214-196 Negotiations with the Duke of Nenas

 After a little more than a day of playing in the streets of Pining, it was time for the appointment with Viscount Nenus.

 Today, Mary and Mitya are staying at the inn.

 There would be no danger, but there was no way I could bring them without them being part of our party.

 I showed the gatekeeper the invitation that had been sent to me the other day, and he let me go straight into the mansion, where I waited for a while in the parlor.

 Since I was in charge of the negotiations this time, I was a little nervous.

 In terms of simple suitability, Natsuki is the most suitable person for the job, and I had left it to her in the previous negotiation with the deputy, but this is not a common practice, so I tried my best.

 In this country, there is a gender gap, not to the point of being male-dominated, but to the extent that people wonder why a woman is in charge of negotiations when a man is.

 If they were in a position to negotiate on equal terms, the difference would not be a big problem, but in this case, due to the difference in their positions, there is almost no room for negotiation.

 The risk of displeasing a nobleman, even the lord of the region where he lives, for a small amount of money is too high.

 In some stories, there are protagonists who talk with nobles as equals, but unless they are so good that they can be crushed by force of arms, equality is unthinkable.

 If that's the case, it's better to have a man in charge.

 In that case, it would be me or Toya, but if the choice was between the two, it was unanimously decided to be me.

 This is simply a matter of appearance.

 If Viscount Nenus doesn't like beasts, he'll probably like me more because I'm better looking.

 On the other hand, there is a possibility that he will be jealous of my appearance, but we'll just have to think about that when the time comes.

 I waited in the parlor for several tens of minutes.

 The door opened and in came an elderly man who looked like Viscount Nenus, an elderly man who looked like a butler, and three people who seemed to be his bodyguards.

 We all stood up and greeted them.

I'm sorry to keep you waiting.
"No, sir. Thank you for your time.

 Actually, it's not much of a wait, is it?

 The time of the appointment was vague, mid-morning, but this was unavoidable, as few people had accurate watches.

 We came here right after breakfast, and considering the circumstances, I'd say he gave us a pretty early time.

I'm Joachim Nenus. Please have a seat.

 We did as we were told, and sat down facing Viscount Nenus, who looked at each of us in turn as if he were observing us, and then twisted his head in surprise.

He looked at each of us and twisted his head in surprise. You're younger than I thought, aren't you?
"Uh, yes. We're still young. ......

 What should I say in this situation?

 Of course, you can't say "I'm not young," because you are actually young.

 Of course, "Don't underestimate me just because I'm young" is also out of the question.

 Inevitably, my response was rather vague.

 Viscount Nenus understood my annoyance, and shook his head with a wry smile.

It's not that there's anything wrong with that, or that I'm doubting you. The adventurer's guild has been in touch with us. So, the sword our family requested?

"Yes. This is the sword we found.

 I took out of my magic bag the finely decorated sword that I got from the Skeleton King.

 I was about to place it on the table, but stopped myself.

 --If I leave it like this, it will scratch the table, right?

 The butler, who must have noticed my hesitation, quickly stepped forward and took the sword from my hand.

 Thank goodness.

 The table in front of us was a very expensive piece of furniture, as expected from a domain famous for its furniture.

 It would be a shame to damage it by placing a sword on it.

I'm not sure what to make of it. ...... What do you think?

 After a short inspection of the sword handed to him by the steward, Viscount Nenus handed it back to the steward.

 It's a good idea to take a look at your own personal life before you make a decision.

 Perhaps he had never seen the sword before, considering how he had inherited his title.

 On the other hand, the old butler was probably a servant of the Viscount Nenus family from long ago.

 Seeing that he was able to make a judgment right away, he probably had seen it before.

I'm sure of it. I'll confirm it's the one you requested.
"Thank you. Thank you. Please sign here.

 I spread out on the table the request form that the guild had given me.

 If you sign here, you will receive the original request fee, 300 gold coins, in addition to the transportation fee.

"Very well.

 Viscount Nenus picked up the pen that the butler beside him offered, quickly wrote his signature on the request form, and presented it to us.

"Certainly. I'll take care of it.

 I took the request form and put it in my bag.
 That completes the first objective.

 Phew. .......

 Exhale softly.

"Thank you for your help. I had almost given up hope that it would ever come back. ......

"Yes, you're in luck.

Ha-ha-ha. It's not just luck, is it? If that was all that was needed to recover the money, I would have sent my men there.

 That's a hard one to answer.

 Even if it were true, there's no way you could answer, "Because we're stronger than your soldiers. Of course, I don't know the actual strength.

