After I moved here as the Lord, the mansion has constantly been receiving visitors. From the neighbouring Lords, influential people and even questionable merchants have asked to meet me.
I tried to meet them personally whenever possible, but the latter more often than not is a waste of time. Sometimes I order to chase those merchants away.
Some of them will try to sell you expensive furniture or paintings and sometimes they come up with shady schemes with the promise of quick profits.
「Do those shady people come everywhere?」
「I’ve heard that if you replace them, other shady people will come. They’re looking for nobles who can be easily fooled.」
It’s kinda upsetting that people think that I am easy to fool. Besides, I’m the worst type of customer they can get, I don’t buy expensive things.
「Do I look that gullible? I’m going to be firm.」
「I won’t buy expensive things.」
I couldn’t say anything back. Sure it helped fill up the large hole, but I’m the one who caused it.
Those questionable merchants are here today. They said that they have something I’m going to like, but everyone who came said the same thing. Once, after they said something like that, they ended up offering me a perfume.
There is no point in buying smelly water when my friend sent me their favorite perfume without being prompted.
Sometimes I smell good because I don’t want the perfume that she sent to become a waste. And not because he would notice or she sent it.
Patrick looked a little grumpy when I said that I was going to deal with the merchant.
「I can turn them away quickly? You don’t need to bother meeting them.」
「It’s fine… that reminds me! Patrick, you can come and see how I firmly refuse him.」
They are probably going to offer me something that I don’t need anyway. I’ll turn them down after listening to their offer for a moment.
A shady-looking merchant was waiting alone in the room when I entered. With his distinctive moustache, he stood up and bowed his head with a grin.
「Thank you for meeting me again. I’m with Alley Company.」
He said, looking at Patrick in the eyes.
There are a lot of people like this. Having a female as the head of the family or female Count is rarely heard here. Therefore, if the nobles a merchant saw are a couple, they would always think the male is the family’s head.
When they tried to sell clothing and accessories, they’d always talk to me and some people greet Patrick first or talk about politics only to Patrick. But I’m the head of the family.
I quickly nip it in the buds.
「Nice to meet you. I’m Yumiela Dolknes, the head of the family and the Count. How strange, have we met before?」
「Recently, Patrick-sama visited the company’s building in the royal capital. I thank him for that time.」
There’s no hesitation in his answer as he bowed to Patrick.
Ah, he’s talking to Patrick, isn’t he? My paranoia made me jump to a conclusion and look where it got me, how embarrassing.
I guess this happened when we were staying in the capital. I wondered where he was wandering off sometimes, it turned out he had business with this shady person in their company. I wanted him to bring me along because it looks interesting.
Regardless, I will apologize for being a little hotheaded.
「I’m sorry, by any chance, do you have any business with Patrick?」
「No, no, today I brought some products that I think both of you might like. Our company deals with rare artifacts from the dungeon.」
It tugged my heartstrings. So far, I’ve never had such a fascinating merchant visit me. But the timing was so bad, just after I said I’d be more firm.
But I was curious about what kind of things Patrick had purchased for me from this merchant.
「Hey, Patrick. What did you get?」
「…I ended up not buying anything. Isn’t that right?」
「Yes. Unfortunately, no transaction happened.」
When Patrick asked for affirmation in a prickly tone, the man obediently nodded his head.
That sounds like a lie, I’m sure he bought a magical artifact from dungeon drops in secret. The merchant’s grin is proof… no, he’s been grinning from the beginning.
The man deepened his smile and whispered.
「Did you give it to her yet?」
He may think that he’s whispering so I can’t hear their conversation, but my enhanced hearing can pick it up.
Give it to me? Maybe it’s a surprise gift for me? I want brass knuckles.
Wait a minute. My predictions are often off so it’s useless to rejoice in vain. There’s nothing to celebrate and I have no plan to in the future.
But I just pretend that I didn’t notice their whisper.
The man laid out his goods on the table between us and started to explain them one by one.
The first one is a bottle of white powder. I’m starting to enjoy this, maybe this isn’t as bad as I thought.
「This is a bottle of sugar that won’t be absorbed by the body.」
「That’s a sugar, huh…」
「It tastes as sweet as regular sugar, without the nutrition.」
「…What do you mean?」
Glucose is a quick source of energy, but without nutrition, then it’s just useless. It’s surely a rare item that nobody wants, I don’t want it either.
For some reason, Patrick took a bite of it.
「Wow, this must be selling like crazy.」
「But the price is quite expensive… our customers are usually noble’s daughters and ladies. Of course, we keep our customers’ identities confidential.」
Why did they sell zero-calorie sugar? Is there a trend to starve to death while eating something sweet?
I told him that I have no interest in joining such a perverse trend.
「I don’t need it.」
「She doesn’t need it.」
Patrick gave my small body the once-over look.
Oh, I get it, it’s diet sugar. In the previous world, it must have been products that were sweetened with amino acids or something.
I don’t need it, especially if it’s something to lose weight. My lightweight is a weakness, so I prefer something that could help me gain weight. If I could keep my current body shape and weight about a ton, my physical attacks would be even more powerful. And the good thing is, I won’t get so easily blown away.
The man knew that he wouldn’t be able to sell the sugar and move to introduce the next product.
「This is a potion of youth.」
He presented a bottle with green liquid in it. I’m starting to enjoy this, maybe this isn’t as bad as I thought.
Eternal youth and immortality are two powers that people have always wanted. It wouldn’t be surprising if there were conflicts around the world over these.
