- Translator: amenym
- Editor: Anonymous_Neko
- Proofreader: Rinkage
Chapter 67 Decorative Lace Smells of a Swindler
“Hey, Diana. I think I’ve met that person somewhere before.” [Jirou]
“My my. What a coincidence, my Master. I recall having seen that purple hair too.” [Diana]
“Looking at it like this, it’s definitely gaudy.” [Jirou]
“The hair?” [Diana]
“No. The armour… That equipment is unbecoming of a peaceful town like Erishe, isn’t it? I personally think that it’s super cool. But when it’s a single one like that, it only looks like a punishment game.” [Jirou]
“Is that so? I don’t feel like it’s out of place…” [Diana]
“I guess that the case in this world. But-” [Jirou]
Marina was arguing with the shop owner over something in front of the said shop.
I’d thought she was buying a birthday present for Aurica, but was she intending to buy the product related to the Elves’ village?
“– don’t they look like they’re arguing?” [Jirou]
“It does look that way. Shall we call them?” [Diana]
“… no. Let’s observe a little. I’m curious about what Marina will do.” [Jirou]
“It really is a coincidence, my Master. I too think that that is a good idea.” [Diana]
“It sounds malicious when you’re the one saying it though.” [Jirou]
“That’s a false accusation, my Master. That is just how an elder sister watching over her idiot little sister would think.” [Diana]
“You say it’s a false accusation, but you clearly called her an idiot!” [Jirou]
When Marina first came to this town, she was basically fully equipped in a knight’s armour and was walking around with a halberd in hand. When she was together with Diana and me, it didn’t feel that out of place since Diana was “like that”, but when she was alone, it was terribly eye-catching. Even if that weren’t the case, she is a Turk. You don’t usually see other Turks on the streets, and there aren’t a lot of them in this region.
If one of them was arguing at a booth in a market, it would be super eye-catching.
Diana and I watched on, partly due to interest. If it starts to look dangerous, I’ll intervene.
“Why? Why won’t you sell it to me?” [Marina]
It seemed that they didn’t want to sell it to her.
“Yer persistent. If I say I ain’t sellin’, then I ain’t sellin’. Tsk.” [Shop owner]
That’s one curt and unfriendly shop owner.
“… If it’s money, I do have it.” [Marina]
“It’s not about the money. We sell magical Elves’ village products. It’ll ruin our reputation if we sell to a fake Elf. Tsk. A Turk dressing above her station…” [Shop owner]
Mm hm… So this is the discrimination against a Turk. Sure enough, they’re being persecuted… Not exactly to that extent, but… It’s a clear expression of discrimination…
In fact, when she was together with Diana and or me, she didn’t come across such discrimination (Chubby aside). That was probably because one shouldn’t be outrightly rude to the slave when their owner was around, such a thing as in certain words, manner exists.
When she bought a knight’s armour from a blacksmith, then too, the owner was smiling all the way, but he was probably thinking of something along the lines of, ‘even though she’s a Turk’, just like this booth owner.
I wondered if that was why Marina avoided going along with me. It didn’t seem like that was her intention, but you could never fully understand what was in the depths of another’s thoughts.
“Diana, can you see what is being sold at the booth? They said they’re specialties from the Elves’ village?” [Jirou]
A High Elf’s eyesight is comparable to a Khoisan man’s. It’s 50 metres away from the booth, but it should be easy for her.
“Eh… Hm… That’s… lace? It looks like they’re selling lace.” [Diana]
“You mean lace, as in that thing made by weaving threads? That lace?” [Jirou]
“Yes. It looks like a decorative lace shop.” [Diana]
A lace shop? That’s rare.
That being said, while I deal in cloth, I haven’t dabbled in lace.
“Is lace production prospering in the Elves’ village?” [Jirou]
“No… at least to my knowledge, there are no lace weavers…” [Diana]
As I expected, it’s a fraud?
Like “I’m from (the direction of) the fire station”? In this case it’s “from (the direction of) the Elves’ village”, I see. It’s outdated even for a fraud.
Marina retreated unwillingly, chased away by the owner. She looked back to the shop for a bit, chewing her bottom lip. I don’t think she’s given up.
Now then, shall I screw this half-baked swindler up.
It’s easy for me to buy the lace for Marina or to condemn the owner and reveal the lace as fraudulent goods on the spot.
But my anger will not be dissipated with that. It’s not that I’m standing up for justice. I have no mercy for a business rival who’s racist.
“Diana, I’ll punish that guy, so wait here a little. Depending on the situation, I might need you to cooperate. I’ll give you the details later.” [Jirou]
“? Okay.” [Diana]
I approached the sham of a booth.
It seemed like they were selling decorative lace. Tape lace with flower or grass design, square decorative lace with geometric patterns, and simple lace handkerchiefs.
The one that was most familiar to us was probably lace curtains. But they weren’t just any factory-made stuff. Naturally, they were handmade albeit not very well made and the design were not exactly intricate.
Something was written in large font on the signboard, but unfortunately, I still couldn’t read the language here. I supposed it was something like “Laces directly imported from the Elves’ village”.
I spoke to the shop owner.
“Uhm, is this the shop dealing in Elves’ village products?” [Jirou]
“Yeah. That’s right. Won’t you buy something? These’re special Elves’ village products, so they’re… not exactly cheap.” [Shop owner]
Somehow, he didn’t know about me.
It didn’t seem like he came up with this sales idea from knowing about Diana and I.
If that’s the case, this’ll be easy.
