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Chapter 40

Chapter 40. The Golden Idol Upper Part (3)

The trading house was buzzing with activity.

Merchants from afar and VIPs needing special attention naturally had accommodation at the establishment. While smaller guilds may opt for inns, the Golden Idol trading guild was one of the biggest on the continent, so it had its own lodging.

“Having a private bath in this day and age is something else,” Isaac thought as he washed away days of grime in the hot water, a luxury he hadn’t experienced since he arrived in this world. The hot water eased his tense muscles.

Although bathing wasn’t free, nobody rushed Isaac or made him feel out of place.

After his bath, a maid handed him a towel and couldn’t help but stare at him in surprise.

“What’s up?” Isaac asked.

“Oh, nothing!” the maid replied, blushing, and scurried away. Isaac followed her to the dining area, where a table was waiting for him, catching the attention of onlookers.

“Isn’t that…?”

The room buzzed with whispers.

Even the merchants he had rescued failed to recognize him – cleaned up and looking fresh, Isaac drew everyone’s gaze.

“This is…” Isaac felt a bit overwhelmed by the attention but kept his cool. Used to his rugged appearance or the familiar faces at the monastery, he hadn’t realized his own appeal until now.

“Eyeballing me with your default looks while I’m here with a charisma mod cranked up to 99,” he couldn’t help but think.

Though fun in a video game, dealing with it in real life felt awkward.

Thankfully, as soon as Isaac sat down, a feast was served. Succulent roast pork, wine-infused chicken stew, and warm bread were brought to his table. Each dish was bursting with flavor, made with no expense spared.

As Isaac dug into the meal, the stares turned to amazement. How could this slender guy pack away so much food?

Inadvertently hosting a medieval mukbang, Isaac pondered, “This lavish treatment for just helping out some merchants is something else.”
Isaac mentally gave the Golden Idol trading guild a thumbs up for their awesome hospitality. But he also knew that the guild didn’t mess around when it came to business. To them, trading and bargaining were like their religion.

‘The Golden Idol… the merchants’ faith among the Nine Faiths.’

And it was the last faith Isaac had encountered before ending up in this world.

The structure of the Golden Idol guild was pretty unique. Even the super secretive Red Chalice had Wallachia Kingdom at its core. But the Golden Idol guild didn’t have a specific nation to call home. They controlled key cities seen as trade hotspots, but they were all about taxes and rules, not borders.

For them, crossing national lines for trade meant countries didn’t really mean much, possibly just causing unnecessary drama. Instead, they were all about the capital. They lent money, controlled goods, greased the palms of the powerful, or made deals to keep the peace.

So yeah, even the spooky Black Empire housed the Golden Idol guild.

Of course, you need safety for business to boom. That’s why the Golden Idol guild was thriving mostly in the White Empire, where things were relatively chill.

Not every merchant was all in with the Golden Idol, but you couldn’t really escape their influence.

As Isaac was finishing up his meal, Vihik sauntered over with a beer in hand. Isaac was more interested in the drink than Vihik’s presence. But Vihik seemed stunned for a moment when he looked at Isaac.

Thirsty, Isaac grabbed the beer and chugged it down without a care. Vihik eventually sat down across from Isaac.

“You’ve got more pep in you than I expected.”

“I’ve wrestled a wolf or two in my time.”

Vihik chuckled, thinking it was a joke. But when Isaac stayed serious, Vihik awkwardly looked away.

Just then, a woman in her prime walked up to them. Vihik quickly introduced her.

“This is Ms. Caitlin Shiver, the boss lady of our trading house.”

Caitlin eyed Isaac before saying what everyone was thinking but didn’t have the guts to say.

“First time seeing an angel with such an appetite. They not feeding you up there in heaven?”

“It’s Isaac. From the Ariet Monastery.”

Caitlin gave Isaac a once-over, noticing his curt manner.

“Seems like respect for your elders isn’t your strong suit, Sir Knight.”

At the mention of ‘knight,’ Vihik’s eyes nearly popped out. He had figured Isaac had some knightly skills, but didn’t think he was a holy knight. Isaac looked at her with a curious grin.

“Did you sneak a peek at my gear while I was freshening up?”

“We’d never invade your privacy like that. Our info just tends to come fast…”

Caitlin tapped a coin on the table branded with a buffalo skull emblem.

“…We just heard about a young, handsome Grail Knight who’s helped out our folks a few times. And word on the street was, he was heading towards Seor.”

“You’re talking about ‘that’ Grail Knight?!”

Vihik’s sudden outburst caught everyone’s attention in the dining area.

“‘That’ Grail Knight?”

Isaac fired back. Vihik stumbled over his words.

“The traders were buzzing about a fresh Grail Knight on the scene. Everyone thought they were extinct, apart from Elil. We thought it was all just gossip…”
Grail Knights were like the talk of the town for regular folks, especially because outside the Kingdom of Elil, they were pretty much like legends.

Merchants who journeyed through risky lands resounded with their tales. “There’s hardly any excitement these days,” they’d say.

So, when Vihik reported Isaac’s imminent arrival, Caitlin wasn’t exactly caught off guard. But she definitely didn’t expect him to drop by in person.

