Chapter 12

So much to do, so little time. As one of the three Lords of Tempest, Pero felt highly confident in his ability to tackle any issue, whether it be the utter destruction of enormous monsters with his mind-boggling power, or bringing together a myriad of beauties with his ever-growing charisma.

That same confidence had been tested as of late when Pero faced an obstacle that would make even his friends of equal status shiver in fright: multi-tasking important projects with differing, often near-overlapping deadlines.

Lately, Pero was constantly running from one project to the next, the biggest being the full cooperation between Tempest and Dwargon. To say that the project hopping was taking a toll on him was an understatement. If not for the semi-given relief of not hearing arguments from his concubines, which seemed to defy all known internet logic regarding harem conflicts, the birdman surmised that his mentality would have been worn out faster than his physical body by said concubines every night.

Of course, Pero could not deny the benefits upon visiting the projects he had chosen to come down and check up on personally, and there were many.

On top of gaining insight into Tempest's rapidly growing industries and economy, he was satisfied to find scientific research equally matching the growth of those two fields.

Still, considering how costly that endeavor was, Pero ensured it would be his duty to jumpstart the joint Tempest-Dwargon research before Pandora could take over. In the end, it would be on him to allocate the resources needed for whatever crazy ideas he had piled up over the last two months, and that meant he needed a sense of expenditure beyond mere numbers on paper.

But before he could leave for Dwargon, he needed to delegate most of his duties to the crafty and profit-oriented Kobolds, who would be left in Shalltear's care. The vampire had been recently entrusted to an authoritative position while they did all the work.

This was where the official leader of the Kobolds residing with Tempest came in. The small but chippy Kobold went by the name of Koby, and tended to display a somewhat reserved nature around Pero. Other than that, he was known for being quite shrewd at his business.

Aware that Pero had a schedule to keep, Koby brought him up to speed on handling most of his day-to-day duties. They would swiftly take a tour around Tempest, tackling the most immediately demanding companies and high-priority ones.

As soon as they finished their early breakfast, Pero said his goodbyes to his concubines and exited his quarters to meet his daughter. Since most of the concubines didn't leave bed that early, his leave went surprisingly smooth, and something he was grateful for.

Despite being Momonga's consort, Shalltear had volunteered to be Pero's bodyguard. Apart from personal thoughts, it did not come as a big surprise to him when considering her personality. With everyone being so busy, they hadn't spent much time together as of late. Pero took this as an opportunity, though with a certain amount of caution, knowing the vampire, to further reinforce their current father-daughter bonds.

As elegant as ever, Shalltear had chosen to wear her main Victorian-style dress for this occasion. At one point, Momonga informed Pero that Shalltear was constantly fretting about keeping her outfit nice and tidy, and it always brought a chuckle to him thinking about it. Apart from how adorable that was to Pero, he felt nothing short of pride for his daughter.

When the two of them made eye contact, Shalltear broke into a wide smile when she saw her father emerge out the door. In her eyes, seeing the illustriously bright aura coming off of her father almost made her want to tear up out of sheer joy.

"Good morning, Daddy! I'm ready to guard you today." Shalltear did not care how shrilly she sounded, and it seemed Pero shared her sentiments. The surrounding citizens briefly noticed, but quickly dismissed it - just another "thing" of the Lords.

"Good morning, sweety. Let's get a move on now that your servants are here."


The six kerai bowed in his presence, and the one holding Shalltear's parasol stepped forward to position herself next to the vampire. The winged women were as intimidating as ever, and with all of them being named, they packed more than just a punch. Not only were they well within Special A rank, but their abilities were oriented towards making someone suffer, turning them into symbols of terror among miscreants of Tempest.

Following her beloved lord's example, she named a new one each time her energy hit the cap, now numbering over a hundred. However, even if they merged their numbers, they would still be unable to stop someone from their mistress' power, but even enough water buckets would overflow a river past its banks.

As soon as Shalltear's father came into view, the servants strung themselves straight, their postures stiffened into half-bows.

"Lord Peroroncino." The six kerai spoke with the usual reverence, but the way they were bowing was already making Pero uncomfortable. He could have sworn he had told them to stop performing this action.

"Ladies." Pero returned the greeting. "Remember, you don't have to play the 'servant role' when you're with me. Now, shall we?"

