Rem had taken control of the golems, all of which were level 4. The golems were responsible for maintaining public order, and would periodically move from area to area. Apparently, every city in the Magic Empire had golems like this and he could easily tell what they were used for.
'There were more golems that I'd expected underground. They're not only used for a show of the Emperor's strength, but to also keep an eye on the lords... With that in mind, I can tell what these golems are used for too.'
'Was taking control of these golems an irreversible mistake?' Lee Shin Woo thought briefly, but Rem's Mana Parasite wasn't so easily dealt with.
The golems would naturally obey his orders once the Mana Parasite took hold. Moreover, the target of their obedience changed in such a way that their original owner wouldn't notice. After that, they become incompatible with anyone other than Lee Shin Woo or Rem. He knew about this before, but it was an incredibly fearsome ability.
[This is also the power you created, Master.]
"Mm... Well, I guess it is."
Lee Shin Woo, who'd entered his room, perused the book that Pleine had given him (it was some sort of surface guide book) and learned some basic knowledge. The golems gathered information and this information was transmitted to him through Rem, keeping him up to date on the current situation.
It detailed the size of the Empire and the names of its cities, as well as the city's top sellers, the location of the merchant's guild, and even how to get a peddler license. 5 hours later, Lee Shin Woo finished gathering information and nodded his head in satisfaction.
"Yeah, I can do this with my Disguise skill and my Perium."
Lee Shin Woo found that the Magic Empire used a currency called 'Enarde' aside from Perium, based on his information gathering. As it bore the Emperor's family name, it was highly credible, but it was slightly less valuable than Perium, the absolute proof of karma.
'I should use Perium in all my deals... There is some good news though. I think I can sell my wine at a higher price than I expected.'
Lee Shin Woo had sold his Kerr Century Wine to Pleine before. She said she'd sell it on the surface, and because of that, the Kerr Century Winery had become renowned throughout the Magic Empire once again.
'The merchant guild went so far as to stop people from buying the Kerr Century Wine, so I think that says it all.'
Kerr Century Wine was abundant many years ago, so people hoping to attain it assumed that there would still be some remaining and searched all across the Magic Empire. Because of this, the fame of the Kerr Century Wine increased day by day until it became a fantastical artifact in the eyes of the people; a single drop would even cause a dying man to stand.
"That's where this wine comes in."
Lee Shin Woo took out a wine bottle that was peacefully sleeping in his inventory. This wine was designed by Lee Shin Woo and manufactured by the golems with the Kerr Century technique and the Dryad's raw materials. As a result, a truly miraculous product was created, Spirit Wine!
[Kerr Century Elemental 451]
[This wine was created by the successor of the Kerr Century Winery, using grapes that have received the love of an elf and the Dryads. It is still technically lacking, but the extremely rare materials bring out a rich fragrance and the right amount of sourness, which hide those flaws.]
[It is a masterpiece which displays the quality of the ingredients. The magic within the materials continues to ripen the wine even after being bottled. The longer it remains unopened, the more valuable it becomes.]
Lee Shin Woo used the Kerr Century technique and the grapes that had been blessed by the Dryads and an elf to create this wine. This wasn't just a Kerr Century wine anymore. It was a 'Kerr Century Elemental', a new blend that Lee Shin Woo had created that was not only vintage, but also hard to value. It would be even harder to value for people without the ability to check an item's info like Lee Shin Woo.
Frankly speaking, that wasn't a problem. Lee Shin Woo was sure that people would recognize its value with just one whiff. If the blend was recognized, then he could make a fortune and establish himself here.
[Are you going to negotiate with the merchant's guild, Master?]
"No. I don't really need a Treasure Goblin License from the merchant's guild."
Lee Shin Woo was powerful and was on the cusp of reaching level 8, so whether he was above ground or underground, Lee Shin Woo was at the top. However, he was disguised as a peddler right now, so if he tried selling such a luxurious item, then he would likely become a target.
"For the time being, I'll show them some monster materials and after I've gotten permission, I'll form some connections with the other merchants. Then, after I've gotten a proper valuation for the item, I'll use them to auction it off."
[As expected. I understand.]
Of course, Lee Shin Woo didn't think that a roundabout way of selling his goods would completely hide his identity. On the contrary, people might think he's a spy, which would draw attention to him.
But if that did happen, then no one would be able to mess with him in broad daylight. They might try something behind his back, but by then, no one would be paying attention to him, so Lee Shin Woo would be able to take appropriate measures to deal with them.
[As expected of you, Master. You have become proficient in fighting in way where you go unnoticed.]
"Well, you had to be good at that to be a salaryman in South Korea. More importantly, I have an important mission for you, Rem. You know what I'm talking about, right?"
Rem replied confidently.
[I will use Mana Parasite on all of the golems in the Magic Empire.]
