The Blacksmithing Town of Corky (5)
I wound up hearing something I definitely didn’t think I would by just walking into some atelier.
A black-haired, red-eyed woman. An alchemist, at that. The possibility of it being Leona was high.
Assuming that to be the case, staying in this town at all was dangerous.
… Which reminds me, didn’t I drop her off somewhere near the capital with [White Beach]…? Wouldn’t that be on the other side of the capital from here? Well, I guess if we take the amount of time that’s passed since then, it wouldn’t be too strange to think she’d made it here.
“Well, that alchemist-ish person said she believed in the Chaos God as well as Beddhism. Something about how Beddhism was a sub-religion and you could follow both.”
Where’d she hear about Beddhism from? This town’s pretty far away.
… I guess there have been a good number of merchants becoming Beddhists…
“Oh, the woman also sold me some Chaos God drugs. I can’t really leave them out in the open, but here—check these out. [Futanaru] and [TA]! I even have [Hole B-Gone] and [Pole B-Gone]! Their effects range from the lowest purity of one night to the maximum purity of permanency, so I asked how the heck she’d gotten them and ya know what? She tried telling me she made them herself… I might’ve believed her if she told me she stole them from some rich aristocrat’s vaults, but I haven’t heard anything like that recently either.”
The shopkeeper was taking out various drugs from his box as he spoke. He arranged them by color, from slightly transparent to mostly opaque.
The reason he didn’t feel like they were suitable to put on display here was probably due to their scarcity. Like the whole it needs to be special since it’s so rare thing.
… Though more importantly, it’s definitely Leona. Absolutely positively… Leona.
Heck, I pray there’s no one else that’d make those dubious drugs in this world. I could probably even figure out what crazy things they do from their names.
And what’s with her using A instead of S for [TA]!? TS means transsexual, so it’s a sex change drug. There’s definitely no one else in this world that would put such a stupid name on the drug… Wait, was that her goal?
“She said they were suuuper expensive and would fetch a high price at auction so I should show it off to people bit by bit… but! As a special one-time-offer for you, Founder-sama…! I will sell it to you at cost price!”
“Oh, then could I have the year-long [Pole B-Gone] one… no, the half-year one should be fine! And could I have it wrapped?”
“Certainly! That will be ten gold coins!”
So expensive!? —Wait, the f*ck are you buying, Rokuko!?
Rokuko took ten gold out of her [Safe] and paid for the item.
“This could be able to counteract Shikina’s issue right? It’d be a good idea to have one around this effective just in case.”
“Oh, yeah… Ten gold, huh.”
It was an amount that we could cover with Shikina’s monthly tuition, but it was still basically ten million yen.
How to put it… it’s like she’s some frivolous hot-shot. Oh, but I guess even I’d used a hundred gold to fund the village. It’s Wataru’s fault that my sense for money’s gotten so weird. Freaking Wataru.
Oh, come to think of it, our inn’s suite is twenty-five gold a night.
But huh, I doubt we’ll even see that drug that got dumped being sold from here on. The possibility’s tremendously high. By the way, that one was procured for a hundred and fifty gold. When I asked about the one-year duration one… he said it was twenty gold.
“… Still though, if it’s twenty gold for the one-year duration one… how much is the permanent one? You must have a lot of money stored to buy all these.”
“I sold everything I had in stock at the auction, theeeeen using those profits, I repeated the process until I was finally able to buy one each. They were a thousand gold each. Man, I’m happy I could buy them while that person was here.”
A thousand gold… wouldn’t just four of them be more than Wataru’s debt?
And that’s just the cost-price. I have no clue how much it could rack up to at auction. If twenty gold coins’ worth could go for a hundred fifty at auction, just one could outweigh Wataru’s debt… Yeah, an ordinary person would have to work their whole life for one…
“… Huh? You said you purchased the pillow three days ago?”
“It’s a hot item, so I restock on them regularly. Let’s see, she comes by every week, so I guess she’ll be here again in three or four days?”
Yep, gotta hightail it out of town by then. Mmhmm.
My intuition was screaming warnings at me to get out of town ASAP. I’ll have to convince Gozoh and everyone to leave, today even—if possible.
Or maybe even just us ourselves. Fortunately, the imperial capital’s a short two or three day walk from here!
“Alright, you can keep using Beddhism’s name for the pillow, but that holy water’s no good. Sell it under some other name.”
“O-Okay. My apologies for the trouble.”
“… Also, I have some very troubling memories of that alchemist, so don’t tell her about me. And for the holy water’s name, tell her someone who didn’t know about Beddhism at all came by and made you think you were better off with some other name.”
“Alright, I understand! Oh, could you please bless these pillows?”
With that, the shopkeeper pulled many, many pillows out of his stockpile. How many was he keeping? It was enough to just call this a pillow shop!
… I placed the holy symbol on the pillows, held my hand over them and recited [Good Night].
I contacted Wataru and Gozoh as soon as we got back to the inn and managed to convince them into us leaving Corky the following day.
Thinking about the possibility that the shopkeeper would tell her I was here, I wanted to leave as quickly as possible.
Tuck my tail in and run! He who runs from a fight may live to fight another day! Never, preferably!
“… Seriously, and here I was wantin’ to stay a while, why’re ye wanting us to leave so quick and all?”
“Sorry, I just got a very bad hunch…”
“Eh, don’t worry yerself none. I figure ye got a reason fer not telllin’ us.”
Gozoh spoke while scratching his head. His posture was saying that he disliked it, but he didn’t actually seem to care.
“Right, I believe in you, Kehma-san. To be honest, I’m actually more worried about Corky’s safety now. Did you see something really bad? Like symptoms of black lung disease or something?”
“It’d be great if that was all.”
“Wait, there really was something?”
I put a hand on Wataru’s shoulder and spoke with a gentle smile.
“Let sleeping dogs lie. It’s better if you don’t know. Seriously.”
“… Sounds like it’s a SAN value crisis, don’t tell me!”
Good choice, man.
We left Corky’s gate in our covered coach… and didn’t look back. I don’t want to risk carelessly seeing that red-eyed ponytailed girl.
… Oh, but we’ll have to come back here on the way back, huh. Maybe I could have Haku-san teleport back… or no, maybe I could find some reason to break off from Gozoh and the others and return through [White Beach]?
Alright, let’s go. To the capital!
The road was well-maintained, so we should be able to arrive by tomorrow night if we put the figurative pedal to the metal… yeah.
Sorry to the Leona fans out there, but Kehma’s the kind of man that runs away when the going gets tough.
Also, Leona became a self-proclaimed Beddhist the instant she heard about Beddhism.
Also also, there are certain alchemists that sell these sort of [Original Setting Items], but [Futanaru] is a Leona original pharmaceutical line.