Chapter 3-30 : Epilogue of Arc 3 (part 1)
「Phew… I can finally relax…」(Sarasa)
「Here’s your cookie~」(Lorea)
「Thank you, Lorea-chan!」(Sarasa)
I had really been working very hard these past weeks from completing volume 4 of the Encyclopedia of Alchemy, making Heatproof Coats, until fighting an exceptionally strong Salamander.
I’m currently having tea time with Lorea-chan at the shop floor, enjoying my time.
To celebrate our success in solving the problem, I bought butter and sugar, which were quite expensive, and asked Lorea-chan to make cookies using them.
Lorea-chan’s cookies really are delicious! She can definitely make a living by selling them but… I don’t think it will be possible in this village since cookies are expensive.
After all, the villagers here rarely buy expensive things unless necessary, so I don’t think many people will buy Lorea-chan’s cookies.
「Also, thank you for managing the store while I was gone.」(Sarasa)
「Well, that’s the least I could do to help…」(Lorea)
Lorea-chan looked down somehow. Perhaps she wanted to help more but she couldn’t do anything else.
I took her hand and looked her in the eyes.
「Lorea-chan, you did a great job. You can do math and manage everything very well. I’m very grateful to you, so please don’t talk as if you didn’t do anything useful. I will always count on you.」(Sarasa)
「Sarasa-san… Ehehe~ Thank you. I’m happy you said that.」(Lorea)
While looking at Lorea-chan’s lovely smile, I recalled what happened these past few days.
That day, after we managed to freeze the Salamander, we regrouped with Adelbert-san and Katerina-san.
After spending a night resting, my magical power had recovered but not completely. However, we decided to go back to the cave entrance.
Because my ice didn’t melt, the Salamander was still there, frozen like an ice sculpture.
I used my sensing magic to find out if it was already dead or still alive, and… I couldn’t feel any signs of life from its body.
It was dead. We successfully killed it.
I melted the ice that covered its body so that we could disassemble it. Because it was dead, its skin no longer produced heat so we were able to cut it open.
After removing the unnecessary parts, I used my ice spell to freeze all the materials we got from the body so that they wouldn’t deteriorate easily.
We put half of the materials on my Floating Board and the remaining half in our bags. We got a lot of precious materials because it has a very big body.
After rechecking our luggage, we climbed down the volcano and headed home.
I was very tired after that journey because I used a lot of magical power, but it was worth the effort because Master bought most of the Salamander materials at a high price. Thanks to that, we got more than enough money to pay off Iris-san’s family’s debt.
However, I thought everything was going as planned but actually, it wasn’t going as smoothly as I thought because Adelbert-san ended up owing a debt to me now.
After selling the Salamander materials, I planned to distribute the money to the five of us. If Iris-san, Kate-san, Adelbert-san, and Katerina-san combined all the money they got, they would have enough to pay off the debt. However, Adelbert-san refused to receive the money.
He said, “I just helped you carry the materials. As a knight, I can’t accept this tremendous amount of money!”. Katerina-san also refused it. She said, “You have already sacrificed a lot of your time and effort to save us. We can’t accept any more of your kindness than this.”
As for Iris-san and Kate-san, I told them to accept the money because they helped me defeat the Salamander, and Iris-san said, “Because you put a lot of effort and spent materials to make these Heatproof Coats for us, at least let us pay for them along with the Freezing Stones and the Freezing Arrows.” They wanted to receive the money but after it was deducted from paying for those items.
As a result, I got most of the money from selling the materials.
Iris-san and Kate-san used their remaining money to pay the debt but because it was far from enough, I used my money to pay the rest. That’s why Adelbert-san owes me a debt now, at least until we could prove that Baronet Kirk broke the regulations in this country regarding lending money to another aristocrat. If we could prove it, then there would be the possibility that Adelbert-san’s debt would be considered paid off and I would get my money back.
