41 First Day

If you are looking for 41 First Day you are coming to the right place. is a Webnovel created by . This lightnovel is currently . Li sat on a stool in his stall, legs crossed as he spied Iona at the display counter. The morning was bright and cheery, the weather perfectly summery. The batches of [Blood Boil] and [Bloodl.u.s.t] stood atop the counter, the green and red liquids glinting under the sunlight.

"Is business usually this slow?" asked Li.

Iona leaned against the counter, her eyes scanning the main road for potential customers. However, the only people that pa.s.sed were ordinary folk going out to the forests to forage or heading to the next village over for business. n.o.body that would buy the elixirs they had on display.

Occasionally, a knight on patrol would ride by, but they were forbidden to buy anything except bare necessities such as foodstuffs, so they gave a glance to the stall, perhaps noting the sign that read 'Arboretum' for later.

"I should have thought this would happen, yes," said Iona. "Very few adventurers are in town right now." Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click for visiting.

Li raised a brow. "How's that possible? Riviera has a guild, doesn't it? There must be adventurers around, and I have a decent grasp of economics. I've priced everything pretty d.a.m.n well. Pretty generously, I might add, now that Black Vine isn't selling. You're in the city, so you should know what's going on."

"There is the matter of the d.u.c.h.ess calling a royal a.s.signment upon the stone drake in Montagne north from here."

"I know that much, but that's only for silver rank and above, right? What about the untrained and bronze adventurers? They have to make a living too, and there's nothing easier than getting out in the Winterwoods and clearing out a few small-time monsters here and there."

Iona nodded. "That is correct, yes, but there are other factors at play, too. Ah, I should have foreseen this, yes, but you see, I am quite unused to thinking in terms of business. You know that Black Vine has closed? No doubt due to your heroic upholding of all that is sacred with the wilds."

"Closed completely? I didn't expect them to go that far."

"Not completely." Iona rapped her knuckle against the counter with force. "Yes, they shut their stores, but they still use them behind closed doors to abuse nature's bounty, harvesting it into drugs for men to indulge all their degenerate needs with. Herbs were meant to nurture and protect life, not to become a plaything for humans."

"If it becomes a big enough issue, I'll deal with them again. But the adventurers – why aren't they coming around? I haven't seen a single one come by."

Iona nodded. "A panic, yes. Black Vine has eliminated all its compet.i.tors and has been the main source for adventurers to get their elixirs for years, and now that they are closed so abruptly, the adventurers in a panic have traveled to other nearby villages, towns, or cities. They know not that we are here for now."

Li sighed. "A load of bad luck, but what can we do. Market's in chaos. Until it stabilizes, we wait. Here, I'll make a batch of [Restoration] while you keep watch at the storefront. I'm sure the ordinary folk are scrambling to get some healing for their sick and wounded."

He went to the work table, rolling up his sleeves and putting on his gloves and mask. He got a few milk poppy flowers and began crus.h.i.+ng them in a mortar and pestle. As the orange flowers broke apart under his strength, he gave a light shrug to himself.

The seeds meant for offensive elixirs that Triple Threat had given him ended up not being too useful after all. The plan was to outcompete ent.i.ties like Black Vine with the fact that the healing lake was going to open to the public, but the lake had been kept a secret and Black Vine had closed down.

Although, in a way, it was partially his fault because he had forced Black Vine to close so suddenly that this panic had occurred. In the long run, though, so long as Arboretum was the only supplier, word would spread and eventually they would get a lot more traffic.

Before then, he would just take his time. The standard common cla.s.s [Restoration] was easily made, and that would do for now to get at least a few customers.

"Oh, and make sure to advertise," said Li to Iona. "Marketing is one of the most important parts of any business. If you see someone that looks like they fight, anyone with a sword at their hip or maybe an off-duty knight, call out to them and tell them why they should buy from here. Make it sound appealing. Be like the food vendors in the marketplace. Loud and convincing."

"Understood."

Li nodded as he continued to focus on making some [Restoration]. It was an easy and quick recipe, so he could easily handle it alone. Also, he didn't want to be the one hawking Arboretum's wares. He had been a scientist, and though he had a grasp of how the business side of his company worked, his personality didn't mesh with it.

He didn't like being a loud mouth that made himself likable to everyone. He kept his words spa.r.s.e. He didn't come off too friendly, either. Not anti-social, that was for sure, but not likable either. Mostly a little too serious to anyone other than his family, and after his parents had pa.s.sed, even that had faded.

Better to leave the loud part to someone else. As he worked on the elixir, he kept tabs on Iona. She was an experienced herbalist, so he had faith that she knew how to sell their product well enough.

"You there, knight!" said Iona as she waved towards a knight taking a gentle and lazy pace on his horse through the main road. "You have a scar upon your cheek. I can see it clearly. Next, it will be that a bear tears your entrails b.l.o.o.d.y and warm from your stomach, leaving you lifeless and limp as your family weeps tears of blood. If you wish to escape such a fate, then look at our wares."

Li furrowed his brows.

The knight paused for a second before bowing his head. "Perhaps a little later, miss." He rode off, a shudder crawling down his back.

A minute later, and Iona spotted a hunter walking by, bow on his back and scars adorning his arms.

