Sword Pilgrim

Chapter 121
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New n𝙤vel chapters are published on 𝑓𝓇ℯℯ𝓌ℯ𝑏𝑛𝘰𝑣ℯ𝘭.𝘤𝘰𝘮

I did indeed have to leave as soon as possible, but there were still too many things on my plate.

Among them, the most urgent was –

“Boss, it’s getting a little tight…”

Bruns mimed a circle with his index finger.

Meaning there was no money.

“Where did all that money go?”

Roughly 50,000 gold coins.

That was easily more than the annual tax of an average noble estate.

How could that much money vanish in just three months?

“That money-eating witch…”

Bruns said, flipping his wrist.

I looked where he was pointing to.

Beatrice thrust out her chest wide and said confidently.

“I need some more research funds.”

“Will you stop strutting around naked?”

“But I’ve covered everything I wanted to cover?”

“Just slippers don’t cut it.”

“I put on a cardigan too.”

But that cardigan was too thin.

Not even many men went around dressed so sparsely.

It was hard to look at her without your eyes wandering to someplace indecent.

“… So. Does that mean all the money went into funding your research?”

"Yeah."

Bruns was avoiding meeting Beatrice’s eyes as if he was felling awkward.

Whereas Beatrice was looking at Bruns with contempt. Something must’ve have happened between the two.

But that wasn't my problem.

“Show me the ledger.”

“Here.”

It was true.

Expanding the villa, making Beatrice's workshop.

And buying research materials.

Clearly, the work had proceeded as previously agreed.

But the problem was that –

Beatrice had purchased her research supplies and materials at such a frantic pace that the gold reserve had evaporated in just a few months.

“…”

Seeing me stare at her silently, Beatrice began to avert her eyes.

"Well, I've never really been the one to overspend. There’ve been some decent results. If we just commercialize the product and release it…”

I couldn’t help but sigh. I couldn't really blame her. I’d expected to invest this much in the first place.

In the end, what mattered was the return.

“How long till it’s ready to sell?”

“Um, I’d say about five years?”

"Boss!! This witch’s totally ruined us!! How about I strip her naked, hang her from the ceiling and spank her ass!"

“Heh, you don’t even know your place. Remember coming to me with a bouquet of flowers and talking nonsense?”

“I, when did I –!”

“Shut up, both of you.”

Beatrice's research couldn’t be delayed. The TD potion was a miraculous concotion made with a small amount of troll blood and dragon blood essence.

‘Five years is too long, but if it can be finished within two or three years, it’ll be able to play a big role in the fight against the empire.' freewebno(v)el

Although it couldn’t yet be regarded as a true elixir, it was proven that long-term intake could strengthen the user’s body.

The data was being gathered from the Sixth Squad[1], so a year or two of development cycle sounded feasible.

Beatrice was a perfectionist after all, so if she said five years, perhaps even one year’s worth of data would be enough in practice.

"One year."

"Huh?"

“Make it shelf-ready in one year.”

“But it’s still…”

I could tell that she wasn’t satisfied with the level of the product.

But even such an unsatisfactory result would be a boon for carpe.

“The Sixth Squad has already shown results. Let’s start with that as a baseline and get ready for mass production from there.”

"Well…”

“And the more data, the more space for improvement, right?”

“Is that so?”

“You could try the potion not just with the Sixth Squad, but with the entire Royal Army.”

"Ah… That's for sure.”

Profits could be made and data could be extracted simultaneously.

Research and experimentation cost money, after all.

If you have money, you can do more research and run more experiments.

Money can substitute for time, in that sense.

In the end, it’s money that makes the world go round.

So this was imperative.

‘Besides, it’s already been verified that there are no harmful effects on the body.'

There’s no time too early to start training.

The Royal Army had to become stronger in order to evenly face the empire.

And this was good for Beatrice too.

It was a great opportunity to establish her place in the kingdom, and that too, not just as an alchemist.

If she wanted to follow Cedric’s footsteps and establish a new church in Carpe, she had to prove her value and her qualifications.

"I like the idea!"

"Good. Bruns!”

"Yeah!"

“Bring Helena.”

"Eh?"

Why her? That was the expression the man was making.

“Shut up and bring her.”

“Ye-, yes!!”

I didn’t see any need to explain.

The living room of the mansion.

Helena, red hair fluttering, was sitting opposite Callius with a quite dissatisfied expression on her face.

“So now you want money?"

