Chapter 245: The Conflict Among the Grain Stores (VI)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
There was cheap grain available, but with the bullsh*t of a limited purchase, most people loathed it and felt repelled by it. Hejiang County was not a big area, but it wasn’t small, either. It was truly troublesome to come to the store just for one or two days worth of grain.
“You guys are almost out of the storage, right? Otherwise why would you prompt some limited purchase if you can make money?” There was a male voice from inside the mass of people. He wore coarse clothes and his hair was tied up with a grass rope. There was nothing special about him.
In the meantime, the citizens around the stores seemed to grasp his point and they were abuzz with speculation. “Just admit that you don’t have any more. What’s the point of this limited purchase? There are other stores in Hejiang besides you guys. It’s no longer safe in the current situation. We come all the way here just for some grain… What happens if we will encounter some bad guys and get ourselves in trouble?”
That resonated with what many people were considering. They became even more concerned about the limited purchase amount.
Just for that penny’s worth amount of grain, they would have to take the risk of their own safety to be at the store. Wasn’t it harmful to the people?
“Exactly! Give us a definite word about if you actually have some stored or not. If you do, just make it quick. If you don’t, we are not wasting our time on you. We’d rather go to the other stores just in case the price goes up again. Will you take the responsibility for our loss?”
“These unscrupulous profiteers. You are not much cheaper than the others and you came up with some bullshit like this… Is your grain still for sale or not? If not, we are leaving!” There were some unfriendly, acrimonious voices coming out of the mass. Every single word was targeting the store and making the citizens uncertain.
Qiguan Rang stood aside calmly. He had a sharper pair of ears than the rest of the people and he could tell that some of them were trying to make the citizens angry with the store, even if they didn’t make it sound that way. The way they described it was more intense, but not malevolent. Instead of alienating, it was more like misleading the citizens and heating up the atmosphere.
However, he didn’t stand up to clarify the advantage of the limited purchase amount. He simply concentrated on the store with relish.
He wanted to know what back up plans Liu Langjun had.
The scene was turning ugly and most of the citizens were instigated to fury and became more tense. The manager pulled up his long outfit, stepped over the threshold, and bowed at the mass. His face was full of trepidation. The noise slowly cut off.
“Everybody, thanks to all of you looking after us on a daily basis, we can gain a foothold as a small business in Hejian County.” The manager was obviously lying through his teeth, but he spoke words that the citizens bought. Their heated emotions eased a bit.
“Who doesn’t know how to talk sweet? We would rather hear something more realistic. Do you have grain or not? I collected enough money for doing a large purchase, but now I’m being told some bull about a limited purchase amount. You meant to cause us trouble, right?” A voice came out of nowhere. It didn’t sound like a nice voice.
The manager still had the sweat on his forehead from his busy work earlier. He had a bitter smile when he said, “What you just said was definitely immoral, my friends. This limited purchase is for the sake of everyone here. How could it be causing trouble? Of course we have grain––a lot of it…”
“Then what’s the point of this limited purchase amount? Are you still doing business or not?”
The manager didn’t even finish his sentence when the same voice interrupted him again. Some people in the crowd started to sympathize for him.
His attitude was rather modest and he kept a low profile, but he was cornered by some aggressive people.
“Of course we are still doing the business, but we are also implementing this limited purchase amount.” He gave another bow with his both hands folded in front. He said in a serious tone, “In this insecure world, who doesn’t want their grain containers full? But we all saw the recent grain price change…”
“You know you are selling overpriced grain but you won’t just lower it. Are you kidding?”
Qiguan Rang almost burst out in laughter when he heard the conversation back and forth between the manager and the “aggressive client” that Jiang Pengji had paid for the show.
Liu Langjun was really an extraordinary person to come up with such a sneaky plan.
The manager thumped his chest and shouted at the crowd, “It’s not like that. Who doesn’t want to make money for business?”
The crowd was quiet. The manager was confident with his speech because he had rehearsed it multiples times earlier that day.
“It’s just that we have our own morality. We despise the behavior, which is the same as looting a burning house. Why we are doing it anyway? It is truly because we have no other choice. Just think about it. If I keep the price low as usual, who would benefit the most? Would it be you citizens, or those who have the wicked intention of making your wealth by restocking more grain for later? Our store, including the other two stores that belong to the Liu’s, sold two thousand dans in one day.”
Two thousand dans? That was not bad transaction at all. Why would they still stick to the limited purchase amount even though they had quite a bit of storage?
Some of the crowd was still in the haze, but some had already realized the reason.
It was very likely that the major portion of the two thousand dans were bought off by people who intended to restock for themselves instead of the citizens in need.
“At this speed, in not more than a week, our storage will be empty…” The manager didn’t sound confident about the time frame. It might not be a week––it would actually be incredible if it lasted more than three days. “Our master wandered back and forth and he finally came up with an idea in order to ensure the real people got what they needed. And the price during the period of the limited purchase amount will be lower than the current price…”
All the previous angry words were outweighed by, “The price during the period of the limited purchase amount will be lower than the current price.”
The price in their store was indeed much pricier than the usual price, but it was still much lower than the stores that had increased their prices by about ten times more than usual.
Most people wouldn’t be able to afford it if they had to.
Many people in the crowd were convinced by the theory. They were in favor with the store.
The manager pushed a bit hard and made a loud statement, “My friends, it is not an easy time for anyone at the moment, but God bless us that we are going to have a tiny harvest season this year. I’m sure you guys will get your hands on harvesting in two to three months. This critical shortage of grain will be eased by that time and no one will be suffering from starvation any more. To be honest, we don’t make as much as a small business, but it’s okay as long as it helps my friends make it through this rough time until the harvest season. It won’t matter much to me if we are making the expected money or not, but at least I won’t be beaten by my conscious. What do you guys say? Business is business. But I have my principles when I do business.”
Qiguan Rang raised his fan up to cover the smile on his lips. It was a gorgeous play by Liu Langjun.
Using the limited purchase amount to suppress the grain price would normally get whoever used the trick killed. It did touch some certain people’s interests in a bad way.
It was shame that Liu Langjun wouldn’t end up like that because of his identity and his nobility. He was the first son of the second branch of the Liu’s.
As long as Liu She was still alive, the gentry clans would always fear him.
The limited purchase amount would make a big loss for the black-hearted profiteers who were determined to make a great profit. But so what?
Anyone who wanted to harm Liu Xi had to go through Liu She.
The business was flourishing still and the citizens came for the grain in droves.
For them, even though they had to take an extra two or four hour trips to the store, everything would be worth it as long as they could get the cheap grain.
“This is real business.”
A large number of citizens could not help but be impressed and adme the Lius’ store, especially when they found out that the other stores increased their grain prices again.
“Langting gained both fame and wealth this time.” Qiguan Rang enjoyed the show and got on the road to visit Jiang Pengji immediately after it was over.