Scenario:Karteira - Cast a Line, Not a Net

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Cast a Line, Not a Net

Karteira meets a young shopkeeper who explains that the local merchants have been put out of business by her former mentor's monopoly. However, in a display of unrivaled mercantile prowess, Karteira turns the tables on the crooked merchant and returns the market to its former glory.



(Captain) and the crew have come to a small city to stock up on some supplies.
But they're left speechless as they walk through the lifeless husk of what should be a bustling market street.
Karteira: Well catfish and corn balls, what is goin' on around here? Did all the stores get up and move on their own?
Young Boy: Oh, did you come to buy stuff? You must be a collector or something to come all the way out here.
The young boy proudly stands in front of a crude stall which is almost completely devoid of products.
Karteira: You the only one sellin' stuff here?
The boy doesn't answer. Instead he signals upwards with his eyes.
Towering above everyone is a giant brick building.
Karteira: Huh? What's that s'posed to be?
Young Boy: Ever since they built that—in the fancy part of town, mind you—we lost us all our customers.
Karteira: I can't believe it... Don't tell me this pest of a superstore is...
Karteira: The Lowcust Corp!
Lowcust President: Ah-hah-hah! Well if it isn't Karteira!
Young Boy: Whoa, lady, you know the guy who manages that store?
Karteira: Well, uh, I s'pose you might say he did me a favor once.
Lowcust President: That's not even the half of it—I was your business mentor! And after all that time I spent showing you the ropes...
Young Boy: Huh, the ropes?
Karteira: Back in the old days, when Siero and I were just wee merchant babes, this swindler tricked us into buyin' defective merchandise.
Karteira: And because of that, our wagon slid halfway down a mountain and a buncha bandits attacked us!
Lowcust President: Oh, come now. Swindler's such a strong word. After all, I was only trying to teach you the golden rule of commerce: the trick of the trade is to never be tricked.
Karteira: Grr, as I remember it, that little course o' yours cost an arm, a leg—and a whole darn kidney as interest!
Lowcust President: Oh, for someone so riled up, seems like you haven't learned your lesson. Guess that means class isn't over yet; I better start calculating how much tuition you owe me.
Without giving time for Karteira to respond, the president continues on his way, sneering as he goes.
Karteira: Hey, you. You know about that golden rule?
Young Boy: Um, that guy just said it, right? The trick of the trade is to never be tricked.
Karteira: Nope. It's really cast a line, not a net.
Young Boy: Huh? Cast a line, not a net?
Karteira: Think about fishin'. If you capture all our scaley friends in one go, there won't be any delicious fishies the next year.
Karteira: It's the same with a market. Try to take everythin' from your customer, and you'll lose their trust faster than a chicken loses its feathers come dinner time.
Karteira: I gotta say that store really fits its name. Just like a real swarm o' hoppers, they'll swoop into any small town and eat it away till there's not grass nor grain left.
Young Boy: You're right. That's exactly what they're doing here.
Young Boy: Not to change the subject, but I gotta say, you sure sound like you have a lot of business smarts...
Young Boy: I mean... I want you to help me be a good businessman! Please show me the ropes!
Karteira: Geez, I, uh...
Well, you never know what'll pay off in the end, so why not?
Karteira: But why're you so eager?
Young Boy: Um... Isn't it obvious why?
Karteira: Look, kid, cuttin' yer losses and gettin' outta dodge is a fine strategy.
Karteira: Just take a glance around. All the other merchants've long moved on to greener pastures, right?
Karteira: So why haven't you?
Young Boy: Because I won't! I can't!
Karteira: Huh?
Young Boy: No matter how rundown my shop looks, Granny left it to me.
Young Boy: I'm doing my darndest to sell stuff. But it's just not working out...
Young Boy: A-and... Sniff...
Karteira: All right, I can see you got the guts, kiddo! I'll turn you into a top-class capitalist in no time!
Young Boy: Really? Thank you!
Karteira: Hehe. Another customer satisfied—all cuz o' big sis Karteira!
Young Boy: Okay, lesson one: sissify customers. Got it, Karteira!
Karteira: Gah, you dummy! Satisfy customers! And show your teacher more respect!
Young Boy: Hmm. Okay! Teachify customers! Got it!
Karteira: Oh boy... We're closer, but we still got a long way to go.
Karteira: Let's start with the basics: gettin' stock.
Young Boy: Hold on a minute. Even if you wanna get stock, the Lowcust Corp has a monopoly on the wholesale market in this town.
Karteira: If we take a wagon into the next town, we can make it in time before the wholesale shops close up. So get yer stuff! We're headin' out!
Karteira: I heard some people talkin' about some kinda sweet fruit. It's apparently gettin' real popular on this island.
Young Boy: Yeah, that'd be the cantaloop. They're giving out free samples over there. Wanna try some?
Karteira: I sure do!
Ma'am, can I get one o' them?
Karteira: Munch...
