The clothing store we arrived at was far larger than we had imagined.
The store was twice as large as the village chief’s house and was packed wall to wall with racks of clothing. I had requested that the innkeeper introduce me to a store with a high cost to performance ratio but I hadn’t expected something like this.
The employee called out a friendly greeting, but the smile on their face faltered for an instant upon seeing us before they fixed their expression.
Lucy and Kuu were truly pretty girls, but I’m sure the employee could see that their clothes were old and unfashionable. No matter how you looked at them they were country hicks fresh from the countryside.
Most of the time such customers barely spent a cent and took up far too much time to deal with, so there was no helping the quick frown that crossed their face.
I went up to the clothes and checked several of them for how they were stitched and the quality of the cloth.
The employee saw me feeling up the merchandise while looking like I had no money and frowned fiercely, but I ignored them.
There’s no way I would buy something randomly only to end up with poor quality goods.
「Good, these are fairly well made. The sewing is well done and the cloth quality is high…but the quality is too high….」
The quality of the manufacturing was too good. If I were to give these goods to the Fire Foxes it would cause a wave of dissatisfaction amongst the Elves. But purchasing clothes for everyone would put us in a monetary bind.
After thinking for a while I hit upon an idea.
「Employee-san could you come over here a moment?」
I called out and the employee unwillingly approached.
「What do you need customer?」
「I’ll provide 30 gold. Allow these two to grab 50 sets of clothing and with the leftover money we would like to buy cloth okay? Ask the two of them about the type and variety.」
Buying this much clothing with 30 gold was overpaying.
In this age despite the clothing being handmade it would still only cost around 5 silver per article. The entire cost would add up to around 20 gold.
In order to demonstrate that I wasn’t messing with them I lifted up my bag filled with cash and showed them a bit.
「Umm, after purchasing 50 sets there will still be quite an amount left over so the amount of cloth you purchase will be large. Do you understand that?」
「I don’t mind. Along with that we’ll also request that you put holes in them for tails and stuff. We will be leaving by tomorrow so if your store is unable to manage this we’ll look for another. Is it possible?」
The reason I was buying cloth was to give it to the elves. If we were buying cloth for them instead of clothes it would keep costs down. Unlike the Fire Foxes who had no change of clothes the Elves had more than enough time to make their own. If I brought back good quality cloth for them it would suppress any discontent brought on by the treatment of the Foxes.
「We will gladly accept the request. It’s rare to see such a prosperous customer. We look forward to your continued patronage.」
「Of course this will all depend on how well things are handled. Next time I come I will personally order something. I’ll be requesting a good suit.」
「Alright, in that case I recommend an order made suit. For that kind of thing we would request it from the main store.」
「I’ll leave it to you when the time comes. Also…this is a separate request, but I’d like you to look for clothes that, in your professional opinion, draw out their charms the best. This is a personal present from me so I’d like you to keep it a secret from the two of them. The maximum budget is 10 gold. Once they are done I’d like you to deliver everything to the inn I’m staying at.」
I said and the employee gave me a lukewarm smile.
This 10 gold was the largest expense I had paid for out of my own personal savings.
「Of course I can do so. As for the sizes I am skilled enough to eyeball it. It is impossible to make those clothes from scratch so they’ll instead be simply customized, is that alright?」
「That should be fine.」
I finished speaking to the employee and handed them the payment before returning to the two girls.
「Sorry for the wait. I’ve paid for them so go choose some clothing. Kuu mark on the clothes where a hole needs to be for the tail and the shop will prepare them for tomorrow.」
「The service is really good. These clothes are nice too so wasn’t it expensive?」
「Not necessarily. All of it together didn’t even take up a fiftieth of the ransom we got.」
「Cyril-san…doesn’t look like you’re lying. Thank goodness it was cheap. I feel relieved.」
I was the only one that knew the hostage exchange netted us around 2,000 gold. Everyone in Erucy probably thought we had only gotten a two digit number or so.
Even Lucy and Kuu would never dare to dream that I had dropped forty gold coins in this store alone.
「Don’t worry about anything and choose freely. You’ll be responsible for making all the Fire Foxes back in Erucy happy.」
Kuu answered happily. I’m sure she was pleased that we’d be giving her friends back home nice clothing.
「Lucy I’ll need you to help Kuu and afterwards you’ll need to choose cloth from this store to give to the Elves as gifts. I’ve payed in advance for the cloth so when you’re done choosing clothes ask the shopkeep how much we can get with the leftover money.」
「Really!? The cloth they use here is so pretty. We’ll be able to make plenty of pretty clothes. We’ll be able to make plenty over the winter.」
Lucy imagined all the things she and the Elves would be able to make with a joyous expression.
I should be able to leave things to them now.
「I’ll be heading off to buy livestock and food. When I’m finished I’ll come back here to peek in, but if the two of you finish early you can head back to the inn.」
I handed Kuu and Lucy 10 silver each.
「Cyril this is?」
「This is your spending money. This isn’t from Erucy’s funds but is my pocket money so use it as you please.」
「I’d feel bad accepting this…」
「It’s fine. You girls finally had the chance to come to town so I’d feel bad if you didn’t get any money to enjoy it. This city sells alcohol and even beef. You can get what you please.」
As long as they stuck to well populated areas they should be fine. If they were ambushed they should be able to fight back because they had fairly high combat abilities. They should enjoy their time here to the fullest.
My only worry was that they would become lost, but I would be able to find them nonetheless.
「Even if we try to return it you won’t accept it will you?」
「As expected of Lucy…you know me well.」
「We’ll use this money well…yes just as we please.」
Lucy said and laughed impishly.
Kuu seemed to realize something as she looked at Lucy and they both nodded their heads.
I tilted my head in confusion but still had to leave the store to continue shopping.