Black Cat Chapter 43: Good at Business

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 After returning to the village, Mr. Zeol and I reported the attack on the adventurers to the knight order, which was protecting the village, but the knightly order would not come to their rescue.


 After all, the activities of adventurers are their own responsibility, and the work of the knight order is to protect the life of the villagers.



 Atsuka is a small village, but it would take a considerable number of people to protect the entire village.


 At present, the total number of knights and soldiers coming to the rescue from the fortress is a hundred, and it is said that there is not enough room to attack while defending.



 No rescue was sent out from the knights, but the Scouts were sent out.


 Even the defenders want to know where the Bronze Wolf is, so soldiers specializing in reconnaissance have been sent into the mountains.



“Scouts?” (Nyango)


Ah, in the case of adventurers, they are the Seekers. Now, a few of them are catkin just like you.” (Zeol)


“But I didn’t see them in the Ibouro guild…” (Nyango)


“Most of Ibouro’s requests are to subjugate monsters around farms and ranches. Seekers don’t have much work in such places. Seekers are mainly active in dungeons.” (Zeol)



 In the Kingdom of Schrendl, where we live, there are two cities called the Royal Capital.


 One is the current Royal Capital where Horacio went to receive his knight training.



 The other is the Old Royal Capital near a large dungeon.


 The dungeon is an underground labyrinth where rare items are found, and according to one theory, it is said to be the remains of a city of a destroyed ancient civilization.



 At the same time that rare magic items are discovered, powerful monsters are nesting in the area, making the search dangerous.


 According to Mr. Zeol, it is in such dungeon exploration that the Seeker’s true value is demonstrated, and many of them use the Old Royal Capital as their base of operations.



“It was said that the royal family used to live in the Old Royal Capital, but monsters overflowed from the dungeon, and even the royal family suffered casualties. The royal family, the current king, moved to the current Royal Capital because many adventurers were gathering, and the city’s security was deteriorating. The Old Royal Capital is ruled by the Grand Duke, who is a close relative of the royal family, but the security is not so good…” (Zeol)



 Mr. Zeol was active in the Old Royal Capital when he was an active adventurer, and from the way, he speaks and the expression on his face, it seems to be a rather violent city.


 However, I am interested in the job of Seeker.



“As for being a Seeker, there is not much I can teach you, since it requires a unique sensitivity to detect traps, tricks, ambushes, and the like.” (Zeol)


“But, Mr. Zeol, when we were subjugating orcs, you did that by following their tracks, weren’t you?” (Nyango)


“That’s an extension of hunting, not exactly what a Seeker is supposed to do.” (Zeol)



 I don’t know why, but it seems that Scouts and Seekers are not the same things.



“If we know where the Bronze Wolf is, it will be easier to defend and attack, right?” (Nyango)


“You’re going into the mountains?” (Zeol)


“I want to be useful, but…” (Nyango)


“No. You saw how the adventurers were attacked earlier. It is that big, but it is frighteningly fast. If it uses a tree trunk as a foothold, it will jump up to a considerable height.” (Zeol)



 Indeed, Mr. Zeol was right. Even if I were at a height of about 10 meters, I would likely be eaten up in a leap.


 It might be safer to stay at a height higher than that, but then the trees would be in the way and I would not be able to find the Bronze Wolf.



“I can’t allow you to go into the mountains alone. If you must go into the mountains, you must either find a trustworthy adventurer to go with you, or you must accompany the knights on their reconnaissance mission.” (Zeol)



 I could be useful in the way Mr. Zeol suggested, but the question was whether the adventurers and knights would allow me to accompany them.


 From their point of view, the unreliable-looking catkin child would only look like a burden.



“I understand that the enthusiasm of the guilds and taverns of Ibouro might make you want to go to… However, let’s face it, you’re not up to the task. Don’t go into the mountains alone, you got it?” (Zeol)


“Yes… I understand. I’ll stay quiet in the village until the Bronze Wolf is subjugated.” (Nyango)



 The publicity stunt that Mr. Zeol and I had done had been successful, and many adventurers had come to the village, but there were not enough inns in the village to accommodate them all.


 The adventurers were housed in tents in the plaza next to the village chief’s house.



 The square is near a well, a toilet a short distance away, a stable, and firewood.


 The village probably hoped to prevent any trouble with the local residents by gathering adventurers near where the knights were stationed.



 Some of the wealthier adventurer parties would drive their own covered wagons to the village and use them as a base of operations.


 Some peddlers came to the village and began selling soup, bread, wine, and other foodstuffs, medicine, equipment, weapons, and other goods from their wagons, near the adventurers living in tents.



 The peddlers began to sell clothes, fabrics, threads, needles, pots and pans, knives, seasonings, and other daily necessities not only to adventurers but also to villagers.


