After a long time, we arrived at Denaar, the nearest city from the settlement, and we went straight to the firm we wanted to visit.
This time we went to a firm called "Harvest Hoe", which specializes in trading of agricultural products, and it was one of the firms that Diana and I had visited the last time we were in the city.
"Excuse me, but Master Neil should stay here and watch over the cargo while I call someone."
As soon as we arrived at the firm, Diana got off the coachman's chair and said this to me, and after confirming my approval, she entered the building alone.
While Diana was calling for the firm's staff, I was watching the wagons and the cargo, but there were no daredevils who would do anything wrong to the wagons watched by the nobility-like people in fine clothes, and the people who did not want to be involved in the situation blatantly avoided the wagons, so only the area around the wagons was empty.
While I waited for a while feeling uncomfortable in such a state, Diana came out from inside the building with three men.
One of the three men, a well-dressed man, stepped forward and approached me.
"Well, well, if it isn't Master Neil, welcome to our firm. My name is Gibbet and I am the owner of the harvest hoe.
"Huh, hello, I'm Neil Atmiras."
"I didn't expect the famous Master Neil, please, come in."
"Oh, no, first of all, Diana."
When I call her name, Diana understands what I am saying and pulls out a marked wooden box from the cargo.
Each marked crate is filled with one crop from the farmland to show at the business meeting.
The reason is that it is quicker to show the actual crops than to say verbally, "We have succeeded in growing crops that do not grow in this area."
"It's hard to talk about it without the actual thing."
"Well, is there a reason for that?"
"Uh, well... something like that."
"I see... you're right, it's difficult to talk. Please come in this time. You two keep an eye on Master Neil's wagon and its cargo to make sure no unauthorized persons get near them."
Perhaps sensing something in my reaction, Gibbet-san instructed the other two men to watch the wagon and its cargo, and we were led by him to the back of the building, where we were shown into a room.
"Please have a seat in the cramped space. We will bring you some tea soon."
"Oh, please don't mind!?"
"M-Master Neil? Is something the matter?"
"No, no, it's nothing."
I take a glance at Diana who picked and twisted the flesh on my back nonchalantly, while I make a fool of it to Gibbett-san.
I know what she wants me to say, that I should not be afraid of him more than necessary, and that I should have a more dignified attitude, but if it were easy to do so, I would have done so already.
However, I couldn't do it because I was isolated in my previous life... Nevertheless, it is necessary to make an effort to try as much as I can before giving up.
Anyway, I sat down on the sofa as he suggested, and Diana stood behind me holding a wooden box, and Gibbet-san sat down on the sofa opposite to me.
"Well, Master Neil, to be entrusted with the cultivation of such a neglected and undeveloped area..."
"Huh? No, no, I'm not in charge."
"Even a child knows how much difficulty is involved in settling a new land. It's not a normal thing to be entrusted with such a job as soon as you come of age."
When I was sitting on the sofa and thinking that we were about to start the business meeting, Gibbet-san started talking about the new land settlement, to which I responded with some amazement, and we continued talking for a while about something unrelated to the business meeting.
While we were talking like that, a lady brought a cup of tea for both of us, put it in front of him and me, and quickly left the room.
As I take a sip of the tea to moisten my thirst, Gibbet-san, who had been chatting with me in a friendly manner, tightens his expression.
"Now, no one will come near this room for a while. Let's go on with the business talk."
I see, it seems that the chat was intended to create a pause so that the important business meeting would not be interrupted.
"I've heard a lot about you from the servant there, but I heard that you have something to sell."
I call her name, and Diana steps out from behind me, places the crate she is carrying in the center of the table, and comes back behind me again.
"This is from our settlement."
"...May I see what's inside?"
"Huh? Yes, please."
I wonder at Gibbett-san's nervousness, but I reply in turn, and with a careful hand, as if I were dismantling a bomb, I pull the crate close to my hand and slowly open the lid.
Inside the crate are crops that cannot be harvested at this time of the year or in this area, and I stare at his face to see how he will react to them, but his expression does not change as he pulls out the crops one by one from the crate.
What's that? It's funny, I expected a reaction like "Why vegetables at this time of the year!?" But there is no such reaction at all, and Gibbett-san finishes taking out all the crops from the crates with his facial muscles tense.
However, his eyes were not on the crops on the table, but on the empty crate, and he started to act in mysterious ways, for example, he frequently searched the bottom of the crate and turned the crate upside down.
"Excuse me, Master Neil, what is it that you want me to buy with you?"
"What? Isn't that what Gibbett-san just took out of the crate?"
"From the crate?"
At my words, Gibbet-san looks at the empty crate and the crops on the table alternately, and then he makes a face as if he understands something.
"Ah, ahaha, I'm sorry, I'm a little mistaken about what I did."
As I was tilting my head, wondering what on earth he had mistaken for, Diana, who was standing behind me, overheard me.
"I think Mister Gibbett may have misunderstood that Master Neil had brought in some prohibited goods or something."
What? I wondered why such a mistake was made, but when I thought about it, if a suspicious man brought a wooden box with only one mark and unknown contents, saying that it was hard to explain without seeing the actual item, which was hard to say verbally... well, I would have guessed that it contained some kind of dangerous medicine for sure.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be confusing."
"No, no, of course not! Please forgive me for doubting Master Neil."
"That's why I told you to watch your attitude."
While Gibbett-san and I were bowing to each other, Diana whispered in a voice that only I could hear.
Yes, my timid attitude may look like I have a guilty conscience at times, and I should be careful.
Well, there is nothing I can do by being careful, but the misunderstanding is cleared up for now, so I go back to the business meeting.
"Well, may you take another look at the crops?"
"Yes, of course. Now, if you'll excuse me... what's this vegetable?"
Well, that's the expected response, but it's too late.
Because I asked him to look at it again, I felt like I was forcing his reaction.
Unaware of my inner feelings, Gibbett-san excitedly picked up the other crops and checked them one by one.
"This one, this one! All of them are either not available at this time of the year or cannot be grown in this area! Master Neil, what is this?"
"As I explained earlier, they're crops freshly picked in our settlements."
"Yes, yes! Yes, they are! They're so shiny and fresh! It's unimaginable unless they've just been harvested!"
On the contrary to me, Gibbett-san was so excited that he picked up an onion and looked at it closely.
"Master Neil, may I taste this crop?"
"What? I don't mind, although I've cleaned the soil off the onions, but I haven't washed them―"
Without listening to my words, he wipes off the dirt with the sleeve of his clothes and bites into the onion.
"Ah, they are so fresh! Crunchy texture! And above all, the sweetness that fills my mouth! This onion is definitely "Nous"!
In the original world, "Nous" refers to fresh onions, while dried onions are called "Kuum" in order to preserve them.
Since onions with high water content are not preserved well at this time of the year, Gibbett-san was very surprised and continued to check each crop with his eyes, nose, and mouth, excitedly checking all the crops one by one throughout.
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