Chapter 2-19 : New Products Ⅴ (part 1)
Summer was approaching, and my plan to make Cooling Hats as this village’s specialty products was going well.
Daruna-san kept selling a good amount of Cooling Hats in South Strugg, and Gretz-san now visited this village more often to purchase Cooling Hats.
Both of them always sold out the hats, and the money from sales was always fully paid to the villagers who made the hats.
Perhaps it’s been going well because my Cooling Hats are cheaper than the market price.
Moreover, Lorea-chan’s colandersー I mean, straw hats, were unexpectedly very popular among the Collectors in this village.
They said that wearing a helmet had become super comfortable thanks to the Cooling Hats made from Lorea-chan’s straw hats.
Because the raw material is straw, I need to add durability improvement and waterproofing enchantments to the hats. It took more time and effort than making regular Cooling Hats, so they were quite pricey. Even so, they sold like hot cakes.
Because there were so many people ordering, Lorea-chan couldn’t keep up with her work, and one day, her great grandmother visited my store even though she had bad legs.
She said, “I heard Lorea is having a hard time making straw hats. It might be a bother, but would you let me stay here for a while to help Lorea?”
My store wasn’t very busy most of the time so I didn’t mind if Lorea-chan made straw hats while working, but I couldn’t just turn away a grandma who was worried about her grandchild.
As a result, most of the straw hats were made by Lorea-chan’s great grandmother, and for a while, seeing a granny knitting straw in the corner of my store had become my daily routine.
Several days later, most of the Collectors, who usually wear helmets in this village, finally got their own “Straw Cooling Hats”.
After that, the granny returned home, and Lorea-chan was finally able to relax a little.
Straw Cooling Hats had potential to become popular in other villages and towns, but it would be difficult to sell them outside because they had to be made to order.
Well, if there were Collectors who were willing to come to this village just to order Straw Cooling Hats, we would gladly accept their orders, but I think the chance is slim.
However, the sales of Cooling Hats have been going pretty well, and there’s no doubt that the circulation of money in this village has increased.
It’s still far from being prosperous, but I can say that we have taken our first step really smoothly.
Moreover, it wasn’t only the villagers who became richer, but the ‘half villager’, Gretz-san, too.
One day, he came to consult with me.
「ーーso you want to give something to Ells-san and Jasper-san?」(Sarasa)
「Yes. My mom and dad must have had a hard time after I left this village, so I want to give something to them…」(Gretz)
Lorea-chan, who had been listening to our conversation, made a surprised face.
「The famous “prodigal son”, Gretz onii-chan, wants to give something to his parents!?」(Lorea)
「Wait, what!? Since when I’ve become famous with that stupid nickname!?」(Gretz)
Gretz-san seemed to have never heard of that. He shouted with a surprised face.
「Well, it’s because you left and rarely came back even though you were raised in this village. You didn’t seem to send money to your parents regularly either, so it’s only natural if people called you that, right? But actually, you have other nicknames like “good-for-nothing son” and “the man you shouldn’t get married to”.」(Lorea)
「Se, Seriously!? So… The reason why I felt like people looked at me with gentle yet pitiful eyes when I asked them to help me make hats was…」(Gretz)
「Perhaps they were willing to help you because the good-for-nothing son was finally doing his best for the sake of this village.」(Lorea)
「Ughh… I thought it was because I was able to negotiate well…」(Gretz)
Gretz-san looked down in disappointment after Lorea-chan pointed out the truth.
I don’t think there’s a problem as long as he can sell the hats the villagers made, but it might be a shock for him as a business person.
Still, there’s no doubt that Gretz-san was able to gather more hats from the villagers than Erin-san did.
Even though Erin-san had the advantage of paying the villagers in advance, Gretz-san was able to gather sympathy from the villagers. Well, he doesn’t seem happy with that, though.
「But Gretz-san, now that you can make a lot of money while helping the villagers financially, I don’t think you have to worry about those nicknames anymore.」(Sarasa)
「Y-Yes, you’re right! I can say that I’m successful in life now. I’m not a good-for-nothing son!」(Gretz)
Thanks to my follow-up, Gretz-san recovered a little.
However, there was a person here who ‘dumped cold water on him’ again.
「Well, it’s mostly thanks to Ells-san’s influence and Sarasa-san’s kindness, though.」(Lorea)
Lorea-chan sure is strict toward Gretz-san.
Looks like Lorea-chan had a feeling of discontent toward Gretz-san since he once abandoned the village.
Could it be… did Lorea-chan have some feelings for Gretz-san in the past? She hates him now because she once loved him…?
No, no, no… Considering Gretz-san’s age when he left this village and Lorea-chan’s age back then, it’s unlikely.
Besides, Lorea-chan looked at him as if she was looking at a stranger when he first entered my store.
So… why does Lorea-chan hate him…?
「Sarasa-san? What’s wrong?」(Lorea)
「A, Ahh… Nothing.」(Sarasa)
Lorea-chan asked me with a quizzical expression because I unconsciously looked at Lorea-chan and Gretz-san alternately while thinking.
「Ahem! Let’s get back to the main topic. So Gretz-san, you want to give something to your parents, right? Hmm… How about you give them a fertilizer making machine called a “Harvester”?」(Sarasa)
「A fertilizer making machine…? But my parents rarely grow plants in a field…」(Gretz)
「No, no. What is important is not the plants you want to fertilize, but the materials that you want to put into the Harvester.」(Sarasa)
Harvester is the artifact that processes the materials that are put into it into fertilizer.
The materials can be dead leaves, dead trees, and even raw garbage. You can make quite good fertilizer from such materials.
Jasper-san is a hunter.
After he butchers the animals he hunted, he would definitely have a lot of unnecessary animal parts, and disposing of them would be quite troublesome.
Because they will rot, he has to dig a hole or find a place to throw them away.
I know that because I also butcher animals sometimes to obtain materials for alchemy.
In that respect, if he has a Harvester, he can get rid of such garbage easily.
Moreover, he can sell the fertilizer he made to farmers and make money from it.
However, Harvesters have a downside: it needs a lot of magical power to work, but I don’t think that’s a problem. I can help with that.
I need fertilizer for my herb field, which has finally been restored recently, so I may help them activate the Harvester in return for fertilizer.