Chapter 4-8 : Preparation Before Escorting Ⅲ (part 2)
「Umm… What are you doing…?」(Lorea)
Lorea-chan approached me, crouched down and put her hand on my forehead.
「Are you okay? You don’t seem to have a cold though.」(Lorea)
「I’m fine. I just used a little too much magical power so my body feels heavy. I’ll recover in a few minutes.」(Sarasa)
「Hahh… I told you many times not to push yourself too hard… Well, I’m glad that you’re fine. Hm? What is this liquid? It’s glowing. Is this the reason why you’re lying on the floor?」(Lorea)
The glowing liquid was very conspicuous.
As she noticed it, Lorea-chan stood up and looked into the culture vessel curiously.
「You said you would make a Homunculus but…」(Lorea)
「Well, that’s what will become a Homunculus later.」(Sarasa)
「Eh? This pink glowing liquid?」(Lorea)
「Yup. It’s just getting started, so it still looks like a liquid. You will see it start to change after a day or two.」(Sarasa)
「Hee… By the way, Sarasa-san, don’t you feel cold lying on the floor like that?」(Lorea)
「I do feel a little cold. It’s almost winter after all. But it feels comfortable at the same time.」(Sarasa)
I came to this village and opened my shop in the spring. Time passed so quickly…
「But you will catch a cold. Can you get up? I’ll help you.」(Lorea)
「Let’s move to the kitchen. Everyone is waiting.」(Lorea)
I raised my body up with Lorea-chan’s help, wrapped my arm around her shoulder and leaned my body against her back. We then left the workshop and walked toward the kitchen.
In the kitchen, Iris-san and Kate-san were already sitting at the dining table.
Although the dishes have been lined up on the table, they waited for us without even touching them.
「I’m sorry to keep you waiting.」(Sarasa)
「It’s okaー Eh!? Store Owner-dono, are you alright?」(Iris)
Seeing me walking while being carried by Lorea-chan, Iris-san and Kate-san were surprised. They were about to stand up, trying to help me, but I immediately raised my hand to stop them.
「I’m fine, I’m fine. Don’t worry.」(Sarasa)
After Lorea-chan helped me sit on my chair, I let go of her shoulder.
「Thank you, Lorea-chan.」(Sarasa)
Lorea-chan replied to me with a smile and sat on her chair.
「Store Owner-san, what happened? Did you catch a cold?」(Kate)
「No, it’s not a cold. I’m just tired from using too much magical power.」(Sarasa)
「I didn’t know you need so much magical power to make a Homunculus.」(Kate)
「According to the Encyclopedia of Alchemy, the more magical power you use, the better the quality of the Homunculus you will make.」(Sarasa)
「So… You used as much magical power as possible…」(Kate)
When I nodded as I said that, the three were dumbfounded.
「You see, as an alchemist, there’s no way I wouldn’t give my all to make artifacts of the best quality possible!」(Sarasa)
When I proudly said that, they sighed at the same time and looked at each other.
「Hahh… Why is Sarasa-san always like this…?」(Lorea)
「I hope she won’t die from overwork…」(Iris)
「Telling an alchemist not to push themself too hard seems to be pointless…」(Kate)
After that, they turned their faces to me and glared at me.
「I, I’m sorry… A-Anyway, let’s eat before the food gets cold! …Mmmm~~! Lorea-chan’s food is so good as always~!」(Sarasa)
I apologized and immediately started eating to get rid of the awkward atmosphere.
Seeing me eating, the three sighed simultaneously again and started eating as well.
「By the way, Iris-san, Kate-san, have you made preparations for the expedition?」(Sarasa)
「We don’t have many things to prepare but around noon, we went to the grocery store and ordered some preserved foods.」(Iris)
As she said that, Iris-san smiled at Lorea-chan.
「Thank you for your patronage~」(Lorea)
「You’re welcome. Thanks to your parents’ grocery store we can order various things, even products that we can’t find in this village.」(Iris)
「Lorea, your house is the only grocery store in this village, right? Your parents could sell their goods for a higher price, but why don’t they do that?」(Kate)
「Ah, I’ve been wondering about that too. Given that the distance between South Strugg and this village is quite far, the price of goods Lorea-chan’s parents sell is just slightly higher than the market price in South Strugg.」(Sarasa)
I’ve been running a shop for quite a while now, so I’m quite familiar with the market price in this region.
From my point of view, the price of the goods in the grocery store is quite low even though Lorea-chan’s father, Daruna-san, uses a lot of effort transporting the goods from South Strugg.
Of course Daruna-san sells his goods at a higher price than the market price in South Strugg, but I don’t think it’s high enough.
Unlike me, who purchases raw materials and makes them into products, Daruna-san basically sells finished products. Considering the transportation cost, the risk during while traveling from South Strugg, the cost of goods that are damaged while traveling, ect. I think he should sell his goods at a higher price.
While wondering, the three of us stared at Lorea-chan, expecting an answer.
「Umm, according to my dad, if our goods were too pricey, the other villagers would be troubled. There’s also the possibility that Collectors would leave our village if they couldn’t buy items cheaply here.」(Lorea)
Hm? I’m pretty sure Lorea-chan once told me about this before. How could I forget…?
「I see. This is a small village, so it’s only natural that the people here help each other, and Lorea’s parents help by providing people with cheap products.」(Iris)
「But is the profit from your parents’ grocery store enough to support your family?」(Kate)
「Of course. We still make money from our grocery store.」(Lorea)
Even though Daruna-san sells his goods cheaply, as long as the selling price is higher than the purchase price, he still can make a profit.
「Moreover, I receive a high salary from Sarasa-san every month, so my family never lacks money.」(Lorea)
「Hee~ I expect nothing less from our kind alchemist~」(Iris)
While saying that, Iris-san glanced at me and smirked.
「S, Stop it. You’re embarrassing me…」(Sarasa)
「But we want our kind alchemist to take good care of herself more.」(Kate)
「That’s right! Sarasa-san, I’ve told you this many times and I’ll keep telling you this! Please don’t push yourself too hard while working!」(Lorea)
「Ahaha… I’ll be careful next time…」(Sarasa)
They scolded me, complimented me, and scolded me again…
What busy people…