Some announcement :
Despite my busy schedule I can’t hold myself from the temptation of reading, so I will take a break for a week to do some joint chapter for another WN, what is the title……………well look forward to it!!!!!!!!!
Chapter 15: Rikka Firm
In regards to the girl called Liselotte, it did not seem like she was a bad person judging from her fame and acheievements, but Rio decided it was best to remain inconspicious and restrain himself from asking around.
However, he did not intend on advancing like that.
He was ready give an honest answer if she were to notice that he was a reincarnator but he was reluctant to bring up the topic himself.
（Let’s say for example, if we come upon the topic about soup stock, she may take the hint that I’m a reincarnator.）
That might lead into talk about their former world.
Like how they long for their former world.
Even Rio still had lingering feelings for his former world and how he wanted to search for the girl from his childhood.
It was not improper to say that his only regret for not being able to return to Earth was due to his childhood friend.
However, Rio realised that he, who received a new life in this world, did not have a choice to return to his former world.
If he returned, what would happen to the family register? Would he arrive back in the same era? In the first place, was it even possible to return?
Besides, his current appearance was different than that of his past self.
Even if he found a way to return to Earth, these were questions that could not be answered.
Rio had been researching for a way to travel between worlds, but such magic did not exist in this world.
He had scoured the Royal Institute’s library and came up empty so it was doubtful that he would find anything in other countries either.
As a result, Rio had given up hope on finding a way back to Earth.
Regret still lingered within him despite having come to terms with it. Perhaps it was because he had made no progress in finding his childhood friend back on Earth even when he put all his effort into searching for her that he allowed himself to give up.
Back to the point, a youth with an unknown background like Rio could not possibly demand to meet Liselotte, a noble.
Still, it was possible to run into her by chance.
Instead, he indulged himself with the nostalgic dishes devised by Liselotte as he planned his next course of action.
While continuing to enjoy the nostalgic food, Rio decided to visit the store belonging to the the firm managed by Liselotte in the shadows.
The city’s layout was neatly divided and maintained.
The target store entered his view as he approached a line of shops and entered immediately.
It was a large, five story building and was much better maintained than the other stores surrounding it.
He entered through the front door of the store.
It was equally well maintained inside as well.
The interior was furnished using high quality materials. The first floor simply had a counter while the upper floors were used for office space.
（Is my… attire inappropriate for this place?）
Take a quick look around, there was only a single person that looked like merchant standing inside.
Everybody on the first floor were dressed in formal attire causing Rio, who was dressed as an adventurer, to feel extremely out of place.
From behind the counter, a girl around Rio’s age approached him with a smile.
「Welcome to the Rikka Firm! How may I assist you?」
From her smile alone, an overflowing sense of grace and amiablity could be felt.
She had long, wavy light blue hair and a lovely and gentle face. He was able to tell that she was an employee from the uniform she was wearing, but if she wore something like a dress, Rio would have easily mistaken her as a noble’s daughter.
「Thank you for the warm welcome. I heard you sell pasta here. If you carry preserved pasta then I’d like to purchase a few and if there are other perishables then I’d like some as well.」
As one would expect from a high class establishment, the staff’s conduct was incredibly well mannered. To match, Rio returned an equally polite greeting.
The girl’s eyes sparkled in interest as Rio delivered the respectful greeting despite having the appearance of a rugged adventurer.
「Understood. There are the dried noodles variant too.」
「Then those too please. May I know the length of the preservation period?」
「While we have not established a definite amount of time because not even a year has passed since production started, I’m confident that if it’s kept in a dry environment at room temperature, it should last for at least two years.」
「I see, then may I hear the price?」
「The price is 15 copper for 500 grams.」
The price was on the higher side for food ingredients in this world.
Still, it was well worth it since it reminded Rio of home.
Well that was not the sole reason why, he was also the type of person who never compromised when it came to food.
「I see. Speaking of which, do you also happen to carry barley?」
「Why yes, of course we do. The price is 10 copper for 1 kilogram.」
「Then can I trouble you to arrange 15 kilograms of pasta and 5 kilograms of barley?」
Although the amount was a bit excessive for only himself, he did not need to carry any water thanks to his Spirit Arts. His body could be strengthened so he could endure the unreasonable weight for the sake of his appetite.
In addition to the other ingredients as well, the total weight would easily surpass 40 kilograms.
「500 grams of pasta is equivalent to six servings, are you sure?」
In total, he bought enough for 180 servings.
Merchants rarely bought small amounts per visit, but never had there been a person to buy this much in a single purchase.
The girl was amazed at Rio who bought such a large quantity of pasta and barley despite having the appearance of an adventurer.
Commoners at his age usually overestimated their strength and were unable to quantify weight well.
Assuming Rio was one of those people, the girl tried explaining the weight in layman’s terms.
