Chapter 3: Half-Elf raised downtown
Three days later, 27 adventurers gathered to form the subjugation corps and set off for the mountains with the residents rooting for them.
During that time, I was at the river catching and selling fish.
My income was 8 peryl.
Given that 1 peryl could pay a day’s stay in an inn inclusive of 2 meals, earning 8 peryl in three days was quite an earning … but the funds I needed to open a drug store was 1730 peryl.
I was accumulating it little by little but after subtracting the cost of the preserved food and the maintenance cost of my equipment whenever I set off for herb harvesting, my current daily income was about 30 peryl.
At this rate, I would have to continue harvesting herbs for about half a year.
“Oh well, that’s fine too.”
There wasn’t any need to rush it anyway.
There was no danger to my life so I could just take it slow.
I passed my day lazily as I laid on my bed and read a book I borrowed from the bookstore.
It was during the afternoon when I heard a knock on the thin front door of the townhouse.
I inserted a bookmark, placed down the book and hung my copper sword on my waist belt before opening the front door. Being prepared with a sword was a habit from my previous journey.
During those days, I was attacked in my sleep countless times so it was a fundamental habit to always be ready to arm myself. Thanks to that, now I could no longer sleep if I didn’t have a weapon near me and when I had guests, I would feel uneasy unless I had a weapon on my waist.
Although I did think that I should cure that habit for the sake of my slow life …
“Who is it?”
When I opened the door, I saw the Adventurers Guild staff Meglia and a few steps behind, a man wearing armor with flashy decorations as well as his companions.
“Red-san, sorry to bother you during your rest day.”
“Meglia-san, what’s the matter? And even Albert too.”
My words caused Albert … the armor wearing man’s eyebrows to twitch.
“Attach the -san suffix, D-rank.”
Albert was one of the only two B-rank adventurers in the town. Without any A-rank and above and the other B-rank adventurer Lit being a solo-specialist, Albert’s party was seen as the Adventurers Guild’s ace.
” … Albert-san. So, what do you want?”
Albert came closer to me and pat my shoulder with a grin.
“I’ve heard about you. As a medicinal herb harvesting specialist, nobody knows the mountain better than you right?”
“Well, kind of.”
“My party will be heading out to subjugate the Owl Bear and while it is usually not an opponent we have to step forward for, the subjugation corps failed so there’s no other choice.”
Oh my, the subjugation corps was routed huh?
It shouldn’t have been a foe that couldn’t be defeated with those numbers but they were probably destroyed individually as they had to spread out on the mountain.
Noticing my expression which showed that I just found out, Albert gave a condescending smile.
“I didn’t think that you won’t know about it. Well, I guess for a person like you, an Owl Bear subjugation is way out of your reach anyway. Nevertheless, isn’t the mountain your lifeline? I think you should at least pay a little more attention. You’ll remain in D-rank for eternity with such an attitude.”
What’s with this guy, he suddenly started to preach.
While adding in suitable interjections to show that I was listening to him, I exchanged looks with the guild staff to move into the main topic.
“Albert-san, maybe you should stop there.”
“You’re right, we’re short on time.”
Albert’s companions also nodded.
The party was a one-man party by Albert. Only Albert had an exceedingly higher level while the others did not have the standard of a B-rank.
The other adventurers in the party rarely even talked without Albert’s permission.
“Like we mentioned earlier, we are setting off to subjugate the Owl Bear. But we have almost never done medicinal herb harvesting tasks before. We are not familiar with the layout of the mountain.”
“I see, so you want a guide?”
“Of course, the subjugation will be a breeze with just our party alone. However, we do not wish to spend countless days just on a single Owl Bear. It’s better if we finish it quickly with your guidance.”
“I’m a D-rank you know? Won’t it be better if you ask any of the adventurers who are still in action even though their subjugation party failed.”
Albert gave a disdainful look.
“Huh, this is a chance for you. You will gain an achievement just by guiding us. There’s even a chance you will get a promotion. Just what are you afraid of?”
I see. So he was rejected by the others huh?
I could guess from his dissatisfied expression. Most likely the adventurers doubted if Albert and his party could defeat the Owl Bear or whether they would still face danger even if the party could defeat it.
It’s quite rare to see a B-rank adventurer who makes light of an Owl Bear to this degree but … Albert was an adventurer who ended up in Zoltan instead of adventuring in the capital.
It’s an open secret in Zoltan that Zoltan’s guild forcibly certified Albert as a B-rank because they wanted a B-rank adventurer.
“Sorry but I refuse.”
“Why!? You will be able to accept more kinds of requests once you become C-rank! You will be respected by the people around you! You probably hate being made a fool by those adventurers right!?”