"Where to first? I will cast a gate for you when you give the order." Shalltear daintily skipped to Pero's left side while the kerai strategically positioned themselves, forming up as their rearguard.

"First, we need to pick up Koby first. The guy is in his mansion at the moment, and I feel like he's already working himself to the bone." Pero quickly checked where his trusted subordinate could be found before confirming that he was ready for her daughter to place down the gate.

When her father made the go-ahead, Shalltear opened a gate, creating a murky portal that swirled an ominous whirlpool of purplish aura.

Without hesitation, the whole procession walked through, and soon they arrived in the small dog-like creature's office. Pero immediately picked up a cacophony of noises, though not too overwhelming for his senses.

Apart from that, even a passive glance would clarify that Koby indulged in his newfound wealth rather extensively. The five-by-four-meter room had a massive varnished table, with an equally enormous, bronze-plated chair behind it.

"I needed those reports on the production of rare-grade equipment three hours ago! And tell Fozzy's bookkeeper to have an audit of his company by the end of the week!"

Pero quickly picked up whose voice that speaker was, and he recognized it as none other than Koby's.

To him, it sounded like Koby was barking orders at someone else, most likely another Kobold. His suspicions were confirmed when his eyes finally laid on the scene not happening far away from him.

The other dog-like creature was standing before the table and saluting while his eyes viewed paintings filling up virtually every free spot on the walls. Most of them depicted the four Lords, but there was one of what Pero presumed was Koby's clan or family. The twenty Kobolds were painted in great detail, likely costing Koby a small fortune to commission, and were hung right behind him, taking up an entire wall.

"Yes, boss. I'll get them as soon as possible!"

With a quick bow, the other Kobold barked back resolutely, and rushed past Pero and his entourage.

'The furball is so freaking adorable when he's all authoritative like this.'

It took Pero a serious effort not to pet Koby and put treats in the Kobold's mouth. He had already done it twice, and the Kobold wasn't happy, to say the least. Of course, he didn't say anything openly, fearing retribution, but it eventually dawned on Pero after enough observation that the Kobold was sulking for weeks due to the humiliating treatment.

The moment Koby saw his lord appearing through the gate, he jumped to his feet and ran around the table, dropping whatever work he was doing at the moment as secretaries rushed to organize after him.

"Lord Peroroncino, Lady Shalltear."

'That dog is about to kneel. Father hates it when they do that. It's my fault. I enforced it for so long against my Father's wishes.'

Shalltear was far too familiar with the behavior of the lesser. She once considered it the only proper way, but after several walks with her father, she could take pride that there were more reasonable approaches to talking to a subordinate.

At the core of the kneeling issue, Shalltear realized that the seemingly loyal action wasted everyone's time, reducing output and, ultimately, resulted in failing to support the Supreme Beings as best as they could. She personally also felt that honorifics were better left for official ceremonies than inner circles.

"Don't waste Father's time. Be brief, but don't miss any details that would be important to him." Shalltear harshly interrupted Koby's attempt at kneeling.

Koby froze on the spot briefly before vigorously nodding and grabbing a stack of papers from the table. "R-ready to go, Lord Peroroncino."

"Great, let's go." Pero gently slapped Koby's shoulder with an open palm. He did not want to repeat the encounter where he had accidentally dug his talons into the kobold's fragile frame. Unfortunately, this event happened many times before he realized that the Kobold was hiding his pained look every time.


Their first stop was a mining town in the former orc territory called Okunodzu, which was close to Eurzania, a domain Koby knew belonged to none other than the Demon Lord Carrion. The arid land had next to no vegetation, but was rich with various ores that did not require much intensive digging to find, much to Pero's and Koby's delight.

As always, the vast majority of the central workforce were the regular skeletons, and their ability to never tire out amazed Koby and the Kobolds when they witnessed them toiling the earth with harmonized movements.

Koby knew the simple undead had no sentience to speak of, but they possessed just enough intelligence to follow simple commands. Aside from that, they could perform the most back-breaking labor with ease, without any of the constant complaints or paid wages from normal workers.

'It amazes me that Lord Peroroncino thought about using them for an actual labor force. Or was it Lord Momonga? Well, either way, they're both astounding!' Koby allowed just this once to feel the excitement throbbing in his chest, knowing how much potential one could have when becoming a citizen of Tempest if they proved their worth to the Lords.

