Chapter 2-22 : Business Rival Ⅲ (part 1)
「I see, I see… It looks like 30% higher than my price is an overstatement. I think it’s only about 10% higher or so. Still, it proves that he really pays higher than me.」(Sarasa)
The next day, I compared the amount of money that I wrote down on a paper with how much that merchant paid for Iris-san, Kate-san and Andre-san’s Ice Fang Bats’ fangs.
There was not much difference between that merchant’s purchase price and mine, so that means that he could evaluate the fangs properly, but it looks like he doesn’t know about my purchase price.
「Honestly, I was a little surprised because I didn’t think that he really paid higher than you.」(Iris)
「Me neither… I think buying Ice Fang Bats’ fangs at this price is a little tough for an ordinary merchant. This is weird…」(Sarasa)
I don’t think people would buy his fangs even if he sold them at South Strugg at this price without adding any transportation costs.
He could probably sell his fangs in the royal capital, but he would lose money due to the transportation costs, unless he had a transfer device he could use to send items to the royal capital instantly like me.
「I wonder what he is trying to accomplish… He will only lose money if he keeps buying Ice Fang Bats’ fangs at this price.」(Sarasa)
While saying that, I looked at Lorea-chan.
She shook her head. Looks like she had no idea.
Then I looked at Iris-san.
「I-I have no idea either. Perhaps Kate knows something. She is good at figuring things out after all.」(Iris)
Iris-san shook her head too and dumped the problem to Kate-san.
After thinking for a moment, Kate-san started talking.
「Hmm… There are several possibilities I came up with. First, there was probably a situation where he needed to collect as many Ice Fang Bats’ fangs as possible. For example, he had a contract with someone to prepare a certain amount of fangs but he didn’t expect that he couldn’t collect enough of them.」(Kate)
「So he thought that purchasing Ice Fang Bats’ fangs at a high price was better than receiving the penalty from the contract?」(Iris)
Kate-san replied Iris-san with a nod.
「Exactly. Or, he wanted to manipulate the market price… Perhaps he had been purchasing a lot of fangs in anticipation of price increase in the future, and he was afraid that the price would drop due to sudden arrival of goods in the market.」(Kate)
「And you want to say that the sudden arrival of goods you talked about came from this village? Indeed we just started collecting Ice Fang Bats’ fangs recently, but what I sell outside this village are mostly the Cooling Hats, not the fangs themselves.」(Sarasa)
I sold a large amount of Ice Fang Bats’ fangs to Leonora-san in South Strugg quite a while ago, but I haven’t sold anything to her since then.
Besides, most of my Ice Fang Bats’ fangs had been used as materials to make Cooling Hats.
Some Collectors might have gone to South Strugg from this village to sell their Ice Fang Bats’ fangs there, but I didn’t think there were many of them. After all, they can just sell their fangs to me or that merchant in this village.
「Besides, Daruna-san and Gretz-san have sold a lot of Cooling Hats outside this village, right? I don’t think many people would buy Ice Fang Bats’ fangs if they already had Cooling Hats.」(Sarasa)
「Hmm… You may be right.」(Kate)
There are many ways to use Ice Fang Bats’ fangs, but people, I mean alchemists, mostly use them to make Cooling Hats.
We can use them to make refrigerators, freezers or air conditioners but they are too expensive for most people. Also, you don’t need many fangs to make them.
「The other possibility I can think of is… Store Owner-san, could it be… That merchant has a grudge against you…? 」(Kate)
「Eehh!? But I don’t remember doing something that can make someone hate me!」(Sarasa)
When I shouted like that in response to Kate-san’s reasoning, there was someone who shouted even louder than me.
「That’s impossible!!! There’s no way someone would hate a kind person like Sarasa-san!!!」(Lorea)
I’m happy but… I don’t think she needs to shout as loudly as possible like that…
「No, Lorea, you don’t know. There might be people who hate you even though you have never done anything that can make them hate you.」(Kate)
Saying that, Lorea-chan clenched her fists and pouted at Kate-san.
Kate-san then put her hand on her cheek and sighed.
「Yup, as you said, that’s unreasonable. Moreover, if the person that merchant hated wasn’t necessarily Store Owner-san…」(Kate)
「Eh? What do you mean?」(Lorea)
「There’s the possibility that the one he was holding grudges against is Gretz-san or Daruna-san, or maybe both of them.」(Kate)
「My dad…? But why?」(Lorea)
Responding to the unexpected words from Kate-san, Lorea-chan tilted her head, looking so confused.
「Your dad is making a lot of money from selling Cooling Hats, right?」(Kate)
「Well, he is making money but not much. He mostly used his money to purchase various products to sell in our store.」(Lorea)
「Ohh, so that’s why the variety of goods in the general store has improved recently!」(Iris)
「Yes. He started purchasing items that he couldn’t afford before. Now that the villagers’ income has increased, the number of customers visiting our store has increased as well.」(Lorea)
Ho ho~ I see.
Looks like the results of my efforts trying to make this village prosperous have started to show.