Chapter 15: Dogtooth Tavern
Every city probably had places like Dogtooth Tavern.
Not only was the renovation done in poor taste, but the alcohol was also surprisingly expensive. Moreover, the bartender would never deliver the items to the table on time.
Here, there wouldnt be drunkards who started singing in their stupors, bards who told the same story all the time, or maidservants who came to clean the table every ten minutes.
However, there was an endless stream of customers every day.
This was because the main thing sold here wasnt hangovers or entertainment, but a place where one could hide their identity, be well-informed, and have a safe conversation.
Dog teeth tied to the oak door swayed as a gray-haired man with silver eyes pushed open the door and walked in.
The entire tavern fell silent for a moment when he entered.
Most of the guests here didnt like to show their faces. Even if they didnt hide their faces, they would choose to dress in a low-key manner. As for this person, he wore a white mage robe and held a yew staff as if he didnt have the slightest intention of hiding his identity.
Those who were qualified to learn magic was either rich or noble. People of that caliber typically wouldnt stoop to coming to such a lowly place.
Therefore, many customers cast curious looks at the fellow dressed as a mage. Of course, most of them only glanced at him.
Only three pairs of eyes followed him from the moment he entered.
One was a thin and tall bartender sitting beside the bar counter. Before this person entered, he had been looking around the tavern as if he was searching for something.
The other was a tall man sitting alone in a corner drinking alcohol. He wore an old cloak filled with holes, and his face was hidden in the shadows, making it impossible to see his face. There were five or six empty wine bottles on the table, and he looked like the only person who came here to drink.
The last one was the tavern owner.
He silently watched the person dressed as a mage walk straight to the bar and sit opposite him, placing his hands together on the bar.
“A cup of thorny mead,” the person said in a hoarse voice.
The boss glanced at him and wondered if this was another scion who was here to seek excitement.
“One silver erin.”
Silver erin was the middle-tier currency denomination-20 silver erin equaled 1 gold riel.
“Its quite expensive.”
“Its market price.”
The person spread out his hands and spun a gold coin on the bar. The shape of the gold coin was irregular as if it had been smelted.
“Count the extra as a tip.”
The gold coin spun faster and faster. The boss quietly pressed it under his hand and swiped it under the bar counter.
Then, he asked with a calm expression, “Want anything else”
“Whos the best person to buy a large amount of Elementium Silver from here”
“If you are asking for the best seller, its naturally Duke Simons family. The Elementium Silver Chamber of Commerce his son is in charge of accepts orders from all registered mages. There wont be a premium due to the standard market prices.”
“But the Chamber of Commerce wont accept a direct trade with gold.”
The boss sized up the person and said, “Then, there are fewer formal channels to choose from. Or rather, to put it bluntly, there are basically none.”
“What about less formal channels”
The boss said as he took out a bottle of thorny mead from the wine cabinet and poured it into a glass.
“Then, you have to accept a premium thats over 40% higher than the market price. Besides, you cant guarantee that theyre willing to do this business. After all, such channels usually source from thieves. They usually dont trust outsiders who suddenly appear.”
In principle, all the Elementium Silver trade in Thorn City belonged to the Duke family. Since it was private property, it naturally wouldnt allow the existence of thieves.
But in fact, because the Riel Empires royal family collected a 30% Elementium Silver trade tax every year, it was much easier to squeeze profit out of the thieves than the difficult royal envoys.
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Therefore, in the decades when Duke Simon ruled Thorn City, he turned a blind eye to the miners and the underground black market for Elementium Silver.
But then again, that was illegal business after all. Nobody was willing to work with unknown people.
“Im willing to show my sincerity.”
As he spoke, he placed another five molten gold coins on the bar.
The boss hesitated for a moment before finally accepting the five gold coins.
“I have three channels, but the exact number depends on how much you need. If its a sizable amount, the premium can be lower. How much do you want to buy”
“About 15 tonnes.”
Even though he had been managing Dogtooth Tavern for more than 30 years and was considered knowledgeable, he couldnt help but gasp when he heard the other partys number.
“15 tonnes of ores”
“15 tonnes of refined metal ingots.”
The boss looked at the well-dressed mage as if he was crazy.
“Are you here to treat me as a fool with your money”
“No, why do you think so”
The other partys eyes didnt look like he was joking.
“Do you have no concept of the production of Elementium Silver at all Other than Duke Simon... No, I dare say that Duke Simon cant produce 15 tonnes of refined Elementium Silver at once. 15 tonnes is about half a years production in Thorn City. What do you need so much for To build a house”
“Something like that...” the person spoke vaguely before muttering softly. “So the production is that small”
Then, he finished the mead in his cup in one gulp and said, “Bring me to those three channels. Ill buy as much as I can. Ill think of another solution if I cant gather enough.”
The boss stared at him for a long time and confirmed that the other party wasnt pulling his leg. Finally, he said to the thin man beside the bar counter.
“Wilson, bring this gentleman to the miners first. Tell them that I introduced him.”
The thin man-who had been staring at that person-stood up. He straightened his neck and smiled brightly at the customer.
“Follow me. How should I address you, sir”
“Just call me William.”
The man named Wilson chatted about the mines and taverns along the way, but William didnt listen seriously.
Indeed, there was a huge difference between the game and reality. Back when he bought Elementium Silver or other precious metals and minerals, there were never any annual production limits. As long as he had enough money, he could buy as much as he wanted.
Now, he was facing the predicament of having enough money but not being able to buy so many ores.
It was even debatable that there was enough money. After all, it wasnt easy to circulate gold coins from 1,000 years ago.
“Here we are.”
Wilsons voice brought William back to his senses.
At this moment, they arrived outside a hidden and remote mine. There were simple wooden frames at the entrance, and a few dilapidated mining carts were parked outside.
The mine was pitch-black, and there were no mine lamps or other items for illumination. Only a thin layer of moonlight revealed the entrance.
“Enter from here Youre not going to tell me that they usually do business in the mines, are you”
“Thats right,” Wilson spoke anxiously.
“Walk in from here and youll reach Thorn Citys largest unofficial Elementium Silver supplier-the territory of the Miners Brotherhood.”
“I wouldnt go in if I were you.”
A voice suddenly interrupted their conversation.
William turned his head, and a tall man whose face couldnt be seen stood behind them like an iron tower. He wore a tattered black cloak and held a heavy black iron sword.
The moon was bright tonight, but his sword didnt reflect any of it.