It is a word that has finally begun to spread after Tsige became a country.
A new word that’s beginning to gather envy right after the word Top Rankers that pertains to the top adventurers that head to the wasteland.
These people who are called regular patrons are the ones who are now able to freely come and go from the Mist Town which had been impossible to do so for the adventurers until now.
The Mist Town is called the Safe Room or the Mountain of Treasure in the wasteland, so the regular patrons are a target of never ending attention.
At times they would be tailed with animosity, and at times they would get proper reception; all of them trying to know the method to become regular patrons.
But it seems like they have been silenced by the ones of the Mist Town, most wouldn’t speak a word.
The Adventurer Guild is also being careful about getting involved with this matter as they communicate with the regular patrons.
It is without doubt one of the top secrets of the current wasteland, and it may be little by little, but it has begun to leak from a minority of adventurers.
It was right at this time.
“Aah! What’s the meaning of this?! The material I asked for is not coming in?! This is the top location to get materials in Tsige! You are the Muzo Company-san that has in stock stuff that doesn’t even show up in the market, right?!”
A bad natured man was raising his voice in a visibly splendid reception room of a company.
At his side there’s a slender man in fancy attire.
From the looks of it, a merchant or a scholar and their bodyguard.
That’s the kind of vibe the two give.
There was no sign of the two leaving despite how kind the receptionist was being.
Judging from their talk, the problem is because of the bad performance of the Muzo Company in fulfilling the contract, so leaving aside them being a nuisance and how loud they are, the issue lies with the company.
The receptionist could only lower her head and apologize.
The materials that can only be obtained in the wasteland are all special in their own way and powerful. In other words, they are used in important situations most of the time.
If it were a normal dispute between company and customer, it usually can be resolved with money, but there’s cases when both sides can’t back down.
“Customer-sama, we are truly sorry. I am the one who has been left in charge with the 1st Gathering Division; my name’s Sho. Let’s continue this in a different room… I will make sure it will by no means be a bad deal for you.”
This apology that looks sincere, and the polite and gentle smile she had as she guided them.
The two customers who were raising their voices loudly were led to a deep part of the store.
The female receptionist was unable to endure her tears and had to withdraw with a number of people accompanying her.
The one at the very front of the very long line of customers came up next, and a new business discussion began.
This is a situation that has been seen pretty often in the Muzo Company as of late.
“The coming and going of people is increasing instead of decreasing, and if we were just looking at the sales as a whole, it is on the rise. But what’s awaiting for the future are dark clouds; that’s the kind of feeling that sight of before gave.” (Muzo)
The representative of the Muzo Company frowned at a place that seems like the customers can’t see, but he can.
It is rare for someone as cold as him to show such emotions.
He was on the top two of Tsige’s ice cold faces together with the former Adventurer Guild branch chief, Lucas. Because of that, cold sweat flowed down from the forehead of the secretary.
By the way, Lucas has begun to sing praises about life, so right now the representative of the Muzo Company is the only one at the top of the ice cold faces.
“We have been steadily increasing the support adventurer parties, and we have been speaking to the skilled adventurers faster than anyone else by using the wasteland rankings.”
The one working as the secretary is a young woman.
This world is composed mostly of beautiful people, but within all of those, her attire and the etiquette she shows were also polished, and she possessed beauty that could pull gazes on her.
But well, the one who hired her also saw her ability when employing her though.
That’s why she didn’t get arrogant from her own beauty, and was able to do the necessary report swiftly.
“…How is the place of Toa-san doing?” (Muzo)
“‘They have formed a good relationship with several companies’, is how they leave it vague, so we haven’t been able to form an exclusive contract with them.”
“Honestly speaking, if the Kuzunoha Company were to take them in, we would be able to just give up though -just like that orphanage.” (Muzo)
“However, despite them being the undisputable first place, they are not regular patrons of the Mist Town. The qualifications to become one are still not clear.” (Muzo)
“Yes. But most of the parties that have spoken about their personal experience said that they were unable to come and go to the Mist Town after that.”
“…Meaning that we went through the trouble of giving money to promising adventurers just to lower their worth, huh.” (Muzo)
“It was my decision. There’s no fault in you. And?” (Muzo)
“Regarding the two of before, they were requesting amber inky cap mushrooms.”
