Chapter 28: Trading with Heroes

Green grass passed beneath their wagons as a few patrollers would pass by every once in a while to see that the paths were safe. A few birds twittered in the sky as they prepared their stocks for winter. The sun peeked over the horizon, staring at weary travelers who had started their movements early in the day to assure that they’d escape the worst of morning traffic.

Yawning, James looked into the sky as he listened to the birds overhead. ‘It was nice to sleep on a real bed again.’ After setting the last box in the back of the wagon, James heard something.

“Hey, you, hi?”

James turned to find the party of four who had ordered the lantern from him that Diana had beaten up so long ago. They looked a bit stronger than when she had handed them their asses. He suspected that they had gained several Levels over the past few weeks. James finally asked, “Hi, can I help you?” The leader of the group looked at James, then at Diana passing by on her horse, ready to take point. She gave them a look.

Their leader paused, rubbing the back of his head. “You wouldn’t happen to be acting like a mobile shop, would you?” James considered the group. The number of healing supplies alone he had were far more than his group would probably need.

Taking a second to doublecheck his wares, James reported, “Well, yes and no. I do normally sell things, but they are specialized. If you want some of my items on the road, I’m going to sell them at limited numbers and at higher costs. If you got one or wish to rent one from me or the city, I can use a storage bag as well to haul it to anywhere along our route.” James took out a box and demonstrated some of the wares he had on hand to the watching heroes.

The heroes looked pleased hearing that. “These are some quality potions.” Olaf grinned widely before seeming to remember something. “What about buying from us? We’ve found a few interesting goods during our travels.”

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James paused. Wild materials could be useful for creating various potions since wild animals tended to have higher mana concentrations as compared to farm bred ones. Obviously, though, wild materials were far more expensive because they required hunters to face usually dangerous beasts that could easily end their lives.

James paused, running through his current inventory. “I’ll take most materials since I’m running low on most of them, to be honest. I might be able to pay well if something catches my interest, although I’ve got limited funds as well, so don’t expect much.”

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“Alright. We’ve been hunting some forest creatures, so we’ve got some Direwolf blood and that sort.”

“You found any rare herbs on your trip?”

“A few Yezelnuts and some blue fruits we haven’t been able to identify.”

James thought for a bit. Yezelnuts were pretty uncommon and could be used as a very effective amplifier of potions. Deciding to take a bit of a gamble, he said, “I’ll offer 50 Seedz per Yezel, and 200 Seedz for that fruit.” This could be either a huge steal or a complete loss, but since it clearly emitted mana, he decided that it probably wouldn’t be worthless.

After exchanging a few goods, the heroes wandered off; both sides rather pleased with their new items. James sighed, thinking about how rude they had been to not even say thanks, but he was used to it by now. Adventurers tended to be a rather gruff bunch, always only thinking about their next heist.

Diana ran up to them and tried to convince them to spar again, but Olaf stoically refused after reconsidering. Clearly, the leader didn’t think their team had improved enough to match up to the [Knight]. With a brief smile at Diana’s antics, James turned to stow away his new materials before they deteriorated due to exposure to the outside elements. After the Adventurers had finally disappeared, Kira came out of the shop and hefted the last of the bags onto the wagon. It was time for their own journey to begin. While the morning delay would cost them some time, useful goods would’ve made the wait worth it.

After all, one never knew for sure whether the extra bags he had brought could come in handy later on the trip. James helped Kira onto the wagon by holding her hand. He felt a bit rushed since he was feeling the time pressure himself. For a moment, she lost her balance, and he found himself having Kira sitting on his face. “Oh, master!”

James smiled lightly at her playfulness before she helped him stand up on the rollicking wagon. Still, James knew better than to keep her there, he hurriedly guided her to the back of the wagon where a small mat in the shadows had been set up. After curling up on the soft surface, Kira immediately fell asleep, but no one begrudged her for it. They all knew that she had been up all night making sure no one stole their valuables from the inn. The fight from last night had worried her that the [Guard]s in the village would take revenge for their friend’s loss. With a dazed head, Kira was far too tired to even think about doing anything besides rolling up into a ball on her mat next to James. She contentedly lay her head on his lap and fell asleep with him gently rubbing under her ear.

James tinkered with some of his old materials, trying to figure out some grand new invention while he patted Kira. Staring toward the rising sun, he felt a few rays of sunshine land on his face, helping to chase away the last vestiges of sleep. His trusty boomgun at the side, James prepared to face what today would bring.

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