Surviving as a Mage in a Magic Academy - Chapter 63
High-ranking nobles of the Empire never borrowed money from others.
More specifically, they never “went out of their way” to borrow money from others as it would put a blemish on their reputation.
Of course, there were times when they needed money as well, but merchants that were associated or wished to be associated with them would seek them out before they had to do anything.
They would greet the nobles politely, attempt to make small talks, praise their estate and household, and then offer them money while saying “It’s nothing much, but we hope your distinguished selves will find this useful in supporting your endeavors.”
The nobles would then nod, pretending as if they have no choice but to accept…
The rest of the discussion would be left to the butlers that worked for the nobles.
As a result, high-ranking nobles never had experience asking for money from others.
Then would their descendants be any better? The young masters and mistresses wouldn’t even know where to begin.
That was why Arion, the branch manager of the Caico Merchants’ Association, was shocked when a young man who clearly belonged to a distinguished family came knocking on their doorstep, asking for money.
‘Is he really from the Wardanaz Family?’
Despite its size, Pilone was a prosperous village, with lots of people walking about and stores of all nature lining the streets.
Normally, a village like Pilone would only have one inn, but that wasn’t the case here. Several inns were placed side-by-side, each filled with customers.
It wasn’t just Pilone; the villages and cities nearby were also bustling with activities.
The reason was simple: they were close to Einroguard.
Since there was a magic academy in the vicinity, the region was rich in mana, meaning it was a hotspot for dungeons, monsters, and rare materials!
Furthermore, the mages that studied or worked in the academy often required materials and reagents for their experiments.
Where would they get them?
Most mages spent their time sitting before a desk and were fragile as a twig, which meant they’d employ adventurers whenever they needed to gather materials.
Since they were promised rich rewards, adventurers naturally flocked in, and with a fast and steady supply of materials, the mages would become excited, conducting experiments at a rapid pace. However, they’d soon run out of materials and once again rely on the adventurers. Eventually, the Empire’s Minister of Finance would review their monthly invoice and summon Os Gonadaltes in a fit of fury…
Thus, the cycle continued, with all but a select few contents with the system.
Yi-han was glad that this was the case.
As long as he had money, he could purchase most of the things he needed in this village. It was at least better than not being able to purchase what he needed despite having the money.
“That’s why I’d like to borrow some money.”
“B-but Young Master…p-please wait a moment.”
“Is that a no?”
“Definitely not! We are, of course, willing to lend money to the Young Master.”
The goat demihuman branch manager shook his head with both hands raised.
If the young man was truly from the Wardanaz Family, lending him money would definitely benefit them in the long run.
They wouldn’t even need to ask for the money back.
Just the fact that they could form a connection with the Wardanaz Family would be enough.
Arion made up his mind.
‘Right, even if I have to take money out of my own pocket…’
Indeed, the branch manager was troubled by something else.
How much would the young man demand?
If it exceeded his total fortune, he’d have to contact the higher-ups asap and ask for permission…
“How much does the Young Master require?”
Yi-han hesitated, which frightened Arion even more.
Just how much was he going to ask?
“…How about twenty silver coins?”
“…Fifteen would work if twenty’s too much.”
Arion became speechless for a moment before he noticed the uniform that the young man was wearing.
It was Einroguard’s uniform.
‘He’s from the magic academy?!?’
And a first year to boot. Arion, who knew of the academy’s crazy rules, was shocked.
How did a freshman manage to escape??
‘Right…he’s a Wardanaz.’
He had no choice but to accept that the young boy before him was really a Wardanaz.
After all, who else could escape from the academy in their first year?
‘I never thought a day would arrive when someone from a distinguished household would come asking for money…but he’s a Wardanaz, after all!’
“Twelve silver coins?”
“N-no, there’s no need to go any lower.”
After understanding what was going on, Arion did his best to make Yi-han comfortable.
He first offered a cup of tea and some snacks, after which he said he was willing to lend him money with no strings attached.
However, this made Yi-han suspect Arion’s intentions.
“P-please don’t misunderstand. We’re not trying to conduct any fishy businesses.”
“I think it’s time I go elsewhere…”
“Please! We were just trying to be generous since Young Master Wardanaz doesn’t seem to have anything on him at the moment!”
Arion felt wronged.
What would a freshman from the academy even have? It probably took him everything just to escape.
This wasn’t what Arion had in mind when he made the offer. It should’ve been more like “The money’s not important. I have faith in the Young Master’s integrity.” “Mr. Arion! You’ve got good eyes. In the future, once I make it big, I won’t forget to return the favor!”
“Oh, I see… in that case, I have something that might be worth some money.”
Arion cocked his head.
It was hard to believe that a freshman that had escaped could have anything worthwhile on him…
‘Is he talking about his staff…?’
Inside, Arion revealed a bitter smile.
It was a misunderstanding that the students often had.
Last year, a third-year student that had escaped from the academy tried to sell his staff but ultimately failed.
