Chapter 1-7 : Greeting The Neighbors Ⅱ (part 1)
After eating lunch, we took a break for a moment.
I would like to relax more, but after this I had to visit the village mayor, so I couldn’t be here for too long.
Besides, I also wanted to clean the house a little before the sun goes down.
「Diral-san, thanks for the meal.」(Sarasa)
「Ou. I hope you liked it. Ah, before you goー」(Diral)
Diral-san stopped me from leaving the cafeteria, and she entered the kitchen.
She then returned with a pot and a bag in her hands.
「You can have this. You haven’t cleaned your house up yet, right?」(Diral)
「Nah, don’t be hesitant. Here.」(Diral)
When I looked at Ells-san, she nodded as if saying “just take it”, so I just gratefully took it.
「Thank you very much.」(Sarasa)
「A, ha, ha. We need help from each other to live in the countryside like this. By the way, we sell that bread in the morning. If you like my bread and don’t wanna take the trouble to bake some yourself, come and buy it next time.」(Diral)
「Yes, I will.」(Sarasa)
What was inside the pot was the soup and inside the bag was bread.
I know how to bake bread, and I’ve done it before.
However, I was just helping at the orphanage that time.
When I entered the school, I stopped baking bread because they served meals for students in the dormitory.
Honestly, I don’t think I can make bread as delicious as Diral-san’s bread, so I guess I’ll come to buy it often.
「Well, even if you don’t like it, the only other bread you can buy in this village is the hard-baked bread from the general store. Lazy people who don’t wanna bake bread by themselves usually buy it here.」(Diral)
「Lazy people, you say? Even though sometimes you rushed to the kitchen while saying, “Oh no! I forgot to prepare the food!”? Look who’s lazy now.」(Ells)
After Ells-san said that, she sent her palm flying at a high speed to Diral-san’s back and made an explosive sound.
Uhh… so slapping backs is normal in this village?
I should train my body…
「Well then, let’s go now, Sarasa-chan. You’re still busy with your house today, right?」(Ells)
「Ah, yes. Well, thank you Diral-san!」(Sarasa)
I thanked Diral-san once again and left the cafeteria.
Next, would be the village mayor’s house.
But before we went there, I asked Ells-san to wait for me, and hurriedly walked back to my house.
Visiting the mayor with a pot of soup is kinda off, right?
◇ ◇ ◇
「By the way, what kind of person is the village mayor?」(Sarasa)
If he was a difficult person, he might become a tough enemy for me, who had little EXP in socializing skills.
「Well, he is just a hobbling old man. He is quite old.」(Ells)
「…..Is he a ‘grumpy old man’ type?」(Sarasa)
「Huh? Aah, haha! Don’t worry, he is just a laid-back old man.」(Ells)
「Is that so!?」(Sarasa)
Fiuh~ I’m glad he’s not a strong enemy.
I was a little desperate when I came to this village, but now I don’t think this village is that bad.
Everyone was kind to me, even though I’m not good at speaking. Well, it’s thanks to Ells-san introducing me though.
Now that I know this village is a good place to live in, the most important thing for me now is to think about how to live comfortably here!
「Look. The village mayor’s house is that one over there.」(Ells)
Ells-san pointed her finger at an ordinary house.
It was neither particularly large nor luxurious compared to other houses.
The location was near the center of the village, but if Ells-san didn’t tell me, I would never have known it was the village mayor’s house.
「In this village’s case, the mayor’s job is only collecting taxes, so I don’t think Sarasa-chan will meet him often.」(Ells)
The village mayor’s job differs in each village, but the job ordered by the country is the sameー collecting the village tax and handing it over to the tax collector.
Taxes were not limited to money, but depending on the industrial structure of the village, it might be agricultural products, animal products, or village specialty products.
Therefore, to save the tax collectors’ some trouble, the government entrusted it to the village mayor first.
However, the merchants would be treated differently.
The amount of the tax for the merchants would be determined by the scale of the business and the population of the village where the store was located, and it would be paid once a year at a fixed amount.
For us alchemists, it was basically the same as the merchants. In our case however, it would be more detailed because we had to calculate the tax according to our sales.
It was basically a self-report.
Because of that, we could cheat by making a false report of our sales.
But, well, false reporting is a crime, and considering the small merit from doing that and the cheap tax rate, there were only a few people who even wanted to cheat.
Also, there were people who were like, “It’s a pain in the butt to record the sales every time. The country can increase my tax, I don’t care, I just want an easy life.”
「Well, he is a fragile old man who might die soon, but he is still the village’s mayor, so he is widely known. He might be useful for you in the future if you greet to him now.」(Ells)
Is it okay to treat the village mayor like that…?
「Oi oi, Ells. That’s so mean.」(village mayor)
When we were talking like that in front of the village mayor’s house, an old man came out from the back of the house and said so.
Is this old man the village mayor?
「Oh, old man, did you hear us?」(Ells)
I think it’s a bad idea to ask him that, though…
「Where’s the cute Ells-chan from so many years ago gone? I can’t believe she’s become a rude woman like this…」(village mayor)
「Don’t put “-chan” on my name! More importantly, this girl is an alchemist who moved to that old store.」(Ells)
「M-my name is Sarasa, an alchemist. Nice to meet you. I will be living in this village from now on, so I will be in your care.」(Sarasa)
A little panicked, I bowed to the village mayor and introduced myself.
「Ho ho ho. Please don’t bow to me like that. Alchemists are suuuper elites, right? Thank you for coming to this village.」(village mayor)
「Ah, but still, we have to be polite to our elders, right?」(Sarasa)
「Ho ho ho. But really, it will help our village a lot foran alchemist to live here. I’ll help you with anything you need, so feel free to come anytime.」(village mayor)
「Yes. Thank you very much!」(Sarasa)
But what the village mayor said was true.
In a small village without a doctor like this, the existence of an alchemist is very much a matter of life and death.
Even a fledgling alchemist can definitely make potions and has medical knowledge.
Sometimes a talented alchemist can even surpass a doctor in medical terms.
But if you became arrogant, you would be ostracized from the place you lived, so I’ll be as humble as I can.
After that the three of us talked for a while about things I should know to live in this village.
「Thank you very much. But, umm… it’s time for me to go. I still have to clean up my house. So, if you will excuse me…」(Sarasa)
「Ahh… I see.」(village mayor)
It seems the mayor still wanted to chit chat.
Is he a person with a lot of free time?
Ells-san said he had no job other than collecting taxes, so maybe he is.