"If it's ......, then I'm afraid you have the blessing of Lord Adversus.

"Huh? Are you a follower of Adversus? If so, maybe we should tell our soldiers to believe in it as well?

I'm not much of a believer, but I do go to the temple from time to time to pray.

"Oh, I see.

 In Japan, religion is often frowned upon, but here, God is real and is given a certain amount of importance.

 So I tried to say something like that. ...... Is this a success? Failure?

 In the event that you have any kind of questions concerning where and how to use the internet, you can contact us at the web site.

 I'm not sure what to make of this.

Oops, you told me not to bother you too much. ....... I'm sure you'll be happy to hear that.

Oh, yes. Do you mind if I offer it to you?

Yes. Yes, of course.

 After confirming that Viscount Nenus nodded, Toya took out the sword with the emblem of Viscount Nenus from the magic bag and piled it up on the floor next to the table.

 At first, Viscount Nenus was relaxed, saying, "Oh, a magic bag," but when the number of swords exceeded 10, his expression became a little sullen, and by the time he had more than 20, his complexion had become a little pale.

I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that all of these swords bear the emblem of the Viscount Nenas family.

...... Let me check, shall I?

"Of course. Go ahead, check it out.

Oh. Hey.

 At the urging of Viscount Nenus, the three guards who had been waiting for him began to check the bottles one by one.

 There are certain places you should look.

 All they had to do was check for the presence or absence of a coat of arms, and they didn't have to wait very long to complete their checks.

 Of course, everything is crested.

 Unless Toya makes a mistake and pulls out a different sword, there is no way anything will be rejected.

 It's obvious to us, but Viscount Nenus exhaled with a bit of annoyance.

It seems to me that all of these swords are indeed from our family. So how much do you want for them?

"These are all made of white iron and would cost no less than fifty gold coins if bought at an ordinary weapon shop. However, I think Viscount Nenus has a lot of things on his mind right now. So, how about 40 gold pieces per weapon?

 This price was decided after consulting with Diora as well as Haruka and the others.

 It's a little low considering the added value of having a noble family's crest on it, but even this is enough to make a profit.

 In response to this price, Viscount Nenus raised his eyebrows in surprise.

"That's pretty cheap. You're adventurers, aren't you? I thought you'd charge more. ......?

I'm sure you'll agree.

 It's a good idea to take a look at the actual information on the web, as well as the information that's available.

 If you just want to know the value of the sword, you can sell it to a second-hand arms dealer for around 30 gold coins.

 However, considering the added value of the sword being emblazoned with the Viscount's crest and the Viscount's prestige, Diora said that she would pay at least 50 gold coins, but numbers are numbers.

 In addition to that, our discussion led us to the conclusion that it might not be a good idea to withdraw too much cash considering the reconstruction of Kerug.

 Viscount Nenus nodded in agreement, perhaps sensing our intentions in the word "situation".

I see, you've come through the Kerg. Your spirit is not bad. I understand. I'll take you in.

"Thank you.

 Considering that I've been trapped in the dungeon for more than a month, I'm inclined to want more, but 40 gold coins per bottle is still a profit, and if I'm going to live here, it's better to be remembered by the lord.

 If you take into account the non-monetary value, I think you can consider it a large surplus.

 Viscount Nenus looked around again at us as we bowed our heads in thanks, and a slightly amused expression appeared on his face.

You guys are quite a distinctive party. Not bad at all. I'll keep that in mind.

Thank you, sir.

 I wonder if he was referring to the composition of the party.

 Well, an elf and a beastman, that's unusual.

 As Viscount Nenus left the room, we stood up again and bowed our heads to him.

 The guards also left at the same time, and the butler remained behind.

The guards leave at the same time, leaving the butler behind. "Please wait a moment while I go get the money.

"Yes, sir.

 The butler, who seemed to be very capable, was really capable.

 We were given a leather bag of gold coins and left Viscount Nenus's mansion in no time at all.

    I'm going back.

"Okay, let's go home! I miss my bed at home!
"Yes, I do. That house has become my home.

 I feel at home when I come back.
 For me, that house has already become that.

 No matter how good the inn is, it's still different from home, and I feel safe there.

It's a little hot, but we'll leave soon. It's a little hot.
"Yes. Shall we stay in Kerg for one night and return to Laffan tomorrow?

 The business at Viscount Nenus' residence went smoothly, so we were still in the morning.

 If we leave now, we can have a late lunch in Kerg.

 We can have lunch and a nap in the shade somewhere before it gets too hot and arrive at Kerg in the evening.

 It would be too hard for Mary and Mitya to return to Laffan by the end of the day, let alone us.

