Chapter 78: Haggling
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Act 6: God Hunter Dragon Tendon Bow

Dull grey skies…

Due to the much shorter days during this season of the year, the town was already getting dark by the time Mwana returned from the animal park to pick up his pets. He walked through the outer streets aimlessly perusing things here and there while on his way to pick Kia up from the Information Center.

“Then we can return to the inn together.” Mwana thought out loud with a smile plastered across his face. He could confidently say that today had been a good day for him.

On the way to the info center, Mwana had to pass through some worn down streets where many small stalls, beggars, and sellers who set their wares on the ground were located. It was more like a lower grade street market. Usually, there was nothing of worth in places like this but this time Mwana was caught by surprise.

A chill struck his body almost causing him to jump in defense.

What the hell was that?!

However, he did not discover any sort of danger when he looked around. There was nothing. Everyone on the street was going about their business as usual. Everything should have been normal but Mwana’s heartbeat was accelerating and his blood was slightly boiling.

‘What is it?’ While asking this, he spread his senses to the max including his observation abilities with the Dragon Mirror Eye.

It was only then that he noticed an object that almost seemed to be glowing bright red among a sea of grey. It was a small and unassuming crossbow. While it looked red hot through his draconic senses, the small bow was just an ordinary broken and tattered weapon through his normal senses and eyes.

The bow was laid out on an old tattered mat alongside other relics, bones, old books, and other miscellaneous stuff. Next to the mat, an old man with a beggar-like appearance was sitting in a cross legged position while slightly dozing off. It looked as if sleep was overwhelming him and he was doing his best to stay awake. Not only was he drooling but his head was periodically nodding up and down due to the sleepiness like a pecking duck.

‘The old fellow sure is trying his hardest to stay his eyes; looks like business has been slow. I should check what the bow is.’ [‘stay his eyes’ is another way to say ‘stay vigilant/awake’] With this thought, Mwana approached the mat to check out the bow.

By the time the old man opened his eyes, Mwana already had the bow in his hands. It took all the old man’s strength not to call Mwana a thief, after all, in his dream-like state just now, he just dreamt of someone robbing him of all his possessions and reducing him to a true beggar. “You are just dressed like a beggar now…next I will turn you into a real beggar!” The perp had shouted before escaping with all his wealth. It was truly a nightmare of a dream.

“Old man, name your price.” After examining the broken bow for less than a second, Mwana immediately wanted to buy it.

This was because Mwana could tell that the trash-looking bow actually resonated with his bloodline. While the body of the bow did not produce any special reactions, from touching and examining the bowstring with his third eye, Mwana was sure that the string was made from a Dragon’s tendon!

Seeing how fast Mwana chose the bow, the old man let out a series of coughs as if he was clearing his throat. Just from this sound alone, Mwana knew this fellow was about to increase the price.

“Let me just stop you there ‘chief’, before we get this ‘battle’ started just know that money and I are like oil and water. I am not rich.” Mwana already made a preemptive strike before the old man could speak. In his drowsy state, the old man slightly nodded before realizing he was giving away the momentum in this bargaining ‘battle’.

“Okay, then how much do you want to pay for it kid. Just know that this bow was once a true treasure. It would have been millions of cowry shells back in the day and now I am just selling it for 200 cowry shells. This is an astronomical discount and I am already taking a huuuuuuge loss!” Instantly, the old man made sure to hype up the bow’s value and highlight how much of a loss he was taking.

However, with his mentality, Mwana was obviously not moved by the supposed illustrious history or great value. 200 shells!? Was the seller insane? Did he think Mwana was the son of an actual chief or something? With all the money Mwana had spent during the day whether on the spellcards or on food, he did not have 200 shells to waste on an old broken bow.

“200?! Do I look like a moneybags? Just so you know, even the clothes on my back were made by my own hands. My pockets are empty!”

“Fine. Fine then. Although I usually don’t deal with empty pockets, I will help you today.” The old man quickly answered Mwana. However, Mwana highly doubted the seller’s assertion that he did not deal with poor customers. Just from the old seller’s brown and patched clothing, it was clear the fellow was struggling. Seeing that Mwana did not intend to leave, the old man then continued speaking, “And what price are you suggesting then?”

“20 shells maximum would be fine.” Mwana answered immediately.

In response, the old man then said, “Oh, and what would you say if I threw in these additional martial arts book, plus some Vitamin pills and blood nourishing pills, a fully maintained G-Swallow, even this energy breaking blade right here. They are all cheap stuff.”

“Wow, are you joking?” Mwana said in a sort of excited tone.

The old man replied, “Yes, but you started it.”

