I left the store to Carm-san, and then bolted off for Serge-san’s store as fast as I could.
When I got there…
On the surface of the wooden store’s wall full of warmth were many traces of a fire. Robust men stood in front of the store with stern expressions.
It’s been over half a year since I came to Gimuru, but this is my first time experiencing such a heavy atmosphere.
Even though it was such a warm gentle place when I came here for the first time…
When I thought of how this was the current state of Gimuru, I didn’t know whether to feel lonely or sad.
“Excuse me, but do you have business with this store?” [Man]
“! Ah, yes!” [Ryouma]
One of the men with a stern expression called out to me.
…Looks like I was a little too absorbed in my thoughts there.
“The president of this company helped me out a lot. I’ve been away from town for a while, and just came back. I heard that there was a fire, so I came without any prior appointment.” [Ryouma]
I told him my circumstances, and the man turned to one of his friends by the entrance. That man nodded and went inside.
“Please wait here for a bit, while we confirm with the president.” [Man]
“Thank you very much.” [Ryouma]
After that a few minutes passed, and then I was brought to the reception office as usual.
I waited there for a while before Serge-san finally came. He seemed a little tired, but he still seemed to be full of life.
“Ryouma-sama, I believe the last time we met was at the duke’s family.” [Serge]
“It’s been a while indeed. it seems some bad things have happened, but I’m glad that you’re safe.” [Ryouma]
“Sorry to have worried you. But as you can see, I am perfectly fine. And we’ve also tightened the security.” [Serge]
“Yes, I saw them earlier. They looked a bit gruff, but they were very courteous.” [Ryouma]
“That’s because they’re mercenaries from the imperial capital. Mercenaries are known to be brutish, but many first-rate mercenaries have learned proper etiquette.
After all, unlike adventurers who are expected to deal with both humans and monsters, as well as people from many different backgrounds, mercenaries are mainly expected to ‘deal with fellow humans’. As such, it is expected of them to know enough not to offend their clients. If necessary and trustworthy enough, there are times when they’ll also be tasked with negotiating with enemies.” [Serge]
I see… So the mercenaries in this world can become negotiators too if they’re first rate.
“…So this town really is in a state where such people are necessary.” [Ryouma]
“Unfortunately, that is indeed the case. It wasn’t just the attempted arson at my store, fights and robberies have been increasing throughout town too. Are you aware of the reason?” [Serge]
“I heard it was because too many laborers entered town, and now the town is overflowing with jobless laborers. But is that really enough to worsen the public order to this degree?” [Ryouma]
“Of course, the government office and the guild have closed the recruitment of laborers and are doing everything they can to stop them from pouring into the city, but there’s just no end to them. There are people claiming to be recruiters too. They charge an introduction fee, and leave the laborers just some ways away before arriving. There are also those who gather people through swindles or kidnappings. It’s a fact right now that the authorities and the guild have their hands full.
Also, it seems that this whole thing is being done intentionally, a plot by a few nobles, so to speak. Ah, but of course, this isn’t something that could be said openly.” [Serge]
“!! That’s…” [Ryouma]
“Most of them are probably trying to harass the duke’s family. I haven’t the slightest clue why they would engage in such foolish behavior, however. Also, it seems Reinhart-sama already knows about this matter and is moving to deal with the problem by the roots. I know this because I’ve been helping out.” [Serge]
“It’s a bit of a mess right now, but it should calm down soon. Until then, please be alert and pay attention around you.” [Serge]
“That’s good to hear.” [Ryouma]
If they’re already in the process of dealing with the problem, then all I need to do is to tighten security and wait…
“By the way, Ryouma-sama. I heard you brought some things today.” [Serge]
“Oh! Right. As I mentioned before, I went to Fatma Territory for an adventurer job. I was able to make some good relationships there, so I decided to dip my hand in some peddling work. I was hoping you could take a look at the goods I brought back, as well as the new product I found.” [Ryouma]
“Ho ho. Your words do tickle my curiosity, Ryouma-sama. Pray tell, what have you brought?” [Serge]
I opened my Item Box and took out the potteries I bought from Fatma Territory. I lined them one after another.
“Ho ho. Rice bowls, tea cups, earthenware pots, jars, and plates… Either one looks like they would fit right in for regular use. The quality seems to be fairly up there too. How many have you brought?” [Serge]
“Please take a look.” [Ryouma]
I passed him the catalog I prepared when I purchased the goods.
“Hmm… With this many, it will sell for about this much. I can’t put a high price on any one of these, but I see you picked them out to be sturdy.” [Serge]
“The clerk helped me pick.” [Ryouma]
The price he showed me was 20% higher than the initial purchase. It wasn’t much, but it’s more than enough for some pocket change. Besides, I had to pay for travel expenses too. If I think of it as money made while sidelining, it’s not bad at all.
“Alright, I’ll sell them to you for this price then.” [Ryouma]
“Very well.” [Serge]