While skeletons were the dominant race of the labor force, they were not the only ones. The rest of the labor force consisted of other undead types, primarily liches, but there were also races such as Orcs and Kobolds. The latter two chose to live in simple clay houses with thick glass windows to block out the harsh air and searing heat, and worked in the fields due to being built for the hard labor.

'Speaking of heat, I never noticed it until I saw Shalltear making uncomfortable expressions.' Pero mentally chastised himself for not realizing this sooner.

The scorching sun loomed over them, seeking an opportunity to burn the careless visitors. The kerai nearest Shalltear immediately raised the parasol over the vampire's head to guard her mistress against the element which her kind found annoying to deal with, the others raising some as well for mobility.

Pero did not share the vampire's weakness. Instead, he was more than content. Seeing his daughter visibly relieved at the change in lighting, he spread his wings and inhaled deeply, reaching into his Skill once more.

For him, the one who started to embody his skill, The Sun God, the hot sun was like a fresh cup of espresso made of the best ingredients that not even the modern world could replicate. The raging sun was nothing more than a comfortable satisfaction running through his body, and it was something he relished.

However, Pero was prudent not to focus on himself too selfishly. He quickly led the group to the town hall to not torment his daughter, whose race made her more attuned to a nocturnal, shadowed nature.

A white two-story building with a large flag pole was now in front of him and the others. Pero remembered that there was no settlement in Tempest where there wasn't a proudly displayed flag for people to look at either on or near it.

Inside, the town mayor was waiting for them, a massive High Orc whom Pero recalled to be named Oseth. He was currently waiting with a few local liches and a Kobold.

Since this was an official meeting, Shalltear didn't interrupt them kneeling; instead, she permitted them to rise. The Kobold was the first to speak.

"We bid you welcome to our humble mining town of Okunodzu, Lord Peroroncino. Mursu, the director of the south-eastern mining operation, is at your service."

"Hey, Murusu. Looks like everything has been going well since the last time I came here," Pero said, waving at the Kobold. He sat down on a chair offered by Oseth and nodded at the High Orc before continuing, "By the way, there's no need to act so stiff around me. You guys should get into the practice of relaxing around your superiors. Now, what do you have for me?"

"I'm pleased to report that the mining operation is proceeding at one hundred and twenty percent efficiency compared to the assigned target. In addition, the survey teams have found three new iron ore deposits, three copper deposits, and a silver ore deposit." Murusu dutifully reported, feeling his shoulders relax by the second, as if Lord Peroroncino's presence was relaxing. And to be fair, it was.

"That's great. Any luck finding the rare materials with the instructions I sent?" Pero asked, trying not to sound too impatient, knowing he could appear to be at times.

The Kobold shifted around nervously, with the town mayor and liches making worried glances at each other. The Kobold audibly gulped and blurted, "N-no, my Lord. Forgive us for not being able to meet your expectations! We could not find the rare material you had spoken of in the reports…"

"Hey, ease up, man. We don't even know if that stuff exists in this world. If anything, I'm glad that you and your guys gave it your A-game." Pero tried to reassure the frightened Kobold with a pat on his back, failing to do so.

"Forgive me for interrupting, but what does it mean to 'give one's A-game?' I have never heard that kind of word usage before." Oseth furrowed his eyebrows, and Pero saw that he was distressed.

"Oh, well, it means you guys are doing pretty damn good. I can tell that you guys are giving it your best. So as long as you keep it up, there is no rush at trying to find those materials," Pero replied. A wave of relief visibly washed over Murusu and the others, some even slumping for a moment before returning to attention.

"Anyway, this particular search for those materials requires more attention, so please continue your attempts if you have more staffing to spare. But if your men repeatedly confirm that nothing is found, we try something else. In the end, the real issue is time, but everything else is being well-kept and tracked by other people in the departments I lead."

Pero almost felt himself sigh as soon as he finished his explanation. Most of his subordinates would mentally break down whenever something did not go according to the highest projected goals. It was as if he had threatened them with the most brutal forms of torture that would impress people like Demiurge.

The birdman leaned on his chair and looked up. "Still, though, we've been searching for a long time since Momo gave out the order to look for the ores. I wonder if they're even in this world…"

"This world?" Murusu tilted his head quizzingly. Despite the assurances that he wouldn't be given to the sadistic vampire as a toy for his failures, he quickly got back into a professional demeanor despite his confusion.

