Ardis with Gresch and the party continued their hunting even on the next day. But ever since the incident of mercenaries becoming robbers, it can’t be denied that an unnatural tense atmosphere has been around them.
The result, Ardis’s hunting with Gresch’s party have come to an end at the seventh day. For Ardis, distributing the work of hunting and dismantling greatly increased the efficiency. And the haul of the day became more attractive than ever.
But it didn’t go as he planned. It would be a little difficult for him to be working with people that have a bad relationship with him.
On the morning of the seventh day, which was the minimum promised initially, Ardis announced that the request will be ended. Gresch had an expression that couldn’t say anything then.
The reason is obviously because in the different moral views between them, Gresch understood that too. But the unwillingness to apologize for his mistake have, seemingly blocked the repair of their relationship.
To have broken the deal of five silvers a day per person one-sidedly, he must’ve also felt the blaming eyes from the other members.
While the other three members besides Gresch had only thought it to be regretful, being that they can’t really blame the leader, Gresch’s action, they had a helpless expression on their face.
Till then, they did the usual, heading towards the grasslands in the north, and hunted Beast Kings and Despairs. When the cart is filled with materials, and the day have gotten late, they headed back to the town.
They sold the materials as usual, and paying Gresch and the others compensation, it’s the flow of disbanding later.
「If we come to meet each other again, call me out. Then at that time, I will be relying on you all again. 」
Ardis opened his mouth with a smile, as if trying to make it feel not like a farewell.
Even though there were disagreements, they are comrades that have worked together for seven days. For the straightforward Ardis, he is not entirely emotionless.
But, the minimum number of days promised initially had passed as well, and he’s got enough money in the immediate to accomplish his initial goal.
Since there weren’t any reason must to extend the period, and there wasn’t any reason they want to extend the period, there isn’t any problem to end the request in the promised days.
Since It isn’t really a farewell because of a fight, it can be said it’s more towards a peaceful goodbye.
「Ou. I’ve got quite a lot. So, thank you next time. 」
「I have a lot that I can reference from what we talked. Let’s have a drink sometime. 」
「Please do tell if there’s anything earning! 」
Ralph, Jio, and Konia, the three of them called out to Ardis with a bright voice. But only the last one had a speechless expression.
「Ardis……, that……the mercenaries that attacked……」
Gresch who opened his mouth, Ardis explained slowly.
「Gresch. It’s not that someone is right or wrong. I think that Gresch’s thinking is one of the answers too. But it’s just my way of living is different. And I don’t have intentions to push that onto you. But just keep in mind that there are some that think like this too. 」
「……Got it. I’m not convinced, but I will keep it in mind. 」
Gresch responded after a pause.
「Yeah, that will be enough. See you. 」
Ardis waved his hands lightly, and went his ways from Gresch and the others.
Walking swiftly through the streets as the day gets later, he arrived at the Perch Inn. Taking the tray from Kashiha whose smile had clouded for the past few days, he returned to his room.
「I just returned. 」
He expected no reply from the twins as he said that, but they both can be seen nodding slightly. It’s the usual that they don’t speak a single word, but they have become able to nod or shake their head, responding the Ardis for even a little bit.
「It’s dinner. Go on and eat. 」
Putting the tray with the food on top of the table, Ardis took off his equipment.
Setting down the backpack onto the side of the bed, removing the sword hung on his waist, and he put the robe over the back of the chair. It’s fortunate that Ardis is lightly equipped so it didn’t take much time.
If it’s a leather armor like what Ted wear, then it will take quite a long time to release it. But in Ardis’s case, taking the robe off is not much different than taking a piece of shirt off.
In the meantime, the twins drew nearest to the table hesitatingly, and stood at the side of the chair while alternatingly sending gaze to the top of the table and Ardis.
And that continued until Ardis sat on the chair.
「Don’t need to wait for me, you two can start eating first. 」
Even though he said it every time, they didn’t ever reach their hands out until Ardis starts to eat. Not just that, even sitting on the chair must be after Ardis.
(I guess now that it’s better that we can even eat together on the same table but……)
「Both of you. It’s fine that you sit first without waiting for me, and also there’s no need to wait me before eating. It’s fine to eat before me after all. 」
The twins that had finally sat on the chair after a roundabout, they nodded at the same time. Even though it’s the same exchange every meal, but it doesn’t turn out like what Ardis want.
「It’s fine to eat. 」
Even if he said so, the twins would blink and send upward gazes to Ardis as if looking at his expression. It’s always a situation like this that the twins finally would put their hands on the food after Ardis started on his.
(It’s not like I want to say it but……. But being scared like this is just……)
Taking them out to the streets, even if I looked for a caretaker, taking them out both would be eye-catching. But if the twins are so afraid that they can’t be separated, then forcing them apart and take one of them isn’t a choice.
(I guess this will be time consuming)
For the twins, he didn’t treat them like objects or slaves, he didn’t hit them. He’s not one of their enemies, is what Ardis tried to convey day and night repeatedly. And now finally, they became able to sit on the same table to eat.
Their name was finally known as well. One is Filia, and another is Riana it seems.
But, other than the time they named themselves, Ardis haven’t had recollection that the twins ever opened their mouth. On top of that, who is who is not what Ardis is able to figure out at the moment, but it doesn’t really mind that. Since Ardis hadn’t have any intention of sticking around for a long time.
