Never Die Extra - Chapter 32
Chapter 32 – Evan D. Sherden, Collide (2)
Evan D. Sherden, Collide (2)
The Brotherhood Pharmacy had an extraordinary beginning in many ways.
Under the Marquis’s full support, they opened the Pharmacy in the middle of the most well-located street in the city of Sherden. But even more extraordinary was the sale of potions with overwhelming powers, which were not common at low prices up until now.
“Isn’t the donation amount a little low this time?”
Three or four months had passed since the Brotherhood Pharmacy was established. One day, Bishop Setyron, head of the Diocese of Sherden of the Earth Church, suddenly muttered while checking the donation records. A cold sweat broke out on the forehead of the young priestess who had brought the report to him.
“That’s because… Bishop, do you know of the recently established place called ‘Brotherhood Pharmacy’?”
“Ah, I know about that. Master Marquis was spoiling that young brat of his with a lot of money.”
These were words that he wouldn’t dare say in front of the Marquis, but who could see or hear someone talking behind their backs? The young priestess gave an enigmatic smile, to refrain from further elevating the Bishop’s temper.
“It is said that the Pharmacy gained a lot of success, rather unexpectedly. Perhaps the Marquis is giving it great attention. Moreover, a lot of people have been using that place recently. It’s because of that that the donation amount has decreased.”
“At least that’s how I think it is.”
“The Pharmacy is not a joke. Its very inception means that it’s going against the times, the times! The Marquis is tricking the people with such fake remedies!”
The priestess was sweating heavily at the words of the Bishop. If even a single word like that was spoken in front of the Marquis, they would have been in grave trouble! The Bishop continued,
“I don’t know what the Marquis is thinking, involving himself in the potions. But the results shall stay the same! It’s just natural that you need the help of a priestess when exploring the dungeon. So what good can a potion do…”
“That’s the problem, Bishop. People are saying potions with excellent effects are being sold there at low prices.”
“I can’t believe that these potions, which have already broken the priests’ decades-long influence, have good performance. On the other hand, the power of our priests sent by the Earth Mother is immediately accepted and used at its highest at all times. It’s stupidly obvious, isn’t it?”
The priestess who had already forecasted that the Bishop would say something like this carefully handed out a potion. “It’s a potion I got from the Brotherhood Pharmacy.”
The Bishop’s eyes flashed at this.
“How did you bring such a vile poison to this sanctuary?”
“It has already been purified and blessed. There was nothing in it to be cleansed, but it showed good compatibility with blessings. Maybe we can learn something from this potion. I was just wondering if it was compatible with your spells or not.”
At the priestess’s excuse, the Bishop clicked his tongue. ‘I would’ve kicked out this priestess, hadn’t it been for her lots of useful abilities. She also has a very clever excuse.‘
The Bishop touched the potion, unsure.
“It’s compatibility? Even if it’s compatible with my spell, what am I going to do with it… Wait, why me? You want me to try it as a test of my abilities?”
“I brought it to you, just in case you might be curious.”
“Put it somewhere and leave.”
“Yes, Bishop.” The priestess quickly disappeared. The Bishop laughed at the red potion after she had left.
‘There is no need to be worried if the amount of donations per day has decreased. No matter how much the Marquis is investing, it will always be the same. This is a battle. How many people have tried to sell potions in this city in the past? In the end, all of them failed or died.’?The Bishop continued.
‘It doesn’t matter if the Marquis himself is supporting this Pharmacy. The temple doesn’t need to take any steps yet, as the explorers will start ignoring them first. I’ll take care of it myself if the temple feels endangered.’
There was a time when the Bishop had thought it was nothing serious. But it only took him a year to realize that he was wrong. The donation amount had been halved by then!
Even if the temperatures this summer were an all-time high, few people came forward to be healed, and the donations decreased dramatically! The priestess, who was careful about evoking a reaction from the Bishop due to his temper, carefully handed him a pile of his documents. She felt scared.