"Good hunter, nature is cold and unyielding. It will take your flesh and devour it so that naught but your bones are left behind, and even they will crumble into dust, gnawed upon by beasts that prowl the dark. No more will you bring back warm game to your loved ones. Instead, they shall stumble upon your cold and white skull now home to skittering and scurrying vermin."

The hunter blinked and opened his mouth as if he was about to say something, but when he saw Iona standing there with her eyes twinkling and her mouth curved into a pleasant smile, he shook his head and then left, clutching tightly at his bow.

Li stopped what he was doing. "Why is this so brutal and graphic? And how do you look so happy while saying all this? The goal is to draw customers in, not scare them in. Telling them how brutally they're going to get absolutely ma.s.sacred is most definitely not the right way to do this. In fact, with that happy-go-lucky smile, it even sounds like a psychotic threat."

Iona turned to Li and stared at him quizzically. "I am merely telling them that nature, though it gives life, can just as easily tear it from their fragile mortal forms. Nature does not care about sentimentality or morality. It rips and tears and bloodies without any care for manmade ideals of cleanliness or properness. By teaching these mortals of the true dangers of nature, then I should think they would wish to buy these elixirs even more."

"How did you ever run your own stall?"

"I was a teacher. I taught curious mortals of my ways, and they bound themselves as my apprentices. It was they that ran the stalls."

"Okay, I get it. You have negative EQ." Li sighed. "I mean, I should have known – you're not human. But to think that this is how you are even with consuming a few humans and getting their emotions."

"What is EQ?" asked Iona curiously. "If it is something to learn, I shall apply myself to it, yes."

"It's nothing." Li waved his hand. "Just stay quiet for now until I finish this batch. Maybe I'll work the counter for a bit later and show you how it's all done."

"What's all this talk of blood and despair? The morning is yet young for such talk, hah!"

"Old man? What are you doing out here?" said Li. Old Thane was standing at the counter, a broad smile on his face.

Iona sensed the conversation did not involve her and she slunk back.

"What do you mean, lad?" said Old Thane. "Of course I would be here! It's your grand opening! Arboretum, you say this stall is? My, that is a name that rings with splendid power and complexity! Although I loved Aine much, her creativity was not quite there. 'Aine's Herbs' her sign read."

"If Arboretum didn't already mean something to me, I might have done something similar," said Li. He gave a hearty slap to the old man's shoulder. "And I'm sorry I didn't get your input over the stall's name."

"Nonsense. Son, this may be a way to honor Aine's legacy, but first and foremost, it is your work, your pride and knowledge at display." He jammed a proud finger into Li's chest. "It is all you, lad. You may have studied off Aine's tomes, but all that you have wrought til' now, this stall, these elixirs – it is entirely you. So it is proper that you are the one to name it."

Li smiled. "Guess you're right on that one."

"Oh, and the help of the young la.s.s here too." Old Thane moved his head from side to side. "Aye, I could swear to the G.o.ds that I sensed her here, but she has faded."

"She's just quiet." Li motioned for Iona to come over, but he put a finger to his lips to tell her she was not to say something ridiculous.

"Aye, there she is," said Old Thane as he heard Iona's footsteps. "My, la.s.s, you're mighty quiet. Have you training as an a.s.sa.s.sin? To fool even my battle-hardened hearing. Mighty impressive."

"No, she hasn't. She's a little shy with her words, so I hope you can excuse her if she doesn't want to talk much."

"Oh but lad, I heard her loud and clear, and my, what jests she has within her! Entrails and weeping wives, aye! It hearkens to my northern sense of humor." Old Thane chuckled. He bowed his head to Iona. "Thank you, la.s.s." He looked back to Li. "It is wondrous to see how much this humble farm has grown. First, the berries, then that magnificent guard dog, then the builders, and now the stall is up and working. It makes my old heart grow tender."

"Didn't know you were such a softie, old man. There's a lot more to look forward to, though, so don't get all weepy and sentimental already."

"Of course not, lad. I have come to appreciate that you are a gift that keeps giving." Old Thane took one of the elixirs on display in hand. "Oh, quite warm. A [Bloodboil], is it? And say, how are sales? Surely the adventurers have picked up on your superb skills by now."

Li shook his head sadly. "You're a little too optimistic at times, old man. No, it's going to take a while. Black Vine closed, so all the adventurers have turned out of town to get their elixirs. Sale by sale, though, word will get out and they'll come back here eventually."

"Oh, is that so?" Old Thane scratched his beard. "Young lad, I remembered I had some business to attend to in the city." He slapped his hand on the counter with a wide and proud smile. "You've good skills, lad. Keep at it, and soon enough you'll be the talk of town, aye."

"The city? Want me to come with you? I can have Iona here keep watch over the stall."

"Iona? That is her name?" Old Thane c.o.c.ked his head and paused for a few seconds, as if thinking. He shook his head and then said, "No need, lad. I need to head to the bank. I've an account to check up on is all."

"Alright." Li patted Old Thane's shoulder. He would have liked to insist on accompanying the old man, but he knew by now that the old man's pride would never let that happen.

"Tell me how your first day is when I get back, lad!" said Old Thane as he waved his goodbye and walked down the main road, towards Riviera.

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