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The subjugation request at the base of Royer Mountain also finished without a hitch and the day began as it always did.
The Merchant Guild contacted Shiu about his recipes. The date of the auction had been decided. He was relieved that he could see Kiahi and his party off since it was on the day before they departed.
Zafiro would be sorting through the participants before the auction. It had been announced publicly, but a surprising number of people had submitted their application for the auction. They had to be proper people, he couldn’t let unmotivated people have the recipes.
On to top of that, they would be interviewed by Shiu after the auction and exchange contracts.
Incidentally, he heard interesting things about Zafino’s meetings.
“Oh, so the Oberio House also applied?”
“I was so surprised. There’s a limit to how shameless they could be. It’s the talk of the guild.”
“Hahaha,” Zafiro laughed happily, but the topic made Shiu shiver.
“It’s not something to laugh about.”
“Sorry, my bad. Anyways, be careful because of that. We will conduct our investigations as well.”
“You think people who are involved with them will try to sneak into the auction?”
“If they were that smart, then those incidents wouldn’t have happened.”
“…… You’re also really harsh, aren’t you Zafiro-san.”
“What do you mean by also?”
“Chloe-san is also the same.”
“Her too, huh,” He laughed.
The two seemed to be on the verge of going out. They gave off good impressions.
Shiu also liked the two of them, so he would bring them up in conversation sometimes or get them to meet during work.
“Now then, the interviews are going as planned. We already have two types of stores in place, and are screening for the branches. So, the interviews will be conducted as such.”
“The Merchant Guild has been reviewing the franchise system, so we’ll let you know about the idea fee later.”
“That won’t do. We’ll probably talk about the sweets recipes you made as well. There’s a wealthy merchant house that’s interested in the franchise system. Do you want to meet them?”
“I don’t want to be bias.”
“To be honest, this conversation all boils down to that. The conditions are good and it suits you, doesn’t it?”
“Hmmm. Well, I’ll think abou tit.”
“I wanted them to meet you at the auction. Ah, will you be tired afterwards?”
“If it suits the other party, then it might be easier to make it on that day.”
“Alright. You can speak more casually, you know? Well, I’m speaking pretty casually now too.”
Zafiro scratched his head and looked lovesick.
“Chloe also pointed this out.”
He scratched his head while looking embarrassed.
“Ah, the both of you are already dating?”
“Huh? Oh, yes, sure.”
Zafiro laughed in embarrassment and Shiu found it charming that adults could also act like this.
According to Zafiro, he had progressed from his relationship of being 「work acquaintances」to「lover」. He had told Shiu about this so earnestly that Shiu thought the two were really cool.
They spoke about the action plan, then Zafiro spoke fondly about Chloe and concluded their meeting.
They decided that the food would eventually be sold at shops in the Royal Capital by Doran after the auction and interviews.
The reason was that the auction conditions and the reason why 「Shiu’s recipes was important」was fulfilled.
“I can’t believe it was the child from that time……”
The other person had been surprised, but Shiu had been too, because they’d met each other before.
Apparently, Doran hadn’t noticed him at first. But, he remembered who Shiu was after he’d won the auction and was introduced to Shiu.
He was the shopkeeper of the stall that Shiu first ate at when he first went to the library. He ate something that was similar to a bowl of rice.
“I thought you were a strange kid. But, you were really happy and told me that my food was delicious, so that’s why I’m still working hard.”
“So this is him. I heard about you from honey and have always wanted to meet you.”
His wife’s name was Riella and she shook Shiu’s hand. Even her voice showed that she was deeply moved.
“Rice isn’t very popular with the people of Loire, so he thought about quitting. But, I know my honey’s dream.”
“To set up a restaurant?” Shiu asked and Riella nodded in agreement.
“He said he liked the food in my hometown, so he wanted to spread it to other places as well. I wanted to help him. I’m really happy that he’s motivated again.”
“I’m also happy. I was able to get such a delicious recipes.”
Shiu was also happy that the two were happy and sighed in relief.
