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 The fat merchant didn't seem any different from before.

Matt instantly revealed a warm smile as he entered the living room and saw Rhode standing there. He approached Rhode and grabbed his hand enthusiastically.

"Aiya, it's been awhile, Mr Rhode. Although I've heard you went to the Land of Atonement, I didn't think you would be there for so long. I've waited for you so miserably."

"Long time no see, Mr Matt."

Shaking the fat merchant's hand, Rhode retained his expression. However, his eyes revealed a somewhat depressed look.

"I thought you didn't intend to work with me already."

"Hahaha, Mr Rhode sure knows how to crack jokes."

Matt awkwardly smiled as he knew what Rhode was referring to. However, nevertheless, this was also his problem. It had been a long time since the midsummer festival ended and Matt was also unsure if he would be welcomed here. However, after seeing that Rhode didn't have the intentions of chasing him out, the fat merchant felt much better.

Merchants mainly had skin as thick as walls. If not, they wouldn't be able to do their businesses. Since Rhode didn't mention about it, Matt wouldn't be that dumb to talk about this foolish matter. He laughed it off while Rhode didn't remind him of that, because the fat merchant had explained his thoughts with his visit already.

Shortly after, both of them sat down in the living room. And soon, one of the mercenaries brought tea over and they jumped right into the main discussion.

"Since Mr Matt is here, it means that you've decided?"

"That's for sure, Mr Rhode."

Matt wasn't pretentious as he knew that it's best not to beat about the bush with this young man. However, this decision also troubled Matt for a while. After all, as Rhode expected, he offended the Southerners too harshly. Other than Golden City, the South treated the Munn Kingdom as their second largest business center and this was very important to many merchants. Once Matt decided to work with Rhode, it could be imagined that in the near future, he would be the most unpopular merchant of the Southerners.

Of course, amiability makes the merchants rich. No matter how unfavorable one merchant was, they wouldn't instantly throw a punch. However, it's unambiguous for them to sabotage and even form an alliance to force one merchant to sell his products at an unprofitable price which were very lethal to any Trade Associations.

However, after long considerations, Matt finally decided to accept Rhode's invitation.

As a merchant, Matt sharply detected that this transaction not only held high risks, it also had high rewards and political benefits!

Firstly, this Mr Rhode was a guild leader. Logically speaking, he could be considered as half the owner of Paphield Plain and there wouldn't be many obstacles for Matt's future work. And on the other hand, although this Starlight Guild had only just begun, no one could compare to its political resources! Everyone knew that Miss Marlene was the heir of the Senia Family, but what Matt didn't expect was that the Cleric that escaped with him from the Floating Boat was actually Lydia's younger sister!

Although it seemed that Monarch Lydia had no intentions of introducing her younger sister into the political circle, as long as Lize's identity was present, it would mean that the political benefits would always be present. And if he was able to build a good relationship with both of them, it would naturally be a plus for his trade association. With Marlene.Senia around and if the Senia Family could get involved, there wouldn't be any issues with future financial resources. Furthermore, the contacts of the Senia Family spread throughout the entire country which was also an unparalleled resource.

Although until now, the actual identity of Rhode was still a mystery, everyone actually recognized that this young man was definitely not an ordinary human. This young man was someone who defeated three guild leaders, so who dared to say he's an ordinary human? Moreover, there were rumors that there were two subordinates of the Legendary stage following his lead - Although the rumors might have exaggerated, they were only a small number of nobles who could dispatch such powerful beings. On a deeper level, why would the Senia Family even allow their heir to mix up this mysterious young man? Both of them were still young man and woman and malicious rumors might spread after a while. To a huge family like the Senias, how would they even allow their heir to do something so 'despicable'?

Of course, the Senia Family wouldn't allow that. However, since they had given permission for Marlene to stay with Rhode in a guild, that might probably mean that Rhode's background might be from an ancient and grandeur family. This way, their relationship wouldn't tarnish the name of the Senias and might even be the start of a powerful alliance!