Just, the progress of the twins is just there. Even though they are able to sit on the same table dining now but, much effort that Ardis got a two bed room in the inn, but the other bed wasn’t used at all.
Even though Ardis said that they’re fine to use the other bed, they would just huddle up in the corner of the room until they slept. One time, Ardis forced them to use the other bed, but on the next morning, they were found back huddling in the corner.
If he knew that this would’ve happened, then taking the single bed room would’ve been the correct choice, was the negative thought that Ardis couldn’t dispel.
The next day, Ardis finished his meal together with the twins, before putting on the robe and exiting the inn.
「I’ll leave the usual to you. 」
He said to Kashiha, and 「A-Alright……, go well……」, a wobbly reply came back. And the same time, the gazes with bad intention from the other lodger, Ardis had sensed that too.
Where Ardis who left the inn was heading to is, to the Merchant Association’s storefront that handles real estate. The first-grade land across the main street, Ardis stepped into the two-storey big building unhesitatingly.
「Welcome. Are you looking for a house? 」
Entering the shop, the employees raised their voice. But that’s natural, since there’re no one else other than Ardis in the shop. For the three employees around, welcoming the customer that came after a whole day of waiting is natural.
It’s not that this shop is specially treating him. It’s because, the selling of land and building isn’t something that happens often.
For the average citizen, leaving their hometown where they have grown up is rare, three different generations of the family living together under the same roof is the norm, so the opportunities for transaction to occur is less.
As the result, the people that the Merchant Association faces are normally ruler-tiers like the lords, or successful merchants that want to set up shops, or the lesser party of successful mercenaries.
Although people that will be dealing with this is less, but the amount of the transaction itself is incomparably larger than other business. Even a single case would bring a big profit, so a one-to-one customer service is natural in this part.
That too, unlike the general store and weapon stores, the interior of the shop is in pristine condition, all the furniture is high quality and designed to give a good impression.
「What kind of property might sir be finding for today? 」
The male employee who is dressed in a clean attire, cut the chase to Ardis. Looking at Ardis’s appearance, he must’ve come to a conclusion that Ardis is a mercenary in an instant.
Merchants would normally be looking for land with commercial value, meanwhile, most mercenaries would look for houses or warehouses. It seems the employee in his late thirties is reasonably experienced, as he inferred that what Ardis is looking for is probably a house or warehouse.
「I’m looking for a house for me, and another person to live in. The location doesn’t matter much but, the security there must not be bad. 」
「I have certainly understood. I will look for one immediately that matches sir’s requirement, please wait with a little patient. 」
The employee guided Ardis to a seat, before beginning to take out documents of properties from the shelves.
「The property I can introduce that matches sir’s requirements are, these eight. 」
All the documents of the property that was picked by the employee, all of them have matched Ardis’s requirements. On top of that, all of them are priced affordable for any successful mercenaries.
It seems that it’s a quite good store, Ardis thought.
The employee training is good. The price is good. On top of that, towards Ardis that looked young, the employees have been treated him with respect since the start.
It’s not a general store or a drug store. It isn’t unnatural for Ardis who looks like a young boy to be treated as a window shopper by the employees.
「Are your partner that will live there your family? 」
「That’s right. It’s my still young sister. As you see, I’m a mercenary, so it’s often that I’m not at house. 」
「I see, so that’s why sir would like a good security. If so, then how about these two? Both are situated near a guardhouse, they are probably the best candidate in terms of security. 」
Ardis took a look at the documents of the two property that the employee recommended.
「I want to take a look at both in person. 」
「Understood. I will guide sir, please wait for a while. 」
Looking around the two houses guided by the employee, in the end, Ardis settled for the first one.
「Thank you for your quick decision. 」
For the employee, it’s better to take less time as both of the property are similar. The reason why the employee had replaced his business smile with his true one, is probably because Ardis settled the deal quickly.
「For a mercenary, a moment of late decision will cost your life after all. 」
「Certainly, it’s as you said. 」
Even so, there were people like Orphellia that is even indecisive in her private life, Ardis smiled bitterly in his mind.
「Will it be a 『Annually』contract? 」
「Yeah, that’s fine. I haven’t decided that if I should stay in Thoria for now. 」
『Annually』means, the contract to purchase the building for just a year.
Usually, the ownership of a building is transacted often. However, mercenaries are not always at a single place, so it is unlikely that they will buy a whole house unless it is time to retire and settle.
You can purchase a residence right at a price that is one-tenth of the price of the property, but you need to pay a deposit separately, and only active mercenaries contract the property on an annual basis.
The property that Ardis chose was two hundred gold coins in whole. If it’s an annual contract, then it will just cost twenty gold coins a year. And a hundred gold coins as a deposit is needed.
「Then the advance payment will be ten gold coins, the remaining hundred and ten gold coins can be paid when you take the property. 」
「I can pay the whole price now, I want it to be prepared as soon as possible. 」
「……Pardon me. I will ready it for use as soon as possible. 」
Ardis who took out a total of hundred twenty gold coins from his pouch, making the employee swallowing his breath for a moment. But as expected from a professional. He regained his composure in a few moments and proceeded the contract.
Fortunately, the property that Ardis picked, have had a maintenance just a few days ago, so handing it over in a few days is possible, is what the employee said.
Ardis who wished for the handover to be done tomorrow noon, submitted the contract and exited the shop. On the way, he bought two child-sized robe that can fully cover from body to face, before heading back to the Perch Inn where the twins waited.