Chapter 39: The Market
“This is the proposal from my side. As a part of the Alliance, we hope to be able to obtain the purchase rights of the 30 goods on this list on market price. Also, we hope that Elf traders can go in and out freely from your city.”
In the wide conference room, the extravagance of the Elves could be seen by the fact that even their table edges were carved with pictures of Elves dancing with the sword. Hearing the negotiation from both parties, I am almost on the verge of falling asleep.
“Annie will negotiate about the military matters while Magaret will assist her with economic deals. I guess there is nothing much for me here. Since I have nothing to do, then, I might as well look for some joy.”
“…Within the list, these 23 commonly seen goods in our market can be sold at market price, but mercury, dragon poison, liquid sulfur that has been worked on and the other of the 7 goods belong to the goods which our officials control or ban its trade, so it isn’t allowed to be sold to the outside. Unless, you all agree to an equal trade with the unique goods we have on our list. Also, as long as your Dark Elf merchants are proper merchant and not assassins or spies wearing the cloak of a merchant, then why would they be afraid of our checks.” Propping up her glasses, Elisa replies.
“… Big sister, must you haggle about this little amount of cucumber? Fine, 25 dollars, take it all. But, you must take away these tomatoes. Don’t worry, they are all fresh goods.”
“Hehe, little girl, then we shall deal with these one by one. To say the truth, all these trade is just an appetiser to tighten our relationship. Perhaps, we should start talking about the main question now. For example, about that Power of Law of yours.” Kajah smiles and says.
“Hehe, so young one, let’s do it this way. Auntie don’t really care about this little bit of money. Right, how much are you charging for that yellow croaker?”
This time, Elisa starts to frown but didn’t say anything much. Instead, she looks at Annie.
“Un, you can leave this matter for Annie to settle. If you Dark Elves are interested in the Power of Law, you are free to send people to Liu Huang Mountain City to learn. But before that, you all must swear in the name of the Spider Queen to not harm the citizens. At the same time, you all must swear to stop your assassination of those Dark Elves in Liu Huang Mountain City.
“Un, that yellow croaker, if you want it, its 12 dollars 1 catty. I am making it cheap for you. This yellow croaker is fresh from the sea and its taste is fantastic after cooking it. However, if you were to accept this yellow croaker, then you can’t fuss about the money I owe over your potato before.”
TL: 1 catty = 600g
Hearing Annie’s reply, Kajah shakes her head.
“The will of the Spider Queen cannot be slackened, traitors must be cleared. We Elves have all the time to wait, so let those traitors wait patiently for the day they will be terminated… Alright, let’s not talk about these unhappy stuff. Maybe, we can talk about even deeper matters. For example, a military alliance against a certain faction. Of course, it would not be on paper.”
“How can that be, our canteen’s boss is very particular with debts, the money you owe for the potato must be paid in total… But, let’s talk about other things. For example, when should we go and beat up that big fatty who always bully people. Of course, if we got found out by the fatty in advance, I won’t admit it.”
Of course, all the previous things discussed were just appetiser. The private military alliance that they were talking about now is the main reason for the secret meeting today. Annie hesitates but Annie’s eyebrows knitted together and her face is full of frost. She seems to be troubled about something.
He, it should be very troubled. Of course she would be very troubled. This decision would determine the future of countless lives. However, it is because of this immense pressure that they will grow up and improve. I have high expectations of you 2, Elisa and Annie.
“… Please give me a moment.” Finally, she steels her heart, stands up straight and then… walks to my front.
“Master!! Have you had enough? Can you stop playing those lame vegetable lines in my head! Stop interrupting our discussions!!!”
“Ah, did I mention it accidentally? Sorry, sorry,” An apology with no hint of sincerity was said. Then, I lowered my head to reduce my presence… Of course, sarcasm has to have a target, otherwise if I talk to myself, wouldn’t that make me a lunatic?
TL: Sarcasm -> He uses a word Tu Cao (??) and according to here, it originates from the Japanese work ???? (Tsukkomi), which is bringing a point from the other party’s word with the intention to tease (and I couldn’t find another word for it in English) cause this word appears quite a bit in the novel.
Fine, in the eyes of outsiders, Elisa is just standing silently in front of me, staring at me. At the same time, I remained silent, as though passing over the rights to make the decision to the other party.
