Translator(s): DC, Lox Editor(s): Matty Proofreader(s): DC TLC(s): Lox
The Red Oath finally arrived at the Abbott firm, the place which made the Rock Lizard material request.
“Excuse me. We are the hunters who took the Rock Lizard collection request, and we have come to deliver them.” [Maevis]
Maevis was entrusted with any external negotiations revolving around the group. As such, she was the one to call for someone at the front desk.
An employee came out to greet them.
“Ah, yes, I’ll call for the shopkeeper right away. Please wait a moment while I go get them.” [Employee]
The employee returned to the back. Shortly after, the shopkeeper was here to see us. He looked to be a stout man in his forties.
“Oh.. ? Are you the hunters to accept the request..? My, how young..” [Shopkeeper]
Though the shopkeeper was smiling warmly, he had an evidently suspicious glint in his eyes.
For better or worse, it looked to be the eyes of a merchant ready to conduct business.
“Yes… We are the C-rank party, ‘Red Oath’. We would like you to please assess the spoils gathered during the request, and to sign this completion certificate..” [Maevis]
“Yes, yes, just show me the spoils.” [Shopkeeper]
“Mile, the spoils.” [Maevis]
Per Maevis’ instruction, Mile retrieved one rock lizard corpse from the item box. It was a three-piece set of a cleanly severed head, torso, and tail, all in good condition.
“Storage magic, eh…? I see. That’s why, with only this number of people… Impressive… But nevermind that “ [Shopkeeper]
Mile took the entire rock lizard out of her storage. At the state of the rock lizard, the shopkeeper could hardly contain his surprise, even if only for a little while. It was a rare sight to behold; a veteran merchant showing their true feelings…
He promptly got to inspecting the Rock Lizard, thoroughly, while occasionally glimpsing at Mile and her four friends’ gleaming expressions.
After some consideration, he conveyed the results of his appraisal.
“12 small gold coins.”
“Eh..?” [Red Oath]
All the members of “Red Oath” unwittingly raised their voice.
Maevis immediately protested, “W-why…? It’s almost in perfect condition! The standard market price is 15 gold coins. What’s the reason for shaving some of it off?”
“No, no, you see, since the head and tail have already been separated, I won’t be able to get the majority of the skin myself. And besides, hasn’t it been three days since you hunted them…? That means it’s spoiled to an extent, right?” [Shopkeeper]
“But, isn’t that the area that gets dismantled before the hide gets skinned off anyway? Besides, it’s only been two days since the hunt.” [Maevis]
“Even if you say so, that’s our shop’s assessment criteria.”[Shopkeep]
Just as Maevis was about to protest further, Pauline out-stretched her arms and nudged her from behind. It was the signal for substituting in who gets to have a go at the negotiation, which had already been decided in advance.
“Say, this isn’t the only body we have. Do they all go for the same price?” [Pauline]
“Hoo…? There are more?! Are you going to show the rest as well?”[Shopkeeper]
“Yes. Mile, please retrieve the other two.” [Pauline]
As Pauline instructed, Mile retrieved two more Rock Lizards from storage. They were the same quality as the first, in pristine condition.
“Oh! What?! As many as three can be stored?!” [Shopkeeper]
The shopkeeper showed another blatantly surprised expression.
He briefly inspected them a second time, before conveying the results to Mile.
“These two are nine small gold coins each, and everything in all is thirty small gold coins. For only just a few days of work, this is quite a bit… You made a good profit off these. Well then, I’ll sign the amount on the request-completion certificate right away.” [Shopkeeper]
“Oh, by the way, ladies. Do you have no intention of becoming exclusive to us…? If you become our exclusive, you wouldn’t have the need to job hunt anymore, and you’d obtain a steady income, along with a peace of mind.”
Apparently, he seemed to have taken notice of Mile’s storage. His gaze slipped and shifted between the four peoples’ figures, as he glazed his lips with a greedy tongue.
Ignoring the shop keeper’s words, Pauline plainly asked, “… And… For what reason did you down the price for the second and third prey…?” [Pauline]
“Ah, that was just a welcome gift for a first time customer… It, however, doesn’t apply to the second transaction and onwards…” [Shopkeeper]
What a huge lie.
He looked down on Mile and her companions due to their newcomer status, by attempting to mark the prices down. However, if this resulted in low rewards for a multi-day hunting job, there was a risk of them not accepting any future jobs from them. For that reason, he resisted the temptation to lower the prices even more. But by buying all three of them, they could still make an okay profit and have the possibility of accepting another job in the near future. That is why he kept it at a moderately low price. Low enough to exploit their naivety, but not low enough to drive them away.
“… I understand.” [Pauline]
Upon hearing Pauline’s words, a huge smile emerged from the shopkeeper’s lips.
“Mile, please store everything away.” [Pauline]
Following in Pauline’s instruction, Mile stored away all the Rock Lizards in an instant. They ignored the shopkeeper, who was crying out for behind them. The four began to leave the shop.
As the shopkeeper stayed stunned and without any understanding of the situation, Pauline swiveled on her heels and explained.
