Without using the waiting room, I continue on to the room that has written ‘representative room’.
I have been called by the Merchant Guild’s branch representative.
When a company is established, the people doing the application probably use the representatives here.
Or maybe it is the opposite?
I don’t care about denominations though, especially right now.
The reception boy that guided me didn’t enter the room. He just does a bow and leaves.
What’s inside is an extravagant desk and one man that looks like the representative placing an elbow on it, and what seems to be two of his guards.
Maybe he is the vice-representative.
Because of his atmosphere which resembles that of a bodyguard, I subconsciously thought this way.
It has been a while since I came to this town, but until now, I have never met anyone in the upper stratum of the Merchant Guild.
Even when I have business here, it is normally completed just by going to the reception.
In the cases when there’s the need for a detailed interview, it is done by someone in the management and it is normally the same people.
This is the first time I have entered the deep parts of the guild.
Thinking that the problem has turned to the point where I am send here, my mood turns heavy.
“It’s nice to see you here, Raidou-dono. Please sit”
The representative that was sitting, stands from his sit and urges me to take my own.
We enter a space for reception and I wait for him to take his sit first before sitting myself.
There are two sofas facing each other and a desk in between. No matter which one you look at, it was obviously expensive.
The general glass used in this world is manufactured from a rare metal that looks like crystal. If I were to use the manufacture process of my world, it might turn into a trade.
In the wasteland there was quite a lot of glass, so I haven’t thought about it much until now though.
At any rate.
It may also be because I don’t have much connection to this kind of things, but this room is, as expected, extremely different from my own work room.
In my reception room, there’s a simple desk and minimum space. I haven’t done anything like putting out expensive articles and spreading a rug.
Thinking about the visitors, I might have to consider this point a bit. But doing so now would not be appropriate.
My thoughts strayed into a peaceful direction for a bit.
[It seems I have been called here but, what business do you have with me?]
“… Ah, you can’t speak, right. Nice to meet you, I am the representative of the Merchant Guild in the Rotsgard branch”
[My name’s Raidou. I am honored to meet you]
“Normally, it is customary to first increase your services in the guild a bit more before meeting face to face like this, but this time, I have met with a certain bad matter. Truly regrettable”
The representative knits his brows and looks at me.
There may be slight disgust towards my outward appearance, but I can tell that there’s more displeasure towards the problem which is me.
Growing the company in a smooth manner and reach a standing where I meet the representative; even I would have preferred that development.
Instead of urging for his business again, it would be better to just wait for his words.
“The guild has received several doubts towards you”
“That’s right. Normally, this kind of enquiries decrease in the period of the school festival, but the number of enquiries about contact information increase”
[Meaning there are less complains]
“… Yeah. But in Kuzunoha Company’s case, from the 4 major powers, Limia and Lorel; aside from those two, the other countries have brought out several cases. All of them have been from the representatives of the companies that are connected to countries requesting investigation regarding your goods and its circulation. There are even dangerous opinions in some”
That’s not peaceful.
The face of the representative that was already severe had his brow wrinkle even more.
Interrupting his words might not have been good, but I had to ask.
“That the Kuzunoha Company is… having the cooperation of the demon race to obtain your goods and for the circulation of it. In other words, it implies that you are from the demon race camp, and while betraying all the hyumans, you are wringing profits. Those are the opinions”
In what kind of way did they think in order to reach that conclusion?
When I heard the words of Rembrandt-san regarding the demon race matter, I didn’t think the distrust would be that deep.
They are infiltrated in Academy Town as well, but there’s no hyuman that has noticed. At least, for all I know. Counting Rona-san, I have made contact with 3 demons already. But I made sure of my surroundings and there was no change. In other words, that talk about my relationship with the demon race is complete fabrication.
For harassment, the degree is way too high.
[Unthinkable. We are using respectable methods to do business, and I promise that I am not receiving assistance of the demon race in my company activities]
“That’s probably how it really is”
I react to the words the representative whispers lowly. What does that mean?
“Regarding the goods, we received confirmation of the Church that the material quality and its manufacturing process are safe. When we told the companies that brought their views on this, they retracted their comments”
Ignoring my questioning words, he continued.
