Chapter 143 – Late
Machine Translator: Shif
Editor: Argos Yesu
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As a businessman, grabbing every opportunity to profit was very important. At the same time, one must know what opportunities to take and which matters had precedence over others. It simply meant taking the right opportunity at the right time while also using the appropriate means to make a profit. Otherwise, the desired result would not be met.
Furthermore, seizing these opportunities was the most important part of the process. Else, how would merchants ever find enough success in order to earn money? One must find out what people needed first, and which were opportunities. Then by offering some means of assistance, you can maximize the benefits.
This is what those big firms were waiting for. They will release the news of infestation as soon as the time was right, then greatly increase the price of food which will allow them to earn a huge profit.
What bothered Kun and Laura was that the Purcell clan had not made any decision to avoid this problem. Did they have enough food to deal with this? Or have they already stopped the infestation?
These days, the letters that were sent by the spies in Fort Benniu stated that there was no progress in the extermination. Rather, the infestation had already destroyed around ten square kilometers of wheat fields and the Purcell clan seemed to have no idea about how to resolve this crisis.
Kun and Laura were in the library, discussing about how to deal with the situation. Suddenly, a servant entered the room, bowed, and said, “Miss, the Purcell clan’s Foreign Affairs elder has asked to see you.”
Laura and Kun glanced at each other. They hadn’t expected the reaction of the Purcell clan to be this slow. Although it was slow, it was’t too late.
The Purcell clan had thought that they would be able to easily stop the infestation, so they weren’t that worried. Soon they discovered they were wrong. After mobilizing every force they could, they were still unable to stop this insect infestation. What’s more, the infestation has now spiraled out of control.
Their next move was to begin stocking up on food to cope with the reduced food production. They had encountered such problems in the past, and immediately moved to start up discussions with the Chamber of Commerce. The discussion would aim to see if they would be able to prepare more food to cope with the oncoming food crisis.
But, the Purcell clan didn’t think that the large Chamber of Commerce would actually be unable to give them a clear answer. Instead, they seemed to avoid the issue which did anything except cause worry for the Purcell clan.
At the moment, the Purcell clan didn’t have any other means. They had already experienced food shortages several times in the past, but those situations were not as serious as what was happening now. This time it greatly affected the production in Ica Plains. Such a thing had never before been encountered.
It was precisely because of this that the large business firms acted a beat slower. Those groups were ready to make a killing in the Purcell Duchy, so how could they possibly let this opportunity slip by.
The Purcell clan took a step back and began to place restrictions on everything. At this time, the Purcell clan sent a contact to Laura, the clan’s only Foreign Affairs elder. As the Foreign Affairs elder was responsible for external affairs, he had a relatively high status. This was Stern Purcell.
Laura naturally understood why the other side had was coming and knew she had to receive him due to Stern’s high position. Thus, she welcomed him into the parlour.
As Laura and Kun arrived, they saw Stern in the parlour, drinking tea. Although the Purcell clan faced a very difficult situation, given Stern’s position as a clan elder, his ability to remain calm wasn’t bad.
Before, he had already met with different merchants of various large firms. Unfortunately, the results were unsatisfactory. While they seemed very concerned, Stern had a lot of experience and knew this was all sophistry.
It was clear that they were delaying their efforts to help. This time, to them, the Purcell clan was a large fish they needed to catch.
Although Stern was angered by the actions of those firms, he remained silent about it due to their strength. He didn’t say anything, but he believed the Purcell clan would be able to survive this crisis. One must know that the Purcell clan had a thousand years of history, which wasn’t a joke.
These merchants wanted to take advantage of the situation and make a small fortune. While the Purcell clan would lose a lot, if those firms wanted to shake the Purcell clan’s roots, it would be impossible. As long as the Purcell clan’s foundation survived, they could easily bounce back.
Don’t forget, the Purcell clan territory was now a duchy. If they wanted to do business here, they would have to deal with the Purcell clan’s taxes. While the large firms would be able to make a lot of money, they would still have future businesses within the Purcell Duchy. In the future, the Purcell clan could impose high taxes on them and sooner or later make up what they lost now.
Stern could not understand the reason why these merchants were acting like this towards the Purcell clan. Was it just for the money? He did not believe it.
These large firms had been on the mainland for many years, and not without reason. They shouldn’t have committed such an error, right?
Did they really want to destroy the Purcell clan?
Even while Stern had been thinking about these things, his face still looked as calm as usual. He was responsible for the external affairs of the Purcell clan. He had been trained from early on to never change his expression for anything, not even if Mt. Tai collapsed.
Just then, the sounds of footsteps could be heard. Stern looked up and saw Laura and Kun. He naturally knew them as they were the leaders of the Higanbana firm within the Purcell Duchy, which could be regarded as a large firm.
Stern also understood that Laura would know what the Purcell Duchy’s current business was for. The status of the firm wasn’t very high and even the large businesses looked down on them. In the Purcell Duchy however, the influence of the Higanbana firm was not small.
Laura walked in from the door to the right. She gave her courtesies to Stern and then said, “Laura greets Stern elder. I have kept the elder waiting and ask the elder for forgiveness.”
