Ren Baqian turned to see a middle aged man in a long coat standing not too far away. He had a small mustache, and looked to be from either the Yun or Chen Nation. The smirk on his face was probably from hearing Caretaker Shi's words.
Beside him were two men with herculean physique that looked like bodyguards.
Caretaker Shi took two strides towards him. He was half a head taller than the mustached man.
"What are you laughing at?" Caretaker Shi said aggressively, sounding as though he was ready to pound the other party in the face at any moment.
The two bodyguards took a step forward.
Ren Baqian had maintained a good relationship with Caretaker Shi since the beginning and therefore did not know much else about him other than his candid character.
Now that they were outside, Ren Baqian realized that Caretaker Shi was no pacifist.
Although, the other party being an outsider could also be a factor. The people of Dayao were not fond of outsiders.
To them, foreigners who visited Dayao reeked strongly of greed.
"Nothing much, listening to your words reminded me of when I first started doing business." The middle-aged man chuckled as he took a step back. Although he had only been in Lan City for a short time, he knew how to deal with people from Dayao.
Although it was rather cowardly, acting this way allowed him to avoid trouble. Besides, he was a merchant who was only here in Dayao to make money. Taking a step back was no big deal.
In his eyes, those avaricious bums who frequently fought with Dayao's people were all fools.
Those who arrogantly thought that Dayao's citizens did not dare to offend them because they needed their goods were so blissfully ignorant that they had become targets.
Ren Baqian piqued the mustached man's curiosity, because he did not look like someone fro
Caretaker Shi let out a heavy grunt after hearing his reply.
After surveying the shop's potential crowd traffic for a while, Ren Baqian noticed that the man was still standing nearby. Intrigued, he asked, "Why are you still standing there?"
The man laughed, "As luck would have it, I have my sights set on this shop as well. I am actually here today to get hold of it."
Ren Baqian was excited to have met a competitor. Considering how popular this piece of property seemed, he would probably not have any chance to get it if he had not left home this morning.
Seeing how the middle-aged man was patiently waiting, Ren Baqian deduced that the shop's owner was about to arrive. Since he had nothing better to do, he decided to wait a while more.
Soon after, a husky fellow appeared. Without uttering a single word, he removed the shutter boards from the shop's door and proceeded to walk right in.
Flashing a quick smile at Ren Baqian, the mustached, middle-aged man rushed in after the owner with his two bodyguards in tow.
Ren Baqian dragged Caretaker Shi into the shop to check out its condition. The shop was squarish and about a hundred square feet large, with stone slabs as flooring.
Behind the shop was a large courtyard and two other houses.
The fellow who opened the door stood lazed against a pole as Ren Baqian looked around the shop.
"Alright, no issues. Is this shop for sale?" The middle-aged man walked up to the husky fellow and asked cheerily.
"Not selling." The husky fellow threw down these two words as he stared at the roof.
"Fine, then I'd like to sign a three year contract that gives me preferential leasing opportunities after it expires."
"What f***ing contract, here in Dayao it's our word that counts." The husky fellow replied in annoyance.
"A contract helps put one's mind at ease. After all, in leasing this shop for business we hope to have stability."
"You're afraid that we'll renege on the agreement?" The husky fellow stared fiercely at him before spitting, "Hand over the money if you want to rent this shop. Otherwise, get lost."
The middle-aged man laughed bitterly. This terrible temper of theirs was such a headache.
"What's the rent like?" Ren Baqian interrupted from one corner of the shop.
"Aren't you guys all together?" The husky fellow asked as he sized Ren Baqian and Caretaker Shi up.
"150 taels for a year."
Ren Baqian felt the pinch. Caretaker Shi's salary was only six taels of silver a month, which works the rent out to be two and a half years' worth of his pay.
What's more, all he had on hand was about eighty odd taels, only enough for about half the rent.
But Ren Baqian immediately thought of Earth's conversion rate, which was slightly over ten thousand yuan per 80 taels. 150 taels was only about thirty thousand yuan, which was seriously cheap for a year's worth of rent.
Back in the city he came from, a piece of property like this one would easily cost upwards of forty to fifty thousand.
"Alright, I'll take it." Ren Baqian immediately agreed. "I'll give you some money as deposit for now. I'll send the rest three days later."
With this shop, he would be able to craft new items to sell in addition to ice, shaved ice, and indigenous electric fans. This street was an excellent location for a shop, and Ren Baqian would be able to get a lot of use out of it.
Caretaker Shi looked really worried, like he had things to say but could not.
"My man, what you just did was really dishonorable!" The middle-aged man chuckled disheartened.
"The early bird catches the worm!" Ren Baqian laughed.
The husky fellow replied, "Great, I'll wait for three days. Same time, same place."
The middle-aged man cut in, "160 taels for a year, and I'll settle the payment right now."
Rolling his eyes, the husky fellow said, "We'll see in three days. If he doesn't bring the silver then the shop is yours to rent."
He completely ignored the middle-aged man after he was done talking.
Who knows if it was because Ren Baqian made the first move or if the middle-aged man had offended him with his words.
Ren Baqian and Caretaker Shi searched their entire selves and managed to pool twenty taels of silver. They handed it over to the husky fellow. "We came out today for a stroll, so we don't have much silver on us. We'll definitely bring the rest of the payment three days later."
"Sure! Bring a paper slip over and I'll put my thumbprint on it." The husky fellow said.
Even after they left, the middle-aged man still felt it a pity that he did not get the shop. This was indeed a great location, arguably the best one for his business here in Lan City.
Ren Baqian cupped his hands and bade farewell to the middle-aged man as a sign of respect. He did not have too bad of an impression regarding the middle-aged man. After all, in a world full of burly and husky men, this person looked the most like him. Furthermore, he was not all that loathsome.
That mustached middle-aged man could not help but offer, "My man, I'm not sure if this is an appropriate thing for me to say but it's not advisable to put out seventy taels in a business with only a hundred taels on hand. The slightest mishap will land you in a deep financial mire. What's more, there will be lots of issues with liquidity. If after reconsidering you find the risk too big, I'm willing to pay you thirty taels. That's ten taels you will be earning."
Ren Baqian cackled, "I'll not worry your excellency over this.".
Following his reply, Ren Baqian left the scene with Caretaker Shi.
"Boss, what now?"
"Let's see if we can find any other suitable shops. We'll come back three days later to see how things go," The middle-aged man replied as he watched Ren Baqian vanish into the crowd.
Having obtained the shop, Ren Baqian and Caretaker Shi no longer felt the need to search for new locations.
Caretaker Shi was still rather worried when they returned to their quarters, "Can we still earn anything after paying a hundred and fifty taels a year? The risk is too high!"
"Don't worry, take it as I'm the one who's renting it. I'd like to sell other stuff using this shop as well." Ren Baqian said easily.
As long as he had ample resource, he was unafraid.
Not only did he have the resources, he also had an abundance of things he could sell. Ren Baqian did not feel even one ounce of worry.
It was only after returning that he realized he had forgotten to drop by the Chen Medicinal Shop.
Looks like he'll only be able to visit them three days later.