Even if it was nothing more than a rumor that Lord Peroroncino let his daughter tear apart anyone who displeased him, it was better not to take any chances. Erring on the side of caution, especially when someone like Shalltear was around, was the most optimal strategy to ensure his survival.

"Oh, don't think too hard about it. Let's just say I know of materials that no one in this world uses and wanted to see if they could be found. If the assigned methods do not work, there is a large chance the stuff is simply absent."

As interested as Murusu was in hearing more about those invaluable materials, the Kobold knew deep down that he had to prioritize the overall growth of his town's mining operation.

"With your permission, I would like to redouble our efforts in surveying the territories. We have funds and the workforce to do so without worrying about not reaching the quotas." Mursu saluted resolutely like most of his kind did when talking with superiors.

"Sure. Just don't go overboard." Pero nodded and gave a hand signal to everyone in the room. Everyone knew that gesture of his meant he had effectively ended the meeting.

After receiving the rest of the report and writing down a note regarding Koby's temporary role as Okunodzu's supervisor, Pero and his entourage moved to the next mining area. Pero absentmindedly remarked that the site was farther from Eurazania's border than Okunodzu's.

For the most part, it was the same thing everywhere.

Pero felt the mining reports had met his expectations, but to his disappointment, he more or less received similar confirmations as he did with Murusu. He specifically wanted to look for aluminum, lithium, and other materials used for modern technology.

'Maybe the search process is flawed. I should ask Demiurge and Shuna to research creating a universal material search spell. I better ask Momo for a heads-up before talking with Shuna. He'll tear me to a new one if he thinks I'm trying to add her to my collection again.' Pero pondered how to proceed with the current predicament.

After all, it was easier to take the safe route and not pursue the ones who weren't interested if there were plenty of girls ready to melt if he so much as looked in their direction, especially if Momonga was so keen on keeping any sort of workplace harassment to a minimum.


After the mining areas came the border trade hubs, built all over Tempest's borders, working with six nations interested in trade with Tempest. These were just the tiny steps to establishing a proper trade network, and one he would see to grander heights.

With inner privatization and an explosion of privately owned companies by Tempest's residents, he realized he could lighten the load on his duty of overseeing projects. There had, instead, been an explosive increase in the number of government-assigned mandatory bookkeepers who were responsible for keeping tabs and collecting appropriate taxes.

Of course, Pero was motivated to get his talons in virtually every nook and cranny within the major companies of Tempest, as he was by now a significant, if not dominant, shareholder for most native organizations. His monopoly ensured money went either to government coffers or his own, keeping the money flowing under his control.

While Buku and Momonga held much more direct power over citizens, Pero put more effort into being the unseen hand that firmly held the reins of the free market. After all, outsiders were much more eager to work with private companies than the seemingly overbearing Tempestian government.

One would think that the Minister of Commerce owning the majority of trade was a gross conflict of interest, but if the end goal was to benefit Tempest and prevent the world from turning into the hellhole that was Earth's wanton, barely regulated, rampant economy, no one would bother interfering with Pero's shady, but still legal, involvements.

Publicly, no one knew who owned the Fushicho company, which owned most of the smaller ones. The only ones who could access the company's data belonged in the upper echelons of Nazarick, meaning his secret was safe. Slowly but surely, Pero could secretly expand into the markets of other countries without causing many incidents.

Buku only demanded her shopping allowance, the extent of government-related bribery he had to indulge in, making accounting for the flow of money far easier than it would have been. As greedy as his sister could be, Pero knew that Buku knew the strict limits on how much she could ask for before warranting suspicion from Momonga.

Security-wise, most of the trade hubs were policed by both nations sharing the border. Humans still didn't fully trust monsters, but cheap monster-related resources were enough for them to overcome most prejudices.

'Overall, I think we have a damn fine system going on here. Momo appreciates how much I'm putting into my operations as of late and is willing to look past some of my gray-zone affairs if it means propping Tempest even higher. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for my bitchy sister. Her hands aren't clean in this either, so we're all hypocrites in the end. Heh.'

Pero stepped out of the gate in one such hub at the border of Blumund. The bustling marketplace instantly silenced itself. Few among the merchants didn't know who he was at this point. Even people without a mercantile intuition knew not to start a conflict with the Minister of Commerce, if not just for his rumored economic prowess. It would be suicidal to do so with someone with a reputation for destroying Charybdis with a single hit.

