Chapter 29: War of Words
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50,000 gold coins?

It was as if a pail of cold water had been poured over the flame in Arwen’s heart as soon as he heard the ‘deal’ Roel was offering him. He stared at Roel in utter bafflement, his first instinct being to refute the ridiculous price. However, being a professional, he reminded himself that he was dealing with a kid here and quickly calmed himself down.

“Young master Roel, you might be unfamiliar with the market price, but the amount you’re requesting is too high.”

Arwen rubbed his palms together awkwardly as he spoke with a conflicted look on his face.

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“50,000 gold coins is already enough to buy a house inside the Holy Capital. For a single item, this price is far too exorbitant. Even a full set of inscribed armor wouldn’t be that expensive.”

“Inscribed armor? Excuse me, but are you trying to compare a treasure of our Ascart House to a mass produced good?” bellowed Roel furiously.

Putting his notoriety as a little tyrant to good use, he slammed his fist on the table imposingly.

“How can that sort of trash possibly be put on the same level as what I’m offering here? My father told me that it’s a one-of-a-kind good, worth at least tens of thousands!”

Roel didn’t hesitate to pull out Carter’s name to heap pressure on Arwen.

Hearing those words, the conflicted look on Arwen’s face deepened as he replied anxiously.

“But young master Roel, we haven’t gotten an opportunity to see the item you are offering us yet. I’m afraid that the price you’re asking for is far beyond our current budget…”

“Mister Arwen, I can guarantee its effects. If the item doesn’t work, I’ll give you a full refund right away. I have already put my name out there as a show of my sincerity, so how much are you willing to offer for my artifact?”

Seeing how far Roel was willing to go to vouch for his item, Arwen quickly began reassessing the current situation.

The acceptable price range listed by central headquarters for Request 172 was 0 to 20,000 gold coins, but the Sorofya Merchant Association had a rule where the branches purchasing the item could take the price difference as commission in order to encourage them to be more proactive in their procurement of requested items.

In view of this clause, most branches would have offered 15,000 gold coins at most so that they could take the remaining 5,000 gold coins for themselves.

However, in view of a possible long-term partnership with Roel on the sales of the Ascart House’s treasures, Arwen decided to offer a more favorable deal to him. He pondered for a moment before finally speaking up.

“I think that 18,000 gold coins is an appropriate price. Young master Roel, what do you say?”

Arwen nervously looked at the little boy before him, who appeared to not know the rules of the industry. He was worried that the latter would blow his top upon hearing the massive price difference from the initial offer. That being said, Arwen had also dealt with his fair share of difficult customers over the years, so he was confident in his ability to persuade Roel to accept his offered price.

But, contrary to his expectations, Roel placed his cup of tea down on the table, stood up, and began walking out of the guest suite without saying a word at all.

“Eh? W-wait a moment, young master Roel! Where are you going?”

Arwen immediately rose to his feet and moved quickly to block the exit of the black-haired boy.

“Mister Arwen, I’m having reservations about your sincerity. The price you have offered me isn’t even half of my initial offer.”

“Young master Roel, I assure you that I have no intention of scamming you. Your initial offer is simply too high. 18,000 gold coins is the limit of what we can offer you.”

Arwen spoke with a face that was as sincere as possible. It was almost as if he wouldn’t be earning a single gold coin out of this deal at all.

Roel looked at Arwen quietly for a moment before he nodded his head with a smile of realization.

Son of a banshee, you must be thinking that I’m a helpless prey on your chopping board, huh? Very well, I shall show you the right way to negotiate a deal!

“I see. It would appear that the scale of the Ascart City Branch is still too small.”

Disappointment flickered across Roel’s face as he stepped forward and patted Arwen’s chest lightly.


“Mister Arwen, I know that the financial ability of your branch is limited, so I won’t make things difficult for you. Here, I’ll be heading to the Holy Capital for Her Highness’ birthday soon, and I believe that the Sorofya Merchant Association’s Saint Mesit Theocracy Headquarters should have the capacity to fulfill my demands.”


Those words made Arwen widen his eyes as cold sweat began dripping down his back.

Wait a moment, this isn’t how the story is supposed to go.