Amusingly, Rio was planning to use the pasta and barley as food during his travels but the girl had already discarded such an outrageous notion.
The reason was that the two were not meant as food for travelling.
A large amount of was required to boil barley and dry pasta and water was scarce during travels.
While it was possible to produce water using magic, a magician’s magical power was limited, therefore a sufficient amount of water could not be readily produced.
Furthermore, the barley being sold was only used to manufacture beer.
「Yes. For 180 servings of pasta, it will amount to 4 silver coins and 50 copper coins. The barley is 50 copper coins for 5 kilograms, correct? Then altogether it will be 5 silver coins.」
Recognizing that pasta was not an ingredient suitable for travelling, Rio quickly calculated the total price to show that he understood his purchase.
「…Please excuse me. Then 15 kilograms of dried pasta and 5 kilograms of barley will be arranged.」
Witnessing mental arithmetic that exceeded that of even a merchant, the girl slightly widened her eyes as she responded.
「Uhm, because the preparations will take a bit, would you like some tea while we process your payment at that table?」
The girl proposed so as she motioned towards a table and sofa set reserved for payment processing and business deals.
「Ah, thank you. I will take you up on that offer.」
Rio decided to accept the invitation because waiting around for his goods to be arranged would be rather uneventful.
Calling another nearby employee to prepare tea for them, the girl invited him to take a seat before doing so herself.
「Now then, would there be anything else you need?」
The girl began talking as Rio sunk his body into the comfortable sofa.
「Let’s see. I’d like some cooking utensils and seasonings suitable for travel if you have any. Also, preserved food enough for a single person to last a month. Lastly, a bag large and durable enough to carry it all.」
Although he was anxious about the distance to Yagumo, Rio concluded that he should be fine with the amount of pasta he bought.
「I see. Then I will prepare those items as well. May I ask what your budget may be? The quality of the goods may vary so…」
The girl’s curiosity was piqued when she heard Rio request for cooking supplies but did not let it show on her face.
「Let’s see. About 10 silver coins for preserved food and I haven’t decided an upper limit for seasonings yet.」
In the Yufilia continent, seasoning was not cultivated at the border of the Bertram and Galark Kingdoms so they tended to be quite costly.
Spices in particular were very expensive.
「High quality preserved food can be bought with that much. As for seasonings, what would you prefer?」
A woman wearing a maid uniform suddenly appeared in front of Rio.
He was slightly surprised to see a maid employed in a high class firm. After the the tea was gracefully set on the table by the maid, Rio turned towards her and listed off the ingredients he sought.
「Well, I’d like salt, garlic, herbs, olive oil, pepper if possible, cloves, nutmeg, and red peppers.」
In truth, Rio craved for soy sauce and miso but he had not seen any evidence that either of the two existed.
Seeing that soybeans existed, it may be possible to create them using barley instead of rice.
（Liselotte-san introduced pasta and manju so it’s possible that she’s also making soy sauce and miso but I haven’t heard anything about it. Oh well, it’s not something a single person can make by herself if she doesn’t know the recipe. Maybe I’ll try making some myself after settling down.）
Rio knew the recipe because he lived in a rural area in his previous life.
「Ahaha, that’s quite an extravagant order. But, of course we’ll have it all prepared for you. Salt garlic, herbs, and olive oil aren’t that expensive but as for the rest, it will be one silver for 100 grams.」
「Then please. As long as it’s under one gold in total, that will be sufficient. Now then, let us enjoy our tea.」
After settling his order with great effort, Rio was finally able to enjoy the tea that was about to cool down.
He brought the saucer up to his chest and enjoyed the tea’s fragrance while admiring the light blue saucer’s intricate design.
Finally, he brought the cup along with the saucer to his lips before taking a sip. He savoured the taste in his mouth before swallowing.
The girl displayed an astonished expression at his series of refined movements.
「Do you happen to be familiar with tea etiquette? Your movements are awfully refined.」
「Ah, an acquaintance of mine is quite particular when it comes to tea. I became accustomed to it after accompanying her for many years. This distinctive aroma and flavour along with a slight bitterness, this tea leaf must be of Riz production, right? And an excellent grade at that.」
As a result of accompanying Seria in tea drinking over the years, the tea manners became ingrained into his body to the point where it became natural to him.
「Such incredible insight. Wonderful. Even a good number of nobles are ignorant about tea.」
An expression of disgust could be seen on the girl’s face for a moment before being replaced by a bright smile due to meeting somebody who shared a similar interest.
She then also drank her tea in a similarly refined manner.
Gazing at her gesture, Rio caught a glimpse of a Shisa on the cup.
「This table, sofa, and tableware… aren’t they a little too luxurious just for payments on an open floor?」
Rio opened up a topic for some small talk.
He surmised that the tableware’s value was at least several silver coins and was almost certain the table and sofa were worth several gold coins.
