——Chapter 6: He was a genius?——
Once he'd made a decision, he decided to just put it into action.
Leaving Danae behind, Marcus immediately sought his father, Crassus.
Crassus greeted Marcus with a slightly unexpected look, probably not expecting his son to come.
“It's surprising that you asked to see me first.
You've been quiet for the last few days, but did you get involved in another accident suddenly?”
“Not at all.
If so, Septimus would have reported already.”
Knowing that doesn't make much sense now.
So what else did you come for then?”
Marcus smiled bitterly at Crassus' gaze, which looked at him suspiciously.
“I came because I have a request.”
“Before that, I want to ask you one thing.
Why did you bring that Thracian girl with you?”
I've been thinking about what to do with her.
But first, I'm going to get her professional education.”
“You're going to give female slaves professional education, not elementary education?”
Crassus tilted his head as he lay down on a long chair.
In Rome, unlike in Greece, women also received elementary education represented by literacy education.
But usually, it just ended there.
There were cases of male slaves who received higher education but only for special occupations.
Female slaves however could not find such an opportunity.
It was natural for Crassus to respond that he did not understand.
“There will surely come a time when she will come in handy.”
“I don't think a female slave will help much…
but then just do whatever you want.”
“Let's get past the issue of slavery, what do you have to ask of me? I'll listen to you if it's a light request.”
It was a situation where Marcus was praised for being quiet and not creating any trouble.
Marcus could clearly see how low Crassus' expectations were for him.
'It's the old Marcus' own fault.
However, the effect that can be enjoyed will be quite large.'
If the old Marcus was a good guy, he also had to do better to get compliments.
Conversely, if Crassus did not expect anything, his achievements would look even bigger even if he did something just only halfway.
After taking a deep breath, Marcus brought up the main point.
“I want to see and learn about the family business.
Please allow me.”
“What? Do you want to learn the business?”
Crassus' eyes widened at the completely unexpected request.
Twelve years old in Rome was the age to begin secondary education.
Marcus, of course, studied under a well-known teacher, albeit reluctantly.
At the age of 17, Roman citizens could wear the toga, the Roman formal wear, after coming of age.
A boy who had not undergone a coming-of-age ceremony and had not served in the military was considered to be of an age where he had to devote himself to learning.
Even more so if one was the child of the upper classes.
As Children of senators, even after completing their education in language, arithmetic, and geometry, there were a lot of things to learn, including rhetoric, oratorical skills, and philosophy.
When there was so much to do, to ask for something else was to be seen as deferring one's duty.
Crassus asked bluntly.
“Do you hate studying that much?”
“It's not like that.
Of course, I'm going to be faithful to the education I'm receiving now.
But besides that, I want to learn the family business as well.”
“Why? The freed slaves of the family will do the work anyway.
And since you're also a member of our family, shouldn't you be in the Senate?
Of course, I will.”
The seat of the Senate was originally 300, but Sulla's reforms increased it to 600.
Among those who stepped on the official posts in the order of treasurer, procurator, judicial officer, and consul, those who passed the inspection of the inspectorate became members of the Senate.
These officers worked without pay and were commonly called honorable careers in Rome.
Young people from prestigious families usually went directly to the Senate after passing through the inspection.
Since Rome did not have an organization like the National Election Commission, bribing voters was a daily routine.
A consul with a quota of two or a judicial officer with eight members might not be the case, but a treasurer with twenty members could have been elected somehow if only money was spent.
Marcus, the idiot, could only be elected as treasurer if he had the support of his family.
Common sense saw no reason why a future senator should be engaged in commerce from an early age.
“In order to protect and grow the family’s wealth, it is necessary to be knowledgeable in commerce.
And Of course, freed slaves did the detailed work, but wouldn't the person in charge should be knowledgeable to oversee the business?”
Marcus' words were something that Crassus had thought about at least once.
His second son, Publius, was so estranged from Crassus that it was said that a kite gave birth to a hawk; He was a child who was loved and respected by everyone.
However, he was too clean and pure as a person, so it was difficult for him to set foot in commerce.
It was fortunate to just keep the family fortune intact for Publius, and nine out of ten chances were that the family's wealth would indeed decrease in his hands.
do you think you're different?”
“I know I don't have the ability as much as the father.
That's why I'm trying to get used to the business from now on.”
Crassus, who had been lying sideways, straightened up.
His piercing gaze pierced Marcus.
A chilling wind whipped up his spine.
Despite such a delusional sense of intimidation, Marcus did not lose his temper.
Crassus wasn't particularly glaring at his son to intimidate him.
It just changed his attitude from a father dealing with his son to that of a ruthless manager.
This was the presence of the head of the Crassus family, who sat at the pinnacle of Roman wealth.
Crassus's dry voice sank in Marcus' ears, which were still trembling with goosebumps.
“You've only caused trouble since you were a child until now.
Is there any reason why I should be fooled by you, who never lived up to my expectations?”
If he could not come up with a convincing answer here, the negotiations would most likely collapse.
Marcus licked his dry lips and took a breath.
“To be honest, I didn't have the confidence to live up to father's expectations to become a politician right away.
