How a Disaster-Class Necromancer Retires – Chapter 4

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  • DEMONIC TRANSLATIONS

    Translator/Proofreader – Kshn

    — — —

    Chapter 4

    Ding Dong!

    The sound of the doorbell prompts me to stretch and yawn.

    “Ugh, is it already time to start working?” 

    I currently have 11 Transport Skeletons of all three versions combined. 

    Each skeleton brings in an average daily income of about 300,000 won, totalling around 3.3 million won per day. 

    Of course, I could earn more by actively renting them out at the Gates, but that would exceed my effort threshold, so it’s not feasible. 

    Anyway, while 3.3 million won might seem a lot to some, it’s far from satisfactory for someone like me, who used to stash enormous amounts of money in the void space.

    “When will I be able to retire at this rate?”

    I’m a Necromancer of unprecedented calibre in the history of the Seron continent. 

    This means I don’t even know how long I’ll live – there’s no precedent. 

    That’s why I raided the empire’s treasury before returning to Earth… though that’s all gone now. 

    Not knowing my lifespan, I need to prepare for retirement as generously as possible.

    “Just a few trillion should do. Or maybe set up something that deposits billions into my account every month.”

    That’s my goal.

    The minimum target to live a luxurious life without any worries.

    So, I decided to increase the number of Transport Skeletons gradually, but discreetly…

    The problem is the Awakened at the Gates, already accustomed to the Transport Skeletons, prefer to catch one more monster rather than gather by-products. 

    They bring entire carcasses, leaving me no way to selectively collect bones.

    Of course, I could rapidly decay the bodies to extract the bones, which could harness more vital energy for stronger skeletons, but that’s expensive and, more importantly, a hassle to clean up. 

    It’s one thing to discard rotten flesh on a battlefield, but that’s not possible here.

    So, the solution I chose is…

    Bang bang!

    “President Han Ji-hyuk, sir! It’s me! President Park!”

    The person calling my name is none other than the small-time merchant, President Park, who used to come to the Gates when I hunted.

    I open the door to find him grinning broadly,

    “Your delivery is here!”

    I had shifted Park’s role from doing field sales to making deliveries. He visits the by-product market daily to collect freshly hunted bones, ensuring they’re as complete as possible, and delivers them to me every morning.

    “All these are fresh from yesterday’s hunt.”

    The vital force, or life energy, that animates the undead is present in corpses, but it rapidly dissipates after death. 

    Bones, however, retain this energy the longest, which is why Necromancers primarily use skeletons.

    I inspect the bones’ vital energy and express satisfaction,

    “They’re fresh.”

    The energy of a freshly killed lion.

    It’s brimming with vital energy.

    Such energy is necessary to create stronger skeletons, which can carry more and are also more durable.

    “Thank you for your effort. How much do I owe you?”

    “It’s 1.7 million won in total.”

    Initially, I had randomly picked Park because he didn’t seem too successful, but his honesty and diligence won me over. 

    So, I decided to just pay him the cost plus a margin.

    “I’ll give you 2 million won.”

    As I count out the money from a nearby bag, the whole process starts to feel like a hassle.

    “How about I just give you 500 at once, and you deduct from that each time?”

    [TL/N: Honestly, even I don’t know if he’s talking about 500 million won or 500 bills of some random amount, but he’s basically giving him a large sum so that he don’t have to do this daily.]

    Park, who seems to have gotten a good grasp of my nature, smiles and responds.

    “Would it be okay if we settle payments once every three days?” Park suggested.

    “Nah, that won’t do.” 

    I’m all too familiar with the frustration of being on the receiving end of a promissory note. 

    After all, I had spent 30 years relentlessly battling based on a single promise to return to Earth. 

    I pulled out 500 from the bag and offered it to him,

    “Here, take 500. Let me know when it runs out.”

    Reluctantly, Park accepted the money,

    “I will serve with honesty and diligence!”

    I gave a thumbs up,

    “Good.”

    After sending Park on his way, I put a frozen kimchi fried rice in the microwave and got to work on creating more Transport Skeletons. It’s best to build them while the materials are fresh.

    Whirring from the microwave filled the background as I lazily raised my hand, making the bones stick to each other, taking shape.

    “Yawn…”

    Controlling hundreds of thousands of undead was no big deal for me. 

    This task was a breeze. I quickly made three new MK.2 Transport Skeletons and pulled out a backup MK.2 from the void space for command copying.

    “Copy commands.”

    I duplicated the magic commands stored in the backup onto the new units, completing three more MK.2s ready to earn money from today.

    Ding!

    As the microwave signaled the completion of the kimchi fried rice,

    “Go earn money~ Earn lots of it.”

    I took out the fried rice,

    “Ah, I want to retire soon.”

    — — —

    With every addition of Transport Skeletons, my income inflated exponentially. 

    The production cost was just the bones, which were covered by two days’ earnings of a skeleton. 

    Sure, it drained some of my magic power, but remember, I was among the top mages in Seron, even excluding my undead army. 

    A bit of magic power loss is nothing a brief rest can’t replenish.

