Interlude 2 A Moment at Levellit Temple-thing Shack First Part
Today I took the day off since I got tired of always questing and leveling up after training. But now that I think about it, there's really nothing I wanna do.
While I was wandering around aimlessly I caught sight of the shack from before.
Come to think of it, I never went there again after that one time. That noGoddess would probably sulk if I don't get her some offerings.
Oh right, I've got some leftover steamed buns in my rucksacks. Let's use them as offerings.
I swing my foot toward the empty looking shack. The door is open, for it's a temple for once.
And what came to my sight was....
A passed out Bell.
I hurriedly get to him and hold him. His chest is going up and down, looks like he's alive. There's breathing too. Just what on earth happened.
"Nn... Kuh, a."
"Are you alright!? What happened?"
"I'm starving... I haven't eaten anything for the past several days."
A reserved stomach sound that's just like him resounds.
I see, I see... Gimme back my worry!
That said, leaving him after seeing this would leave a bad taste. I have steamed buns with me, but since he hasn't eaten for several days, that's not good for his stomach. I'll grate some apples and spoon it to him.
"Here you go, this should go down nicely. Eat slowly."
I feed him with a spoon, leaving out honorifics altogether. At first he was chewing slowly, after a while he began to eat with great relish. How do I say it, kinda feels like a parent bird feeding their youngling.
After cleaning the plate, he seemingly came to himself and realized that I was supporting him.
"Sososososorry. You're Nobusada-san, right. Thank you very much for saving me. I suddenly lost consciousness, I thought I was done for..."
"Whoa there, calm down. However, why didn't you eat for several days?"
"I'm ashamed to tell you, but just the other day, I wasn't feeling well and couldn't go out to work at other temples, which is helping with healing at the sick ward. Did you know that you could get stuff like vegetables and free lunch if you went to help at the sick ward."
Afterward, Bell had a fervent speech about the wonderfulness of helping at sick ward. But I thought something while I listened to him. That means this temple has no point then...
But I couldn't say it. I mean, it's too pitiful. Let's drop by here from times to times. Otherwise, I'd worry the day Bell died from starvation.
"Does this temple not get enough offerings to the point that you have to do that?"
"Gunyuu... Yes. There was no more offerings since Nobusada-san's baptism. As for healing service, other temples get the priority to have the patients transported there...."
Fumu, that's a serious problem. But why would this temple get to be the outcast. It's just too much.
"H-however, Head Priest of Ares Temple has been treating me food if I go help at the sick ward. And um, we go out to have meals together sometimes too."
Isn't that just the head priest trying to get close to you? I might be reading too much into it, but maybe that's related to this temple getting left out?
"Head Priest-sama? He's a man at the prime of his life."
Is this a homo thing? I'm not good with that stuff. Umu, I'm a temp apostle for once after all, perhaps I should come up with a way for Bell to earn his keep before he step into a dubious path?
But I wonder if there's something that can be done.
The site of this Levellit Temple (Shack) isn't that bad in itself. There are residential buildings around the temple, there's shops and guard station not too far away. You'd have thought that he should get enough offerings with this, but there's an Ares Temple's sick ward nearby. In modern analogy, it's like choosing between going to a town doctor or a major hospital. And since there's no patient, the town doctor went to help at the major hospital. Since he's always absent, the people around start to not recognize him as a doctor.
What a negative spiral.
If we focus only on Bell's healing ability and personality, then having him paying a visit to the elderly on the neighborhood is a good idea. Feel like they'll pamper him like he's their own grandchild. Or he could win over children and fish out their parents. In order for that to happen, we need an impetus. Hmm, wonder if there's anything good for that.
"I can't come up with anything good, I'm gonna think about it while walking around in the town, you should get some rest Bell. I'll leave this for you."
I take out leftover fruits and breads from the rucksack.
"I'm very thankful for this, but are you sure? Please don't force yourself."
"I'm a believer for once after all. And I can't just let one of the few acquaintances I have here be in trouble."
After putting the still weak Bell to his bed, I wander around in the town. Unlike before, I have a goal now.
For now, let's think up something that our target would likely want.
They're not adventurers, so it's not like they're going on an adventure somewhere, and they can't just readily buy something expensive either. Something with a high consumption rate and frequent buying cycle would be nice. Which means, it naturally has to be foodstuff.