So let's get out of town.

 In my free time yesterday, I had already visited the parts of Pining that interested me.
 I also bought some famous ale as a souvenir.

 We met up with Mary and the others at the inn and headed straight for the gate.
 On the way, Mary turned around and stopped in her tracks.

"What happened to the ...... ale brewery?
I'm just curious.

 The building of the Adventurer's Guild was in Mary's line of sight.

 I'm not sure what to make of it.

 It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're looking for.

In the event that you're looking for the best way to get the most out of your business, you'll be able to get the most out of it. I don't know if they'll tell you.

Are you sure?

I'm just going to go in and ask around. If they're too busy, you can give up.

Yes, of course.

 When we entered the Adventurer's Guild with Mary and the others who nodded happily, we found the receptionist who had brought us the request sitting at the counter, looking bored.

 I wondered if she would talk to me only about the client, but she didn't seem to have any problem, so I greeted her and asked her a few questions.

That? It seems that the lord is going to investigate that.
You're quick. ......

 It's only been two days since we reported it.
 I'm sure the lord is busy, but he's moving fast.

I'm not sure what to make of it. But at the same time, I've learned of the poor state of the business there, so it looks like the lord will be sending someone there.

 To put it simply, he was saying, "How can you not be able to run a business properly when we have granted you privileges?

 It is said that they will take away the management rights from the artisans in question and let them concentrate only on sake brewing so that they can protect both the brewery and the taste.

As a result, the price of their ale will probably go up, but ...... there's no way around it. It's been too cheap for too long.

Will the artisan be satisfied? And?

I'm sure they'll be happy to hear that. He can concentrate on what he loves.

 He was rather bothered by the fact that he had to do something other than brewing, so if you can send me someone who can take care of that for me, I'll be more than happy.

 According to the receptionist, he would be happy to accept.

So you've settled in well?

Yes. Thanks to you. I'm glad I wasn't bought by some strange party. However, depending on the lord's investigation, there may be some breweries that will be shut down. ...... There will probably be no problem. He's a good man, Viscount Nenus.

 I don't know how he compares to others, but he's not a bad ruler, at least not in the one year I lived there.

 There was a disturbance in Kerg, but that was a bit of a special case, and other than that, Rafan and this pining are generally safe.

 I don't hear any absurd stories, and if you work hard, you can live in this territory without any problems.

 Mr. Adversus is doing a good job in a humble way.

"Are you all going back to ...... Rafan?
"Yes. There's no need for us to work here.

 Haruka affirmed to the receptionist, who seemed to remember that we were based in Laffan.

I see. Are you looking for an escort request today? For a rank 5 adventurer, the request fee is not very high. ......

Is it still cheap?

Yes. Thanks to Viscount Nenus, this territory is relatively safe. It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're looking for. ...... Ah, there was a bandit riot between Kergu and Raffan a while ago, but that was quickly cleared up as well.

......That's right.

 We took care of it.
 I'm not sure if you've ever heard of this, but I'm sure you have.

I'm sure you've heard of it. I sent out a request to kill them, but one of the adventurers immediately agreed, which was a big help. The guild's reputation would have been ruined if we had let it go unchecked and the military had to deal with it.

Yes, the guild's reputation is important.

 I'm sure they don't know that we've defeated them.
 We nodded and looked at each other and smiled at the receptionist's words.
 The receptionist twisted her head slightly in wonder at our situation.

"Can I help you?

No. I was just wondering how the guild is doing.

That's right! We work day and night to protect the reputation of the Adventurer's Guild and, in turn, the reputation of adventurers! But there are many people who don't understand that.
 They want us to raise our ranks, they want us to offer lower prices for purchases, they want us to give them better requests, and so on. .......
 This is why you can't raise your rank or get a good job!
 I'm sure you'll agree. I'm not sure what to make of it. That's why your rank has risen.
 But that's not the case for the majority!

 Adventurers, because of the nature of their work, tend to be roughnecks.
 Many of them think that they can get by with hard work.
 I know you're too stupid to understand, but that's why--!

 It seems that the receptionist has pushed some button that should not be pushed.

 The receptionist seems to have pushed some button she shouldn't have.

 Since I had come to ask for information that was not directly related to my request, it was hard to say "I've asked what I wanted to know, so goodbye.

 In the end, the fact that it was a slow time of the day made us spend a lot of time with them.

 In the end, the receptionist's boss came over and gave her a good beating on the head to stop the conversation. ...... After leaving the guild, Mitya's comment, "It's hard being an adult," strangely stuck in my ears.