4-6. Carriage and Coachman
Satou's here. I do have a driver license but I have never actually drive for years.
As a man who lived in the center of the city, I was already satisfied with the public transport.
Although if I had my own car, it'd had been convenient in a date...
"We only have horse-carriage cabs here. If you want to buy a carriage then order it on the merchant guild inside the inner wall."
I tried talking to the people on the stable areas near the gate, but they didn't sell it there. Is this like trying to buy a car in a taxi stand? I'm a bit ashamed.
"The merchant guild should have them if you're fine with used one. They were looking for buyers if I'm not mistaken."
A different coachman interrupts while we were talking.
I thank him, then I ride on his carriage cab to the merchant guild. I asked Arisa and Liza to carry the luggages back to the inn.
The coachman who has escorted me to the merchant guild kindly mediates with the guild for me.
"We don't usually sell to people outside of merchant guild member, but since you're introduced by Yosagu-san, let's make an exception."
Yosagu is the coachman's name. It doesn't really matter, but the merchant here is Sunifun-san.
He shows me two carriages. One of them is a covered wagon. The inside is about 4 tatami wide I think? The other one is a box-shaped carriage. It's about 2 meter high, and with a luggage space on the ceiling. The width inside is the same.
The covered wagon is 10 gold coins. The box-shaped carriage is 30 gold coins. The box-shaped carriage is more robust and safer, but you will need 4-6 horses to pull it. The covered wagon depends on its load, if the load is light then you only need 1-2 horses.
I wanted the safe one so I was going to buy the box-shaped carriage, but I'm told that since the center of gravity is tall, the operation of the carriage is difficult, so I stopped.
I have a car license, but driving a carriage? Since I don't have any experience on it, let's proceed carefully.
I ask to be shown the inside before buying. The inside of the covered wagon is, how do I say it, normal. Under the seat for coachman, there's a hidden space for valuables. It seems that it was remodeled by the previous owner.
"I'd like to buy this covered wagon, but could you also prepare the horses together?"
"Right, we could prepare two Gontsu horses from the guild for you. We could provide four if it's donkey, but depending on the load and the destination, they may not be suitable."
I tell him that the destination is labyrinth city and the load are 6 peoples and their necessities, he recommends the Gontsu horses for the task. If I carry heavy luggages then, even if it's slower, he says that donkeys are better.
If you want to be fast, then Shuberien horses are the ones you want but it seems that they all have been brought by the territory government.
The price for two horses and the wagon are 20 gold coins but I've managed to get it down to 18.
Sunifun-san is surprised to see me paying it fully and in cash.
Normally people will get the bill first, and pay at the later date. "I'm quite hasty, I used to get scolded by the people on my house because of it.", I use excuse as if I'm a son of a noble who's ignorant with the world.
"Satou-sama, since 6 people are going to the labyrinth city, it would be wasteful if you only bring an empty load."
Is that so?
Certainly, half of the space would be usable. Furthermore, me and Arisa also have plenty of storage capabilities.
"Do you have any products to recommend?"
"Right then, I think that crossbow and bolt would have demands in labyrinth city. Since the crossbows from Seryuu city are made to shoot Wyvern on the sky, its specs are higher than from other region so it would sell like hot cakes. Also, since it's currently cheap to procure goat leathers and furs due to the season, I think it would be easy to profit on it."
"Excuse me, do Satou-sama has commercial right?"
"Unfortunately, I do not."
So a permit is really necessary?
"That's unfortunate, we can only issue a permit for 10 gold coins."
"That's quite expensive."
"One doesn't need permit to do the trades in small quantity inside city, but if you enter a city without one then you won't be exempt from the tariff tax so the profit will be almost nil."
I see then I should put them inside the storage to avert the tariff...
But there's no reason to earn money illegally.
"If you don't go to other city then there's an item that is exempted from tax in the labyrinth city, but since the tax for it in other cities is quite high, there's really no meaning to it."
"What kind of item is it?"
"Because there is no demand in this city, they don't have name here, but it's in constant demand in the labyrinth city. It's an alchemy material called Dragon White Stone."
I think my face shows it when I heard the name. Since Sunifun-san asks for it, I tell him about the fraud I met in the east district.
"I see, it's natural that you had such face. However, the ones here are guaranteed by the merchant association."
It seems that they sell one small barrel for 10 gold coins, the same as the market price. By the way, it seems that you could easily sell that amount for 20 gold coins in labyrinth city.
If I could sell it for twice the price then wouldn't I net quite a profit?
