Chapter 2-18 : New Products Ⅳ

 

*Clang clang*

When I was talking with Lorea-chan about her straw hat, the doorbell rang.

「Excuse me.」(man)

「Welcome to the storeー」(Sarasa)

A man I had never seen before came into the store.

He seemed to be around 20 years old. His appearance was a little different from a Collector’s, but he didn’t seem to be a villager either.

It looked like he didn’t train his body well, but he looked like a man with a gentle personality. It was an unusual type of person around here.

In response to my suspicious gaze, the man flusteredly waved his hands and started talking.

「N-Nice to meet you. My name is Gretz. I’m Jasper and Ells’ son.」(Gretz)

His words reminded me of the story that I had heard from Ells-san about her son when we ate together in the dining hall. (chapter 1-6)

「Ah! The son who became a merchant because he didn’t want to succeed his father’s job as a hunter!」(Sarasa)

「Ye, yeah… I’m that son…」(Gretz)

As he answered, his body seemed to shrink from the shame.

It looks like he has an inferiority complex or something.

Well, I can understand. Compared to his father, Jasper-san, he looks weak.

「Ah! You’re Gretz onii-chan? I’m sorry, I didn’t notice.」(Lorea)

「Lo, Lorea-chan, how could you forget about me? We used to play together when we were kids, right?」(Gretz)

Gretz lowered his eyebrows, replying to Lorea-chan with a pitiful expression.

「It’s been a very long time since you left this village. If you don’t want to be forgotten, you should come back once in a while.」(Lorea)

「Uuhh… There’s nothing to buy in this village, and your dad sells the villagers’ agricultural products, so there’s no point in coming here…」(Gretz)

「Ah, you’re right. My dad will have a competitor if you’re here, so you shouldn’t be here then.」(Lorea)

「Lorea-chan, you’re so mean… You just told me to come back, didn’t you?」(Gretz)

「I told you to come back once in a while, not to permanently live here.」(Lorea)

Umm… Lorea-chan, I think that’s too much.

Well, I knew that she was joking though. Probably…

「So why did you come back now? Don’t tell me… You went bankrupt and decided to become a hunter? Hee, so you have finally prepared yourself to be trained really hard by Jasper-san, huh?」(Lorea)

「That’s not it! In the first place, I never said that I left because I didn’t want my dad to train me! Anyway, I came back because I heard rumors that this village was attacked by Hellfire Grizzlies, but…」(Gretz)

「Ah, you’re too late then. We managed to defeat the bears.」(Lorea)

「Yeah, I know. I also heard that no one died during the battle… Oh, right.」(Gretz)

Saying that, Gretz-san turned to me and bowed politely.

「Sarasa-san, I heard this village was saved because of you. If it weren’t for you, my parents and the other villagers would have died. Thank you.」(Gretz)

「Ah, don’t worry about it. I also live in this village, so it’s natural for me to help.」(Sarasa)

I flusteredly bowed to him as I answered.

I felt a bit awkward when an older person bowed to me like this.

「Gretz onii-chan, I’m glad that you still care about this village.」(Lorea)

「How can I not care? You don’t know how shocked I was when I heard the rumor.」(Gretz)

He must have been really worried about the village. No, about his parents, to be exact.

Honestly, I’m impressed. He’s very brave for a wimpy-looking man.

There were many Collectors who ran away, but he chose to come back to this village.

He might look a little unreliable, but at least he’s not a bad person.

But… Lorea-chan was so strict toward him.

「You might have been worried about this village, but you came too late!」(Lorea)

「Uuu…」(Gretz)

「Besides, there was nothing you could have done even if you made it in time.」(Lorea)

「I know! I’m not strong like my dad after all!」(Gretz)

Lorea-chan, you really have no mercy…

She’s completely different from the usual Lorea-chan when she talks with me.

Because I kinda felt sorry for Gretz-san, who looked like he was about to cry, I decided to calm Lorea-chan a bit.

「Lo, Lorea-chan, I think that’s too much. We should be grateful now that he’s back, shouldn’t we?」(Sarasa)

「Well, you’re right…」(Lorea)

Lorea-chan still looked a little unsatisfied, but after I stroked her back, she sighed and relaxed a little.