*/TL : Just to remind you that Baronet Kirk might have broken the regulations. However, Sarasa and the others didn’t have enough time to look for an expert who can prove it, so in the meantime they decided to hunt a Salamander to make money. (Chap 3-22)
I thought it would go smoothly, but it didn’t go as I expected.
A few days ago, I asked my senior who was close to me when I was in school if she could introduce me to an expert who can handle problems regarding debt. Because she is the daughter of a Marquis, I believed she had many acquaintances.
I was happy when she introduced me to a reliable expert. However, our enemy also did the same. They hired an expert as well.
Moreover, as expected from a bad guy, Baronet Kirk had prepared thousands of excuses that he could use to prove that he didn’t break the regulations.
I’m not an expert in this matter, so there’s a lot I don’t understand, but mostly because of his excuses and the power of the expert he hired, we couldn’t prove that he broke the regulations.
Also, the fact that we have paid off the debt with the money we got from selling Salamander materials backfired on us.
The king made the regulations because he didn’t want any aristocrats to act superior to other aristocrats just because they lend them money. Therefore, even if we report this problem to the government, they will likely say, “You have paid off the debt, right? There’s no problem, then.”
After all, because we have paid off the debt, Baronet Kirk could no longer act superior to Adelbert-san.
We truly made a grave mistake…
However, the expert we hired didn’t want to give up. He kept arguing with Baronet Kirk and his expert until they agreed to return a certain amount of money to Adelbert-san.
Well, as expected from a Marquis’ acquaintance.
But, we spent most of that money to pay for the expert’s service. We also paid for his travel costs, inn, etc.
We were not able to prove Baronet Kirk’s wrongdoing, but Adelbert-san didn’t seem to be bothered with that. He said, “It’s okay. I’m very grateful to you, Sarasa-dono. Owing a debt to you is a thousand times better than owing a debt to Baronet Kirk.”
Well, I’m not a bad guy like that baronet, so I won’t charge Adelbert-san an outrageous amount of interest.
Hahh… Now, that stubborn father and daughter owe me a great deal of money…
I don’t know how I should feel about that…
By the way, Iris-san and Kate-san went to Adelbert-san’s mansion a few days ago to confront Hou Baal.
They should be back anytime now…
When I thought about those two while enjoying Lorea-chan’s cookies, the door of the shop opened.
「Ah, welcome to my shoーー Welcome home!」(Sarasa)
I thought it was a customer but it was Iris-san and Kate-san.
「Store Owner-san, we’re home!」(Kate)
「Ahh~ Finally I can take a rest…」(Iris)
The fact that they came back early probably meant that they had taken care of the problem.
They looked happy from their expression but also looked tired at the same time.
「You two look tired.」(Sarasa)
「Well, dealing with that stubborn merchant was really tiring after all… He was so persistent in trying to marry me… Oh! Those cookies look delicious!」(Iris)
As soon as she saw the cookies on the table, Iris-san stretched her arm, trying to get one, but then I lightly slapped her hand.
「No cookies for you until you wash your hands.」(Sarasa)
「Puu…! Store Owner-dono, you somehow remind me of my mother…」(Iris)
While pouting, Iris-san put down her bag and headed to the kitchen to wash her hands. Kate-san followed her from behind.
A few moments later, they returned and showed me their hands.
「I’ve washed my hands!」(Iris)
「Fufu. Alright, you two may join us.」(Sarasa)
The two sat down and grabbed a cookie right away while Lorea-chan poured tea into their cups.
「Mmm! This is so good! Lorea, good job!」(Iris)
「Thank you. Well, it’s also because the butter and sugar Sarasa-san bought are of good quality.」(Lorea)
「Now that you mentioned it… But Lorea, I think it’s mostly because you’re good at cooking.」(Kate)
「Hehe, is that so?」(Lorea)
Responding to Lorea-chan’s question, the three of us nodded at the same time.
After all that happened, we could finally enjoy our time together like this again.