1448 Deep, Deep Walle

    "Hmm? I see you guys are already talking to each other!" said Lucius as he came from behind.

    "Lucius. What are you doing here? I thought you were busy entertaining yourself with the others inside," Wagner replied, thinking that Lucius was coming to greet him.

    "I did but I could not forget about what my boss wants," Lucius turned to look at Jiang Fei as he spoke.

    "So it seems. Where is the seller? How is he selling the ship? I want to know the price!" Wagner asked disgruntledly. His tone with Lucius was completely different from when he was talking to Jiang Fei.

    Although both Lucius and Wagner belonged to the same kind of social "trash", the gap between the two differed greatly in terms of wealth. Wagner's family's wealth was so much greater. His family pocket change was considered a fortune to Lucius'.

    "About that..." Lucius stuttered. He gave Jiang Fei a subtle look, thinking that something was off. The two were seen talking for some time and he thought that it was unlikely for Jiang Fei to not have revealed his real identity. However, if that was the case, Jiang Fei might have something else planned.

    Jiang Fei was quiet. He crossed his arms and quietly placed his index finger on his lips, signaling him to be quiet.

    Lucius understood at once and responded in accordance.

    "It would seem that he might be late, or perhaps already here. I'll go and look for him now. Please enjoy the evening," Lucius excused himself.

    "Make it quick. Unlike you, I do not have the luxury of time! Make him talk!" Wagner demanded.

    "I'll do that! Don't get up! Please enjoy the quiet, peaceful ambiance!" said Lucius as he left promptly.

    "Pardon me, it seems to me that you are rather interested in the ship," Jiang Fei commented.

    "Did I come on too strongly about it? My apologies. To be honest, my confidence in procuring the ship has not wavered. Lucius had done a fine job in finding other competitors. They all share my enthusiasm for buying the ship. That being said, I've not considered them as real competitors," Wagner smacked his lips as he confessed.

    "What about now?" Jiang Fei asked as he adjusted his uniform. He was trying to act as if he should be treated as his competitor.

    "Hehe! If I were being honest, my confidence was shattered with your presence," Wagner confessed. Compared to the rest, Jiang Fei might be the only one that has the ability to outbid him.

    "Out of curiosity, how far would you go for the ship?" Jiang Fei asked.

    "Someone's coming in a little stronger... Hahaha!" Wagner teased.

    "As I said, I was merely curious. Do not feel obligated to answer my question," Jiang Fei snorted.

    "I give up. To me, the ship is nothing but a collector's item; a toy for me. Even though I truly wish to own it, it is not something that I would trade my soul for it. That is where I draw the line, brother Jiang Fei," Wagner answered. Jiang Fei had just asked the same question Wagner wanted to ask himself. He had wanted to exchange bids with Jiang Fei and if Jiang Fei were to name a price higher than his, Wagner would throw in the towel, and vice-versa. Naming a price now would be better than to stir up the crowd later during the auction and setting the price of Braveheart too high.

    "What's your price?" Jiang Fei asked. How much would the rich be willing to pay for Braveheart?

    "I'm only able to go as high as this," said Wagner as he raised three fingers. "This is as high as I can go. If you can do higher, the ship is as good as yours."

    "300 million?" Jiang Fei guessed. He was surprised. He recalled the value of the ship to be as high as one billion when Rais and Lucius gave their estimate.

    "Haha! Are you joking or are you looking down on me?" Wagner rolled his eyes as he said.

    "Three billion. That is all I have. Currently, at least. If the owner of the ship would accept anything else then money, I can offer items of higher value," Wagner said confidently.

    "The rich sure have a deep, deep wallet to go around..." Jiang Fei thought to himself. The ship was important to Jiang Fei back on Earth as it housed alien Bio-technology. Removing that aspect of the ship, other races in the universe would only be looking at Braveheart as nothing but a collectible item-a ship for decoration, for glamor. Even for such a hunk of metal, Wagner was still willing to put out as much as three billion. Such capability and mindset was something Jiang Fei could never understand.

    "There, I've named my price. What about you, brother Jiang Fei?" Wagner lowered his fingers and kept his eyes glued to Jiang Fei's reaction. What he expected to see was either the look of disappointment or jubilance. He had not expected to see Jiang Fei being surprised.

    Wagner had a knack at discerning a person's emotion. It was an ability he had cultivated since young. The accuracy of his judgement was not perfect but it was enough for him to get certain jobs done. He could tell that Jiang Fei's current expression and emotion were not faked. That could translate to Jiang Fei being able to put out a higher price.

    "Should I go higher?" Wagner thought to himself. The only cash he had, the amount of aetheryte that he could move, was only three million. If the owner would not be willing to accept other items as addition, Wagner might have to open up to the idea of borrowing money from someone else.

    "My price?" Jiang Fei gasped. He had no idea that he was smiling like an idiot when Wagner revealed his offer. A smile that was so elusive that it made the super-rich to start thinking about borrowing money from someone else!

    "Indeed! Tell me how much you are willing to put out. Come now, show a little sportsmanship here. I've told you mine. It's time for you to tell me yours," Wagner said, his tone was a little disgruntled.

    "Sorry. It's not that I'm not willing to tell. But... Gah... Your number is just too much for me. I'm too ashamed to reveal mine. Plus, I don't have any money, physically, to speak of. If the owner is not open for barter trade, I might not even have enough to compete with the others... much less, to compete with you!" Jiang Fei said. He was telling the truth, not the entire truth, but still the truth. Not that he had not enough money, he had no money at all!

    The only thing Jiang Fei had right now, besides Braveheart, was a personal shuttlecraft. That baby might fetch 40 million aetheryte, not a small number, but decimals when compared to what Wagner was willing to pay for Braveheart.

    "I see..." Wagner bought Jiang Fei's words. The way Jiang Fei spoke was straightforward and without any subtle hints. He had purposely matched the trend in the Trade Federation which was not having physical money on hand. Smart traders would not hoard physical money on hand as they would be a waste of potential. The elites would use whatever they had to invest in something else; to use the money to generate money.

    Wagner did not carry that much money at all times. In fact, it was a coincidence that he had that sum of cash on hand. He had just made profit not long ago and the money received was not yet placed in another investment.

    Wagner looked closely at Jiang Fei's body language and determined that he was telling the truth. That being said, his smile was still not yet justified. If he was not able to outbid him, why was he smiling? Was he just happy that Wagner was going to buy the ship? Why would he do that?

    Just then, Lucius made his presence known.

    "Gentlemen, if you would please come inside. Everyone has arrived and the main event will start shortly," Lucius came before them and said.

    "Come along, brother Jiang Fei. I would like to see just who is the owner of such a fine antique ship!" Wagner smiled as he invited Jiang Fei to head into the mansion.
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