Spice and Wolf II 4 : Credit ChroniclesJuly 31, 2009
As I said, I’d do my best to catch up on the series I’m blogging and here’s the next one. This episode contains a lot of complex economic reasonings and I’ll try my best to keep it simple and understandable for all of your and my own sake.
Lawrence is walking through the partying city, he isn’t in a party mood however, since last time he got into a fight with Horo. Lawrence even starts imagening what might happen if Horo really leaves him for Amati…
Lawrence goes to Mark’s place. There, Mark tells him to look at himself now, he was so confident before, yet now he’s all depressed. Lawrence can’t do anything but accept Mark’s words. Mark goes on by telling Lawrence that the market prices won’t drop, only a god would be able to do that. If Lawrence really wants to stop Amati, he’ll have to turn the expensive pyrite into plain rocks value by tomorrow.
On his way back to the hotel, Lawrence hears some merchants talk about the high value of the pyrite. One of them mentions that this isn’t the time to spending money on wheat, but on pyrite. Just in front of the hotel, he sees Horo at the balcony and Amati bowing down for her at the entrance. When Amati left the scene, Horo focuses her eyes on Lawrence. But before Lawrence can say anything, Horo makes her way back inside.
When he enters the hotel again, the owner calls him over. He hands Lawrence a letter, which has been written by him on Horo’s request. The letter contains Amati’s assets and a contract signed by Horo and Amati. Lawrence is shocked and the owner keeps an eye on Lawrence’s reaction, probably because Horo told him to. A second later, Lawrence demands the owner to hand him all the cash he has and then Lawrence runs out in search for Amati.
On his search, he bumps into some tough guy, but when the guy grabs Lawrence’s shoulder and notices his deadly glare, he let’s Lawrence go immediatly.
After a long search through the city, Lawrence finally finds Amati in a bar. He walks over and asks him to talk about business.
And after the break, Lawrence explains that he wants to sell Amati some pyrite, 500 silver coins worth of pyrite to be exact. Amati thinks Lawrence is joking and that Lawrence already knows about his way to get money. He even assumes that the rumors of Lawrence giving up on Horo as long as he gets the money might be true. Lawrence denies that by saying he still cares about Horo and he doesn’t wanna sell the pyrite in a simple sale but on credit. Amati doesn’t get the reasoning behind the deal, since selling on credit only seems beneficial to the one buying. But after some thinking, Amati reasons that if the value of the pyrite drops, he’d make a giant loss. Lawrence nods and tells Amati he’s challenging him to a duel. Amati tells Lawrence that he can step out of the duel any time he wants, since he can just sell the pyrite when the value is still high, so Lawrence is at a disadvantage here. But Lawrence disagrees since there is a possability that Horo just rips up the contract between them and that risk is even higher than the disadvantage he has.
Amati mentions that he heard that Lawrence and Horo got in a fight. So Lawrence shouldn’t be all that confident he reasons, but then Lawrence tells Amati that Horo has only cried 3 times during their journey and when she does so she tends to say things she doesn’t mean. Amati is tricked by this and accepts the deal, he tells Lawrence that he didn’t wanna strip him of all his possessions at first, but since he puts him into such a pinch, Amati will do everything to take it all from Lawrence.
Back at the market, Mark and Lawrence drink on their first succes. Now Lawrence plans on dropping the value of pyrite. He explains to Mark that if he manages to rise the wheat prices, the focus on pyrite will drop. Since the people who bought pyrite are mostly traders that want to take something back with them when they leave the city, the most common good would be wheat. When they hear the rumor about wheat prices going up, they’ll sell off their pyrite and stock up on wheat, making the pyrite’s value drop to nothing.
Lawrence has one last request for Mark, he wants Mark to get a large amount of pyrite before the value drops. That way make a profit out of it by selling it on credit and he’ll give Mark a nice amount of gold coins in returns. Lawrence pours some more beer in his can and expects a yes from Mark, but Mark refuses. Lawrence is suprised by this and asks why Mark doesn’t agree with his plan. Mark explains that he can’t just make easy money like that since his family is living in the city. If he accepted the deal, the townspeople would look down on them for making profit out of their misery.
Lawrence apologizes for asking something like that from Mark, but Mark also understands that Horo must be really important to Lawrence when he’s willing to go that far for her. He asks Lawrence what he’ll do now. Lawrence assures him that he’ll talk to Guy about the problem. Mark agrees that it is the best thing to do, since the alchemists still have a large stock of untouched pyrite. He tells Lawrence that eventhough he can’t give him the pyrite, he’ll still try to search for possible customers. They shake hands and with refreshed confidence, Lawrence runs through the night…
Since the system of credit might be difficult to get I’ll try to explain it in detail :
Value pyrite : 100
Person A sells pyrite (worth 500) to Person B
Person B has no money on Day 1 so he buys it on credit and will pay on Day 2.
case 1 : The value of pyrite drops from 100 to 50
Person B can only sell his pyrite for 250 now since the value halved, but he still needs pay 500 to Person A. So Person B made a loss by buying on credit.
case 2 : The value of pyrite goes up from 100 to 200
Person B can now sell his pyrite for 1000 since the value doubled, he only needs to pay 500 to Person A and makes 500 profit.
In both cases Person A receives 500, so the seller is safe with selling on credit, yet the one buying the goods risks losing money.
This episode was really complex, yet they did a good job on explaining everything as good as possible. Yet it sounds quite unbelievable that some rumor could change the whole market value of one product in one day, we’ll have to find out about this in the next episode.
What else was suprising?
Horo didn’t have a single line (except for flashbacks) in this whole episode!
This was Kyon, back to the studio