I head to a grocery store.
The grocery store I'm heading to stocks up ingredients from both the dungeons and farms at 50:50 ratio, even Solomon Pavilion buy their stuff there. I bought the honey back then from the place too.
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
"Welcome, welcome. We're having a sale on celery and onion today. We recommend dungeonborne sea bream and flounder. Ooh I almost bust a groove there."
"Hi, Kumahat-san. You've got some nice stuff today."
"Oh, s'that you Nobu. Yer' still so thin, you gotta eat more if you want to stay on yer' adventurer line of work."
This person is the storekeeper of this [YaoEight] store, Kumahat-san. His hearty laugh is famous around here. The origin of the store name is unknown. He gave me some not so nice nickname like Leek Kid when we first met, but after I helped him make up with his wife after a huge fight, he stopped doing it. The store is managed only by him and his wife, but since it has a wide variety of line up with good quality, I've been getting stuff here often.
Various vegetables and fruits are put on shelves inside the store. Fish and meat are stored inside magic rucksack with preservation function, taken out when you buy it. Looks to be the last resort since there's no refrigerator. However, this store is famous for offering fresh stuff. The fact that most of the goods have been sold out just before the store closes is a testament to its popularity.
I look around the store and find a huge mound in one corner. Looking closer, it's a pile of small apples.
"Kumahat-san, what's with these apples?"
"Ah, those are from a farm I know, y'see. They're small and sour, no one's buying so I ended up taking them. I thought I could sell them for cheap at least, but that sourness is a hard one it seems y'see. This one's a miss in my judgment."
Since it's not selling at all, there's a note with 100 mani written on the heap. Fumu, I'm hit with an idea. This will do, won't it!?
"Kumahat-san, I'm buying all of this. Also some sugar and lemon too."
"You serious!? Yer really a lifesaver. I'll lower the sugar and lemon price a bit for ya."
Thus, I hurried back to Levellit Temple after buying (a pile of) small apples, lemon and sugar for 50 mani. Bell was sleeping when I got there. Least close the door will ya, it's wide open.
I immediately start cooking in the shabby kitchen.
I single mindedly peeled off half of the huge amount of apples. Then I diced
them all into small pieces. I add lemon juice and sugar on it, and mix them together. It's tiring on the hands coz of the amount.
After I've mixed them well, I have a taste. Umu, it's a bit too sour, but this should be just right after simmering.
I put a certain amount in a pot and simmer it while taking out the broth.
Once the apple turns half-transparent and the broth is gone, it's complete.
I was pouring mana into it during the process. When I was making deep fried bread and stuff, I tried pouring mana into it as a magic practice, and the result was higher enclosed mana and better tasting bread. I don't know the logic behind it, but there's no harm in better tasting food... I think.
And here's the result. It's just an apple jam, but I'd better add a brand name on it as a proof this temple sells it. Apple, apple, hmm, let's just call it Applevel. Kinda sound melodic methink.
Applevel Jam <TLN: or alternatively Leveringo, ringo= apple.>
Quality: High - Enclosed Mana: 10/10
Expiration Date: Best Before Two Weeks
Good quality apple jam supplied with mana during its production. It's perishable, so please consume as soon as possible. Has a slight mana recovery effect, and plentiful of dietary fiber, very effective for missus with constipation problem.
Ooh, it came out better than expected. The taste doesn't fall behind the one I ate in Japan too.
This will sell well as long as we market it well, won't it?
Ah, Discerning-sensei, you don't have to display expiration date unless I specifically ask for it.
As for its container, I made a small jar made from stone by putting Rock Hand Smash to practical use. Unlike when I'm materializing it out of nothing, I call out pure stone from the ground to form the jar.
It's only as big as a teacup and comes in a set with a lid also made from stone, I'll be mass producing them. This cost nothing, so the final cost ends up cheap. I'll engrave a picture of flowers, an amiable-looking bear, a bipedal cat and stuff on them to make it popular with the children. It might also serve to fire up collector spirit on some people, prompting them to complete the whole set.
Now then, half of the apples I have make for, whoa, 200 jars of Applevel Jam.
Now we just need to sell it here. That said, simply selling doesn't have enough impact. I should try doing that by referring to a certain thing.