《Saharan Successor》Vol. 1 - Chapter 14 - Sparks of conflict & Negotiations

Vol. 1 - Chapter 14 - Sparks of conflict & Negotiations

After getting another bucket of water from the fountain, Mathias started cleaning himself, and when he returned to Fayrene's shop, he saw various clothes lying on the counter and Fayrene standing behind it counting gold coins.

"Are those for me?" asked Mathias while pointing at the white silk shirt, black trousers, leather boots, and the belt.

"Yes, now stop staring at them like you have never seen good clothes. Go change your clothes first, and then follow me outside."

Seeing Fayrene walk out of the shop, Mathias got closer to the counter and touched the clothes. They disappeared, entering his inventory. Once they got there, he placed them on his body by dragging them on his avatar window.

Looking at them, he was visibly surprised by the quality of the clothes.

[Elegant Cidarian Shirt]

Rating: Rare

Durability 150/150 Defense: 10

* Intelligence increased by 5

This is a work made by the aspirant tailoress Fayrene, as practice for her passion while reminiscing about the teachings of her mother, that she sewed with steady hands and good quality silk. The wearer of this work can feel Fayrene dedication to her craft.

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Condition of Use: Level 1

Weight: 140

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[Elegant Cidarian Breeches]

Rate: Rare

Durability: 150/150 Defense: 10

* Intelligence increased by 5

Description: -//-

Condition of Use: Level 1

Weight: 125

***********************************************

[Saharan Hunting Boots]

Rate: Epic

Durability: 125/250 Defense: 50

Movement Speed: +7%

Evasion Rate: +1%

An item designed for the nobles of the Saharan Empire found by Fayrene inside a dumpsite. They were crafted with the utmost care by one of the Empire's Craftsmen using the leather of a basilisk and mythril thread. It greatly boosts the speed of the wearer.

The design of the Boots is unmatched even among the nobles.

No user restriction

Weight: 340

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'These are the clothes we should have received from the start. Not the rags with 0 stats, defence, or anything spelling decency in them.' thought Mathias when looking at the new clothes he was wearing with a satisfied expression.

'Okay, I shouldn't make her wait any longer. I will surely pay her back for everything. I don't like being indebted to someone. It's even worse if it's to a woman.'

After putting on the belt and settling his trousers, arranging his shirt and boots, he exited the shop and noticed Fayrene nod while saying to him.

"They seem a bit oversized, but you have to deal with it for now because those are the only male clothes I possess. You also better not ruin that shirt because it is intended to be a gift for my younger brother, for him to wear when growing up."

"Nothing to worry about. They will be safe with me." replied Mathias, patting the clothes.

Fayrene didn't say anything and started moving, followed by Mathias, who was walking by her side, looking around the city with sharp eyes. He looked at the map and could see that she was taking him to a place he hadn't explored yet.

He entered another district that looked like the one he settled on the first day of playing. It looked almost identical to the place he came from, only that there seemed to be a decent amount of people wearing expensive clothes.

Passing many alleys while following Fayrene lead, Mathias finally arrived at a gate with "Grand Market" written on it.

Keeping quiet, he followed Fayrene inside, who was looking left and right while inspecting the stalls set up by many different traders. Each time she would visit a stall, she would first ask for the prices before even checking the quality of the items.

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"Too expensive, can't you go lower?" was something Fayrene would ask the merchants when hearing their prices.

"Young lady, it's you again? How many times do I have to tell you that I will not lower my prices? There are so many shops in the market. Try your luck in another place if you can't afford my prices." said the trader disdainfully to Fayrene while staring at her in contempt.

Mathias's gaze, who was standing next to Fayrene, frowned a bit when he saw how the merchant was treating her.

Fayrene didn't get intimidated, and without wasting any words on that merchant, she moved along the stalls with fabrics on display. The process was the same with most traders who didn't want to lower their prices.

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At one point, Mathias felt that things would turn dangerous when one trader ordered his lackeys to move Fayrene away from his stall. Without knowing if he should fight back or not, he brought Ragnius from his inventory, seeming magical for the thugs who walked toward him and Fayrene.

"You better keep your distance away. I don't want any trouble with you." declared Mathias coldly while walking in front of Fayrene with his spear brought close to his body.

"I haven't seen you around this peasant girl before. So, who are you to take out your weapon in front of us, the Eagle's Mercenary?"

"Someone who doesn't want to get hurt. I think the same could be said to you? However, if you want to play with me, you will regret it."

"Could it be, you are a 'cursed one'?" asked the merchant, looking at Ragnius giving off a strong presence and at Mathias calm, cold expression.

"Why bother asking me that? You want something from me?"

The moment those thugs heard Mathias respond to the merchant in that way, it confirmed to them that he was indeed one of the crazy people who appeared in the world, the 'cursed ones'.

They stepped back and whispered something to the merchant, who walked forward to face Mathias.

