Chapter 8: The Hero Lit wants to help
Before I knew it, the position of the sun had dropped quite considerably.
The sun would probably be dyed red soon and dusk would fall on the town of Zoltan.
We had been rambling on about idle talk while seated across the table.
“What is it, Lit?”
Lit stared into my eyes.
“Could I work in this shop too?”
I involuntarily made an idiotic sound. I didn’t expect those words at all.
“Red & Lit’s Apothecary Shop. Don’t you think the name rhymes well?”
“Wa, wait a minute. You are one of the only two B-rank Adventurer in Zoltan.”
“I’ll retire from being an Adventurer.”
“No no no, just wait a minute!”
Just what was Lit talking about.
She actually wants to work at a shop that no customers came in from noon until evening?
“As you have noticed, this shop has just only opened and it’s not thriving. I can’t afford to hire people.”
“But who would take care of the shop when you set off to harvest medicinal herbs? It would be a waste to close your shop during those times.”
“Uh, well, that’s true but, in the first place, customers …”
“Customers or what not, it’s because you just opened your shop recently. That will only go up from now. Let me see the interior for a bit.”
Lit started walking into my shop with a know-it-all look on her face.
“One counter, display shelves on both sides. Hmm hmm it sure is simplistic.”
“It’s because the ones on display are those common medicinal herbs. A couple of rarer one have to be stored properly so they are either stored in the storage or planted in the garden.”
“The workplace is wide enough so you can also increase the number of Herbalist by about two more.”
“Hiring a skilled practitioner would be expensive so I don’t have such plans for now.”
“There’s also a kitchen, washroom, bedroom, and the living room we’ve been in since just now. It’s quite a nice place.”
Lit nodded as she muttered to herself.
Listening closely, it seemed like she was doing calculations.
“Taking Zoltan’s economic scale and Red’s ability into consideration, your monthly revenue, after deduction expenses, maintenance fee and tax, should be about 180 Peryl in silver coins.”
“What!? … Only that much?”
Just two days work of harvesting medicinal herbs and selling them directly to the Adventurers Guild would give me about 100 Peryl.
To think that the monthly revenue for the shop would only be 180 Peryl.
“Seriously? I’m harvesting the medicinal herbs myself so there are no material cost though?”
“Medicinal herbs don’t cost much in the first place. Unlike the guild which wholesales to the Apothecaries, if you’re selling to customers and physicians, it would take some time before the medicinal herbs you harvest gets sold out. Most of the time, it should probably be sufficient if you set off to harvest medicinal herbs once a month.”
It’s that hard to sell?
But medicinal herbs has various uses.
“To begin with, Red quickly became a Knight and went on an adventure with heroes soon after that so you might have forgotten but an ordinary person’s monthly expenditure is only about 30 Peryl.”
“Yeah, I know that but …”
“An ordinary Apothecary can be considered prosperous if it can turn a profit of 150 Peryl a month. The 180 Peryl I spoke of is an estimate assuming we spread awareness of this shop to the neighbouring residents and are able to fully exhibit the potential of this shop.”
The Adventurers Guild sells the medicinal herb they purchase to Apothecaries and merchants at even higher prices.
I thought that I could turn a profit if I sold it directly but now that I think about it, the Adventurers Guild has been selling all along so they already have their sales channel.
For an individual business, even with a medicine stockpile, it would take quite some time before it is sold out.
I thought I would be set on my path once I got my shop but it seems like my thinking was too naive.
“Nevertheless, that’s right, 30 Peryl is enough for living expenses huh?”
Just like Lit mentioned, I quickly became a knight and smoothly advanced to become the deputy captain of the Bahamut Knights Order.
My monthly living expenses at that time was 3000 Peryl. I lived a life with treatment similar to upper aristocracy. I lived in a mansion on the premises of the imperial court and I even had maids to take care of me.
During my journey with Ruti, our income was in the tens of thousands of Peryl earned from the loot taken from our battles with the Demon Lord army as well as dungeon treasures so we could use expensive elixirs and replace weapons made from rare ores one after the other and as such our expenses reached a ridiculous situation.
Perhaps my sense of money was a little numbed.
“I see … but I’m surprised how knowledgeable you are in this field.”
“I am still a princess after all so I’ve studied hard at the imperial court. Moreover, I have served as the guard for all kinds of shops after coming out to the world you know? I heard about the management of shops from the shop owners.”
She puffed her chest out proudly. That action reminded me of the unyielding Lit from when I first met her so I unintentionally laughed.
“Also, that’s right. It would be great if you have some kind of medicine that nobody else have … perhaps some compounding recipe that a Herbalist without the main profession like Red can utilize …”
“Hn, I probably have some novel ones.”
“Eh, you do?”
To be honest, developing a compounding recipe is unrelated to the skill. A recipe purely relies on knowledge while the skill only comes into the picture during the compounding steps.
However, even if you find a useful recipe, without the corresponding compounding level, you won’t be able to actually complete it so realistically, people typically don’t develop new compounding recipe unless they hold the Divine Protection for Alchemist or Herbalist.
On the other hand, having no unique skills, I continued to explore what I could do. And during my journey, I had the opportunity to encounter many literature with the knowledge of the present, past and ancient Elves.