"Don't mind me; carry on with your business." Pero waved at the stunned crowds and approached the hub's central building.

However, he could not help himself when he saw at the corner of his eye a group of goblinas eager to get his attention. The young women squealed, excitement filling their eyes when Pero made a magnanimous wave toward them.

'Yep, that's never going to get old.' Pero chuckled to himself as he made his way to his destination.

Not long after, Pero was in front of a building governed by a Kobold. When he met him for the first time, he saw that the demihuman had led a team of humans to ensure equal power from both trade partners.

Upon entering the fairly large entrance, Pero found only the humans inside this time, and the person of interest promptly bowed and greeted the birdman.

"Lord Peroroncino, it is a pleasure to meet you again. I'm afraid Tubby is away inspecting a weapon shipment."

'Ah, right. That was his name.'

"It's fine. Tubby can report to Koby here when he comes back from his inspection. Are there any complications I should look into personally?" Pero asked the balding man.

The person in front of Pero had spoken to him once, saying he would handle Tubby's affairs if absent. He sported a thin mustache and a fine silk suit that showed his fit physique.

"No, my Lord. We haven't had any incidents worth your notice. I should thank the local guard force for handling everything without a hitch. There is, however, a particular invite that might interest you." The man took an envelope from a cupboard and handed it to Pero.

"Hm, what is this…? Mjolmire Trading company representative wants to discuss a deal and invites me for talks. Interesting. I'll keep it in mind if I visit Blumund."

Pero's interest grew as he glanced over the contents of the letter. He handed the letter to Koby, who dutifully put it with the rest of the reports he was carrying.

A random medium-sized company was not worth that much consideration in his eyes, so perhaps he could shuffle it off to later or to a secretary. Pero had heard about it, from eavesdropping on conversations to extensive research and reports, but the trade amount was negligible compared to what the Free Guild purchased regularly. To go out of his way and even respond could be perceived as a weakness that might not only reflect on him, but on Tempest as well.

The picture mostly stayed the same after going around the rest of the trade hubs and collecting reports. Pero noted absentmindedly that more money flowed into Tempest than going out, leaving some room for pocketing. He eventually concluded that someone would take notice and become opportunistic in response to the positive cash flow sooner or later.

Even in a late medieval level world like this, there were bound to be enough people who could realize that, in the long term, it could lead to Tempest gaining more and more influence through financial means. But that was a problem for a later date since it was relatively known that human nations could not coerce Tempest through force or trade restrictions.

The rest of the day went similarly. Pero entered and talked with the leading personnel within the smitheries, farms, logging camps, and other facilities, addressing what he could.

The last company Pero visited did take him by surprise; it was a Kobold-run printing shop that was one of many within Tempest.

It had bought the rights to distribute manga and was hard at transforming the tough trees into black-and-white pages of intriguing tales. But that wasn't the surprising part. Not only had literacy levels risen to acceptable levels, but the average hard laborer had enough spare income to stimulate their local economy. Combining these two factors, the printing shops were reeling in huge profits across the nation.

All of that was well and fine, but Pero considered himself eccentric, hopping from idea to idea to invest in the ones he found interesting, and to suppress the ones he found distasteful or sometimes straight up illegal. At the corner of his eye, he saw a table sprawled with packs full of colorful cards. Upon getting a closer look, he saw that the cards depicted him and other leaders and notable figures of Tempest.

"What is this?" Pero could not help but ask the Kobold who was giving the tour to a mixed group of children that comprised goblins, orcs, and lycanthropes.

The group suddenly froze, causing Pero to tilt his head.

"Did… I interrupt something?"

"I-i-it's… My apologies, Lord Peroroncino! I had been told that you would visit here, but you arrived earlier than I anticipated."

Pero tried to stifle a chuckle when he saw the Kobold's shocked look. He could not hold it in any further when he saw the starry eyes on the children, and he let out a bellowing laugh that shocked everyone around him.

One of the children spoke up, the bravest of the group, followed by others.

"Ahhh~ You're just as cool as your picture of yourself on this card! Can I have your autograph? Pretty please?!"

"Eh? What are you saying?! I'm the one who's going to get the autograph from Lord Peroroncino first! I bought his cards first before telling all of you!"