"To think this peasant girl would get her hands on a cursed one. No need to escalate things. I don't want to be harassed by you crazy bastards, so move away from my stall."

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"Mathias, no need for that. There are still many more stalls around the market." said Fayrene, grabbing on Mathias' shoulder.

He turned his face to see her shake her head sadly, signaling that he didn't need to overreact, Yet at the same time, when hearing Fayrene, Mathias brought Ragnius closer to him and shook his head, looking at her with a saddened expression, annoyed by how the people treated her.

After that, she started to walk on the market streets accompanied by Mathias, who had Ragnius at his side.

Fayrene glanced briefly at Ragnius and later at Mathias, whose face turned stoic, always on guard when walking beside her.

"You never told me that you are a spear user. Also, where did you get that spear from? It seems quite expensive."

"That's because there was no need for me to talk about my other path. As for the price? Ragnius' price can't be converted into a sum of money because it is an heirloom. Anyway, what matters is that I can protect you and myself if those bastards would even dare to attack us."

"There was no need for that. That's how those merchants act when someone asks for a lower price." said Fayrene to Mathias before she looked at him, adding in a quiet tone.

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"Thanks for having my back. I hate buying things from the market because of people like that, who raise the prices of the goods just because this is Titan and people should be able to afford it."

"You are welcome. I'm just repaying your kindness to me. Also, aren't we apprentices together? I should protect you even if I wasn't indebted to you."

She chuckled a bit, whispering to herself. "I haven't really done that much."

"You said something, Fayrene?" asked Mathias, hearing some murmuring from her side.

"No, nothing. Let's look at the other stalls, and don't blindly point your weapon at those people. It will leave a bad impression on them."

"Hey, I have to protect myself. I don't really care if others are getting scared." stated Mathias, as they were getting closer to another stall.

Getting there, he kept quiet while staring at the merchant and his assistance. She started asking for the prices of the fabrics, but they directly denied her requests, not wanting any price changes.

Like this, Mathias saw Fayrene getting reject from stall to stall until even he had enough of it, stopping in place and asking her.

"How much money do you have on you?"

"I only have 40 gold coins on me. These are all my savings just so you know. It is normal I will negotiate for any coin. It is impossible that I don't find a merchant willing to negotiate with me and drop his prices a bit."

"Sigh, can you let me negotiate?" asked Mathias as he stopped in place in the center of the alley.

"Can you do that? I mean, do you even have any experience in that regard?"

"I've read some books that talk about the "Art of Negotiation". Maybe I will write it down for you so you can learn some tricks from those experienced people."

"There is such a thing?"

"From where I am, there is, and many other interesting things. Come, give me that bag you are holding and let's see how I'll fare."

Saying that, he also stored Ragnius into his inventory and focused at Fayrene's skeptical expression. Her gaze focused on Mathias, turning serious, and with shaking hands, she timidly handed the pouch.

After taking her coin bag, Mathias saw Fayrene move her hand to quickly take it back, but he brought it to his system inventory, magically disappearing from her face.

"Calm down. I will not steal your money. In fact, I might make you some more. Watch and learn."

"Give my money back!" shouted Fayrene, in a desperate attempt to take her money back, grabbing hold of his hand.

"Ahh, come on, don't make a scene right now. Easy, arghh. Hey! What was that for?" cried Mathias a bit when Fayrene scratched him with her nails, making a mark on his skin.

Grabbing her hands so she wouldn't be able to attack him, he walked toward a close stall while Fayrene just followed along, trying to get her hands away, seeming to calm a bit from what looked like some trauma.

Arriving at the merchant stall, which had all sorts of fabrics and goods spread on the counter, Mathias later heard the merchant say to him as if he targeted Fayrene.

"Lad, you don't need to bother with me. I will not lower the price if you are trying to help that girl."

"Wait, mister, if we already get to such a start, how can I even check on your goods? Can you show me the fabrics that at least pass a quality check?" asked Mathias calmly while moving closer to the stall, along with Fayrene, who he dragged.

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"Ohh, you are looking to buy? Here, in that part, are the fabrics I just brought from Typhon Duchy, all the way to Titan. Silk, cotton, velvet, best quality sheep wool, damask, linen, fur, leather, hemp, you got everything there, young man. Look at it how much you want." pointed the merchant to Mathias, a part of his large stall full of materials.

"I see, no problem, sir." Replied Mathias calmly, moving to the stall closer and checking on the fabrics prices with a careful expression.

After a while, he turned to the merchant and asked him humbly.

"Mind if I ask you some questions?"

"Ask away."

"It says here you sell the meter with silk at about 550 silvers? But if I may, I am aware that the route from Typhon to Titan might be troublesome for you. Having to deal with thieves and all sorts of bandits, I am fully aware. So for that, I am willing to trust you on the authenticity of the fabrics."

