Chapter 6 – Crocodile Farmer and Sister Bertina (Part 1)
Giving alms — for such an incomprehensible reason, Ginette is preparing the ingredients eagerly. Getting up when the morning sky was still dark, the first thing she does is preparing breakfast for those who are waiting for free meal at the church…. I’m lost for words.
The early bird gets the worms? She suffers a great lost!!
Leaning my back against the kitchen’s wall, I watched Ginette working eagerly.
Help her? Are you kidding me? I don’t understand the meaning of devoting an effort to not producing profit.
Well, anyway, even though it’s only thrown-away vegetables, the quantity is sure huge. I wonder if she raked it from nearby farmhouse.
Ginette responded to the call dutifully. There was not even a speck of negative feeling towards me who was simply watching her without helping.
This girl, does she have something called negative emotions?
“Where did you get these thrown-away vegetables?” (Yashiro)
“I purchased them from the merchants.” (Ginette)
Purchase? These thrown-away vegetables!?
Thin carrot, spinach half-eaten by bugs, the outermost stiff leaves of cabbage…. are you seriously paying for them? No matter how I look at them, isn’t this kind of vegetable supposed to be discarded? These are technically a trash!
“There are many conscientious merchants, I’m getting them cheaply.” (Ginette)
“…. many? Did you buy them from multiple merchant?” (Yashiro)
“Yes. There was only one merchant at first, but it seemed he talked to his friends and four other merchants came to sell me cheap vegetables at the same price after that.” (Ginette)
You were completely duped! I’m sure that merchant told his friends something like; “there a place where we can get the money out of trash“. Moreover, purchasing vegetables from multiple merchant…. it would be easier to ask for a discount if she purchases everything from one merchant.
“Hey, show me your account book!” (Yashiro)
“Hmm? The account book? It’s on the back shelf.” (Ginette)
I took a notebook (or to be precise a booklet) from the shelf placed by the kitchen wall, and read it.
This is just a bunch of bad paper bundled together to be like a book. The writing is quite small, and the contents are…. I guess there will be more cuts than saving here.
I read the book while struggling inside.
I can’t believe it! Just as Ginette said, this restaurant purchases the thrown-away vegetables from five merchants, and one of them seems to be merchant from the 27th District. Then, about the fish, I can see that this is also purchased from three merchants. Even the unsold bread, it also comes from three merchants.
This is hopeless….
“Store Manager, we need to have a serious talk!” (Yashiro)
“Ue!? Wh-What is it, Yashiro-san?” (Ginette)
“Please leave the accounting to me from now on.” (Yashiro)
“Eh, but I’m fine, I can do it properly.” (Ginette)
“No, you can’t! It’s all messed up. This is on the same level as a children’s house play!” (Yashiro)
“Umm…. could it be…. are you mad at me?” (Ginette)
Oh no, I’m just furious! I don’t know why, but I feel an intense anger welling up from to bottom of my belly to the point I want to chop onions for no reason.
“Do the vegetable merchant only sells vegetable and the fish merchant only sells fish? Can’t we buy meat, vegetable, and fruit from one seller?” (Yashiro)
“If you go to the market, there are some shops like that, but a vegetable merchant is specialized in selling vegetable, a meat merchant is specialized in selling meat, and so on.” (Yashiro)
“Is the market far from here?” (Yashiro)
“No, it’s a walkable distance. It’s just beyond the main street.” (Ginette)
“Are they expensive?” (Yashiro)
“There’s no delivery cost, so they might be cheaper.” (Ginette)
“You knew that but still buying it from the merchant!?” (Yashiro)
“Umm…. about that…. because they wanted to sell it to me, so…. I mean…. I’d feel bad, so…. th-that’s right, I should accept it gratefully!” (Ginette)
“ARE YOU STUPID?” (Yashiro)
I yelled at Ginette instinctively.
Fwuh, that wasn’t my fault…….. I mean, look, it’s exactly just as I said before, she’s a sitting duck. Even though she was at disadvantage, she swallowed it because of such a stupid reason called a “I’d feel bad“.
