Steeling himself, Lecan knocked on the door.
After a bit, a voice came from inside.
"Okay okay. I'll be right with you, hold on a bit."
And then, after some time, the door opened slightly.
A soft voice.
Lecan put his hand on the opened door's knob and went inside.
The room smelt of beast.
The left side of the room is covered in straw, a long-arm ape (Zanvald) is sitting there.
Its fur looks really glossy. It must be eating nicely. Its face is of deep black color which also has a nice luster to it. It's looking up at Lecan with its big round eyes, seemingly slightly puzzled.
The person who opened the door had her back facing Lecan as she walked to another room in the back.
Lecan passed through the still opened door, following after her.
The room he came into was shockingly spacious.
There's a work desk in the middle of the room.
At the farthest end, in other word, right by the outer wall, there's a fireplace with a huge chimney in the back. The size of the fireplace doesn't match the chimney's. As if the fireplace is just an extra.
A small table along the wall near the fireplace has teacups, a kettle and such placed on it.
And the walls in every directions are full of shelves filled with pots of various sizes.
Since the ceiling is very high, there's a lot of shelves, and countless amount of pots.
Wonder how are the pots on top getting taken in and out.
The woman who's sitting down on a chair behind the work desk has long white hair.
Lecan's right eye opened wide for a bit.
<3D Perception> is able to perceive the shape of things, but it cannot distinguish colors and materials. Thus, the figures of people caught by <3D Perception> are often quite different than the ones caught by his bare eye.
However, this apothecary is a special case.
The figure of this apothecary caught by <3D Perception> is that of a young woman.
Yet, the apothecary reflected in Lecan's bare eye is that of an elderly woman.
In other words, the figure seen by the bare eye is a false image. This apothecary is tricking bare eyes through magic. A magic that makes her look old even though she's young in reality. Since she's maintaining such spell indefinitely, she should be continuously emitting her mana, yet Lecan cannot sense it. Since the amount of mana this apothecary possesses is far too large.
The long-arm ape <Zanvald> got in and closed the door behind Lecan.
"Pardon me. I'm Lecan. Are you Shiira."
"Correct. I'm Shiira. Hmmm, you huh."
"I assume that Chaney has given an explanation. I'm wondering if you'd hear my wish."
"Right then. First thing first, have a seat. Jericho. Get a chair for our guest here."
The long-arm ape called Jericho fetched a backless chair from one corner of the room and put it in front of Lecan. Then it skilfully moved away with its long arms and positioned itself on the floor next to the elderly woman.
Lecan put his bag on his feet, removed the sword on his waist, leaned it on the bag, and sat down on the chair. He's not wearing his overcoat today, but a tidy proper one.
The woman is staring straight at Lecan with her droopy gray eyes.
As for Lecan, he's comparing the woman's real figure and false one. Looking closer, they're very similar. The contours of her jaw and nose, the shape of her eyes. Perhaps, her outward appearance is that of hers in advanced age.
"We really owe you one in the matter this time. I have to say my thanks first. So I heard you wanted to learn the skill of an apothecary. Limited to physical and mana recovery."
By 'this time', she must mean the matter with Chaney. From the way Chaney talked, it didn't seem like he was that close to her, but they were in fact close enough for her to express her gratitude in his behalf.
"Those two are my main objectives."
<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.>
"So I heard it was for adventuring, by physical medicine, do you mean for treating wounds."
"That's right. For treating wounds, and if possible, an all-purpose type that works for illness."
"Don't think adventurers would normally go and make their own medicines and magic potions though."
"That may be the case, but in mine, I am often going on an adventure in forests and dungeons for months on end without stopping by inhabited villages or towns once. Thus I found it inconvenient if I couldn't make my own medicines. Besides, it's something I hang my life on, so I'd like to know in depth about its mechanism, the way to make it and problems. And I also like to make medicines. When I'm wounded and my mana isn't enough to heal me, using the medicines I made myself felt, I can't explain it well, really impactful, and nice."
The young apothecary Shiira who puts on an illusion of old woman ponders for a while after listening to Lecan.
"Huh, I did not detect a lie in your words. Besides, I like how you're fond of making magic potions. Could you show me medicines that you make."
Lecan took two medicines out of his bag. One physical medicine, and one mana recovery medicine. Both are well made mid-grade medicines in his former world. They're his masterpiece among his work.
"These are some peculiar containers. How'd you open these."
The lids shouldn't be opened without good reasons, but he has no choice here.
"You need to twist and turn the part covering the top to the right."
"Like this? Ah, it came off. This is one nice container. Is it tough?"
"It won't break even if you drop it on the floor from that height. However, it cannot withstand blunt force well."
"Hmmm. Are these containers for sale?"
"I can't get my hands on one anymore. I won't sell them."
"My, is that so. That's a shame."
Shiira stared hard at the medicine inside the container.
--By any chance, does this woman. Possesses the appraisal ability?
Higher ranking appraisal even allow the user to see ability of humans and magic beasts.
Lecan felt uneasy.
Shiira put a drop of the medicine in her palm and licked on it.
Afterward she closed the lid and did the same with the mana recovery medicine.
"I see. I have no idea what materials these are made from. This never happened before, y'see. But it's wonderfully effective. If you could make something at this level, you'd be treated as skilled apothecary anywhere. Lecan."
"What is it."
"Let's put you to a test."
"Test. Fumu. What do you want me to do."
"It's clear that you are serious in medicine making after seeing your work. I also like your reason for wanting to make them. However, I am not sure whether you will have the wit and perseverance needed once you've become my pupil. I also want you to help with the store once you're my pupil, but there's no telling whether you're capable of that. So could you go and accept the Service Quests at the Adventurer Association."
"What are these Service Quests."
"If you post a quest for an adventurer, you need to pay for their reward. However, there are those who desperately need helps even though they cannot afford to pay for it. There is a system put in place to help these people, with the rewards paid by the lords. When there is an application for a Service Quest, the Adventurer Association will make an assessment, and they will approve it as a Service Quest if they deem it acceptable. The reward paid to the adventurer is one big copper coin regardless of the content of the quest. As you're offering your service to the society, they call it Service Quests."
"One big copper coin huh, that's low."
"It is low. However, it's more than enough for a novice adventurer to support their day to day life. Furthermore, your records on Service Quests will be referred in the assessment of the promotion exam from Copper Rank to Silver Rank. Many kids make use of Service Quests as a mean to gain experience."
Lecan felt a weird sensation as he listened to Shiira. Shiira's true identity is that of a young woman. However, her way of talking is not that of a prickly young woman, he felt composure and sagacity. Her slightly horse yet soft voice is pleasant to listen to.
Perhaps, the elderly woman seen by his bare eye is actually the true form of this woman.
While thinking that, Lecan told Shiira that he would take on these Service Quests stuff.