‘Eli and Kururi’s Blacksmith’ had set off to a pretty smooth sailing, to say the least. Even today, the number of customers crossing the gate between the pig and the rac.o.o.n wasn’t coming to an end. The amount of customers who are n.o.bles also increased and it turned into a rumor which made even more n.o.bles visit. Unlike the commoners, they didn’t hesitate to spend money on good stuff. Thanks to that, the shop was running really well.
That is a really good thing but, to be honest, all of our products are more or less expensive. And when we consider the location of our shop, it is even more so.
There are a very small number of customers wealthy enough to buy from the shop regularly and it’s hard to establish a customer base.
Of course, we are also doing repairs but I recently found out that the swords don’t really get damaged easily and when they do, it’s only to a degree which they can fix by themselves.
Even though reputation of the swords is growing, it is sad to not see a customer a second time.
Even amongst all that, our shop now had a few regular visitor, although very few.
First, the old, blacksmith man, Barol. He decreased his amount of work and was showing up at our shop frequently. His objective is to watch me work and that seems to be something he looks forward to the most these days. He is always very cheerful when gazing at my work. Although I am happy that he comes and has fun, unfortunately, he is a regular visitor but not a customer.
The other one is Ms. Poly. She is person who we are indebted to since coming out of that mysterious coc.o.o.n. We can’t thank her enough. She also comes over when she is on a break at her parent’s liquor shop. Her objective is to talk about love with Eli. While there are customers in the shop, she cleans up the interiors so as to not get in our way. But when there are no customers, she and Eli talk about love affairs and go ‘kyaa kyaa’. About how the shoemaker’s 2nd son Van makes good sake, or that the 3rd son of a furniture dealer is good at cooking, she is always searching for her future husband everyday without rest. I am also happy that she looks like she is having fun but, unfortunately again, she is a regular visitor but not a customer.
And the last person is the little boy who came with the madam the other day to buy a sword. His name is Riot Norris. He is the 3rd son of the Norris family and it seems like his mother is forcing him to learn swordsmanship to overcome his shy personality. It was her way of thinking about her son since his elder brothers would be inheriting the territory.
However, it seems like Riot didn’t get on well with the instructor his mother hired and so he has been running away from sword training every opportunity he gets. And that’s when it popped up in his head, about the blacksmith who made his sword the other day. That if that blacksmith can make such a good sword, he might be a good swordsman. Although I didn’t have any memories, once I gripped the sword, I was surprisingly able to use it quite well and so after being asked by the young boy Riot, I became his instructor. The madam also agreed to it and paid me to be his instructor.
It is fun teaching the boy swordsmanship and it also feels quite good to be relied upon. However, unfortunately, once again, while he is a regular visitor, he isn’t a customer.
And as such, there were basically no regular ‘customers’ in this shop. And that was what was on my mind recently and, before I realized, I had informed the old man Barol about it, as well.
“You have got such a shop, after all, there probably aren’t many customers that well off who would come visit every now and then. There aren’t many prominent dealers who have a nice shop and have regular customers so you don’t really need to be so depressed about it. You will get some soon enough.”
And such was the answer of the man who has been in the smithing business for many years. It might have also taken quite some time before that strong swordsman came along old man Barol’s shop.
If so, then I have no other choice but to keep on doing my job until such a good customer comes by.
“Master! Is it really okay like this? We have been doing basics training all week…”
“Not only this week. I will have you do basics training for half a year. Once we are done with that, we will enter such h.e.l.lish training that you will feel like the basics training was heaven.”
“Hiee…… I am fine with the basics training!”
After watching over young Riot practice admirably, I decided to return back and do my own work. Even so, it’s not a bad feeling being called master. And for some reason, it also doesn’t feel like this is the first time. Perhaps I had done some master-like things in my lost memories. As expected. I might have been quite an amazing person.
“Your nose is extending, you know.”
Old man Barol pointed out as I was getting ahead of myself. I can’t even have a wicked thought in front of him ’cause he observes me so well.
“Oh, right. That reminds me, there’s quite an interesting guy in town at the moment.”
Interesting guy? Like a street performer?
“He’s one of the regular customers of my shop. Maybe he will become a regular customer here, as well.”
Old man! So you were really listening to my story, huh?! Who is it? Who is it? Who is that super interesting guy?
“He’s a well-raised guy but he probably doesn’t have the money to be able to buy swords from here at the moment.”
Geh! A regular customer who doesn’t even have money?! Geh!
“Now don’t look so clearly displeased. He only doesn’t have money at the moment. That man will surely go big in the future. If you make some swords for him at a low cost now then you will be able to make him owe you one and if he likes the sword, this will probably turn out to be a long relationship.”
An initial investment, eh? For old man Barol to say that he will definitely become someone great in the future… What kind of a person is he? I am pretty excited.
“Where is that person now?”
“Good that you catch up quick. He’s a doctor in the making. He’s going around travelling and gaining skills. And now he is in this town practicing. He said he would be leaving in a month or so.”
“You talked to him in person?”
