Chapter 3-30 : Epilogue of Arc 3 (part 2)
「A lot has happened but we can finally relax for a while.」(Sarasa)
Hearing my words, Iris-san and Kate-san, who were about to grab another cookie, stopped moving their hands and looked at each other with awkward expressions.
「Store Owner-san, we’re sorry for causing you trouble.」(Kate)
「I feel even more indebted to you…」(Iris)
「It’s okay. You don’t have to worry about returning the favor. But, if you feel indebted, I hope you can return even a little bit of my money.」(Sarasa)
While saying that, I pushed the plate with cookies toward the two.
I can finally start making artifacts and potions from volume 5 of the Encyclopedia of Alchemy but I don’t have much money to buy materials because I used most of the money we got from selling Salamander materials to pay Iris-san’s family’s debt.
I still have some materials in the storage room but most of them can’t be used to make stuff in vol. 5.
Therefore, I’ll be grateful if Iris-san can pay back her debt even a little.
「Of course I will definitely pay off my debt to you! Don’t worry, Store Owner-dono!」(Iris)
「I trust you but don’t push yourself too hard, okay? Anyway, I should prepare something to thank my senior for introducing me to an expert mediator.」(Sarasa)
Even Master had trouble finding an expert who can handle debt-related problems. I would feel bad if I just say “Thank you, senpai!” to my senior after she introduced me to a good mediator.
My senior and I were very close when we were at school but I should be polite to her.
「Ah, I heard that our mediator persistently argued with Baronet Kirk. I’m sorry but can you please tell your senior that my father is grateful for their cooperation?」(Iris)
「Alright. We couldn’t prove that Baronet Kirk had broken the regulations but thanks to that mediator, Adelbert-san got some of his money back after all.」(Sarasa)
「Even if we could prove Baronet Kirk’s wrongdoing and my father got his money back, I feel like that man would prepare another dirty trick to trap my father.」(Iris)
「You may be right, but anyway, I’m glad that I contacted my senior early.」(Sarasa)
No matter how close my senior and I are, my position is not strong enough to directly ask her father, who is a Marquis, for help. Moreover, my senior is working in a distant rural town, so contacting her was quite difficult.
Therefore, it took a lot of time. Finding an expert mediator who can take care of debt-related problems is not easy in the first place.
「But you guys really got a tremendous amount of money this time. It’s more than you got when you sold thousands of Ice Fang Bat fangs a while ago, right?」(Lorea)
「Yeah, I had never seen that amount of money before!」(Iris)
Iris-san said to Lorea-chan who was imagining how much money it was.
At first, Iris-san’s family owed about 65 million reas to Baronet Kirk but because of the ridiculous rate of interest, it kept swelling, so it’s true that Iris-san had never seen that much money.
「Iris-san, are you sure you can return that much money to Sarasa-san?」(Lorea)
「I said I would definitely return it but I know it won’t be easy, of course. I may have to work for Store Owner-dono for the rest of my life but… I don’t know if I can continue staying in this house for that long.」(Iris)
Eh? Is she planning to work as a Collector for the rest of her life?
In the first place, all the debts, including her debt to me for healing her severed arm, have been transferred to her father, so Iris-san and Kate-san don’t have to pay themselves.
「What are you talking about? Adelbert-sama will pay it little by little with the tax revenue he gets from his territory, right?」(Kate)
As Kate-san said, although Adelbert-san’s territory is small, the tax revenue he gets cannot be compared with ordinary people’s income.
Still, it will take a very long time though, or else Adelbert-san could have paid off his debt himself long ago.
「But I have to return Store Owner-dono’s favor or I will tarnish my family’s name!」(Iris)
「Umm, Iris-san, like I said, you don’t have to worry too much about returning the favoー」(Sarasa)
「That’s right! Iris, I have a good idea!」(Kate)
I was about to tell Iris-san not to worry too much about returning the favor since she risked her life to help me fight the Salamander but Kate-san suddenly interrupted me.
「W, What is it? Do you have an idea how I should return the favor to Store Owner-dono?」(Iris)
「Not only the favor but your debt will also be paid off! This is a great idea if I say so myself!」(Kate)
「Really!? Then tell me!」(Iris)
Kate-san smirked for some reason.
I have a bad feeling about this…
「Simple. You just have to marry Store Owner-san!」(Kate)
「「….Huh?」」(Sarasa & Lorea)
Iris-san nodded and started thinking about it while Lorea-chan and I were confused.
Hold on, hold on… Iris-san is a girl, right…?
「Look, I have no prejudice against homosexuality at all, but…!」(Sarasa)
I heard that marriage between people of the same sex is not uncommon in the aristocratic society but I was born a commoner and grew up in a normal family, so I don’t really understand such a thing.
「Don’t worry, you will eventually get used to it!」(Kate)
That’s not the problem here…
It’s not as easy as getting used to eating the food you hate, okay?
「I see… That’s not a bad idea.」(Iris)
「Store Owner-dono, if you marry me, you’ll get my family’s inheritance. Although it’s small, you will govern a territory. I think it’s a good deal. You can marry Kate as a bonus as well.」(Iris)
「Eh? Me too…?」(Kate)
「It’s your idea, then you won’t mind getting married to Store Owner-dono as well, right?」(Iris)
Kate-san? She doesn’t mind being treated like a bonus…?
Iris-san kept talking, ignoring Lorea-chan and me who could only stare at the two with confused faces.
「Hold on, Iris-san! Calm down. I didn’t help you because I wanted your family’s inheritance.」(Sarasa)
「I know. You’re a good person after all, and because of that, I can leave the Lotze Family to you without worry!」(Iris)
「Wh, What about the heirs? Look, we’re females. We can’t have babies. It will be a problem for your family if we can’t have a son, right?」(Sarasa)
「We can just adopt a son from an orphanage. Easy.」(Iris)
「Ugh… You’re right, but… No, no! Anyway, I won’t marry you!」(Sarasa)
「Uuuu… Am I not good enough for you…? I’m a little older than you but I’m confident that I’m quite pretty…」(Iris)
「That’s not the problem!」(Sarasa)
Iris-san put her hand on her cheek and tilted her head a little, making a cute pose.
Kate-san giggled a little. Perhaps she found it funny.
I don’t know anymore if it’s just a joke or if she seriously wants to marry me…
「Anyway, I’m not going to marry anyone yet! I just became an alchemist and I want to enjoy this job for a while longer!」(Sarasa)
「I see… Alright, I will wait for you no matter how long it takes! When you think you’re ready, let’s get married, Store Owner-dono!」(Iris)
「That’s not what I mean!」(Sarasa)
「Iris, if you’re going to marry her, you should stop calling her “store owner”.」(Kate)
「Ah, you’re right! Then… Ahem! …Sa, Sarasa…」(Iris)
「Uuhh… I, I don’t mind you calling me by name, but… A, Anyway, I’m not going to get married!!」(Sarasa)
After I shouted while hitting the table, Lorea-chan and Kate-san started giggling at the same time while looking at my troubled face.
Seeing those two, Iris-san and I looked at each other and spontaneously started giggling as well.