus on the area my skill is having trouble piercing, and slowly I'm able to look at what's hidden inside. The shielded cubby is concealing a magic tool identical to the one inside Reel's pocket.

 

That must be how they’re contacting one another. Depending on the range, Reel might have contacted Grey before we even left the village. That’s how they were able to prepare everything before we got here.

 

If I take all the magic tools at face value, I've learned a few curious things. Though Grey has a lot of simple magical tools in his office, it's his bodyguard Max that is the best equipped. And if I follow that logic, Reel is even more important than either of them or at least in more danger than they are.

 

"I'm sorry Max startled you; sometimes he scares even me when he remains silent for too long. He meant nothing by it,” Grey reassures me with a grin.

 

"I'm sure he didn't; thank you for welcoming me." Yeah, right; didn’t mean anything my ass! I smile back at him.

 

“Here, try this, it’s jazel-berry tea. The perfect thing to soothe sore muscles." He stands up and offers me a teacup.

 

I take the offered drink and marvel at the wave design on the porcelain cup before I go to take a sip.

 

I bring the cup up to my lips and freeze when I realize Grey hasn't offered a cup to Kervin yet and hasn't picked up his own. There isn't something wrong with the tea, is there?

 

No, they wouldn’t do something like that. Grey can't jeopardize our relationship while I'm handling the general's orders. I tilt my head back and sip the purple tea.

 

I can feel the tea as it travels down my throat and into my stomach; a gentle warmth slowly spreads throughout my body, wiping away a part of my traveling fatigue. "This is really good," I tell Grey, who smiles at my response.

 

Now that I’ve tried the tea, Grey holds a cup out for Kervin to take without asking if he wants any. Kervin politely takes the cup and starts sipping.

 

“I’m sorry I don’t have any place for you to sit. I needed to make room for all the materials.” Grey motions to everything strewn around his office.

 

I start walking around, looking at all the materials in front of me. “You couldn’t put them in a nearby room, or we could’ve gone to the warehouse directly?”

 

"I mean no offense, Miss Aaliyah, but this is the first time we've met. Few are allowed in our sealed warehouse for security reasons." Grey continues to smile at me.

 

I calmly take another sip of my tea. “Well, I should thank you then, for bringing everything to me.” I offer some lip service.

 

I move over to a crate with a brown ingot placed on top of it and shift the lid. Inside the box are rock samples that match the color of the ingot.

 

“We did our best to select tier 3 and 4 materials, and matched the ore samples with their processed counterparts.” Grey brags about the effort he put into this display.

 

I will admit it makes this more manageable for me. I close the lid of the crate and pick up the brown ingot. It's a good thing I recovered some of my mana after cleaning my room. I pour a minuscule amount of my mana into the metal to better look at its structure.

 

Whatever the metal is called, it has a much purer earth mana concentration even compared to regular minerals. It almost looks like a cross between iron and magicite. It seems stronger than most materials I've worked with, but I shake my head in disappointment and put it back down.

 

"Is something the matter, Miss Aaliyah?" Grey asks from his desk, clearly wondering why I have a displeased look on my face. "Critidem is a popular metal for magic weapons near the capital.”

 

"I can tell it's a good metal, but that's not why I was disappointed." I move over to the next crate and pick up another ingot, only to have my frown deepen further.

 

"Could you explain to me what's wrong? Maybe I can help you if I know the problem?" Grey finally moves out from behind his desk and stands next to Kervin. He genuinely looks like he wants to help me, but that could be a skill for all I know.

 

“I doubt that’s possible,” I say as I scan the closest materials.

 

"Could you tell us why?" Kervin steps in, "If I'm to get you more materials in the future, I need you to tell me what I'm supposed to look for."

 

Kervin doesn't appear to notice, but Grey is giving him a curious look.

 

“You don’t have the skills,” I flat-out tell him. I pick up the silvery metal ingot I was just examining and walk over to the two merchants. “Tell me everything you can about this,” I challenge the both of them.

 

Kervin flounders, but Grey steps forward and gently takes the ingot out from my hands. He scrutinizes the metal and periodically flips it around. "Bashite, water attuned metal. It’s soft and easy to work with. Discovered by Elizial Bash sometime a thousand years ago. Ore sells for 4 gold for a hundred pounds or 8 gold for a ten-pound ingot.” Grey confidently spouts off a few facts regarding the metal before handing it back to me.

 

“I can learn that in time,” Kervin quickly tells me, not wanting to be outdone.

