Hi guys. Early release as I won’t be around for the weekend. Enjoy!
(225) The Hauling Company Leader
This chapter would be from the Smuggling Crew Leader’s point of view.
My name is Kusso. A 45-years-old self-proclaimed Merchant.
I worked as an accountant-cum-negotiator for twenty years in a Hauling Company and finally became a leader of this Hauling Company as of last year.
It has already been eighteen years since my job changed from Merchant to Thief. The leader at that time said that I would not fall to the Thief job as long as I do not directly steal goods but it seemed that even just knowingly aiding to transport stolen goods would cause one to fall to the Thief job.
However, I do not believe that I am doing anything bad.
As I mentioned before, we are a Hauling Company – I merely transport the goods I have been entrusted with. It was just that there were many counterfeit articles and requests to transport goods to other countries to evade taxation; I did not intentionally trouble anybody.
A Hauling Company that breaks the law like mine – well, some people call us a smuggling crew – is very profitable. After reaching the executive level as an accountant-cum-negotiator, in a single return voyage, I would be paid an amount I would take about three years to earn when I was a Merchant. Furthermore, after becoming a leader, not only could I hire prostitutes from the town for all my members and have wild merrymaking every night, I could also get a fake identity just by bribing the military police and openly walk around the town.
Regular people might find it surprising but an organization like this paid well. After all, the upper echelons understood that the company was held together by gold. Well, there were also disposable idiots being used but I was not a petty underling like that.
Being in charge of accounting and negotiations was pretty much the same as controlling the entire Hauling Company. Irreplaceable goods will have to be handled carefully. And now I have moved to the side that has to be treated carefully. Speaking of irreplaceable things, that included the Great Master I found.
For illegal negotiations, most cases devolved into fights in the end. For that reason, there was a need for a strong individual.
The Great Master had the job Death Warrior that was rarely seen even among the criminal jobs, said to only be achievable by criminals who reach mastery in Pugilist.
Furthermore, he was a former slave with a high tier job even above that of Gladiator, a Pugilist-type job a well. He was told that he would be released from slavery once he wins a hundred matches consecutively in the Coliseum which he actually did but immediately after he was released from slavery, he murdered his former master with the sword he killed his opponent with and fled.
He had an advanced tier job and it would be ridiculous to even compare him against the Bandit Suzuki who I hired a month ago.
Naturally, the Thief Ichinojo he brought along was like a baby in comparison.
“With Great Master here, we no longer need Mister Suzuki and Ichinojo-san. I apologize.”
I told them along with an insincere apology.
Either way, I intend to pay Suzuki the penalty fee according to the contract and I did not sign a contract with Ichinojo. There was no need to apologize.
I figured that there wouldn’t be any issue even if they tried to dispute it as I could solve it just by handing them some money but it didn’t go as imagined.
“In other words, we’re not needed as guards because this man is stronger than us?”
Ichinojo was far quicker on the pickup than I had imagined.
A man like that would live long as a criminal and I found it likeable.
Even if I don’t hire him as a guard, it might be good to hire him as a crew member.
“I am glad that you guessed it.”
“Hmph, then, if I prove that I am stronger than this person, you will hire me?”
Let me correct myself, it seemed that Ichinojo was an idiot who can’t discern the difference between his and his opponent’s abilities.
Well, idiots are still likeable too, I can have the Great Master defeat not only Ichinojo but also Suzuki who I have ended the contract with so that I don’t have to pay the penalty fee.
“Great Master, what do you think? Why don’t you test your skills here? Of course, I will pay the fee.”
I tossed a pouch with silver coins in them to Great Master as I said that.
” …… ”
The Great Master received it without a word and kept it inside his sleeve before pulling his sword out.
It seemed that he was motivated to go.
“Since we’re both criminals, there’s no need to hold back right?”
” … Absurd.”
The Great Master was angered by how Ichinojo could still not understand the difference in ability.
Immediately after that.
There was a loud sound.
How shocking. I knew that the Great Master was strong but I never imagined that he could move even faster than my eyes could register.
That sound just now, was it the sound of the Great Master kicking off the ground or the sound of Ichinojo getting sliced?
With such a swift slash, that Ichinojo was probably no longer in this world —
” ……… Eh?”
Ichinojo was standing there with a smile on his face.
No way, then what about the Great Master?
I turn my head to look around.
The Great Master had crashed into the wall and had slightly sunk into it.
“Mo- … mortified.”
“What mortified! You’re just all show!”
I snatched the silver coin pouch from the sleeve of the Great Master — no, the Death Warrior, and
“Great Master! That power is amazing! By all means, please travel with us!”
I said and handed Great Master Ichinojo the silver coin pouch with another pouch added as compensation.
Hahaha, with this my smuggling crew — no, my Hauling Company is secure!