Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Ch 84 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 84 -- How 3 pieces of soap worth one copper coin was converted into 4 silver coins

I sat down with Lambert-san and Mary-san in the drawing room at the back of the store. It seemed that Mary-san was determined to be part of the discussion.

I listened as Lambert-san made it clear he wasn't going give in completely to his wife's wishes. He had decided he would give her a small area on the main shop, about two tatami mats in extent for her sales floor.

"I think that it should be larger, my esteemed husband doesn't understand it's the only place in town these goods will be on sale..." Mary-san says sorrowfully. However I understand Lambert-san's thinking. They are new products, totally different to the leather goods his store has been selling until now. It's a good idea to start small and see how they sell.

"Well, if the sales area is going to be so small does that mean you should limit the goods you sell too?" I suggested. I said that perhaps it would be better to agree to sell just three different things at first. I listed the possibilities -- two kinds of soap, the rinse-in shampoo, the shampoo plus conditioner and the hair wraps. What did they think would be the best ones to offer for sale, at least to start with?

"No, we shouldn't limit the number of items. We should sell all of them. " Mary-san leaned forward, speaking emphatically. "Don't you think so, dear?"

Pressured by Mary-san, Lambert-san could only reply "Ummm."

"Mukouda-san's goods are a woman's dream come true. I can't think of any woman who wouldn't want them." Mary-san said confidently, like a lady who is sure of her facts. "I've actually used them myself. I will promote them to my friends although when they see how I look they're going to ask me straight away how my hair achieved this smoothness and lustre, ho ho ho." Saying that, Mary-san stroked her hair again and again. Yeah yeah, I know, your hair is wonderful.

"That's why I believe that I should sell this soap for 4 silver coins." Mary-san said, pointing to the cheapest soap.

Huh? Mary-san, three pieces only cost me one copper coin, I thought to myself.

"Mary, is that not too expensive?" Lambert-san asked.

"You think so? I tried washing my hands with this soap. It foams up well and I think that smell is good if not so good as the scented soap I used in the bath." Mary-san tapped the package with the cheap soap on the table. "Recall the sort of soap we have used until now, dear. Even though it doesn't foam and its smell was unpleasant, it still cost three silver coins. "

"Oh, is that so?" I said, amazed.

"That's right. Considering how much better it is, I think that this product can sell for four silver coins. Really I think it's cheap at that price."

"Well, I suppose so..." Lambert-san was being completely overwhelmed by Mary-san's enthusiasm but he hesitated. "Of course, the price we sell for will depend on the price Mukouda-san will wholesale it to us. What are your thoughts on the subject, Mukouda-san?"

Huh? You're asking me? The wholesale price is up to me? Well I don't really know about that kind of thing but maybe 50% of the selling price is about right?

"Well, how about 2 silver coins?" I asked tentatively.

Lambert-san was surprised at my offer. "No no no, you mustn't give us preferential treatment. How about two silver coins and five copper coins? That's a wholesale price which is still very favorable to us."

What? Is it okay getting that much? If 3 pieces of soap bought for 1 piece of copper can be sold for 2 silver coins and 5 copper coins then I'm not going to complain.

"Well then, we'll settle on that." Two silver coins and five copper coins for three bars of cheap soap, wow. Easy money. Mary-san moved on to the scented soap.

"This soap is really fragrant and using it means you don't have to wear perfume afterwards. I think Mukouda-san said it costs a bit more. We should sell it for six silver coins. What do you think? "

"Well, for this soap, as Mary says, six silver coins looks to be a good price." Lambert-san agreed, staring at the soap on the table. "This pleasant scent adds value and besides it's the sort of thing nobles will want."

I thought that the rose fragrance soap would be a luxury item but it still only cost me 3 copper coins for three pieces. Could they really sell it for six silver coins?

"What would you want for the wholesale price for this soap, Mukouda-san?" Lambert-san inquired.

I thought quickly. Considering the price for the cheaper soap... "Well, how about 3 silver coins and 5 copper coins?"

"Is that enough profit for you?" Lambert-san asked in reply. Turning three copper coins into three silver coins and five copper coins was definitely profitable enough for me.

When I nodded "Yes" Lambert-san said "Thank you so much". Did Lambert-san think I was giving him preferential treatment even at that price? I wasn't sure but I decided to just let it go.

We settled on a wholesale price for the rinse-in shampoo of 4 silver coins with the selling price to be 7 silver coins. The shampoo and conditioner were to be sold as a set since they needed to be used together. The selling price was to be one gold coin, the wholesale price 6 silver coins. The customers would pay extra for the bottles the first time they bought it and then bring them back for a refill afterwards. Mary-san said she would add the price of the bottle, at cost, to the initial purchase. I bought these bottles locally so the extra cost didn't add to my profit margins but I was making so much anyway...

Mary-san held up the small jar with the hair wraps. "This particular item, I'd like to introduce it to only those who purchased the shampoo and conditioner set in order to make an extra rather than selling it separately. Having used it this way," she stopped to stroke her hair again, "It really makes my hair look beautiful like magic. With this effect in mind, I'm thinking about a price of 2 gold coins."

Cough cough... I nearly sprayed the tea that I had just drunk. She said "two gold coins"? I bought a pack of hair wraps for 8 copper coins and put them in two jars I got from the Net Super. So one jar and 4 copper coins of hair wraps and she's intending to sell that for 2 gold coins? Only I know how much they really cost but isn't that too much regardless?

"I know how effective these are in making hair beautiful so two gold coins is a good price." Mary-san emphasized. Still, two gold coins?

"This is a very special item, and this container is also wonderful with such clear glass which is included in this price." She went on, holding the glass jar up to the light. Oh I see, but the jars were cheap on the Net Super too. I decided to just accept her thinking and we decided that the wholesale price, including the Net Super jar would be a gold coin and two silver coins for each one.

"Let's sell these goods on a trial basis for the time being." Lambert-san announced once the wholesale prices had been agreed. Lambert-san intended to purchase larger amounts after seeing how they sell in his shop but for the time being he was going to buy 30 of each item (the shampoo and conditioner as a set) to begin with.

