Magic Swordsman Chapter 65: Unscrupulous Merchant

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“Let’s go to the merchant who sold the house to Lily-san.” (Marie)



 Marie joins our group, and we head to the property trading company.


 I walked behind Marie. Behind me is Esther, who is still covered with a menacing air, and a grumpy Lily.


 All the men on the road had slack expressions when they saw Marie, looking at me and said, “He’s walking with three women!” “Normies explode!” People might’ve clicked their tongue. So I quickly looked away only to see Esther and Lily behind me.



“Do your best.” (Lily)


“Don’t die!” (Esther)



 For some reason, the men who passed by sent me a silent cheer.


 Our group arrived at the property trading company and rang the bell placed at the counter.


 Until the clerk appears, I was looking at the paper hanging over the wall.



(Similar to a house rental company, do they post good properties?)



 Rental rooms are apartment-style and start from 10 silver coins.


 Houses for sale start from 40 gold coins.


 If the commoners live modestly, they can live on five silver coins a month.


 With that in mind, 10 silver coins for renting a room is too expensive.



(The demand is increasing because there was a fire, but isn’t it a little too expensive…?)



 At that time, a balding man appeared from the back of the store, who appeared to be the owner.


 The shopkeeper smiled a grimy, slightly oily smile and rubbed his hands together.



 “Welcome. What are you looking for?” (Shopkeeper)


 “I have something to check about the property we recommended to the lord the other day.” (Marie)



 Marie asked with a different expression, not quite the usual receptionist expression she wore.


 It’s like an inspector or something.


 Perhaps he noticed the tension within the atmosphere, the shopkeeper sat down and gave a questioning look.



“Excuse me, but who are you?” (Shopkeeper)


“I’m Marie, the Deputy Chief of the Reception Department of the Adventurer’s Guild.” (Marie)


“I’m sorry for this. I didn’t think the deputy chief of the reception department is such a beautiful person—” (Shopkeeper)


“You don’t need to flatter. Can you just answer what I was inquiring on?” (Marie)



 The shopkeeper, whose words are blocked by Marie, raised an eyebrow sullenly.


 However, the expression disappeared immediately and is instead replaced by a flattering smile.



“Yes. yes. That was a second-hand house. What happened to the property?” (Shopkeeper)


“Actually, you said that the property purchased by the lord was also purchased by Lily, a ‘B-rank adventurer’. I came to check if there was something wrong with the sale.” (Marie)



Marie deliberately emphasized the part “B-rank adventurer”.


 Perhaps because of that, the shopkeeper’s shoulders shook as if he was quite frightened.


 The bald head, which should have been dry before, is shiny with a light sweat.


 The shopkeeper stroked his head and laughed probably thinking of a way to deceive us.



“I’m happy to say that our store is currently in great demand. The number of contracts signed is more than ten times the usual number. So, I may have handed you the wrong key by accident. Oh, hahahaha!” (Shopkeeper)


~3rd Person Perspective~


 Marie, who was observing the shopkeeper, wondered, “I see.”


 The fact that the lord (to be precise, the head butler) has entrusted Marie with the task of ascertaining the reality of the market, which is why Marie is now getting involved with Toru and company’s dispute and even escaping from her reception duties to show up at the property trading company.


 The reality is that Marie’s job is to understand the real state of the market and if the prices of properties are excessively rising.


 It is up to the merchant to price his or her products. It doesn’t matter what kind of price they put on a product, if it is too expensive, it won’t sell.


 If it’s too expensive, it won’t sell and if it’s too cheap, it won’t make a profit.


 If they don’t price their products properly, it will all just lead to the merchant struggling.


 However, Finlis is different now that the fire has happened.


 The demand for housing has risen significantly, so they can price properties even at eye-popping prices.


 Naturally, the lord doesn’t believe that merchants’ profits should be curtailed.


 The more money the merchants make; the more tax revenue he would receive.


 But as a lord, he would not overlook price hikes that take advantage of people’s misfortune and weakness.


