1 Parchment & Feather Quill

"Are quill and parchment available in your stall?" A young man dressed in an expensive olive tunic and leggings paired with a beige cloak and trousers leaned on the stall, vaunting his luxurious new attire. The vendor scrutinized him but quickly retrieved his glance.

He's facing an unknown aristocrat!

"Yes, respected Sir!" He bowed as he stepped back to start looking for the items his vendee asked.

Asaph felt his chest about to explode. He couldn't turn back the time and change his earlier gestures. He intended not to be rude in front of a wealthy aristocrat who seemed to have just bought his garb from the nearest royal boutique.

He moved as quickly as he could but he disappointed himself. Cold sweat started to profuse on his back and forehead. Dying must be the only option now.

Even if he survives right now, his owner will surely kill him after knowing he wasn't able to offer the goods an aristocrat vendee had asked for.

"Respected Sir," Asaph nervously called as he wiped his sweat on his forehead with his trembling hand. "We currently don't have a stock of the items you requested…"

"Alright-"

"But…!" Asaph immediately blocked his arm in front of the aristocrat vendee albeit at the risk of being rude. "I promise you, Sir. It will be available in a short span of time."

Cael stepped back a little before tidying his clothes. He raised his head and sent the stall keeper a penetrating glare with his enchanting, dark green eyes. "How long is that short period you mention?"

A mischievous smile broke out from his lips. He daringly watched a once prideful vendor panicking on the brink of despair.

"R-right now? No… I mean, t-three days from now."

"It's an urgent need that cannot be extended for a day nor three days."

"I'm sorry," Asaph bowed down, forcing himself to stand up and pay respect to the aristocrat. All colors from his face drained and the energy of his legs melted into nothing.

Seyera commoners feared failing the transaction between them and an aristocrat.

Once failed, they would either be fired, killed, or tortured or pay the staggering amount of one violet note which was equivalent to one hundred thousand blue notes.

Bless Continent's highest form of currency was a violet note. And the lowest currency was the red note. The higher the currency, the equivalent prior currency— red, yellow, blue, increased.

A blue note was already hard to earn and impossible for lower-class citizens of the kingdom such as them, the commoners, and less likely for any peasants living in the outskirts, to achieve.

Seyera commoners consider themselves superior to peasants yet once they succumb to a larger debt, they turn into peasants themselves.

"I see," Cael nodded as he flipped his clothes majestically when he turned around.

Someone who used their inquisitive eyes to look into a person in disgust didn't deserve a second chance a reserve one gets.

Initially, Cael only wanted to buy a paper and a pen yet the people here only knew parchment and a feather quill.

More than two months ago, Cael woke up in a dense and endless grassland. There were no trees, only grass, and a limited number of water puddles. Animals were also rare creatures. It was obvious they couldn't live too long in an open area where anyone or anything would be exposed to direct starlight for the whole day.

Although the air was refreshing, it wasn't enough to soothe thirst and exhaustion.

Even Cael barely remembered how the hell was he able to save himself and arrived at the outskirts of the Glory Kingdom.

When he woke up, his skin was still as white as a milk, filled with bruises and fractures, and deathly sick. Unlike now, he's all healthy.

His figure started to take shape, unlike the scrawny, bony one before. His skin tone turned into a caramel-colored one. His unique pair of dark green eyes only turned clearer and brighter each day.

If he wasn't wearing that scruffy old peasant's articles of clothing earlier, everyone would assume he was a born aristocrat, including those who had seen him all naked without a single piece of cloth.

Cael looked around to pick which stall had more boxes or items displaying.

The plaza was octagon in shape. The first half of the plaza was where the stalls and shops lined up. On the right of the second half was the Arena located. On the left was the wide entrance of Culver Town. A large, tightly closed tower was in the middle of the plaza, obstructing the view of what's on the opposite each side.

Stalls were businesses of merchants while shops inside a building were businesses from the aristocrats. But the items they were selling were almost the same except those who sell specialized products such as boutiques, restaurants, and weaponsmiths.

