Chapter 5: It’s Not Easy To Buy a House
“Hmm? Ryoji-kun. Where are you going?”
Next morning. Ryoji met Lucia and Mateo while he was heading to the real estate agency with Carena and Melta.
“I’m thinking of buying a mansion to commute to the academy. So the Queen’s shopping and the servant’s carrying the luggage over there?”
“Hey! You don’t mean me, do you? Who’s the queen? We just happened to be together. And Matteo said, ‘I can’t stand a girl carrying luggage! ‘ and he carried it for me! Hey. Mateo. Isn’t that right?”
“It’s just as Lucia said.”
Ryoji’s group turned their attention to Mateo, who answered with a calm face like a hermit who has gained enlightenment.
“That’s right! He’s happy to help with the luggage! We have 3 more places to tour!”
Mateo’s face was as calm as a hermit’s, but Lucia’s line made him look as if he had heard that the world was about to end, and he appealed to Ryoji with a ‘help me’ look in his eyes.
“Haah. Wanna go to the real estate office with me for a break? I’ll buy you lunch and I’ll store your stuff in my item box.’
“That’s great! He’s buying lunch as well! Let’s go shopping together!.”
“””That’s not going to happen.”””
Mateo gleefully tried to get Ryoji’s group involved but was immediately rejected and a look of despair came over his face. Lucia, unaware of this, took him up on his proposal.
“Yeah. It’s tempting that you’re buying lunch for us. I’d like to visit at least five places after lunch, so I’ll need to take a break and regain my strength.”
“The number is increasing…….”
Lucia’s words made Matteo mutter with a pale face, but he swept away and they all headed for the real estate agency.
“Welcome! What kind of listings are you looking for today ……. Tch! If you’re just looking to chill, go home!”
When Ryoji and the others entered the store, a man who appeared to be a clerk yelled at them without even greeting them.
“That’s not the way to treat a customer, is it? What would you do if I were an aristocrat or rich?”
“Haat! A kid like you wouldn’t be anything like that! If it were, I’d be royalty. I don’t have time for this! Get the hell out of here.”
The clerk glared at him, clearly making fun of him. Ryoji looked at the clerk with cold eyes for a moment, then smiled and began to speak.
“You’re being so quarrelsome, do you have something against me? Is it because I have a beautiful girl and a beautiful woman with me? Jealousy of a man is disgusting, don’t you think?”
When Ryoji spoke in a clearly irritating manner, the clerk’s face turned bright red with a blue streak on his face. Before the man could react angrily, he took out a dagger, the proof of the viscountcy, and several jewels from storage.
“This dagger here is the proof of the viscountcy. And have you ever seen jewels this big? There are at least twenty of them, aren’t there? Why did you decide I wasn’t a nobleman? What made you decide that I don’t have money? This is not the time for lowlifes to come out of the curtains! Now go get the manager!”
“Y-Yes! I’ll get him right away! Please wait a moment.”
The clerk turned pale at the sight of the dagger and the number of gems he had never seen before and disappeared into the store’s rear at a tumbling pace.
“I am so sorry, sir! How could my idiot son be so rude to Viscount Ryoji Uchino, the hero of Drugul! It may be unforgivable, but I am willing to make any kind of apology.”
The owner of the store apologized with his head on the ground in a low, flat position. The man bowing with him, looking very pale, was the clerk from earlier, the owner’s son.
“I’m not that angry. The moment I walked into the store, I got tangled up, and I want you to tell me why.”
“Actually, ……. I was there at the entrance ceremony of the Royal Magic Academy. When I spotted them drinking tea at the reception desk, I thought that a joke of a guy had enrolled. But you all have red medals! I even went to cram school, though I just barely got white, and nobody else around me had that! And when I was standing in the store, you guys came in. ‘Why are you guys laughing all goofy yet you got red!’ And then I couldn’t stop myself……. I’m so sorry …….”
The clerk apologized while sobbing in a muffled voice, and Ryoji, remembering how buoyant he had been after passing the exam, made a bummed face and spoke to the clerk while accepting the apology.
“Come to think of it, you never told me your name. I’m Ryoji, and beside me are my fiancées, Carena and Meltha. And over here are Lucia and Mateo.”
“I’m Neyham Stern. I am really sorry for what I said earlier!”
Ryoji accepted Neyham’s apology as he bowed once again, and gave him the information about the property he was looking for once again.
“No need to apologize anymore. Let’s talk business. What I want is a place close to the Royal Magic Academy, brand new, spacious, clean, with a big yard, and close to the market!”
“Ryoji-sama please leave it alone. Can you prioritize proximity and the size of the garden?”
When Carena brushed off Ryoji’s hopes and conveyed the request, the owner took out three sheets from the file in his hand and ordered his son Neyham to guide them to the mansions.”