Although Matt wasn't sure of Rhode's background, he believed that his investment wouldn't have zero returns.

Of course, these were all potential benefits, and the most direct and realistic way was through the business transactions of the magical potions that Rhode had promised Matt!

This would be the most profitable business! In Dragon Soul Continent, there weren't many magical potions available which were why their prices were steep. Although Clerics could heal injured mercenaries and wouldn't even charge a fee, what if the mercenaries broke their legs during adventures or suffered from serious diseases - They couldn't expect the Clerics to follow them 24/7 wherever they go right?

This was why, other than healing effects, some magical potions could even strengthen powers, improve physical fitness and even provide special effects. These potions were unusually sought after in the market. Before making a decision, Matt had calculated that even if Rhode gave him 20 bottles of magical potions every month, the profits that he would earn could sustain his trade association for three months!

To merchants, they would be idiots if they missed the chance to earn a profit. Therefore, in the end, Matt still made this decision.

"I am here to let you know my answer, Mr Rhode... We, Silver Libra Trade Association, are willing to accept your invitation."

Matt smiled towards Rhode and retrieved a piece of paper from his pocket and placed it in front of him.

"I don't know what plans you have readied, Mr Rhode. So, I drafted an agreement and process flow. I hope you could have a look at it..."

"I would definitely look at it."

Rhode picked up the piece of paper that Matt placed in front of him. Although Rhode said he would look at it, he squeezed the paper into the fold of his clothes instantly. Then, Rhode gazed at Matt.

"But before that, Mr Matt. I have something to clarify with you."

"What is it regarding?"

Matt was taken aback by Rhode's stern expression as he hesitantly and worriedly asked. In response, Rhode knocked on the table and only spoke after staying silent for a few moments.

"Previously we had discussed this openly once. But now, since you have already decided, I think there's no need to hide anymore... Regarding the relationship of your trade association and our guild, what do you think? Mr Matt?"

"This..."

Matt's expression slightly changed.

"I can honestly tell you, Mr Matt, that the reason we chose to collaborate with your trade association, was mainly because we need the cash flow to sustain the operations of our guild. But... regarding the matters of our guild, we would still be in charge. Our relationship wouldn't be the same as the relationship between a guild and a trade association. Do you understand what I mean?"

"..."

Matt fell into silence.

When they headed to Golden City, Matt once discussed with Rhode on this matter. However, Rhode didn't reveal his true intentions back then as he only hoped that they could collaborate. But now, Rhode directly revealed his thoughts - He wouldn't allow his Starlight Guild to be under the restriction of sponsors. Instead, this trade association would, in turn. be the guild's money-making machine. From another perspective, the trade association could be seen as Starlight Guild's affiliate which raked in profits for them specially.

After listening to Rhode's truthful words, the anticipation deep in Matt's heart was still present. After all, humans always fought for their own benefits. Right now, Rhode's forces were much stronger than his and even though Matt thought he could use the cash flow as an upper hand to get Starlight Guild to help on matters to a certain extent, it seemed that things weren't that simple at all.

"I understand your meaning, Mr Rhode. But... To be frank, this wouldn't be the perfect choice for us trade association."

"I'm clear of this point."

Facing Matt's answer, Rhode understandingly nodded.

"As working partners, we definitely have the obligation to assist your trade association... If you ever require help or face any difficulty, we will do our best."

"That's fine."

Matt finally revealed a smile. At this moment, he had thought things through. Initially, he didn't anticipate to manipulate from behind the scenes like how the other trade associations did. After all, these manipulations weren't realistic. Just looking at the structure of this guild and the background of those members, how would he even be able to manipulate them? Like now, relying on the other party's protection seemed to also be a good choice.

With this thought, Matt stood up and extended his hand forward.

"So then, I look forward to working with you, Mr Rhode."

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