 

“You don’t have to worry about that,” I stop Kervin from worrying. “95% of what he just told me was useless." Both Kervin and Grey look dumbfounded at me, and I hear a chuckle from Max in the corner.

 

I hold the ingot up and explain to them, “The only useful information he told me was it’s water attuned, soft, and how much it costs, and that information would only cover my broadest searches. I doubt either of you could tell me how good the metal is by yourselves.”

 

“What do you mean?” Kervin asks me before Grey can.

 

“If I’m buying already smelted ingots, I’m buying another person’s mistakes along with the metal.”

 

Grey steps in when he hears me question the quality of his goods. “I assure you, Miss Aaliyah, that we only buy expensive materials like these from reputable dealers. These ingots were all smelted with the utmost care."

 

"I believe you," I say to him before he comes to the wrong conclusion. "It's a decent bar of metal, no major fractures, and the metal looks like it was heated properly."

 

“But?” Grey urges me to continue.

 

I sigh, “But when it comes to the standards I need, it has some major problems. It has no major fractures, but I can see three microfractures that would jeopardize the internal structure when subjected to the forces a woman like General Pitz is famous for.” Both men open their mouths in disbelief.

 

"And that isn't all," I continue to explain. "The internal mana structure has been damaged. Most likely, the metal wasn't folded right, or something happened in the cooling process; either way, it won't channel mana as effectively as it should.”

 

A silence falls over the room.

 

Grey stares at the ingot in my hand. “You can see all that by just picking it up?”

 

I knew coming here that I would face this problem. I need to display a part of my abilities without giving everything away, so that they know I'm as good as they think I am.

 

If I undersell myself, they’ll think they can walk all over me.

 

But if I give away too many of my secrets, then they’ll tighten their hold on me.

 

“I was blessed with a good skill, that’s all I’ll say.” I evenly look into Grey’s eyes.

 

"Fair enough," He peacefully backs down. "If we factor in your requirements, are any of these ingots useful to you?" He doesn't try to extract any more information from me and moves on.

 

“They’re not completely useless,” I move to put the ingot back from where I got it and move on to the next one. “With the final products here, I can test the processed metal and decide which ores I need. Mr. Grey appears to know a few particulars of each of the metals, can you help me narrow down my search?”

 

“What are you looking for?”

 

I look back at the man. "I need a really strong metal for the arrowhead, a strong yet flexible metal for the shaft, and a few magical beast feathers that are durable. I've seen what my arrows can do in the hands of a level 50 archer, and the general told Kervin that my arrows were good enough for someone around level 75. I need materials that won't break after being launched from a bow using over 200 Strength."

 

Mr. Grey rubs his upper lip. "I can think of a few strong metals for the arrowhead, and I have a few feathers from an earth attuned magic beast, but all the strong materials I can think of for the arrow shaft aren't that flexible.”

 

“Let’s start with the arrowhead then,” I tell Grey.

 

“Give me a moment to gather them.” I watch Mr. Grey move around his office and grab three different ingots and a pitch-black stone the size of a large fruit.

 

He places the samples on a crate next to me and proceeds to order them to a standard that only makes sense to him. He points at the first ingot, which is dark grey in color. "These are the four best metals I could think of, all earth attuned. I ordered them from the most popular to the least. The first one we have is called Qucroyntine. Mined not too far away, Qucroyntine is the cheapest and most used metal for higher tired smiths around here.”

 

I pick up the ingot, and Grey waits for me to examine it myself. I don't have many examples of magic metals, so I compare it to the fire iron I used to make my sword. The mana inside the ingot is slower moving, indicative of earth mana, but at the same capacity as the fire iron. I need to quantify how well these metals absorb my mana, so I'll again use my sword as an example. I'll give my sword a four in mana absorption, and by comparison, the qucroyntine is only a three, maybe a three and a half if I’m generous.

 

I set the ingot down, and Grey continues. "Next is the critidem, comparable to qucroyntine, only more expensive because it isn’t local.”

 

Even though I already examined it earlier, I rate the critidem like I did the qucroyntine. Internal mana is slightly more than the Qucroyntine, but the mana conductivity is at a four, making it slightly better.

 

I put the critidem ingot back down, and Grey explains the next one. "Third is otrum, a tier 4 metal, unlike the first two. I grabbed this one because blacksmiths use it to craft expensive hammers.”

 

As soon as I pick up the reddish metal, I know I can't use it. The ingot is 25% bigger than the other two but over twice as heavy. An arrowhead needs durability, but I can't make it too heavy, or it won’t fly properly. Even so, I take note of its mana's quality. Otrum contains 30% more mana than fire iron, and when I pour my mana into it, it's absorbed with ease. I'd rate its mana conductivity at a six and a half.

