After a long wait, the auction finally entered the turning junction. I sat in my chair and looked at the whiteboard. Albert and Melissa sat straight up instinctively and looked at the new price on the whiteboard. The number was what I predicted. It crept up to only twenty two gold coins per share. The price was one intended to test the waters. The number of shares offered was also minimal, a sign that everyone was testing the waters. They wouldn’t have fifty percent even if they bought everything offered.
I knew what they were thinking. They wouldn’t be able to sell their shares if they got ahead of themselves. Albert and Melissa weren’t idiots; they wouldn’t just buy without engaging a brain cell. Not being able to sell their shares and being stuck with them would be the biggest loss possible.
Melissa didn’t buy any of the newly offered shares. Albert, however, chose to buy them all just as I predicted. I noticed his grim expression despite having bought those shares. I couldn’t resist the urge to laugh to myself. After all, he was an idiot for buying them, not that he could choose otherwise. It would be even riskier to let Madam Melissa have them. Having said that, his purchase would most likely raise the price further.
Originally, Albert planned to buy the shares for a very low price. Alas, Madam Melissa’s intervention caused his plan to go out the window. He was forced to buy at a high price. The consequence of buying at a high price was putting his funds in jeopardy. His former calculation was that he had plenty to spare if he purchased the shares for ten gold coins per share. Now the shares were twice as expensive as what he predicted. That’s not to mention that it was still climbing. As a result, Albert was going to end up being short on funds. Additionally, he could have fifty percent of the total shares. That was fine. Possessing fifty percent of the total shares was the equivalent of having bought nothing. His goal, therefore, had changed to irrational bidding to stop Madam Melissa from procuring more shares. Every businessman needs to remember that trying to stop their competition from doing business is tiresome and doesn’t serve any benefit. They would be much better off trying to improve their own business.
Sure, Albert had the wolf by the ears, but that wasn’t enough. He hadn’t been aggravated enough. He needed to pay for everything he did. Achilles’ gaze of despair was right before me. Maybe it was my imagination, but I always felt that he was watching me.
“You did that to Achilles, yet ran, never mentioning it again. You were the heartless and shameless one, so what can I say? I must destroy, Albert. Welcome your doom. You’ve already completely lost this deal,” I said to myself.
“Do we still wait in the next round?” Melissa queried, gaze trained ahead.
The next round’s price had been handed to the host.
Looking as though I was muttering to myself, I subtly nodded: “Yes. Don’t do anything. It’s pointless to.”
The next round saw the price jump up to a staggering twenty-five gold coins per share, yet there were still hardly any shares offered. Albert bought them, but I bet he had his teeth clenched tight when he made the decision. He finally had forty percent of the total shares, which meant that he was just ten percent away from success.
According to my calculations, though, Albert should’ve been facing financial pressure by this stage. If the next round’s price was twenty five per share or even higher, Albert would be in over his head if he wanted to purchase ten percent of the total shares. He had led himself to a dead end; however, there was nobody he could blame because it was his fault for elevating the price so high.
The weapons merchant still held onto his shares, but it was enough at that point in my opinion. It was twenty-five gold coins, for crying out loud. The reason he still refused to budge confirmed my inference. He was waiting for a better opportunity. He wasn’t after purely money from selling his share. What he wanted was for someone to approach him.
The host grabbed a sheet of paper and, wearing a smile, announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, it is now noon. We will continue the auction after lunch break. We have prepared a sumptuous banquet for you in the hall outside. You may enjoy lunch to your heart’s content.”
They pulled open the main doors once the host finished speaking, welcoming in a draft that cleared everyone’s mind of money and numbers, reminding them of how hungry they were. Everyone orderly got to their feet and headed outside. Melissa and I had to pretend that we didn’t know each other. I cautiously pointed to the weapons merchant, and she nodded in response, indicating she understood what I suggested.
The weapons merchant didn’t want to sell his shares in public; he wanted to sell them in private. I knew he wanted more since he knew that he couldn’t sell his twenty percent at the current rate. Neither Albert nor Melissa could buy them at twenty gold coins per share. Consequently, he was waiting for someone to approach him so that both parties could reach an agreed price with a high likelihood of added benefits after the deal. I would surmise the lunch break was what he was waiting for.
I caught sight of Albert walking out. He didn’t care about the merchant for he didn’t believe he needed him. He needed less than ten percent more shares. The distributed shares alone could help him achieve that, so he didn’t require the twenty percent. Nevertheless, there was no question that he had dark clouds looming overhead.
The questions Albert would be asking himself were, “Will the purchases continue as smoothly? Madam Melissa suddenly stopped, but that doesn’t mean that she’s given up. She might be planning to switch to a seller. What exactly does she want, though? Also, can I afford the shares if the price is raised further?”
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