If possible, Shiu wanted the winner of the auction to like rice and want to make it widely known.
“My friend bought the food for me. I had cutlet and fried chicken. This is it! I thought. The 「rice balls」were also delicious. I tried different ways to cook rice because of that.”
“That’s also included in the recipes you won. There are other recipes in there too, so please use it.”
“Eh, is it alright? No, but, that, I can’t ―――.”
Doran shook his hand, so Zafiro laughed and joined in on their conversation, “It’s fine, Shiu wanted to make rice well-known. So, he thought of a lot of recipes that would complement rice. I’ve also tried several of them and they were all delicious! Please open up your shop.”
“…… Y-yes! I’ll try my best to!”
“That’s the spirit. Now then, should we have a meeting about the opening of your restaurant? The investor would be here any minute now.”
“Huh? You even arranged an investor?”
Doran and Riella were both surprised so Zafiro explained, “The original plan was to borrow money and open a restaurant at the west district. But, a merchant that I knew said that they wanted to invest in the restaurant. Of course, it’s up to you to decide Doran-san. But they are a reliable merchant house, so please think about it.”
It seemed that this made the couple happy.
Doran had had the customer in mind when he set his stall up near the library close to the merchant block, but he also wanted to catch the eye of the merchants. If things went well, then the merchants would invest in his business. Otherwise, it would have been very difficult to open a restaurant from scratch.
They were taken to a different room in order to seize this opportunity.
Shiu was free during this time so Zafiro set up an appointment with the merchant.
“Nice to meet you, my name is Vaniru. I am the head of the Adrid House.”
The man, who was standing there waiting for them, appeared to have a very calm and gentle demeanour, he acted more like a gentle noble than someone from a wealthy merchant house. Beside him was a silver-grey haired butler who stood in a straight pose and his eyes were smiling happily.
“It’s been a while. I am a butler at the Adrid House, Rod.”
He was the butler of the house where he cleaned the courtyard and pond. He had also cleaned their storehouse the other day.
“Now, gentlemen, let’s sit down first,” Zafiro said, so everyone sat down.
Then, Zafiro briefly explained what the Adrid House’s business was. Vaniru didn’t interrupt him and would sometimes nod while smiling.
The Adrid House mainly handled in food stuffs and they also managed a few restaurants.
They were planning on opening a café this time and a maid had given them some information while they were at their wits end on what product to feature. The information she had told them was about the dessert that Shiu had served at his stall.
They immediately began gathering information at the Merchant Guild and found out about the recipe auction. They had also heard about the franchise system and became even more interested in it when they found out Shiu was behind all this.
“I’m sorry, but I always thought that Shiu-dono’s talents were being wasted. When I found out about all this, I wanted to help him somehow and consulted with Vaniru-sama.” Vaniru continued to look calm while his butler talked.
“Even so, I’m still a merchant, so it would be meaningless if I don’t make a profit. I did a little investigation to see whether it would be profitable or not, but ―――.”
Shiu would be worried if he didn’t investigate, so he nodded.”
“I listened to what people who have eaten it had to say, and thought that it would definitely be profitable. I wanted to talk to you through the guild before anyone else could jump at this opportunity.”
If a merchant said so, then it must be so. Shiu was relieved.
The conversations progressed and Shiu decided to leave everything in their hands. He had charged them for the transfer of the recipe, Shiu couldn’t handle the business side of it.
He left the details to Zafiro, but he would be receiving a fee for its usage. He also thought it would be alright even if they didn’t use that recipe.
They were also interested in the franchise system and were working out the details with Zafiro.
They also wanted to invest in Dolan’s restaurant and would manage it in a way that was profitable.
They said that they trusted in Shiu’s recipe, but they’ve never tried it before so he tried to take it out of his storage.
Shiu also invited the Dolan couple to join in and they had a big tasting party in another room. The meeting room was filled with the smell of food, but the staff didn’t mind at all. In fact, they were rather happy about it.
In short, it was delicious.
Vaniru and his butler were also pleased, so the drawing of contracts went smoothly.
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