Chapter 11 - Solo Start (2)
Chapter 11 – Solo Start (2)
Hey, Zombie. Do you know what’s most important when being tutored?
“I’d like you to first stop calling me Zombie.”
-It’s the tutoring fee.
We finished our business in the Sangryun headquarters and left. It was right in the middle of the day, and the streets were bustling. Retired hunters were busily serving customers in restaurants and cafes.
There were a lot of completely empty stores among them as well. The owners of the stores were sitting blankly with their mouths gaped open. People who succeeded would succeed, and those who didn’t would not. It was cruel, but it was the unchangeable fact of both Babylon and the outside world.
–And you just got the tutoring fee. Let’s see, so what’s next?
“Mm. A good tutor?”
–Nope. There’s already one in front of you.
Bae Hu-ryeong spoke shamelessly. Without even the slightest change in his expression.
–A good reference book! You need a textbook that’ll help you grow faster.
–Yeah. Like a skill tome or an elixir. But there’s no way you’ll understand a skill tome even if you get one, k? So the only answer is to get those fucking expensive elixirs.
This guy said the right things in such a rude way.
–Also, I don’t deal with cheapo elixirs. Why, was it the Alchemy Castle? There was a guild that doctors and pharmacists were registered in. Get the elixirs made only by their skilled masters.
–I know where the store is, so don’t worry. There’s something that grandpops Marcus used to go. If we get all the elixirs there…
“W, Wait a minute.”
I lowered my voice because some people were walking by me.
“…Aren’t those elixirs ridiculously expensive?
–Of course they’re ridiculously expensive. If you hear the price, your jaw will drop.
Bae Hu-ryeong snickered.
–Should I tell you how much it is?
“Let’s hear it.”
He whispered in my ear. My eyes widened after hearing the price. It was an astronomical amount.
“Even if I pour everything I have, I only get 4?!”
–Heehee. If we buy it in bulk we can get a discount and get 5. They know how to run a business. This is why doctors who know the taste of money are the scariest.
“I, It’s too expensive…”
Goodness. I would become poor again. I thought I would be able to live comfortably since I got the 1st place lottery ticket.
–Well. What can you do about it? It’s because you lack skills. Just think of it all as your fate…humph!
Bae Hu-ryeong’s face hardened.
His voice turned serious. I found myself behind a trash can at his words. It was a trash can that a restaurant used to throw away food waste. I crinkled my nose.
“Why are you telling me to hide suddenly?”
–Be careful. It’s grandpops Marcus.
I held my breath. Carefully, I peeked above the trashcan to see the street. An old man with tied back white hair, the current world Rank 1 with the Detective’s Insight, Sword Saint, was walking far away.
‘If I get caught it’ll suck.’
My heart pounded. Was it because my nervousness was delivered. Too much talker Bae Hu-ryeong shut his mouth for a while. Both of us hid behind the trash can holding our breaths, looking at Sword Saint.
Thankfully, he didn’t seem to have noticed us. He muttered to himself like always and headed somewhere.
Bae Hu-ryeong grimaced seeing Sword Saint enter some building.
–Tsk! That’s the best shop.
“The best shop?”
–Elixirs, I’m talking about elixirs. The best creator set up their shop there. Ugh, seriously! Everyone else is just a drug dealer. We have to buy it there…!
Bae Hu-ryeong tapped his feet. This was the first time I saw this ghost actually mad. I was lost in thought next to him.
‘Using the same store as Sword Saint is too dangerous. But, a good store for elixirs…’
I searched for the top rankers on my phone. There was a list starting from first place.
Rank 1. Sword Saint / Affiliation: None
Rank 2. Black Dragon Witch / Affiliation: Black Dragon (Guild Master)
Rank 3. Count / Affiliation: Merchant’s Union (Guild Master)
Rank 4. Heretic Questioner / Affiliation: Ten Thousand Temple (Guild Master)
Rank 5. Venomous Snake / Affiliation: Chen Mu-mun (Guild Master)
Rank 6. Babel’s Linguist / Affiliation: Manhak (Vice Guild Master)
Rank 7. Kwangyeok Messenger / Affiliation: Golden Newspaper (Vice Guild Master)
Rank 8. Crusader / Affiliation: Civil Militia (Vice Guild Master)
“It’s not here.”
I muttered to myself. Bae Hu-reyong reacted to my words.
–Hm? What’s not here? Your luck?
“No. The opposite, actually.”
I was overflowing with luck.
“It might not cost as much as I thought.”
“We’ll only have to spend a penny to get the best elixir.”
“Cause I know a really good pharmacist.”
We entered a dark alley.
It was a poor neighborhood. People here had to live here because they couldn’t earn money. It was a harlem neighborhood. The hunters looking our way had abnormal gazes in their eyes.
–…There’s a skilled pharmacist here?
Bae Hu-ryeong complained, like he didn’t believe it.
