"I hope it's not a poison…"
With how reluctant the man was to put up the improved liquid to his own mouth, I was left with no other choice than to open up the poach with the spice, wet my finger against the tip of my tongue and touch the powder with the moisturised part of my skin. As if I was some kind of drug addict, I then raised my hand back to my mouth… but instead of rubbing the gluten against my gum, I licked it out instead and swallowed my saliva in one big gulp to prove that it wasn't anything harmless.
In fact, just this spice alone was rather bland in taste, as if it was an essence of chicken stock with a lot of salt in it. On the other hand, encouraged by my example, Vlad finally raised to spoon to his mouth. While some might think that he would erupt in place, dropping everything and falling to my knees while begging me for more… In reality, his eyes only widened slightly for a moment, before he sent me a curious look.
"What is this spice? How much does it cost?"
As a true man of the business, Vlad just repeated the same question he asked about the cement. If the price was too steep, no matter how insane the product was, no one would waste more money on it than they could afford. If it was hard to come by, the potential profits could only be treated as a bandage on the economy instead of a stable fix.
And that's exactly why gluten was such a great opportunity for me. After looking through the options, most likely thanks to lacking level in the required field, I could only produce a single machine that could turn true gluten into what was commonly called as one, the proper MSG.
"Let's keep the name away for now. How much do you think one lut (about 12grams, a bit less than half an ounce) could be worth in your book?"
Being a noble myself, I didn't really have any good ideas about the pricing of various stuff. While I knew that some spices could reach the worth of their weight in gold, this didn't apply to all of them, as the only example I had in mind, cinnamon reached the price of even hundreds of ducats for a small pack of over three hundred grams! (about 11/11 ounces)
"Well, this will be just a rough estimate, but while it's definitely better than salt… I guess we could rack it up to about ten red goldens for barrel if you can produce lots of it, but if it's as rare as the other spices from the far east… Then one lut could go for one or two ducats. So, how hard it is to make it?"
That question wasn't as easy as one might think it is. In theory, contrary to the first thought that a normal person would have, selling it in bulk could bring more profits. While the ratio of price to weight was hundreds if not thousands of times lower if didn't limit the amount one could sell, while at the same time, implying that it wasn't anything hard to create. On the other hand, selling in small quantities meant making a luxury product out of it, forcibly limiting how much one could produce and sell in the first place.
"While it's not that hard to produce it, one needs to know the super-precise recipe in order to create it. And no, I won't be willing to share it with anyone. So for now, let's put the price of the pure spice at one red golden per lut, but there is one thing that you can consider."
The powder that I brought, wasn't the pure MSG that I created with the help of the system out of a bunch of wheat. It was a mix consisting of various materials, that were more than common, meaning there was an unlimited amount of possible mixes that could be sold for an even higher price!
"Listen. What I just used on the soup, contains maybe half of the pure spice that I want to sell. The other half is just a mix of powdered vegetables and herbs that I picked randomly. So while I will be selling you a lut for a single red golden… I think you could create one or two kinds of mixtures and sell them for twice the price!"
The first and foremost rule of doing business was allowing your partners to profit. If I were to simply use everyone in Pilzno to further the growth of Tarnowian economy without caring for their own welfare, sooner or later, the relationship between the cities would deteriorate and lead to an internal conflict. Instead of fanning the spark right from the beginning, it was better to pour a bucket of water on top of it instead!
"That seems reasonable. With that said, I will eagerly await the first batch of the pure spice, and I will make sure to spread the rumours about the appearance of a new, valuable spice. Do you have any suggestions on what kind of herbs should I use?"
It was nice to work with someone who shared not only the profits but also the approach in terms of making money. Just his last question alone was enough to prove that this guy will be a valuable addition to the group of my retainers and assistants!
"Hey, dear… Do you think I could give it a try?"
While I was already projecting how this new business of mine would develop, what kind of steps I would've to make in order to keep the recipe safe and production going, Elia interrupted my train of thought, while looking at the bowls with her face filled with curiosity.
"Of course! After all, you will be the one managing this business alongside our friend here!"
With how Vlad was absolutely the first one to try out the prowess of gluten after some of my own testings, I could giggle internally all I wanted at Elia's expression filled with curiosity as she observed the mayor of her town carefully scop up some of the clean soup only to swallow it without any change of expression and then reaching towards the other bowl.