Magi Craft Meister - Chapter 503
Shion immediately answered Jin’s question.
“I want to help my sister. That’s what I truly want.”
“Okay. …Would it be okay if we postpone the food aid for the time being?”
Jin asked this to see if the demons valued their families more than their entire community.
“Yes. We do need food, but it’s something that can wait for a day or two. But my sister is different. If we don’t hurry, her life may be at risk.”
That sounded like a reasonable explanation.
“Okay, in that case, we depart tomorrow to help your sister. You two make sure to get a lot of rest today. I’ll be taking care of everything we need for the journey.”
“…Got it. Thank you.”
She understood what Jin had just said, but Shion was still having a hard time composing herself.
＊ ＊ ＊
“The Frantz Kingdom, huh…”
From his seat in Hourai Island, the real Jin pondered. Reiko had come back to join him as well.
“I know so little about that country… I should probably ask Reinhardt about it.”
It’s past 6 PM on Hourai Island, but it was just past noon on the Shouro Empire, about 12:30 at most. Jin arrived at Reinhardt’s house at lunchtime.
Reinhardt had just finished having lunch, and was enjoying a cup of tea with Berthie.
“Hey, Jin. What’s up?”
“I came here because there was something I wanted to ask you, Reinhardt.”
“Right this way, Master Jin. I’ll be making some tea.”
While drinking tea served by Berthie’s Automata Neon, Jin said he wanted to know more about the Frantz Kingdom.
At the same time, he also remembered to inform him that Shion of Shinrai’s sister had been captured.
“Hmm, the Frantz Kingdom? How should I put this? The king has a very powerful authority in that kingdom. It’s… close to an absolute monarchy, you know?”
Reinhard had paused to find the correct words to describe the Frantz Kingdom based on the knowledge he had received from Jin.
“I haven’t been to the Kingdoms of Klein and Frantz in my last diplomacy, so I can’t say that I have an accurate grasp of their current situation, but that country is a vassal state of the Celuroa Kingdom.”
“Ah, I’ve heard about that too.”
“The king’s name is… Ah, right. Rijean Du Berkley.”
Reinhardt paused for a moment, then continued.
“I think you should be able to get more information from the princess of the Klein Kingdom, Jin.”
But Jin shook his head at Reinhardt’s suggestion.
“No, I don’t want to bring demons… or rather, Shion and Lucas, to the public view. I want to at least wait until we’ve rescued Shion’s sister, Istalis, before deciding a proper time to do that.”
Because of that, Jin also asked Reinhardt to not share that information with his colleagues or report them to the state.
“Okay, I’ll keep quiet until then. The average person is more likely to have prejudice against demons, after all. I wish we could suddenly get along with each other, but even if we can’t, it would be nice to at least be able to trade with them.”
Reinhardt’s view as a diplomat was reassuring to Jin.
“But I will eventually have to inform the state of their presence.”
“Yes, of course. But I’d like to be able to at least get a good grasp on the situation.”
“Also, the Frantz Kingdom might be a small power, but still, don’t let your guard down, okay, Jin?”
“Yeah, I know. I won’t do anything rash.”
“If this was only a sightseeing trip, I wouldn’t say anything. You have Reiko and the Covert Units with you. But you’re going to rescue captured demons, you know?”
It was a fair point. Jin couldn’t say anything back to him.
“You should be fine as long as you wait to see how things play out while sightseeing. But the moment you rescue that demon, don’t move a single finger. If possible, just return to Hourai Island as fast as you can.”
Jin still remembered that time when he was hit by an enemy golem back when he went to rescue Reinhardt from the Unifiers. Reinhardt was really worried about Jin.
“Understood. Thanks for the advice.”
After thanking Reinhardt and Berthie, Jin returned to Hourai Island.
“Father, how about we follow Reinhardt’s advice and ask Princess Lieschen about this?”
Reiko made such a suggestion. It was about 7:00 PM on Hourai Island, so it was a little past 4:00 PM in Alban, the capital of the Klein Kingdom.
“Hmm, right. I’m now able to freely cross their borders after all…”
There was also a Warp Gate near Alban. Following Reiko’s recommendation, Jin went through the Warp Gate to meet Princess Lieschen.
＊ ＊ ＊
“No matter how I look at it, not getting in touch with them beforehand was going to make meeting her more difficult…”
Jin was talking to himself while walking along the streets of Alban under the still bright summer sky.
“Let’s look for some of your acquaintances, Father.”