The staff that the academy provided wasn’t really that valuable.
“Here’s an account book containing the signatures of all the nobles that owe me money.”
Arion’s jaws were about to drop to the floor.
What the actual fuck…!?!?!?
“I was originally planning on going around the neighbourhood collecting money using the account book, but that damned lich *cough* excuse me, the principal has made everyone move to a different city.”
“I see… certainly, this is worth some money.”
The account book could directly be used to exchange for cash. And it wouldn’t end there.
If he sought out the nobles with the account book in hand, he would probably be given a generous reward for helping their family members.
After all, they were all proud individuals!
Though it was tempting, Arion drew the line there.
“Enough. We can lend the Young Master his money.”
“Then this account book—”
“Please keep it.”
Yi-han stared at Arion with an expression that said, ‘Is it his first day at the job?’
When borrowing money, it was natural for the lender to retain something from the borrower. It didn’t make sense for Yi-han to keep the account book.
Arion felt like crying.
‘This is supposed to be a gesture of goodwill…!’
There was a reason why Arion decided not to accept the account book.
The account book was like a promise between the Wardanaz Family and the various noble households.
When Young Master Wardanaz visited the nobles’ estates later on, he would be welcomed with open arms.
If Arion were to take the account book away from him, he might be able to make some immediate profits, but the Wardanaz Family would not see him in a good light.
—That sly merchant must’ve tricked Yi-han out of the account book!
Arion didn’t wish to be misunderstood, and he wasn’t going to take any chances, even if it meant losing out on some money.
But in the end, he was still misunderstood as a rookie merchant.
“Young Master, please take a moment to consider. You hail from the Wardanaz Family. What difference does it make for me to have the account book or not?”
“You’re right, but still…”
“…Would you like a tour of the village? There must be a lot of things that you need.”
Arion quickly changed the topic of their conversation.
He knew what an escapee like Yi-han needed.
“I would appreciate that, but you won’t take me to stores affiliated with your merchants’ association, will you?” asked Yi-han, nodding.
“…Of course not!”
Arion was beginning to question whether Yi-han was from the Wardanaz Family or the Wardanaz Merchant’s Group.
The boy before him had none of the naivety that young masters often had.
Arion was about to follow Yi-han out of the room when he realized that all the snacks were gone.
‘Did he eat them? Strange, I don’t remember him eating…’
That was when he noticed that Yi-han’s pockets were full.
“Would you like these cream puffs? They were made by one of our best pâtissiers. The young masters of the academy would no doubt appreciate the rich fragrance of the cream contained within them.”
“No need. I’d like you to recommend things that are small and easy to store.
Yi-han was like a quartermaster stocking up food for a war.
Anything big, easily spoiled, or hard to store was rejected, regardless of their taste.
He pursued maximum storage and efficiency.
“These canned goods…”
“Aren’t their designs wonderful? They’ve been popular recently in the Empire.”
“What’s up with their shape? I can’t store them properly!”
It took Yi-han less than a second to reject the items.
Arion was seriously beginning to consider whether to offer Yi-han a seat at their merchants’ association after he graduated from the academy.
He would definitely make a fine merchant…
Yi-han personally selected the items he would purchase, measured their weights and volumes, and stored them in boxes of his choosing.
“Please wait, Young Master. You can’t bring a carriage into the academy. The principal would scold us if you do.”
“I know. I’m planning on bringing them back myself.”
It wasn’t just Arion that was shocked.
Even his employees were looking at him with eyes that said, ‘Boss, you should talk him out of this!’
“No, I’m sure he has his own plans.”
In the end, Arion remained quiet.
He had accepted it by now.
This young master from the Wardanaz Family was someone blessed with the talent of a merchant.
He must have a plan in mind!
“Next, let’s head to a tailor shop. A suit will be promptly prepared for the Young Master after taking his measurements.”
Yi-han stared at him, not comprehending the situation.
“Pardon me for asking…but aren’t those rags uncomfortable?”
The uniforms that the students wore at the academy seemed rough and uncomfortable. This was something even the workers could tell.
However, Yi-han didn’t think much of it.
“Not really. I don’t mind.”
“But we do need some clothes…”
Arion was relieved to hear this.
‘So he intends to buy clothes!’
“Instead of a tailor shop, bring me to a drapery store.”
“…Does the Young Master plan on making them himself…?”
“Yeah, is there something wrong with that?”
Arion became lightheaded when he saw Yi-han browse through all the cloths in the drapery store, selecting only the most durable ones.
‘There must be something going on between the first years of the academy!’
“Why are these cloths cheaper?”
“They’re no longer in fashion…”
“Then please bring me ones that are similar to this. By the way, between these two, which one is more waterproof?”
Just like with the food, Yi-han displayed a surprising level of expertise when selecting the cloths.
Among the various products in the store, Yi-han was selecting only the cream of the crop.
Both the branch manager and the owner of the drapery store had to admit that the young boy from the Wardanaz Family was dominating the scene!