Chapter 501.1

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Food tasting, food tasting!
Pamela-san beckoned over, and when we came closer, she led us to one of several semi-private rooms in the back of the restaurant.

“Oh, you’ve come to eat too, Miss Cristea?”
“Headmaster!?”

When I entered the room, I found the Headmaster was there.

“Well, everyone, since you’re here, you may as well eat here.”

The Headmaster recommended an empty table.

“Ah, but…”
“The more the merrier, rather than eating alone. Can’t you do the old man a favor?”

Pamela-san nodded at the mischievous Headmaster, who winked at her with a snap.

“Besides, you don’t have to draw attention to yourself here. And there will be no one to bother you.”

Oh… I’m sure they heard the commotion earlier.
Certainly, there would be no staring here, and no one would act strangely in front of the Headmaster.
I was delighted by the thoughtfulness of the two.

“Thank you very much. We will take you up your offer.”

When I said so, Sei and Mariel-chan also bowed their heads and said, “Thank you very much.”
We took our seats as recommended by the Headmaster, and near the center of the table there was a magic tool to fit the plate.
As Pamela-san explained, we each snapped the plate into the space corresponding to our seat.
Then, the frame surrounding the plate softly glowed.

“This tells the kitchen which table the food will be taken to. The glowing light is a sign that the food has not yet been delivered. When all the dishes have been delivered, the light goes out and the plates are collected.”

Hoho~ I see. That’s quite convenient.

“That’s great! I have never seen this magic tool outside the academy, though…”

Mariel-chan asked with interest.

“This is a prototype made in the Magic tools craftsmanship course. The prototypes are tested and improved within the academy, and if they are judged to be acceptable to the public, they are registered in the name of their creator with the Magic Tool Craftsmen’s Guild. If it is made by a team, of course, it will be registered under the joint name of the team.”
“The Magic Tool Craftsmen’s Guild?”

I know of a Merchant’s Guild, but…

“Umu. Those who want to make a living as magic tools craftsmen must register with the Magic Tool Craftsmen’s Guild, and register the magic tools they create under their name. Craftsmen are forbidden from selling the magic tools to the Merchant’s Guild on their own.”
“Why is that?”
“There are various reasons, such as the fact that it must be clear who is responsible for the creation of the magic tools, so that if an accident should occur, the Guild can deal with it, and so that when the Merchant’s Guild mass-produces the equipment, part of the profits will go to the registered craftsman.”
“I see…”

Huh? But the craftsman in our fief had their own private store, right?

“Umm, are magic tool craftsmen able to set up their own stores and sell their products directly, without going through the Guilds?”

Surely, that magic tool craftsman wasn’t unlicensed, right?”

“Yes, some of the best ones are directly commissioned by nobles and merchants.”

Oh, I see. That’s good to know.

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