Angono, 9 AM.
Jun tapped the table with his finger in a relaxing rhythm. It was early in the morning and he was seated in front of Corwin, who had a huge smile on his face.
The old man was up to something but kept his mouth shut.
He didn't like that.
They were inside the Conference Room in the Faction Hall in Angono. They were the only person found inside and nobody was speaking.
Just before things could get any more awkward between them, a knock came from the door followed by Mia Logro's voice. "Breakfast is ready."
"Bring them here," Jun answered.
The double doors swung open and carts of food rolled in. Mia Logro with some crew entered the room. The food was served immediately and the carts were brought out with swift motions.
"I apologize for this lacking meal. I was in a rush to prepare them, so I beg your understanding." Mia Logro explained in anguish with his head down. "If there is anything you need, please just say so. I'll be right outside."
After ensuring that they have no other requirements, Mia Logro retreated from the room.
Jun stared at the exquisite food served on the table. it was filled with meat and vegetables. Every type of food needed to get optimum energy regeneration output was placed in front of him.
'I actually found someone useful!'
Jun picked up his utensils and tried out the meat. It was tender!
Despite being told that the food was cooked in a rush, everything tasted exactly the same as the last time he ate from Mia's buffet. The served dishes probably tastes slightly even better!
The two ate their breakfast lavishly before discussing the reason for Corwin's visit. With a simple greeting, the conversation began and the tone for the meeting was set by Jun.
Jun said. "If you don't speak of what I want to hear, then I will drag you out of that door, and toss you back to your escort."
Hearing the fierce welcome, Corwin could not help but shake his head. "You're still the same hot-blooded young man from before. Nothing changed even after rising into power."
Jun glared at Corwin for getting sidetracked, and the old man finally loosened up. In the first place, it was his fault for keeping his mouth shut and only promising to speak after getting a proper meal.
The two have faced each other half an hour ago, but due to breakfast conditions, the whole meeting was delayed.
Old Corwin knew that he had to speak quickly before he got dragged and thrown back to his group. There was nothing wrong with getting bullied by someone stronger than you, but being seen when someone younger than you bullies you, makes it embarrassing.
Corwin initiated the conversation with the information that Jun was waiting for. "There are several people already dead on your list. A few still haven't reestablished contact with headquarters and we don't know whether they are still alive. The 'Mayor' stated that he can't give more information than that. The rest of the information you requested is kept in the new government archives."
Jun remained silent and stared at Corwin.
Corwin knew that Jun wasn't satisfied with his answer, unfortunately, he was powerless and had no control over the matter. "In the end, we're still just allies. We can't give you absolute information about our officers and their current location. Though they made bad decisions, they have the skill and manpower to save a lot of people during this time. The 'Mayor' sends his gratitude for your understanding."
Jun sighed. "What else can I do? Kill you and your little group to set an example? That wouldn't even reach his ears, and would just probably seen as casualty numbers. I've got the items you wanted. Do you have the materials that I want?"
"Of course. Isn't that why you allowed our buses to enter this town?" Corwin replied with a smirk. "As promised, we brought tons of gravel and other construction materials. Wood logs, cement, and labor equipment."
Another man's trash is another person's treasure.
"We can't give more ammunition but considering the help you have given the government, the 'Mayor' allowed 10% of the stronghold's ammo to be used as an exchange material. In return, he expects that you will shine some goodwill and increase the overall value of our products."
"Un. I'm not that stingy when it comes to my trade partners. However, I expect more quality materials from your side in the future. You realize that I'm only taking this deal because it's urgent, right?" Jun answered.
"I know," Corwin responded, then continued his report. "Monster drops were added to the material list just like how you wanted. We are willing to trade 20,000 essence shard for this deal."
"Just essence shards? What about other monster drops?"
Corwin shook his head. "I treat you as my benefactor, so I'll tell you this one. The higher-ups did not like the idea of trading such a limited resource. Having them agree with trading the essence shard was already a miracle in itself.
"Currently, items with visible benefits were being collected by the top echelon. These unique items are being used as premium currency in the government circle.
"Even my salary has turned into this essence stones." Corwin suddenly chuckled. "Don't you think its funny? I work on the frontlines and gather these stones, but I have to remit them to the government. Afterward, they use the same stones to pay me as my salary. Hahahaha! What a crazy world."
"Oh? That's the worst, you could just use them and they'll never know." Jun hinted, then jokingly added, "Want to switch sides now?"
Corwin dry laughed, then slowly became serene. "Nah, I still believe in the Old Republic. The people need my help and I want to be of service to our country. Don't you want to help our country?"
The two stared at each other.
Ever since the conversation started, they have been testing each other's boundaries. They were extremely careful with their words and often underwent the process of give and take.
In a negotiation, you can't get everything that you want. You must weigh things that were important to get the maximum value.
Both parties knew their alliance was real and they could rely on each other as long as they have the same goal. To help the people.
Jun fetched a glass of water from the side and stared at the clear liquid inside it. The drinking water supplied to the whole town was from the filtering equipment they managed to salvage in the past few days. Though the origin water came from the lake, there was no sign of soil or dirt inside.
Jun drank the glass of water in several gulps and it did not taste or smell fishy at all.
"The equipment you want is at the gymnasium. You can discuss how many equipments you want to buy with Bernard. He will also evaluate the price of your goods and give you a business account card. If you have any other questions, you can ask him directly. I'm sure he will answer your questions gladly."
Corwin coughed with his hand next to his mouth. "The exchange rate?"
"I'll put a word in. See you later."
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