Gecko approached the two of them.
“Merchants need to protect themselves first, and it would be even better if they could protect the lives of their subordinates, don’t you think? Ryo’s ice wall makes that possible. It might be impossible now, but I would want to have it around.”
Gecko tenderly said so while watching the children practice.
“Hey, Gecko-san. What are the conditions for an excellent merchant?”
Sharfi suddenly posed a question to Gecko while he was looking at his subordinates.
“What’s with the question out of the blue?”
“No, you see, if I were to be hired by this company as an escort, I would have to travel with a caravan like this? I want to know a little about merchants, businesses, and so on …”
Sharfi looked at Gecko and said.
“It’s very nice to be motivated. But … the conditions for an excellent merchant … is a very difficult question. There are many different types of merchants. Each has their own specialty and the things they are suited for. The only thing I can say we have in common is that we are serious about our business dealings.”
“Serious about business … that’s too vague.”
Sharfi commented as he tilted his head.
Gecko, on the other hand, laughed.
“Well, that’s true. Maybe it’s about always thinking about your business, your customers, and your subordinates? To see if you’re always thinking, ask yourself a question. If it’s something you’ve thought about before, you would be able to answer it immediately, right? For example … Sharfi, what do you think is the basis of business?”
Gecko suddenly asked Sharfi a question.
“Well, the basis of business … I wonder, isn’t it to be profitable after all?”
Sharfi answered while thinking.
“I see. That’s one answer. And maybe that is what you have seen and felt from the merchants and businesses you have encountered.”
“Yeah, maybe …”
Sharfi repeatedly ruminated in his head what Gecko said.
Ryo returned at that time.
Gecko asked Ryo the same question.
“Ryo-san. What do you think is the basis of business?”
He answered Gecko’s question immediately.
Gecko didn’t understand the meaning of repeater.
“Oh, I’m sorry … Um, securing regular customers.”
“I see. Why?”
Gecko looked obviously more interested than Sharfi’s answer.
“If you secure regular customers, you can predict how much you will sell the next year and the year after that. It will be easier to make a budget based on that. That is the bare minimum needed to have a forecast of operations. Moreover, customers who recognize that it is a good product and a good service would also advertise it to their family and friends. It wouldn’t cost any advertising budget and it would be highly credible when recommended by a close person or a close friend. That is why a company needs to keep making good products to keep securing and increasing regular customers.”
Ryo took a breather at that point, and Sharfi and Ra looked stunned.
“I see. Ryo-san once ran a business seriously, didn’t you?”
Gecko nodded happily many times as he said that.
“Ryo-san, why don’t you stop being an adventurer and work with me?”
“No, that’s a little …”
On the evening of the third day after leaving Halwill, Gecko’s caravan finally arrived at Red Post, a city on the eastern border of the Kingdom.
It was the twelfth day after leaving the city of Rune.
The Red Post was about the same size as the second-largest city in the east, Slanzewi.
It borders the Inbury Duchy in the southeast and had developed to a size that can be called a city due to the expansion of trade over the last decade due to the good relations between the two nations.
Incidentally, it also borders the Handal Union on the northeast side.
The Red Post was a 『border city』 for both the Duchy and the Union.
Gecko’s caravan entered their usual lodgings and completed the registration.
“Oh, there’s Ryo!”
From behind them, Ryo heard a voice that he was accustomed to hearing.
When Ryo looked back, as expected, there was Rin, the Wind-Attribute Magician of 『Crimson Sword』, and Warren, the Shield user, behind her.
“Huh? Rin and Warren? Why are you here?”
“Of course it’s for work?”
Rin answered while tilting her head.
“I see, I guess that would be the case … Oh, rather, does that mean Rihya is in this city too if the two of you are here?”
Ryo thought about something and asked if Rihya was with them.
“Asking for Rihya instead of Abel … even if it’s Ryo, I don’t think Rihya will fall for you. A battle between Abel and Ryo over Rihya … I really don’t want to see that.”
Rin shook her head, and behind her Warren shook his head silently as well.
“Yeah, I have no intention of doing that at all. Isn’t Rihya a high-ranking priest?”
“Yeah? Did someone suffer serious injuries or lose a limb? There is a time limit of 24 hours after losing a limb, you know? Other than that, Rihya can usually do something about it?”
When he heard Rin’s answer, Ryo nodded, as if he was intending to request for it.
Then, he turned to Gecko, who was listening to the conversation between them.
“Gecko-san, this is Rin and Warren from the adventurer party 『Crimson Sword』 in the city of Rune. Rin, Warren, this is, Gecko-san, a merchant of the Inbury Duchy. Ra and I were hired by Gecko as escorts to the Inbury Duchy.”
Ryo introduced them to each other.
“Of course, I know about the B-rank party『Crimson Sword』. I often do business with Master McGrath in the city of Rune, so if you have anything you need in the future, please look for me.”
Rin and Warren briefly introduced themselves after Gecko’s self-introduction.
Of course, Warren’s part was also done by Rin.
“Ryo-san introduced the two of them to me, is it to utilize Priestess Rihya-san’s healing magic to resolve our problem?”
“Yes. However, if Gecko-san has another idea and wants to handle the case after reaching the capital, I don’t think it is necessary to do it in this city …”
Ryo replied Gecko’s question while feeling around for his thoughts.
But when he heard that, Gecko laughed.
“No no, I don’t have such plans. I think it’s better if it can be solved quickly. If we can request the cooperation of the 『Crimson Sword』, I would definitely like to go ahead with the plan. Of course, I will prepare the formal rewards.”