「So Gretz onii-chan, did you come to thank Sarasa-san?」(Lorea)

「That’s my main reason for coming here, but I heard from my mom that Sarasa-san might have good items that I can sell, so…」(Gretz)

While saying that, Gretz-san looked at me with an awkward face.

Certainly, my shop is the only place in this village where he can get items for him to resell now that Daruna-san handles the agricultural products in this village.

「I see… Well, if you buy materials from me and sell them to the alchemy shop in South Strugg, you can make a profit, but…」(Sarasa)

Of course, the alchemy shop that I meant was Leonora-san’s shop, not the other one.

Gretz-san will definitely lose money if he sells materials to that swindler’s shop after all.

However, considering the transportation costs, he won’t get much profit even if he sells the materials to Leonora-san’s shop.

「Gretz-san, you’re a merchant, right? Instead of selling materials, perhaps you can sell my Cooling Hats.」(Sarasa)

While saying that, I pointed at the shelf with Cooling Hats.

「Cooling Hats, huh? They will certainly sell in this season, but….. Hm? Wait a minute…」(Gretz)

When Gretz-san looked at the shelf I pointed at and saw the price tag attached to the hats, he tilted his head.

「Are they this cheap…?」(Gretz)

「My Cooling Hats are 30% cheaper than the market price. Even after you add transportation costs, I think you can still sell them a little cheaper than the market price.」(Sarasa)

「That’s great but… Sarasa-san, do you even make a profit from this?」(Gretz)

「Ahaha, as you can guess, I barely make any profits. However, I’m not losing money, so I’m fine with it. Besides, my main reason is to give villagers a job.」(Sarasa)

「I see… Then, let me sell your Cooling Hats!」(Gretz)

「Mumumu! Are you going to be my dad’s business rival!?」(Lorea)

Lorea-chan turned a stern look again at Gretz-san who smiled joyfully.

Gretz-san then flusteredly waved his hands to Lorea-chan.

「Do, Don’t worry, Lorea-chan! Daruna-san usually sells these hats in South Strugg, right? Then I will sell them in another town.」(Gretz)

「Hmm… Fine then.」(Lorea)

Although she still looked somewhat dissatisfied, Lorea-chan let it slide for now.

However, I can’t say that Gretz-san and Daruna-san won’t be business rivals in the future even if Gretz-san sells his goods in a different town because there might be people who come to shop in South Strugg from nearby towns and villages.

Well, I think it’s better if I can sell my Cooling Hats in places other than South Strugg, so I’ll be grateful if Gretz-san wants to help me sell them, but…

「But, Gretz-san, all I have now is the ones that are lined on that shelf. The hats themselves are made by the villagers, so…」(Sarasa)

After I explained like that, Gretz-san nodded.

As expected from a merchant. He can immediately grasp what I mean just from that vague explanation.

「I see… I think that’s a good method. The villagers can make money based on their efforts… Alright, Sarasa-san, you can leave it to me!」(Gretz)

He might look unreliable at first, but after he said that strongly with confidence, he looked like a trustworthy merchant.

After leaving my shop, he immediately started taking action.

By taking advantage of his status as a native of this village, Gretz-san visited each house in this village and asked the villagers if they wanted to make hats for him.

He bought the finished hats in cash on the spot and brought them all together to my shop.

Normally, I wouldn’t allow anyone other than villagers to bring hats to my shop, but he is the son of Ells-san and Jasper-san who always take care of me. Also, he bought hats directly from villagers. Taking that into account, and because it fit my goal of making the village prosper, I decided to allow him to do it.

By the way, there were some villagers who allowed Gretz-san to pay them later after their hats were sold.

Well, rather than they trusted Gretz-san, I think it’s because they trusted Ells-san. She is the most trustworthy person in this village after all.

After Gretz-san was able to stock a considerable amount of Cooling Hats, he left the village with a smile on his face.

Lorea-chan said, “Sarasa-san, you’re too nice to him!” but I think Gretz-san is a valuable person who can bring money to this village.

 

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