Black Iron's Glory - novelonlinefree.info
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The old street was said to be among the first streets to be built in Whitestag. The settlers of Whitestag initially built that road to connect it to Lake Egret and connected to the jetty it was built there. Later, people began to build their houses on both sides of the road as well as shops. It ended with the road becoming one of the first streets of the town.
With the pa.s.sing of time, Whitestag was no longer the small village settlement it used to be. As the town grew in size, the central area s.h.i.+fted further and further east. Nowadays, the old street had become the messiest jetty slum in town with the poorest security.
Claude the transmigrator had never been to that place before. He recalled from the memories of the body of the former owner that old Claude had been here twice before. The first time was when he went fis.h.i.+ng at the lake bank near the public jetty of the slums. The other time was when he took Old Benz's black horse, Bauker, for a ride, startling it and causing it to gallop all the way to the slums until it reached the very end of the jetty and stopped. Eriksson, who was sitting at the back of the horse, ended up completely terrified. The others who chased behind them ended up tired and worn out.
Even so, those two times he had been there were brief at best. Nothing happened during those two occasions, so he didn't have any strong impression of the place. However, their parents did warn them to not play around in the part of town as it was one of the most dangerous places there.
It doesn't seem dangerous at all. There's nothing but two rows of run-down huts lining the street and a few people pa.s.sing by occasionally, thought Claude.
"It looks peaceful, right?" said Eriksson, knowing what Claude is thinking.
Claude nodded. "My father told me that the security here was rather bad and forbade me from coming here without a good reason. However, it doesn't look much different from the other parts of town."
Eriksson said seriously, "Your father is right. This is indeed the most dangerous area in the whole town. Don't be fooled by the apparent peace on the surface. That's because it is currently the afternoon and the sun is s.h.i.+ning bright in the sky. If you had come here during the night, you would know why."
"Hahaha," laughed Borkal. "Eyke, did you forget that you said that this place was the merriest in the whole of Whitestag? When night comes, the street would be filled with people, mostly women too. I heard that this is the favorite place for sailors to have fun."
Claude finally understood what it was about. He didn't wish for the conversation to continue. "Is Mock's Good somewhere around here?"
"No, it's further up ahead. It's almost at the end of the old street near the jetty. Do you see it? It's that grey two-story building over there. That's where Mock's Goods is," said Eriksson as he pointed forward.
The grey two-story building was actually five lots in a row connected together. However, the lower floor was filled with storefronts.
Claude didn't see a sign with 'Mock's Goods' on it, but rather, a new wooden plaque with 'Mock's Fis.h.i.+ng and Boating Tools'.
The three shops to the left had already opened up and started doing business. There were many linen ropes hanging outside the shop, along with one after another rolled-up sail and differently sized barrels. There was also a some scaffolding outside the shops. It appeared that they were renovating and going to fix up the two older shop lots to resemble the more modern design of the three on the left.
"Those two old shop lots is Mock's Goods," Eriksson told Claude as he pointed to the new wooden plaque, "The three on the left are also theirs, but they rented it to someone who opened a restaurant there for sailors, fishermen and the jetty workers to dine in. After ` died last year, his son no longer wished to run a general store and stopped renting the shop lots to the restaurant owner and intended to use it to sell their fis.h.i.+ng and boating tools."
"Are you sure this place will really buy those two skins?" asked Claude with doubt.
"Of course. I'm Eriksson, the young master of Shark of Red Sea. My father is the famed Captain Altroni and half of the sailors here know me. I get to hear about what happens at the jetty faster than anyone else."
Eriksson continued his introduction proudly, "I already know about how Wakri was going to start a shop that specializes in fis.h.i.+ng and boating supplies long ago. I also know all about what he buys and sells."
"Well, I bet that anyone who isn't blind is aware of that," said Borkal when he pointed to the two large wooden plaques.
The large wooden plaque depicted the goods and prices sold at the shop while the smaller ones displayed what the shop intended to buy. However, there weren't prices for those items.
"Wakri went to Chirp Leather not long ago and hoped to buy some furs and skins off them as part of a long term deal. However, his offer was refused. So, the two establishments are currently in a compet.i.tive relations.h.i.+p. He would definitely buy Wero's skins for a higher price," said Borkal confidently.
"Uncle Wakri, Uncle Wakri! Is he not here?" Eriksson called out when he entered the empty-looking shop.
"Who's it?" replied someone from the rear of the shop. A tall and lanky man in his forties stepped out before them, appearing to be chewing something in his mouth.
Ah, we had forgotten that it was noon. Wakri was probably having lunch.
"Oh, it's Lil' Eyke. What did you come here for?" asked the middle-aged man in a muddled voice.
However, Eriksson didn't notice that he had interrupted that man's lunch at all.
"Uncle Wakri, my cla.s.smate here was about to bring two skins to Chirp Leathers to sell them. I thought of how you were also buying skins and dragged him over. I told him that you would be buying them for more than Chirp Leathers, so you better offer a good price and not embarra.s.s me in front of my colleagues."
"Oh? What skins are they?" Wakri tried hard to chew his food and swallow it. "Let me take a look first. If it is good, then I'll definitely offer a good price."
