C151: More Negotiations

I am Shax, president of Pandemonium Trading Company based in the Demon Kingdom.

First Demon Queen Astres summoned me to the royal palace.
Her offer last time has brought my company and me quick riches, so I eagerly went.

“Could you act as my intermediary once again?”

There it is! The smell of profit!!!

“Of course, Your Majesty! All of the clothes you introduce to me are first-class!”

We’ve already received reservations from some of our clients and to contact them as soon as Queen Astres puts up another sale.
They’ve even paid in advance.

I made a prompt decision because who would ever want to hesitate in a highly profitable negotiation?

“So, what kind of vestments will it be this time? Will it be a dress? Or perhaps formal wear? If Her Majesty offers it, the price of even a single shirt would be exceptionally high…”
“Oh, no. In fact, it’s not clothing this time.”
“Pardon, Your Majesty?”

Not clothes?
Odd…

“Inspired by the previous auction, a few people came up to me and said they want to sell their creations as well. So, I’m acting as their intermediary. Then again, you’re the one doing all the legwork here…”
“Think nothing of it, Your Majesty! So, who are they?”
“Ah, they’re different from my tailor.”

Yet another unforeseeable development…

The mysterious tailor’s garments sold via Her Majesty’s proposal have already left their record in the market, and a very good one at that.

The materials, tailoring, and design are all first-class, so much so that I thought Her Majesty wanted to turn them into a brand.

But this time they’re goods made by a different person?

Well, even though I am confident in Her Majesty’s referral, my merchant instincts telling me never to trust someone a hundred percent are alerting me.

“May I know who is the genius behind this time?”
“I’m sorry, but I can’t reveal their identity. I can assure you as Demon Queen, however, that they are reliable and trustworthy.”

If Her Majesty says so, the likes of me have no choice but to stop prying any further.

“May I have a look at the articles?”
“Very well.”

When Her Majesty rang the bell beside her, several maids came in from another room.
Are they carrying the articles in question?

“Of course, you are free to refuse if you find it unfit for sale in your eyes. We’ve already established this agreement with the clothes from before.”

I am aware, but can I really refuse a queen’s request upfront?
Her Majesty has already worn the clothes in public and has been talked about by nearly everyone; that’s why I had no qualms acting as her intermediary for last time’s auction…
I just hope those items are worth selling, at the very least.

And so, one of the maids presents me with…

“Oh, a bag?”

Made of leather, too.
Though it’s used daily, it may not sell well among aristocrats who leave everything up to their servants, including their change of clothes.

“…”

Hold on…
Is this leather what I think it is?!

“Y-Your Majesty! Where did the creator of this bag get the skin it’s made from?”
“Sorry?”
“Is that confidential as well? Well, not that I doubt Her Majesty’s seal of approval, but…”
“But?”
“But isn’t this hydrolex leather, Your Majesty?!”

Hydrolexes are reptile monsters that only appear in cave dungeons rated three stars or higher in terms of their danger level.
Their skin is the perfect material because of its unique luster and composition. And because they’re aquatic monsters, they’re highly durable and resistant to moisture.

However, cave dungeons with three stars or higher are rare, and the monsters are also powerful.
The cost of obtaining it alone, including the danger money paid to soldiers who go hunting for it, would be enormous.

“A-Ah, right, hydrolexes. I’ve fought several of them during my time as a Heavenly One.”

Although it’s highly disrespectful of me, I don’t have time to listen to Her Majesty’s reminiscent talk.

Hydrolex leather bags…

The material used is already first-class, and manufacturing is also well made.
The leather is tanned so perfectly and meticulously that you can immediately tell that it’s done by someone who knows their stuff. Even the stitching is straight and evenly spaced, just like that of the clothes provided by Her Majesty last time!
Was it really a different person who made this?

My curiosity hasn’t even been satiated yet, yet more and more leather goods came, not giving me time to process things.

“Gloves! Overcoats! They all appear to be made from leather of powerful monsters. How many people lost their lives to gather this much material?!”
“I don’t think anyone died from gathering them…”

It will fetch a ridiculous price if you put even one of these on the market.
In fact, the value would be so high that I worry about selling it…

“The next items are…”
“Huh?! There’s more, Your Majesty?! Please give me a minute to collect my thoughts!”
“You’ll have all the time you need to think later. Anyway, the next set of articles is glasswork…”

‘Glasswork?’

At Her Majesty’s command, glasses, plates, and handicrafts were presented to me.

…Um, Your Majesty?
This has got to be some kind of prank, right?

What part of this is ‘glasswork?’

Do they seem like glass to you with their translucent quality, free from any visible impurities?
They’re more like crystals, elaborate and intricately crafted!

“How much would these be worth, Your Majesty? I think you could even build a castle with one of these!”
“No, they said they’re really made of glass. As proof, if you hit one like so…”

Smash.

“AHH!!!”
“See? It breaks easily. Don’t worry, that one was a flop item meant to be smashed just to show that it really is made of glass.”
“AHH! AHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”
“A-Are you all right?”

Oh, my word!!!
That was a flop item?!
Inconceivable!
That could’ve cost several months of the minimum wage here at the capital!

So be it, Your Majesty!
I’ll buy them!

Our firm will buy all these articles!!!

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