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65 Orcs

    The 40 orcs slowly gathered in front of him, and their current state amazed Derrick. They no longer looked 'frail' and malnourished, and instead looked vigorous and healthy. Their bodies had grown 50%, no matter if it was a man or a woman. Their previously 'dead' eyes now had a lustrous glint, seemingly indicating that their minds were starting to heal.

    Derrick excused the middle-aged man and allowed him to return to his duties, which he promptly did. He didn't want to speak Orcish next to him, or nasty rumors could be spread. Even though he wanted to integrate every race in his town, it was a long and arduous process. After ascertaining that nobody else was within earshot, Derrick spoke.

    "You seem to be doing well"

    The orcs almost fell to the ground when they heard their language being fluently spoken by a human. They had met a lot who tried to, but they had all failed in the end. It was also one of the reasons why orcs didn't sell at huge prices or at all.

    After catching their attention, the necromancer continued.

    "Do you have a leader?"

    The group discussed and finally made way. The biggest and most muscular of them all walked forward. His skin was greenish and his muscles were ripped, highlighting his impressive height of 6'2". He had black hair, dark eyes, and two small tusks coming out of his lower jaw. At this moment, Derrick remembered William's lesson on their culture, which meant that this was the strongest fighter of the group. After arriving face to face, the orc spoke.

    "My name's Agronak. I didn't know there were humans who could speak our language"

    Derrick smiled. He hadn't bothered asking for their names before, thinking that they were mere puppets that did their master's bidding. That line of thinking was apparently really flawed, and they were a resource that was grossly undervalued.

    "Don't underestimate us, we can adapt to pretty much everything. How do you find the working conditions here? I didn't lie, did I?"

    The tall orc didn't know how to respond because Derrick was indeed telling the truth. Compared to their previous masters, he was a slave's dream. They were paid, fed and lodged. Even for commoners, this was a life of luxury. On top of this, they were even treated with respect.

    "Why?"

    Agronak's question surprised the necromancer, but he answered truthfully.

    "It doesn't matter if you're a slave or from another race. All I want is people who'll help me attain my goal. Coincidentally, it also means giving everyone under me a better life and way of living"

    All the orcs looked at each other before dropping to their knees, including Agronak. Derrick wanted to inquire about this charade, but he was cut short by the orc.

    "It's the first time we've met a human that's trustworthy enough to follow. Since we've been captured, our motherland has disavowed us, which means returning there has never been an option. We've been simply living day to day, wondering when we would die. You've changed that mindset. Even though we have no choice but to follow you due to the marks on our souls, we will now do so of our own volition"

    Derrick grinned and put away the controlling stone. It appeared he wouldn't need it anymore. With the System's aid, he would be able to buy tons of slaves on the lower levels and recondition them. Just thinking about all this wasted potential exasperated him... Humans really were too narrow-minded.

    "Very well, you can rise. I came here to look at your progress and I'm impressed. I have another job for you, but I want to know if you can all defend yourselves first"

    He didn't have time to build new roads, and he wanted to begin the mine's exploitation right away.

    Agronak was confused by the question, but still answered.

    "Yes, we can. If we couldn't, we would have been killed as children. The Uzul Empire doesn't tolerate weakness"

    Derrick gulped at the new revelation. This meant that their four billion citizens could, at the very least, defend themselves! Just the thought of an army that size made him shiver. This was probably why nobody dared messing with them.

    After shaking off the discomfort, Derrick continued.

    "I've found a gold mine to exploit, but it's located deep into the forest. I don't want to wait until it's accessible, which is why I came here. You're the best miners, and you can also defend yourselves. You will have to hunt for your food at first, but when road access is available, it'll be provided. You'll also have to build your houses. However, the salary will be one gold coin per week"

    The salary mentioned made the eyes of every Orc shine. They were currently paid 10 iron coins a week, which afforded them a decent living. The mere mention of being paid this handsomely made them all nod non-stop, which made Derrick laugh.

    Agronak turned around to see the consensus of his group, and instantly agreed to the offer. This opportunity would allow them to think of the future and prosper without death looming over their heads.

    With everything in order, Derrick notified the supervisor, and they all left. The group passed by the Forge first, and he gave them weapons and tools. After they were geared up, he led them in the forest where they met many monsters. However, there were none that made Derrick intervene. It also allowed him to see their fighting skills.

    The verdict was terrifying. They were simply brute forcing their way through, barely slowing down to finish the monsters they mutilated on their path. They were practically war machines, especially Agronak.

    "Appraisal"

    [Agronak]

    [Race : Orc]

    [Class : None]

    [Strength : 14]

    [Agility : 8]

    [Endurance : 10]

    [Vitality : 5]

    [Magic Power : 4]

    "As expected..."

    It made sense once he learned of his strength. The other orcs were all weaker than him, but they all displayed fighting capabilities that would shame even his newly trained soldiers. It appeared he would have to return to Terra to buy every last one he could find. They were too good of a deal to pass up.

    After a few hours, they finally arrived at the river. The orcs couldn't believe the amount of gold they were seeing. It was everywhere! Now they all understood why the salary was so high. Derrick obviously needed people he could control to do this job, or they would simply take it and run. Even though they were banished from the Empires, it was always possible to return if one had the means.

    "I forgot to mention you'll also be acting as the guards of this place. If any trespassers come, immediately arrest them. This site must be protected at all costs. I'll be coming back in a week to collect the harvest and to give you your salaries. Take care of yourselves!"

    Derrick left as fast as he arrived. With the operations of the mine under way, it was finally time to open new institutions.
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