I pull out one of the trunks that I was finally allowed to put into my inventory once emptied. I make sure once more that nobody can see me before I start taking all of the knifes and armors that we had taken from the castle and start fitting what I can of them into the chest.
I had taken a chest or two full of armor with me when we left as a precaution… fat chunk of good they did in the end. At least it gives me something to sell so that we can get some basic goods to travel with.
I order the imps to go and sell it to Tea and to meet me at the monster egg shop when they finish. I would have gone myself… but I don’t think I could take anymore of him until he calms down a bit.
I decide to wander around town a little before going to the egg shop. As expected I still didn’t see anybody of the same race as Tea. Is he from a foreign country? How distant must his country be that he’s the only one in the village?
My thought is interrupted by Kiel who has just seen me and started running my way waving.
“Hey Mano-san! Did you find old man Tea’s shop?” He yells in my direction.
I blush slightly, as many of the merchants and customers from the nearby stalls have stopped to look at him. Out of the corner of my eye, I catch one of the merchants giving him a rather malicious look. What is that about?
“Mano?” Kiel asks with his face now only about a foot away from mine.
I jump back as I wasn’t paying attention and was surprised by his face suddenly being so close.
“Why are you blushing? What did my suave divenere seduce you?” He says as he steps back, giving me a smug look.
“No it’s because I’m embarrassed to be seen with you in public. What the status of our room?” I say turning away and beginning to walk in the direction of the egg shop.
“Fine, fine, the rooms are reserved. How did it go with Tea? He can be a bit cheap at times, but I’m sure he gave you a good deal on whatever you bought.” Kiel says as he follows.
“Our stuff is actually on the house, compliments of Tea. You’re going to have to go and thank him later. I forgot to ask if this town had a library or any kind or a record keeper. Where might I be able to find such a thing?”
I decide to check my menus while I walk, unless other people can see it I should be fine. I wait a moment for an answer before turning to see Kiel stopped in the street looking stunned with surprise
“Wait a moment YOU managed to get that cheapskate Tea to make you free armor?!” Kiel yells and point at me.
I’m tired of falling into his pace, so I start walking again without answering forcing him to jog after me.
“In that case maybe you actually could use the town library” He says as he catches back up with me.
“What do you mean, are only certain people allowed to use it?”
It would be a pain if I had to become a big name in this town just to get some info for a good cover story.
“Well… kinda. The books in town were mostly bought up by the merchant’s guild. Usually they charge a fair bit of money for anybody that’s not a member of their guild to be able to read them, but trained merchants are nothing in the face of that stubborn old cheapskate.”
…I didn’t really do anything to convince Tea.
“A town as small as this has a merchant’s guild?”
“Hmm? Here I thought we were a bit more famous than that. Ya, instead of a lord, our town is run by a merchants guild. It’s a branch of the Merchants federation. Since Jin is directly at the center of Teslagr, it’s easy to know what people want or something like that” Kiel says, it seems like he is trying to repeat something he was told in the past.
I’ve got to give him props for remembering it that much I suppose.
“There are a few things I wanted to ask the person who ran this town anyways. I’m going to go and have a word with them.”
I suppose I will head there first if there is a chance that I will be able to use the library.
“Where can I find them then?” I ask.
“You mean you want to go now?” Kiel asks looking a bit frightened…
“Yes, I would like to do some research if at all possible before my next task. It would be profitable to know more about what’s going with this town before making any big purchases as well.”
The look on Kiel’s face is no less frightened but it shows less now through the confusion that couples it.
“Is there something weird about this town?” Kiel asks.
“I’ve got a feeling that something weird is going on. It may be nothing. Now… where am I headed?” I say looking around to see if there is any kind of city center I missed.
“It’s in that big manor you passed on your way into town, that place makes me feel uneasy so I’m gonna let you nobles have some time alone” Kiel says with a snarky smile like usual… but it somehow seems forced.
He walks away without any of the energy I had seen moments ago. That settles it; call me nosey all you want I’m going to learn what’s up with him. I make my way to the manor looking through my menus again. As I get closer to the manor I notice how impressive it looks. It looks like it could accommodate half the village, and a road leads directly out of a warehouse that can be seen behind the manor.
