Waiting and Hope
It was time for the deciding round. This was the round everyone had their eyes on. If Madam Melissa truly wanted shares, then she might purchase the batch of shares offered regardless of cost. The same applied for Albert. Nevertheless, the number of shares was scarce by this point. The shipyard’s current managers still owned some of the shares, though the managers couldn’t sell their shares quite yet. Victory might not be declared this round, but it was enough to swing the hands toward the victor. After all, the weapons merchant still had twenty-plus shares he had yet to sell. He, too, was observing the game.
Admittedly, he impressed. Realising that he had no chance as a buyer, he immediately switched sides. Now he had put himself in a decisive role. He had the decisive role because whoever bought the twenty shares in his possession would win. In essence, the key to victory was buying his twenty percent of the total shares.
I noticed the weapons merchant still contemplating. In such a heated situation, everybody was engaged in their own thoughts and quietly discussing things. Albert should’ve been the most nervous individual, but I felt that the sellers should’ve actually been the most nervous as they would be worried about missing out on an opportunity for some serious money if they offered their shares at the wrong time.
The sellers didn’t make an offer for the round and paused, instead. In any decisive battle, the two parties will enter a short ceasefire to gather their power for the decisive battle ahead. In this scenario, the ceasefire gave the sellers time to think. Thus, both sides nervously deliberated or engaged in quiet discussions. The only person who was left to their own device was Melissa.
Melissa whispered, “Do I need to make a purchase in the next round?”
While the noise around us covered her speech, it also made it difficult to hear clearly. I leaned back in my chair and carefully responded, keeping my eyes on the crowd: “Leave it.”
I was glad that Madam Melissa didn’t press me with more questions for I didn’t know how to explain it. All decisive players were one step away from winning or losing. Sellers were thinking about what price Albert and Madam Melissa could accept. As the buyers, Melissa and Albert were thinking about what price would be appropriate.
With my eyes ahead, I pinched my chin lightly and silent meditated on it: “Albert definitely needs the shares, but my objective isn’t just to prevent him from getting his hands on them. My goal is to drive him to bankruptcy. This is unlikely to be sufficient. Most of Albert’s money is basically a loan that he’ll need to repay. If I can’t get Albert to spend the money, he won’t go bankrupt. I need to convince him to spend all of the money, yet still fail to obtain the shares. What can I do?
“This is a psychological war. Even though the price will be bumped up in the next round, Albert will still buy them. If Madam Melissa also jumps in, it’ll become a real auction since she must make a higher bid to obtain the shares. The problem is that it’s meaningless for her. I also have strong suspicions as to whether or not they really have that many shares to sell. Buying the next offered shares will only give them roughly fifty percent of the total shares. In that case, it’s fairly pointless to go for them now.”
My attention wasn’t on the people but the shares. The distributed shares weren’t worth much anymore. The decisive shares were in the hands of the man with twenty percent. He didn’t offer his shares yet. I reasoned with myself, “He must be waiting just as everyone else is but for what exactly? The only thing that can make a businessman wait is income. Put another way, a businessman must think he can earn the amount he wants through waiting. What is he waiting for, then? If I can figure it out, I guess I’d be able to convince him to sell his shares to us.
“Why not let Albert buy the distributed shares? They’re expensive and insignificant. Let’s let Albert waste money. Albert has the wolf by the ears. Buying the shares would be the best method he has to prevent Melissa from getting her hands on them. He can’t relax now. If he doesn’t buy, he’ll be in trouble.
“Now, as for the weapons merchant, he’s still waiting for something despite it being a fantastic opportunity to sell as Albert can’t bargain at this point. I think I get it now.”
“So, should I buy in the next round?” inquired Melissa. Judging from her question, Albert wasn’t the only tense and eager one.
Eyes trained forward, temperament steady, I answered, “No. Let Albert buy them.”
“Don’t worry. He won’t get enough shares. Just sit back and wait.”
A businessman only waits if there is more profit to be made. That principle was applicable to me and the merchants. Haste would not bring us what we wanted. Accordingly, Melissa had no need to make a move despite the perceptively pressing circumstance. As aforementioned, the victory didn’t lie with the distributed shares, but the merchant who was waiting.
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