 

It really is a shame that it’s too heavy, I complain to myself as I set it back down.

 

“I brought you the last sample more because I want your opinion on it. It was pulled from the ground in a mana intensive area and sold to my branch a few years ago. According to our appraisers, it's a tier 4 ore chunk, and it's extremely durable. We had a smith struggle to break a chunk off to test, only to learn it melts at over 2000°C.”

 

Mr. Grey reaches into his pocket and hands me a coin-sized chunk of black metal. As soon as it's dropped into my hand, I can tell the metal is leagues above anything I've ever worked with before. Its internal mana structure is messy, but the small chunk of metal in my hand has half the mana as my entire sword does.

 

I try to feed the black metal my mana, and it absorbs it like a sponge, a solid nine in magic conductivity.

 

“What do you think?” Mr. Grey asks me.

 

“I’d rather not say,” I playfully reply. “How much are you selling this for?” I place my hand on the rock, not wanting to let it go.

 

Grey glances at the rock and gives me a merchant’s smile. “I hear you make interesting arrowheads that you can unscrew from their shafts. How many do you think you can make from that chunk of stone?”

 

I'm not surprised he knows about my arrow design, but where is he going with this?

 

I scan the ore with Sense Mana to see how much of the ore sample is waste rock. Comparing the mana inside the ore to the chunk of metal in my hands gives me a rough estimate. “I’d say seven if I’m being conservative.”

 

“How about we trade?” Grey makes me a proposition. “This has been sitting around in our storage for years now. You can have the ore, but once you're done with the general's order, you make us three arrowheads in exchange.”

 

He wants something he can sell, and he knows I'll need every one of the arrowheads in the future. If the general likes the arrow, she'll want more. The first four would be fine, but to make the last three, I would need to renegotiate with Grey again after their worth is proven. Just because he wants to hand me the ore for free doesn't mean I won't pay for it later.

 

"Counteroffer," I try to show him I won’t be taken lightly. “I take the ore, and you give me a discount on the other supplies I need. And after I make the first arrow for the general, I make the next two for you.”

 

“Hugh,” Grey thinks it over for a minute before answering. "Wasn't your budget a large gold coin? I don't think you'll make any profit if you use materials like this." He looks at the dark ore.

 

"I don't need to make a profit on this arrow; I just need to break even or go a little over budget." I confidently state. "If she gets an arrow that she can readily use, it would be impossible for her not to order more. Kervin can tell her we spent more than we planned on the project, but we won't charge more than the quoted budget of 10 gold coins to earn goodwill. It would give her two reasons to be happy with the order and hint that we'll have to charge more in the future." I lay out my strategy.

 

Kervin's eyes widen at the implications, but Mr. Grey's reaction is more subdued. "That is an excellent idea, but I don't want to rush you making our arrows. Instead of the first two you make after the general's order; I'd prefer the last two. Agree to that, and we have a deal."

 

He’s good. The more I work with the new materials and practice; the higher my skills will rise. The first arrows may sell the easiest, but the last ones will be the best and worth more.

 

“You’ll give me a good deal on the materials?” I raise my eyebrow.

 

“The best,” Grey confidently replies. “Let me grab the feathers I know you’ll love.” He moves over to a different part of the room and picks up three feathers.

 

Like a jewelry salesman, he brings the feathers over and shows them off with his hands. “These are Fechin feathers. The birds nest in old mines and are notorious for their defensive plumage. When people hunt them, they die from internal wounds before their feathers are pierced. They're used in middle-class jewelry because of their appearance."

 

I have to agree with Grey; the feathers do look amazing. I pick one up to study it better. The brown feathers have lines that look like a quartz vein you'd find in a mine. The internal mana structure is good, and it’s a solid four for mana conductivity.

 

“Can I stress test the feather?” I ask Grey.

 

“If it’s only one, do what you have to,” He readily permits me to beat the hell out of the feather.

 

First, I try bending the feather in half. Even with my Strength stat, the feather does a remarkable job of resisting me. Next, I try pulling out individual sections of the feather and encounter the same resistance. It will be hard to work with it, but the feathers should hold up better than my melted carapace fletching.

 

“How much for each feather?” If they’re cheap enough, I might start using them, so I can reduce the amount of carapace I’m going through.

 

“4 silver coins for a feather,” I frown at his price. “You should be happy Fechin are hunted solely for their feathers,” He tells me.

