Chapter 1-5 : My Shop Is….. (part 1)
And right now, I’m standing in front of an old store building.
「…..Hahh… It can’t be helped. Since I came already, I have to do something about this building!」
Remember the determination that you made that time, me!
You want to repay the favor to Master, don’t you!?
……..Wait. The one who chose this store was Master, right?
ーーNo, no. Master also didn’t know about the building condition either, so I can’t blame her.
……..But, the one who forced me to open a store instead of getting a place to train was her.
ーーNo, no, no. It’s my kind master we’re talking about! I’m sure she’s thinking about my future!
Yes. It must be so. If not, my heart will break…
「Alright… For now, let’s start from checking the condition!」
I changed my gear and looked at the exterior of the store again more carefully.
Indeed the signboard was tilted and was about to fall, but when I look closely, the building itself may not be so damaged.
Maybe it’s just because the ruined garden, the rotten wooden fence and the cloudy windows that make the building look miserable.
The roof was solid, and the cracks on the walls were actually only the plaster cracking, the walls themself were still solid.
The door and windows were also still solid.
If I fixed the signboard and the walls, and then cleaned the other parts, I’m sure it wouldn’t be a bad property.
「Yosh! I got motivated! First, I’ll go check the inside」
I took out the key from my pocket, but when I was about to step on the garden full of tall grasses, I stopped my foot.
「Eh…? These are… herbs?」
When I looked closely, there were herbs growing all over the place in the garden in front of the store.
Come to think of it, this store has a herb field in the back, right?
Maybe the seeds have flown from there?
Most of the grasses were just weeds, but it might be difficult to walk without stepping on the herbs ones.
I could just ignore them and step on them, but from my point of view, they looked like coins on the ground.
「…….Pick them up~ Pick them up~」
I decided to collect the herbs before entering the building.
I had no time to pick them all, so I just picked the ones that were growing on the alley so I could walk to the door.
「Garbage. Money. Garbage. Money. Garbage, garbage. Money, money」
*/garbage = weed , money = herb
While muttering like that, I pulled out the grasses, sorted, and piled them up.
Every piece of herb was cheap, but if I collected them until I reached the door, maybe I could get the amount of money equal to the common people’s income for one day if I sold them.
However, If I didn’t process it immediately, the value would drop.
I kept picking the herbs and weeds for a while.
「Ara, what are you doing, Missy?」(woman)
When I was about halfway to the door, someone called me from behind.
I looked back, and there was a slightly fat woman in her late 40s standing behind me.
「A, Ahh… This is…」(Sarasa)
From her point of view, this situation must look likeー A stranger little girl weeding while muttering in front of an empty old house.
I must be looking very suspicious right now!
I’ve heard that a small village like this is kinda closed to strangers.
Uhh… No doubt. She must be suspicious of me!
「Do you have any business with this store…? But… this store closed long ago. You can tell by looking at the building, right? So… why are you…」(woman)
「N, N-No! I’m not suspicious at all! This is- This is my store now! I bought this store and just moved here today!」(Sarasa)
I hurriedly denied the oba-san who looked at me suspiciously.
The most important thing to enter a closed community like this village is… the first impression!
I was okay being a loner at school, but this is not school, I will live here from now on!
So, I have to get along with my neighbors.
‘The Neighborhood-Women Network’ is dangerous! I have to be careful, otherwise, the entire neighborhood would have a bad impression on me!
I desperately tried to make a smile which I rarely make, and tried to greet her.
「N, Nice to meet you, Ma’am!」(Sarasa)
「You bought this store? That means… Missy is an alchemist-sama!?」(woman)
「Y, Yes! I’m still new, but I’m an alchemist! My name is Sarasa」(Sarasa)
「Maaー Maaー. I’m Ells. I live in this neighborhood. My house is a little far away from here, but if you need something, please come anytime」(Ells)
Oba-sanー No. Ells-san smiled at me while pointing toward the left side of the store.
Nice. The first contact was great.
But, I bet she would never forget the scene when I was weeding suspiciously…
「Ahh, I’m glad there will be an alchemy store in our village again. It was inconvenient without one. You’re a lifesaver, Missy. Good luck!」(Ells)
「Yes! Thank you very much!…… Umm, by the way, do you know why this store was closed?」(Sarasa)
If it was because opening business here in the remote village was unprofitable, I have to make a plan about it.
I will be able to make a living by just selling materials to Master, but as an alchemist, it’s just… nah…
「Ah, this shop was run by an elderly man, but one day, his hip got hurt, and then his worried son came to pick him back home. So you don’t have to worry about not getting any customers」(Ells)
「Is that so?」(Sarasa)
It’s a small village, so… I think the number of demands will be small too…
Ells-san smiled at me, and as if she could read my mind, she saidー
「Well, indeed it’s a small village, but everyone will need your potions. Besides, there are quite a few ‘collectors’ here. They usually enter the Great Sea of Trees, so I’m sure you will earn a lot from selling potions to them. Also, you can purchase materials cheaply from them」(Ells)
“Collectors” were people who hunted for materials and sold them.
They usually looked for materials at the Great Sea of Trees where there were a lot of materials available to collect.
Generally, places like that were dangerous.
Therefore, for an alchemist, the collectors were both a source of materials and customers at the same time.
「The collectors’ existence is a good thing, but I think I’ll wait and keep an eye on the situation regarding the purchase. Because, even if I buy the materials, I have to think about the sale-destination and transportation from here…」(Sarasa)
「Is that so? I don’t understand how the alchemy business works」(Ells)
Indeed I could obtain materials cheaply in a production area like this, but if I wasn’t careful and bought them carelessly, I would go bankrupt sooner or later.
First of all, there were not much of the purchased items that could be stored as they are.
If I just left them, the materials would rot and become unusable, so pretreatment is required if I want to store them for a long time.
Therefore, I couldn’t buy more than I could handle. Otherwise, some of the materials would be wasted.
Furthermore, I had to consider some things before I did the purchase, such as the transportation cost to the sale-destination, unsold items, and loss due to damage during transportation.
ーーThanks to the booklet Master gave me, I knew about these things.
In the booklet, Master even made a list of selling and purchasing prices of various materials in the royal capital, but there was a note saying, “if you just simply make those prices as reference for your store, you will bankrupt soon. Think about it carefully!”
「By the way, when do you plan to open the store?」(Ells)
「Well, I need to clean the building first, and after that the preparation… Hmm… maybe about a week?」(Sarasa)
Actually, I wasn’t sure because I haven’t looked inside, but I just felt like it would take about a week.
「I see. You can come to me anytime if you need help」(Ells)
「Yes. Thank you」(Sarasa)
I bowed again to Ells-san who said so while smiling at me.