Chapter 63 – The Tribal Chief of Mostori, Pierro (last part 2)
Making a slightly cracked smile, Pierro instantly tried to reverse it back to a gentle one.
Nevertheless, as one would expect, he probably couldn’t mask his bewilderment.
At the time Pierro uttered some words, a minor trembling appeared in his voice.
Perhaps Eiji’s blunt refusal, alone, was a big shock.
– Just what is it that makes you discontent? I thought that my condition isn’t bad, but…
– I guess so. Certainly, I don’t hold any dissatisfaction toward the condition suggested by you.
– Then why?
Eiji was calm.
He understood Pierro’s feelings well.
Even though it was supposed to go well, why?
Was it perhaps due to Pierro being confident about his victory?
It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
Analyzing every movement slowly and carefully one by one, including the gestures, Eiji was trying to bring this time’s negotiation toward profits as much as possible.
Eiji stated clearly as he nodded slightly and deliberately.
– I wonder what about the conditions that weren’t proposed?
– The conditions that weren’t proposed?
– For instance, I need to know when and how many goods I have to supply you with. At how much we should set the selling price? Where do I have to do the wholesale? And how long will this contract last?…How about all these conditions? You didn’t mention them at all, right?
– That’s, I think those trivial things can be added after we make a contract.
– After we make a contract?
Once Eiji stared fixedly, Pierro nodded.
It looked like he quickly reorganized his feelings and his heart was no longer swaying.
As one would expect, people who can make their living with a single negotiation called trade are different.
However many unexpected things happened, Pierro seemed to be able to retain his serenity within a short amount of time.
As long as his opponent shows a brief moment of hesitation, he will probably continue to push that person.
Still, if the opponent retorts back upon recovering, it will be Eiji who will sustain the heavy blow in return.
He couldn’t make unreasonable requests nor throw out sugared words.
– I won’t be able to refuse once we clinch the deal, right? Shouldn’t such crucial matters be settled before we make an agreement?
– In other words, there’s no worth in trusting me?
The pressure around Pierro rose at once.
Accidentally, Eiji wanted to deny that.
The saliva inside his mouth gathered, nevertheless, if he makes a sound by gulping it down, he will reveal the change in his disposition.
Haa – breathing out a sigh, Eiji tilted his head a bit to the sides.
– You know, trust is something that has to be built.
– Providing this was to be suggested by Fernando who arrived here together with me, I’d probably acknowledge. But, I met Pierro-san just yesterday, correct? No matter how sincerely you try deal with me, it’s not like you can gain my trust within a single day. If I’m going to swallow your conditions, I’d most likely be acting rash.
– Hmm… I see.
Pierro nodded deeply and repetitively.
Was he able to understand? – after Eiji felt a momentary peace of mind, Pierro’s expression changed completely from a mild look into a sharp one.
– Well then, what would you do if you were told to make an agreement no matter what?
Eiji didn’t understand the meaning behind Pierro’s words.
Just why is there a need to accept an unfavorable agreement like this?
– That’s right, for example—what if I trust at you a condition saying that Mostori will severe the trade with Siena were you to refuse this contract?
– ……Are you for real?
– I’m the one who’s asking. So what would you do?
– You’re unreasonable!
– No problem with me. So what would you do?
If there’s no trade with Mostori, the exchanging rate of items will rise at once in Siena.
Especially, one can consider it as being unable to acquire most goods from the eastern part of the island.
What should I do?
Yielding to this request will be a bad move; nonetheless, despite saying so, there seemed to be no apt move that will bring a turnaround.
But, why would Pierro, who should value trust, make such a demand….
Pondering that far, Eiji finally discovered a way to break down this situation.
– I’ll reply you once again, Pierro-san.
– It won’t agree to your condition.
– I see. Well then, it will mean ceasing our business with Siena.
– If you do so, Siena will oppose you back with all its power. We will report to other villages about Mostori forcing contracts. The relationship of mutual trust that you cherish, you probably won’t be able to gain any no matter what. Can you see that?
– I wonder if it’s really possible? Think about how many villages won’t be settled if the trade with our village is terminated.
– Even if it’s true, it will be fine if we cooperate with each other and create new outlets for selling.
How difficult is that idea? Despite simply imagining that, he wouldn’t withdraw.
Eiji had the feeling that he would be forced into an unpleasant situation after that, were he to make a single step back.
Pierro kept silent for a moment.
His stillness was probably one of the tricks in trade.
Waiting for his next words, Eiji’s stomach shrunk and squeezed while complaining about its aching.
Pierro laughed in a strange manner.
It felt as if his coercion til now was suddenly replaced with a relaxing atmosphere.
