29 Episode 29: Shopping
Slowly falling snow from the sky. It's December. There is no more Albahelon in the sky. They've already crossed over.
Since then, Allen has hunted and killed sixteen Albaherons. The Albaheons were dismantled and taxed with the potatoes the other day.
Tax collection is done by the village people, but not by the chief. As I told the chief, I only gave you the magic stone and feathers and plumage exactly as I told him. The rumor seems to have reached me and they wondered if I really caught so many of them.
There is about 150 kilograms of meat in the garden, which is now being processed into dried meat. The meat from the first part of the hunt is nicely dried up.
Are you ready, Allen?
"Yes, Ms. Gerda,
Today we go shopping in the residential area of the village. I'm going to buy firewood and salt.
In the cold winter, we need a lot of firewood. Up until now, we have been buying firewood since October, selling some of the meat from the boa, so we always had a good amount of firewood. But with Rodin's serious injury, I have not been able to buy firewood for the past two months. The Allen family is on the verge of running out of wood.
The salt is about to run out under the same circumstances. Woodcutters cut firewood from around the village, so they are never out of fuelwood, but salt is brought in by vendors from elsewhere. If the vendor doesn't come a few times a year, the price of salt can skyrocket. A certain amount of storage is necessary.
Gerda will teach me how to buy it today. We don't have any kind of wagon, so we'll have to carry our things on our backs. Right now I'm carrying ten one-kilogram chunks of Albahron meat on my back. I'll sell them to buy firewood and salt.
Teresia waves to Allen, who is going out with Gerda. Rodin is beside her.
Rodin is much better now, a month and a half after he was seriously injured. He can now walk standing up, but he still has to walk two hours to get to the store and back. Especially on the way back, I have to carry my luggage. Since he's not fully recovered that well, Allen will go. No longer does Rodin say no to Allen's offer to go shopping, he lets Gerda go with him.
As for Allen's confession, Gerda has heard about it, but the way he treats her hasn't changed much. It seems that she thought he was not just anyone, and was accepted by Gerda as normal.
"Have the commoners gone boa hunting since then?
I am indebted to them for this and that, teaching them to work in the fields, and so on, so I will be more polite to my parents.
"Oh? What's the rush?
I'm just curious to see how things have gone since then.
The center of the city is an hour away, so we'll talk as we go. Gerda is a very general and direct person and will tell you everything.
Well, the commoner hasn't been here since. The chief hasn't said anything either. Well, it'll be just us serfs this year.
(Hmmm, sounds like you're not going to participate in the boa hunt anymore.
"The commoner is not coming. What's the difference between a serf and a commoner? How do you go from serf to commoner?
Actually, what I wanted to ask is this.
"An? What's this all of a sudden. Ask Rodin.
"Because it's awkward to ask your parents about that, isn't it?
It would be like asking your parents to tell you how to become a commoner because you want to quit being a serf. Asking the parents of a serf would be a shock to them. I wanted to know what I could do to get my family out of the serf, but there was no one to ask.
Gelda will tell you as she walks by saying, "Hey, I'm sorry.
The difference between serfs and commoners is that taxes are different. Farmers pay 60 percent of the tax for both the harvest of monsters and crops. But commoners don't pay 60 percent of their taxes. Instead, they pay a per capita tax. It costs three gold coins and one gold coin for children. This is what commoners have to pay every year.
(I see...so there is a per capita tax on my parents, me and mash. Do we have to pay eight gold coins for all four of us every year? (He said there will be more per capita tax then, because our child is coming next year.
Is that so. Is there any way to become a commoner?
As I recall, you have to pay 10 gold coins. I heard that lords sometimes rewarded them with a commoner's reward, whether it's true or not.
(Hmmm, so the feeling is that if there are 10 gold coins for adults and children alike, then the Rodin family has 50 gold coins.
Thank you. You can't tell him Allen asked you this.
"I wouldn't say that,
Gerda's head is rubbing my head.
Meanwhile, we arrived at a part of the city where there are several stores. It's the commercial district of the village.
First, the salt. You know, wood is last. It's heavy.
You enter the store through a Western-style door. There are salt and spices behind the counter. They may be expensive, but they aren't on sale.
"Trade me the salt for the meat.
Tell them what you want, without any negotiations or anything. Show me which meat and how much," the shopkeeper responds bluntly.
Gerda is not only guiding Allen today, she's also coming with him to buy something. She puts the meat on the counter, claiming it's Great Boar meat. Then the owner is weighing it with a scale of some sort.
I look at the situation, thinking that the blunt conversation continues. I hand the shopkeeper a small wooden box-like object, and he scoops up a wooden spoon the size of a tablespoon 12 times from the salt jar and puts it in the box. Gerda and I watch the scene together.
Here, check it out.
Gerda shakes the salt in the crate and checks the contents. Then she uses her little finger to lick some of the salt.
Close the lid of the crate, tie it with a string and put it away in your pocket.
Now that Gerda is finished, Allen does the same with the meat.
The meat of Albahelion.
Five chunks of Albahron meat, about five kilograms, put on the counter. The meat was unheard of, so I reacted a little bit, but quietly began to weigh in the shopkeeper. I wait, wondering if he's not going to say no.
"Huh? Is it cheaper than a boa?
"Huh? I'm with you.
They seem to be together. It was because the meat was less than that of Gerda. So I give him a crate to say please. I check the salt in it the same way Gerda did. I tie it with a cord and tie it to the waistband so it won't fit in my pocket.
Next, you'll head to the grocery store. Here you mainly buy fruit. Wheat, beans and potatoes are basically bartered between serfs. But there are no serfs growing fruit. Apparently, a merchant brings in fruit from some town or village to sell.
Gerda will trade a lump of dried meat for four Mormo berries. Allen will do the same for a chunk of Albahron's meat in exchange for four Mormo berries. The lady who owns this store is quite friendly. I wonder if it's because she is a salt shop, or something else.
(Hmm? (Is a C-grade boa meat and a D-grade Albahron meat of equal value?
I thought the higher the rank, the more expensive the meat would be, and I brought more meat from Albaheron, thinking it might be quoted cheaper. Apparently they are of equal value.
I've never seen pigs or chickens in this village. I'm sure they don't have any livestock. There are only horses in the wagon. Wondering if the meat alone is valuable, you arrive at the last woodshop.
Don't forget to take notes in your grimoire about the location of the store, the attitude of the shopkeepers, ten cups of salt and four Mormo berries on the way here. Next time I'll go alone. The cold season will continue for the next three months. You have to buy firewood for three months, but you won't be able to take enough for several days in one day.
The firewood store looks like a man standing in front of the warehouse. At the entrance of the warehouse, you can see that there is a lot of firewood stacked in the field.
After Gerda has exchanged the meat of the boa for the meat of the boa, if you give her a chunk of meat, she will give you four bundles of firewood. This bundle weighs about 15 kilograms, enough for one day's firewood. If you burn it all day long, it won't last all day. When you have a day, you need to save as much as possible.
You need to take four one-meter-long bundles of firewood and tie them to a backpack that you brought with you when you arrived. The owner of the firewood store is blunt but concerned. I hear him saying, "Hey, hey, hey! The four pieces weigh 60 kilograms.
I bundle them together and take them back to the house where Gerda and her family are. This is how Allen learned how to shop in the village.