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Magi Craft Meister 438

13 Stronghold Enhancement Arc

13-26 Gossip 24 – Eric’s Shop

 

 

The Raglan Firm had a branch store in Kaina Village, and its manager was Eric.

 

The products sold there were daily necessities, clothing, seasonings, a few number of books, and so on.

 

In short, it was a general store of sorts.

 

It also had a workshop in it, and during the morning, they would produce most of its everyday goods there.

 

 

“I-Is it really okay for me to borrow this place?”

 

“Sure, as long as you keep doing your business in this village.”

 

It was a two-storey shophouse in a large plot of land. He was rather worried about being able to use it completely rent-free.

 

“Just don’t make Barbara cry.”

 

“Eh, ah, sure, don’t worry about it.”

 

Those were the conditions under which he would be allowed to use this two-storey shophouse together with its stable, carriage house, and warehouse.

 

On the first floor of the house, there was a workshop on the back and a store at the front, with a kitchen, washroom, and toilet.

 

There are four bedrooms on the second floor, all furnished with beds. There also were two very comfortable-looking futons, which was something Eric had never seen before.

 

It also had a simple toilet with a sink.

 

The rent for a place like this in the capital would cost well over 10,000 Tolls a month.

 

Jin had thought about giving it to them if Eric ever married Barbara, but he hadn’t told them about that yet.

 

 

*   *   *

 

 

“Hello, Eric.”

 

“Hey, Barbara.”

 

The village mayor’s niece, Barbara, came to help every day. There wasn’t a single soul in the village that didn’t know that those two were a couple.

 

“What are you making today?”

 

“Ah, here, look.”

 

Eric showed her a half-finished item.

 

“Oh, a water gun?”

 

Jin had made these last year too.

 

“Yeah, I’ve seen kids playing with these before, so I thought they’d sell well.”

 

“To sell… Ah, at the main store?”

 

“That’s right.”

 

Normally the opposite was true, but the Raglan Firm had noticed the fact that Kaina Village would be a good base for transmitting new culture.

 

“By the way, Eric…”

 

“Hmm?”

 

“Umm… How… How long do you think we can stay?”

 

“Here in Kaina Village? Hmm… I think at least for a year.”

 

“Ah, I see.”

 

Eric was actually the grandson of the president of the Raglan Firm. Because of his high aptitude for Engineering Magic, he attended the Cecilio Magic School at the royal capital for about two years and learned all of the basic techniques.

 

“Alright, it’s done.”

 

A water gun made by processing muscovite gathered from the mountains in the north. It looked like a pistol. After adding water, Eric tried pulling the trigger…

 

Water should have shot out from the tip, but instead it spewed out from the gaps that were open here and there.

 

“Whoops.”

 

“Kyaaa! It’s cold!”

 

The two of them ended up being soaked from top to bottom. In particular, Barbara was wearing a thin linen jacket, so the moment she realized some things were starting to show through it, things went a little awkward.

 

“D-Don’t look!”

 

“A-Ah, sorry!”

 

Both of them went completely red in the face, and Eric stood there as Barbara turned around and ran off somewhere.

 

 

*   *   *

 

 

The store opened at noon.

 

“Umm, do you have pepper?”

 

“Yes, welcome! How much do you need?”

 

“100 grams, please.”

 

“That’ll be either 400 Tolls or 200 grams of Magi Sand.”

 

“Here, 400 Tolls.”

 

“Thank you very much.”

 

In Kaina Village, Magi Sand, pen nibs, and rubber balls have started being used as currency for the first time. At the same time, it also accepted traditional bartering.

 

The Raglan Firm had a long relationship with Kaina Village, so it was quite convenient. Of course, it was undeniable that there is a reason for the village to be managed by Jin.

 

That’s why the Raglan Firm wanted to cherish that relationship with Kaina Village, and by extension, with Jin.

 

 

A shop like the one Eric had set up in the small village like Kaina, which had about 30 houses in total, was not very likely to be flooding with customers.

 

Eric was able to handle most of the sales by himself.

 

So the reason for opening a new branch there was “to find a new product”.

 

After closing the store at around 3 pm, Eric would go around the village, expecting to find various new discoveries.

 

Today, he was heading towards Nidou Castle.

 

He went there bringing some sweets from his shop. Barrow and Belle seemed to be taking a little break, as they were drinking tea in a corner of the cafeteria.

 

“Good afternoon.”

 

“Huh? Ah, welcome! Mr… Eric, right?”

