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I was at home making soap when Enos came to my house.
“Nicholas, the master of the house wants to see you. He wants you to come up to his office immediately.” (Enos)
“Did you hear what it was about?” (Nicholas)
“He says it is a visitor. Master Zack says it is a merchant who has come to buy soap formulas.” (Enos)
I quickly changed out of my work clothes and headed for the house.
The Lord and Master Zacharias were waiting for me in the lord’s office, and the discussion about the merchant began immediately.
I listened to Master Zacharias’s explanation, but I have no business acumen, so I had to listen to every word to understand. However, Master Zacharias explained things in an easy-to-understand manner while checking our depth of understanding.
I always wonder why he can think so much of us. If it were me, I would have immediately entered into negotiations and probably would have been outbid.
I am sure that Master Zacharias would have preferred to negotiate on his own, but that would have been impossible with his body like that. It may be the next best thing, but he trusts me and entrusts me with handling the business. I must somehow live up to his expectations.
I went to the reception room with the lord.
Master Zacharias pretended to be the spoiled son and followed the lord.
When we entered the reception room, a gentleman in his early fifties, slightly older than the former master, was waiting for us.
As soon as he recognized the lord, he bowed deeply to him. Then he began to greet him with his merchant-like smile.
“I apologize for taking time out of milord’s busy schedule. My name is Edmond of the Musgrave Trading Company.” (Edmond)
I wonder if Edmond is accustomed to fearlessly talking to territory lords.
“I am Mathias Lockhart. I am displeased that you demand a meeting with the lord of the land without any prior requests. You must think of us as lowly country knights.” (Matt)
Instead of his usual cheerful mood, the lord twisted his lips to a sneer to show his displeasure.
“I have no such opinion, milord. I am truly sorry about the incident. It is our fault. Please forgive us, milord.” (Edmond)
Edmond answered hurriedly, bowing deeply once more.
“The child here is my son, Zacharias. He has never seen a merchant before because I have never left my domain. Since he doesn’t make any noise, I’ll let him stay here. I doubt you mind.” (Matt)
Edmond does not change his expression at all, but says, “Of course, milord,” and smiles at Master Zacharias.
Then, as his gaze turns to me, the lord introduces me.
“This is Nicholas Garland. He is entrusted with the general internal affairs of the land.” (Matt)
Edmond gracefully curtsies to me and immediately tries to speak about his business, “Well then, let’s get right to business today…”
The lord immediately interrupted him.
“I should have said it earlier. It is rude to appear without warning. It seems that you still don’t understand that.” (Matt)
Then, Master Zacharias gave me a signal. I nodded in my mind.
“I am truly sorry, Edmond, but we need you to leave for today. But that would be a problem for you, too. Could you just tell us the purpose of your visit.” (Nicholas)
Edmond’s expression seemed to cloud over slightly, but it soon returned to his original smile.
“I am truly sorry about this. I will come back tomorrow.” (Edmond)
He bowed his head deeply once again.
“I am here today because I have heard that you are using soap in your territory. Rumor has it that it is manufactured in this village. If you are willing, I have come to ask if you would be willing to share your manufacturing method with our trading company…” (Edmond)
He was still trying to continue.
“We’ve received your request. I’m sorry, I hope you will come back tomorrow at the same time as you did today.” (Nicholas)
He broke off the conversation and his expression hardened slightly, but he quickly nodded his head.
The next day.
Edmond visited the mansion at the appointed time.
After he entered the reception room, the lord, Master Zacharias, and I slowly entered the reception room.
As we enter, Edmond smiles and stands up.
The lord sits in the front and I take a seat on his side. When Zacharias sits down opposite me, I urged Edmond to speak.
Edmond apologizes, “Forgiver me for yesterday, milord”, and places a gift on the table. The Lord nodded and immediately went about his business.
“I understand that you are a soap manufacturer in your domain. I was wondering if you would be willing to sell your manufacturing methods exclusively to the Musgrave Trading“Company?” (Edmond)
The lord’s right eyebrow twitches, but he is instructed to continue talking with a signal of a chin nod without saying anything.
I must say, the lord is quite a good actor, playing the role of a greedy lord.
the Lord looked at me with a face that said, “I don’t even want to talk about it.”
I tried to sound as indignant as possible, as he looked at me.
“Edmond. Are making fun of us?” (Nicholas)
Edmond’s face broke into a wide grin, “This is a very strange thing to say.”
“You would get the soapmaking process for a mere 5,000 C…” (Nicholas)
Here I pretend to start calculating.
“…Even if you sell at half the market price, of 5 C each, you can already make a profit by selling only about 1,500. It’s not a good offer at all.” (Nicholas)
Edmond’s expression changed momentarily at these words. I glanced at Master Zacharias and he gave me a signal to “Attack”.
Edmond made a slightly apologetic face.
“I didn’t think it would cost that much. How about 10,000 C?” (Edmond)
At that moment, the lord, receiving a signal from Master Zacharias, said.
“That’s not a good deal. I have no intention of selling it exclusively. I intend to continue making it in my own territory, and I intend to sell it to other merchants. If you can only offer such a price, then we are wasting our time.” (Matt)
With that, the lord moved to stand up, looking unhappy.
Edmond hurriedly said,
“Please wait. Now tell me what milord is asking for.” (Edmond)
The lord sat back down with a grim look on his face and gave me a look.
“The Lord says he would accept it at 50,000 C.” (Nicholas)
Edmond pretended to wipe his sweat, before saying, “Then, regarding the profit… If the conditions are the same, 8,000 is my limit.”
I glanced at Master Zacharias, who was still signaling for us to “Attack”.
“Then, we don’t have to talk. We have no obligation to sell this to you.” (Matt)
Edmond looks at me and at the lord several times.
He seemed to be wondering which of us he should negotiate with. He turns his body slightly toward me, trying to negotiate with me.
“Garland, my trading company will not be able to make a profit unless it is a profitable price…” (Edmond)
I interrupted him,
“As I said before, for 5,000 C, you can make a profit with at least 1,150 pieces. Imagine how many would that take for 8,000 C?” (Nicholas)
“…one thousand six hundred and eighty. But I don’t know if that will really be the case…” (Edmond)
“Are you saying we’re lying!? And if you make about 1,700 pieces, you can make it in about a year if you have about 100 buyers. If there are a thousand buyers, you can make a profit in just a month or so. Do you have anything more to say?” (Nicholas)
Edmond was beginning to be pushed away by my momentum. I look at Master Zacharias, and he signals, “Retreat”
“Well, here’s what we’re going to do. We have no obligation to sell to you. But you have come all the way here…” (Nicholas)
I will play along with Master Zacharias’s plan and ask the Lord to delegate full authority to me.
“Milord, could you entrust me the full authority for decision making?” (Nicholas)
The Lord said, “Very well. Nicholas will take care of everything.”
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