[Everything is made by hand? You are doing a pretty delicate work there.]
[Sorry, because of circumstances, I can’t speak.]
“…I see. My condolences. Also, thanks for praising my work.”
[If it is wood-based, you can make anything?]
“By no means! I am still far from that level. Right… I can handle things of around this level.”
Carol responded in a reasonably honest manner to the strange-looking man that had suddenly spoken to her.
Actually, she knows about him, but doesn’t want him to know.
That thought of hers created a bit of awkwardness at the beginning, but the man probably thought it was the usual response to his written communication, he didn’t mind it.
She was relieved that the man wasn’t showing any sort of suspicion as she used both hands to denote a size.
[Tableware and miscellaneous goods, then?]
“Wooden tableware is mostly just for collection’s sake. It would be easier and more durable to use magic on metal after all.” (Carol)
[Is that so. Is earth not used much?]
“E-Earth? Using earth for tableware? Just from where did you come from?” (Carol)
[I see. Please forget about it. In other words, you are a craftsman that is becoming specialized in carpentry huh.]
“It is not that big of a thing. It may be carpentry, but I have only worked with the wood that comes from the wasteland. I haven’t touched other wood aside from that. What? Even if you flatter me to death, I won’t be making it cheaper, okay? …Only a little bit cheaper.” (Carol)
The man, Makoto, took in his hands a container that resembled the one for japanese alcoholic drinks and stroked the surface, looking at the wood grain.
While at it, he took another vase, and compared it to other ones, and while nodding a number of times, he let out sighs.
If Carol understood japanese, she would have been able to tell that he had been saying ‘amazing’ frequently.
But well, the words Makoto said every now and then were of an unknown meaning for Carol, so the only impression she could get from him was that he is truly a pitiful man that can’t speak common language.
Even so, maybe because Carol could read the meaning of those short words and the attitude he had, it created happiness inside of her.
She had no intentions of cutting the price, but if he were to ask for it, she was willing to reduce the price a bit.
[I think they are nice articles made in an incredibly thorough manner. This looks like a street stall but, is the place you open in always the same?]
“T-Thanks. Yeah. There are times when I move slightly, but when I sell goods, it is normally around here, or sometimes somewhere close to here.” (Carol)
[I will be buying all the wood-based containers. How much will it be?]
Right after the joyful evaluation of Makoto towards Carol, he once again speaks out joyful words.
“U-Uhm…Wait for a bit.” (Carol)
It may be a slightly distorted parent and child relationship, but aside from the transactions in Bilky’s company, it is rare to see a trade of this level.
If it were to be calculated, it would be a little bit over 1 gold, but Carol thought it would be better to wrap this up within the price of silvers.
“Thanks for waiting. In silvers, it would be…” (Carol)
[By the way, this is all made by hand, right?]
“Of course.” (Carol)
She learned from a person that was basically the acquaintance of an acquaintance in that dark world, but now, Carol was interacting with Makoto as a craftsman.
[I am still a newbie, but I am a merchant. I will be paying this with the intention of wanting a connection with you as a wood craftsman from here on. No need for change.]
[Well then, I will be taking this. Ah, what is your name? My name is Makoto.]
“Ah, my name is Carol.” (Carol)
Makoto throws in the wooden containers into a bag one after the other.
Maybe that bag is a magic item, even when he had thrown in everything, the bag was not swelling.
The amount she was given was 2 gold.
“Eh, Makoto-san?! This is too much!” (Carol)
[I didn’t feel it was. I will be coming again.]
Carol follows the man with her gaze and he disappears from her sight after entering a bookshop across the street.
She thought that it is a bit nice to be able to have a conversation without the need to face the person.
“Or more like, he is the person that accepted that request of the Rembrandt Company, right? What business does he have at the place of the ‘Elder’? No, maybe he is just looking for books? No no. No no no no~.” (Carol)
Carol tilted her head for a while, but in time, she seemed to have reached an understanding, and puts away the gold with care.
Makoto is in the bookstore.
A store where it is prohibited to read idly in.
Well, there’s no bookstore in this world that allows reading in the store though.
[Excuse me. There’s something I would like to ask about a book that’s here.]
The biggest bookstore in Tsige has a behind-the-scenes face.
Of course, Makoto doesn’t know about that as he becomes a regular at that place from here on.
“Hmm, then, that Makoto adventurer had all the eyes required huh. Serves you good, Lime.”
“Right. Even so, Keema, I am on a standing equal to that of your boss, Bilky, you know? I’m a lot higher in terms of connections and overall ability, you know?”
“Boss has retired after all. That’s why, from now on…I can’t shoulder the same name, so I am working with the name ‘waitress’.” (Waitress)
“‘Waitress’, you say. Anyways, Bilky retiring huh. He got me good there.”
The middle-aged man looks around the place, and then, looks back at the young woman and sighs.
“Is something the matter?” (Waitress)
“It is about you, Keema. I did think you were a clever one, but it is a surprise that you could stand well even from the very beginning. And so, you want to request me to be the stopgap of Morris-san?”
“…Yeah. Father—Boss is someone who has a soft side even if he looks like that after all. It seems like he is already at his limit. On that point, I am young and lively, and am also capable as an adventurer; at the restaurant’s hall, I am a perfect waitress! How ya see this level of almightiness!” (Keema)
“…I will help out in laying the groundwork. But until I see how Kuuma and Jona will act, I won’t be taking responsibility. Well, do your best.”