If what Roel mentioned was real, Arwen would not just be missing out on two massively lucrative transactions for his branch, his evaluation inside the merchant association would also be utterly ruined!

In truth, the Sorofya Merchant Association’s Saint Mesit Theocracy Headquarters, as lengthy and formidable as the name sounded, was only half a tier above the Ascart City Branch. They would surely be tempted by the profits that Roel could potentially bring them and very possibly offer him a sweet deal.

Then, once Arwen’s rivals learned that he had screwed up this deal at his own branch, it was certain that they would blow up this matter so as to get rid of an inside competitor.

Would the successor to the Ascart House travel all the way to the Holy Capital to sell his items for no reason? Not to mention, this was an item requested by the central headquarters, so they would surely take this matter very seriously.

By then, he would be stuck with a label of incompetence.

Arwen couldn’t accept such an outcome, especially given that the manager of the Saint Mesit Theocracy Headquarters was his ‘old friend’ who had taken ‘very good care’ of him in his younger years.

That decided it. Arwen grit his teeth and made up his mind.

“Young master Roel, please calm down for a moment. Why don’t we do this instead? As long as there’s nothing wrong with the item after inspection, I’ll fork out 25,000 gold coins for it.”

Afraid that Roel would turn him down, he took two gasps of air before he continued his persuasion.

“I know that this price might be insufficient to satisfy you, but I can tell you honestly that the highest estimated price for Request 172 is only 20,000 gold coins. I’m offering the additional 5,000 gold coins out of my own pocket, as a gesture of friendship. I can swear on the name of Sia that not even the Saint Mesit Theocracy Headquarters can offer you this price.”

Hearing Arwen’s vow, Roel’s expression finally alleviated a little. He took his time to ponder the offer before slowly returning back to his seat. He stared at the cunning businessman before him for a moment longer before finally acceding with a nod.

“Very well, I’ll trust you since you have gone to the extent of swearing on Sia’s name. Let’s go with the price that you’ve proposed then. However, I have two conditions.”

“Go ahead and state them.”

“First, I wish to receive one-fifth of the money in advance as a deposit to bring back to my father. Second, due to some reasons, my father doesn’t want anyone else to know that these goods are coming from our Ascart House. So, we won’t be signing any agreements or acknowledging this transaction at all. I expect the highest level of confidentiality from you.”

“Yes, I understand. You don’t need to worry. Our Sorofya Merchant Association is renowned for its world-class confidentiality, so you can be assured that no one else will know about this transaction.”

Arwen was overjoyed to see that he had managed to convince Roel. He continued to discuss the details with Roel over tea before handing Roel a box of money and walking him out of the merchant association.

“Anna, Mister Arwen said that a new batch of goods will be coming in tomorrow, so we’ll be dropping by again tomorrow.”

“Yes, young master. I’ll make arrangements accordingly.”

After issuing instructions to Anna, Roel got into the carriage before bidding Arwen farewell.

“I’ll be seeing you tomorrow then, Mister Arwen.”


Inside the carriage traveling homeward, Roel fondled the box filled with gold coins as he thought over the earlier exchange he had with Arwen. Fortunately, he managed to exploit his young age and tyrannical reputation to his advantage during negotiations.

As an ignorant and reckless scion of the powerful Ascart House, it was his entitlement to be unreasonable, and this made it incredibly difficult for the rational Arwen to deal with him. For one, Arwen had no problem believing that Roel would sell his stuff over at the Holy Capital in his anger.

In truth, Roel couldn’t afford to wait till Nora’s birthday and make the trade over at the Holy Capital. He needed to settle it this month.

However, there was no way Arwen could have known that. For the sake of securing the ‘treasures of the Ascart House’ for himself, he chose to take a loss on the first deal in order to build up a friendly working relationship.

Unfortunately for him though, Roel had no plans of continuing his trade with the Sorofyas.

It was risky for him to pull things out of nowhere and throw them in the market, as it could catch unwanted attention in the long-run. Furthermore, he wouldn’t be able to explain it to his father, Carter, if the latter were to learn of it. However, if it was just one item…

“It’s just a Soul-calming Lamp, and it’s the first time I’m doing this. I can’t be so unlucky as to get done-in on the first time, right?” muttered Roel optimistically.

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