Translator: Nefarian Editor: JackOFallTrades Graphic Designer: AmareeLis
I walked along a trackless path from the hills to the main roads and I headed towards the town. As I approached closer to the town, I could see more people walking along the road. There were merchants, shepherds and adventurers based on their equipment. Listening in to the conversations of various people, I found out that the name of this town is “Land Barn”. It seems to be the main city of this region. I arrive at the city walls and there is a line of people at the entrance gate. Several guards were dealing with the entries. I also queued up in line. My turn came quickly and the voice of the guard beckoned me closer.
「State your name, occupation and your purpose for coming here. Also, I will need proof of your identity.」
Would it be a good idea to give my real name? No, judging from the town’s name, this seems to be a western fantasy world. If I name myself Satou Tarou, many people will question my origins. Moreover, if a Japanese person were to hear my name, they would instantly know that I was from Japan. I can’t cut out the possibility that there may be others who have also reincarnated. Let’s make up a new name.
「My name is Tauro. My profession is a quasi-pharmacist. I came to sell medicine at this town. I don’t have any identification on me.」
「You are a pharmacist yet you don’t have any identification documents?」
「….. Yeah, though I am a pharmacist, I am mainly self-taught and still lacking in the area.」
「You mentioned you were trying to sell your medicine here, but you do know that if you don’t join the merchant guild, you won’t be able to do any business here, right?」
Eh, What? Is that how it is? I totally didn’t know…Crap.
But, let’s just go with honesty here. From my previous experience, I have learned that I am not a convincing liar.
「Umm…. I’m very sorry. I didn’t know about this.」
I dejectedly lowered my head. The gatekeeper raises one of his eyebrows and looks at me in a suspicious manner.
「Are you really a pharmacist? Show me the medicine that you came here to sell.」
In response, I got out my backpack and took out: 3 Cure Injury potions (Rank F), 1 (Rank E). 3 Cure Status Abnormality Potions (Rank F), 1 (Rank E). I took out 12 other potions and arranged it on the wooden desk in front of the guard. These were all the things I made and I didn’t show him the complete traveller equipment set that I had. Looking at the medicine lined up in front of him, the gatekeeper exclaimed out “Hou” in a small voice.
「…. How rare, these are cure disease potions and cure status abnormality potions? Not only that, they are E rank.」
He was mumbling and talking to himself. It seems he’s not very interested in the Cure Injury Potion. When considering what he just said, it would seem that the Cure Disease Potion and the Cure Status Abnormality Potion is a lot scarcer than a Cure Injury Potion. I’m glad I made them.
「I will believe the fact that you are a pharmacist. However, how have you done business up until now without becoming affiliated with any guild?」
「Ah, umm…… I’ve been bartering and so on. Yeah.」
I can only come up with this desperate excuse. However, it would seem that this excuse worked really well. The guard muttered under his breath “Geez, just where did this country bumpkin come from?”
「You may enter the town. Since you do not have any identification on you, the admission fee for entry will amount to 5 silver coins. As soon as you enter the town, you should go to the merchant guild and register.」
Seeing my relieved appearance, the gatekeeper raised his voice.
「It’s a crime to do business without registration, you understand? Drill it into your head that this place has completely different rules from your countryside! 」
Oh, it looks like he believed my excuse from a while ago. Thank god. I pay the silver coins and bow my head up and down to apologize. I picked up my potions and entered the town.
The moment I enter town; I head to the merchants guild. One of the people who passed through the gate told me of its location. It would seem that he saw the scene I caused a little earlier. He said to me “Do your best!” as we parted ways. He’s a good guy.
The merchant guild building is located in the centre of the town facing the town square. So many merchant-like people were going in and out of the place so it was immediately obvious.
The structure had a wide hall area past the entrance. Upon entering, there’s this young looking male that acted as a guide. When I told him that I wanted to register, he replied with a smile and directed me to go to the counter on the far right. This truly is a merchant’s guild. They greet you with a smile and answer with a smile. I suppose it’s the basics of business. I also thank him with a smile and proceed to the counter.
At the counter, the people there greeted me cordially. According to them, the registry fee is 3 gold coins. In addition, starting from next month, it will be necessary for me to pay 3 gold coins as part of the guild fee. There’s also a ranking for merchants with tiers from S to F, a total of seven ranks.
F is at the bottom and naturally, the rank I am starting with. It seems that this ranking is the “credentials” of the merchant. They encourage merchants to continue trading earnestly and gradually gain ranks. It is also possible to lower this rank if you lose someone’s trust or if you have a bad financial record. In order to initiate big business ventures, it is necessary to have a high ranking as a qualification. Moreover, if your rank is high enough, you can borrow a large amount of money at low interest rates, make it easier for various examinations to go through and make it easier to do other kinds of businesses.