“… Heh… This lace is from the Elves’… It looks just like ordinary lace, but I’m sure there’s a wonderful divine protection on it.” [Jirou]
“Hehehe. It’s hand made by elves, so even if it doesn’t look special, it has as you said, spiritual protection.” [Shop owner]
I see… All is as I expected. They attached a non-existent effect to a product without much value to jack up the price… It was a cheat and spiritual fraud hybrid. Well, this is a world in which there actually are items with spiritual protection, so I can’t really use the term spiritual fraud.
Just in case, I secretly used the “The Mirror of Truth”, but as expected, it’s just normal lace. Spiritual protection. Hah.
“That’s wonderful. So how much is it…?” [Jirou]
“It takes some effort to bring it to Erishe, so the cheapest is this handkerchief at one silver coin. Elves’ village is a forest at the foot of a ”mountain” far far from here. We worked hard to bring it here, you know.” [Shop owner]
“I see. In that case, 1 silver coin is reasonable.” [Jirou]
That’s just scratching the surface. Well, if Marina was trying to buy it, it should be around that, I thought, but…
1 silver coin to 2 for handkerchiefs. 2 silver coin to 4 for decorative tape lace. Lace to decorate the edges of square cloth at 5 silver coins. I don’t know what the market rate for lace is in this world, but for a 15,000-yen handkerchief, rather than saying there aren’t many in Japan, if you’re careless, you could even buy a Hermes.
Even if you say that lace is a luxury item (in this world, luxury items are basically expensive), what’s expensive is expensive.
“So, how is it? Are you buying?” [Shop owner]
“Eh… it’s a wonderful item and I really want it… but… you’ve come to Erishe to peddle, haven’t you?” [Jirou]
“Yeah. That’s right. It’s only been 10 days or so, but it’s a good town.” [Shop owner]
“Yes. It’s a really good town.” [Jirou]
That’s why we have to get rid of fraudulent businesses.
“Actually, I am doing a small business in this town. I rushed over the moment I heard about the rumours this morning. They say there’s a shop selling Elves’ village products, just like me…” [Jirou]
“Oh… Oh… Is that so. We’re in the same business?” [Shop owner]
The subtly suspicious bogus business. The same business, but not the same business. He’s just a swindler who’s just in the same ‘business’.
“My supplying village doesn’t produce lace, so our products are different. But, since we also writes “Elves village” on our signboard, we hope we can handle as many Elves’ village goods as possible.” [Jirou]
“So, you came for reconnaissance?” [Shop owner]
“Not exactly. That’s partially it, but I thought we might exchange information at that. The Elves’ village you’re contracted to is at the bottom of the mountain, but the one we deal with is in the forested area further north of Heripa Lake. It’s not that far from here, but the products are not too special. So since there’s a trader selling products from about Elves’ village, I thought I should negotiate and see if you would let me have your products.” [Jirou]
“Hn? You’ll buy everything here?” [Shop owner]
“Yes. … or so I’d like to say, but this amount is not something I could buy by myself. More than anything, I don’t have that much cash on me.” [Jirou]
“No. If you’d buy everything, it’s fine to buy it all. Since I’ll have stock coming in again.” [Shop owner]
“Oh! You’re so understanding… But as I mentioned, I don’t have the cash to buy everything…” [Jirou]
“So, what will you do?” [Shop owner]
The bogus fish is baited.
First, get an OK, and then attach conditions. It’s called something something technique – this technique to read the victim.
Anyway, it’s more of less a mixture of such techniques in swindling negotiations, so it can’t be referred to by just one name.
“Actually, I have an exclusive merchant’s contract with an Elves’ village north of Heripa Lake, and I can’t sell the products in other towns yet. … since I’m running around just managing the sales in my small shop in this market.” [Jirou]
“How did you get that exclusive?” [Shop owner]
“I’m a little shy to say it, but you could say it’s by chance. I saved the daughter of the chief of that village in the forest, and thanks to that… Until then, that village had been living without much association with humans, and as luck would have it, I got the exclusive. It’s on a small scale, but they’ve let me deal with their products.” [Jirou]
“Hehh.” [Shop owner]
“And… If you’re ok with it, since we’re both selling Elves’ village products at the same price range…an exchange… would that be possible?” [Jirou]
“Exchange?” [Shop owner]
“Yes. In fact, I received the products from the village today, so I’ve used all my cash on the goods. So, I have a large amount of goods, but just a few silver coins on hand… Ah, the Elf who delivered the goods is still nearby. Shall I bring her here? Since you might not believe that they’re Elves’ village products with just my words…” [Jirou]
“Exchange… An exchange, I see… What kind of products are you dealing with?” [Shop owner]
“Huh? Salt?” [Shop owner]
“Yes. The detailed location is a secret, but if you go further north of the village, the Himalayas, a mountain sacred to them. The precious salt harvested from it is full of spiritual powers. It’s a wonderful item that provides spiritual consumption with regular consumption. On top of that, the village’s Elves add on spiritual protection like health prayers, health, monetary prosperity, business prosperity, roaring business, promotions, career advancement, love, finding a partner, safe birthing, children, passing prayers, academic success, family safety, travel safety, warding off evil, and bringing in good fortune. It is the best item to carry around as a protective charm.” [Jirou]
Wah! Lies are just spilling out! Even if it’s me, I’m enjoying this too much! The Swindler vocation is scary!!
“How about it? No. The salt I’m selling can’t compare to your lace, but I thought, since they’re both Elves’ village products-” [Jirou]
“… Right. I get it. On the account of us being in the same business, I’ll do the exchange” [Shop owner]
The fish is on the hook!
The bogus businessman looked like he couldn’t hold in his laughter. He probably thought that he had already won.
Well, to him, it might feel like he’s caught a whale using an earthworm.
“Oh! Is that so? Thank you very much! Well then, I’ll bring the products. Please wait a bit!” [Jirou]
I bowed once politely and turned on my heels.