“Sorry for the trouble.” After apologising, Elisa returns back to her seat.
“Actually, what I’m saying isn’t that wrong too. Isn’t negotiation about haggling and counting every single cent, so is there a difference between it and the market?”
“I am thinking right now, so please be silent.”
Alright ,alright, you all only know how to bully this old bones, then complain that this old bones is getting annoying. Fine, then this old bones will go out to venture around, this will do right.
Just nice, I was starting to get tired of the uninteresting atmosphere in the negotiation room, so I stood up and prepared to leave…
“Please take care and return back to our base early. Don’t pick up random things on the street to eat and don’t make too much little children cry, so that their parents won’t come knocking on our door. Also, don’t get caught while doing bad things. I am not very close with the police station here, and I don’t want to go and fetch someone from there.”
Fine, hearing this nagging that seems to be directed towards an old child, I started to reflect on exactly where did I go wrong. Back then, the cute little girl who was afraid of dark and loneliness, the girl who comes hugging the corner of my shirt to sleep with me when the during stormy days, exactly how did she become so venomous and twisted under my education.
On my way out, I had to tolerate Elisa’s cold glare and pretend not to see the passionate gaze and secret invitations from those Elf Matriachs… What a pity, the Dark Elves’ adult art and all kinds of techniques are known to be one of the world’s ‘precious art collection’, and it is the dream of every man…
Fine, even without that venomous maid, I still can’t do anything much. But it should be okay thinking about it right. As a man, imagination is not a crime right!! …Elisa! Can you stop singing in my head ‘Gong Gong Pian Tou Tong!!‘, I really shouldn’t have taught you to sing pop songs back then! Even more so, I shouldn’t have told you what a Gong Gong is!
TL: Means eunuch. In the song, there is a line in the chorus that says ‘In the Back Court, there are 3000 beautiful ladies, but none of which he could touch.’
“Hmph, wait til I revive…”
Before I leave, I looked back once more at Annie who was talking very seriously. I look forward to the day she would able to hold up the fort independently, so that I can collect my reward and revive…
Yet, I didn’t know that when I left, all of the Dark Elf Matriachs seemed to have heaved a sigh of relief at the same time.
“That magic robe and mask seems to be all God Equipment. I can’t detect his true appearance or powers at all.”
TL: I used to keep translate law robe and magic robe interchangeably for him (its all the same robe) because ? can mean is both the first word for magic and law. I will stick with magic robe.
“There are totally no changes in his emotions and even his heartbeat can’t be felt. If I close my eyes, it is as though he isn’t there at all. How the hell does something like this exist?”
“Is it a demon? A human? Elf? Undead? There is totally no way to find out. The two young girls seem to be very reliant on his judgement and yet he chose to leave now. Why is that so? Could there be some scheme?”
From a certain sense, the only thing hindering this negotiation is that Wumianzhe.
From Dark Elf Matriachs who had lived through countless years, the strong isn’t something to fear. What is to fear is always the unknown and Wumianzhe is just too bizarre and dangerous.
“As the finder of a new kind of Power of Order, it is impossible to overestimate him. If the Power of Law is destined to become a powerful Order like the Holy Light, then we might be facing a future God. But no matter what, his departure is a good thing for the negotiation… Or maybe, we should let some ‘shadow’ follow him, if there’s an opportunity…”
Luciana, the Number 1 Matriach of Morsblight City. From a certain sense, she is a neighbor of Liu Huang Mountain City. Even thought those eccentric Dark Elves who believed in Holy Light and betrayed the Dark Elves had caused the original First Family to lose the trust and doting of the Spider Queen, it had allowed the Syfan family which Luciana belongs to to gain power.
But no matter what, Diana and the others who had escaped and were living better lives remains the disgrace of Morsblight City. If they do not get rid of this disgrace on time… The Spider Queen was never a reasonable true God. The screams of agony by the previous First Matriach when she was turned into the spider was still etched onto her eyes.
But at the same time, Kajah, who was still talking with Annie, gazes at her, as though seeing through her private wishes.
“…If there is a chance, send out a small present to improve our relations with that Lord. If we are able to forge an alliance with this rising Autarch Liu Huang Mountain City, it would be easier for us to fight for the command of the Underground Alliance. This is a big affair that concerns the entire Dark Elf tribe. No one would be so short-sighted to allow their personal desire affect the entire situation.”
