Chapter 2-29 : Final Push Ⅱ (part 1)
After the meal was over, and after Filione-san headed to the store area, Leonora-san and I talked about the merchant.
「Alright, let’s talk about that merchant.」(Leonora)
「Okay. I’m listening.」(Sarasa)
「But… I feel like this is going to take a while, so let me grab drinks for us. Are you okay with ice tea?」(Leonora)
After I nodded to her, Leonora-san opened her refrigerator and took out a teapot.
She then grabbed two empty cups, poured the tea into the cups and handed me one.
Unlike the Suya tea that I often drink these days, this is a light brown fragrant tea.
I have never drank this tea before, but this is not bad at all.
「Mmm~ This is good. I knew you had a refrigerator.」(Sarasa)
「The one who made this tea was Fii, by the way. And of course I have a refrigerator. I think most alchemists have at least one refrigerator in their store. Anyone aiming to be a better alchemist will make one at some point. You have made one too, right?」(Leonora)
「It will be great if we can sell it, but if we can’t, we can just use it ourselves. Sarasa, I bet you can’t sell any refrigerators in your village.」(Leonora)
「Yeah, I can’t, so I just made one along with a freezer for my kitchen.」(Sarasa)
「Ah, so you also made a freezer. I don’t think it’s useful except in the summer though.」(Leonora)
「Well, you’re right, but I’m currently using it for storing Ice Fang Bats’ frozen fruits.」(Sarasa)
「Eh? You collected those fruits? Come to think of it, this may be a good season to collect them.」(Leonora)
「The Ice Fang Bats in the cave near my village hadn’t been hunted for a very long time, so their number was quite large. As a result, we got a lot of frozen fruits… Do you want me to bring some next time?」(Sarasa)
「Are you sure? Those fruits are very valuable, right?」(Leonora)
「I don’t mind. I’m not very interested in them. Besides, we’re having a problem finding buyers, so I’m planning to ask my master for help.」(Sarasa)
For the time being, I’m storing the fruits in my freezer.
I was thinking of eating them at least one, but Andre-san, Gil-san and Gray-san, who brought home some of them and tried them at the inn, said, “It’s decently delicious.”, “I think normal wine is more delicious”, “It has a high-class taste, but there’s nothing special about it”. After that, they asked me to just sell the rest of their frozen fruits in my freezer.
「I see. Then, can I have some? I’ve never eaten one, so this may become a conversation topic when I have a talk with people.」(Leonora)
「Alright, I’ll bring you some the next time I come, but it might take a while. Are you okay with that?」(Sarasa)
「I don’t mind. I’ll be waiting for you.」(Leonora)
I can’t ask Daruna-san to deliver the frozen fruits because they will melt on the way, so I have no choice but to deliver them myself while keeping them cold with my magic.
After talking about some other things for a moment, we started talking about the main topic.
「First of all, that merchant’s name is Yok Baal. He is a quite successful merchant, and he actually has a store here in South Strugg.」(Leonora)
Apparently, he is not an overly wealthy merchant, but he is not a small merchant either.
That’s why Leonora-san could get the information about him relatively easily.
「The products he sells are alchemy-related materials, artifacts and potions.」(Leonora)
「Eh? So he also sells potions?」(Sarasa)
「Yeah. That’s the problem.」(Leonora)
There are some materials that do not deteriorate much even if they are not processed by alchemists, so merchants can store them without a problem. There are also cases where alchemists asked merchants to handle their processed materials so they don’t have to store all of them and make their storage full.
Merchants also sell artifacts from alchemists sometimes. Normally they sell the ones whose functions are easy to understand, so that people can buy them without worrying about getting scammed. For example, I entrust the Cooling Hats I made to Daruna-san and Gretz-san for them to sell.
However, potions are different.
People won’t know the effects of potions just by looking at them. Moreover, potions have expiration dates, and their effects might change depending on the storage condition.
Normally, people will use potions when they need them, so they will store their potions for a while at their home or in their pockets.
Therefore, if their potions turn out to have no effect or have a strange effect, the merchants selling the potions can just say, “It’s because you stored it wrong”, making the customers hesitate to complain.
That’s why purchasing a potion from someone who isn’t an alchemist is quite risky. Besides, it is quite difficult for ordinary merchants to handle potions as products to sell.
「Hmm… Where does he buy potions from? Does he have alchemists who back him up? I’m also curious about how he sells his potions…」(Sarasa)
「No. He is probably using alchemists who have debtsー No, who were forced into debt with him with pretty unreasonable means.」(Leonora)
「So in other words, he framed alchemists to make them owe him money?」(Sarasa)
When I asked that with a curious face, Leonora-san nodded. I could feel a little bit of anger in her bitter expression.
「Yeah, something like that. It seems like those alchemists were entrapped by his scheme.」(Leonora)
「That’s horrible… Why hasn’t the government caught him yet?」(Sarasa)
「As far as I can tell, his act is indeed malicious, but it’s not clearly illegal. It’s hard to explain but you know what I mean, right?」(Leonora)
She has a point…
What he has been doing in my village is close to that, and there’s probably no point in reporting him to the feudal lord of this territory.
「Also, it seems like he only targets novice alchemists…」(Leonora)
「Because novice alchemists are inexperienced and easy to deceive?」(Sarasa)
「Probably. Normally, you won’t have much money after you open a store, right? Moreover, alchemy costs a lot of money, so even a small mistake will hurt novice alchemists financially. That’s probably why he thinks that novice alchemists are easy prey.」(Leonora)
「You may be right… What a terrible person…」(Sarasa)