“It’s for Carpe.”

“And? We’re meeting after so long, and that’s the first thing to come to your mouth?"

"Yeah."

Helena gave Callius a venomous glare, and then picked up the teacup.

After the first sip, she couldn’t help but look at Callius again, startled.

“What’s this swill? Don’t tell me, you poisoned it?!”

“Emily made that.”

“… I was joking. It's delicious… But do you drink this often?”

It didn’t taste even close to appetizing.

Callius replied calmly.

"Sometimes."

She came here from time to time to make tea. Jervain's young lady had a unique way of making black tea, simply pouring hot water over the tea leaves. The end product was bitter like an unripe lime.

It could even be called art.

“…”

“What’s with that look?”

“I was just thinking. It’s tough, being a father.”

“You too, be nice to your own father.”

“Don’t you have trouble with that yourself?”

“I have other things that I’m good at.”

“… What the hell."

Helena couldn’t help but laugh at that ridiculous response.

Callius was also feeling a little amused, and the corners of his lips loosened.

“So how much money are you asking for? We haven’t seen each other for almost three months, and the first thing you talk about is money. How sad.”

“… I meant, give back the money I invested with you.”

“Oh, that? Well, um… How about leaving it with me a little longer? The profit isn’t that high right now.”

“How much is it?”

“Now, um… about forty-three percent?”

“… Isn't that quite a lot?"

“The business should return about seventy percent.”

Callius didn't know if it was because she was a merchant, or if Helena was just that special.

Seventy percent return on twenty thousand principal made the total about thirty-four thousand gold, which was quite a tidy sum.

If that was the rate of return after just three or four months, it was fine to leave it invested.

“How about giving me one more year? Then you’ll get twice as much back.”

“Then let’s do that. But first, look at this potion and this other stuff.”

Suddenly a pile of junk and a potion bottle appeared in front of Callius, as if from thin air.

“What are these things?”

“These are the relics of the Vira Tribe.”

“Vira? Who’re they?”

“An ancient ethnic group that once lived in the Old North. Their artificers were head and shoulders above the alchemists of today.”

"Hm… I see. These are relics, so if you properly organize them and put them on auction, alchemists will come running with fiery eyes.”

Callius hadn’t gone through so much trouble to collect them for nothing.

To sell such things, he could name his own price.

Of course, there were some among them that weren’t usable at all, but to alchemists and scholars, they were worth far more than their weight in gold.

“And this potion is an elixir made by mixing troll blood and dragon blood. Ingesting it loosens the limits of your body.”

Callius had drank it himself after waking up.

From his own experience, it was quite effective.

Callius thought that it’d be okay to call something of this level a miracle drug.

To be honest, it was a restorative potion if one wanted to be completely accurate, but calling it a miracle remedy, an elixir, wasn’t far off.

“Isn’t calling it that a little presumptuous?”

“It heals wounds in a flash, and even increases your physical strength a little. I took it myself to get well, so it's not a lie."

The potion bottle was filled with a clear, transparent liquid.

Helena carefully opened the lid, and was startled by the sweet aroma that began to flood the room, quickly closing it again.

“You weren’t lying. Then can I set the price higher, mentioning your name?”

“They're worth a high price on their own merits.”

“What’s my commission? How about thirty percent?”

"Don’t be an ass. You get ten percent.”

“That’s too low! I’m busy too, you know?”

“Then don’t. These aren’t things you can buy just with money. If I went to the queen with these, she’d welcome me with open arms. Especially this elixir.”

‘That’s true.'

If Callius was telling the truth, this potion would be worth any price.

‘If I just sell to the Masters first and gradually keep increasing the price…'

Helen didn't know if the option truly deserved to called a miracle elixir, but it might be able to fill the void the disappearance of holy water had left in Carpe’s potion market. If the rate of recovery was as quick as Callius implied, it was no different from having a second life.

‘Sell it to the Masters first, then to the talented captain-level knights or the nobles… ‘

She couldn’t tell offhand how much money this could make.

Helena's lips were wet like she was about to openly drool.

Ssssp.

“Hmm, huh. How about twenty percent?”

“Fifteen. Any more than that would be unreasonable.”

“It can’t be helped. But I want to test a sample first, so shall I take a bottle?”

“Test it here.”

"Eh? How to test…”

“Bruns.”

"Yeah!"

As the man ran in, Callius took out the dagger, Zornik, from his bosom and slashed Bruns in the arm.

