“Well that was a great first stop for the tour. The bread may not have been pretty to look at but it was certainly tasty to eat……….the bread crusts, not so much.”
“Yeah, those were definitely bad! It’s been a while since I ate those but I don’t think I could eat them again like I used to!”
“I agree. I was grateful to have even that to eat back then but, our tongues have become spoilt with quality of food we eat now it seems.”
Then why did you guys look so happy—–is what I wanted to say but I decided not to.
It’d be too uncouth of me to do so, and I might make them unnecessarily conscious of It if they ever had to eat it again.
“So, where to next?”
“next, I’d like to go to a place of my choice. It’s a place I used quite a lot and I think you’d like it a lot too Chris-san.”
“Esta’s recommendation eh? Well, I definitely trust you more than Ralf so I’m kinda looking forward to it.”
“Whaa!? Didn’t you just say that you liked the bread store though!?”
Following Esta’s lead, we made our way to our next stop.
It was not too far off from the bread store, and was also another tent.
To be fair, most stores in the back alleys were set up inside tents, and the run down building of [Shichifukuya] might actually be one of the more profitable places in this area in that sense.
I mean I did buy that book of Otto’s travelling records and the grimoire. I’m pretty sure I paid him enough to keep the store running for quite some time.
“Now then, let’s us enter inside. I’ll introduce you, Chris-san.”
“Ralf, you’ve been here as well?”
“Of course! Many times in fact!”
It was hard to tell what was inside the tent from outside, and there was no signboard either so you really had to enter the tent before you could even know what the store was for.
Following Esta, we entered the tent and………the strong smell of plants entered my nose.
Various containers with strange liquids were lined up on the shelf, and inside there was a woman in her thirties standing.
She was quite the good looking woman, and didn’t seem to match the overall image of the store itself.
“Shannon-san, long time no see. It’s me, Esta.”
“…….! Just when I was wondering who’d come now, it was you Esta! It really has been a long time since we’ve seen each other eh!”
She hadn’t instantly recognized her it seems as she was blankly staring at us but after Esta introduced herself, the person called Shannon quickly turned all smiles.
These two must have been quite close as they happily shook both hands and were almost jumping as they greeted each other.
“I’m sorry for having disappeared so suddenly. Have you been well?”
“Aah, of course! I’ve been well as always! What about you Esta?”
“Yes! I’m in fact living a much better and healthier life than when I used to roam the back alleys.”
“That’s good to hear. And behind you, that’s Ralf right………and who’s the other person?”
“That’s Chris-san. I think I did tell you a little bit about him before I left didn’t I?”
“Ooh! So that’s the Chris I had heard so much of.”
Apparently Esta had talked about me before to her, so she seemed to recognize my name.
Although I had never heard anything about this from Esta so this is obviously my first time meeting her.
“Hello, the name’s Chris.”
“I had heard much, but I see, so this is what you looks like. I’m Shannon, I sell my very own hand made potions here in the back alley. I doubt we’d interact much but still, nice to meet you.”
Shaking hands with Shannon, I lightly greeted her.
…………but still, this was a potion store huh.
I had a feeling that might be the case after seeing the weird liquid bottles and the smell inside the store but, to be brutally honest, this doesn’t look like a place I’d use much.
The colours of the potions on display were dark and muddy, and anyone could tell they were cheap and low quality.
“I have a question but, how exactly do you make these potions? I don’t see any equipment around here so I couldn’t help but feel curious.”
“Oh, I do everything by my hands. I use mortar for grinding, and wooden pestles to make these potions.”
“Chris-san! You’re making a weird face but Shannon-san’s potions are really good! Honestly speaking, they taste horrible and they are hard to swallow but the effects are genuinely very good. In comparison, they are not that expensive either.”
Getting close to the suspicious looking potions, I checked their prices and saw that the medicinal salves were only 3 copper coins.
And Liquid potion were 5 coppers, making it all really cheap, as she said.
“Can you really keep your business running with these prices? Knowing how much making a proper potion takes, I don’t see how you’d stay above the red zone.”
“Like I said, they are not ‘proper’ potions. My husband does the herb gathering, and I make these by hand so we can really reduce the manufacturing costs.”
“……..Huh. handmade bread, and now handmade potions eh. I’m starting to get a bit curious now. And they’re cheap. Esta, recommend me some, I’ll buy them.”
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Looking at the colour made me not want to use them but, if they are truly completely handmade and apparently have good effects, and cheap on top of that, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to at least try them out once.
“Let’s buy some then! This isn’t really a ‘recommendation’ but, I have always had something I was interested in………in fact to buy that was precisely why I wanted to come here today.”
“Oh, something you wanted to buy from among my items? Are you perhaps thinking of this potion?”
Shannon seemed to know what Esta was talking about as she began to rummage through her shelves and pulled out a bright green coloured potion, quite different from the usual muddy ones on display.
It seemed like it was almost shining, and even I had my gaze stuck on it.
“What is it? That potion?”
“It’s a potion made by using a rare type of herb called Ryst grass, a super all purpose herb apparently.——did I get that right?”
“Yeah. We happened to find some during gathering and so I made this potion out of it. Of course it’s also a bit more costlier than the rest because of it so it’s been lying here unsold, here in these back alleys though.”
“It’s been lying here unsold!? Doesn’t that mean you made it a long time ago?? Hey Chris, you should check to make sure it’s not gone bad before buying that shit man!!”
“Ralf, what stupid shit are you saying!? Of course, I had a preservation magic casted on this one just to make sure that it won’t go bad.”
“Seriously, do you always to talk more than you need to Ralf!?………..Chris-san, what do you think? Will you buy it?”
Honestly, I too thought of the same thing as Ralf, but thank god I didn’t say it out loud.
But still, a supposedly great potion that has been left unsold in a bargain bin back alley potion store eh………?
If I wanted to buy a high quality potion, I’d chose a main street store but, if Esta wants it, I guess there’s no harm buying it.
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