This place could be found in the inner sector of the kingdom. The outer sector was completely different from this.

Cael familiarized himself as he approached the third-largest stall he had seen.

"Do you have parchment and quill?"

"We don't, Respected Sir. Lord Jyoti has bought all the available parchments and quills in this place." Rabien bowed slightly before he answered Cael. He wanted to suck to an aristocrat wealthier-looking than Lord Jyoti. He wanted to increase the aristocrat's favor of him.

Cael sent him a doubtful glare before turning his back away.

Where can he buy those things? Buying those items must only take him less than an hour but it seems to be impossible.

"Shall I run?"

'No! What if I accidentally hit a rogue-like knight?'

The image of an enchanting and fierce female knight who he met twice, last month and today, appeared in his mind.

He unconsciously shivered when he remembered how the unreasonable female knight almost cut his throat. Fortunately, her father, a General Knight, arrived on time.

Initially, he didn't have a single note in his pocket. But because of the one-sided promise, he got a staggering amount of one violet note which was equivalent to a hundred thousand blue notes.

He's a wealthy, passionate young master now!

Cael shook his head and exhaled those bothersome thoughts.

"Let's start with that small box-filled stall then."

He eyed the stall that had a lot of unopened wooden boxes. The vendor focused only on the tower in the middle like a statue crafted in human skin.

"Do you have a parchment and a quill?" Cael once again asked the same words he was saying since earlier.

The vendor finally moved his gaze away from the tower. He looked into Cael's pair of clear, dark green eyes and flinched. He darted his eyes on the ground before answering in a raspy, feminine voice. "That's the only goods we have."

"Are you a female?" Cael uncontrollably blurted out his thoughts. He pursed his lips after realizing that he might have offended the person.

"..."

"Okay! Alright! Silence means yes." Cael grinned foolishly, giving the attendant a thumbs-up. "I'll buy everything, how much is it?"

"We have one box of feather quills, two boxes of ink, and five boxes of brown parchments. There's also our trial product called papyr. It's thinner, made from a plant."

"How is the parchment made of?"

"Animal skin."

"Won't it be sticky and stinky?" Cael frowned imagining the smell of a dead animal carcass. He subconsciously brushed his nose.

"No. Would you like to buy everything?" The vendor asked to be sure if his vendee would buy expensive goods in one go.

"Yes. By the way, when I was asking earlier, one of the stall keepers here told me that Lord Jyoti bought all parchments and quill here. I haven't even thought of the ink until you said it."

"Those were his reservations. We directly sell what's in our inventory. No reservations allowed. If I may ask, good sir, what will you do with these things?" The vendor swiftly computed the total amount of the transaction.

"375,000 yellow notes or 375 blue notes in total."[1]

Dinoule, the vendor, didn't ask if his vendee had the amount or not. After all, he would count the money first before he would transfer the goods. It's also rude to ask the ability of a person to pay.

Cael fetched his black straw bag hidden behind his cloak. He opened it and grabbed eight rolled blue notes. Each roll has 50 blue notes.

"Use 20 blue notes to transfer the goods to the western outskirts of the kingdom. Look for Village Chief Hamsel of Bahasturia. The rest would be yours." Cael closed his straw bag again and winked at Dinoule.

Until now, he thought the stall keeper was a beauty and not someone with a brother with him.

Dinoule stared at Cael in disgust before counting if the vendee paid the right amount.

Fortunately, Cael exactly gave 400 blue notes before disappearing.

The focus in his set of amber pupils shifted into a keen one. His deer-shaped eyes slanted as he stared at the wooden boxes inside his stall.

He was both the stall keeper and the owner of his business. He was also an owner of a manufacturer's house and a lord of a town in the Glory Kingdom.

But it was his first time to see someone buy goods without asking the breakdown of the prices.

Most of all, why would he transfer it to the outskirts?

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