 Because the lord is now working towards getting the citizens to live the same life as before the fire as soon as possible.


 The drastic hike in the selling price of the merchants’ properties is an obstruction to the lord’s plan on helping his citizens’ recovery.


Investigating the veracity of unjustified price hikes.


 The guild had received a request from the lord, of course.


 However, when Marie actually visited the Chamber of Commerce, she felt somewhat uncomfortable.



“Investigate the veracity of unjustified price increases”



 Yes, the guild was tasked by the lord.


 However, Marie who actually visited the company sensed something seemed fishy.



(It seems that it’s not just about raising the price. There seems to be something else happening underneath)



 The sense of being a receptionist cultivated over many years makes her realize that this shopkeeper is hiding something.


 So how should she approach?


 As Marie was worrying, Toru appeared from the side with a piece of paper.



“I’m sorry. It’s this property.”


“Ah……” (Marie)



 When I saw the paper, the shopkeeper’s face said, “I’m a goner!”


 Marie hurries to see the paper. However, it is property information and that is not unusual.


 What on earth did the man react to?


 As Marie leaned her head, Toru came forward.



“This property is exactly the same as the one we got from the lord, but why is it still posted on the ‘For Sale’ bulletin board?”


“No, I just forgot to take it down after I sold it! I didn’t actually sell it!” (Shopkeeper)



 The shopkeeper shook his head when asked by Toru.


 Then he hurriedly snatched the paper and tore it to pieces.



“I’m sorry. I was so busy that I forgot to take it down.” (Shopkeeper)


“Is that so? By the way, where can I make a duplicate key by the way?”


(…….) (Shopkeeper)



 He didn’t answer Toru’s question this time.


 ――No, he can’t answer.


 The shopkeeper’s face is pretty pale.


 A large amount of sweat was flowing down his forehead.



“Marie-san. Do you know of a place where you can make a duplicate key?”


“Yes, I have some ideas.” (Marie)


“Oh, I see.”



 With that said, Toru got even closer to the shopkeeper.


 He spoke near the shopkeeper’s ear as if to reveal a secret.



“How often did you make a duplicate key? If I look it up, I’ll know right away. Still, do you want to wait before telling us?”


“………… *Gulp*” (Shopkeeper)


“The ones asking are the Adventurer’s Guild, a B-rank Adventurer, and the Lord. You should think carefully about what to do next.”



 Toru’s voice was so cold that even Marie, who should have been investigating, had her spine chilled.


 If his gaze pointed at her, even Marie wouldn’t be willing to resist.



(The results are already out…) (Marie)



 As Marie had expected, the shopkeeper confessed to her his crimes one after another.


 Not only did this store raise the price, but it was also involved in multiple sales of a single property to multiple people.


The criminals said they were selling their properties that way…… because it was a fun way to make money.


 The shopkeeper was grabbed by military police called by Marie and taken him to jail.


 Marie thought while looking at the shopkeeper who is being carted away.


 ――Since Toru-san started talking, he’s been cornered easily.


 There isn’t much evidence at this point, so the shopkeeper should have been able to deceive us if he wanted to.


 After Marie and the others left, the worst thing that could happen is that the locksmith used to hold a large amount of money to disguise the multiple sales.


 However, the shopkeeper confessed easily.


 It was as if he was using the confession technique used by the priests.



“I wonder if he lost due to the intimidation of Toru-san.” (Marie)



 She doesn’t know why the man confessed so easily, but it gave her important information.


 If she collects this information and conveys it to the lord, it will be considered as a guild’s success.



(I couldn’t do anything during the Finlis raid, so I have to do something somehow…) (Marie)



 In Finlis, the credibility of the Adventurer’s Guild remained rock-bottom.


 The guild must work as one to do everything in its power to earn even the slightest credit.



(Thanks to Toru-san, I think I can make a report soon. Maybe I should invite him to a meal next time? Ufufu) (Marie)




 Marie walking towards the guild was already manic about how to persuade a promising adventurer to a meal with her.


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