I had to finish my work by evening because Klua-san told me she had something to talk about.
What does she want to discuss? Is it something about the medicinal herbs she was selling to adventurers? I hope that’s going well.
I’d visited the Adventurer’s Guild, but there didn’t seem to be any of my herbs there. It’s also possible that Klua-san failed to sell them. In that case, the medicinal herbs I made would have been wasted.
Well, it’s not really a problem since I made them with magic, but what was I to do if it was about something else? Suppose, for example, she wanted to terminate the contract — I was worried about any unwritten clauses.
When I met up with Klua-san at the restaurant, she was dressed rather nicely.
There’s a clear difference between her and a commoner like me who wears the same clothes everywhere.
Her outfit was appropriate for lower nobility, something like a suit with a tailcoat. It was a common style for merchants, and for a woman like Klua-san, it was the picture of competence.
「Ah, Relius-san, long time no see.」
「It sure has been a while, hasn’t it?」
「I already made a reservation, so we can go in right away, if that’s okay with you.」
Klua-san went in with a smile, and I followed her in while taking a good look around. There were a number of table seats. Unlike the bar in our restaurant, it has a subdued atmosphere.
When we got to our seats, we went ahead and ordered. I realized suddenly that the menu listed meal courses.
Those are where the patron is served a whole set of food on multiple plates, right?
I was a little nervous about eating in such a fine dining establishment.
「Do you often eat here, Klua-san?」
「No, not really. My master has brought me here a few times at his expense.」
「I see. It’s my first time in a place like this, so I’m kind of nervous!」
「I was the same way the first time I was here.」
Klua-san grinned. Aside from that, her normal expression hadn’t particularly changed. I was hoping this wasn’t bad news, but I didn’t have any hints. [EN: bruh you got tons of hints, wtf]
The salad was the first thing they brought us, and Klua-san divided it between our bowls.
「By the way, Relius-san, do you drink alcohol?」
「I’m not good with drinks, so I don’t.」
「Well, I’m not good with it, either. For tonight, please don’t hesitate to tell me if you want some, you can drink as much as you want.」
Is she serious?
When she finished arranging the salad, I looked at her and asked what was on my mind.
「So, Klua-san, what are we going to talk about? Is anything wrong?」
I couldn’t hold back any longer. She looked surprised at my question.
Like I thought, it’s bad news, huh?
「No, no, not at all! Things are going really well!」
「O-oh, they are…?」
「Yes! Where do I even start? Um, first of all, I have good news from my master’s shop, where we wanted to sell some products. I’m pleased to say we won’t be charged a fee there anymore!」
「Yeah! Even though he’s my master, he’s also a business partner, but all of Relius-san’s products are highly valued. For that reason, we were able to negotiate from a position of strength. I mean… well, he’s still my master, after all. He’ll continue overseeing things for now.」
「That’s good to hear.」
It was a relief.
No matter how many times I hear it, it’s always nice to be told that what I make is well appreciated.
「So, when it comes to the furniture, please keep making it for us.」
With that part done with, the conversation shifted gears.
「Now, about the medicinal herbs…」
I’d be happy if that also went well, but I was sure not everything would be good news. As I braced myself, Klua-san eyes sparkled.
「We were able to successfully put the herbs on the market!」
「Wait, really? I’m sometimes active as an adventurer, but I haven’t seen them around that much.」
「You’ll see it a lot more from now on.」
「Yes. I’ve negotiated regular sales with the guild. I told them that I asked my acquaintance’s adventurers to prioritize the collection of medicinal herbs, so over time, we should be able to gradually deliver them in higher quantities.」
「I see, so you gave us some flexibility by saying adventurers were supplying them?」
「That’s right. They’ll think it’s from my connections.」
Certainly, we won’t be restricted on how many we can sell.
「However, don’t adventurers normally deliver herbs directly to the guild?」
「I strongly emphasized that my connection was with adventurers in another city.」
「I mean, that adventurer is fictional anyway. It’ll be a problem if they look too closely.」
「Are you going to be alright?」
「It’s not a big deal, it’s just something I might have to deal with later.」
Well, it is what it is.
「For now, the first delivery of herbs was quite profitable. Please get the next shipment ready as soon as possible.」
Payment is received for my products upon delivery, whether or not they sell later. It’s a good deal for me, but I was wondering what it would do for her.
That said, if the herbs really were wildly popular, I’d worry a little less.
「Anyway, thanks to you, I was able to raise my prestige, so you have my gratitude. I’ll pay for today’s meal, so please feel free to eat whatever you want!」
「No, it’s okay. Let’s split it equally.」
It’s not that I’m rejecting her generosity or anything. Well, maybe I am earning more now…
Klua-san seemed kind of annoyed at me when I said that.
「Uh, what’s up?」
「Relius-san… you really are different from other craftsmen, aren’t you?」
「What do other craftsmen have to do with this?」
「Ah, yeah. Um… can you keep what I’m about to say just between us?」
「Sure, I don’t mind.」
She sighed and continued.
「It’s a fact that craftsmen sell technology, right?」
「So… if a craftsman were to be considered especially talented or gifted, most of them would be full of themselves.」
「Oh yeah, you have a point there.」
Well, in my case, it didn’t take any effort to make things. Other craftsmen were making items from scratch, so they might have become attached to their work and taken pride in it.
「For that reason, craftsmen are usually quite demanding partners. I have sometimes had opportunities to eat with one, like right now… and as you might expect, even contacting them is difficult.」
「In the first place, the other party is usually an older man, and they’ll often sexually harass me, sometimes even try to grope me. If they want to do that, why don’t they go to that kind of shop instead of coming to me!」
She was speaking quite indignantly, and when I looked closely, her cheeks were slightly flushed. She took another swig from her glass.
…wait, is that alcohol?
She and I are both of age, so we can drink alcohol legally, but I wasn’t familiar with the flavor, so I hadn’t mentioned it.
I drank with Oji-san and Oba-san the day I came of age. I didn’t get drunk at all back then, so whatever alcohol we’re drinking now seems to be a strong one. I called out to the waitress who was bringing the next dish.
「Um, I’m sorry. Is this alcohol?」
「Uh, no? This table is — p-please wait a moment!」
She looked at our glasses and went back in a panic. She quickly came back with someone who seemed to be the manager.
「We deeply apologize. Those drinks seem to have been carried to your table by mistake.」
「We’re not having our all-you-can-drink promotion today, but because of this mistake, we will allow you to drink whatever you wish, for free, and we will give you a voucher for a half-price meal.」
「I understand. What do you want to do, Klua-san?」
To be honest, it’s not the free drinks that make me happy, but the half-price meal voucher. Klua-san, on the other hand, seems to be having fun with the alcohol.
「Relius! Listen to me!」
She grabs at my arm while whining.
Klua-san… you seem to be pretty weak to alcohol.