“Here it is. It’s a five-minute walk to the Royal Magic Academy and the price is cheap. It has no garden, though.”
“That’s no good! I want to build a hut in the garden and eat outside! Besides, this is not a mansion, but a five-story room! I even said it should be a mansion! Not here!”
Ryoji affirmed his explanation with a tsukkomi as Neyham arrived on the fifth floor out of breath.
“The garden is quite large, and you can build as many huts as you like. But it’s an hour and a half walk to the Royal Magic Academy.”
“Dang it! If it wasn’t an hour and a half walk, I would have bought it! But still, I’m surprised we walked an hour and a half to get here!”
“I was hoping to hear you say that earlier.”
Carena sighed with a tired look as Ryoji exclaimed after reaching the outskirts of the city.
“This one is my favorite place, actually. It is farther away than the first house, but it has a larger garden, and a shed can be set up on request. And above all, the house itself is spacious and clean as it was built recently. And it’s close to the market! What do you think! Mr. Ryoji!”
“Sold! When can I start living there?”
“As soon as the procedure is completed. It will only take two days.”
“But why is this property still available? Is the price exorbitantly high?”
Melta tilted her head and asked, but Neiham answered cheerfully,
“The price is fair. It’s a good property, but it’s strange, isn’t it? Actually, there is a condition for consignment. It is necessary to have an interview with the seller after our store approves it. My father assured that Mr. Ryoji would be fine.”
“Let’s have an interview right away. By the way, who is the client?”
“I can imagine that Ryoji-san will be surprised! He is the chief professor of the Royal Magic Academy and has published more than 10 articles on magic. He has a deep knowledge of magic–“
“That’s Reynold! If he had such good property, why didn’t he just tell us about it?”
Neyham was about to explain to the client when he was interrupted by Ryoji.
“His name is ……. His name is ……. ……. I’m still halfway there. …….”
He managed to recover Neyham, who was completely depressed and told him to set a date for a meeting with Reynold.
“Why are you selling that property?”
“It’s a mansion I received from the academy for my appointment as chief professor and for submitting the magic paper I’ve been working on, but I don’t need it because I’m single and living in my lab. I thought about selling it because I don’t use it, but I didn’t want it to be used by a strange person, so I requested the condition that I would interview them. I didn’t expect the sergeant to come. By all means, please buy it!”
Ryoji, who was asked to buy it, confirmed the price with Reynold.
“I’ll give you five hundred gold coins.”
“Hey! Reynold-san! That amount is …….”
Neyham was flustered when Reynold offered an unbelievable price. Ryoji, who had heard the market price in advance, began negotiating for a higher price.
“That price is too low. ‘You need 2000 gold coins to buy the same mansion near the academy’ is what I heard. How about this price?”
“That’s too expensive! Then how about 600 gold coins?”
“That’s cheap! Then how about 1500 gold coins?”
“That’s still too expensive! I’ll take the plunge and go for 800 gold coins!”
“Objection! That’s cheap! 1300 gold coins!”
Lucia, who had been watching Ryoji and Reynold negotiating, muttered to herself.
“What is this? The seller is lowering the price and the buyer is raising the price. ……”
“I’ve been in a few negotiations helping my dad, but this is the first time I’ve seen it.”
Neyham agreed and watched in amazement as the price negotiations unfolded before his eyes.
“Here is the contract. Reynold-sama. Are you sure this is the right price?”
“Yeah. There is no problem. It’s an honor to have the Hero of Drugul live there.”
Neyham’s father, the owner of the store, finalized the contract as he prepared it. Reynold nodded in satisfaction, signed the contract, and presented it to Ryoji.
“This one’s a big help. You can come to visit us too, Reynold.”
“Yes, of course! I heard that you are going to build a hut in the garden. What are you working on?”
“Ahh. I’m thinking of making potions here, too. I got a letter from Aurelio saying, ‘Please send me the potions as soon as possible! I’m serious!’ .”
“A potion? Is it different from the same potion you were using in the Cave of Trials?”
Ryoji answered while signing.
“Yeah. I don’t know how to make the elixir either. But I do know how to make the potion. It’s five times more effective than the previous potions, so I started selling it at Drugul and at the barracks for a living.”
“So that’s the reason to build a hut to make the potion. May I ask you to call me when you build a hut for future reference?”
“Sure. I’ll build a hut right away, so let’s go to the mansion together.”
“Build? You mean you’re going to build it?”
“You’ll know it when you see it, so look forward to it.”
After confirming the contents of the contract and signing it, he handed it to Carena. After receiving the contract, Carena chanted to it as the procedure. The contract began to glow faintly and enveloped Ryoji and Reynold.
“The contract is now complete. Please confirm it.”
“Yeah. I will verify the certificate.”
Ryoji pulled out the certificate issued by the Adventurers’ Guild from the storage.