"Oh, Lambert-san and Mary-san, if possible, I'd like you to keep quiet about who you get these things from." Although I'm OK with selling them to Lambert-san I don't want to be bothered by other merchants and even noblemen if they found out who he got them from. That would be a pain.

"Of course, of course." Lambert-san reassured me. "I'm sure that these products will sell well. As long as you can wholesale them to me on an exclusive basis I'm not going to tell anyone else who I get them from."

"I see, a good supplier is a valuable asset for a merchant. I won't sell these items to anyone else." This arrangement would be good for both of us. I suddenly thought of something else.

"One thing, I won't always be in this town, is that going to be a problem? If I'm going to travel around I'll deliver as many products as possible before I go." Fer wants to go to the sea so I'll probably be leaving soon.

"That's fine." Lambert-san reassured me. "I'd only be buying these goods from you a few times a year. If you can let me know in advance when you're leaving I'll place an order beforehand." Lambert-san bought leather in bulk several times a year in the same way, placing orders and arranging collection well in advance. Planning ahead was a thing good merchants did as a matter of course.

"Well then, I'll go get your initial order ready and deliver it tomorrow." I said.

"Thank you." Lambert-san and Mary-san chorused as I left the shop.

Well, time to get busy, I thought to myself. I had to prepare the initial wholesale order for Lambert-san's shop. I wondered if I could supply the liquids in big bottles for delivery and they could refill the small bottles at the shop as trade picked up. Since bottles are to be priced separately, I felt it would be OK if I asked Lambert-san to do it that way. It would save me a lot of time and effort.

For the hair wraps, they were a special item so I  didn't think there would be that many to do... If I was in a hurry I could just put them all into a big jar and ask the Lamberts to refill the original hair wrap jars too. I still had to get that first wholesale order sorted out though. I'd talk to Lambert-san and Mary-san about how to speed up later deliveries after they had started selling the first batch.

On my way back to the inn I needed to drop by a grocery store and buy some more bottles.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Ch 83 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 83 -- Lambert-san's Wife

Fer, Sui and I were having a relaxing breakfast in the courtyard of the inn when the landlady brought a boy aged about 13 or so to us.

"You have a visitor from Lambert Company." she said. I recognised the face of the boy when I looked closely, it was the lad I had seen assisting Lambert-san with his wagon on the way to Carerina.

"You see, the owner is waiting at the store ..." the boy seemed distracted by something. What's up? You're drooling, kid. I wondered if he was remembering the meal he had enjoyed while returning to town as he watched us eat. Okay then, growing kids have healthy appetites so your sempai here will treat you to breakfast.

"It's maybe a bit much for breakfast, but since you're young I think it'll be good for you." I said as I quickly grilled some Orc General meat pickled in miso, made a dish of Orc General miso-yaki-don, and passed it to him. The boy looked between my face and the miso-yaki-don, back and forth.

"Someone as young as you are will never get enough of something like this." I reassured him.

"Oh, it's that good, is it?" He was still unsure.

"I made it for you." I pushed the bowl at him.

"Oh, thank you!" The boy began gulping down Orc General Miso-yaki-don.

"Oh, it is tasty ..." he said, eating it with a happy face. Once he finished the bowl I gave him some roasted green hot tea. I warned him to blow on it before drinking since it was something he hadn't encountered before.

"The food was very delicious and this tea is also delicious. Thank you so much." the boy bowed to me in thanks. Yeah yeah, he's a pretty polite kid. Having to work for a living when you're his age, this other world is a tough place to grow up in. Work hard, kid and don't give up.

"Oh, the store owner is waiting for you..." the boy suddenly remembered why he had been sent to meet us.

Of course, Lambert-san wants me to call on him. I accompanied the boy to Lambert-san's store along with Fer and Sui.

* * * * *

Lambert-san hurried out to greet me as soon as I entered his store.

"Mukouda-san, you finally came, I'm saved..." he blurted, a relieved expression on his face. A woman suddenly appeared from behind Lambert-san. She was about 30 years old, a determined-looking beauty with long olive-brown hair put up in a complex style.

"Dear, you promised to introduce me," she said, elbowing him in the ribs.

"Oh, ah... Mukouda-san, this is my wife..." he stuttered. Pushing past Lambert-san, his wife took over.

"I am Lambert's wife, Mary. I am very pleased to make your acquaintance." she said, curtseying in her long skirt in a very refined manner.

"I owe much to Lambert-san so I am similarly pleased to meet you too." I replied, rather flustered as Mary-san slowly approached me, silently staring into my eyes.

"What is it?" My heart pounded as such a beautiful wife came close to me.

"You see, these items are..." She held out a basket containing the soap and rinse-in shampoo I had given to Lambert-san yesterday to try out. It turned out that Mary-san had noticed a nice smell from Lambert-san after he had a bath last night. Lambert-san had tried to conceal his use of the soap and shampoo because he was planning to surprise her with them on their wedding anniversary, but Mary-san would not be deterred from discovering the truth. Truly a determined lady.

"The fragrance of the soap the master of the household used while bathing was astounding." she explained. "There are no issues with hair loss in our family line so I said that I was fine with trying the hair treatments. I hadn't really bothered with taking care of my hair before now,  but when I saw how clean and glossy my lord and master's hair was after his bath I couldn't wait to try it. As you can see my hair is smooth and glossy too." She looked down shyly but I wondered, given her forcefulness and assertiveness before whether it was only an act. Her "lord and master" was clearly under her thumb... "I don't believe there is a woman anywhere who wouldn't wish for such hair too."

So it seemed I had guessed correctly, women liked such scented things but as a result of Mary-san's sensitive nose Lambert-san's plans were uncovered.

"I was really surprised when I tried the soap my husband had used." Mary continued excitedly. It seems the cheap soaps I bought at the Net Super were like high-class soaps in this world, they foam up well and leave a smooth feeling in the skin and the scent is superior too. The shampoos do a better job of cleaning and treating hair than just soap and water, the usual way to wash hair in this world.

Mary then held out a small jar, the one with the hair masks. "But this product is the truly amazing one." She stroked her long hair tenderly.

