Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
Chapter 134 – First Guild (But Commercial)
There were four inns in town that I was told about at the guard station. I passed on one because it seemed to be for the exclusive use of the local people. I went to the front of one of the inns but decided against it because it looked somewhat unclean.
Of the remaining two, one was the “Wolf’s Tail Pavilion”…
“Here it is.”
I decided on this one because of the name. I didn’t even go to see the remaining one.
When we came from the direction of the Kingdom in the west of the Republic, we passed through the West Gate, among the gates to the west and the east. The “Wolf’s Tail Pavilion,” as the name implies, is located southwest of the town, close to the west gate. The other inns were on the east side and a bit far away.
“Oh, you know what? People from the rural areas who come to Tokyo tend to live in places that are easy to get to their hometowns.”
“What are you talking about?”
“No, I’m talking about here. I hope it’s a good place to stay.”
“Don’t worry. My instincts tell me to make this our regular inn.”
What kind of ghost is this? I think it’s not intuition but a nose that detects good food, as far as I can tell from the way she is sniffing around.
I am concerned about the food, the cleanliness, and the price, but the biggest question is whether they will accept the snow-white wolf cub, Moff. Worst of all, I thought about renting a small house, but I would have to find out if I could exchange money since the only currency I had on hand was from the Kingdom. It would be bad if I stumbled at the beginning…
“The stables are empty right now; you can use them.”
It seems my fears were unfounded. The woman who looked like she used to be a pretty woman accepted us with a smile and didn’t seem intimidated when she saw Moff, the snow-white wolf.
Perhaps it was good that I had tied a ribbon-like collar from a yellow shirt on Moff’s neck beforehand. For some reason, Moff himself was also pleased. Wagging his tail and smiling, Moff looks harmless if you look at him properly.
On the other hand, the bad guys might take him for a fool. Is this beast alright?
“He’s a quiet, smart guy who knows his place, but I wonder if he’d be frightened if a horse came along.”
“I don’t think he’ll be frightened by the arrival of the horses. We rarely have overnight guests in horse-drawn carriages this time of the year because merchants don’t travel far during the winter months. If you don’t need fodder and care, how about two silver coins a night?”
“Well, it’s settled. I will be staying here for a while.”
The currency of the Republic is 1 gold coin = 20 silver coins = 100 large copper coins = 200 copper coins. The monetary unit is unknown. At least, no one in the general public seems to have ever paid attention to such things.
In the Japanese monetary sense, a gold coin is 10,000 yen, a silver coin is 500 yen, a large copper coin is 100 yen, and a copper coin is 50 yen.
A room for two with breakfast for eight silver coins per night is cheap when you consider that it costs 4,000 yen (plus 1,000 yen for the stables), but that is almost all the currency of the Republic that I have on hand.
I give the landlady ten silver coins and ask her to advise me on my concerns.
“All I have left is the kingdom’s coins on hand, is there somewhere I can exchange them?”
“The guild. You can exchange coins at any guild, but if you have a large amount, go to the commercial guilds.”
Unlike the guilds I know, it doesn’t seem to be an independent organization with influence over many countries, but I guess it still acts as some sort of public organization.
“…Or, rather, a guild is a public organization of the republic itself.”
“What are you babbling about? Now, let’s go to the commercial district.”
I asked Moff to stay at the stable and set out with Myrril.
In the center of the town of Salz is the administrative district, and the commercial district, where merchants and craftsmen live, surrounds it like a doughnut. On the outside of the administrative district is the residential district, where the commoners live.
There are no doughnuts in this world, though.
The “Wolf’s Tail Pavilion,” where we decided to stay, is located in the southwest of the town, in the commoner’s residential area near the border with the commercial district.
Land prices and accommodation costs are higher in the administrative district, the commercial district, and the commoner’s residential district, in that order. Therefore, merchants from outside of the town seem to transport their goods to the commercial district by horse-drawn wagons or sleds and return the horses and wagons to their lodgings in the commoner’s residential district.
“I hear the guild signs are easy to spot.”
