「What a tight-fisted workshop. 」
Deanna looking at the workshop left and right and telling him he was a fool.
Laurent remembered her attitude back when he was still a member of 『Golden Hawk』 and is about to shrink.
「Deanna-san, what on earth… 」
「Ara, what’s with that attitude? Can’t this workshop offer any decent hospitality to the guest? 」
Laurent was left speechless.
He can’t refute her statement.
「What’s wrong, Laurent-san? Did something happen? 」
Suddenly Lange pops up his face.
Deanna cast a sidelong glance at him.
「Lange, we have a guest. I need to talk with her, can you please prepare the tea. 」
Laurent leads her into the reception room.
She looked at the reception room in a ridiculing manner.
After she finished looking around, she crosses her knees and arms with a curt smile on her mouth.
When he served the tea, Lange gets the feeling that Deanna is bad news.
（What’s with this person? She’s just so bossy. I know she’s Laurent-san’s acquaintance, but what kind of person is that? ）
Lange sat next to Laurent, and she glared at him.
Wanting to avoid the damage of her meeting with Lange, he ordered him to step back, but Lange wouldn’t listen.
On the contrary, Lange talks to her first.
「So? What kind of official business that made a senior member from 『Golden Hawk』 visit our workshop? 」
He didn’t even try to conceal the sharp glare when he asked her a question.
She didn’t bother answering him. She snorted and went back to ignoring him.
Lange gets even more irritated at and scowl at her.
「Deanna-san, what are you doing here? 」
This time it was Laurent who asked, but she didn’t answer. Then she saw the refined iron in the corner of the room.
（Iron D. I wonder if that’s a failed product? Well, it’s Laurent’s workshop. I guess it’s something like that. ）
And she determined that this is the limit for the workshop.
（Because there’s no major establishment that would take their products, they must have sold their inferior goods to small adventurer’s guild. How pitiful is that? This workshop will collapse in a month. ）
She reasoned their demise and turned a strangely contented smile to them.
「Let me be honest with you. We can put your guild under the umbrella of 『Golden Hawk』 guild. 」
「What do you say? 」
「Isn’t it terrible to work in a dreadful workshop like this? Just think about it, we can help you. 」
「I’m stumped with your compassion. 」
He said that in a tone that shows he’s ready for a fight.
And Deanna continued to ignore him.
（Fufu. How assertive he is. Anyhow, that’s not something we can’t let go. ）
「I wonder… Do you want to make a deal with us? 」
「That’s… Of course, depending on the terms… 」
When Lange heard how Laurent responded to her question, he makes a sour face.
He doesn’t like where is this conversation going.
「That’s alright. So, what do you say… 100 Gold for Iron A? 」
「100 Gold for Iron A… 」
「The other guilds usually wholesale their iron. You guys will do it too, right? 」
With coercive expression, she disguised her intimidation as a question.
（Fufu. How’s that? You won’t find this selling price for your workshop outside, you know? ）
She was already imagining Laurent says, 「This is impossible. 」 frantically.
She was convincing herself that he would beg her to buy it at a slightly higher price.
Or if she’s lucky, he will be kneeling in front of her.
And just like that, she would push Laurent’s workshop off the cliff.
Lucius and Deanna will always stand at the top of the world.
「What do you think, Laurent-san? Can you sell your Iron A for 100 Gold? 」
「Sure, that’s fine. 」
He quickly agreed to the deal.
「That’s right. I know it was impossible. But if you agreed, I could slightly raise the price… Eh, w-what? 」
「No, I have no problem with your deal. 」
Laurent answered with a faint smile.
Honestly, 『Arsenal’s Spirit』had no intention to dive in the iron market.
Since the main product from 『Arsenal’s Spirit』 is 『Earth Craft』, the iron was becoming a hindrance to keep.
He felt that it’s wasteful to throw it all away, so it’s beginning to accumulate. Lange has been asking Laurent to make up his mind quickly on how to handle all these irons.
Deanna visiting them is a godsend.
「No, it would help if you purchase it for 100 Gold. 」
There’s a big smile on his face.
「How will you get the goods? We are understaffed, so we can’t spare anyone for manual labour. I’d appreciate it if you’d bring someone to pick it up. 」
Lange interrupted in a brusque manner.
Deanna looked visibly upset.
（What’s with these guys. Why are you so confident like you strike a hard bargain? Don’t you understand your situation? ）
Her initial plan was for embarrassed Laurent and made fun of him, and she was going to raise the price a little.
And after she wins him over, she will discard the contract when she’s back in the guild.
He would come begging at me, saying 「Please buy our iron. 」 and when Jill saw that she would think he is hopeless.