“Bishop, I’ve analyzed the management tactics of the Brotherhood Pharmacy. Although there is not enough data here.”
“What more data do you need now!?”
The Bishop threw away the papers that the priestess had handed him.
She collected the papers and muttered, “We could’ve taken a reference for the improvement in our temple operations.” These words did not reach the Bishop, who was only concerned with extracting money from the people rather than upgrading the temple’s operations.
“We can’t leave Brotherhood Pharmacy alone! They are playing with God’s will and manipulating people using unique means!”
“This is because we did not adjust properly to the demands of the dungeon explorers… And because of the excellent performance of the potions and their low prices, too many explorers have already shifted to Brotherhood Pharmacy. They don’t even care about the anger of the priests anymore.” The priestess carried on
“Moreover, the priests’ assistance is indeed essential to enter the dungeon, but it’s the same for the priests as well. We also need the help and donations of the explorers, and it becomes difficult for us if they might stop reaching out. The money earned by the dungeon exploration party is exchanged for the priestess’s healing abilities. We were able to acquire significant gold by this method, but it has become cheap due to the potions!”
“Besides, it’s very easy to use medicines, so nowadays the merchants and noble families are buying these potions. Due to this, the number of people coming to the shrine for healing has decreased along with the amounts of donations…”
At the priestess’s report, the Bishop wrapped his head in his arms.
“I left this problem unattended. We have to do something before the Pharmacy gets bigger. I should have done it in the past. I’m going to fail.” Then the Bishop had an idea.
“This is rather difficult. The amount of fees sent to the headquarters has decreased. So we need to put sanctions on them.”
The priestess knew that half of the money sent to the headquarters would go into the Bishop’s pocket, but she wasn’t so careless to speak of it here. The priestess tried again to disperse the Bishop’s delusions.
“But Bishop, it wouldn’t end well if we went against the Brotherhood Pharmacy. It is a public project under the name of the Marquis, and it could also develop into a problem with the country’s government.”
“You’re right. I don’t like these steps also. If there was any way to do it simply, I would’ve done it right away. It wasn’t a small insect that could easily be killed by stepping on it if it was annoying. No, this problem is bigger than that. I just didn’t know it would grow like this.”
“Marquis… Yes, I just have to target people working directly for the Marquis,” the Bishop muttered.
“But the employees of the Brotherhood Pharmacy are innocent ordinary citizens, Bishop.” Why was the Bishop constantly talking about the Brotherhood Pharmacy? Why was he not accepting the reality and instead reflect on the current situation of the temple? Why wasn’t he planning to operate it in a better direction?
The priestess was frustrated with him and wanted to beat her chest. But by now, the Bishop was also fed up with the priestess.
“I’ll tell you what. Right now, the authority of the Earth Mother is crumbling to the ground. Is killing someone even a problem compared to this?”
“I’ll see to it myself. Go out.”
The priestess was worried about what she should do about the words she had just heard from the Bishop. She was feeling extremely ominous, but she could do nothing yet.
Besides, the Bishop wouldn’t call her anymore on matters related to the Brotherhood Pharmacy, in the future, if she revealed her resentment.
‘I hope you don’t do anything evil…’
The priestess put her hand on her beating chest and stepped back.
When she had first joined the Diocese of Sherden, it seemed as if God himself had come out of the sky and blessed her. But a sigh escaped her lips when she thought about her current situation. To relieve her bad mood…
‘I need to eat some snacks.’
Priestess Serpina Belline put on a hood and went out into the streets. She had already decided what to eat. The Monstero grilled skewers restaurant had just opened in the back alley!
Surprisingly, it had opened with the approval of the Marquis. It was run by a man who held the Monster Chef’s license, which could only be obtained by going through fierce competition and strict conditions. Even though it had only been open for a few days, everyone else was already praising them, saying the food there was delicious.
