I’ve heard the rumor about the increase of monsters near the royal capital.
With Louise being absent as my front guard, is it finally my turn to become the target?
I’ve secretly been practicing my swordsmanship, so that I will be able to fight one day, but I had no chance to show off my skill while we were traveling to Est.
I saw other merchants going back and forth on their carts, so rather than Est, it was more likely the royal capital had been thriving more in trade.(1)
“Master, welcome back.”
Sharon, who had been fulfilling her role as a shop assistant in the Sawatari Trading Company (temporary store), greeted me with a smile.
“Are, Sharon, haven’t you grown a bit taller?”
“Yes. I’ve been eating lots of food, just as master told me. That’s why.”
Sharon was quite smart, which runs contrary to the common image of a rough beastman from a fantasy world.
At first she was reserved to do so, but she ended up eating lots upon realizing the meaning behind my words. I told her that her quick growth was part of our initial investment, no matter how much her food expenditure would cost.
Sharon was also familiar with accounting, so when we checked on our earnings, it turned out we were in the black, as the monster soaps sold out completely as soon they had been made.
It looks like the more soap we make, the faster they sell.
We can sell plenty, based on the city’s demand.
“Umm, Master, could it be that our soaps have been resold?”
“We can’t deny such a possibility, I guess.”
Most likely, the soaps had been resold, as a result of their pricing being too cheap, which is 1 silver coin.
I too, had noticed it.
However, I thought I couldn’t care less about that, as my newly-established company had yet to find a new market in other cities.
That’s because, I was grateful to the other trading companies for helping me spread my goods in other places.
Soap is a consumable good.
If the other companies decide to resell it at a higher price, then I’ll surely be able to win in terms of price competition.
With my company selling the soap for 1 silver coin for now and other companies reselling it, I can reclaim the demand that has been dug up by others.
What I fear is that sooner or later some company might be able to copy my goods in this period, where product patents don’t exist.
I also wondered if I would make this period regress, were I to let other companies benefit from reselling.
“As expected of Master-sama, I didn’t know you could anticipate this far into the future.”
“Sharon, you’re smart too. After all, you were able to notice our goods being resold and point that out to me.”
‘Good girl, good girl’ – I gently brushed Sharon’s light orange hair while praising her.
On the outside, Sharon’s hair looks no different from that of a human, but, whenever I try to brush her hair like this, I can sense a smooth feel, similar to that of touching a long haired dog’s back.
As I got carried away while stroking her hair, Sharon’s dog ears slipped out with a bounce, probably from her feeling good.
This is some interesting stuff.
Louise and her disciples seemed to still be out on the hunt.
I checked on the soaps that were being made inside our temporary tent shop.
At first, I thought that the soaps would be hard to produce, using these local monsters’ fat, but surprisingly their success rate turned out to be high.
The remaining thing would be to think of a way to utilize these skins, but I couldn’t come up with an idea.
It looks like I can only sell them like this to some leatherworker.
I parted myself with Lyle-sensei, who was confirming the content of Viola’s collected herbs, and went to check on Laure who was silently producing niter outside the city.
“Master-sama, I’ve only managed to make this much for today.”
“Yes, thank you for your hard work.”
When you boil soil mixed with animal dung inside a large pot, quite an odor can be smelled coming from it.
That’s why this isn’t the type of a labor you’d do inside a shop.
The inside of the cloth bag, which Laure had presented to me, was fully crammed with long and narrow, crystallized, white niter.
“Ohhh, you’ve done a great job. Do you want a reward from me?”
“Ummm, that’s…. I’m fine as long Master-sama praises me.”
Laure was saying some laudable things there.
I stroked her head and gave her some salty kitsu nuts mixed together with high-grade sugar, which I had previously pilfered from the Earl, Donovan. Laure seemed to be eating them quite eagerly.
Being able to replenish one’s lost nutrients after a demanding labor is probably good for one’s body.
However, it was different in the case of Laure, who was in charge of collecting one of the raw materials for gunpowder.
In addition to me being her breadwinner, I had to treat her appropriately.
“These are delicious.”
“Is that so? Well, I think the taste is fair.”
Laure was pleased with the food, however, the excess of sweetness and saltiness didn’t look quite appetizing for me.
I myself wondered if I could make some delicious sweets using this fantasy world’s poor ingredients.
On my way back to the company with Laure, we encountered Louise and her disciples, who had just finished their hunt.
If I remember correctly, were they Suzanne & Claudia? Suzanne was holding an iron spear, whereas, Claudia was equipped a shortsword and shortbow.
The reason why Louise had been in the vanguard was probably so as to separate the girls from being targeted and allow them to launch a range attack, as both were still lacking in experience.
Behind the three female warriors, there was Viola, who possessed no combat abilities, holding a basket full of gathered herbs and dry wood.
Not just herbs, but also wood costs quite a pretty penny even if it’s just a piece of wood, as it usually tends to run out of stock. Therefore, Viola’s job, though plain, was important.
