Tale #13: The Second Deal
The Rusty Shore port of Nankô (南鋼) has been owned by the West Yamato Trading Company (WYTC) since 1320 GE, one hundred years after the company was founded. Today it is one of the main players in the naval trade business, competing mainly with the Hank & Jordan & Tenzer Corporation (HJT) as well as various big time smugglers, most of which tie back into the Jamphel Yeshe drug cartel. Of course, some of them are also connected to the notorious Yamato Black Market, which has, at times, led to unlikely alliances between scoundrels and the WYTC in a bout to take out or at least harm the competition. The Commonwealth of Corsia could be a major player in trade as well, but they outsource much of their capacity to HJT while specializing in a military navy themselves.
-Fact 113 taken from Old Tim's One Hundred Facts about Aqualon, Volume 2
"Ten bars of Yamato iron!" the quartermaster exclaimed. He was at the ramshackle pier, some fifteen shaku1A shaku is approximately one third of meter.away from Lord Urashima and the vile cretin he had to deal with. A band of greasy scoundrels were carrying away the supplies the quartermaster announced while his poorly groomed counter-part took note. That he could even write at all seemed like a minor miracle to Lord Urashima. Filthy scum. He turned is attention back to the cretin, a creature by the name of Lee. Provincial! "You'll find the metal of impeccable quality," Lord Urashima noted drily. The disdain in his voice barely concealed. Lee nodded. "I am sure." "Five barrels of rice wine, eastern provinces," the quartermasters voice proclaimed. The rumbling sound of rolling barrels echoed along the pier. "Only the best for our new business partners," Lord Urashima said, almost managing a diplomatic smile. Almost. "Oh, we'll make good use of it," Lee replied. It took a moment for the barrels to be rolled out onto the pier and then onward towards the shore of the small island. "Fifty koku of rice!" the quartermaster continued. "That will surely take them a while," Lord Urashima observed. "They'll put their backs into it," Lee retorted. "In the meantime, why not regale me with the tale of how you came to be here, my good lord?" Lord Urashima considered holding his tongue and just letting the remark pass, but in the end he thought to himself: I might as well talk while we wait. He needed to vent his displeasure anyways, so why not give the brute an earful bitter enough to make him regret the question? "Well, my good man, you see, it was like this: The good sir Marcus Ginnosuke, head of the company, saw fit to send the most disgraced from among his ranks on a most esteemed mission of redemption. It seems my very poor fortune has cost the company a ship, you see. While out on a trading mission, it so happened that my previous vessel ran into some trouble with pirates." He gave Lee a calculating look and then added: "Far more disreputable than yourself, my good man. They fished me out of the wreckage and ransomed me back to the company. The whole ordeal has not earned me a lot of favors, you see. "Yes," Lee replied, "I imagine it wouldn't." "Five rolls of murasaki cloth!" The unloading had produced a new treasure. "Only the finest cloth Yamato has to offer," Lord Urashima said in a bored tone of voice. "Indubitably," Lee said coolly. And then, the quartermaster finally announced the last items to be unloaded: "Assorted swords and fire-sticks." From within the bowels of the ship, armfuls of cloth-wrapped, elongated objects were produced and carried towards and along the pier. "An arsenal with which to join the fight," Lord Urashima proclaimed. "Excellent," Lee agreed. "Now only one item remains." Lord Urashima raised a brow. "I believe you are mistaken. This should be everything that was agreed upon." Lee shook his head. "I fear it is you who are mistaken. You see, I received two proposed deals from your esteemed chairman." "Two?" "Quite. One was the exchange of certain wares for certain services to be rendered. This deal has been completed to our satisfaction." "And what, pray tell, was the second deal?" Bang! Lord Urashima had not even seen Lee pull the flint-lock gun from wherever he had pulled it. He took in a ragged breath of shock, looking at his blood soaked hands. His belly had been pierced by the bullet. "You... you shot me!" he exclaimed. "Yes I did. One dead captain for his ship. That was the second agreement. You certainly are unfortunate." As Lee stared at him with cold eyes, he lifted his leg and kicked Lord Urashima over the side of the ship with his boot.