What happened a while ago huh.
In that case, the bishop with a sexy voice properly maintained her promise.
I don’t trust the hyumans that are connected to the Goddess, but I am slightly relieved knowing that the promise was abided.
“The problem is the circulation. We investigated this part as well, but the wagons that are thought to be from the Kuzunoha Company or anything resembling a carriage, we were unable to confirm any of those”
[We mostly get our supply of raw materials from the Guild’s market]
“That’s clearly a lie. With the raw materials that have been sold and what has been sold in Kuzunoha Company for around two months, even by making a rough calculation, the numbers clearly don’t match. It is obvious that there’s some other method aside from buying”
They were investigating since so long ago?
I didn’t receive any reports regarding that.
[This is my first time hearing of such an investigation though]
“As long as there are opinions we can’t ignore, the Guild must move. And if it’s about a company that’s connected to the Guild, it is a matter of course. The complains towards your company increased just recently, but there have been complains of people that have even brought detailed documents since a while ago”
[If you said something, I would have cooperated]
“Cooperation? You? If you are telling me to believe that, that’s a pretty naïve way of thinking. Like this, it seems you are minding the investigation, but there are many ways of investigating that won’t alert the target. Moving people around secretly is not the only way of investigation”
[Is it naïve to proof your innocence if there’s suspicions?]
“… I see, buying antipathy huh. Your way of thinking is childish. You don’t know how to conduct. I am surprised that you are able to be in a position of ordering others. Truly surprised. The end result of thoughtlessly managing a company is not good”
Why does he have to say so much?
Did I say something wrong?
It makes me angry that he is clearly looking down on me.
[What is it you want me to do?]
“Did I touch a sensitive point? Well, fine. Let’s enter the main issue. I want to hear your circulation method. And I want you to promise us that if it’s any sort of magic or technique, you will share the knowledge of it”
Don’t screw around.
If you are talking about childish, isn’t your side more childish?
You want to hear my circulation method, and give it to you?
[Is there no way to solve this with money?]
I will at least try asking.
“With gold huh, of course, it is possible. There’s nothing that can’t be solved with gold between merchants. But even if the sharing of the circulation method is sealed, you will still need to at least tell me. And, I don’t think you have enough gold to pay for it”
[Sadly, it is not a method I can share, so I want to pay]
“… You said your name was Raidou, right? You really are not fit to be a merchant”
Hearing the amazed tone of the representative, I reflexively gulp.
His usage of words gave a complete turn and I could tell that he is scoffing at me.
“Just now, you easily told me the existence of another circulation method which you were trying to hide at first. In other words, the trust in the first method you gave out has been damaged. No benefit in it, just loss. You asked if this could be solved with gold right? That was also an incredibly bad move. Listen well, you don’t know the extent of the companies that have come to bring complains about you right? I did say this: ‘they were from people connected to countries’. Meaning, they have considerable scale. Compared to the Kuzunoha Company, the magnitude is different. And against those people, you will resolve it with money? A company that has not been operating for even 1 year? It is like announcing that you have money that’s doesn’t fit the scale of your company. Your ability to decide and understand are also lacking. You, are you the representation of incompetence? You are just a brat that’s lucky”
I was speechless.
Being told all that, I was simply surprised.
The atmosphere has also made a complete turn. The representative that has turned violent and offensive had an unpleasing smile in his face.
“What are you spacing out for? Even I can at least act to that extent. Do you think I would be able to survive in the business world if I were unable to? Seriously, I was wondering what kind of person it was because Rembrandt himself came to protect him, but here it is. How boorish. There’s a limit to letdowns. About the circulation, it is okay to just tell me here, so explain it quickly. After that, it is okay to just go”
Explain… and leave?
This man, just how irritating can he become?
I can tell that my anger is leaking out.
“You can’t even contain your anger and bloodthirst? You are more childish than your appearance tells huh. Regarding faces, I can’t say much about others. Even so, I know how to act before others and I do so. You look incredibly unsightly so I will warn you. You have a face worse than me, so it is better for you to put more into your inside”
Even the exotic-looking representative talks about my outward appearance.
Just what part of you looks bad? You look plenty cool.
That slightly darkish skin looks appealing.
