Chapter 34 - Journey on the Carriage
“Uuu… Have we reached?”
As we’ve arrived at our destination, I glanced at Raphtalia who looked like she was just about to collapse and I let out a bit of a woeful groan.
It didn’t seem like she was having trouble earlier, but it looks like having Firo run quickly may have been too much.
“We’ve made it to the hut?”
Looks like Firo didn’t have enough, as even after she stopped pulling the wagon, she was letting her legs loose and frolicking about.
Raphtalia looked dreadful as she staggered on her feet.
“Well, let’s load up the lumber now.”
I aided the lumberjack who came out of the hut in loading the lumber onto the wagon.
I also helped out a bit in cutting down some trees. Thanks to my [shield] skill, the quality of the lumber was raised.
While I did that, I had Raphtalia continue her riding training. On a side note, I got a reaction from the lumber so I let [the shield] absorb it.
The requirements for the Kino Tree shield have been unlocked.
The requirements for the Les Tree shield have been unlocked.
Kino Tree Shield
Ability remains locked… Equip bonus – Woodworking Skill I
Les Tree Shield
Ability remains locked… Equip bonus – Low Level Wood Working Recipe
It’s the Wood Shield branch. These two trees seem to be the most common types used for woodworking.
The Kino trees are like the Hinoki (Japanese cypress) from my world but with a bit of an aromatic fragrance. The Les trees sort of resemble the Sugi (Japanese cedar), but the grain of the cut tree seems to differ depending on the location. It’s a bit of an odd tree.
Well, not like that matters too much.
A few days later.
Pound, pound, pound.
With a wooden mallet in hand, I worked vigorously in modifying our wagon to become a full horse-drawn carriage.
It seems my skill has improved considerably which I suspect is due to the Woodworking Skill I I unlocked the other day.
I began to affix a frame on top of our wagon. After that I’ll need to cover the top with some thick cloth.
The Ryuuto village reconstruction is proceeding swimmingly, and it looks like they’ll be fine without our help now.
The villagers noticed I was working on upgrading my wagon into a carriage and even lent a hand.
“Alright, this seems to be pretty ok.”
“Looks like it’s done.”
I, along with the few villagers that helped me out, let out a bit of a cheer upon finishing the carriage.
It’s a horse-drawn carriage, but the one pulling it will be a Philorial… Well, whatever.
“Thanks for helping me everyone.”
“It’s no problem at all. Hero-sama has helped us out so much, this is the least we can do.”
The villagers all helped me out with kind smiles.
They’re treating me kindly as I’ve saved their lives, but I can’t spoil myself by staying here. Still, I’m honestly grateful to the people here.
“I’m glad you feel that way.”
“You’ll be peddling goods you say?”
“I’ll mostly be a guy that does odd jobs. Traveling from village to village, town to town transporting goods, selling whatever commodities I come across, escorting people.”
Yeah, the villagers don’t seem to really get what I mean.
Well it’s true that it’s not typical hero behavior like what Motoyasu would do.
It’s not like I’ve envisioned a clear cut path to success here, but I’ve got Firo now, and it only makes sense to make the most out of her.
“Hm? Woah… The wagon turned into a carriage-.”
Firo, who was in her human form and playing about, had a look of surprise as she notices how large the wagon has grown.
“Is Firo going to be pulling this?”
Firo asks, her eyes positively glimmering.
“Yeah, that’s right. From now on you’ll be pulling this carriage as we travel all over the country.”
Firo cheers, brimming with happiness.
Man if it were me I’d absolutely object to doing so much manual labor…
“Are we really going to?”
Raphtalia mutters dejectedly.
It seems Raphtalia doesn’t sound very enthusiastic about our journey on the carriage as she has yet to completely get over her motion sickness.
“You’ll get over it eventually. Just bear it until then.”
I faced Firo and go over this multiple times.
“Firo, what is your job?”
“Uhmm, Firo’s job is to pull the carriage to wherever master wants to go.”
“And to kick that spear guy if I ever see him.”
“One of those is wrong! Just what are you making her do?”
Raphtalia objects to my words in bewilderment.
“What… You’re looking at me as if I said something crazy.”
If you see Motoyasu, kick him. I see nothing wrong here.
Seriously, I’ll get nowhere if I have to micromanage each one of them so much.
“Alright then, we’re off to peddle our goods. I’ll be hiding in the carriage. Raphtalia, whenever we hit a village or a town, try to sell what we've got.
