Chapter 2-22 : Business Rival Ⅲ (part 2)
「Certainly, Daruna-san makes a lot of money from selling Cooling Hats, but I don’t think that can be a reason for that merchant to hate him.」(Sarasa)
「What do you mean?」(Kate)
「I mean it’s hard to tell whether Daruna-san really makes a lot of money or not. Iris-san didn’t even realize that the general store’s product has increased because of that. Besides, there’s the possibility that he saved his money.」(Sarasa)
「I see. So, his target was Gretz-san?」(Kate)
「Umm… Gretz-san probably makes more money than Daruna-san, but…」(Sarasa)
Gretz-san finally ordered a Harvester the other day, so there’s no doubt that he made a lot of money.
「But only a limited number of people know that he makes money, right?」(Lorea)
「Exactly. Unlike Daruna-san who usually go back and forth between this village and South Strugg, Gretz-san usually sells his products in various villages and towns.」(Sarasa)
I think even the villagers here have no idea how much money Gretz-san can make nowadays, unless they have a good calculating ability like Erin-san.
That merchant could have just asked the villagers how many hats they sold to Gretz-san to find out how much money he made, but he would have stood out if he did that.
「Let’s leave aside that merchant’s motive for now. How will you deal with him, Store Owner-dono?」(Iris)
「Umm… Should I confront him or… leave him be…?」(Sarasa)
「If you choose to ignore him, will the production of Cooling Hats be okay?」(Iris)
「Like I said the other day, I still have enough stock of Ice Fang Bats’ fangs, and if I need more, I can just go to the cave and collect them myself.」(Sarasa)
「Ah, Store Owner-san, since you can do that, I think you have an advantage.」(Kate)
「Yes, but the problem is I can’t carry too many. Well, if I strengthen my body and do my hardest, perhaps I can double the amount that I can carry.」(Sarasa)
After I said that, Iris-san immediately talked to me with a loud voice.
「Store Owner-dono, let us help you when you want to go to the cave!」(Iris)
「Helping Store Owner-san is probably way more profitable than collecting the fangs ourselves and selling them to that merchant.」(Kate)
「Yes, we can make more moneー Not that! We want to help you because we are indebted to you! Besides, I don’t like that merchant!」(Iris)
「Ahaha… Okay, when that time comes, I will equally divide the fangs we get.」(Sarasa)
「Store Owner-dono, just to be clear, I want to help you not because I can get more money, okay!?」(Iris)
「I know, I know.」(Sarasa)
I nodded while gently pushing back Iris-san who was approaching me and desperately telling me that. Kate-san’s light joke was the cause, so she didn’t need to be so desperate.
「I’m happy if you understand. Un, un. So… have you decided what to do with that merchant?」(Iris)
「There are several ways I can think of to deal with him, but… Umm… Perhaps the best way is to raise my purchase price for the fangs to the same level as his.」(Sarasa)
After I told them my idea, Iris-san and Kate-san nodded. It seemed like they both were convinced, but unlike them, Lorea-chan tilted her head with a wondering look.
「Sarasa-san, I don’t think it will make much difference…」(Lorea)
「No, if Store Owner-dono will buy Ice Fang Bats’ fangs at the same price as that merchant, people will prefer to sell their fangs to Store Owner-dono because she is an alchemist and has lived in this village for quite some time.」(Iris)
「That’s right. I’m sure people who once bought potions or artifacts in this store understand how skilled Store Owner-san is. After all, people would rather do business with someone they trust more, right?」(Kate)
「Iris-san, Kate-san… Thank you.」(Sarasa)
I’ve been selling potions and artifacts that are useful to Collectors so I believe that they trust me more.
「I see. I’m convinced now.」(Lorea)
「But Store Owner-san, won’t you suffer a loss if you raise your purchase price?」(Kate)
「No, if I ignore the production cost and the cost of risk in case I fail during the production, I think I won’t lose money… Perhaps…」(Sarasa)
If I failed to make one Cooling Hat, it would cost me the profit of the next dozens of Cooling Hats I made.
「That means… You will work for free and on top of that you can’t fail even once? I think that’s too reckless.」(Kate)
「Sarasa-san, you once told me that you might often fail in making things with alchemy, didn’t you?」(Lorea)
「Well, yeah. Normally, alchemists decide the price for their products on the assumption that they might fail once every two attempts in making products, or else, they will go bankrupt.」(Sarasa)
That’s why artifacts are very expensive. If we could make artifacts with 100% success rate, their price would definitely be a lot cheaper.
「If that’s the case, you will go bankrupt then!」(Lorea)
「Don’t worry. I won’t fail if it’s only making Cooling Hats… Probably…」(Sarasa)
「P-Probably…? Sarasa-san, please be serious!」(Lorea)
「No, I’m serious. Look, I’ve made tons of Cooling Hats but I haven’t failed even once so far. Unlike other alchemists, I’m a disciple of a master-class alchemist after all, so you can trust me!」(Sarasa)
That’s right, I’m a disciple of a master-class alchemist! I can’t afford to fail in making a mere level 4 artifact such as Cooling Hats!
I can’t let Master down after all!
「Heeー A disciple of…… Wait a minute….」(Iris)
Iris-san tilted her head, looking a bit confused for a moment.
「Did you say… You’re a disciple of a master-class alchemist…?」(Iris)
「Yep. Umm, did I never tell you guys about this?」(Sarasa)
「No, you never told us! Can you tell me your master’s name?」(Iris)
Come to think of it, Master visited my store before I met Iris-san and Kate-san.
Iris-san asked me Master’s name a little impatiently for some reason.
「Her name is Ophelia Millis. Do you know her?」(Sarasa)
「Ophelia… Millis!? Of course I know that person! So you’re her….. I see now. So that’s why you’re ridiculously strong for an alchemist.」(Iris)
Ridiculous is a bit rude…
I might look like this, but I was one of the best students in the Alchemist Training School, you know!
While Iris-san was looking at me with an amazed face, Lorea-chan tilted her head, looking confused.
「I don’t know anything about master-class alchemists, but is she a famous person?」(Lorea)
「Did I never tell you either? She has been to my store before.」(Sarasa)
「Ah, the person who taught you how to use a sword?」(Lorea)
「Yup. She is the one who told me to hire a storekeeper, you know?」(Sarasa)
「So it’s thanks to her that I can work here? Awesome! She must be a wonderful person.」(Lorea)
「Fufu, she is.」(Sarasa)
If Master didn’t recommend me to hire an employee, I probably would never have hiredーー No… I think I would still hire Lorea-chan, but it would take a longer time.