That being said, it looks like Louise and the rest of her team had, once again, managed to hunt quite a bit, as Suzanne and Claudia were carrying heaps of animal pelts and skins on their backs.
What’s more, Louise was shouldering a large pot while looking very delighted, as if preparing to cook something.
“Louise-san, are these….?”
“Our dinner for tonight. Today, we were able to harvest a great deal of fresh werewolves.”
Ahh, so it’s going to be a stew from monsters’ organs again?
It seems that Louise perceived monsters as something to be harvested.
Certainly, if memory serves me right, werewolves are supposed to be quite strong….
Hmm, a meal consisting of organs isn’t that awful, but I better tell the girls to have some vegetables too, so as to balance their diet during their growth period.
Night. We had a meal while surrounding the large pot placed on a campfire. In the meantime, I tried asking Louise about the monsters’ recently increased activity, so as to see if I could get any more information about it.
“Certainly, I’ve heard about that……”
Louise kept silent right after saying so. She was staring at the campfire’s light while deeply pondering about something.
It was very like her, who wasn’t sociable; however, Louise’s reaction felt somewhat different from the usual.
“Ahh, sorry……That’s right, even in Est, the number of monster quests has recently increased. Yesterday again, I received a request for cooperation from the city’s guild, as a caravan of merchants had been attacked at the outskirts. The main road leading to the royal capital has become quite dangerous as well.”
“What’s the reason for that?”
Louise, again, kept silent.
“It may be because of the ‘miasmatic mana hole’ appearing outside the royal capital, you see.”
Just then, Lyle-sensei interjected.
“That ‘miasmatic mana hole’, is it similar to a dungeon?”
“It isn’t as big as a maze, but, how should I explain…?”
‘It’s something that’s been kept as a secret from the people by the kingdom, in order not to cause anxiety among them, but…’ – Sensei added that, after which he gave a detailed explanation.
“The miasmatic hole, which releases mana, has been sealed away once before by this country’s heroes, but for some reason, it seems to have reopened again. Monsters are generally considered to be magic beings, so they will become more active upon being flooded with mana.”
“Then, shouldn’t it be fine if we close it again?”
‘Don’t be silly!’ – As soon as I said so, I was scolded by Louise.
Umm, could it be that I said something to be mad about?
Louise, made an expression as if being surprised at herself for getting mad, after which she apologized.
“Sorry… even the kingdom’s chivalric order would fail to seal away that hole if they went there. With that powerful mana oozing out from there, adventurers would be terminated by strengthened monsters, even before drawing near to its entrance.”
So, it’s that bad?
‘Then, does it mean there’s nothing I can do?’ – I gave up immediately upon realizing that.
If someone as strong as like Louise was barely able to handle that, then it was all the more reason I could do nothing.
Right now, this part of the main road is safe, so there’s no reason for us to fret.
While we are at it, apparently the cities and villages nearby the miasma hole have been destroyed by large numbers of spawned monsters.
And it seems that the kingdom’s chivalric order and its soldiers have continued to fight desperately, trying to suppress the monsters and ward them off from reaching the royal capital and the main road.
I guess, you could say that a war has somewhat started.
I don’t know if a hero or yuusha will eventually appear, since it’s a fantasy world, but, if they do, they will most likely manage to seal away the hole splendidly.
Unfortunately, as for me, I don’t possess the right confidence to become a person of such rank.
If there’s time, I’d rather hold a discussion regarding the new company’s policy and trade, as it seems to be more meaningful.
Another month has passed since we commenced our business in Est.
Finally, the Sawatari Trading Company’s new building was completed.
At first, I planned to build it using wooden materials, but, the price for lumber in the Silesia Kingdom was expensive. Rather than that, I decided to spend slightly more money and construct a firm building using bricks.
It was a two story, small, company building, which comprised of a shop and an inner warehouse on the 1st floor, and a living space on the 2nd floor.
Behind the building, there was the workplace for soap production that still took place inside the tent.
I thought about extending the building once I manage to earn more money, but for now, it’s probably enough.
In addition to the soap, the niter production was going smoothly as well, so I was able to force a sale of my bombs to the state mine located in the Ye mountain range, which yielded quite a profit.
There are lots of villages with iron ore mines based in the Ye mountain range that belonged to Est. Not to mention, there are even coal, copper, tin, and silver mines there, so when I’m supplying customers with bombs, I can learn lots of useful things about mineral-made goods that can help me in trade.
In an RPG, copper and tin are metals that are more fragile than iron, but they are both considered to be more valuable, and hence, more expensive than the popular iron. As tableware, they are inferior to silver, however, there are lots of bronze and tin-made things, including tableware, that aren’t just practical but also valuable in terms of art.
As expected, even a silver mine used to cast coins is under severe restrictions, isn’t it?
The one which I had visited was heavily guarded everywhere by both guards and soldiers.
Shouldn’t it be obvious? After all, this place is a mint.