People like Gloria, Jessica, Pasco, Heintz, and so on, were all acquaintances of Jin to some extent. Those of them who were knights could be on patrol at this time, so there was a chance he could encounter them.
However, though he was sure it would happen eventually, an hour had passed without him meeting any acquaintances.
“If you cause some sort of uproar outside of the castle, they might come out.”
Unsure whether Reiko was joking or actually being serious about that, Jin scolded her and started walking again. Then, shortly after…
“Oh, but if it isn’t that Jin?”
Jin suddenly heard a voice from the crowd. When he turned to it, he found a familiar face.
“It’s been quite some time, hasn’t it? How’s my son doing?”
It was the director of the Raglan Firm and Eric’s father, Roland.
“I was thinking of going there to visit, but I’ve been way busier than expected with company work.”
“Business is going well, isn’t it?”
Roland invited Jin and Reiko into the head office of the Raglan Firm. They soon found themselves in an extravagant parlor.
“This is Raglan Eastwood, my father-in-law and Eric’s grandfather, and also the head of this company.”
“I’m Jin, nice to meet you. This is Reiko.”
“I’ve heard so much about you, Jin. I’ve been wanting to meet you.”
His body was so robust that it was hard to believe that he was over 60 years old. His slightly greyed hair had a hint of brown similar to Eric’s.
“I’ve wanted to meet you ever since I saw that handy tool called ‘pump’, and here you are at last!”
The man who started the Raglan Firm from scratch and made it grow into such a large company even with Jin’s tools being around was a completely different type of merchant from Eckert, who Jin had met in the Celuroa Kingdom.
“Pumps, cooking stoves, wheat, balls, pens and nibs… You’re a big benefactor of this company, Jin! I can’t thank you enough!”
It was almost 6 o’clock already. Raglan had his attendants prepare a meal.
“By the way, what is your business here in Alban? Have you come to do some sightseeing?”
Jin suddenly came up with an idea. After all, the royal family wouldn’t be the only ones who had information about the Frantz Kingdom.
“Yes, well, in fact, I wanted to know more about the Frantz Kingdom.”
“Hmm, but why… Ah, but I don’t mean to pry. Yes, Roland is very well informed about it.”
In response to Raglan’s gaze, Roland started speaking.
“The last time I’ve actually been in the Frantz Kingdom was about 3 years ago, so I can tell you about how it was at the time. Its government system could be very well called a dictatorship.”
Jin nodded silently, acknowledging that Roland’s words matched Reinhardt’s.
“The difference between rich and poor is huge. While some aristocrats are swimming in luxuries, the common folk are barely able to eat. So it’s not a good place to do business.”
“At that time, I went to that town next to the capital Sanjerton… what was its name again… Ah, yes, Bubro. But the aristocrats were reluctant to pay even though they had money, so I realized I couldn’t do business with them and came back.”
With that said, Roland told Jin a few other things he noticed during his time in the Frantz Kingdom. Among them were the names of aristocrats who seemed to be relatively less greedy than the rest.
In addition, he gave Jin some more pointers under the assumption that he was going to go to the Frantz Kingdom.
“Thank you very much. You’ve been a great help.”
“Oh no, I can’t pay you back for even a tenth of what you’ve given me so far.”
Roland and Raglan laughed.
“Ah, if that’s okay with you, could you show me the inside of the store?”
Jin remembered that he had missed his chance to visit the company the last time he visited Alban with Elsa and Hanna.
“Yes, sure. Roland, please show him around.”
Still laughing, Raglan gave instructions to Roland.
“Very well. This way, Jin.”
They left the parlor and headed for the store.
“The head office mainly deals with small items.”
First of all, stationery. The pens and nibs that Jin wholesale were lined up on the shelves. Other items included ink, leather paper, pen stands, and pen plates.
Next was tableware and kitchen utensils. Dishes and bowls of all sizes, spoons, forks, knives. Carving knives, tongs, pots, and frying pans.
“Here’s where we sell stoves.”
There was a stove there that worked by fueling it with Magi Sand, which Jin had taught them how to make.
“I taught the craftsmen how to make them, and they managed to produce them in-house.”
Jin checked the stove, and found it was quite well-made.
“This is the daily necessities section.”
Magi Lamps, beast-repellent bells, and hand mirrors. There were also rubber balls on display in this corner.
“I’m glad Eric did all of the numbers for us.”
Every month, Eric would put together the required amount and order the items they needed, so whenever Jin and Elsa went to Kaina village, they could make it all in one go.
Therefore, they had a stable supply.
In one corner of the store, there was something that caught Jin’s eye.