Even though Luciana changed her words fast enough, but when Kajah’s gaze continued to remain on her, she felt like her heart was about to stop, her back was instantly wet with cold sweat.
Just having Lorci’s blessings isn’t enough for Kajah to control over half of the Dark Elf Tribe. In the cruel and heartless society of Dark Elves, this High Priestess who was always smiling also uses bloodshed to suppress those who goes against her, leaving their bodies cold. Otherwise, for the Dark Elves who see insubordination as an honor, there would be no reason for them to bow to this High Leader in name.
“Then, the present would be prepared personally by you, the noble Matriach of Syfan. What we need now is, indeed, a trustworthy ally.”
“Yes, that is my honor. I will make sure to get it done perfect.”
She already have no longer any energy to bother with the secret laughter of the other Matriachs. Luciana.Syfan can only rejoice over surviving this calamity.
“Then, just to confirm on our mutual communication channels…”
The Alliance of two powers, even if it is an Alliance which each of the power have their own goals and aims, they still have many minute details to discuss thoroughly over, so this meeting is destined to take quite long.
But, I don’t really care. Or rather, I don’t need to care.
Just like what I told Elisa, the discussion between countries and different powers is actually no different from buying vegetables in the market. It is just about how you give me 2 more cents and I will give you additional carrot and potato.
When the market prices are fixed, even if your negotiation skills are top-notch, but it is also only a small rise from the price line.
To tell the truth, the conclusion of the negotiation is normally determined even before the talks. What that cannot be obtained on the battlefield would normally be unobtainable on the negotiation table… Alright, I know that there are exceptions so let’s not talk about that unbearable history. If the ruler is useless to such an extent, then discussions and fighting are all meaningless.
That ‘market price which determines the result of the market trade’ refers to the circumstances of the two parties before the negotiations, what they have and what kind of bargaining chip do they have to exchange. The side that is more anxious with less bargaining chip would find it harder to gain the initiative the lead the discussions, while the side with more chips on their hand will find it easier to earn more despite giving in less, achieving a bargain.
Due to our hard work throughout this period, the initiative in this negotiation is already in the hands of Liu Huang Mountain City. Also, Molly and Shou has started made quite a bit of moves while Ainsterna.Eduar and the Devils backing him are cunning and fickle, an apparent two-faced faction which cannot be relied on. Also, with the Dark Elf Matriachs who don’t know the concept of loyalty behind her back, Kajah should be under intense pressure.
I remember that in the original ‘history’, 10 years after the epic war where the Underground Alliance started invading the surface, the High Leader of the Dark Elf is a Dark Elf Matriach named Victoria… The retirement of an influential Dark Elf is never peaceful and it is impossible for them to retire on their own accord. After all, that often means an ending worse than death.
Then, no matter whether it is for her and the Dark Elf power that she represents, she needs an alliance very urgently now.
For Liu Huang Mountain City, this negotiation and even the invitation to the Underground Alliance, we can totally turn our heads and leave if the negotiations fall through. At least, before that small joke which isn’t convenient to tell others and my little tricks get exposed, Liu Huang Mountain City has no reason to step into this muddy waters.
Since the initiative for the negotiations are in our hands, not mentioning that the other party has requests to ask of us, they have already made up their mind to strike an alliance with Liu Huang Mountain City, so the Dark Elves have to ensure that this goes through by hook or by crook. But, my side don’t really have to care about the results of the negotiation and we have plentiful of bargaining chips so no matter how we talk through this negotiation, the final winners will still be us.
This is also the reason why I kept refusing to interact with Kajah and Ainsterna. I want to make them panic, worried that I might reconcile with Shou and Molly and instead, cause the internal balance of the Alliance to tilt once again.
This is also the reason why I say the results of the negotiation is decided even before the negotiation. Also, Elisa’s negotiation techniques are above average, there was no trace of her shying out or panicking and that’s why I can leave peaceful.
At this moment, as I walk on the street of Vance, looking at this other kind of prosperity, I decided to start on my little plan.
“I, Wumianzhe Roland, isn’t a very forgiving person. Since you all dare to attack Liu Huang Mountain City, you all should have thought about my revenge. Shou and Molly, the things that you owe me, it is time to return them now.”