Mwana indeed knew it was too good to be true. This old fellow was just pulling his leg the entire time but for someone with Mwana’s pocket depth, anything that saved him money was like music to his ears. For a moment, even if it was just an instance of a second, he did buy the old man’s words as those words greatly flattered his pockets.

Mwana was not angry at the old seller for pulling his socks but the night was about to set in and he did not have much time to waste haggling so he made his final stance clear, “Then state the real price but I am not joking around when I say I am truly poor. If your next price does not align with my pocket, there is no need for us to talk anymore. I will walk.”

“100 then.” Hearing Mwana’s tone which signaled ‘and that is final’, the old man finally lowered the price to 100 cowry shells.

“Eish, it looks like we are truly not fated,” After hearing the old man’s offer, Mwana replied with finality before turning and walking away decisively. By the time the old seller came to his senses, Mwana was already over 5 meters away.

The seller quickly shouted, “80.”

“60.” Mwana directly cut down the price by 20 shells.

“Eish, 60 will press me too much, I cannot sell it at that price no matter what, let us do 70.”

“65.”

“65? What is a difference of 5 shells? Just pay 70.”

In response, Mwana answered with a bright smile plastered on his face, all his teeth showing, “Right?! We finally understand each other. What is the difference of 5 shells to you right. Then I will pay 65.”

The seller had directly walked into that one and his own words were used against him. In this ‘battle’, Mwana emerged as the victor.

Seeing that this fellow was so agreeable and ‘easy to work with’, Mwana returned to pay for the bow and even squatted down so that he could take a look at some of the other things on sale. After all, they all seemed to be old relics so who knew if there was something else good among them.

“Kid, this is THE Dragon Tendon Bow. Do you understand? This was the bow used by the God Hunter yet I just sold to you for cheap. This speaks to my integrity that I am willing to take a huge loss for the sake of the younger generation. So do not con me out again.”

“Yes yes, elder.” In response, Mwana answered halfheartedly while packing up the bow before proceeding to examine some of the other things for sale. ‘Anyway, old men like to listen to themselves talk’, Mwana was used to such stuff in his dealings with such old men. This fellow kind of reminded him of old man Fisi. In his mind, Mwana just thought the old seller could not fully stomach his loss in the haggling ‘battle’ and chose to falsely elevate the bow’s capabilities. While the bowstring was surely made of tendons from a draconic creature, Mwana did not take any of that God Hunter nonsense seriously.

When the old man finished mouthing off about God Hunter, he found Mwana already examining an old pot. Out of all the items on sale, this pot was in relatively good shape without even a single chip. With some light touchups, Mwana knew he could get it as good as new.

While weighing it in his hands, Mwana spoke to himself saying, “mhm, mmh, this could make a good gift for mother.”

‘Another in the box!’ The old man almost raised his fist in the air knowing he was about to make another sale after a slow day. ‘I have to make this kid buy this no matter what.’

“Kid, before you haggle, you should know that this pot is genuine Dhahabu pottery!” The ‘Dhahabu’ the old man was speaking about was the Golden Kingdom Dhahabu, one of the 3 great nations on the continent.

“But it says right here ‘made in Uhai’.” Mwana said in a questioning tone as he examined the base of the pot.

“Cough.” “Cough.”

After some heavy coughs that made Mwana think that the old seller was going to choke to death, the seller finally caught his breath before replying to Mwana, “Indeed, haven’t you heard of Dhahabu Street in Uhai?”

Coincidentally, such a place did indeed exist.

This time Mwana did not haggle as the old man did not dare to raise the price too much knowing that he had been caught dead in a lie. After all, there was a huge difference between something made in Dhahabu Nation and something made in Dhahabu Street. Just like that, Mwana had gotten a gift for his mother.

With the bow and the pot, Mwana did not really spend much. Additionally, he still had a feeling that there was something good among the old junk the old man had laid out. However, just his normal eyes alone would not be enough to find the treasure among this trash. He had to rely on something else.

‘Looks like it is finally time to test out how far this ability can be stretched.’ With that thought, Mwana’s draconic senses, specifically his invisible third eye, were placed on overdrive. He was using one of his new psychic abilities which he had categorized under the 4 Directions, the Appraisal Eye. Unlike before when he just relied on his regular Dragon Mirror Eye, the appraisal power manifested itself in his left eye causing it to glow a blue color like a mirror in the water. However, Mwana was quick to restrain this external manifestation when he activated this power.   

After awakening the Dragon Mirror Eye innate ability, Mwana had discovered new powers and applications for this ability as time passed. 2 of these new powers were external while 2 were internal with the Appraisal Eye as one of the external powers. Collectively, he categorized these 4 abilities under the 4 Directions: East, West, North, and South, with the Appraisal Eye occupying the West direction – the left eye.

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