"Good. I'll leave that to you."
It was much more cost efficient to use a level 4 golem, rather than employing a weaker soldier, as the Magic Empire's skill in creating golems was at its peak. Thus, the golems were used to protect the cities, supervise various public facilities, patrol, and to hunt monsters.
What did that mean? It meant that Lee Shin Woo and Rem could control the Magic Empire if they put their minds into it. Of course, Lee Shin Woo had no intentions of doing so as of yet. He was still only using them to gather information for now.
[There is so much prey. I will depart immediately.]
"Filter the information and send it to me."
As these golems' masters were already decided, even the Emperor of the Magic Empire wouldn't expect him to be able to take control of them.
Moreover, even if he did notice, he had no way of figuring out who the perpetrator was. There was absolutely no risk for Lee Shin Woo and Rem, but there was a ridiculous return on his investment.
'If there are this many golems in the Magic Empire, then there's really no point in acting like a peddler...'
He possessed 2.3 billion Perium, and he had an informant as well. Although he didn't need to step out into the light, he had two reasons to do so. First, it was good training for his Disguise skill, and second, to obtain a proper position at the surface.
'It'd be nice if they can wrap everything up in the Underground Empire without me, but I have the feeling that it's not going to be that easy.'
Lee Shin Woo knew that there was a reason he was sent to the surface. He didn't know what kind of expectations God placed on him. However, so long as he was here, he would do everything he could. And that result would surely surpass God's expectations.
"Alright. Then, shall we begin?"
After he'd sent Rem off, Lee Shin Woo lazily went through his inventory. He was picking out the right materials to show the merchant's guild, like the level 3 or 4 equipment (which he'd stored because they wouldn't increase his stats anymore), and some other goods that didn't turn into bone that would fetch a good price.
Honestly, these goods were much too luxurious for him to act as a normal peddler. Although he obtained plenty of information from the golems, Lee Shin Woo had an excessively high opinion of the humans on the surface.
With that slight misunderstanding in tow, he rushed over to the merchant's guild the next day. With his precious pack horse.
"Hoh, you have such great products."
"Yes. I was lucky enough to establish a contract with an adventurer."
"You're quite talented. We, the merchant guild, welcome you Lawrence!"
He'd only brought out level 3 or 4 equipment, yet he had received so much unwanted attention. Lee Shin Woo was flustered, as he hadn't expected this to happen, but he somehow managed to move on with his Acting skill and establish his identity as the peddler, Lawrence.
"You can commission the guild. What will you do?"
"No, the adventurer... wants me to sell the goods at the highest price. I may not be good enough, but I'll do it on my own."
"I understand. I hope it's not true, but if you're in an unfair contract, then I hope you won't hesitate to come for some advice."
"I'll keep that in mind. Thank you."
Adventurers sought hidden dungeons or monsters that leave behind valuable byproducts, and were considered similar to mercenaries. At first, Lee Shin Woo wondered which he should pretend to be, a peddler or an adventurer, but concluded that being a merchant would be better to establish a foothold on the surface.
"That adventurer, did he find some sort of undead dungeon? Did he just dump all of that equipment on him?"
"You idiot. Didn't you see that sacred root? Moreover, you only get that much from clearing an entire dungeon. If not, then with that handsome face..."
"They might be a female adventurer. I heard that most of them are sexually active. I don't know if that weak body of his can take it. Kik."
"Hey, stop being so rude. Who knows. He might make it big someday."
Although he had drawn the attention of the merchant's guild, he hadn't drawn so much attention that he'd be put in danger. On the contrary, he thought it'd be helpful in creating connections later on.
Lee Shin Woo greeted the merchants there and made sure he kept his manners. He'd succeeded in showing a good first impression. Some still looked at Lee Shin Woo with disdain, but if they were worried about the level of his goods before, then he had nothing to worry about now.
"Newbie, if you need some help, I can give you some advice on how to start your business. How about it?"
"Oh, thank you. Yes, I accept. Of course, I'll repay you for your help."
"Ah, so you get it. What a nice junior! Hahaha!"
Of course, Lee Shin Woo didn't need anyone's help, but if he could spend a bit of money to establish some connections, then he had no reason to refuse. The merchant had no idea what he was thinking and just laughed uproariously, but there was someone that worried about Lee Shin Woo. That was his pack horse, Jin.
'That guy... It's obvious he's planning something. Even I can tell... Will you be ok?'
'I'll be fine. In fact, it's actually better for me. I can use a stupid guy like this as a shield later.'
'...Do all salarymen learn techniques like that?'
'Of course they do.'
A week passed.
Lee Shin Woo's Disguise skill had become level 8, and Rem had managed to control a tenth of the Magic Empire's golems.
Lee Shin Woo decided to auction off his wine in a month.