“Listen! In my hometown, it costs money to dispose the trash. If the trash can be sold off even dirt-cheap, they’re still making a profit!” (Yashiro)
Even in this town, if the waste products can be turned into money, it will be worth the effort to bring them all the way here. You were duped by 11 merchants! You’re being sucked dry, oi!
Even the bread, it must me some kind of failed products. Telling something like “it’s cheap….” or “please….” and then passed it to her. Hmm, but it seems like fraud is also rampant here. Interesting….
That fight, I’ll buy it!
For those eleven merchant, don’t think you stand a chance against me. Oh well, let’s save that for later.
“Anyway, we won’t do business with these merchants in the future.” (Yashiro)
“Eh!? But then, about the ingredients….” (Ginette)
“Let’s buy them from another place!” (Yashiro)
“What’s wrong?” (Yashiro)
“Nothing, it’s just…. I only have a very few acquaintances…. but none of them is from the guild….” (Ginette)
“Yes, the eatery guild and commerce guild. The people from the commerce guild will introduce the merchant to us, and later that merchant will deliver the goods we need…. You have to decide on the commission, too…. So, changing the merchant is a bit….”
Somehow, Ginette was unable to finish her words.
To put it simply, Ginette who’s bad at negotiation, couldn’t say something like; “I don’t like the current merchant, bring me a more decent one!“. If so, the story is simple.
“Wouldn’t it be better not to go through the guild?” (Yashiro)
“B-But then, there will be no merchant who would supply the ingredients to this place…. Since the market is also for the general public to shop, there are a lot of places where they refuse bulk-buying of the people related to food industry like us, so as not to be out of stock or something….” (Ginette)
“In that case, we can just purchase it directly from the farmer.” (Yashiro)
Ginette stopped moving.
Come on, is it that surprising?
“The commerce guild and the merchant work as an intermediary between the consumer and the producer, so there must be a commission generated there. For that reason, the price paid by the consumer will be higher while the share of the farmer will be lower.” (Yashiro)
The reason why the products at the farmer’s direct sale store in the countryside of Japan are surprisingly cheap, this is because they aren’t sold through intermediaries. If you want to buy some thrown-away vegetables that are not suitable for sale, it should be obtained from the farmer itself.
“In addition, I can trust the commerce guild that do nothing, and let these 11 merchants ripping you off.” (Yashiro)
The commerce guild is an organization that manages all the merchants across the districts. Then, isn’t it strange to not notice the abnormal situation where 11 merchants are doing business with a single small restaurant? Thus I determined that the commerce guild is an accomplice.
It’s an addition decision, but I will put them into “List of People that Won’t Hurt to Crush”.
“Is there a farmer or a fisherman in the 42nd district?” (Yashiro)
“Yes. There’s an agricultural area near the church. Going a bit further, there is a big river, and fishermen gather and live on its riverside.” (Ginette)
“Great. Guide me there!” (Yashiro)
“No, let’s go later.” (Yashiro)
The morning sun has finally started to rise. Even if we go now, it’s not a suitable time to have a business talk. Proper discussion is limited only when the other party is at a convenient time. If we came at the wrong time, it will give an impression that we aren’t good business partners. The impatience is a taboo. However, I will secure the suppliers as soon as possible and put stop on this money wasting.
But before that, I have to go to the church and tell those people to stop accepting Ginette’s kindness. This would be a very uncalled act. If they’re convinced, it may be a matter to be left alone.
BUT, I can let those who enrich themselves using the other people’s hard work to go unpunished. Except me, all the other crooks should just disappear from this world!
“Let’s go to the church first. I’m sure it would be a meaningful time.” (Yashiro)
“Yes. The church in the 42nd District is a good place. I think Yashiro-san will love it, too.” (Ginette)
Love it? It’s impossible! That place is like the enemy base for me.
“Then, I will finish the preparation soon!” (Ginette)
Ginette made a pose to show her lovely biceps. Casting a glance at such a behavior, I went back to read all the contents of account book which was written in fine letters, until the tiniest details.