"It's goatskin," said Eriksson as he motioned for Welikro to open the sack.
Wakri inspected the skins closely. From his movements, it was apparent that he was no stranger to their peculiarities.
"If you take these two skins to Chirp Leathers, you'll only be getting six riyases. Since Lil' Eyke brought you here, I won't disappoint you. How about seven riyases for these two?" said Wakri after he stopped checking the skins out.
"Nine riyases and these two skins will be yours." Brokal, who had said that he would do the bargaining, stepped out.
"No, no, no. Nine riyases is far too expensive. n.o.body would pay that kind of price to buy two skins. Just look, the sides of the skins are damaged already and there's also a large whole at this part here. Perhaps two new skins would be worth nine riyases, but these two have been left for a little too long and isn't well-preserved."
Wakri put the skins down and continued, "If you insist on this price, then I'm afraid that you'll have to go try your luck Chirp Leathers. Who knows? Maybe they'll be willing to buy them off for nine riyases."
"Come on, Uncle Wakri, just raise the price by a bit. I'll get him to lower his offer. It's quite troublesome for us to come all the way here, you know," said Eriksson in an attempt to save the negotiation.
Wakri sighed. "Alright. I'll add four sunars to my offer, and that's because Lil' Eyke is here."
"Eight riyases and you have a deal," Borkel said, "Uncle Wakri, unlike normal leather shops that buy skins to make them into caps, clothes and armor, you use them to make fis.h.i.+ng and boating supplies. You need skins of wild animals because they help retain warmth and are water resistant, so the size of the skin you buy isn't any concern.
"That's because even the largest good you produce for sailors are leather vests the sailors use or some gloves and shoe parts. The rest of the skin can be cut into threads and weaved into fis.h.i.+ng nets. So, you won't be wasting any of the skin you purchase.
"My cla.s.smate's father is Kubrik Fezka, and I'm sure you've heard about him before. He's the best hunter in Whitestag. If you buy his two skins for eight riyases, then I believe his father will no longer sell the skins he gets from his hunts to Chirp Leathers. If word of this spreads, then all the hunters in town will know where they ought to sell the skins and furs they obtain."
Wakri gave it some more thought before finally yielding. "Alright, you've convinced me. Eight riyases it is. But you must make sure to prioritize me when you think of selling off your skins and furs."
That was something n.o.body could promise, but they were aware that if Welikro's thrifty sister knew that those two old goatskins sold for a high price of eight riyases, they would no longer sell the skins their father obtained to Chirp Leathers any longer. So, all of them nodded in agreement.
"Also, Uncle Wakri, we came here to buy something else apart from selling you those skins. I wonder if you still have some goods your old store previously stocked?"
Eriksson was almost dumbstruck. He had seen the wooden plaque outside and found that many of the things he wanted to buy were not available.
"What are you looking for?" Wakri handed Welikro eight riyases, which was then pa.s.sed to Borkel.
"Guns, gunpowder, sulphur and lime powder, as well as some bug repellant."
"Oh, it's all inside. Come and take a look. The things displayed on the plaque outside are only our main products."
The inside of the shop was more or less the same size as the storefront. Only, the wooden windows at the rearmost wall weren't that huge and there were a number of wooden sticks laid against it, so the lighting of that part of the shop wasn't that good. But given that it was a sunny afternoon, the items placed on the old shelves could still be seen clearly.
"Whoa, Uncle Wakri! You put the gem of your shop all the way back here?" said Eriksson as his gaze was caught by the silver-yellow dagger hanging on the wall.
"Claude, Wero, come take a look! This is the precious elephant tusk dagger."
There was a one meter by half a meter sized box hanging by the wall in which a dark blue velvet cloth was stored. In the middle of that cloth was a short, silver-yellow dagger about seventy centimeters in length.
Claude recalled that Eriksson had called the dagger a precious weapon. The handle was said to be made entirely of elephant tusk and its body was silver-yellow in color. The blade was said to be forged by a metal alloy mixed with some meteorite and be able to cut through metal with ease. It was a weapon fitting to be called a treasure.
The history of the dagger was quite well-known. The first owner of Mock's Goods had saved a troubled captain at sea who seemed to be a n.o.ble of one of the kingdoms located north of the continent. After he recovered well enough to return to his kingdom, he gave that elephant tusk dagger to Mock as a memento.
There was once when someone offered ten gold coins to buy that treasured dagger, but Mock refused it. Instead, he treated it like a heirloom and prize of the shop and pa.s.sed it to his son, Pijak. Now, it ended up in Wakri's hands.
"How much is this treasured dagger worth?" asked Borkal.
"Can it really cut metal?" What Welikro was more curious about was the dagger's sharpness.
Claude shrugged. He believed that the dagger was nothing more than an ornament n.o.bles used to show off their wealth. The elephant tusk handle was definitely not as tough as a normal one wrapped in hemp rope. Putting aside the latter's sweat absorbing quality, the sheer force from battle alone was enough to put cracks into the elephant tusk handle. Naturally, it was a whole other story if the dagger could really cut metal like mud.
"What type of gun and gunpowder are you looking for?" asked Wakri without bothering to answer Borkal and Welikro's questions. Whether he didn't hear them or couldn't be bothered to answer them was unknown.