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Chapter 14: New medicine
The next day.
While making breakfast for two, I thought about how much my daily life had changed this half a month.
I used to live in a poor tenement house downtown but now I have opened an apothecary of my dreams, a Princess who was a former companion came barging in to live together with me and I’m currently making breakfast for two in the kitchen of my own home.
“It sure is unexpected.”
If I were to be asked if I foresaw this future, I could only reply that I totally didn’t.
I imagined a future of fighting the Demon Lord together with the Hero Ruti, a future of protecting the peace in the Imperial City as the Vice-captain of the Bahamut Knights, a future of becoming a noble and gaining a modest territory around the village I was born in … I never imagined that I would settle down in the remote region of Zoltan as an owner of an apothecary shop along with a Princess.
“Oh well, it’s not that bad either.”
I placed the two person’s share of food on the plates.
Lit who was woken up by the smell staggered over with a sleepy look.
Having Lit who says that with a grin here quickly makes my day.
I finished all my shopping while we were out yesterday.
In other words, today the plan was.
“Getting the approval for Red’s medicine.”
“Don’t call it Red’s medicine, that makes it sound like it’s some dangerous drug.”
Red Drug, that sounds terrible.
“Red Lit Drug then, oh that’s right, we have to redo the sign for the shop too.”
“Do you seriously plan to change the shop’s name to Red & Lit’s Apothecary store? … If you even change the name of the shop, you won’t be able to quit that easily you know?”
“Does that mean I get to stay here for my whole life?”
Lit replied to my light jest with a crafty smile and I also smiled back.
“All right, we’ll stop by the sign shop too. Well then, about getting permission for the new anesthetic drug. We bought the silver tableware yesterday so we just have to visit today.”
“It’ll be better to have an introduction letter so I can get one through my connections.”
“As expected. That’ll be a great help.”
I’ll honestly depend on her here. As the number one adventurer in Zoltan, Lit has a lot of influence.
“Red is more well-versed for the negotiation itself right?”
“Leave it to me.”
It’s not like I allocated points to the negotiation-type skills to put on airs just because I don’t have any unique skills.
And then, even though I proudly took it upon myself …
I was rejected flatly.
Or rather, it didn’t seem like there was even room for negotiation.
The person in charge of giving the approval for medicine was Dan, a middle-aged bureaucrat with a potbelly working in the parliament. Perhaps he was tired because his face looked haggard even though he was fat and there were eyebags under his eyes.
“Please wait a moment, my medicine is a safe drug with low addictive content, please let me explain.”
“No need, leave along with that gift!”
That man welcomed us while openly displaying his feelings with his expression that it was troublesome until he received the introduction letter Lit obtained from her higher official acquaintance.
However, the moment I entered the main topic on medicine, his attitude drastically changed.
“Did something happen?”
“It-it has nothing to do with you.”
We could tell that the reason for his sudden change in attitude was not us. Since his attitude changed only when we asked for permission for the medicine.
That was easily deduced but the essential question was why was he rejecting us.
(Looks like it’s better if we gather some information.)
I didn’t anticipate that something like this would happen so I didn’t gather any information about this man called Dan. It was a situation where I had no means to approach the negotiation.
(My instincts have been dulled from living in peace for too long.)
It was probably true that a lot of my instincts had dulled because I have only been gathering medicinal plants every day. The skill granted by Divine Protection won’t decrease but it will be dulled if a person does not use it with their own judgment.
It’s pathetic that I wasted the introduction letter Lit went through the trouble to get for me.
We had no choice but to leave the reception office.
“What was with that guy!”
Lit was outraged. In actual fact, halfway through I had to hold onto her when she started spilling out murderous intent.
If I didn’t restrain her and if I didn’t say beforehand that I would do the negotiation, Lit might have resorted to getting the approval by means of intimidation.
She was originally a Princess so she’s the type that is bad at restraining herself in negotiations.
“But that sure was a weak performance. There’s no way to solve the negotiation like that.”