Karteira: Blessed bananas and miracle melons, what is this flavor! It melts in yer cheeks like a snowman who took a trip to the tropics and had too much fruit punch!
Young Boy: Hehe. That's this island's specialty, and you've come during its harvest season. It's kind of a pickle to farm though, so it's a rare item with a high price tag.
Karteira: Ah-hah! Then that's it! This beaut's gonna be our prize product!
Young Boy: What! But it's super expensive!
Karteira: Well how 'spensive is it? What would one cost ya?
Young Boy: Hmm... I'd say they've always cost about 5000 rupies.
Karteira: Always? How far back we talkin' here?
Young Boy: Let's see... Since before I was born, I guess?
Karteira: Gah, you dummy! Market prices are livin', breathin' things! If you wanna be a merchant, you gotta at least keep up with how much stuff costs!
Young Boy: Yeah, but that's easier said than done...
Karteira: Prosperin' primals, you got me worried, kid... Well. Go on. Pick a couple of 'em out.
Young Boy: Let's see... Um... We'll take this one and this one and this one.
Karteira: Gah, you dummy! You just picked the worst of the bunch!
Young Boy: Yeah, but they all look the same...
Karteira: That one's too ripe! This one's too bruised!
Karteira: And that one's just out of the question! It's actually leakin'! What if it rots before you can sell it?
Young Boy: I see your point. I guess I've never given it much thought before.
Karteira: Sigh... You gotta get a grip, kid. This stuff is just the basics of sellin' produce...
Karteira: But it's fine, I'll take care of it for now! Watch n' learn!
Karteira selects the best fruits from the pile and begins negotiating a price with the vendor.
She throws in a skillful compliment with a giggle, remarks that the vendor's cart seems overstocked, and finally makes a bulk purchase at a much lower price.
The young boy can only look on as Karteira works her magic.
Karteira returns to the deserted market street and carefully displays the cantaloops.
But despite her efforts, there's still no sign of any customers in the area.
Just as she begins wondering why that could be, she hears the young boy call to her in the distance.
Young Boy: Karteira! We got a big problem! The Lowcust Corp is selling cantaloops at half our price!
Karteira: Wh-what! That explains why we ain't got no customers!
Young Boy: Sob... Even though we found our product... We're gonna go in the red for sure. Guess we have to slash our prices...
Karteira: Gah, you dummy! They're just fleas tryin' to bite us outta the market. You play by their game and o' course you'll lose.
Young Boy: Then what should we do? Everything we don't sell will go bad!
Karteira: You said these here cantaloops are rare, yeah?
Young Boy: Yeah. I think we bought out the last vendor, so we won't be able to restock any more this season.
Karteira: Hmm... Well, guess we've got no choice. Listen here...
Karteira: Psst... Psst-psst...
Young Boy: No! Can we really do that?
Karteira: Hehe, yep. It's the best way to get back at idiots who only know how to lower prices.
The pair make their way to the Lowcust Corp and launch an immediate economic assault.
Lowcust President: Wh-what! You're telling me we're sold out of all our merchandise? Everything?
Store Clerk: Yes, everything's gone. But the one who bought it...
Karteira: Yer darn-tootin' it was me!
Lowcust President: How does that make sense? You would know better than to help your direct competitor.
Karteira: Yer right. I know a lot better than that. If you're a merchant worth his salt, surely you know about harvest strategies?
Lowcust President: Don't insult me! Of course I do! Buy out your competitor's products until the supply's completely gone. Then meet the surging demand by reselling that merchandise at a stable—
Lowcust President: N-no... You couldn't have...
Karteira: Yer luck ran out when you decided to try to price us outta the market.
Karteira: Hehe. Thanks to you, we'll be swimmin' in rupies like a pig in mud!
Lowcust President: Tch...
I guess we priced ourselves out of the market. Everyone, pack everything. And make it snappy.
Store Clerk: Huh? But Mr. President...
Lowcust President: Hehe. A true merchant accepts a loss honorably and uses the experience to reflect on their mistakes. But be assured—this won't happen again.
Young Boy: ...
Karteira: Why the weird face? You gotta go whiz or somethin'?
Young Boy: I, uh, was just thinking about how glad I am that you teachified me.
Karteira: Huh?
Young Boy: Up until now it's like I've just been keeping Granny's store 'cause I thought I had to...
Young Boy: Hehe, but after seeing you, now I get it. Capitalism's fun.
Karteira: Gah, you dummy! You can't say that
yet—you gotta count all yer money first!
Young Boy: Haha, I guess you're right!
Karteira: I get the feelin' you're startin' to understand though! Well, that money's not gonna count itself. Shall we make like a couple o' bankers and vault? Hehe.
Young Boy: Let's. Hehe.
Thanks to Karteira's skillful market manipulation, the once prosperous street begins to hustle and bustle once more.
The young boy attends his stall with aplomb, intent on hawking wares until he reaches the same mercantile genius as his beloved mentor.