Huang Xuan's first business in Spitsbergen went well. He traded 20,000 pounds of wheat for 60,000 pounds of whale meat. In other words, 10 tons of wheat for 30 tons of whale meat. If the energy consumption and risks were ignored, this kind of transaction was the best, the more, the better.
Later, more and more captains heard the news. At around midnight, Huang Xuan's stand was surrounded by a lot of people. Even the guts of the whale thrown on the landfill had been picked up, but because of the inconvenient land communication of Green Bay, the transaction was going extremely slowly.
Huang Xuan made 3,000 florins in cash by selling spices, which would be able to buy 600 Manhattan Islands in America. Many captains liked such small, light, and expensive stuff. They would rather take a boat of spice to Europe than trade blubber for grains.
Many of them thought the price of blubber would greatly increase that year. However, only Huang Xuan knew the inside information. He was still purchasing the other parts of the whale. The merchants were happy to sell them to Huang Xuan. They wouldn't transport them to Europe and use them until 50 years later when there would be more sailboats in the Netherlands.
It was said that everything of the whale was a treasure in the textbooks 400 years later. Its insides were rich in vitamins and were much more expensive than blubber in the new age. The fins and bones were excellent materials for handicrafts. Therefore, everybody got what they wanted, and the business went smoothly. Huang Xuan spent 100 florins renting several warehouses leading to the port. Each time when a deal had been closed, Rolin put the corresponding amount of materials in one of the warehouses, and then Huang Xuan would take the customer there to check the goods. After that, all needed to be done was the transaction.
This was a safe and effective method. Huang Xuan just needed to keep it secret for three days. However, it was slow...
The wooden door kept opening and closing; its noise upsetting Juan. This was the third time he had come to Svalbard. He had dealt in cannons in Hamburg and wool in London before. He was familiar with the commerce of Europe and was proud of his clear judgment, which was close to irony because of the lack of capital.
Juan hoped to buy all of Huang Xuan's goods, especially the cane sugar. What all the savages around him cared about was the wheat and spices which were good and cheap, but Juan knew that the really valuable thing was the cane sugar. The technology of the Europe wasn't advanced enough to make the cane sugar as sweet as that. Brown sugar was already good enough for them. Juan believed that the aristocrats would love the whiter, smoother, and sweeter cane sugar.
After Huang Xuan had made a deal with a Frenchman, Juan grabbed him and said, "Mr. Phillip, I have informed the fleet. They will arrive in three days. We can pay in cash. I need only three days. I'm willing to buy all of your goods at the price of 12 florins for every 1,000 pounds."
Huang Xuan shook his head and said, "Mr. Juan, I can't wait for three days."
He was telling the truth, but Juan thought he was making an excuse. "Sailors were the most patient. They can wait a year for a monsoon, how can't you wait three days? Three days is not even long enough to prepare food and water for the fleet."
A Portuguese pushed Juan away. Looking at Huang Xuan bustling in the crowd, he stamped his feet and left.
Walue was sitting quietly in the chair, with his elbows putting on the arms like an aristocrat. Several subordinates were standing aside, looking at the table, on which was a handful of cane sugar.
Huang Xuan let people take some of the goods on the stand as a sample, which only the well-dressed captains or businessmen could do.
Big Nose took some grains of the sugar and put them into his mouth. He savored them and put more.
It was after the conquest of the American Continent that sugar had become common in Europe. Before that, sugar had been as expensive as gold. The Europeans had even used it as medicine. After the 17th century, sugar was also available to wealthy civilians, but it was not as sweet as the modern kind.
For a kid born in the 1990s, maybe sugar wasn't sweet at all since they were used to something sweeter like candy, but for those Europeans who even considered eating brown sugar luxurious, cane sugar almost represented the advance of technology.
"It's really is sugar," Big Nose said as he savored it. "far better than what we produce."
"Is it a new domestic product?" Giant Orange said after tasting some. "Maybe it has been produced too much at home. Otherwise, how can it be sold to Svalbard?"
"Maybe not too much," a tall Dutchman joined in the discussion.
Walue was still sitting there, listening to the guesses of his subordinates. The governor of the East India Company was a powerful position, but it was not true at every place of the world, for example, Svalbard.
There were several organizations named East India Company in the history, of which the most famous was the British East India Company. In the 17th century, the Dutch East India Company was fighting the Spanish and the Portuguese over the domination of Svalbard.
Presently, the Netherlands was at an advantage. In tens of years, the Dutch would completely monopolize the whaling trade of the North Pole. Right now, Walue didn't dare to slack off. To buy the grains of that guy from Java Island would cost thousands of gold coins, or even more. "Without money, how can the company buy blubber, which is a strategic material? Is there going to be war?"
Thinking of this, Walue sat up suddenly and said in a hurry, "Is there anybody who has come from home or Europe recently?"
"Psyche just arrived last month. What's wrong?" Big Nose wondered.
"How's the situation at home? And Europe?"
"Everything is fine." Big Nose exhaled. "Except for the British. Without them, the world would be peaceful."
"The British…" Walue mumbled, which he enjoyed doing, just like the earls at home. However, everyone who knew him knew that he wasn't an aristocrat. Maybe he could get one of the titles when Svalbard became a part of the Netherlands.
Walue stopped thinking about it. He took his elbows off the arms of the chairs, stood up by leaning on the table and said, "Klee, we will collect blubber at the CIF price of last year."
"What about these?" Big Nose pointed at the cane sugar and grains on the table.
Walue swept them off the table in disgust and said, "We must first guarantee the domestic supply of blubber. Let the Spanish buy these things."