The Mech Touch Chapter 1088
1086 Distinguished Buyers
"It is almost sinful to partake in this bounty." The representative uttered as Ves carefully opened a vintage nutrient pack and took out a sample for the man to try. "Yet don't mind if I do."
As soon as the foreigner from the Friday Coalition took a bite, he went into an instant ecstasy! "How divine! It is indeed as you claimed!"
Ves smiled as the representative took another bite and savored the sublime flavor. Thousands of years of fermenting had done the contents of the nutrient pack a lot of good!
"This isn't just any kind of regular nutrient pack." He boasted as he entered into salesman mode. "Look at the markings and serial numbers of the nutrient pack. Not only are they of genuine CFA stock, but they are also dated from before the Age of Mechs! If that isn't enough, they also originate from the long lost Starlight Megalodon!"
The representative studied the markings of the nutrient himself. "I was doubtful of your claims that you have somehow obtained the nutrient packs of a long-lost battleship of the CFA. The disappearance of the Starlight Megalodon is wracked with secrets. How could you possibly come into the possession of some of her nutrient pack supply?"
"I have my ways." Ves replied vaguely. "Due to some circumstances that I am not allowed to explain, I spent some time in the frontier. You can connect the dots from there."
"Very well. I'll take your entire supply. How much do you have?"
"With the opened pack included, I only have fifty-three nutrient packs left." Ves stated as he slapped his palm against the open crate in the vault.
"I am prepared to purchase all of them for 100,000 coalition credits each. That is a princely sum for a Brighter like you who came into possession of such a treasure."
"100,000 cols? Do you think I am mad!? As a connoisseur of nutrient packs, I know quite well that these vintage nutrient packs are worth much more than that! You should pay 100 million cols for them per pack! I'll even throw you a ten percent bulk discount if you buy all fifty-three of them at once!"
"Oh, please. Don't insult my intelligence, Mr. Larkinson. Aged nutrient packs are not impossible to acquire. 200,000 cols."
"Those are fake goods you are talking about. Nutrient packs that have undergone artificial time acceleration might be able to offer similar complex flavor profiles, but they are equivalent to mass-produced goods! My nutrient packs are different! They are exceedingly rare goods with a special origin and story behind them. If your patron adds them to their collection, they can show them off with pride that they own a piece of the Starlight Megalodon! Where else can you find such a treasure that your patron can comfortably display without attracting the attention of the CFA? 90 million cols!"
"That is a ludicrous amount for mere nutrient packs. No matter their age or history, nutrient packs serve as an economic way to supply ships and colonies with long-lasting survival food. They consists entirely of synthetic ingredients mushed together in an approximation of organic food! There are limits to how much one should pay for hem! 300,000 cols!"
Ves chuckled. "You and I both know that we are not talking about trading a bunch of nutrient packs here. Regardless of their original form, their meaning is completely different now due to their aging and their remarkable origin. These nutrient packs are valuable specifically due to those reasons and those reasons alone! This is your chance to buy a piece of history! And I will only charge 80 million cols each!"
The two nutrient pack connoisseurs continued to haggle back and forth for a while. Eventually, they came to an agreement to sell all fifty-three nutrient packs for the low price of 2.7 million cols.
Once they shook hands and signed a contract, the representative commanded a lifter bot to pick up the crate and depart the vault.
Before he left, the representative turned around. "These are the only nutrient packs from the Starlight Megalodon that you possess, correct?"
"I've left a couple for my own collection." Ves lied. "I can completely guarantee that you have obtained the remainder."
Once the representative left, he stepped outside the vault area and reached a position where he regained his connection to the LMC's internal network. He sent a call to Gavin.
"Gavin, please send in the next representative down to the vault."
"Okay, Ves." Gavin replied dubiously over the feed. "Why all of this song and dance? Why not meet them all at once?"
"I have my reasons." Ves replied before shutting off the connection.
He quickly returned to vault and entered another area where a single crate stood in the middle. Ves awaited for the next guest to be escorted to the vault by an attendant.
"Ah, Mr. Larkinson." The newcomer said, a woman this time. "From the drab decor of this underground area, I suppose you are about to show me your goods."
Ves smiled and opened the crate, revealing a number of nutrient packs. "You presume correctly, miss. Forty-six vintage nutrient packs, excavated straight from the missing Starlight Megalodon! As far as I am aware of, they are the only goods to have emerged from that legendary CFA battleship! Would you like to have a taste?"
"Please. How else will I be able to verify your claims? I am familiar with all of the historical CFA nutrient pack flavors, so don't think you can bamboozle me with counterfeits."
"I would never dream of doing so, miss."
Like a sleazy salesman, Ves repeated the same routine that happened a moment earlier. He hyped up the historical value of the nutrient packs. They were not mere vintage nutrient packs, but relics of the CFA!
Ves fared a little worse during the haggling that ensued. The woman was a shrewd negotiator and they only shook hands when they arrived at a price of 2.2 million cols per nutrient pack.
After waving the female representative off with her newly-purchased crate, Ves smiled sardonically to himself. "Well, I have four more chances to do better."
