Chapter 47

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Looking for a Store Location
“Why are you trying to get me to open a shop?”

This was the biggest mystery for me.
I am a Copper-ranked merchant, but I don’t have my own shop.
On top of that, my merchandise sells well even in stalls.
So why are they insisting that I open a shop?

“Well, first, it’s about keeping up the appearances of Copper-ranked merchants. The Trade Guild would prefer if Copper-ranked merchants avoided doing business solely through stalls. It could create friction with other merchants.”

I see, I hadn’t thought that far ahead.
I sell mostly clothing, so I would be competing with stalls that sell clothes.
Stalls don’t require any rent, so items sold there might be perceived as cheaper.
In reality, it’s just because magic tailoring doesn’t require labor costs that I can sell things for less.

“Next, having a shop will allow you to openly sell a variety of goods. The aprons you sold, for instance, are now being made by other shops too. Of course, they aren’t enchanted like yours.”

Yeah, my other strength is my ability to enchant, using magic, the products however I want.
Ordinarily, producers can’t use enchantments, so it’s rare to find low-priced garments with enchantments.
But I can do that.
Of course, I have to factor that into the price, but even then, I should be able to offer it much cheaper than other stores.

“Lastly, it’s about security. Right now, you’re living at an inn, but that can be worrisome from a security standpoint. If you have a shop and live there, it would be easier to provide security.”

That’s true.
When I asked Keuko and the others, they seemed concerned about the security aspect of living at an inn as well.
So, it would be more reassuring to live in a single-house shop.
Hmm, then it comes down to the issues of location and cost.
When I mentioned this to Priscilla, she already had several potential locations in mind for me.
After the meeting, I’m supposed to check out these potential places with Alizée.
It seems like it’s already decided that I’ll be opening a shop.

Priscilla’s suggestions concluded, so I decided to immediately go out and look at properties with Alizée and the others.
The first place was a shop facing the main street of the city.
It was quite worn out and would require significant repairs to be usable.

“Alizée, how much would it cost to buy this place?”

“This property isn’t available for purchase. The monthly rent is 500,000 rubies.”

Can’t buy it, and it’s 500,000 rubies per month.
It’s facing the main street, so it’s likely to attract customers, but the monthly expense is significant.
For me, selling a few pieces of Spider Silk should cover it, but I don’t know if I can sustain this income going forward.
I’ll pass on this one.

We continued to look at other properties one after another.
But many of them were rejected due to concerns about security because they were located in back alleys, and there were also places that were questionable for converting into a shop in residential areas.
Is Priscilla trying to let me choose from these options?

When we had only two more places to visit, we arrived at a slightly larger shop just off the central street.

“Alizée, what about this one?”

“This shop has been put up for sale just recently. The price is quite high because of its proximity to the central street, but it has a spacious land area that comes with a small backyard. The merchant was hesitating on selling this place because of its prime location.”

“I see… Can we take a look inside?”

“Yes. I have the keys. Let’s go.”

I looked inside the shop, and apart from showing some age, it seemed usable as is.
Oh, but if I were to sell things here, should I renovate it?
The backyard was also spacious, and it could be used as a warehouse or workspace.
The second and third floors seemed to be living spaces, with the second floor being common areas and the third floor being bedrooms.
What should I do? I really want this shop.

“Alizée, what’s the price for this one?”

“It’s 20 million Rubies. Are you thinking of buying it?”

“I will make the decision after we visit the last location, but I really like this one.”

“Indeed, if you choose this one, it’s close to the guard station, so the security around here is good. Well then, shall we head for the last property, just to be sure?”

The last property was bigger than this one and had a larger land area, but Alizée deemed it unfit for a clothing shop due to its location on the outskirts of the town.
Priscilla apparently chose these properties because she wasn’t sure what kind of place I’d prefer.
Anyway, I paid 5 million Rubies as a down payment for the shop, and the rest was given as a loan from the Trade Guild.
Alizée didn’t oppose the loan, saying, “You are capable of paying it off no time.”
Well, that’s because Talat was eating the monster cores we collected during our journey, so I have a lot of Spider Silk and Mana Spider Silk in stock.
Legally, the shop was already mine, but I want to renovate it first, so living there will have to wait.
I’ll ask Alizée to recommend me a good construction company.

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