Bank and Dwarf
The city didn’t exhibit a drastic increase in life after the chapel’s shackles on it were removed. I guess it could’ve been due to the people of the city losing the desire to pursue joy after being oppressed for so long. Perhaps the North, which relied on war to prosper, was at the mercy of the era. It no longer qualified as a city; it was more akin to a cemetery for the past, where those who died fighting were buried and waited for those still alive to join them. The people still lingering in the city were merely wandering souls from the last war.
For the reason that I wasn’t familiar with the city, I needed to ask the guards at the entrance where the so-called bank was located. Apparently, they didn’t refer to the bank as a bank. After I explained that a bank was a place where one stored money, a light bulb lit up for them, and they finally realised what place I referred to. Here, in this world, they called it a money depository. There wasn’t just one business association. Achilles started one of them, but most businesses selling products and service model businesses under Achilles’ banner worked in the city. Thus, I need to visit two particular companies.
The two of us rode through the streets. I didn’t know Veirya was so familiar with the city. She knew lots of small paths. Thankfully, that made travelling efficient.
Technically speaking, humans were also animals. All humans shared the instincts animals had, particularly avoiding harm while trying to maximise gains. Humans lean toward the side that’s more favourable to them. Not the one that would be harmful. Money was the best thing there was to humanity’s society. Wherever money could be made would be humanity’s best location. Banks, or in this case, money depositories were humanity’s most sumptuous meal. At the same time, though, it was a trap. Well-trained hunters would be able to safely escape from them, while others would need to repay their debts with their lives. Countless people flocked to banks the same way bees flocked to places where they smelt honey. There used to be lots of businessmen in the city. Businessmen have a keen nose for money.
The buildings in the city were incredibly robust. They were similar to the Temple of Athena Nike in a way. They were squares or rectangles and had an incredibly solemn vibe. The huge stone pillars were evidently somewhat worn out now after having existed for many years. Being ancient and worn out, however, couldn’t stop people from liking that sort of new stuff.
The place we were at was probably the liveliest place in the entire city. There was a good number of people entering and exiting. I even noticed a few dwarves. Presumably, it was where the people from the place and other races interacted. It wasn’t rare to run into dwarves or elves at the border in the North, after all.
The two of us led our horses inside. Veirya stated. “This. Was formerly. The control centre.”
“Are you talking about during the war?”
“Uhm. In the past. Queen Sisi. Once stayed here.”
Indeed, the building appeared to be the best building in comparison to all the other buildings in the city. It, therefore, was no wonder Queen Sisi would reside in it. I nodded: “Let’s go, then, Veirya.”
“What exactly. Are we here. For?”
“To get money.”
I answered in a very simple manner; however, I neither lied nor hid anything. I came here to get money; I just didn’t tell Veirya how I’d do it.
Veirya followed alongside me as we headed to the building I was interested in. We waded through the crowds. We heard the language of money in our ears. Everyone present had their own business to attend to, and their business dictated the circulation of money.
To put things into perspective, imagine a lake. If water only ever came in and never left, it’d be dead water. The same principle applied to money in a city. A city can’t develop on its own. It requires imports. The bank is the foundation of imports. Without the abundance of money in the bank, trading would be nothing more than trading for fun.
We entered the bank. It was a primitive bank. The first place we arrived at upon entering was a large hall. In the hall was a long table with workers behind it counting money. There was also a specific appraiser who appraised a red gem the size of an egg that a dwarf brought in. There were also scales that weighed coins to verify they weren’t counterfeit coins.
The bank was packed. Lots of people waited for their turn to be served. There were also a fair number of people attired in black speaking to customers about something. The majority of people were busy with coordinating things between humans and dwarves, though, because lots of humans and dwarves couldn’t communicate well.
We suddenly heard a familiarly and brash voice nearby. We turned to look in the direction it came from; Veirya was first to identify the owner of the voice. She immediately looked down. His big beard was as comical as I remembered. The manner in which Franics came over to us resembled a round and furry ball rolling over. He probably hadn’t drunk yet, but he still reeked of alcohol.
“What are the chances that I’d see you two here?! My, my, I never thought I’d see the day when this woman would come here to loan money. I thought she’d only ever take the head of her hunted prey to the adventurer guild to exchange for money.”
Veirya calmly responded, “I didn’t do that. In the past, either.”
Francis heartily laughed. He questioned, “Geez, you’re still so serious when you’ve gotten married. Doesn’t your husband find your seriousness a bore?”
Veirya looked over to me and asked, “Do I?”
Veirya casually accepted the claim that we were married and that she was my wife. That said, it could’ve been that she didn’t understand what those terms meant. I smiled: “It’s all right. I think you’re very nice.”
“Okay, okay, you two, let’s put aside your sweet couple world for a moment. Tarak, it’s been a long time since we last met. Let’s have a drink again. I’m done with business; are you free?”
“I just got here.”
“What do you need to do? Store money or loan money? If you need to loan money, you don’t need them. They always try to claim you have this and that problem so that they can increase the interest they charge you. Just come see me if you need a loan. I just bought a piece of land here in your area.”
“From Veirya’s territory again?”
“I guess.” Francis nodded without putting too much thought into it: “When I have money, I plan to go and talk to Veirya about something. I’m certain she’ll approve.”
“No. You need. To ask him.” Veirya finally improved after the first time with Lucia.
I pinched my chin to think: “Previously, nobody came here. Why have people started selling land now? The land isn’t important; what’s important is what the land has.”
“Let’s go. Let’s go have a drink first,” I suggested. I thought, “Whatever is going on, I need to ask and find out.”
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