The scenario happening in front of her completely confused her.
「What’s wrong, Deanna-san? 」
「You look pale. Are you feeling okay? 」
Laurent and Lange became worried when they saw Deanna turned pale and silent.
Their attitude upset her even more.
「Yeah, it’s fine. I’m good. 」
「Is that so? I’m glad you are fine. 」
「So, how do you want to receive it? You want to buy our iron, right? 」
Hearing Lange’s words, Deanna lose her cool.
「Nah. Are you stupid? Are you expecting me to buy it? Who’s going to do business with such a shabby workshop? Please do me a favour. It’s a waste of money to spend 100 Gold on you. I’m here to make fun of you. Don’t get me wrong, though. 」
After saying that sentence, she quickly left the workshop.
Laurent and Lange stood in silence, looking at the space where she left with a puzzled face.
「Ano… Laurent-san. 」
「What is it? 」
「What did that person come for? She said she got a deal, but then cancelled on us. I don’t understand why she did that. 」
「…I’m sorry. I don’t understand her too. 」
His gaze swept to the iron stacked in the corner of the room.
Those are leftover, looking dull whenever the light shines on them.
After leaving the workshop, Deanna tried to calm herself down and try to sort out what just happened.
（What was that? What’s with their stuck-up attitude. ）
She walks along the street with a slight jerk.
The more time passed, the angrier she became.
Above all, she was irritated because of those people.
（Also, I won’t get any profit if I bought the iron for 100 Gold.
Besides from the beginning, I don’t want to do business with them. I’m sure the alchemy guild is only to cover the fact that Laurent is Lilianne’s boy toy. Being supported financially by Lilianne, he did the guild as a pastime. Ah— blah blah blah. That’s why she supported him. ）
With that conclusion, Deanna managed to maintain her own peace of mind.
On the way back from dinner with Count Elsen, Lucius rode the carriage with a disappointed face.
He remembers the conversation he had with the Count.
They had dinner several times together and keep in touch with the neutral conversation, but today’s conversation is different.
「My daughter is getting married soon. 」
Said Count Elsen.
「Oh, congratulation. 」
「I wanted to get the best silverwork goods for the wedding. I’m looking for a good alchemist, but I can’t find one. And I heard you were in a leadership position in the alchemy guild in town. 」
「That’s right, I have a leadership position. I’m a mediator at everyone’s request. 」
「That’s one of the reasons I wanted to talk to you today. I want you to join the silverwork competition that I sponsored with the guild under your wing. 」
「Yes. And it’s not a one-off event. I’m planning to make it a big yearly event in this town. Don’t you think it’s wonderful? The alchemists from all over the town, gathering in one building and show-off their works to each other. If they compete against each other, the alchemists’ craft in our territory will take a huge leap. And the competition itself could become a tourist attraction in the town. And my territory would be one of the greatest alchemist towns. 」
Count Elsen made a gesture of spreading out his hands as if he was drawing a vision.
He seemed already to have a brilliant vision of the future in his head.
「Regardless of their social status, origin, or ability, any alchemist will be able to participate in the competition. I will also prepare various prizes and provide opportunities for a low-level alchemist and guild. Now, if those alchemists who don’t have any name can make a name for themselves, they will work hard in their participation. This will be exciting. It’s a never seen before idea. Don’t you think it’s great? That’s why I want your guild to join. And the winner will get the prize money. I’m looking forward to your participation. 」
Lucius, who thought that 『Golden Hawk』would get an endorsement from the noble was astonished.
（Exactly. That’s an aristocrat for you. They do nothing but frivolous things in their pastime. In the meantime, I gather all the alchemy guilds in town. But if the competition happens, won’t we suffer a great loss? ）
Lucius didn’t like how low Count Elesen’s opinion of him is.
His guild didn’t get any preferential treatments and treated as one of the participants.
While riding the carriage, Lucius was in a bad mood, but by the time he has arrived at the 『Golden Hawk』 headquarters, his mood had already recovered.
（Okay. Now is the chance to show my strength. I’ll let them know that we don’t need small fries in this town, there’s already 『Golden Hawk』 and other guilds under our umbrella. If I present it this way to Count Elsen, soon that endorsement will be given to our guild. And it will be even easier to destroy 『Guardian of the Magic Tree』 if we got the nobleman’s approval. And before long, we will rule the town. ）
As soon as he returned to 『Golden Hawk』 headquarters, he immediately ordered the affiliated guilds to produce the silverwork needed to participate in the competition sponsored by Count Elsen.
And he didn’t forget to add the instructions that all the participants must compete under the name of 『Golden Hawk』.