 

“Yes, I’m Eric from the Raglan Firm. I have some questions for you, is now a good time?”

 

“Yes, we were just taking a short break.”

 

Eric’s nose twitched as if to say “Ah, that’s great then”, and presented the sweets he had in his hand.

 

Then, he noticed some yellow things he had never seen before in front of Barrow and Belle. He wondered if they were some kind of food, since they had cut markings all over.

 

“Um, what are those you’re eating?”

 

“Ah, these are called hotcakes. I know! Why don’t you try some, Mr. Eric?”

 

Belle then stood up, got some powder from the shelves, mixed it with eggs and milk, and began to stir.

 

“Ah, thanks. Umm, here. I brought these for you.”

 

“Ah, thank you very much.”

 

Barrow nodded politely after accepting Eric’s gift.

After being invited to take a seat and having a chat with Barrow, Eric started to notice that something smelled good.

 

“Here you are.”

 

After 10 minutes, Belle was back with the hotcakes. Peridot 101 had made it possible to make them here as soon as they started to be made on Hourai Island.

 

That, of course, had been done that way so that Jin could enjoy some hotcakes while in his castle.

 

“So these are hotcakes, huh?”

 

“You can add as much butter, syrup, or jam you’d like.”

 

“T-Then I’ll have some syrup, please.”

 

Typically, syrup is made by boiling sugared water, and although most of the sugar would turn slightly brownish, the syrup here was colorless and transparent.

 

In other words, it used pure white refined white sugar. Eric was astonished to learn this. He even wondered if they would charge him for the syrup later.

 

However, seeing Barrow and Belle in front of him with a generous amount of butter and syrup, Eric decided he’d do the same. He took a bite…

 

“…Delicious.”

 

Eric also immediately fell in love with its taste. It seemed to go well with the elegant simplicity of tea.

 

“I’m glad you’re enjoying them.”

 

Eric was so absorbed into his delicious hotcakes that he could hardly hear Belle’s voice.

 

“Umm, could you teach me how to make these hotcakes?”

 

“Hmm, let me see. I’d have to ask permission from Master Jin.”

 

She turned him down instantly

 

A few days later, when Jin returned to Kaina Village, Eric begged him to teach him how to do it for 100,000 Tolls, just as he had with the pumps.

 

 

*   *   *

 

 

Eric opened the store at 4 PM. Customers would come in to get their groceries for dinner.

 

“I’d like a kilogram of sugar, please.”

 

“Yes, that’ll be 10 pieces of animal fur.”

 

“And salt as well.”

 

“Sure, it’s 150 Tolls per kilogram.”

 

And when the Sun of that long summer day was beginning to set, the bell in Nidou Castle announced that it was 6 PM.

 

The idea of daylight saving time had become very popular, so after some consideration, it had been established that during winter, the clocks would be set one hour back.

 

At that time, Barbara came to the shop to help with closing and calculating the sales for the day.

 

“Have you had dinner yet, Eric?”

 

“No, not yet. I can prepare it after I’m done with today’s accounting.”

 

“Would you like to come to my house to eat tonight?”

 

“Eh? Really? I’d love to!”

 

“It’s settled! Then I’ll help you finish calculating the sales…”

 

Eric was surprised by her words. It was unusual for a rural girl like her to know her way with numbers.

 

“Thanks… But, can you count, Barbara?”

 

“Don’t look down on me! I may not look it, but I’ve studied hard!”

 

Barbara then sat next to Eric and started working with the numbers. Looking anxiously sideways, Eric was surprised at how accurate and fast she was.

 

“That’s right. Miss Mine taught me how to do this. It’s easy to just add up the daily sales and subtract the cost.”

 

Actually, she had taken special accounting classes precisely because she wanted to help Eric, but she wouldn’t admit to that.

 

“You’re a great help, Barbara.”

 

“…(Do you think I’d make a great wife?)”

 

“Huh? Did you say anything?”

 

“N-Nah! Must have been your imagination! …Anyway, all’s done here!”

 

“I’m done on my end as well.”

 

Barbara stood up vigorously, and grabbed Eric by the hand.

 

“Let’s go, then!”

 

“Y-Yeah.”

 

Only the rising moon was watching the two walking in affectionate harmony.

 

 

…Or so they’d wish it to be, but on their way from Eric’s shop to Giebeck’s house, they were actually seen by many villagers like Martha, Hanna, Jonas, and Nona… And Eric already knew that the cat was out of the bag.

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