“I have no interest in being C-rank. Furthermore, my dream is to open a herb store and live an ordinary life.”
“Guh, forget it!!”
Albert shouted angrily, glared at me and spat on the floor before squaring his shoulders and walking off.
His companions also hurriedly chased after him.
Meglia was left behind and he hung his head.
“I would have been more relieved if Red-san accepted the request. I can even promise you a C-rank promotion.”
“Sorry, I really don’t have any interest in getting promoted.”
“There’s no helping it then, I’ll make a move too.”
“Yup, see you.”
With a nod of his head, Meglia also turned around to chase after Albert.
After watching them off, I returned to my home.
『Gan Gan』 It was around dusk when I heard banging on the thin door at the entranceway to my house.
“Red-san! It’s me! Gonz!”
“Ah ― Carpenter Gonz, I’ll be there shortly so please don’t bang the door so hard, it will break.”
From the sound of his voice, it seemed like he was badly in a hurry.
I just grabbed my sword before I opened the door.
“What’s the matter?”
Standing outside was the Carpenter Gonz with his pointed ears, a Half-Elf.
Regardless of his sharp and beautiful face, distinctive features inherited from his Elf mother, he received and continued the human-style carpentry techniques from his father along with his rugged nature. His unbalance in characteristics was, in a sense, what a Half-Elf is like.
“I’m sorry for disturbing you but my younger sister’s kid is having a fever. According to the doctor, it is apparently the White Eye Disease.”
“Tanta has White Eye Disease!? Which phase is it at right now!?”
“Ph, phase? Erm, the fever just started and he has collapsed.”
“Phase 2 huh, okay I’ll go there immediately.”
Since I was planning to open a herb store, I had read up quite a bit on injuries, diseases, and poisons.
White Eye Disease is, as the name implies, a disease where the pupil of the eye turns white and cloudy.
The infection route is through birds, the pathogen gets transferred to the egg and the disease will develop if a person eats an infected egg.
It is possible to disinfect it through heat but it has a certain degree of heat-resistance and it would be dangerous if the egg is only half-baked.
The reason why this disease is so feared is that the infected person will become completely blind a couple of days after the symptoms develop. The initial phase will be high fever and the cure must be administered within 36 hours.
Of course, individuals with high Divine Protection level for Monk or Healer can treat them but …
In this remote Zoltan town, there was only one person capable of that, the former mayor Master Mistome but she retired due to old age and was currently quietly spending the rest of her life in an unknown location.
In addition, the current mayor Tonedo doesn’t seem to have a Divine Protection capable of using magic.
Gonz’s younger sister and her husband lived next to Gonz’s house. Tanta was their son.
The house wasn’t large but it has good exposure to the sun, there was a weathercock on the red roof and there was a small gnome figurine in the green garden. It was a house with a rich homely atmosphere.
I could feel that it was an excellent house made lovingly by Gonz for his younger sister.
His younger sister Nao was also a Half-Elf with white skin and beautiful features.
However, like Gonz, she was born and raised in the downtown and now she wore an apron and was raising her own child.
Nao’s husband Mid was a human. He was a former adventurer and now he was a carpenter together with Gonz.
He was not as deft with his hands as Gonz so he was always scolded by Gonz but his calculations were quick and he complemented the rough Gonz in places where Gonz was lacking so Gonz always praised him to be a smart person when he wasn’t around.
Currently, the two of them looked haggard unlike their usual brightness because their son was infected with the White Eye Disease.
“Onii-chan, what should we do, there’s no medicine …”
“Don’t worry, I asked Red to help. He is the number one adventurer in terms of harvesting herbs.”
A regular adventurer would be angry but to me, it was an honest compliment.
However, it wasn’t the time to think about such things.
“What is Tanta’s condition?”
“The doctor is treating him at the back but he can’t do anything more without the medicine.”
“I understand, I’ll let myself in.”
In the bedroom at the back of the house, there was a boy who was gasping in pain due to the high fever … Tanta.
Beside him was Doctor Newman who was observing Tanta’s condition with a grave look.
“Ooo, you’re Adventurer Red. Thank you for coming.”
“I heard it was White Eye Disease?”
“Yes, I’m certain.”
I said briefly before I looked at Tanta’s eyes, the state of his lymph nodes and his oral cavity.
“The iris is turbid, countless mouth ulcers, swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits, the early symptoms of White Eye Disease.”
“You know a surprising amount for an adventurer.”
Newman commented as he wiped the sweat from his thinning head with a towel.
“How long has it been since the fever set it?”
“He apparently felt tired since from around noon. He collapsed about 3 hours ago.”