"When I heard that Mudouka-san told my lord and master that this item 'makes any type of hair look beautiful just like magic', I just had to use it immediately. After all the soap and shampoo were so wonderful how could I resist? When I actually used it..." She stroked her long hair repeatedly.

"Before, my hair had been dry and stiff and a great problem for me but now it is smooth and shiny and soooo soft..."

Mary-san was dreamily stroking her hair over and over again ...Mary-san, do you love your hair that much now?

"I was also surprised at this," Lambert-san explained, looking at his entranced wife with tender eyes. "Mary's hair has become impossibly smooth and glossy and it smells so wonderful too. She is even more beautiful than I could wish for."

Mary-san punched Lambert-san's arm lightly, saying "My darling..." and his cheeks reddened.

............ Normies, go figure.

"So then, actually..." Lambert-san seemed distracted by his affectionate wife cuddling up to him. I guessed I had a sale. So how much soap and shampoo and hair treatments will you buy for your wife then?

"Mukouda-san, will you please let me sell these items in my store?"

Huh...? Did Lambert-san just ask to sell these things in his own store? I blinked, had I misheard him? Lambert-san owns a leather goods shop, it's not somewhere that you'd expect to sell soaps and shampoos and the like.

"I understand your surprise Mukouda-san, I wasn't sure myself whether it was a good idea but..." Lambert-san looked over at his wife.

"You are still worried about that?" Mary-san interjected. "You don't understand. These items will be very popular and you're a merchant, aren't you? Are you going to let another shop get all the profits from their sale?"

She poked him in the arm again, all business now. "If you sell these items in the store all the aristocratic ladies as well as my friends and ordinary women and girls will come to buy them here." She stroked her hair again. "No woman who sees my hair could resist buying such items."

"But, we sell leather goods..." Lambert-san muttered.

"Yes dear, the store specialises in leather goods but you can allocate a small area to showcase Mukouda-san's goods. You don't have to have all of the stock on display at one time after all." Mary-san explained.

"Yes, that's true..." Lambert-san said, obviously thinking hard about it.

"If you don't want to sell them yourself, dear I will deal with those customers personally." Mary-san went on, pressing her attack.

"No, no, that's not it, ummm." Lambert-san sighed and then gave up, overwhelmed. "Very well, we'll do it your way. Mary, I entrust the selling of Mukouda-san's goods in our store to you."

Mary muttered "Heh heh heh, just watch me." as a greedy expression crossed her face. M-, Mary-san?

Lambert-san coughed. "Mukouda-san, will you please wholesale these goods to me?" Thank you Mary-san, I didn't want to sell these items to people directly. I don't have a shop and I didn't want to do any complicated customer service.

"Of course I will." I bowed to Mary-san. "I would appreciate it very much if you would sell my goods in your husband's shop."

"Thank you very much! It is very kind of you to agree!" Mary said happily. I couldn't refuse, could I, in the face of a woman's obsessive desire for beauty. To say no was, well, unthinkable.

"Well then, let's discuss the details in the back room." Mary-san said commandingly and Lambert-san and myself followed her there like obedient servants.


[A short digression on plumbing in this world]

"Lambert-san, how do you drain the bath after use?" I was puzzled about how this world dealt with such things.

"The drainage is dealt with by a tank under the bathroom, buried in the ground." Lambert-san explained. "There is a magic tool inside the tank to purify the water held there. After the water is clean it is released through a drain pipe out into the river."

"Oh, so they have things like drain tanks and drains in this different world too..." Mukouda-san thought to himself.

"It's advisable to hire a user of earth magic to deal with such things when installing a bath in your home." Lambert-san went on.

"Oh, earth magic. Isn't it expensive if it's for that sort of complicated work, tanks and drains and such?"

"Yes of course. I hired an earth magic user to install the tank and its purifying magic tool. The final total including the bath itself was more than 500 gold coins..."

"500 gold coins, really?" I was amazed.

"Yes, it was a lot to spend but I have worked hard to provide such things for Mary, the love of my life."

"Ah, of course." I murmured. It probably will not be so expensive for me because I have Sui who has water magic and purifying water should be a snap for her especially since she's a Slime. Hooray for Sui-tan!

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Ch 82 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 82 -- It Seems Baths Are On Sale

"Hello. My name is Mukouda, is Lambert-san available to speak to me?"

I went to Lambert-san's shop but unfortunately today Lambert-san was not in the shop that day. I spoke to one of his employees who seemed to recognise me. He immediately went off to call Lambert-san.

Lambert-san came from the back of the store. "Mukouda-san, welcome."

"I've brought the Black Serpent's skin that you wanted, Lambert-san." I got right down to business.

"Oh, that is excellent news." Lambert-san said with a smile on his face. "Please, this way."

I followed Lambert-san into a reception room at the back of the store. A maid brought tea as soon as I was shown to a chair. The tea smelled and tasted like oolong.

"So may I show you the skin of the Black Serpent?" Lambert-san nodded so I extracted the Black Serpent skin from my Item Box and displayed it to him.

"Ho ho, this seems to have few scratches. It is in wonderful condition." said Lambert-san, examining the skin minutely. "Truly wonderful". It seems that skins with only small amounts of damage are rarely available.

"Because this is such a good skin I will make a good offer... hmmm, how about 50 gold coins?"

Huh? 50 gold coins for just the Black Serpent's skin? Lambert-san explained his thinking to me.

"As I said before, this skin has only a few scratches. Scratched or torn parts of a skin can't be used to make high-quality leather items such as bags. This skin is almost undamaged so I'll be able to use more of it than usual."

I see. Still 50 gold coins seemed a lot. It is an unexpected extra income but welcome all the same.

"Very well, I agree, 50 gold coins it is."

When I said that, Lambert-san went off to a back room and returned with 50 gold coins and stacked them on the table before me, five stacks of ten coins each.

"50 gold coins, please check the total." said Lambert-san.

"Yes, I have received 50 gold coins." I said formally, completing the deal. I carefully put the 50 gold coins in the Sand Snake skin wallet I had bought in this shop earlier.

"Oh, that's from our shop." said Lambert-san appreciatively, noticing the wallet.

