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In the evening, when I went to the diner for dinner, I found that there were more customers than usual today and the place was buzzing.
Perhaps word of the food shortage is getting around.
I sat down at my usual counter and was about to order when Mr. Brydon spoke to me.
“You knew about this?” (Brydon)
“There’s a shortage of food. You knew that, that’s why you made a long-term reservation now, didn’t you?” (Brydon)
Mr. Brydon said so and placed a bowl of food in front of me.
“Oh… no, I didn’t know. I knew it was a possibility, though.” (Rook)
So, there was a food shortage after all…
“You’re a very shrewd guy. Well, we have stocked up on food that can be stored in the warmth of the house, so we’ll be fine for the time being. If things continue as they are, I don’t know what the future holds.” (Brydon)
“…Have you heard about the cause of the food shortage?” (Rook)
“Ah…they failed a negotiation with Cotte Village.” (Brydon)
“Failed to negotiate? Has that happened before?” (Rook)
Brydon looks little thoughtful.
“I think we’ve had that happen in bad harvest years… And this year it wasn’t a good harvest, and it’s on par with previous years, I don’t know. …Well, one of these days they’ll negotiate additional terms and still buy in.” (Brydon)
Mr. Brydon said, “If that happens, there will be no point in someone somewhere paying 30 days in advance!”
I responded appropriately, waving one hand in the air as I chewed on my food.
Surprisingly, I am more optimistic than I thought. I wonder if they‘ll be okay because we’ve stocked up on preserved food in advance.
I feel that although there is a food shortage, it is not at the level of a crisis for the town’s inhabitants. No, middle class people who can afford to live a normal life may still be able to afford it, but it may be a big problem for low-rank adventurers who live for the day. I should do some research on this.
I went to bed the next day with this thought in mind. The next day, I went to bed with that in mind and started walking around the town in the morning, gathering information.
“I knew there were very few groceries for sale.” (Rook)
I looked at the stores along the main street, but they hardly sold any groceries. Even if they did, the prices were almost double what they had been the other day.
The food shortage itself is still very bad. Is this what inflation is all about?
I entered the Adventurer’s Guild and checked inside, but there were still few people there.
Looking at the bulletin board, it seemed that other stores, which had been buying at normal prices yesterday, had also raised their prices, making the overall price higher.
I caught up with a few remaining adventurers and asked them what they were talking about.
“Because the meat sells at a high price. It’s making a lot of money–” (Adventurer)
Some adventurers then say.
“My usual inn suddenly said something about a price increase starting today—” (Adventurer)
There was also an adventurer who complained.
At this point, some adventurers are enjoying the benefits of inflation, while others are taking it badly, so it seems to be half and half. My impression is that C- and higher-ranked adventurers are benefiting greatly, while lower-ranked adventurers are suffering more severely.
As I left the Adventurers’ Guild and walked toward the gate to head out of town, I noticed something unusual. First of all, as I approached the gate, the number of adventurers around me increased dramatically. And the area near the gate was crowded with people, a situation not unlike winter.
Adventurers trying to get out. Stalls trying to sell supplies to these adventurers at prices several times higher than usual.
There was a bustle of activity that had not been seen since winter.
“Cheap! Dried meat, two gold coins per bundle!” (Seller)
“Horned Rabbit meat for one gold coin! Bring it here when you hunt it!” (Buyer)
Such voices were flying around the area, and it was as if they were in front of a dungeon.
I waded through the crowd and out the gate, and there were people everywhere there too, several times more than usual.
“…there is no way for me to hunt.” (Rook)
Where were all these adventurers from? There were so many that they were scattered in all directions.
No, if you look closely, you can see that some of them are civilians without proper equipment, and some of them seem to be from slums. It was a complete festival of chaos.
“Hey! You guys, don’t follow me!” (Adventurer)
“What are you talking about? You’re the ones who need to get lost!!” (Adventurer)
As the number of people increases, the number of hunting ground disputes also seems to increase, with arguments breaking out all over the place.
“This is really bad…” (Rook)
It’s not good for hunting, and I’m afraid it will cause unnecessary problems.
I wanted to get used to my spear a little more in the field, but it doesn’t seem possible at the moment.
–I thought–and hunted only one Horned Rabbit that I managed to find in [Magi Location] and returned to town.
Then I headed to the church and looked toward the orphanage.
“Oh! Brother, long time no see!” (Child)
“It’s Shion!” (Child)
“Let’s play!” (Child)
I took Shion out and put him on the floor, and the kids came swarming in, touching him, picking him up, and playing with him.
“Is John there?” (Rook)
“He’s in his room~!” (Child)
A little girl tells me, and I go into their room.
“Big Bro!” (John)
“How are you doing?” (Rook)
Inside the room were the usual four members, John, Sam, Noe, and Bouse, sitting or lying on the bed and lounging around.
“How are you these days?” (Rook)
“Well not so good, you know? The number of jobs in the mines has also decreased… Yesterday, I went out to hunt Horned Rabbits, but there were too many people, so it’s impossible!” (John)
“I couldn’t hunt even one…” (Sam)
After all, it seems that it is a difficult situation for adventurers with low ranks.
“Are mining jobs still decreasing?” (Rook)
“It’s getting worse than before!” (John)
“…Did you hear the reason?” (Rook)
“Someone said something about not being able to sell what they dig…” (John)
Digging but not able to sell, I see…
Either the demand for the metal has decreased or…
Oh, I almost forgot.
“Share this Horned Rabbit with the orphanage.” (Rook)
I handed the Horned Rabbit to John.
“Oh wow! Our little ones will be happy!” (John)
I left the room, collected the exhausted Shion, and then went to the church.
And as usual, I prayed in front of the statue of Tessretia.
I kneel down, put my hands together, close my eyes and pray.
But is this situation really safe?
I don’t think this town is heading in the right direction when I consider all the information I have gathered.
But it is not a problem that I have to deal with, nor is it a problem that I can do anything about. Still, I don’t want to think of it as a problem that I should just sit back and wait… just because I have nothing to do with it.
It’s a subtle feeling that is indescribable.
I open my eyes and stand up.
“Is there something you’re worried about?” (Priest)
I think about the priest’s words for a while.
Is this a worry?
But I ask a question in reply.
“How do you see the situation in this town, Father?” (Rook)
“That’s right. It may not be a very good situation…” (Priest)
Saying that, the priest looked up at the statue of Tessretia.
“However, the providence of this world is like a pendulum. When it swings strongly in one direction, the force swinging to the opposite side becomes stronger. When it swings in the wrong direction, it swings in the right direction. All we can do is to do the best we can within that swing.” (Priest)
I don’t know whether I understand or not…
“The best we can do…” (Rook)
“Every winter, the church holds a soup kitchen. Unfortunately, that alone cannot save many people, but it can save some. Some people can be saved by such small efforts.” (Priest)
“A soup kitchen?” (Rook)
“Yes, we collect donations from volunteers and serve them to the poor.” (Priest)
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