Volume 1 Chapter 5-5: Art of Negotiation

 


「Next we’ll go here.」

Because most businesses and infrastructure was located in the center of town it didn’t take us long to reach the next location.

「This is a Clothes Maker. The grass wolf fur is stiff and firm. It cannot really be used for casual wear. However, it has value as armor or cold weather clothing.」
「So basically because it’s uncomfortable it’s best made into something that you don’t have to wear against your skin. Plus the firmness of the material makes it better for defense.」
「Yes. However, because it’s fairly limited in usage each pelt should only sell for around 1 large silver I think.」

Sistina said before entering inside and chatting to the person at the counter for a while. She came back shortly.

「They’ll take a look. Please take the pelts into the reception area Soujirou-sama. By all rights, I should be the one to carry them, but as I am negotiating it would make my position lower and they would look down on me…」

Sistina said with an apologetic look on her face, but I really didn’t mind. After all, it was normal practice for a Japanese man to carry his date’s items while they shopped.

「It’s fine it’s fine. Whatever you say….okay here we go. Where am I taking these?」
「Thank you. Come this way.」

「We have 12 in total. They should be usable to make clothing. Furthermore they are all from the same pack so their quality and look should be very similar to each other. This should make the tailoring easy and good looking. I’d say 20 large silver.」
「Certainly it is as you say, but no matter what 20,000 mars is far too much. Even if it is easy to manufacture our tailors need to be paid a fair price for their work. The margin of profit at this price would be far too slim. However, it is indeed rare that we find pelts of similar quality from the same pack so I’ll offer 14 large silver.」
「Please wait a moment. Take a closer look at these pelts. The skinning was done precisely and delicately so you won’t need to cut parts off of it. You’ll be able to use almost every single bit of it. 18 large silver.」
「…then 15 large silver.」
「17 large silver.」

They glared at each other for a moment before the shopkeep let out a sigh.

「What stubborn young lady…fine. We’ll settle on 17 large silver. I’ll take those.」
「Thank you very much.」

As expected of one who had Negotiation Arts. The sale at market value would be only 12 large silver (12,000 mars) but suddenly the price had increased by 5,000 mars.

「Hotaru-san’s skinning skills are amazing so thankfully all the pelts are high quality. I was able to bargain more fiercely because of that.」

Sistina said with a satisfied smile. I stared at her in a daze for a few seconds.

「Next we should go sell the fangs.」

And just like that we went around selling our goods and items. Before I realized it, night was already falling.

「So this should be everything.」

In the end we got: 307,500 mars from bounties, 17,000 mars for the fur, and 21,300 mars for the fangs. Because there were over 200 fangs we had to sell em a bit cheaply.

In total we earned 345,800 mars. Nearly 3.5 million yen.

By the way the llama and carriage netted us around 350,000 mars.

It was here that I truly saw Sistina’s Negotiation Arts ‘skill’ at work.

Watching as a third party it was strange to see the negotiations reach a deadlock at around 290,000 mars. However, finally the opponent suddenly relented and cited a price of 350,000. 250,000 mars for the carriage, 50,000 for the llama, and 50,000 for all the cargo.

As it was definitely not a normal occurrence I asked Sistina afterwards. She taught me what was needed to utilize this skill.

It appeared that such a skill was fairly tricky to use.

Though it may not appear that the skill had any effect during the actual negotiations itself, you just had to look at an example of price negotiations to understand.

Let’s take an example of a 100 mars sale.

A 「I’ll buy it for 50 mars」
B 「I’ll sell for 95 mars」
A 「Then 60 mars」
B 「Hmm then 90 mars」

Would be how the negotiations would flow. This is where the Negotiation Arts would take effect inside of the buyer ‘B’.

The one negotiating a lower price ‘B’ offered a price only 10 below that of the original price.

However in their mind it actually went like this 『If it’s 75 mars then it should still be alright』 which was the internal limit they set. The Negotiation Arts was a skill that dragged that initial 75 mars upward.

In short the skill raised the ceiling of their idea of a 『fair price』 and their purchasing desire. It allowed the seller or buyer to obtain an advantageous price by interrupting the internal bargaining process of the person in question. However, if you were too greedy and raised the price far too high, then the initial purchasing desire of the opponent would disappear and the deal would fall apart.

The reason we could not receive more bounty money using this art was because the bounty was a fixed price with no option for increase or decrease. If we tried to increase it they could just as easily not give us the rewards.

However, if you kept quiet and used the skill properly most people would not notice. No matter if it was dependent upon a person’s internal desires you couldn’t really say it was a wholesome practice.

Sistina was aware of this and usually only used her regular abilities as a negotiator to get higher prices. It was the same for the furs and fangs that we sold, she did not use her skill.

However, for the carriage she wanted to get as much as she could so she utilized the skill.

「Alright Soujirou-sama, we should head to the inn. I’m sure you’re weary of traveling and since we have some leeway we can choose a nicer place to stay. What do you think?」

An inn…it’s been a while since I slept in a bed…in that case I wanted to stay in a nice inn.

If possible with a bath!

「It’d be nice to do that, but if possible could we find a place with a bath…」

I let out my desires and Sistina looked at me with some confusion.

「A….bath? What kind of thing is that?」
「Huh? You don’t know what a bath is? …umm Sistina when you get sweaty and dirty how do you clean yourself?」

It appeared that Sistina did not have the word ‘bath’ inside her lexicon.

「Well…if I’m in town I’ll go to the cleaning area and pour water over myself and wash with that. Other times I will simply wipe down my body. Often during a journey there isn’t time to do much more than that….」

Certainly I remembered that until we got to town Sistina had not gone off to clean herself.

「Then…there’s never a time when you bring out a big tub, put hot water in it, and have people go sit in it?」
「…….does that taste good?」
「Nononono you aren’t going to eat them! You’re not making soup stock either!」

It seems that the people in this world did not have the custom of getting in bathtubs. At most they would wet themselves in a river or pour cold water over themselves before drying off.

「Then…even on a cold day it’s cold water?」
「Well…around here it doesn’t get too cold so it shouldn’t be an issue.」

So around here there’s no real concept of the four seasons…so this fairly warm weather would last all year round? I kinda feel like the idea of a year is a bit suspect here as well…

Wait wait, but the window itself even tells you how old you are so…

「Sistina how many days are there in a year?」
「A year? Is that a term for the number of days?」

Ugh…I thought so

「Do you know how many days it takes for the age in your status to increase by one?」
「No I don’t. It had already changed by the time I checked it…I see, a year is how long it takes for the age to increase.」

Man Sistina was quick on the uptake…but seriously this world didn’t really have a concept of keeping track of age. Well I guess even without it there wasn’t really any problem with daily life…

Since there wasn’t a great fluctuation between the seasons there probably wasn’t any reason to keep track of when to sow seeds.

Well we’ve strayed from the topic.

「Let’s leave that aside…is there a place I can wash myself? Preferably as close to where we’re staying as possible.」
「Ah, that’s right. I understand. Let’s go this way.」

Ah, by the way Sistina had once passed through this town in a Noble’s carriage so she had some understanding of the facilities.

At the time she had not been contracted, but it was the nature of an Acolyte to collect any potentially necessary information for the use of their Master when they entered a new area.

Acolytes were truly excellent.


 

One Comment

  1. Thanks for the treat, and stay safe.

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