"Hahaha! Really, he said that? That is the funniest thing I've ever heard this week. Ow, tears are coming out of my eyes." Blake Shu wiped the corner of his eyes after laughing his ass out.
Inside the usually empty house, two high-ranking officers together with a government official sat opposite him. Outside the alleyway, dozens of military soldiers stood every meter away from each other eyeing the people passing by.
The man opposite him blew smoke to the side and sat straight after coughing a few times. "This is top quality? This tastes like shit."
The man dissed the homemade cigar and flicked it away. It bounced against the wall and dropped on the floor still lit up.
The cigar was one of the products sold by the Newsroom, handcrafted by one of their members who know the basics. They have limited supply and every piece was a luxury good.
People from the Newsroom didn't appreciate the rude attitude of the officer but Blake Shu repeatedly warned them not to make any rash moves.
"I say, Brother Leo. you can't trust everything that you hear out here. Just like how I operate on money, other people could also work under the same rules. What if your informants were hired by someone who doesn't like you and wants to kick you from your position? They could easily feed you wrong information and when you make wrong decisions, it would cause you to fall out with the higher-ups. We've been partners since the beginning, so I won't betray you and you know that, right?" Blake Shu said.
Leo nodded. "I agree with that. However, the fact still remained that your people spread rumors which caused a lot of strong survivors to leave the stronghold.
"And the people above didn't like that, which put me in a bad position."
"W-well, I didn't know that you want people to stay here. When someone came to me for a job, I take it. I have people to feed, so I need money to continue coming in." Blake said.
"I understand that you're keeping these people alive, but I have my own matters to attend to," Leo replied, then stared at him. "I can't just turn a blind eye to this or people won't be pleased."
Blake understood he can't get out of this predicament unscathed, so he decided to reduce the losses. "Is there anything that I can do to, you know, flatten the curve of our noble friendship?"
Leo grinned as if waiting for him to say that.
Blake immediately felt like he fell into a trap, but could do nothing but wait for the trap master to show himself.
Leo said. "Recently, I've been hearing that you discovered how to make useful things. The magical salves in general. The government is interested in buying the recipes and we guarantee that we won't sell or distribute the products to the public. The price isn't a problem, nor does the price only equate to money. We can offer you official posts in the government and you can serve the public while getting various benefits related to work."
Blake Shu didn't know what to do. The offers were very attractive if he was someone without ambitions, but the salves were made from Black Haven and were just transferred to him through Faction Storage. He doesn't know how to make them, and the other party would never believe him even if he explained that.
Noticing Blake's troubled expression, Leo thought that he was trying to play hard to get and decided to add some encouragement. "Our soldiers will transition to melee combat training and the military expects some casualties. These healing salves could help hasten the recovery period which could result in faster training."
"Do you know how injuries work in this new world? You get a scratch, it's fine, you can lick it off and it will heal on its own. You get tagged, bit, or clawed, that's a different matter, my boy. The ratio of combatant to medical personnel was 1000:1. Most of them were even nurses who know nothing about surgery and only has basic healing skills. These nurses can't be everywhere. They need to regenerate energy too whenever they deplete out."
"I understand." Blake agreed. "Let me ask the person who crafts them whether she wants to trade."
"Oh?" Leo suddenly became interested in the topic. "How about you bring me to her and I'll do the talking? I have to offer more if she can provide better things."
Blake smiled. "I understand that you mean good, but she doesn't trust a lot of people right now. Especially, how the weak were being taken advantage of by everyone. She's only doing business with me because I have a reputable name, and I hope to keep my name shining like a knight in white armor even if just for her. I hope you understand."
Blake Shu slightly lowered his head to end the conversation.
Leo was forced to accept the conversation result since he would appear like someone impatient and has no manners if he tried to pursue the topic further. He stood up and got ready to leave.
"You know where to look for me. I want an answer before the day ends. Goodbye, my friend. Let's not do anything detrimental to each other in the future, okay?"
Leo left together with the two high-ranking officers. The soldiers soon disappeared from sight and the alleyway returned to its peaceful days.
Blake muttered softly, "Yeah, let's do that, my ass."
After all the soldiers left their hideout, the atmosphere remained gloomy. The key personnel of the group was in the room while the members secured the nearby area.
Mhiya spoke up. "What do you plan to do? Are we really going to help them?"
As the vice-president of the group, she was privileged to top-secret information. She knows that the products they sell weren't made by them and were actually supplied by Black Haven.
She also knows that Blake wants to accumulate goodwill from Jun and was working hard in gathering top-secret information about the government plans.
Blake answered. "This is not something I can decide freely, so I will first get into contact with Jun. Everything will depend on his instructions."
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