T/N: Two things:
1.) The Japanese language often uses gender neutral pronouns, and even throughout this novel, Sword has always been talking about Indra in a way allowing space for interpretation. On the other hand, English is pretty bad at neutral pronouns, and writing every sentence Indra (Indra’s) or they (their) would make this whole work sound super awkward. As such, I’ve been using the female pronoun for her when Sword talks about her, when it’s clear the people know about her gender, or when it doesn’t really matter. But in reality, you can assume that everyone besides those knowing about her gender assume that she’s a boy.
2.) Bennyboy is a typical yankee/playboy type of character. The style you’ll find in many anime as hoodlums, troublemakers, or womanizers etc. I opted against adding a heavy slur or such. I’ll try to make his tone sound as casual and slangy as possible, but my skills in that region are limited. xD
Leaving aside the restaurant, the liquor sale was the tiger in the room. According to Sword, it should apparently result in a sum where we’d be able to swim in gold coins. He insisted that our liquor surpasses the quality of liquor drunk by nobles by leaps and bounds.
Using the nobles’ liquor as standard, Sword explained, “Pretty sure the regular liquor would cost at the very least 1 gold per bottle while the liquor that rested for a while would go beyond 5 gold, as a wholesale price. As for the distilled liquor: your the only one who can produce it, so the cheapest price would start at 10 gold.”
Hearing that, everyone involved in the brewing trembled furiously.
“W-W-We have been drinking something so expensive without a care…”
“Don’t worry, it’s okay for the brewers. We’re the ones investin’ the time, labor, and production expenses. The techniques and knowledge might’ve been provided by Indra, but you guys studied all o’ it diligently, right? I’ll provide the fundin’, so don’t pay it any attention and drink as much as you like for free!”
He’s come up with some suitable theory, solely because he wants to drink himself.
But, I also waved it off with a hand, “All of this only matters if Sword converts its value into money. It’s not like we have to sell the liquor just because we’re producing something with rarity value. I don’t mind if we only use it for ourselves either. I mean, it’s not like we’re using any valuable ingredients on this. Don’t fret and just think of it as us palming off what we can’t drink up ourselves for big cash.”
I said while once again reaffirming how much of a hobby-like view I had taken on this.
At last, the liquor had filled up a third of our storage space. We had also brewed cheap liquor – namely, cider and ale. I really wanted to brew unrefined sake, but without yeast cells… It’s probably a lost cause without researching yeast first.
In the first place, I haven’t found any rice so far. But, seeing how milk exists, maybe rice is growing somewhere as well?
――One day, as I had been pondering such things, we had a visitor. He apparently had come for Sword, but I was called over as well.
“Yo, man. Lon’ time no see.”
When I looked at Sword, “Hey, long time no see. Sorry for callin’ you over on short term.”
They seem to be old friends.
“This here is my partner, Indra. She’s makin’ some incredible stuff, and we wanna sell some of it, but I don’t know any merchants besides you. Won’t you act as middleman for us?”
What a super abbreviated explanation!
“Eh? For real? Sure, why not.”
And that was the end of it.
“……It sounds like the discussion is over, so I’ll leave you two to catch up, okay?”
As I turned on my heels, I was grabbed by Sword.
“Waaait. Come on, don’t be so hasty. We goin’ to need you here for what’s to follow.”
He said his name was Benjamin.
“Ben for you. So, let me see the stuff that’s up fo’ sale?”
Huh? Is it really okay for a merchant to be so casual about business?
Once I took out a bottle, the playboy, now Bennyboy, froze on the spot.
“Huh? Wait? Isn’t this booze?”
“Yep, the liquor I consider the most delicious in this world.” Sword nodded.
Bennyboy looked back and forth between the liquor and me.
“…Anyway, first have a taste of it. Sword has mostly decided on the price. For merchandise, you have to add your profit on top of that, right? On top of that, you see, this liquor is extremely difficult in its handling. If the temperature becomes too high, it’ll become unsellable. We’ll prepare some countermeasures from our side, but please decide whether you’re going to sell it or not while taking these circumstances into account.”
A maid immediately poured some of the liquor into a glass for testing.
Somehow, as might be expected, Sword was positively surprised by her conduct.
“Just as I thought, the servants of nobles play in a different league, don’t they?”
“Ah, man, no wonder, this is a noble’s place. And here I was feeling all jittery ever since entering this place… So how come you’re living at a noble’s place, Mr. Sword?”
“It ain’t no noble’s mansion. I’ve just become the landlord of a former noble and her former servants. That’s all.”
“Hahaha. S-Ranks are totally different from us ordinary folk, yeah.”
He said otherwise, but I don’t feel a shred of tension or admiration from his frivolous rambling.
“Then allow me to test it… Wai-! Awesome shit! The hell’s this stuff!?”
“Right? We wanna sell this. …But, accordin’ to Indra, liquor is alive, makin’ quality control essential. She mentioned doin’ consignment sales, but the liquor will spoil in no time without a proper place to store it. Well, Indra said she’d lend you a magic tool for that, but the issue is this.” Sword made a money sign with his fingers. “What price would you put on this? Assumin’ you wouldn’t need to worry ’bout transportation n’ all the other stuff.”
Bennyboy folded his arms.
“Not beneath a gold coin. How about pawning it off at an auction? It’d be better to sell it after seeing the initial response.”
Now I folded my arms.
“I don’t want to go too public with this. Our production capacities are limited.”
“Oh, all the more ‘n argument for an auction. If you got only a small amount on hand, you’d be in a bind if orders flooded in. ’cause of that, it’d give you less trouble if you sell it off at an auction! Besides, if we don’t do that, I’d need to take it off you and go ’round selling it, or similar, right? If you say storage is a problem, it’d be much easier to store it ‘ere and just transport it over to the auction house when needed.”
“Makes sense. Let’s go with that.”
In the end, I’m fine with anything as long as we sell it suitably. Even if you put together the costs for the raw materials, facilities, etc., it’s far away from one gold coin. Hence, most of it will be profit.
I guess I’ll splurge on transportation then.
“I’ve been thinking about the means of transport. It won’t be as simple to operate as a carriage, but I’ll teach you how to drive it, so make sure to learn it.”
“Eh? It’s gonna be a rock lizard or some such?”
Rock lizard? You can use the thing I killed the other day as a substitute for a horse?
“No. To put it simply, it’s going to be a magic tool, golem…or whatever you name it.”
“Eehhh!? Just so you know, I can’t use any magic, ‘kay?”
“Even if you can’t use magic, you can still use magic tools, can’t you? …Or maybe not?”
I did it unconsciously, and everyone living in this mansion can use magic.
“Normally you move these things with your own mana. I’ve never seen magic tools that operate through magic elements like the ones you make.”
Is that so…?
“Okay, well, it’ll require magic stones then. I’ll change the propulsion system to be based on those. Leaving aside the quality, we’ve got plenty of them.”
“Oh, that’ll be cool.”
I see. I’m glad to hear.
“Alright, I’ll build it then.”
Sword pulled a super unhappy face. Even without you looking at me like that, I’ll build a very normal, ordinary transport vehicle!