As compensation though, the guild fee we need to pay also scales accordingly. I filled in the form and paid 3 gold coins. It took quite a while to obtain my identification card and apparently, the ID card also acts as the merchant guild card. Nevertheless, I consulted them about how I can go about selling my potions. Since it seems like they can also purchase my potions here, I took it to the assessment corner to get the prices checked. At this place, an old man who spoke politely but had discerning eyes greeted me. I put all the potions I just showed to the gatekeeper on the desk.
「In regards to potions, it will be the purchase price per potion.」
Saying this he took out a wooden board. He placed the board on top of the desk and showed it to me. The name and rank of the potions were written down along with the various prices. Looking at the list, there are various potions besides the curing potions I can make. There were fire potions and poisonous potions to name a few. These were obviously offensive type potions. On a different side of the spectrum, there are also contraceptive type potions.
「Rank F Cure Injury Potions is priced at 1 Silver Coin, Rank E potions are priced at 5 silver coins. Rank F Cure Disease Potions is priced at 3 silver coins, E rank potions are priced at 1 gold coin and 5 silver coins. Rank F Cure Status Abnormality Potions are priced at 2 silver coins; Rank E potions are 1 gold coin each. 」
Although he explained it to me, the column for pricing for the Cure Injury Potion Rank F states the number “0.1”, this is slightly confusing…Hmm, it might be that 1 gold coin is = to 10 silver coins. Perhaps there are also copper coins.
「I understand. Let’s go with those prices.」
I don’t even know the market price, so I don’t intend to grumble and complain about it here. For good business practice, it is optimal to negotiate a better price, but well… I think it’s fine for now. “Thank you very much” said the old man as he immediately began calculating.
「Then, the total comes to 4 gold coins and 8 silver coins.」
After receiving the money, I also got my merchant guild card as well. I thanked them and didn’t forget to ask about a recommended inn to stay in town. After exiting the guild building, I immediately head to the suggested place for accommodation.
It was a short walk from the merchant guild. The part facing the street is a cafeteria and at the same time, it operates as an inn. I open the door and go inside. Several people were already inside, eating a late lunch.
「Welcome! Are you planning on having a meal or do you wish to stay over?」
An auntie with a good figure came to talk to me.
「Can I please ask for lodging? The merchant guild referred me to this place saying that it’s a nice place.」
I mentioned the merchant guild’s name in passing. It’s the natural thing to do. When I asked for the price, she told me that if it’s a vacant single room, it costs 4 silver coins per night including a meal in the morning and evening. I’m told that it’s a down payment system, so I pay on the spot.
Guided towards the room, I found that the room itself wasn’t new or outstanding, but it looked clean. Since I didn’t have any luggage, I exited the room without leaving anything behind.
I want to collect more information in town until dinner time. I returned to the town square where the merchant guild was at and I look around to see what other shops are available.
If there are other shops that handles potions, I definitely want to confirm the sale prices.
After wandering around the place, I entered a store that sells potions. Apart from potions, the shop also sells something akin to Chinese herbal medicines, empty potion bottles and equipment meant for chemistry. Perhaps it’s the materials and tools required to produce potions?
I saw a Cure Injury Potion Rank F on the shelf so I looked at the price. …… It’s 2 silver coins. Cure Disease Potion Rank F is 6 silver coins, and Cure Status Abnormality Potions Rank F is 4 silver coins. Because I only saw Rank F potions in the shop, I inquired about the Rank E potions. The shop owner told me that whilst they have 1 more Cure Injury Potion Rank E in stock, it needs to be ordered directly from the pharmacist if I want other types of Rank E potions.
When I asked for the price, the Cure Injury Potion (E) is priced at 1 gold coin, the other prices for other potions were to be decided upon making the order. Going by what this store is setting for the prices, the purchase price the merchant guild set is exactly half the selling price. By my evaluation standards, it’s not bad. That’s because I thought the purchase price was going to be about 1/3 of the selling price or even 1/4 of the selling price. Well, perhaps the demand for potions is high so they will easily sell out. Furthermore, people would usually take into account the materials used for producing the potions so it may be more expensive for other people to make. But in my case, since the cost of making the potions is zero, half of the selling price is good enough.
There was a store with backpacks and pouches lined up at the front of the store so I entered to take a look inside. I ask the middle-aged man who seems to be the owner of the store if there are any bags that had the same function as an item box. Apparently, there is a bag like that. Though it does exist, it’s rumoured to be very expensive and regular stores don’t handle these types of goods. Because I wanted to ask about the other options in more detail, I told him that I wanted to buy a bag that can hold multiple potions. Putting the potions in a cloth bag and having them rattle so much is definitely a bad thing.