"Yeah, I've been a little hesitant to use it but since this money was earned at Lambert-san's store, I thought it appropriate to start keeping coins in it from now on."

"Heh, I hope that you use it profitably for a long time to come." Lambert-san said. A Sand Snake skin purse with 50 gold coins made me feel rich somehow even though it's a small part of my entire fortune.

I remembered I wanted to consult with Lambert-san about selling goods so I put a serious expression on my face and sat up straight.

"Well, I'd like to discuss some other business with Lambert-san if I may...."

"Discuss busniness with me?"

"Yes, but before we begin... I got hold of a lot of Bloody Horn Bulls so I felt I should share the bounty." I brought out the Bloody Horn Bull's skin Johan-ojisan had disassembled for me and presented it to Lambert-san.

"Are you sure?" he said, admiring the skin.

"Of course it is. As I said, I got a lot of them." It's easier to ask someone to do you a favour if they feel they're indebted to you because of something you gave them. It's not a bribe, honest. Since Lambert-san seemed ready to accept my 'gift' I continued with my explanation.

"You see, I'm also registered in the Merchants Guild." I showed him my iron ranked guild card.

"Ah, that's unusual. Few people join both the Merchants Guild and the Adventurers Guild."

"What I'd like to consult with you about is some goods I have, whether you think they would sell and what sort of price I should ask for them." I brought out the soap, rinse in shampoo and other items I had prepared.

"This soap, for example..." I took some of the cheap soap out of its bag and showed it to Lambert-san. "This other soap, however is scented and I'd expect to charge a bit more for it." Lambert-san sniffed the scented soap with some interest. I continued with the shampoo and conditioner, showing him the bottles I had filled earlier.

"This liquid is used to wash your hair. Your hair will be smooth and shiny after you use it. Women will especially like this, I'm sure."

Lambert-san picked up the bottle containing the rinse-in shampoo and pulled out the cork stopper to sniff the scent. I showed him the regular shampoo and conditioner bottles.

"These are also for washing your hair but they're better than the first one. I'd hope I can charge more for these for that reason." I held out the shampoo bottle. "You use this one to wash your hair," and then I presented him with the conditioner bottle. "And then you rinse your hair with this one afterwards." I put the two bottles down, side by side on the table. "It leaves the hair glossy and beautiful, admired by everyone who sees it."

Lambert-san checked the scent  of the shampoo and conditioner, pulling out the cork stoppers. I finished up by showing him the hair wraps in their small jar.

"This last item is special," I explained, "after washing your hair, you put it on and leave it for a while. It makes any type of hair look beautiful just like magic."

Lambert-san opened the jar and sniffed the scent as he had all the other items then he sat back, eyes closed, obviously thinking hard. His ferocious concentration made me nervous, then he opened his eyes again.

"Mukouda-san." he paused, then continued. "It's been a great pleasure for me to become acquainted with you, Mukouda-san." he said earnestly. "You see, it will be my wedding anniversary in two weeks time but I've been fretting over what sort of present to give to my wife..."

He explained that he usually gave her something like a bag or other leather accessory for obvious reasons but his wife had not-so-subtly hinted that she would like something different this year, saying she had as many items like that as she'd ever need so he had been worrying about what to give her as a gift this time.

"My lovely wife adores soap, and indeed she worries a lot about how her hair looks, so if I could gift her with these items, Mukouda-san I'd be very much relieved!" He lined the bottles and bags up on the table before him, muttering something like "I'm saved..." Couples are bad news, I thought but I kept that to myself. 

Something in Lambert-san's words caught my attention. "If your wife loves soap, does that mean you have a bath?" Lambert-san's store was obviously a high-class establishment but I had thought that only the mansions noblemen lived in had baths.

"Yes," he said with a smile, "We have a bath. My wife demanded we buy one." So they did have a bath. I really wanted to see what a bath in this other world is like, and find out if I could buy one as well.

"Oh, I'm sorry to be rude but could you possibly show me your bath?" Although it might be a bit weird to just up and ask someone to show them the bath they have in their home I couldn't stop myself, I wanted to see it.

"Yes, that's fine." he said, surprising me with his prompt agreement. He led me into the house attached to the store and guided me to his bathroom. The bath there was like an enlarged washbowl made of brown pottery but it was definitely a bath. I'd fit in it easily, no problems.

"We're really proud to have this in our home." Lambert-san said boastfully. It seems that it's a mark of success in business for a merchant to have a bath at home. "A wonderful bath, isn't it?" I agreed wholeheartedly and Lambert-san told me more. It was made of pottery with specially treated ground-up mana stones kneaded into the clay before it was fired and glazed and that made it very expensive. The crushed mana stones in the pottery kept the water at just the right temperature all the time with no need to heat it and it never cooled down. Lambert-san's simple brown-coloured bath apparently cost him 350 gold coins when he bought it. Other baths with nicer colors and with decorations were more expensive.

Th- three hundred and fifty gold coins, boy that was pricey. But thanks to Fer I had money burning a hole in my pocket so... Basically, I wanted a bathtub, big time. Just seeing this one only increased my determination to get one for myself.

First up I asked Lambert-san where I can buy a bath. It turned out that Irario Company owned a large shop that was the only place you could buy a bath in this town. It seems that shop was their head office but they had branches in other cities as well. I really wanted to buy a bath, so I planned to go there and check them out later. I had to conclude my business with Lambert-san first though. I needed to reassure him that the soap and hair treatments were safe and suitable to give to his wife as a present.

When we returned to the meeting room I indicated the bottles and bags on the table. "Lambert-san, please try all these items for yourself. If you're fine with them I'll bring you more so you can give them to your wife on your wedding anniversary."

"Well, yes," Lambert-san said, "I'd be in serious trouble if I gave her something that did strange things to her hair and skin without testing it myself first after all." Lambert-san, I don't want you to get into trouble...

"Could you give me some guidance about setting the price for such goods if you're happy after trying them out?"

"Certainly." Lambert-san smiled. "Solving this problem which was worrying me more than anything to do with business is definitely worth a little advice." I thanked him profusely and left Lambert-san's shop.

