Kuro no Senki LN – v1-c17

The next day- Nicolas left the branch office to his subordinates and went to Marquis Erakis residence with his apprentice. 

Beth opened his mouth when they were on the way inside the carriage. 

“Branch Manager, Branch manager!” 

“What is it?” 

“Are we going to get killed?” 

“There’s no such thing.” 

Nicolas responded with a bitter laugh. 

“Maybe they want to get rid of us after having served our purpose?” 

“You’re worried too much.” 

Nicolas stops the carriage while bringing a huge box filled with gold coins he entered the residence. 

Then hot air passed him. There were many people at the entrance of the hall. 

Demi-humans surrounded the hall, and many merchants who set up stores in the commercial district sit on chairs. 

Nicolas then sat down in an empty seat. 

“What’s going on? Maybe public punishment?” 

“Be quiet…” 

Nicolas stared at the stage in front of him. After a while, Chrono went on the stage. 

“Everyone, my name is Chrono Crawford. I’m not in charge of governing the territory of Marquis Erakis.” 

The merchants raised some noise when they heard Chrono’s words. 

They also show some frightened face. 

“In order to obtain funds for future policy, I would like to sell some property left by the previous predecessor. The method of selling is an auction, the one that everyone familiar with..” 

He got us… Chrono was talking to the merchants other than him. 

Which means, he was trying to maximize the profit from the auction. 

“The first article, it is a nude statue made by an artist from the Free City-State Federation, starting bid 400 gold coins!” 

“Four Hundred!” 

“430!” 

“500!” 

“Yes, 500!” 

“It’s fast isn’t it?” 

“I agree…” 

He nods when he heard Beth’s comment. Usually, the auction fight would be heated further but, the prices went up too quickly. It was way too unnatural… 

Then, Nicolas recalled the merchants’ previous expression. Some of them might want to haggle the prices for the artwork for dirt-cheap. They might want to wipe their bad reputation and improve it. 

If the stigma of cheap merchants stuck with them, it goes without saying, their business might come to an end. It was a death sentence for the merchants. If Chrono had calculated all of this, then he was a terrifying man. 

“Next, a one hundred years old, table plate! Start from 30 gold coins!” 

“35 Gold!” 

“40 Gold!” 

“45 Gold!” 

“47 Gold!” 

“Awawa! Branch manager, we should join!” 

“No, we can’t.” 

The fair price for that plate was 50 gold coins. It was too risky to compete with 47 gold coins. However, he can’t let it be and not buying either… If he did, he might end up gathering displeasure from the new ruler and ridiculed by his peer. 

“48 Gold!” 

“Alright, sold, 48 Gold! Now, next item—…” 

He really got us, Nicolas thought as he laughed inside his mind. 

——————————————————— 

By next day evening— Nicolas was carrying a work of art that he had bid with Beth… He could return home yesterday. The auction continued until late night and was told to stay overnight. Furthermore, he was forbidden to leave the room for security reasons. 

It was obvious to prevent prices rigging by the merchants. 

“We couldn’t buy much.” 

“It can’t be helped.” 

Nicolas comforted Berth who looked down. He bid off about 60 small items, centered around plates. Although he needs to keep the damage minimum, he also needs to bid the big ones due to his pride. 

Nicolas then shook his head, he was convinced that he had made the right decision. It seems, the heat from the previous auction still linger within him… The heat of the auction was terrifying. 

When Nicolas was about to ride his carriage—. 

“PICS Firm!” 

“Yes?” 

Looking at the one who called him, it was a half-elf woman. 

“Chrono-sama wish to meet you.” 

“Me? Is there anything he wants from me?” 

“I don’t know what Chrono-sama’s think…” 

The half-elf replied while also looking confused. 

“I wonder what’s wrong? Should I go now?” 

“Yes, please this way…” 

Nicolas was led by the half-elf woman and guided to the drawing-room on the third floor of the Marquis residence. 

“Thank you, Nicolas-san…” 

When he entered the reception room, Chrono welcomed him. 

Chrono sits on the sofa with a big smile. 

It was a really nice smile. Well, you will obviously have a smile on your face if you earner over 30,000 gold coins in two days. 

“Please, sit down.” 

“Thank you.” 

Nicolas sat in front of Chrono. 

“How was the auction?” 

“Chrono-sama should know it, no?” 

*Indeed*, Chrono nodded. 

“Is there anything you need from me?” 

“That is, actually, I would like PICS Firm… or rather Nicolas-san personally, I want to trade with you…” 

“Why, me?” 

Nicolas inquired back. 

“I was happy with the service.” 

Chrono turned his gaze toward the half-elf woman who looked shy. 

Apparently, he was not mistaken, she was Chrono’s mistress. 

“For a starter, I want you to provide food for our soldiers. How much does it cost to feed around 650 men?” 

“Ah, about that then…” 

Nicolas presented the prices, explaining the prices of wheat. 

Chrono nods with satisfaction—. 

“what about a five-year contract? When the number of subordinates increases, we can increase the amount we buy based on the prices…” 

“In that case…” 

Nicolas almost nodded, but somehow he manages to stop… Dangerous, that was dangerous… Once again, it was to confuse the audience… He judged Chrono seems to have a strong personality. 

“If we go that way, won’t I lose a lot of money if it goes badly?” 

“That’s why, five-year contract…” 

“…. Ah, I see…” 

Nicolas nodded and calculates again. The average prices today. Besides, the risk can be reduced by preparing and storing wheat during a good harvest. When he thought about that, it seems not a bad deal—… 

“If you can maintain the quality and quantity above a certain level, you may choose the method however you like…” 

“—Khu…” 

Nicolas gasped as he thinks his thought was being read. 

“I understand. Now, let’s make a contract then…” 

“Thank you very much.” 

Nicolas shakes hands with Chrono. 

“… This may sound rude but, Chrono-sama, are you really a nobleman?” 

“Indeed, of course…” 

Chrono smiled, but his eyes were not laughing. As if he was hearing something trivial. For Chrono, perhaps, nobleman status means nothing. Thinking that Nicolas’s body shook.