Chapter 2-23 : Business Rival Ⅳ (part 1)
「I should thank your master, then! It’s thanks to her that I’m able to work here after all.」(Lorea)
「But I don’t know when she will come again. She’s a busy person after all. Many people in the royal capital depend on her.」(Sarasa)
「Is a master-class alchemist that great?」(Lorea)
「Lorea, ”Master-class” is the highest rank you can get as an alchemist. There are only a few people with that rank in this country. People who have some interest in alchemy should know that.」(Kate)
「I see… I don’t know anything about it.」(Lorea)
「Well, people don’t usually talk about alchemists in this village. In the first place, there were no alchemist here until Store Owner-san came, right? So it’s only natural that you know little about alchemists.」(Kate)
I don’t think the general public cares much about master-class alchemists.
I myself learned that Master was a master-class alchemist after I started working in her store. Moreover, I was taught by the other employees because Master rarely talked about herself.
If I didn’t get along with the other employees, I probably wouldn’t have known about it until now.
「Store Owner-san, as Ophelia Millis’ disciple, would you like to tell us anything you know about her?」(Kate)
「Eh? Umm… I don’t know what the general public thinks of her, but… she is quite famous among alchemists. Maybe?」(Sarasa)
「Store Owner-dono, you stupid! I never thought you were so ignorant!」(Iris)
I never expected that Iris-san would suddenly insult me.
「How could you say a person as great as Ophelia-sama is “quite” famous!? That person is…! That person isーー！」(Iris)
「Okay, okay. Iris, you need to calm down. Forgive her, Store Owner-san. Iris is overreacting, but she’s right. Your master is very, very famous. Even Collectors like us know how great she is.」(Kate)
「Is that so…?」(Sarasa)
I applied for a part-time job at Master’s store and have been treated as her disciple since then. I didn’t think too much about it but… Actually, I was extremely lucky…?
So that’s why my seniors were so jealous…
「A, Anyway, let’s forget about my master for now and talk about the merchant!」(Sarasa)
「Uhh, okay then… So, are you seriously planning to increase your purchase price?」(Iris)
「Yeah. After that, we will see that merchant’s reaction, whether he will increase his purchase price further or give up.」(Sarasa)
「If he gives up, the problem will be solved, right?」(Iris)
「Yes, but if he chooses to compete against us by raising his purchase price… Store Owner-san, do you have any plans for that?」(Kate)
「Hmm… Then I will increase the supply of Ice Fang Bats’ fangs in the market as much as possible.」(Sarasa)
「But how will you do that?」(Kate)
「I will start going to the cave and hunting the bats every day!」(Sarasa)
I can collect hundreds of fangs in a day if I give it my all. Of course with the help from Iris-san and Kate-san.
If Andre-san and his party will help me as well, I can definitely collect even more.
The minimum purchase price for fangs from 5-year-old bats is about 1,000 reas. Moreover, the older the bats, the higher the price of their fangs.
That merchant pays 30% higher than my purchase price, so that means I can make him spend millions of reas in a day.
If he doesn’t have an extremely large amount of money, it won’t take long until he runs out of funds.
「Fufufu~….. This will be a competition to see if all the bats in the cave perish first or that merchant runs out of funds first!」(Sarasa)
It will be a big nuisance to Collectors if the bats perish, so it will be great if that merchant runs out of funds before that happens.
Well, I don’t need to execute this plan if he gives up after I raise my purchase price, so I really hope that he will give up and leave this village for good.
「As expected from Store Owner-dono, you really have no mercy!」(Iris)
Iris-san’s words bothered me. I wonder what she means by ‘you really have no mercy’.
I wanted to ask her but I think I should leave it aside for now.
「Honestly, I prefer to settle this in a more peaceful way but that merchant was the first to pick a fight with me!」(Sarasa)
「Sarasa-san, is that merchant’s method wrong?」(Lorea)
「No, not entirely, but he started purchasing materials without me knowing. This is a small village so he must have known that there’s an alchemist here, but he chose to ignore me and started his business anyway. I heard there were businessmen who dare to trouble alchemists, especially novice alchemists like me, but I never thought that one of them would come to this small village.」(Sarasa)
Normally, merchants who want to purchase materials in a town or village should talk to the local alchemists first, especially if they want to do it in a small village like this.
The reason is because alchemists need to keep the balance of the materials that can be obtained in their areas.
There are materials that are in high demand and easy to make profits from, and materials that are in low demand but necessary in case of emergency.
If the alchemists only purchase the ones that are in high demand, they would be troubled if something bad happened because they didn’t have the materials needed to handle the situation. Also, there was the possibility that certain materials would become rare because people kept collecting them.
Therefore, alchemists have the role to keep the balance by adjusting the purchase price and setting purchase limits if necessary.
So, what happens if a merchant ignores the rules and starts their business in a certain area? Of course it will have a bad impact on the balance of the materials and trouble the alchemists in that area.
The materials that the merchant in this village purchases are only Ice Fang Bats’ fangs, so I don’t need to worry about those materials becoming rare because Ice Fang Bats are animals that reproduce quickly.
However, I can’t ignore the fact that he has violated the rules!
Who does he think he is to start purchasing materials in my village without telling me first!?