Once I know what sort of prices I can charge I could start to figure out how much I can sell. The soaps, shampoo and treatments have all sorts of fragrances so I could change the prices around for the different types and of couse there's the fashionable 'organic' versions too. There's no doubt that these sorts of things were a better sales prospect than simple salt and pepper. I was looking forward to seeing what Lambert-san would say about them.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Ch 81 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 81 -- Soap, Shampoo and Conditioner

Next day I went to the Adventurers Guild to collect the Bloody Horn Bull meat and the Black Serpent's meat and skin.

Johan-ojisan came out when I announced myself at the Guild's purchase counter and I followed him along with Fer into the warehouse, a place I had become familiar with. Sui was in her new bag as usual. It seems that she found this bag  quite comfortable.

"Well, the Guild Master hasn't come back yet, he's still talking 'bout the Mithril Lizard thing with Count Langridge-dono so I can't help ya with that." Johan-ojisan shrugged. "I can sort out the Bloody Horn Bull subjugation reward right now."

If the Guild Master was still in discussions with the Count that sounded like it was going to be a problem. Higher-ups and nobles are always trouble. I listened carefully as Johan-ojisan started explaining the payments he was making today.

"First of all, there are 324 gold coins for the subjugation itself. Then there's the purchases -- we're buying the Bloody Horn Bull horns, that's two horns each for 58 monsters at one and a half gold coins per horn, making a total of 174 gold coins. Then there are 57 skins since ya kept one, ummm they're eight gold coins each so that's 456 gold coins. You're lettin' us buy half the meat this time round, ten gold coins for each monster carcass so that makes 290 gold coins." Johan-ojisan scatched his bald head. "And I'm forgettin' something... ah. That other Black Serpent you brought it, you're keeping the meat and skin but the poison sacs, liver, fangs, eyeballs and its mana stone are worth 79 gold coins. That's a grand total of 1323 total gold coins. "

Bloody Horn Bull horns are used to make magical tools and it seems the leather is popular as a material for bags and shoes. Coincidentally, there was a bag made from Bloody Horn Bull leather in Lambert-san's shop. The meat is a bit high-priced but it's still popular and always in demand. Selling this many Bloody Horn Bulls at one time wasn't going to depress the market and hence reduce the price paid by the Guild.

"The Guild here has been making big profits since you came to town, kiddo." Johan-ojisan looked sad though. Why? "Problem is," he continued, "we've got a cash flow problem, paying out so much to you in one lump is a stretch. If you could just wait for a few days..." My face fell. I'm sorry, I'm causing you problems, I'm sorry. Of course I'll wait...

Johan-ojisan suddenly grinned. "Just kidding, sonny. We can pay you right now."

Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, Johan-ojisan dropped five heavy cloth sacks on the work table.

"There's 300 gold coins in each big bag and another 123 coins in this little one." He tapped a smaller sack to the left of the four big ones. 1323 gold coins ... ....

The money we're earning is just incredible. Well, the money Fer's earning is incredible, I should say. Of course we've still to receive the money from the Mithril Lizard subjugation as well.

"Oh, yes, there was a message from the Guild Master." Johan-ojisan said. "The disassembly cost for the monsters you sell to the Guild here is still free since you're selling us so much, sonny. Anything you catch while you're staying in this city counts."

So they still won't charge for dismantling? Great, but right now we have plenty of meat and there's no need for Fer to go hunting right now. Fer's been complaining about a lack of exercise though and if he does go off and hunt something then I'll happily sell it to the Guild, minus the meat of course.

"Now that's out of the way, here's the Bloody Horn Bull meat and Black Serpent meat and leather you wanted to keep." I got the meat of 27 Bloody Horn Bulls and the meat and skin of the Black Serpent from Johan-ojisan and put it all in the Item Box. That was a lot of meat. I mean, really a lot of meat. A mountain of meat.

Right then, time to go. Saying goodbye to Johan-ojisan I left the Adventurers Guild with Fer in tow and headed back. On the way I bought some things I needed from a general store.

"I'm going back to the inn after this to get some things ready and then I'm going to Lambert-san's store. What do you want to do, Fer?"

"I'm bored hanging around in that beast stable. I'll go with you."

"I understand. Well then I'll be busy in the room for a while so just hang around for a bit." I said to Fer and then went back to my room.

* * * * *

"Well, I've been spending all my time at the Adventurer's Guild in this town up till now. I'm also a member of the Merchants Guild so I think I need to do a bit of selling too." was my thinking. It had taken me some effort to get into the Merchants Guild and I'd paid the membership fees so it seemed a good idea to earn some money that way. My plan was to buy some things from the Net Super and resell them here.

I took a look through the Net Super, wondering if this or that would be sellable but I had no real idea of what anything was worth in this world. I wanted to talk to Lambert-san about that, since he seems to be a top-ranking merchant.

To start with I bought some things I used myself from the Net Super. I bought 3 pieces of basic soap for 1 copper coin and 3 pieces of rose-scented soap for 3 copper coins. Next up I purchased 4 assorted refills of rinse-in shampoo, regular shampoo and conditioner for 4 copper coins total. I figured this would sell well here. It came to a bit over 8 copper coins since I added a pack of hair wraps to the order at the end. I bought the shampoos and conditioner in refill packs since I thought I'd sell them here as special items and I couldn't do that if they were in plastic bottles.

I started by taking the bars of soap out of their other-world packaging and putting them into individual small cloth bags which I'd bought at the general store earlier. Since soap seems to exist in this world, I figured selling soap bars would be easier than trying to sell liquid soap and body wash. I'd price the rose-scented soap a bit higher than the basic soap since I thought it would be a luxury item here.

"Well, let's put the shampoo and such into the bottles I bought at the general store."

I decanted the rinse-in shampoo and regular shampoo and conditioner from their refill packs into longnecked bottles sealed with a cork. I filled three bottles of each. The rinse-in shampoo would be OK for everyday use (although it appeared that in this world baths weren't that common among ordinary folks, richer people would bathe every day). The separate shampoo and conditioner are intended as luxury goods. The shininess of someone's hair is improved if they use shampoo and conditioner properly and it feels better to the touch.