Isaac finally caught on to the reason behind all this extraordinary hospitality. “So, you see me as a business opportunity.”

“The Golden Idol guild has a solid history of supporting Grail Knights. Think of it as a little ‘thank you’ for rescuing our people.”

Isaac couldn’t help but think to himself with a smirk, “Sure, as if you actually mean that.”

The relaxed vibe and the light-hearted mood were all part of Golden Idol’s tactic before they dropped the big question.

Though it wasn’t a lie that the Golden Idol guild supported Grail Knights, it all came with a price. When a Grail Knight found themselves alone in a foreign land, needing to hide their identity or in urgent need of funds, the Golden Idol guild was their go-to.

“In the gaming world, those merchant characters showing up in dungeons or enemy territories always saved my skin… Well, it’s just a game, but that’s how it’s played out.”

But of course, it wasn’t a no-strings-attached deal. Once indebted, the Golden Idol guild might ask for protection or favors instead of cash from the Grail Knight. The fact that they could make such requests to a knight of a different belief was a special privilege in itself.

“Let’s cut to the chase,” Isaac pushed aside his cleaned plate. “You’ve got something to ask of me regarding Loracus, don’t you?”

After their meal, the trio strolled over to a bustling market linked to the trading house. Caitlin and Isaac took in the lively atmosphere as they walked.

Seor’s market, a central trading hub, was bustling with activity. Amidst the crowd, Isaac could pick up the distinct scent of Loracus, a smell that reeked of greed.

The hotspot in the market was undoubtedly the Loracus trading area. Not just the Loracus bulbs themselves, but also the future flowers they would bloom into, the new bulbs from those flowers, and the potential profits—all were up for trade in a chaotic manner.

Everything related to Loracus cultivation, from fertilizers and farming tools to wagons, was exchanging hands. The rush of people had even shot up the prices of other flowers in the vicinity.

“It’s like everyone’s completely lost it,” Isaac was taken aback by the sheer madness in the air, far beyond what he had imagined.

Initially, he brainstormed ways to capitalize on the frenzy. In a modern setting, he might have predicted a crash and made some smart bets to profit. But here, the economic setup was too straightforward, making the outcome uncertain.

“Should I step in?” he pondered. However, the situation had escalated far beyond anyone’s control.

Human greed knows no bounds. Even if Isaac were to warn, “Loracus is headed for a fall, dragging the empire’s economy down with it,” he’d likely be brushed off. The essence of greed is to believe, “It won’t happen to me.”

The crash and the market’s collapse seemed like unavoidable destinies.

“What’s your take on this?” Caitlin inquired as they left the market. Isaac simply shrugged. “People’s greed has gone off the rails. Short of the emperor stepping in to halt trades.”

“The guild’s higher-ups are really fretting about this.”
“So what’s the deal with the crash?”

“Nah, it’s Loracus causing all the trouble with logistics.”

Isaac got it. The market was packed with seeds and farming gear, but hardly any seeds for the upcoming spring or food. Isaac knew that just before the first harvest after winter was when things got super tough.

“Most farmers usually stash some seeds for spring, but not enough this time. Fancy merchants always had top-notch seeds, and food was scarce in spring, so everyone’s getting antsy.”

Isaac thought about the Barbarian bandits attacking merchants. They were more into offing merchants than him. If the merchants were just messing around with Loracus for profit and ignoring important stuff, that’s plenty reason for a grudge. Plus, those folks were probably struggling too.

“So, things are pretty tense, but can I help out somehow?”

Maybe he could convince the merchants or nobles to work out a different way to distribute stuff. Isaac was still just a wandering swordsman, after all.

But Caitlin had a job for him.

“We need you to dig into who’s hoarding all that Loracus.”

“Heard some folks are going nuts over it for their flower collections…”

“Yeah, that’s part of it, but that alone wouldn’t explain the frenzy. Something fishy’s going on, and our usual sources aren’t cutting it.”

“Couldn’t figure it out yourselves?”

The Golden Idol folks were all about chasing the unknown. They weren’t gonna give up just like that.

Caitlin looked unsure.

“So, your buddies got taken out.”

They tried to be slick about the danger and roped Isaac in. Seeing Isaac’s displeasure, Caitlin seemed worried.

“Shouldn’t have tip-toed around. Sorry, we just…”

Isaac pondered a bit.

He came to Seor to find a relic linked to the Golden Idol guild and hoped to squeeze some info out of them to help the merchants. Turns out, they were asking for his help instead.

Being asked was a better spot in negotiations.

‘This smells like a relic.’

Maybe the person behind all this had a connection to the relic.

Isaac was ready to go along with Caitlin’s plan, but he laid down a condition with a firm tone.

“Alright, but I got one thing in return.”

“We got cash. Lots of it. Can offer you that for sure.”

It was a good response. But Isaac, not wanting to come off as too money-focused, replied politely.

“I actually have some Loracus with me. It’d be cool if the Golden Idol guild bought it all at the current price in a month.”


Paladin of the Dead God

Paladin of the Dead God

죽은 신의 성기사
Score 8.2
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: Released: 2023 Native Language: Korean
The only Paladin of the forgotten god, Nameless Chaos, and also the only Pope, Priest, and Worshipper.


not work with dark mode