Then Gecko bowed to Rin and Warren.
“I won’t be able to make the decision … the two of them will be back in a little while, so please ask them directly.”
Rin glanced at Warren, saw Warren nodding, and then replied that she couldn’t give an answer.
After a while, Abel and Rihya returned to the inn.
At a cafe in the inn … In modern Japan, it would be the hotel lounge.
They had their discussion there.
The four from 『Crimson Sword』, Ryo, Gecko, Max, and Sharfi.
Greetings and explanations of the situation were given to them.
“In simple terms, you plan to strip off the cursed tattoo on Sharfi’s chest and have Rihya heal the wound.”
After Abel understood the task, he asked again in his own words.
That process was important.
To make sure there were no discrepancies in case they misunderstood each other.
“Yes, that’s right. Of course, I’m willing to pay the same amount as alms to a high-ranking priest.”
Gecko nodded once and replied.
Abel turned towards Rihya and asked for her opinion with facial expressions.
“I don’t mind. Our party has completed our request and was planning to return home tomorrow. However, you showed it earlier but, that tattoo … can it be removed?”
“Yes, in the past I asked an alchemist I knew, but while a normal tattoo only has ink on the skin and can be completely removed by peeling the skin, I was told this tattoo is underneath the skin … In other words, I have to strip off the flesh below the tattoo, but I didn’t want to hurt my heart so …”
Sharfi answered Rihya’s question, remembering what he was told in the past.
Many of the people there imagined the scene of actually carving out the flesh in their heads.
Most of them were adventurers.
It may be related to the fact that magic stones were extracted from the heart of monsters on a daily basis.
“It looks like it’s going to be difficult. Hey, Ryo, don’t you have some kind of thin water? Can’t you use that?”
Abel turned to Ryo and asked.
He was probably referring to a water jet.
“Huh? Have I ever used a water jet in front of Abel?”
“I had an idea after I saw you cut off the necks of those three in the dungeon. Although I couldn’t tell the moment I saw it. By the way, the first time I saw it was with the golem.”
Ryo didn’t remember showing Abel him slashing something with a water jet …
But it seemed that Abel remembered his act of cutting the golem with an Abrasive jet and taking out the magic stone.
Also, on the 40th floor of the dungeon, he recalled seeing Ryo cutting off the necks of three strong devils in an instant.
“That is a special secret magic, so it is forbidden to talk about it.”
Ryo said that and brought the index finger of his right hand in front of his lips.
“What special secret magic …”
Abel was exasperated.
However, the people around him were looking at Ryo with the eyes of what would happen.
It looked like he needed to answer.
“Oh … well, unfortunately that magic isn’t possible. At first glance, the flesh can be cut quickly, but in reality, water would get into the area around the sliced parts and damage the surrounding tissue. After that, I’m not sure if it can be repaired with healing magic.”
Water jet injuries also existed on modern Earth.
It seemed that the injured part and its surroundings would be damaged uniquely, and the manufacturer of the water jet machines had taken the trouble to provide information to medical personnel.
Well, Ryo felt that Rihya’s healing magic was amazing, so it was quite possible … she could even attach lost limbs after all.
(I wonder if I can use it for surgery if I become more proficient … There was a scalpel that uses water jet … Well, as of now, it just increases the risk …)
The risk should be lowered as much as possible.
He was thinking of adopting it as a last resort.
“How about expanding the area of the ice film in front of the heart to cover the heart and the important blood vessels around it? Then it would be fine even if the knife gets in too deep while extracting the tattoo.”
“Yes, I think that’s a good plan.”
Max was the first to agree with Ryo’s proposal.
Perhaps because Max felt that he was likely the person to insert the knife and strip the tattoo off.
Max was the only one who has previously stripped a tattoo, albeit from a corpse.
“Hey, Ryo-san, I have one question …”
Sharfi raised one hand and had difficulty asking a question.
“My heart is covered with a film of ice? Shouldn’t it be cold?”
Rin nodded to Sharfi’s doubts.
Rin seemed to have the same question.
“If it’s cold, Sharfi’s heart would have stopped, right?”
“O-oh, yes … I know that. It’s definitely not stopped. It’s beating. That’s why it’s strange …. It is in my body, and I’d be happy if you could tell me.”
Sharfi responded to Ryo’s plausible answer with an indescribable face.
“In the first place, ice takes away the heat of the surroundings when it becomes water. Therefore, it feels cold when you hold it in your hand. However, the ice generated in Sharfi’s body is magically created. It remains as ice forever. It does not take away heat from the surroundings because it does not become water. That is one reason. The other reason is that I forbade it from snatching heat from its surroundings when forming the ice film, so there won’t be a temperature change.”
“You can forbid the transfer of heat!?”
It was Rin, a Wind-Attribute Magician, who reacted.
“Well, because it’s related to water, I can do it as a Water-Attribute Magician.”
The truth was, he had to touch on molecular vibrations.
He kept the molecular vibration of the ice film itself, which had smaller molecular vibration at low temperature, constant, and prevented the vibrations from the place around the ice film where the molecular vibration was larger at high temperature from being transmitted to it.
However, Ryo didn’t have a chemistry background strong enough to explain it there.
If he was posed a detailed question, it would be impossible for him to answer it.
So, he casually explained it as ‘Forbidding the transfer of heat’.
“Well, if it’s wind-related, will I be able to do it … I wonder if I’ll be able to survive a cold windy day …”
The words that Rin whispered did not reach Ryo.
*Please read this novel on my website (tseirptranslations.com) to support my work*