I put the hair wraps I bought as an afterthought into a small wide-mouthed jar I purchased from the Net Super. Since the wraps were an other-world item they might make someone's hair beautiful by magic and I could sell them at a high price too.

So, that's all there was to it. Although this stuff was likely to sell well here I didn't know what price to ask for them. I wanted to consult with Lambert-san about that. I should use any connections I have, I think, to make things easier for myself. I don't know what the people in this world might think of shampoo and conditioner -- surely they've got some kind of hair cleaning products of their own? Anyways I'd take these with me tomorrow and talk to Lambert-san to see what he thinks.

Aaaand, I'm going to take a bath... Although I'm getting used to just wiping my body with a wet towel, I'm Japanese after all and I'd really like to take a bath.

I want a bath.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Ch 80 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 80 -- "Cheese In" is Justice!

I decided to make a lot of dishes to put in my Item Box, things I can store after I prepare them and then just pull them out when we want to eat. The smell of cooking so much food would linger in my room so I used the inn's courtyard instead after asking permission.

So what did I decide on? First of all, I made Orc General meat marinated in miso. It's easy, just put the meat and miso in a plastic bag and let it soak in. I could grill the meat afterwards but I'll probably deep-fry it since that seems to be a staple for us these days. I can do that any time if I've got the meat already marinated.

There are two types of rub, soy sauce based rub and salt based rub for the other meats, of course. I used Black Serpent, Rock Bird and Giant Dodo since they were like chicken. I coated half of each type of meat in the soy sauce based rub and the other half using the salt based rub. I was preparing an enormous amount of meat so I washed and drained some rice before I started cooking it.

After putting more money into the Net Super I bought yet another portable cooking stove and another big earthenware pot. I only bought one extra stove because I can't really manage more than four stoves at one time. It would be terrible to burn food if there's too much going on for me to cope with and I make a mistake so I made pots of rice on three of the stoves while I was also frying a lot of meat marinated in miso on the other stove. Given the eating habits of Fer and Sui I was cooking large amounts of food. Each pot of steaming-hot rice was stored in the Item Box when it was ready so that we could eat cooked rice anytime. I cooked more rice again on the three stoves, but this time only two pots of rice went into the Item Box for later and I held back one pot of rice to make onigiri.

"Fu ~, finally finished getting everything ready."

I took out the rice pot which I had put in Item Box so that it would stay warm after cooking, ready to make onigiri.

"Onigiri hmmm, I'll need nori, salmon, mix in some wakame and maybe whitebait too?"

I bought the fillings from the Net Super and made lots of onigiri.  OK, some of the onigiri (a lot of them) were badly shaped but that was kind of normal and entertaining in its own way, and it didn't affect the taste. To tell you the truth I'd really have liked to to make some onigiri with mentaiko but it's kinda sticky and messy so I didn't bother.

I still had ambitions even after all this work. "Fahahahahah, I've wanted to get this since I saw it on the Net Super." It was a hand-operated mincer, sold in the cookware department. I could make minced meat with this.

I decided that I was going to make hamburger. Everyone likes fried or grilled hamburgers, right? I intended to fill some of them with cheese Japanese style ("Cheese In"), the two tastes go so well together. First of all, I had to mince a large amount of meat. I could use ground meat for all sorts of dishes so I decided to make a lot of it. I started with Bloody Horn Bull meat, turning it into ground meat.

Put the meat in the mincer and turn the handle, turn and turn............ I don't know how many times I turned the handle but finally I had a lot of Bloody Horn Bull mince ready to cook with. However I wasn't finished. Next I had to mince up a lot of Orc General's meat too. Like mincing the Bloody Horn Bull's meat, I put in the Orc General's meat and turned the handle, turned it and turned it and turned it and turned it............ I minced a large amount of Orc General meat that way.

"Well, I'm worn out but I can make hamburger now." I said, looking at the piles of minced meat with the satisfaction of a job well done.

I chopped up some onions to start with. Some folks like to fry the chopped onions beforehand but it's a pain so I don't bother. I decided I'd make the ground meat ratio for these hamburgers 60 percent Bloody Horn Bull and 40 percent Orc General meat.

 I started mixing the ingredients. I added some milk to bread crumbs in a bowl and left them to soak while I mixed the minced meat with the onions, eggs, salt and pepper and then added the milk-soaked bread crumbs afterwards. I formed the mixture into patties of the right size, arranged them on trays I bought from the Net Super, wrapped them in film and put them in my Item Box for safe keeping. I made more the same way, and more... I finally got to the point where I could move on to the next step so when I was making the last batch of hamburgers I put cheese in the middle of each patty, Japanese style.

Afterwards, I cooked deep fried meat so I'd have it ready to eat when we wanted it. After warming up the oil, I deep-fried half of the marinated meat, cooking it twice to make the outside crisp. I also fried chicken cutlets and pork cutlets. I put cheese into a bunch of pork and chicken cutlets and fried them too since it seemed like a good idea. "Cheese In" is Justice!

"Ok, the oil is still nice and hot...how about fries?" I opened up Net Super again and bought some frozen fried potatoes, wedges with skin on as well as regular thin French fries. I could use them as sides for the fried meat and hamburger and fried potatoes go so well with beer, so I deep-fried a lot of potatoes.

"That's enough deep-fried food, I think." It was time to fry some hamburger. I used a shallow frying-pan, cooking both sides thoroughly without any oil. At home I ate them with a sauce I made with ketchup. After taking out the cooked hamburgers I added ketchup and Worcester sauce to the fat which had oozed out of the ground meat and reduced it in the pan, stirring regularly until it thickened. Some people might add sugar but not in my kitchen. Heathens.

I fried up some "Cheese In" hamburgers and made sauce for them as well.

 "Alright, all done." Now for a taste. I was looking forward to...

"Gruuumble..." came the sound of a great empty belly behind me. I looked back and sure enough Fer was standing there, saliva dripping from his jaws. Sui was sitting next to him expectantly.

"Of course..." I gave into the inevitable and quickly prepared hamburgers for the two gluttons.

"It smells nice," munch*munch*munch "Oh, this is delicious." Fer paused thoughtfully. "Both are delicious, but the ones with the soft white stuff inside taste better."