Stern didn’t dare to put on a big act. He quickly stood up, turned to Laura, and returned the courtesy. “Miss Laura is too kind. Today, I have taken the liberty to visit. I hope the lady can forgive me.”
Kun and Stern also mutually greeted one another. Here, in the Purcell Duchy, almost everyone was aware of Kun’s status. Stern naturally did not slight Kun.
After the small group sat down, Laura looked at Stern and said, “Stern elder, I know why you have come, but to be honest, there’s nothing I can really do to help.”
Stern did not expect Laura to be so direct. It was the first time it happened. When dealing with those others of the large firms, if they weren’t spouting sophistry, then they first spoke for half the day before the talk turned to questions. He didn’t expect Laura to be the first to speak about the main subject.
Stern looked at Laura, puzzled, and asked “I don’t know what Miss Laura means?”
Laura watched Stern and smiled. “To be honest Stern elder, we already knew about the calamity that has befallen the Ica plains beforehand. I was ready to collect grains in order to help stabilize the Purcell clan’s future food shortage. Unfortunately, we didn’t think about the paws of others. I wanted to collect food, but the price has already risen greatly. Even if I wanted to receive food cheaply, I won’t be able to. Currently, Higanbana firm has enough stock to sell for seven days. After seven days, Higanbana firm will have no more food available for sale.”
Stern looked at Laura. He wanted to see if she was speaking truth or lies. Actually, he had already believed what she said. If nothing else, it was because she went straight to the issue. He didn’t voice these thoughts.
Looking at Laura, Stern said, “Do you really mean it, Miss Laura?”
Laura gave a bitter smile and said, “True or not true, Stern elder knows what kind of person my father is. This time, my father wanted me to stabilize the prices. It is unfortunate. While my hands have the capital, there is no way to do anything against those who are so reckless. Some time ago I tried to look for them to discuss this matter and try to stabilize Purcell’s public grain prices. Nevertheless, in the end I was refused. There really is no way.”
Stern had a gloomy expression. Then he coldly snorted and said, “They want to take advantage of the Purcell clan, do they think we are that simple? This time, as long as Miss Laura won’t be involved in driving up the food prices, in the future, the Purcell clan will remember and will not treat you unjustly.”
Laura gave a wry smile and said, “I thank Stern elder. To be honest, I couldn’t help much for this current matter. But I will try and find a source of grains. If there is any progress, I will certainly meet with the Purcell clan. Please, Stern elder can rest assured.”
Stern looked at Laura. “Then I will represent the Purcell clan in thanking Miss Laura. If Miss Laura does find a source of grains, then the Purcell clan will support you financially.”
Laura sternly said, “Please rest assured Stern elder. If we do find another source of food, we will surely help stabilize the prices in the market. This isn’t just for the Purcell clan, but for the citizens of the Purcell Duchy.”
Stern stood up and said, “Alright, I’ll say goodbye. I hope Miss Laura will do as promised.”
After taking care to say his farewells to the two, he turned and walked out.
Laura and Kun didn’t send him off. Now they had to worry about the food problem. As Laura had said, the Higanbana store only had seven days worth of food stock. After seven days, one will not be able to find any such words like ‘cheap food’. You would only be able to find high-priced products and, as a result, the prices will begin to rise.
Sadly, they don’t have any way to procure more supplies. The surrounding areas were owned by other large firms, so collecting cheap food from them was not possible. If they decided to buy from far away places, the costs of transporting the goods would be too costly and would just be priced almost the same as local high-priced food.
After two days, Laura still wasn’t able to find any other sources of food. As she began to handwrite a letter, she turned to look at Kun and gave a wry smile as she said, “Grandpa Kun, it seems like this time, food prices would inevitably rise.”
-Some names/terms were adapted from the old translations and LNMTL.
-This chapter was MTL’ed.
-Please support the author if you love this novel.
-Thanks to Nile Suan for helping out.
-Footnotes were brought to you by our editor.
- There is obviously a legendary Mt. Tai in every single story…↩
- 彼岸花商行 – is now Higanbana Firm. The 商行 generally means firm, like a business firm, while the 彼岸花 is Japanese use of chinese characters and literally means Spider Lily, the symbol of the Markey family. Don’t ask why the author would use Japanese. The original Trung version was just Bi’an hua (bana) which doesn’t really have a meaning except “Flower on the other shore” which can actually refer to Red Spider Lily or Red Magic Lily (magic lily being another usable name), even though the Chinese name for it is 曼珠沙華 or mànzhū shā huá which isn’t that good a firm title. The previous chapter 141 explains the reason the Markey family used higanbana was due to its other name as Red Magic Lily, which represents the high magic quality produce it sells. The Red Spider Lily blooms near cemeteries and is thus associated with the dead and Japanese legends say it blooms on the shore of the Sanzu River, the Japanese Buddhist equivalent of the Greek’s River Styx. Thus, the chinese name of Flower on the Other Shore can be referred to this legend about the flower. Of course, the Higanbana name is still better as a title, to me, than just Bana… A main reason we use Higanbana over Spider Lily is because people are still used to Bana from Trung and I think having Higanbana would also remind readers about its Japanese roots. I also don’t see Spider Lily or Magic Lily as a viable name for a firm while Higanbana takes both names and their meanings into account.↩