"Are you by any chance going to sail to the Sandomir right now?"
After approaching the merchant barge that brough a new group of miners to the work and was initially going to get the ore back to the city where it would be smelted, was now forced to go back empty-handed due to my own shenanigans. While others might feel awkward to propose them any trade right after depriving them of the business they most likely were doing on the weekly basis, as long as I could offer them anything of value, they would most likely agree in hopes of recouping the losses.
"Well, we were going to, but due to the miners suddenly abolishing the deal we had ever since this mine was established, we will have to sail somewhere else."
Shrugging his arms, one of the merchants approached the edge of the ship and replied, while not even trying to hide his annoyance at the situation. To be honest, I couldn't really blame him as I was the one responsible for his loss!
"What if I tell you that you could make a great business in the Sandomir?"
Rather than instantly explaining what happened to them and what I had in mind, I decided it would be better to keep them in the dark for as long as possible to make them curious about what was going on inside my head. As long as I could lead them by the nose all the way to the trade deal I could propose them, just the sheer anticipation would make it way greater than it would be in reality!
"As long as it will be profitable, I don't really mind. Since it's already past the noon today, we would be able to return only tomorrow, assuming that the stuff you need from Sandomir can be easily obtained."
Just like I thought, rather than keeping his anger and preventing himself from earning a good amount for a simple, two days long journey this man was rational enough to prioritize making money over his negative perception of my person.
"Since I don't really want to part with gold right now as I need to pay my people, tell me please, did you heard the rumours of a new, luxury spice used on the recent Tarnowian wedding?"
Due to the fact that I was rather generous with my money, I could feel how my pouch was getting lighter and lighter with each passing day. While I could still easily afford any of the items that I wanted this merchant to fetch me from the city, when combining the costs of all of them, the price might take a bit too big of a bite out of my savings.
"This funny, white powder? How could you ask! While everyone in the town is focused on the beer that appeared there, ask any merchant and they will tell you how sought for this spice is!"
With this sudden idea popping up in my head, I realised that while I was trying my best to modernize both my lands and those local mines, I was slowly losing the grip of my previous investments and ideas! If not for the fact that I spotted some grain on the barge that served as a spark that lit the torches of my memory, I would have to gnash my teeth and steel my soul in order to orderly pay this man for the wares I wanted to buy!
"It so happens that I have a bit of it somewhere in this pile of resources."
Pointing my hand at what was left out of all the wares that we brough from Sandomir after building the entire steam horse and starting all sorts of other projects. Yet even despite how much of it was already used up, it still remained easily visible on the flat plain beside the river.
"If I were to offer you a small pouch of the spice, how much gold would you give me in return?"
Now came the most important part of the entire deal. In fact, all I had on that pile was just a bunch of grain that has not yet been moved to the makeshift granary we made with one of the tents, yet depending on the deal that I might settle right now, the final price of the spice would be forget out of nothing. Since I never sold any of it, only using it for my own purposes, I could literally claim any price I wanted, but if I went too high, this merchant wouldn't be able to pay me up. On the other hand, if I were to offer too affordable terms, the worth of this spice would plummet. That's why, instead of starting with the price on my side, I pushed the responsibility of coming out with the starting cost of the spice to this merchant!
"A pouch? How much does it weigh? The spice inside, I mean."
Just when I thought I won a better position in this barter, I realised my mistake. With no concrete numbers, I couldn't ask for any realistic price connected to the amount I was selling! In this situation, I had only one way out.
"To be frank, I have no idea. How about you find some scale and get down on the land so we could measure it? On my end, I will go and find the pouch."
Seeing the merchant nod to my proposition, I turned around and moved to the pile, lowering myself over the grain while catching a small piece of cloth from the pile of the resources. With my back shielding me from the prying eyes of the merchant or literally anyone else, I sank my hand into the bag with grain and recalled the system from the corner of my eyes.
After going through the extensive menu of various options, I finally found the crafting window for the modern spice, turning the grain held by my hand into a fistful of the spice before throwing it on top of the cloth and repeating the process a few times until I was satisfied with the amount.
Grabbing the four corners of the piece of cloth that would serve as my pouch, I made sure nothing was escaping the hold of this spile container before smashing my own chest a few times with an open hand in order to clean it from the dust that remained glued to it.
"Sir, I brought the scale."
Hearing the shout from the merchant, I took a look at myself to check for the last time whether any of the white dust remained of my clothes as if I was some kind of drug-dealer trying his best to appear like a normal citizen after throwing a bunch of coke around the garden.
"That's how much I can part with."
Seeing that the scale was already set on the ground and levelled properly, I carefully pulled one end of the cloth from my makeshift sack and poured its content on top of a small tray resting on one arm of the scale.
After adding the weights to the other wing of the scale, the merchant made sure a few times that both of the scale's arms lined up perfectly before raising his head.
"Half of Gryw. Considering how sought after this spice is, I can pay you… Five red goldens!"