I’m confident that I won’t lose to people with Alchemist or such as their main profession in terms of compounding knowledge. Although it would be troublesome if I said this to anyone so I’ve never talked about it.
“I think I kept them in the storage.”
Even with abundant knowledge, it doesn’t change that fact that the medicine that can be made without the respective skill is limited. Even the ancient elves did not research on compounding without the skill. Because of that, what I make was quite original. Applying knowledge across the times, I created items that can be compounded using generic elementary compounding skills.
Lit and I switched location to the storage.
“The original medicine that can be made in Zoltan are these two.”
What I took out of was gray medicine inside a cheap-looking potion bottle and a small pill the size of a little finger.
“What are their effects?”
“I call this potion the Multiplying Potion.”
“Mul, Multiplying Potion?”
“Yup, if you combine this with a Magic Potion that can be bought off-the-shelf at a five to one ratio and mix well, after equally distributing it, you will have multiplied your original potion to five potions.”
A Magic Potion is not made from medicinal herb but from containing spells in the potion. Whiteberry is commonly used as the catalyst for Magic Potions.
Whiteberry in its original form has no special effects on the human body but by extracting the liquid from the Whiteberry and using it in combination with other ingredients according to the spell you wish to store, it can contain that particular spell. In essence, drinking the Magic Potion is equivalent to obtaining the effect of the activation of that particular spell.
However, as the effects are restricted to having to drink the potion, the spells that are turned into potions are typically treatment and support spell. Even if you make a Magic Potion with an offensive spell, there won’t be any effects unless you can make the opponent drink it.
However, the price for Magic Potions are overwhelmingly high and even the ones with level 1 Healing Magic, the Cure Potions that can be found circulating in any town can go for 50 Peryl so ordinary people, underling mercenaries and guards only use it as emergency medicine when there is a danger to their life.
Although once Adventurers reach C-rank and above, they would drink this medicine after the end of every battle like they are bathing in it as they challenge strong foes.
“The material cost for the Multiplying Potion is about 5 Peryl. If we put it on the market … er, erm, I think we could sell it for four times as much at about 20 Peryl. Considering how this can create four of the Extra Cure Potions that goes for 750 Peryl at market rate, it should … er … sell … but … ”
Lit held the Multiplying Potion in her hands as she stared at it with a frown.
Ehh, I thought this would be ground-breaking. Even during my journey, I could multiply our Extra Cure Potions and Magic Power Potions and even Ares used it obediently without any complaints.
“This … can’t be sold.”
“No way … what’s wrong with it?”
I slumped my shoulders. I had confidence in it but is it that bad?
“Rather than bad, selling this would cause a huge change in the prices of potions! Since purchases would become one-fifth of the previous amounts!”
“But, but I am the only one capable of making it so it should be fine.”
“Just the existence of this potion alone is a huge problem … once this gets into the market, the Adventurers Guild, the Merchants Guild, the Magicians Guild, the Holy Church, and possibly even the Thieves Guild won’t stay silent.”
I was about to laugh but Lit’s expression showed that she wasn’t joking.
“But it’s just a potion? It isn’t a Magic Item that surpasses 10 thousand Peryl in price.”
“Such Magic Items are order-made single articles. This involves potions that are cheap and anybody can use which would affect the economy.”
Lit who was glaring at me with a troubled look suddenly relaxed.
“Puu … hahahhaha!!”
She suddenly laughed loudly and slapped my shoulder.
I was completely dumbfounded.
“Sorry, but I’m relieved.”
“In my eyes, you have always been an amazing person, always calm, capable of all kinds of things, able to cut through a terrifying battle with the Demon Lord army with a composed expression … Even when I thought that I had reached my end, you appeared like lightning and saved me … I always felt that there was a distance between us.”
“That’s exaggerating matters.”
“No, Red, you are an impressive person. Just by utilizing the right connections to gift this potion to the world, you will be able to save a lot of people and contribute to the war against the Demon Lord army. However, until just moments ago, I never imagined that you would have things you are unaware of or lack.”
Lit found something hilarious as she was laughing until her tears flowed.
I never imagined that my image within Lit was beautified to that extent. When I first met Lit, my combat ability had already became inferior to my companions. Even after saving Lit, I was scolded badly by Ares and Danan for running ahead.
“No, I want to be with you even more now.”
Lit had stopped laughing and she raised her bandana with her finger to cover her mouth and averted her eyes. Her ears were somewhat red.
I also looked away and ‘Ah, um’ fumbled with my words as I scratched the back of my head.
“Ah, yeah, I guess it would be difficult for me to run a business on my own.”
That’s right, I’ll admit it. I didn’t dislike the affection she displayed towards me. On the contrary, I think I was so happy that it surprised myself.
I’m sure that it was because Lit thought of me as her companion from when I was Gideon. For me, having been denied my worth and chased out from my party, Lit’s recognition … made me feel that the journey I made while desperately chasing after the backs of others, while knowing that I was a hindrance, was not meaningless.
“I don’t mind if you only come by when you have the time … and I can’t afford a large sum for your salary but … I would be delighted to have your help.”
This time, Lit didn’t cover her mouth with the bandana and showed me a toothy smile.
TL: Oh their interaction is so heartwarming!