 

I curse in my head. He did say they were used in jewelry. Kervin still doesn’t know how much he should charge for my arrows. If I used these feathers in my arrows, it would bump up their price by at least 6 silver, and for my usual arrows, I don't think that's worth it.

 

“I’ll need ten to work with,” I put the mutilated feather down. “Only the best ones,” I joke.

 

“That should be easy. Now, what do you want to do about the arrow’s shaft?” Grey brings us to the hardest part of the problem.

 

“Show me every metal you have that’s attuned to earth mana.”

 

“All of them?” Grey asks for conformation, looking around his office.

 

“All of them. I hope you’re not hungry; this might take a while." I smirk at Grey. It was his idea to have us come right away. I hope he doesn't go back on our dinner plans.

 


 

"I thought you were joking that it would take you a while," Grey complains from behind his desk.

 

Kervin is sitting on a crate, and even Max is starting to tilt in his corner.

 

"You're the one that wanted to appear all-knowing and invited us here as soon as we made it into the city." I give him a sly grin and turn back to the two ingots in front of me. These two samples are all that remains after me whittling down my choices.

 

I started with a modest seventeen different ingots attuned to earth mana. Five weren’t strong enough for my purposes, three had horrible internal mana levels, and another five had a mana conductivity of four or below.

 

That left me with four samples I needed to test.

 

After borrowing a hammer and seeing how they react to my strikes, I picked the two best metals I think could work for the arrow shaft.

 

The one on the right is a tannish-yellow colored metal called kaglese, while the one on the left has the same color as sand and is called baprese. The kaglese has more flex than the baprese but doesn’t have as good a magic conductivity.

 

I have to decide which I should go with.

 

If I pick the kaglese the arrow will fly better but won’t be as receptive to magic as the baprese. Both are better than my steel alloy, but I can't predict what the general would prioritize.

 

Screw it, I'm hungry, and I can't stare at these all night, no matter how much I want to.

 

“I made my decision,” I tell the room. Grey and Kervin sit up in anticipation. “I’ll take the kaglese ore.”

 

“That’s great to hear. How much ore do you need?” Grey happily asks.

 

"Which crate is it?" Grey points at a box reasonably close to me. As I pry off the lid, I ask him, "You charge by the weight, right?"

 

“Yes, kaglese costs 7 gold coins per hundred pounds of ore." Hearing that makes me suspicious.

 

I open the crate Grey indicated and pull out a few chunks of kaglese ore. I don't need much to make the arrow shaft, and on paper 7 gold coins for a hundred pounds of ore is a steal. If only the ore in front of me wasn’t complete shit.

 

“What’s wrong now?” Mr. Grey asks.

 

“This is the worst ore I can possibly imagine,” I hold up a chunk for him and Kervin to see. “Over 99% of this rock is waste material. Do you know how long it will take me to process enough for me to craft the arrow shaft?”

 

“Kaglese is known to be labor-intensive to process; you can always shift to the baprese.” Grey sighs when he sees my indecision.

 

I stare down at the samples in the crate and notice a chunk a third the others' size in the corner of the box. I pick up the sample and realize I might have found a solution. "Do you have more kaglese in your storage?”

 

“I do,” Grey replies, looking confused by my question.

 

“Can you have more brought here tomorrow morning?”

 

“I can, but why?” He looks at me like he’s trying to figure out a puzzle he can’t see.

 

“If you’re charging by weight, it should be fine if I pick which chunks of ore I want.” Grey and Kervin don’t seem to understand what I’m implying. I hold up the smaller chunk of kaglese in my right hand and the normal piece of ore in my other hand. “This smaller piece of ore has 10% more kaglese in it than the larger chunk. I need to carry my supplies back with me, and I rather get more for my coin while I'm at it." I smirk at the two men.

 

Mr. Grey gives me a slow clap like a B-movie villain. “Your skills are truly amazing. I’ll have my people take back everything you don’t need and bring over the rest of the kaglese. We’ll discuss the price tomorrow after you pick out the samples you want.”

 

Grey stands up and starts walking over to his door. “Let’s go to dinner, my treat. I’m sure poor Alizio is wondering why I haven’t shown up for my reservation.” He grumbles to himself.

 

Grey politely rushes us, and I can't blame him; I'm starving too. This will be the first time I’ll be going to a restaurant since I was reborn.

 

I hope Mr. Grey is prepared for what’s about to happen.

 

I’m going to order one of everything!

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5,700 words.

 

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kosnik4

Bio: Just love a good story.

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