“Yes. It seems like he is going around offering examinations and self-made medicines at a cheap price. I had him look at my hurting shoulder. His skills are too good for a doctor in training. My everlasting pain in the shoulders has since disappeared and from what I heard from a friend, his cheap medicines are also really effective. It seems like he is fine if he can just earn enough for his travels and so the price is very low.”
“Ohh, what a wonderful person. Like a saint or something.”
I spoke of what I thought honestly.
“And on top of that, he’s still young. He also looks very fresh and refreshing so the word saint really goes with him. His age is probably the same as yours too. Seriously, I also heard this country’s prince is also doing really well and he’s very young. New talents just keep emerging one after another. When I look at you people, the word retirement crosses my mind.”
“You can still keep going, old man Barol.”
And in fact, I do think that his skills are quite high in this city.
“Either way, how about catching that doctor as your customer? He will probably become a great doctor in the future, maybe personally employed by the country. His personality is also excellent.”
“No, no, he’s a doctor, right? He doesn’t need a sword.”
“Idiot! Even though your skills as a smith is top cla.s.s, you’re still lacking as a merchant. I told you he was travelling, didn’t I? When considering the dangers along the way, it is better to carry a sword or two. What will you do, not even thinking at least that much?! Seriously, you already have a wife but you’re still very naive…”
That last bit is a complete misunderstanding but I feel like I will receive a severe counter attack if I say something now so I decided to stay silent. It is true, that one should definitely carry a sword while travelling. As expected of someone doing this for a long time. Seems like I can still learn a lot from this person.
“From what I had seen, he still didn’t have a sword. Go catch him before other smithers do!”
“Yes. Then I shall head out to secure the doctor.”
“That’s the spirit. You also have a wife, you must take these opportunities to earn properly…”
That last bit is still a super misunderstanding but well, okay.
I informed Eli I was going out to secure the doctor and headed out. Eli looked like she didn’t understand a bit of what was going on but it felt like a pain to explain from the start so I decided to leave it at that for now.
I hurriedly came out but where should I actually go? And just then, young Riot came slipping out of the shop.
“Master, you’re going to catch that doctor, right? I might be of use.”
Unexpected fortune. Young Riot was surprisingly well-informed.
“He also comes up as a topic in our house these days. There are quite a lot of rumors going around, that he is actually someone of quite a high position. His name was, if I am not wrong, Rain… yea, a name like rain. My mother said he was splendidly handsome so I somehow remember the name.”
“Is he that good looking? And a doctor on top of that. He is unmatched at this point.”
“Yes, it seems like he truly is a wonderful person. He seems to be denying it, but they say there are countless people wanting to pay him tons of money and give tribute. And while he is going around doing medical examinations, I heard there’s also a group of girl guards accompanying him.
This kid is really informed, huh? I shall give him the label of an informer officially. A group of guards also follow him, eh… I don’t know if I should be feeling envious or scared. No, scared is correct, I think.
“That’s troubling. It seems like it will be a pain to drag him to our shop even if we do find him. Moreover, from what you’re saying, he also doesn’t accept any tribute. Swords also fall in that category.”
“Isn’t it okay if you just take a fee for it? It would be presumptuous of him to get a hold of your swords for free.”
“That’s true but is it really?”
Well what do you know, he can say some nice things.
“Even still, all these info makes it feel like even getting close to him will be hard.”
“That’s true. Our house had also officially invited him over as a guest but mother said he declined…… That’s right! Master, I just thought of something good. It would be fine if you meet him as a patient.”
“That sounds like a good plan but I am eerily healthy though. Too much, unfortunately.”
Although I didn’t remember anything about myself in this short period after waking up, I did get to understand quite a few things. First of all, this body is really strong.
It moves well, it works well, it doesn’t need much food and there’s next to no chance of being in a bad condition.
Wonderful, it really is wonderful but it is too unfortunate in this case.
“That person is a really good doctor, right? If we go about this the wrong way, we might offend him. It would destroy all chances of a relationship.”
“Hmmm, he’s a tough opponent, isn’t he?”
I feel deadlocked. It would be reckless. But going back without doing anything will probably make old man Barol angry.
“I guess I will just try meeting him. Do you know where he could be, Riot?”
“When I think of the path he has been following these past few days, I can make an a.s.sumption. Let’s go!”
With Riot leading, we headed towards the area the skilled doctor is supposedly at at the moment. I must thank this informed disciple of mine later.
The place Riot led me to was a place with many buildings. It was far from the noise of the marketplace and the time there felt calm. It was also probably because it was during the day and a lot of the dwellers were heading to their workplaces. In a corner of such a quiet residence, we found them.
The girl group. A group of people swarmed around them. They were all looking at one building.
Ah, that’s it. We found out immediately. That girl group is probably the guard group Riot was talking about. The people surrounding them are probably the next patients or maybe just curious onlookers. Our doctor is probably inside that building they are looking at.
“I see, so it has become like this.”
“It seems getting close is going to be hard.”
“Let’s try going to their side. We might learn something new.”