"What are you going about, young man? The price is fair, those weavers of the fabrics also started getting greedy and making plans for themselves, but they simply don't know how hard it is to sell the fabrics, and like idiots, they ask for more. Young man, this is why traders are reluctant to lower their prices. We buy at about 400- 450 silver a meter for silk. I am only talking about silk here and also adding about 100 silver for our journey."

"So it wasn't a problem with you merchants. It was the supply chain that started asking for more. Understandable. So I will not make your life harder. I am willing to buy more from you, but if I do this, can I do it while lowering the price. Listen, sir, don't hurry to call our talk off." said Mathias when seeing the merchant's face turning sour and a bit angry.

The merchant nodded and let Mathias talk, listening with a serious face, entirely focused on what this young man had to say.

"If I buy more from you at a reduced price, compared to just a small quantity with a reduced price, you sir will make a profit and cover your expenses, and also my friend and I will be able to continue our business and make clothes. It is selling in quantity to cover the expenses, compared to hopping for a single good sell."

"It is hard, young man. Give me some time to think." said the merchant moving with his assistance at the back of the area they set, talking with serious tones.

The younger ones even started raising their voices, unsatisfied with what the older merchant was saying. However, he grabbed their shoulders and said to them in a calm tone something that quieted them.

"Boss, are you crazy? We will go bankrupt if we sell our goods at a lower price. We are still in debt from our journey."

"I know, you two, but listen here. Do you see the other fabric traders? Tell me, do they have any sales?"

"Ahhhh, no boss, but you have to think. What if he scams us?"

"No kid, if we want to survive in this business, we have to think of other ways to sell our goods. I will see how much this guy wants to buy and how small the price reduction is. If he asks for a really small price, I will not sell."

"Okay, boss. You are in charge."

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After that, he walked back to Mathias and said with a calm voice.

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"How much are you willing to buy?"

"I am willing to buy about 25 gold coins worth of materials. Here let's calculate how much would be worth in your fabrics, and we shall negotiate after. Sounds good?

"Sure, young man. Wait, do you know calculus?" asked the merchant, surprised when Mathias brought a sheet of paper, inkwell, and a quill.

Getting to the table, he let go of Fayrene hand, saying to her.

"Take how much fabric you need, and this mister and I will settle on the cost."

Fayrene was also in foreign territory when hearing Mathias talk so calmly about prices, quantity buy, and so on.

Meanwhile, her little heart was only thinking about her small pouch. But not wasting Mathias's time and the merchant's time, she walked to the section with medium to good quality fabrics.

In about 10 minutes, she started to say to Mathias, in a shaking voice whispered to his ears, and he started writing on the sheet of paper.

"Twenty meters of silk, 15 meters of linen, 15 meters of cotton, 5 meters of leather, three kilograms of fur, and 10 meters of velvet fabric. This is what I need, Mathias."

While writing on the sheet paper the quantity of materials, he patted her hand and said to her.

"This is enough, now just wait a bit, so I calculate the price. Mister, can you come here? We'll do the calculus together, so you don't think I cheated you."

"Okay, young man. Let me get my glasses and the abacus."

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Mathias, in the meantime, started spreading out the prices of each fabric Fayrene wanted in an orderly manner while she watched with big eyes at him.

'He even knows to calculate? I barely learned a bit of calculus from my mother."

Then when the merchant got to Mathias with his abacus and glasses over his nose, he turned his eyes on the sheet paper and looked at how fast Mathias was calculating the prices.

Mathias remained quiet as he pointed his quill on each number as if to show the merchant from where all the numbers he multiplied came to existence.

Only after some minutes of patiently showing the merchant the calculus and how each number got multiplied, he said to the merchant.

"Sir, the total I have to pay is 24670 silver, converted in gold, about 24 gold, and 670 silvers coins. Take a look and confirm it if you don't believe me." said Mathias in an earnest tone.

The merchant looked at the orderly written sheet paper and the explained multiplication and the sum of each material price. And could only sigh, telling Mathias.

"No need, I trust you will not cheat me after explaining the calculation so well. This is the first time someone buying from me can actually calculate the prices. Only the Imperial Administrators and Tax Officials can do it so orderly. So, how does the price reduced at 5% sound, young man?"

'That would make a reduction in about 2 gold coins. Modest reduction, but I still think my employer would want some more gold in her little pouch.' thought Mathias while looking at the merchant with a severe face, making the merchant believe the price reduction was too little.

"Sir, a reduction of 10% and I buy it and I might also come back here in the future with my friend. The price would be 22 gold and 203 silver coins."

Taking some time to think, the merchant nodded his hand and moved to shake Mathias' hands, which the latter returned in a welcoming manner.

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Gathering all the materials in his inventory bag, making all of the four around look shocked, making him say with an awkward tone. "I learned a dimensional gap spell that helps me store things."

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