Chapter 142 – Long Term Perspective
A pale-looking middle-aged man wearing a magic robe was standing outside the door while the three of them were in discussion. This blond and handsome gentleman was in fact Laura’s father, Karen.
Karen usually doesn’t care about anything aside from his magic studies. Today, after finishing an experiment, he went to get some fresh air. Unintentionally, he heard what Laura said and stopped by.
Laura looked at Karen. Seeing her kindhearted father, with his awfully sweet and spineless demeanor, she can’t help but think that if not for his character, he won’t be looked-down upon in the Aksu Empire.
Because of Karen’s disposition, he won’t allow Laura do dirty business, specially if it’ll affect the commoners.
Even though Karen doesn’t like to do business since childhood, since he grew up in the Markey Dell clan, he understood where Laura was coming from.
Laura immediately ran over towards her father and said: “Father, have you finished your experiment?”
Karen shook his head and said: “I almost succeeded. Probably, I only need to adjust one or two magic. I’m not talking about my experiment though, what I’m saying here is that you shouldn’t hoard food, that matter is simply disagreeable, even if it gives us great profit.”
Laura smiled bitterly and said: “All right father, reset assured, we won’t do it. My only fear is that because we didn’t made that move, others will do so, and soon, we will lose our standing here in the Purcell Duchy.”
Karen replied firmly saying: “No matter if the others do it, we won’t do it.”
Disappointed, Laura grumbles silently, apparently, she still wants to pursue this business strategy. Right then, Quinn John said: “Laura, your father is right, doing business like this is disagreeable.”
Shocked for a moment, Laura couldn’t believe that even Quinn John opposed her idea. For businessmen, getting the maximum benefit out of this situation was obviously what they should do, so how come Quinn John was opposed to the idea too.
Quinn John was watching Laura’s puzzled appearance, smiled and said: “Karen, Laura, please sit.” They sat opposite of Quinn John, just like how students were in front of their teacher.
Quinn John was looking at the two, slightly chuckled, then said: “Laura, for businessmen, maximizing profits is of outmost importance. That’s what I had always told you, and probably the reason why you insist on pursuing the business strategy you proposed, right?”
Laura nodded, Quinn John then said: “Laura, you have to remember, a businessmen shouldn’t just focus on maximizing profits, they should have a long-term vision and not be blinded by immediate interests. Right now, the effects of the infestation in the Ica plains would surely place the Purcell Duchy in a state of crisis, and as long as we sell the hoarded food supply, we’ll make a small fortune out of this situation. But this strategy actually lacks a long term vision.”
Karen was not interested in this kind of topic, thus, while sitting there, he was actually not listening. On the other hand, Laura listened with great interest, but wasn’t able to comprehend what Quinn John said.
Quinn John had given up on Karen, then told Laura: “Laura, the Purcell clan is a powerful force in the empire, and would be able to withstand this crisis. If we hoard food while they are experiencing this hardships, it is tantamount to adding insult to their injuries. This is already offending the Purcell clan, so even if we earned some today, in the future, we won’t be able to smoothly cooperate with them.”
Laura was a smart woman and not a greedy merchant, unlike most, thus she understood what Quinn John said as she nodded in agreement.
Even though the Markey Dell clan was strong, the real power in this world were those great old aristocratic families, wherein the Purcell clan belongs. Once they were offended, in the future, doing business in the Purcell Duchy would be difficult. Even after considering the relationship of the Markey Dell clan to the Purcell clan, they will still be suppressed. This will directly hit the Higanbana store, after all, they were based in the Purcell Duchy.
After Laura nodded, Quinn John continued: “All these years of building our store’s reputation, Higanbana, here in the Purcell Duchy, will go to waste. Establishing it wasn’t easy, much more recovering it once lost. Right now, if we follow your suggestion, we might earn a little, but soon, it won’t be possible to do business anymore.”
Laura was scared out of her wits upon hearing what Quinn John said. If the reputation of the Higanbana really would be tarnished, that would be tantamount to the lost of cooperation to both the Purcell clan and Zhao Hai, which means they will lose everything in an instant.
Laura knew clearly, once she lose the business in the Purcell Duchy, her worst fear would come true, which was, being sent off by the clan to be married.
Quinn John was looking at the terrified Laura, then comforted her by saying: “Laura, you have to remember, pursuing the interest of being a businessman doesn’t mean you’ll do everything to get high profits. Some things are possible, some are not. So this time, we can hoard grains, but we should sell it at the normal price.”
As Quinn John said this, Laura nodded and replied: “Alright, we’ll just do what you suggested, Grandpa Quinn John. Though even if we stock lots of supplies, the other merchants would also do the same. When the time comes, we won’t be able to make the price stable once we sold all our stocks.”
Quinn John nodded and said: “For the meantime, let’s immediately contact the suppliers and ask for at least four weeks worth of food supply. Even if we buy at a higher price, we will still sell them at the normal price.” Laura nodded and immediately wrote a letter which she passed to Nier to be sent out.
Although Karen was distracted, he has a background on being a merchant, that’s why this time, what Quinn John said made him feel that it was the right decision. After all, Laura’s decision as the head of the Higanbana chain of stores in the Purcell Duchy would affect a lot of people.
After sending out the letter, Laura walked in front of Quinn John and said: “Grandpa Quinn John, it seems like we must do something before the other merchants affect the price of grains. If the price increases by much, we’ll be in trouble as we will have a hard time procuring grains.”
Quinn John agreed, nodding as he said: “The effect of the Ica plains infestation will definitely give trouble to the Purcell clan, and even if they want to solve it in a short time, it won’t be possible. Once this happens, some greedy merchants would hoard the supply of food and spread the news to make the food shortage crisis bigger, increasing the burden to the commoners.”
Laura frowned, she wasn’t sure of what to do next if that happens. Right now, what they can do was to stock as much food supplies as they can, so when the time comes that the prices of food increase, they can sell it at the normal rate.
After two days, contrary to what they believed, they were surprised to know that the other merchants didn’t spread the news, as if they didn’t knew of what’s happening in the Ica plains.
However, Laura received a letter from her people stating that the surrounding grain-producing areas had begun to increase their prices. Even after bargaining, they weren’t able to get some supplies as the bids of the other merchants were higher.
Sadly, Laura has no way to resolve this issue. Even if she really wanted to buy lots of grains, her funds were limited. Compared to the big firms who had the backing of some aristocratic families, she has none. Even the Markey Dell clan won’t give her help, thus she was no match for the other big firms.
Laura thought that she can just buy other grains that are cheaper, like the bamboo rice. Unfortunately, she couldn’t even buy a single grain. Those big firms were very thorough that they even bought the bamboo rice at a high price.
Laura tried to talk to those big firms to discuss the stabilization of the price of food in the market, but as soon as she mentioned the issue, she was immediately ignored. Obviously, these firms would not miss this great opportunity to amass wealth. In the end, even if Laura tried her best to talk to other merchants, she wasn’t able to as they were avoiding her.
Seeing the situation, Laura felt hopeless. She wasn’t worried about what the commoners would eat, but rather, she was afraid that once their stocks ran out, the Higanbana store will lose its reputation.
Quinn John was really shocked to see that the big firms would act ruthlessly and stocked tons of grains, totally not caring of whether the commoners would live or die.
Now Quinn John understood why the firms didn’t spread the news. It was so that they can prepare and stock tons of grains, thus increasing the price. Then, once the news gets out, they will profit greatly.
-More changes on the names and terms will be done soon.
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