"True, this is real good. The sticky white stuff inside is delicious." Sui agreed. "Cheese In" hamburger is popular, it seemed. "Cheese In" truly is Justice! I like "Cheese In" too of course. I had some fresh-cooked rice with my "Cheese In" hamburger and yes, it was delicious.

I worked hard cooking all day, so I decided I'd have some premium beer with potato fries as a reward. *Psssshh...* Ummm, that's nice.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Ch 79 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Episode 79: Chicken Namban

Just after I finished testing my new magic powers Fer returned, carrying a Black Serpent securely in his mouth. It seemed his hunt was successful. Saying that I didn't really expect otherwise even though a Black Serpent is an A-rank monster. I'm not really surprised by what he can do any more... Fer dropped the Black Serpent he had caught in front of me.

"Thanks, Fer." I put the Black Serpent in my Item Box.

"What's up with this?" Fer asked me when he saw the box-shaped house I had made.

"This is what I created with earth magic." I was kind of proud of it.

"What's it for?" Fer was blunt as usual.

"Hey, I just wished I had something like this to sleep in when we're travelling."

"You've got my Barrier, haven't you?"

"It's not that." I explained. "Fer, your Barrier is strong and safe, it keeps the rain off, I'm really grateful for it... but it's transparent and when I go to bed I feel uneasy and I can't sleep properly."

"Yeah, but is something like that thing better than my Barrier?" Fer was sounding peeved. I hurried to placate him.

"Look, there are times when you like an area and want to hang around or it's a nice place to hunt and you're going to stay there for a while, aren't there Fer?"

"Well, yes there are." Fer conceded.

"When you do that what kind of place do you choose to sleep in?"

"There's usually a cave or a big tree..." Fer said slowly.

"Why do you choose places like that?"

"Why? I don't know but somehow I can sleep better in a place like that..."

"That's exactly why I made this house." I said triumphantly.

"I see..." He still didn't sound convinced.

"Well, if we're on a journey I definitely want to sleep in something like this at the end of the day."

OK, I had partially convinced Fer my little 'house' was a good idea but another problem had cropped up. How do I get rid of the 'house' after I've finished with it? I can't just leave little buildings like this behind me as I travel with Fer, it's not eco.

Oh, it seems if I made it just with my magical power it should disappear if I try to make it go away. I used Stone Wall on the 'house', thinking 'disappear' and it disappeared like it had never been there at all. Perhaps only the one who used magic to create it can get rid of it but I can do it without a problem.

I had a great time today learning about my magic but it was getting late.

"Fer, do you want to eat here or are you going to wait until we're back in town? It may be almost dark by then."

"My belly's empty, let's eat here." The glutton had spoken. I'll make dinner for Fer right away. So what will it be today? Hmmm, since I have fried chicken cutlets in my Item Box, I'll use them up to make Chicken Namban.

I opened the Net Super menu and purchased what I was missing, mainly vinegar and tartare sauce. I thought about cooking up some rice but it would take too long so why not bread...? I chose hamburger buns this time.

First I had to make sweet vinegar by putting soy sauce, vinegar and sugar in a pan and warming it up. I soaked some fried chicken cutlets in the sweet vinegar letting them slowly absorb the flavour. I put them on a dish and finished off with plenty of tartare sauce on top.

Ah, I have to wake up Sui. "Hey Sui, we're going to eat."

"Oh, dinner?-" Darling Sui-chan was awake instantly.

"Yes, dinner." I confirmed.

"Dinner, let's eat-"

Now Sui was awake I put out another dish of Chicken Namban for her.

"It's kinda sour, but it's delicious when you eat it with this white stuff." Fer said while gobbling the contents of his dish.

"Yah, this white stuff is delicious.-" Sui agreed.

They seemed to like tartare sauce. I think tartare sauce is delicious too, by the way.

My turn now. I put Chicken Namban on a hamburger bun and added lots of tartare sauce then I bit into the completed Chicken Namban burger.

"Tasty-" The Chicken Namban and bread went very well together. Chicken cutlets glazed with sweet vinegar and plenty of tartare sauce are delicious.

"Hey, what you're eating, it looks delicious." Fer interrupted.

"Do you want to try Chicken Namban in a burger bun?"

"Yes, please."

"Oh, Sui also wants to eat it-"

I made Chicken Namban burgers for Fer and Sui.

"Eating this with bread is delicious-" Sui said.

Yeah yeah, if you liked the Chicken Namban by itself then this combination will be pretty much the same taste. As for Fer... he scarfed down a complete Chicken Namban burger in a single bite. I guess he thought it was delicious too.

We took a small break after the meal to settle our digestion and then we made our way back to the town.

* * * * *

"Oh, can we stop by the Adventurers Guild?" I asked Fer. He agreed, not being particularly hungry any more. When we got to the Guild we went straight to the purchasing counter where there was a young man on duty.

"Ah, is Johan-san around?" I inquired.

"Whaddaya want him for?" The young man said very brusquely.

"Eh, I just need him for something." The young man's attitude was rubbing me up the wrong way.

"Hang on." Saying that, he turned to the warehouse door behind the purchase counter and shouted, "Ossan, there's a customer here-"

"Oh- wait, wait." Johan-ojisan's voice came back. After a few moments Johan-ojisan appeared from the back of the warehouse.

"It's you, sonny?" he said. "You're gonna have to come back tomorrow, I'm not finished disassembling all those Bloody Horn Bulls yet."

"Oh, that's not what I'm here for, I have something different to ask you..." I know you're busy and I'm sorry for asking you to do more work but I need it done as soon as possible.

"Well, seeing it's you come on through." I followed Johan-ojisan back into his warehouse.

"So what you got for me today?" he asked expectantly.

"Uh, it's Black Serpent." I pulled the Black Serpent out of my Item Box.

"Ohoho, I'm starting to enjoy seeing you turn up here, sonny." Johan-ojisan said. "I never know what surprises you're gonna pull out of your Item Box. It's Black Serpent this time-"

I'm really sorry. "Please give me the meat and the skin and please buy the rest."

