Chapter 13 – The price of potions
I ran into a goblin on my way home, but I killed it by beheading it.
Is it common for monsters to appear in the depths of the forest? Perhaps that’s why the other children were collecting herbs only near the entrance.
When I ran into them on my way home, they seemed to be startled when seeing me emerge from the depths of the forest.
I think even a novice adventurer would be able to beat a single goblin though?
Well, I’m unarmed, so I guess that could make them worry.
And it seemed like the other children had also just finished collecting herbs, so they started going home with me.
“H-hey.” A boy spoke to me.
He seemed to be around 14 or 15 years old. He had short black hair and seemed to be quite lively.
When I turned my face towards him, I saw that his expression showed worry, “You just came out of the depths of the forest.” He stated.
“Yes. I was gathering herbs.” I replied.
“I-idiot! The forest’s depths are dangerous! A girl shouldn’t go there alone!” He exclaimed.
He is angry because I went to the forest’s depths while unarmed, I suppose? But I can use magic, so it’s not like I was in danger.
Ah, but it would be dangerous if I was in a situation where I couldn’t use magic. Perhaps it might be good to try obtaining a sword for self-defense.
… But I don’t know how to use a sword.
“It’s alright. I got back safely.” I told him.
“That doesn’t make it okay! Listen! You shouldn’t go deep into the forest again!” He replied, then left.
Well, he was worried for me, wasn’t he? Ain’t he quite the good boy?
… Though I have no intention of heeding his advice.
Nonetheless, while I walked towards the city, I wondered if I should have thanked him for the worry.
Well, let’s not think too much about this and leave it at that.
After arriving at the city and entering the guild, I immediately went to the place where I could deliver the herbs I collected.
I talked to the bald man from yesterday, the one that received the orc corpses, and he once again had to look around for a bit before finding me.
Am I really that small…?
“Oh, you’re yesterday’s girl. What do you want today?” He asked me, after he found me.
“I’m delivering some medicinal herbs and a few other materials. Please purchase them.” As I said that, I took out the herbs and goblin corpses from the Storage.
Perhaps because I collected everything that caught my eye, I ended up having a decent amount of herbs on me.
I organized them in total of ten bundles, and tied them up with vines, so as to make it easy to assess them.
The bald man seemed to be paying much more attention to the goblin corpses than to the herbs though. His expression was quite dumbfounded as he analyzed them.
“An extremely clean beheading once again. It’s really unusual to see corpses delivered in such a clean state.” He told me.
“Is it really?” I asked.
“It is. It’s extremely hard to be able to kill monsters so cleanly after they already started a violent battle against you.
“Most materials I receive tend to be much more damaged than these.” The bald man explained.
I see. So that’s why he was surprised when I brought the orc corpses.
I wasn’t aware of it before, but since the purchase price goes up if the monster is killed in a clean manner, then I think I’ll keep on trying to deal as little damage to their corpses as possible.
“And the medicinal herbs you took are also cleanly taken from the roots… Right, you have Storage, so that’s unsurprising. It’s truly a convenient skill.” He told me.
Then, he sighed, and put the money on my guild certificate.
The goblins were worth a total of two small gold coins, and the herbs amounted to seven silver coins.
It was a decent amount of money, but the herbs really aren’t worth much, after all. I wish I could process them into something more valuable than this.
Oh, right, I should ask him about that.
“Uncle, where can I buy potions?” I asked him.
“Potions? Ask the tavern keeper. He sells potions there too.” The bald man replied.
Huh? On the tavern? I thought I had no reason to go there, but it seems like I’ll have to visit it to buy potions. This is somewhat surprising.
“Thank you. I’m going then.” I told the bald man.
“Though in your case, I think you might want to get some armor before buying potions, missy.” The bald man replied.
Armor? Well, I’m sure that has its uses.
After all, I haven’t been in danger when facing monsters so far, because I have always had the initiative. I can’t be sure that I’ll be safe if I’m ambushed by the enemies.
I suppose I should buy an armor at some point, then.
But for now, let’s get a potion.
I reported the completion of the request to the receptionist, then headed to the tavern.
It was already past sunset, so the tavern was filled with adventurers.
And as soon as I entered it, I started feeling a lot of glares coming my way. The glares of people who were staring at prey.
Is it really that rare for a child to come here? There should be other children than just me who work as adventurers.
… Well, maybe it’s because I look younger than what they expect of a ten years old child, even if I’m already eleven… Ugh, I hate being this short.
I trotted to the counter, trying to not make eye contact with anyone.
The man at the counter seemed to already be on his 50s. He seemed to be quite austere.
“Excuse me.” I called his attention.
“Welcome. You wish for drinks or medicine?” He asked me.
“Medicine. I want to see some potions.” I replied.
“What kind of potion?” He asked.
“Uhn… Recovery? A recovery potion.” I told him.
He nodded, then turned around and went to a shelf located behind the counter.
Differently from the receptionist or the bald man who buys monster corpses, the tavern keeper was, thankfully, undaunted by my appearance.
This surely felt nice, for a change. To not be treated like a small child.
Soon enough, the man returned with three small, transparent vials in his hands. Each one contained a pale green liquid within it.