Name: Ryoji Uchino
Subjugation: 286,960 points
Recognition and Penalties: Defeating Bull-man in the Cave of Trials, Honorary knight, Honorary Puddin Chef, Honorary Ice Cream Chef, Defeating Three Bull-man in the Cave of Trials, Opening the Cave of Trials, Defeating Runaway Giant Horned Bulls
Contracts: Loan contract for 300 gold coins (Carena), potion testing and nominal loan (Drugul Magician’s Guild), house sale contract (Reynold Nosuke).
Ryoji looked at the Recognition and Penalties section of the certificate after a long time and was almost knocked over.
“Princess Elena must be the culprit for Honorary Puddin Chef and Honorary Ice Chef in Recognition and Penalties!”
“You finally noticed? Those two matters were handled on the part of the Adventurers’ Guild after the Royal Family informed them of the need to do so as soon as possible. At the banquet, we received word from King Meisel that he would grant the title of “Count Puddin,” but we haven’t acted on it yet.”
Ryoji had intended to just look at the details of the contract, but he was so distracted by the Recognition and Penalties part that he almost strayed from the main topic, but after regaining his composure, Ryoji confirmed the contract.
After successfully concluding the contract and paying Reynold in jewelry, Ryoji received the key and headed for the mansion.
“If we buy what we need, we can move in today.”
“Can I leave the necessary items for the house to Melta and Carena? It might be a bit much, but please do it.”
“Isn’t that why you chose me to be the head maid? I will make sure that you and Carena will be ready to live in the house tomorrow.”
Ryoji entrusted Melta with the preparations, and with a puff of her chest, she took Carena to the market to do some shopping.
“Ryoji-kun? How long should we accompany you?”
“Ohh! I completely forgot! Thank you for accompanying me all day. What should I do to thank you?”
“You forgot ……? Well, it’s okay, I had a good time too. I got to hang out with Professor Reynold. Right. Mateo, isn’t it the same with you?”
“Uhmm. That’s right. And it’s getting late, so we should go home.”
Mateo was really happy to get the shopping done. Ryoji talked to Neyham as he watched with a wry smile.
“Neyham. I’ll be looking forward to working with you in the future. I’m going to throw a party next time, and I hope you’ll join me.”
“Eh? Is it okay for me to join you? After the way I treated you?”
“You apologized to me. Or was I the only one who thought we got along?”
“Get along ……. I’m so glad! I’m happy to participate! Please let me call you aniki!”
“Why with the aniki! You’re older than me! Don’t call me aniki!
After seeing everyone off to the front door, Ryoji came to the backyard with Reynold. Ryoji felt that he was being watched with expectant eyes, and he began to build the hut with earth magic, imagining it in his mind with great enthusiasm.
For Reynold, the process seemed to be comparable to a natural disaster. The hut was completed while he watched with his mouth open in amazement. Not noticing this, Ryoji approached the completed hut and nodded at its appearance, and spoke to Reynold,
“The exterior looks fine. Then let’s take a look inside, shall we? Hmm? What’s wrong?”
“Y- yes! T-then, excuse me.”
Following Ryoji’s energetic entry into the completed hut, Reynold followed timidly and was filled with excitement as he looked around the brightly lit hut.
The hut was about 20 tatami mats in size, with shelves on the walls for various items, and a desk in the center big enough to accommodate four people for a meal.
“Amazing. All this in that instant?”
Ryoji, oblivious to Reynold’s muttering, set up the pots, bottles, and cases needed to make the potions one after another. At first, Reynold was reserved, but by the time Ryoji had finished the installation, he was muttering and checking the bottles in his hands while turning over the chairs.”
“How’s it? How’s my shed coming along?”
Reynold turned to Ryoji with great vigor and began to speak enthusiastically with sparkling eyes.
“Sergeant! This was made only with Earth attribute magic, wasn’t it? Only with Earth attribute magic? Is this a new Earth attribute magic? It’s an Earth attribute magic!”
“Calm down. Reynold. You’ve only said ‘Earth attribute magic’ since a while ago.”
“How can I remain calm about this! I have been studying not only magic circles but also various kinds of magic and sorcery. However, building a hut with only Earth attributes magic like this ……. I have never heard of or seen anyone build like this! Besides, the sergeant wasn’t chanting when he built the hut, was he?”
Ryoji explained while looking at the excited Reynold.
“Reynold, I will ask you a question, have you ever wondered why chanting is necessary? From my point of view, I don’t see any reason why chanting is mandatory. It’s my personal opinion, can I tell why I think chanting is necessary?”
“Of course! I’d love to hear your thoughts, Sergeant!”
“Just to confirm, you can’t make fire with magic power alone. You need an attribute, right?”
“You need the attributes God has given you.”
“So why does it need chanting when it’s an attribute given by God?”
