There was visual proof that Madam Melissa managed to stir the pot with her sudden involvement – the host’s rattled face. Thirty-two shares were sold to Madam Melissa for thirteen gold coins per share, and she went on to express that she wanted another eighty shares. Therefore, there was a chance that the price would increase.
A few workers came over to whisper something to Madam Melissa. If I had to venture a guess, they might’ve questioned her ability to pay. If she couldn’t pay, she’d have to face the consequences of sabotage. However, Madam Melissa showed them a sheet of paper that, presumably, was a cheque or stub from the imperial capital. They might’ve been inhabitants of the South, but that was enough to prove that Melissa’s financial situation. The imperial capital’s bank was the entire empire’s leader in the banking industry, so they could ascertain that the sheet wasn’t a counterfeit. Their silence was her permit to continue bidding.
I kept to myself the entire time, assessing the information on the sign. As I said from the very start, the bidding had no direct connection to me, especially in regards to Madam Melissa going to the imperial capital. Nonetheless, I didn’t think they’d suspect me since I was in the South when Madam Melissa went to the imperial capital. Moreover, I doubt anybody knew about our first meeting. Remember, we travelled on an ordinary boat, which was a decision that only the two of us would make for the reason that neither of us were wealthy.
The next price was soon named. To avoid Melissa failing to make good on her word, raising the price and leading to the shares being impossible to sell, they raised the price only fifteen gold coins. Albert wasn’t stupid. One shot wasn’t enough for him to jump in. He, instead, patiently bided his time. He could’ve bought shares at that point, but it would’ve barely influenced the price.
Not many shares were offered this time. Purchasing more shares at this point wasn’t anywhere near enough to defeat Albert as he only needed thirty percent. A major reason for not feeling a need to rush was that he was unaware of what Madam Melissa went through at the imperial capital. What he did know was that Madam Melissa was on the verge of bankruptcy. Hence, he was positive that she was done for. He believed that she was wearing a tough visage but lacked the foundation to back it up. If he hastily purchased shares, Melissa might’ve earned from the difference. In other words, she might’ve bought shares, waited for him to begin purchasing and then would immediately abandon her shares to earn from the difference.
Albert wasn’t convinced that Madam Melissa was genuinely trying to outbid him. At least, normal people would not. A businesswoman who never had any shares in her possession would suddenly have the power to purchase over fifty percent of the total shares? It sounded implausible from every perspective. She appeared to be an opportunist who’d make money off the difference; she didn’t give the impression of somebody who could compete with him.
What he didn’t realise was that Melissa didn’t need to obtain the shares. Her only objective was to stir the pot and ensure dung hit the fan. Madam Melissa raised her sign again, purchasing four hundred shares at fifteen gold coins per share, thereby forcing Albert to act.
Everybody began to applause, impressed with Melissa’s wealth and plays despite arriving in a rush. She glanced over to Albert with an eloquent, yet taunting, smile. His expression changed for the worse when he met eyes with her. He finally had to act despite knowing that the price was absurd. He didn’t know if she would continue to purchase shares. If he let her do so, all of his efforts would’ve been in vain.
The next round saw the price immediately leap up to eighteen gold coins per share. To make things worse, there were fewer shares offered. The sellers, who wanted to quickly get rid of their shares and leave, found their enthusiasm again. Madam Melissa didn’t buy any shares this time. Albert certainly wouldn’t buy them for such a high price, but he had to because, if he didn’t, the prices would climb up and put him at more risk.
Albert bought three hundred shares for eighteen gold coins per share; the price was too high to make much of a profit. Normally speaking, it was a very unfavourable deal. Sadly, he had no other option. The happiest people in the room had to be the sellers; they were unlikely to have expected things to go so well for them. I think they owed me a thank you. With that said, there was still another bomb. The owner with over twenty shares had yet to make any moves, intriguing me as to what he was waiting for.
In the next round, the price jumped up to twenty gold coins per share. Albert was relieved that he bought a bunch in the previous round. The sellers must’ve been insane to think there’d be anyone who’d buy the shares for that price. However, there were few who offered their shares for that price, as they were observing the situation.
That was exactly what Melissa needed to see. She bought all of the shares offered, empowering her with thirty-four percent of the total shares. All she needed to do was purchase the next batch, and she’d have a perfect harvest.
Albert’s frustration surfaced on his face. Melissa’s purchase meant that he next batch would exceed twenty gold coins per share for sure.
“Do I need to make a purchase? If I don’t and Melissa buys again, she’ll almost have fifty percent. All she has to do is buy a tiny amount even if the cost is outlandish. If I buy, though, will I have fallen for her trap?” pondered Albert.
Both sides were close to seizing victory. I was sure that the next round would be insane. To reiterate, it was a contest of who had more money and who had the courage to burn all of their own bridges.
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