y boss… the owner is the only person who has the recipe. Our cooks are bound by extreme contracts. If they so much as think about selling the recipe, they will die.”
Derek frowned at that.
“Dont get me wrong.” Stella said. “They arent slaves. They and their families are paid extremely well. A chefs child can grow up as if they are the heir to a top noble house in the Kingdom. Also, they can leave whenever they want. Remember how I was telling you about the owners skills?”
Derek nodded. “Yeah.”
“Well, those skills allow her to both implant the recipe into the chefs mind, and remove it without any harm. If a chef wants to leave, the process is simple. In my 27 years with the business, only one person has ever died from the oath. We also provide top-notch protection to all the chefs and their families. As I said, my boss has eyes and ears everywhere. Its near impossible for harm to come to one of her chefs.” Stella explained.
That sounded well and good to Derek, but he was more caught up on the fact that Stella had been with the Crown for 27 years. She looked to be in her mid-20s, so unless she was born into the Crown… “Uh… Youve been with the Crown for 27 years? Were you born into it? You dont even look that old.”
Stella burst into a fit of laughter. “Thanks for that. Its very reassuring that you think Im that young. No, I started working for my employer when I was 20. Now, Im not going to say my age out loud because it stings, but Im sure you can do the math. Being in my position has a lot of benefits. One of them is obtaining the strength and stats to have a greater lifespan, therefore preserving my looks.” She smiled. “Though, its nothing compared to Alanah.” She muttered under her breath, but Derek was still able to hear.
Derek snapped out of his thoughts. “Well, you are very beautiful for your age… or any age, actually. Anyway, whats up with the baby Void Beast.”
Stella stared him directly in the eyes, all playfulness gone. “When I tested the blood, I was just testing the flavor to see which tier menu to put it on. Its a Void Beast, so no matter what, it will still give stats, even if its only a few. But, when I tasted the blood, I got a notification that my Vitality increased by a point. Vitality is a very… sought after stat. Its easy to die in a fight without having decent Vitality, but if you put your free points into the stat, you are missing out on offense.
“Very few people like classes that get hit often, so there arent many people with Vitality as their main stat. People offset this weakness with accessories and potions that boost their Vitality. Im sure that you know all of this.” She said.
Derek nodded. Yup, people looked at me crazy when I said that I was a tank. Who knew, getting hit hurts. “I see. So, if the blood gave you an increase with just that much, and no special preparation, then the value would be… a lot.” Damn, who knew the baby beast would have blood that would increase Vitality. Its almost like those old stories…
Derek flinched, thinking about the stories he had heard about people bathing in the blood of babies or virgins. There were movies and novels about the subject, mostly fiction, but he could recall that there were people who actually did such things on Earth hundreds of years ago.
Stella gave him an odd look. “Whats wrong?”
Derek shook his head. “Nothing. I just thought of something unpleasant.”
Stella nodded. “I see. Anyway, yes, the value would be astronomical depending on how much blood the creature has. Would you please give me a moment? And please ignore me if I act… odd.”
Stella walked back over to her side of the desk and sat down. A blue communication crystal appeared in Stellas hand. I hope this isnt too embarrassing. I guess I could ask him to leave. She looked up at Derek, who was watching her with interest. Whatever, lets get it over with.
She injected her mana into the crystal, hoping that Alanah would pick up quickly so she would not waste too much of the mans time. Fortune seemed to smile on her as she felt the connection establish.
Hurriedly she transmitted, hoping her boss would not speak first.Dont speak. With a client. Seeing that her boss did not speak, she sighed in relief.I have Derek Hunt with me right now. We were going over his contract for the Void Beast. He looked over the contract and decided that we were being very sincere, so he said he wanted to do more business. Before that, however, he said that he wanted to give us a gift for being sincere.
‘The gift is why I am contacting you. He pulled out another Void Beast from his storage. It was a very young beast, most likely a baby. I went over and took a blood sample… Alanah, it gave me Vitality. One drop of the blood gave me a point of Vitality. Now, I told him what occurred and gave him the beast back. Im not sure how to proceed. He did say that he would like to talk to you, though.
‘I may have overstepped, but I told him a bit about your… condition. I was wondering if your recipe included preparing blood along with everything else, and I was wondering if I could just pass the crystal over to him and let you talk.
“Yes, we can talk.” The alluring voice sounded out of the crystal, and Stellas mind went blank.
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