“Ugh!”

The man started making a fuss, but Callius grabbed his arm and dropped a few drops of the potion on the wound.

Sizzle, squelch.

The wound started to heal.

It was definitely slower than holy water, but the healing was fast enough to be visible to the naked eye, enough to call it a miracle drug.

“See? It can be called an elixir.”

“’Elixir’… yeah.”

Clasp.

Helena, shaking hands to finalize the deal, took the bottle of elixir.

“But why did you call me?”

"What do you mean?"

“You’re the Queensknight, aren’t you? Why not tell the queen?”

Helena’s face was somehow aglow with anticipation.

“Because the royal family might monopolize it. It might be better for the country overall, but not for me personally.”

"Ah… Then the source has to be kept secret?”

“Yes. Airtight.”

Most of the renegades in the country were dead, but Callius couldn’t relax.

It’d be better if Beatrice's existence was kept hidden under a veil of secrecy.

‘Until the right moment arrives.'

On the way to visit the queen.

Callius was going to meet her to teach swordsmanship, but he stopped by the academy first after an idea struck.

“Where are you?”

The Royal Academy.

Callius slowly walked down the front walkway, taking in the sight of the well-built edifice.

There was somebody else along the way. A man wearing glasses that lent a vicious cast to his face.

"Who… Ah! Count Jervain, I presume?”

Despite his ferocious looks, he bowed promptly upon meeting Callius.

“That’s right.”

“This is an honour. Did you come to see Young Lady Emily?”

“Where is Emily’s class?”

“She’s in class C. Oh, by now, she’s probably in the middle of training. Would you like to observe?”

“Guide me.”

Ignoring the man’s ramblings about the curriculum having theory in the mornings and training in the afternoons, Callius trailed after him, until he found the place where Emily was training.

Under the warm sunlight, Emily was having a match.

The opponent was the son of a certain nobleman.

The boy was a head taller than Emily, but that didn’t mean he was her opponent.

"Damn it!"

Victory came in the blink of an eye.

Putting down the wooden sword with an expressionless face, Emily turned his head to look at this side.

Immediately, she looked startled. Her mouth loosened up and she waved her hand.

Callius had been discovered.

He waved his hand a little in response.

Rinney and Flora, who were standing nearby, also joined in waving their hands.

Rinney was understandable, but Callius wondered why even Flora was so enthusiastic, but in the end it didn't matter.

‘All four of them are in the same class.'

Callius didn't know if it was a coincidence or not.

But there was nothing disadvantageous about it.

The moment he was thinking about that –

“Don’t worry about your daughter.”

“…”

“I’m going to take her in as my disciple.”

The pope, who’d arrived at some point, was standing beside Callius and looking at Emily.

The noble instructor, name unknown, shook his head as if in disbelief.

The rumour was that he’d been feeling disheartened after Sullivian's death, but had he shaken it off already?

“Do you take disciples?”

“I never have before. There was no child whose talent caught my eye, and I didn’t have the time or the will, either.”

However, after Sullivian's death –

The pope said that he’d had a change of heart.

“I didn’t die this time, but my day will come. I’ll become a sword for the good of this kingdom. But even so, I want to leave my will behind.”

“Well. As long as Emily wants to, I don't mind.”

“Thank you.”

“How about teaching those children too, while you’re at it?”

"Who are they?"

“My nephew and niece.”

“But not that kid, right?”

The pope was talking about Flora.

“She’s going to be great one day.”

The pope's eyes narrowed.

Eventually, his eyes began to twinkle as if he’d found something in Flora. He asked with a pleased grin.

“Hmm, is she a commoner?”

"Yeah."

“I like her.”

The next three years.

Once three years passed –

It’d be interesting to see how much the children's skills improved.

“It’s been quite a while, hasn’t it? How is Her Majesty’s swordsmanship?"

“It’s going smoothly.”

The queen's talent wasn’t particularly bad.

It wasn’t on the high side, but she had a passion for learning, so teaching her wasn't difficult.

"But…”

Callius’s eyebrows furrowed as if in deep thought.

"But?"

“She stumbles a lot.”

The queen often stumbled during training, and had to hold on to Callius for support.

“…”

While Callius was seriously contemplating whether the queen needed remedial training to fix her sense of balance, the pope looked at Callius as if he were a piece of trash.

Editor's Notes:

[1] Changing Sixth Squad to uppercase from now on. s have mostly been edited.

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