Compared to Publius, my lack of ability was evident over and over again.”
“If that's the case, you should have put in more effort.”
“It was painful to see father's expectations shift to my younger brother, and I hated myself for not being talented.”
It was a well-constructed lie, but the effect was clear.
Crassus' cold eyes shook for an instant.
He was Marcus's father after all.
There was no father whose heart would not be shaken by the sincerity of his son who frankly told him the reason for the discrepancy.
“So you're saying that's the reason you drank and had all sorts of accidents from a young age?”
“I wanted to escape from reality.
But I've made up my mind.
I'll admit what I have to admit.
I can't be like my brother.
Instead, I want to help the family in a different field then.”
“Is there any reason why you suddenly had that kind of heart?”
Crassus didn't realize it, but his tone had softened enough that anyone could hear it.
Deciding that he had almost passed it, Marcus put all his energy into the facial expressions.
“When I woke up a few days ago completely drunk and passed out, I felt a tremendous sense of shame.
Now, at your age, it is the time when you are most sensitive and emotional.
You must have been confused in many ways.
“As an older brother, you may feel that I have no sense of responsibility, but I decided to choose another path and pass on the burden of succeeding the family to my younger brother.”
“And the other path is business?”
Marcus replied with a nod of his head.
Crassus took his eyes off his son and closed his eyes for a moment.
An awkward silence hung around.
A silence that lasted only a few seconds in terms of time squeezed Marcus' chest.
If he failed here, he had no choice but to go back for a while and think of something else.
Crassus's eyes were relaxed, and he looked up at Marcus's face and let out a small sigh.
“If you're just watching and learning from the sidelines, there's no reason not to listen to your request.
If it's judged that you really have a talent for commerce, I'll prepare a suitable position for you.”
“Thank you! I will do my best not to disappoint you!”
Persuasion worked well.
To Marcus, who smiled in relief, Crassus did not forget and calmly added a condition.
“If it's judged that these were just empty words again, I won’t give you another chance from now on.
Will that be okay?”
Marcus had a few tricks and hence answered with determined eyes.
“I'll keep in mind that this is my last chance, I will learn with the determination to die.”
“I hope it's not just words.”
Marcus responded with a confident smile.
Although he didn't show it, Crassus was also deeply satisfied with his son's amazing change over the past few days.
Perhaps thanks to that, the conversation between father and son ended in a friendly atmosphere after a long time.
“So, that’s about all you need to know.”
Marcus immediately began receiving training in the business run by the family.
Septimus, who had originally been on the job, was in charge of educating Marcus now.
Crassus's business was rightly called an ancient business.
Marcus immediately began to deeply reflect on the arrogance of modern people.
The wealth of the Crassus family was truly enormous beyond imagination.
The business he was managing based on this property was also incredibly vast.
According to the book, the property of the Crassus family was said to exceed 200 trillion won ($160 billion) in modern terms.
This was the 8th largest asset of all time among historical figures selected by Forbes magazine.
Marcus, who rarely had even 2 million won in his bank account, let alone 200 trillion, had no idea how much this was.
“Dispatch of specialized trained slaves to the mining industry, firefighting, plantation management, transportation and the production of wagons to be used therein, real estate, shipping, and even training gladiators…
is there even a field left that hasn't been touched?”
“You are right.
We are reaching out to all businesses that make money in Rome.”
'This is a real modern conglomerate itself.'
More than dozens of subsidiaries were operated under the name of freed slaves, and under these freed slaves, there were as few as tens to as many as hundreds of slaves.
Marcus was amazed at the scale and sophistication that far exceeded expectations.
“Because the Crassus family symbolizes the wealth of Rome.”
A sort of pride emanated from Septimus' expression, his shoulders straight.
It was such pride that they had contributed to the accumulation of this enormous wealth.
“If the scale of the business is this vast, it would have been impossible for even father to look at every detail, right?”
“Yes, but Master has an insight into the nature of business.
When he makes big decisions, it's our job to shape them.”
The more Marcus heard, the more similar this family business seemed to Korea's chaebol; The head of a company with strong control set the direction of the company, and competent presidents supported it.
'Oh my God, this type of business was possible in an ancient time…'
He was indeed overwhelmed, but fortunately, Marcus was not discouraged.
Anyway, what he was trying to do from the beginning was to set a big framework for the business and maximize profits.
Complicated details were not his concern.
The key to Marcus' plan was to buy low and sell high.
If he could do this, he could make an outrageous income.
The reason most people couldn't do that was that they couldn't predict price fluctuations.
Naturally, Marcus did not have that ability.
Fortunately, however, he had the knowledge to make predictions meaningless.
'The surge and collapse of wheat prices is a historical fact that is about to happen.
This alone can make a huge profit.'
The staple food of the Romans was wheat.
Whenever the price of this wheat fluctuated, the situation in Rome always changed rapidly.
Thanks to this, any book detailing the history of Rome always made a brief mention of wheat prices.
In modern society, information was money.
It was not much different in ancient society either.
Marcus seemed to have decided now how to use his knowledge in the family business.
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