“Eh? I thought Jio would be complaining a bit more though?” (Keema)
“You guys are truly…lucky. Actually, my work at the company has gotten crazy busy. My time in that front of my job will be prioritized for a while. In the first place, I don’t really mind being the footing for someone who constantly gets reminded about the meaning of betrayal.” (Jio)
“Work, huh.” (Keema)
“Keema, wouldn’t it be better for you to work as an adventurer? Isn’t this a good chance? Since your father will also be quitting.” (Jio)
“…I will think about it. Well then, I am counting on you for the groundwork with Shadowless-san! Leave a message saying that we will always be on the side of Rembrandt Company!!” (Keema)
“Yeah, just go. When she is working as a waitress, she is beautiful and has no wasteful movements; she is close to being the ideal woman. I don’t know if to consider this a fortune or a misfortune, but I saw her real face at an early stage. Wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t. Now then! Work! It is time to work! I have a mountain of work that Rembrandt-san has thrown to me!” (Jio)
The waitress attired Keema moved in an energetic manner unlike that of a waitress as she left from the backdoor of the store.
The only remaining one was Jio.
Only a middle-aged merchant that deals with wasteland materials and has a deep connection with the Rembrandt Company was left.
“So you are going to overlook both that girl and Bilky? Hmm~ Keema, huh. She looks like a girl that might be able to do a good job in my place as well.”
“Jona… If you say anything strange, I will kill you.” (Jio)
“That’s quite the treatment. That’s why everyone aside from Patrick-sama are trash.” (Jona)
“…That’s rich coming from a narcissistic person like you.” (Jio)
“…Do you think a lolicon like you acting cool will make you look good?” (Jona)
Jio and Jona were showing a light smile while both of them were at the dim back area of the store.
“…Aah? Do you want to be minced?” (Jio)
“…Should I serve you a full course of poison? Huuh?” (Jona)
A bloodlust that would pale the faces of even trained adventurers was filling the space where only those two were.
A glaring contest of about several minutes had taken place.
If a third person had been there, that person would have definitely said with certainty that it wasn’t such a short time. It was that kind of suffocating period.
“I got a rare chance of seeing that goofy lovestruck face of yours, so… I actually came for another matter. Let’s stop.” (Jona)
“Yeah, got it. It would help out a lot if you are to agree with the matter of Keema as well though.” (Jio)
“About that…yeah, I am fine with it. That’s the other matter I was speaking of. Jokes really don’t get through with you.” (Jona)
“Meaning that…they came to your place as well?” (Jio)
“No way. Those sisters don’t even get close to me at all. It is a bit related to the matter with Lime Latte. It also involves the Rembrandt Company.” (Jona)
“The order stop that you received from Morris. There’s actually a bit of a continuation to it.” (Jona)
“And why are you telling me that?” (Jio)
“Are you busy with work?” (Jona)
With a seductive smile, Jona tells Jio that she knows about the work inside Jio’s company.
The woman in front of him held information that even his information network didn’t have.
It won’t be information that would make him feel good, is what Jio thought as he made a face as if biting on a bitter bug.
“…Where is it you are trying to go with this?” (Jio)
“This is not a request. This is purely a suggestion out of good will. For a while, hold back on the type of work that would make you have a guilty conscience. And also, prepare yourself.” (Jona)
“Those are words coming from the Rembrandt Company -from Patrick-sama, right?” (Jio)
“Yeah. One last thing… The Kuzunoha Company and the ones related to it will apparently be under the protection of the Rembrandt Company.” (Jona)
“…! I personally am indebted to the Rembrandt Company. Of course, I will accept.” (Jio)
“Well then, I have told you. I will be concentrating on front work for a while. I will only be attending the regular meetings. Then, if you would like to, show yourself at my store. I will prepare girls that will fit your taste, Jio-sama.” (Jona)
“Thanks for relaying the message. I won’t ever go even if the sky falls, but I will make sure to recommend that place to people that piss me off.” (Jio)
Jio turned away his face from Jona out of displeasure, and by the time he turned back, she wasn’t there anymore.
Holding a completely different feeling than in the time when Keema left, Jio felt as if he had lost in some way.
Once he looked up, he saw a blue sky stretching thinly.
If he were to go to a big avenue, he would be able to see that same sky stretching vastly far and wide, and yet, the sky he sees right now feels quite different.
It made him feel constraint like a prison.
For Jio, the merchant world was exactly that before meeting Rembrandt.
And now, a company receiving the protection of Patrick Rembrandt has appeared.
“I was surprised by the luck of Lime Latte, but that company is also quite the thing. Welcome to Tsige, Kuzunoha Company.” (Jio)
Jio was thinking of becoming a strength for that new company.
So that he can return the debt that he had received from his past benefactor.
He will be learning in the future that this decision of his will serve as preparation for the big storm that will be attacking Tsige from now on.
Kuuma, Bilky, Jona, Jio, and also Keema and Carol; every one of them were slowly being involved with him and the company that he made —from the front and the back scene.
Tomoe, Mio, Lime, Toa’s party…
Tsige was also moving from outside the peripheric of Makoto.