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Chapter 301

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Paper Goods
“N? This is… an art gallery?”
“”So many pictures!””

As we continued to wander around, peeking into stores, we found a store with many paintings on the walls.

“Welcome.”

As we were looking at the paintings, an elderly man approached us.

“Hello. Excuse me, is this a store that sells paintings?”
“We are a writing tools shop. We deal in paper, pens, ink, and so on. Those paintings are, more or less, also for sale.”
“Writing tools? Erm, what do you mean by more or less?”
“These paintings were drawn by my grandchild. He’s an unsuccessful painter so these rarely sell.”
“Is that so? I thought they were pretty good~”

Some of them were landscapes, and some had depictions of animals, plants, or monsters. Well, the landscapes were all very similar, and the monsters were all low-ranked ones, though. It’s possible that the painter only draw things they have seen before.
But the overall style was gentle and light-toned, and I like it a lot.

“People are not going to buy paintings unless they can afford it.”
“… Ahh, I see.”

In this world, it is the wealthy, mainly the nobles, who display paintings, but most of the paintings displayed in noble residences are canvases made of cloth stretched over solid wooden frames.
The pictures displayed here were all painted on A4 size paper, so they were easily available, but I guess they don’t sell well because the common people rarely buy paintings.

“Does your grandchild not paint on bigger canvases?”
“Maybe it’s because he has been used to paper since he was little, but he can’t seem to paint as well as he’d like on canvas.”

… I guess it’s a consequence of his family selling writing tools.

“Would you like one? I was thinking of disposing of them soon, so I’ll give you a discount.”
“You are disposing of them? Isn’t that a waste?”
“Yes, it is. However, my grandchild needs to see reality soon or he’s the one who will be troubled in the future.”
“That’s harsh.”

I felt like I really wanted to support them, but he seemed to be trying to be tough for the sake of his grandchild.

“Well, we will buy a few.——Allen, Elena, I’m going to buy some picture to decorate our house with, so choose the ones you like.”
“”The forest house~?””
“Yeah, that’s right. You can choose as many as you like, and we can change them according to your mood.”
“”Got it~””

When I asked the children to look at the pictures and choose their favorites, they began to examine each picture with great enthusiasm.

“”That’s cute!””
“N, lemme see? Oh, Pastel Rabbits? That certainly is cute.”
“”Hey, hey, that for a congratulatory gift~?””
“Congratulatory gift? Oh, that might be a good idea.”

The kids found a picture of five Pastel Rabbits in a huddled together and suggested it as a congratulatory gift. That’s a good idea. Rabbits are supposed to bring good luck, you know. It’s for prosperity and happiness. However, the size is indeed too small.

“Come to think of it, do you have any large papers?”
“Uhm?”

I didn’t consider because I hadn’t had a chance to use paper over here before, but wouldn’t it be a good solution if there was a bigger paper?

“Do you have paper four times the size of this paper? There won’t be a problem if its even bigger than that, though.”
“W, well, I do have some pre-cut sheets in the workshop… and they are exactly four times the size of these.”
“Ohh, really? Then, if I ask your grandchild to draw a picture of Pastel Rabbits on that large piece of paper, can they do it?”
“Eh? Ehh?”

Perhaps because of my abruptness, the old gentleman was very confused.

“You said you were going to make them give up on painting, so do they not take personal request anymore?”
“N, no… that’s not it…”
“Then, I’d like to place an order, what do you think? I can order here and pay in advance, but maybe you should introduce us to your grandchild so we can talk with him directly?”
“E, ermm… I, I will call my grandchild over.”

The old gentleman hurriedly ran to the back of the store.

“”He gone?””
“He’s going to call the person who drew these over.”

Soon, the old gentleman returned with a young man in tow.

“I, is it true that you want to order a painting from me!?”
“Yes, I’d like to request a painting of Pastel Rabbits from you. However, I’d like it on a large piece of paper, is that fine?”
“Y, yes! I, I will do my best!——Grandpa, I will go get the paper from the workshop!”

The grandson seemed to accept the request, but he ran out of the store before we could discuss the details.

“I apologize for my restless grandson.”
“It’s all right. It’s just that we haven’t set a price or a deadline yet.”
“I’m sorry again. However, the items that are displayed and sold in the store are sold for a single silver coin. Also, from the way my grandson is acting, I think he will be done in two or three days.”
“N~ we will come back to check in three days then. As for the fee…”

I offered him a gold coin as an advance payment and asked him to order a frame for the painting as well. I didn’t know the exact size of the paper. He told me that it would take a long time to order a picture frame with complicated engraving, so I wanted something less complicated, but not so cheap-looking, and that I would pay extra for express completion.

“I will pay based on the quality of the painting then? Oh, do you need more money in advance?”
“No, it’s plenty enough.”

We finished the order without any problems, and then we selected the Pastel Rabbits painting from the store, along with some landscapes, for our own use.

“Ah, would it be possible to turn this painting into puzzle?”

As we were picking up the pictures, I thought of another use for them.
If I make the picture a little thicker, coat the surface, and cut it, I can make it into a puzzle. Oh, but I don’t think it’s possible to cut it into the pieces I imagine, so I’ll have to cut it into suitable shapes.

“But wouldn’t it be rude to cut the paintings?”
“You’re free to tear up the pieces you’ve purchased or burn them to ashes.”
“Nono, I won’t tear or burn them to ashes, okay!?”

I got a little flustered when the old gentleman overheard my muttering and gave me a bold reply.
However, the old gentleman’s comment made me less resistant to the process, so I bought another painting with the idea of making it into a puzzle.

“Then we show up again in three days, but we will wait if necessary, so tell him to calm down and not rush to finish the painting.”
“Yes, I’ll let him know. Thank you very much for today.”

After leaving the writing tools shop, we wandered around the town and bought some more things before returning to the Ruven residence.
Incidentally, I made a puzzle as soon as I got back to my room. I also bought some materials for it, after all.
At first, I was going to make it into random shapes, but that didn’t look like a puzzle, so I did my best to cut it into 104 pieces (8 x 13).
When I finished making it, the children immediately tried to play with it, and they were very pleased with it, so I made another 126 pieces and 165 pieces puzzles. I don’t know if it was because I got used to it, or if it was because I became more proficient in the “Crafting” skill, but each time I made a puzzle, the process became easier and easier, and I completed several puzzles without much trouble.
However, I needed a small box to separate the puzzle pieces so that they would not get mixed up, and a rack and a frame to play with the puzzle, so I hurriedly went shopping again the next day.

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