Chapter 3-1 : Prologue of Arc 3

 

It’s been quite a while since I finished dealing with Yok Baal.

Actually, not only did I receive money from Master for the tons of Ice Fang Bats’ fangs I sent her, but I also received a lot of materials.

Thanks to that, I can finally focus on completing the Encyclopedia of Alchemy.

「Store Owner-dono, is that artifact also from the encyclopedia?」(Iris)

Iris-san, Kate-san and Lorea-chan were looking at me curiously while I was making a new artifact.

「Yup. It’s called a “Voice Box”. Thanks to Leonora-san and my master who provided me with the materials needed, I can finally make it.」(Sarasa)

「Voice Box, huh? How do you use it?」(Iris)

「Wait a sec. It’s almost complete…… Alright, it’s done!」(Sarasa)

I put the artifact, which looked like a palm-sized cube made of wood, on the table.

「First, put your hand on it like this. And… Ahem!」(Sarasa)

『Test, test. Leonora-san, can you hear me?』(Sarasa)

『Yeah, I can hear you. Looks like you successfully finished it.』(Leonora)

Suddenly, Leonora-san’s voice was heard from the box.

Iris-san, Kate-san and Lorea-chan were looking at the box with amazed faces.

『Yes. It’s thanks to you.』(Sarasa)

『Fufu. Don’t mention it. We can contact each other anytime from now on. You can always call me if you need something.』(Leonora)

『Thank you very much, Leonora-san. I will call you later then.』(Sarasa)

After that, I let go of the artifact to end the call.

「Whoa… You can talk with someone in a different town with this?」(Iris)

「Yup. However, it consumes a lot of magical power, so it’s difficult to call someone who is very far away for a long time.」(Sarasa)

While I was explaining, Iris-san took the artifact.

The three then observed it curiously.

「This is quite light.」(Iris)

「Hee… I can’t believe this small box can do such a thing. I wonder why such a useful artifact is not popular.」(Kate)

「Even though it looks like an ordinary wooden box, this artifact is incredible…」(Lorea)

While observing the artifact, they passed it to each other. Iris-san passed it to Kate-san, and Kate-san passed it to Lorea-chan.

「Well, it’s not popular because it’s exceptionally expensive. Its standard selling price is around 500,000 reas.」(Sarasa)

「EEEHH!? ーーAwawawa!」(Lorea)

Lorea-chan, who was currently holding the artifact, was flabbergasted after hearing its price. Her hand trembled, and then the artifact slipped from her hand.

「Careful!」(Iris)

Fortunately, Iris-san reacted immediately. She quickly slid on the floor facing up and caught the artifact with her body.

「I-I’m sorry!」(Lorea)

「I managed to catch it, so don’t worry.」(Iris)

Lorea-chan crouched and looked at Iris-san apologetically, but Iris-san smiled at her and stood up.

「…Umm, I don’t think it will break from just falling onto the floor. Well, unless you’re very unlucky, I guess.」(Sarasa)

「That means, if you’re unlucky, you will break it, right? Store Owner-san, I think you need to be more thoughtful in treating expensive items…」(Kate)

「Ahaha… You’re may be right.」(Sarasa)

Honestly, it has become like a habit. If I handled expensive items excessively carefully, I wouldn’t be able to work at Master’s store. After all, it might be dangerous if I got nervous while handling expensive items.

「Anyway, the other reason why this artifact is not popular is because it’s difficult for ordinary people to use.」(Sarasa)

Voice Boxes don’t consume as much magical power as Transfer Devices, but still, ordinary people who can’t use magical power have to use a lot of magic stones. Even people who can use magical power will find it difficult when they call someone far away.

In other words, if you want to use a Voice Box, you need either money to buy magic stones or someone with a lot of magical power to help you.

「I see… By the way, Store Owner-dono, there’s something I want to ask you…」(Iris)

「What is it?」(Sarasa)

Iris-san looked a little hesitant, so I smiled at her to encourage her.

She then spoke up after thinking for a moment.