“This is a low-level recovery potion. This is the medium-level potion, and this is the high-level one.” He said as he pointed to the vials.
While the vials had slightly different shapes, the liquid inside them all looked the same.
However, when I stared closely at them, I realized that the higher-level potions had a higher concentration of magic power within them.
Is their only difference the amount of magic used during the potion-creating process? Or is there a difference in the materials too?
I tried using Appraisal on the potions, and saw that there was a slight change in what materials each potion used.
Well, even if the material change isn’t big, the effectiveness can still change plenty.
It’s just like normal medicine. Completely different effects can be obtained depending on the timing at which you combine each ingredient.
I suppose I have no choice but to try experimenting with it to figure out how to make a potion with the effect I want.
“Which one are you buying?” The tavern keeper asked me.
“A low-level one, please.” I replied.
“It will be one silver coin.” He said.
That’s quite expensive… If that’s the price of the low-rank potion, then how expensive will the middle and high-level ones be?
I don’t think I can afford purchasing those… At least not for now.
So, I took out a silver coin from my guild badge, paid it, then received the potion.
I didn’t buy this to use it, but instead, I bought it to have a sample.
Due to Appraisal, I can grasp the materials used in the potion to some extent.
And from what I have seen, the low-level potions are made with materials that are fairly easy to obtain.
Therefore, I might be able to reproduce this.
If I am indeed able to make a potion, then I’d like to come buy a medium-level potion later on, so as to have a better sample available to me.
However, I can’t craft potions yet, so there is no need for me to spend money on an expensive sample. I can buy the medium-level potion after I get confident enough in my potion-making abilities.
So, I thanked the tavern keeper and hurriedly left the guild.
It’s a relief that nobody tried talking to me, but I was still afraid of their gazes.
After returning to the inn, eating and taking a bath, I returned to my room.
Then, I took out the potion that I bought earlier, and started staring at it.
The bottle was about the same size as the palm of my hand, and it had a rounded shape.
The liquid inside it was green, and judging by its color, it was probably done by extracting the juice of medicinal herbs.
This is corroborated by my Appraisal skill, which is showing medicinal herbs as the ingredients. The same medicinal herbs that I collected from the forest, in fact.
Though the potion also emanates a faint magical power, which might not necessarily come from the ingredients alone.
I don’t know how effective a low-level potion is, but it should be better than using the medicinal herbs as is, at the very minimum.
The effect will change based on what herbs are used, how they’re combined, and when they’re added to the concoction for sure.
… But what about the magical power? Does it act as a neutralizer? Or perhaps an enhancer for the effect? Maybe it’s what links everything together?
… I want to know how it works.
“Haku. You seem to be having fun.” Aria told me.
I was looking at the potion while thinking of all that, but Aria suddenly flew in front of me, then sat on top of the potion bottle.
“I am?” I asked.
“Yes. You’re grinning.” She pointed at my face.
With her words, I instantly paid attention to my own mouth and… Yes, I was smiling.
I was looking forward to researching potions alright, but I didn’t realize I was this eager.
Well, for now, I put the potion back inside my Storage.
Aria flew to my shoulder, now that her sitting spot was taken away.
“What are you going to do now?” She asked me.
“I think I’ll try making a potion.” I replied.
It’s easy to become an adventurer, but it’s also a dangerous profession.
Since I’m just starting out, I shouldn’t need to worry about it too much, but if my rank rises in the future, then I might start taking on subjugation requests.
When that happens, I’ll inevitably start getting injured. It would be very convenient to have potions with me by then.
Of course, I can use healing magic, so I can heal myself if needed, but potions can be easily and instantly used by anyone, which is a tremendous upside of them.
Moreover, it would be more profitable to sell potions instead of medicinal herbs, so I’d also like to work on that.
Though well, this is mostly a pretext to justify my potion research. What I really want, is to fulfill my desire to understand that which I don’t know.
I’ve always had the habit of thoroughly investigating anything that interested me, whether it was at work or at my private life.
Due to that, I was able to develop new medicines at work, and sometimes beat bosses that were said to be unbeatable in certain games.
I don’t try learning about things that I have no interest on, but if something does catch my interest, then I definitely want to properly understand how that thing works.
Of course, if there is no way to find it out, then I can give up, but otherwise, I keep pursuing this knowledge that I crave.
“Oh, potions? Well, it’s Haku that we’re talking about. I’m sure you’ll be able to make them in no time.” Aria told me.
“You’re giving me way too much credit.” I replied.
“Not really. You did learn how to use magic right away, after all.” She said.
I was only able to learn magic quickly because Aria’s spells were accurate and beautiful though.
Otherwise, even if I was able to memorize the magic circles, they would still be horribly inefficient and inaccurate ones.
Without Aria’s help, it would have surely taken me much longer to master the usage of magic circles.
So, my success doesn’t come out of my own power, but of Aria’s. I’m aware of this much.
… Well, if anything, I guess I can be proud of the fact that I made spells that can be used on daily life.
In any case, after chatting with Aria for a bit, I went to sleep, as I wanted to go to the forest early tomorrow.