Return of the Reaper

Thousands of years ago, the Reaper, Demon Lord and ruler of all Creation, was betrayed and his empire turned to dust. Now he has returned, and is looking for revenge on the one who betrayed him.


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32. Chapter thirty two

Forwald was bustling with activity, and that was good for Jack and his business. With the wax in commerce it became increasingly difficult for the guards to properly check certain boxes that arrived to his store every fortnight. As those crates contained forbidden goods, the profits were quite considerable and, since Jack was the only one who knew how to make the transactions, he didn’t have to worry too much about being backstabbed by his associates.

 

 He smiled and turned again to his books. Since the king (or, rather, his new counselor) decided to start a much needed renewal of the city’s walls and public buildings, he had managed to smuggle many crates of angel smile into the city. Once distributed and sold, Jack received a staggering amount of profits, even to the standards of his business. High as they were, though, he was quite sure the numbers didn’t match as they should.

 

 Anyone checking those books would only see the properly arranged registers of a prosperous merchant dedicated to selling base metals in great quantities. It was only under a thick layer of ciphers that the information about the angel smile could be found. It was lucky that the city forbade every possible competitor for its opium dens. Otherwise, his profits wouldn’t be nearly as high.

 

 Yes, it was very good for him that things were agitated.

 

 After a while examining his records, he seemed satisfied and closed it. He couldn’t pinpoint the exact origin of the money leak, but he had a rough clue of which one of his distributors was at least partly in it. He took a silver bell and ringed it, calling Fred, his butler and personal hitman.

 

 As always, a few moments later a massive hulk covered with scars entered the room. The man could be considered a living paradox, for his carefully shaven face and his refined movements and controlled voice were in absolute discordance with the brutal violence that seemed to emanate from him.

 

 “Sir?” He said, giving a bow. “How may I be of service?”

 

 “I’m afraid I’ll need your service once again, my friend, in the same capacity that made you famous.” Said Jack as he played with a letter opener “It looks like one of Tharik’s boys is keeping some of my money to himself. I know Tharik himself isn’t as stupid as to try something like that, but perhaps some of his lieutenants are. I want you to fix the problem and make it clear that it isn’t wise to interfere with the usual running of things.”

 

 A deep sigh and a bow were all the answer the giant gave before leaving the room.

 

 Jack didn’t like using old Fred like that, but he didn’t have a choice. Despite having quit his former life, he still commanded a terrified respect from every thug, scumbag and lowlife in Jack’s organization: no one could send a signal like him. The bribes for keeping the guards shut about the pieces of bodies turning all around the district would be staggeringly high, but at least that would make others think twice before assuming they could bite the hand that fed them.

 

 Knowing the problem was almost solved, he took paper and ink and started to write a heavily coded letter. The demand was at an all time high, and he’d need Barol to send him a new shipment.

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