132 A Fair Price*
"15 Gold was it?"
The voice was of a man who just ridiculed her, but Ebony only stood behind her little table with five crystals before her in silence as she stared back for a moment. Honestly, she was surprised by how quickly their attitude had changed, but then, Rassa had told her to expect this. It was scary how good he was at predicting what would happened.
After a moment of the man waiting on edge, Ebony raised an eyebrow, "15 Gold? Are you kidding? For this? Are you trying to cheat me?"
The man's expression dropped, "But you said-"
"After what you just saw, do you seriously believe 15 Gold is enough? Would you say your life is worth 15 Gold?" asked Ebony.
The man hesitated, "...Then what price would you deem fair?"
"Fair?" asked Ebony, "I think what you should be asking is how much your life is worth".
The man looked at his coin purse, then the crystals on the table in front of Ebony, "20 Gold?"
"That sounded like a question".
"25, no higher".
"Are you bartering? You don't even know my minimum".
"What is it then?"
Ebony shook her head, "You still haven't answered my question. How much is your life worth?"
"Do you not want the Gold?" asked the man, "Because that's the only reason I can think of that you'd be talking in circles like this".
"Am I talking in circles? You're the one that won't answer the question," Ebony replied.
"30 gold!" called another voice, "I'll offer double the original price".
"Now, now, I've only got five crystals left today, first come, first serve," Ebony said, "When he can name a price he's confident in saying is worth his life, when any of you can, I'll sell".
"You had at least a hundred crystals out on the table earlier," another voice piped up.
"And you treated them as trash," Ebony replied, "Now that you discover a treasure do you think I'll treat you the same way as well?"
The crowd went silent. Who was this woman? She was nothing like the quiet girl standing behind the stall a few minutes ago. Now she seemed so dominating, so imposing.
"One hundred gold coins," stated a voice as the crowds parted, a young woman that was as pretty as a porcelain doll walking through the crowd with a pair of guards behind her and a man by her side. Though the man was clearly a servant, not a partner.
"Are you sure?" asked Ebony.
The woman met Ebony's gaze with her own, "The way you do business is quite intriguing. I'll admit that at first I would have priced myself higher, but there are plenty of people like me in this world, I should not be so arrogant so as to say I am worth more. One hundred Gold coins. I shall pay this much".
Ebony picked up a Crystal and offered it to the servant man who stepped forward with a weighted coin purse. He placed it on the table in front of Ebony, then took the crystal from her hand.
"Thank you for your business," Ebony stated.
"Will you be selling more of these items?" asked the woman.
"Another day perhaps. Today, these remaining four will be enough," Ebony replied.
The woman looked at her servant and nodded. The servant then withdrew a crest stamped into a metal coin.
"If you need a supplier, or have any interest in a business deal, I'm more than willing to negotiate, you can find me here," the woman replied, "Good day to you".
Then she gave a polite nod of her head and continued on her walk past, her servant leaving the stamped coin in Ebony's possession.
The crowd was silent for a moment, then the original man spoke up, "Forty Gold".
Ebony measured the tone of his voice, and nodded, offering one the of remaining four crystals to him.
Ebony strolled into the warehouse, weighed down by the bag of gold coins she held. The remaining crystals had sold for a total of 180 gold coins, bring her total for the day to 335 Gold coins. She was only 65 Gold Coins from what they'd spent to buy five and a half thousand crystals.
"Well," said Aegin as he caught sight of her, "I take it you sold them".
Ebony let the bag of gold coins drop onto the table beside him, then she reached into her pocket and withdrew a crystal from it, only this one was marked with simple outline of a pair of scales.
"This Truth Charm is really something," said Ebony as she looked over a Rassa who sat casually as he carved another rune into one of the many crystals, "Though I still can't agree that it's fair to charge them this way".
Aegin scoffed, "I think its genius. Only selling it to them when they think they've paid a fair price? We make no enemies and they get a way to save their own lives. More than once I might add".
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"With the way they reacted, we could have made the money back easily if we'd set a base price," Ebony stated.
"We could have, yes," Rassa agreed, "But we also would have wasted a lot of crystals. After all, I can make more than just protection charms, and I'm not going to waste this haul on something so simple".
"And what about Jeremiah? These crystals were brought with the Token money, they're technically Token property," said Ebony.
"And with the amount of profit we'll make, we can pay for the crystals we happen to take out of the original stock," Rassa replied.
"Then we're not going to stockpile the money for something else?" asked Aegin.
"We'll have plenty of opportunities to make money," Rassa scoffed, "I'd rather not have any debts first".
"Speaking of opportunities," Ebony stated, taking out the coin the woman had given her, "A young woman expressed her interest in a business deal with us if we're interested".
"Oh?" asked Rassa, "That was quick, who was this woman?"
"She didn't say her name," Ebony replied, "But she gave me this".
Ebony handed Rassa the coin. Rassa looked at it for a moment, the symbol on the coin was of an Apple Tree with the words 'Apple Star Trading Company' written around the edge.
"I've never heard of Apple Star," Rassa admitted.
"It was only created recently in Lovolon," Aegin spoke up, "Only in the last couple of years. They specialise mostly in fabrics".
"And yet their symbol is an apple tree," said Ebony.
Aegin shrugged, "I'm not personally acquainted with the leader, when you find them, ask".
Rassa frowned at the coin for a moment, "For now, do nothing. Let word spread and if others come with offers then say nothing to them either other than accepting their goodwill as you did today".
Ebony nodded, "Alright, then no business deals?"
"Not until we work out how long we'll be here. No use making a business deal if we're not staying in the Southern Isles. After all, it is only us," said Rassa.
"You want to go further south?" asked Aegin.
Rassa shrugged, "We were only here because this is where The Miranda sailed. It's hardly an adventure if we stop at the first spot that's new".