Ryoji’s question made Reynold tilt his head and think.
“By the look on your face, it seems you’ve never thought about it. Continuing our conversation, I believe the reason why you need to chant when using magic is because you are imagining it.”
“Yes. For example, even if you have the fire attribute, you cannot suddenly produce fire. Therefore, I thought that by chanting, the phenomenon that causes fire is realized as magic.”
“I see. It is the same logic as a magic circle. The magic circle also achieves what it cannot do by channeling magic power. I will immediately begin my research on chanting and attributes. It would have been easy to notice if I thought about it, so why didn’t I notice it until now ……”
“I think it’s because people assume that if you don’t chant, you can’t use magic. In my country, we were taught that phenomena are nothing but God’s miracles. Wouldn’t it be a great revolution in the world of magical research if Reynold did some research on chanting?”
“It would definitely turn things upside down. But still, Sergeant’s country’s way of thinking is amazing. I wish I could go there once.”
(I would too if I could go back.)
Ryoji responded to Reynolds’ impressions with a wry smile.
“Thank you for your time today. I had no idea that just by selling my mansion, I would receive a subject worthy of a lifetime of research. I look forward to your continued cooperation in conducting experiments.”
“Thank you too, for your help today. I was able to buy a good property. I would be happy to cooperate with you in your experiments. Of course, don’t forget to give credit to the students who cooperated.”
“Of course. I will give them high evaluations. Ryoji-kun.”
After Reynold returned home in high spirits, Melta and Carena came back from shopping. Melta asked as she put down her luggage, noticing that no one was home.
“Did Reynold-sama return home?”
“Yeah. I gave him a subject for his research, and he left happily.”
“You gave the chief professor of the institute a subject for his research? Ryoji-sama is still out of the norm.”
Melta sighed at Ryoji’s casual answer and began to put away the luggage, but there was only small baggage in Carena’s. Ryoji wondered, and asked Carena,
“Why does Carena have so little luggage? Did she win a game of rock-paper-scissors?”
“I don’t know what rock-paper-scissors is, but I have an item box and I am in charge of small things. Like Ryoji-sama item box, regardless of its size…”
While Ryoji was talking to Carena, Melta came to the living room in hurry and spoke to him.
“Ryoji-sama! I didn’t confirm this, but have you told Yuhan-sama and Marco-san about purchasing the mansion?”
“Hm? I bought it on the spur of the moment. I’m going to report back to them, so please continue to look after the house.”
Ryoji told them to clean up and headed to the accommodation where Yuhan and others were staying.
“Pardon. Please explain again.”
“I bought my own house! It’s close to the academy, newly built, with a big yard and a hut to add on to it! I’m going to start living there tomorrow!”
He answered Marco’s question with a big smile who was clutching his eyebrows. Yuhan, who was listening to their conversation on the side, asked Ryoji.
“If it’s so close to the academy, it must be a pretty expensive place to live, was it alright?”
“It’s all right. I had Reynold sell it to me. Since he studied a lot, I was able to purchase it at a reasonable price.”
“You bought the mansion from Reynold? As I recall, his mansion was given to me as a gift to celebrate his achievement in the magic thesis and his appointment as chief professor, wasn’t it?”
“It’s all right. He asked me to buy it for him because he doesn’t use it.”
When Ryoji answered Yuhan’s question, Marco asked him a question with a reluctant look on his face.
“You. You didn’t force him to discount the price with vigor back in the Cave of Trials, did you? By the way, how much did you pay for it?”
“It’s no problem! I have not done anything to tarnish Reynold’s face since I found out that he was the chief professor. By the way, he suggested 500 gold coins for the price, so I asked him for 1300 gold coins.”
“You got a discount, so why did the price increase?”
“Yeah, about that …….”
When Ryoji told Marco and Yuhan about the purchase process, they looked subtle. Carena had told them that the content was fine, so they composed themselves and began the rest of the conversation.
“W-well. If the contract is signed without any problems, then it’s all right. If you are going to start living there tomorrow, I will contact the royal family on my side. I’ll need to inform the royal family where you will be staying.”
“Thank you very much. Ah! That’s right. Tomorrow we are having a party with some friends I met at the academy, so if you have time, please come.”
Marco interrupted Ryoji, who had invited him to the party while expressing his gratitude to Yuhan, with a happy look on his face.
“I can join you, of course, can’t I?”
“I’m planning to have about 20 people come, and I’m going to prepare all sorts of things! So you can eat and drink as much as you like! Just make sure your wife doesn’t get mad at you.”
“Don’t say that like that! By the way, can I bring some more people with me?”
“Ouu! Are they part of the escort from Drugul? If that’s the case, I’ll prepare 30 servings, so bring them!”
“Leave it to me!”
Ryoji informed them of the appointed time and headed for the market.
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