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Oliver followed Al’s lead. However, for some reason, he led him through the small door next to the warehouse instead of going into Forrest’s office.

“Where are we going?”

“Boss is waiting for you downstairs.”

It was a different place than usual.

“… Can I ask you why he is waiting for me?”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Dave. I don’t have the authority to answer that. I’m truly sorry.”

Al was sincere. He couldn’t answer even if he wanted to answer.

Normally he would have just let it go, but today, Oliver opened his mouth again, recalling the bargaining he had seen in the traditional market.

“I see.”

“Yes, the boss will tell you the details when you go down. I’m sorry again.”

“Um…well, instead of that, can you answer another question?”

“Other question?”

“Yes, can you tell me what a restaurant waiter usually does?”

Al tilted his head as if he didn’t understand what Oliver was trying to say.

“Yes, of course, it’s not that difficult, but… can I ask why?

“Um, I suddenly became curious.”

Oliver said as he thought of the old man at the bookstore.

Al didn’t seem to understand what he said, and he didn’t think much about it.

“Yes, I’ll let you know early in the morning, or at the end of the evening business.”

“Thank you.”

Oliver sincerely bowed thanking Al’s favor.

Al greeted the same way, and soon took a key out of his pocket and opened the door next to the food warehouse.

When the door with the sign saying “No entry to outsiders” was opened, a staircase descending down was reflected in Oliver’s eyes.

Oliver made his way down the stairs that were lit dimly.

The passage seems to be deeper than when he saw it from above, and it didn’t seem like a normal place.

Oliver somehow felt that it was unusually deep compared to other buildings.

Still, it wasn’t endless, as he finally reached the bottom floor.

After getting off the stairs with a small sigh of relief, Oliver moved along the narrow corridor.

It reminded him of when he used to live in the basement of Joseph’s sausage factory. The only difference here was that the walls and floors are well finished.

Eventually, he reached the end of the corridor.

There was only a small door at the end of the corridor, but compared to the way down, it was a very ordinary door.

Oliver knocked on the door.

“Come in.”

When permission was given, the door opened immediately.

Oliver could tell right away that the basement was not the room for restaurant owner Forrest, but the room of the broker Forrest.

A table and a set of chairs to one side, a huge counter, and a pile of filing cabinets were placed behind it.

Oliver always had a question about how he managed to work as a broker in that small office, and his question was resolved today.

“I’m sorry to call you to such a gloomy place.”

Forrest spoke as he organized the material he had just pulled out from the cabinet.

“No, it’s fine. But what are you doing?”

“I suddenly found out something. It has nothing to do with you, so don’t worry.”

“Is that so?”

“Yeah, it’s not a big deal.”

It didn’t seem like it was true when he said it wasn’t a big deal, but Oliver didn’t ask about it.

It was said that if you ask too much about an individual in this field, you would rather become a target of caution.

“Mr. Al said you’ve been waiting for me, can I ask what’s going on?”

After finishing the paperwork, Forrest nodded and took some money out of the drawer.

It was 200 bills of 100,000 Landa bills.

“What’s this?”

“It’s yours.”

“… I got paid for my last job.”

“Additional reward. Looking at the books and documents you brought along with the undiluted amount of potion, the client was quite pleased. Can I speak with you for a moment?”

Oliver politely nodded and sat across from Forrest.

Forrest poured out a drink as usual, and Oliver sniffed it slightly and then shoved it into his throat.

“Is it edible? You drink better than I thought, so I picked that out.”

Oliver, who had no sense of taste, nodded his head without thinking.

“I’m glad…the documents and ledgers you brought with you indirectly helped the client’s business.”

“Is that so?”

“Yes, he got more information on the price and where to supply magic wine stocks through the clients and prices on the raw material. If you had taken something like this to the black market, it would have sold for a high price.”

“Um…”

Oliver nodded again at the new information.

“I originally planned to sell that at a high price, but the client paid for it first. As you can see, it’s 20 million.”

“What about Mr. Forrest’s fee?”

“I won’t take it this time. There was nothing I did in the first place, and the other side offered the money first.”

It didn’t matter if Forrest took the fee, but Oliver didn’t open his mouth because he said it was okay.

The money was piling up step by step.

Oliver felt a bit of relief.

Oliver didn’t know when he would need it, but he had to earn it as much as possible.

Suddenly, a question came to him.

“By the way, do they usually give money like this?”

“That’s a good point. Let’s get down to business. The money is certainly the price of your fair labor, but at the same time it’s also a bribe.”

“A bribe?”

“Yeah. The money is a fair price for the job you did. So even if you take the money, you never owe it to anyone.”

“Yes, I understand.”

“However, the client who commissioned the job wants to meet you in person.”

“Me? Why does he want to meet me?”

“He said he wanted to thank you in person. But, the real reason might be wanting to meet the skilled warlock. It’s not a bad thing.”

“Am I a skilled warlock?”

“Yes, you are. Why?

“No. Nothing. Is he willing to give this much money for that?”

It was a valid point.

Among the contents of the last request, Forrest said that the client had barely met the minimum level of remuneration.

It means that the client was either a miser trying to get things done cheaply or someone who was short on money.

But, that person willingly offered the same amount as the salary that he barely matched, just to thank him.

It didn’t make sense to Oliver.

“Of course, no. It seems like he wants to ask you two things.”

“Ask me?”

