The Man Who Makes the Impossible Possible
Gazing into the pile of empty wooden boxes and straw with a smile, I remarked, “Would you look at that? Unbelievably popular, weren’t they?”
I didn’t know if what I said to Albert last time actually reassured him, but he was a quick worker. After a week of promotions, he sold his ceramics at sixty percent of their original price and even prepared lots of products catered towards ordinary folk. The products catered towards ordinary folk had some blemishes, but they were cheap enough for ordinary folk with spare money to afford.
As soon as we opened for business, the front door of Albert’s business was packed full. The cheap price tag literally had the people harnessing dollar signs in their eyes. Some even loaned money to make purchases. Albert stipulated that customers could only shop once, marking their hands to indicate they had visited already. Some opportunistic businessmen probably exploited the “customer” instead of “business” or “household” term to have a bunch of people go in and shop one after another.
They thought they were making money when they were all idiots in reality. Having said that, if we successfully bought the shipyard, then the businessmen would’ve actually made a huge profit. They bought the items at seventy percent of the market price and then sold them at ninety-percent of the market price. Three months later, they could get back their investment, which basically meant they made money without spending a dime. In saying that, it didn’t affect us.
We had already earned a lot of money in just a single day of business. On top of that, Albert couldn’t afford to suffer the loss. It wasn’t detrimental for Albert’s large reserve of ceramics. Besides, he wouldn’t have the chance to sell them in the same fashion again. Albert could still sell ceramics in the end, and it wouldn’t have any major bearing on him even if word got out.
If you were to look at it through the lenses of the world I came from, Westerners never managed to attain the ability to create ceramics until the Qing Dynasty. According to what I knew, the people on this side didn’t know how to create ceramics yet. Even if they did manage to procure ceramics, they wouldn’t be able to figure out how to make them. As such, Albert’s business was safe.
Albert was worried the entire time until the day was over, when he finally revealed a smile of relief. There were all sorts of coins in the box but, if exchanged, would absolutely total a large sum of gold coins. As I said, while an ordinary folk didn’t have the qualifications to join the game, it was a different story when there was a group of ordinary folks. Once the ceramics left the store, they would also be marketing the business on our behalf for free. Their free promotions would make us even more money tomorrow and the day after.
“If we continue on track, in just two more days, we’ll have enough to end the contest. How to have the shareholders reduce their price isn’t my business,” I summarised.
I wasn’t familiar with businessmen in the South. Consequently, my requests and suggestions would fall on deaf ears. If Albert personally talked them into it, however, he might be able to produce the desired results. I had no obligation to do so much. If I, the minister of business, was to have them reduce their prices, they might mistake it as Queen Sisi trying to join in. My status as a noble and the minister of business made things tougher in this scenario.
“I know. I will hold an Eastern exhibition, where I’ll focus on directing their attention on the fact that I would continue to be supplied with products. That should be enough to hint to them to lower their prices.”
“That’s a decent idea. Don’t forget what we discussed, though. You remember how much to split with me, right? Do we need to sign an agreement?”
“Do you not trust me?’
“I don’t. You think you believe me?”
The two of us smiled. It was just that the smile left me with a bitter feeling. In the past, it was Achilles and I who gave each other smiles. While neither of us trusted each other as people, we trusted each other’s abilities. Whenever we discussed something and received our profits, we both gave each other the same grin. Sadly, Achilles wouldn’t smile again. Achilles always smiled jovially for me. In the end, though, his last smile for me overflowed with despair.
I didn’t allow my grief to impact my smile. I smiled as usual then shifted my gaze away. Albert didn’t know what I was thinking, but it was enough. Albert could laugh and smile today. In a few days’ time, Albert would drown in more despair than Achilles.
Queen Sisi blew the bank president’s mind. The businessmen around looked at Melissa in utter disbelief. Melissa looked back at them in silence for she knew that her voice held no weight. They respected Sisi as she was the Queen, not because she was a woman. Those men never respected women; they only respected the Queen in power.
“Of course,” responded Sisi, looking at them with disbelief. “Why not give a loan? I’ll be able to get the rights to the shipyard in the future. I’ve always wanted to establish a navy base there in order to train a navy. It would be a waste if I didn’t conquer the East given how wealthy it is.”
“B-but y-you are investing based on nothing but baseless claims. That woman is not investing anything, yet made big claims. I cannot see how she is any different to a liar. What makes you believe that she can procure the shares? What exactly do you have in mind?”
“No, she didn’t come to me empty handed.” With a wry hike at the corner of her lips, Sisi sat up properly and focused her gaze on the bank president: “I am far smarter than you lot are. How could I possibly be fooled? Do you know why I’m investing? It’s because she came to pass on Count Lin Dongqing’s instructions. I assume that you all know why I am investing after hearing that name.”
Everyone instantly fell silent. Lin Dongqing wasn’t even present, yet the mere mention of his name was enough to terrify and shock all of the businessmen present.
“What did Lin Dongqing do? He’s so young, yet he’s able to strike terror into the heart of every business with his name alone? Is his name enough to convince the Queen of the empire to give him money without any hesitation?” Melissa questioned herself.
“Understood. Let us discuss the loan, then.”
There was no need to say anything more. If Lin Dongqing said the sun will rise in the west tomorrow, they would double check their knowledge. If Lin Dongqing said it would rain money tomorrow, they would prepare containers to catch it. The mere mention of his name was able to change every businessman’s thoughts and convince them that the most outlandish idea was within the realm of possibility.
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