“Amber inky cap mushrooms? …Raw?” (Muzo)
The representative tilted his head slightly at the material that was spoken of.
“No, they said it was okay even if it was dried.”
“That’s impossible. If I remember correctly, it is true that you can’t obtain them unless you are decently deep in the wasteland, but if it is okay even if they are dried, we should have in the inventory.” (Muzo)
He is right.
That material is something that can be obtained at pretty decent amounts even in the wasteland.
If it were raw, the difficulty would shoot up, but the dried ones can be stored, so it shouldn’t be a difficult job for the Muzo Company by any means.
The representative placed a hand on his forehead.
He could now see why those customers were so angry.
“…About that…it has become harder than predicted to maintain the materials. The rare materials that the contracted adventurers are bringing in has increased. The super rare items that wouldn’t have been difficult to stockpile before have increased in demand at an outstanding speed.”
“It was brought up as a topic of discussion last week, right? To think it would be at this speed. Looks like this isn’t the time to just be watching the number of sales go up.” (Muzo)
“A drastic change that even Patrick Rembrandt compared to a tsunami. I thought I had prepared myself for whatever would come but…this is overwhelming.” (Muzo)
A sigh leaked out from him.
“If the keel were to break while acting tough, it would spiral into a situation we won’t be able to recover from, huh.” (Muzo)
“I will be going out for a bit.” (Muzo)
“I will be back by evening. I want to share this information urgently, so please cancel the appointments I had tonight.” (Muzo)
“…Understood. I will call for a meeting at once. Is 3 okay?”
“Yes, I will leave it to you.” (Muzo)
The two wrap up the conversation smoothly.
The representative didn’t specify the place he would be going, but he did order what should be done.
The secretary obeys.
This is the usual sight for them.
She is a secretary, but at times she would serve as a double.
The representative of the Muzo Company that had been blessed with a capable talent had left onto the city of Tsige while the sun was still high up in order to at least serve as a stress buffer.
“Even though I am already having him be considerate with me… I don’t really want to put too much of a burden on him. I can’t ignore the glaring of Rembrandt-san either. Good grief. How long has it been since I have felt like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place?” (Muzo)
He wiped the sweat that didn’t come from the heat of the sun, and a truly rare complaint leaked out from the Muzo Company representative.
“You invited us to a splendid villa the other day, so I thought we were already on friendly terms, but I felt that we do need a chance for the two of us to talk directly.” (Muzo)
After Rembrandt-san and Capli-san, it is Muzo-san now, huh.
I understand that it can’t be helped that the amount of times I will be meeting with the central figures of Tsige will increase, but I thought that we had managed to coexist peacefully with the material gathering Muzo-san without any friction that stood out.
Depending on how this unfolds, there’s the possibility that a difficult problem will be pushed onto us.
I did have him come in, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is one heavy situation.
I think we are doing pretty well in coexisting with the Bronzeman Company, so it was an intention of mine to have an exchange of ideas in the near future.
The restructuring storm and Batoma-san seemed to be unrelated to us.
It seems like the relaxing state of before has done a complete 180 and competitiveness has been introduced aggressively, but I don’t have much of a relationship with any place suffering from that aside from the Resily Company, so…this may sound bad, but I thought of that situation as a foreign problem unrelated to us.
“It is not really to the level that it can be called a villa, but if you have taken a liking to it, it would be my pleasure if you were to go again with everyone.” (Makoto)
“I am glad to hear that. It would have been painful if that were my last time at a hot spring. Now then, as merchants, it would be painful to just waste our time with idle chatter, so I want to enter the main topic at once but… Uhm…how should I be seeing him?” (Muzo)
Muzo-san’s gaze was directed at a corner of the room.
At that place, there’s one man looking at the display.
That’s right, Patrick Rembrandt.
It has already become customary that, whenever it is the engine exhibition, he would show up.
I have followed his words about treating him as air, and there’s even times when he would stay at business discussions.
He does serve as a sort of charm that drives away evil intent, but there’s almost a 100% chance that the people who come would freeze in his presence.