「Umm… We can’t hunt Ice Fang Bats for a while until their population returns to normal, right? So I’m wondering if there is any good material we can collect for the time being.」(Iris)

「We haven’t fully paid our debt to you, so we’d like to know if there’s material we can collect to make money more efficiently. Or, if you need some certain materials, we can collect them for you like usual. I’m sorry that we always rely on you, Store Owner-san.」(Kate)

「I told you that you could always rely on me, so don’t worry about it. Let’s see… Hmmm…..」(Sarasa)

They don’t have to hurry to pay their debt with me, but I understand their desire to pay as quickly as possible. After all, you won’t feel at ease while you’re in debt.

「There are various materials in the Great Sea of Trees, so I’m sure there are some extremely rare materials that you can sell at a ridiculously high price, but…」(Sarasa)

「There is a high possibility that we won’t be able to return in one piece?」(Kate)

「Exactly…」(Sarasa)

「Ugh, I don’t know about that.」(Iris)

「Yeah, I don’t think that’s a good idea. It would be bad if we got seriously injured and ended up having more debt.」(Kate)

「Of course, I know. Let me think for a moment… Hmm…」(Sarasa)

Spit Worms are easy to find but they’re not that valuable.

Flame Stones are materials that will increase in demand in winter, and their purchase price is high. However, since they can only be found in Hellfire Grizzlies’ habitat, it will be too dangerous. I don’t want this village to be attacked by those bears again.

Joffe fruits should be growing in this season, and each fruit is worth more than ten thousand reas, but the thing is, they are suuuper rare. You are very lucky if you find one.

The only material I can think of with taking Iris-san and Kate-san’s ability into account is…

「How about honey from Rotten Fruit Bees? It’s raw material for making high-class honey, so you can sell it at a fairly high price. You need some preparation before you can collect it though.」(Sarasa)

「Rotten Fruit Bees…? That’s such a weird name… Kate, do you know about them?」(Iris)

「Nope. Never heard of that kind of bees. Store Owner-san, can you tell us more about them?」(Kate)

「Well, as the name suggests, their favorite food is rotten fruits. Normally, they are active around the end of autumn, but in areas where there are Ice Fang Bats’ caves, they are active around summer. The reason is that those bees usually aim for the frozen fruits inside Ice Fang Bats’ caves. Because they only eat the rotten ones, Ice Fang Bats don’t attack them, instead, the bats are grateful to the bees because the bees sometimes eliminate enemies who invade their cave, so you can say that they are in a symbiotic relationship. The honey produced from the bees that eat Ice Fang Bats’ frozen fruits is special, so it’s more expensive than the normal variety. Ah, by the way, you can find their nests near the cave.」(Sarasa)

「I see… That means, if we enter the cave to hunt Ice Fang Bats now, we might be attacked by those bees?」(Iris)

「Possibly. Well, you will be fine if you have Insect Repellent. Oh, but when you collect their honey, you should use an Insect Repellent Veil instead of an ordinary Insect Repellent.」(Sarasa)

「Eh? We can’t use the normal Insect Repellent? It’s more expensive than the veil one, right?」(Iris)

「Yes, but we can’t use it. Insect Repellent is an artifact that repels insects in the small area around you. Do you think those bees will run away when their nest is being attacked?」(Sarasa)

「I see… What else do we need?」(Iris)

「You will need some antidotes for their venom. In the worst case scenario, you might die after they sting you, so be careful.」(Sarasa)

When I told them so while emphasizing that this was important, Kate-san was surprised.

「Eh!? Those bees can kill humans!?」(Kate)

「Well, their honey wouldn’t be expensive if anyone could collect it without any risks.」(Sarasa)

「Ah, you have a point…」(Kate)

「Don’t worry. I know how excellent you two are as Collectors. I don’t think mere bees can kill you.」(Sarasa)

「Ahaha… We’re not as strong as you though… Can we invite Andre-san and his party members?」(Kate)

「It’s up to you. If you’re prioritizing safety, you may want to invite them, but if you want to prioritize making more money, you can go without them.」(Sarasa)

Although the Rotten Fruit Bees themselves are not so threatening, there are other monsters in the forest.

I’m a bit worried that Iris-san and Kate-san will end up going too deep into the forest and encounter dangerous monsters while they are looking for the bees’ nests, but I think they are the one who should decide.

They may be young girls but they are professional Collectors.

「Thank you, Store Owner-dono. We will think carefully about what to do before going.」(Iris)

「I can’t help much so please be careful, okay?」(Sarasa)

「We will.」(Kate)

 

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