Chapter 1-13 : Coming From Afar Ⅰ (part 2)
「If you Collectors’ work progresses really well, it will benefit me too, so it’s a WIN-WIN!」(Sarasa)
「Hahaha! You’re right…. Hm? What is that?」(Andre)
After a while of talking, Andre-san finally noticed the bulletin board on the store wall.
「Ah, it’s a bulletin board Geberg-san put up this morning. I just put one poster on it for now.」(Sarasa)
「Hm, hmm, let’s see… A warning? ーーEh? That alchemy store? I never thought he was such a jerk…」(Andre)
After reading the poster, Andre-san made a displeased look on his face.
On the poster, I wrote only the facts without badmouthing the owner of that store so it won’t anger the Collectors who read it.
Specifically, I wrote, “When I sold my materials to another store, there was a 10-fold difference in the purchase price.”
「Ten times, huh…? What a greedy bastard. I remember when I sold my materials there, he said that their quality was bad and bought them cheaply… Dammit…!」(Andre)
「I was told the exact same thing. Maybe he only saw me as a little girl who knows nothing about materials.」(Sarasa)
I’m confident in my processing skill and can judge materials’ quality, but some of the Collectors don’t know whether a material is poor quality or not.
「So he didn’t know that you’re an alchemist? Hahaha! What a dumbass! Anyway, I don’t think I’ll go there again since I can now sell my materials to your store, but I’ll remember about this.」(Andre)
Yes, please remember it and spread it around!
Bad alchemy stores should disappear from this world! Khufufufu!
ーーOops, I almost act like a villainess again.
The existence of bad alchemists would affect the reputation of other alchemists.
「Since you opened this store, our earnings have increased. However, it seems that the number of competitors has also increased recently.」(Andre)
「Ahh, I also heard that the number of Collectors in this area kept increasing. As a person living in this village, I think it’s a good thing.」(Sarasa)
「Well, even though I have a bunch of competitors now, I think so too. But… beginners have also started to gather here.」(Andre)
「Come to think of it, they started coming to my store lately.」(Sarasa)
Andre-san crossed his arms and looked down.
The Great Sea of Trees is a dangerous place.
It’s not a place for amateurs to explore.
All the Collectors who came to my store were veterans at first, but recently I started to see new faces who might be beginners.
As a Collector, they need to take full responsibility for their actions even though they are still beginners.
As long as they know their limit and don’t push themselves too hard, no one can forbid them to enter the Great Sea of Trees.
「For the time being, we veterans are watching over them so they don’t act rashly.」(Andre)
「It’s hard to be a veteran, huh?」(Sarasa)
「Haha. Well, we were once beginners, so we have to guide them as seniors, right? So, Sarasa-chan, would you help them in case something happens? Just do what you can do for them.」(Andre)
「Yes, of course. There are no doctors in this village after all.」(Sarasa)
If there’s no doctor in a village, the one who can be relied on when someone gets injured or sick is only the alchemist who opened a store there.
As Andre-san said, I have to do whatever I can to help them if something like that happens.
But I hope I will never have to treat an injured person.
After we talked for a while, I handed Andre-san the potions he wanted to buy, and then he left.
Looks like he just came to replenish the potions for tomorrow’s work.
Honestly, I was hoping he would buy something expensive, but… I think it’s a little early for that.
When I was leaning on the counter, resting my chin on my hands, the bell on the door rang.
I sat up straight and welcomed the customer like usual.
「Welcoー Ehh!? Master!?」(Sarasa)
「Yo, Sarasa. Looks like you’re doing well here.」(Master)
The ‘customer’ who walked inside my store with a calm expression and one hand raised was undoubtedly my master, Ophelia Millis.
「Master, what are you doing here!?」(Sarasa)
「Huh? Is it strange if I come to see my beloved disciple?」(Master)
「It’s not strange, but….. No, no, it’s strange! You know how far this village is, right!?」(Sarasa)
Master is one of the few master-class alchemists, and she’s a busy woman.
There are a lot of people who want to request artifacts and potions from her, so I don’t think she has free time to visit me in this remote village.
It takes a month to get here from the royal capital by carriage, so it’ll be two months for a round trip.
So that means she closed her store for two months?
No, no, no. That will affect her store’s reputation if she did that.
「Well yeah, it’s quite far. It took me three days.」(Master)
「Right? ーーWait… Three days, you say!?」(Sarasa)
「How come!? It took me a month by carriage!」(Sarasa)
「Well, because I was running.」(Master)
「Ehh!? All the way from the royal capital!? Moreover, it only took you three days!? Impossible!」(Sarasa)
「No, no. If you train enough, you can do it. Sarasa, have you even trained your body since you came here?」(Master)
「W, Well… sometimes… But! We’re not warriors! We’re alchemists, right!?」(Sarasa)
「Yup, you’re right. Alchemists don’t use their muscles, they use their brain. So use your head.」(Master)
「….Hm?…..Ah! I see now! You must have used some special artifacts or potions to run really fast, right?」(Sarasa)
「Not at all. I purely used my muscles.」(Master)
I spontaneously made a tsukkomi and slapped the air with my right hand.
「But it’s true that you better train your body. In case there’s no Collectors who can get certain materials you want, you have to go get them yourself.」(Master)
「So Master, have you ever looked for materials yourself?」(Sarasa)
「Of course, but that was then. After becoming a master-class alchemist, I don’t have to do that anymore.」(Master)
「Ahh, is it because there are customers who bring materials themselves?」(Sarasa)
In order to make Master want to accept their request, many customers bring the rare materials themselves.
Most of them are aristocrats and rich people.
And usually, Master will prioritize the customers like them.
But of course, there were also aristocratic customers that Master didn’t like.
She would refuse their request without thinking twice.
The only alchemists that can refuse aristocrats’ orders are master-class alchemists because they have a higher position than aristocrats.
「By the way, I never taught you any fighting techniques, right?」(Master)
「Yeah. I only learned it a little at school.」(Sarasa)
Even though I said ‘a little’, I could probably fight a small beast or a thief with my fighting ability right now if I happened to encounter them when I collected materials in a forest.
「I see. Alright, since I’ve come all the way here, I’ll train you how to fight.」(Master)
「Eh? Normally, you should teach me alchemy, not martial arts!」(Sarasa)
「If you have problems with alchemy, I’ll help you with that, but you seem to be doing well. Am I wrong?」(Master)
It’s true that I haven’t encountered a problem related to alchemy yet.
I have problems selling artifacts, though.
But I feel like Master will say, “If it’s only selling items, you can learn it yourself.”
「Besides, you can’t learn martial arts by yourself, right? So let’s go.」(Master)
「E, Eh? M, Master, hold on!」(Sarasa)
Master pulled my hand and took me outside.