It had become my usual pleasure to count the profits I make during the day every night.
In a corner of the dark room, Eli and I counted carefully. While probably making an evil face, we were having fun doing it and it had become a part of our daily routine.
“Things are going good. At this rate, we will be able to open a bigger shop soon.”
“Right. Somewhere facing the big streets would be nice.”
“Yeah. Hey, can we buy that big, bronze, rac.o.o.n statue from the general store tomorrow? The cute one.”
By no means do I think that a big, bronze, rac.o.o.n statue is cute but I agreed to it.
“I think that’s fine. I will leave it to you.”
Eli deals with the customers and I make the swords. As this pattern started to become established, Eli had more time in her hands, so she started to do something about the layout of the shop, as well. Putting up wonderful brick design wallpapers, putting flower vases and flowers in the boorish shop, she was fully using her design senses to build up the shop’s appearance.
Thanks to that, the shop felt much more clean and the feedback from the customers were also positive. And my swords have also slowly started to sell and, because of the swords’ good reputation spreading, we also had more and more customers coming in.
Most of the customers were commoners and couldn’t really go for more expensive swords. Even then, the number of people who went all in increased as they considered long-term usage.
At that time, Eli came saying something terrifying. That the swords are so good that we should also start selling to the n.o.bles.
But ‘Eli and Kururi’s Blacksmith’ was way off the big streets and in a region where rich n.o.bles do not come around.
And so I thought it would be tough but Eli told me with full confidence to leave it to her so I entrusted her with it.
So there, the plan she came up with was to buy a bronze statue of a two-legged pig from a suspicious-looking, secondhand dealer. Putting aside my feelings as I was taken aback seeing the weird, pig statue in a daunting pose, of all things, she also hanged a sword I made from the pig’s waist.
Without paying any heed to me when I went ‘stoop iiit’ without strength, the day’s business had begun.
And then, on the very day, the first male n.o.ble customer came to the stop. After looking at the products, he bought 5 swords he liked.
I couldn’t listen to their conversation as I was at the back of the shop but after he had left, Eli came and filled me in.
It seems like he spotted something weird from the big street and wandered off into the small street to look. And when he came close, he found a pig statue with a sword which he found interesting and came inside the shop to kill some time. And then he got to know it was a well-known store and bought 5 swords. Incredible Eli business strategy.
And so, after that, I decided not to go against her in anything related to the shop’s layout.
I wonder if the big rac.o.o.n statue will be standing side by side Mr. pig there… I am a bit anxious but I believe it will probably turn out well.
The next day, Eli went to buy the rac.o.o.n statue when she was free and had that shop’s people deliver it to our shop. Following the pig, the rac.o.o.n was also standing on two feet……
Looks like the rac.o.o.n statue won’t make it inside the house.
‘Make a sword for the rac.o.o.n too, alright?’ said Eli. She said as if it’s only natural for them to have one at this point.
As such, the entrance to our shop’s gate was like this — pig-door-rac.o.o.n.
Will customers even come into a shop with such an overwhelming entrance? I am worried. But I decided not to meddle in so I stayed quiet and made a sword for the rac.o.o.n, as well.
On the same day, afternoon, a n.o.ble customer came to the shop……
Looks like my decision to stay quiet and make a sword for the rac.o.o.n was the right one.
“Is this the shop with the pig with a sword? Although there was also a rac.o.o.n…”
At the same time I went up front for a break, a customer came in with their children.
A chubby women probably aged 40-ish, came in the store wearing pomp clothing. And behind her, a young boy was hiding.
She asked Eli whether this was the shop she was looking for.
“Yes, the shop with the pig and rac.o.o.n statue with a sword is this one, ‘Eli and Kururi’s Blacksmith’.”
“I-I see. A very different shop you have here. The other day, I heard my cousin bought some swords from here. I have a very good discerning eye so I could tell that the swords he bought were definitely well-made. You can take pride that a viscount’s wife, me, came all the way to your shop.”
“We already take pride in it.”
Eh…… Is it just me or is her service kinda bad? It seems bad for some reason. Could it be that she is irritated by this proud, old lady? No, no, there’s no way Eli who treats the customers courteously would do something…… She is.
When I looked at her face, she looked really p.i.s.sed.
The other day, when Eli specially made dinner and I accidentally spilled it after tripping by the table’s foot, she had the same expression.
“Y-yes, well, alright then. More importantly, I have come to buy a sword today. Show me the most expensive sword here. If it’s good, I will buy it.”
As she looks like quite the rich customer, Eli went to the back of the store happily and brought the best sword in the shop. It’s an excellent piece which we don’t normally display at the shop.
“Here it is.”