“Looks like it will be bad if we don’t administer the medication before tomorrow evening.”
“That’s the problem. There’s no medicine.”
The cure for White Eye Disease should consist of Lycium chinense leaves as well as Bloodneedle, a thorn-like mushroom. Lycium chinense leaves can be harvested all year round apart from winter but Bloodneedle can only be harvested between spring and summer.
It was currently spring so it was about the right time for harvesting.
“There’s been an outbreak of Goblin Fever and White Eye Disease since last month. All three of the hospitals in town don’t have enough medicine.”
“There’s probably enough Lycium chinense leaves but Bloodneedle huh … it’s about time they can be harvested though …”
The Adventurers Guild manages the medicinal herb inventory.
Normally, there should have been a priority request to harvest the insufficient Bloodneedle but …
“It would take some time for the guild to get approval.”
After pointing out the deficiency in the inventory, the in-charge will report to the superior, the superior will check the inventory, the in-charge will start drafting the documents, the superior will receive the documents and have the executives approve it, after those documents are collated, the in-charge will write the documents needed to send out the request, those documents will be verified by the superior …
“Zoltan’s Adventurers Guild is a bureaucratic workplace.”
Newman said with a frown.
Anyway, currently the situation was that there was no stock for the medicine’s raw materials.
Judging from Tanta’s symptoms, the cure must be administered before the sun sets tomorrow. Taking the compounding time into consideration, the Bloodneedle must be passed to Newman by tomorrow noon.
“Please help us, Red! I know that the mountain is dangerous now. But you are the only one who can help us! Could you please collect the herbs? Of course, I will pay whatever asking price you set! I will definitely pay even if it takes a number of years!”
After saying that, Gonz prostrated on the ground and vigorously placed his forehead on the floor.
“That’s right! He has the ability to be a Carpenter! I won’t let him lose his dream like his!”
Gonz doesn’t have children. Gonz’s wife died of illness before I came to this town and Gonz never married again, persisting to live a solitary life.
Because of that, he cherishes his younger sister’s son, Tanta, to the point that he says that Tanta will continue his work even though Tanta hasn’t even reached 10 years of age. Tanta was also attached to Gonz, having grown up and played in Gonz’s workplace, he professed that he will become like Gonz in the future.
“Putting aside the danger, the mountain is currently out-of-bounds. Even as an adventurer, I can’t enter the mountain until the Owl Bear subjugation is over. If I break that rule, in the worst case, I might even have my Adventurers Guild registration revoked.”
“That, that is true but we don’t have any other ways to get the herbs.”
The husband and wife Nao and Mid also prostrated along with Gonz and placed their foreheads on the floor to beg me.
This is a pickle … currently, Albert and his party should be searching for the Owl Bear in the mountain.
They would probably set up camp if they failed to find it but if they found the Owl Bear, it’s possible that they choose to chase after it overnight.
Even though it is a large mountain, Albert’s party have adventurers who are experts in scouting. There’s a possibility they sense my presence on the mountain even if I only leave a slight trace behind.
Should I negotiate with the Adventurers Guild?
Impossible. I do not have their trust.
“Red onii-chan, you came?”
Tanta woke up and spoke with a weak voice.
Because of the high fever, even the tip of Tanta’s sharp ears, the proof of his Elf blood, was red. He looked at me and smiled.
“Sorry, I caught a slight cold. But I’ll discuss with you after I’m better.”
Gonz and the others looked at me when they heard him say discuss. That … it wasn’t really a big deal.
“Ah, that’s right. I promised that Tanta would be the one who builds my herb store. I’ll ask you again once you get better.”
It was a silly conversation I had with Tanta when I was playing with him.
I often talked to Tanta about my herb store, if it was built, what kind of floor plan should I choose, where would be a good place to build it, those kind of conversations.
It was then that Tanta promised, “Once I become a Carpenter, I will build Red onii-chan’s store for you.”
Well, that’s the story.
I had already decided what to do from the very beginning.
After all, there’s no other choice since we had a promise. For my glorious slow life, I need a modest but fantastic store.
“The Adventurers Guild currently forbids entry into the mountain …”
“Th, there’s no way?”
“That’s why I will not take this job this time as Adventurer Red but as a friend. So keep it a secret okay?”
“I’ll be back soon so take care of Tanta in the meantime, doctor.”
“I’ll do what I can. But I will need one hour for compounding.”
“I’m more than thankful if you can do it in one hour. It would take me three hours instead.”
I guess people with Healer job types and Alchemist job types or also the Divine Protection of Herbalist can utilize high speed compounding.
It’s not possible for me.