Extra chapter thanks to my new Patreon JG 🙂
Chapter 15: Albert came over
After returning to the shop, I started preparing the medicine to deliver to Doctor Newman the next day and I asked Lit to look after the shop.
Apart from the occasional “Eh, Lit-san?” accompanied by a shocked voice, nothing happened in particular.
“It’s just a matter of time before rumors start spreading.”
Zoltan’s strongest Adventurer quit and became a shop assistant for an apothecary.
That information would definitely kick up a storm once it spreads. I would be lying if I claimed that I didn’t think that would be bothersome when Lit first came to the shop … but I no longer felt that way now.
“Nonetheless, what should I do?”
Maybe I should talk to the other B-rank Adventurer Albert. After all, in his case, he’s risen from the number two adventurer in Zoltan to the number one adventurer. But I’ve only spoken to him once before so we’re not actually acquaintances.
More importantly, adventurers don’t enjoy any welfare benefits at all; they don’t get any retirement fund or pension once they retire after all so there isn’t such an obligation to not retire right? Wasn’t adventuring a job with freedom where one can become an adventurer whenever they want to and quit whenever they please?
“That’s right, whether it becomes an uproar or not has nothing to do with me.”
After thinking hard about it, I convinced myself with that half-baked conclusion and concentrated on my remaining work while putting off the problem to a later date.
The day was coming to an end and the evening sun was about to sink below the horizon.
The work in this town ends slightly before sunset and it was commonplace to return home during sunset. Because of that, the shops that can expect customers from the returning crowd would stay open until slightly after sunset whereas the shops in the entertainment district would operate from evening until late at night when the customers who ended work would hang out there.
My Red & Lit Apothecary would operate until sunset so there was about another hour before we closed shop.
At the moment, Lit and I were seated at the counter having idle conversations while we waited for customers to arrive.
“Ah, that’s right, I want to drink mead.”
“What’s with the sudden craving?”
“Nah, there isn’t any particular reason, I just suddenly wanted to drink it.”
Mead, like the name implies, is an alcohol made using bees honey. (TLN: It is literally read as Bees Honey Wine in Japanese). Although it is not a fine liquor, drinking it on a regular basis will be slightly costly. Specifically, wine popular with the common folk cost 0.25 Peril, a silver coin called a Quarter Peril, per bottle; whereas a bottle of mead cost 2 Peril, eight times that of wine.
Incidentally, a cup of coffee cost 0.01 Peril: one common copper coin. You could buy a cup of Whisky for 0.1 Peril: ten common copper coins.
In comparison, the ally of the common folk, a 4-liter pot of ale or cider cost 0.5 Peril: 50 common copper coins: two Quarter Peril silver coins.
The alcohol I had at home was only a pot of cider as well as a leather bag filled with a strong liquor made from tree sap that I received as treatment fee when I treated an injured monster called a Zugu a long time back in the mountains.
“I was wondering if I could go buy some.”
“Yeah, I guess you should go before the shop closes.”
“Thanks! Please prepare a meal that will go well with mead.”
“All right, then today’s menu would be bread and somewhat strong flavor dishes. We can drink it after our meal as a dessert with apples to go with it too. There should be enough ingredients from what we purchased yesterday.”
The moment I nodded, Lit flew out of the shop like a gust of wind and that was not metaphorical as it was due to her superhuman physical abilities granted by her Divine Protection.
“But … what’s with her sudden craving for mead?”
And with that much vigor too.
I noticed that I had zoned out for some time thinking about it when the door to the shop opened accompanied by the ring of the chime.
“Welcom ….. e.”
I unconsciously blinked to check that I didn’t see wrongly.
“Your shop is quite small.”
The current strongest adventurer in this town, the B-rank Adventurer Albert, was standing there with his usual pompous attitude.
“Well, what kind of medicine are you looking for?”
Even though I decided not to go looking for him, he came over instead.
“Nope, I didn’t come to purchase medicine.”
” …… ”
What the heck, this stinks of trouble. To be honest, I wanted to tell him to go home if he wasn’t a customer. Nevertheless, treating Albert, who has some influence in this town, albeit small, with disdain would affect my future business.
That was why I decided to remain silent for the moment.
” …… ”
” …… ”
Despite saying that he wasn’t buying, he was looking all around the shop. I had no clue what his intentions were.
“Are you satisfied with a shop like this?”
I see, is he here to pick a fight?
But he was not buying anything. I gave a half-hearted reply.
“My own shop, customers who would purchase things that I make, it adds color to my life while still providing me with sufficient income, a cute housemate …”
Ah, that was a slight slip of the tongue.
“Cough, well, at any rate, I am satisfied with this shop. I don’t know why you came here but I won’t be able to fulfill your expectations so it will be a waste of your time.”
“Those who are unaware of the circumstances of heaven sure do live happily.”
He laughed cynically but I lived the life of an aristocrat as the Knight Vice Captain so that didn’t faze me at all.
I placed my chin on my hand and blatantly replied with an annoyed expression.
” … Sigh never mind. Hey D-rank.”
“What, you still have something to say?”