"Are you guys idiots? Where is he even going to sign it? It'll ruin the glorious picture of our lord!"

"Argh! Y-you're right. What should I do?"

Pero was quite proud at seeing the children awed by his presence, not to mention talking about how great he was. At the same time, he could not help but move his taloned fingers, scratching the side of his head in mild embarrassment.

'I… guess this is alright. Is this what celebrities feel like when walking on the red carpet, or something?'

"So, can I…?" Pero was about to finish his sentence, but the Kobold beat him to the punch.

"Ah, right! These are trading cards, Lord Peroroncino! Our boss got the idea from one of the manga books currently in production. We have all the proper licenses, Lord Peroroncino, and will pay the appropriate royalties." The Kobold said, shaking the trepidation off of his fur.

After politely asking the surrounding children to move aside, Pero gingerly walked up to the table and picked up the card depicting him. Even though he could not correctly form it on his face, he felt like a smug grin was forming.

'Heh, little buggers sure know who to pick the most flattering pictures. I look majestic as fuck in this one. Maybe I'll give the guys who were in charge of making these a bonus.'

In the world of 2138, most trading card companies based their products on combat-style games. These were much more popular compared to ancient baseball cards, which only printed notable features and achievements. Pero knew some guild mates back in Ainz Ooal Gown who were avid card collectors, and some of them had rubbed off on him a bit.

'Yeah, it's a damn shame they weren't here to see this happen. Ulbert, Touch-Me, Tabula, hell, even old 'Moe would have been excited if not interested to see themselves plastered on some cards.'

Not long after those memories resurfaced in his mind, Pero pushed those thoughts away since remembering his friends started to dampen his excited mood. It was bittersweet at best, but now he had to shift his attention to the present, and that meant money.

"Get me the director of the company. I have a few ideas," Pero said to the guide as he admired his card.

The Kobold gave a swift nod and hurried to some discreet space that Pero was not paying much attention to. In the meantime, Pero signed some of the children's trading cards as he was in a good mood, enjoying his more than fifteen minutes of fame.

When he returned the cards to the children, they started to squeal in unison when they saw the signature. Pero felt his pent-up stress vanish at the adorable sight before him.

In the background, Shalltear began to pout at how her father was paying attention to the children.

'I don't get it. The card has no other purpose than to be traded. Why treat it like it's an invaluable treasure?"

For some reason, Shalltear was thinking about getting a trading card depicting her father, if only for her pride of lauding him. She begrudgingly admitted the card captured the beauty of her father's appearance to an astonishing degree. Still, she was more interested in getting an autograph instead and knew she could obtain that at any time.

Sooner or later, the same Kobold returned with the director, who, to Pero's surprise, was the fattest Kobold he had ever seen.

'What the hell? He looks like a fluffy ball! It's almost like that Djungarian hamster that I owned that one time. I can't… No, that would be dumb; we're in a public space… Unless?' Pero warred with his conscience, and he clenched his fists to suppress the growing desire to pet the creature standing before him with a confused expression.

"Hmm, this one should get some training. Of the physical sort, I mean."

Shalltear interrupted Pero's conflicted thoughts, which admittedly relieved him of the embarrassment, before fully realizing what she had stated.

She approached the Kobold, seemingly with non-malicious intent, leaning down. The vampire started poking his side, much to the Kobold's discomfort as he jiggled under her claws.

"Now, now, Shalltear. That gesture is unbecoming of you." Pero rebuked Shalltear, who slightly shrank from those words being directed toward her.

"Apologies, Da- my Lord." Shalltear quickly corrected herself, remembering that she was here in a formal capacity as a bodyguard.

"A-apologies f-for my u-unsightly presence. I am aware that stress eating is not good for my figure. Dohto at your service, Lord Peroronciono." The Kobold bowed with a wheeze.

"Mm. Now, be at ease, Dohto. I have a business proposition." Pero motioned for the plump Kobold to come closer, though he was having even more difficulty suppressing the action of head patting.

"It's simple; I want to invest in your company and have seventy percent ownership. As a bonus, I'll even pitch in an idea or two that'll help bolster the circulation of these trading cards, and if you do well, I'll toss in a bonus for your employees."

