Chapter 2-17 : New Products Ⅲ (part 2)
It’s been a while since I went to the village mayor’s house and talked with him… No, talked with his daughter to be precise.
The making of the Cooling Hats was going smoothly.
Well, it didn’t mean that it was smooth from the beginning, though.
Either because of the fact that the money wouldn’t be given right away after the purchase or because the consignment method was too hard to understand, there were not many people who wanted to help me make hats.
The first people who helped were only my acquaintances.
Specifically, Erin-san, Marie-san (Lorea-chan’s mother), Jimena-san (the blacksmith’s wife), and Ells-san.
They were the only people who trusted me. At least at first.
After Erin-san and Marie-san spread the rumor that they made money by making hats, the other villagers began to help me make hats as well.
Some people were good at making hats, but some others were not.
Well, I understand that people can’t just be good at making hats from the start.
Because of that, the prices of the hats were not all the same at the beginning.
The hats with good quality were expensive, but the poor ones were cheap.
For the shipping, I asked Daruna-san to sell the Cooling Hats at South Strugg, but not only did he sell the hats, he also went to buy cloth for the material to make hats apart from buying his own groceries.
Honestly, I haven’t made any profit, but since I wasn’t at a loss, I thought there would be no problem.
Today, Lorea-chan came with a colander on her head for some reason.
「Sarasa-san, how do I look~?」(Lorea)
It was more compact than a normal colander and fit perfectly on Lorea-chan’s head.
Is it stuck on her head and she can’t take it off?
Don’t tell me… she awakened to a weird hobby or something…?
「Lorea-chan… Why are you wearing a colander on your head…?」(Sarasa)
「Eh? This is not a colander! Please look more closely!」(Lorea)
With a dissatisfied face, Lorea-chan approached me while showing her head.
I grabbed her shoulders and looked closely at the colander-like thing on her head.
That thing had a double layer and looked thick. It looked like a straw hat that was knitted up and down.
「Is this… a straw hat…?」(Sarasa)
「Yup! I made it based on the opinions from the Collectors. This hat is for those who usually wear a helmet.」(Lorea)
While saying that, Lorea-chan took off her colanー straw hat and handed it to me.
The thickness was about 1 cm.
The two layers were very well woven and it didn’t bend even though I put pressure on it.
She said it was for the Collectors who always wear a safety helmet, but…. Ah, I see now.
People will usually sweat on the head if they wear a safety helmet for a long period of time.
The gap between two layers in this straw hat let the air pass through and cool the head of the wearer.
This alone is already good enough, but if I turn it into a Cooling Hat, it will be a saviour in the summer for Collectors who wear safety helmets.
「This is amazing… Lorea-chan, you’re a genius!」(Sarasa)
Lorea-chan showed me her rare smug face.
But, really… Her brilliant idea and her technique of making this straw hat impressed me.
Actually, Lorea-chan sometimes used her spare time to make straw hats, but this one is totally different from the other straw hats she made so far.
「How about its durability?」(Sarasa)
「Ah, I’ve tested it. I borrowed a safety helmet from a collector and wore it with this straw hat, and there seemed to be no problem even though I squeezed it a little hard.」(Lorea)
Because the material is straw, I thought it could easily be crushed, but it looks like it’s quite durable.
However, Lorea-chan said that she squeezed it a ‘little’ hard, right? I have a feeling it will break if it receives a hard hit.
「So it’s hard enough, huh? But I think I should add a ‘durability improvement’ feature just in case.」(Sarasa)
「Eh? So you can improve its durability?」(Lorea)
「Of course, but it takes more time and effort than making a regular Cooling Hat.」(Sarasa)
If I want to make an artifact that is listed in the Encyclopedia of Alchemy, I can just follow the instructions that are written in the encyclopedia when I draw the magic circuit.
However, in order to customize the artifact’s function, like adding or deleting some features, I need to figure out the meaning and the structure of the magic circuit needed.
If someone says, “An alchemist must be able to do that”, I’d say that’s not true.
You won’t be expelled from Alchemy School even if you don’t understand magic circuits.
There are many alchemists who can’t make complicated artifacts after all.
The reason why they could still become alchemists was because this country lacked alchemists.
They thought that alchemists who could make items that were listed in the Encyclopedia of Alchemy were good enough.
By the way, understanding magic circuits is very hard to do, but I can do it.
Well, I wouldn’t have been able to get high scores during the tests at school if I couldn’t do it.
It was because I studied really, really hard at that time. Of course it was also thanks to Master who always taught me alchemy.
I said it would take time and effort, but actually, adding a ‘durability improvement’ feature toCooling Hats is not that difficult.
「Lorea-chan, you sure made a really good straw hat. I’m impressed.」(Sarasa)
「Ah, actually, my great-grandma helped me. Ehehe.」(Lorea)
Lorea said with a slightly shy face.
I see. Her great-grandmother, huh?
Is this what’s called the eldery’s wisdom?
「I’ve never met her. Does she live separately in another house?」(Sarasa)
「No, she lives with us, but my great-grandma has bad legs so she can hardly go outside. Ah, but she’s still doing well. She usually does the jobs that can be done without having to stand up. Half of the hats that my mom usually brings to you are actually made by my great-grandma.」(Lorea)
So that’s why Marie-san usually brings me a lot of hats even though she is busy.
I thought she was fired up and made a lot of hats because her husband, Daruna-san, would be the one to sell them.
「Thanks to you, my great-grandma is happy because she still can make money by herself in her old age.」(Lorea)
「Is that so? I’m glad for her then. My efforts to realize this idea are not in vain.」(Sarasa)
Lorea-chan smiled happily at me. Looks like she really loves her great-grandmother.
「Oh, right. Sarasa-san, can I display this straw hat at the store as a sample? It must fit the shape of the wearer’s head, so I was thinking of selling them as made-to-order only.」(Lorea)
「Ah, you’re right. The sizes of people’s heads are different from each other after all. Un. I agree with that.」(Sarasa)
Well, it’s a matter of course considering that it would be worn under a safety helmet, so it must perfectly fit on your head.
「Thank you, Sarasa-san!」(Lorea)
「You’re welcome. But the problem is… Most of the Collectors in this village already have Cooling Hats… Well, new people keep coming lately, so maybe it will go well… I hope.」(Sarasa)
「Ah, come to think of it, the number of Collectors has increased recently.」(Lorea)
「It’s maybe because the materials from the Hellfire Grizzlies and Ice Fang Bats have been distributed to South Strugg.」(Sarasa)
With the Hellfire Grizzly materials being distributed to South Strugg, people know that the bears have successfully been defeated.
Moreover, the fangs of Ice Fang Bats are in high demand during this season, so it’s only natural that Collectors started to gather in this village.
However, none of the Collectors who ran away before the Hellfire Grizzlies attacked this village have visited my store so far.
The Collectors who ran away to save their own lives can’t be blamed for it because it’s not a disgraceful thing to do, but it seems like they feel bad for running away while the other Collectors stayed to fight.
If they return, I won’t discriminate against them.
It doesn’t matter if they are the Collectors who ran away or the ones who chose to stay and fight the bears, they are still my business partners after all.