“I’m broke.” Luon lamely says as he sat down for breakfast with Bendan, Tyron, Gizmo and a newly added friend Thomas.
It had been a week since his first classes, and he already spent his monthly salary on materials to create useful tools, weapons, armor and other exciting things.
Luon naturally thought he could commision them in the school stores only to later hear his sales were a big fat zero showing no signs of changing at all.
He heard a rumor that it was because Zythos was threatening people into not buying them otherwise if they were to buy some they would be added to his death list. The things he crafted used regular materials and were about mid-tier grade ranking from common to sometimes rare, although adequately priced nobody would consider them especially with when it comes with a beating on the side.
Luckily the meals and the dorm housing were freely provided otherwise he would already be on the streets begging for money.
“Sorry, I don’t know how to help make money since I don’t need it that much” Bendan said as all he does was work out. Tyron also nodded in agreement.
Gizmo who was the most helpful of the group said, “How about using the public marketplace?”
With that in mind, the two headed outside the school with the intentions of making money. Unfortunately, they were out of luck as it turned out to have similar results. If not worse as the suppression from the Mythos group was openly displayed by many retailers rejecting their products for no solid reasoning.
“Damn it, this is quite depressing, not only were you reject but I wasn’t allowed to buy anything as well,” Gizmo said in shock.
Gizmo shook it off as he positively says, “How about we go to Novera Corporations Engineering Association to sell them instead? I don’t believe Zythos’s group can manipulate a rivaling company.”
Luon thought about it for a moment and shook his head in rejection as he replied “No, Arisa knew that helping me out would cause trouble for her. Even if the Association were to take them, it would cause their relations to worsen with Shizuka instead.”
“Hmm. If the public markets don’t work then how about we deal with everything underground?” Gizmo said as he smiled and thought of a solution.
“What’s the difference between the black market and the public one?” Luon curiously asked.
Gizmo began to lecture the pros and cons of using the black market. First of all the prices found on the black market had no fixed value, it was lucrative and dependent on demand and supply. Sometimes depending on the buyer even the most common products that appeared in the public market would go for a crazy amount. This area was filled with thugs and criminals that includes public officials who wanted to evade the spotlight.
However, because of these randomized prices looting and robbing was a familiar sight, but luckily one of the underground organization made a fair policing and patrolling system using the protection rental fees it obtained from its customers.
With a sketchy range of money flowing and several powerful underground corporations, it was safe to some extent as long as one didn’t stick out too much or got involved with the local power struggles.
After Gizmo was done talking he took Luon to the store that he most frequented at. The store was shabby but was made with the rare wood material from the Plana solar system. The two walked in to find a big, ugly, green thing at the register.
“Ikka’tor brethren, look who do we have here. Why little brown skin what are you buying today.” The beast-like receptionist said.
Gizmo introduced Luon to the person behind the register. His name was Torgan Guraat, and he was an Orc from the Plana solar system who migrated to tend a shop in the back streets of Nexus City, the capital of the Nexus solar system. Believe it or not but this orc was initially an easygoing, simple-minded merchant who used to tend his wares in public. His supply mostly came from imports from his home country; however, many greedy human merchants worked together forcing him to shut down. With his dreams were crushed by the reality of the world, he faded into the darkness and into the black market did he appear again.
After the introduction Gizmo got to business and said “My brethren, we have some wares we wish for you to tend the rates should be the same as always right? Don’t worry about the quality this time it’s better than the last time.”
The orc eyes brightened for a second but quickly dimmed down as he began to frown as he said, “My brethren, aish I cannot sell your wares anymore, there are rumors over your head that you offended a powerful person that has deep roots to back streets. If your products had no craftsman label, I could try to market it, but I am afraid it may come back to haunt me.”
Torgan’s eyes showed signs of sadness, he had been through a lot, and he didn’t want to be in such a situation again.
Torgan continued and said “I can only sell you goods for at least they do not know where they could come from. As for your goods you can only try at the master of the back-streets shop, if you could, you can try to apply to his part-time position to get his protection as well.”
Luon was depressed that the black market couldn’t hold his wares even if he went with no label or a random label. An unknown blacksmith and the sudden wealth of Luon, who knew how many people Zythos had under him to figure out the connection. For all, he knew they could check his wealth at any given time. As for his parents, he didn’t have to worry too much as the military protected them, and Luon didn’t think Zythos would involve them.
What interested Luon though was the latter half of Torgan’s sentence, who was the master of the back-streets and why is his position dominant enough to deter Zythos from dealing with him?
With that in mind before he could ask Torgan about it, Gizmo thanked Torgan and led Luon out of the shop.
Before he left Gizmo said to Torgan “Am Makador brethren, I wish you the best.”
Torgan followed suit, and the two of them left the building as Gizmo began to guide Luon in a particular direction.
“Who is the master of the back street and why could he help us?” Luon asked after a few steps as he couldn’t wait any longer.
Gizmo continued guiding Luon and said, “There were many rumors about the old master like he was previously a general who committed an offense. Or that he was a soldier who slaughtered everyone including his allies, but the most obvious truth was that he was an engineer with a powerful background as well as powerful enemies since his store sells some expensive and unique wares which he got from his patrons.”
Walking down back streets of the marketplace as if he was born here, Gizmo led Luon to the old shop he heard of that was hiring part-timers as well as commissioning sales of customized products. No matter who you were status doesn’t matter, whether your a serial killer, a rich young master, or an innocent bystander as long as they have some good business with him, they were all treated equally.
Luon and Gizmo entered the shady shop only to find no one attending the counter. Luon was clueless at the situation as he sent his gaze around the room to see some beautiful sets of marketed goods.
Gizmo, on the other hand, was shamelessly yelling for somebody to show up and attend him with no fear of death. In the back streets without a backbone, nothing will progress.
Not long after did a man came out from the back door, he was muscular well toned from the outline of his military uniform relative to his muscles.
The man wore a mask covering the upper half of his face, and the design was slick as it resembled the upper part of a knights helmet combined with a falcons beak. His uniform was a clean and slightly worn and old version of what the Novera Corporations Engineering Association used to wear as it had their logo on it.
The man gazes at the two brats who entered his store and domineering asks, “What do you kids want and make it quick, I was in the middle of something.”
Gizmo fearlessly grins at the legendary figure and proclaimed his needs, and he said: “Hello Boss, we like to sell some products at your store, my friend and I offended someone powerful, so there was nowhere else to go.”
The man was piqued at his words but showed no expressions to it. Instead, he questioned, ”Oh really now, there is a lot of people who get offended every day, in fact, you being here might have offended me. Now tell me who are you, who did you offend and who told you to come here.”
The man released his aura pressuring the two. Luon took the opportunity to quickly say some words as Gizmo couldn’t budge at the pressure. “Sir, my name is Luon Fate, and he’s Gizmo Woemoes, and we were told by Torgan Guraat to come here as we have offended Zythos Werebringer from the Mythos clan.”
The man releases his aura and only said “Oh, is that right now? You two are the current talk on the street since nothing else happens nowadays. Alright then, show me your wares, and we will talk business.”
“Um, I also heard from Torgan that you’re hiring part-timers,” Luon timidly says.
The man frowned at those words and said: “I am looking for part-timers, but I doubt you’re qualified. Don’t bother arguing show me your wares. I can at least judge it then.”
Without a second to lose Luon started laying the items he wanted to sell on the countertop.