Also, it is hard to wrap things up.
The clients would all pull back as if saying ‘there’s no way I can make a contract on the very day the top of the Rembrandt Company was present’.
“Argh…I won’t be beating around the bush here. You are on the way here, Rembrandt-san -to a terrible degree.” (Raidou)
“It is okay, Raidou-kun. I hear nothing.” (Rembrandt)
You are answering me with practically no lag-ssu.
Ah, that relaxed way of speaking from Orosha is still stuck in my mind.
“No matter how close you are, I have to question this degree of business obstruction.” (Muzo)
“Muzo, you probably just came here because your procurement of those so-called rare materials can’t keep up with the demand to a pitiful degree, right? I am not interested in the movements that I have already predicted, so you can speak as you please. Today, I am merely a stain on the wall.” (Rembrandt)
Rembrandt-san didn’t even direct his gaze here, as if he were talking to himself.
Muzo-san who had a frown was shocked by this.
Muzo-san turned his head here in a way that it felt as if I could hear creaking sounds, and was looking at me as if saying ‘I can’t take this guy’.
So he hit the mark, huh.
The wall stain that has a proper grasp of even what is about to be discussed while he is observing the engine model… It is a stain that a merchant would definitely be unable to ignore.
Of course, we can’t proceed with the talk as Rembrandt-san said.
It has already become a custom here, but it can’t be helped. I should execute it today as well.
Right after I finished clapping, the sound of knocking rang in the reception room, and Lime and Shiki entered.
Lime is one thing, but Shiki?
Even if they can’t be rough with Rembrandt-san, to think Shiki would come as well to take him away… Did something happen?
“Ah! Raidou-kun, a bit more! Just a bit more!” (Rembrandt)
The one being taken away is already used to this, so he already knows that he is going to be forcefully made to leave now.
“Boss Rembrandt…frequenting this too much is troubling…” (Lime)
“That’s right. If you are so interested in a model like this, buy it like the merchant you are. Ah, Waka-sama, it was purely a coincidence that I was here. It is because of some other business. I had just come back from delivering this.” (Shiki)
Shiki noticed my questioning look and he answered me before I asked.
He had a deck of cards in his hand.
It is something that was made to have the children of the orphanage get used to calculations.
It is impossible to think of this world in the same way as Japan, but it is pretty difficult to teach children.
I thought that it might be a nice way to learn stuff while having that feeling of playing.
They are simple cards with only single digits on them, and were made with four different bright colors to make them colorful.
Well, I heavily used the trump cards of my world as reference though.
With this, I would have them tinker with the numbers of the cards in their hand with basic arithmetic, for example 21 or 53; well, it is a game where you form the number required.
When they can go all the way to 3 digits, the Merchant Guild’s math problems won’t be too difficult and they will be able to pass it.
I actually thought it would be fine to teach them the abacus, but…sadly to say, I just remember it faintly, and it is not on a practical level.
That’s a shame. I should have properly learned it.
“I see. How were the reactions of the children?” (Makoto)
“A few understood the rules, but there’s still a long way to go. They are on a completely different level from the students I have been teaching until now, so I was also flustered as I taught them.” (Shiki)
“I see. You won’t be going there often, so it is okay for you to continue your planning centered on Rotsgard.” (Makoto)
What is it?
Rembrandt-san is looking silently at Shiki.
Muzo-san is also looking at me and Shiki as if this is a rare sight.
“Thanks, Waka-sama. Now then, Rembrandt-dono, I will have you take your leave for today. Lime.” (Shiki)
“…No, Shiki-dono.” (Rembrandt)
“You said just now that it is okay to buy the model, right?” (Rembrandt)
“Yes, I did. It is a mechanism and concept that’s not common in Tsige, but the technology itself that’s utilized isn’t that complicated. If it is just a mere model like this, depending on the negotiations, we can part with it. Waka-sama, as far as I can remember, there were no restrictions in selling what’s on display, right?” (Shiki)
“Well, yeah, I didn’t place any restrictions. A Stirling engine is pretty outdated now. It is quite loud, so there’s the need to choose where to put it…” (Makoto)
Also, I have already done a preliminary check for the ones that looked dangerous.