“Okay… I will.”
Outside of Ryuuto village, I still have a pretty bad reputation. So if I were to come out and try to negotiate, things might go awry and I won’t be able to sell a thing.
That’s why I’ve appointed Raphtalia with the task of selling and haggling our wares.
She has a fairly attractive appearance and is not particularly shy either. She might be pretty well suited to jobs handling clients.
“Well, let’s head out.”
Our preparations complete, we load up the carriage with our baggage and have Firo draw us.
“Hm? What is it?”
Within the mass of villagers seeing us off, a man stepped forward in front me and was dressed several notches above everyone else.
“I am the lord who is in charge of the area in which Ryuuto village resides. Shield Hero-sama, I thank you for everything you have done.”
“Don’t worry about it. This was just a nice place for me to set up a base.
“…Please, take this.”
The lord says that as he hands me a sheet of parchment.
“As you’ll be selling goods, I’m sure this will be useful. It’s a Commerce Amnesty.”
“A Commerce Amnesty?”
“Yes. In this country, if you sell goods, at each and every village or town you visit you must pay a fixed amount to that region’s lord.”
… Is that so. Well, if I just flaunt my authority as a hero then… Nah, since I have such a shitty reputation, that’ll probably just backfire.
“But that’s when you can present this Commerce Amnesty with my stamp on it. If you have this then you’ll be exempt from paying the region’s lord. I hope you will find this useful.”
“Uhmm… Is it really ok?”
“Yes. I won’t be able to face my people if I don’t present to Hero-sama proper remuneration for the services he has done.”
Now that I think about it, this is the agricultural sector of the Merlot Mark region. It’s a place that gets quite a bit of traffic, so the lord of the region must have the same degree of influence and dignity to match its affluence.
It must’ve been brought to his attention by the villagers that I minimized the possible damage that could’ve occurred to Ryuuto village during the wave. With my bad reputation spread about, the king would scorn any nobles that would assist me. But for his villagers, he is willing to bear such contempt... That’s why he faced me with a cheerful smile.
“… I give this to you out of concern that your poor reputation may detriment your future business.”
He’s giving it to me with purely good intentions. Then I can respond with honest gratitude.
“Thank you. I’ll make use of it.”
“May you have a safe journey.”
“…Yeah, I’ll be off.”
“If there’s anything we can do you aid you Hero-sama, please allow us to help.”
“If you guys can just live long and prosper, that’ll be plenty.”
And with that our journey as a jack-of-all-trades doing odd jobs began.
At first we began with selling medicine.
We didn’t have much, but we were able to sell it below the market price.
Our main items were remedies and nutritional supplements. These specifically I was able to make in higher level quality and we were able to sell it for a fairly high price.
And whenever we stopped by a village I would buy the medicinal herbs that I knew about and synthesize them into medicine on the road.
Firo was quite fast, so most of the time we made it to the next village within a day, but on some occasions we have to camp out.
When that happens we stop the carriage, set up a campfire and have dinner.
“Master! The space next to Firo is open! Let’s sleep together!”
Pat, pat, in her Demon Form Firo signals to me to sit beside her.
“It’s way too stuffy being next to you…”
It seems Firo really wants to sleep next to me. At an inn, I’ve ordered Firo to never change to her Demon form, so when we camp outside like this she indulges herself a bit more.
Well, if we’re camping outside there’s no one around so there won’t be any trouble. I guess it’s fine to let her off the hook a bit every now and then…
“Firo, you really do like Naofumi-sama don’t you.”
“Yup! I won’t lose to you, Raphtalia onee-chan.”
“How did you end up with that!”
Whenever Raphtalia and Firo argue, it’s in some fine line where I can’t tell whether they’re on good terms or bad terms.
Firo is still a kid, so she can throw a tantrum at just about anything.
Oh wait, Raphtalia is also actually a kid herself isn’t she. So mentally they’re about the same age.
“Yes, yes. Hurry up and sleep you two. I’ll wake you up when it’s time to switch- .”
“Ahh- you’re treating Firo like a kid again-!”
“That’s right! Please stop treating me like a child!”
“Oh that’s right-! Raphtalia and Firo are both grown ups aren’t they-!”
“You don’t think so at all!”
“Yeah! Master you’re so meeean!”
And with silly conversations like that, our days of peddling continue.