“Yeah, don’t bother about the money too much. When a talented solver appears on this floor, all kinds of organizations try to make a connection.”

Oliver nodded his head without saying a word.

Apparently, it seemed like he was getting recognized for his skills as a solver.

“What is he going to ask?”

“It’s not that great. Since you’ve been to the Wizard’s workshop, he wants you to give him a rough outline of what it looks like.”

“Since he has Professor Herbert, wouldn’t it be quicker to ask him?”

“You’re right. The problem is he has already lost the trust in that guy after getting stabbed in the back once. So, he needs someone to crosscheck.”

It seemed right

“I think that will be fine.”

“I’m glad. And, the second one is a request.”

“Request?”

“Yeah, to be exact, a job.”

“What kind of job is it?”

“He wants you to protect the wizard workshop that he is building. The duration is only a few months.”

“Why does he want to meet me and ask that? If it’s an official request, shouldn’t it be delivered through Mr. Forrest?”

“I refused.”

“Refused?”

“Yeah, because it’s an unacceptable one by my standards.”

Oliver was intrigued.

He wondered what was the job that Forrest couldn’t agree to, and why did Forrest bring up this story to him if he rejected it.

“Are the conditions too tight?”

“Rumors have started spreading about a Solver who defeated 3 Fighter Crew members while you weren’t here, so your name has become a little known. Although it’s like a Dark Horse that comes out every year, there are still quite a few people paying attention.”

Forrest spoke the truth without any exaggeration or undermining.

It made sense since Knuckle Joe, Nico, and Bigjaw were quite well-known mercenary Warlocks.

It did not seem that strange.

“The condition suggested by the client is 15 million in advance in addition to paying your daily expenses. He said that he would give another 15 million if you finish the job safely.”

“I think it looks pretty good, what’s wrong with it?”

“Of course, that’s the case in general. Do you remember what I said earlier? The client belongs to Crime Firm.”

“Yes, I heard.”

“As you know, it’s pretty great to be part of Crime Firm. You can get protection and help from the organization. But sometimes you get involved in internal competition.”

Oliver nodded.

He had heard about that from Kent and knew it.

Many organizations belonging to the Crime Firm compete with each other, so Kent asked him to be wary of them.

“The magic wine industry is a money-making business. Demand is always abundant, but supply is scarce. That’s why it makes money, and where there is a lot of money, there is always conflict.”

“Does that mean that the wine production workshop could be attacked by the members of the Crime Firm?”

“It’s not unconditional, but there is a pretty high probability. That’s not the end of it.”

“That’s not the end?”

Forrest took out a round glass bottle from inside.

There was a seal stamped on the outside, and it turned out to be something Oliver had given him in the past.

“Isn’t this the potion I gave you last time?”

“Yes. I’ll ask again. Was this really something you found at Assistant Professor Herbert’s workshop?”

“Yes.”

“This thing belongs to Magic Tower.”

“Magic Tower?”

“Yeah, this seal is the proof. It’s stamped on objects that are under the management of the Tower. I’ve done my research.”

Oliver asked, contemplating.

“…why was something that belongs to Magic Tower there?”

“There are two possibilities. Herbert surprisingly raided and robbed the items being transported to the Magic Tower, or he was secretly dealing with an insider of the Magic Tower.”

“It will be the latter.”

“That’s right. If the property of Magic Tower had been stolen, there would have been a lot of noise, but there were no signs of that, so it must have been stolen. Well, it’s not that rare.”

“Is that so?”

“Yeah, as its name suggests, Magic Tower is a place where a lot of magical knowledge and resources are dealt with. If you have bad intentions, you might think about stealing things that are sleeping in the warehouse or tampering with the resource a few times. Therefore, big professors and students of Magic Towers come to the back alley to find thieves. Surprisingly, the elite people of Landa, who are proud of the country, are also the main customers of the back alleys.”

Forrest looked so happy.

“Does that mean that not only the rivals in Crime Firm but also the officials of the tower might attack the workshop?”

“The probability is low, but it is not impossible. After examining Herbert’s ledger, a significant proportion of the money went to unidentified people, probably someone inside the Magic Tower.”

Oliver nodded as he recalled the potion he had seen in the Wizard’s workshop.

“Of course, unless the people from the Magic Tower are reckless, nothing will happen.”

“In other words, although the probability is low, it is also undeniable that the client can be attacked.”

“Yeah, that’s why I refused, fighting a Wizard belonging to Magic Tower is dangerous, and it’s not worth 30 million.”

Oliver nodded.

Everything Forrest said was sincere.

Kent was right when he said Forrest knew the Solver’s skills and gave them the safest and most efficient job.

Still, there were parts he didn’t understand.

“Then, why are you saying this to me?”

Forrest leaned forward slightly.

“The client asked for a chance to persuade you directly. So I’m asking for your opinion.”

There was sincerity in Forrest’s emotion.

“Also, depending on your personality, you might want to meet someone who belongs to the Crime Firm, and of course, the final decision is yours.”

Oliver thought, what should we do?

The job, the crime firm, the rival gang, and the person related to the Magic tower … It was a little interesting.

Oliver answered, glancing at the man waiting in the next room.

“Um, I’m fine with meeting him.”

“Of course, you can just say no after you meet him, hey, come in.”

With those words, the secret door on one side of the office opened and a man entered.

He said looking at Oliver.

“Hello, Mr. Warlock. My name is Murphy Kimbell.”