System Change

Chapter 69: Enigma

Chapter 68: Negotiations

Stella was the first to break the silence. “So, you have already brought us a Void Beast, and now you are offering this coffee product. What is it that you are hoping to obtain?”

“Status, and preferably the occasional supply of coffee.” Derek was blunt and to the point.

“Status? I understand about the coffee, its quite easy to allow that, but you want to receive status from the Crown?” She asked.

“I heard that there are many that hope to obtain a membership to the upper floors, but few ever do. That in itself is a form of status. I figured that the one Void Beast would not be enough for me to obtain the membership, so I was hoping that I would be able to get closer by offering the coffee.” Derek replied.

Stella sat in silence for a moment, pondering her next question. Finally, she spoke. “Why would you want to go this route to gain status? With your strength, it would be quite easy to move your way up.”

Derek smiled. “It would, but I would risk offending person after person by doing it that way. If Im being honest, I just dont feel like wasting my time dealing with pampered nobles and young lords. Taking this path would be the less bothersome path. Im sure that there would be those that would want to test me to see if I earned the membership or got it through luck, but those people would most likely be strong and few. I would much rather deal with a few strong fellows than a young lord and all his minions over and over, I know how that goes.” Ive read way too many novels to do that shit.

Stella looked at Derek with confusion in her eyes. “Why are you looking to gain status?”

“To live easy and allow others that I know to live easy too. I dont necessarily want to live here in Torith… No, after seeing the city for myself, I dont plan on settling here. But, wherever I choose, I would like to be respected enough that myself and those close to me are not harassed. Now, I could always tread down the path of fear, but, like I said, that would be bothersome and take effort.” Derek said.

This was the most he had revealed to anyone about his future plans, but he figured Stella would be in the best position to help him the fastest. He could always go the route of befriending a noble, but the Gracefalls were not in a position to help him in any place other than Torith, and he did not feel like cozying up with the City Lord in hopes of meeting one of the kings advisors. In fact, learning about the Crown was a stroke of good fortune. If he could strike up a good deal with them, it would be great. Their influence stretched the entire kingdom. Hell, he would not mind going to an abandoned area and harvesting a few Void Beasts if they wanted them.

“To live easy.” Stella shook her head, a mysterious light flashing through her eyes. “What an interesting answer. Are you not looking for power or to find powerful friends?”

“Honestly, Im not too hard to get along with. I enjoy being alone… well, its been kinda nice spending time with others, but Im not one to go looking for friends. Really, if you leave me and mine alone, then I have no problem leaving you alone. Before coming here, I was considered a bit of a hermit even. I have no desire to be in charge of anything. I also much prefer to do my leveling by hunting monsters… not people.” Derek replied.

Stella laughed out loud. “Im sure the populace would appreciate you not hunting them to level. Well, Derek. Im not sure that your contributions will be enough for a membership, but you will at least be rich. My rank in the Crown is not high enough to finalize the Void Beast business, but I can pass everything youve said along to my boss later today, and have an answer for you within a couple days.”

Stella shifted her eyes back to the coffee on the desk. “However, I am able to negotiate with you about the coffee. If we are able to reverse engineer it and begin manufacturing it, I am certain that it will provide us a considerable wealth. With that, I am willing to sign a contract here and now that will provide you with two percent of coffee sales within the kingdom, along with however much you want for personal use. Of course, a contract with the Crown also allows you to dine in the lower floors too. Your contribution to the Crown will also be noted, and that will go a long way to obtaining a membership. You will also earn more contribution for the Void Beast when we negotiate again in a few days. What do you think?”

Derek thought about the offer. Two percent seems like a small amount, but considering that it is within the entire kingdom, it should be a lot. “May I ask what the expected monthly revenue would be for the coffee?”

She raised her eyebrows at that question. “Im not sure. It will definitely be a hit for the first while, but once the new feeling wears off, prices will settle down. It is also very strong and has a distinct flavor, so it is likely that there are many who wont like it, even with added condiments. As the beverage is the cheapest part of a meal, the profits wont be too earth-shattering. All in all, I would expect it to compete well with our tea. I dont see a reason that it would not bring in at least 250,000 gold coins a month once everything settles.”