The sword Eli carried with both hands was a curved, double-edged sword. While I was trying out different swords, I made this. It’s the best we have at the moment. It doesn’t have any ornaments and looks a bit plain so I wonder if this madam will like it.
The madam held the large sword with her flabby hands.
Her eyes looked sharp as she inspected the sword to the small details. A weird air of tension drifted inside the shop. I wonder what customers will think after crossing a door with a pig and rac.o.o.n on both sides just to find this air of tension inside. I would definitely go back.
“Hmm, the sword my cousin bought were wonderful but I guess this really can be called the best of the shop. To be honest, it’s the best among all the other swords I have seen up till now. This town, no, it’s a sword that can’t really be seen even in this whole domain.”
Her words were pretty precise as she ended her appraisal.
“How much is it? I will pay as much as you want. Tell me.”
Eli happily nodded and told her the fixed price. The price was surprisingly high but the madam didn’t seem fazed at all. She said she wasn’t carrying money at the moment and that she will send someone with the money later, and she will be taking the sword then.
Eli probably imagined tonight’s money counting. That dark hour where we count the gold coins and go ‘guhehehe’.
However, I said something there which might stop that hour from happening. In other words, I put a stop to this negotiation.
“Please wait, madam.”
“Who are you calling madam?”
“Ah, sorry. Ms. viscount, there’s one point of concern.”
I had been calling her madam all along in my head so I unconsciously ended up saying it out loud. The madam glanced towards me, looking discontent.
“You won’t say something like you can’t sell at that price anymore, are you?”
So that’s what she was feeling discontent about. I guess she is a n.o.ble and something like that might have happened when she shopped at a commoner’s shop.
“No, it’s not that. I just want to ask one thing.”
“And what is that?”
“Do you, perhaps, plan on gifting this sword to that child?”
I pointed at the child hiding behind the madam, who looked about 7-8 years old. He is probably her son.
“That’s exactly what I plan to do. I want this child to grow up to be a knight in the future. I plan to pay as much as needed for that means. I will also have him carry the best sword. While my eyes are still alive, that is.”
As I thought. Then it’s good I spoke up.
“The sword you are planning to buy, madam, is for an adult. That too an adult with a well built physique. That’s what I had in mind while making the sword. From the looks of it, your son seems to be a beginner still so I think this sword here would suit him more.”
“Who are you calling madam?”
“I want to give this child the best sword.”
“That sword is the most expensive one in our shop but the best sword differs from person to person. This sword is too big for your son, madam. Suddenly learning with this sword which is made for advanced swordsman will hinder your son’s foundation.”
“I guess madam is fine. That is true but I don’t know which sword will suit him.”
“Leave that to me. I will make a sword from scratch for your son. It seems like madam is willing to spend quite a bit so I can create brand new swords as he develops his skills and grows. I can also adjust. If you want for the best sword, I shall make it with the best materials available in this shop. How about it?”
The madam pondered. It is because the suggestion I made just now had differed from what she had in mind at first.
And there, the kid hiding behind her all this time spoke up.
“Mother, I, would like the sword that big bro is talking about.”
The madam asked with a kind voice, different from the tone she used when talking with us.
“….It’s because he looked at me, and not you.”
‘That’s right’, the madam said and hugged her child and came in front of me.
“Then, I guess I will have you make a sword from scratch for my child. If it’s good, as you say, I will have you make more as he grows.”
Bringing along the shy kid hiding behind the madam, Eli and I measured his arm’s length, his leg’s length, his height and his weight.
As the size was fixed, I started working on it straight away.
As promised, I used the best materials in the shop.
The sword I had completed was a bit small and was straight. They say simple is best but I wonder if the madam will take it.
The madam inspected the sword carefully just as she did before.
“What were your intentions when you were making this sword?”
The madam asked while appraising.
“It’s the best to learn the basics. It’s the kind of sword I would like to give the young me.”
“Fufu, I guess I will buy it. How much will it cost?”
Considering the material cost and the amount to make a profit, I told the madam the approximate amount.
It cost about 1% of the sword the madam was going to buy at first.
It seemed like she had that much with her so she paid right away. She looked satisfied as she took the sword and handed it over to her son. Her son also looked quite happy.
“It seems we will be in contact for a long while.”
“Yes, I am looking forward to it.”
When the parent and child went outside through the door between the pig and the rac.o.o.n, the child’s back looked more reliable than when he came in.
“I will come by myself next time!”
Such words by the kid remained in the shop as they left.
“This sword is left on the shelf because of you.”
Eli said pointing at the sword the madam was planning to buy at first.
I apologized for having taken away tonight’s fun.
“Well, it’s fine. Fufufu, I will have that kid buy an even better sword once he grows up.”
Saying that ominously, Eli left to put the sword back.