    Everything was going smoothly with the rental business, but today I faced a situation requiring relocation to a different site.

    “It’s almost over!”

    “Get ready!”

    A Gate at its threshold expels all remaining monsters before vanishing. 

    The threshold of the Gate I’ve been attending is today.

    I realized,

    “These are the days to avoid.”

    Transport Skeletons are essentially long-distance porters.

    Meaning, they’re useless at a Gate spewing monsters due to reaching its threshold.

    “Here they come!”

    As an Awakened shouted, the Gate began rapidly disgorging the remaining monsters.

    “Attack!”

    As the battle between monsters and Awakened ensued, I disinterestedly watched and opened the void space, pulling out a few Transport Skeletons and others made for odd jobs.

    “Load up.”

    The odd-job skeletons began loading a stall, parasol, and the recently purchased luxurious leather recliner sofa onto the Transport Skeletons.

    As I prepared to leave, the Awakened, having finished their hunt, began to express their disappointment.

    “What’s this?”

    “Thought we’d hit a big score at the end, but there’s not much left?”

    “Did they hunt that much already?”

    The Awakened seemed quite disappointed. 

    Maybe it’s because, thanks to the Transport Skeletons, they didn’t spend time gathering by-products and just kept hunting more monsters? 

    Well… hunting isn’t my concern.

    I looked at the Transport Skeleton and said,

    “I don’t feel like walking. Should I ride there?”

    The next Gate I had in mind was quite a distance away. 

    Summoning beasts in the city is prohibited, but this is a secluded area, so it shouldn’t matter, right? 

    And these things clearly have no combat ability.

    After a moment’s hesitation, I pulled out a brand-new Transport Skeleton, laid a blanket in its bone basket, and lay down on it.

    “Let’s just ride there.”

    If anyone complains, I’ll just send it back.

    Then, a team of Awakened approached me.

    “Boss!”

    Being called ‘boss’ had become quite familiar.

    “Yes?”

    “Which way are you headed?”

    “To a Gate near the mountain. After the underwhelming end at the threshold here, we think we need to hunt a bit more. Could you reserve two MK.2s for us once we get there?”

    The first reservation led to others joining in.

    “Us too!”

    “Two MK.2s, please!”

    Fine by me.

    “Reservation confirmed. Let’s get going.”

    As the Awakened started towards the next Gate, I tapped the Transport Skeleton I was on and said,

    “Follow.”

    The skeleton I was riding wobbled after the Awakened, followed by another Transport Skeleton carrying my stall and other belongings.

    “Wow, that actually works.”

    “Looks fun.”

    However, unlike their reactions, I was grimacing at the terrible ride comfort. The rough terrain caused me to bump against the hard bones beneath the thin blanket.

    “Ah! Ouch!”

    The ride was the worst. I missed the palanquins from Seron dearly, but longing for what’s gone changes nothing. I had to adapt to the current situation.

    I recalled the commands I used for my palanquin-bearers in Seron and started to form a magic circle.

    “Make it smoother. Reduce the rebound. Balance is key, balance.”

    In just a few minutes, I infused dozens of commands. The skeleton began to move like a car with suspension, automatically adjusting the basket’s position with each step.

    “Now, this is usable.”

    Though it didn’t compare to a palanquin, it was comfortable enough to lie down and travel.

    I closed my eyes and commanded,

    “Cover.”

    The skeleton covered itself, creating a shade like a canopy.

    I closed my eyes tightly and said,

    “Let’s go, off to the next business venture.”

    — — —

    So there I was, setting up at a new Gate. 

    Business was booming again. 

    In fact, it was so good that even Awakened from other areas came to this Gate. 

    Each morning I created new Transport Skeletons, and my income kept increasing. 

    However, it wasn’t long before I realized the limitations of this approach.

    “Leftovers?”

    The Transport Skeletons were exceeding demand.

    I leaned back in my recliner, staring blankly at the sky, and mused,

    “Figures. It makes sense.”

    The number of monsters in a Gate isn’t infinite. Naturally, there’s a limit to how many Awakened can hunt and earn money. 

    No matter how efficient the Transport Skeletons are, they’re useless without monsters to hunt.

    “A crisis, then.”

    I can’t just keep increasing their numbers blindly. I need to expand to other Gates. But how?

    “Do I need to hire help?”

    But a part-time worker can’t use magic to temporarily imprint the Transport Skeletons to follow the Awakened, can they?

    “This is a headache.”

    Workers only generate income when they’re kept busy.

    “Is there a better way?”

    As I pondered, I remembered the Transport Skeleton I had ridden earlier.

    “Wait a minute.”

    An idea sparked.

    Excitedly, I said,

    “If I combine this with human porters correctly…”

    — — —

    A burly porter watching me thoughtfully at the stall said,

    “We’re completely overshadowed.”

    Another porter shook his head in agreement,

    “They only look for those bone things now, nobody wants to hire porters. Chan-su, let’s just move to another Gate.”

    Chan-su, the burly porter, sighed,

    “Ah, this one’s the closest though.”