Now that I think about it, I feel like I have seen a similar person before.
Where was it?
No, right now that’s not the point.
Explain and leave. Moreover, I can just say it here?
His trust in me is low, so that’s just strange.
[What do you mean by leave?]
“Exactly as it means. You and the Kuzunoha Company are already done. So there’s no need to address you anymore”
“Its fine already, so just explain. With that, this ends”
[Can I hear the reason?]
“… Because you know, you are going to pay money right? Then I will just withdraw the comments of the other parties, that’s what I mean”
[Excuse me but, how much should I be paying?]
“There’s no need to prepare it right now”
“Yeah. If you pay 90% of your sales, no one will complain. Kuzunoha Company will not become a threat in the future. The more it gains, the more they will benefit, so there’s no need to care about the circulation method. Even if it involves the demon race. If the people that had questions of your circulation method get money every month, they won’t criticize you much. The only one that would fall would be you. See? There’s nothing to lose”
[90% of our sales?!]
Moreover, every month?!
For how long would that continue anyways?
“You will pay right? Gold to the people that want to know about your circulation method. To multiple companies that gain several ten times more than you, maybe even the hundreds. There’s no way those guys would say they want a specific amount of gold. As long as they don’t know how much you have”
[How long would that last?]
“Until the Kuzunoha Company disappears”
[This is clearly an unreasonable demand. Is the Guild just going to consent that?]
“Unreasonable you say. You were the one that proposed to pay in gold right? Let me tell you this first, what I am saying right now is just a guess from me and it may not turn exactly as I say. Well, I don’t think it will be too far from what will happen though. Also, about the Guild consenting? That’s right. In the first place, not only consent, this is just a negotiation between merchants. When the weak ones get in the eyes of the strong ones, they get crushed. The Guild is not babysitting. We will help in the business, but the way to act is something you should learn”
[In that case, the people that want to make a new business would not succeed]
“Thoroughly naïve. Ah right, your place is hiring a bunch of demi-humans right? In that case, how about just making your customers only them and stop doing your business in hyuman towns? Looking at your arguments, I feel like you are fit for that”
The representative admonishes me with eyes of pity.
It wasn’t sarcasm, he was really telling me to do that.
[You are not answering my question]
“As I said, the people that aim to be merchants should butter up to existing companies, learn the basics, create connections, be approved by the representative there, and then get a store eventually. I have money. I will do business. But if that’s how it worked, even the adventurers that earn small money can become merchants if they study a little. Those kind of people, they normally get crushed instantly. The power of adventurers can only be used in brawls. Just like you said, the guild punishes unjust deeds. Because I entered into a quarrel with another merchant, I used power to eliminate him and leave him half-dead. Killing would be, without a doubt, injustice. In the world of merchants, that is”
“I have heard from Rembrandt, but it seems you have strong followers, and you yourself are reasonably strong right? You understand why you should not use that power in your business right? If you were to use that in this situation… it would make the Kuzunoha Company into allies of the demon race”
[This is stupid]
“No, you are just naïve. Return to Tsige, Raidou. It is too fast for you to be in this town. Redo your studies at your boss’ place. About the gold, I will stealthily put a part of Rotsgard as well, so be relieved”
[For someone that has been ridiculing me, you are being pretty cooperative]
“… Ri—diculing? The guy that’s taken a liking to you, for me, he is a tough enemy I have trouble dealing with. It would be advantageous for me if he were to misunderstand, and I get him to owe me one”
“I heard that he had become docile, but to think that he has even made such a weakness. What a joke. But for you, it may be a lucky happening. Now then, it is most likely teleportation or something of the sort, so just talk about your circulation method”
Is he saying that by making Rembrandt-san disadvantaged, I earn safety?
I tell the representative that I have been using teleportation to come and go with goods. I hide the part about Asora and explain that I have a follower that has enough magic power to use long-distance teleportation.
And after that, I was released.
I have grown even more dejected after hearing the comments of the other companies from the representative of the guild.
I have made another lie in order to hide Asora.
Just what is it that I should do?
I… have to consult with everyone.
While being self-aware that I am cornered, I slowly walk my way back.
Right now, I have no leeway to think about the team battles of my students.