Chapter 69 – Aurora company

We are traveling to the Holy City of Messer on wagons with fast horses, provided by the merchant guild.

Since it’s all about getting to the destination as fast as possible while paying a relatively higher price, most people don’t use this service unless they’re in a hurry or rich.
It’s my first time too.

There are three wagons in total, and they’re running in a line.

Apparently these wagons are special in how they were made, because there’s almost no shaking, at least compared to other wagons.
What did they do differently? Maybe I’ll ask later, but it might be a trade secret.

Locke and his party are in the first wagon, with guards and cooks assigned by the merchant guild.

I’m in the second wagon with Hikari, Leila, and her party.
I asked to go in the front, but was rejected for some reason.

In the third wagon are those merchants, like Stetho and Enrique.
Their wagon is like a jail cell.
They’re not being well treated because they’re being treated as criminals.
There’s a guard sitting next to the driving seat, and I feel like that wagon shakes a lot.

This journey would usually take seven days, but it’s been shortened to two.

We have time until the advent festival, so it’s not like we’re in any hurry, but apparently they want to get the offenders to the merchant guild in the holy city as soon as possible.

I look back and see they look sick, but I have no room for sympathy.

The journey itself is comfortable, and the food prepared by the cooks is superb.
I knew they had magic items used for cooking, but it’s my first time actually seeing them being used.
The only issues are that they use magic stones as fuel, and haven’t been mass produced yet, so they’re expensive.

I made a magic stone that can be infused with magic energy to be used for practicing using magic energy, but if I make one that doesn’t lose magic energy on its own, can it be used as fuel? I’m picturing something like a rechargeable battery.

I mostly hear about school while we’re on the road, and at night I hear Lock, Leila, and the others tell stories about their adventures.
This short journey ends before I know it.

The first thing we do when we reach the holy city is head for the merchant guild.

The streets in the holy city are so neatly arranged, and they look like a go board.
The buildings are almost all white, and the big churches in the east, west, south, north, and center really stand out.

I ask why there are five of them, and I’m told that there are so many believers, that one church wouldn’t be enough for everyone on Mass day.

When we enter the merchant guild, we are taken to a conference room, where the guild master of the merchant guild of the holy city, Arthur, and the manager of the Aurora company that has stores in the holy city, Coutre are waiting.

“We heard some of our people have caused you problems, and we offer our apologies.”

Says Arthur, and both himself and Coutre lower their heads.

“Their qualifications with this guild have been revoked, and they will receive the proper punishment.
We will take every precaution to make sure this does not happen again.”

“Why did it happen in the first place?”

Asks Locke, sounding a little irritated, probably because this is reminding him of how he was treated.

“I believe people from my company were the cause.
They were most likely trying to use their position to have their way.”

The Aurora company has stores all over the country, and since they pay a lot of registration fees to the guild, they have a lot of influence.
They were probably abusing that power.

I paid the lowest amount I had to in order to register with the guild, but the ones who really pay end up paying a lot more.
I honestly can’t picture myself doing that.

“Does that mean that there are other cases of people abusing those privileges?”

Asks Leila, and she gets an apologetic nod in return.

He says that at the very least, this sort of thing is happening with people on the lower end of the corporate ladder, but it’s possible that it’s becoming normalized.

“We are going to be holding hearings to check if people related to our company are responsible for any wrongdoings.
This will extend to those working outside of this country as well.”

It all just sounds like lip service.
How are they going to judge those wrongdoings in the first place? In this country, they can use an officer of veracity if it comes to that, but is there a similar occupation in other countries?

“Are you unsatisfied?”

Asks Coutre.
I guess I’m scowling.

Yes, I am.
Or rather, I don’t really believe it.

“What will you do if those people lie? Some of them might be colluding with guild employees.
What will the guild master feel then?”

“Yes, this will have to be re-examined.
In fact, that just happened with someone in the position of guild master.”

From Leila and Locke’s point of view, this is a problem with the merchant guild that the merchant guild itself needs to take care of.

But there’s the possibility that they could close the curtain on this matter without learning anything.
I mean, they say they’re going to conduct an investigation, but we have no way to confirm that.

“Then can I propose something?”

“What is it?”

“Firstly, the Aurora company pays a fine to the merchant guild.
And make it so they don’t receive the benefits that come from paying so much in registration fees for ten years.”


“There might be merchants who leave the Aurora company because of this, but make it so they officially can’t receive those benefits for ten years even if they move to another company.
When the preparations are complete, inform everyone in the guild why this measure is being taken.”

Arthur is looking at me like he has no idea what I’m talking about, but I keep going.

“Also, since the Aurora company caused trouble for us, I demand one platinum coin as reparations.”

“P-platinum… That’s extortion.”

“Is it? I think it’s appropriate considering what that Enrique and the others did.
An invalid quest, unreasonable actions… And above all else, they treated us with contempt.
I think I’m being lenient.”


“Words aren’t enough.
I’m a merchant too, and I can’t trust without being paid in a tangible way.
If we didn’t know to call the officer of veracity, we would have been treated as criminals.
Isn’t that what your company has been doing, like it’s no big deal?”

“…Let me consult the main office.”

“I don’t know how long I’ll stay in this country.”

“Then, two days.
No, come to the merchant guild in three days.
We will have an answer then.”

The conversation is over, and we leave the guild.

Locke and the others say goodbye, saying they’re going to meet some people they know.

“Sora, try not to go overboard.”

Locke says before they disappear into the crowd.

It was a short goodbye, but typical of an adventurer.

“Hum, will you come to my house?”

I’m about to say goodbye to Leila and the others, when Yor suddenly proposes something.
I’m told it’s difficult to get an inn around this time, and we might not get one at all.

I think about it for a bit, but decide to accept her offer.


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