Chapter 976: Madness for Hire (Part 2)
The scene left all the three spectators speechless, especially because the two alleged enemies moved in unison.
They held their nose while bending their knees and moved their upper body in a wave motion as if they were drowning.
After that, they abruptly stood up, making a finger gun with their left hand that shot a beam of light they both dodged and said:
"Dead on time."
"I can't believe you're really one of us, Scrooge!" Zolgrish burst into joyous laughter.
"Me neither." Lith was still cringing from embarrassment.
'I can't believe I avoided joining a frat house during college just to learn a **ing secret handshake to get along with Liches.' He thought.
'What matters is that it worked and we avoided a pointless fight.
We must gift Kalla something nice to thank her for all the secret information about the undead society she taught us.' Solus tried to cheer Lith up, but even the kindest and wisest words sounded like a mockery when the one speaking them was laughing her ass off.
"What are you doing here and who are those guys" Zolgrish pointed at Scrooge's helpers.
"I'm here for the silver mines.
I've stepped up my research since the last time we met and I need both money and raw materials.
As for them, allow me to introduce my servants to you.
They are Thrud and Nalear." Lith lied all the way to protect both of them from further inquiries.
"Good move, Groog.
A Lich always needs someone expendable.
Ratpack, go mingle with your peers.
Testalos, Nimble, this is Ratpack, my assistant.
He is dumb, slow, and clumsy, but he has a big heart.
I know because I put it in his chest." Zolgrish laughed at his own joke and pushed Ratpack forward.
"What about you" Lith asked while the three 'assistants' awkwardly looked at each other.
"I'm not going to lie to you.
I tried to recover the mines, but the collapsed mountains are too big to move and they make the ground too unstable.
The array was something I left out of curiosity, to see if someone had better luck and maybe exploit their work." Zolgrish said.
"Care to elaborate"
"If it was someone weak, I would have killed them to leave no witnesses, while if it was someone strong, I would have made them an offer they couldn't refuse." Zolgrish shapeshifted into the human appearance he had back when he was still alive.
He now looked like a man 1.78 (5'10") meters tall with brown eyes, hair, and a short beard, who was offering Lith what looked like a business card between his right middle and index fingers.
"Zolgrish Berkyx, Necromancer for hire." Lith read out loud.
"It's my human alias for when I need shopping.
I tried sending Ratpack, but somehow the cursed humans always discover his undead nature.
I tried disguising him as a noble, a merchant, an adventurer, and even as a belly dancer, but nothing worked." Zolgrish snapped his fingers, changing Ratpack's outfit several times.
'Why the heck does the Lich only change the clothes of his assistant whereas he shapeshifts himself' Everyone thought.
"My plan was to offer my minions as the workforce.
They can work under all weather conditions, require no rest, no sleep, nor pay.
All I ask in exchange is 50% of the mined silver."
"50% is a lot!" Lith blurted out.
"Way more than any workforce would cost.
I don't see the allure of such an offer."
"My minions not only are loyal, but they can also defend the precious metal.
They're a full package deal.
Also, in case of refusal, I would kill my 'partner' and renew my offer to their next of kin." Zolgrish laughed.
'I would like to point out that one has no guarantee Zolgrish's minions wouldn't just deliver the silver to him, but Liches are prideful creatures.
They wouldn't stoop so low as to lie.
Also, I don't want to give him ideas.' Lith thought.
"Nalear, resume the search while I discuss business with my fellow Lich." Lith snapped his finger and his assistants out of their reverie.
"Why are you still here, Nalear" He asked after waiting for a few seconds.
"You mean me" The Rezar pointed at himself.
"Isn't your name Nalear" Lith sneered.
"Really Since when"
"Good gods, even Ratpack remembers his own name, Nemea.
Now scram!" Zolgrish yelled.
The intensity of the Lich's bloodlust made Nalrond shapeshift and plunge into the ground so fast that he seemed to disappear into thin air.
"If my minion finds a way to the mines, we'll split everything 70-30, costs included." Lith said.
"30-70, you mean.
The mines were mine to start with and mine are the minions." Zolgrish replied.
They were never yours.
You were just stealing from the Kingdom.
Also, you collapsed the mines and I'm the only one who can apply for the mining rights.
With the current love people has for the undead, if they find you out, you'll never get a single piece of silver without spending ten times its value." Lith said.
"40-60, but only because I hate paperwork and you're right about the Royal permits.
Not having to kill anyone who sees the mines will save me a lot of resources."
"60-40 because without my minion there will be nothing to mine.
Also, he can follow the veins or find new ones when the silver runs out!" Lith replied.
"50-50!" Zolgrish said.
"40-60!" Lith replied.
"No, you thief, 60-40!" Zolgrish snarled.
"Deal!" Lith said before the Lich could realize he had fallen for one of the oldest tricks in the cartoons.
"Deal! 60% to you and the rest to me." Zolgrish had a triumphant tone that made Tista wonder if he actually knew math or he just reversed whatever her brother said.
The two madmen wrote everything down in duplicate and signed each other's copy of the document.
By the time Nalrond returned, they had even exchanged contact runes.
He brought good news.
The richest silver veins ran so deep that the ground was stable again.
The Rezar had prepared an underground map that Lith hid inside his pocket dimension, refusing to show it to Zolgrish.
"I'll contact you as soon as I'm done with the paperwork.
Don't forget our deal and don't make mistakes.
If anyone catches wind of the silver, we're both screwed." Lith said.
I swear it on my phylactery." Zolgrish struck his fist where his heart was supposed to be, making Ratpack whine.
'That's a phylactery I thought it was just a powerful artifact.
I need to study it at the best of my abilities.' Solus thought.
"Master, no sense hiding phylactery if you tell where it is."
"Don't worry, Ratpack.
I'm sure that no one noticed my subtle gesture." Zolgrish acted as if they weren't right there in front of him.
"It was a pleasure doing business with you, Groucho.
Ratpack, say goodbye to your new friends, Ding and Dong."
"Master, names wrong and we not friends.
We said nothing all time." Ratpack said while another red Gate appeared.
"They didn't try to kill you and that's what real friends do.
Take a lesson from me and Blorgflux.
If I don't reply to your first 100 or so calls, don't take it personally, Bongbat.
I'm just that busy.
Bye!" Zolgrish dragged Ratpack along and closed the dimensional tunnel.