    After a moment of contemplation, Chan-su suggested,

    “He doesn’t seem like a bad guy, how about we ask for a favour?”

    “A favour?”

    “To match the price, even if it’s close.”

    Transport Skeletons were costing a third of a regular porter’s fee. It was an unbeatable price.

    “Would that work? Isn’t it faster if we just move elsewhere?”

    Chan-su said with a frustrated expression,

    “That’s not a solution. Look.”

    He pointed to the line of Transport Skeletons behind me,

    “See? There are leftovers. That means he might expand to other nearby Gates soon. How far will we be pushed if this continues?”

    Then a rough-looking porter approached and commented,

    “Finally, you say something sensible.”

    Chan-su grimaced at the unwelcome voice,

    “Kim Yong-ki.”

    Kim Yong-ki, notorious for monopolizing work by bullying other porters, had arrived.

    He glared at me and said,

    “If this continues, we all might be pushed out of this area.”

    “’They’ll be pushed out, not us. Since when have you guys started caring about other porters?” I retorted to Kim Yong-ki’s remarks. He smirked and replied, 

    “Well, regardless, you acknowledge the crisis too, right?”

    “…That’s true, which is why I was thinking of asking for a favor,” I admitted.

    “But no, no. A favor? Do you really think that will work? I heard that guy’s an F-rank, and in the summoning category too.”

    “Yeah, you can tell just by looking.”

    “And he’s using all his summons as porters? How weak must he be to give up combat and earn money like that?”

    Chan-su looked incredulous,

    “You’re not thinking of messing with an Awakened, are you?”

    “Of course, I’m not a fool. Weak or not, an Awakened is still an Awakened. But do you think I’d come here without something to rely on?”

    “What are you relying on?”

    “Some Awakened are a bit angry with him. You know, overstepping his bounds.”

    Chan-su finally understood the situation. Kim Yong-ki had been leveraging the support of some Awakened, forcing porters to pay tribute for work.

    “Awakened have agreed to back us up, so just quietly follow and add to our numbers.”

    Other porters who stood against Kim Yong-ki’s crew hesitated, then one said,

    “It’s not a bad offer.”

    “What?!”

    “We’d have to charge as little as 10,000 won an hour to compete with those bone things. Does that even make sense? We might as well work at a convenience store. It was him who broke the market ethics first!”

    Chan-su, looking flustered, argued,

    “Still, this isn’t right! We could’ve resolved this with words!”

    “And you think that would work?”

    “Well, I…”

    “Sorry, but we’re going with Kim Yong-ki.”

    The porters quickly joined Kim Yong-ki’s ranks.

    Seeing this, Kim Yong-ki laughed,

    “What can you do, buddy? All your friends have come to our side. Anyway, if you change your mind, come find me. I’ll make sure you have plenty of work. You’re strong, right? Haha!”

    With his newly expanded crew, Kim Yong-ki and his porters left en masse.

    Chan-su sighed,

    “This isn’t right, no matter how you look at it.”

    He wore a bitter expression,

    “But that guy, he’s going to be in danger, shouldn’t I warn him?”

    Yet, if he did, he risked drawing the ire of the Awakened backing Kim Yong-ki.

    After a moment of contemplation, Chan-su resolutely said,

    “Right. Violence isn’t the answer. I should at least slip him a note to warn him…”

    But just then,

    “Oh?”

    Startled by the sudden voice from behind, Chan-su exclaimed,

    “What, what?!”

    “You’re warning me?”

    It was none other than Han Ji-hyuk, the very person they were discussing.

    “I quite like your spirit.”

    “What, what?!”

    “I’ve been listening to your conversation from afar.”

    Chan-su looked astonished,

    “You, from that far away…?”

    “There are ways to do it. Anyway, I really don’t like it when people dig traps for me. I was thinking of dealing with them all…”

    Han Ji-hyuk grinned,

    “But I came over because I liked what you said.”

    “Liked?”

    “Are you interested in a part-time job? I’ve been actually looking for some help with porting. I plan to offer a fairly generous hourly wage.”

    Chan-su, taken aback by Han Ji-hyuk’s sudden proposition, responded,

    “A part-time job? What do you mean by…”

    After Han Ji-hyuk explained the job details, Chan-su, having heard everything, smiled broadly and said,

    “Really? If that’s the case, I’m sure other porters would welcome it too!”

    “Right? I’ve been pondering over this, and it seems like the best solution. But you’re not referring to those guys who just left to gang up on me, are you?”

    Chan-su quickly said in a concerned tone,

    “They are not bad people! They’ve just been unable to work recently and are short on money. If you offer them this opportunity, I can persuade them. I really can!”

    Han Ji-hyuk sighed slightly and said,

    “Hmm. I usually don’t give second chances to those who try to stab me in the back…”

    “Really?”

    Han Ji-hyuk let out a slight sigh and continued,

    “Ah, I know too well the desperation of not having money.”

    “Really?”

    “I’ll give them another chance, considering your words. But on one condition…”

    — — —

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