We’ll have to start by investigating the reason why he rejected us. Of course, it won’t take much time to investigate but … I quit adventuring for reasons like this so it was seriously bothersome.
“Then let’s try asking the higher official.”
“Higher official … well, there’s that option.”
I have Lit here. In this situation, we’ll be using her title of being the number one adventurer in Zoltan.
“Wow, so the Hero Lit-san has moved house.”
The chief of the department that handled the law and regulations regarding commerce and industry relations was a man approaching elderly age with gray hair.
He showed a friendly grin and seemed happy that Lit came to visit.
“Actually, I am currently partnering with Red here for a venture and I have something I’d like to ask.”
“Hou, Lit-san who always runs solo has actually formed a duo? That’s something to look forward to. Red … san right? It is an honor to get to know you.”
There wasn’t a need to reveal my D-rank Adventurer identity there. I gave a vague smile and shook the hand that was extended towards me.
“So, today we went to obtain permission for the sale of a new anesthetic drug but we got rejected by the person in charge.”
“Ah~ I see.”
The chief nodded apologetically.
“I’m terribly sorry for that, you brought it up at a bad timing.”
“So something happened after all.”
“As expected of Lit-san that you noticed something. As you surmised, an issue occurred but this information isn’t something I wish will spread so please don’t reveal it to others.”
The chief continued after seeing Lit and I nod.
“A drug he gave approval for a month ago actually could serve as a narcotic drug just by altering the dosage a little and that information spread through the back channels to reach people from the aristocracy until the lower ranks of society.”
“A drug approved a month ago?”
I tilted my head.
Even though I prepared my medicine myself, I would have heard about a new medicine from Doctor Newman or the other doctors.
“It sounds like Red-san is knowledgeable in terms of medicine? However, it is natural that you were unaware of it. The new drug was prepared in large quantities outside of town, transported into town the moment approval was given and was immediately sold to clients who signed contracts in advance. In other words, it was planned to be sold as a narcotic drug from the beginning.”
“I don’t get it, selling it that way would let them earn huge profits in the beginning but it would obviously be regulated immediately. They can’t hope for long-term income with that method.”
“It is indeed baffling. Perhaps it was the shallow thinking of an amateur apothecary. Nevertheless, on our side, it was extremely troublesome that it affected our prestige so the person-in-charge, Dan, was reprimanded and flooded with instructions to deal with it day and night.”
I see. I was displeased with that fat person-in-charge just now but now I pitied him a little.
It was most likely a terrible experience. I’ll gift him some stomach medicine the next time I see him.
“Leaving that aside, this time it is a request from Lit-san after all. I’m sure there won’t be any issues, show me the documents and I’ll give the approval instead.”
“Really!? Thank you very much!”
We unexpectedly got approval easily.
Lit’s influence was huge after all.
… Even though I was aware of it, it still felt a little depressing. Despite taking charge in negotiations during the journey, now I was made painfully aware that it won’t go so smoothly without the title of being the Hero’s companion.
After that, I showed him the documents regarding the medicine and he issued the permit to us after confirming that there weren’t any problems.
I could now legally sell my medicine without any issues.
Leaving the parliament, I walked with my shoulders slightly slumped.
“Sorry, I ended up relying on you instead.”
I ended up relying on Lit even though I said that I would handle the negotiations. I felt a little disappointed with myself.
Lit who was walking ahead of me turned around and shook her head.
“Hey, Red. I’ve been eating the meals you made but do you hate making them? Do you cook for me because you want me to thank you?”
” … No that’s not it.”
“It’s the same for me, Red. I am happy that I can help you. There is totally no need to apologize. Even in the future, I will continue to aid you as much as I can and I will do anything for you.”
I inadvertently stopped walking because of her straightforward show of affection.
Lit also stopped and we faced each other.
Asking her why she would go that far would be pretty insensitive.
“Thank you, Lit. Well, how do I put it, I’ll be in your care from today onward.”
The happy smile on Lit’s face caused a smile to form on my face as well.