“Miss Leah, these are today’s earnings.”
Leah tossed the stone that the succubi obediently handed her into the box in front of her. Leah never left the place or saw any guests, including Edward despite his countless visits, Leah didn’t know business operations or pricing. Still, she knew that she was to sell and what was worth money in the imperial capital.
Leah only knew that the stones were worth a lot of money; however, she didn’t know how much. She wondered how long it would take for her to collect enough to repay her father’s debt of fifty thousand gold coins. It didn’t matter how long it took for she was adamant on helping her father. She had the succubi do their best to win the affection of the men so that they’d give the succubi gifts. The men who visited the place and had gold coins couldn’t possibly be average folks. It wasn’t hard for them to buy some stones. A few giggles, shake their hips and the men would obediently hang the valuable gems over their necks.
Leah passed Sophia the small container and instructed, “Sophia, go and sell these tomorrow.”
Although Sophia silently took the box, her face told an ambiguous story. Puzzled, Leah asked, “What’s the matter? Is there something wrong with what I said?”
“No… Miss Leah, I just think… there is no need for you to do this. As you have chosen to be with him, you should wait for him to resolve the issue, not resolve it yourself, because it is his business. If he cannot even resolve the matter, would you be happy with him?”
“What are you saying, Sophia?” grouched Leah. “He’s my papa, my family. Since we’re family, it’s only natural that we work together. I can’t let Papa handle it all alone.”
“No, no, no. Miss Leah, have you already forgotten that Lord Lin is not your father? I assume you know how he became your father. What sort of feelings do you have for Lord Lin? Do you really not know? Do you really think that you love him as your father?”
“What else would it be?” asked Leah, with her head titled. “Papa protected Leah ever since he came here. He has always been taking care of me. I’m very, very grateful to him. I want to be with Papa. Nothing can separate Leah from Papa. Nothing! That’s why Leah must work hard now! Regardless of how little it is, Leah must protect Papa.”
“Understood, Miss Leah. It is not really my place to say anything, though I believe that you will soon understand. I shall proceed as you command and sell them tomorrow.”
“Good. What is Papa up to recently? Has there been any news?”
“None at all. Not a single merchant, let alone anyone else, has mentioned Lord Lin. He seems to be waiting; I just do not know what specifically it is that he is waiting for.”
If my conjecture was correct, I only needed to wait two more days, and I’d receive a letter from the dwarves. I wasn’t gambling; I had a perfect plan. Nobody knew what was going on. They were still secretly trading the stones in the position. The women’s smiles still galvanised them open their wallets. The price of the stones was still riding the wave to the top. Sisi sat back and watched the price continue to soar.
The stones weren’t manufactured anywhere because there was no lord in the North. The merchants had sent their people up North to search for the mineral. Howbeit, humans weren’t the only ones running the North for the war between elves and humans had yet to end. There was also the kidnapping not long ago. The explorers didn’t dare to approach the elves’ forest. To add, the North was an absurdly expansive area. Moreover, they had no experience with the mineral, hence searched randomly.
The dwarves were the only ones who could get their hands on the stones, and I was dead certain that the original inhabitants possessed the stones. When they did find them, I could have everything I wanted.
Ross placed a water kettle on the table and queried, “Lord Lin, do I need to buy more of those insurance policies tomorrow?”
I nodded but just kept gazing at the flame in silence. Ross bit down on his lip me and stared straight at me from the seat opposite me.
“Lord Lin… I absolutely trust you… but… I really want to know, what exactly you are waiting for… What exactly are you after?”
“… Ross, it’s perfectly normal for you to not understand. I gave the necklace and lease to the dwarves. Right now, they’ve reached the place the lease is for. I’m waiting for news from Francis. My first five thousand for this operation was from selling the lease. I actually sold it for ten thousand gold coins. Therefore, I still have five thousand gold coins worth of shares in Francis’ business.”
“I see! I understand now!” exclaimed Ross. “I get it. I get it now. The reality is you do not care about the stones they have because you have more than them. When the dwarves make money, you will also make money. Based on the current price of the stone, you can easily earn fifty thousand gold coins from it!”
“That’s wrong,” I replied with a frown. “I told you many times already. I’m not trying to repay my debt. The thought of repaying it never crossed my mind. My goal is purely to run Edward into the ground. That aside, there’s a big hole in your analysis, Ross. Why do you think the stones are worth so much?”
Ross examined the necklace I tossed him and guessed, “Because… because everyone wants it?’
“Everyone wants food; why isn’t food worth so much? Their demand is one factor. The severe shortage of them is the key. If there was a tremendous demand for them, you can only establish that they can be sold. It doesn’t determine their price. The shortage is what caused the price hike. As such, should the dwarves find as many stones and I leak the news, do you think they’d be worth money anymore?”
“But… that would only make the dwarves… wait… Mr. Edward would go bankrupt, as well… Is that your goal? Would you not also be bankrupt? Your insurance… You have to compensate Mr. Edward for his losses…”
“No, it’s not on me,” I rectified with a victor’s smile. “More precisely, not just me. Do you still remember how many people bought the insurance policies? Everyone who bought them will have to shoulder the risk. It’s just that I’ve collected them all now.”
“So… so… you… why do you want Mr. Edward to be bankrupt, too? That would mean… you would have to compensate him for his losses, no?”
Ross’ ears flopped down on his head he scratched.
“Why do I have to cover Edward’s losses? Don’t forget, Ross, I’m currently a bankrupt man. Since I’m bankrupt, all of my assets were seized. By the same token, all of my debts have been written off. I promised Edward to cover his losses. Can he ask a bankrupt man to cover his losses, though? It’s not just Edward, having said that. Everyone who bought these insurance policies will have to shoulder the responsibility. When they bought them, though, they assumed that the next buyer will cover their losses, which was why they were fearless. I, however, had you go and reclaim the policies. Consequently, I have to shoulder all of the losses in the end. I’m bankrupt, though. In other words, I can’t cover any losses.
“Everyone who was part of it will be bankrupt because not one of them can repay the bank such a ginormous sum. At the same time, the bank loaned money to Edward as they believed that he could provide them with a profit. Where does the bank get its money from? They get it from the citizens’ of this city’s savings. I can’t repay the loan. The others can’t. Edward can’t. The bank can’t collect their loan. As a result, the entire city’s citizens’ savings have vanished into thin air.”
“You… you… you… managed to achieve all that with a dialogue and a few parchments?!”
Ross trembled so much that he couldn’t talk properly. I waited for a while before chuckling: “I told you: the stones have no real value. Since people assign the value, I can change that value. Only imbeciles would invest their entire fortune on those stones, and Edward happens to be one of those imbeciles.”
MYSD Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/wjzmysd