“I’ll get to the point, were you the one who killed the Owlbear?”
“What are you talking about? You were the one who went to subjugate the Owlbear.”
I see, so he noticed that I was the one who defeated the Owlbear. Even though rotten, he is still a B-rank after all, seeing how he still noticed despite the numerous wounds from that fire.
“The deathblow to the Owlbear was not made by my sword. It was made by a blade with a much duller edge, for example … a sword like the copper sword you hold.”
“Oi oi, I’m a D-rank Adventurer. There’s no way I can cut down an Owlbear.”
While I was in the midst of saying that, a wave of killing intent surged from Albert’s body.
Hey now seriously? He was planning to attack to test me.
I immediately understood Albert’s intention but I didn’t know if he would stop just before striking me or if he would cut with the intent to kill.
“I will ask one more time, Red, did u kill the Owlbear?”
“I already told you it wasn’t me.”
Albert kicked off the floor.
At the same time, the long sword he drew from his hip swung down towards my shoulder.
The edge stopped just before my neck.
I fell on my backside after pausing for a moment.
Albert hid his disappointment and looked down at me.
“I wanted to invite you to be my companion but I was mistaken huh.”
Seriously, acting weak wasn’t easy at all.
At that time, a gust of wind blew in.
A shockwave blew out from Albert’s back. That was probably the best way to describe it.
Lit’s twin swords attacked Albert from behind.
Albert was not bad either as he was able to react to it.
However, as he received it with an unstable posture, Albert’s sword made an abrupt snapping sound as it was bisected by Lit’s sword.
Nevertheless, that probably canceled out the slicing momentum as Albert was able to dodge Lit’s sword before it struck him. Unexpectedly, he did so by falling onto his backside like I just did moments ago.
However, that was the end. He won’t be able to continue with a second attack from that posture. His sword was already broken too even if he wanted to retaliate.
I quickly stopped her. Lit’s sword stopped perfectly.
Her eyes were fraught with murderous intent bent on killing her opponent with her sword tip pointed in between his eyebrows before Lit finally took a step back.
“Li, Lit!? Why are you here!?”
“Albert, what are you doing to my important person? I will kill you depending on your answer.”
“Ah, gu …”
She unleashed the serious bloodthirst of a Swordswoman who had clashed with the Demon Lord’s Army. Albert trembled with his mouth opening and closing soundlessly.
“He came to invite me to be his companion. That just now seemed to have been a test.”
After I said that, Lit cast a sharp glare at Albert.
I shrug my shoulders and shook my hand to say that it was fine.
Lit reluctantly sheathed her sword.
As the observer, I ended up being the person who was more nervous.
Albert tottered to his feet, turned back to look at the counter where I was before and then turned once more to look at the entrance where I now stood.
“Why are you there … since when?”
“I didn’t want to become Lit’s collateral.”
Albert tilted his head.
“Oi, hurry up and leave.”
He was intimidated by Lit and left the shop in a hurry.
“Red! Are you all right!? Are you injured?”
“There’s no way I would be.”
“I’m glad, what did he intend to do, drawing his sword at Red like that!? Wouldn’t it be better if I just cut him down? It’s valid self-defense after all.”
“Of course you can’t just kill the only B-rank Adventurer in Zoltan. All things considered, Zoltan still needs him.”
“I wonder if that’s really the case.”
Lit retracted her killing intent as we spoke and the atmosphere returned to the way it was before.
“In the first place, that was so you Red. To do something so dangerous. It would have been better if you just retaliated!”
“I’m fine I’m fine, I believed that he would probably stop.”
“What would you do if he didn’t act within your expectations?”
“I’ll retaliate when that time comes.”
“How would you retaliate during the distance between the edge touching your neck or not … don’t tell me you’re actually able to do it?”
“Well now, I wonder about that.”
“Leaving that aside, Lit, wouldn’t it have been better if you didn’t toss aside the mead you went through the trouble to buy?”
I raised the bag I caught that was filled with mead.
Lit’s face reddened.
“So, sorry, I just unconsciously.”
“Don’t worry about it, thanks. In any case, I’m happy that you got that angry for my sake.”
I dashed out from the counter for the sake of catching the mead Lit tossed aside. Even though I went through the trouble to hide my real ability from Albert, I wondered why did I show a glimmer of my strength for the sake of that bag of mead but … I guess I didn’t want the alcohol that Lit wanted to drink to be wasted just for my sake.
“Oh well, it’s a little early but why don’t we close the shop? Let’s eat after we finish tallying the sales. You went through the trouble to buy this so let’s slowly drink this together tonight.”
” … Yup!”
I had a premonition that this would turn into a troublesome issue but I’ll enjoy the moment now.
Otherwise, I would lose out when it actually becomes a troublesome matter.
As for the reason for the mead … I asked Lit a long time after that and found out that in her hometown, newlyweds usually stopped work for a month and enjoyed their honeymoon while drinking mead.
Lit confided to me that … she suddenly thought of it and wanted to drink mead with me no matter what.
As expected, after hearing that, the both of us ended up blushing.