‘On a day like this, I can eat a little extra. My mind and body are in an uneasy state right now due to Bishop’s terrible words. I must take care of my health, as well.’ Serpina mumbled inwardly and teased herself with the most novel excuse that anyone on a diet, falls victim to at least once.
It was difficult to find a place to sit with so many people around.
“Master, here are three dark mantis skewers.”
“They were difficult to catch, and I don’t have much stock left. Ryun Boo will pay for it all. But leave some for me to taste later.”
“Well, then pack up what you just ordered. Go ahead and eat them with the kids. And for the owner’s share, add three dark mantis skewers! Are these enough?”
“Three!? It’s three silver coins each! These are so expensive!”
“It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter!”
There was a person there who Serpina had never expected to meet. There he was! Evan D. Sherden, the second Master of the Sherden family and one of the co-representatives of the Brotherhood Pharmacy.
“Master, you shouldn’t say such things like drunkards.”
“I know, Dain… But I mean, I want to drink alcohol too.”
Evan was occupying the table with Dain, his escort. But it was worth amazement, the sight of so many foods, half or completely eaten by two people only.
Evan seemed to eat quite a lot for his age, but the real sight was seeing Dain eat. Perhaps Evan was hungry due to his usual hard training, but the skewers kept piling up.
“How are they, Dain? Aren’t they delicious?”
“To be honest, Master… They are extremely delicious. Working for the Marquis, I was confident that I had tried almost all of the fine foods, but these…? I can only say that the eyes of the Master are great at recognizing talent.”
“I’m very impressed by these. The taste is mouth-watering. I am really enjoying these skewers! I want to show off their taste to the maids, but I can’t think of a way… Or should I buy some for the maids too?”
“If you deliver some of these skewers to the maids, they will deliver themselves to you on their own, Master.”
Evan kept eating skewers while having a friendly conversation with his escort. Others nearby looked at him and laughed occasionally. It wasn’t just because of his cute looks.
With the Brotherhood Pharmacy offering potions at low prices to the sick and the poor, Evan’s popularity among the city’s commoners had risen to the point where it seemed it would explode if poked.
‘Marquis’s project is already a huge success, just by winning the people’s hearts. Even if it would have been a public business that that supplied people with potions at the expense of losses, it could be believed. But along with gaining popularity, the whole Pharmacy was a huge success.’?She wondered.
‘However, I still do not know where the hell they got the technique to make potions at such cost?… It wouldn’t make sense to me even if I knew it.”
Serpina thought about how she would reform the current twisted Sherden Diocese structure if she had greater authority. She would suggest the Brotherhood Pharmacy’s operating method and change the structure, which would be more satisfying to the priests, believers, and explorers. She could also…
At that moment, Evan, who was biting grilled skewers and Serpina’s gaze, instantly met.
Serpina tried to hide her face with the hoodie because she didn’t want to let anyone know that she was a priestess from the temple. But it was useless because Evan had recognized her.
First, Evan’s eyes expanded and then… Very slowly, his lips curled into a smile. Soon he declared.
“Sis, there seems to be no free space in the restaurant. Would you like to join us?”
“Big sister, it’s quite an honor to sit with a nobleman! But if you don’t want to sit with him, our table has some room too!”
“But Master Evan was one step ahead of you. Don’t refuse him. He doesn’t have a knife to stab you with, you know?”
The drinkers around Evan shouted in his favor. It seemed a bit rude, but it didn’t seem harmful or malicious. Serpina was somewhat familiar with it, so she did not particularly hate the atmosphere.
However, the problem was that it seemed evil to her to join Evan at his table. She was confused.
‘…Alright. What could go wrong if I sat with a little boy, who was all by himself except one guard.’ After a short thought, Serpina nodded lightly and stepped towards Evan.
Thus, during the dungeon backflow, Sherden’s Diocese elaborate collaboration would begin with an accident.