Chapter 18:

Haggling with Kageyama

Life Stream: Helping a cute girl gain views and followers


The shop manager glared at me as I stared at the ghost pepper spice display.

“What’s with the look Kageyama?” I asked.

“There were better things to do with that ghost pepper spice,” he groaned.

“Come on, chat LOVED it. Heck, that clip is already doing really well on Mewtube.

“No, I’m saying you should have eaten it all. The whole point of ghost peppers is for streamers and thrill seekers to attempt to conquer their spiciness. Astrid just came by and bought a bunch of crazy stuff, she will use in her video. Ah, her head is so beautiful. She’s truly a testament that women don’t need hair to be beautiful. Heck, Astrid would look good no matter what look she went for…”

Okishirou Kageyama was Astrid’s self-proclaimed number 1 fan. He was also the heir to the Supermarket chain, Kagemart as well as a content creator on the side. He had initially been resistant to inheriting the business, but after his father allowed him to directly manage one of the stores and decide its inventory, he jumped at the chance. All to impress the girl he liked.

Once we became more friendly with one another, Kageyama told me that he met Astrid when she first moved in and fell in love at first sight. He then decided to turn a Kagemart into a superstore that would serve Astrid’s needs. He immediately stocked foreign foods and other gizmos and gadgets that Astrid and other streamers might find interesting. Unlike my grandfather, Kageyama was a very competent businessman and was able to make his store the most profitable Kagemart in the country. He also did restoration videos as a side hobby and enjoyed building things to sell, as well as fixing electronics, antiques, and toys.

I could understand why someone like that would be upset at me burning food, but I’m damn certain he’d be boiling ghost pepper spice like Goemon if Astrid did it.

“So, what do you want Crow? You came in here looking for me,” Kageyama grumbled.

“I wanted to inquire about getting a merch deal for Leona.”

“Hoh? I’m assuming she fulfilled one of the requirements then.”

Kageyama’s store also offered merchandise deals for streamers and content creators. However, in order to qualify for the merchandise service, you needed to fulfill certain requirements. Reaching 100,000 followers or subscribers on Wich or Mewtube respectively were the main requirements. Kageyama was a businessman and would not sign a deal with creators that couldn’t pull their weight. He himself had gotten both his personal channel, and his store’s to well over 100,000 on both platforms. This man had a talent for business and was in high demand.

“Whew, it’s her Wich channel. Astrid just needs 89,369 more subscribers to hit a million, then she wins the bet,” Kageyama giggled.

“Leona only needs 10,334 to hit 100,000 subscribers. I’m sure she’ll gain them faster than Astrid can gain hers,” I retorted.

“*Tch* Anyway, I’m sure you know, but I am in high demand. This means she’ll be on the waiting list.”

“Is there any way to get her in the high priority tier?”

“Without a large monetary investment no. She just qualified, so naturally she’ll be the lowest priority. I understand you want your merch as soon as possible, but I can’t just move her to high priority instantly unless there’s a benefit for me in doing so.”

These were exactly the words I wanted to hear. Even though Kageyama would get a cut of the profits, selling merchandise would not only improve Leona’s financial situation, but also help her grow her influence and brand. Astrid already had merchandise and was naturally at the highest level of priority in terms of merch requests. If I could instantly bump Leona into that tier without having to put down a large monetary sum, it would be a bargain.

“Just so we’re clear, even if it doesn’t involve a large monetary sum, as long as its beneficial to you, you’ll bump Leona into high priority tier?” I asked.

“If you’re asking me that, I assume you’ve got something in mind that I want. Well unfortunately, it’s going to need to be something big. Something like an old war relic or priceless antique.”

“How about some toys from Tsugihara’s Toy shop?”

“Ha ha! Seems you’ve got my number. Tsugihara's work is some of the finest I've ever seen. My father became enamored with his unique toys and craftsmanship and would secretly spend his allowance to buy them. My grandfather hated Tsugihara as a man but could not insult his craft. My father enjoyed Tsugihara's toys so much that he begged grandfather to bail out the shop when it was going under. After the shop went under, no one knows what happened to old man Tsugihara. I heard he still made some toys but wished to keep a low profile. If only I had met him. While I’ve tried to replicate his toys, it’s just not the same. But if I had trained under him, I could resurrect Tsugihara toys and make Astrid her own blue bear.”

Yep, if it will improve his chances of getting together with Astrid, it was considered priceless to him. Heck, this man literally created a chef’s discount for food-centric content creators and people in the culinary industry after hearing about Sven. The best part of all, was that I had exactly what he wanted.

“I know someone that can get you what you want. If he agrees to this, does Leona get high priority?”

“Yep, the more toys you give me, the higher she goes. Though just one would put her at the bottom of high priority tier; even if the toy is broken.”

“Perfect, I’ll contact you as soon as I speak with him.”

As I finished haggling with Kageyama, Leona showed up.

“So can we get the merch?” she asked.

“Yep, you’ll be on the high priority list within 24 hours.”

“Wait really?”

“Well, I just need to negotiate with one more person, but I’m sure he’ll agree.”

“Sweet! So where are the scorpion pops?”

                                                                             ...

After doing some shopping, we headed back to Leona’s place.

“Astrid wants to collab stream the last route of Insanity’s Ballad. Since it’s the one where the crazy effects are at the max, she wants to make a spectacle of it, and has even booked an appointment with a professional makeup artist she knows.” Leona explained.

“So, are you going too?” I asked.

“Yep, Astrid said we’re gonna get our heads and bodies cast. Her friend will even be helping out on the day of the stream.”

“Sounds like it truly will be insanity. No wonder Sven’s been busy lately.”

I imagine this was also Astrid’s attempt to win the friendly bet she made with Leona and reach her subscriber threshold first. Well even if Leona loses, I’d still confess to her if she was bald and had Astrid’s logo tattooed on her head. However, that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to go down without a fight. If I could improve Leona’s chances of winning, I’d go for it.

“Do you think I can play that Gumshoe Guild game you were playing?” Leona asked.

“Sure, I’ve also got the one Jaime played.”

“Sweet! Even though I saw the endings of those games, I still wanna play em.”

Since it was still a few hours before Leona’s start time, I elected to stream first.

“YO! Welcome to the crow’s nest. Today I’ve got a neat little free to play game many of you probably haven’t heard of. It’s called Oily’s real steal cricket. It’s a neat little game where you haggle with a boar named Oily to lower the IRL price of the cricket minigames he sells. I’ve already paid for everything, but started a new save file so we can enjoy the experience.”

As I played the game, Leona came over and stared at it.

“Wait? Is this a haggle simulator?” she asked.

“Kind of. Though there are also cricket themed minigames.”

“Can I try bargaining?”

“Sure, since I’ve already bought all the games, they will automatically unlock regardless of how much you lower the price.”

                                                                                  …

“NO! I said something wrong!”

“Don’t worry, you’ve got plenty of cupcakes so just give ole Oily another one and try again.”

                                                                                …

“YES Only 200 yen!”

“Not bad, though you can actually get this one as low as 150.”

“Wait really?”

                                                                             …

After I ended my stream and raided Leona, she approached me just before going live with her intro.

“Glad I left the haggling to you today. I’m lousy with business.”

“Believe it or not, me too. I only scored because its Kageyama, and I have exactly what he wants.”

“What is it?”

“Heh heh, a nice surprise.”

Taylor J
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