“I understand that the industrial guild sign is a hammer and the adventurers’ guild is a sword. But why do the commercial guild use the ship?”
“…Well. Is it because it is a maritime country? The guilds are not only for business but also for trade.”
As we walked along, talking about random things, we arrived at the commercial district.
The commercial district is about two blocks wide. A circular road connecting the middle of the two blocks is the shopping district. Some stores are closed, and some sections are deserted, but there seem to be about 30 stores as a rough estimate.
Since this is the first time I have come into contact with commercial activity in this world, I take my time looking around. The temperature is low, but the weather is improving, so it is a reasonably pleasant day for a walk.
The place is much busier than I expected, with people buying and selling and transportation by sleigh. There is an abundance of goods, but as one would expect in winter, there are no fresh foods. I was surprised to see large jars filled with what looked like pickles or vegetables. The fact that glass is being produced is surprising, and the fact that it is so widely used as a container to sell preserved food is also unexpected.
This is so much more modernized than the kingdom that used to use barrels all the time.
“If there’s anything you want, we’ll come back to buy it after we exchange some money.”
“Umm… nothing in particular, but perhaps what we will probably need is a weapon for killing.”
“That’s it. Yeah, that’s something we really need.”
But do we have to buy it here? I think it would be better to ask Simon to get us weapons. If I were to buy one, it would be for camouflage, so I don’t look like I’m unarmed.
“There’s a lot of dried fish here.”
“Yes. I wonder if they come from the towns by the sea. How much for that big one?”
“Five silver pieces for a pile and one gold piece for five of them. That’s a good price.”
I had the impression that in developing countries, prices are negotiable, but in the Republic, the main products in the store had handwritten tags, as if it was the way of the Republic, or perhaps these countries are more developed than expected. I can’t read it, though.
Apparently, the writing system on this continent is basically the same, and Myrril can read even the handwritten tags in the Republic. I was grateful for the help, but I would have to learn to read simple letters and numbers on my own to become a “merchant of death.”
I asked Myrril to teach me the letters while we browsed the stores and checked out the prices in the Republic.
“What is that red stuff?”
“It’s a hot spice used in preserves. I don’t like it, though.”
“Is that round thing an egg? They are very big.”
“It says “dragon-crowned bird eggs,” but I don’t know what kind of bird it is. …Oh, there’s some honey.”
“Four gold coins for a jar? I guess sugar is expensive…”
“But salt is cheap. Is this brought in from the sea?”
In the Japanese sense, foodstuffs are somewhat more expensive, while labor costs and consumables are a bit cheaper.
This means that as long as you have money or the ability to produce food, you can live reasonably well. Conversely, it is difficult to make a living outside of the primary industry, which means that even if you make good products, they are not valued, and even if you work hard, your life will not be easy.
This is the same in my former world up to the pre-modern era (or in developing countries).
Just as I was getting a bit hungry after walking around, I found the commercial guild, a large two-story building where the people were entering and exiting, appeared to be in reasonable shape.
When I entered the guild, I was a little nervous. At the counter, there were a number of smart-looking employees, each of whom was negotiating with a middle-aged man who looked like a merchant.
There were no young men or women among the customers. So we were standing out from the crowd. I’m not young, but I don’t have any dignity or composure. I was about to cry.
“Welcome to the guild. Can I help you?”
A relatively young male staff member comes up to us and starts talking to us. He may have been an information desk clerk, but judging from his strong appearance, he may have been a member of the anti-suspicion staff who also worked as a security guard. I don’t think we looked suspicious, though…
I shook off my negative thoughts and put on the work smile I had developed during my days as a corporate employee.
“Hello. I’ve been told that you can exchange Kingdom coins here.”
“…Are you from the Kingdom, by any chance?”
“Hmm, well, I suppose so.”
The room was strangely tense.
I saw Myrril-san move soundlessly to my left in front of me and pull the UZI on her shoulder to her chest.
No, no, no, that’s not right, Nojaloli-sensei!
If we massacre them here, we’ll have to flee nearly 1,000 kilometers through the snow!