「Fufu, that’s because this is used for valuable business negotiations. It is only proper to provide our dear guests with the hospitality they deserve.」
The girl proudly explained the rationale behind it.
「As expected of the firm said to be run by the Galark Kingdom’s talented Liselotte-sama. Pasta is also one of Liselotte-sama’s prided creations.」
「Eh, ah, yeah. She will most certainly be pleased to hear that.」
The girl seemed to tremble slightly upon hearing Liselotte’s name.
（It can’t be…）
At that moment, a crazy idea surfaced in his mind, but Rio quickly drove the notion away.
「By the way, I’m sorry if this is prying too deep, but is dear customer an adventurer by any chance?」
The girl asked a personal question.
The conversation had drifted towards casual topics rather than business talks so such a question was not considered to be disrespectful.
Rio opened his mouth to answer the girl.
「Oh, no, I’m not registered as an adventurer. I’m actually in the middle of a journey and don’t plan to register anytime soon since I’m not worried about my expenses yet.」
（I doubt I can safely register at the guild in the first place since I’m a wanted person.）
Rio mulled over his problems while staring at the cup held over the girl’s breasts before returning his gaze to the girl’s face.
「I see. Dear customer’s hair colour isn’t something commonly seen either. Were you born in a foreign country?」
Possessing civilized manners and educated speech, an intelligence that could perform complex mental arithmetic, and proper tea etiquette, all of that was only at odds with his attire.
Furthermore, he did not try to haggle during his purchase.
The girl speculated Rio was the son of a foreign noble travelling abroad incognito.
It was a misunderstanding Rio was thankful for.
「Indeed, dark hair is uncommon in this country, but is actually quite common in the east…」
Rio casually hinted at coming from a country in the east.
If it became known that he came from the Bertram Kingdom, his movements would become restricted when the wanted list arrived in the Galark Kingdom.
「Ah, come to think of it, I actually have an acquaintance residing in the capital of the Bertram Kingdom. Do you know how I can send a letter there?」
Having said that, Rio finished his tea that had become lukewarm.
He wondered whether a firm of this size would handle mailing duties as well.
「As a matter of fact, our firm also handles mail to and from the Bertram Kingdom capital. It’s because we have business partners there as well. Would you like to write your letter while we prepare your goods and settle the payment?」
「By all means, please. Shall we finalize the payment?」
Ceasing their casual conversation, they returned to business related matters.
The total amount came to a single gold coin. A parchment to write the letter, as well as a quill and bottle of ink was brought to him.
「Then, I will finish preparing the goods. Please call me when you’re done writing your letter.」
「Thank you very much.」
He finished writing his letter about 20 minutes later.
He called out to the nearby employees and oddly enough, the same girl from before came again.
「Please deliver this to the Bertram Kingdom Royal Institute.」
「Most certainly. To confirm, the recipient is Seria Claire-sama right?」
Rio passed the letter to the girl and she gingerly accepted it.
Her eyes widened in surprise when she saw who the letter was addressed to and she once again confirmed that the recipient was indeed as written.
「Yes. I leave it to you.」
Rio believed the letter would arrive safely because he trusted that a firm as reputable as the Rikka Firm would not let their customers down.
「Certainly. Then, here are the goods you requested. Please confirm it.」
An employee who had been standing on the side stepped forward and handed over a bag to Rio.
Although it was considerably heavy even for a grown man, it did not prove to be a problem if Rio strengthened his strength and body.
Everybody in the area stared in surprise at Rio, who had the physique of a boy, effortlessly lifting the bag.
「Thank you very much. Farewell.」
Rio bid farewell with a wry smile and left the Rikka Firm office.
The girl took a step forward to make sure he was gone.
「He’s an acquaintance of Seria Claire? Seriously, who is he?」
The girl muttered under her breath in curiousity.
Earl Claire’s household was well known even among those in the Galark Kingdom.
However, the person who held even greater fame was the Earl’s daughter, Seria, who was hailed as a genius and sought by research institutes everywhere.
And now, in the girl’s hands was a letter addressed to that Seria Claire.
The girl was genuinely astonished that the boy she met just now was an acquaintance of such a distinguished person.
She desperately wanted to dig deeper into the matter but could not because it would be impolite and a breach of trust to do so.
（So he’s a foreign noble after all? Well, I can always ask that child directly when she’s finished delivering the letter.）
The girl remembered that one of her subordinates was friends with Seria Claire and decided to have her deliver the letter.
She was to go to the Bertram Kingdom on an important business trip the day after tomorrow anyway.
The girl decided to take the aforementioned subordinate along as her escort.
（This is the first time I’ve talked to a person with black hair in this world. I must say, it was quite a fascinating encounter.）
Liselotte and Rio, two people who were reincarnated, ended their first meeting without realising the other was also a fellow reincarnator.