“Welcome madam, how may we accommodate you” A man said as he opened the doors to the manor for me.
He was wearing an outfit similar to Gero’s, but it looked different from anything I had seen before.
“I was told that there were merchants running this town, I have come to have a discussion with them.” I say as I walk through the door attempting to keep whatever air of nobility I have about me.
“Very well then, please take a seat wherever suits you and we will send someone to escort you shortly.” He says as he bows and snaps his finger to another house servant.
This servant promptly walks off. There are only a few servants populating the manor, and many people can be seen briskly walking around the building with papers. All but the man at the door are dressed in somewhat more common clothing. I try and keep my composure as I wait. The servant that was sent off returns soon enough and bows at the man at the door.
“Please come right this way then, madam.” The man at the door says before leading me into a room on the second floor.
Before me sits a man with a full beard in his 40s or so I would say hunched forward, beside him stands the man from the door.
“To have caught the attention of my mentor… you must be quite an impressive person.” He says looking me up and down, doubt showing in his eyes.
“Mentor? I’ve yet to speak to anybody but you as of yet.” I say, but I am soon interrupted.
“Guhuhuhuhu” the door man laughs with his hand attempting to hide his mouth.
“What have you told her?” The bearded man turns to the door man and asks.
“Nothing I assure you, but I suppose introductions are in order.” He says regaining his composure
“My name is Faurch Batlier, and this is my apprentice, and current head of Jin’s merchant guild Harum Keite.”
I struggled not to show the surprise on my face at the fact that the person I assumed to be a servant was of such importance.
“I apologies, your attire is similar to what servants wear in my land. It seems I misunderstood your position.” I say debating in my mind as to whether I should bow or not.
I suppose I should learn the etiquettes of this country before claiming to be a noble. Looking closely he seems to be quite on in his years, but with a body that has quite a youthful condition. He sports a white mustache and goatee, as well as brushed back stark white hair.
“To openly insult my mentor… I suppose you are impressive one way or another. So why have you come then?” Harum asks, he is assessing my every action.
It wasn’t my attempt to insult him… but I suppose I did just say he looked like a servant.
“I have come to ask for permission to your library as well as to hear the state of this town. I have noticed some odd things, and was hoping for some clarification.” I say trying hard not to insult them further.
“Very well” The person who speaks next wasn’t Harum, but rather Faurch.
“Mentor I-” Harum attempts to interject
“As far as the state of this town, you are correct. We do indeed have an issue at the moment.” Faurch interrupts.
He gives Harum a rather intimidating look out of the corner of his eye before continuing.
“We have some goblins that have taken to camping quite near the main road leading in from the capital. A rather unfortunate event, as they attack every cart that passes. Goblins spend most of their early lives hunting in nearby forest you see, meaning we can’t simply establish a new route around them either. It would simply take too long to go all the way around the area one could expect to find goblins.”
“Why don’t you wipe the goblins out then?” I interject
“We have sent a messenger to the capital to send a party here to clear the path, but as the camp is quite close to Jin with will take another 2 weeks minimum for the messenger to get there and return with a party. It has distressed us a great deal, not being able to do business for so long” He wipes his eyes with his hand even though he hasn’t shed a tear.
I can see where this is going easily enough.
“In that case I will clear the path for you, in return for letting me use your library.” I say, dropping my shoulders. He has obviously seen through me, at least enough to know I am not nobility.
“You can’t mean to take out a goblin camp by yourself! Goblins are commonly level 5!” Harum interject staring hatefully at his mentor.
So the common folk know about the stat menus then? Good, it was going to be a pain to talk around that.
“That should be simple enough, if you want to increase the reward for the task however I certainly don’t mind.”
I suppose for these people level 5 means five times their own strength. I can see why they wouldn’t want to send some random noble to take them out.
“Hmph, fine! Go then, we can discuss your “reward” when you have returned” Harum says as he gets up and stares out the window, prompting my leave I suppose.
“Well then shall I show you the door?” Faurch asks keeping his image of a servant close at hand.