Rembrandt-san approached me at a distance too close for comfort, and suddenly shouted.
“I will be waiting for morning to night until your schedule is open! I would like you to please sell this to me, Raidou-kun! Then, tomorrow!” (Rembrandt)
Rembrandt-san didn’t wait to be led away forcefully by Lime and Shiki. He returned with a blissful face.
What was all that about?
“Aah…sorry for the wait, Muzo-san. Now, can you please tell me in detail what brought you here?” (Makoto)
Muzo-san was looking intently at the cards that Shiki had in his hand.
Hello, are we derailing again?
What’s going on with the big shots of Tsige lately?
“What is it?” (Makoto)
“Can you please show me the number game that you do with those cards?” (Muzo)
“What happened to the talk about the lack of the so-called rare materials?” (Makoto)
“Of course I would like to ask your opinion regarding that too, but when I heard about the new thing that was brought into the famous Weitz Orphanage, my interest was piqued.” (Muzo)
“…Lime, Shiki, do you have a bit of time?” (Makoto)
The two who somewhat missed the timing to leave the room nodded at my words.
Then, let’s try this out for a bit with 4 people.
“Let’s touch them for a bit first then. That would make things faster.” (Makoto)
“Ah, if that’s the case, I will go down and bring some snacks and drinks.” (Lime)
Lime showed consideration and quickly left the room.
Shiki walked to the table where Muzo-san and I were with cards in hand, and gave his greetings once again.
He spread the cards and gave him the simple rules of the game.
Yeah, it truly is easy to understand.
You have to freely use addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with the cards in your hand to form the number required.
The explanation for when you can’t think of a way or can’t form the numbers and have to change your cards in the hand were thorough and easy to understand.
“Currently, as long as you can make the number required, you are good to go. The one that declares the number correctly first wins.” (Shiki)
“For example; in a hand of 5 with 8, 8, 7, 9, 5 where the required number to make is 57, you would use 8×8-7 to make it, so if you bring out those 3 cards and present your calculation, you win. If an adult is playing it, there would be limitations to the use of the hand and the card exchanges, but this is in order to have children get used to calculations, so we are using lenient rules.” (Shiki)
…Well, there’s not much spice for adults to play it.
There’s no doubt it would be lacking.
The settings for the goal numbers were pretty difficult, so everyone did their best to make them.
That’s how much we want the Weitz Orphanage to show results to a certain extent.
At around the time when Shiki finished answering the questions of Muzo-san, Lime had returned with the snacks and the drinks.
There’s steam coming out though.
“I am back. When I went down, Mio-neesan gave me something saying that she wanted Waka-sama to taste it. Since there’s the chance, I thought we could use this instead of snacks. Hehe.” (Lime)
“Isn’t this chawanmushi <steamed tea bowl>? It is snacks for a card game, so beans or salami would have worked.” (Makoto)
It is hot and it needs a spoon to eat it… Well, that’s fine.
Chawanmushi is tasty.
“This is my first time seeing it, but it smells good. Something more to look forward to.” (Muzo)
“It is a steamed dish that uses eggs… Is there anything you can’t eat, Muzo-san?” (Makoto)
He seems to be happy about it, but there’s cases when depending on what’s in the chawanmushi, people can’t tolerate it, so I should at least ask.
Wait, what’s in it?
Will Lime know?
“I don’t have any issues with any kind of food. Thanks for your concern.” (Muzo)
“Lime, what’s in it?” (Makoto)
“Bird meat and mushrooms, apparently. If I remember correctly, it is restored amber inky cap mushrooms, water bamboo, and poison fire coral.” (Lime)
Stuff that can be seen in Tsige and things that are rarely seen; it is clearly an assortment of rare mushrooms.
Well, that should be okay then.
“! I knew that it was the right move to come here.” (Muzo)
“Don’t mind it. Now then, let me play a bit.” (Muzo)
“Understood. Then, you come sit here as well, Lime.” (Makoto)
The raw material gathering Muzo Company, huh.
It is a place we didn’t have much connection with until now.
I might be able to learn what kind of person he is today.
If I can do that, the time here would be a bit fruitful.