Hearing that notice, Bilky let out a small sigh of relief that no one could hear in this early afternoon.
Since the time he heard about the name of the orphanage in the matter of Lime Latte, what has been inside of him has gotten even heavier than before, and a request for assassination had been settled.
“…It is time to put an end.” (Bilky)
That was the answer that came out from the relief of his heart.
He has been working for quite a long time since basing himself at Tsige.
He doesn’t know how many lives he has taken.
In order to protect his psyche, he has purposely forgotten it.
He learned that he was not fit to this kind of job since the moment he learned about the hidden face of Morris.
Even if he had the ability to kill people, he didn’t have the mental fortitude to kill without any reason.
“I can’t eat meat by the side of a corpse.” (Bilky)
Morris probably can.
“I must talk to Keema and Carol about this as well. Well, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to turn into an actual restaurant.” (Bilky)
Being the eatery old man is a kind of humility from him.
The store of Bilky is one of the few high-class stores in Tsige, and its name is known around the important people of the town.
There’s no few instances where it is used for business entertainment, and there’s plenty income.
He has also build up enough reputation to be called a celebrity.
In other words, there’s no financial difficulty in retiring.
“…It will be stinking of blood for a while.” (Bilky)
Because he is not in a world where a single paper of retirement will work, after all.
It can’t be helped.
Bilky stood up and left to the town in a normal demeanor that wouldn’t make one think that his life is in danger at all.
He was prepared to be tailed and have assassins on him.
Who knows how many people he himself has killed because they wanted to retire. Just looking back at it made it feel endless to the point of laughing.
If you overcome it, you win; if you lose, you die.
He understands that’s how it works.
He showed a bright smile as he walks in the townscape of Tsige that is different from other settlements.
It is not on the level of bases inside the wasteland, but there’s a lawless, energetic, and violent kind of air in Tsige.
There may be order, but it is not something absolute.
It is not as if it is a town where violence can be found here and there though.
It is one of the lands affiliated to the Aion Kingdom, and yet, the merchants hold more power than the feudal lords, and the residents are comprised mostly of adventurers.
It is also the only town in the world that has a method to reliably obtain wasteland materials.
In these several decades, there hasn’t been any big changes in this town.
Aside from the Rembrandt Company growing exponentially.
Tsige simply had order to a certain extent.
The town is finally falling under the command of an influential power after a long time and reaching calm, is what Bilky thinks.
Rembrandt had given a certain level of order to both the back and front sides of the town, so it couldn’t be helped that Bilky would feel some respect towards him.
As a resident of the same town, he knows well that this is not something easy to achieve.
“Now then, in that case, the front face of the store—no, the store…I should try extending my hand for the sake of it.” (Bilky)
When the behind-the-scenes work is gone, his time in hand increases to an incredible extent.
But he can’t just take that time leisurely, and so, he tried to direct it at other work.
Bilky is a work person.
“A food cart…nah. The restaurant is open at meal times to begin with. I extended my hand to an eatery business, but it unexpectedly lacks novelty. I do have a good amount of branch stores though….. In the end, that’s the only choice, huh.” (Bilky)
While walking through the street, he pondered to see if he could find any ideas.
But since he runs a restaurant, he couldn’t find anything appealing enough to say ‘this is it!’.
The best way to stably expand a business is to make branch stores.
But he thought something like that wouldn’t be interesting.
“…A store that has a menu mainly focused in meat food. Places that act like meat stores have been standing out lately. Even if that other place has a long history, this shouldn’t be a time where you can just sit cross-legged. Just what is the owner thinking?” (Bilky)
Stores that narrow down their ingredients and provide specialized food are increasing in Tsige.
There’s also a variety of cuisines from different countries, but with just that, the town is in a state of oversaturation.
And on top of that, stores that use meat, fish, or vegetables as their pillars are beginning to appear.
Fortunately, there’s already an old established store in Tsige that mainly focuses on meat.
There’s already a model, so it is easy to copy.
Bilky speculates that, in a near future, this old store will be cornered by the meat stores in the vicinity and get crushed.
After pondering for a few seconds, he entered the store that provides meat food.