“So, around 5,000 coins a month for me.” Derek pondered. Shit… I dont know enough about the financial situation of this kingdom to know if that is a good deal. Fuck, why didnt I ask Bronson more questions about that? Derek acted like he was thinking about the deal. His only brush with finance in this world was that a level 70 small hide could get him 3 or 4 silver. “How about three and a half?”

Stella looked at him with squinted eyes. He really wished he knew what the woman was thinking. “Two and a half.”

He smiled. “Three and we call it a deal.”

She nodded. “Fine, I can do that.” She made a motion and a small stack of paper appeared before her. She placed her hand on the stack and a blue light shined underneath. Soon, writing began to fill the papers. She removed her hand and picked up the stack. Stella then handed the papers over to Derek. “Here is the contract, read it over and inject your mana into it if you agree.”

Derek grabbed the papers and began reading. It was not a long contract, but it still had a bunch of the nonsense he expected in a contract. He could not give the product to other businesses, he could not sell any of the product he obtained for personal use, and a lot more stuff like that. He read carefully to make sure there were not any traps. After finishing, he read it again, then once more. Finally, he came to the conclusion that the contract was not bad, and he injected his mana. A notification popped up in his vision.

A contract with oneStella Brighton and entityCrown has been initiated. Would you like to proceed?


Derek focused onyes.

Contract has been completed. Please abide by the terms to avoid any penalties.

With that, the contract split in two, and another copy appeared before him. Stella reached over and placed her hand on the original. The contract turned into a blue energy and entered her body. Derek did the same. The energy flowed into his hand and traveled through his body before resting itself in his mind. He now had a new listing under hisContracts tab in his status sheet.

Derek slid the coffee can back over to Stella and stood. He placed his hand out for her to take. Handshakes seemed to be commonplace, as she stood and took it into hers. “It was a pleasure doing business with you.” He said.

She smiled coyly. “The pleasure was all mine.”

Their handshake broke, and Derek turned to leave the room. Right before he opened the door, he looked back. “Oh, if I just happened to run into some Void Beasts, how many do you think it would take to hurry along the process of me obtaining a membership?”

Stella was stunned for a moment before she replied. “If they were of the same quality of the previous one, I dont see why two or three more wouldnt do the job. Perhaps even one if the coffee sells well.”

Derek nodded his head, then opened the door. “I better hurry back down before that damn rabbit eats all my food.” He walked out and closed the door behind him.

Stella fell back into her seat. Meeting that man was extremely stressful. He had not shown any aura or anger, but talking to him made her feel like she was talking to her boss. He was relaxed the whole time and spoke so casually about things. And when he asked about the Void Beasts at the end, the first thing she wondered was if he was going to open a portal and wait for one to appear. That would be crazy though. A Void Beast may come after one minute, or one hundred years. There is no way he would waste time trying to bait one.

She thought back to the contract they had signed. She had actually given him a good deal. Two percent for an individual was a great number, especially for something that would sell so easily. Upping it to three had been painful. She only hoped that she would be able to get one percent from the Crown for being the person to broker the deal. 2,500 gold coins a month would be a great payout. She may even get a promotion to one of the better cities.

Stella leaned back and sighed. Next, she had to contact her boss and tell her about the contract and the Void Beast. She knew that she would be pleased, especially with the quality of the beast.

Stella motioned with her hand and a light blue crystal appeared. It was time to contact her boss.

Derek made his way back to the first floor and was greeted with an odd sight. Tray after tray was surrounding his table. He had not expected there to be so much food. That was not the odd thing though. Thomas and Bronson were both leaned back in their chairs with their hands on their bellies.

Silvi, on the other hand, looked like she had grown two sizes. She was sitting on the table, in the middle, slowly eating what looked like a roasted duck. Derek tried to communicate with her.Is that good? Did you save me any? He asked the bunny.

Silvi slowly turned her head to look at Derek.Soooo good. Better than delicious, beautiful woman. Soooo full. She transmitted as she took another bite of the duck.

‘If youre so full, why are you still eating? He was flabbergasted.

‘Cant stop. Too delicious. Must eat all. The glutton replied.

Derek shook his head as he took a seat. He looked around at the trays of food. At least theres enough left for me. He thought, but he had a sneaking suspicion that the best of the food had already been consumed. Oh well, time to eat.

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