Morning the next day, they were having a discussion within the tent of the tribe chief.
"Please present the items you wish to trade," Chief Shabille said, looking at Locke and the rest from his fur-laden seat.
Bond merely turned to Locke, Raphael and Gauss. He was going to trade with his family's wealth, which was bound to be a huge amount, so it wouldn't be appropriate to start negotiations so heavily. It wasn't just that; he could easily trade for all the blood essence produced by the teru alone, so he wanted to give his friends a chance first.
The first one to come forward was Raphael. He went so wild during the previous night and enjoyed the tribe's hospitality to the fullest, so he would be in trouble if he didn't have anything to actually trade with them. All of a sudden, two wooden boxes and a golden card appeared in his hands. Shabille could tell that he had spatial gear on him.
"Here's a box of woodleaf herb and a box of recovery potions, as well as a gold card that's exchangeable for a thousand gold moores." Not surprisingly for the richest among them, Raphael started the deal with many valuables. Even the gold card worth a thousand gold moores was something he managed to prepare on short notice.
Woodleaf herbs could be used for painkilling and stabilising one's mood. It was a versatile remedy that could be consumed or applied topically, making them a favourite for many knights. The main reason he even had some with him at all, was that they made great tea. As for the healing potions, they were far more effective than woodleaf herbs. Locke always carried a few with him during every mission he went on.
Shabille stood up and came over to inspect the boxes. He took out a silver leaf and bit straight into it, before saying, "The quality's pretty good!"
Then, he opened the box with the potions, within which eight white flasks could be seen. He didn't need to taste it this time and only took a whiff to be able to tell its quality. After that, he returned to his seat without even looking at the gold card even once.
"I will exchange ten grams of blood essence for these two boxes!" Even though it was just a simple statement, it carried an odd weight to it. It was as if they were speaking to a higher lifeform.
Raphael seemed a little unhappy with it as the tribe chief didn't even consider his gold card. That was what he was counting on to make the trade.
As if sensing Raphael's thoughts, Shabille said, "We can only accept actual currency, not cards. I can't have my men go to your cities to exchange them for money." The chief was far more unfriendly than he initially seemed. The fact that he was willing to even explain his rationale was already a surprise.
Since the high-rank Knecht chief had already made his decision, there was little else Raphael could do. He stopped pulling a long face and put his card away before receiving a box from the maidservant nearby. He opened it and saw blood-colored crystals of varying sizes within, all letting out a bloody aura.
Next was Gauss's turn. He offered two fist-sized crimsongold ore, a few recovery potions and around three hundred gold moores. That was probably all the wealth he had to his name. While it wasn't surprising the latter two items, Locke was rather intrigued by the ores. Shabille actually traded for the items using fifteen grams of blood essence, even more than what Raphael got.
"It appears that Gauss knows what makes Chief Shabille tick," Bond whispered to Locke. "There are no ores to be found in the plains. While the two crimsongold ores are a little small, they can still be made into decent weapons. High-rank Knechts like the chief need good equipment to match their power, after all."
Locke nodded. His turn would be next. He took out one item after another and placed them on the ground, shocking not only the chief but also his pals. There were five strengthening potions that could be used by low and mid-rank Knechts, one deep-red potion, four recovery potions, two antidotes, one light-blue heavy armour, five hundred gold moores and a bunch more materials harvested from monsters.
Raphael was the first one to react. He patted Locke's shoulder and said, "Hey, Locke, do you have so many strengthening potions you have no place to store them? Sell them to me for a high price! That deep-red potion too!"
"Are you insane?" Bond said. It was one thing to sell the strengthening potions that weren't too useful for mid-rank Knechts, but the deep-red potion was another story. Blood essence was probably just akin to deep-red potion in terms of their usefulness.
Gauss, on the other hand, didn't say a thing and merely watched with his jaws dropped.
"I'll take all of them!" Shabille said with a firm voice. "Five strengthening potions for ten grams, fifteen grams for the deep-red potion, ten grams more for the six recovery potions, five grams for five hundred gold moores, as for that armuor..." The chief approached and lifted the heavy armour up as if it was nothing. "I'll give you twenty grams for this armour!" The expression on the chief's face was the exact same as the one Locke wore when he looked at Angelina and his dear women.
Locke was quite happy with the results. He got sixty grams of blood essence in total. Since he would only need ten for himself, he could sell the rest or trade it with some friends. Bond, having let Locke trade before him, cursed by the wayside. "I'm going to make a huge loss!" The three former trades definitely drained half of the blood essence the tribe had. Now, he wouldn't be able to get as much blood essence as he had initially hoped.
Locke and the rest didn't sit through the negotiations between Shabille and Bond. That was the main deal and they didn't really have any part in it.
"Why didn't you tell me you had all that good stuff? I would've paid big money for it!" Raphael said. All those items were beneficial for knights and people wouldn't usually even be willing to sell them off. Normally, trading them for other items was the way to go.
"Maybe next time, then!" Locke didn't let Raphael finish. While he had a few more strengthening potions, he planned to leave them for Kristin and Laffey. Though, he probably wouldn't have any trouble getting more now that Angelina had started on the path of alchemy.
Feeling that Locke was a little dismissive, Raphael gripped his hand tight in an attempt to seal the deal as best he could.