We excitedly mixed in the group of people. All the talk I could hear around us were about the young doctor. About how he saw that guy and cured him, how he cured this other guy and what not.
Amongst all that, Riot and I had made it all the way to the front of that group. I wanted to go in front of the building and take a look at the doctor’s face but a woman in the guard group looked at me in such a way that I understood she wouldn’t let me.
They are an elite guard group. They have quite the vigor.
One of the woman there took a step forward and stood in front of me.
“I am Casa, the elite guard squad leader. What business do you have with Mr. Rail.”
She glared at me and introduced herself and probably the doctor.
“Is Rail the doctor? I came here thinking I could meet him.”
“Are you seriously ill? If not, then stay quiet and watch over Mr. Rail as he goes around the city.”
“I am not. I just want to talk a bit, can I not?”
“You can’t! Mr. Rail is incredibly busy, after all.”
The pressure from the guard squad increased at once. It looked like they won’t let us get closer than this.
Being overwhelmed, Riot and I slowly backed off.
“A verbal message. Can you at least give him a message?”
There’s no use arguing, eh? They act as if he’s their belonging or something. I once again thought that this Rail guy is something else.
“It’s nothing bad. That travelling doctor doesn’t have a weapon, right? He’s doing such wonderful things so it would be sad if he were to get injured in a journey. And so, I wondered if he would buy a sword. I am a blacksmith, you see.”
“I see, so you came to do business? But what you are saying does make sense. I guess I can convey that much at least. Which blacksmith do you run?”
“‘Eli and Kururi’s Blacksmith’ is the shop’s name.”
“Eli and Kururun’s Blacksmith, eh? Got it.”
You completely don’t get it, do you? That’s totally not it. The last bit.
“Ah, I know that shop.”
One of the guards at the back said.
“The shop with the pig and rac.o.o.n with a sword, right? I also know the place.”
“I see. Then I will leave you to convey the message of ‘Eli and Kururun’s Blacksmith’.”
Being appointed a job from the leader, that guard hopped happily.
Talking with a doctor might be a very glorious thing. At least to them.
I wanted to fix the name but since she knew about the pig and the rac.o.o.n, I guess there’s no need for that. If that doctor seriously wants a sword, he will find the shop soon enough.
“Then, I will leave it to you.”
As we were done with our job, Riot and I went back to the house.
The doctor didn’t come to the shop that day. Maybe the message was conveyed very late. Or maybe they did convey and he didn’t feel like getting a sword. Either way, it seems like there won’t be a relationship with the doctor old man Barol talked about.
Rail Rain was tired.
He was travelling and helping people suffering from diseases as a doctor in training. This was the first a.s.signment his master, who taught him medical science, gave him. He feels the significance to this training itself. It was also worth doing.
However, unrelated to that, he was also worrying about something else. He was aware that his appearance exceeded that of a regular person in a good way. Even today, a group of elite female guards followed him around. He didn’t have any spite towards them so it was also hard for him to tell them not to follow him. However, being tired after a whole day of medical examination, he just wants to get to bed as soon as he can but he has to talk with those guards and he felt that to be a very heavy burden. A similar situation occurs no matter which town he travels to so one could say he is used to it at this point.
“Mr. Rail. Shall we begin today’s debriefing?”
The debriefing began at a restaurant he randomly entered. To not get in the way of the shop’s business, they sat at a corner of the shop.
They debriefed about the seriously ill people of this city. He was honestly thankful to them for this. Because of their information, his schedule was set, so it helped him a lot.
After that, though, the discussion changes to the guards’ individual talks. Since he also got something from them, Rail properly listened to what they had to say, as well.
Amongst that, one of the guards came forward, and conveyed the message of a certain blacksmith’s shop. It seems like they want him to buy a sword as it is dangerous travelling alone. They won’t give it for free, they want him to buy one. Strangely enough, he felt good about that.
Even still, when he hears the word ‘blacksmith’, Rail naturally thinks of the friend he lost 3 years ago. It was also thanks to that friend that he seriously started learning medical science and is now doing this. He probably also had a lot of dreams. But those couldn’t be fulfilled. Because he sacrificed himself to save many people. Rail believed that if it was him, he was surely alive but his whereabouts were still unknown even after a year. Such days continued and everyone gave up on him being alive. Rail was amongst that group of people.
Locking away those nostalgic memories in his heart, Rail asked that guard.
“What is the name of the shop?”
The girls couldn’t hide their surprise as Rail normally never shows interest about anything other than the ill people. The girl who was questioned probably never even dreamed of it. As she was too surprised, her mouth didn’t move. Instead, the squad leader answered.
“‘Eli and Kururun’s Blacksmith’, they said. Shall we also find where it is located? If you are busy, we will also go in your place to get the sword!”
Rail chuckled a bit.
He felt a weird connection of fate to that name which resembled the name of the friend he lost and that friend’s lover 3 years ago.
“No, of course the examinations are first. If I get time, I might go, I guess. Either way, good work today, everyone. Then, see you tomorrow.”
Rail said his goodbyes and started eating the soup on his table.