Chapter 1-4 : Job Hunting (part 3)
After we returned to Master’s store from the Student Support Division office, Master held a graduation party for me.
I think it was not because she felt sorry for me for being a loner, but she purely just wanted to celebrate my graduation.
The participants were only the employees working at Master’s store.
There were no other people.
It’s not that I don’t have anyone who might come if I call them, you know!
Like… people at my other part-time work or… people at the orphanage… maybe?
I just don’t invite them now.
It’s not that I’m scared if they are refusing to come while making an awkward face, okay?
「Master… wasn’t it hard preparing this party all of a sudden?」(Sarasa)
Gorgeous dishes that I’ve never eaten, and alcoholic beverages were lined up on the table.
All of them were delicious, and I felt like I could eat them all day.
Well, of course that’s not possible. My stomach has a limit. So, I was just eating various dishes little by little.
ーーEating from the ones that look expensive, is the basics of eating at the party! Right?
「It’s not a big deal. Besides, the one who made the dishes was her」(Ophelia)
As she said that, Master pointed her finger at Maria, an onee-san who was always in charge of customer service at the counter.
When I looked at her, Maria-san smiled and waved at me.
Eh? Maria-san cooked these gorgeous dishes?
I thought it was a professional chef who made it.
「But, the ingredients used must be the high-quality ones which are expensive, right? And also the alcohol too. It looks like the expensive ones」(Sarasa)
「Hm? I usually use this kind of ingredients for my meal though?」(Ophelia)
So Master normally eat this kind of meal?
Hoo, as expected from a master-class alchemist.
Compared to the dishes that I usually ate in the dormitory, these dishes looked more like high-class dishes!
「Sarasa. You just too focus on saving your money. You know? I didn’t have much money when I was a student, but each time the exam was over, I always went out to eat something like this somewhere」(Ophelia)
Eh? Maybe it’s not that high-class?
「ーーBut Master, you are the one who told me to save my money!」(Sarasa)
「Hm? Is that so? I just said if you had enough money by the time you graduate, I can make the Encyclopedia of Alchemy cheap for you」(Ophelia)
「Is the same as you told me to save up my money! You told me that I must have it, so I had no choice but to save money, right?」(Sarasa)
Haahhhh… This person…
I desperately saved up my money because you told me that, you know!?
Besides, 2,5 million discount is a great deal!
「Sarasa. In the first place, you didn’t have to buy 10 volumes all at once. You can buy it one at a time, you know?」(Ophelia)
「Yes, I know! I just found out today after oba-chan at the school store told me. Why didn’t you tell me about this five years ago? After I did my best to save up my money!」(Sarasa)
「Sorry, Sarasa. But, hey, you know? Buying 10 volumes all at once is cheaper than buying one by one, because you will need to pay a senior alchemist to endorse your encyclopedia every time you buy」(Ophelia)
Ahh, that’s right.
If that’s the case, then I did the right thing for buying all the volumes at once, right?
「I see… By the way, Master. The topic will change, but, you will be a senior alchemist if you can make all items in vol 9, right? Then, what if you make all items in vol 10?」(Sarasa)
「Ahh, only a dumb who do that」(Ophelia)
Eh? Did I misheard?
「Yeah. You can’t read the contents of vol 10, but you remember the thickness, didn’t you?」(Ophelia)
「Ahh, come to think of it, yes, it was so thick」(Sarasa)
I remembered when I put the encyclopedias in my backpack, the vol 10 was so thick and heavy that it was hard to put into the backpack.
If you throw it at someone’s head, that person would be dead for sure.
「Vol 10 contains advanced artifacts, but most of them are useless. That’s why, only a dumb who want to sacrifice their materials, time and effort to make such difficult yet useless things」(Ophelia)
「Hmm. I see. Oh, but Master is a master-class which is higher than senior alchemist, right? How did you become a master-class?」(Sarasa)
I thought we could be a master-class alchemist if we mastered all 10 volumes, but…
「Umm…… One of the conditions to become a master-class is to create the most valuable artifacts in Vol 10. Because there are a lot of useless things in vol 10, you have to be careful selecting which one you want to make. And the other condition is…..」(Ophelia)
Master looked at me and saidー
「ーーIt’s a secret」(Ophelia)
「Eeehhh~~~ Why? Tell me Master~!」(Sarasa)
「Master-class is different from senior class alchemist because they have an important role. If you became a senior alchemist someday, I’ll tell you」(Ophelia)
「Uhh… It will take so long. But, it’s a promise, okay?」(Sarasa)
「Yes, yes. But, it’ll be very very hard to become one. That’s why senior alchemists are few in number. Well, do your best」(Ophelia)
「That’s… Un, I know it’ll be hard, but…」(Sarasa)
When I looked at Master with a dissatisfied expression, Master just laughed and chugged a big cup of wine all at once.
「Sarasa. Don’t just stand and keep talking. Enjoy the feast! Drink alcohol! You’re an adult now」(Ophelia)
「U, Un. You’re right. Alright! This will be my first challenge drinking alcohol!」(Sarasa)
Here, 15-year-old is already an adult. That means, I can drink alcohol.
I was celebrating my 15th birthday a while ago, but because I was trying to save up money, I didn’t even think to try alcohol which was expensive.
But today, it’s free!
Moreover, it’s high-class stuff!
It’ll be a waste if I don’t drink it, right?
I poured the alcohol that was right in front of me into a cup, and tried to imitate Master, butー
After I took a sip, my throat became hot and I could see Master’s panicked face approaching and………………
The next day.
I woke up on a bed that I didn’t know.