Eiji felt like his field of vision expanded immediately.
Ah, guess I was feeling a bit nervous….
He lightly loosened his hardly clinched fist while opening and closing.
The negotiation will most likely advance favorably.
It seemed like Eiji was able to survive without repeating his previous mistake.
– Was there anything odd?
– No, I agree with what you said. Let’s add more conditions just like Eiji-san suggested at the beginning.
– Were you testing me?
– That’s right. I apologize for that.
– Please don’t do that ever again when you test someone.
As soon Eiji said so with a sigh mixed in his breath, Pierro shrugged with his shoulders.
Supposedly, Pierro didn’t have any ill intention.
– Do you know what peddlers treasure the most in their evaluation criteria?
– Humans. We neither care about the other party’s prosperity nor authority. What we usually hold dear isn’t what we see in front of our eyes but what we don’t notice. A truly excellent person knows how to stand up despite being caught in a dilemma. However successful somebody is, as long that person becomes depraved, he will certainly fall down.
– That’s why–
– Yes. That’s why I always have to test the party I’m negotiating with at least once, so as to check whether that party is worthy to place our trust in or not.
– tolerable for those who are being tested?
– It’s just as you say. Like this, I apologize.
Pierro bowed down.
It was a flawless and admirable apologize.
Despite Pierro saying that he was testing, what would’ve happened as a result, had Eiji swallowed his condition just like that?
Considering Pierro’s speech and conduct up til now, it was clear that he didn’t seem make any disadvantageous push on Eiji.
Just like peddlers, who valued trust, it felt as though he held a minimum of moderation.
However, the condition would have probably become severe from that moment of failure.
– Eiji-san, we believe you are the person with whom we would like to join forces.
– Here as well, I’m looking forward to working with you.
Finally, while shaking firmly their hands, Eiji could once more feel the conclusion of the breath-taking negotiation.
– So what about the conditions?
– That’s right. As expected, we would like to use your items at our own convenience for trading purposes. Saying so, we can only promise you that we will prioritize their sell to the east side.
– Well, I think it’s very proper? Understood.
In the end, it was decided that Siena will hold the rights for trade on the west side of the island, whereas, Mostori village, the east side.
With the conditions regarding the initially mentioned commissions remaining unchanged, Eiji too, understood that Mostori was serious about considering this island’s development.
– If the trade isn’t profitable for the buyer, the seller won’t gain as well, right?
Saying so, Pierro smiled.
It was a refreshing smile.
After that, they added further, detailed conditions, and concluded the agreement upon receiving the confirmation from Fernando as well.
The content of the contract was recorded with a black ink on a wood block printing.
Pierro who didn’t understand Japanese was curious about the letters, nevertheless, Eiji put his answer on hold.
That’s because he couldn’t predict what kind of influence will they make.
– Well then, shall we start make negotiations apart from trade?
– Apart from trade?
– Yes. For instance, how about the method of construction with bricks that Fernando-san was attentive about?
Fernando, who didn’t participate in the negotiation just as he promised, only responded this time.
– You’re going to tell us?!
– I don’t mind. I shall dispatch one person from my village. In exchange, I’d like you to provide him with a place to lodge and meals. Again, if it’s possible, I’d like you to find a woman that is ready for a marriage and can travel. That’s because the person I’m forwarding you is single.
– I see. Understood. I too, will take responsibility and find a partner for him.
Eiji thought that it was a skillful exchange of conditions.
Nonetheless, finding a companion was quite a difficult problem.
Especially, if it’s a village that has difficulties in welcoming outsiders. In that case, it’s quite impossible to find a partner that can fulfill the right conditions.
Inside their village, there were already many situations in which partners had been decided.
It might be a bit insufficient to compensate for the offered technology, but because the other party wished for it, Fernando nodded without any complaint.
Certainly there are people in Siena whom he knows by personality, and whom he can introduce.
Like this, the dealings concluded one after another. At the time, they could take a rest, Pierro asked as if remembering something.
– What will be your request in the next village?
– Horses, I guess.
– If you need horses, there’s a village called Auman. You just need to go south from here. However, that village…
– Is there a problem?
– No, there are none.
– Then, what is it?
– Eiji-san, by the time you reach the village of Auman, you will probably encounter the biggest surprise of your trip.
– Will it be something nice or something bad? Just the thought of learning it sounds scary.
– Fufufu, you will understand only if you see it, that’s the fun of it. I too, was taken aback at that time, so there’s no joy in telling you.
That’s fine. There should be no malicious intention in what he says.
At Pierro’s smiling face, Eiji somehow remembered the feeling of bad premonition.