 The fact that there was a subtle air of a festival in the air, despite the presence of a dangerous monster called the Bronze Wolf, was proof that there was little entertainment in the village of Atsuka.



 When I returned from the town of Ibouro, I was thinking of taking an active role as a scout, but after seeing the adventurers and peddlers, I changed my plan.


 With the permission of the village chief, I decided to roast the Forest Mouse I had caught, salt them, and sell them to the adventurers.



 I caught some Forest Mouse on the north and west sides of the village from morning until afternoon, processed and prepared them on the riverbank in the afternoon, and grilled them to be sold in the evening at the edge of the plaza where the adventurers camped.


 I piled up stones, passed around Forest Mouse on skewers, and roasted them with the fire magic tool made of void attribute magic.



 I have been practicing the fire magic tool as well as a wind magic tool that I use for my off-road bike, so I have no trouble making fire for cooking.


 As I began to grill on the windward side of the plaza, an adventurer, caught by the smell, approached me.



“Boy, that smells good, doesn’t it? Is that for sale?” (Adventurer)


“Yes, freshly caught Forest Mouse grilled with salt, one small silver coin each.” (Nyango)


“Are they delicious?” (Adventurer)


“Forest Mouse feed on nuts and grains, so they don’t have a weird smell and are very delicious.” (Nyango)


“Okay, give me one.” (Adventurer)


“Thank you for the patronage!” (Nyango)



 Just by cutting them up and grilling them in salt, they sold like hotcakes for five times the usual price.


 The heart, kidneys, and liver were also drained of blood, skewered, grilled with salt, and sold.



 The twenty fish I prepared were sold as soon as they were grilled and soon were also sold out.


 The next day, I looked for fish on the riverbanks, I caught more fish, which I also grilled with salt and sold.



 The daily sales exceeded three large silver coins, which was about thirty times the profit I made when my earnings were low.


 Some of the villagers imitated my business, selling Dengaku potatoes [T/N: Potatoes grilled/baked with miso.] and steamed bread made from corn flour.



 Well, it is good if you can make a profit, but I guess those potatoes and corn flour you are selling are not for winter stocks.


 The Bronze Wolf may be subjugated, but it would be shameful to say that some people died of starvation.



 On the third day of business, as I was preparing to open my store, Miguel with his lackeys were staring at me.


 I couldn’t understand what he was saying because of the distance, but it seemed that he was trying to mess with me but was stopped by his lackeys.



 While Miguel continues to live in a boarding house at the school in Ibouro, I have been taking part in the orc subjugation and bringing the deer and wild boars I hunted to the village by myself.


 The lackeys who remained in the village heard and saw me do these things, but I guess word never reached Miguel.



 I mean, there must be less than a week left of the fall break, so you should be thinking of ways to get along with Olivier.


 Just as Miguel was about to walk toward me, shaking off his cronies’ attempts to stop him, the plaza suddenly became noisy.



“It appeared! It seems to be the mountain to the east.” (Adventurer)


“East? Didn’t they say south?” (Adventurer)


“They must have moved, they said it was attacking a goblin colony.” (Adventurer)



 The people in the plaza gathered around the person who brought back the report, trying to get as much information as possible.


 Miguel and the others had also gone that way, so it would not have to be a troublesome commotion.



 I’m interested in the story of the Bronze Wolf, but right now the roasting of the Forest Mouse is more important to me.


 While adjusting the fire magic tool I made with void magic, I was turning over the Forest Mouse when I was approached by a voice.



“Are you not interested in the Bronze Wolf?” (Laius)


“You are… Mr. Laius.” (Nyango)


“Oh, you remember my name?” (Laius)



 The man standing in front of the stone hearth was the lizardkin adventurer who had helped me when I got tangled up with a horsekin adventurer in Ibouro’s guild.


 At that time, the onlookers around me said he was a B-rank.



“Thank you very much for saving me that time.” (Nyango)


“No, I don’t think you needed my help. Are you not going to participate in the subjugation?” (Laius)


“Well… To be honest, I was a little scared when I saw the Bronze Wolf.” (Nyango)


“Hou, did you see the Bronze Wolf?” (Laius)


“Yeah, the first time I spotted it, I just witnessed it, and the second time I saw it attack an adventurer on his way back from Ibouro.” (Nyango)


“Oh my, you’ve seen it twice. …Can I ask you a few questions?” (Laius)


“If you don’t mind helping my business… A small silver coin for a Forest Mouse, and five copper coins for a fish.” (Nyango)


“I see… you seem to be quite good at business.” (Laius)



 After Mr. Laius grinned, he then bought three Forest Mouses from me.




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