I am a street vendor who runs a store in the Demon Capital, the Demon King’s headquarters.
I don’t have a designated store, but rather a cart where I sell my goods.
My family has been running this cart since my great-grandfather’s time, doing business under the blue sky single-mindedly, so don’t underestimate us.
My cute baby was born recently, and I’m sure he’ll follow in my footsteps when he’s older.
I have to work hard and make a living so my beloved son can take over!
Alas, our food cart business going on for generations, is now facing the crisis of closing down.
The reason is that a powerful business rival has appeared—the famous Pandemonium Trading Company!
They’ve set up carts with some kind of new product.
In addition, dozens of them are set up simultaneously in various parts of the capital.
Shame on such a respectable company ripping off street vendors like me!
I immediately appeal to the Street Vendor’s Guild.
But to my dismay, the guild master has already been persuaded by my opponent.
The other party, the Pandemonium Trading Company, insisted that the carts would only be available for a limited time and would close the business after a month.
What do they want to do in a mere month?
I don’t get it.
However, my opponent is a huge company, so I can’t confront them head-on. I can only keep an eye on the situation based on their terms.
What they’re selling is an unfamiliar food item.
Cylindrical? Reddish but also blackish?
I don’t get it.
They grill them on a steel plane, put them on skewers, and sell them.
Who would buy such a bizarre thing?
Sure, neophilia exists, and people would probably be curious and buy it at first. But it ends once they get tired of it. I hoped for things to end that way… but I was dead wrong.
Before long, it became a roaring business.
The neophilics loved the food so much that they became regular customers, bringing in more customers.
Such a buzz attracted public attention, and their sales spiraled out of control.
“This is bad!” I think to myself as I observe the scene.
The neighboring cart’s business is booming, while mine… nothing.
Sure enough, my sales plummeted.
Not even a single customer came by.
It’s no surprise, really.
What my store sells is roasted meat from a nearby piggery.
My stock remains one giant heap.
Later on, I found out that the company is selling something called a ‘sausage’ made from the same meat as mine, but processed somehow.
The more fortunate ones who didn’t have the same business as I could take advantage of the situation and increase their sales…
But not me.
I decided to line up at the spiteful company’s cart one day and try their “sausage.”
It was grilled on a skewer and tasted undeniably good.
I’ve been cooking pork for a long time, but I had no idea that it could also taste like this.
After eating something so delicious, there’s no way anyone would want to eat my mediocre grilled pork again.
Of all things, why do our ingredients have to be the same?!
There are also beef and fish out there! Why didn’t they go with that?!
Pandemonium said they would close down the stalls in a month, but I don’t think the situation would improve even after that.
Customers who are used to the new taste will stop batting an eyelash at what’s old.
…If so, should I switch to something else to sell and avoid competing with a huge company?
…No, it won’t go that easily.
What else can I sell other than grilled pork?
Each food item requires new and specific know-how.
How much time will it take to master that?
Even if I could master that and reopen the shop, other street vendors have already monopolized most of the best-sellers.
No matter what I do, I will run into other business rivals, with the other side always having a slight superiority.
Then, I should just change my location…
No, that won’t work either.
Pandemonium has set up carts in every possible area of the city.
Wherever I go, I’m bound to clash against them.
I’ve been cornered.
I don’t mind having a bleak future. However, to have my newborn son’s fate be the same is just…
At least… At least give my baby a bright future!
It’s been about two weeks since Pandemonium set up carts.
I guess I’m going to have to change businesses.
In my grim resignation… the catastrophe itself came to visit me.
“I’m from Pandemonium Trading Company.”
How dare you scoundrel show your face here?!
It’s because of you that my life plan is in ruins!
Is it that amusing for a big wig like you to bully the smaller businesses? Huh?!
…Or so I wanted to yell at him, but my last bit of rationality kept me in check.
I listened to what he had to say.
“Would you like to sell our companies’ sausages?”
“We set up carts to create a buzz and build our commodity’s reputation, and it has paid off. Originally, we aimed for a month to popularize it, but we’ve achieved just that these past two weeks.”
So, they are moving on to the next phase.
“Now we have to think about continuous sales. Frankly speaking, we don’t have the know-how for food carts. The last two weeks have been a series of mistakes as well. Besides, if we wreak any more havoc on your territory, the antagonism will become apparent. We don’t want to damage Pandemonium’s image over that.”
Well, you do have a point.
“That’s why we want you to take over. Your cart deals with pork, the same ingredient as sausages.”
Indeed, it does.
But will I be able to learn how to make such a bizarre dish right away?
“Don’t worry. With this device, anyone can easily make sausages.”
He places a large chunk of metal in front of me.
What is this?!
“It’s a filling machine used to make sausages.”
“The lease fee you’ll pay for this device will be our profit. We’ve been paying more than double the price to the guild as a special exception when we set them up. If we deduct that amount, you won’t have to raise our prices.”
I wonder why they didn’t come to me in the first place rather than suggesting this from the get-go…
No, I don’t think that was possible.
This is the first time I’ve seen such strange food.
I don’t think I would’ve accepted their proposal to sell them without any background knowledge.
So now, the Pandemonium Trading Company has launched the product with great success. And I, on the verge of death from that success, was offered a proposal from them.
You, sly company, you…!
To think they would come to negotiate with me only after they’ve prepared the groundwork that I won’t…rather, can’t refuse!
And so, I reopened my business as a sausage vendor.
They taste good grilled or boiled!
What if I put them in buns?!
Sales are going exceptionally well.
The timing of my change of business and the withdrawal of Pandemonium’s carts were precisely the same, so all the customers who were looking for sausages came to my cart.
This is the busiest I’ve ever been in my entire vendor life!
I’m so glad I went all out to learn how to use the filling machine and ready sausages before I reopened!
At this rate, I’ll be able to make up for the past two weeks of lost sales in no time.
Pandemonium Trading Company also said that their cart had made more money than expected and was willing to waive the lease fee for the next six months to return the profit.
How generous of them!
Thus, I overcame the biggest dilemma of my life and secured my baby’s future.
Wait for me, my precious!
I’ll do my best to make it a success so I can pass this sausage stall on to your generation!!!
happy new year everyone!