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Chapter: 191


A few customers came early while we were still preparing to open Daikokuya when I was temporarily returning from the Devil’s Mountains. Amy reported that the hooded customers were actually nobles. Since they were only looking for me, I guess I should just meet them and see what they want.

"Pardon me for having kept you waiting. I’m Schwartz, the shop owne—"

When I went down, there were no customers in front of the counter. Instead, four hooded figures and a man who appeared to be an attendant were in front of the bathroom supplies.

"You’re here."

Looking at one of the four, I recognized them as Chancellor Bergman. Why was he coming when it was supposed to only be the liaison? That was also before the store opened… No, there was only one other reason…

"I-is this really the ‘miracle water’ you spoke of…?"

"Sir Bird, Sir bird! Is-Is it really true?"

"I’ve never heard of such an item even when I traveled abroad —"

The four hooded people, to be more precise, wore triangular hoods similar to the disaster prevention hood. Something I recognized better as the disaster prevention hood and a sheet of linen to cover their nose and mouth. Personally, I think that people could still recognize them from their eyes and voices. I recognized Chancellor Bergman from his voice, along with the other voice which belonged to the General Guild Master, Duke Marlen Verdaline.

Bergman and his attendant seemed to notice that I’d come down, but the other three did not. They were still wrapped up in their conversation as they whispered. They seemed to be talking about a ‘miracle water’ for a while now. Was it really about the hair tonic in this hand?

"You guys, the shopkeeper is here. I’ll be talking with Schwartz for a bit, so wait for me."

Having said that, only Chancellor Bergman and his attendant moved to me while they left the others.

"Is it fine here?"

"Well, let’s talk upstairs. Amy, Presera, please take care of the customers."

"Ye-Yes!" (x2)

Amy and Presera stood in the row with the high-end furniture, a little creeped out by the three-hooded figures who enthusiastically talked about the hair growth agents. For the time being, they also explained how to use the hair tonic and its simple effects. If the tree had any more questions, the girls shouldn’t have an issue answering.

When I glanced at Alm and Silvara, they also looked at the three in dismay. Perhaps noticing my gaze, Alm smiled and shook her hand. Perhaps signaling me to ‘go already’.

"Please follow me."

I guided Chancellor Bergman and his attendant to the office upstairs and urged him to sit on the sofa.

"Here I thought you wouldn’t be coming today, Your Excellency–"

"I wasn’t planning to, Schwartz-dono. It is just that, the effect of the hair tonic I bought here was too great… My colleagues forced me to bring them here."

"… What do you mean?"

"Well, have a look–"

Having said so, Chancellor Bergman removed his hood and showed newly grown flourishing black hairs where a once barren scalp was. When I first saw Amy’s and Presera’s hair, I had some expectations of something like this with the hair tonic. I then congratulated him without much thought for some reason.

"Oh… Congratulations, Your Excellency."

Thankfully, he was in a good mood.

"Call me Sir Bird for now. It will be a hassle if it becomes known that a kingdom’s chancellor is visiting this shop.

Now that you mention it…

"That’s wonderful Sir Bird."

"Indeed it is, Schwartz. So, how was the situation over there?"

The topic shifted to the report on the exploration status of the Margrave of Dragrange and the Devil’s Mountains. Originally, I was supposed to report to a liaison. But since he’s here personally, he might as well hear the report directly.

"I see – so the labyrinth might be closer to the Drak Kingdom."

"That is my best guess. I haven’t come across Sasanqua yet, but I have no doubt they’re heading in the same direction." 

[And… a group that seemed to be not adventurers. It’s as you may have guessed, either runaway slaves, or people from another Kingdom.]

"I also heard that the kingdom was having issues with smugglers—"

"Are you aware of the kingdom’s origins?"

"Yes, I am."

"Even after accepting the people and slaves who suffered from oppression and the founding of the country, we continued to accept escaped slaves and those who had left the country for a long time. There was no choice but to limit it since unwanted individuals could mix among them."

"Next time, if I see another group I’ll—"

When I said that, Bergman’s eyes, who looked through me, changed.

"Hold it right there, Schwartz. Even if you’re currently working as the Kingdom’s spy, I cannot allow you to meddle in our national affairs."

"Pardon me…"

"Good…"

The conversation fell into an awkward silence. But the voices coming from the first floor quickly dissipated the atmosphere.

"Is Sir Bird here?"

"Where is the owner of this shop?"

"The price is so expensive, much higher than what Sir Bird told me."

Apparently, the three we left below began to make a ruckus.

"Good grief. They’re making trouble again… Schwartz, let me introduce you to the three downstairs."

When I went back down to the first floor with Bergman, the three were lined up in front of the counter. There was a lot of hair tonic and shampoos on the counter… Did they want to buy everything…?

"What are you making a ruckus over? Shopkeepers, I’m sorry."

"Sir Bird, where have you been?"

"Didn’t I say that I had an important matter to discuss with the shop owner—? Schwartz, from right to left, Sir Veil, Sir Thesis, and Sir Kood."

Chancellor Bergman introduced me to all of them while the attendant whispered additional information about the three only I could hear. Sir Veil, as I already knew, was Duke Marlen Verdaline. Sir Thesis, who looked relatively young, was Count Lloyd Teisen, the kingdom’s treasurer. And it seemed that Lord Kood, who wore a disproportionate hood on his large body, was Count Arley Crude. He stood at the top of the Central Knights and served as an adviser to the king.

The Chancellor. Secretary of Treasury, Chief of Military Affairs, and a Guild Master. All looking for hair tonic… Were the inhabitants of this world really that prone to balding…? I heard the voices of Alm and Silvara as they looked at me from a distance as I was being introduced.

"Hey, sis, that old man with the long beard… Isn’t he the Guild Master of the General Guild?"

"I thought so too, but why would the guild master come to an unknown shop that just opened recently…"

Of course…. Both of them must’ve gone up to B-Rank, therefore they must’ve seen his face somewhere before. That characteristic long beard that reached down to his chest could really give his identity away. Anyway, taking that aside… The atmosphere had turned into where any of the three men could take off their hoods and use their tonic at any moment now.

"Sir, Bird, and the three Sirs. Let’s talk more about all the products you want to buy upstairs."

At my invitation, all three went upstairs with a smile that could be seen even under the cover of their hoods.

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