“It’s not a skilled pharmacist, but the best pharmacist in history.”
–Take it easy with your lies. Why would someone like that stay here?
“Ah, don’t believe me if you don’t want to.”
I heard someone clicking their tongue from some corner. It seemed like the hunters looking our way had turned away. They probably thought I was a psycho seeing me talk to myself. Even though people in this harlem were the worst, they didn’t touch mental patients. I smirked to myself.
‘What’s gonna happen if they know my wallet’s filled with gold coins?’
It was obvious. They would run at me like wolves.
Of course, I didn’t plan on telling my wallet’s business to others. Smelling the scent of rotting corpses, I entered deeper into the alley. It was then that I heard the sound of something ripping.
“P, Please, just don’t touch my experiment materials!”
A young voice.
After that, someone spoke in a rough tone.
“You’ve done this more than once now? What kind of bullshit are you spitting out!”
“It’s already half a year since the due date. You have to pay the price now.”
I headed towards where I heard the voices. In the middle of the twisted streets, there was a empty store set up. It was where the people were fighting.
“Ut. I, If you take all the tools…I really can’t make a living…”
“Let’s go, there’s nothing to see anymore. Take everything!”
Gangsters with good bodies got machines onto their rearcars. A young woman looking to be in her mid 20s grabbed onto them to plead.
“One week! Please just give me one more week. No, 5 more days…”
“That one week became one month and that month became half a year now!”
As the gangsters drove away, the store owner collapsed to the floor without being able to protest. She held her hand out to the rearcars even when her knees were being scratched.
“There’s…there’s still incomplete liquid medicine…!”
“Ugh. Why did we get caught by this crazy pharmacist. Lady! I’m advising you, but don’t ever make medicines again!”
The rearacars creaked and disappeared into the streets. Only the despairing woman on her knees was left.
Including me, all the other neighborhood people had come out to watch. They whispered amongst themselves.
“Tsk tsk. I thought that store would fail.”
“The medicine is too expensive. Why is a single health potion 40 Gold?”
“She thought business was easy because she’s young…”
Perhaps she had heard the whispers of the onlookers. The despairing store owner whipped her head towards them.
“E, Expensive? I only sell it at the original price!”
She looked quite pitiful. Her hair was stuck to her head like she hadn’t washed it in days. The glasses on her face looked like antiques. Even her voice was cracky.
“Only our store sells these kinds of medicines at this price in Babylon! Y, You should actually be grateful that I set up my store here! Yeah!”
“Aw, she’s still not living in reality.”
“Sheesh. Does she think she’s better to say that…”
The onlookers shook their heads and the crowd dispersed.
The store owner who looked like no one would like her was still there.
“Oh…W, Wait. Since you’re all here, how about a bottle of health potion…With my special potion, even an almost dead hunter can flop back to life.”
“I. I won’t buy it, I won’t.!”
She tried to grab onto the onlookers, but it was too late. The water was already spilled. They cursed and disappeared.
“It has really good effects…it’s not a lie…”
She plopped on the ground.
Bae Hu-ryeong muttered after seeing that unpleasant scene.
–Is the ‘historical pharmacist’ you talked about…that loser?
“What are you going to do if it is?
–I’m going to sincerely worry about your welfare. Thinking, ah, this kid’s brain must’ve gone weird after dying 4000 times. And then I’ll introduce you to the best therapist in Babylon.
“You should’ve worried about my welfare when I started to see ghosts. That owner is definitely the historical pharmacist, so don’t worry.”
–That’s not a historial pharmacist, that’s a historical loser! You crazy bastard!
Bae Hu-ryeong spoke loudly but I ignored him. I walked towards the owner who was sitting on the floor.
She looked up at me. She looked even more pathetic up close. Her clothes were all too long for her. But since she was wearing a white coat, you could tell she was a pharmacist and not a beggar.
“Store owner-nim. You’re still selling, right?” [TN:Store owner-nim is a way to address store owners respectfully in Korean.]
Of course, this person wasn’t a beggar. She wasn’t an ordinary pharmacist either.
“If you’re still selling, there’s something I want to order.”
Lord of Alchemy Castle.
She was a pharmacist who would rise to Rank 5 status in the future.
Right now, she was outside of the rankings, but she would definitely succeed.
“It’s alright if it’s a bit expensive.”
“Ah, yes. Yes! Of course! I can make you anything!”
The color came back to her face. Her store had been on the brink of going bankrupt, but there was a customer saying they would buy expensive medicine.
“Uh, but how expensive are you talking about…?”
In the future, she was a pharmacist that I couldn’t even think about buying from, but this time was different.
“I want to buy about 20,000 Gold worth.”
She dropped her mouth open.
So what if she looked pathetic. To me, she looked like a goose that laid golden eggs. And 100% percent pure gold ones at that!
“What are you doing? You need to take the order, Store owner-nim.”
I would be your sickening regular now.