When I lean forward to look at the bottle closely, he quickly explains.
「The truth is this is a detoxifying potion, when applied to the skin, it rejuvenates the skin. All the wrinkles and saggy skin will disappear. Ah, please note that the effects may vary from person to person.」
My excitement deflates once I know it was a dubious cosmetic product.
I was expecting some valuable items from the dungeon but it was a complete disaster. Sugar isn’t even a dungeon loot and detoxifying potion isn’t that rare.
「I don’t need it either, I don’t feel interested in that kind of thing. Well, that’s enough for to—」
「Please wait a minute, we also have weapons for you.」
「I want to buy a sword with dark attribute and staff that compatible with all attributes if you have any.」
The merchant, who was pulling out a dagger, proceeded to put it back in his bag gently. Of course, a self-defence dagger is unnecessary. It’s better to strike barehanded.
I already said I wouldn’t buy anything and it will be difficult for me if he brought attractive goods, but this is disappointing.
「It’s different from what I was expecting. I imagined some kind of accessories with advantageous effects in the battle.」
「Ah— there are some situations going on with the accessories.」
He answered while throwing a concerned look towards Patrick.
I don’t care why he didn’t sell any accessories, but it’s time for him to leave.
However, I saw something that interested me. From his bag full of goods, something in the size of a conch sticking out.
「What is this?」
「Excuse me, this is something that I brought by mistake. Have you ever heard something called monsters summoning flute?」
「Yes. It helped me a lot in the past.」
As the name implies, monsters summoning flute is a tool to attract monsters in the surrounding area. I often use it to help level up.
No way, the one he just took out…
「Can I help you? …Apologies, this is the large version of monster summoning flute. I bought it since it was rare but it’s no use for me. You need a huge magic stone to operate it, I can’t even try to blow it.」
「Say the price, I’ll buy it!」
This must be fate or I’m that lucky. I have to buy it even if I have to sell everything I own, it’s all or nothing.
Someone decided to interrupt my unwavering determination.
「Yumiela, you can’t.」
「Listen! The bigger its size, the louder it sounds!」
「…So what? I can assure you that you don’t need it.」
I don’t want to go back on my words. I promised I wouldn’t buy anything today… eh, today? What about tomorrow?
Ok, this will be my strategy: I’ll stay true to my words and not buy anything and I could go to the merchant’s company later to buy it. It’s perfect.
「…Fine. I don’t need that flute, this is all for today.」
「When I get a good supply of weapons, you’ll be the one I’ll visit. I look forward to our business in the future.」
After making the next appointment, the merchant left the room looking a little disappointed.
After the door closed, Patrick said.
「You also can’t buy it when he comes back later.」
Oh no, my perfect plan is foiled.
Hiding and sneaking around won’t get me anywhere. I have to argue with him head-on and try to convince him.
Let’s approach this from the other perspective, how can I get his permission to buy the large flute?
Ryuu looked at the sparkling jewels with keen interest, refusing to leave the scene. When I said I don’t need it, he refused to listen. He looked at me with moist upturned eyes… alright, fine, I’ll buy it.
I get it, that eyes are the key to victory. As I tried not to blink my eyes got slightly teary, I looked at Patrick with my best puppy eyes.
「Just this once?」
「Stop glaring at me.」
It didn’t work. Also, I’m not glaring at him, this is my cute puppy eyes.
Even though Ryuu is a reasonable and good kid, it still didn’t help. After using Ryuu as an example, the situation became dire. Children who want to buy candy but aren’t allowed by their parents are the perfect example.
In that case, let’s try to imitate those wilful children.
I stood up and pulled the sofa and table in front of me to the corner of the room.
「Hey, what are you doing?」
Patrick, who sat still, asked. Alright, he’s in the perfect seat for watching my performance.
I laid down in the middle of the room, in the space where the furniture had been removed. As I laid on my back, my limbs were moving all over the place.
「No, no, no, I don’t wanna! I want it! I wanna buy it!」
His expression froze as he looked at me, flapping my limbs on the floor. There’s no light in his eyes, he’s really taken aback by what he saw.
「No, I don’t wanna hear it! No, no, no!」
That’s okay, I understand that this is a shameful sight.
I rather allow my partner to buy the flute than continue to expose myself to this kind of disgraceful behavior. If I can make Patrick think like that, it will be my win.
This battle of will continued for several minutes. Patrick, who had remained silent for a long time, spoke. Did he finally yield?
「…Yumiela, is this behavior something that should be witnessed?」
「Noooo, I want the flute! Let me buy the flute!」
「Is everyone here already?」
He’s supposed to see me but what did he mean about everyone?
And he pointed in the door’s direction. The door was open without my knowledge and the servants were peeking from the hallway. Rita and Sara, Damon and other staff, even the cook oji-san was there.
They must have heard the commotion and came to see what’s going on. I don’t know the right adjective to describe their expression.
I stopped flailing my limbs and stood up as if nothing had happened.
「Thank you for your work, I’ll take care of this, and you can all go back to your posts.」
That was all I said before I closed the door.
「…I want the earth to swallow me.」
「Ah— can’t I buy it? Just this once, please. I’ll buy it with my own money…」
「You don’t need the flute.」
He put his hand on my shoulder to comfort me.
I don’t need an extra-large monster summoning flute. Instead, I want a time machine or something that could erase memory.
Ever since that day, the servants’ attitude, which had been somewhat distant, changed.
And people keep looking at me with a pitiful or vexing expression. The day when we struggle to return to the past may be near.