“It seems the delivered preys’ condition was not to your liking, so we failed the request. Well, please excuse us then.” [Pauline]
After saying so, Pauline urged everyone to leave. The shopkeeper called out after them in a flustered manner.
“Wa-wait! That’s what we requested! You can’t take it away!” [Shopkeep]
“Eh..? But the materials are so bad they’re only worth sixty percent of the suggested value stated on the request form… Turning in garbage materials would bring disgrace to our party track record… Luckily for us, we have gotten neither the completion certificate nor the reward money, so the contract hasn’t been established yet. The request can, therefore, be failed. Ah, the contract penalty of two small gold coins has already been deposited to the guild, so there’s no worry there. Come now, everyone, let’s go.” [Pauline]
“W-wait a minute! Just wait, please! We can work something out!” [Shopkeeper]
Now completely disregarding the shopkeeper, who continued to cry out from behind, the four left the shop.
“I’m sorry. I did something really selfish just now… Even though we went to such great lengths to accomplish this job, we failed to achieve its completion because of a choice I made at my own discretion..” [Pauline]
“What’re you saying? I feel relieved! If you didn’t refuse it, I would have refused it myself! In a more extreme way..” [Mile]
Pauline wouldn’t, in a fit of rage, destroy the transaction without some kind of plan in mind. Lena and Maevis naturally thought this as well. And, from hearing what Mile said, Pauline broadly grinned and loudly laughed.
“As for the plan after this…” [Pauline]
“We knew it!” [Three of them]
The three’s thoughts, unprecedentedly, shot out of their mouths all at once.
“Process this, please.” [Mile]
The four had returned to the Hunter’s Guild, and were having their request terminated.
“Yes, your hard work is much appreciated. The process is.. complete.. ? Eh…..” [Receptionist]
The receptionist lady looked perplexed at the confirmation that there was no money to be had from the assessment, and that the completion certificate was left unsigned.
“Actually.. Our client gave us 9 small gold coins during their appraisal. The request needed each material to be worth a minimum of 15 small gold each… And we couldn’t give them defective materials, so we returned here without completing the transaction.”
Mile explained with a saddened expression.
“Whaaat?! Only 60%?! Did Miss Rena scorch it with her Fire Magic or something?”
“No, this is how it ended up…” [Mile]
While saying this, and beckoning for th other hunters to make room, Mile took one Rock Lizard from her item box and displayed it on the countertop.
“Wha-… What is this?!”
“I haven’t seen a Rock Lizard in such a pristine state before… aside from a living one, that is!”
“Just what kind of hunting method… And, you girlie only have two swords, right?”
“Eh…? Well, Rock Lizards can be easily hunted with just two or three C-rank hunters…”
Since everyone looked so surprised, Mile thought this aloud.
“Idiot, only the ‘hunting’ part. You fire at it with magic from afar, weaken it with physical projectiles such as javelins or arrows from a medium-distance, and then get it close to it to for the finishing blow with a sword or a spear. If you draw near while it’s still well and capable, its tail will strike and injure you… That’s why such a clean kill is hard to come by and is usually in bad shape. Conversely, in cases like these, you’d receive extra money. For the market price, the standard pricing is usually around twenty small gold coins, with an extra four to five gold coins added on for the quality. If the merchant is generous enough, an extra seven to eight.”
“Eh..? “ [Red Oath]
“.. If that really is the case, the request amount should be fifteen small gold coins with an extra nine small gold coins… Where’s the request?!”
“Ah, the Abbot firm, but…”
“I can’t believe it! To think these girlies were exploited due to them being newbies!”
“Looking down on a hunter… Good on you for turning it down in the end…”
A senior hunter gave Mile a slap on the back.
Inside the guild, from those within close proximity to the counter, people voicing their accusations in regards to the Abbot Firm could be heard in a jumble…
Mile was chuckling in her mind.
“”Uhm, so, I’d still like to sell my Rock Lizards…”
“Ah, in that case, you can sell it directly to the guild. If there isn’t anyone requesting them at the moment, we can just sell the raw materials through normal means. Or to be more precise, if you sell items without passing them through us, you will not receive a commision… If that occurs, the points will not contribute to your rank. “
That is a matter barring no exceptions. Horned rabbits, Herbs, and things of that nature all have handling fees. Otherwise, the guild wouldn’t profit from their service.
Always finding a buyer can be a challenge, and due to the risk of the materials not selling, the guild has put in place a fee as a safety net. It was only fair for it be a profitable amount; they’re not a charity.
The receptionist was not so incompetent to forgo a chance to turn a profit for the guild. Something like a Rock Lizard would sell reliably.
Mile exchanged glances with the other three party members. She nodded to them before replying to the receptionist.
“Thank you very much. So, would you be okay with taking all of them?” [Mile]
“Eh? All of it?”
The receptionist gave a puzzled reply.
“Well~ Actually, we have about five of them…” [Maevis]
Mile clambered to cover her ears, having thought that the volume of their yells were a tad excessive.
She wondered if it was a bit too exaggerated…