“For one.” (Bilky)
“Understood. Over here then!”
After instantly skimming the menu with his eyes once, he soon finishes ordering.
(How boring. Is something like this popular with the adventurers and young merchants of this era?) (Bilky)
The food that he serves in his store is cuisine of the Limia Kingdom.
Right now, he has sent two cooks to the kingdom for training.
He is properly getting the cooking techniques from the actual place and serving them in Tsige.
On top of that, he doesn’t simply bring them there. He also matches the taste and ingredients to the liking of the people in Tsige.
He brags about that being the reason he is prospering, and he has no intentions of changing that style of his in the near future.
But this store is different.
This is just an inferior copy of meat stores.
He almost let out a sigh from the simple sight of the menu, but when he waited for around 10 minutes and he saw the food that had been served, disappointment clearly showed in his eyes.
The ingredients and the skills of the cook are all of inferior quality.
The only saving is that the price is proportional to that.
(Cheap, fast, and tastes bad. As long as you put meat in the stomach, it is fine. This is a store for those kind of people. What a big miss I drew.) (Builky)
He didn’t feel like ordering drinks at all.
After finishing about half of it, he called for the waiter, and was going to pay and leave quite a big tip, and then leave, but at that moment…
[Excuse me, I would like to order.]
There was a strange-looking customer that ordered by writing with shining characters.
He has a mask that covers the upper half of his face.
He was clearly suspicious.
“Ah, yes. I will bring the bill—”
“No, I can go after. Please take his order first.” (Bilky)
Urging the flabbergasted waiter on, Bilky begins to check the masked customer.
(An assassin?…Doesn’t seem to be. I haven’t announced retirement yet after all.) (Bilky)
[Can you read?]
He writes by using magic to control light.
It was quite the irregular way of communicating.
There’s no doubt that he can’t speak.
It may also be an appeal that he is good with magic. Maybe there’s even an impediment with his hand as well.
Whichever it is, it is skillful, strange, and…suspicious.
The customer is a man, and he is alone.
The man orders a thick steak as recommended by the store.
Because the same thing is right in front of him after all.
This third-rate good that is as if they were saying ‘we have cooked a leather shoe sole’.
It is a dish that he would like to even praise himself for finishing half of it.
“Uhm, sorry for the wait. I will bring the bill now—”
“No need. I felt like staying here for a bit more. Bring me a non-alcoholic drink.” (Bilky)
Luckily, the rush hour has already passed.
The waiter had no complaints to the tip he received and stepped back with a pleased smile.
The masked man spread the documents he had in his hand while waiting for his order.
Bilky couldn’t see the contents of it from where he is sitting, but he didn’t look like an adventurer.
At first, Bilky had guessed that he was an adventurer from that appearance of his, and it felt as if he had been refuted.
Even so, his attire was too liberal to be a soldier.
He might be a mage…but the aura that’s around him felt like that of a thief as well.
In that case, he might be the type that has two jobs of being an adventurer but also a mage.
Is how the deduction of Bilky continued.
“Waka, it seems I have made you wait.”
[Tomoe, huh. No, you didn’t make me wait. For now, I think the application documents will go like this. Just in case, please check them out.]
“Well then, let’s see. Fumu…there doesn’t seem to be any problems.” (Tomoe)
[That was fast.]
“In our case, there’s not much annexed documents after all. It is mostly the name, the personnel that composes the place, and the report of the funds. There’s not much to check.” (Tomoe)
Company had come.
A cold sweat flows from Bilky.
Because he didn’t feel her presence at all.
That’s right. That blue haired woman with conspicuous attire, Bilky didn’t feel her presence at all until she had taken a seat.
In other words, if that woman called Tomoe felt like it…she could take the life of Bilky with a single stroke of that sword she had hanging on her waist.
For an instant, Bilky felt regret at deciding to stay here.
(There’s no way that sword is for decoration. Something outrageous has appeared.) (Bilky)
[I see. True. We don’t have a guardian, don’t have records of past duty, and don’t have debts either. Everything filled up easily with that huh.]