So I thought, but he said that because of the tariffs for the entering cities on the way and the transportation cost, the profit end up to be quite small.
"If the stones doesn't sell, then you can bring it to the merchant guild, they will buy it at the price you buy here. If you wish, we could make a letter of endorsement to guarantee the quality."
I was almost made to buy in large quantity, but I declined by saying that there won't be enough space for water and food if I bought to many.
I end up buying 6 small barrels of Dragon White Stone, 100 pieces of goat leather, 100 bundle of wool, 10 crossbows and 1000 bolts.
Because they're all 70 gold coins even after I lowered the price, I sign a temporary contract, and will pay for it tomorrow along with the products exchange.
Right now, I'm riding the covered wagon outside the Seryuu city ...That said, it's not like we have departed.
After I had finished the business at the guild, outside, I asked Sunifun-san if he could introduce me to someone who could teach me how to operate the wagon. There, Yosagu-san who were waiting for me to return said, "Then let this old bone teach you.", and that was how the flow went.
As Yosagu-san starts to teach the basic of operating a wagon.
>[Marshaling Skill Acquired]
Like always, I allocate 1 skill point to it and activate it. ...So it wasn't included in Operation skill.
It's awkward, but I can control the wagon for once. During the practice, I raise the skill level by 1, it's not as high as Yosagu-san skill level at 3, but since I could already control the wagon fine, I stop raising the level.
"Young guy do learn fast isn't it."
"Thanks to Yosagu-san good teaching."
Disregarding the cheat from skill, Yosagu-san's teaching really is good. I had failed once but he firmly taught me what to be careful with. He might be suited to be an instructor.
Particularly when I treated it like a car, forgetting that the horses are creatures, he was mad many times...
"You're good enough like this."
"Thank you very much."
"Next I will teach you how to fix and release the yoke that connects the horse to the wagon. The horse's fatigue depends on how good you are at this. If you value your horses, then don't cut corner on this."
Yosagu-san looks more serious than when he teach me to ride the wagon. He probably quite likes horses. After about 1 hour of strict training, I finally got a passing mark from Yosagu-san.
I thought that it had took a long time, but Yosagu-san said that one normally only scratch the surface in half a day, he's impressed.
Yosagu-san tells me that he was a coachman working for a caravan before he worked as a cab coachman in Seryu city. He teaches me various things like crossbows and spears are good for defending the wagon, or that I should always resupply drinking water at cities since they're not always available at the indicated spot on the map, or that when we take a break, I should not forget to give rock salt to the horse along with water.
We're going to the merchant guild with the wagon. Since Yosagu-san's carriage is left on the guild, we're going there to fetch it.
During the way there, Yosagu-san talks about the brothels in Seryuu city. It seems that he's into big breasts.
As a thanks for teaching me various things, I've decided to luxuriously treat him at the shop he recommends, tomorrow evening. Since there are a lot of loli around me recently, this will be fun.
Before returning to the Monzen inn with the covered wagon, I go to receive my clothes. I come just as the delivery, so I'm able to meet the rumored tailor. I feel like I know her face, then I realized that she's the bath tub partner (lol) I met on the first day, it's embarrassing. It's surprising that she also remembers me, but there's no real development, and I thank her for the quality of her clothes as an etiquette.
I ride the wagon into the courtyard of the Monzen inn. Martha-chan is just right at it, so I tell her that I've bought the wagon. Since there are rooms in the stable, seems that it's all right. However, I have to pay for the parking fee since it's a different charge from normal inn room.
When I'm talking with Martha-chan, Pochi and Tama run from the shade behind the courtyard. Tama probably wanted to say welcome. Two people also appear from the shade. The helper girl (Yuni) is also together with them. I wonder if she doesn't have prejudice against demi-human?
Arisa and the girls seems to have been playing in the shade of garden plants of the courtyard. No, that words isn't right. They're trying to learn the letters from the learning cards.
At first, it seems that Martha-chan is teaching, acting as the teacher.
But in the middle, "Let's put the card face up and read the letter, then if you can guess the content in the back right, it's yours to take.", Arisa proposed that game-like study session, but since the other members weren't familiar with the game, they became quite addicted to it.
It has already been continuing for two hours. The one who win the most is Arisa, followed by Pochi, Lulu, Yuni, Tama, and Liza in order.
I leave the horses for everyone else to take care, and bring only Arisa to the room. Lulu's expression becomes a bit cloudy, but I can just clear the misunderstanding later.