"O-of course, my Lord! And I will accept your m-magnanimous help with heartfelt gratitude. It's an honor f-for our company to b-be chosen b-by yours truly," the Kobold stuttered, unable to hide his excitement.

When talking of someone of Pero's stature, any suggestion made was an order one would not dream of disobeying. There was no doubt in Dohto's mind that wherever the Lord of Tempest would go, golden opportunities were sure to follow.

"Relax. You will benefit from it as well. The idea of trading cards is good, but it can be even better with just a bit of tinkering in how they're set up. For example, we frame Momonga's cards as the rarest and work down from there. The lower the ranking, the more cards are in the market."

Pero could only smirk as he could practically see the gears turning in Dohto's head.

"I see… I think I get where you're going with this, Lord Perorocino!" Dohto was now suddenly devoid of wheezing, Pero almost doing a double take. "Then, if I may humbly ask, how would this ranking system be organized?"

"Hm… Let's say five rarity tiers for each character. If we're strictly talking about economics, any less than that would most likely lead to lowered consumer demand for certain cards, while additional tiers could lead to an excess supply too soon. Oh, and we need an authenticity rune on each to prevent copycats from getting our piece of the pie."

"These sound rather simple yet ingenious suggestions, my Lord! I could not have dreamed of partnering up with you directly." The round Kobold shook in excitement, soaking in every word of wisdom his lord uttered.

"Oi, Kobold. Talk about business. Father does not need more ass-kissing." Shalltear raised her voice, letting out a hint of frustration in her tone.


Dohto's body was unable to stop shaking violently. He then saw Pero place his hand on his shoulder, seemingly reassuringly.

"It will be alright, man. My daughter is a bit crude on her words, though I guess she takes that after me."

Ignoring the faint blush on Shalltear's face, Pero spoke more seriously.

"But she is right about that last statement. I prefer to skip all the ass-kissing and ceremonies. Furthermore, I'd like you to inform the workers in your company the same thing if they don't know that I prefer being straightforward."


"Great. Now, where were we? I think I can get about ten to twenty of the rarest type cards to be signed and fashion them the most sought-out cards by the collectors."

And that was only the beginning.

Over time, other world leaders could be added, followed by individuals within their respective nations who made a name for themselves, whether through valiance on the battlefield or shrewdness on the political stage.

Once there was a sufficient amount of popularity for the game, people worldwide would take note and participate, eventually creating a never-ending chase for a complete collection. Combined with the proper advertisement on a country-wide scale, Pero predicted this business venture would become one of his most prominent sources of revenue, and he vowed to see this come to fruition no matter what.

After visiting the last location, the group returned to Koby's mansion. There wasn't much to explain, so he quickly drilled the reliable Kobold on the previous details.

When their conversation was about to wrap up, Pero turned to face Shalltear.

"Can you two handle things from here, sweetie? I have to settle things on my end. You don't need to follow me for the rest of the trip."

Shalltear pouted but quickly resumed a neutral demeanor. "Of course, Father. I'll ensure he stays on track." A cheerful look emerged on the vampire's face as she gave the terrified Koby a stroke on his soft head.

"Y-yes, L-lord Peroroncino. Everything is very, very clear." Koby said with his voice going up in pitch as he felt his soul slowly leaving his body.

"Great, have fun, you two." Pero playfully pinched Shalltear's cheek and patted Koby on the shoulder.

{ Sweety, just don't overdo it, alright? }

{ I have no intentions of harming or punishing him. That I will leave to you, Daddy, but if he thinks I will, he is less likely to be sloppy at his job. } Shalltear replied to her father's order with a sly smirk.

'As much as I feel bad for Koby, I think it's best if I don't fuck around and find out. I wonder how Momonga handles her and the other two.' Pero shook his head before turning to the exit.

Before Pero could finally look forward to going on a trip, he needed to have one last discussion with another head of a company.

Recalling the words he had said to Momonga about going out somewhere along with his sister for some needed break, Pero internally smiled as he made his way to the next person of interest.

Edited by aidan_lo and Zirmeister.

Proofreading SwissChocolatess, Tophrel, Alassandro, aidan_lo, FantasyTroll, and Visur Nyxan.

AN: Thank you for reading the story, and if you have caught up to the latest chapter, you can check out my other work or join my discord server (Link is in my profile) where additional chapters are available or if you are interested in becoming a beta reader (gives access to chapters months ahead of regular readers).