Now that he gained more confidence in the value of his vintage nutrient packs, Ves continued to meet representative after representative. Even though he outright lied about the fact that they received his entire supply of vintage nutrient packs from the Starlight Megalodon, Ves didn't think much of the consequences.
All he cared about right now was ripping off the representatives of profligate nutrient pack collectors from the Friday Coalition!
After completing six trades, each of which involved around fifty nutrient packs each, Ves completely traded away his entire stash!
Although it pained him a bit to say goodbye to those valuable nutrient packs, they only served to satisfy his vanity while they remained in his possession.
As a mech designer and the head of a company that was mired in debt, Ves needed money more than he needed to retain ownership of nutrient packs that served no practical use other than to serve as souvenirs of his last great adventure!
Aware of the value of the nutrient packs should Ves ever sell them to someone interested in them, he made the rational choice of converting his ownership of the nutrient packs into cold hard cash.
His heart still ached at the loss, though. His dismay was so obvious that Lucky floated down from his head and clung to his shoulders as if to soothe his pain.
"I know. They're just nutrient packs, but they're also a piece of history, you know? The Starlight Megalodon doesn't exist anymore, so there is no way that I can ever obtain more vintage nutrient packs from the ship."
"Pff, is that what you care about? You want me to spend all of my earnings from these trades on rare exotics for you to stuff your face with? I still haven't entirely gotten over the fact that you ate away my CFA gear!"
"Even if you gained some fantastic new abilities, it's not cost-effective for me to feed you high-quality exotics just so that I can gain some couple of super gems!"
Ves ignored Lucky's admonishment in favor of tallying his gains. Overall, by selling around three-hundred vintage nutrient packs in total at an average price of 2.9 miillion cols each, Ves earned 870 million cols in a single day!
Simply speaking, that was roughly worth around 87 billion bright credits! Even though Ves would lose a chunk of money from that massive sum due to transaction costs and fluctuating exchange rates that reflected the weakening of the bright credit, Ves still believed he would be able to supplement the LMC's coffers by at least 80 billion credits!
"The company's debt is a thing of the past once the money arrives!"
Not only that, but the LMC would also be sitting on a healthy surplus that it could spend on improving its security, expanding the Mech Nursery, setting up branch offices and subsidiaries in other states or apportion them to the future marketing campaign of his upcoming design!
"Worthless, heh?" Ves chuckled. "Maybe they're worthless to people like Lieutenant Stimmons. As for others, they are worth as much as the Barracuda!"
In fact, ever since he first cracked open a nutrient pack from the battleship during his stay on the Starlight Megalodon, he instantly realized their value. Not only would many individuals in the galaxy pay good money for them, they were also inconspicuous enough that no one in the CFA would care enough to take them away!
This was why Ves expressly prepared to smuggle out a bunch of vintage nutrient packs from the Starlight megalodon well in advance!
Ves laughed in exultation. "Hahaha! It all paid off!"
If Ves wanted to maximize his earnings, he would have put them up for offer at some auction house in the Friday Coalition. By inviting all the wealthy nutrient pack connoisseurs of the Friday Coalition to participate in the auction, it might have been possible to jack up the price for each vintage nutrient pack all the way to 1 million cols!
"That would have been far too conspicuous, though." Ves shook his head in regret.
Such a public auction might attract the attention of the CFA to him again. The last thing that Ves wanted to do was to give the powerful trans-galaction organization a reason to investigate him thoroughly!
In addition, by selling nutrient packs from a lost CFA battleship so blatantly, Ves would also be violating his obligation to keep the details of the Aeon Corona Mission a secret. While he didn't fear the Mech Corps all that much, it was an entirely different problem once Flashlight entered the fray!
"I should never get on the bad side of Flashlight!" Ves shuddered.
Perhaps Ves could have earned more money if he sought out more discerning buyers. Yet the longer he waited and the more potential buyers he sounded out, the greater the risk that some of them might take more direct action to obtain the nutrient packs!
It wasn't out of the question for them to send an overwhelmingly powerful force of mechs to Cloudy Curtain in order to rob Ves of his stash of vintage nutrient packs!
Although it sounded ludicrous for someone to go through so much effort for a bunch of nutrient packs, Ves knew that such incidents actually took place!
"The sooner I got rid of them, the better. They're hot goods as long as they remained in my vault."
In any case, earning almost a billion cols lifted a huge burden off his shoulders. It cost money to borrow money, so the LMC constantly troubled itself by trying to pay back all the interest from their loans.
While it wasn't exactly a disaster for Ves and the company if those loans continued to remain on the company's books, if Ves gained the ability to pay them back wholesale, why shouldn't he go for it? In any case, Ves did not plan for his company to embark in any major investments in the foreseeable future.
"Now that I've received a quota for the services offered by the BV alliance, I no longer need to save up a lot of money to prepare for the next mech generation."
Now that he secured the future of the LMC, Ves finally felt free to focus his main priorities.
Right now, that meant taking the next step in designing his mech!
"I'm almost done with overhauling my draft design. Once that's complete, I'll have to solicit feedback from Professor Ventag and others. I wonder how they will react to my vision?"