After finishing my job at the store and lunch, I visited the people cooperating with my experiment and asked them how things were going. Other than Miya-san, no one else’s sack has lost its effect. Miya-san’s circumstances were an outlier, as expected.
Even the sack at Zeke-san’s butcher still hadn’t lost effect. While thinking something rude like that to myself, I arrived at my destination.
“Excuse me.” [Ryouma]
As soon as I entered the store, a voice called out to me from the right side. When I turned to the right, there was a young man resting his chin on his hands on the counter. He didn’t appear enthusiastic.
“Huh? Aren’t you that Bamboo Forest kid?” [Clerk]
“Yes. I am Ryouma Takebayashi. You know about my store?” [Ryouma]
“I’m Dansbel. As you can see, I work at this store. Not that I want to, mind you. My dad just sort of pushed the job to me. Your store has been word of the town recently. If there’s a book you’re looking for, just say it and I’ll help you find it.” [Dansbel]
The guy was unexpectedly talkative as he glanced at the crowded book shelves of the dark store. The shelves were so packed that there wasn’t even a bit of gap between them. Finding a book from that looks like it’ ll prove a challenge.
“Thank you. I don’t have a particular book in mind, but I was hoping to find some illustration books on medicinal plants and books related to medicine.” [Ryouma]
Whether it’s medicine or poison, making either requires that one possesses the necessary knowledge and technology. I already have knowledge on medicines, but that knowledge is just something that was given to me. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to study it from the basics, but I don’t have the time to become someone’s apprentice, so I figured I could get myself some reference books instead.
“Follow me then.” [Dansbel]
Dansbel led me to the bookshelf near the opposite corner.
“The books here are all related to medicine. I’m not sure if you can read them, though. They’re rather difficult.” [Dansbel]
“I’ve studied a little under my grandmother. It should be alright. There’s just a few things I want to confirm.” [Ryouma]
“Hmm… In that case, I recommend these.”
Dansbel took out three books. Two were illustration books on medicinal plants and poison, while the last one was handbook on mixing medicine. Every one of the books had ‘Edited by the Medical Guild’ written on the cover.
“How much for these three?” [Ryouma]
“Huh? You’re buying all of them?” [Dansbel]
“Depending on the price. Is there a problem?” [Ryouma]
The store clerk shook his head.
“Now that I think about it, your store is quite popular. If you can buy them, then it’s fine. It’s just that books are expensive, so there aren’t a lot of people who would so easily buy one.” [Dansbel]
“Is it that expensive?” [Ryouma]
“Long-lasting paper would cost 10 suits at the cheapest, so with books having hundreds of those, it’s only natural that the price would end up in the thousands. On top of that, there’s still the ink used and the author’s share.” [Dansbel]
All three books cost 15,000 suits in total. It’s not a problem for me, but it is indeed expensive. Definitely not something a person could buy frivolously.
“In that case, how about these ones too?” [Dansbel]
Seeing how much money I had, the male clerk started recommending more books to me, but there were no more books that had been edited by the medical guild. They were probably self-published.
“I’ll just go with these three for now.” [Ryouma]
“I see. Alright then.” [Dansbel]
He didn’t force the issue and quickly processed my purchase.
“Come again if you need more books. I’ll give you a little discount if you pick a book that doesn’t sell, so do drop by regularly.” [Dansvel]
The male clerk sent me off listlessly.
He doesn’t seem like a bad person, so I might come back once I’m done with these books.
“!? What is this smel…” [Ryouma]
When the wind carried a foul stench with it, I turned toward its direction. There I saw some children pulling a carriage with heaps of trash piled atop it. I even recognized one of the faces with them.
“Hello. Wist-kun, right?” [Ryouma]
“Ah. R-Ryouma-kun?” [Wist]
I called out to the boy with a tall stature, and apparently, he remembers me.
“Hey! What are you stopping f— Ryouma?” [Berk]
“I’m sorry too.” [Ryouma]
After a boy small for his age called out to Wist, Wist started walking again.
It was Berk, from the Small Monkey Man Tribe, who called out to Wist-kun, who himself was from the Big Monkey Man Tribe. These two participated in the abandoned mine subjugation job.
“Didn’t mean to interfere.” [Ryouma]
“Nah, it’s cool. That guy’s just too much of a scaredy cat.” [Berk]
“So, the same as ever, huh.” [Ryouma]
“What did you want? We can talk while walking.” [Berk]
“I just called out because I happened to notice you… Are you working today?” [Ryouma]
“I’m supervising them.” [Berk]
Now that he mentions it, these children carrying trash all look young. Except for Wist-kun, that is.
“Is that the town’s garbage?” [Ryouma]
“That’s right. Gathering all of this town’s trash and dealing with them is a common job for slum brats.” [Berk]
“What do you with the trash?” [Ryouma]
“The adults either burn them at the designated location or bury them outside town. We did the same job before becoming adventurers, but it’s the adults who are responsible for dealing with the trash, so I’m not that particular about it.” [Berk]
That’s probably because of the monsters.
“But it’s dangerous even in town. You could get run over by a carriage or bump into people. Adults could do this job early in the morning or late in the evening, but doing it in the afternoon is easier. These guys are still no good, though. If you leave them for even a second, they end up like that. Ruth and the others are escorting other groups too.” [Berk]
“…So this isn’t a job from the adventurers guild then?” [Ryouma]
“Our senpais who’d become adventurers themselves also watched over us when we did this. It’s not anything weird, you know.” [Berk]
“I don’t know about being normal, but I think what you’re doing is admirable.” [Ryouma]
Although it might not bring them any profits, they made sure to pass on the good will that they’d received themselves in the past. It’s because of that that they’re able to work together as a group and help each other.
And if they really consider doing something like this as a matter-of-fact, then even if they might be poor financially, they’re rich in terms of spirit.
“Admirable? W-What are you looking at me like that for?” [Berk]
“I don’t have an agenda. I really do think you’re admirable.” [Ryouma]
“The hell are you going on about? That’s gross…” [Berk]
“Sorry, sorry. Anyway, I’ll be going now.” [Ryouma]
A lot happened when we first met, but I’m sure they’re alright now. The color of their face looks much better now too. At the very least, I can’t feel that tense atmosphere they carried with them before. As I prayed for them to be able to keep that up, I went home alone.