Hmm… Yesterday… If I remember correctly, Master held a party for me and…..
I didn’t remember what happened during the party.
Is this Master’s shop?
I got out of bed and out of the room, then I saw a familiar corridor.
As I thought.
This is the guest room on the second floor of the store. I’ve never entered this room before.
I went down the stairs and headed for the living space of the shop, and I saw Master relaxing at the table while drinking tea.
「Good morning, Master」(Sarasa)
「Ou. Good morning. But, Sarasa, hahaha! You really made me laugh a lot yesterday, you know? Collapsed onto the desk after taking a sip… Fufu, bwahahaha!」(Ophelia)
Master laughed out loud, remembering what happened yesterday.
I tried to remember.
Hmm… Yesterday, I tried to drink alcohol for the first time, right?
If what Master said is true, that means I lost consciousness after drinking a sip?
ーーYeah but, isn’t she so meanie making fun of me while I was lost consciousness!?
I know it’s a bit pitiful, but she doesn’t have to laugh that hard, right!?
I stared at her with a sulking face while waiting for her to stop laughing.
After she laughed enough, Master grinned at me.
「Hihi. Sarasa. After refusing my offer to stay at my place, in the end, you were sleeping here」(Ophelia)
「Guh… Well, that’s…」(Sarasa)
Yes. I was…
Although it was inevitable, I ended up depending on Master on the first day after I decided to become independent.
But I was lucky.
If I tried my first alcohol at a bar alone, no one would help me.
Because I’m an adult now, taking care of myself is my own responsibility.
「But that alcohol was too strong! What the heck was that?」(Sarasa)
「Yeah, you’re right. It was a strong alcohol. By the way the price is quite high. If I’m not mistaken, it’s aboutー」(Ophelia)
「Stop, stop, stooop! Don’t tell me, Master! I might pass out again!」(Sarasa)
I don’t want to hear the price of “the things that are quite expensive even for Master”!
I’m sure that it was an alcohol that would never pass through my throat if I bought it myself.
I don’t even remember when I drank it, let alone the taste.
And when I think that such an expensive alcohol was wasted on me, my heart hurts.
「……..I think I won’t drink alcohol again for quite a while…」(Sarasa)
「I think that’s good. But when you want to drink again, call me! I need entertainment to relieve stress from work. Fufufu!」(Ophelia)
In other words, she told me to pass out again after drinking alcohol, huh?
Alright. I understand what to do.
ーー I will never drink alcohol in front of anybody, especially Master!
「She might look like making fun of you, but after you passed out, Manager was quite panicked, you know? She was the one who brought you to the bedroom and stayed on your side for a while」(Maria)
When I was still sulking, Maria-san appeared from the kitchen with a glass of water on her hand, and then she revealed such a story.
「Oi, Maria! Ssssttttー!」(Ophelia)
「Ara, what’s wrong, Manager? It’s true, isn’t it? You even hurriedly looked for a potion, didn’t you? Fufufu」(Maria)
After she said that, Maria-san laughed and handed me the glass of water in her hand.
Did she know that I’m thirsty? What a kind person.
I gratefully received the water, and drank it while glancing at Master.
Master, who was laughing a while ago, looked away as she bent her mouth to the shape of へ character.
*/ へ = hé
「Ahem! W, Well… I, I just can’t let people die here in my shop!」(Ophelia)
Noticing my glance, Master cleared her throat and said that awkwardly.
「Fufufu. Manager, you’re really not honest with yourself. More importantly, I already made breakfast. Sarasa-san, you will be eating too, right?」(Maria)
「It’s just breakfast. You don’t have to mind it. Just eat here」(Ophelia)
Master noticed that I hesitated for a moment because I didn’t want to trouble her.
「Maria, can you prepare meals for the three of us?」(Ophelia)
「Thank you very much」(Sarasa)
To be honest, eating here would save me a lot of time, considering that I would be leaving today.
I thanked both of them and started eating in a hurry.
After I finished eating, I immediately started preparing for my departure.
Although I said ‘preparing’, all my personal belongings were already in the backpack that Master gave me, so the only thing I had to prepare was food.
But, I could just buy it at a store on the way, so now I just changed my clothes.
After that, I went back to the living room to say goodbye to Master and Maria.
「Take this too. It’s a farewell gift」(Ophelia)
Master handed me a set of alchemy tools and a booklet containing advice on how to manage a shop.
The booklet is cool, but the alchemy tools must be very expensive.
At least, the price was too high for common people to afford.
I already got a very expensive backpack from her.
She even bought me a store.
But when I was a little reluctant to receive it, Master saidー
「Sarasa, you know I’m a master-class, right? For me, this much is cheap, so don’t worry about it. You’re a weird girl, but you’re my disciple who will be independently managing a store. So, me giving you all these is normal. Just receive it」(Ophelia)
For saying “this much is cheap” to the amount of money that the common people can’t earn, as expected from a master-class alchemist.
After that, Maria-san whispered to me so that Master didn’t hear her.
「Sarasa-san, you know? That booklet. While you were sleeping, Manager didn’t sleep to write it all night for you」(Maria)
「Eh? Really? …Master……」(Sarasa)
Hmm, so that’s why she looked a bit sleepy this morning.
Well, with this, I may forgive her for laughing at me.
Also, with this, my debt of gratitude to her is accumulating more and more…
Considering she helped me with the Encyclopedias of Alchemy, I felt like she already support me several millions reas.
………Un. I have to do my best managing the shop and making it successful so that I can repay the favor.
With such a determination in my heart, I left the royal capital……
…..without even knowing what kind of reality awaits me in that remote village…..