「There is one for convenient potion transportation. What do you think about this?」
The leather bag had many compartments with thick cloth to pad the insides while containing 100 empty slots. The bag also comes with a shoulder belt and key. I changed from a mere window shopper to an actual customer so the man’s attitude towards me changed for the better. There are other sizes as well that are twice as big but I wasn’t really interested. After all, I want to avoid the bag from becoming too heavy to carry. When I asked for the price, he told me that it cost 4 gold coins and this is much higher than what I expected it to be.
「This particular material is actually made out of the fur of a Giant Mole. Therefore, even if it were to hit something, the bottles will not break if it’s a small impact. Even if the bottles crack by some minute chance, the lining is made out of Scaleless Lizard Skin so the insides will not leak to the outside and naturally, it will be resistant against the rain.」
Before I could even refuse, the shop owner saw my hesitation in purchasing the product so he initiated his sales talk. I don’t really know what he means by a Giant Mole, but it must be some sort of huge mole monster? Certainly, the fur looks soft. But, will this Scaleless Lizard Skin be waterproof?
「Moreover, this key. It’s not a mechanical key but a magical one. It will use your personal identification, so only registered people can open the container.」
Now that’s nice. Hearing the key had a magical function was the decisive blow for me to purchase the product. With me coming to this different world, I wanted to try using a magic key. After negotiating for a little, I reduced the price by about 5 silver coins. When I tried to pay the money by cash, the shopkeeper was a little surprised. When I asked him if something was wrong, he replied that a customer paying in the sum of nearly 4 gold coins in cash was an unusual thing. I was also surprised. In that case, how do people normally purchase good in this medieval-like world?
「Customer, is the reason you requested to purchase this type of product due to you having entered either the merchant’s guild or the adventurer’s guild?」
「Yes, I’m in the merchant guild.」
「Normally customers pay with their guild card.」
According to the shopkeeper, whether you were in the merchant’s guild or the adventurers’ guild, accounts are created where you can deposit money in the card when you register. And normally, you would present the guild card to the shopkeeper and they will process the payment using the account connected to the registered owner. Even when you want to sell products, you can still deposit the money straight into your account.
This is pretty much like a debit card; this world is amazing! Even as a shop owner, you don’t have to carry a lot of money at the store and in this way, you will be able to track what customers bought what product and who sold what product so that you can respond to complaints later down the track if required. Kuh, I should have asked more questions to the people at the merchant’s guild. Feeling vexed and snarling in my own mind at the fact that the merchant’s guild didn’t tell me about this, I registered my key.
「Well, please touch a part of the key while it is still shining, alright?」
When the man recited some sort of incantation, a part of the key begins to shine.
By the way, there is no keyhole. When I touched the key, I felt an electric shock run through my body almost as if I was touching a cold doorknob in winter.
「Alright, it’s all done.」
When I tried it, it certainly worked as a locking mechanism. When I touched the key to the container and thought within my own mind “Lock” I could feel the container locking itself up. Unlocking the box is also as easy.
「Well, isn’t this amazing? Ahh, but if I were to die, nobody will be able to open it?」
「No, if someone were to break apart the container, it can still be opened even without the key.」
He answered quite easily and I was strangely convinced. Certainly, this is a potion bag with a “magical key” and not a “magical bag” so… The shopkeeper casted magic at the time of registration, so I asked if he was a magician and he gave me a bitter smile as he responded.
「Unfortunately I am not. The one who made the key is a magician and in order to perform the registration, all you need to do is to remember the incantation for the spell. Anyone can recite the words.」
「Then, even I can do it?」
「Yes, well you can, but….」
He seemed to be hesitating in telling me the rest of the story so I urged him on.
「I thought that dear customer wouldn’t be accustomed to the incantation so I thought it would be safer if I were to do it. If the registration fails, it will be necessary to replace the key.」
I see, that’s understandable. If I had to refund the item or if there was an additional charge for the key, it would have been troublesome for the both of us. The owner served me a cup of tea saying, “Please have a drink”. While drinking something similar to roasted tea, I was planning on asking more details about how to purchase a magical item bag.
「That product, is not generally distributed to the public.」
According to the shop owner, only the merchant guild and the adventurer guild handles such products. Because it will only be convenient for a small number of people, it seems that even the guilds only sell it to the top rankers.
「Is there no other way to obtain it?」
The shopkeeper folds his arm and groans.
「New items are not circulated freely because the country, aristocrats and guilds have collaborated together to purchase them directly from the craftsmen. However, if it isn’t a new item, it will only be possible to obtain it via personal transactions.」
So, if I really want the item, I need to raise my rank within the guild and prepare a lot of money. Otherwise, I need to prepare an even larger sum of money and purchase it from someone willing to sell it to me personally. Regardless of what method, both seem difficult.
Well, it’s mainly for convenience sake in my case and not something absolutely necessary so I decided to just give up for now.