What was also different about this world was a mine containing magic jewels.
Magic jewels are items with crystalized mana (Also known as source of magic used by magic beings to cast spiritual, holy, the four elemental spells, and various ones like these.) that dates back long ago when Ye mountains were still sacred. They’re usually transparent red or blue, depending on its nature of power.
I wasn’t very knowledgeable on jewels, but, they looked like sapphires and rubies.
Even though jewels are just items for practical use, they’re actually highly valuable if you regard them as jewels. Together with the silver mine, this one too was heavily guarded against illegal digging.
“With this magic jewel, will I also become able to use spells?”
“I would doubt that, as Takeru-dono has no foundation in magic. However, it’s still possible for you to use them if you choose the right jewel and magic tool.”
Inside the village nearby the magic jewel mine, there was a magic jewel shop.
This convenient ‘wand of the flame orbs’, which I could use instead of a lighter, had its mana about to run out, so I had to recharge it using one of the magic jewels from the shop.
With this ‘wand of flaming orb’ being fully charged, I can shoot approximately 5 fireballs at the maximum power output, and as many as 10 times, with a normal power output.
The cheapest price for an average magic jewel is 5 silver coins.
“That is to say, I’ve spent 1 silver coin each time I cast a spell?”
“I haven’t thought about that before, but, now that I think about it, it’s quite an expense, isn’t it?”
Lyle-sensei, who is a middle-class mage, showed me previously how he could cast a spell really fast. Since he can replenish all his mana within a single night, it would be equivalent to a few gold coins.
I could understand why mages are treated as special beings, even if they can only use simple elementary spells.
I decided I would buy a bunch of ‘ring of water currents’ later, which allows you to cast basic water spells.
The ring is a magic tool that creates water currents by absorbing molecules of water from the atmosphere, but, even if I were to buy wholesale and beat down the price, I could only purchase it for as little as 5 silver coins per item.
“Buying that many items, what do you intend to use them for?”
“I thought about using them for our company’s toilet.”
“Is that so….?”
Perhaps, Lyle-sensei wasn’t aware about that, but for me, the lack of a washlet(2) was a real pain in ass.
Together with the soap that can be used for hand washing, the washlet will most likely greatly improve this world’s sanitation levels.
Right now, I have an abundance of money, thanks to my bombs selling favorably.
“Sensei too, is there anything you’d like to have?”
“Then, can I have some of these magic jewels in case of an emergency?”
What Sensei asked for were fine quality items, high grade magic jewels which housed an amount of mana more remarkable than those standards ones.
Even a novice, like me, could notice the difference from their aura.
Far from it being 3 times the normal amount, the jewels stored 5, perhaps 6 times as much mana as a standard jewel. In addition to them being used when running short of energy, they also acted as charms, which apparently many mages would carry with.
The price for a single item was quite high in comparison with normal jewels, ranging from 3 to 5 gold coins.
However, it wasn’t that much if it was meant to be used during an emergency case.
Let’s take this opportunity and purchase several sets of this and standard jewels.
“Umm, I know I’m the one who asked for this, but, at this rate, won’t you use up all the money from our sale which we earned this time?”
“I don’t mind. After all, the production area is located here, so there’s no way anyone could sell our goods at a cheaper price.”
I too, have made dealings upon checking market price from other places.
Our goods are ones that can be sold in Est with no loss, even if somebody was to buy plenty of them.
Well, I don’t plan to sell out my items, so as to avoid money shortage, but…
“Speaking of which, I was wondering if there’s no tool that casts recovery magic.”
“It’s not like there isn’t, but holy magic is under the complete jurisdiction of the church. You may be able to find some low class recovery magic tools, however, they won’t be different from drinking a potion.”
I see, so this is the reason why I couldn’t spot any recovery spell casting tools in the shops.
Not even Lyle-sensei, who’s close to being omnipotent in the magic field, can use recovery magic.
Just having picked herbs wasn’t reassuring, so I decided to make additional purchases and save up recovery potions when the market prices fall down.
‘Just do whatever you can.’ – There’s never enough money, so I can only encourage myself to do more business.
Once we finished peddling around the territory near the Ye mountain range, we returned back to the city of Est.
“Finally, we have returned, right?”
“…..I think, the city feels somewhat different.”
As we were about to enter in, the city became noisy, just like Lyle-sensei said.
The guards, who were at the entrance, had stern expressions and gave out an impression of as if being in a hurry.
“We should head to the company post haste.”
The Sawatari Trading Company is located near the city’s plaza, that is to say, in the heart of this city’s trade district. I would usually come here astonished at the sight of this bustling plaza.
However, despite this marketplace normally bustling with activity, today, it wasn’t crawling with many people.
And neither, did it feel like there was any festival going on.
What we saw in front of us was a plaza full of set up tents and injured crowds of people huddling together.
Notes and References:
- we’re not 100% sure about this sentence. Our translation is what the raw says, but the sentence doesn’t make sense in context.
- also know as a bidet toilet