Kay: So~ I may, or may not have forgotten to schedule things. Which, may or may not have been because procrastinating on my responsibilities.
The next morning, I decided to head to the Marida Company. When I left the Inn this morning, I saw adventurers already heading towards the General Guild. News of the labyrinth’s conquest had already spread when I returned to Barga. Looking at how quickly the guild responded, it showed how much power Count Blitz commanded in the guild.
The entertainment district to the south had also heard this news and began preparations for a harvest festival. Spirits were already flaring as the residents worked hard to put on the festival, making the occasion give off a refreshing feel.
When the Marida Company’s office came into view, there were also many carts and wagons parked out front. As I approached, one of the escorts noticed me.
“Good morning, Schwartz-san.”
“Good morning. Is Bill-san or Malta-san available?”
“Yes, both the chairman and manager are in the office. Let me inform them, so stay put.”
The escort was someone who saw me often visit. Thus, the process was quickened. I didn’t want to barge into someone’s office without permission, so I decided to wait in the reception area.
“Sorry for the wait, Schwartz-san.”
I was sitting on the sofa when I heard Malta-san and Bill-san’s footsteps as I reclined. They came immediately once they heard I was here.
“It’s been a while, Malta-san.”
“Yes, it’s been a while, Schwartz-san. I thought you’d visit later today or tomorrow. But first of all, congratulations on conquering the Wolf Fang Labyrinth.”
“Thank you, but it was Shaft that conquered it. I’d like to keep it that way.”
“Yes, I’ll keep that in mind. Bill, can you please tell everyone to stay away from the room for a while. And prepare some tea.”
“Certainly. I’ll have Alm and Silvara stand guard in the hallway.”
While we waited for Bill-san to return with the tea, we exchanged stories to keep each other up to date. Apparently, there hadn’t been any major changes to the company since the attack in the capital. Rather, as the days go by, rumour had it that the company was the only merchant company that could contact ‘Black Mask Shaft’. There was some trouble because some aristocrats insisted on becoming partners, as well as the Great Ravensburg Trading Society whom worked in the same industry.
By the way, in regards to the rumor, the company would just state it was a misunderstanding or false information. Malta-san’s only daughter, Minea, was currently attending the academy as normal. I was worried there’d be some sort of retaliation from the remnants of the Yagoche Company, or ‘Onibus’ bandits. So far however, there had been no sign of such. Probably because they were too scared of Shaft’s shadow.
According to Bill-san, the bento sales were growing steadily. By manufacturing the boxes, technology of such boxes continued to improve. Currently, they were working with the blacksmith guild to manufacture metal lunch boxes. Perhaps in the future, there would be hinomaru bentos made of aluminum… Although I hadn’t found umeboshi in this world yet.
The wholesale of magic water remained strong. Of course, I got my share of the sales. The magic weapon I’d forgotten existed until now, ‘Rot Poison Dagger’, was finally sold. The buyer was the Duke of Barga.
With the Wolf Fang Labyrinth conquered, the magic water in the 21st floor would be drawn more often. I exited the labyrinth without confirming what happened to the heavy rain, but even if it stopped, there should’ve been enough pooled water. Malta-san joyously said that it’d be easy to pump it all out.
At this rate, there’d be a temporary decline in the sales. We agreed to stop selling the magic water until the boom subsided and the prices normalized. I then showed them the labyrinth’s core and asked them to sell it in my stead. When it came to large stones like this, I couldn’t just bring it to the guild or any noble I founded along the way to sell it.
Basically, we’d look for buyers via an auction held in a large city. According to Malta-san, this kind of magic stone would always be featured as a final item in an auction. The winning bid would likely skyrocket and they promised to place it in the most prestigious auction. Acknowledging that, I borrowed a magnifying glass for the appraisal from Malta-san. Both of us proceeded to enjoy the core’s brilliance together.
Bill-san came back with a push cart with a tea set on top. This time, he was not serving black tea but green tea.
“Pardon me for the wait. I posted Alm and Silvara to guard the border of the sales floor. That way no one will be able to hear us. I told them we would be having an important talk, so they are not to let anyone in.”
“Thank you. Those girls, what about them and the two others with them?”
The fox beastkin twin sister Alm and Silvara, as well as the other two girls Presera and Amy, were rescued from Yagoche Company. They’ve been working with the Marida Company ever since then to repay the borrowed money.
“Alm and Silvara have officially joined the company’s escort team. Rather than continuing as adventurers, they said it would be safer and more profitable to work under the company that is part of the Great Ravensburg Trading Society. Amy and Presera have also joined as a maid and seller for Marida Company.”
“Now that you mention it, I did see the two during the HArvest Festival at the Emerald Demon Labyrinth.”
“Yes, those two have good memories. I’m actually planning to recommend them to work as maids for someone’s mansion… Is schwartz-san interested in buying a mansion?”
“A mansion? I don’t think I would anytime soon. I’m not going to settle in Barga for long. I’m leaving tomorrow morning.”
“Are you changing your base of operation?”
Bill looked very disappointed. Regardless of anything else, I decided to follow Ashley to the south – but when I looked to Bill-san’s side, I realized that Malta-san was stunned by what I said.
“Whe,Wheehe, where, where are you going to to?”
“To the southern area of Kurtmerga Kingdom. What was it— Marine City Amar. I’m heading there.”
“Amar?! Could it be for the pirate extermination?”
“Do you know about it, Malta-san?”
“Why of course. I’m a merchant doing business all over this country after all. Marida Company has a merchant ship in Amar.”
And then, I heard of the situation in Amar from Malta-san. Originally, Amar’s main maritime trade partners were the union of islands scattered in the south. However, the pirates started to settle on the uninhabited islands between Amar and the union. Then, four years ago, some noble families in Amar took up arms and set sail to subjugate the pirates. A naval erupted and both two severe damage. The subjugation fleet lost their flagship while many of the pirates were sunk.
However, the pirates have become active recently half a year ago and began to attack Amar’s fishing and merchant ships again. The city’s response had been much slower this time, mostly due to the higher ups. The city was part of Count Valeire’s territory, but he’d been more concerned with his inland territories. He had been ignorant on the seaside affairs.
Losing their powerful nobles during the naval battle four years prior, the Amar escort fleet lacked proper guidance and command. Thus, they continued to fall behind. It was said they were having a hard time.
“I see. Thank you for this valuable piece of information.”
“No, it’s nothing much. If you are still going to Amar, please drop by our merchant ship. I will write a letter so they will provide you with some assistance.”
“Thank you for the continued support.”
Afterward, Bill-san and Malta-san continued our conversation over lunch.