“Right. About the other things that we might need, the preparations are proceeding in order.” (Tomoe)
[Thanks, that’s a huge help.]
“But Waka with a company huh. It feels like it will be interesting.” (Tomoe)
Bilky doubted his own ears.
He obviously knows about companies.
It is that thing about merchants.
The one where you enter the guild and make.
From these two, the man called as Waka must be the higher one.
Is he really a merchant?
The inside of Bilky’s head was filled with question marks.
(No no no no no no! A guy that has a mask and can’t speak is the boss, and the swordsman that brings a cold sweat down my spine like an assassin is an employee?! What kind of joke is that?!) (Bilky)
But the talk continues on without a care for his feelings.
These two seem to be seriously planning on making a company and doing business.
The conversation continued on, and Bilky learned that the man doesn’t have a single bit of experience in running a business, that he has enough money to actually pay upfront the cost of making a store, and that he had passed the guild test not that long ago.
Bilky held his head in pain.
A mass of unreasonableness was right at his vicinity.
He was clearly different in type from all the merchants he knows. Just how can a laughable and ridiculous self-proclaimed merchant actually exist?
There was an undecipherable one right there.
[Well, after finishing the request this time around, we managed to get acquainted with an amazing merchant like Rembrandt-san. It might unexpectedly go well.]
‘No way it would go well, you flower garden brain’, is what Bilky wanted to retort with, but he heard a name he couldn’t ignore.
He made a long sigh.
Rembrandt here as well.
Bilky wanted to try getting involved for a bit with this stupid merchant, but he immediately threw away that thought.
(Well, let’s at least get information. I don’t want to step in a lion’s den without knowing.) (Bilky)
The man that decided on leaving the assassination business was thinking of gathering information on these two.
But after hearing the name of Rembrandt, that drive of his lowered, and soon after, he regained drive.
Waka and Tomoe.
After hearing the talk of these strange two about something that sounds to be the culture of a foreign country, he felt that staying was the correct decision and felt like pumping his fists in celebration.
It was a talk about eateries.
The masked man called Waka spoke about a system called delivery service.
It was when the woman Tomoe had talked about how it was so inconvenient to be unable to take out food in places other than food carts.
“We don’t see delivery services frequently here.” (Bilky)
A service where after getting the order, you stuff the food in a box and send it to the customer.
It is true that such service cannot be seen in Tsige.
With food carts, it is also normal to go there yourself and bring it back.
Bilky falls into thought.
There’s a lot of Limia dishes that don’t need to be freshly made to taste good.
Relishes, staple food, desserts; and by bringing a sense of high-class from the box that it will be stuffed in, it might serve as a way of entertaining the customer.
It would be a good idea to try it out on customers he is well acquainted with first.
No, before that, there’s the need for a prototype.
The dishes and the box; also the way of transport and the personnel.
Regarding the box, Bilky had an idea.
He has trained a girl called Carol.
He has trained her as an assassin, but he has also trained her in one other thing.
He had asked a wood craftsman to teach her.
If things go well, it might bring big money.
(This…feels like it might become something.) (Bilky)
Bilky stood up in a good mood.
He left money in his seat, and left the store while silently giving his thanks to the two mysterious people that were still talking.
“Nice. It is beginning to get fun! I haven’t lived out my life yet!” (Bilky)
He could see a new path to live in with him and the people he is together with.
There will still be dangers.
They might trip at some sudden happenings.
But in this town that is filled with energy, living a blood-reeked life and dying would be boring.
Even that incredibly young man, he has circumstances that make him don a mask and be unable to speak, and yet, he probably has moved to a lot of countries and has learned about a lot of things, and thought about doing business with that knowledge of his.
It was such a dazzling view that made him want to wash himself away from the behind-the-scenes business and work with a smile.
The current Bilky was sure that, compared to that Waka man, he still has a lot he can still do.
In his face, there’s a wide smile and fighting spirit.
The names of the Wades orphanage and Lime Latte had completely disappeared from the head of Bilky.
It was only a few months later when a high-class restaurant in Tsige had begun to gain fame as a well-known store after it began to do delivery services.