Chapter 1-4 : Job Hunting (part 2)
The mediator was the school, so it would be fine, but…
「Well, maybe it got some subsidies?」(Ophelia)
「Ah, I see. If that’s the case… Hmm….」(Sarasa)
The subsidy was the money from the government to support alchemists who wanted to open a shop.
The country wanted each city to have at least one alchemist shop, but it was up to the alchemist to decide where to set up the shop.
The most popular place to set up the shop was of course, the place with the largest population, the royal capital.
The big cities around the royal capital were the second most popular.
Most of the alchemists wanted to avoid opening a shop in inconvenient places like the countryside where there were only few customers.
And the country gave the subsidies for that reason.
There were still so many places where the most alchemists avoided.
And the subsidy was a trick to get the alchemists interested in opening shops in those places because the subsidies made it far cheaper than in the royal capital or big cities.
Of course, there were no subsidies for the shops in the royal capital and big cities.
It was quite difficult to save money to buy a shop for new alchemists who were still on training, so the subsidies were very beneficial for those who wanted to open a shop early.
「But, that means… this shop is in a very remote area so the subsidies were very high… right?」(Sarasa)
I looked at the address that was written on the page.
Hmm… I don’t know this place, and have never heard about it.
I guess it must be a very small town or small village…
「This small town… No. This small village is on the “Great Sea of Trees” side」(Ophelia)
「Great Sea of Trees…? It takes about a month by carriage from here, right?」(Sarasa)
「Right. But, you can easily obtain materials for alchemy in this place. So I think it’s not a bad place to improve your skill. Well, the customers may be very few though.」(Ophelia)
There was a large mountain range extending from north to south in a remote area of this country, and the Great Sea of Trees was at the foot of that mountain range.
Actually, the official name was “Gerva Loch Sea of Trees”, and it was famous because there were various alchemy-related materials you can obtain there, such as plants, herbs, insects, ores, ect.
So, yeah, as Master said, it’s maybe the best place to improve my skills, but…
「Having customers is important, right? I’ve spent almost all my savings. If there were no customers coming, I can’t make a living」(Sarasa)
Because it was near a production area, I could buy various materials at a low price, but I wouldn’t be able to make any profit if my products didn’t sell.
If I had enough savings, I might choose the option to improve my skills in that place for several years, but I had to make a living somehow with my current savings.
「Hmm. I think it’s a good place though.」(Ophelia)
「First of all, I just graduated yesterday. Is it even possible for a fresh graduate to open a shop? 」(Sarasa)
「If it’s you, there will be no problem. Of course, it’s not possible for a complete amateur. But, Sarasa, you’ve been working in my shop for years, so I think you can do it. Besides, your level is three now」(Ophelia)
「Aa. ーーSarasa, do you know how the alchemists raise their level?」(Ophelia)
「Ahh… I don’t know… 」(Sarasa)
After I talked about alchemist level many times, I didn’t know exactly how to raise the level.
The school also didn’t teach the student about this.
They just told us to study and make an effort to improve our skills.
「Fumu. Well, of course, huh. Normally, you will be taught after you get the qualification and after becoming a disciple, so I should be the one who taught you……. Ahem」(Ophelia)
Master cleared her throat once and told me.
「Your level will rise if you can make all the things listed in each volume of the Encyclopedia of Alchemy. For example, if you can make all items in vol 1, your level will be 2, in vol 2, your level will be 3, just like that」(Ophelia)
I see. Well, that’s so simple.
And it seems that the school didn’t teach their students about this so that the students didn’t force themself to perform alchemy beyond their capability just because they wanted to raise their level quickly.
That’s why you will be taught once you become someone’s disciple.
「Come to think of it, I had made various things when I was working at Master’s shop. That means… I had made items from one or two volumes without me knowing it?」(Sarasa)
「Yep. And those two volumes contain the most commonly used items in everyday life. That’s why I think you, who can make those items, can open your own shop」(Ophelia)
「But… I don’t know anything about business, you know?」(Sarasa)
If Master was right, it seems I would have no trouble making hot-selling products.
But, during the part-time job, all I did was create things, not sell things.
In other words, I’m a complete amateur when it comes to pricing, selling and other store management matters.
「Hmm… Alright, how about this. If you find some rare materials in that area, I’ll be regularly buying them, and you shouldn’t be troubled with money」(Ophelia)
Well, if that’s the case, I think I can make a living by selling things regularly to Master….. Wait…
「ーーMaster… Is that what you are aiming for?」(Sarasa)
「I’m always thinking about the future of my beloved disciple」(Ophelia)
Master stroked my head as she showed a refreshing smile that I rarely saw.
「Well, thank you very much? ーーNot that! Master! So you don’t deny it!?」(Sarasa)
「Excuse me. What should I do to buy this shop?」(Ophelia)
「Y, Yes. You just have to pay here and you will get the certificate of this shop」(receptionist)
「I see. Then, here’s the money」(Ophelia)
Ignoring my protests, Master took out the money from her wallet and received a certificate and a key.
She folded it quickly and put it into my pocket.
「Now, Sarasa is also a full-fledged alchemist who owns a shop. Congratulations! Ah, just think of it as a gift from me」(Ophelia)
Master smiled as she said that while tapping my shoulder.
Somehow, my future was decided just like that.
Wait. I came to this office to find a place to train, right?
So how do I end up being a shop owner?
「Ma, Master… I’m not sure about this…」(Sarasa)
「Do your best. You wanna be independent, right? I’ll help you if you need me. And in case you fail managing the shop, I’ll always welcome you in my shop」(Ophelia)
I’m not sure but… Maybe I’ll be fine… Maybe…
I don’t wanna depend on Master more than this, but maybe I have to at least secure money for travel expenses to return to the royal capital so that I can go to Master’s shop in case I fail.
But for now, I’ll try to do my best.
I’m also a full-fledged alchemist who has an Alchemist License, you know!
「Understood. Un! I’ll try my best!」(Sarasa)
I burned up my spirit and clenched my hands tightly.
「Nice! That’s the spirit!」(Ophelia)
Master encouraged me and nodded in satisfaction.
Wait… Doesn’t this mean that I’m just dancing on Master’s hand?
Nah, maybe it’s just my imagination.