"I gotcha. I'm still working on those Bloody Horn Bulls though like I said. I'll give you everything together once they're all done, OK?"

"Yes, that would be great." I'm going to get a Black Serpent skin I can sell to Lambert-san as we had agreed earlier. Time to go back to the inn.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Ch 78 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 78 -- My Blessings (Small) Turn Out To Be Really Useful After All

Right then, next up is the verification of the changes to my own magic powers. There are various things I want to try and they'll take a bit of time. In that case...

"Hey Fer, I want to try out my magic powers and it may take a while. While I'm doing this can you go find a Black Serpent and hunt it for me?"

"Oh, is that about you wanting a Black Serpent skin? You said something about it earlier."

"Yeah, that's it. Lambert-san talked me into agreeing to wholesale him a Black Serpent skin. Can you catch one for me?"

"Yeah, no problem. I'm not doing anything else anyway. I'll be right back." Fer hesitated. "Yes, I've put up a Barrier for you. I know how you worry about such things." Condescension doesn't suit you, Fer.

"Oh Fer-sama, thank you thank you thank you." Fer ignored my sarcastic riposte, dashing off quickly into the distance. He could really move when he wanted to. Right, to work.

"Lessee, let's try fire magic first." There was a danger of fires if I shot off Fireballs randomly in the forest so I first tried changing the size of a Fireball held on my palm. I started with a regular Fireball.

"Wow!" The Fireball I made was double the size of the ones I could create before.

"Is this the power of the goddess' blessing?" OK, dial it back a bit... I tried to deliberately make a Fireball of the usual size, using a lot less magical power... Oh, I made it. That looks good. So if I cut back on the magical power I feed into the Fireball it gets smaller. More power, it gets bigger. I kept pumping magical power into it and eventually I ended up with a Fireball about a metre in diameter.

"It takes a lot of effort to keep it this size." I muttered.

"Wow, Aruji is amazing-" Sui commented.

"Sui, this is a Fireball and it's really hot so you shouldn't get too close to it."

"I understand-"

While Sui was telling me I was amazing I saw the Fireball growing and shrinking. I had to concentrate to maintain its size.

"Next up, another Fireball at the same time..." I created two smaller Fireballs, one on each hand. That worked too. I spent about 15 minutes trying assorted combinations then I paused, puzzled by the way I felt.

"Huh? I'm not at all tired?" I would feel tired by now normally. I'd want to sit down after expending so much magical energy but it's no problem now.

"Is this reduction of magical power consumption from the blessing? The Goddess mentioned something like that... I'm OK afterwards even though my fire magic is a lot stronger too."

It turned out it was difficult for me to maintain a Fireball with a diameter of about a metre and half so I decided I'd only create a big one like that in an emergency. Whaddayaknow, the Goddess' blessings (small) looked like they were going to be useful after all.

Next I tried out my earth magic. First of all...

"Stone Bullet." Thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk... I went up to the tree I had used as a target and counted seven pebbles (Stone Bullets) embedded in the trunk.

"Seven Stone Bullets at a time is a big improvement, and they're embedded deep in the wood. It looks like their striking power has also gone up."

I kept experimenting, firing off Stone Bullet several times while increasing the magical power I fed into the effort. At my limit I could shoot nearly 30 pebbles at a time.

"It's a bit like a shotgun." I mused. It seemed to be quite powerful but again I decided I'd reserve that amount of effort for an emergency.

Next I tried using some new Earth Magic I had acquired. "Stone Wall." A stone wall about 2 metres long and tall and about 10 cm thick appeared on the ground in front of me.

"Oh, it worked." I was a bit surprised, I had only put a small amount of magical power into it since it was my first attempt at using this spell. I felt I could put a lot more power into it if I desired. It certainly felt different to the Stone Bullet spell.

Was it worth expending magical energy to simply create stone walls? Well maybe, perhaps if I thought I wanted to be somewhere for a long time. I decided to try something more elaborate but first I decided take a little break and restore my magical power levels again. Checking my Status, my magical power was reduced to nearly half from all the experimenting I had done. I also felt a bit tired and hungry now so I decided to eat something to restore my energy levels while I relaxed. I bought some sweet buns from the Net Super.

"Sui ~ Let's rest for a while." I called. Sui who had been busy practicing water magic came over at once. "Here's a snack for you." I offered her a sweet bun.

"It's not dinner-time, is it OK to eat just now?" Sui wasn't sure she was allowed to snack between meals.

"Yes you can, but only this one time." Sui-chan's a good girl, she deserved a treat now and then.

"Yay!-" Once Sui started eating, I started eating too, with my usual canned coffee accompaniment to the sweet buns. Yeah, sweet things when I am tired are delicious. After nearly an hour's break I checked my Status again.  It wasn't totally restored but it had recovered to about 90%. Sui got sleepy as usual after she ate sweet things and she took a nap in her bag. I moved away a bit to avoid waking Sui again before I continued experimenting.

"Fu~, I finally managed to do it." It had taken a lot of trial and error but since I now had Stone Wall I thought I could perhaps make a house with earth magic. I only had the blessings (small) of Earth Goddess Kishar so I wasn't sure I could do such a complicated thing, but this is really useful.

The 'house' I created (although it's doubtful whether you could actually call it a real house) was a box-shaped room of roughly 10 tatami mats in size. It had walls, a doorway and a roof, nothing elaborate or complicated but the difference between having it and not having it while travelling would be more than you'd think at first.

Fer's Barrier spell guarantees me a perfect defence and rain and breezes are kept off but because it is transparent it doesn't provide me with the reassurance of a solid wall. My biggest problem is when I go to sleep. I know that the Barrier is safe and reliable but since I can see through it I continue to worry and I can't rest easy. I want a wall between me and the world outside when I go to bed so I can sleep well, so this will be like sleeping at home. Good enough.

It took me about two-thirds of my magical power to make this 'house' though, but if it reassures me and helps me sleep better it'll be worth it.

It may only be a blessing (small) but it's doing a really good job. Well done! I was kinda worried this change in my Status would cause me problems but yeah, having it is good for me after all. I'd not be able to do this sort of thing otherwise, probably so in the end I'm glad I got the blessings (small).